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home from surgery

girlypants's picture
girlypants
Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012

Surgery for the partial Nephromty, took out 40% of the kidney. Tumor was the size of a golf ball. Doc said it clearly looked like cancer, now we are just waiting to see the grade and severity. Since they found it so early I am really hoping it is a low grade. Surgery was 3.5 hours. Stayed in the hospital longer than normal because I couldnt find pain meds that worked or didnt make me want to puke all day. So far Tramdol is what I am on. Doc wants me to take mortin or alleve instead to get off the hard stuff and help with inflammation. Which works better for the pain? Luckily they took the drain out cuz that was killing me. Now its just the major incision site that hurts the most. So far no BM movement just gas pains. Haven't been eating much so that will probably happen in a day or so. What was the best thing to do for pain? Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated.

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Girlypants,

I'm so glad you are home. I had to take myself off the pain meds right away because I was allergic to everything they tried to give me. I did come home on hydrocodone, but didn't like the way it made me feel, so I did without. I just took ibuprofen and the pain wasn't completely unbearable. You have to play it by ear and do what works best for you. I just hate prescriptions because I have so many reactions to them and am supersensitive to everything. If you can get up and walk around several times a day, I think that helps move recovery along versus just laying around, but like I said, you have to do what's best for you.

I found myself most comfortable when I took a bunch of old quilts and folded them up on the couch and then put a sheet down on top of them. It made the couch more comfortable to lay on.

Blessings,
Lisa

girlypants's picture
girlypants
Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012

So far I have propped about 15 pillows on the bed. Also after the surgery has anyone noticed its harder to go pee, like get going and stay going? Side effect from surgery and the catheter I am assuming.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1932
Joined: Oct 2011

Welcome home! I didn't use much pain meds in the hospital. I expected the pain, moved slowly and dealt with it. Even went home without a script. After a couple days, I tired of feeling uncomfortable and used some percocets that I had. But not for too long. Catheters and anesthesia both can affect urine flow. It returns to normal. So does the bowel. It's just a rotten feeling for awhile.

tom_in_VT
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

Good job G-pants, I'm happy you are home. Today is 5 weeks post surgery for me, sleeping and generally resting is what made me feel best. Pain pills were some narcotic that I weened off a few weeks ago - I do take a non-narcotic sleep aid. Welcome home, have a ginger ale!!!

Tom

girlypants's picture
girlypants
Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012

I look like a train wreck with tape, gauze, glue, and stitches. Doc said I could shower as normal but I am too scared to get the stuff wet and not clean enough. How long did everyone sponge bath it? Which I am fine with. My follow up is on the 3rd I guess I can do the sponge bath/ wash hair in sink thing until then. Also was sleeping hard for people? I felt like I just lay there and the time floats away but I don't sleep deeply.

This is the best forum btw, I was terrified and lost until I found it. I dont feel alone anymore.

tom_in_VT
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

G-pants

I was in the hospital four day after surgery, open partial nephrectomy (~1/3 of my right kidney & a 4.5cm tumor was taken). Cut from belly to back I only had glue on me, stitches internally. I showered 2x in the hospital b/4 leaving - no direct shower water on my right side, incision or drain. Nursing asst helped w/ first shower & IV stand in B-room. Second just b/4 leaving, IV taken out & drain tube removed. Still no direct shower spray on my right side. Once home I have showered almost every day - maybe slept through one day early on and did not shower. I hate beard stubble on me so my incentive was to shower then shave.

I do hope everything goes well & you are jumping rope soon! (LOL) Still hurts a bit when I laugh.

Be good, get well
Tom

NewE2012
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi! So glad you are home and on the road to recovery.

The gas pain was the worse for me! Keep taking small walks, eat prunes, take the stool softeners, drink hot tea...it all helps. The first few days are the worse so keep the pain meds handy. Took me about a week to get normal. Peeing also feels weird but that will go back to normal soon. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water.

I showered as soon as I got home from the hospital and I felt like a million bucks. You can get the incisions wet, just don't scrub them and towel dry carefully. I would think washing your hair in the sink would be more painful!

You'll be taking small naps throughout the day/night and I never felt like it was a deep sleep either. I think it's a combo of the pain/discomfort and the fact that your body is doing some serious healing, yet your brain is wide awake and you are thinking about what you went through. I ended up going to my primary care doctor and he prescribed me sleep medicine. It helped me a lot.

I had surgery 7 weeks ago and I can finally sleep on my "bad" kidney side, so soon you will get there too.

Good luck and you will be back to normal, better than ever, and a little skinner in no time!

girlypants's picture
girlypants
Posts: 31
Joined: Jan 2012

My belly button area is full of stitches and covered in a gauze sticky pad thingy. I dont want to get it wet because I am scared it will get infected? Did people still shower with it on and then it just dries now worries?
And yes gas pains are the worst, they dont seem to come out for me, but I keep walking laps around the house every hour.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1568
Joined: Jan 2010

Girlypants,

Not fun that first week after surgery. especially those first few days. Personally this old man was not that concerned about getting in a shower with that much pain.
Give it a few weeks. Things will get a little better eveyday. You just went thru major abdominal surgery. Give everything a little extra time to feel better. Down the road you will laugh about all of his discomfort. Unfortunately (NEW RULE) you have to go thru it to laugh about it.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

cww71964's picture
cww71964
Posts: 95
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi Girly,

l feel your pain. I am 1 week post op for a hand assist full neph. I was able to take a shower my second day in the hospital. The nurse removed the bandages and just said to pat the area dry. It has been uncovered since. I have staples, not sure if that makes a difference or not. As far as sleeping, I took others advice and have been sleeping in my recliner. Luckily it is in my bedroom. The vicodin makes me drowsy so that helps. I also have a scrip for xanax for anxiety and that helps as well. I have read on this board that tylenol pm does the job. I am going to tty that in the next few days as I wean off the vicodin. The gas pain does get better, mine is getting better by the day. Hang in there.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery,
Wayne

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

GP,

The doc said "shower normally" so you should be fine and I recommend it because it makes you feel so much more like normal, there is something about being in the shower with the water running over you that is rejuvenating at a deeper level, or maybe that's just me. Just don't wash the belly button area and pat it dry afterwards. Your other symptoms are normal and will improve quickly, you may have to experiment a bit with pain meds to find what works best for you.

Hang in there,

Gary

LISAinTN's picture
LISAinTN
Posts: 143
Joined: Aug 2011

GirlyPants, I'm with Gary. I showered in the hospital and every day when I got home. It made me feel human to get clean and smell good. lol I just didn't let the full blast of water hit me right on the staples and patted it dry afterwards. I think I would have felt 10 times worse to not shower, but then that's just me. I'm a clean freak, germaphobe anyway. lol Oh and my son got me one of those white medical type stools with the adjustable legs for in the shower. That made me feel more secure to know if I got tired or dizzy, I could easily sit down. He found a brand new one on Craigs List for 20 bucks.

Blessings,
Lisa

Boomersdad
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi Guys and girls,I found this web site very comforting around the time of my cancer and left kidney removel on 6th Jan, key hole on the Saturday, 6inch cut to remove the bits,no water works working, sunday sit on side of bed, still no water works, but I was eating all they gave me, Monday 4-00am they had to put a cafiter in to unload 1.3/4 ltr, what a relief, put me on a water tablet, and I had a dribble at 12-00 noon but very little control on muscels,at tea time monday they sent me home with painkillers, very tired and just wanted to sleep, My wife gave me 5 big pillows to prop me up in the spare room ,tried to sleep on my back sitting up alnight,but it was a long night,Tuesday still tired so 2/3 naps, they said to have a shower after 4 days, so I just had a wash down at first, the reason they said dont wash the wound area was becacuse of germs that might be on the soap it would also be sore,that was how I did the next 5 days, still no bowel movement so got a mild laxative from chemist on the Friday, which gave me a bit of relief that evening,
Second week still a little sore and still on painkillers am and pm, I gave up the mid-day ones, 11 days on now and Im actually getting to sleep on my front the last 2 nights , and I am sleeping well,had a 1hr nap this afternoon as I am still tired,
Did a 1 mile walk yesterday and today, but when I get back home I am shattered, I get paid while Im off work and have a note from the doctor till 13th Feb,not driving yet but will have a go by this Saturday,I had a couple of loose stitches removed today that had not fallen out, the wound has heald very well only about 1 inch of it still as a scab on it, the other 4 key hole entry points still havs scabs on,
I feel like I am writting a novel so I think its about time I shut up,Im happy if anyone found any of my comments helpfull ,real name Errol in Staffordshire UK

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Errol,

Good to hear you are doing so well, sounds like you are right on schedule. Even though the walking leaves you shattered (love that expression) I encourage you to keep at it as it really helps speed along the recovery process, just take it slow and easy for awhile yet.

Hang in there,

Gary

Boomersdad
Posts: 25
Joined: Jan 2012

Its been 3 weeks yesterday I had a full removel of left kidney and the dreaded big C, I still stuggle to sleep in all postions, but I started to drive again yesterday and found it painless except for any rutts in the road, I started walking briskly for 20 mins and then uped it and now Im doing 45 mins flat out, it gives me chance to be nosey in the area,Ive cut down on pills but Im still taking 1 ibuferon and 1 paracetamol morning and night, I went for my follow up yesterday and they told me it was a grade 3 tumor, He said he thinks he got it all which is good news. I am having a CT scan thursday and a blood test as well,In the UK here they are doing tests long term and have asked me to join in but my other half is not to keen has any body else signed up,I have a sick note from work for another 2 weeks but feel it might take a little longer,

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Erroll, can I ask you what they have asked you to join in? I live in Scotland (though I'm a Londoner) and I'm interested in all clinical trials going on in the UK re kidney cancer. Good luck on Thursday which happens to be when I'm also having my first follow-up.

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