I have already posted my Hospital Bag, Bowel Prep & Post Op Ailment Tips. Please head over and check those out for great tips & tricks for before & after surgery. Today I will do a short post about the OTC meds & supplies I have stocked up on for after surgery!
Once I leave the hospital and come home I want to be as prepared as possible. I am sure there can be any number of possible bumps along the road to recovery. Whether it be gas pains or diarrhea(doesn’t sound too pleasant after surgery) I want to be as prepared as possible.
Here is a short list of great things to have on hand Post Op!
- Gas-X or another anti-gas OTC with the main ingredient Simethicone. It helps to move excess gas out of the body!
- Imodium or another Anti-Diarrheal OTC with the active ingredient Loperamide HCI. Counteracts/reverses diarrhea!
- Nauzene or another Anti-Nausea OTC with the active ingredients Dextrose (Glucose) & Levulose (Fructose). Chose one that also includes an Anti-Acid.
- Prilocec OTC or another Anti-Acid like Equate Acid reducer for acid reflux. There are several active ingredients to chose from in OTC Anti-Acids.
- Colace or Dulcolax stool softeners. The active ingredients should be docusate sodium. Avoid stimulant laxatives!
- Allergy Relief OTC like the Equate Allergy Tablets. The active ingredient should be diphenhydramine HCI antihistamine.
- Kleenex Tissues for any tears of joy or sorrow after surgery!
- Hand Sanitizer wipes or liquid to keep infection down to a minimum risk!
- Dried Prunes or Fiber supplements. Helps to naturally encourage bowel movements…prevents constipation!
- Gingerale or Ginger suckers. Great for helping with nausea.
- Thermometer to keep an eye out for any post op fevers!
- First Aid kit for any boo boos you may get!
I hope this helps you to be better prepared once your wonderful nurses are no longer there! I will update this list as soon as I find new items that may be helpful! Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments!
A few days ago I posted my Hospital Bag & Bowel Prep tips. Please check those out if you would like to know what I have packed & purchased in preparation for my upcoming surgery.
I have noticed that lots of my fellow Endo sisters complain about Post Op Ailments like gas pains more than the actual surgery it’s self. So I figured I would go ahead and post what helpful tips & tricks I have collected over the last few weeks. I hope you all find these to be helpful and will be prepared before & after surgery.
Lets get started!
Gas Pains OR Shoulder Pain…..
Unfortunately this pain is most likely going to happen regardless of how much your surgeon tries to suck out all the gas. They will never be able to get it all so regardless you will have excess gas trapped in your abdomen. Beautiful thing about this is that it has no where to go. It can’t exit the digestive tract so it has to SLOWLY be absorbed into the blood stream. This can take minutes, hours & for some even days.
- Immediately after surgery take some Gas-X. I know I said that the gas can not be expelled through the digestive track. However it can’t hurt to try & see if it works! : ) This will of course help if you have any gas in your digestive track.
- Sip on hot tea with peppermint as soon as you are able to hold down liquids.
- Drink plenty of carrot juice…it naturally helps absorb the gas!
- Use a heating pad on the front & back of the area you are having gas pains. It helps to bring increased blood flow to that area & allow the gas to be absorbed faster! It also helps with the pain!
- Walk as much as you can as soon as you can! Most hospitals have patients up walking within hours of surgery. This helps to move the gas around & out of the abdomen. It also helps to increase blood flow to the body. Once you are home walk a few times around the house or even outside….careful not to over do it!
- Avoid cold food/drinks…I find that they give me gas. May just be in my head but it could not hurt to avoid it for a few days post op!
- Elevate your feet & head to allow gas to pool in the center of the abdomen instead of in the shoulders!
- Elevate your hips and allow your head & feet to rest lower….this also helps to disperse the gas!
Constipation is something that just comes with the territory with surgery! All the pain meds & General Anesthesia stops you up! Only issue is that it makes ‘going” extremely scary when you are sore almost all over but especially your core muscles.
- Keep your diet light for the first few days! This a great time to start the Endo diet.
- AVOID foods high in fiber for at least the first 2 days Post Op.
- Take a probiotic daily…make sure that it has at least 5 different strains & live cultures.
- After a few days eat foods high in fiber like prunes apples, bananas & pears. Yogurt also helps to keep your bowels moving. Greens are also great for this!
- Stay hydrated & drink plenty of liquids! At least 8 glasses per day!
In case of diarrhea Post Op this can be very uncomfortable! I would suggest if it is severe or you have a fever to call your doctor.
- Try OTC anti-diarrheal.
- Try fresh ginger in boiling water…this can help to stop diarrhea naturally.
- Chamomile tea is also known to possibly decrease diarrhea.
- AVOID soda or things with carbonation.
- AVOID dairy.
- AVOID caffeine.
Nausea and/or Vomiting…..
For me after surgery no matter what meds I am given I am nauseous. Not so much the vomiting but still no fun! I think it has more to do with not having anything to eat than the actual meds. Some articles I have read report that nausea occurs more often in gynaecologic surgery than others.
- Ask your surgeon or anesthesiologist if nausea meds can be given along with GA. This way you don’t wake up with nausea.
- Lying flat helps to reduce nausea.
- Gingerale or sliced ginger in boiling water does wonders on nausea.
- Teas with ginger in them also work well!
- Snack on saltines or graham crackers.
Of course since this is a surgery you will have some pain. It really depends on your level of pain tolerance & amount of “work” done to determine how much pain.
- Stay on top of your pain! Take your meds BEFORE your pain hits. It is often too hard to stop pain once it starts.
- Fill your prescription BEFORE leaving the hospital. In case you have pain on the way home once the hospital meds wear off.
- Use a heating pad for any left over pain that the pain meds did not take away.
I really hope this helps you to care for any Post Op issues you may run into! I know for one that I am not looking forward to the gas pains but I am prepared to handle them with the tips I provided above.
If you have any other tips please leave them below in the comments!
Today June 13, 2013 marks 4 weeks until my excision surgery! I am exactly 30 days out from surgery!
I had not idea time would start to fly like this. I am glad that I have OCD and started prepping as soon as I did. I am extremely happy to say I have absolutely nothing left on my Pre/Post Op Surgery list! My hospital bag is already packed and my home care supplies have been set up. I will do a blog post soon with my recommendations for your hospital bag and home care supplies. I will also be doing a post with tips on the bowel prep & post op ailments that can happen once you are home.
On another note….I logged in today to find my last post was 7 days ago…I didn’t even realize that. Crazy thing about having Endometriosis is that life can change in seconds! My pain went from moderate to intense in a matter of hours! I pretty much sat in bed for 6 days straight except to go to the restroom or eat. My partner has been working overtime to save a few bucks just in case any other bills/emergencies come up before or after surgery. I realize I am really lucky to have her support.
Only issue we are dealing with now is trying to figure out my sleeping arrangements prior to surgery. We don’t own a recliner and our futon is way to firm and low to use as an option. Our current bed is a full and very hard with broken springs. She is also a wild sleeper so there isn’t much room for someone with stitches to recover LOL. I would not want to be sleeping and to be jolted by a knee or elbow. In order to prevent this very possible disaster we want to get a queen bed. We had saved for a queen size memory foam bed but that money has had to go else where. That leaves us with 30 days to figure out where I will sleep.
I also just realized that my ID expired June 30th and I have to get a new one. I have 30 days to do so for surgery but 20 before I need it for a FNA(Fine Needle Aspiration) of my Thyroid on August 2nd. I am starting to stress a bit and worry but I know it will all work out! I am sure it will all get done…I am making it a priority starting next Monday.
I am so excited for my new life….new me will be born on August 12th 2013.