Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Dos and Don'ts of Abdominal Surgery

Since I had my very first (and hopefully only) abdominal surgery on 12-21, I am now an expert on all things related to both the abdomen and surgery (I am a blogger, that's how this works - we blog therefore we know).

And because I know my legions (i.e. 90) blog followers look to me for guidance and wisdom (/sarcasm), I have decided to compile a list of the Dos and Don'ts of abdominal surgery. Maybe you'll be able to sense a theme. Enjoy.

DO shave your legs the day before (or morning of) surgery. It'll be awhile before you'll be able to do that again, and the less time your legs have for reforestation, the better.

DON'T wear shoes with laces to the hospital. Slippers all the way. It's easier on you and your surgery buddy (in my case, my husband).

DO go shopping the day/night before and stock up on supplies. DO buy smaller containers of milk as you will not be able to life a gallon post surgery and won't want to ask someone to fix you a bowl of cereal every morning.

DO buy Jamie Lee Curtis' pooping yogurt. Just do it.

DON'T wait to take your stool softeners. Take them as prescribed. Just trust me. Especially if you're using your painkillers regularly.

DON'T drink a half a bottle of laxative even if your surgeon tells you it's a good idea. It is not.
DO get a heating pad. It is like heaven.

DON'T watch funny or overly sad movies during recovery. Laughing and crying hurt - and then you'll be quite sore the next day.

DO try and get someone to watch your kids (if you have them) for a few days after surgery. Especially if they're little. They'll have more fun and you'll get some time to relax.

DO take post surgery belly pictures so you can gross out your friends on facebook. Or not, this one isn't as imperative as the others.

DO invest in baggy pajama pants, even if that means stealing some from your husband/boyfriend/partner/brother/father/etc. Loose dresses also work if you're into dresses. I lived in pajama pants for almost a week and was a little sad to make the switch back into normal clothes.

DO attempt to walk as much as possible. It will be uncomfortable, but sitting in the ER looking 5 months pregnant and having them tell you there's nothing they can do for you (after two bad IV sticks, an ultrasound, and an x-ray) is much more uncomfortable than pacing the living room post surgery.

And finally, DO give yourself time to heal. Recovery sucks, so stock up on your favorite movies/TV shows and watch them as you walk circles into your carpet in an attempt to get all the CO2 out of your abdominal cavity. Let people wait on you a little. Take up knitting.

Tomorrow is 7 days post-op and I'm finally feeling almost normal. I still need to watch what I lift/carry but I've weaned myself off the narcotic pain killers and am just taking Ibuprofen for pain. I'm hoping that I'll be 100% by the time the semester starts in a week & a half. The kids have mostly adjusted to a sick mama, but Griffin still wants to be held occasionally. We compromise by sitting side by side on the couch and snuggling - he's quite the snuggler. I'll be sad when he looses that - one of my favorite things in the world is when he wraps his arms around me and whispers "I love you mama."

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