I should just learn not to promise things. Ever. Some complications have extended my recovery time and have led to me spending more time sleeping than doing anything else. Ugh. Before the promised Part Two, a post close to my heart right now…
7 Things No One Told Me About Appendix Surgery
- 1. The ‘gas cramps’ can and do happen – and they can be as bad as the original pain.
- 2. Anaesthetic can make it difficult to pee. And fart.
- 3. The trauma of having surgery can start your period.
- 4. When they tell you that you can take X med once every X hours – do it! For heaven’s sake, do it.
- 5. Incision on the left.
- 6. Incisions leak!
- 7. Recovery is harder when you’re fat.
With my gallbladder surgery, I was lucky in that I didn’t have any problems with gas being trapped in my abdomen after the deal. I didn’t have to deal with that crap then, so I didn’t expect to have to deal with it this time. I was wrong. The cramps are painful. But don’t panic. Lying flat and encouraging yourself to ‘expel gasses’ helps.
The first part of that is… odd, but not too bad. Ones or twos hurt for a while no matter what, and that’s not really surprising given the whole ‘abdominal surgery’ thing. The second part was just weird. You really can’t imagine what it’s like to not be able to fart until you can’t. If you have the gas cramps I mentioned in #1, this is particularly frustrating.
Yep. It can also make your period last longer than usual – no matter how regular you are. It can also make your period start up again. And again. And again. And again. My system is pretty screwed from PCOS, but I have been a 5-day-period girl since the first time it happened. I went to day ten this time, with plenty of stops and starts in the process.
What is it with me having surgery while I’m on my period? (Yup, happened with the gallbladder, too.)
I hate taking pills. I really, really do. My philosophy is that the less I take now, the more effective it will be when I have no choice but to take it. So I didn’t stick to any sort of schedule when I came home with my meds, much to my mistake. When you’re recovering from having that many influential, frequently used muscles being messed with pain prevention is the word. Leaving it until you feel the pain will only lead to exhaustion and tears. (And stacks of pain, of course.)
A little thing, but something I didn’t expect. On most people, the appendix is on the right. My incisions? One below my belly button, one above my ladyland, and one on my lower abdomen on the left. Hm. Weird.
I think this is the one that pissed me off the most because I didn’t know! And it completely freaked me out when it started happening! Argh! But yeah, they leak – and they can leak a lot. Apparently the rule is that if it doesn’t leak weird colours (eg. green and jaundice yellow) and it doesn’t smell funky, you are right to go. I totally thought I’d broken something inside me and I was going to eventually leak everything out of my incision. Bleugh. I think it was something like nine days post-surgery that I stopped leaking enough that I actually bothered to put on a sticky bandage.
This one is a given, but it’s still frustrating. You hear so much about how ‘simple’ and ‘routine’ appendectomies are that you build up these recovery expectations. One, it’s a bit harder than that for anyone, and two, of course it’s harder when you’re fat. You have to carry around your gut like it’s a friggin’ pet for a while because it hurts too much to let it hang alone when you’re standing up. Ugh. Talk about motivation to get healthy…