Surgery #6 – Day 5

Today in Cincinnati…well, it was a quiet day.  Overnight Zack had some output – YAY!  He also had pain which we just attributed to his bowels waking up and moving again.  When the surgical team and pain team arrived in the morning, they decided that Zack could have his catheter out, get off his PCA and start clear liquids.  Zack was pretty happy about that!  Nobody was too worried that his belly hurt.


Excuse the blurry picture.  Here is Zack having his first sips of liquid in 5 days.

I think I have mentioned before that Zack does not like to be in his bed any longer than necessary at the hospital.  He wants up and out and into a chair as soon as possible.  After going on a very short walk this morning, Zack asked to get back into his bed because his tummy hurt.  Again, we were not worried.  While he was getting his first drink, he remained on his back and just turned his head to get a sip.  Odd, but he asked for jello as soon as he was done.

We tried to get him out of bed again for a walk and he started complaining of his “pain”.  He was telling us he needed pain medicine and that his belly hurt.  We kept telling him it was gas and that walking would help.

At noon his surgeon came in to see him.  She said, “Zack, you look pale.”  Then she looked at his abdomen and said, “Zack, your tummy looks like a drum.  No more sips for you today.”  Zack did not complain.  He just told her that he thought he had overdone it yesterday and that it was probably the jello hurting his tummy.


How Zack looked most of today.

Zack’s doctor told us that she thinks Zack is full of air.  She reminded us of how extensive Zack’s surgery was and that this was not a setback, but that we just need to slow things down for him.  His body is still waking up from surgery.  Yesterday the NG tube was still helping to remove air and fluid from his belly, today Zack’s body is all on its own.

Since the pain team had already pulled the PCA, they ordered IV Tylenol, Robaxin (muscle relaxer) and Valium.  He can also get Dilaudid as needed, but since that is a narcotic, we are trying to keep him off of it.  Narcotics slow down the bowel and we need it to move.  Zack went from asking everyone who entered his room for food yesterday to asking everyone who entered his room for pain medicine today.


Zack after getting his requested pain medicine.

Happily, he is still getting some output from below.  He is able to empty his bladder.  We just had to slow down today and rest.  We asked Z’s surgeon what her estimated timeline for Zack was today and she was hesitant to give us one.  Smart lady.  She did say that Zack has to wait until his abdomen is as flat as a pancake again before he can go back to sipping clears.  We are hopeful that will be tomorrow.

As much as I hate to be wrong, we did not make our Wednesday discharge date.  However, I am thankful that Zack is right where he needs to be as an inpatient right now.  The last thing we want to do is to be discharged too early.  It looks now like the earliest we can expect for that to happen is on Friday.  We are not in any hurry and are grateful to have Zack here in Cincinnati.

Remember how I said I always have a song in my head?  Well, this week I have another David Crowder song stuck in my head.

It’s about God holding on to us in the middle of the storms of life.  It keeps popping into my head and bringing me peace and I like that.  Looking forward to a great day tomorrow.  Hug your babies.

~ Dawn

3 thoughts on “Surgery #6 – Day 5

  1. Progress is being made. Just seems to be slower than we’d (especially Zack) like. We’ll keep up the prayers. Love and hugs

  2. Hi Dawn,
    I work with your sister Caren and have been following your journey to get Zack healthy. Your last blog closing – “hug your babies” gets to the real core of it all- Love as much as you can as often as you can. Today, 9/11, Secretary Kerry put out a statement regarding the losses our country and department have expereinced. On this day of rememberance he closed with a quote which applies to all of us in so many ways and I leave it here for you: “Every day is extra. Life can change and even end in a minute, so those of us who are lucky to have today and many more days must make the most of those extra days, our extra days.” My prayer is that Zach has many extra days – he is one tough little guy.

  3. Dawn, I have Zack in my heart all the time. He is precious and it hurts to see him in pain. Hug him for me. He doesn’t know me, but in my own way, I love him too. You are a wonderful mom. Hang in there.

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