It was 3:00 a.m. on the day after surgery, and I was awake in bed. So I decided to ask the night-shift nurse if I could get up and walk, and she said sure. She unhooked my compression socks from the machine at the foot of the bed, unplugged my IV stand from the wall (to go on battery), and we proceeded to take a walk down the hall – and went a slightly further distance than my first walk (about 12 hours prior).
It felt good. I was trying to get my recovery moving along, you know, get the blood circulating. We walked all the way to the “window” this time and back. I wanted to go further, but she lowered my expectations and said that’s enough for now.
Later that morning, a doctor stopped by and upgraded my diet from all liquid to something called – I think – liquid extended. I was told I couldn’t get upgraded to the “soft” menu until I passed some major gas, which I did later that day (Day 2) about 4:00 in the afternoon. After that, the nurse upgraded me to “Soft” for dinner, and I had some Tilapia fish and cooked carrots etc.
SIDEBAR: When I was more or less confined to being on my back in bed all day, I developed some minor pain in the heels of my feet. On a normal day – outside the hospital – you move around and you rotate your body during the day and while sleeping too, but after long, extended periods of being on your back, you get a pain in the heels of your feet – at least I did. You squirm and try to move them a little this way or that, just to change it up, and it helps, but there’s only so much range of motion you can get away with. You’re on your back like a turtle on its shell. This odd-heel discomfort lasted all the way through the first week while I was at home, since I had a catheter installed and couldn’t roll over at night. It dissipated completely (for me) when I got out of bed and started moving around.
The floor nurse on duty told me I probably won’t have a bowel movement during my 2 night stay in the hospital, and she is speaking from experience. Little did I know that it would be a few more days until my first post surgical BM at home.
Family came to see me that morning, and I was up and walking around pretty much by that time. I felt like standing-walking so much more. Still on an IV drip, still on the Foley catheter bag, but feeling better and this is probably directly attributable to the laparoscopic form of surgery. My doc said blood loss is like 100 CC’s on the da Vinci versus the one liter or so on conventional or open prostate surgery.
My stomach still seems bloated, not my whole stomach, but just the area around the belly button. This appears to be what’s happening: the surgeon expands your abdominal cavity with CO2 for the da Vinci surgery to see the operating field more clearly, so this may be the primary cause for bloating. Secondarily there is the swelling around the belly button due to the incision there. This is probably swelling resulting from the 1 inch incision made by the surgeon to remove the prostate gland. See my post on Will cancer cells spill into my body when the doctor removes it during surgery?
Had visitors all day, then it was a very restful night on Day 2. I closed the door to my room “half-way” and slept very well that night. Gaseous-bloating of the bowel area was reduced, and this was my 2nd night in a new place, so I slept very well. Tomorrow is discharge day. I could have gone home after one night, they were ready to discharge me, but I stayed 2 nights – call it odd, but I was getting great care in the hospital, so I stayed.
Click here to read One Day Before Radical Prostatectomy Surgery.
Click here to read Surgery Day for da Vinci Radical Prostatectomy.