Well, I've done lots of learning on this and I really want to do it!! My biggest problem at the moment is finding someone to refer me to one of the WLS doctors. I have yet to find a doctor accepting new patients in this area - since moving here we haven't been able to get a doctor. Very frustrating!!
Surgeon: Peter Graham Ayres, M.D.
Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
June 22, 2001
Finally found a doctor that will see me in this area. Now I just have to get a referral out of him. Let's hope he's even heard of WLS! LOL!
June 25, 2001
I have consult dates! I have one with Dr. Ayres on Sept. 20 and one with Dr. Yau on Nov. 12. Now I just have to be patient and wait! I feel like I'm on my way.
November 6, 2001
Well..it's been a while. I had my consult with Dr. Ayres and although a bit dry and serious (not bad qualities me thinks for a surgeon) - I found him to be very informative and patient. I have my pre-tests booked for the middle of January and hopefully all will go well.
February 1, 2002
Made it through the tests- everything was A - OK and so I now have a date. I will be journeying to the other side on March 15, 2002. Can't believe it's that close! It's so exciting (and a little scary too) and I am on Cloud Nine today!!
February 7, 2002
Small heart failure! The doctor's office called and left a message saying that they would need to re-schedule my RNY. Oh no! Spent that entire night feeling sorry for myself and hoping it wouldn't be too much later - I honestly figured late April.
Called the next morning and low and behold - they wanted to move it up a week! Say what? That almost never happens! So now I am booked for March 8, 2002. Wow. A month and a day away. (now I just have to hope that phone doesn't ring again! LOL!)
February 19, 2002
It did ring! We have yet another date change and this one was NOT a move up! I got a call yesterday that my date had to be moved to April 12th. Then I talked to the office this morning and in fact my new date is April 26. Instead of being just over 2 weeks away, now I am just over 2 months away. :( Ah poop.
I can't even feel too sorry for myself because I was bumped for a cancer patient to have surgery. How can you feel bitter about that? But I do feel disappointed. Oh well, a few more weeks certainly won't be the end of me!
April 11, 2002
Opps! It's been a while since my last update - I guess I have been in a kind of holding pattern waiting for my date to arrive. I had my pre-admission tests on Tuesday - all seemed to go well though I did get a big bruise from where the nurse took blood. (no big deal though) I can't believe I'm only two weeks away - amazing how fast time really does go.
I must admit I have the feeling that I am going to get bumped again - my surgeon is also a top cancer guy and I just have thise feeling that someone is going to need his expertise more than me on that day. Maybe I just can't believe that this will actually happen. I so hope that it does!
ONE MORE SLEEP!! I honestly can't believe the time is almost here - amazing! The phone has not rung to re-schedule so I guess it really is going to happen.
I just want to take a moment to thank all of the wonderful folks that have posted me words of support and friendship - both on my page and on the two Canadian support lists - it has been incredibly wonderful to have such encouragement and support. Thanks guys!
I feel really good about having this surgery - I have a few nerves but I feel totally confident with my choice of surgeons. I really believe that he is the best around.
I had this wacky idea yesterday of tacking a sticky note to my tummy saying "be gentle with me" (teehee) but I know that he in fact will be.
So I'm off - here's to life on the other side - I'm almost there!! :)
POST OP UPDATE
This is very long sorry!!!!
Well here we go
.my surgery story
. (so far)
Arrived in Toronto on Thursday, April 25 a bit of last minute running around and one last big meal at the Real Jerk (best Caribbean food around!) and I was off to bed to try and sleep before the big day.
The big day Friday, April 26, Got up nice and early (cant be late) and was at the hospital by 6:10am they ask you to arrive by 6:30am. My hubby Steve was with me every step of the way he is the greatest and I still cant believe that I found him. Anyways, filled out the paperwork, got into a gown, bagged up my clothes etc. Then they got me prepped for surgery there were quite a few others getting ready too at least ½ a dozen of us. They put on elastic stockings for circulation, started an IV, shaved my tummy (which took about 2 seconds) and then I waited to go down. I can honestly say I wasnt as nervous as I thought I would be strange, I thought I would be a bit of a wreck. Then they wheeled me off did have a moments mistiness at saying goodbye to Steve but deep breath and off we went.
Its kinda of funny- they line up all of the surgery patients in the hall in front of their OR rooms as they finish getting ready inside it was a bit chilly and their was some construction going on on another floor that was driving the nurses crazy. Luckily that stopped soon after.
In the OR the nurses were very nice, the anaesthetist asked me a few questions and then got me to sit up facing away from him as he put in the epidural. Very strange sensation not really painful, just a lot of pressure. He had a bit of a hard time putting it in took him a couple of tries. Then I laid back down, he said he was going to put me to sleep now at which time I tried to joke that being a kindergarten teacher, I wasnt sure if I could count back from 100 but I think I got out maybe a word or two and I was out.
Four and half hours later (they tell me) I was on my way to the Recovery room. This is what I actually remember from that part a nice warm blanket (they put heated blankets over you once its over), someone telling me it was over and that I did a great job, the nurses finding my small ankle tattoo and trying to figure out what it is, hearing the nurses say I was smiling a lot (guess I was a bit happy eh?) and then throwing up twice. I guess I vomited up some blood apparently this is common but I remember at the time thinking it was some pita or part of the roti I had eaten the day before. (dont ask me why I thought that!) After that I remember riding in my bed on the elevator, hearing the doors open and hearing my sweetie say Speak of the devil, here she is. Best sound ever!
On to ASU where I was able to talk with Steve and my mom my big concern was what time it was. Go figure. Met my first super nurse Katharine total sweetie and wonderful person. She and almost every gal in the ASU are amazing they not only gave me excellent care but preserved my modesty and spirit were totally non judgemental of my size etc. And also a pretty good laugh too!
Now since this is getting so long Im going to just hit the highlights
Dont really remember too much of that Friday. I wasnt in any pain just a bit sleepy and amazed that it was actually over.
Saturday my only bad day. The pain epidural made my right foot and ankle completely numb. Like I had been sitting on it for days. I was reassured many times that this is completely normal and happens quite a lot. Of course, heres me thinking it will cause a blood clot or something silly but you think these things. Also the type of medication that they had going in through the epidural wasnt doing it for me and I was uncomfortable not in severe pain but not too happy either. They ended up changing the pain medication to a morphine base and it was much better. And I just learned to live with the foot thing. I was up sitting on the edge of my bed for a few hours but really wanted to get right up didnt feel confident with the funny foot thing though.
Ran a fever - they said its fairly common managed to find me a fan and by morning I was back to normal.
Foot still numb no pain though. Lots of sitting up tried standing, which was ok if I stood up on my left foot. Nothing removed yet. Steve went home tonight sniff, sniff but he will back on Wednesday. Lovely visit from Tracey and Jude.
Catheter out, Jackson Pratt drain out, central line in right wrist out. Because my foot was still numb I couldnt get to the washroom safely so I had to bedpan and commode chair it. Didnt enjoy that much but not much choice. They reduced the epidural down to try and get my foot to become less numb still no pain except a bit of soreness.
Moved to regular room today actually could have gone yesterday there wasnt a bedo or something. NG clamped off today if all goes well (meaning no discharge) then it will come out tomorrow!! Please!! Able to walk carefully hanging on to a walker or IV pole made me feel great considering that silly foot of mine is still numb! They were able to put all of my IVs on one pole so I could now actually use the bathroom on my own. Yay!
Got my period today no so yay but not bad really. Have I mentioned how great it was to have Lynda around?? Lots of visitors, phone calls and good wishes.
YAHOO!! The NG tube came out!!!! Thank you universe! (and Lynda who was actually the one to remove it!) Lots of walking, talking on the phone, visiting with the hubby. (who is spoiling me rotten I must admit!) Funny moment: Dr. Ayres came by while I was sitting in a chair and talking on the phone he said to my mom, shes ordering pizza right? He made a joke!!! It is totally true that he becomes more personable after the surgery I respected and trusted him before, after I really liked him as well.
Off to the X-ray department got to ride the table. They put it up straight, had me stand on it and then lowered it down. My joke about it being a Canadas Wonderland ride amused me anyways haha. Swallowed some special liquid not bad and got to see it going down. Results came back ok started tube feeding and had my first oral meal. Beef broth, tea, lemon jello and apple juice. Just sat their looking at the tray very strange and a bit scary. Called the hubby and had dinner together. Ate about 2 tablespoons of broth, 2 of jello and saved the juice to sip all night.
Had the epidural turned off and taken out today too. Still no pain.
Starting to think about going home. Lots of walking. Continuing feeds and eating tiny bits.
Dr. Ayres gave the order for the TPN to be stopped. Thank goodness with all of these fluids Im peeing all the time! He also said it looks like we will let you escape on Monday. YAHOO!
Jugular IV out I am finally free from everything!! No more attachments! I really cant wait to go home now please let everything go ok and let me out tomorrow.
I am released!! First thought the stitches have to come out. Came out and then my incision split in a couple of spots everyone starts to look concerned and it is decided that Ayres should come back and see it before I go. So close!! Wendy came by and we compared scars hers looks great!!! I began to get worried that they wouldnt let me go home Lynda once again was great. Very supportive and kept me smiling.
Back come Ayres doesnt think its much to worry about but wants Home Care to keep an eye on it and change the dressing etc. Ok waited for Home care set it all up. Can I go now??? So after joyful (and teary) reunion with my puppies, we were off!!
The ride home wasnt bad at all just tiring. And there it is..my own bed.
And so there you have it! Sorry about the length whew! Well anyone who knows me knows the one thing I can do is talk! Haha
All is well and homecare is coming daily for a while to keep an eye on my site. It feels wonderful to be home!!!
My gosh! Has time really flown by that fast? Wow! I'm now almost 7 weeks post-op and very happy to be down 38 pounds! Yeehaw! It's the first time in my life that I'm thrilled that my clothes aren't fitting!
Got my G-tube out last week - what a relief! Now I feel like a whole person again and not some kind of Borg. Eating is going well I think - I'm still down in protein grams but doing my best. I haven't had any real episodes - just a couple of times I knew right away that I had either eaten too fast or not chewed well enough. Not a great feeling but not really painful either. I do miss gulping down water - still getting used to sipping all the time.
I actually bought something in a 2X the other day!! How exciting! And to think someday not too far off, I won't be in the X's at all!! Take care all!
Has it really been six months?? Wow time sure does fly when you're having fun.
Life is great - never better! I've dropped 97lbs in the last six months and am a size 16-18. I can actually shop at regular size stores now - Old Navy and I are developing a great relationship.
I have to say that I can eat almost anything - sweets do not affect me but I still avoid them like crazy. I'm able to eat about a cup of food at a sitting now - it's strange the more I eat, the more I seem to lose.
My next step is joining a gym - I really want to begin doing AquaFit soon. Need to start toning some of these muscles that I haven't seen in so long!
Not too much to report except that I am down 115 pounds - yahoo!! I'm now a size 14 which is just fine and dandy with me! I'm able to eat alot more than I used to but still much, much smaller amounts than I used to.
Just wanted to stop by and say Happy Holidays to all!!
I really feel confident with Dr. Ayres. I have spoken to several health care professionals that say he is the best in the business - very careful and very skilled. That is enough for me! His secretary Maureen is a sweetie and will really do everything she can to help you. And yes, it is possible to get him to smile - you just have to work for it! I just wish he would get more OR time.
I'm lucky to live in Ontario where the RNY is covered. At least for now!