Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am alive and one week post-op!!

Its been a week since I received the Sleeve Gastrectomy. Let me tell you about this journey.

After my cheating on Superbowl Sunday, I stayed true to the liquid protein diet for the next two days. It was actually pretty easy those last two days. My weight on the day of my surgery February 9th was 291.4. I had lost 14.4 lbs. Now I will admit I was pretty disappointed. I thought for sure going two weeks of not eating regular food I would surely have lost over 20 lbs. I am over that disappointment.

As of midnight the night before the surgery I was unable to eat or drink anything. I chug-a-lugged an entire bottle of water just as the clock struck 12. My time to check into the hospital was 12:30 p.m. How freaking lucky was that?? If you are an early bird you just can not appreciate that time as well as I did. My friend Bob drove me to the hospital and stayed with me through check in. My weigh in was 292 point something. I was too busy holding my breath to remember what the something was. So technically my weight loss from doctor office visit on January 25th to then was 20 lbs. I was happy with that.

I told everyone that I didn't care to have anyone sit and wait. I actually told Bob that he could just drop me off at the door, but he didn't he came in with me. After they brought me back and was having me change into a hospital gown, Bob left. A few minutes later, my son George showed up. I was totally not expecting him, but was moved to tears to have him there. I had no idea how much that would mean to me, but I was happy to see him. He sat there with me until they wheeled me out of the room. I am not exactly sure what time it was when they took me, I think it was around 3:30.

I do not remember much after the anesthesioligist gave me a shot in my IV, but that the shot hurt. Next thing I remember is waking up. I must have somehow moved to my side. They were telling me that I needed to roll over onto my back. I said no it hurt too much. They said if I rolled over they would give me a shot of morphine. Somehow someway my mind cleared enough to tell them "No, I want di-something dilanding, di.... " "Dilauded?" "YES!! Thats it!" Now I also hear my boys and my mom talking in the background. WTF was my mom doing there? Those of you that know me know that I do not have a very good relationship with my mom. I was unable to talk, my mouth was very very very dry. Someone swabbed my mouth with water. That felt great. Andi, the bariatric nurse I met with prior to surgery, gets major major kudos for telling me about Dilauded. Its 8 times more powerful than morphine. I would have had no way of knowing about it unless she told me. That shit is the BOMB!! I felt NO pain. I felt NO nausea. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ANDI!!!!

I made sure I was awake every single four hours to make sure I got my shot. I told my nurse, if I am asleep, I do not care, wake me up, give me my shot. I am not sure what time I got out of surgery. I think I heard it took about two hours. All I got to drink was 30 ml's of water each hour. That is one ounce. My mouth was sooooo dry that was not nearly enough. I was diligent in drinking my ounce each hour on the hour. My mom brought roses. They were beautiful. She also got each of the kids a stuffed animal to give to me and lots of balloons. That was nice of her.

My night shift nurse was Kurtis. He was very cool. Young and handsome. I should have got a picture of him. Of course I had my laptop there and found a video on Youtube that showed the surgery I received. It was good watching it as it explained why one of the incisions hurt, while the other incisions didn't. Kurtis and my boys watched it with me.

You can watch that video by clicking on this link:

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Kurtis made sure that I got my shots every four hours, George made sure I got my water and anything else I needed. He would make a terrific CNA. The worst part I remember after surgery, was that first moment after waking up and before the pain meds. Next would be the dry mouth. Next would be the pain from the first time getting up. Fortunately for me my son is STRONG. He gave me his strong arm and I was easily able to pull myself up while holding my stomach. Standing up.. holy cow that was another story. Yowza, that hurt. I had to breath through the pain and determined I was not going to attempt that until right after getting my pain meds. Once I got walking the pain subsided. I walked the two feet to the bathroom. Then back to the bed. Everything went well. I need to mention that my very cool nurse Kurtis, added in Toradol, when I mentioned I was having some pain drinking the water. This is a muscle relaxer or something. Let me tell you, if you ever need to go have surgery, REMEMBER THESE NAMES!! I doubt there is anything better than those two mixed together. I was definitely a happy camper!

When morning shift came, I got another young and handsome nurse named Jarvis. I also had a very sexy hot latino CNA Jerry. I really wish I took pictures of them. Around noon, I talked to my nurse and CNA telling them I am pretty sure I am suppose to get more water and something to eat like chicken broth. Neither of them have had a bariatric surgery patient before. They had no idea what my diet was suppose to be. I insisted and Jerry brought me an eight ounce cup of chicken broth. This gave me a chuckle. I told him I am pretty sure I am only suppose to have two ounces. This is ok. I measure out my chicken broth, you just keep bringing me my drugs and we will do just fine. During this time with the increase of water to two ounces, I start feeling some pain each time I drink the water. I mention it to the nurse and the doctor. Neither knew why I was feeling this pain. Only thing I can think of is that my esophagus is still very tender and when the water hits my stomach it causes bubbles and it was hurting my esophagus. I still have this problem.

Andi came in to see me after a bit and asked if I got my little cups of jello, juice and broth. I told her about my asking and getting the cup of chicken broth. Well apparently the nutritionist delivered my little meal but the nurses didn't know it was for me or to give it to me. I was able to choose only two of the three little one ounce cups. I chose the jello and juice. I liked the chicken broth Jerry gave me earlier the best, maybe it was just him. Sexy!

I determined that I was going to leave at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The hospital staff and doctor fortunately agreed. My boys came to the hospital after school and picked me up. I made sure that I got my last shot of Dilauded, then was wheeled down to the pharmacy to pick up my liquid Lortab. I had no problems getting out of the wheel chair or getting into my car. Nor did I have any problems getting up my stairs to my condo. Must have been those drugs.

My bed is very comfy. With great pillow arrangement I was very comfortable. My daughter came over with my grandson to care for me the first couple of days. People warned me that the liquid Lortab tasted horrible. I shooed their concerns away saying I can drink an ounce of just about anything if needed. Well now I know I can because that stuff.. HOLY COW .. was nasty!! I could have up to an ounce of the Lortab, but at first all I could swallow was two teaspoons one mil at a time.

My mom had her acupuncturist come out and give me a treatment. I was skeptical about this. I have never had it done before. But what the hell.. might as well try it right? He stuck several needles in my hands, arms, legs and feet and one in my head. He attached several of the needles to an electrode something or other that sent electric pulses to about 8 of the needles. It didn't hurt, I am not sure it helped, but who knows, maybe if I didn't get it I would feel way worse.

Can you see the needle sticking out of my hairline?

My mom hired a massage therapist to come over and give me a set of five massages. She got a deal for the five of $200. Kristie showed up for the first session on Friday night. I wasn't able to move much, but she came right in and got to work. I just stayed in my bed and she worked around me. She mostly worked on my legs and arms. This felt good. I also figured it would help make sure I didn't get any blood clots by making sure the circulation was working. I had one big knot of gas in my back between the shoulder blades. I was able to roll to my side so she could work on it. She did a fantastic job. She worked as deep or as light as I wanted. Now everyone who gets massages knows that to ensure not to be sore the next day you need to drink a lot of water. Well this wasn't possible AND she got that gas knot moving. Needless to say, I was in some pain the next day, but I figured it was worth it to get that gas moving and out of my system as fast as possible. Kristie came again on Saturday. I was better prepared and had position myself in the middle of my bed and supported by pillows. I also had some healing meditation music playing.

I had taken a shower earlier and felt good. My sons bought me a long handled sponge brush and put their shower head which included a hand held shower head in my shower. The shower was a huge success. The massage was a huge success. The gas moved out of my back and started trying to move its way out. Now that hurt. Fortunately, my mom came to the rescue and brought me Complete Relief Peppermint Oil gel caps. It relieves gas pain. It must worked because the gas pain went away after taking it.

Kristie came back on Tuesday and this time I was able to lay mostly on my tummy so she was able to work on the back of my legs, arms and a full back massage. It felt great. I bought a Tibetan and Chinese mediation album on Carlos' iTunes account. I am sure he has changed his password to his account now. I would definitely recommend the massage. It was great and she did a fantastic job of accommodating my immobility. She does have a massage table, but was perfectly capable of working with me on my bed. If you would like to make an appoint with Kristie you can reach her on her cell at 313-5768. The deal she gave my mom was five treatments for $200. That is a fantastic deal. I think she charges $45 per session otherwise which is also a great deal. She also works out of an office in town if you are more comfortable going to her office. I did get her permission to mention her in my blog.

So lets talk about weight loss. I gave you my pre-surgery weight. Thursday when I got home I weighed myself. I was 300.1 I figured this is from all the IVs and stress of the surgery. Yesterday I made it to the 280s. I was 287.8 yesterday and 286.5 today. I am very happy with this.

Now we will talk about eating. Yesterday I was very happy to eat. Prior to this I could only eat chicken broth comfortably. I did have 2 ounces of cottage cheese with a couple of mandarin orange wedges and that was fine, but yesterday, I had 2 ounces of tomato soup with 3 Ritz whole wheat crackers. Man oh man was that yummy. I still have some soreness with my esophagus and use my massager on my chest right over the pain and it goes away. I really like that I am full after only eating a couple of ounces of food. This is fantastic!

I will say that I have finally let myself relax. The surgeon's nurse told me some people have the surgery on Friday and are back to work on Monday. My mom didn't seem to have any problems after her LapBand surgery, so why was I taking longer. I am pretty sure its because of the different surgery. I am allowing myself the full two weeks to heal. Even then I am only going back to work part time. Fortunately my boss loves me and gives me the afternoon shift. I typically have trouble with mornings, this even pre-surgery, well its worse post-surgery. I definitely feel way better in the afternoons.

There is another person I want to mention that has helped me out tremendously this week. My Managerial Finance project partner Russ. Now this poor unsuspecting kid (a kid to me, but I am sure he is a man in his mind, I'm thinking he is early 20's), conceded to be my project partner only a week prior to the project being due. He already had done a lot of the work on the project before I got involved, then had to deal with me only putting in minimum effort and that effort while being medicated on Lortab. My only part was to do some ratios and write the memo. I did the ratios, but failed miserably on the memo. Fortunately, this kid wanted an A on the assignment so rewrote the memo. We got it turned in on time, and it is one thousand times better than anything I would have turned in myself, if I would even turn something in. I am not sure.. if it was not for Russ I probably would not have turned anything in and just failed the project. Thanks Russ!

My BMI is down 4.4 points!! Only 15.9 points more until I move out of the extreme/morbid obese category.


  1. oh my goodness Dwan, I'm soo glad that you are well and on your way to success. I've been thinking about you, had you in my prayers.

    Now the real journey begins. I'm so glad and happy for you, that I'm smiling while I type.

    Love Aunt Brenda

  2. Dwan you are a true soldier 4 sure~~you did go through alot!! I am so happy its over & the healing is happening now 4 you!! Your kids are so helpful & loving with you,they are great!! So wonderful your Mother was there helping you so much~~I Love her healing methods,she made sure you received what you needed~~she is Awesome!! She loves you so much!!! I Love you too !!! I am so thankful 2 God,your surgery went well!! Always with Love~~Chita~~~~I am so proud of my niece & nephews~`you R Greattttttttttt !!!