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Surgeon TestimonialMichael Melkonian, M.D.Dr Melkonian is the best! He is straight up and to the point. He explained everything so thourghly and took time to answer my extensive list of questions. He came and saw me while I was in the OR holding and then the day after surgery. He made sure all my questions were answered.
The office staff is also great. Stafanie helped me with the apporval process and my NUT,Victoria became a part time shrink and well as nutrionist!
I would recommend this Dr and this facility to anyone looking in to WLS.
One Holiday Down! on April 24, 2011 6:33 pm
So this is the first holiday since my WLS. I did good with protein and liquids. I stuck to my soft foods and held my own against some unforeseen stresses that occurred. I won't say that temptation did not wink at me from time to time. The jellybeans, the chocolate bunny, the low fat cheesecake my mom made for me(yeah - she still hasn't quite grasped my new life style). Many times through out the day I had the same reoccurring thought "I will just try a small bite". But I didn't. I was afraid of dumping or not dumping, which ever the case may be. The unknown is my is what makes me walk the straight and narrow. It keeps me honest and losing!
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Life is so unfair! on April 13, 2011 4:43 pm
Of course it is! A good friend(who is also on the chubby side) told me today that everyone has issues, you can just see ours. How true is that? When you are heavy, you are judged by your 'issue' as soon as you walk in the room. Its not fair, but that's life.
It amazes me how I have begun to see the world now that my relationship with food has changed. We went to Chili's the other night, my first eat out since the surgery. I got plain grilled chicken. I cut a fourth of into tiny cubes and chewed and chewed and chewed. The flavor was amazing and my pouch handled it well. Of course, I was full within a few bites so while my family finished eating, I looked around at the other patrons. I was pretty sure I was the biggest person in the place, but I always feel that way. I watched people eating and eating and eating, nachos, ribs, french fries. But they were not morbidly obese. They looked what I deem 'normal', what I yearn to be one day. How do they do it, I thought. How do they eat the foods that I love and miss, and they stay 'normal', but when I ate those foods, I gained weight like no body's business. These normal people seemed to be eating everything on their plate, as I always did. They were drinking margaritas, as I always did, even a few desserts were ordered and consumed. I was bummed by the unfairness of it all. It depressed me but I did not pick up the fork, which is what I used to do. I dealt with the feeling. I let myself feel it. I let myself be sad that I had reached almost 300 lbs without even blinking an eye. I let myself feel the sadness of my weight and what it had done to me. And then I let myself feel the joy of the days ahead. Of the pounds lost on the scale, of the new clothes that I will have to buy, of the feeling when I am not the biggest person in the room. It wont make life anymore fair, but maybe a little 'normal'.
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What have I done? on April 5, 2011 6:37 am
Sunday afternoon brought the WORST pains I think I have ever experienced. They were on my left side, right under my ribs. It was stabbing and I could not get any relief. I walked and walked and walked thinking it was gas and that I could walk it out. That did not happen. I doped up on the pain pills, still no relief. So I took a very hot shower and still no relied, I finally found a position to lay in that made it ease off. I checked the OH web site and read that a heating pad and stool softener might help, so I tried both and got a little relief. I barely slept Sunday night, and it was H E double L! Monday morning I had to get my 5 yr old ready for school and it it took me an hour to get him dressed and ready to go. I drove about 10 mph(no drugs since the previous evening) two blocks, struggled to get him into the school and walked doubled over back to the car! I came home and collapsed, cried, cursed, and screamed. Why did I choose to to have WLS? What was I thinking? I had made the selfish choice to make me feel better and now everyone was suffering, but me the worst!
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Around 1 PM, I could not take it any longer, The pain was relentless and I was at the end of my rope. I called the surgeons office to see what I could do. I cried to the poor nurse as I explained what I was experiencing. She said she did not think the gas would still be around this long after the surgery so she was going to contact my Dr. She called me back within 30 mins and said the Dr wanted me to be seen. I had not one to drive me to the office and I knew that I could not drive myself so she suggested that when my husband got home, to go to the ER. She said take two pain pills and she would contact the ER to let them know I was coming.
So we get to the ER right around 5pm and it is beyond packed! They call me back pretty quick to do an EKG and then send me back to the waiting room. Forty five minutes pass and they call me back to get blood and urine. While trying to get the urine sample, the pain comes back, guns blazing. I am double over in the bathroom, shrieking, trying to get my pants up, it was not pretty. So I pull it together and the PA comes in and explain to him the whole situation over again. He pokes me a little bit and send me back out to the waiting room.
7 o'clock comes and they call me for x-ray. X-rays? OK so we walk down the longest hall in any hospital and the pain begins again. I can't stand up, I am gasping for breath, and I am cursing my self for having the WLS. The poor x-ray tech guy is terrified. I have to stand up straight so they can look at my chest and belly. It took me a good five minutes to do this. Then I had to lay down on the table, that took me 10 minutes to be able to do. He walks me back around the corner to my husband and mom and I lose it. I am crying and miserable by this point. They bring a wheel chair to take me back to the waiting room. The poor x-ray guy must have told them to get me to a room asap, because with in five minutes they had me registered and in a bed.
The nus re comes in and hooks me up to every beeping apparatus they have plus an IV, but no pain meds. Finally the ER Dr. makes an appearance and I am pretty sure I have underwear older then him. The TV in my little cubby is on and I am distracted from the Dr by Kirstie Alley falling on poor Max on Dancing with the Stars. So I know its after 9, but time has lost all meaning since we have been here for over 4 hours. My husband turns off DWTS, and I tell the Dr my tale. He said my blood came back great, and he can see I have eaten nothing in a very long time. REALLY? So he wants to do some CT scans to rule out blood clots and leakage. I don't care what he does at this point, I just want DRUGS! He says he will order them and I should be in la la land any minute now. The drugs come and they are good! I feel like I am on a cloud. Before I even have a chance to enjoy this euphoria, its off to CT scan. What a buzz killer!
The CT scan room its freezing They want me to drink this red kool aid stuff, that's actually pretty good, but my pouch can only hold so much and it ain't good enough for this tech. So I drink and drink and drink until she is satisfied. The I am put on the CT table and of course, the IV they nurse already put in, will not hold the amount of fluid they need it to hold. AAAGGGHHH, another stick. And it HURTS! So finally the party starts and the contrast is in and I feel all hot inside and my new IV hurts and my previous drug induced euphoria is gone. So they are finally done with the scans and the other tech tell me to stop rushing her when I ask her to help me up. She wheels me into the hall and says someone will be by in a few minutes to return me to my room. At this point I am done. The pain is back and I am in tears. I get back to my ER room and I am bawling. My Mom and my husband are trying to console me but I am inconsolable. Why was I so selfish deciding to have this surgery? What was I thinking? Why couldn't I just diet and exercise like a normal person? Why? Why? Why?
And then God sends in a angel.
Its 11 PM and the nurses are changing shifts. My new nurse is Trudy or Tru as her badge says. She is calming and tells me it will get better everyday. How does she know? She had WLS 5 years ago. She has 2 kids to live for and when she was 100 lbs heavier, she was not living, she was existing. She tells me to think about what I am going to be able to do; shop at Victoria's Secret, ride a bike with my son, ride in a canoe, or sit in a plastic chair with out fear of it breaking. She said she has never regretted it. She has not had any complications but those who do, are usually worked quickly, and they go on to lose weight and liv their lives, instead of watching from the sidelines. I am revived. I have no doubt that there was some divine intervention working there.
The Dr comes in @ 11:30 to tell me the good news - no clots and no leakage. The bad news is, my blood is really thin(I take coumadin for an existing blood condition) and I have a HUGE gas pocket stuck between my bowel and ribs on the left side. GAS? I have been in the ER for 7 hours for GAS? He says he will send me home with better pain meds, and make sure I have another dose of what they gave me for pain earlier before I leave.
Tru comes in the administer the pain meds and unhook all the apparatus stuck to me. She talks to me more about how she ate her Thanksgiving dinner purred in a blender(gag) and how she is working on getting in shape for her honey moon to Punta Cana. My drug induced euphoria is back and I am in a dream like state as I thank Tru for her stories and her perfect timing. My hubby wheels me to car and I sleep the whole way home and thru the night.
This morning I woke up with a renewed sense and purpose. I did not have WLS for selfish reasons. I had WLS to make life better for me, which in turn will enrich the lives of my hubby, and my son and of all those close to me.
And not to hex my self, but its 11 AM and so far no gas pains! Whew!
5 days post op on April 2, 2011 6:36 am
So I am five days post op and I am finally feeling back to normal, Day 3 and 4 were not good. I was not taking the pain meds every four hours and I think the pain got in my head and I was miserable. But this morning I got up, popped the pain meds, cleaned the kitchen and started drinking some protein. Feeling so much better! I am going to try and stay active today - do some walking out in the sunshine and soak up some vitamin D. This is a crazy journey. I have had my doubts about what the heck have I done but I am down 19 lbs! In my past life, that would be cause for celebration - dinner at Charanda with cheese dip, salsa, chips and lots of Mexican food. But today I celebrated but purchasing some new protein powders to try and taking an extra long shower! I am living for the moment, tackling this journey minute by minute. And I feel good!
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