- HEALTH TRACKER
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Dr. Anthone is highly respected at Methodist Hospital. I heard more than once how good he is to work with (especially from the nursing staff) and from more than one physician what an excellent surgeon he is. He is cautious, which is a good thing. I will recommend him without hesitation.
Jeanie A.'s Journey
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Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
Typical yo-you dieting, feelings of failure and that it is/was all my fault for being fat. I had no idea there were so many things going on metabolicly that affected my weight.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
I am 5'9" or 5'10" tall (makes it hard to do the math when everyone says I am a different height!) and weighed 348 upon discharge from the hospital on 2/18/05.
I am a Registered Nurse. I did a lot of research before deciding on which surgery to have. I noticed that many nurses and doctors were choosing the Duodenal Switch over the RNY, so I read everything I could find.
I did not want to end up with a "diet with a scar (RNY aka Ruined and Why?)" or a "diet with a choke chain (Lapband.)"
I don't do diets well. If I did, I wouldn't need surgery! I believe the DS is the best choice overall, especially for those of us who do not want to deprive ourselves or punish ourselves by dieting and barfing and exercising ourselves to extremes.
Why I chose the DS over RNY:
**-Greater weight loss (average of 80% of excess compared to 50% with RNY)
-Greater absorption of nutrients (B-12, iron)
-Can take NSAIDS and aspirin without problems
-Loss of appetite - that ghrelin thing that makes us "hungry" is wiped out
-No "blind stomach" on the side or stomach staple line to worry about - no ulcers that they can't get to
**-Greater chance of keeping the weight off - much less regain than with RNY
-No dumping - the thought of vomiting and diarrhea after eating isn't pleasant
-No hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) attacks
-Can drink with meals
-Can chew gum (and walk? ;^)
-Greater chance of putting diabetes in remission (98%)
-Normal eating post-op with no food restrictions
**-No revision surgery from lapband or RNY to the DS because of the things listed above. One surgery is enough.
**-No strict dieting or excessive exercising. The surgery does the work for ya!
I had an Open Duodenal Switch on February 12, 2005, in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Gary Anthone was my surgeon. Here is my journey:
November 6, 2004 - I am 48 years old and 5'10" tall. I weigh 320 today with a BMI of 45.9. My weight can fluctuate up to 35 pounds depending on how much of my diuretic I have taken in the last few days. I have been thinking about having WLS. I am reading everything I can find. I've decided that DS surgery will be my first choice, if I have a choice.
There aren't any doctors in my area doing DS. *rips out trusty road map* Chicago, Ohio, Nebraska, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida. Whoooboy.
November 8, 2004 - I can mark Chicago off my list. The docs there have a 2½ year waiting list for Medicare patients. I called and made an appointment to see Dr. Anthone on December 10th in Omaha, Nebraska. I will attend an informational session the evening before. I also have an appointment to attend an orientation session in Kettering, Ohio, on January 7th with a different surgeon. We shall see.
November 15, 2004 - I had an appointment with my family doctor today and mentioned that I was seriously considering WLS. He said he didn't know much about the DS and asked me to send him some info. I faxed him a few articles.
December 1, 2004 - Time is crawling. I leave in 8 days to start my adventure to Nebraska. Hubby has been very quiet about all of this the past few weeks. I started reading a book by Barbara Thompson, Weight Loss Surgery: Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You, Third Edition. So far, I like it. I also have a book by Michelle Boasten, Weight Loss Surgery : Understanding & Overcoming Morbid Obesity - Life Before, During & After Surgery. I haven't started that one yet.
I wish I knew what to take with me for my first visit. I'll have my labs, my meds, and that's about it. I'll get to use my "new" luggage - I found some vintage American Tourister Luggage a few months ago.
Later the Same Day - I had neuro-psych testing today. If you've ever had that, you know how exhausting it is. My brain is fried. Ok, more fried than usual. :ŝ I've had some memory loss and I'm trying to find out why and exactly what is affected. I had tests done a year ago, and the one today is to compare.
"What do a fly and a tree have in common?" elifiknow! Last year I said they were both alive. This year I said I had no idea. Anywhoooo, I'm besausted, as someone used to say. I have so much to do before I take off on my trip. I'm too tired to do much of anything tonight except play on the computer. I'm glad I learned html before they had all the nifty programs that did it for ya.
I spend way too much time reading posts and following links and reading profiles. But ya'all are just so interesting that I can't stop! Thank you everyone who takes the time to let others know what to expect. I am so grateful that I found out about duodenal switch surgery from this website. (Waves at Robin!)
I know we aren't supposed to wish time away, but dang, I wish next week would hurry up. I have my pulmonary function testing tomorrow morning and my psychologist (muahaha! I'm a mad woman!) appointment tomorrow evening. He is wonderful. I highly recommend seeing a psychologist when the going gets tough. I've seen therapists here and there through my life, but this is the first psychologist. He is worth his weight in gold.
I don't think I have any appointments the rest of this week or the first of next, so maybe I can catch up with things around here ... oh, just silly things like paying bills. I need to put some pictures up here, too, so you can see my purty mug.
Why does this website keep adding returns in where I don't want them? Remind me to ask someone who knows.
December 2, 2004 - I had the Pulmonary Function Tests and CXR done today. The respiratory doc says my lung volume is so good that I could lose a lung (what, like it may fall out the car door as I turn a sharp corner?) and still be ok. Yea! me, for quitting smoking 8+ months ago. I have printouts of my PFTs and from my Bi-PAP for the last few months and his dictation from my last visit. He said he will write a letter for me if I tell him what I need. :-)
I also saw my psychologist in the evening. I hadn't done any "homework" and basically got him up to speed with my plans. I am supposed to go to church on Sunday and attend coffee hour - mingle with real, live people. He said it would be good practice for going to the support meeting next week. (I sometimes get the heebie-jeebies when I am in unfamiliar territory without a role.) I know how to be a patient, so I'm not planning on being too nervous. (Is anyone buying this?)
December 7, 2004 - Here I am, the day before I leave for Nebraska. The washing machine has decided to be contrary today. As fast as water runs in, it comes out the hose. I finally held the hose up so it wouldn't drain, and it worked ok. So far, so good.I am taking a list of meds, surgeries, my doctors, and some lab results. I will pack up tonight and DH will put stuff in the car for me in the morning.
The neuro-psych guy was supposed to call me today with results. I hadn't heard from him, so I talked to his secretary. She thought I was coming in for an appointment. (Now, who's forgetful?) Grrr. I'll get results next week.
I just received an e-mail from Gregory Harrison (Gonzo on Trapper John, M.D.) We had seen him in the show CHICAGO a few weeks ago and I wrote him a note on his website. I never expected to hear anything. He's still gorgeous, btw. ~drool~!
December 8, 2004 - I drove to Kansas City today, about a 5-hour drive. I didn't have any trouble finding my way to the hotel out by the airport. I can't believe the amount of "stuffandthings" I brought along with me. I enjoyed the drive, but I am ready to relax and stretch out.
December 9, 2004 - I want that mattress. I have never slept so well. In fact, I overslept. I didn't eat anything for breakfast. I missed the coffee and doughnuts in the hotel office and I didn't want to waste time driving around looking for some place that was open at 10:30 a.m.
I headed on to Omaha, about a 3-hour drive. I found my exit ok to get to the hotel, and I could SEE the hotel, but I couldn't GET to it. Dodge is the main road through the city and there was construction all around. I finally made my way into the parking lot of the hotel after driving around in circles for half an hour. I think people cut me some slack because I have out of state plates on the car.
After figuring out how to get there (you can only enter if you are headed west) I decided to go off in search of a restaurant that was south of the hotel. Big mistake. I got so lost it wasn't funny. I went around in circles, squares, triangles, and I think I even drove a parallelogram, but I'm not sure. I never did find the restaurant, but it was getting late so I gave up. I was getting hungry.I got into my hotel room just in time to shower and change and high-tail it to the support meeting that started at 5:30. There were lots of people there. I met Sheryl E. from Omaha and Linn? Oh, slap me silly! I am so bad at remembering names. If they'd all been in hospital rooms I could tell you their room numbers. :-) I wish I'd had more time to visit, but Dr. Anthone's presentation started at 7:00.
I had read the basics of his presentation online several times over the past few weeks, so there wasn't anything new there. I did ask one question about doing a liver biopsy if one has NASH, and he asked if I was a nurse. I wasn't going to mention it, but it came out.
Everything was finished around 8:30 and I was famished. Sheryl told me about a good restaurant "across the street" from my hotel. Cool. I thought she meant across Dodge. Around in circles I went again. Nope. I made my way back to the hotel parking lot and looked across the lot to see the elusive eatery. I pulled up, got out, and they were closed. pffft.
By now, I was ready to eat the car. Back I go onto Dodge and around here and there trying to decide where to go. I didn't want to eat somewhere that I could go to at home, but my choices were fading quickly. I picked Boston Market's drive-thru. I ordered meatloaf, corn, and mashed potatoes. When I got back to the hotel (after driving east, turning around, coming back west so I could enter) and opened the bag, I discovered there wasn't any silverware. Nothing. How am I going to eat this? I looked at my keys... nah. Not even I can think of a way to use those to eat with.
There were 2 plastic coffee stirs by the coffee pot, but I've never been good at playing chopsticks. I remembered I had a 1/4 C measuring cup for the good coffee I brought with me. Aha, I say. That just might do.
Have you ever tried to eat mashed potatoes and corn from a tiny measuring cup? I don't recommend it. I tried filling it up and licking it out. I tried filling it part way and banging it on my mouth to get it to fall out. I ended up scooping it out with my finger. Call me Grace.
On to my homework. I had pages and pages to fill out before my appointment with Dr. Anthone in the morning. I wish I'd had these earlier. They were in with the folders given out at the presentation. I got into bed around 12:30 a.m.
December 10, 2004 - Finally, the day of my appointment. Yippee! Up early, shower and dress, drag all my stuffola back down to the car, check out, and head to the office. I had trouble finding the office building. First, the Yahoo map had lots of errors on it. It had my hotel on the opposite side of Dodge from where it really is. It had Dr. Anthone's office west of my hotel and it is east of there. Luckily, I had seen the turn off the night before and recognized it. (Fool me once..!)
I handed in my questionnaire and other papers I had brought along. I was weighed and BMI'd. My mug shots were taken. Dr. Anthone went through all my meds and surgeries and history and said he thought I'd be low risk. I had my PFTs for him. He thinks I won't have to do the respirator after surgery. HOORAY!! I hate the thought of being on a vent. In fact, I've told my husband over and over that if I'm dying and they want to attach me to one, let me go. All I can say is, they'd better drug me beyond consciousness if they put me on that thing.
Dr. A said I could go home after discharge from the hospital, no need to hang around in a hotel. I'll need to come back for some follow-ups later. Then I talked with umm.. Denise? (There's that name thing again.) She went over what I need to get done and said they'd see what my secondary insurance will cover. I'll come in the day before surgery and bring hubby with me so she can go over some things with us. Works for me! Since we share a brain, it will be good to have him there.
Back to Kansas City and the wonderful bed. I tried using the wireless connection from the hotel with my laptop, but it was so bad that I gave up after sending one e-mail and posting one message.
Dungaroos. That's what comes out when a newsperson (Shep) gets tongue twisted trying to say Durangos. The trucks were recalled. The news guy said Dungaroos sounds like trucks that kids would drive. :-) Maybe you had to be there. It was funny.
December 11, 2004 - I feel like I rode a horse home. Our dog tried to lick my face off. It's nice to be missed.
December 14, 2004 - I was able to schedule my tests online. I will get the orders from my primary doctor on Thursday and have the tests on Friday. I hope to have the results early next week so I can schedule my surgery.
December 17, 2004 - I finished my pre-op testing today. I got to the hospital at 7:45 a.m. and left at 1:00 p.m. I had to be back for a doctor's appointment at 2:30, so the day was shot. I called Dr. A's office to see if I could schedule surgery, but they wait until the results are all in. Argh. Still, I'm a few steps closer. I hope to have a date by the end of next week.
December 21, 2004 - I got the results from my tests today and faxed them to Dr. A's office. Within an hour, Christie had called to confirm which insurance I have. I'm hoping to get a surgery date soon. I don't know if my psychologist faxed his report or if he has even done it yet. I left a message for him yesterday to tell him I can't schedule surgery until they get the report from him.
Denise called this afternoon. I have a surgery date of Feb. 11th. Yea!! That was fast. I've booked the hotel for our stay already. I still have a few labs to get done that were missed. ABGs, big fun.
The cat will be boarded at the vet's and our dog will stay with my sister-in-law. Anyone want a cute, 16-month-old beagle? I feel guilty about this, but I can't keep him. It isn't fair to keep him in the house all day when I can't play with him or take him for walks.
December 26, 2004 - We are going ... literally ... over the river and through the woods, to my mother's house today. There was too much snow and ice for my comfort on Christmas Eve, so we wussed out and stayed home. My brother and niece drove down from Champaign and my nephew and his wife made it down from Chicago, but we stayed in our nice, warm house in St. Louis. I like staying home on holidays. We make our own traditions.
I hear sirens and a helicopter. That's almost never a good thing. I'll go look and then have to get into the shower or my hair will freeze when I go outside later.
January 2, 2005 - I renamed the dog today. I was bored. Happy birthday to me.
January 14, 2005 - Just 4 weeks away from surgery, now. You'd think I could get off my duff and start organizing things. I seem to be frozen. I can't make decisions and I can't start taking care of things that need to be done before I leave. I want to make a will and a power of attorney. I need to do some shopping. I need to start packing things so I don't forget to take them. I go see my PCP on Monday and I will stop by the lab to get my ABGs drawn. I was supposed to go Thursday, but I was having some anxiety and had been awake all night long. I called and rescheduled everything.January 17, 2005 - I ordered an elliptical trainer today. I also put 911 on my speed dial.
January 24, 2005 - I am 17 days away, and time is moving slowly. I still haven't done anything around here. I want this over with, not that I am worrying but I'm not a very good waiter. I want it when I want it! I'm taking antibiotics for a sinus infection, and I'm taking other medicines for the secondary infections I get from taking antibiotics. Sheesh.
January 28, 2005 - Talk about nervous! I don't know why. I am looking forward to this surgery very much. I just wish it would get here, already. I've gotten so frazzled that I can't do anything around here to get ready. I finally gave up and called my family doctor for a prescription. I'm taking Xanax, cutting them in half. I was able to help DH with taxes yesterday, so this is a huge improvement. Now I am working on my finances, will, Power of Attorney, etc. Inchworm, inchworm, measuring the marigolds...
February 6, 2005 - I am 5 days away, and time has been moving fast. I've developed a cough, so I am taking decreasing doses of prednisone. It is helping. I just hope I don't end up on a vent after surgery, that's my biggest fear.
We are going to The Fabulous Fox to see Les Miserables today. I bought Fox Club season tickets with my quit smoking money.After comlaining about too much time, now I'm afraid I'll be rushed when I pack. Oh, well. I guess all I really need are jammies and a toothbrush. And hubby, of course! :-D
Doug the big Jack Dempsey fish will guard the house while we are gone! Enter at your own risk.
February 10, 2005 - We made it to Omaha, through a huge snow storm. We booked a week at Studio Plus, which had a full kitchen and a recliner in the room. The weekly rates are less expensive than a regular hotel room, and Bill will be able to cook, store, and reheat food in the room.
I had biscuits and gravy for brunch, my final big meal before surgery. I'll see the doctor and nurse for my pre-op appointment. Surgery is tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.
I'm good to go after seeing Dr. Anthone and Denise. Clear liquids this afternoon, support group meeting tonight, then the mag citrate to clean me out. Whoboy. We took pictures front and side for my pre-op for comparison later when I lose weight.
February 11, 2005 - My potassium was too low to do surgery today, so Dr. Anthone put in a central line while I was awake -yeOUCH!- so they could load me up. I had my epidural in, my catheter in, my central line... all ready to go, but my potassium was dropping. I spent the night in observation receiving K+.
Post Op Notes
Please be aware that my post-op experience was not normal. I've been told by several people that my profile scared them. These things are rare, but they do happen. I drew the short straw. Hopefully, I've taken "the hit" so others won't have to.
February 12, 2005 - My potassium came up to 3.2, so surgery is on! Open DS, here we come.
The gals in the pre-op area were grumbling that they had to work on Saturday. I wasn't thrilled to be there, either, but you do what ya gotta do.
I don't remember the next few days. I was promised that if they put me on a vent, I would be drugged enough that I wouldn't remember anything. I spent a day and a half on the vent and don't remember a thing.
Hubby said they kept asking me my name, the date, who the President is. Apparently, I thought the month was "Blue" (he said he started to get worried at that point) and the President's name was "Reagan."
February 18, 2005 - I am going home today, up 14 pounds. Argh, fluids from the IVs. It was an uneventful hospitalization as far as I could tell. I did everything I was supposed to, except eat. It took me awhile to figure out how to eat without swallowing air. I would fill up with air, and there wouldn't be room for food.
I had my first shower on Thursday and it was like Heaven! At some point the NG came out, the catheter came out, everything except the central line. That stayed until discharge. My epidural came out on its own earlier in the week. I am tolerating pain meds through my j-tube very well.
We will spend the night in Omaha and drive on to Kansas City in the morning, then on to St. Louis on Sunday.
February 26, 2005 - I am 2 weeks post op today. Blah. I'm not well enough yet to do much, but I feel pretty good. I'm bored. I am ready to get on with this new life! Am I thin yet?
What do you eat for protein? Mostly refried beans, cottage cheese, Underwood Deviled Ham, and Carnation Instant Breakfast.
Do you have gas? Yes. It started yesterday and it does smell pretty bad, but it's not like I'm walking around tooting without any control.
Are you in pain? How does it compare to other surgeries? I'm still sore. My abdominal hysterectomy caused me more pain, but the soreness inside is lasting longer with the DS. I'm not in pain, but I do get uncomfortable. I sneezed 3 times yesterday and survived. The incision is fine, not painful at all.
March 15, 2005 - I've lost 24 pounds since my pre-op weigh-in 30 days ago. I've been having quite a bit of nausea, it seems to happen every other day. I had my j-tube removed yesterday and got a prescription for Compazine. It has helped quite a bit today. I'm eating a bit more with each meal now. I'm still bored. I can't wait until I can exercise and start doing things again.
March 21, 2005 - Fibromyalgia sucks. April 27, 2005 - I had surgery in St. Louis (Dr. Vitale) for a very large hernia today (Wednesday.) I went to the Emergency Room early Monday morning and they didn't decide until last night that the hernia was causing my problems. Owie x 10. I have a row of staples in the middle of my abdomen. They opened me back up through the same incision as for my WLS, but wanted to be sure it stayed good and shut. Put in a zipper, already! I didn't lose any bowel and everything seems to be working ok. I'd still do this all over again.
I had read that having a hernia can slow/stall weight loss. That certainly seems to be my case. I am losing 2 pounds a day again, back on track. Yippee! May 11, 2005 - I had my staples and remaining JP drain removed today. I still can't exercise or lift anything. I go back in 2 weeks. The incision line is clean and looks very good.
I had an episode of gagging today after I got home. I don't know if it's because I hadn't eaten or because I had been taking pain meds. I didn't have anything in me to throw up, so it was just gagging and spitting. I held onto my tummy for dear life. I'm back to wearing my binder. I don't want another hernia.
May 27, 2005 - I'm nauseated again/still. I haven't had a BM since yesterday morning, which is unusual for me since the surgery. I'm eating very small amounts and switched to liquids only this morning. I am passing small amounts of gas, which isn't normal for me, either. I don't think I can take another complication right now. Hopefully, this is just things slowing down from taking the pain meds (Darvocet.) I'll keep an eye on things and call Dr. Anthone if anything starts hurting or if I start vomiting.
I am down 73 pounds now. I haven't weighed this much since before I got married, I think. I can tell a difference in my good clothes. My sloppy, baggy ones still look sloppy and baggy.
June 1, 2005 - My hernia surgeon, Dr. Vitale, opened up my incision yesterday at the bottom. I was draining HUGE amounts of purulent gunk. He told me to come in every day this week for dressing changes.
Purulent. Remember that word. Now, most people say something that is draining puss is "pussy." I used to. In nursing school, one of the instructors pointed out that when you write the word, it doesn't look like it refers to pus. It looks like it refers to something else... catlike or (ahem) a slang word for some female anatomy. LOL! Purulent.
I spiked a fever last night. I look like death warmed over. I called Dr. Anthone's office. He wants me to get a PIC line and start TPN here in St. Louis. My PCP wants me in the hospital. When I went in for my dressing change, that surgeon wanted me admitted, too. Back to the hospital here.
Apparently the mesh from the hernia repair is infected. They will remove it tomorrow and replace it with some new kind of mesh.
My wound is open and I have a wound vac on. (Think Saran Wrap over my belly hooked up to a Seal-a-Meal.) Dressing changes 3 times a week and I'm hooked up to a vacuum. I can't drive or do much of anything for 4-6 weeks. They don't know if this will close all the way or if they will need to do more surgery. Time will tell. At least now I know a plastics guy. He may come in handy later. :-)
June 12, 2005 - I am 4 months out from my weight loss surgery and down 75 pounds, or lubs as I like to call them. I'm tired of putzing with this incision and I want to feel good. I need to take pain pills, and they make me sleepy and nauseated. This pretty much sucks. The antibiotics are still wreaking havoc on my bowels. I've been having some really bad days emotionally. This will pass.
June 29, 2005 - My wound is healing very well. The plastic surgeon who closed me this time, Dr. Prada, said he thought it would only be a few more weeks. Yea! I am *so* ready to be healed and get on with my life. I am not having much pain now and I am feeling better in my head about things.
July 1, 2005 - Good grief! I don't have a belly button! I finally took a really good look at my incision while the nurse was changing my dressing, and it is GONE! It was there after the hernia repair. Oh, this is going to be funny! I can tell people I was hatched. LOL!July 12, 2005 - Down 85 lbs. at 5 months. Finally! I am off the wound vac. I am free!! I feel like dancing. Dr. P., the plastic surgeon, is going to try to schedule me next week for the skin graft. I'll have IV sedation instead of general anesthesia. I still won't have a belly button (Dr. P. said it wasn't his doing, the other surgeon took it!), but that's ok by me. Just sew me up or put in a zipper or something and let me get on with my life. Until surgery, I am doing wet-to-dry dressings with Dakin's Solution, a sort of weak bleach mixture. Whew! I smell like a laundromat.
My 75-year-old mother and her boyfriend eloped last week. Awwww. :-) They are just too cute for words.
July 20, 2005 - More surgery tomorrow. They will rip some skin off of my thigh and graft it to my belly. Oh, joy. The visiting nurse will still be seeing me. She said I will have a large Xeroform dressing on my leg and we will dry it with a hair dryer. Now I think they are just making things up. I wish I would have gone to Dr. Anthone for my repair because they didn't close me up completely and left my muscles lax. I didn't have a choice, though, because I was sick and wouldn't take the time to travel to Omaha.
July 21, 2005 - The surgery went well. I went into the OR at 2:00 p.m. and was in recovery by 3:00 p.m. I only spent a few minutes in recovery, then went back to my room for a quick snack and was discharged home.
My abdominal incision with the skin graft is padded with a bolster to apply pressure and keep the graft from shifting around. There is about a 14 cm x 4 cm hunk of skin off of my left thigh. It is covered with a clear dressing and has quite a bit of blood around it. I've reinforced it with some Kerlix and wrapped it with an ace bandage. I don't see the surgeon until next Wednesday, so I'll have to keep reinforcing it as needed.
The pain is starting to increase. I guess the local is wearing off. It feels like a raw burn on my thigh, and my tummy hurts like with the other surgeries when it was sutured up.
Hubby gets another gold star for taking care of me today. He has taken many, many days off work to drive me hither and yon, to provide emotional support, and to sit and wait while I have surgery after surgery. He has been very good about keeping my mother informed. Talk about an angel! :-)
July 22, 2005 - Holy crap, Batman. This hurts! My thigh feels like it has one big long burn on it.
The dressing over the donor site is clear and I can see all the blood and gunk collecting underneath it. When I change position, the bloody stuff moves around. It is supposed to be this way, but it is really gross to watch. I am taking Vicodin again. Ugh. Barf.
Now, on to healing up and getting on with my life! My elliptical trainer is gathering dust. I want to start exercising and try to build up some muscle under this flab.
August 1, 2005 - I have now lost 93 pounds!
I had my incision and donor site checked last week and they are doing well. When the dressing was removed from the donor site, the pain came back with a vengeance. It finally let up after 3 days, then my back went out. I'm a wreck, but a smaller wreck than I was 6 months ago.
All in all, I feel pretty good. I'm eating well and not having problems with food, except for fried potatoes. They give me gas. Otherwise I can eat any kind of sugar, carbs, fats without trouble. I don't crave sugar or carbs like before, though. It is truly amazing. God bless Dr. Hess, Dr. Anthone, and OH for leading me to the DS surgery!August 16, 2005 - I saw Dr. Anthone today. My labs are nearly perfect, so the vitamins I am taking are doing the job and I am getting in enough protein.
I have a hernia. Again. Still. Argh. I need to take a picture of this, because it is hard to explain how it looks. Think FOOTBALL. I sure wish I'd had the chance for Dr. Anthone to do the repair! These yahoos in St. Louis are something else.
August 28, 2005 - I feel like I will never cross over that minus 100 pounds threshold. I am stuck at -98. I know. In the scheme of things, yapping about losing another 2 pounds seems petty, but I want what I want when I want it. :^)September 13, 2005 - Argh! I am down 99.5 pounds in 7 months. That's only 6.5 lbs. in the last month. At least it is better than gaining. I remember those days well.
Happy anniversary. Nine years, and they said it wouldn't last. :^) September 15, 2005 - I have now lost 100 pounds! This is amazing.
February 12, 2006 - One year, one hundred plus lubs gone, one new life. Priceless. My labs are great. My A1C was 5.1, which is absolutely amazing. Now, I just need to get busy with some exercise and stop with the Pepsi, already.
My (hopefully final) hernia repair has been scheduled for May 1st in Omaha with Dr. Anthone. I'm pretty sore right now, but I am hoping it is from lifting luggage this past week for my trip with Marylin for her surgery. She did fantastically well, as far as I could see. Very impressive.April 12, 2006 - Here's the latest picture of my hernia. It's big and right in the middle of my abdomen.
You can see my ugly skin graft, and my missing belly button. These are pictures of me lying flat and then with my feet raised to show the hernia. (The cat is wondering what in the world I am doing.)May 9, 2006 - My "Bentures" in Omaha
I flew into Omaha on Saturday, April 29th, and stayed at the Crowne Plaza. Loved that place! It was already evening when I arrived, and lots of people had room service trays outside their doors, so I decided to join in the fun. I ordered filet, potato, asparagas tips, coffee, and triple chocolate cake. The bummer in this surgery is that you can't have your steak and eat your cake all at once. LOL! I managed, though.
The bed! Yes, I have a thing about hotel beds. This was the best yet. The sheets had a very high thread count. The comforter was fluffy and soft (like me!), and they had lavendar spray for the bedding. Seven - count 'em, seven just-right pillows. Not too fluffy, not too firm. I only wish hubby had been there with me to share.
Sunday, I went down for the breakfast buffet. Yum. Again, I couldn't eat much and considered it wasted money, but what the hey. Look at all those years I ate more than my share.
Then the defining moment of my trip, and one my therapist has been encouraging (drumroll, please):
I put on a bathing suit, walked to the elevator, waddled down the hallways, and got into the pool in front of God and everyone. Woohoo!!! I stood there like a deer caught in headlights.
The water was freezing, and there were kidlets diving and swimming all around me, but I was IN THE POOL! In a BATHING SUIT! In PUBLIC! I did it.I can do this. The kids didn't fall over from shock, or point and laugh, or run away shrieking in fright. The adults didn't give me more than a passing glance. The water didn't all get displaced out of the pool from my hips.
I will tell ya'all right now, you will never see a full body shot of me in a bathing suit. Lordeemightee, gravity has not been kind. The cheapee suit (blair.com) served its purpose, though. It should be good for a few sizes down in case I want to try this adventure again.
I went back to my room and started my bowel prep. Funfun.
Monday, the hotel drove me to the hospital for my check-in. Nothing special or interesting there. Security kept my laptop and "valuables" for me. Dr. A came in and away we went.
After surgery on Monday - ouch. Crap, I'd forgotten how bad it hurts. Blessed pain meds, snooze, turn, repeat until done.
Tuesday - Double Ouch! I'd forgotten how bad the first post-op day is. I remember the pain, and that's about it. Around this time, my lungs decided to put on a show of their own. They decided to collapse themselves on the bottom lobes. They decided I didn't need to be all pink and healthy - blue would be a nice color for my lips and nails. They decided a fever would spice things up a bit.
I know at one point my PAO2 was 86% on 15 liters of high flow oxygen. Not good for getting that pink glow. I know that that much oxygen through a mask is useless, it just blows out your nose hairs. LOL! I was pretty out of it for awhile. I remember my oxygen levels dropping when they gave my oxygen. Not a good sign. I guess I'm offically a COPDer. Damned smokes.
But, things eventually turned around. They gave me antibiotics, frequent breathing treatments, steroids (grrrRRRR!), put me in reverse tendelenberg, and did all the right things as far as I could tell.
By Thursday morning, I was starting to be more alert. I was still short of breath, but at least I was aware of what was going on around me. The main thing I noticed was that one of the alarms sounded like a fog horn and went off every 15 minutes or so. My poor roommie! She was an obnoxious bint, but that was too much noise to impose on even her.
I finally got a private room, convinced them that I could take a shower without falling over, and settled in to get better so I could come home. And I eventually did.
I flew home on Tuesday evening, 8 days after surgery. Traveling by wheelchair is the way to go, let me tell you. You get to preboard the plane, they push you wherever you need to go, and they even take you out to your car when you get home.
If I could have bent over and gotten back up, I'd have kissed the ground when we pulled into our garage. I did tear up and got all mooshy when I saw hubby at the airport. I'm such a sap these days.
The cat is ignoring me. The dog is just being the dog. We have some new fish in a couple of the aquariums and they look great.
I'm losing weight again. My upper belly is nice and flat. I still have staples, stitches, and 2 jp drains in. The pain is tolerable. I'm sucking in nicotine inhalers for my fix.
Life is good.
Here I am, 9 days post-op with my new, flatter upper tummy. I still need a tuck, but I'm not looking pregnant these days. There is still some swelling and there are staples, stitches, and drains, but those will resolve soon enough.
June 1, 2006 - Spoke too soon. Houston ... erm ... Omaha, we have a problem.
June 4, 2006 - I flew into Omaha and checked into the hotel. Late in the evening, I looked down and my nightgown and underpants were soaked with bloody discharge. My incision near the bottom was oozing a lot of blood. I called Dr. Anthone, who said to keep pressure on it and he would see me in the morning.
June 5, 2006 - I went into the office and outpatient surgery was on as scheduled. Dr. Anthone would debride the open area under my rib and clean out the pocket that was oozing at the bottom of my incision line. My labs were good. Slight fever. Weight: 217. This surgery was done under light sedation, so I didn't have to worry about the effects of anesthesia so much. I woke up in my room and had some food. Not much pain. Things went well.
June 6, 2006 - I was discharged and went back to the hotel. Marylin was a big help while I was in the hospital. She kept hubby updated on what was going on, and that means a lot to both of us.
June 7, 2006 - Home! My own bed. Ahhh. Home health will hook me up to a wound vac when they get their ducks in a row.
June 17, 2006 - Finally! The wound vac arrived today and the home health nurse hooked me up. Let the healing begin.
Last night, I got a new pain. Oh, joy. It's on the right side, to the right of my lowest open wound. Whattheheck? It was gone this morning, but came back with a vengeance this evening. It's a sharp burning pain that really hurts. I remembered that I've had this before. It is the edge of the mesh pulling. It should go away soon. Until then, I want to cry some more.
August 2, 2006 - 206 today. Wheee! My wounds are still healing, almost finished. I'm hoping to be able to swim when I go to Omaha next Tuesday for my visit with Dr. A. I think several people from out of town are going to be at the support group on Thursday, so that will be way cool.
I hit ONDERLAND last week. I don't remember what the date was, but I got there. I am 19 months post-op, and still losing.
January 2, 2007 - I turned 51 today. Ugh. Yesterday the scale read 183!!!!!!!! I was 9 lubs away from NORMAL. Of course, today it jumped back up several lubs. Darned scale.
This is going to be a great year. I've promised hubby that I will not have any surgery this year. I want new boobs badly, but I will spend the year getting as healthy as I can and doing research on surgeons.
February 12, 2007 - 2 years! I am down 162 lubs. I am off my bi-PAP. I am off all diabetes meds. My labs are good. Life is good. I need to get a picture of me for my DSiversary.
Here's a shout out to all of the "new" people discovering the DS and posting on the board. Another shout out to the lurkers! I remember how exciting it all was in the beginning and all of the emotions. I envy you in that your journeys are just beginning and your lives are going to change so much, so quickly. In good ways! Just grab ahold and get on the ride. It's better than anything Six Flags ever came up with. :-)