Intense — and probably TMI — but the gas pains yesterday and today are just — WOW — I am on a few bariatric boards on FB and from time to time people would mention post-surgical gas, both the kind that is NOT in the digestive track (the kind that they fill you with to get to your organs during surgery) and the kind that IS in the digestive track. I don’t think I gave it much attention until I began to experience it for myself. Ouch! On both counts.
It started creeping up the evening of day 4. A bit of discomfort in my arm. Then my shoulder. Then good-night, my collar bone. I felt like someone was in my body with their hand wrapped firmly around my clavicle ready to snap it at any moment. The pain was so intense I sent my husband to the store at midnight to buy Gas-X, in the event there was something I could do to ease the pain. This was the NON-intestinal gas I had heard about. I.can’t.even. Describing it is near impossible. Excruciating.
Then today — I woke feeling “full”, not horrible, but not great. I have a litany of meds to take each morning, and these aren’t even my vitamins, just things like pepsid and a bile-like product to assist my gallbladder in doing it’s job now that my other organs aren’t available to participate as fully in the digestive process. In addition, there’s a stool softener, gas-X, and my Abilify for my bipolar. That’s a lot of pills, that are not chewable, to add to such a small stomach where I cannot gulp water to meet the need. It’s a miserable way to wake up. I’ll be the first to admit, but somehow I muddle through. But waking up feeling full already…then it dawned on me. I hadn’t pooped in days — like since the day of surgery. Yesterday was day 5.
Now, I’m only taking in liquids, but focused on protein. No vegis, low on the carbs. Nothing that makes my body wake up and say, “Release the waste.”
Throughout the day that discomfort became worse. And more emergent.
In addition to the above, we are literally in the process of selling our house, and our 20 year-old son moved out. Today. Officially. So, right at the point where I was started to feel in crisis mode, my hubby needed to go help my son with something at the apartment and my daughter was at work. So, off to the store I went. After spending nearly an hour trying to “go” but not strain (you can cause hernias in the incision spots if you strain), I was not successful. I went in looking for two things. Prune juice and suppositories. And walking back out of the store, the sky had opened and it was pouring cats and dogs. No joke. Literally cats and dogs. It was that kind of day.
I made my way through the rain, because I just didn’t want to wait it out, and finally got to the car. Uncomfortable when trying to fold in half to sit down. And did I mention I’ve come home with a drainage tube in my side? Well, I have. Unpleasant. I finally arrived home. I get in the door, drop everything, grab a glass and take a few small sips of prune juice and start to read the label on the suppositories and apparently the fear of using them was enough to get my body to work again. Finally, some relief. Both in the form of flatulence and poop. I can’t describe the relief either, or both, were. Literally, sighs of relief.
Unfortunately, the gas didn’t stop there. It was like with a clear alley, all that had built up over time was now going to gurgle up to the shoot and release. And here I am at 3:58am day 6 post-op, still feeling the repercussions of surgery. Am I regretting my decision yet?
This is all part of the healing and the journey. My list of why I have done this still outweighs my list of why I shouldn’t have. I know this part is very temporary. I am on day 6 and already things are getting better. I am no longer retaining fluids. My feet look like normal, “cute” feet (as cute as size 10’s can look anyway). I was maintaining so much fluid in my left foot that the top of it was literally a bubble that was tender to the touch. Gone. And bonus, I sent a Marco Polo video (if you don’t know what that app is, check it out) to my dear friend Rachel today, and one of her first comments back was how much less puffy my eyes looked all of a sudden. She didn’t even notice how puffy they were, until they weren’t. I notice less puffiness in my face and hands as well. That may not seem like a big deal, but the level of discomfort, and the level I know that was from my blood pressure being elevated consistently, to have it receding already.,.before I am capable of truly eating solid foods and exercising? I am humbled, amazed, and thankful for my decision to go through with this surgery.
I was banking on some extra years with my family. I feel like I’m already beginning to stock up on some. To relieve my high BP will add years to my life…I couldn’t be more thankful.
I see the doc on Tuesday to get the drain removed. I will weigh in at that time. I was 279.2 on surgery day. I’ll take anything less. Every pound is a pound which will help validate my why list. After that appointment I will begin goal setting. Milestone setting, I should say. I can feel the commitment rising out of my body already. And a bit of gas isn’t going to shake that one bit.