Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Day After

The day after my ER (Thursday, 6.2.16), my pain was low/moderate, but I was not feeling 100%. One of my friends had a really hard time after her recovery (bed rest for a week), and I've read many accounts from women who suffered from OHSS, so I was pretty blessed to feel as well as I did. 

I gained 3.2 lb. within 24 hours (3.6 lb. total within 48 hours), so I called my nurse who told me that weight gain is common after ER, especially with the fluid you receive while you're under anesthesia. I also read that your follicles will fill up with fluid after the ER. The nurse recommended a high protein diet (chicken, Greek yogurt, etc.) and to continue drinking electrolyte drinks over the course of the next 2 weeks. I read on a forum that the sodium (from electrolyte drinks) encourages the cells to retain fluid instead of spilling out into the abdominal cavity. I usually prefer diet sodas, so the idea of drinking tons of sugary sweet Gatorade did not appeal to me, and though I like Smartwater, the electrolyte content is low, so I found Powerade Zero, which has 0 calories and <1 g carbs, and the Fruit Punch is pretty good.

After drinking at least 32 fl. oz. of Powerade a day, I have been steadily dropping the water weight and today (6 days after ER), I am back to my normal weight (before starting stims). I also felt well enough to go back to the gym on Sunday (4 days after ER), though I've been taking it easy on the elliptical and doing low weight/low rep weights. I did have to take Colace for a couple days to get my system back on track. :)

I know I am lucky to have had a pretty easy recovery after ER, as I know that is not always the case. Here are some of my suggestions taken from my own personal experience:

  • Rest. Rest as much as you need to. I recommend staying in bed after you get home from the ER, and possibly the day after if needed.
  • Drink electrolyte drinks. I started out drinking plain water, but found that drinking Powerade (or Gatorade or Propel) helped flush out my system and drop the water weight.
  • Eat protein. Eat lots of protein: eggs, chicken, nuts, Greek yogurt, etc.
  • Go to the bathroom. After drinking all that Gatorade, you're going to be making many trips to the bathroom, but that's ok. Your body is flushing out excess fluids. You also may feel some abdominal cramping which can worsen when you haven't had a bowel movement. After anesthesia, it can take your body awhile to become regular again. My nurse said it was ok to take something gentle like (non-stimulant) Colace (if you are having trouble in that department. 
  • Trust your body. Your body will let you know what you can/can't handle. If you don't feel well, call your nurse. Keep track of your weight, body temperature, etc. so you have a reference. Take pain medication if needed, and stop when it's not needed anymore. If you are up to it, and the doctor says it's ok, start going back to the gym or walking your dog...just don't do too much too quickly.
I realized today that I am feeling pretty good; dare I say, back to normal? I'm glad I'm giving my body a chance to recover a bit before having to start more injections to prep for the FET!

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