This post is long overdue. I have been in a slump where I haven’t cared about doing anything; Lucas’s due date was (was? is?) tomorrow (7/15) and I am numb to life and this world and everyone and everything…more about feelings in another post.
BUT when I needed information prior to my TAC, I was able to find it on other women’s blogs and from other women sharing their experiences, sometimes when I’m sure they didn’t want to. The least I can do is hope to be a resource for someone who find they need this procedure and are searching for information.
For clarity, I’ll break this post into sections: Prep, Day of Surgery and Recovery.
Surgery prep wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t pleasant, but wasn’t terrible lol My surgery was scheduled for Monday. Sunday morning, after eating breakfast around 8 am, I began a liquid diet that I would follow up till midnight that night. For me, this consisted of eating all the popsicles I could stomach and drinking lemonade. There were some restrictions such as the color of foods (no red, blue or purple – I think it has to do with the dye) and the popsicles couldn’t have any fruit in them or dairy. It wasn’t terrible, I did cheat and have some Cheezits around 1pm #shrug. The second component of the prep started at 5 pm. I had to drink 32 oz of Gatorade mixed with 8 oz of Miralax. EIGHT OUNCES. A CUP OF MIRALAX. I don’t have to tell you how the rest of my night went. It was unpleasant. End of story. The last part of my prep was taking a shower that night with a special soap that they give you; it is supposed to help prevent infection the next day during your operation.
Day of Surgery
My procedure was scheduled for 1 pm. I was told to report that morning at 11 am. I woke up, took another shower with the special soap and we headed out. Upon arrival, we registered and after maybe 30 mins I went back and got changed. Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous. I think overall going forward and even with this TAC surgery, I’ve been numb. I’ve had all the feelings before: anxiety, anger, excitement and nothing comes from it. So I’ve just been moving through this whole thing with a “what will happen will happen “ attitude. Before I went back, my mom called and prayed with Hubbins and I and that was it. I felt calm and I knew that however this procedure was supposed to go it would happen. I got wheeled in to the OR and the anesthesiologist told me that she would give me a little something to start my sedation process before I even got on the table. That little something was clearly stronger than I expected because the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. No dramatic “Count backwards from 20 while strapped on the table” lol
When I woke up, (I was in surgery for about 3 hours.. my doctor told my husband it is “because I was heavier”..story of my life, things are hard when you’re fat *shrug*) I WAS IN PAIN. My only ‘complaint’ about the whole day was how rushed everyone seemed to get me out of there. One of my recovery nurses even remarked (when I asked for something for pain) that I was “having an outpatient procedure, so they needed to get me home and I could take my prescription drugs there”. I admit that I have been spoiled with my other operations because the nurses all spoiled me. Also, it would have been nice for someone to acknowledge my losses; for the way they acted I could have been having my gallbladder out.
When I got discharged, around 6 pm, I was so happy to have the travel pillow that my Abbyloopers sisters recommended to hold over my stomach on the way home. THAT DRIVE WAS PAINFUL. I just wanted to go home and lay down. Once I got home, it was all I could do to hobble to the couch. They tell you start walking that first day so Hubbins made sure I got up every 2 hours or so and walked for 5 mins. It was so tough. They warn you about the gas pain from the CO2 they use for laparoscopic procedures but let me tell you I WAS NOT READY FOR IT. That day, I just took meds and slept. I thought I would be ravenous since I had been fasting since midnight the night before but all I wanted to do was sleep. I had some saltine crackers just so I could have something in my stomach with the meds (Percocet) that I was taking.
Once we realized that first day that I couldn’t climb into bed (we have a platform bed with the drawers underneath.. clearly when we got married we didn’t think about the future. I can’t see heaving myself up into this thing if I’m ever 8 months pregnant) Hubbins decided I would go to my mom’s house to recover that first week since I still needed help getting around and he had to go back to work. I went to her house Tuesday morning and stayed there till Friday.
My main complaint was the gas. After posting in the Abbyloopers group and asking for advice on the pain, I realized I needed to overlap my meds (more information that I probably should have gotten post OP). So I started taking Percocet every 4 hours and Ibuprofen every 8 hours for the first two days. Then I weaned myself down to Percocet only at night to help sleep; I don’t like the loopy feeling I get with that drug. It doesn’t take away pain, just consciousness lol By Friday, I was only on Ibuprofen every 6-8 hours. Ginger and Peppermint tea along with Gas X worked wonders. ANOTHER THING I wasn’t prepared for, is the shoulder pain. Apparently, as the gas moves, it gets trapped up by your diaphragm somehow and your shoulders ACHE. All too much. Lol. The 2nd week of recovery, I was pretty much just dealing with the gas pain.
I have 5 small incisions, they put some sort of glue on them and over the first 4-5 days it just peeled off. My largest incision, about 5 inches above my belly button, has this weird lump under it which the doctor says is scar tissue and should dissipate over time. The pain is mostly gone but if I have a particularly bad coughing fit or I’m laughing too hard, I feel sore but more like if I had done too many crunches (HA because when have I ever done TOO many crunches). I still have some trouble getting up from laying on my back; I have to do a scoot off the bed and put my legs down.
As of today, I’m almost 4 weeks out of surgery and maybe back to 90%. I came back to work after being out for two weeks and was on light duty (no bending, lifting) when I returned. I was also on pelvic rest until my post-op follow-up. As of my follow-up appointment yesterday, I’m cleared completely. The doctors exact words: “resume all activity, ALL ACTIVITY, have lots of babies, name one Dwight, good luck”
I think that covers everything. If anyone comes upon this post and has more questions, I can answer.
This was long; thanks for reading.