A Week of Hospital Recovery – Day 5

December 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Acute Hospital Care

A Week of Hospital Recovery - Day 5What does a typical week long hospital stay look like?  Here is a day-by-day schedule of our most recent visit.  The patient is Jessica and the treatment was surgery to remove part of the intestine.


Day 5

This is the first morning the patient woke up in her new room.  Patient presents similar to day 4.  She is alert to her surroundings with normal blood work.  Breathing remains slightly labored but is improved over the previous day.

Although patient is creating urine effectively, the amount of fluid is still higher than ideal for this stage of the recovery.  Catheter reinserted to assist in taking off fluid.

Signs of increased strength and endurance during today’s (two) therapy sessions.  During the first session, patient completed a handful of short walks.  During second session, patient stood for several minutes, rested, and then walked around the whole unit (about 400 feet).

Patient demonstrates slight control of bowels.  She is sometimes able to make it to the bathroom.  And the best news of all… the patient produces stool when going to the bathroom.

Patient is getting closer to being discharged.  Passing stool was the first barrier, but patient is currently carrying too much fluid and needs to show more consistency in moving about, and managing her bowels.


Our Thoughts

We recently potty trained our three year old.  For her the ultimate goal is to “poop on the potty.”  She is several months into being potty trained, but she still gets excited when she poops.  She’ll yell “mommy I pooped” or “daddy I pooped” until someone comes in the bathroom and praises her for the wonderful trophy floating in the toilet.

It’s strange being that excited about your spouse’s bathroom habits.  Since day 1, the biggest barometer of success was a healthy poop.  I wasn’t present for Jessica’s first poop, but I was every bit as excited about it as I was for Charlotte’s.

Immediately after surgery, Jess looked like a person who had been pumped with fluid.  She was bloated everywhere.  By day 5, the fluid had come off her upper body and was only noticeable in her ankles.

The first few days her pain management was great.  As we closed in on a week of recovery, the pain in the incision area had grown.  She now required pain meds to get through her day.

I remained firm in my belief that Jess would go straight home after the hospital.  For those with less experience, a nursing home would have also been an appropriate placement until she gained the strength to get around better.  The fact that she was able to walk a bit secured her ticket home.

At this point everyone is ready for the hospital stay to end.  Jess wants to come home and the family is tired of the constant running around that is hospital living.  It is now five days until Christmas.  I hoped we were able to get home in time to clean up the house and finish the shopping.  At this point, discharge was simply a matter of eating solids and maintaining appropriate equilibrium in all her body systems.



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