Sunday, August 31, 2008

Things I've Learned

Well I am going into week 4 post op and I am still learning about my "pouch". I have discovered that I need to eat very slowly because if I eat too fast I become full before I know it. I've had a bite in my mouth being chewed up when I get that full feeling and decide to swallow it anyways, big mistake! Twice now I've had to run up to the bathroom where I lose whatever I ate. The puking is not as bad as the pain that occurs before I puke! I feel like someone hit me with a baseball bat where my diaghram is and I can't get a breathe in. The more I try to relieve it the more it hurts until I throw up. Once I throw up the pain is gone instantly.

On another note I also thought I had hit a plateau which is normal while your body tries to adjust. For a few days I was stuck on this one pound I was trying to lose, then overnight I lost 2 lbs lol. I have now lost 40 lbs in just 3 weeks! That is the most I have ever lost in any weight loss attempt. The last time I lost 40 lbs was through Weight Watchers about 15 years ago and it took me about a year to lose it lol.

I am feeling thinner and so much more healthy. I have noticed my carpal tunnel syndrome seems to be gone! I can do things without being out of breathe or tired now too! My scar is healing but right now it's itchy because the skin around it is peeling.

So anyways, I've learned that I have to eat SLOWLY and that plateaus do pass. Oh and one more thing....if you get that full feeling do not drink anything! It will make it a hundred times worse lol. This is hard to do too because I am always thirsty and that full feeling can last hours!

Until next time I post, have a great day!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Well, I saw Dr Hendrick on tuesday. He said it looked like I am doing really well. I had half my staples taken out, the other half will be next week. The drainage tube was also removed and I feel so freeeeeeee!

Since then I have been getting on the scale and amazed at the numbers already. I started out at I think 306 lbs and the surgery made me swell to 315, now I am 285 lbs! I feel thinner too and have to keep making my binder tighter.

I've had a concern since yesterday though. I started to feel like I had this lump inside me, around my diaphragm. When I ate something I felt too full, for hours. Today it feels like I have this fist trying to push my insides out....I have no clue what it is but it lasted all day. If it does go away it's for like a minute or so, that's it.

I was hoping not to have to call my surgeon but I think I will tomorrow. It's making me not even want to eat at all, or even drink.

Also, I have a slight surface infection where the drain was but I keep getting air to it and alcohol. I will post again once I find out what this other problem is. I'm deathly afraid of it being a hernia and needing more surgery....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

6 Days Post-Op

Well here is it Sunday afternoon, 6 days after having had my RNY surgery. I am still on a full clear liquid only diet which doesn't bother me as I am not hungry at all! I am mostly sipping either a water bottle or a glass of 50% water, 50% white grape juice (or apple). Today I tried a couple of sips of a protein shake as I still have not moved my bowels. This might seem like too much info but it's very important to avoid any bowel obstruction. My bowels have never worked regular so this does not surprise me.

My surgeon had told me to take some milk of magnesia if I didn't have a BM by friday. I did that, several times, nothing! MOM is the grossest tasting thing too! I've been gassy which can be anywhere from slightly uncomfortable to really painful. It took me until yesterday to be able to pass gas lol. I know the anesthetic deadens the bowels so it's vital to get them moving asap after surgery but they must be alive if I can pass gas now!

I feel better every single day. The first two were the most challenging as I was sore enough to need help getting up. It wasn't a bad excruciating pain though, just real sore moving certain ways. I will tell you that laughing is not a funny matter! My daughter and I were watching Family Guy on tv and one part made me burst out laughing without thinking. OMG, I thought I ripped my guts wide open! I told my daughter to stop laughing cuz I was in pain but she kept laughing which made me laugh more. Needless to say I had to take some pain meds right after that lol.

When I do feel a bit stiff or sore I get up and walk laps. It really helps to move. I've been trying to sip fluids but can't fit much in, a sip or two and I am full. I know when I am full cuz I tend to hiccup if I had too much or drank too fast lol. It kinda hurts though, like food stuck in the esophogus if you swallow a bite too large to go down right.

I hate wearing this binder around me but am grateful for its support at the same time. I also hate the leg compressors my surgeon wants me to wear for now but I am trying to follow all he wants me to do.

I go see the surgeon on Tuesday morning. I think he will be taking 1/2 my staples out by then. I took some pics of my tummy with the staples, not a pretty picture right now, but I want to document everything. I know it will all get better as time goes on.

Every day I feel better, stronger, more alive. I had gained about 15 lbs from the surgery, most likely the IV fluids and swelling and lost it all now. I do feel thinner though and I think I can see it in my face, neck, arms and legs. I feel it in my waist but with my tummy all swollen still it's hard to tell.

I am not walking a full mile a day like my surgeon told me to. I couldn't even do that before surgery! I have however worked up from where I was. I figured out online that 2000 steps was a mile so I walk laps around my kitchen/living room. I could only get in 400-500 the first two days. Yesterday I got in 1100 and today I can walk faster and more upright. I haven't finished all my laps yet today but have done 700 so far.

I've noticed today I am irritable. I don't know if it's hormones or just having fluids. It could be hormones though. Everyone warned me that the surgery would bring on my period but I thought it was safe as mine was just 2 weeks ago...oh no though, it came on yesterday, ugh! Not a heavy one thank goodness! It's just one more thing to worry about though!

Anyways, I think that is all I have to report for now. I'm going to go do some laps and maybe that will get my bowels moving lol. Ciao!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Open RNY Surgery, August 4th, 2008

I am home from the hospital and feeling up to posting but I just posted a long recap of my surgery to my site so member could see how I did, so I am just going to paste that post here. Sorry, if I had more energy I would put up more details lol.

I've been too tired since getting home to post much but I am feeling better at the moment so I wanted to share my surgery experience.

I got to Henry Ford hospital (in Wyandotte, Michigan) early. My appointment was for 10:15am but I got there with my mom and 16 year old daughter around 9:15am. My other kids stayed home to help take care of my 7 year old who has special needs. So anyways, we were given a buzzer. The first buzz meant they were asking me to come in and the second was for my family after the surgery was over. I saw Dr Hendrick, my surgeon, come out and speak to Denise's family. Her mom, dad and husband were there...all very nice people! We spoke to them after and heard Denise was doing well. I felt so relieved to hear that. I was called in shortly after that.

The nurses there were sooo wonderful and I was just so amazed at how things are run there. I must say I much prefer there to our Windsor hospitals. The nurses told me that Dr Hendrick was a fantastic doctor but also very serious about his patients following his rules. The nurses also told me that Dr Hendrick has the nicest patients out of all the surgeons there and they always ask him where he finds us lol.

I was fixed up with two IV's, that is what he wants. One bruised me pretty badly but didn't hurt. I then had the team come in to talk to me and then Dr Hendrick. I felt very calm going in. The anesthesiologist gave me something to calm me down anyways and I don't remember anything after that lol.

Next thing I remember is waking up, being told I did really good and was fine. They moved me to my room which I barely remember as I was so groggy. As soon as was possible they allowed my mom and daughter in the room. My mom told me then what Dr Hendrick had told her about my surgery. I guess when he was telling her she burst into tears, my mom is NOT a crier, but I really am fine. First, the surgery took about 2 hours instead of just 1-1.5 hours. My liver was fatty which I kinda expected, all that damned fast food! He also told my mom that I am one of those rare people who grows fatty deposits on the inside of my body as well as the outside of it. He then told her what scared her. He said my uterus is enlarged and as soon as I am well I need to get that checked out. He told me later it could be fibroids but it definitely needs to be checked. I think my mom lost it cuz my aunt, my dad's sister just found out in November she had breast cancer, by January had a double mastectomy and was on chemo and radiation up until last month. So of course my mom was scared it could be cancer or something very serious. My mom has also worked in hospitals and for doctors most of her life so she knows what could go wrong.

The first day I was more or less out of it. Very groggy and slept a lot. By midnight they had me dangle my feet over the edge of the bed, making me a bit dizzy but not bad. I had an On-Q Pain Buster pump attached to me, it sent pain meds right to the incision site. I also had liquid dilaudid in an IV. I also had a binder around me to hold it all in lol.

The nurses were sooooo wonderful, anytime I needed them they were right there and so nice. My parents were up to see me one night and I pressed the button for a nurse. They were amazed she showed up in my room immediately. Back in Windsor you never see that lol.

The second day I started to walk, had my catheter taken out first (no big deal), and walked the length of the hall and back. It's not a small hall either. We had to walk that 10 times a day. They marked it off on a board in our room. I was going to the bathroom ok, voiding that is, no bm yet and if none by friday I have to take some milk of magnesia. I was walking slightly bent over.

Let me tell you what to pack. NOTHING! I seriously never touched my suitcase lol. I was not allowed a shower until I got home and the gowns they had there were so nice and comfy, roomy with no back panel showing ass lol. In other words, they cover you right up. I am normally the type who wants to be in my own clothes but I really didn't mind.

By the third day I was getting ready to go. I was on one of my "walks" when my doctor caught me and sent me to my room so he could talk to me about going home. I tried to sneak past him as he was writing something down but then I heard "Where are you going?" So back to my room I went lol. He asked me if I had any questions which I didn't. I think the only question I ever asked him was if he sutured and stapled, answer was yes. So I was told I could go home anytime. I called my mom up to tell her. The nurses then showed me how to empty the drain that is attached to me, easy as pie and not bad to look at lol. They also made sure I knew how to give myself the Lovenox, blood thinner shots, in my tummy.

I asked for a wheelchair to leave, only cuz I still felt a bit nervous about getting dizzy. My mom helped me into her van and away we went. Easy ride home across the border too!

I came home to everyone being so gentle with me, like I was fragile lol. I've always been a trouper though. My dogs were so happy to see me, my husky kept licking me and staring at me nervously like he wanted to make sure I was ok lol.

Once things settled down I had my boyfriend come help me in the bathroom with things. I was afraid to fall more than anything. He was so good about it all lol. He really didn't mind too much helping me to go or anything but reminded me he MUST love me to do this lol. Then I emptied my drain and gave myself my shot. My boyfriend told me then he was glad I was the independant type because that would have been too much for him lol, he's a bit squeamish!

My first night was not too bad. I slept in my daughter's hospital bed but found the mattress was too soft right now for me so I moved to the couch for now. I have had a bit of pain but it's more like pulled tummy muscles. I am having more of a hard time getting anything in. I take little sips of 50% water 50% pure apple juice. I am awake more now and try to get my walking in. I walk around my kitchen and living room lol, figured out that a mile is about 2000 steps so I am aiming for that right now. I seem to have to pee a lot (tmi I know lol) and not much comes out.

My breathing is getting better but I need to use my breathing apparatus more. See, in open RNY they collapse part of the left lung (or it just collapses on it's own, I forget which) so afterwards I felt short of breathe but the more you do the breathing exercises the better it is.

Anyways, that is my long surgery story lol. Sorry it's so long but I figured it is going to be helpful for those about to have surgery to hear it all from someone who just went through it, while memories are fresh. The pain really isn't that bad and the binder I am wearing helps a lot. The worst pain I have had so far is a huge headache!

So, hope you all got something out of this. I might not feel 100% yet but it's tolerable and I know that day by day I will get better. I go back to my surgeon on Tuesday to get my drain out and half my stitches.

Pretty soon I will be posting my wow moments so stand by!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Surgery Tomorrow!

Well, this is it! Tomorrow I am having RNY Gastric Bypass surgery at Henry Ford hospital in Wyandotte, Michigan. Dr. Steven Hendrick is my surgeon and I sure hope he is on the ball tomorrow lol.

I am starving right now! Been on this liquid diet for a week, yes I cheated a bit but seriously not much. Today was only clear fluids and after midnight I can't even have water! I am nervous but also excited. I think I am more nervous than I'll admit to myself because it is 11:25pm and I am delaying packing! I need to get this done so I can sleep lol. My mom is picking me up and Tanya, my 16 year old is coming with us. Jesse, Katie and Kalli will stay home.

I got to spend time with my whole family today and am so glad I got to enjoy my kids today. They calm me down and always give me that will to fight, to live. I love them more than anything so I know I have no choice but to make it through this.

Well, I should really go and get things ready now. Wish me luck and send up prayers for me to recover quickly and well! Soon I will be able to freely live my life again!!!


Friday, August 1, 2008

Liquid Diet

Well, I've been trying to follow this liquid diet I have to be on the week before surgery and it's been tough. I had a gross protein drink that made me feel so sick so I ended up having nothing but water for 3 days straight. Well, I ended up feeling so weak at work and dizzy and cranky! The good news is that since last week I have now lost 15 lbs! I finally got some good protein drinks from a couple of new friends I met first through OH ( and then I met them in person at the Windsor Weight Loss Surgery Support Group. The protein they gave me tasted really good so I feel much better.

I have a confession however and I want to share it for a reason. Even though I got those protein drinks today and felt better, the 3 days of just water had gotten to me I guess. I cheated and went to Burger King at 1am. I didn't want anyone to catch me eating but I just had that "craving" that I couldn't ignore! I am telling you this because I know some of you have people in your lives (like I do) that will say you can do it on your own. They will say you don 't need the surgery, just stop eating junk!

This is my message to all of you who think I can lose the weight on my own. Being obese is not a social issue as much as it is a disease. We tell alcoholics to go to rehab and we know it is a disease, that they can never touch another drink or they will once again be victims. Being obese is not just a disease, it is so varied in what causes it for each person yet we all feel the same outcomes. We might eat to protect ourselves from the world in larger bodies, we eat for comfort, we eat because the taste of food going down our throats is the best feeling in the world that no drug could even begin to come close to. There are many reason why a person becomes obese, predisposition to obesity (it's just in the genes!), stress, low self-esteem, depression....the list could go on and on and on! Sure we can go on a diet, lose some or most or all of the weight we need to. I can guarantee though that the obese person who loses it through dieting and even exercise will 99% of the time gain it back. Something will trigger it and the addiction is too strong to resist. Food is a basic necessity for life as we all know. An obese person can hide behind that whereas a smoker, drug addict, alcoholic cannot say that they will die without having what they crave. Food on the other hand is something humans need to survive. It's easy then to not give it a second thought or feel as guilty. We also though will not only eat guilt-free in front of everyone but we will later on turn into closet-eaters. Hiding when we eat and how much we eat, raiding the fridge in the middle of the night or getting late snacks at the store so nobody sees us to berate us or make us feel guilty.

So, sure I could diet. I just lost 15 lbs on this liquid diet in a week. My surgery is on Monday however (it's now friday). Without the surgery I can 100% guarantee that those 15 lbs would be back on me within a month, bringing along 5 extra lbs to boot! I've been through it all sooooooo many times over the years! Don't tell me I can do it on my own! I would have already damn it!! Do you think I want to cut my stomach open and rip most of it apart, leaving a little pouch? Do you think I enjoy pain or changing my life forever. The only life I knew since birth and then taking away my one comfort when I need eat until I feel better?! I wish I could do it on my own so much. I wish food didn't have this hold on me!

Ok enough ranting lol. I cheated on this liquid diet but I am not beating myself up over it. One cheat will not kill me and I didn't even finish it, I gave half to my dog lol. I just needed to savor the taste of something good tonight. It was a stressful day at work and then my french bulldog was in respiratory distress and he is in the animal hospital overnight hooked up to IV's. He's ok but I am worried. A lot of things built up and food has always been my comfort.

Well, my surgery is in a few days. I got my prescriptions filled tonight and am basically ready for it now. So the countdown is now on!