Here's what the first few days of recovery were like:
I didn't really feel any pain in my stomach at this point, but that was mostly because my back was killing me and my left shoulder was agony. They actually pump your abdomen with air during the operation to make it easier to manoeuvre and see what is going on. While most of this air was still around my stomach, some of it had travelled to my shoulder and it was this that caused the pain and made it feel like it was coming out of its socket. This lasted for the rest of the day and through the night, with no pain killers helping.
Once I was fully awake, or as awake as I could be 30 minutes after surgery, I was taken back to my room on the ward. Here, it was explained to me that I had fluid and anti-nausea medication drips in my arm but I needed to try and drink water. This was easier said than done as my throat was quite sore after having tubes down it so it took me a few turns of drinking tiny amounts before I felt I could swallow properly.
The next hour or so is a bit of a blur as I was still struggling to wake up properly. I do know that I started to feel the incisions in my stomach, which was made worse by the air in my stomach as it made the skin feel like it was stretching. Moving was difficult as it pulled my stomach but also pulled stitches I'd had done inside to repair a hernia that was discovered during surgery. However, I needed to move because the hospital bed really didn't agree with my back, so I was pretty much screwed either way.
My husband came to see me that afternoon and brought me balloons and emoji cushions to cheer me up. He didn't tell me at the time, but he was quite worried about me when he saw me. Apparently, I was paler than he had ever seen me - which is saying something considering the palest foundations available are often too dark for me - and it was obvious I couldn't quite focus on him. He mostly just sat with me and we watched Netflix, but it was nice to have someone there when I was feeling as bad as I looked.
Getting out of bed
I had my drip taken off as I was now drinking freely and then I had to sort of roll out of bed. This was really difficult and made me feel like I was splitting in the middle. The pulling on my stomach caused pain in each of the five incisions on my stomach, as well as a weird sensation inside, which I now know was caused by the port connected to my band that was fitted just under the skin on my abdomen.
However, once I was stood up, it actually wasn't so bad, although I wasn't very steady on my feet. I managed to make it to the toilet and get into my PJs with a lot of help - being naked in front of a stranger is always going to be awkward but having them have to cut the hospital paper pants off you is a whole other level. Because my back was so painful, I opted to sit in a chair rather than go back to the bed of pain so I was set up with my laptop and a drink.
Sadly, it didn't take long for the anti-nausea medication to wear off and I was struck with a feeling like travel sickness. I just about made it to the bathroom before I was sick, which was honestly one of the most painful moments of my life. Throwing up after stomach surgery was almost enough to make me faint and left me shakier than I was before. I was given an anti-nausea injection, which worked for a while but sadly not enough to help me keep my milkshake down at dinner time.
I ended up going back to bed at 7pm and trying to sleep. The key word there is trying,
First night post-op
In the end, I called for some extra pillows and used these to support my stomach so I could lie on my side with minimal pulling. I could only do this on my right side as the wounds on my left were further toward the side of my stomach and closer together so were more painful.
I only managed to stay in bed until 6am, so got up to sit in my chair - which made little difference - until I could get some painkillers. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long and I was feeling a lot better. I also got told that I could be discharged that morning as my blood pressure was good, I'd been drinking and I hadn't been sick in 12 hours.
When my husband arrived, we were taken through all the medication I needed to take - thank god they gave me co-codamol rather than the liquid paracetamol I'd been given on the ward that didn't even take the edge of - and all my paperwork. The husband also had to be trained to give injections as I would need one a day for the next week. I was officially discharged at 11am, by which time, I couldn't wait to go home.
I'll be writing up my first week post-op soon, so keep following my blog. You can sign up for notifications when a new blog goes like by following me on Bloglovin here