It's been an amazing 2 weeks!
My RNY was performed at the Ottawa Civic hospital on March 14, with Dr' Raiche.
I'll start with my hospital experience .... I arrived at the Civic alone the morning of surgery. This was by my choice, as I knew having my sister there would only make me nervous. My surgery was scheduled for 8:00 am and I had to be at the hospital for 6:15 ... as always, I was early. I was the 3rd person in the pre-op area (where they get you ready to go to the OR). I was surprised to find out that they have special stretchers for pre-op bariatric patients. They are bigger and more comfortable than the regular stretchers. My nurse was awesome. She helped me get ready, took all my information and prepared my bags to be sent to my room. It was really busy, and the patient next to me had dementia, and needed extra attention, but the nurse still popped her head in every few minutes to make sure I was ok, and hadn't run for the hills, since I was so nervous. Actually, listening to the woman beside me kept me from thinking about the surgery for a while. She was a welcome distraction.
After about half an hour, I was wheeled to the OR staging area. Holy crap, it was cold in that hall. The porter that took me from the pre-op area to the staging area was very nice. he chatted along the way, and did his best to reassure me that everything was going to be ok. He parked me in the hall outside my OR and left. he came back a couple of minutes later with 2 heated blankets for me ... THANK YOU!!! ... I was freezing. It was very strange waiting in the hall. You see all the other patients being brought for their surgeries. All the staff said hi as they walked past. All the people that would be a part of my surgery stopped by to introduce themselves, and explain what their role was. Every one was really friendly ... but on a side note, laying in the hallway, and hearing the sound of a saw (cast removal) really doesn't ease one's nerves. Finally Dr. Raiche arrived (first time I met her ..BTW).
Dr Raiche and one other person walked me into the OR. I have to say, I found it very strange that I had to walk from the hall into the OR. It kind of freaked me out a bit. While they were trying to get my IV started, Dr. Raiche reintroduced everyone and started talking to me about the procedure. They were having trouble with the IV, and it REALLY hurt. They tried 2x on the back of my left hand, and once on my left wrist, with no luck. finally the anesthesiologist took over, and got it in n the back of my right hand, first try.... YAY HIM :) While they were doing all of this, Dr. Raiche kept talking to me. I remember her saying that she was trying to distract me, and I told her she wasn't doing a very good job at it. Then they put the mask on my face, and the last thing I remember is thinking don't panic (I have a phobia about things around my mouth and nose. I don't even like wearing scarves that cover my mouth).
When I woke up in recovery, I went into panic mode, because of the mask on my face. It took 3 people to hold me still until I calmed down. I was in so much pain, but I think i it was from struggling. They quickly gave em some pain killers and replaced the oxygen mask with the nose thingy. I remember my nose was super itchy, Sue from the Ottawa WLS Facebook page stopped by to check on me. I was to out of it to talk. I ell asleep, and woke up a little while later. I wasn't't in recovery very long before being moved to my room. The stretcher was parked in the hall, and I had to walk to my bed .... WTF??? I was so out of it, and dizzy, but I did it.
The nurses were awesome. They took great care of me. I was up and walking the hall by 4:00. They were prompt with my pain meds, and all in all, although very sore, I felt good. I walked the hall a couple more times that evening. My roommate arrived some time after 6 (I think). She had also had surgery with Dr. Raiche that day, but was kept in recovery for 4 hours. Sleep was intermittent that night. They kept wanting me to try to pee. They increased my iv fluid, and kept track of how much water I drank. I must have made a dozen trips to the bathroom without any luck. They finally did an in and out catheter... not plesant, but not horrible, and I felt much better after. I started burping the first night, and passing real gas the next afternoon... I swear, with each burp and fart, I felt a little better. I got to take a shower on Friday :) it felt good, but I was still covered in pink stuff... from iodine or something they used in the OR. My skin tends to really absorb stuff, and it took a few showers for it to all be gone. Friday night, sleep was pretty much non existent. not because of pain or anything like that, but because my roommate snored like a freight train. I fell asleep listening to my mp3 player, and when the battery died, that was it... no more sleep for me. Fluctuations in my blood pressure kept setting off the machines Thursday night. When I fall asleep, my blood pressure drops really low. The nurse asked me if I was athletic... I laughed... If I was athletic, I wouldn't have needed the surgery to start with. But apparently, my pulse slows to the same as an athletes when I'm sleeping. They called the doctor, and were told to lower the rate on the monitor. During the night, I had a nightmare, and my pulse sky rocketed. I didn't think my nurse could move so fast. Once I was awake, it went back down, but for the rest of the night, it would spike for a few seconds when I was asleep, then go right back down. I think I kept going back to the same bad dream I'd had earlier.
I went home around noon on Saturday. Made my first protein shake, curled up on the sofa with the cat and watched a movie. I was sore, but felt good. My sister went home on Sunday, leaving me alone. I had no trouble with my protein shakes. I walked the hall of my apartment building every couple of hours. My first week, I averaged 80-85 grams of protein and 64-80 ounces of water on top of the fluid from the shakes, etc. I included cream soups (mushroom, tomato & roasted red pepper, and roasted red pepper & black bean), beef and vegetable broth. I added unflavored protein powder to the soups and broths. By my 1 week follow-up, I had lost all the weight I gained from fluids, etc in hospital and an additional 4.5 lbs :)
At the 1 week, I got the ok to start pureed foods. I've had home made chili & cottage cheese, scrambled eggs & cottage cheese, ground beef & cottage cheese, home made applesauce & cottage cheese, greek yogurt, pork loin (slow cooked with mushroom soup), chicken and avocado, ground beef & avocado. Even though pureed food looks nasty, it all tasted great. Things I learned... I don't have the will power not to eat all the applesauce. every time I went into the kitchen, I had another spoon of it. I♥ applesauce, and won't be making it again for a while. There was a lot of natural sugar in the applesauce, and I didn't dump, but I did get the trots... same as I would have if I'd eaten that much in a day pre-op. By the end of the week, I wasn't pureeing my food, just chewing really well. I measure out all my portions, and stick to them, however I must break the habit of mindlessly picking at stuff. On Sunday, I had already eaten supper (chicken & avocado). when I was packing away the left overs, I ate a couple bites of chicken. I either didn't chew well enough, or was too full, but I ended up in horrible pain all night.
I've had no trouble with any of the foods I've eaten. I had the foamies once. It was in the hospital, the day after surgery. I took the liquid Tylenol, too much too fast... It was a really yucky feeling.
I can now sleep partially on my tummy (right side). I can sleep on my back longer than I could before without my back getting too sore, and as of last night, I can lay on my left side for short periods of time before it starts to hurt.
I have virtually no pain, just a little stiffness in the abdominal muscle if I move the wrong way.
As of this morning,... I am down 26.3 lbs from when I started Opti on February 21 (31 lbs since meeting Dr. Yell on Feb 15). I've lost a total of 24.25 inches (biggest loss is 5" from my stomach and 3 from my under bust, 1.6 bust and 2 from my thighs and 2 from my hips ). My size 30 jeans that used to be super tight when I put them on are now very loose. I'm not quite ready to move to my 28s but I will likely need to by the end of next week.
Most importantly, I feel AMAZING!!! I already feel a difference in my joints. I can walk further without my ankles hurting. I have more energy and stamina already. I have absolutely 0 regrets about having the surgery. I just wish I had done it a few years ago.