Surgery +1 day (Friday)
- I slept from 0000 to 0400. That was it. I was too bored. I needed to do something. The TV only had really bad infomercials playing and I did not have a roommate. So, I disconnected my Leg Squeezers and my IV tower. I noticed that I had four hours of battery on the tower. And, being that I didn't want to lose my magic button, I needed to be back and plugged in by then. I was determined to walk as much as I could. Maybe even a little more. So I started taking laps around the wing of the hospital. I walked for about two hours. The Nurses were giving me praise and encouragement for being out of bed so soon and walking. Each lap they were cheering me on. They kept asking me what my pain level was. It was a little strange as my abdomen pain was about a 2/10 and my left shoulder was a 12/10. It really hurt. So much that I had difficulty using it. My Charge Nurse explained that the gas used to inflate my abdomen for surgery 'leaks' into other areas of my body and causes abnormal pain. Movement and walking would help to eliminate the gas and therefore the pain. This created even more encouragement to keep walking. But, my legs were beginning to get weak and I needed to get back to my bed and push my button for a short snooze. So, I reconnected my leg squeezers, my IV tower and my CPAP, had some ice chips and some green jello and went to sleep for about three more hours.
When I woke up, my shoulder hurt like someone had shot me. I needed to urinate like someone had put a garden hose down my throat. Off with the leg squeezers, unplug the IV tower and hit the bathroom. Then, back to walking. This time I was going to walk until someone told me I needed to get back to my bed. Along the way, the Nurses would find me to let me know that I needed to get back to bed so they could draw blood for tests, or give me meds for this or that. I even met up with Dr. Belzburg and we had our Post-Op consult while I was walking down the hallway. He was very impressed that I was doing so well. He even told me that because I was doing so well, they wanted to kick me out by noon. (yay!) So, I walked. And, I walked. When I thought I was done walking, I walked some more. I managed to walk the shoulder pain away. (yay!)
As soon as the Charge Nurse verified that I was going to be out by 1100 or so, I sent Chris a text. She was a trooper and left work almost immediately to come rescue me. They brought me a "bariatric breakfast" just prior to Chris arriving. It was some hot broth, some herbal tea, some green jello (!) and some Equal packets. The broth was probably the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. Warm, flavorful, and something other than ice chips. The tea, however, tasted like dirt. No amount of Equal would help it. It was nasty. The green jello was a hit. I would end up eating like five of these before I left. Chris said they were tasteless and boring. Whatever. More for me.
We were walking out by 1100 and out of the pharmacy with my wonderful meds by 1143.
We made it home without blowing any staples. I made it up the stairs and sat in my chair. I really missed my button. However, I had liquid narcotics (!) that would take the pain to a -2 and allow me to probably push myself a little too far at times as I decided that I wanted to take a walk down the street.
I drank lots and lots of Isopure, as much as I could drink. I did find that the Syntha-6 was a little too creamy and my stomach didn't like it very much. Ultimately, it tolerated it, but I couldn't drink as much as I needed as it didn't go through as fast. Isopure it is.
Removed most of the bandages (per the Doctor's instructions) and kept my drain bandage on while I took a shower. Got most of the Iodine off. The shower felt great. I redressed my abdominal drain and went to bed. I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow.
Surgery +2 days (Saturday)
- Saturday I woke up and wanted to walk. So we went for a morning walk. Felt good. I couldn't believe what a difference a day makes.
We decided that we needed to get out of the house and do some shopping for supplies we didn't anticipate we needed. Vitamin Shoppe and Costco were the order of the day. Yes, I braved Costco just two days after my surgery! The Manager at the Vitamin Shoppe was extremely helpful in trying to identify supplements I would need that would work with my limitations.
I drank as much Isopure as I could which wasn't enough. I need to take in at least 80 grams of protein a day (two bottles.) I probably got in one full bottle and another two bottles of water. At least I got all my supplements in.
I love that I do not feel hunger. But, every commercial on TV seems to be about food. The only thing I really crave is In-N-Out. But, I am sure I will get over that really quick.Surgery +3 days (Sunday)Great sleep. Less pain. No pain meds. Started off the day with a great walk around a few blocks. Came home and took a shower. The abdominal drain is no longer draining to the point where I can use a bandaid instead of a full dressing. I have had absolutely NO depression or regrets. I am really looking forward to the changes to come. Pictures will follow.Surgery +4 days (Monday)Slept great. No pain. No pain meds. No fever. Took a quick morning walk around a few blocks to get the heart pumping.
Since the surgery, I've been taking a chewable bariatric daily multivitamin from The Vitamin Shoppe that has most of the vitamins and minerals I need to take for the rest of my life. Historically, I have not been able to take anything with Iodine in it as it would cause extreme intestinal discomfort. Since I've been taking these, I haven't had any problems. I'm really hoping that allergy is behind me. In addition, the calcium citrate chews, vitamin D3 soft gels, and B12 dissolvable tabs from Costco keep me up on the nutrients I'm missing by not eating food.
I made some strawberry sugar-free Jello. This is a very nice contrast to the constant Grape Frost Isopure. The key is moderation. I'm still finding it difficult to down 80 grams of protein in a day in Isopure. I really need a little more time to train my brain to be OK with this type of diet. I must remember that food is fuel, not fun.
Walked about two miles at the mall today. That felt great. I'm looking forward to five mile walks after the Doc clears me for exercise.
In just a few days, I've already noticed that my clothes are getting bigger. Shorts that were hard to button before the surgery are now falling off of me.
On a side note, my large intestines turned back on today. With a vengeance.Surgery +5 days (Tuesday)Today was really the first difficult day.
I still slept great. No pain meds. No fever. Walked less than three miles the whole day. I did manage to get two bottles of Isopure down. I was even able to get a little water and ice down. Every day is getting a little easier to get hydrated.
Why would ANYBODY want to eat Black Cherry Sugar Free Jello? Nasty. In fact, it is so bad, Jello.com doesn't show it on their website.
When we went to the mall to do some walking, I had a little mushed up avocado. And, by a little, I mean less than one ounce. I just wanted something that had flavor other than Grape Frost. I don't know if I overdid it walking or with the avocado. But, I got seriously lightheaded and had the cold sweats. I probably need to stick to the watery liquids. I was thinking I could graduate to the Syntha 6 drink because it tastes like chocolate and is quite good. But, I've had some problems early on with the Syntha as it was a little thick. Maybe next week sometime.
Before, the scale was my nemesis. Now, whenever I feel down or think I have not made the correct decision, I just get on the scale. Every day, that number dwindles down toward my goal. I realize that being co-dependent on the scale is not a good thing in the long-run. But, for now, it is working for me.
I still have tons of energy and some of my clothes are already getting too big. This is an amazing transformation. It is definitely a life changer. I think the Options class at Kaiser Permanente should start off with the line, "Your life will never be the same." I came into this with my eyes wide open with lots and lots of knowledge. I researched everything. Others did not. I can see where others would be completely overwhelmed.