“How did I get appendicitis? Was it something I ate or not eat?”, I asked my surgeon.
“Nope, it’s just bad luck,” he answered.
Bad luck indeed.
The appendix is one of the few parts of the body that has no function at all, but when it attacks, it can cause a lot of trouble.
It was on a Wednesday after work when I suddenly felt so tired that I immediately went to sleep just when I got home from work. I woke up with feeling warm.
My husband took my temperature, and it was a little elevated 99.9 deg F. My lower back and lower abdomen were really painful as well. It wasn’t until I took Tylenol that I was able to feel better.
I was off the next day, so I was able to sleep in. However, I woke up with the same pain on my lower back and this time on the lower right side of my abdomen.
I decided to call my doctor if she could take me in right away for a check-up. Unfortunately, my doctor was not in, but they have an available doctor to see me.
My vital signs were taken which showed elevated temperature, rapid heart rate, and normal blood pressure. The doctor then examined my abdomen and performed some special tests.
“I think you might have appendicitis,” he said.
He then recommended I go for CAT scan to confirm the diagnosis.
The technician requested that I take all metals that are close to my abdomen. Then he took me in the imaging area.
He helped me lie down on this bed that goes through the doughnut-shaped machine. He then put an IV on me where the contrast dye will go through.
I was then pushed through the machine while instructed to inhale, exhale and then hold my breath.
The second time before I was pushed in through the machine again, the contrast dye was injected. Then the machine instructed me to inhale, exhale and then hold my breath again. The dye made me feel nauseous.
And the moment I was out of the machine, I threw up. Yuck!
But the technician was quick enough to give me a bucket.
I never had a CAT scan before and I God forbid I won’t be needing one again. It was the most unpleasant thing ever.
When the result came out, it was confirmed that my appendix is the culprit.
My doctor recommended surgery right away.
I called my husband, and he hurried to come pick me up. We went to the hospital and met with the surgeon who the family doctor recommended.
The doctor recommended the Laparoscopic Appendectomy because of faster healing and recovery time. My husband and I both agreed.
Laparoscopic appendectomy involves three small incisions in the abdomen which will leave minuscule scars. Getting three little scars is better that a huge scar so I didn’t mind.
They took me to the operating room, prepped me and then gave me a mask to breathe on. Then I was out.
When I opened my eyes, I was already in the recovery room with a nurse checking on me. She said the surgery took about an hour, but it went well.
I was then wheeled to a room where my husband was patiently waiting. Boy, I was so glad to see him!
I was nervous before the surgery since it was my very first surgery but I think it was not bad after all.
Now that I am all better, I wanted to share some tips to recover faster after laparoscopic surgery. In that way, you will be back on your feet in no time in case you will go through this. But hopefully not.
Tips on How to Recover Faster
Get Some Rest
Surgery can take a lot out of you, so I recommend that on the first day get some rest and try to eat. You will just be taking liquids food during the first day.
You will be in so much pain so make sure to take the pain medication.
Everyone is different; some can be up and about on the first day however not me. Apparently, it is because the general anesthesia didn’t react well with my body.
Although you are still on IV fluids, drink some more water. Water will keep you hydrated and also helps flush out unnecessary elements from your body.
You can start walking now. Walk around the hallway as often as you can. It will be hard to straighten up at first. You will be walking bent over, but it’s ok as long as you are moving around.
Do your Incentive Spirometer
The incentive spirometer is used to help you take slow breaths. It will make your lung healthy and prevent any complications.
It will be really painful to breathe at first but try to take it slow. You will eventually build it up.
Get Some Stool Softeners
Strong pain medication causes constipation so you will need a little help from laxatives. You can also add prune juice to your meal to help.
Switch to Regular Tylenol
After discharge, you can then cut down on your strong pain medication and eventually switch to regular Tylenol.
I switched to regular Tylenol and just cold packs on day five then to no pain medication on day 7.
In less than a week, you will be feeling better, and you will think you can do anything. However, stick to doctor’s order, no lifting yet.
There you have it, my quick tips on laparoscopic appendectomy recovery based on my personal experience.
I have always thought that my first hospitalization will be because of giving birth but of course, things do not happen the way you want them to be.
However, I am very thankful to the God because I am ok. Anything could have happened during the surgery, but He made me overcome it.
What was your first ever surgery?