Tag Archives: surgery

Just Keep Swimming

Mingus July 2019. SMD
Mingus July 2019. SMD

OK. Long overdue this update. I wanted to have a full week of good days behind me. Start off with the good news. But that hasn’t happened yet. On top of that my attention span is all of about five minutes. I jump from task to task.

All is well. I am well. My one month follow up, lifted my spirits big time. I thought I was failing at everything. Not getting my 64 oz. of water daily, having a had time getting the quarter-sized vitamins down. Sometimes losing my meals and having to start all over on clear liquids. Broth and Jello.

But I am right on schedule. It takes time to build up to 64 oz. a day. And now I have the vitamin schedule down. One of them can’t be taken close to meals, because it competes with protein for absorption. I get at least 48 oz. of water and that is great.

I can’t drink right before a meal, or right after. Or with. So hard for me. I am used to drinking water consistently throughout the day. And the feeling that tells me I am full, is the same feeling that I had previously when I needed to wash my food down. Nice. LOL. I usually stop eating before that point. But sometimes the feeling comes later. I have to be very conscious of my drinking habits. I have to sip small sips. Very hard on a hot day. Or a thirsty one.

From A Distance. August 1, 2019. SMD
From A Distance. August 1, 2019. SMD

It was such a relief to know I am doing better than I thought. I was sure I was botching it all up. Worst patient ever. NOT! Whew!

In my online searching, I found a site with great recipes for bariatric patients. The author also posted about what not to say to someone who has had bariatric surgery. This paragraph was a message from above. It found me at exactly the right time.

Imagine you woke up tomorrow with the stomach of a newborn baby, but the mind of your adult self. So you can’t eat much. New foods make you sick. But sometimes they don’t. But sometimes they do. And you don’t know when they will or won’t. And your body needs so many calories to survive but you’re incapable of eating that many calories, so you’re tired. But you also need to exercise to lose weight, even though you are tired. While you’re doing all this, you have to address the emotional attachments you had with food and the toxic relationships you had with people that made you turn to food in the first place. And while you’re doing all that, someone, somewhere is telling you that you took the “easy” way out.

Whew! It is not just me doing it wrong. This is how it is. That is it exactly. Sometimes I can eat cottage cheese. YUM! And the next day, I can’t. One day I had fish, and another day, Oh Lord. Then to have the doctor tell me I am doing great. Look great. Healing fabulously. What a relief!

After my last post. Just out of the hospital. First week, was smooth. Clear liquids. Doing great, even ran some errands. Ha ha ha.

Not so fast Charlie Brown.

Second week. Starting soft foods. Following my rulebook. Had soft scrambled eggs for lunch. Oh, I missed eggs. Before bed, I took my evening meds. Seemed fine. But a tiny, teeny little pill brought me to my knees. Horrendous pain. Everyone had gone to bed. We were still at my brother’s house in Phoenix. The whole house heard me scream out in pain. I was dripping sweat, nauseous, and just mumbling. Telling them to call an ambulance. Call the hotline. Call somebody. LOL.

If any of you have had the pain of a gallstone. This felt the same. Intense. Excruciating.

My brother got a hold of the night nurse. She heard me yelping. Gently told us that it would pass. It would either come up, or go down. She said if I went to the hospital all they could do was hydrate me and give me something for the pain. EXACTLY! Hello.

After he disconnected, as we all debated driving 30 minutes to the hospital. It came out. Thank you Jesus! Instant blessed relief. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Storm Light. August 2019. SMD
Storm Light. August 2019. SMD

I was sore for several days. Back on clear liquids. Afraid of ingesting food at all. Heavy on the prayers. And that is my routine. If I lose a meal. Back to clear. And Pray.

I have been much better since then. But it is up and down. I am much weaker now, after so long on limited intake. I am getting as much as I can. Very sure I get as much protein as possible. Enough vegetables. Some fruit.

Storm setting. August 2019. SMD
Stormy Blue. August 2019. SMD

All I can do is try to laugh sometimes. I asked for this. (shaking head)
I gave the surgeon two thumbs up and a huge smile when she asked if I was sure I wanted to do this. I signed the paperwork. HA ha ha.

I am mostly eating soups. Or pureed soups. Mostly chicken, but some turkey (meatballs with BBQ sauce, divine), Some seafood. Fish once. I am in the soft foods phase for one more month.

I am fine with a limited menu. I don’t mind that really. What’s hard is not knowing. I eat less than half a cup. Tiny amount. Three meals. And I often have a couple of bites of protein later in the evening. Cottage cheese, or more soup.

September 11th I have my meeting with the nutritionist to learn about going to the next phase. I am slightly worried about whether or not I will be ready to do so. But there is time. Staying positive, and moving forward. All I can do.

My scars are minimal. Still healing but WOW, they are not a concern at all. I won’t see the lung specialist until the end of October. I had some tests and an office visit a week ago. He was happy with my progress as well. Giving me time to heal, and then we will repeat the pulmonary function tests and see how I do. And then begin to make plans for going forward.

Let’s see, anything else. OH! My cough is very much improved and will continue to improve for about six months. Oh, yes. My site will be up and down for 3 to 4 days. If all goes well. It is being moved to a new server. And my good friend and talented tech Randy, just broke his wrist. That is not going to help. So for those of you that see this post before it goes down.

I’ll be back.

It’s A New Day

Mingus sunrise 7-23-18. SMD
Mingus sunrise 7-23-18. SMD

Three hours. Two and a half days. 5 insertion points & 8 bruises on my stomach, (the size of a quarter). A huge bandage on my neck until tomorrow. And a ghastly bruise on my wrist. More physicians and nurses than I could keep track of. I had my own room, nice. To say that I received excellent treatment is an understatement.

My Mom told me that when the surgeon came out to tell her how it went, she was smiling, and a little teary eyed. Everything went perfect. They considered sending me home the day after surgery, but just to be sure, kept me one more night. I left the hospital at about 11 am on the third day.

I am putting all this in because I have a friend who has two family members who are interested in the details.

I have had almost no pain. Very little. The most painful, was my throat, from having the tube put in. But that was gone by the evening. A little soreness. when I woke up, but nothing that required meds. I was on pain medication, but I did not feel the need for more. Later that afternoon, I just felt yucky in my stomach. Just aware of my stomach. Not what I could really call pain. Sort of like stomach cramps. Just enough to make you aware of that body part.

I don’t have stitches and no bandages. So guessing they glued the incisions. I am eating fine. LOL. Slurping is more like it. I can have non-caffeine tea or coffee. I don’t drink coffee without creme and sugar, so tea for me. Clear broth, and sugar-free Jello. The first day I did not really taste, it was bland to be honest. But the second meal, my taste buds were back, and everything actually tasted very good.

I am not craving anything. I am not feeling hungry or deprived. I thought I was going to be eating thimble-sized portions. But they gave me a good sized bowl of broth, A full mug of tea, and a whole Jello cup. Yum! I love Jello.

I can have as much water as I want. They wanted me to drink four bottles before they would release me. I did that by the first night. I got to 11 bottles by the time I left. I told them, I have a 64 oz. bottle that I drink from at home. And I do four or five of those a day. (14 hours). That was one of their main concerns, dehydration. They want you to drink at least 64 oz. a day.

After the Post-Op class (We had one before surgery as well, 3 hours.) I will go to soft foods. Soft cooked veggies, soft fruits, healthy proteins. That will be for 60 days. There is a specific list. But i can have eggs every day if I want. Yum. Oh and no lifting over ten pounds for 8 weeks. I am continuing the meds I take regularly. But I can not take supplements until they clear it. I am guessing that is because they can not be sure of all the ingredients, and the reactions they may cause.

I had to walk about every two hours. To prevent blood clots. One of the women that was doing the charts couldn’t believe how fast I was doing laps. She told her co-worker, “Either she is really fast, or I am really slow at charting.” How funny. But I could tell I was walking faster. The first time a nurse walked with me, and they had me use a walker. But after that, I was fine on my own, even having to drag an O2 tank behind me. WOW! I did four and then five laps. All without struggling to breathe!! NO coughing!!!

I use a Spirometer about ten times an hour. From WebMD: When you empty out and refill the air in your lungs, you get rid of fluid and germs that can lead to an infection. You also exercise your lungs, so that they’re able to put more oxygen into your body. That helps you to heal and avoid lung infections.

I am not getting the marker to 500 (lowest), but I can already feel like I am breathing deeper. When they wanted to listen to my heart, I was actually able to take five or six deep breaths without coughing each time. WOWzers!

I was so happy to wake up and not find myself in ICU. When I had my gall bladder removed, I had complications, due to the Lupus I am sure. I spent two weeks in the hospital, the first was in ICU. Thank you Lord!

I even felt fine enough to run a couple of errands on the way home. (What? Are you serious!) Mom had to drive. I can drive after five days. Not bad at all.

This short video shows the procedure. It is the first one. Roux-en-Y (roo-en-wy) gastric bypass. I did not have staples, mine were hand tied. She removed the top part of my stomach, as it is not working efficiently. The acid from my stomach will never back up into my esophagus again.

This song came to mind on the way home from the hospital. Still more work to be done. But this is one giant step forward. Huge. HUGE.

Saying thank you seems so little an offering. I am so thankful for your prayers, kind words, and good vibes. It all matters. There is power in all of those things. When I woke up I thanked God for taking such good care of me. And I was in tears. And I thought of you, all of you who were thinking of me. Tearing up now. So very grateful.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude
of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
– Albert Schweitzer

“Such lovely warmth of thought
and delicacy of colour are beyond all praise,
and equally beyond all thanks!”
– Marie Corelli