Surgery Completed, Recovering Well!
I first wanted to thank everyone for your prayers and kind words of support, as it really means a lot to both of us.
Wednesday April 20th:
We went in to Inland Valley Medical Center on Wednesday morning April 20th at 7:30 AM, as my surgery was scheduled for 9:30 AM, and Martin’s 11:30 AM. They went ahead and checked us both in, at the same time, which Martin was worried they might make him wait in the lobby until 9:30 AM. I was prepped and ready to go by 9:15 AM, and we spoke with our surgeon Dr David Suh who asked if we were ready, or did we have any additional questions. We’re so happy with the selection of our surgeon; he’s really fantastic and so professional. We learned that he does 20 VSG and RNY per week, or over 1,040 per year, and everyone including both patients and hospital staff alike speaks so highly of him. The anesthesiologist came out and asked a lot of last minute follow-up questions about our history. He gave me a shot in my IV to relax, and said they’d be back in a few minutes to take me in. Of course Martin had to joke around that as soon as I went he’d change his mind and not have the surgery, but being married to him for 26 years know how much he loves to tease, as we’re both very comfortable with our decision to have WLS together. Most of the staff at the hospital said it’s very rare to see couples coming in the same day to have surgery, but supported the idea, as we’d be a good support team for each other. Well, they took me at 9:45 am, and then they prepped him for surgery. The surgeon came in and let him know around 11:00 am that I was in recovery, and that everything went well. They gave him the shot to relax about 11:45 am and rolled him towards the operating room. He said he didn’t remember much after that, the next thing he remembered is waking up about 2:30 pm, and seeing them taking me out of recovery to our room, and seeing me waving at him. I woke up around 12:30 pm, but I only remember them telling me to breath, because I kept falling back to sleep. Finally around 2:00 pm I was awake enough to ask how Martin was doing and they said he’s doing fine, but hasn’t woke up yet. I know that by 6:00 pm they were advising us to get up and walk to start getting rid of the gas as soon as we felt up to it, and they would walk with us the first few times to make sure we’re doing fine.
Thursday April 21st:
By the next morning we’d gotten up at least 4 times that night, and were making 3 complete laps around the hospital wing. At 9:00 am Dr Suh came in to check on us, and was pleased to see how we were doing, and answered any questions we had. The big goal for Thursday as well to walk as much as possible, but also to use the Spiral Incentive Spirometry to work our lung functions several times an hour to prevent pneumonia. They also removed our cathedras later in the morning, and that was uncomfortable, and it was easier to walk without it. Our friend Thursday was the pain pump, but they took us off it, and said we could have Lortab for pain, but said that the more you use it, the longer it takes to get rid of the gas, as it puts your intestines to sleep. Martin didn’t use it much, but I did, and was having more gas pains. Martin on the other hand was raising the sheets more often so to speak. Thursday afternoon, they gave us water to drink, in one ounce cups and told us to drink (sip) no more than one every 15 minutes. They would count the cups to measure what we drank. Of course we could use the restroom, but we had to use top hats and urinals to measure our output as well. Thursday evening they brought us a wonderful dinner of protein beef broth, berry protein juice, apple juice, and jello. Later that evening we’d been able to drink enough that they went ahead and removed our IV’s bags.
Friday April 22nd:
We’ll the next morning they came in early and took blood samples to make sure everything was normal before releasing us later in the day. They brought us a wonderful breakfast of protein chicken broth, berry protein juice, apple juice, and jello. We had to follow the same rules of measuring everything. Dr Suh came in around 11:30 am and checked us out and cleared me to go home, but Martin had been having pain in both calf’s so Dr Suh wanted to do ultrasounds to check for blood clots before giving him clearance. They gave him another IV just to make sure he wasn’t dehydrated, and around 2:00 pm took him down for the procedure. We’ll at 3:30 pm we got word everything was fine, and they checked us out.
Saturday April 23rd:
We tried sleeping in the easy chair Friday night, but both decided to try our luck with the bed about midnight. We slept pretty much on our backs to stay comfortable, and as it’s a large post bed have something to hang onto rolling out of bed. We decided against taking any Lortab as we wanted to get rid of the gas as quick as possible. We walked around the house and yard quite a bit, and as they always say, walking helps with the gas, and it’s working. We’re taking our Bariatric Advantage chewable multi-vitamin, calcium citrate, iron, B12, and vitamin C on schedule, drinking 3 protein drinks a day (80 grams total), eating diet jello, and drinking lots of water and crystal light.
Sunday April 24th:
It was rather amusing laying in bed this morning and listening to each other’s abdomens noises from the gas that was working. The pain is getting better with each passing day, although his hernia repair is what bothers him the most. Our protein and liquids are increasing, and we’re walking slowly on the treadmill. By the end of day, it seems like most of the gas is gone. Another observation is that so far nothing has changed in our tastes and smells, all of our protein drinks still taste good to both of us, although the Syntrax nectars are really good, as they’re thinner. We can’t wait to have our 1-week appointment to be cleared for driving and to go to the next stage diet, as cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, refried beans, apple sauce, tuna, pureed vegetables, and mashed potatoes sound wonderful. I’m already checking out the Giant Book of Tofu Cooking I bought at the Kaiser Wellness Store to see what delicious recipes I can make. Some include Rigatoni with fried tofu and roasted peppers and olives, Stir-fry with spinach and tofu, Greek salad with tofu and feta, Tofu and Tater cakes, and Tofu pumpkin pancakes. Several of my husband’s OH friends really have some great recipes, Jenna Kopanyi has provided several recipes I tried making pre-op, and they were all great. He gave me another one today for Turkey Burger Mocafoni which really sounds good.
I wanted to say that we were very impressed with the hospital and staff at Inland Valley Medical Center in Murrieta CA as well; everyone was very professional, helpful, attentive, and friendly to both of us. We would highly recommend their facility to anyone looking to have surgery.
I’ve uploaded the photos from the surgery week, so take a peek and enjoy.
Again, both of us again want to thank you all for your support you’ve given us on this journey.
Gerry and Martin Bowman