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Surgery and Recovery


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

So I am finally back at it after having MAJOR abdominal surgery. And by back at it, I mean I am barely walking and making my way around. Please forgive me if there are some holes in my story or everything doesn't flow together. I am still on lots of painkillers.

Friday morning, I got up bright and early to get ready for my day. I was able to shower and blow dry my hair, but that was it. No food or water. Anyone else NEED water like it is your lifeline when they tell you that you can't have it? That was me Friday morning.

My parents took me to the hospital and I got set up for surgery. I got my IV, met my anesthesiologist, went over my procedure and watched some TV.

I also took some before pictures of my hernia.
You can see my ugly scar from my first surgery, how my belly button came back out and the left side of my abdomen (right from the computer screen) is raised.

My doctor came to check on me and go over the procedure once more. He was to go in through the old scar to remove and fix it, then he was going to repair my hernia by removing the fat and skin that was blocking the area and push my colon back into place. He was to secure my belly button back to become an innie and fix my abs as much as he could. I was all set to go.

Surgery started at 9 am and ended at 11:36 am. My hernia was more complicated than expected and my abs were over 3 INCHES apart from each other. He wanted to make sure he did everything right and made sure he was happy with the results. So my one hour to an hour and a half surgery turned into a two and a half hour surgery. I spent about an hour and a half in recovery and then headed home with a lovely drain and abdominal binder.

I spent the entire weekend laid up on a recliner in our living room. I only got up to go to the bathroom and go to bed. My husband and family were my nurses all weekend. They took care of me and the girls and never complained about it. They are rockstars. 
 My view Saturday morning
 Sunday morning cuddles
 Sunday morning breakfast outing (which was rough for me)

Recovery has been rough. I had some gas that traveled into my shoulder after surgery so anytime that I got up, I would have severe pain in my shoulder. Worse than my abdominal pain. Someone would have to massage, with their knuckles, the area until it would stop seizing and then we put one of Walter's balls in the area to stabilize it. I was walking leaned over and very slowly. I had to drain my drain three times daily which meant pulling and squeezing the tubing of the drain down to the bulb to get measurements of how much fluid was in there. I had to keep record of this to make sure it was becoming less and less as the days went on.

Getting into bed each night was the worst. I had to have help laying down and not using my abs. You use your abs for EVERYTHING you do without even realizing it. I slept on my back with lots of painkillers. I wasn't able to get up in the middle of the night to calm my babies. I had to get my husband up every time I had to go to the bathroom to have help getting up and laying back down in bed.

But with each day, it gets better. With my first umbilical hernia, recovery was pretty easy. I even fed the babies in my lap that evening. I still wasn't able to pick them up or do much, but it was way easier than this one. But this one was done right and will have much more favorable results.

Yesterday I went to my doctor's office to get my drain removed and see how recovery was going. It didn't hurt to remove the drain. He just snipped two stitches and pulled it out. He cleaned the area and put a bandage on it. It will heal on its own rather quickly. Then he had me flex my abs and push my stomach out to see how the ab repair was holding up. My abs look great other than massive swelling and my incision looks great too. I don't get my stitches out until next Monday and we will evaluate everything again at that time. I was able to see that I had an innie even with all the swelling.

So thank you everyone for all your positive thoughts and prayers for me. They worked and I am recovering like a champ. I can't wait to see the results in the coming weeks. For now, here is a picture at my doctor's office prior to getting my drain out.

Hope you all had a good weekend!

25 comments:

  1. Still thinking of you! I can't imagine not being able to use your ab muscles. They are so necessary for basically any movement. Glad your family and husband were a big help. Hope they continue to be around as you recover.

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    1. Thank you. Recovery is a bit rough, but us mommas are tough. I feel so blessed to have family around me to help me out.

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  2. Gosh, yes, I never realized how much I used my abs until I had my c-section with Olivia. It's crazy! I'm glad to hear that your follow-up appointment went well... keep on pushing, momma! You'll be feeling great and slipping into that adorable VS bikini before you know it!

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    1. Thank you. I need that motivation because I look like I am 5 months pregnant from swelling. It is brutal. haha

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  3. Glad recovery is going smoothly! I'm so happy your family has been so helpful to you in the process!

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    1. Thank you. I have some rough patches but things are getting better. And I am going to have some flat abs after this is all over.

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  4. Wishing you a smooth recovery going forward but so glad that things are looking better than the last surgery!

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  5. Glad you're out and doing well! You never really know how often you use your ab muscles until you can't - good thing you have a great support team!

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    1. That is so very true! And thank you very much!

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  6. Thinking of you! Wishing you a speedy recovery as you go forward!

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  7. None of this sounds pleasant, that's for sure. But I'm glad things are getting better. Hopefully you'll be back to your normal self soon!

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    1. Me too. It was a lot rougher than I thought it would be, but it will be for the best.

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  8. Ummm, ouch!! 3 inches apart? Wow! It sounds like you have been pampered and are well taken care of. I LOVE the picture of Rory and the girls. So precious! Hang in there and try to relax, so you can recovery quicker.

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    1. Thank you. I think I overdid it a bit yesterday because I more than doubled my steps from the day before and I was really sore last night. Such a rough recovery compared to last time. But I guess it should be because my doctor actually fixed things this time. And the picture of Rory and the girls are frame worthy.

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  9. Oh my goodness, sending you healing thoughts and prayers! What is an umbilical hernia? I never heard of it before. Take care, Danielle!

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    1. It is a hole in the area of your belly button. So your belly button becomes an outtie and things like skin and organs push through the hole causing pain. Brutal.

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  10. Oh lady. I cannot imagine all of this. Glad it went well and things are on the mend. So glad your family is there to help you recover! Sending lots of prayers and love and drinking some wine for ya!

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    1. Thank you. At least someone is drinking wine. My husband had a glass of scotch last night and I was so jealous. It smelt so good and I was dreaming of my next glass of wine. So many days left. haha.

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  11. Sending good thoughts and prayers. I can't even imagine trying to recover from that with two little ones. Glad your family is there to help! Hoping for a quick recovery!

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    1. Thank you. It is more rough on my husband right now because I can't help out with the girls as much as I normally do. He has to pick them up, put them to bed and do it all. I can help out by prepping their foods and doing minimal stuff since I can barely move.

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  12. Oh you poor thing! Glad it's getting better every day. You will continue to be in our thoughts!

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  13. Oh wow! A little late on this but sounds like it was quite the ordeal. So glad you had your husband and family to help out so much so you could rest and recover. I remember after I had my c-section being shocked about just how much use our abdominal area gets that you would NEVER know about if it weren't in horrible pain/impossible to use. I hope you're healing up nicely and quickly!

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    1. It really was. I had a c-section also, but I think since my girls were in the NICU that I pushed through it all. This time I was at home resting and I think it affected me more. But both were really hard to recover from.

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