What is it really like during Bariatric Surgery recovery? Here is the Painful Truth About Gastric Bypass Surgery. Let me tell you the entire story. It’s been a whole month since I had my Gastric Bypass and honestly, it’s been a rough ride.
Truth be told, I wanted to write regularly about my weight loss experiences and vlog on YouTube. Yet, I’ve simply been too unwell up until now. And, here I am 4 weeks out catching up and sharing more gruesome details of my Gastric Bypass experience.
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Today I am going to talk about some of the difficult things I experienced after bariatric surgery.
Day 1: Post Bariatric Surgery
The first two weeks were tough. When I woke up in the hospital, the pain was unbearable. I could not move, nor walk. And, I struggled to cope with the pain.
I was loaded with IV drips and my bladder was so so full. I needed to pee, but I could not walk. The nurse got a bedpan however, I still could not relieve myself. I had no ability to push the muscles — I just laid there for an hour in pain trying to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t do it.
My bladder became more and more full and it hurt so much. In the end, the nurses came and helped me out of bed. They held onto either side of me and walked me to the toilet. I tried again but nothing would come out.
I had to call the nurses and try around five times before my body finally managed to relieve my bladder. My urine was orange. It had keytones. I was dehydrated and every time I went to the toilet the nurse had to measure how much wee I had produced.
Initial Struggles I Faced After Gastric Bypass Surgery
The hardest part for me was the serious gas pain in my body. During surgery, your body is filled with gas to allow the surgeon to have plenty of space. The gas then takes a few weeks to dissipate and leave the body. The gas pain is excruciatingly painful.
Not only did I have gas pain coming from the laparoscopic cuts of my gastric bypass surgery, but I also had a tube stuck down my throat. It was not expected and was terribly painful. The tube was huge and make me feel like I was choking. My throat felt raw in the way it feels when you have strep throat or tonsillitis. I just wanted the tube out so badly, but couldn’t. Plus, my mouth was so dry, my lips began to chap. I just needed to drink — yet, I wasn’t allowed. It was really tough having a tube but it did come out after 12 very long hours.
Having the tube taken out eventually was another yucky experience. The nurse pulls it out from your nose and you feel it scraping against your throat. It is gross but has to be done.
I found the pain from the surgery very difficult. I literally felt like I’d been run over by a truck. It was much worse than my traumatic labour with my daughter almost eight years ago. Unfortunately, it was something I had feared before the operation. Yet, I knew I must go through to help me improve my health and ultimately, my life.
The Painful Truth About Gastric Bypass
Before the operation I was terrified about the pain I’d be recovering from and rightly so. Some people have a high pain threshold but not me. I struggle to cope with pain and so for me the pain following my gastric bypass was extremely difficult.
One of the hardest things after the operation is not being able to lay down. You have to sit up. The nurses made me sleep sitting up and I could not get the rest I needed. I was told laying down could cause chest infections and believed it — my chest was really funny for the first 30 hours. I felt like I was coming down with an infection, yet, I did what I could to stay sitting up and sleep sitting up.
One of the hard parts is you really need to cough with a funny chest. During surgery, you have a tube down your throat and oxygen going in and out and it naturally results in needing to cough and clear your lungs a lot in the days flowing. I coughed and coughed and it hurt my stomach so much. The physiotherapist came and told me to hold a pillow against the wall of my stomach to try and help me be able to cough. It helped but really did hurt.
Bariatric Surgery Recovery Surprises
Nighttime was difficult. I remember sitting in bed in pain, unable to sleep and feeling a total wreck. I just wanted my husband but he had to be at home with our daughter and I kept telling myself, I can get through this. It will improve.
I also developed headaches after my operation. But, I earned a lot about my operation before committing to it and I studied a lot. However, there were some things I did not focus on too much. I knew full well I would not be able to eat much but no one had said, nor had I read about an inability to drink much! I could barely drink. “Little sips,” they tell you. Literally, I could barely sip any water and so I became dehydrated and my head was banging.
Due to being dehydrated the doctors could not get blood from my veins. One doctor tried 3 times but another doctor tried for an hour and a half. She was determined and stick needles into me 17 times. She failed and eventually left at 7.30 pm.
Day Two: After Gastric Bypass
The doctors came back on day two to try again but there was no wear to try and I was still wearing pressure stockings in my legs. (Which were uncomfortable) so I was jabbed again in my wrists, hands, arms and upper arms. I was then left again and on day three they sent the bariatric surgeon to have a try. He also failed.
Day Three: Blood Withdrawn
On day three in the afternoon, a doctor managed to get some blood. It was hardly any but he sent it off to the lab anyway and they managed to get the results they needed with this.
Day Four: Home and Back to the Hospital for Days
On day four, I was finally able to walk to the toilet and back on my own. I was able to wee and my wee was less orange and more yellow. My chest had improved but my major issues were severe pain and the gas in my body.
I was deemed well enough to go home. My blood pressure was okay, my chest was okay and my vitals all normal. I could walk a little although, but I would not be able to get up the stairs at home. That has taken time. I am still struggling 4 weeks later.
I was assessed and given medications and then sent home on day four. At home, I struggled. The pain was difficult and the day after being sent home I ended up going back into the hospital until day ten which is a story for another day.
The Painful Reality of Bariatric Surgery Recovery
This is the reality of bariatric surgery recovery. It is very difficult and something I would not wish on anyone, though for me it was something I had to go through to improve my health. They say it’s worth it in the end, but at the time it feels dreadful.
That is the reality of gastric bypass and bariatric surgery. It is a painful process and a major surgery and one not to be walked into without serious consideration.
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and adults. Angela has also taught cooking classes and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Instant Pot Table. Follow her on Pinterest!