Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Post Op Update

YAY! I can finally count myself among those awesome folks known as post-ops! This is going to be a bit of a long update since it’s been a while since I was here last…I promise I’m trying to get better at this…I really am.

For starters as you can see from my last post I broke through that stall at 416 and then on down to under 400 finally and on the morning of surgery I was at 387.5 pounds. That’s 63 pounds lost PRE-OP! I know everyone keeps telling me how proud they are of me for reaching such a goal but a small part of me still is sort of sad that I wasn’t able to go into surgery achieving my surgeons 60 or under BMI goal of 372 pounds. But you know what…I’ll take it.

There is not a lot to tell about the endoscopy which is why I didn’t really make a whole post about it. I went in, had it done, and was ok afterwards (according to my Mom I “woke up” as a “Chatty Cathy.” I say “woke up” because apparently they don’t really put you all the way to sleep…it’s just some kind of short acting cocktail of anesthesia that sort of puts you in a “twilight” state. Not exactly what I wanted to hear since I cringe at anything remotely related to Twilight, ‘tweens, Bella, vampires, and Teenagers—all in that order. ICK.

Leading up to surgery like everyone else I had a few fears. I will tell you that I honestly relied on my faith for this one because I never once thought that I would pass away or anything like that. I knew logically that I have a better chance of being killed by a rabid squirrel rather than dying on that operating table but if I continued on the path that I was previously on being almost 500 pounds that I definitely could end up in a casket or at least on an oxygen tank before my 40th birthday.

Basically I just kept calm and level headed about the entire thing and I found that suited me even better than anything else. I did have to prepare a sheet with phone numbers of friends and family and my insurance info, etc. for my Mom to have just in case she needed that information and I even took the additional step to make a little note on the bottom that if I was incapacitated for any reason that she was to be the sole person to make any life changing or preserving decisions for me.  I think I have told her before (and it’s on my license) that I am an organ donor so that is something that we did not have to cover again.

The morning of surgery we got to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center a few minutes early (had to be there by 9:00 AM and we got there at like 8:50 AM so I had a few minutes to spare and get out of the car). When we got there we let the auxiliary staff (I think that’s what they call the elderly people that help out and volunteer there when they retire) know I was there for surgery and it wasn’t even 5 minutes before they called me back.

First thing they did was check my name, info, make sure I was who I said I was (how many times are they gonna ask you your birthday sheesh!) and then I weighed and had my Mom take my official pre-op picture.

After that I got changed into my Bear Paw Gown (same as I had during the endoscopy on June 1-see small blurb below) and my nurses got my IV started and Dr. Heider came in to see me to go over any last minute questions, etc. Finally they wheeled me off to surgery after I said goodbye to and kissed my Mom and off I went to the operating room to get some sleepy meds and wake up a member of the itty bitty belly committee! Bwahahahaha!

First thing I can remember after coming to was the PAIN! OH GOD THE PAIN! Now I will tell you having never had any other type of surgeries in my life it was WAAAAYYY less than what I had expected (in fact pain was the only thing that I was seriously worried about) but there was still pain none-the-less. I remember someone telling me that they were going to get me something for it and I briefly remember being in recovery at that point. The next thing that I can remember is waking up in my room and my Mom being there and she said I told her again that they hurt me. She said she was just so hurt at that thought and felt so helpless knowing that there was nothing she could do to help her baby (I know that feeling…I remember when she was in the hospital and thinking she looked so small and helpless :-( )

From that point forward I have been pretty lucky to have a smooth journey in terms of post-op life. The first day I was not allowed to have anything by mouth and the only thing that bothered me is just how dry my mouth and throat were. They gave me these swabs that looked like a big pink q-tip and then some that tasted like lemon drops (they had glycerin) on them but once I was able to drink after that horrid leak test, I was all good (SN: That stuff that you drink tastes like LEMON PLEDGE!!! UGHHHHH!).

After the leak test results came back and all was well I was able to start on ice water and later that afternoon they brought me a tray with decaf iced tea, lemon and orange sugar free gelatin (that tasted like hospital), and beef broth. I finished the orange gelatin, took a few sips of the tea, finished my water from earlier, and left the beef broth…it was nasty. (I have found that I only like the broth either from Campbell’s chicken noodle soup or homemade that my Mom makes).

Since I was doing well after seeing both my Bariatric Nurse Denise and my Nutritionist Amanda I was released to go “home” around 4 pm.  My Mom drove us to the Hilton Garden Inn across the street and I spent the rest of the night sipping and resting.

Now I am just a little bit perturbed about the hotel stay.  For one the “best” rate that we could get with a discount from LNRMC for Bariatric Surgery patients was $104 per night. But get this…I think we saw all of FIVE PEOPLE staying at the hotel the entire time I was there. I know it was a holiday and all (July 3-4) but considering they had NO guests virtually you would have thought that we would have been given some sort of a break or at least a better rate.  On top of that when I called downstairs the morning we were to check out to see if I could do a late checkout we were told that the latest that we could do was 12:00 PM! WHAT!?!!?!? SERIOUSLY!!?!?!?! Unless there was a tour bus of nuns that was due to arrive in Mooresville on the Fourth of July I think we quite frankly could have stayed in our room a little longer.  (For the record we only needed to stay until 1:00 PM as I had a friend that came to pick me up to drive me back home. I just wanted to be safe since I was still taking pain meds at this time).

To top it all off since we had to check out early and I didn’t want to overdo it with trying to move bags and stuff to the car my Mom and I went down about 11:15 to take some things to the car. Now before we left I looked carefully at our hotel room and noticed that the “DO NOT DISTURB” sign was promptly displayed. Do you know when we came back (and a lot of stuff was still in the room) that the housekeeping staff was actually cleaning our room! Really? That’s what we’re gonna do now? Just ignore the signs on the door? And when I stopped outside she had the nerve to ask, “Oh is this YOUR room?” No b**ch! I just saw an open doorway and thought I’d stand here with a gaping hole in my face until you noticed me!

Luckily they were out of the room pretty quickly, nothing was missing, and we finished packing, resting, and checked out on schedule at 12 noon. We then waited in the lobby for about an hour and a half until my friend Candace came to drive me back home. Thanks Candy! :-)

Since I’ve been home things have went really well. Today for instance I was able to get in about three bottles of water, my regular meds for blood pressure (back on those since surgery but I am thinking it won’t be long until I am off them for good!), lots of chicken noodle soup broth which seems to soothe my little belly, a sugar free popsicle, and I have even had chewable vitamins. Money is tight right now so I won’t really be able to get my official vitamins that I will be using until next week but somehow I’ll make it work.

I can tell you that no one was more shocked than me when I went to my first follow up appointment with Dr. Heider this am to have my JP Drain removed and saw the scale read 379! 379! 379?!?!? Seriously? An 8.5 pound weight loss in 4 days? OMG how is that even humanly possible? It defies logic I tell you! And yet…I’ll take it any way I can get it! HA!

(Yes…that is a gross blood clot that stayed in the drain until my surgeon took it out as it was too big to pass out when I had to drain it each night)

Everyone keeps telling me how proud they are of me and I of course always say thank you but I still don’t feel it quite yet. I know I’ve done an excellent job but the perfectionist in me will not be satisfied until I reach that first goal and make it to 200 pounds.  But the way things are going, I think it won’t be long until I get there.

Well…I’m tired. I need half of a pain pill (abdominal area still kind of sore when I try to lie down), and I want to see what Mom is up to in the living room. She’s watching her DVR’d “stories” LOL!

I think “Bebe” is starting to shine through and on that note I will leave you with this inspirational poster…

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