Saturday, August 28, 2010

Appendectomy - 4 Days Later

My state of being, 4 days after having my laparoscopic appendectomy:
  • There is really no pain around any of my incisions.
  • The giant square they shaved on my belly to do the surgery now ITCHES like mad as the hair begins to grow back. My wife said it was this way at first for her when she started to shave her legs, but she's used to it now. I'm not going to start regularly shaving my belly, though, so I'm enduring it.
  • I finally had a bowel movement this morning ... 4 days later, which was a little disconcerting as I'm really quite regular. A little personal here, I know, but for all those scientifically inquiring minds out there, I figured I'd give a rather complete record.
  • Urinating is still preceded by a weird flash of pain, but otherwise goes normally now (no more fits and spurts).
  • My guts still seem to be reorienting themselves, as I hear some rather bizarre gurgly noises on occasion. Mid-day, after getting up from a nap, I could swear I felt something move two inches across my stomach.
  • My appetite isn't back all the way -- still about 60%.
  • I pass gas on occasion, which, apparently, is a very good thing as during laparoscopic surgery the doctors inflate you with air, and the doctors are somewhat nervous about where all that air goes in the days after surgery. Supposedly it eventually gets absorbed by the body, which is why the passing of gas is a rather important milestone. My frequency and, um, volume is down compared to pre-surgery, though, so things aren't quite normal, yet. (Again, this is for the record, people!)
  • My right and left shoulder joints hurt all the time right now. I think it's because of the aforementioned gas, some of which has migrated to my shoulder joints, and from all I've read on line, it'll go away in a day or two (I hope). This is the single most painful thing right now about my recovery, and is keeping me humble (and slightly grumpy).
  • I took a shower yesterday for the first time. It was a glorious event.
  • I still have issues, on occasion, getting enough air, and yawning deeply is a challenge for me.
  • My stomach is starting to look more like I had surgery, and the ugly green of the bruising is starting to spread out from the incisions.
  • I usually need a mid-morning nap, and some mid-afternoon solitude away from noisy kids. I feel so overwhelmed that I literally find myself fleeing to the quiet places in the house.
  • The painkiller does its job, and wears off on schedule. I'm extremely diligent about taking it, because I really notice it in my shoulders when I don't.
  • My weight is currently 2 pounds below where I was before the surgery, and I expect it to fall a little more, but with my appetite slowly recovering, we'll see.
  • My range of motion is pretty good. I'm being cautious about bending forward, and always lift with my knees, rather than with my back, but I was in the habit of doing that before. This whole thing is an excellent excuse to get the slaves -- er, the kids -- to lift everything for me.
  • Laying down is still a slight production. I always lay down by first getting on my knees, then sort of leaning to the left until I'm down. Then, depending on how I'm feeling, I'll sometimes roll to my back. If I'm feeling really well, I'll actually roll all the way to my right side. Never once have I rolled across my front. I'm not that adventurous, yet, and until the weird chest pains go away (let alone the shoulder ones, which hinder my breathing), I'm not going that far.
  • Did I mention my belly itches?!?
  • Seriously, did I mention the itching?

All in all, I feel pretty good, except for the miserable aches in my shoulders. I'll report again in another few days.

1 comment:

Ash and Brent said...

Glad you're doing better.

They told me that the shoulder joint issues was from the anesthetic...I well remember how much that hurt. Sorry.

:)

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