Cleft lift 5/15/18 recovery log

#1
Hey guys! No need to give my back story, as many of you have already read about my failed surgeries prior to surgery this. I’m getting ready to board my flight to Wisconsin to see Dr. Immerman. I will try to leave periodic updates as I recover. My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Please pray for me!
 
#2
Hey guys! No need to give my back story, as many of you have already read about my failed surgeries prior to surgery this. I’m getting ready to board my flight to Wisconsin to see Dr. Immerman. I will try to leave periodic updates as I recover. My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Please pray for me!
Good luck!
 
#3
Thank you! Tried to time my bathroom break (number 2) just right and it worked. I just went and I’m glad because I know I’m going to try and fight the urge to go right after surgery. Since I’ve had so many of these before, I’m not really that scared or anxious about the surgery in particular. I’m more worried about going number 2, and also sitting in a long plane ride. Anyways getting ready to hop in the shower and I will be off to the hospital. Leaving in roughly an hour.
 
#4
Day 1 (surgery day)- well I went to Dr.Immerman’s office today around 10:45 for my intitial consultation. He inspected me, answered all my questions, and just reinforced to me that he will fix me. It was interesting seeing all the people in his waiting room either standing or awkwardly sitting down. As I was walking out I saw some of them standing and I kind of nodded, and gave a smile, knowing they were probably going through the same issue as me. They nodded back and smiled as they too knew why I was there.

After my initial visit, I went straight to the surgery center, which was about 10 min away. Checked in, filled out my paperwork, and got prepped for surgery. Surgery was around 1:30 pm. My surgery was a little longer than expected. The reason is because I still had an active sinus, as well as a non healing wound. Which I thought I just had a non healing wound. So I have not 1, but 2 drains in me. Yay me! I’m in moderate pain, but nothing excruciating. I’d say about a 6 on a scale of 1-10. The anesthesia really did a number on me. With my other surgeries, I never had nausea, but this time around I did. I stayed an extra 2 hours or so because I was very nauseous. They gave me some sort of patch that helped.

I think the hardest thing to get used to is going to be these drains. They are clipped to my side and it’s kind of hard to find a comfortable spot to lay. I’m sure it will take some getting used to. I’m bandaged up so I haven’t seen what it looks like yet. I’m not even sure I want to anyway. I can shower after 24 hours, so maybe then, if I work up the courage, I can check to see how gnarly it looks. I was prescribed pain meds and antibiotics, plus I’ve been given a list of vitamins to get that are supposed to help the healing.

Everyone I’ve come in contact with thus far has been wonderful. Dr. Immerman, the staff, nurses, etc. BTW, Eau Claire, Wisconsin is really a cool little town. If you have to travel here, which I would highly recommend, its pretty beautiful in this part of the country.

I have a follow up appt with Dr. Immerman on Thursday and will leave updates as they happen. So far so good!
 
#5
1st day on your road to never dealing with this again. I didnt look for like a week but im a giant baby. You may want to take pics for reference. My kids who are both 3 always say i want to see the daddy butt pic...kinda cute but all i think is i hope they dont get it.

My wife said the swelling would go down every day. I also posted a 2 week pic i think and i have some now and will eventually post em but its like nothing happened and all i have is the scar which is fine by me.

May your 1st poop and travel home be uneventful.
 
#6
Don't think you are supposed to take the antibiotics unless you actually have an infection, if you got an infection, the bacteria you get could become resistant to the drugs you're already taking (not a doctor).

My throat was on fire after the surgery, other than that, I didn't have really any pain (took the narcos for a few days)
 
#7
Don't think you are supposed to take the antibiotics unless you actually have an infection, if you got an infection, the bacteria you get could become resistant to the drugs you're already taking (not a doctor).

My throat was on fire after the surgery, other than that, I didn't have really any pain (took the narcos for a few days)
The doctor and pharmacist did explain that to me. I able to take them but I have special instructions on how to do so. I haven’t needed the pain meds too often. Have only take 2 so far.
 
#8
Day 2- Really not a lot to report. I’m in some pain, but it’s manageable. With my 2 drains, I’m producing between 25-30 ml a day. It has to be under 20 before I can take the drains out. It’s expected to be in for about 1 week, give or take. I did take a shower today but didn’t look at the wound yet. I’m not ready to yet. Call me a wimp I guess. My wife did say it looks a lot better than how it looked before, so that’s good. I have only taken pain meds twice and it’s been about 30 hours post op. I’ve been trying to eat a lot of protein and fruits plus taking my vitamins.

Really I haven’t done much except rest. I have walked around a little bit. I’ve been able to sit for short periods. Not really pain, but it’s just a little bit of a weird feeling. I bought some stool softener for when I do have to go. I haven’t felt the need to go yet.

Basically just mirroring what I said yesterday- I’m very happy I decided to do this procedure with Dr. Immerman. The pain is manageable, the only thing that is kind of a pain are these drains. It’s hard to find comfortable positioning. However I know that these are necessary for my healing. Not much blood on the bandages when I took them off. No leakage from the wound etc.

Will keep the updates coming. But I feel I’m doing pretty well so far. It will only get better!
 
#9
T
1st day on your road to never dealing with this again. I didnt look for like a week but im a giant baby. You may want to take pics for reference. My kids who are both 3 always say i want to see the daddy butt pic...kinda cute but all i think is i hope they dont get it.

My wife said the swelling would go down every day. I also posted a 2 week pic i think and i have some now and will eventually post em but its like nothing happened and all i have is the scar which is fine by me.

May your 1st poop and travel home be uneventful.
Lol thanks! I hope they are uneventful as well!
 
#10
Day 3- I pooped today. I was scared to but I did it. I actually sat down normally. Since my wound is pretty close to the anus it was a little awkward wiping. There’s not a lot of room to wipe and I had to be very careful. When I was done I had my wife clean all around with a wet wipe just to be safe.

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Immerman. This will be the last time I see him unless of course there are any issues. Which I pray to god there are not! He wants me to keep him updated weekly with pictures. He also said for me to sit as much as possible. He said that it keeps the cheeks from coming together and creating folds. It also helps circulate air around the area. Most of the doctors before have told me to not sit this quickly. However I’m going to listen to Dr. Immerman as he is a master of his craft. It still doesn’t feel great to sit, I will be honest. I’m doing It as much as possible but it’s just the whole mental aspect of it all I think. I’m afraid I’m going to rip open the wound.

He said overall the wound looks good given that it’s only been 2 days post op. He usually sees patients 5-7 days after but since I have to head home this is my only opportunity. He had to replace one of the steri strips at the bottom because I guess when I pooped it got some on there. He said this is normal and it’s nothing to be concerned with.

He said after about 1 week I no longer need to use gauze over the wound as long as there is no leakage. I will also remove the drain after 1 week as long as I’m under 20 ml a day. Once the drain is removed my hole will close within about 10-14 days. He said I need to keep a piece of gauze in between my cheeks for about 6 weeks to allow the air to get in and to prevent folds from creating.

Overall I am still sore, but I’m managing. It hurts the most when sitting and when my wife cleans the drain because it kind of tugs on my skin. I think the pain is a little less with this surgery compared to my previous ones. Being in another state and having to travel most of the day has me a little anxious. I’m also anxious about wearing these drains out in public. I will just hide them the best I can.

My flight leaves at 8 am tomorrow so I will be up very early. More updates to come as they happen.
 
#11
Good luck flying home. Could not imagine having to travel like you and many others, but it will be worth it.

My doc said sitting would help too and do as much as I could handle, so id listen to these docs.

Thanks for keeping this log.
 
#13
whattt! both your surgeons said you should sit as much as possible? Mine has said multiple times to avoid sitting....

How depressing
Well i dont think they meant for hours on end every day, but try to get in 5-10 min here or there a few times a day as you feel comfortable because it aides in the healing/recovery. Sounds like jon sat much more than me and earlier. I didnt sit normal to poop for a few weeks. More out of fear than pain after the 1st few days. Every surgeon has their own opinions on what has been successful for them.
 
#14
Day 4- Well today was not my idea of fun. I woke up at the hotel at 4:00 AM. Our hotel was about 80 miles from the nearest airport which is Minneapolis. Our flight departed at 8. I wanted to allow plenty of time because I’m not the quickest mover at the moment plus we had to take our rental car back. I ate breakfast at 4:30 and took my pills. We were out by about 5 am. My wife drove and I did my best to sit upright for as long as I could. I ended up reclining the passenger seat and laid down on my side after about 15 min.

The flights were not too uncomfortable. Of course I worried while sitting for so long. The walking in airports and sitting on the plane was not my favorite thing to do but I managed. I think my legs felt worse than my butt. I think I put a lot of pressure on them to keep all the weight off my wound. If that makes sense? So I had a little bit of cramping. I had two fights so I sat quite a bit. Didn’t really have a choice. I mean I am somewhat sore from the whole ordeal but I did just have surgery on Tuesday. I will think it’s to be expected. But overall I feel ok.

My wound site is still intact but a little red. I still haven’t looked. Just going off what he wife says. Now that we are home, she’s not all mine anymore lol. My daughter and I have to take turns getting babied. When I got home I pooped again. Won’t mention anymore pooping from here on out unless I experience an issue. I then jumped in the shower. My wife has to assist me with showering because I can’t hold the drains and clean myself at the same time. Nor can I dry off with just one hand. She’s a super hero in my book.

I’m not producing much fluid from the drains at all. Which is good. I’m only producing about 10 ml or less. I asked my doctor and he said he still would like me to keep them in for 1 week. So I plan to take them out Tuesday. One of my best friends wife is a nurse practitioner and she is going to remove them for me. She says she does it all the time and it won’t be a problem. I’ve heard many people say they just take them out themselves or have their spouse/ Mom so it. I don’t feel comfortable with that idea.

So today wasn’t fun but I got through it. My mood goes up and down. Not so much from pain I just am the type of person who doesn’t like having to rely so much on other ppl. Plus I have a 1 year old who I can’t really fully take care of. I know it’ll all be over soon. So I try and tell myself that. I’m still pleased with my results and so happy I did this. I’m not looking forward to going back to work Monday though.

On a side note- has anyone else experienced lack of appetite after surgery?
 
#15
Those who help us with this are amazing. Only us and them truly know what its like.

In a few days you wont have to rely on anyone to help take care of you. Think of the many months of dressing changes your wife will now not have to do bc of the cleft lift. My wife had 3 yrs of that bs before i found my solution and my mom around 3 yrs as well. I didnt have a drain bc thats what my doc prefers so as soon as yours is gone youll be free!

No lack of appetitie for me.
 
#16
Day 4- Well today was not my idea of fun. I woke up at the hotel at 4:00 AM. Our hotel was about 80 miles from the nearest airport which is Minneapolis. Our flight departed at 8. I wanted to allow plenty of time because I’m not the quickest mover at the moment plus we had to take our rental car back. I ate breakfast at 4:30 and took my pills. We were out by about 5 am. My wife drove and I did my best to sit upright for as long as I could. I ended up reclining the passenger seat and laid down on my side after about 15 min.

The flights were not too uncomfortable. Of course I worried while sitting for so long. The walking in airports and sitting on the plane was not my favorite thing to do but I managed. I think my legs felt worse than my butt. I think I put a lot of pressure on them to keep all the weight off my wound. If that makes sense? So I had a little bit of cramping. I had two fights so I sat quite a bit. Didn’t really have a choice. I mean I am somewhat sore from the whole ordeal but I did just have surgery on Tuesday. I will think it’s to be expected. But overall I feel ok.

My wound site is still intact but a little red. I still haven’t looked. Just going off what he wife says. Now that we are home, she’s not all mine anymore lol. My daughter and I have to take turns getting babied. When I got home I pooped again. Won’t mention anymore pooping from here on out unless I experience an issue. I then jumped in the shower. My wife has to assist me with showering because I can’t hold the drains and clean myself at the same time. Nor can I dry off with just one hand. She’s a super hero in my book.

I’m not producing much fluid from the drains at all. Which is good. I’m only producing about 10 ml or less. I asked my doctor and he said he still would like me to keep them in for 1 week. So I plan to take them out Tuesday. One of my best friends wife is a nurse practitioner and she is going to remove them for me. She says she does it all the time and it won’t be a problem. I’ve heard many people say they just take them out themselves or have their spouse/ Mom so it. I don’t feel comfortable with that idea.

So today wasn’t fun but I got through it. My mood goes up and down. Not so much from pain I just am the type of person who doesn’t like having to rely so much on other ppl. Plus I have a 1 year old who I can’t really fully take care of. I know it’ll all be over soon. So I try and tell myself that. I’m still pleased with my results and so happy I did this. I’m not looking forward to going back to work Monday though.

On a side note- has anyone else experienced lack of appetite after surgery?
I've actually been experiencing a lack of appetite. I don't have hunger pangs anymore for the time being, but generally I start thinking about food constantly and then I realize I should eat. I've been trying to eat small meals or snacks every 3 or 4 hours to keep up.
 
#17
I've actually been experiencing a lack of appetite. I don't have hunger pangs anymore for the time being, but generally I start thinking about food constantly and then I realize I should eat. I've been trying to eat small meals or snacks every 3 or 4 hours to keep up.
That’s how I feel too. I also try and eat 3-4 small meals but I can’t eat a full meal like normal. I don’t know it’s weird. I go back to work Monday. Will just have to do the best I can. I only took 1 week off.
 
#18
Oh wow, that sucks. )-: good luck! I'm sure the first few days will suck but once you get used to it, it'll be okay. Have you thought about getting a coccyx cushion?
 
#20
Yes I actually have had one for several months now. It helps that’s for sure.
I just got caught up on your story. I’m so glad things are going well. I hope my sons goes as well

I don’t recall getting instructions to clean the incision with a wet towel? I thought I saw that somewhere in the comments?

I’ll be praying for you and please pray for my sons recovery !