Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gallbladder Removal Update

Just a little timeline for those who might be searching the internet for information...

Wednesday: Had my laproscopic cholecystectomy. Only required 3 incisions and did not get pumped full of air. Surgery was scheduled for 8am, but I know I went back after that (I want to say the last time I looked at the clock in pre-op it was 8:10). Surgeon was calling my husband from the recovery room at 9:02. Ate some graham crackers and apple juice around noon. I went home around 2:45pm. Ate a turkey breast sandwich from subway for dinner.

Thursday: Felt like I'd been hit by a mack truck. Took 1 vicodin every 4 hours around the clock. Stayed in bed most of the day, kept ice packs on my incisions, took a few naps and went to bed early. Stuck to lower fat options, but ate normally all day (skinless chicken breast, pasta, jello, etc...). Throat very sore from the intubation.

Friday: Felt like I'd done about 1,000 sit ups. The incision at the top of my abdomen in the middle was really hurting anytime I took a deep breath or talked too much. Took a nap in the middle of the day. Still took 1 vicodin every 4 hours until 5pm, when I took 2 (that worked better). Took another 2 vicodin at 9pm. Woke up at 10pm with bad, realistic nightmares and hearing things. Kept ice packs on my incisions at night. Throat felt better.

Saturday: Incisions still hurt, but the rest of my abdomen felt pretty good. Switched to extra strength tylenol, 2 pills every 6 hours. Still used ice packs while I was sleeping. Took a nap in the middle of the day. Got more adventurous with food. Had bagels with low-fat cream cheese early in the day, grilled cheese for lunch and an omelet with potatoes, bacon and cheese for dinner (without any ill effects).

Sunday: Still tired. Still taking tylenol. Incisions still feel like they're going to tear open if I move wrong. Ate bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, ramen noodles for lunch and a bean burrito from Taco Bell for dinner (I know, I know...but it went over okay).

Monday: Noticed in the middle of the night I could roll over without my incisions hurting. Slept on my stomach part of the night with a pillow under me. Was due for tylenol at 4am, but didn't take it. Woke up at 8am feeling MUCH better. Very little soreness, only took 1 tylenol. Able to hold Secora (17 pounds) and walk across the house without hurting or feeling winded. Still lifted her as little as possible. Tired and more sore by 2pm. Snacked on graham crackers and bananas most of the day. Had 2 peanut butter cookies. Ate pancakes for dinner.

Tuesday: Haven't had any tylenol in 24 hours, but feeling okay. Took steri-strips off incisions and they look good. Not as tired, but still wishing for a nap and an early bedtime.

Wednesday: Follow-up appointment with the surgeon. He tells me the incision at the top of my abdomen is the most sore because that's the one he pulls the gallbladder through. Tiredness is normal and will continue until my body heals everything on the inside. Took one tylenol yesterday and have some pain if Secora steps on my stomach or something like that, otherwise pain free.

Overall, I'd say it takes about a week to feel recovered. Digestion-wise, things are mostly okay. Occasional discomfort, but the stomach pain I had right before the surgery (while I had pancreatitis) was worse than what I have now and it's improving each day. I am leaving today on a 2,000+ mile road trip and the doc approves. He says I can take Imodium each day on the road to be on the safe side if I want, but I really haven't had too much trouble.

Hope the info helps someone like me who is out there searching for what to expect during and after surgery!

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