Browsing articles from "October, 2013"
Oct
28

Laparoscopy Survival Tips

By jacquie  //  The Vlogs  //  No Comments

   

 

image1.       Use the over counter remedy, Gas-X®:I only wished I had had this advice for the first two! During laparoscopic surgery, your doctor will fill your abdominal cavity with gas in order to lift the abdominal walls away from the cavity to get a better view. After the surgery the gas remains, and this can cause intense shoulder or back pains. Simethicone, the active ingredient in Gas-X®, is a powerful medicine that breaks up the surface tension of trapped gas and allows your system to deal with it naturally. Ask your doctor if Gas-X® would be right for you.

2.       Use a mild stool softener such as Colace: I hear so many women talk about the terror associated with having their first bowel movement post-surgery, especially women who have just had endometriosis on their bowels and rectum removed.  To compound this issue, narcotic pain medications often prescribed to relieve pain can also cause constipation and eating a diet high in fiber immediately following surgery is not advised. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day will help with this issue.  Although stronger suppositories, laxatives and enemas may not be advised post-surgery, ask your doctor if a mild stool softener such a Colace, can be taken post-operatively. Colace can help ease the strain and pain associated with your first bowel movements.

 

3.       Keep your diet light for the first few days: I remember the day of my second lap, I was very hungry. I ate everything in sight and regrettably, I was very sick to my stomach.Through trial and error I learned that for the first few days post-surgery, it is so important to eat lightly. Broths, Jell-O, fruit popsicles, saltines, gingerale and other easily digested foods will help get you back on track. Also may I recommend using this post-surgery period to start following an endometriosis friendly diet to try and make the impact of the surgery last for longer.

 

4.       Keep your heating pad close: A heating pad is every endometriosis patients’ best friend, including after surgery. After all of my surgeries, I found that my body was achy in other places besides my abdomen.  I was quite surprised the first time I found out that during surgery, the doctor may contort your body into crazy positions in order to find the best position to operate. I thought the position I was in when I went under anesthesia was the position I stayed in throughout the surgery! The physical stress of the operation combined with the stress on my other muscles trying to compensate for my hurt abdomen, would cause my back to hurt. The heating pad can help tremendously with these aches and pains and also can help relieve your swollen abdomen.

 

5.       Benefits of moving around: It is important to start moving around 24 hours post-surgery.   Small walks to the bathroom or around your bed can actually help you heal faster. Keep in mind, in the beginning, doing something little like getting up to go to the bathroom can be exhausting, but it will get easier. A little bit, goes a long way.

 

6.       Don’t overdo it: Use this time to catch up on that book you were meaning to read, watch your favorite T.V. shows and most importantly just rest. I was told I’d be “Up and moving” within 2-3 days of surgery. I was not one of those people, I have yet to meet someone who has felt that much better within such a short period of time. Yes within the first week the horrible gas pain/surgical pain wasn’t as bad, but it took me a good 2-3 weeks to feel like myself again.Laparoscopies are physically and emotionally draining. You know your body, so listen to it.

 

7.       Keep an eye on your incisions: If closed properly incisions should appear healed within a week, and then it takes about 6 weeks for them to heal completely.

 

8.       First period post-surgery is always bad:  During excision surgery your doctor works on every part of your reproductive parts, cutting and scraping all of the endometriosis away. Naturally there is a lot of healing that has to take place to feel completely better. That healing does not fully happen within the time of your next cycle. So as your reproductive parts start to work again, keep in mind they are still tender.  

 

9.       Don’t Be Afraid to Call Your Doctor: I feel as endometriosis patients we have a long history of not having faith in our medical professionals to help us.  How could we? For years, so many professionals have dismissed our pain or admittedly have had no idea how to best serve our medical needs.  Sometimes I feel like we have a “Why even bother?” attitude when it comes to reaching out. As exhausting as it is to muster the strength post-surgery to be your own advocate and fight for your health, I am begging you to do it! If you feel in your gut that something is wrong with you, give the doctor a call, even if it is midnight. If it is two weeks later and you feel like something is wrong, call anyway!  Remember you are not only a patient, but a client. Certainly if you experience fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, difficulty urinating, extreme pain in your legs or abdomen or difficulty breathing, call immediately. 

 

My Grocery List for Surgery

(It’s a good idea to get it the day before surgery so you will have what you need when you get home from the hospital)

  • Diet gingerale
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Soups
  • Fruit popsicles
  • Saltines
  • Gas-X

 

XO,

Tacky Jacquie

 

 

Oct
1

Endohope

By jacquie  //  The Vlogs  //  2 Comments

I’ve been writing a lot about endo lately (endometriosis). I try very hard to forget about my illness and make it a point to not let become my identity. But when something is so prevalent it’s easier said than done. At the end of this month I will be having my third laparoscopic surgery to try to eliminate my endometriosis and adhesions.

To prepare for surgery I am doing physical therapy, taking my vitamins, taking it easy and  trying to follow the Endo Diet. Essentially the Endo Diet is an anti-flammatory diet which elimiates red meat, dairy, gluten and caffeine. My biggest struggle has been eliminating caffeine. One day at a time.

The hardest part is waiting for the surgery. I’ve been waiting since the end of July for my Oct.29th surgery. I’ve had to put my life on hold, can’t commit to a job because I have so many appointments, have to cancel plans because I can’t predict how I’ll feel and I have to allow time for my recovery.

Having an invisible illness can be quite challenging. I may not look sick, but inside I’m in severe pain, some days I can’t get out of bed and I’m unable to function like I used to. The simplest of things exhaust me and I often need to take breaks. I clean the house throughout the week to keep myself busy and productive. I feel like I’ve lost my purpose, but somewhere within all of this, I’m starting to find a new one. Many women struggle with the same things I do. And some of them are too afraid to get help. I used to just ignore my pain because when I would end up in the ER as a teenager, the doctors would just say it was a cyst or that there was no way I could be in such pain. So I learned to live with the pain until it became constant. I pushed myself to fight for my health. I didn’t take “NO” for an answer. I want you to not take “NO” for an answer. It took 3 years to figure out what was wrong, but it was so worth it.

If I could go back and change things I think the only thing I would have changed was to see an endometriosis specialist first. A lot of women have so many laparoscopies due to gynecologists lack of experience treating endo. This results in more pain and suffering. Some specialists can’t remove all of the endo either, but they can treat it much better than a general OBGYN.

It’s a bumpy ride, but if you put on your seat belt and hold on, the path will be much more smooth .

Stay strong endo sisters,

XOXO Tacky Jacquie

 

Endometriosis- is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant (infertility).

Adhesions- are bands of scar-like tissue that form between two surfaces inside the body and cause them to stick together.

http://www.endo-resolved.com/

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