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Edward Mun, M.D.
My first impression of Dr. Mun was that of a seasoned professional. He was very business-like in our first meetings and answered all of my questions thoroughly, but that definitely changed once I had my procedure done. He showed his caring side by visiting me every morning and evening that I was in the hospital. His office staff was great, always friendly and helpful. The aftercare program is very detailed and his nutritionist is very involved in your care. I felt very informed going into surgery and was very pleasantly surprised with the care I had at Faulkner Hospital. Although I had heard of Faulkner (and knew it was a part of BWH), I wasn't sure how a small hospital would be. I had an exceptionally pleasant experience there and would highly recommend Dr. Mun and Faulkner to anyone.
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Like so many here, I have struggled for years and years with my weight. I had considered weight loss surgery more in the back of my mind for a little while, but never truly believed that I would be "fat enough" for my insurance to cover the costs. The shortened version of my story...Spring of 2007 was a busy and stressful time at work. One day I stepped on the scale, only to see the number at 248, up from my usual 230, 235 (I'm 5"7'). I couldn't believe how easily this had happened, and it really got me very upset. At my next physical in April, I asked my PCP for assistance and she recommended I see Dr. Mun at Faulkner Hospital for a consult on possible weight loss surgery. I went to the initial group information session, but found myself once again wondering if I would qualify for insurance coverage. As a health care professional myself, I found the information very interesting and helpful, but was scared away by the possibility of it "not happening." I have always considered myself one of those people who "wore it well" with respect to my weight. Anyway, I left the meeting discouraged and did not initially make an appointment with the surgeon. Imagine that, thinking you were not "fat enough' for something!
So, the spring moved on, and I developed an nasty rash in one of the folds of my stomach and went to see my PCP. I voiced my concerns with my PCP who suggested we weigh me again to see how I was doing. Reality check. 258. She encouraged me to make that appointment and start the process, as my BMI was 39. My cholesterol was slightly elevated and I have been dealing with PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) for several years, although PCOS was not typically considered a factor or co-morbidity. I met with Dr. Mun's assistant and began all of the pre-testing so that we would have everything together to submit it to my insurance. When I did meet with Dr. Mun, I weighed in at 261, BMI of 41. I was so upset to have gotten my weight so high, but really wanted to see if my insurance would cover it, especially since I was so "borderline." On August 9th, I received the approval for gastric bypass from my insurance company...I believed it was a sign that I was meant to have this done (even though I am NOT religious).
Due to my job, I couldn't have the surgery before I did in November, so I had a lot of time to think about it...I started to feel guilty about being approved so quickly and feeling bad for all those who have so much more to lose than I do and cannot get insurance coverage. I changed my mindset to realize that I needed to do this to prolong my life and stop this vicious cycle I had gotten myself into (my father died in his mid 50's of a heart attack as well).
I chose to only tell my close friends and family prior to the surgery for a few reasons, the biggest being what I have mentioned above. I didn't want people to say "YOU'RE having surgery? You're not fat enough for that!" I was fearing being pre-judged and just wanted to go into this with an open mind knowing I had made the correct decision for ME. My family was very supportive, but some of my friends were a little standoff-ish (for lack of a better term). I am not sure why, but in the end, my education of the process really eased their minds and they were there to support me as I needed.
Now I needed to focus on my pre-op appointment with Dr. Mun on October 30th. In August, he had told me that I should lose 10-12lbs prior to surgery. With my fall so exceptionally busy, I really worked hard to lose 10lbs prior to that date and weighed in at 250 on 10/30/07. Dr. Mun was pleased that I had lost weight...He then answered all of my questions and up next was a pre-op hospital appointment for the 13th. The appointment on the 13th was easy, and I was in and out in 60 minutes. I was very pleased with my experiences at Faulkner Hospital already.
November 19th came, and my Mom and Aunt accompanied me to the hospital for a 7am arrival. I was taken to pre-op in 5 minutes and was taken to a "holding" area where I met with the various nurses and doctors over the next hour or so, including with Dr. Mun. Once again, he asked if I (or my Mom) had any questions and off I went! A few hours later, I awoke in recovery...Sleepy and with a heavy pressure in the center of my chest, which I was told was from the inflation of my abdomen for surgery. I was taken to my room by mid afternoon with no problems. My room at Faulkner was private (all of the rooms there are) and all of the nurses were wonderful and very helpful. Once the pressure in my chest decreased, I didn't have a ton of significant pain, although the drain in my left side was very uncomfortable..I decided to utilize the morphine PCA as a preventative measure and slept for most of the evening. Dr. Mun came in to check on me around 6:45pm and said the surgery went very well. Even though I was so thirsty, he reminded me that I couldn't drink until after my upper GI study tomorrow morning. I "woke up" enough to have a few visitors around 7:30pm, but didn't really last too long as I was very sleepy. I did want to try to get out of bed to walk a bit, so the nurse came and helped me from bed and we went on a short "jaunt" down the hallway. I was a tiny bit dizzy, but if I stood up straight, the "stitch" pain in my left side was very intense, so I went back to bed without a long walk.
After a fitful sleep and trouble getting comfortable (I am used to sleeping on my side), I awoke to a team of residents who came to check my wounds, most of which were closed with DermaBond. I did express the "stitch in side" like pain on the side of the drain, and they told me that was normal. Dr. Mun also came in to see me that morning and then shortly thereafter I was taken downstairs to have the upper GI done. The results showed no leaks, so I was able to have my foli catheter removed, and to have an ounce of liquid to drink. All went well...I had some more visitors and enjoyed drinking the small amount of fluids I was allowed. I went for a lot longer walks and was more comfortable without the catheter to say the least....Dr. Mun came to see me again on his way out and asked the nurse to empty my drain...She did some sort of "milking" procedure to the tubing and that caused me the most intense pain I had felt since having surgery...It spread across my abdomen and I almost fell over...I even shed my first tears...She said that the pressure from the tube into my abdomen was the likely and most common cause...I had to lay down for 30 minutes before the pain went away, but it did...Tuesday night's sleeping was similar, and I awoke on Wednesday morning with some lower back pain (which I suffer from) due to my inability to get comfortable...I had been switched to oral pain meds, so I took some more that morning. I walked for about 20 minutes and the pain meds kicked in, so that was much improved. Dr Mun checked in on me again, and said I would be discharged to go home this afternoon...Now, I just wanted that pesky drain removed from my side...I waited for about two hours, and then a PA came and removed it for me. AMAZING! The stitch pain was instantly gone and I was a new person.
I was discharged around 12:30pm on Wednesday the 21st, and to say I was exhausted was an understatement. My Mom took me to the drugstore to fill my prescriptions, but I was too tired to wait for them. I went home and slept until 5pm, and had a friend pick up my medications...I took in a protein shake and some crystal light, then hit the sack again at 10pm...Pain was a little more prevalent...I felt like I had done "Abs of Steel" for 24 hours, so I took the pain meds to help me sleep, which I did until about 7:45am the next morning...
The soreness was all but gone by Friday morning, so I was just adjusting to my new "liquid life." I was still pretty tired, but did take a few spins walking around the house...The bloating and gassiness was never painful, just annoying, and that has gotten a lot better. I have showered and even gone for milk at the store, so I am adjusting. Now I am trying not to push myself too hard (I have a history of doing that) and reminding myself that even though I feel pretty good, I did have major surgery less than a week ago. I know I need to take this time to rest and recover before I go back to work. I have my follow-up appointment on Dec 6th and then I will hopefully transition to the next phase in my physician's diet. I am trying not to weigh myself alot right now, as I know my body still is and will be bloated and retaining from the surgery for a few more days.
So, that's where I am! I hope my little blurb here might give some with upcoming dates a little insight as to what MIGHT be in store for them...