It’s day one of surgery recovery. I’m still not allowed to drive because of the anaesthetic (24 hrs was the edict). I have nice white padded bandages on my two incisions, so I can’t see how long they are, but if the bandages are any indication, at most they’d be 5 cm (about 2 inches). My left arm has restricted movement (see my post about what they tell you and what they don’t, but there’s no pain in either incision site.
I got strict instructions about ‘staying ahead of pain’ from all the clinicians – surgeon, OR nurse, PAR nurse. It is much easier to stay ahead of it and prevent it than it is to remove it once you feel it. I remembered this from my hip operation. So, like a good little patient, I promised I’d take my Tylenol.
Now, I hate taking pills. I almost never take them. And, a work colleague who is an RN who had a mastectomy a few years ago warned me that taking the Tylenol 3s or other similar pain meds they prescribe had a nasty side effect of constipation. So, given I’d had no pain from the hip operation, and this one was much less invasive, and that I really felt pretty good so far, I fulfilled my promise by taking liquid children’s Tylenol. I filled the prescription the surgeon gave me, just in case, but I had no intention of taking anything if I didn’t have to. I took a small swallow of kiddie Tylenol every 8 hours on the first day after surgery and that was it.
And, following orders, I also made sure I drank lots of water. It would help flushing out the blue dye, nuclear tracer and any of the other drugs they’d pumped in during the operation. The more water I drank, the more I was able to pee out the dye cocktail. It really is true that as you get older you enjoy a second childhood. As I peed throughout the day, I would exit the washroom and happily announce the latest colour of pee I’d achieved – from shades of blue to green to boring old urine yellow. I seemed to be the only one pleased with and vastly amused by those accomplishments. I blame the anaesthetic for my twisted humour. 😉
Goose Poop Green Poo
Thanks to the heads up from my RN colleague, I’d also made sure I had prune juice and prunes on hand to take care of any drug side effects. I can say that those natural ‘helpers’ were effective. I’d forgotten the “your poo will be green, too” warning from the OR RN, so on day two post-operation, when my poo turned green, it was a surprise. It was dark green, like goose poop. Lasted two days, and then all systems normal. It just shows to go you how long that stuff stays in your system – longer if you don’t drink as much water as I did.
The other side-effect I’d been warned about (by my work colleague, not on my pre-admission sheet) was the injection entry-point for the blue dye. My work colleague who’d had her lumpectomy in January said the injection point in her breast left a bright blue dot. She called it “Smurf Boob”. My breast incision was still covered by a large white bandage, so I couldn’t see if there was a blue dot. Six months later she still had it. (When my bandage came off after 10 days, there was no blue dot – apparently not everyone gets one.)