One week after surgery and not too much to report. For the most part, my pain continues to improve and I’m down to one Norco every 5-6 hours (and two at bedtime). My energy is pretty good and I’m able to walk around my townhouse complex or go up and down my stairs with relative ease, though I tend to get tired in the late afternoons and evenings, often falling asleep for an hour or two. Sleeping is still difficult, because the pain seems to increase when I lay flat. I bought a new pillow to help prop me up, but going to bed is still my least favorite part of the day for fear of the pain.
I’m also still getting the intense pressure/sharp cramping I’ve described before. And I still can’t pinpoint a source or solution. It feels like gas/bloating putting extreme downward pressure on my J-Pouch/anus. Today, I had
two five “accidents” on the couch when I evacuated quite a bit of liquid from my pouch. It’s the first time I’ve done that since the third night in the hospital. My surgeon told me to expect some leakage, and I’m hopeful it will help relieve some of the pain/pressure I’ve been feeling (unfortunately,I’m still getting the cramps, so it hasn’t solved the problem entirely).
The home health care nurse came yesterday. It was fine, if a bit of a waste of time. I could see the service being extremely useful for the elderly or someone who has no support or who has major health issues, but for someone like me, it’s probably superfluous. She asked us a bunch of questions (including our emergency preparedness and natural disaster plans!), pointed out the features of my house that are likely to kill me (slippery rugs in the entry hall and bathrooms), checked my vitals, and walked me through my ostomy supplies to determine what we will need to order. We made another appointment for Wednesday—the day I’m next due to change my bag—but barring something unforeseen, I think it’s likely I will cancel the remaining appointments. I’m pretty self-sufficient.
By far, the best part of the home visit is when she examined my ileostomy. She was visibly impressed by it and exclaimed that I had an extremely talented surgeon. I agree. Although it’s an odd thing to get a compliment about and I don’t anticipate showing it off to people, it’s reassuring to know that professionals think what I think—my surgeon did a great job and my ileostomy is small, clean, and neat (as it should be).
Emptying the bag and my JP Drain are no big deal, though I’m still not entirely sure how the bag will work when I return to my job (and my work wardrobe). But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. The drainage from my JP continues to decrease, and at this rate, I expect to have it removed on Wednesday or Thursday.
And that’s about it. Every day is a bit different from the last. Every meal is a new experience. And every new pain or cramp is a learning opportunity.