At this time next week, I will be flying to Tampa, Florida, in preparation for my BCIR surgery on June 5th. My boyfriend and I are leaving Philly on June 2nd to spend two days in St. Petersburg before my admission day. We splurged on a nice hotel on Treasure Island overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. I'm hoping these two days will be relaxing and I can squeeze whatever possible enjoyment I can before the craziness that will ensue over the rest of June. Over the last couple of weeks I've been anxious, petrified, and excited all at once. The day I got my admission packet in the mail I burst into tears after I opened it and read everything. I consider myself a badass when it comes to this stuff, but when I saw it all on paper it overwhelmed me.
If any of the above makes sense to you, it will give you an idea of how my days will be spent. It's helpful to have my daily goals in mind ahead of time. Popsicle day definitely looks like it will get me through the first week. SERIOUSLY. That popsicle will look like filet after not eating for 10+ days. What I'm not looking forward to? That rather than previous surgeries, my wound will be sealed with staples. This means that my incision will likely not be as "nice" as it looks now since the last surgery that closed my wound with fancy glue. Also, the removal of the penrose drain because it fucking hurts and it will be done the day AFTER I'm removed from IV pain meds. I've never had a gastric tube but I can't imagine the removal of that will be fun.
So what will my life look like when I go home? A lot of "work".
My first week, and two days before discharge, I will empty my pouch ("intubate") every two hours during waking hours. I will have to get up at least once in the middle of my sleep to drain.
Second week: Every three waking hours, no nightly draining.
Third week: Every four hours.
You get the point. By the seventh week, I should only have to intubate every 8 hours. Three to four times a day will be expected.
In the beginning, my internal pouch will be able to hold 50ccs. Once it is fully matured, it will be about to hold about 600-1000 ccs (1 quart).
The whole thing, to be quite honest, is mind blowing. Medicine is mind blowing. The human body is fascinating.
So for now, baby steps. Expect me to post a selfie on popsicle day. Until then...back to stuffing my face.
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