Month: July 2018

GRS Post-Op Day 11 – Unexpected Surprises

Menopausal ladies let’s talk, TMI…
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I’d heard talk about peeing when you laugh, but I just had a new-found appreciation.
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When a considerably shorter urethra and now having to use some unfamiliar muscles to pee, bladder control has been an adventure. Mostly it’s been constantly having to pee, since the post-surgical swelling has reduced my bladder size down to nothing.
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But earlier this afternoon I got the not-so-bright idea to sit in a chair with my laptop in my lap. All well and good, until I needed to go. NOW. Get up to make a sprint to the bathroom and realized there’s pee already running down my legs. 😧
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Thankfully, I’ve been sitting on incontinence pads, and have maxi-pads in my panties β€” more for other messier reasons β€” but thankfully I didn’t stain the furniture, nor hopefully the carpet.
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Needless to say, I’ve been tipping the housekeeping staff generously….
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Looks like I’ve got some work to do on my Kegels once I’m back home.

GRS Post-Op Day 11 – First Clinic Check-in

Better day yesterday.

Got past the weekend’s gastrointestinal problems, so I finally was able to get most of a night’s sleep on Monday, and actually got a mostly decent night’s sleep last night, except for waking up at 4 a.m. with some severe lower back pain (a combination of hard beds at the hotel, plus having had to sit in positions there aren’t good for my lower back in order to reduce the pain in the crotch area).

Spent most of the day at the surgeon’s clinic. Apparently Mondays and Thursdays are when he does most of his follow-ups. Long wait until I was called, but it was a chance to hang out with some of the other patients β€” apparently Dr. Suporn intentionally makes the clinic waiting room a place where patients can hang out if they want some company.

Finally got in to see him and Dr. Bank (Dr. Suporn’s protege, who’s the one who actually did my surgery). Everything’s healing well, and they removed the external stitches (there’s still another 400 internal self-dissolving stitches involved). Since it’s a four-day weekend here, they weren’t able to contact the psychiatrist about allowing me to use the strongest painkiller (the hospital pharmacist refused to give it because a potential conflict with another medication I take), but hopefully they’ll get an answer from him this afternoon.

Worse case, I may need to argue the point with him (politely, because Thailand) when I’d due for another check-up on Thursday. Thursday is also when Drs. Suporn and Bank will take a look inside and see if I’m healed enough to move to the next step of “dynamic” dilation, where one actively pushes against the scar tissue contraction. Yeah, it’s about as fun as it sounds, and also means dilating three times a day rather than twice a day like I’d doing now.

TMI….
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I continue to be amazed at just how exhausting dilating is. Your body is doing it’s best of close what it perceives to be a ginormous puncture wound, so you’re really having to fight it. It can take a good 10-15 minutes of relaxing as best you can (and thinking of England), and slowly, slowly inserting the dilating until you the maximum depth (I’m supposed to reach 7 inches). Then, and only then, does the clock officially start and you’ve got to leave the dilator in there, while holding a strap to keep it at it’s proper depth, for 30 minutes. Time can hang very slowly even while watching TV to distract myself. Between the initial prep work, and subsequent clean-up, the whole process can easily take an hour to 1:15 or more.

Tiring enough doing it twice a day, going to three time a day is really going to be a challenge.

GRS Post-Op Day 10 – Better Today, I Hope

Another miserable night of only getting about an hour of sleep at any given time thanks to pain and intestinal issues. But doing a lot better this morning.

So far, today’s (intentionally minimal) breakfast has stayed put, and the nurse brought some Imodium AD just in case. She also brought me some electrolytes to drink, since I was definitely getting dehydrated in a ways that weren’t healthy.

Scheduled to go into the clinic this afternoon to discuss potentially making the most potent painkiller available again β€” the hospital pharmacist refused to give it to me because it can have potential interactions with another drug I’m taking. Probably being overcautious from what I can tell, but hopefully there’s alternatives.

But more importantly, it looks like they’ll resume giving me morphine injections for another week or so, which should help me sleep through the night. Part of the issue is that I’ve got a *lot* of swelling around the surgical site and that’s both contributing to the pain, and making it extremely difficult for me to find a position where I can sleep without it hurting.

So hopefully once these can be resolved, I’ll be back to the normal recovery, which is still tough enough.

GRS Post-Op Day 9 – Up All Night

Another rough night. Ate at the hotel restaurant just to be safe β€” so sure enough dinner didn’t agree with me, and I was up every hour or two dealing with that.

Goal today is to to do some hard-core napping to make up for not really having slept well the past two nights.

Also raised the pain issue with the nurse, and she assured me that they’ll take it up when I’m at the clinic for a check-in on Monday. Non-stop icing it may have turned me into a beavericicle, but it has made some definite improvement in getting the swelling down, but still don’t much feel like venturing out of the hotel β€” or my hotel room for that matter.

Will be glad when this gets resolved.

GRS Post-Op Day 8 – Body Get It Together

Filed under “If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.” TMI, bodily functions…
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My dilation tonight was so painful that I had to stop after 20 minutes. Which is really bad because you need to do 30 minutes per session to keep things from closing up and losing depth. But I just couldn’t take it anymore, and decided I’d do an extra session tomorrow to make up the time.

Of course once I’m all cleaned up, I suddenly feel the urge to poop β€” and out comes the ginormous mother of all poops with everything from the past week and then some.*

Come on body, get it together! Poop, then dilate. πŸ™„

At least tomorrow’s dilation (and hopefully future dilations) should be a lot easier.

*You’re strongly encourage not to poop during the week you’re in the hospital because with the vaginal packing inside you, that would make pooping… unpleasant, and actually requires a nurse’s supervision to make you it doesn’t cause problems.

GRS Post-Op Day 8 – Good News/Bad News

Good news/bad news.
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I finally saw the nurse, who was running late because they had to take another patient from the hotel back to the hospital (presumably because of complications).
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The pain I’m having at the top of my groin β€” which makes it pain to stand up straight or lie flat β€” apparently is normal post-surgical pain.
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Which I compounded by forgetting to use the cold pack last night while I slept (to keep the swelling down), as well as not taking pain killers *before* this morning’s dilation.
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Been usually the cold packs today and they do seem to be helping. But the moderate-strength painkiller still isn’t enough to fully control the pain. May have to talk to them about it when I go into the clinic for a check-in on Monday.
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There is a more powerful opiate-based painkiller that they normally use β€” but apparently it’s got some potentially bad interactions with one of my other medications, and so the pharmacist at the hospital refused to give it to me. If needed, hopefully they’ve got some alternatives, or worse case, it does look like side-effects are uncommon and since I probably only need it for a week or two, they may be able to give it to me as long as I’m closely monitored. I’ll also offer to discontinue the conflicting medication, since I think I can get by without it. We’ll see…
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Hopefully the pain will come down by itself before Monday.

GRS Post-Op Day 8 – WTF Was I Thinking

Rough night and morning, TMI, really I mean it very TMI…
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Reached the OMG WTF Was I Thinking point last night and so far this morning.

I’ve had a persistent pain at the top of my groin ever since the surgery. I’d just assumed it was a combination of bladder pressure (it’s difficult to pee for 2-4 weeks post-op), plus some irritation from the catheter.

But it’s still here even after they removed the cather yesterday morning. I’m beginning to think it may be post-surgical pain itself, or maybe I pulled a muscle trying to pee. I’ll ask about it when the nurse comes by later this morning during her rounds.

Regardless, it was uncomfortable enough that I was waking up about every hour. By 2 a.m. I was thinking about taking one of the sleeping pills provided β€” and probably do so tonight β€” but was worried it would cause me to oversleep when I needed extra time to my first solo dilation, which is a bit of a complicated procedure.

First you lay a plastic sheet down on the bed (to prevent the bed from getting dirty), along with the blue plastic strap that you lie on, and use the help keep the dilator in place.

Then it’s a trip to the toilet, and clean the wound with hibiscrub, a fairly harsh antiseptic β€” it’ll burn the skin if it’s used too much or left on too long.

All set to get started, when suddenly I feel the need to poop. Which I’m not gonna ignore since it’s the first time I’ve pooped in over a week (the laxatives I took the night before finally kicked in). Thank Maude I did, because it definitely cleared out a lot of room and made the dilation less awful than it was.

But now back to around round of the hibiscrub, plus another antibiotic cream that you need to apply whenever you pee or poop.

Find the tray containing yet another disinfectant that I’m supposed to apply afterwards. Knock tray, spilling about half of the disinfectant, although thankfully into another part of the tray, so can reused, just more awkward to do.

Finally….. We’re ready to go. Got the latex gloves on, got the mirror positioned so I can see what I’m doing down there, got the condom on the dilator and the dilator lubed up.

Insert dilator, OMFG it hurts. Don’t know if I’d been on the residues of painkillers yesterday, but today it’s definitely not fun at all. Work it in slowly, slowly, until I’ve reached the full 7 inches of depth. Now the clock officially starts, I’m supposed to keep it in for 30 minutes, but I can only manage 25 before the pain is too much. Which means I’ll pay for it during this afternoon’s dilation, but hopefully I’ll have painkillers this afternoon.

Get cleaned up, which is also a bit of a procedure. You use a vaginal syringe to clean things out (leaving lube inside you causes bad things to happen), and additional to the lube being flushed out, there’s usually bits of blood clots and dead tissue that come out too. Messy.

Finally get myself cleaned up. I’d been told it’s a good idea to simply order room service the first day or two back from the hospital, but my body was craving protein, and I wasn’t taken by the room service breakfast menu. Since my room was next to the elevator, I decided to risk it (too much walking early can cause damage that needs to be fixed), and got to the breakfast buffet in the lobby. Which was a mistake. My appetite evaporated and in the mirrors I could see I looked like death warmed over. Won’t be doing that again tomorrow.

And so now I wait in the room for the nurse to come and do the daily inspection, hopefully will be able to get some napping in before I have to do the next round of dilation at 3.

It’s gonna get better, it’s gonna get better….

GRS Post-Op Day 7 – Under Pressure

Post-surgical TMI….
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One downside to all the swelling is it’s pressing on my bladder so I constantly feel like I have to pee. Which is tough because the urethra is also swollen, meaning throughput is slow.

Plus having a shortened urethra makes a *big* difference. Gentleman, when a woman tells you she need to go now, trust me she needs to go *now*.

BTW, did I mention I haven’t pooped in a week β€” it’s discouraged while you’re in the hospital because with the vaginal packing there’s not a lot room left. Hopefully the laxatives I took will resolve this. Which may be another reason my bladdered feeling a lot of pressure.

Ah, the joys of surgery….

GRS Post-Op Day 7 – Joys of Menopause

I realized one reason I’m cranky, craving chocolate, and sweating like Satan’s balls is that I had to go off estrogen for the surgery (it increases the risk of blood clots). Can’t restart it until I get home.

And post-surgery, not that there’s no testosterone in my system either, I’m sure my body has having a bad case of WTF?!

GRS Post-Op Day 7 – To The Pain

TMI, dilatation stuff….
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Back at the hotel. Had only a few minutes to unpack before the nurse came to help me do the afternoon dilation.

Holy hell this one was harder. The initial one in the morning was quite easier because the packing had held everything open, but even over the course of nine hours my body really was working on closing up what it perceives as a ginormous stab wound.

Pushing the dilator in the last two inches really took all my strength and will. Thankfully leaving it in for another half-hour wasn’t too bad, and the removal and clean-up was comparatively easy.

But I’m surprising exhausted afterwards. I can see why people spend a lot of time in their rooms sleeping.

And I haven’t even gotten to the more strenuous form of dilating that’ll start in two weeks. <wimpers>