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Bowel prep, hospital packing, & home Bowel prep, hospital packing, & home

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Unread 04-13-2015, 02:48 PM
Bowel prep, hospital packing, & home

I've organized this into different sections, (1) Tips and (2) My Story/Why I Needed this Surgery

Hope this helps!

(1) Tips
Bowel Prep:
I bought a 2-liter of (organic, cane sugar sweetened, if that matters) ginger ale and this was my technique for doing the bowel prep: I filled a glass with the prep (mine was chilled overnight and flavored "lemon lime" but still gross) and another glass with the soda. Put straws in both glasses and took a giant sip of the prep immediately followed by a tiny sip of the soda. Repeated as quickly as I could until the glass of prep was done. I then got up and poured another glass of prep. The small walk from one part of my bedroom to my connecting bathroom was enough to help with gas buildup that comes from drinking so quickly (in other words, you need to burp to make more room in your stomach for this nasty stuff, and the little walk helps). Toward the end, I needed to mix the prep with ginger ale, sip that, and then chase it with straight ginger ale. I didn't start out this way because I wanted to avoid drinking too much unnecessary fluid-- the prep is a lot of liquid to get down as it is.

Follow all the recommendations on this site to pamper your bottom with desitin or vasoline prior to every single bm. If you have a peritoneal squirt bottle (I was given one at the hospital for a previous surgery), fill that with warm water and give yourself the 'bidet' treatment every time, too. I also used flushable wipes (disposed of in the trash can because I doubt they're really so flushable). I was not sore! These tricks really work.

I also found that I got very, very chilled at first when doing the prep, and I needed to wear two robes and two pairs of socks. Have warm clothes handy, just in case.

Later in the day, rehydrate as much as possible so your veins aren't invisible the next day for the IV (you'll have to get stuck repeatedly). I assigned myself a ton of water, broth, and fruit juice to get through by my midnight cutoff. You don't really feel like drinking anything else at that point, but it's important.

Hospital-- What I brought and actually used:

-phone charger
-moist heating pad (used on my back and shoulders)
-extension cord
-neck pillow (sleeping reclined on your back is so much easier with one)
-tailbone pillow (hospital beds are the worst for putting pressure on your tailbone)
-stool softener (took one the first night and the next morning, continued at home twice a day)
-socks to wear UNDER hospital-issued socks (after walks in the hallway, you just pull off your hospital grippy socks and you have your own clean socks underneath to get back into bed with)
-caftan (like an oversized dress) to wear home (I wore comfy pants and a shirt and hoodie on the way there)
-lightweight robe (I wore this over my gown when walking the floor)
-my own food: (I'm on an anti-inflammatory diet for endometriosis) big thermos of homemade broth, prunes, applesauce squeezes, juice boxes
-deodorant, lip gloss

Before your surgery:

-Tell the anesthesiologist if you're worried about nausea. I got a patch that I was able to wear for a few days afterward as well, and I wasn't nauseated at all.

After surgery:

-Peeing: My pelvic physical therapist gave me this trick, and it worked (I got my catheter out and peed on my own pretty easily). Put your feet on a small stepstool (if still in the hospital, a rolled towel will do). Exhale, taking belly breaths, and pee on the exhale. Imagine you're blowing bubbles into a cup filled with water using a straw. We tend to want to strain and hold our breath, but this technique relaxes the bladder.

-Bowel movements: I continued taking stool softener 2X daily at home, and also took a capful of Miralax 2X daily in juice (my pelvic physical therapist recommended this for the immediate post-surgery period and for no more than one week before doing only 1 capful daily as needed). I ended up having no straining at all, but it did take 4 days. However, I wasn't uncomfortable. No constipated feeling, just some pressure, and again, no straining, which is a major win right after abdominal surgery. I took 1 capful of Miralax daily for a few more days, and now at 11 days out, I'm taking one stool softener daily. I may continue that for another week.

-I have been showering with my husband's help by sitting on a plastic chair in the shower.

-For the gas pains in your shoulder: raising your arm, slowly with your mouth open permits gas to escape and seems to break up the gas bubbles that are so painful. Sounds weird, but try it! You'll be glad you did. This helped even more than walking for the gas.

(2) My Story/Why I Needed this Surgery

I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis in 2005 after undergoing surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. Overall, I had 3 laps for endometriosis and ovarian cysts. I did Lupron for 6 months. I did continuous birth control pills for years, right up until this surgery. The pill worked on the abnormal periods (heavy bleeding with half-dollar sized clots and a duration of 6 weeks on average). However, the pill never helped with my chronic pelvic pain. I've seen acupuncturists and pelvic physical therapists, taken prescription pain pills, lived with a heating pad, and generally been miserable for a decade. A hysterectomy was not going to cure endo, I knew that, but it would address some of my issues, and I had tried everything else.

On 4/2/15 I had a total laparascopic hysterectomy. Everything but my ovaries. My pathology report showed that I had, in addition to other issuess, adenomyosis, a condition that could only be diagnosed with the removal of my uterus. Finally, an explanation for some of the pain symptoms that never seemed to be solely due to endo. My surgeon described my uterus as "boggy," a term associated with adenomyosis, so this was not surprising news, but it was in many ways a big relief. I'm not crazy. My uterus was seriously messed up, and I don't need it anymore, so I am quite happy to evict my "boggy" uterus and have my fingers crossed for a life with less pain. Best wishes to everyone considering or approaching this surgery!
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