Last week I had an interesting experience and it was very helpful for me as I look forward to my own surgery. I visited a patient who just had Sleeve surgery with my surgeon and got to help her be discharged from the hospital.
We have a FB group made specifically for patients at our hospital. No Drs or Nurses are involved, it's just for patient support since we all have the same clinic guidelines and education we can help each other. A woman posted Tuesday morning that she was getting her Sleeve surgery that afternoon and she was all alone. She travelled from a different part of the state to be here - about 300 miles. All of her family are in another state even further away and she was going to be completely alone for a week and staying in a hotel. That broke my heart.
I live very close to the hospital (less than 2 miles) and I reached out to her and said I would be happy to come visit her on Wednesday afternoon. No one should have to go through this alone. When I arrived it turned out the lady was ready to be discharged and was already packing her bags. Since she had the sleeve it was just one overnight for her and she was good to go.
She was staying at a hotel that is just a couple blocks from the hospital and they sent a shuttle to pick us up. I carried her bags. She had already checked in to the hotel before the surgery and had the room filled up with protein drinks, water, soups, broths. The hotel had a little refrigerator for her and a microwave. She was all set up.
After getting back to the hotel she was still feeling really good so we took a walk down to the drug store and got her prescriptions filled. Returning to the room we chatted a while until she was eventually ready for a nap.
She spent a couple days recuperating and I visited her again on Saturday and she left Sunday to finish her recovery staying with a friend in another city further away. She will have her 2 week post-op check later this week and fly home after that.
All in all I found it very helpful for ME to see what my experience might be like. I will have 2 nights in the hospital because I am getting RNY and she got the Sleeve. It was a nice way for me to see the behind the scenes action from the view of a patient. Seeing the recovery room, the location we would be in the huge hospital campus, met a couple nurses who were assisting her. Seeing how well she was feeling the very next day was amazing! I could not believe how good she was feeling and ready to walk to the pharmacy. She wasn't feeling nauseous or in pain so that really gives me hope I will have a good experience myself and will not be completely incapacitated. Talking to her the next few days was good to hear about the liquid diet, the things she was enjoying and not enjoying drinking. Hearing about her sleep and sleeping positions. She had a really good attitude and I think that also makes a lot of difference.
Overall it was a good experience for me to help her and I hope I made her recovery a little easier being in a strange city all alone. I now feel more prepared than ever for my turn on the Losers Bench!