Transplant Day 62 and recovery is hard

I didn’t update yesterday because hands were full and because there wasn’t too much to say. The first 2 or 3 days after any intestinal surgery are kind of miserable. Bellies hurt when you mess with them. So this time around, Patrick’s nurses have been pretty good about staying on top of pain medicine. His pain has been better with that help. The morphine makes him itchy and sleepy. The other medicine, called Roxy, seems to work very well and when it’s in his system he rests. But it’s not IV so you have to hope his belly can handle it when you give it. Mostly, he just slept yesterday.

In order to reduce infection, they didn’t entirely close Patrick’s incision from his stoma. The muscle wall is stitched closed, but the skin layer is “packed.” That means it’s stuffed with sterile saline soaked gauze and has a gauze over the top. The gauze has to be changed twice a day. Patrick pulls his shirt up over their head so he doesn’t see while they do this. The is definitely the more painful route. But it has proved better healing overall.

Brian held him most of the morning yesterday. Then he moved to the bed and I snuggled him all afternoon while Brian worked. I caught up a bit on my missed episodes in Hulu. And i started listening to an ebook with my new bluetooth headphones. (Love that my Christmas presents are making this hospital stay feel a little more comfortable. With my new backpack and winter clothes I feel much less like a vagrant wandering through the hospital.)

Patrick woke up feeling a bit better and played on the bed for most of the evening. It took till 11 for him to finally fall asleep again.

Today hasn’t been as comfortable. It takes days for the bowel to wake after surgery. Especially with pain medicines in the system. So, without anywhere else to go, his belly juices started to back up and he started throwing up this morning. They finally put his g-tube to suction this morning and he seems to be feeling much better now.

The good news is that his gut is gurgling from time to time and so far it seems like his body is on the road to healing well. It’s just hard for the first few days.

Hopefully we can keep the status quo today. Maybe even get Patrick back to sleep as being tired and being on steroids really does make him not feel like himself. I’m going to be an optimist and post this update now hoping that there won’t be any more big news today.

Tomorrow is a new day and a new year.


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