My Day 1 post op was supposed to be one of "mild flu like symptoms"- something very easy to tolerate and requiring no particular medication, just rest. Right.
More like being slowly run over by a steam roller starting from the head and working it's way down my body to my toes over a period of about 2 hours and lasting until today, which is Day 3.
I just thought they underestimated the amount of discomfort. But I had a call today from the short stay department as a follow up to the surgery- something done routinely for every patient. As I answered the questions.. yes, my IV site is healing, no, no drainage on my dressings, yes, I had a bit of nausea , and so forth. My one statement to them was 'you really shouldn't underestimate that 'mild flu like symptom thing' on the 1st post op day'. I explained to her how it started with severe muscle aching from my neck, down both arms, then to my torso, pelvis, and then both legs and clear to my toes. The ache was bad enough to hobble around like I'd had some major abdominal surgery. The woman said, no.. it shouldn't have been that bad and asked me to talk to Rachel, the head of the short stay department. As I explained this to Rachel, she reminded me that when you get a general anesthesia (intubated and put to sleep), they use a drug that actually paralyzes the entire body so that they can control whether you live or die with precision dosages. In almost every case, the patient wakes up and takes deep breaths and the drug leaves their system and feeling comes back. Over the next 24 hours, the patient usually sleeps a lot due to these meds they got with anesthesia, and being up and walking, deep breathing and coughing, the drugs simply wear off. In my case, my body didn't want to give them up for some reason. She suggested that this be noted as a bad reaction to anesthesia and if I had a medic alert bracelet, this should be noted so the anesthesiologist would be aware. If things keep going as they are, the medic alert bracelet will have to be a placard I carry over my shoulders 24/7. Better yet, I should have it all tattooed on my belly so there is never a question.
Now to today...
I am improving. Each day is a bit better than the last. That muscle pain is leaving the same way it came, but over a longer period. This morning my arms ached, but tonite, I am only aware of leg aches. It's now just an annoyance.
Nausea seems to lurk behind the corner daily, and I think I need to just cut back a bit on food yet again. Tonite, indigestion is on the bill, and just another bump in the road, though an irritating one.
I took one pain pill this morning, and I believe it's time for one more. That's an improvement over every 4 hours.
I restarted my Plavix on Sabbath.
I've also been up most of the day today, and though I layed down several times, I only napped once for an hour.. another improvement.
My desire and plan was to do a short shopping trip today, but found I just wasn't up to it and as Wendell keeps saying 'don't push it'..
I realize that this all sounds like I had some major surgery.. it would be normal to document all these things if that. But I had just a lap chole, something that people go into the hospital or satellite surgery centers as out patients and go about their business directly after.. that's NORMALLY. Obviously, there is nothing normal about me.
So here is the scoop- to my children and siblings:
Next time you have general anesthesia and they ask if you or any family member has ever had a bad reaction to anesthesia, you have to say YES. Sorry 'bout that.