Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm Back!

It's a better late than never I guess! I fully intended to jump right back on the computer the minute I got home from the hospital, but I quickly realized that I grossly underestimated the way I would feel after surgery! But we'll get to that, let me back up and catch you up since I signed off on the morning of the 13th.

I arrived at the hospital and the nerves finally kicked in when we got to the registration desk. It became very real that I was going to do this! I was already pre-registered, so they sent me straight over to pre-surgery waiting. When we got to pre-surgery they took me directly to a private room where I was to undress and get into a hospital gown. The room was nice, and had a tv to help keep my mind off of what was going on. The nurse came in and went through my medical history, had me sterilize the surgical area again, and took my c-pap mask and tubing. At about 10:00am my pastor came to wish me well and pray with me prior to going down to surgery. Then transport came and rolled me down to the holding area, where you wait for your operating room and surgeons to be ready. My husband was allowed to come down there with me, and I'm so glad because I waited there for about an hour. Finally right around 11:00am they told him to give me a kiss and I was off to surgery. I kind of remember going into the operating room. There was no countdown, I just remember them telling me to have a nice nap.

The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room. I was freezing cold, and I couldn't believe how late in the day it was. I kept asking if my husband was there and they wouldn't ever answer me. Being the mom that I am I kept telling the nurses I needed to know if my husband was here or if he went to go get the kids off of the bus! LOL He was still there, and had already let the kids know that he'd be home shortly, just to let themselves in the house. :)

Once I got up to my room things were clearing up a little for me. I was still extremely groggy, and I was getting all of my food through my IV. I also had a catheter, an NG tube (goes down the nose into the belly), and another tube coming out of my side going into the abdomen. Oh, and I had a morphine drip set up with my IV. The rest of Wednesday I just slept off and on. My hubby stayed for a bit, but left to get home with the kids and get them to their Wednesday night activities. Even thought I was tired, I did get up and go for a walk or two on Wednesday night because I know how important that is to the healing process.

Thursday morning began with a bariatric swallow test. For this test they take you down to radiology and feed you some barium through a syringe. You swallow it and then they take x-rays to confirm that you don't have a leak in your new stomach. The radiologist looks at it right then and lets you know if it is ok or not and then you go back to your room. Luckily for me it was fine, and I have no idea what they do if you have a leak.

Thursday they also took out my catheter, the NG tube (which burned like crazy!), and took away the morphine drip. I continued to get up and move through out the day. My rule of thumb was if I was getting up to go to the bathroom, I might as well take a walk at the same time. The nurses were very happy with me for this! This was also the day that they started to have me begin to drink some of my own fluids. They brought me a big cup of water and some 1 oz medicine type cups. I was to pour the water into the cups and keep track of how many cups of water I drank. Prior to surgery I thought I'd have to fight the urge to gulp down a whole ounce at once, but I didn't. I didn't really feel hungry, so I had to kind of fight myself to do it. At lunch and dinner time they brought me a tray of Sugar-Free Kool Aid, Sugar-Free Jello, a protein supplement drink, tea, and broth. Then I could drink whatever I chose, but I had to put it into the 1 oz cups and keep track of how many I drank.

Now that the morphine was gone if I wanted pain killers I would have to take liquid Vikodin. YUCK!! I knew that it would not taste good so I held out as long as I possibly could. Finally in the middle of the night though I couldn't get comfortable, which meant I couldn't I asked for something to help me sleep. The nurse brought it in and boy was it gross! But I took it and it helped served the purpose, and I finally got some zzz's.

One note about the pain itself...even on Thursday afternoon I felt like more of the pain was in my back. I believe this was a combination of 2 things. First, all of the air that they pump into your stomach during surgery rises and can cause back and shoulder pain. Second, the hospital beds were HORRIBLY uncomfortable! When I was talking to a friend of mine about this she said when she went into the hospital to have her second child she brought a mattress pad and had her mom remake the bed for her with it on. I wish I would have thought about this before surgery, because I think it could have made a big difference.

Friday morning they came and drew blood to make sure I was taking in enough of what I needed and said that I was ok to go home if I felt ok to go home. I did! I wanted out of the hospital sooooo bad! My back was killing me, I missed my kids and husband, and my roommate was driving me absolutely crazy!! The last thing to do was to remove the tube in my abdomen. :( I was kind of nervous about this one! A friend of mine who had already had the surgery told me to take a deep breath and exhale as they pulled it out. I had a plan, but....the nurse didn't really give me enough warning to do this. It was the weirdest feeling! You could feel intestines or something move as the tube went past. It didn't really hurt, it was just uncomfortable and took my breath away. I wish I could describe the feeling better, but I just can't. By about noon or 1:00pm on Friday I was discharged and my hubby was bringing me home! We made it home before the kids got home from school and he went to get my prescriptions filled.

OK, that's all for now. I need to get up and move, and drink something for breakfast. I'll pick up where I've left off either later today or tomorrow. :)

Until next time....Hugs, Prayers & An Ounce At A Time!


  1. It will keep getting better every day. You are so strong and brave. You are on your way to the new life you want!

  2. I am so proud of you Steph!! Keep looking ahead to the new you:)

  3. We have a mutual kin.. I am her Aunt by marriage and I just had the same surgery on 12-15-09, only a month ago. I FEEL GREAT!!!
    I could not tell by your post if you had the surgery open or laparoscopy. Mine was done laparoscopy and the healing process went fine.

    The first week of puree foods were also fine. I used eggs, tuma, canned chicken and added light mayonaise or light cream cheese. My fruit and vegetables were baby food. Carrots & squash were good. I still have 1 protein drink a day, and I use unjury brand, you can find them on line.

  4. Hope all is well with you during these first few weeks..
    Did you dr. give you a diet plan for the first 6 months? If not, I can make a copy of mine & send it to you.
    also, if I can help in any way, our mutual kim has my e-mail address..

  5. Ang & Mel - Thanks for the encouraging words! This has been an experience, and I'm starting to understand why people say it's life changing!

    EB - Thank you so much for introducing yourself! My surgery was laproscopic also, I'm so glad it wasn't open! I should be going on to the puree/soft foods next week, kind of anxious because I'm getting tired of the liquids! My doctors did give me a diet plan to follow at each stage of food changes. They also require me to attend nutritional classes on a regular basis. They really have been very helpful! BTW - thank you for the email you sent me as well!