Day one through three were the most painful days post op. That should be no surprise. However, everyone tolerates pain differently. My pain was very difficult to manage. In fact, when I was being transported to recovery, I supposedly came to and made it very clear of my extreme discomfort.
I was given Dilaudid aka Hydromorphone, which is an effective prescription narcotic. Except, it wasn't so effective for me. So, I was given another and prescribed Valium as well. By the time I made it home, I was fully alert and full of pain.
I took two 2mg Dilaudid pills every 3 hours and one Valium every 8 hours. At no point did I experience complete relief. I awoke every few hours and just dealt with the pain.
I have a few theories as to why this was such a challenge for me.
- I have had 3 non birth related, non cosmetic, abdominal surgeries under general anesthesia.
- I have given birth vaginally to 5 children with epidurals.
- I've had a couple of gastrointestinal tests that also required general anesthesia.
By day five, I was experiencing an altogether different type of discomfort. I hadn't had a bowel movement since the day before surgery.
The problem I was facing was that in order to prevent my pain from spiraling out of control, I had to eat something when I took my pain meds. By eating, I was becoming increasingly bloated and uncomfortable.
Plus, narcotics tend to curb my appetite so, I wasn't hungry, was constipated and in pain.
During the first few days, I vomited a total of 3 times because I hadn't had enough on my stomach with all the narcotics, antibiotics, and nausea meds. I had to force myself to eat to avoid vomiting.
I took Renu Herbs Colon Cleanse, Milk of Magnesia, stool softeners, drank Dieter's and Smooth Move teas, ate prunes and drank plenty of water. Nothing happened but more of the same discomfort.
Then, I started breaking down. I stopped eating, I stopped medicating and I began sobbing.
I finally sent my oldest son out for an emergency Walgreens run for some enemas.
I administered one on my own and found relief in a matter of minutes. Twice.
By the next morning, I had no need for any products for constipation and haven't since.