My journey has been a long one :) on December 12, 2008 7:10 am
I just want to start off by saying that I don't have any regrets about having the surgery, I feel that the problems that I have had have been more the exception than the rule, but having said that, it hasn't made it stink any less that my family and I have had to endure this over the last year or so.
I had my surgery 10/30/07, stayed one overnight, home the next day. I battled some weakness early on, but attributed that to surgery and my body adjusting to the decreased intake, which I am sure it was. I was feeling fine and getting stronger, losing weight like crazy, working out and loving it for the first time in my life, and then in Feb 2008 I started having problems eating...I would eat a normal amount (no overeating, I am very compliant), and then feel as if it were piling up throughout the day, and by the time dinner rolled around either I couldn't eat, or I would eat and just be miserable for the rest of the night (nausea/vomiting- if you can call it that, nothing would come up except saliva, still that way now) and even feel the next morning as if the food were still there. I talked to my surgeon, and even though he thought it was very unlikely that I would have stenosis that far out from surgery, he wanted to do an EGD (scope) to see if there was narrowing there, and there was...that kept happening off and on, I have lost track of how many scopes I have had, maybe 8-10 in 2008. I was ok for a while and then it all started again, so in June 2008 I had an exploratory laparoscopy where they diagnosed an internal hernia, lysed (removed) some scar tissue and adhesions, and figured the problems were solved. I was again ok for a while, then started having the constant nausea/vomiting again, had another EGD, and they found a Bezoar, basically the food I was eating could not get past the anastomatic ulcer I had been battling, and it was caught in the pouch and the body's response was to calcify it into a stone of sorts and it was rolling around in the pouch, which is why sometimes I could eat fine, and other times not so much. They broke it up with the scope and pulled it out, said the ulcer I had was pretty much healed, and they dilated me some more while they were in there. I was fine again for a bit, and then it started again...so, I had another surgery in August 2008, another exploratory lap, they found a piece of my old stomach hidden behind some blood vessels that was still attached to my pouch, and food was trickling down into it and getting trapped, so they removed that part of the old stomach, problem solved...unfortunately in the process of healing from that surgery (because my pouch had been revised), I was only able to eat about 500 calories a day and I was losing about 5 pounds a week and felt very weak/tired/dizzy, I was off work for a couple months, ended up with a central line (couldn't get a PICC line, after 4 hours of trying I was too dehydrated) and IV nutrition at home for 12 days (this was in September 2008) I came off of the central line, my nutrition still wasn't any better, but the line had to come out and they were confident that I would be able to eat more, well...I couldn't, so we really started to worry about the overall lasting effect this was having on my health/my body, I work in healthcare so I think part of my problem is that I know too much. I was still ending up in the ER for weakness/hypoglycemia/dehydration, and no one seemed to have an answer for me, except to wait and see. We couldn't do that anymore, I have two kids and my 7 year old was sure I was going to die, I think seeing that central line sent him over the edge. I decided to consult with my husband's surgeon, Dr. Alverdy at Univ of Chicago. On 11/3/08 he did an exploratory lap with possible reversal of my RNY, and I was praying that he didn't have to reverse it, but at peace with it if that was going to make things better. He told me that he would look for any obvious problems that he could fix, but if not then he would just do the reversal, confident that no matter what I would feel better and not have nausea anymore. We talked about the possibility of weight gain, and at this point I needed to gain a few pounds back and he felt that I would not gain all my weight back. No obvious problems were found, so he did the reversal, and I spent 11 days in the hospital due to some other complications. I felt like that solved my overall eating issues, still not able to eat very much, but I have chalked this up to healing from surgery, he made the connection between my pouch and old stomach very narrow so that I would still have restriction when I eat. Right before that last surgery, I ended up in the ER with a possible small bowel obstruction, and I am still struggling with that even now. I have had 3 episodes of it since Thanksgiving, including a trip to the ER on Thanksgiving. It is a very scary experience, lots of pain/nausea/and my version of vomiting, mostly worried that if it doesn't resolve itself I will end up in surgery again and probably lose my job in the ER because I am out of FMLA, and I love my job, I love my co-workers, I just love being able to help others. I love my support group, but I don't talk about my problems there because they won't understand and I think it will scare people, and that is the last thing I want to happen. I am a big advocate of this surgery, of course it has to be done for the right reasons, but I am so mad that I can't even be a good example of it, I wanted to do this for myself and my family and be an inspiration to others. Now, I just want to be well, to be able to make plans and not worry if I am going to have some sort of episode that will ruin everyone's night/plans.
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