My name is Pamela and I am a happily married 25 year old pastor's wife. I have had problems with my weight since age nine. I tended to be a little chunky through middle school and high but my weight got out of control when I started taking oral prednisone for the second time as a treatment for my FSGS (kidney disease). I gained 80 lbs. in two months and I was only able to lose half of that when they took me off of it. Several years later I went into kidney failure and went on dialysis at a weight of 220. In October of 2003, a co-worker donated a kidney to me and I had an initial drop in weight of about 25 lbs. but then I started gaining. During this time I developed a cyst on my thyroid that they thought might have indicated cancer so they removed my thyroid and placed me on Synthroid. Needless to say, none of this helped along with the fact that I was placed back on prednisone at the time of transplantation.
I have really struggled with the decision about WLS because it is such a life changing experience. The more time I spend reading profiles on OH really helps me!
Well I was really getting excited about my surgery until last week at pre-op. I had a low fever of 100.4 and I told them I was sure I had a UTI. Long story short, my transplant doctor postponed the surgery and put me on a two week regiment of Keflex. I go back on the 26th to see if I am cleared for surgery again. I'm so upset!!! I really hope this is the only setback I have.
Yeah!! GOOD NEWS! I got a letter from Dr. Wright's office yesterday saying that they had rescheduled me for July 28. I am so glad that I wasn't delayed for several months. So, here I am again in that two week stretch.
Horrible news now! They cancelled me again. My surgery was supposed to be tomorrow and my surgeon called and said I still have the stupid UTI. They can't figure out why three weeks of antibiotics did not clear it up. They are gonna hold off on my surgery for awhile now until I can see an infectious disease specialist to get this cleared up. I am so angry right now. I have prayed and prayed for this infection to clear up but for some reason God has chosen to not heal it. Am I not supposed to have this surgery? Is it against His will? I am so confused, upset, angry and emotionally unstable right now. I can't stop crying! It hurts to breathe...I am crying so hard. Why is this happening.
Everyone please pray for me. Pray for strength that I can get through this emotionally and physically. This is twice now that I have been cancelled. I can't take much more of this.
I went to my endocrinologist today and she informed me that I am possibly a full blown diabetic. My Ha1c had been running kind of wacky and my sugars had been high the last two visits. She gave me a meter and now I am checking my sugar before my meals and 2 hours after. I have to admit they are running rather good. Only about 10 percent of the time the readings run a little high. Oh well, at least I can monitor it now.
I went to the transplant doc today and did another urinalysis. He said it was clear and that I could proceed with the surgery. YEAH!!!!
Lisa from Dr. Wright's office called and she set my surgery up for September 13th. Hopefully this time nothing else will happen to get it cancelled.
Ok...it has been some time since I updated...longer than it should have been. I have had a little inspiration from a new friend (Hi Regina!) to get back on here and give some updates.
I did have my surgery on September 13, 2005. I am going to start by listing my whole experience here...
My pre-op instructions from the doctor:
1. DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT BEFORE YOUR SURGERY INCLUDING CHEWING GUM OR CANDY.
2. If you develop symptoms of fever, cold, productive cough, sore throat or other signs of illness before your surgery, please call your surgeon's office.
3. If your surgeon has given you diet instructions, please follow those instructions.
4. If you take medications, please take them with a sip of water the morning of surgery. If your surgeon or the preoperative center has given you medication instructions, please follow instructions.
5. Please do not wear jewelry or bring money or valuables.
6. Arrive at 6:00 a.m. for surgery beginning at 7:30 a.m.
I was told not to take any vitamins the morning of the surgery because they tend to cause an upset stomach after the procedure. I could however take my anti-rejections meds for my kidney, my blood pressure meds, my protonix and my Levoxyl.
Be sure to take a list of all the medications you are allergic to as well, especially things like phenergan and compazine (commonly given after surgery for nausea). I happen to be very allergic to those two listed so I always have to make sure they know not to give them.
If you are on oral contraceptives, go ahead and take them to the hospital with you but they will most likely not want you to take them. I was told that they can cause clotting problems after surgery so they wouldn't let me take mine. Therefore, I had to be prepared for what happens when I miss a dose. And yes, it did happen.
The surgery center also gave me a full liquid grocery list to have things stocked up on for when I came home:
* Skim milk (or lactose free equivalent)
* Not-fat powdered dry milk
* No Added Sugar Instant Breakfast
* Protein powder, low sugar (Unjury was their example)
* High protein drink (Carb solutions, Low Carb Slim Fast)
* Broth, bouillon, or consomme - to consume alone or add to blended foods to thin
* Soup - will need to be blended and likely thinned with more liquid
* Meats and Veggies to cook soft, puree, and add to soups
* 100% fruit juice (must dilute with water to 1/2 strength; limit to 2 cups per day when diluted), diet juices (Diet V8 Splash), or veggie juice
* Very low-cal beverages (Crystal Light, sugar-free Kool-Aid, Fruit20, or other sugar-free noncarbonated beverages)
* Sugar free gelatin
* Fat-free, low sugar yogurt (must be blended with milk to thin)
* Sugar free popsicles
* Multivitamin with minerals supplement (chewable or liquid)
* Calcium Citrate supplement (chewable, liquid or solid pill to crush)
* Measuring cups and spoons
* Blender or food processor
Now...make sure you give yourself plenty of time to pack your bags too. Don't wait until the morning of surgery or even the night before. It took me days to figure out what I would need.
Here is my list of what I took to the hospital and what I actually used:
* Robe - I used this to walk the halls
* Slippers - Hospital floors are not as clean as you think. I also wore these going home.
* Chapstick - my lips stayed really dry but regular Chapstick is horrible. My suggestion is Blistex Lip Infusion.
* Puffs kleenex - when you start spitting up stuff out of your lungs you don't want their half ply kleenex
* Pillow - for your tummy when you cough, sneeze and for the ride home
* Toothbrush/Toothpaste - Preferably electric...
* Shampoo - don't bother...you won't care what you look like when you leave. Why don't you buy a nice hat instead.
* Comb/Brush - Use this before putting on hat! :)
* Loose clothing - for the ride home
* Battery operated fan - You WILL get hot! I got my fan at Wal-Mart
* Deodorant - Please don't forget yours!
* Undies - I wore mine after the cath came out
* Feminine Products
* Premoistened bathing wipes - These are wonderful to freshen up with.
* Paper and pen - Take notes or have someone take notes when the doctors come in. With all the pain meds I was on I wouldn't have remembered much.
* Phone list - Have a loved one call those who are praying for you to let them know you are ok.
So...the morning of surgery! I was hungry to say the least! I had been on a pre-op diet of my own choosing for the weeks prior and had already lost around 10 pounds just from that. I wasn't nervous at all. In fact, I was anxious to get it over with and start losing weight.
I had to go through the check in process of signing the financial papers and giving them the insurance information. It only took about ten minutes doing this stuff and then I went into the general waiting area. They called my name after a bit and I was taken upstairs to the holding area. They gave me my stylish gown and I commenced to change into it. After many tries, they finally got my IV started (I'm a really hard stick). The docs came around and made sure I understood everything that was about to occur and I told them yes. After about ten minutes they came with the "happy juice" and it started working very nicely. I was however still awake when they started strapping my arms down in the operating room. So, they did the whole putting the mask on me and said, "Now this is just oxygen..." Yeah.... I know breathing oxygen doesn't feel that good. I remember nothing after that.
I woke up in recovery and was very uncomfortable. I usually freak out when I wake up with the mask on my face and I did once again. They had to tie my arms down until I was lucid and understood where I was. When I was completely aware of my surroundings I calmed down quite a bit. I had the catheter in, two IVs in my right arm, tube in my nose, pain pump wire directly in the incision and of course the g-tube that goes in the old portion of the stomach.
I had a relatively normal hospital stay. The only strange thing that happened was during one of my walks. I started dripping from my incision. I looked at my mom and started crying (I was very emotional) and said, "Mama...I'm leaking!" It's funny now thinking back on it. She called the nurse and they came to check the incision and she said it was simply where the pain meds were being pumped in and they were draining out.
Through my stay I didn't get hungry...this is Tuesday to Friday we're talking about here. NO HUNGER!!! They took out the catheter on Wednesday and the naso-gastric tube on Thursday. It was Thursday evening when I finally got to try to drink something. It was water of course...blech! I couldn't even drink one ounce in an hour. On Friday they wanted to discharge me and the only requirement was that I needed to drink a little more. It was tough but I did what they wanted. I finally made it home that afternoon and it made me feel so much better being in the Lazy Boy.
I had no problems until about two weeks later. I started soaking through my bandages (about 4) within a two hour span. I went to the surgeon's office and they popped a couple staples out and checked me out inside. They said it was quite normal for something like this. I had a seroma...a fluid filled pocket that finally burst and was leaking out the incision. I was really relieved to know something hadn't happened to the pouch!
Eating has been no problem...so far the only intolerance I have kept is to scrambled eggs. Everything else is great. I love grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. Grits are my normal morning meal! I am able to drink unsweet tea, lots of water and crystal light. I do not drink anything carbonated! I accidentally took a sip of my husband's Mt. Dew the other day and thought I was gonna get sick.
At this point I am down to 217 pounds and am feeling great! My energy is 100% increased and my body feels wonderful. My joints are not popping anymore and I can run...that's right, run...and in heels too. My dress size before surgery was a 28 and I am down to an 18 in some of my clothing. I am going to have to buy some new undies now too!!! Everything is falling off of me. My bra size has went from a 44D down to a 38C and my undies have went from a 10 down to an 8. How neat is that. I have officially stopped shopping in the multiple X sizes. I can fit in 1X items now! All of my shoes are loose too. I have went from a shoe size of 9 wide to a 7.5 normal width. I actually wore my first pair of pointy toe high heels the other day...first time ever!
Every aspect of my life has improved and continues to improve since the surgery so, I will have more updates in the next few months.
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Morning of Surgery
8 months Post Op
Books & Literature - I love to read Christian lit and the Bible.
Crafts - I love all types of crafts and I find new things to do everyday
Recreation - I'm up to anything that involves outdoors and fun.
Movies - I like basically all movies! (Especially comedy & romance)
Singing - Church hymns and just about anything from musicals
Scrapbooks - I'm a beginner, but I love it!
Cooking & Baking - I like to experiment with cooking!
Christianity - I'm an Independent Baptist pastor's wife and I love my church!
Vacation or Summer Home (Cabin or Cottage) - Gatlinburg (TN) or Amelia Island (FL)
WLS in your 20's - I will be turning 26 right after my surgery...
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: John K. Wright, Jr. M.D.
I met with Dr. Wright on April 27, 2005. My first impression of him was that he was a very knowledgable man and that there would be no dilly-dally conversation with him. He got right to the point when he walked in the room. Of course I started crying because I felt like they thought I am doing this as a quick fix. Although, they do know I was referred by my transplant doctor who told me to think about the surgery. I let them know the main reason I was doing this is to save my kidney and to live my life as a normal 25 yr. old.
I have talked with his secretary Lisa several times and she is alright I guess. I prefer to talk to the other girl at his office named Dana. Lisa seems kind of cold to people's emotions and not once have I ever got her to laugh about anything. I think she takes her job a little too seriously.
Dr. Wright did explain that all he would be doing is giving me a tool and that I would have to do the work to lose the weight. I fully understand that. He explained their aftercare program and the doctor who came in before Dr. Wright explained all the complications and risks that could result from surgery. They were very adamant that I understood all of these and they let me know I was at a higher risk because of my transplant.
Dr. Wright was very compassionate during my hospitalization and my needs were taken care of very well. I am so thankful that I had Dr. Wright as my surgeon and I couldn't have been happier with anyone else.
So, I rate Dr. Wright on a scale of 1 to 10 at a 10+.
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