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Things I learned at the castle Things I learned at the castle

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Unread 07-15-2003, 12:03 PM
Things I learned at the castle

I'm home and doing well after a TAH/BSO on Friday, July 11. Here are some things I learned at the castle for other princesses-to-be:

1) The Stryker pain pump is your friend. It is a device that is smaller and fatter than a CD player that they attach around your waist with a little belt. A very thin hose from the device is inserted under your skin at the incision site, and it injects a numbing drug that makes things much more comfortable. I didn't even know I was getting one, but it really helped.

2) It is easier to just wear their fanny freezers than to try to change into your own gown. Someone is forever coming to look at you, change your dressings, etc., plus when you start going to the bathroom it makes life much better. Bring a robe, though, so you're not flashing people when you start walking down the halls.

3) If you are dizzy and nauseated when they first try to get you up, don't get discouraged. My darkest time was Saturday afternoon when they tried to get me up for the first time. I just couldn't do it yet and it made me very depressed. They gave me some nausea medicine Saturday night, and by Sunday morning I was up and around no problem.

4) Walking is important! You feel soooooo much better if you can get up every once in a while. I started getting my own ice...better service and exercise, too.

5) Self-catheterization is not that hard. I was very worried about the prospect of putting a catheter in myself -- I'd gotten a mirror and looked about before I went to the castle and I couldn't even find the opening I was looking for! But the trick is, you don't look -- you do it by feel. You just open the two inner lips of your vagina with your left hand (if you're right handed), and gently slide the catheter straight down from your clitoris(sp?). When it gets to the urethra(sp?), it should slide right in. Then you gently push it in until the urine starts to come out. YOU CAN DO IT! And you will need to learn how -- even if you are lucky enough for everything to start working right away like I was, you still will want to know how to self cath. It will allow you to make sure your bladder is emptying fully (at first everything is so swollen, you won't be able to tell), and it also gives you a tool to use in the event of bladder spasms down the road.

There may be more things I think of, but I'm tired of sitting right now! Keep the faith, know it will all work out and remember that we are all here to support each other.
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Unread 07-15-2003, 12:26 PM
best wishes...

i am very glad to hear of someone recent that had the pain pump/marcaine bath, i will be having one and looking forward to it.
Unread 07-15-2003, 01:48 PM
Self Cath

I didn't know patients had to cath themselves. I thought they (nurses or Doctor's) did it while you were asleep. And took it out maybe the next day. You have to do it own your own?
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Unread 07-15-2003, 02:19 PM
Things I learned at the castle

I had my surgery Thursday July 10 and was home on Saturday the 12th. I had a TAH/BSO with exploratory surgery. For pain management they gave me an epidural. It was wonderful. I woke up after surgery without any pain. They kept it in till the next day. Also they catheterized me during surgery while I was asleep. They kept that in until the next day, but when they took it out and I was going on my own I was not able to empty my bladder completely on my own so the nurses put it back in for another day. After that, all was a.o.k.!! I never heard about catheterizing yourself either. Well Good Luck.. I'll be praying for you.

Unread 07-15-2003, 03:44 PM
Things I learned at the castle

Diplady -- don't worry...they will put the catheter in after you're won't even know it happened. The self catheritization came after they took the catheter out. Initially, I couldn't tell whether I had emptied my bladder fully because everything was so swollen. If it gets too full, that is not good, so they taught me to self cath so I could ensure it was emptied fully. Also, my dr said sometimes you can have bladder spasms later -- like three or four weeks post-op -- and knowing how to self cath then may keep you from taking a trip to the emergency room. Some women may be lucky enough to pee on their own from the very beginning and tell when their bladder is really empty and not have to do any of that. All I was trying to do was reassure people that IF you need to, you can do it and it's not nearly as bad as I thought it might be.

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