Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 2 Post Surgery – Robot Assisted Laparoscopic Hernia Repair

Pardon me if I'm rambling this morning.  My doctor prescribed hydrocodone-acetaminophe tablets for post-op pain relief from my inguinal hernia repair surgery 48 hours ago and my mental state is on the fuzzy wuzzy side.  You have my permission to skip over this story today if you would rather wait for something more coherent on a later day.  If you're one of the lay people out there about to undergo hernia surgery, stay with me and I'll share what you can expect.

I promised a team update from our 4.0 men's 18+ doubles matches in Oklahoma last weekend and if you Click here, you can see the results.  The gentleman at the tournament desk said our team would get the award for the most super tiebreakers played if that were a category.  We came up short and got eliminated in the quarter finals against a tough Nebraska team.  All I can say about the experience is I want a mulligan so I can try again next year.  Despite the heat wave and the high humidity, I had the time of my life and I made it home in time for my hernia surgery on Monday morning, 8/08.  I'll share more about the tennis another day.  Time to get back to rest of the story on hernia repairs and how the last 48 hours have been.

My first post-op memory occurred at 11:01 when I looked at the clock and realized I was out of surgery.  I asked a series of questions in front of the hospital nurses and my private day nurse (our daughter volunteered to be my chauffeur and day nurse during recovery).  "You already asked these questions five times," the hospital nurse responded.  I looked at my daughter and her shoulder shrug confirmed I was up earlier than I can recall.

"What did I say?" I asked hesitantly, not sure if I wanted to know.

"You're rather talkative," my nurse said.  "We know all about your weekend of tennis, the 100 stomach crunches you did at home this morning because you wanted to stay in shape during recovery and we know all about the stretches you did in the parking lot before we opened this morning."

My nurse offered me crackers.  I declined.  "Not in my food program," I told her.  Our daughter was slinking in her chair, trying to disappear from the moment.  "What is in your food program?"  she asked, trying to use her polite voice, the kind you want to use when you're dealing with an @#s.

"Fruit would be great."

"How about an orange or a banana?"

"Both please."

While I savored my morning smoothie substitute (all food and drinks are off limits after midnight before surgery) the nurse handed me discharge papers that needed my approval prior to release.  I set up the follow up appointment not remembering my schedule and asked the nurse for another mulligan.

"This is the last time I'm changing your appointment," she told me, walking away to chat with the doctor for at least the third time.    When she returned she looked at me funny and said, "you already had this scheduled!"  Please keep in mind these folks gave me five star service throughout my experience.  My only critique here is to put off scheduling until the patient is past the deer-in-the headlights stage at 11:01 after 8:08 surgery.

Those of you reading this now know what kind of state of mind you can expect at the 48 hour mark because that's where I am in real time as I type this message.  I truly hope you don't get scared and walk away.  The truth is robot assisted laparoscopic surgery for hernia repairs is the way to go.

When I started to come out of it, I realized there was some strange pain in my right shoulder area.  This surprised me because I'm left-handed so I didn't attribute the pain to my weekend of tennis.  This is a reaction to having your stomach inflated to the size of a mother about to give birth to twins.  The other odd thing I noticed when I went to the bathroom for the first time is that I had some kind of half- brazilian hair cut on my private parts.  I'm guessing  they did this in case they needed to cut me open for traditional surgery had Davinci encountered trouble.

The other thing I noticed is I couldn't have a bowel movement right away.  This is unusual for me because I'm very regular.  It's as if my bowel went through military training.    I was on the toilet about every four hours praying for something to happen other than urinating.  My other private nurse in charge of the night shift kept asking, "are you there yet?"

You can't force a bowel movement when you're recovering from hernia surgery.

This morning I returned to my standard Mulligan Big Gulp Smoothie with an egg on the side covered in tomato, onion and nuts.  My stomach gurgled signaling an answer to my prayers to raise up my small intestines from the dead.  Let's just say that one more inch and the "Big Kahuna" would have been classified as a foot.  This not ready for prime time event took place at the 47th hour mark.

I've been taking two tablets every four hours for the pain which doesn't seem bad, except when I try to wean myself and the pain returns.  I'm in good hands with my private nurses and all my friends and family members who are checking up on me.  In case my night nurse happens to read this, it's important for me to point out the only reason she didn't drive me is because I was soooooo stubborn about doing the surgery on 8/08, the same day one of her coworkers was on vacation.  It was probably better that she didn't see me misbehaving at the hospital.  My only complaint with my night nurse is that she wouldn't let me bring Wilson with me to the hospital.  By the way, Wilson is the only family member I'm allowed to photograph for my stories.  

That's my Day 2 Post Surgery Hernia Repair Report.  The bottom line here is don't put off the surgery and go with Davinci if you're offered the choice.  Don't worry.  Be happy.  Have a great day.  I'll be back tomorrow at 8:08 AM for another story.  Thank you for humoring me and keeping in touch.

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