Hospital Reviews(Englewood, CO) - Swedish Medical Center (COE)
Crafts - Needlework : cross stitch
Travel - Enjoy road trips especially to historical sites and National Parks
Collectibles - Anything of Elvis Presley and birds- hummingbirds are my favorite
Photography - Love to take pictures - several trunks are filled wilth photo albumns
Genealogy & Family History - I could spend hours and days researching family history
Grandchildren - Enjoy being a kid again by sharing the grandchildren's interests and activities
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: Richard Tillquist, M.D.
I started this journey a year ago researching this website along with a few others for all the information needed to make a decision to have surgery or not to have surgery.
After reveiwing the benefits of the surgery I called to make an appointment for a consultation in September 2002. I was really surprised to get a date for March 11,2003. At first I was a little disappointed because it would be 6 months before I could meet Dr. Tillquist, but kept this thought in my mind during the long wait " all good things take time ". I have heard and read good reviews about Dr.Tillquist so I felt very comfortable about his abilities to perform the surgery and that he would be worth the wait.
All the medical records and paperwork were submitted to the insurance company April 25th to receive approval back on May 6th. Thank goodness that wait wasn't long !! I'm now counting the days till surgery on July 11th at 8:30 am to start a new life.
Each day I count till surgery and take my medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, GERD(acid reflux),knee,hip and back pain is one day closer to the end of living this slow death. I am so ready and looking forward to this surgery to start a better quality of life that any pain or discomfort I might have from the surgery will be worth it.
Running out of time, so I'll close for now.
I'm starting to get really excited about having the surgery. This time next month I should be on the other side ( the losing side ). Looking forward to feeling better and to get some energy back that I haven't felt in 6 years.
Checking over the lists of things to do and food to buy so when I get home from the hospital I won't feel any pressure to do anything but rest. I plan to work late the next two weeks to make sure my desk is clear of all problems that need to be researched and resolved. July 4th weekend I'll be busy cleaning house, paying bills, grocery shopping for the husband and packing my bag to take to the hospital. This reminds me of getting ready for the birth of my children, but it's the start of a new life for me. Yea Baby !!
Time to go... till next week
WOW... time seems to be flying now. Next Tuesday (7/1/03) is my Pre-OP appointment at Swedish Hospital and Thursday (7/3/03) is the appointment with Dr. Tillquist for a physical and history. I'm starting to get a little nervous thinking about the what if's, but quickly think of how much better I'll feel and to a better quality of life.
Finally told everyone at work that I'm having gastric-by pass surgery. I haven't heard any comments but I did get a few raised eyebrows. Oh well !! I'm hoping that a few of my closest relationships with co-workers will not change. I brought the subject up today at lunch break to remind them I'll still be the same person inside even though the outside will look different. The only change I'm anticipating is that I might become a little more outgoing and smile more. :)))
Till next time ....
WOW.... alot has happened since my last update. First of all my husband was laid off on 6/30/03. The company closed the Denver office and three people (including my husband) were let go. That was a real shock that came out of left field, no one had any idea. Then he was informed that his medical benefits would only be effective till 7/11/03, the day of my surgery. He asked them if they would extend the benefits for another week and explained to the HR directors why this surgery was necessary. God was with us again and they extened the benefits till 7/18/03. I cried knowing how my husband must feel about this lay off since he is 60 yrs. old and my surgery was still a go. Needless to say my emotions were everywhere. I had my Pre-Op appointment on 7/01/03 and my appointment with Dr. Tillquist on 7/3/03. At both appointments I did not feel any excitment about the surgery just numbness. I almost called off the surgery because it's not easy to find a job in this economy let alone be 60 yrs old. to start looking for a job. Over the July 4th weekend getting over the shock of the layoff we drew up a battle plan of what to do next. On Monday July 7th my husband made some phone calls and faxed resumes. Around 4:15 PM on July 7th he received a phone call to set up a interview the next day.
I told him to call me at work to let me know how the 8:00 AM interview went. At 9:45 AM he called me with emotion in his voice and I thought something had happened to him. He had a hard time trying to tell me he got the job but he is also getting paid more than what his previous wages were. God must have heard the prayers I was crying to him for the last week because my husband started his NEW JOB right after the inteview.
Well after that emotional roller coaster ride I now have 2 days to get ready for the surgery. Needless to say I did not have time to think and get nervous about the what if's. I also knew way down deep inside God was with me and this surgery was meant to be.
Friday 7/11/03 I was at Swedish Hospital 6:00 AM to be admitted. After being checked in we went up to the 3rd floor for surgery. I changed into a gown that FITS ! The nurse asked lots of questions, I signed consent forms, and had a IV put in, then spoke with the Dr. Tillquist, the surgical nurse, the anesthesiologist (spelling ? ).
Had to drink this stuff that tasted like a giant liquid Sweet Tart, kissed my husband and off to surgery I went at 8:30 AM. Going to the surgery room it got colder and colder then once in the room it was colder yet. I then moved from the bed over to the operating table thinking of how narrow it was. I got as comfortable as possible then the Dr. injected his potion thru the IV and I went to sleep.
I remember waking up in pain, my throat felt a little sore, and I was cold. The nurse was not very pleasant, she was definitely having a bad day by the tone in her voice. I recall her asking what level of pain did I feel and it was always a "10". Apparently they had a hard time finding a medication to control my pain so I was in recovery longer than expected. But once they found the medication it was no time at all the pain disappeared and I went to the 8th floor to my room. It was a private room so I was happy to see that and my husband waiting for me.
The first night was sleepless with the nurses coming to get stats and test my blood sugar.
Saturday 7/12 -The next morning I got up to go to Radiology for the leak test - passed with flying colors - no problems. I forgot to tell you, Dt. T does not place the nose tube in anymore for surgery, so I had the catherer removed. Now I'm only hooked up to the oxygen and the IV and I got up every 2 hours to walk. The first time I stood up it felt like everything inside was falling to the bottom. Didn't walk to much at first but my backside was getting sore being in bed. I hardly had any pain the second day so they removed the IV later that afternoon. I was now going to the restroom by myself, able to drink fluids, no nausea or vomiting I'm on my way to recovery, thank you God !! Sunday 7/13 - I had no pain but sure felt sore in the middle. I walked as much as possible it seemed to help with the soreness. I had ice chips in my mouth all the time the room got hot in the afternoons. Thank goodness I brought my fan or I would have died from the heat. Monday 7/14 - I left the hospital at 10:30 AM to come home. Thank you God for a smooth surgery with no complications and a speedy recovery to come home !!!
The first two nights home were real uncomfortable due to heartburn and gas. I found out the heartburn is because I'm now lactose intolerant. I called CJ at Dr. Tillquist's office and she told me to switch to soy milk and I can use Gas X for the bloating and gas. Since I have been drinking the soy milk the heartburn is gone and since using 4 Gas X tablets, the gas is gone also. Now I feel the tenderness, soreness and swelling but each day gets a little better. I can't sit in a chair no more than 1 hour at a time before it gets real uncomfortable and I have to lay down and give my stomach more room. The incisions are black and blue, starting to itch but no redness around them.
Have to change the dressing on my left side everyday where the drain was, not quite closed up yet. Haven't gotten on the scales yet to see what I weigh, I'll wait till my post op appointment on 7/24 to see what weight I have lost.
A BIG thank you to everyone who sent their prayers and wishes !!
till next week.........