Friday, March 18, 2011

6 Weeks Out

Here is my one-month picture next to my before picture. Do I look different?

My first solid food 15 days post-up. It was an omelette and it was yummy!!

So much for blogging my entire journey!! Here I am six weeks out and this is only my second entry since surgery. Here are some "troubles" I have had:

3 instances of food getting stuck. The first two times I just waited it out in pain until the food passed. The third time I gulped water quickly to make myself vomit and it worked. Although it was still mildly painful afterwards. Apparently the opening between the esophagus and the stomach (the stoma) is tiny and if you don't chew your food well enough or take too big of a bite food can get stuck. Not a fun experience at all!

2 instances of feeling like I was going to die from nausea and then violent vomiting for no apparent reason. First time I had just eaten some fish which I guess did not agree with me. It was lowfat and had no sugar so I don't really know what the problem was. Maybe I ate it too fast? The second time I was drinking my protein shake which I drink every morning and suddenly I had to race to the bathroom at work. Maybe too big of a sip? Who knows!

Intestinal virus: Diahrrea and cramping so bad that I was doubled over and moaning in pain. I never had pain like that with an intestinal virus pre-surgery.

*I have lost 41 lbs!!! Woohoo!
*My clothes are baggy.
*I have adjusted to the new eating pattern. It doesn't really bother me anymore to sit down for dinner with the family and eat my tiny amount. It's just part of my life now.
*We went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant and I was able to eat without overeating or getting sick.
*I got a new haircut (bangs) which is fun.
*I am not sweating all the time anymore. In fact, I am hardly sweating at all!
*Everyone tells me how good I look!
*I am getting my energy back so I am able to cook, clean, and resume my other mom duties.
*I went back to work and have had no trouble.
*All in all, I have had very few complications so far and hope it stays that way!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Post Surgery Day 5

Well, I had big plans to blog right after surgery, while I was in the hospital, when I came home, etc., etc. Haha! What a joke! No, blogging did not really cross my mind until today. I finally feel a little bit human again. But who knows how long that will last. So here is a brief overview of my surgery and hospital experience:

Thursday 2/3/11 Day of Surgery
4:00 a.m. Alarm goes off, hit snooze a couple of times
4:20 a.m. Get up and get in shower to wash with that wonderful antibacterial soap
4:54 a.m. Leave for the hospital. I am anxious because we are running a little behind schedule but no one is on the roads so we arrive at
5:27 a.m. and check in to "AM Surgical Admissions"
5:45 a.m. We are called back to the pre-op room.
The timing gets a little hazy here but here are some things that happened: I put on a hospital gown and they give me a little heater to put inside it. Aaaah that feels nice! They want me to get my body temperature up because the OR will be cold. People come in and out and draw blood, hook up my I.V (which stays in place until I am discharged), explain the anesthesia. The surgeon comes in and writes his initials on my belly. Everyone tells me what a good decision I am making. In between all of this Chad and I doze off and on. Next they put something in my I.V. to send me to la-la land and they start wheeling me out of the room to the O.R. Chad claims I said "This is fun!" but I have no recollection of that. Next they were propping me up on towels in preparation to intubate me and put me under. Then they were trying to wake me up "Jennifer, Jennifer!" (no one calls me Jennifer) "You need to wake up. You need to breathe on your own." I said "No!" They finally got me awake enough figure out I needed something for the pain and something for the nausea. I do remember that as they were taking me from recovery (?) to my room one nurse said, "Ok here is a bump we're getting on the internet." No! kidding! She meant elevator and the other nurses laughed at her. Oh, I also remember being moved from one bed to another by a bunch of people, "1, 2, 3 lift!"
Next I have flashes of a family friend trying to talk to me while I was still totally out of it in my room and Chad was there. Nurses poked and prodded and instructed me on using the pain button. Oh!! The pain button was my best friend the next two days!!! So it's about 11 or 11:30a.m. and the rest of that day is a blur of pain, button, bliss, sleep, ice chips, repeat! I actually slept better than I thought I would that night.

Friday 2/4/11 Post Surgery Day 1
The next day was not fun. It was probably my worst day post op so far. They brought me chicken broth to sip and I don't know if that's what caused it or what but I had the worst pressure/pain in my chest. The nurse thought it was from the air they put in you during surgery. Whatever it was, it hurt!! I tried burping, breathing, ice chips, water, and finally getting up and walking. That actually made it worse and by the time we got back to the room I was in tears. Chad comforted me and the nurse gave me something more in my I.V. for the pain. They took out my catheter, took me off oxygen and would have taken the morphine, but decided to leave it since I probably couldn't have swallowed pain pills if I tried. I started feeling marginally better by that evening and my good friend came to visit. She brought me jewelry which I love. :) That night I had a headache most of the night and the morphine was not helping. I also had a fever so they kept waking me to take my temp and use the breathing thingy. The surgeon finally responded to his page and approved me to have tylenol which helped the headache.

Saturday 2/5/11 Post Surgery Day 2
The surgeon did rounds that morning and decided since I had a fever and headache that I should stay for the day and see how I was on his evening rounds. I was fine with that since they left my best friend-pain pump!!! :) I really did not stay awake much in the hospital. I couldn't focus much on T.V. or even try to read. I would fall asleep mid-sentence which I think Chad found funny. Chad got me my laptop once and I tried to focus but eventually just zoned out or fell asleep so he put it away. I remember watching Grey's Anatomy the night of my surgery but I don't remember much about it! When the surgeon came back that afternoon I was fever-free and he approved me for discharge. I had a shower and got dressed (both with Chad's help) got my discharge instructions and a pill-crusher from the nurse and then transport wheeled me to the front of the hospital where Chad was waiting with the van. I fell asleep on the way home. I don't remember much about that evening. I slept in the recliner that night.

Sunday 2/6/11 Post Surgery Day 3
Chad made sure I had what I needed and then went to church for a couple of hours since he has responsibilities there. I rested, sipped, slowly walked, pooped several times, and had some pureed food. That evening our friend brought the kids home. It was kind of wild once they were here, but she was wonderful and had already bathed, fed, and pajamaed them! She had also washed all their clothes and shoes! They were excited to tell me about the super fun time they had spending the weekend there. It was weird not to be unpacking their bags and getting them snack. Chad did that while I stayed in the recliner. It was also weird that I couldn't hug them or hold them in my lap like I usually do. Just small hugs around the neck. Chad put them to bed and I slept in the recliner.

Monday 2/7/11 Post Surgery Day 4
Chad got the kids ready and out the door for school in the morning. He stayed home to take care of me. He was wonderful bringing me drinks and pureeing food. He also did all the laundry including put it away. We watched "Let's Make a Deal" and "The Price is Right" and that was fun. When the kids got off the bus, Chad supervised homework and piano practice. Again, it was weird not to be in charge of that. Another friend from church brought dinner that night for Chad and the boys-KFC! It smelled so good!! Actually Chad pureed some dark meat with cream of mushroom soup, milk, and cheese for me. It was especially yummy! That night Chad got the kids to bed and then went to choir practice. (We sing in a community Masterworks Chorus together.) The kids were amazing and didn't even get out of bed (which never happens) so there was no trouble.

Today: Tuesday 2/8/11 Post Surgery Day 5
Here is a message I sent to a friend which kind of sums up how I am feeling:

Today I was up and moving more and actually talked to my mom on the phone! (I hadn't talked to anyone yet). I am able to use less pain meds now and have soups and soft stuff like yogurt and pudding. My mood goes up and down throughout the day. At times its not so bad, at others I wonder why in the world I thought this would be worth it. (Mostly on the why in the world end, but hoping that improves as I can move more). I feel like I am going through withdrawal from food. It's so weird. I see commercials for food and want to eat it, I dream about food, I see my family eating and feel jealous. I know I can't have it and if I did I would probably be in a lot of pain so hopefully once the "withdrawal" is over I will not feel so many cravings.

Actually what I didn't say in the message was that I called my mom bawling because I didn't feel "full" after I ate. My mom really didn't know what to tell me except to talk to the surgeon about it. I was convinced that I would be the only one in the world who would not lose weight with this surgery because I didn't feel full after I ate/drank my soups. Another friend brought dinner today, who also had gastric bypass about 18 months ago. She said I may not have the same feeling of "full" as I did before and I will start feeling it more when I start eating solid foods. I felt much better after that and then this evening felt "full" (although it was different than pre-surgery-it was more like tightness in the chest and pain below that) after drinking a smoothie.

So here I am 5 days post-op and hoping things keep getting better. I go back to the surgeon tomorrow. And tonight I am going to try to sleep in my bed for the first time since surgery. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Twas the Night Before Surgery...

And all through the house not a creature was stirring...except me!! I have my hospital bag packed, the house clean, the laundry done, grocery shopping done, child care lined up for my hospital stay, pureed soup in the freezer, lesson plans ready for my sub, and showered with antibacterial soap (which did not smell pleasant, by the way). Ok, I am ready...or am I? All of this prep and the months leading up to this surgery and the night before I am really getting nervous. What did I get myself into? Do I really want to do this? But I love food!!! Yes, that is the problem. I love food when I should love my life and my family. I can genuinely say that I mostly like my life. I own a preschool business, which I love, I have three brilliant and funny boys, a nice house, and a supportive husband. There are definitely things I don't like about my life and I know gastric bypass is not going to fix my problems or make them go away. But one of the things I don't like about my life is being fat. And gastric bypass can help me fix that. I have certainly had second thoughts today (especially being on a clear liquid diet-ugh!) but in the end I know I am going to do it because I have wanted to do it for a long time and now I am ready. I'll see you on the other side!!!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Official "Before" Pics

You know you want to see my "before" pictures! So here they are:

September 2010-approx 4 1/2 months before surgery.
Approx 280 lbs.
This is at my husband's 15 year class reunion.

December 2010-Approx. 6 weeks prior to surgery.
Approx 285 lbs.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Appointments, appointments, more appointments. First I had to fill out my health history using the bariatric center's online tool. Then I met with the surgeon, got weighed, measured, etc, etc. Next, sleep study. I tried to upload a pic from that, but it wasn't working. Basically I slept at the sleep lab with all kinds of wires hanging off of me. The verdict: I do not have sleep apnea! Yay!! I had to have alot of blood drawn, have an abdominal ultrasound and have a psych eval. My blood work came back ok-high sugar, of course. My abdominal ultrasound showed that I have a fatty liver. Huh. So the doc says he wants me to lose 15 lbs or so before surgery to shrink the liver so he can see to operate laproscopically. I was like, um...isn't that why I am here? I can't lose weight!! I guess I will try. lol :) Here are some pics from some of my appointments:

Next step, preop class at the bariatric center. Guess what? They told me how the surgery would be performed again!! lol! I had read my handbook beforehand so I knew alot of what they would tell me, but it was still good to hear again. Not looking forward to that liquid diet (haha) but I got some good ideas and know more what to expect.
After the class I had a couple of hours to kill before my Preop Admissions Testing at the hospital so I went to Costco, Burger King (haha), and Wal-Mart. I also got a sonic blast. Hehe. At Pre-Admissions Testing I had to answer lots of questions, pee in a cup, have blood drawn, have my oxygen and CO2 levels tested, have an ekg, and sign papers. Everything went well. I also got info on a living will which I need to look at and fill out.
So I am 16 days away from surgery and getting very anxious...I have been reading blogs online and it is kinda scary, but I still want to do it...I think. lol Before pics coming soon...

First Steps

Ok, so the first thing I had to do was attend the "informational seminar." Actually I had already attended two of these. The first was about 18-24 months previously with a good friend, then I chickened out and decided not to have the surgery right then. My friend had the surgery. The next was in August 2010 at a hospital that only offers the Lapband. I just don't think the lapband is for me so I went to another hospital that offers lapband, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve. I attended the informational seminar September 2010 and heard everything I had heard before. Lol. I decided to move forward. My mom actually had gbp in 2005. My mom lost 100 lbs and has kept it off and also had plastics so she looks good. My good friend who I mentioned above had gpb in April 2009. She had complications and was really sick for a couple of months, but has lost 115 and is doing very well now. She says even after the problems she would do it again. So, I am going to do it. I know it will be hard, maybe even hell. I know at some point I will wish like anything that I hadn't done it. But I hope it will be worth it. Why do I want to do it? I want to have less joint pain, less headaches, less back pain. I want to have more energy. I want to look better and have more confidence. I don't want my kids' friends to whisper that I am fat when I go into the school to volunteer. I want my husband to think I am sexy-he says he already does, but I want to FEEL sexy. I want to walk and not be weary. I want to run and not faint.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let's Get this Party Started!!

I have decided to join the masses and try to blog about my gastric bypass experience. My surgery is scheduled for Feb 3rd. Before I have the surgery I would like to blog about everything I did to get ready: appointments, tests, etc. I will get started tomorrow! WARNING: I will hold nothing back and will post some pictures so don't read if you don't want to know! Haha. :)