Cleft Lift Recovery Log

Discussion in 'Pilonidal Discussions' started by BrianS, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. stokliner

    stokliner Helpful

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    59
    Helpfuls Received:
    11
    This all sounds great man!

    I've read numerous times now that the pain amplifies around the 3-5 day mark. Apparently this is when some component of the anesthesia or whatever drugs they give you for the surgery fully wear off. So I'd expect pain in a few days more so than now, and just know it's normal. When I get my procedure, I'm going to try my best to hold off on the stronger pain meds until this rolls around, so my tolerance doesn't get too high before then.

    I honestly wouldn't. You just had surgery there, i'd give it a few days. Sitting a lot immediately can't possibly be too good for it, and I'm guessing it's a bit more difficult to tell what it actually feels like since you still have post-surgery drugs and painkillers in your system. I'd say wait until you feel like you have more feeling in the area, and then give it a few minutes of sit time.

    I read around these forums that it's good to stretch the scar tissue so it doesn't become too stiff and rip open when you do end up sitting. So i'd definitely sit some when you can, since that is basically stretching it some. But I'd certainly give it another day or two.

    Get that protein and nutrients and some rest tomorrow!

    I do have a few questions for you... What type of anesthesia did you go with, and how did you feel when you woke up? I am wondering if your head was pounding or anything of that sort. All other surgical procedures I've had that required anesthesia left me with a really crazy "buzzing" head ache. Although, this was things like wisdom teeth and deviated septum surgery, so the headache could very well be from surgery in the head area.

    I thought I was supposed to do a liquid diet too, but only because I read you mention it in your first post, haha. That's good to know, but it could very well be different for me. How's your appetite been? I figured I'd still have materials for a liquid diet around, in case I don't have a big enough appetite to get all the nutrients I need. This could all very well change over the next few days as you take various painkillers and antibiotics I imagine.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and glad everything seems like it's going well so far!
     
  2. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    My appetite has been fine, reduced a little bit, but still somewhat normal. I'm a little paranoid to eat too much yet, I don't want to rush the first BM even though I'm taking stool softeners. We planned though by getting several "liquid-only" items though, like broth, Jello, Gatorade, 7-Up, etc. I also got a hotel room that had two beds, a couch, chairs/desk, a refrigerator, and a microwave, that way I can pretty much have everything I need for recovery right now as far as food, chairs to practice sitting, firm beds, etc.

    As far as anesthesia, I believe I mentioned in the Day 1 log, but they chose general for me. I don't really remember waking up with a buzzing headache, maybe more of just a "buzzing" feeling. It did take just a little bit for my stomach to get back to normal, and all I really have now is a slightly sore throat from the breathing tube.
     
  3. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    I just sat for maybe 10 seconds, kind of perched. I probably should have put my weight to one side, but it didn't necessarily hurt, just felt weird. Still afraid to sit for fear of damaging the incision. Also still not draining very much at all, so that's worrying me just a little bit, too.
     
  4. stokliner

    stokliner Helpful

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    59
    Helpfuls Received:
    11
    I'm not sure when the drainage is supposed to start. I remember reading on here that some people didn't drain much after their procedure. You got the tube though, so it will drain if it needs to. I'm sure the flood will start at some point ;) lol... Just adding some comedic relief!

    I'm happy to hear about your recovery so far. You may have mentioned this already, but did they say anything about showering?
     
  5. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    I hope it starts draining a little more soon too. The drainage is still a pretty "bloody" drainage. And I'm only slightly more sore then yesterday, still sticking with Tylenol.

    As for showering, I am not allowed to shower, at least until the first follow-up when the drain comes out and Dr. Brand can examine the wound. He will also be showing whatever caregiver you have how to reapply the dressing and ACE bandage. And after that appointment, I believe they say it's ok to take off the bandage and dressing and take showers to clean the area. The dressing should go right back on though after that, just make sure that the area and the dressing are dry.
     
  6. Brandonw

    Brandonw Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    412
    Helpfuls Received:
    29
    Excellent news Brian! Now for the good road to recovery! Sounds like everything went very well.
     
  7. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    Thanks Brandon! Everything has been going pretty well so far.
     
  8. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    Day 2

    Nothing much to report here. Still just pretty sore, but I still have not needed the Norco they prescribed, I am only taking Tylenol. It seems like I'm feeling the incision a little more though. Also, with the pressure wrap that Dr. Brand, it can make it a little more difficult to get in and out of bed. I just go to the side of the bed, drop myself down, and then use my forearms to rotate and push/pull myself towards the top of the bed. Otherwise, I've been taking short walks, sort of waddling like a duck or a penguin.

    Sleep: Slept pretty well last night after the surgery. I couldn't fall asleep right after the surgery though, I just laid down and relaxed. Got a little bit of a nap in today too. Now I've just kind of been switching from the bed to walking around.

    The drain: Still just hanging there. We've been been circling up the "cord," if you want to call it that, and taping it to the back of my pressure dressing. Then we just clip the bulb itself onto my pants pocket. It doesn't really hurt, but I sometimes can feel a small tug when we're draining it. I just have to make sure to be cautious when I move around, especially getting in and out of bed. You don't want to accidentally open the bulb somehow, which would lose suction, and then the drain won't work properly. It still isn't draining much at all, even after we milk it 3 times a day. We've been measuring in milliliters and the most I got was 2 the day of surgery, but lately it's been less than 1 milliliter. I've read about drains getting occluded, or blocked sometimes, so I hoping that isn't what's going on with me. Again, as I mentioned before, it may have something to do with where my incision was located, how small my abscess was, or the amount of tissue they did or didn't have to move, but it still makes me paranoid nonetheless.

    Sitting: I brought my coccyx cushion down to breakfast with me, and of course everybody can see me waddling around. I only sat for maybe a minute, perched on the cushion and leaning to one side. It didn't necessarily hurt, but I'm still sore and I am still worried about doing damage. Maybe I should try sitting again later for a longer amount of time? Still don't know if I'm going to make it worse down the road by not sitting now.

    Diet: Again, Dr. Brand said I could at whatever I wanted, but I've been sticking to lighter stuff that's not so heavy in my stomach to avoid a BM since I'm not taking anything like Imodium. Basically crackers, little cookies, some Jello. I do know that I need to start having some more protein though. I had a couple bites of a Jimmy John's sandwich last night, and I had a turkey sausage and a little bit of a cheese omelet at the hotel breakfast this morning. It is nice to be able to get up and walk around.

    Bathroom: Still haven't sat down to go yet. Would probably be kind of difficult with the pressure wrap, I'd have to pull it up somehow. I am experiencing some gas though, which is a weird feeling, but gives me an idea of how tight everything is back there. I don't really know how to describe it. Maybe like a putting a ping pong ball in a straw, and then blowing as hard as you can to force it out the other end. Strange. But no BM yet, and I hope it stays that way for a while.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  9. Brandonw

    Brandonw Very Helpful

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    412
    Helpfuls Received:
    29
    I was also nervous to sit for awhile. Just do it at your own pace. As long as it doesnt bother you dont force anything. Sounds like things are going well though! That pressure wrap seems like it would feel odd.
     
  10. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    The pressure wrap is a little odd, but it doesn't really hurt or anything. Just makes walking and getting around a little more difficult since it's tight. I feel like I may have felt a twinge or two already, but it was more in my butt cheek than the incision.
     
    Brandonw found this helpful.
  11. Frustrated!

    Frustrated! Helpful

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    47
    Helpfuls Received:
    8
    Location (Country):
    USA (Kentucky)
    My son's drainage was minimal, so he got his drain our early.
     
  12. Frustrated!

    Frustrated! Helpful

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    47
    Helpfuls Received:
    8
    Location (Country):
    USA (Kentucky)
    Be sure and drink lots of fluids, and maybe start taking a stool softener. I know you dread going, but try to make sure you don't get really constipated.
     
  13. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    I'm kind of relieved that I'm not the only one who hasn't had a ton of draining so far. I definitely do need to up my fluids though, I have not been drinking near enough water. They did prescribe a stool softener, thankfully.
     
  14. Girlbooty

    Girlbooty Very Helpful

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    202
    Helpfuls Received:
    25
    You sound like you're doing well!
    Don't worry about the sitting, I definitely did not sit for any extended amount of time the first two weeks. Go as you feel comfortable, and try not to feel pressured :)
     
    BrianS found this helpful.
  15. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    Thanks. I think that's what's stressing me out the most is sitting. I just want to be able to sit so bad, it gets annoying being on your stomach or standing up all the time. :(
     
  16. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    Day 3

    Still feeling a little soreness, but it feels like it's gotten a little bit less. I also think I can feel the incision a little more and some minor nerve pains, but I'm still just sticking with Tylenol. I am able to move around fairly well despite having the ACE pressure wrap around my waist, but it's more like waddling. The smaller strides, the more comfortable I feel. I'm glad I had the surgery, but still nervous about the next steps (drain removal, getting the incision to close up fully, nerve stings and twinges, infection, sitting comfortably, going back to a physical job that requires 10+ hours of sitting, etc).

    Sleep:
    Did have a little trouble sleeping last night, woke up a few times. Laying on my stomach is getting kind of tiring, makes my back hurt a little when I wake up.

    The drain: Still have the drain, it should come out Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. I'm still a little concerned since it's not draining as much as I thought it would be. The drainage is mostly blood, but it seems like there is some clear fluid mixed in, so I don't know if the doctor will want it to stay in longer.

    Sitting: I've tried a few more times today to sit on one of the firm hotel room chairs with my coccyx cushion. Again, it doesn't really hurt, I'm just nervous about sitting for too long and damaging the incision. I think the longest I've made it so far is about 15-30 seconds. Still trying to figure out how I'm going to do the 5 hour drive home in the car after drain removal. With the drain gone, it might be easier to lay on my side or stomach in the backseat though. I think sitting is the most frustrating thing to me, since I know I could probably do it, but I'm still reluctant.

    Diet: Finally had something more than crackers and cookies. Had some scrambled eggs, ham, and turkey sausage for breakfast. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and some chicken with rice for dinner. I've also been trying to drink more water and gatorade.

    Bathroom: Still no BM. Haven't felt the need to, and kind of wanting to hold out as long as I can so the incision has a little more time to heal, don't want to force anything yet. I am having a little gas, which may be due to the surgery, or may just be your regular old gas. It does feel kind of weird coming out, and gives me an idea of how tight things are back there. Sneezing causes a little discomfort too, since everything clenches up, so I try not to sneeze as much as I can.


    Does anybody suggest taking one of the prescribed pain pills (Norco) in the hours prior to drain removal? I've read for some people it was painful, and for others, they didn't even realize it when the doctor was taking it out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  17. Frustrated!

    Frustrated! Helpful

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    47
    Helpfuls Received:
    8
    Location (Country):
    USA (Kentucky)
    With several pillows of different firmness, your cushion and some help, I think you'll be able to manage the ride. THAT would be the time to take your pain medication. A couple of hours before the drive might be good, to get ahead of any discomfort with the ride. We drove nine+ hours, leaving straight from the doctor's office from having the drain removed.
     
    BrianS found this helpful.
  18. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    I might try that, I need to practice sitting somehow. Definitely starting to feel some twinges and stings now too, which should be a good sign of the nerves reconnecting, right?
     
  19. Girlbooty

    Girlbooty Very Helpful

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    202
    Helpfuls Received:
    25
    You sound good, on the right track. I'm glad to hear you were able to get some food as well.
    Are you able to lay on the side that the drain is not on, or is that still too weird? Can you use some pillows to lay on to support your back? I feel for you... I know my hips and ribs were really starting to bother me at the end of the first week.

    As far as car rides...I laid the front seat all the way back and it was horizontal enough for me to lay comfortably in. Maybe try that if the backseat/sitting doesn't pan out?

    If you're nervous about the drain removal, don't hesitate to take one. It won't hurt you, and even if just for peace of mind prior to the drain removal, I say it's worth it.

    You'll be feeling those twinges and twangs for a while :)
     
  20. BrianS

    BrianS Helpful

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    112
    Helpfuls Received:
    10
    Location (Country):
    United States
    The last time I remember being on my side was in the hospital, and I just remember it felt like hell, maybe the velcro from the pressure wrap that Dr. Brand uses was digging into my side, I'm not sure. I might try it again, but I'm not sure which side the incision is off too yet either. I might try and lay half on my hips and half on my stomach tonight.

    How was your drain removal? Did it hurt at all? I also feel like there's drainage going on underneath all my dressings, sometimes it feels like there's moisture there. I don't know if it may just be sweat, but it makes me think of the bottom part of the wound that a lot of people have trouble getting to heal.
     

Share This Page