I thought I'd share some pictures and experiences so far.
Starting a few days after surgery, I started getting massive throbbing headaches at the base of my skull whenever I moved my head. Called the on-call number and asked them about it. They said it was most likely sore neck/back from being on the table for so long, and then unable to really move since. They said it should be fine, to take ibuprofen along with my Percocet (as Percocet is good for surgical pain, but unlikely to help with that type of headache), but to go in if it got worse.
It got worse! The headaches got so bad, and when I would move my neck from looking down to looking straight, it would get bad enough that my hearing would go muffled for a second or two as the back of my head throbbed so bad, it would make me forget I had just had surgery.
I went in to my local Urgentcare. They agreed that it was probably a sore neck or a pinched nerve from surgery, but just to be safe, sent me for a CT scan, because pressure headaches like that after a surgery can be caused by a blood clot or bleed.
Went for CT scan, and there was nothing wrong, so doc gave me a script for a muscle relaxant.
While on the table, though (more specifically, while getting off the table), I felt what I was sure was a rip happen along part of my incision in the back. I had my mother, who had driven me to the hospital since I was still on narcotics, check. It looked okay, but it did happen in a spot that she had noticed the tape (which goes over all of my incisions) was peeling earlier.
Well, now the incisions themselves are mostly dry and itchy, which means they're healing. That one small spot on my back, though it hasn't separated, is still "open" and weeping. It hurts occasionally, especially when engaging my back muscles.
I also had a few days of bad heartburn. It may be a combination of the half-reclined position I'm in most of the time, along with the binder around my middle, squeezing me like a sausage. I still can't eat much before I feel uncomfortably-bordering-on-painfully full, which is partly because of the binder, and partly because I think the few days of no food/tiny amounts of food I went through after surgery shrunk my stomach back down to my post RNY size. I've been told by my primary care doc and my bariatric surgery team that I shouldn't try to lose any more weight, so I hope I can try to increase the amount I can eat in one sitting sooner rather than later. I'm not good at grazing, I've always preferred to be a three square meals type of girl.
What's really annoying me are the drains. They are held into place by a sutures, each of which wraps around a tube and goes into and out of my skin once. They keep pulling, to the point that I feel like someone is jabbing me with a sharp needle. The ones coming out of my mons pubis were hurting especially, because it would tug each time I sat down, stood up, and took steps. I taped the tubes down with medical tape so they would stop pulling, which has made a world of difference! The one at my hip hasn't caused pain yet, but as you can see, is pretty angry looking.
My only discomfort is the fullness and burning in my lower torso, which I think is the swelling, and which gets worse if I eat too much. Too much, in this case, is the two Swedish meatballs and four little chunks of pineapple I had for Christmas dinner, so that's not very much.
I don't have much of an appetite yet, in fact, even the smell of breakfast cooking makes me nauseous. Liquids seem to be my friend right now, with water, Atkins shakes, and milk being all I can really tolerate without feeling this weird full pressure. When I do have solids, it is always very little I can handle before I feel sore, so I always start with the meat at every meal. I have had to scoop most of my side dishes onto my wife's plate, even when I've only served myself small portions of everything to start with.
Once I get the swelling down and the binder off, I have no doubt my appetite will come back, I just hope that happens sooner rather than later.
My wife and I are hosting Christmas at our house, with my parents, brothers, grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousin in attendance. Hosting the holidays a week after surgery could have been trying, but everyone is being super helpful, and I'm not having to lift a finger. I did help make Christmas cookies, the parts that I could do sitting down at the table, but I fatigued pretty quickly. Everyone has been very understanding.