Wednesday, December 17, 2008

First post since surgery

I had my gastric bypass surgery on Monday, Dec 8 but things did not go exactly as expected. I spent the entire day in recovery having difficulty waking up and breathing. In hind sight this may have been the result of me being sick with a pretty significant viral cold in the ten days prior to the surgery. I do not think my lungs were as clear as I probably needed them to be prior to surgery. Going into the hospital I felt strong enough, just coughing a lot.

By that night my fever was up and my blood pressure was dropping. The doctors determined the best thing to do was go back in and look for a leak. The symptoms were classic for a leak. So, 7 AM on Tuesday I was back in surgery ... another round of sedation, intubation and reopening five of the six laproscopic sites. Fortunately they did not find any indication of a leak but better to err on the side of caution was fine with me.

I spent Tuesday in recovery as well. My poor daughter had taken off work but spent the first two days hanging out in the waiting room. I was originally to be released on Wednesday but instead it was another day of just trying to regain my strength. I was worthless in trying to communicate with anyone. I was too tired to take calls or return ones either. I just wanted to sleep - and avoid coughing!!

The most difficult thing during this time was the fact that I was not allowed to have anything by mouth. No sips of water. No ice chips. Nothing. So, from midnight on Sunday until 8:30 PM on Thursday I found myself desperate for moisture. I was allowed to brush my teeth with a serious warning to not allow anything go down my throat. Given how sore I was at the time I knew I did not want to risk nausea. After I started being allowed liquids I immediately began to feel my strength returning. I was released from the hospital on Saturday.

My parents stayed with me until Tuesday morning. By that time I felt strong enough to care for myself. My focus is on staying adequately hydrated. I am on a full liquid diet for 14 days.

Because my stomach pouch is so small I have to be very careful getting in the liquids as well as my prescribed medications. For the first few days I was not to take more than 1 oz every 15 minutes for a total of four ounces an hour. Because of my allergies we have faced a challenge getting a pain med that is effective yet small enough to swallow. I was supposed to crush the tablets but they made everything so bitter I could not handle it. I took a pill cutter and sliced the tabs into eighths. Then it took an hour to get the equivalent of one pill down. Fortunately I have a pretty high pain tolerance but I have still faced some tough hours.

I am writing all of this out since I know I will soon forget the details and I think it will be interesting to read this in the months to come and be grateful for how far I have progressed.

Currently I am able to "eat" sugar free Jello, high protein smoothies, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup broth, broccoli/cheese soup, Crystal Light, sugar free Koolaid, water. Woo!! Oh, yeah. I am also drinking sugar free Carnation Instant Breakfast which is the best! And, I drink Boost. So far I have not had any nausea for which I am very grateful.

I am giving myself a shot in the stomach each day of a blood thinner to prevent blood clots associated with abdominal surgery. I am taking antibiotics 3X day. I use my spectrometer breathing machine several times a day to strengthen my lungs. I probably should be walking more but the weather outside has gotten so cold my exercise is limited to my trips back and forth to the bathroom.

The most painful location is on the left side internally, half way between my breast and my hip. I do not know if that is where the sewn up side of the larger stomach portion sits or maybe it is where the intestines were cut. Regardless, I find wearing a wrap around velcor binder to help with the pain.


Chrissie said...

Well I'm glad you made it safely through surgery. It all sounds so very painful. Thanks for sharing your experience on here. I think this is important not just for you, but others who will read so they know what it is really like no sugar coating.
Take care, Chrissie

Peaceful Epiphany said...

Hello there! I am a new follower. I found your blog through my friend Jeanne. She knew I would be interested because back in 2000, I too had gastric bypass surgery. (rouex-en-y total disection) I weighed 375 pounds before surgery. I lost close to 200 pounds and gained two beautiful girls in the process. :) I now weigh 240 and am in the process of re-losing that "baby weight". LOL.

I have a weight loss (and a family) blog here on blogger....if you are interested in following my blogs, just email me. ( I will be happy to add you to mine.

Good luck to you! The first 3 months are the most difficult with the food restrictions and re-learning your new stomach, but it's also the most rewarding. I lost my first 100 pounds the first 6 months!! I know you can do this!


Missie said...

I wish you a fast recovery. I'm looking forward to reading your about your journey. I've decided to have gastric bypass myself.

a corgi said...

what a nightmare Donna! I know the surgery is a good one; sorry you had all those complications though! looking forward to reading your progress in the months ahead