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BEFORE READING THIS PROFILE, BE ADVISED-
I was / am one of the rare folks who had extreme complications.
If reading such would upset you or hinder your progress in any way
just hit the back button.
I eventually ended up Great!
And have been at or just below goal for over 4 years at this point
Its a bit of a Scary-Story, with a Happy ending.
(Just wanted to offer fair warning)
One other bit---
If you are looking into Bariatric Procedure, I would heartily recommend fully researching your options.
Gather information and opinion from multiple sites and sources,
NOT JUST THIS ONE.
This site offers Peer to Peer Support for those dealing with Obesity,
Specifically through Bariatric procedures.
We are funded and $upported in turn by those selling Bariatric Procedures, Bariatric Vitamins, etc
A simple google search of Discuss WLS or WLS Discussion
will yield sites that offer peer to peer open and frank discussions
Of Post-Op Bariatric patients that are not restrained
to include only those comments that are judged to be -
Supportive Of Bariatric Procedures.
If one is seeking the Real-Life Stories of Post-Op Life,
seeking The Whole Truth is strongly advised.
Now all of that said?
My Experiences follow below
I guess its finally time to include my profile information
Beyond the Dr. and Insurance facts.
Long time Reader/Lurker,(since 02) just now Joining In.
Im one of those rare few individuals
That had extreme complications.
I had Lap RNY July 3rd, 2003.
Two days later I was rushed to emergency surgery.
I had an intestine rupture, and was septic, with peritonitis
And internal bleeding and leaking from multiple sites.
I was opened up and after about a 10 hour surgery
That removed my spleen, my gall bladder,
And a lot of pieces of digested intestine,
The pieces of my semi digested insides
Were reattached (after a lot of washing)
And I woke in the ICU where I had been
For right at 3 weeks on heavy morphine.
Yeah, Not the Best Way to Start ones Journey.
I had made it through the nights where my chances
Had been very slim for making it.
My Surgeon/s had pulled me through a miracle.
I had a gastrostomy tube, a Jejunostomy tube,
And a very large open wound (about 20x12)
That had to heal from the inside out.
After about three more weeks (just over 5 in the hospital)
I was sent home with the g/j feeding tube,
(with Pic-line for the first 2 ½ weeks)
And an Open Hole -wound
That had to be repacked 4x a day
With saline and gauze.
Two weeks later, I was back in the hospital
To have an internal infection drained.
(Problem with where my Spleen Had been.)
Some more complications,
So, another 8 or so days in the hospital.
4 months later, still on a feeding tube,
That went in through a hole in my side,
But by then I was adding in eating the dairy, eggs, soup
And even able to add super soft ground chicken.
Oh, and not really able to walk at this time.
But, it was getting better with home visits
From my physical Therapist!
However, the wound was just not closing at any rate.,
And mind you, Its full out open to the inside.
Not looking at muscle in this opening,
(Much of the abdominal muscle was necrotic and removed)
But watching the fluids I drink, Pass through the pipes.
Back into the hospital during Christmas
To have a skin graft to cover the opening
(Ouch that donor site, my thigh still hurts today)
And to have the G/J tube removed.
After another week in the hospital,
I was back at home.
Because my abdominal area now,
Has no muscle tissue behind it,
Just a THIN layer of skin,
About the thickness of an eyelid,
I still must wear an abdominal binder,
And will be in one until I have the surgery
To restore my stomach muscles.
Starting from an all time high of 385lbs 06/20-
Ive gone from Approx.385lbs 07/03 to 210lbs 08/18/04.
Im now walking about 3 miles every other day
And have started working out
With small weights 2 days a week.
I never had the hair loss issues that some have
And I have followed the diet information
From my Dr. religiously.
Even with all of the complications,
That wont end until next summer
When I plan to have my abdominal muscles restored,
I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Ill be far healthier in my mid-50s,
Than I ever was in my 30s.
So other than That Mrs. Lincoln,
How was the rest of the show?
I come from three generations of hefty folks,
Who tend to live long, painful lives
Due to a swarm of the usual co-morbidities
Associated with Obesity.
I went on my first Diet around the fifth grade
And it was very successful.
Toward the middle of Jr. High
I was back up in the middle of the obese range.
I have successfully lost weight
Again and again only to gain it back,
Plus about another 10% each time.
Im an amalgam of Southern-ness.
Im originally from Texas,
First the Dallas Fort Worth area,
Then to East Texas to the Lake O the Pines.
Went off to Grad School in Mississippi,
Where I met and married my loving wife,
Who is from Alabama.
We then moved to Atlanta, GA. ,
Where our son was born.
While in Atlanta, I worked as the Resident Designer
For the Alliance Theatre Company,
And began freelance designing around the country.
Hartsfield Airport is a great hub to anywhere.
After about 12 years of flying out of Atlanta
And commuting 2 ½ hours each day,
I decided I could travel out of any city,
And moved to Mississippi about 6 years ago.
I now am the head of the Design Program at Ole Miss
And I still continue to free-lance design
Around the country.
Im able to take some of my students along
As Paid Assistants
So they get a far greater sense
Of what the business is really like
Rather than just being exposed to Educational Theatre.
So thats me in a Nutshell.
They say only about 1 out of 200 to 500
Of us have such serious complications.
Hopefully this will statistically pave the way
For the next 500 folks.
I'll add some more to my profile.
The quick news is that I broke the 200 lb. mark,
By hitting 199.5 this week.
The second news is that Im meeting
With my Surgeon tomorrow,
To schedule my abdominal muscle reconstruction
To coincide with my Christmas Break
From the University. Merry Christmas!
It occurred to me in the first post to my profile
That I told nothing of my Medical Condition
Prior to my convoluted series of complications,
Or what I now joking refer to as-
The Passion of the Dex.
Prior to my string of complications,
I had been in the hospital about four months earlier,
So, this is actually A Prequel.
In March of 2003 I had an unusual
And severe chest pain.
I had been coping with acid reflux for some time,
But this was a little different.
So I popped into an Urgent Care clinic,
Not having a regular PCP,
I was rarely if ever sick.
I was a pack a day smoker
Who was morbidly obese, so Duh?
I wanted to make sure it wasnt A Heart Attack.
Well the Dr. listened to my heart for quite some time-
He does an EKG-
He looks in my eyes at the blood vessels-
(Whats that about?)
Does a chest X-Ray-
Does the blood test that checks for chemicals
That are released when the heart is under stress-
Then, asks me about my acid reflux
And says that I should take some
And keep it in the fridge,
At the first sign of the pain,
Gulp some down, and the pain should stop instantly.
In the meanwhile, just to be Super Safe,
He says I should go and have a Cardiologist take a look.
He calls Dr. Little across the street from the clinic,
And as luck would have it,
He could see me in the next hour.
At Dr. Littles office he examines me
And while listening to my heart,
He pauses. Listens again very closely.
He asks me if Ive ever had a heart murmur?
No, not that I know of.
He decides that I should have an Echocardiogram,
Just to explain the Tiniest Little Irregularity hes hearing.
After the test, He explains to me
That I have a flawed Aortic Valve,
And that it is a congenital problem
That I have had my whole life.
The normal valve has three flaps that meet
And seal to hold the blood in
And then fully open to allow the blood to flow through.
Mine had only two and was only letting me get
Approximately 60% of the blood flow through my system.
He asked if I was always tired,
I explained that-
Yes, I have a large fat man who steps on my feet all day,
And that I always assumed
I was just overweight and getting older,
I didnt know how else I was supposed to Feel.
He explained that
This is the sort of problem
That you hear about the guy who,
While out jogging his usual 3 miles in the morning,
Just drops dead.
Comforting to know that my life had been saved up to this point
By spending it sitting on the couch, eating Cheetos.
He asks me if I smoke and I answer,
Not Anymore, I Dont!
So we schedule Open Heart Surgery,
To replace my flawed valve
With a Teflon and stainless steel one 10 days from then,
And he gives me nitroglycerin sublingual spray
In case the pain starts up in the meantime.
Also in the meantime, I quit smoking Cold Turkey.
I was in the middle of Directing a production of 12th Night
And asked if we could put it off for 6 days beyond that.
(The Show Must Go On!)
He agreed and told me to take it very easy.
So 16 days later I tell the cast-
Break a Leg, have a wonderful Opening Night,
Im going to have my Heart cut out!
The Surgeon, has a great reputation,
But, now I have a sinus infection.
The operation is postponed for 7 more days.
Now cut to the post-op ICU- I wake up feeling ok,
But the hose (Ventilator) is still down my throat
And a machine is breathing for me,
Or rather, Breathing Me.
I talk to my wife and a friend of ours by playing Charades-
Two Words? First Syllable? Yes, Sounds Like
We actually carried on conversations.
All that Theater Training pays off.
All I could think about was the 20 or so Drs. over my lifetime
Who had listened to my heart just as diligently,
For physicals, check-ups, flu and cold seasons,
And they had never heard that Tiny Irregularity.
Thank God for Dr. Littles Ears.-
This, in fact was the first phrase
That I communicated through Charades in the ICU.
By the time Im moved to my room,
I now have a new PCP,
Because Dr, Little (Cardiologist) doesnt do that,
Nor does Dr. D (Cardiac Surgeon),
So I now have Dr. Laura,
Yes a female Dr.
(Just a bit of advice, when you get near the age
Where you will need to get regular rectal
And prostate exams,
Pick the Dr. with the smallest fingers!
Youll thank me for the advice)
Back to My entourage of Drs.
I also now a total of 5,
When only 20 days earlier I had none.
To make a long story short too late-
My heart was doing fine,
I make a ticking sound, like an Alarm Clock,
I'd scare Captain Hook to death,
Yet, my heart is in great shape after the surgery.
My intestines were not waking up correctly from the anesthesia
And I was having an Achalasia,
( I believe thats the term)
A condition characterized by a lack of peristalsis.
I was in terrible pain in my Stomach and Bowels,
Was bloating up like a balloon,
And nothing was coming out except I was beginning to vomit,
And it wasnt a normal tasting regurgitation,
But rather tasted like,
For lack of a better description- Poo.
A Consult was called in,
A specialist in gastrointestinal business- Dr. Byars.
He had them instantly restrict my eating to clear liquids,
Had a NG-tube put up my nose
And 3 gallons of vileness were drained out.
I felt much better.
He gave me a liquid that was to aid my natural peristalsis to return,
And it did.
The 6 Drs. Decided to keep me for a few days longer.
Each of them checked in on me twice a day.
It was like Dr. Central.
Each scheduled follow ups to see me a week,
Month or what ever as they one by one cleared me to be released.
Dr. Byars stopped by and said
That I wouldnt need a follow up with him,
But while talking to me about my acid reflux,
Asked what I was trying to loose some of my weight.
When I told him Id Lost 700lbs over the last 30 years-
Lost 54 lbs on Atkins, Gained 65 of it back and so on,
He asked if I had thought about a Gastric By-Pass.
I said I was not really able to pay for an elective surgery
And I was pretty sure my insurance wouldnt cover it.
He said, If some day in the future, you are interested,
Stop by and see me or Dr. King,
We do a lot of them, in fact thats our specialization.
Jump ahead to being out
And starting to seriously contemplate WLS.
I had been looking into it for quite a while
At this site and others, but never thought Id be able
To have WLS
Now that I was a non-Smoker,
The lbs. that I had lost while in the hospital
Were flying back on.
I found the folks at Liv-Lite.com
And realized they had an office
In little Ole Oxford Mississippi. Fate?
I called and set up an appointment,
Just to check into the remote possibility
That my insurance might cover it.
My BCBS Mississippi definitely would not,
But, how odd, my insurance through my Designers Union
Would pick up any portion of it,
That my primary insurance would not.
I was at 385lbs. at the time I made the decision to Go For It.
You could start back at the top of my profile
To see what happened next,
Or wait for another LONG profile update to come.
Had some time today, and thought Id update my profile.
The quick news-
I have a date for re-constructive surgery
To repair my Abdominal muscles
And remove the skin graft, which is now excess skin,
Along with the actual Excess skin.
Not a Tummy Tuck, but it will amount to the same sort of
Adjustment. Ill get a belly button out of it,
So Im looking forward to the Surgery.
The Date? December 6th.
Merry Christmas, heres a Belly Button!
In the meanwhile Im exercising and losing on down.
At 197lbs today.
This has been an eventful week.
My father had his appendix rupture,
Had his surgery, and had to be opened back up to repair an abscess.
He, like me, Had to heal open,
With a wound that had to be redressed and packed
With saline and gauze, three times a day.
His opening is far smaller than
Mine was, but he is still Morbidly Obese,
And the internal pressure pushing
Out the wound is greater. Perhaps its Genetic?
Hes at home again, out off the hospital and doing well.
This week, actually back on Tuesday,
I was asked to speak at a WLS
Seminar, held by my Dr.s clinic and the folks at Liv-Lite.
I was one of five people who spoke.
I was the-See, It is Risky Surgery,
Example. Everyone else who spoke,
Talked about leaving the hospital
On the third day, and being back at work by the second week.
Got to say, I was a Little Bit Jealous.
The audience, composed mostly of
People-Looking into WLS as an Option,
Asked, Why did you have WLS?
The other four Post-Ops had major Co-morbidity factors,
Such as extreme Blood Pressure problems,
Type II Diabetes, Severe Arthritis, etc
I did not.
Jumping back to my Father-
Father and Mother and both of their
Fathers and Mothers were Obese.
As a tendency, both sides of the family,
Live long lives, into their 90s.
But, most all of my relatives,
Have spent the last 20 or so years in agony.
Wheelchairs, walkers, insulin shots,
Blood pressure issues, heart problems, etc
My Grandmother had three different Drs.
Tell her that at best they gave her 6 months to live.
She outlived two of those Drs. and before her death-
Wore out two pacemakers, had two artificial knees,
One artificial hip, had a colostomy bag
For the last 8 years of her life,
Had over come 3 different Cancers, a triple bypass,
And was, as they say, sharp as a tack.
No dementia, even at the end.
She got to be completely aware of every ache
That is why I had WLS.
I have the genetic propensity for long life,
And I dont want those last 20 years
To be torment.
I want to completely enjoy
My grandchildren and my retirement,
As if any of us are going to get to retire in the future.
What once was 65,And your done,
Is now going to be 70+
And you may still have to keep a part time
Position as a Wal-Mart Greeter.
Well at least after my weight loss,
Ill be the old guy with the biggest Smiley Face
At the door.
Thats it for today.
More ramblings to follow, Im sure-
OK, have some time on my hands
And thought Id add to my Profile again.
Today, Im at 198lbs. Size 36W Pants,
(Down from 56W)
And Im having a ripple effect on those around me.
A co-worker has been dieting and exercising down,
And has lost 75lbs in the last 10 months.
My wife and son have lost down quite a bit,
Just because Dad isnt bringing home pies, Ice cream
And chips and such, with each trip to the grocery store.
Oddly enough, My Brother, out in Texas,
Has also been motivated to diet.
Hes down by 80lbs. to 205lbs.
Hes doing it by sheer diet and exercise.
Every one in my family and surroundings
Are looking after their health with a renewed determination.
Who would have thought that my WLS
Would effect so many near me.
Another side effect, has been my focus on others.
While at my max weight, I was always thoughtful of others,
I never invested my time in the care of others.
I was so miserable and had such low energy,
I didnt really go out of my way to do anything I didnt
Have To Do.
Now I find that with the extra energy
And time and general Life Force,
I tend to devote more of my time
In seeing to it that others are doing OK.
Ive always had a strong faith
And Christ-Centered belief system in place,
Its only now that I find myself exercising that faith.
I tend to find time to visit folks in the hospital,
When before a phone call
Would have been the extent of my involvement.
I feel compelled to offer support to others
Who are beginning to deal with their
Weight issues, alcohol issues, etc
For over 18 years I was somewhat estranged from my family.
And by that Im referring to Mom, Dad and siblings.
Life gets busy and stuff falls to the side
Due to my extreme complications with my WLS,
My family was brought back in touch.
I remember opening my eyes in the hospital,
And seeing my Mother, Father, Sister and Brother there,
And saying to my Wife-
OMG, I really must be dying, if THEY showed up!
I hadnt seen them all in 13 years.
My Sis, like me, sort of drifted away from the family,
And my brother, lives in the same small town as my parents,
And had taken on the mantel of caretaker.
Because I came SO close to dying,
It sort of shocked the whole group into realizing
That all we have in this World,
And that if you wait for tomorrow, to set things right,
You may never have the chance.
My Sister, who had never had a faith system of any sort,
Had a miraculous spiritual awakening
At the time of my near death, and has subsequently
Had a born again experience, and has become very
Involved in her spiritual growth, and Church.
If for no other reason,
Perhaps that is why I had such complications.
I would do it all again without question.
Weve been in constant touch since my hospital stay,
And have re-integrated as a family.
The Life Change that was brought about by my WLS,
Is much further reaching than just me.
It has not only brought a new awareness of health to me
And those around me, but Compassion,
Realization and Spirituality.
Well its Halloween and thought Id add to my profile-
Not so much a journal entry,
Just some thoughts about Morbid Obesity.
I dont know about you folks, but as for me-
Ive lost more weight before WLS
Than Ill ever loose after.
If you poll most of the Morbidly Obese
You tend to find people who are
The sons or daughters of Obese parents
And most of these people have been overweight
As long as they can remember.
They are taught their eating habits and
Exercise choices before they can
Speak the language clearly.
Its a little like if parents who were smokers
Made sure to supply there toddlers with
Plenty of smokes and taught them how to
Properly use a lighter and ash tray before they
Learned to read.
It would be exceedingly difficult to break a
Habit that one associates with love, nurturing,
We love you, Its your Birthday, You get Cake and Ice Cream.
Youve had a bad day; Ill make you your favorite.
Finish everything on your plate and youll get desert.
Dont waste that food, there are children starving in China.
These are people who teach you to be like them
Eat like them, and they make the menu choices.
Their parents were starving immigrants in the
Depression who were Delighted
To see their children grow a little chubby.
The other common reason for Morbid Obesity
Is connected with child bearing, and that is
Typically an outgrowth from getting used to
More food, unable to exercise with any level
Of comfort, hormone changes that encourage
The body to store more fat, to be used up
Later in breast feeding. This coupled with
Post-partum depression and the mothers
Natural instinct to put the needs of others ahead
Of looking out for herself interest, and making
Time for exercise, adds up to a great combo
As to Diet and Exercise-
On my first Diet and Exercise Program
High School Football and Track with Weight Watchers,
I lost 62lbs, within 1 ½ years I had gained 70lbs of it back.
Next Diet and Exercise Regimen was Atkins (the first one)
Coupled with weight training, this was amazing!
I lost 50lbs in 48 days, within one year I had gained
80 lbs of it back.
At this point I went away to college, at a time when 18
Was the legal drinking age, and the diet of Beer, Disco,
Cheep All you Can Eat Pizza buffets made
My Freshmen 15 in to more of a Freshmen 30.
Just to keep track-
At this point I had Dieted and Exercised my way
To an overall loss of- 112lbs
And to a gain of- 180lbs
With each Diet yo-yo, my metabolism grew slower
And it became increasingly difficult to get in exercise.
In college, money was rather tight,
(I guess thats what kept off drugs, I cant even imagine
Where Id gotten to if I had to fight the munchies.)
But with little $ the staple groceries became
Mac and cheese, the Raman Noodle of its day,
And Grits, Oatmeal, free packets of sugar
From the local Taco Bell, also a staple of my diet.
Bit by bit I eeked my way up to the 345 mark.
Until the year before my wedding-
Another Diet, Salads, only Salads, that and Love sickness
Coupled with the exercise program of long hand holding
Walks and late night make-out sessions.
(Nothing graphic or lascivious, just sitting and kissing for hours.)
Well, by the wedding, I was at 310lbs, and feeling good
About that weight. She loved me, nothing else mattered.
As with all new couples, she put on 20 lbs, and not to be out done
I put back on 50.
I lost and gain back that 50 lbs 5 times in the last 20 years.
These Diets included, but were not limited to-
Cambridge (all those Shakes)
Slim-Fast (all those Shakes)
Weight Watchers again,
This time with the Fiber addition
(all those meetings)
And the Low Fat, High Good Carb and Fiber Diet
(all that gas)
And Last, but not least, The New Version of Atkins
(all that Meat)
Each of these Diets promoted themselves as the Perfect Practice.
So that brings the diet and exercise loss to a total of-362lbs
And the gain to a total of 430lbs.
After I quit Smoking, I added another 20 to the list and the
Exercise that one is able to do a few months prior to and Post
Open Heart Surgery is rather limiting.
Eventually I reached 385lbs, before turning to WLS.
Now, 14months after my WLS Ive lost 192lbs and Im ecstatic
But whats that really when compared to loosing 362 lbs?
Thats it for now-
A new Update for the Holiday Season!
How I Got My Belly Button Back
On December 6th, I went in to have my Pooch
Removed- (the eyelid thin skin on my Abdomen)
And to have my Abdominal Muscles put back in place.
This would be my final closure, and an end to my 16+ months
I would also be getting a Navel out of the procedure,
Something Ive not had since the beginning of My Journey.
I check into the hospital at 6:00am Dec. 6 at a weight of 187lbs.
Tip for those going back to the hospital after loosing much weight-
They dont make you get yourself on to the operating table.
At the reduced weight, I was knocked out prior to the trip to
The Operating Room, and they just lifted me off of the gurney
On to the table.
Theres a big difference between 385 and 187lbs.
The surgery goes super!
Folks everywhere are sending me prayers and my procedure
Goes off without a hitch.
I wake up in a normal room, Not ICU for a change,
And Im feeling fine. Much less pain than I was expecting
From my previous stays in the hospital.
My stitches line (Soon to be Scar) was very fine,
I have two drains in, and they are working quite well,
And I had a cute little belly button, in the appropriate place
In my FLAT Tummy!
The Drains were removed on the evening of the 10th.
I was sent home on the 11th and all was well!
However, Apparently the universe has some Backstage Plan
For me and the strangest thing happens-
By the 12th, Im feeling a little light headed, and as I stand to go
To the restroom, I sort of wilt to my knees and nearly pass out.
I dont seem to be able to get enough oxygen from the air and
Im seeing purple and yellow auras around every light in the room.
My wife is petrified. I feel great, sort of like getting a full dose of
Morphine in an IV.
My wife yells out for my son to call 911
Running into the room he shouts-911?
In my giddiness, I shout,
No Bud, 411, Mom needs some information real quick.
I remain a little goofy and full of inappropriate, silliness.
Even when the Paramedics arrive.
The paramedics, Doug and Dwayne, are Big Ole Boys
Very capable of picking me up without any effort.
Doug looks familiar, Maybe a student from the past?
While wheeling through the twists and turns of my house
I apologize for the Layout of the living room furniture
That is designed more for multiple conversational areas
And less for a full straight shot access. I also apologize
For being a babbling Designer, and tell them that Im fine,
Im just having a little Jimi Hendrix Experience right now.
Dwayne, just steps backward straight into the back of the ride
And dead lifts me, nearly all by himself.
Dwayne, youre the Baby Bull Dude!
Dont pull anything you might need later!
Doug is laughing in spite of the situation.
Once in the Ambulance, They give me Oxygen and start
Checking my Blood Pressure 60 over 40. The Ambulance is
Parked on my very steep driveway, so my head is down hill.
Doug says that this is a blessing (has something to do with my BP)
And starts trying to get in an IV.
Suddenly I remember where Ive seen Doug before-
Back during my first Bout of Complications in the Hospital
I was notorious among the nurses,
For blowing out IVs on a regular basis
And for having impossible to stick veins.
One night, after every Nurse on the floor had taken two attempts each
To set a new IV, all without success, (a total of 12 failed attempts)
A couple of Paramedics had been called up to give it a try.
One of them had been Doug.
Now in the Ambulance, I asked-
Wheres your other partner, the one with the big beard and long hair?
Doug thought I was Psychic.
Carl? How do you know Carl? He left Oxford about 5 months ago.
I reminded him of the night of the IV attempts, and strangely enough,
He remembered me.
Wow, you look different! You were a Big Man then.
After two failed attempts to get an IV set, (go figure)
He told Dwayne to start driving.
4 minutes later, Im wheeling into the ER.
Doug, 2 nurses, and a man named Cecil,
Are working frantically to set an IV
At both arms, while Dwayne watches.
The sticky heart monitor pads are attached
And suddenly Cecil announces that hes got one.
I blurt out Fruit Basket for Cecil this Christmas!
Suddenly it blows out. Ahhhh
Everyone starts back with renewed speed.
Cecil looks a little chagrinned at loosing his status.
First one to set an IV is on the Fruit Basket list.
Straight from Harry and Davids!
Now Im talking like a Barker on the Mid-Way of the State Fair-
Dont be bashful Dwayne,
Jump in and give it a try! Everyone gets two turns
A Winner every night!
My wife enters the ER
I blurt out- JoAnn, take Cecil off the list.
She says, What? As the rest of the room cracks up laughing.
Blood Pressure is now up to 80 over 50,
And Im feeling fine with the Oxygen going in.
Doug, in fact, sets the eventual IV after a total of 6 attempts
By the whole of those present,
We have a Winner!
Doug says hell pass on his Fruit Basket.
Well, youre just a Christian Martyr!
Thats the spirit of Christmas Doug! Have a great Night!
My wife, not knowing the previous comments, is certain that Im
Talking out of my head, as they say in the South.
Flash to rolling onto the 2nd floor ward, where I had just left, less than
20 hours earlier. All of the same Nurses look-up with that
What in the World face.
Yall were just so good, I had to come back for another visit!
By the time Im settled in a room,
My BP is up around 95 over 55,
Its 1:00am, and they are just giving me IV fluids
Until my surgeon can be there the next morning.
My wife runs home to take a shower and get ready to come back
To be there with the Dr. in the morning,
But, sometime around 2:30 in the morning,
I stand up to go to the restroom, and slowly sink to the floor
Unable to support my weight.
This happens, luckily, just as a male nurse, Tommy, steps into the room.
Mr. E! What are you doing?
Well, I was going to go to the bathroom,
But unless you have some trick of the trade,
I think that just may have to wait.
I reach up to steady myself on Tommys arm,
And pull him flat to the ground.
It was like a surprise maneuver in a wrestling match.
I come to in the ICU! Eeek! BP 55 over 35.
I am very pale. No, Pure White. No, Very Pale Grey!
X-Rays, Major Blood work-up,
Foley Catheter in, (Oouch) Urine test, etc, etc
At 4:30 in the morning, my surgeon is in the room.
He was scheduled for a morning surgery
And when he got the message that I was back in
He came on in early to get me fixed
Before going into surgery at 6:00 am.
It seems that I have some Internal Bleeding,
And he orders two pints of Blood for me,
While he continues looking over the tests
To see if I have to go back in to surgery.
Because Ive already started back on Coumadin,
For my heart, 3 days ago, the
Chance of being able to go back to surgery,
Without causing more bleeding is slim.
During my first two days in ICU,
Im given 8 pints of Blood
Im in a college town,
And the fraternities and sororities,
Regularly compete with one another during Blood Drives
Each semester to see who can rally the most donations.
With this thought in mind, Im probably running on about
3 quarts of Kappa-Kappa-Gamma,
And a couple of pints of Tri-Delt.
My hematocrit level should be between 32 and 36,
But when I first started
Getting blood transfusion, my hematocrit level was 12.
Everyone that sees me says-
Yesterday you were whiter than that sheet,
But now youre getting some color in your cheeks!
Id just tap at the unit of blood on my IV pole and say-
Yes, but its someone elses color.
I liked to think of it not a blush on my cheeks,
But what I came to call -My Sorority Rush.
During my stay, at least 12 nurses came by to ask-
Are you the same Mr. E that was in here last year?
Id have never recognized you.
The ICU nurses also let me know that the 2nd floor nurses
Had been asking about me. How sweet.
Outside of the hospital, Ive become an Urban Legend again.
Someone over hears someone else talking about
Dx went back into the ICU.
Dx? How many Dxs could there be?
Everyone is passing on the information and putting me on
The random prayers lists of people that dont even know me.
Apparently, It Works.
On day 3 of ICU, my numbers are suddenly climbing up above 30.
I was moved back up to the 2nd floor, where once again the nurses
Were all over me to ask what I was doing back,
And checking in on my wife, etc
I told Tommy if He was up to it,
We could go Another Round. 2 falls, 10 minute time limit. Winner takes all.
Tommy declines the Re-Match.
By now Im nearly two weeks out of the original surgery and
The belly button area has been washed and is looking pretty good.
Thats probably my sorority self-consciousness
Worrying how my new navel looked.
My surgeon and my PCP,
Have been battling it out to set up a regimen
For getting me back on my blood thinners for my Heart Valve,
That wont lead to Break-Thru Bleeding.
Apparently it was the dosage of Lovenox that was serving as a bridge
Until my Coumadin levels became therapeutic,
That caused the internal bleeding.
December 17th, Im sent home and Im feeling great.
I feel a little like a Vampire for getting such life from the blood of others,
But, Im happy to be closed and finished with surgeries.
And the Fruit Basket?
Was delivered yesterday
To the 2nd Floor Nurses.
Hopefully my future Updates will be about
Shopping for smaller clothes and such,
And Im done with the Medical community.
All for now-
Well, another update, but this time-
NO PROBLEMS!!!! Ya Hoo!
A couple of weeks back I hit my Goal weight
Of 185 pounds.
A total loss of 200 lbs!
Im a bit on the Happy-side,
To say the least.
I see so many folks out here who worry-
If they will ever lose down to their goal?,
If once they are at goal, theyll gain back some?,
If after the loss of weight is no longer a motivator,
Will they be able to stay with the Program of
Protein, Water, Supplements & Exercise?
I guess I have come over enough hurdles
To make me a little Worry-Proof,
Or at least- Worry-Resistant.
Without the surgery I would have been still
Miserable and slowly or quickly grinding down
Toward an inevitable Big Finish.
Now? I have so much new energy,
And so much life to look forward to
That I feel a little Invincible.
For anyone who is Morbidly Obese,
And Doesnt want to be, I highly recommend WLS!
For anyone who is Morbidly Obese,
And Does want to be, I highly recommend Psychotherapy!
I still have my Seroma (Swelling) from my abdominal reconstruction
But it should re-absorb into my body over the next two months.
Long before my 2nd year anniversary of WLS, Ill be
Below goal by a touch and Ill have rebuilt a wardrobe.
This weekend is about shopping for a new suit and a blazer,
Along with a couple of more pairs of dress slacks.
Even at 385lbs and with a waist size of 54/56,
I had several options for up-scale to formal attire.
I donated my Tuxedo and the White Diner Jacket to a costume shop
A few months back. I do wonder when Ill get those replaced.
The University is back in full swing with its Spring Semester
And the students keep me young.
My schedule of projects keeps me busy
And my Family is closer than ever.
I'll try to get some pictures out here for an actual-
BEFORE & AFTER, rather than the "this is me at 13 months"
Photo that I have here now.
I dont think that anytime soon Ill get used to being
In this new body. That does remain very odd,
But Im noticing that Ive started taking some things for granted-
Chair sizes, bending down to pick up things, etc
Sitting here holding at goal-
Have I been successful?
Thats a call that Ill make at year 5.
All my support to you,
Who are considering,
Or anywhere along the way!
Just over 2 months since my last update,
And I thought Id add some more info.
If youre reading this,
Youve got plenty of time on your hands,
And Clearly an interest.
Well whats new?
My Seroma didnt -Re-Absorb as planned,
And in Early February I had to go in to have it Drained.
Super easy process
And I lost 3 pounds in the Dr.s. Office in about 45 minutes.
My new record.
I had it drained because I was having a good bit of pain
(a very relative concept for me nowadays)
In my groin area and after being checked out by my
PCP, and a Urology Specialist,
They both couldnt find any problem
And suggested that it was probably pressure from my Seroma.
Well after the Seroma was drained,
I did feel better,
BUT, the pain didnt go away.
So, Back to my surgeon-
(Who must just cringe when he sees me coming-
Im his Problem Child)
He has me do a MRI scan to look for any problem that
Everyone else might have missed.
Eureka! (He has great intuition!)
There is an Incarcerated, Internal Hernia!
I must have done something horrible in a Former Life
For Karma to keep nibbling on my body.
Or, Im just that rare statistic that Keeps Overcoming Problems.
I have Hernia Repair Surgery,
It goes off with out a hitch,
Three hours from the time I left the house
Until I am back home.
Wow!, Thats how all hospital encounters should be.
Next to no pain,
And while my wife is waiting for The other Shoe to Drop,
This Time, Zero Complications, even here over a month later.
My Seroma has grown back up to its pre-Drainage size, (Booo!).
This is a result of my Coumadin treated,
Nearly Non-Clotting Blood.
Im scheduled to have it Drained again this week.
The after effects of my Heart Valve Replacement
Are far more of a hassle than the complications of my WLS
Have ever been.
So as I move on feeling great, and at 2 pounds below my goal,
(my goal was 185lbs, Im now at 183)
Ill keep having Blood Non-Clotting issues from now on.
The alternative would be a clogged Valve,
So Im happy to take extra care when shaving and such.
Im in size 34 to 36 pants, depending on the brand,
And half of my shirts are Mediums and half Large,
Also depending on the brand.
Im happy as ever and looking forward to having this
Little swollen tummy Seroma to go away.
I did get out a new photo to the site, and its up now.
It sits in contrast to my 13 month Post-Op picture.
My actual Before Photo should be up soon as well
And then folks will have some Idea of how far Ive come.
Till Next Time I UpDate-
See you around the Message Boards!
News? Ive been down to a weight of 179lbs for a while.
Ok, some Photos-
I've been on this site for some time
And have never gotten around to "Sprucing Up"
Today there was a great posting that asked
"What is Your Occupation?"
1 picture is worth a thousand words-
Here are some samples of "What I Do."
This one is a Rendering of my Design for
"Awake and Sing" at the Merrimac Repertory Theatre
In Lowell MA.
This one is the very first sketch for the opening
Number for Jimmy Buffet and Herman Wouk's
"Don't Stop The Carnival"
At The Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami.
Just for you ParrotHeads!
This is a Front Elevation Drawing of
Much Ado About Nothing
For Chicago Shakespeare Rep.
It Won Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award in '98
This is a Photo of that same production-
This is a Photo of my Production of
"Chess" at The Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta GA.-
Well all for now,
I'll have to come back and make these smaller
Or swap them out to other pictures when I have a chance.
Wow, Technology! How Fun!
Wow, Long break from my last update!!
Ive been sitting below goal for about a year and a half now.
Im 181lbs to 179lbs, depending on the day of the week.
Fortunately Re-Gain has not been an issue.
I did get cleared/approved for an Abdomiplasty / Panniculectomy
Last month, and I am scheduled for Surgery July 6th 2006!
3 years and 2 days since My WLS.
At 3 years out?
So Far So Good.
My Lab-work-ups are perfect,
And Ive had no issues since my rocky start.
I do see a lot of Anti-RNY stuff posted on the Obesity Help Boards,
And from my perspective, its mostly Urban Legend.
I know that some folks do have problems,
But so far Ive been delighted with the results.
I eat Normal Sized Meals-
(normal for a 179lb. Man, not a 385lb. Man)
I have no Restroom Issues.
Havent had a case of Foamies
Since the one back in 03.
Im able to swallow pills,
Eat Steak, and all of those things
That the Anti-RNY Crowd
Claim to be the Extreme Drawbacks to RNY.
No WLS should be entered into lightly, or for cosmetic reasons.
Even when Surgeons do Every Thing Perfectly,
Severe Complications can happen, as in my case.
My local Surgeons Clinic has been named one of the
Bariatric Centers of Excellence, and I remain the odd man out
As THE Complication.
Oh well, someone has to round out the statistics
And if being that guy, and still ending up feeling as great as I do today
Is the result? Then Id volunteer to do it all again.
Enough Updating for now.
Few read these I suspect, and Ill continue posting on the Boards
For those who are interested in long-range outcomes.
PS- Here lately,
I've been featured on backpage Ads for WLS
In Local Newspapers.
This is the Ad, which changes the 'dates/times'
But pretty much runs weekly
In papers across North Mississippi-
My "Pre-Op" Photo from my Driver's license -----
Walker Byars is a diligent Surgeon who truly cares about his patients. The Center for Bariatric Surgery -division of The Surgical Clinic of North Mississippi, is one of the "Centers of Bariatric Excellence."
BCBS of Mississippi will not cover a Gastric Bypass, or any complications resulting from it. Their paperwork seems an excessive waste. I received some times as many as 9 separate mailings from them a day, statements showing what they had covered and what they would not cover, were not combined in one envelope, even though they were concerning the same day and hour of procedure.