Hey, thanks everyone for the post, support and helpful links. I'm sorry I haven't replied quickly, I had SO much to take care before my surgery, I was surprised at how much work there is to prep for this, even after I thought I was ready.
To those that have had their surgery since I last posted, congratulations! And speedy recovery as well.
I was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon, a day early. Frankly, I think they needed to bed more than anything else, I would have been fine staying the extra day, but my blood sugars were very good, and to be honest, I am glad to be home.
I learned a few things I'd like to share with everyone here, my own insights, so take them for what they are worth:
- If you are a man, especially if you are a bigger, taller man, the surgeon may opt to go with the sleeve procedure rather than RNY. Well, at least here in Canada. I was told this is because the larger you are, typically the heavier your bowel is, and moving it for the RNY can make it prone to leakage. I was fortunate; I am 6'1" and pretty squarely built, but I was able to have the RNY thanks to, what my surgeon called "textbook bowels". I'll take that as the compliment I was sure it was intended as... ;)
- If you have the sleeve procedure, I was told that for weight loss and control is about 10% less effective in general than RNY. This isn't in every case, just in general, and it doesn't seem like that big a difference, but it apparently it does matter if you are diabetic. RNY is the preferred procedure if you have diabetes, as I do (again, at least in Canada).
- I knew that the surgery involved the inflating of the abdominal cavity to perform the surgery, I did not realize that they blow you up like a Macy's parade float... My surgery went really well, but most of the pain (like 90%) I have post-op is from the inflation and subsequent gas pain from the gas that remained in my system. It takes time and quite a bit of movement to get that gas to absorb and/or escape from your system, and talk about bloating! I was down to the last loop on my belt pre-surgery, and I gained 2 loops back from bloating after surgery! This is day 2 post-op and I am now just starting to "de-gas" and feel better, but my stomach area is still really sore, like I took a knockout punch to the gut.
- Consuming anything, even just little sips of water, hurts. You really need to take it slow, especially for the first 2 days after surgery. At times it almost made me not want to drink anything, but you have to muscle through it because you NEED the liquids after the surgery. It gets a bit better by the second day post-op, and as long as you take it slow, by day 3 the little sips don't really hurt anymore.
- You don't feel hungry, at all. Before the surgery, on the Opti-fast, there were times where I felt terrible hunger pains. I'm talking ravenously hungry here. Post-op, even on nothing but a little water, I feel nothing. It is a little weird to be honest, and I'm sure part of it is due to it being only a few days since surgery, the swelling, the bloating and everything else, but the lack of that sensation after so many years of having it feels... Well like I said, a little weird.
- Sore throat. The breathing tube they intubate you with during surgery is going to irritate your throat. In my case, and that of the lady I shared a room with post-op, it meant a little soreness initially, but a raspier and more phlegmy throat the day after. You might cough like you have a frog in your throat. You might end up vomiting. You'll definitely have a good Ray Charles rasp to your voice for a day or two. I was told a sugar-free lozenge or throat spray like Cepacol was OK to use. Day 2 for me is better, just a little gummy in the throat after I drink something like my protein drink, otherwise it's OK.
- Walk, walk, walk. You need to get up and move regularly. I find it hurts to go from a seated position to a standing one (and vice versa) so I find I am standing a bit more than I used to. But you need to walk as much as you can even the day of your surgery if you are able and the doctor/nurse says its OK. Nothing helps relieve the gas pain better than walking. Don't kill yourself, take it easy, but do what you can. It WILL make a difference.
- You are going to burp and fart. A lot. Don't be shy, don't be embarrassed, it is going to happen as you "gas-out" and as your tummy heals. Don't hold back, it will make you feel better, and it's out of your control.
Well, I think that's all I've got for now. Again, thanks for all your well-wishes and support. I'll probably be back in a few days, check in and maybe post something if anything insightful or interesting happens. Be well everyone, cheers!