- HEALTH TRACKER
Sapulpa, OK, USA
Surgery Type: RNY
Member ID: N1010805045
Surgeon: Frank L Mitchell, M.D.
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Today is my 18th post-op day. It has taken me a while to feel like updating my profile but will try to do so now if my memory doesn't fail me.
I checked in at the hospital on August 2 at 6:00 a.m. Had to have some blood work then right to pre-op to get prepared for surgery. Of course, no luck with getting an IV started so was pretty stressed out. After several failed attempts they decided to send me to surgery and let anesthesia start it. When I was wheeled into OR the butterflies were really flying. Anesthesia came in to start the IV and failed a few times. Finally got one in a tiny vein on top of my hand that he said would last till they got me to sleep and then they'd start the central line in my neck. I don't really remember much after that until I woke up in recovery with my DH standing over me. They were saying everything is over and it all went well, you'll be fine. All I knew was that the pain I was in did not seem OK to me. I asked my DH "what have I done to myself?" My daughter came to see me also and heard me complain of pain. I told them to go home and get some rest, I'd be fine. Next thing I remember is ICU. I was in and out of it that night and the next day, but I do remember that my nurse and the other ICU staff was right there for me for anything I needed. My nurse, Ron, was all business but took such good care of me. When I went down the next morning for my leak test he went with me and never left my side. Thank goodness! The nasty stuff I drank didn't want to go down soon enough to suit the radiologist so he was going to have an NG tube put down. Well, the nurse, bless his heart, jumped right in there and explained that I had just had gastric bypass surgery and couldn't have a tube put down. I had already decided that wasn't going to happen without Dr. Mitchell standing there beside me saying it was OK. But Ron handled it, had them stand the table up so that the stuff could drain. I passed the test. Late that night, day 2, I was transferred to the floor and my own room.
Sunday and Monday were less than good days. It seemed that everytime I got comfortable someone would come in with a breathing treatment. I hated those. My pain was pretty well controlled with the Demerol in the pain pump. They told me I wasn't pushing it enough, but I think it was enough. I was feeling very jittery and antsy. I'd get laid down in bed and just have this horrible feeling come over me and I'd have my husband get me up again. Not sure what that was all about but it was a miserable feeling.
Had it not been for my DH being there in the room for me, I would have received little care. Or maybe if he hadn't been there I'd have received good care. So long as he was there, they just let him do everything for me. He never left me for more than a few minutes and how grateful I am. He got me up to the bathroom, (even had to clean me each time), walk me in the halls, help me with my bath, help me to a chair, back to bed, up and down a thousand times a day. My room was filthy, my bathroom sink was never cleaned the whole time I was there. I would be sitting on the stool and someone would run water in the basin, throw in some clean wash cloths and tell me I could do my bath now. Yea! Right! Poor hubby had to do that too. If my bath water was emptied he did it. They didn't pick up dirty towels or washcloths so he found out if he put them in the floor out in the room they would finally pick them up. I am recommending him for sainthood. He went above and beyond what any husband should have to do for his wife. He never complained. I could see that he was exhausted but just kept going. On Monday morning I pitched a fit to Tracy, Dr. Mitchell's nurse about the care I was getting. When the doctor came in I told him all about it. I told him I wanted to go home because we could do better there. He wouldn't let me of course,and I told him I understood and wouldn't fight him on it. When the pulmonologist came in I told him I didn't like the hospital and he said he didn't either. Was he joking? I'm not sure.
Wednesday morning Dr. Mitchell came in and said I could be discharged. He once again told me that I had a very serious surgery and would really have to take things slow and easy. My surgery had been over 5 hours long with multiple adhesions which took 2 hours to clear out before he even started the RNY procedure. He had been very concerned about possible complications and that's why he wouldn't discharge me earlier. He said if anything happened he wanted me there, not at home. All in all my hospital experience was bad. I had a few nurses and several nurse techs who were very nice and caring. However, I had some who were rude, uncaring and just downright mean at times. I choose not to dwell on that now. It's in the past and I want it to remain there.
Wednesday afternoon, home at last. How wonderful to be in my own home again. It was a great feeling but also a little bit scarey being on our own again. My pain was controlled very well on Darvocet N-l00. What I experienced was more soreness than pain. Bedtime was difficult because I couldn't lie flat and didn't have a recliner. So I had about a gazillion pillows propping me up in bed. Poor hubby barely had room to sleep. I kept him up most of the night going to the bathroom etc. But as each day passed things got a little better. I tried to stay up as much as possible to get some exercise and be sure I was tired at night. I began walking outside after a few days, just to the end of the driveway and back at first but at least walking some. The days were pretty much the same. How glad I was after a few days when I could take care of my own personal hygiene and was able to shower, wash and dry my hair and dress without help.
Yesterday I got my staples out. Thursday I go back to the surgeon for my first follow-up with him. So far I have lost 18.5 pounds and my BMI is now 50. I am on my way at last and very happy. Without God none of this would be happening. I praise him everyday for His goodness and mercy to me. I praise Him for leading me to Dr. Mitchell, for making it possible to get insurance approval, and orchestrating everything to get me to this point. I praise Him that I had no further complications after surgery and that I am up and around now and gaining strength each day. The depression has been there, eating has been a real challenge only because I'm not hungry and don't want anything to eat. I have very little pain, have had no nausea or vomiting, and have had no pain medicine, not even Tylenol for several days. I knew this wouldn't be easy and it hasn't been. At this point I can't honestly say I'm glad I did it because I'm still in this period of adjustment. I know that will come in time as I regain my strength and stamina. I am tired of always being tired and would like to fast forward a couple of months. Patience is not one of my virtues, but I have learned a lot in that area in the past 7 1/2 months. I hope I can be an encouragement to others who are considering this surgery. I would never encourage anyone to have the surgery. I would encourage them to research, research, pray, pray, and find out what is best for them. If they feel surgery is for them then I will encourage them to pursue their dream. This has been a very personal experience and even though I have had so much support from my family, the decisions had to be my own. I know God was with me in the whole process or I would not have been able to do it. I'm glad I'm where I am today. It's been quite a journey so far and the best is yet to come.
I went for pre-op registration and testing at Saint Francis today. Also met with Anesthesia and Nutritionist. Now I am all finished with doctor appointments and testing. Only 8 days and a wake up until surgery day. It has been a long process, but I have met a lot of nice people along the way and have no regrets about starting this journey. I am so ready to start living again.
Today I had the upper GI. I think that was my least favorite test so far. That has got to be the nastiest stuff I've ever had to drink! It appears that everything was OK. That was my last diagnostic test. On to pre-op labs, anesthesia and dietitian consults and my last visit with the surgeon on July 24. Three weeks from tomorrow is the big day. Lord, please let the time fly!
Yesterday my husband had laser surgery for an obstructed ureter. There were 4 kidney stones lined up like a stone path blocking both kidney and ureter. Unfortunately, the stones were too hard to break up so they used the basket to remove 2 of them but had to leave the other 2. They placed a stent from bladder to kidney and are hoping the 2 remaining stones will pass. If not, the procedure will be repeated in a couple of weeks. So I'm at home being a good nurse, making sure he is forcing fluids and resting.
On July 24 I have my pre-op visit at the hospital and also see the surgeon at his office. I am getting so excited. My cardiologist called yesterday to say my cardiac stress test was fine and he was forwarding a letter to the surgeon that I am cleared for surgery. Tracy, the surgeon's nurse called this morning to let me know my date is definitely August 2. I have the upper GI to do on Thursday of this week which is my last test. It is more or less to let the surgeon see what my stomach looks like after 3 previous stomach surgeries. I am still praising God for the opportunity He has given me. I'm also so grateful to the AMOS family for all their well wishes and support.
I finally got the call I've been waiting for. I got a date! Surgery date tentatively set for August 2, 2002. Just waiting for results of cardiac stress test done today and the upper GI next Thursday. I just know everything will work out OK.
Today was the pulmonary consult. It went very well. I saw Dr. Brian Worley and he is a very pleasant doctor who freely (guess it wasn't free) answered all my questions. I made him aware of my severe sleep apnea, showed him the report, and he said that can cause some problems but nothing that can't be dealt with. He said he'd let Dr. Mitchell know I am good to go as far as he is concerned. Then I had to go to the lab for ABG's (blood gases). Now I've had 5 abdominal surgeries plus multiple lab and other diagnostic tests and I don't consider myself a sissy. But THAT HURT!!! To top it all off they missed the first time and had to do it over. And I didn't even get a sucker! Guess I'll just have to suck it up as my friend said while in the hospital she had to have it numerous times! Friday is cardiology consult. I'm getting there slowly but surely.
The end of another week. I had my psych consult on Wednesday and I think it went very well. The psychiatrist was a very nice gentleman who really only had a few questions. He did read through my 4 pages of information I had to fill out prior to the consult. I discussed with him that I would like to get off Paxil and take something that does not have so many side effects when trying to get off it. He said he would help me get off it and prescribed another med to take for a month and then I'll go back and he'll start tapering me off the Paxil. This coming week is going to be a busy one: Monday, chest x-ray, Tuesday, husband to have IVP, Wednesday, pulmonary consult for me and follow up with pulmonologist for husband, Friday, cardiology consult. After that I have an upper GI scheduled for July 11 and then I'm finished as far as I know. I'll be so glad when it's all over!
Today I had my EKG and Echocardiogram. I hope everything is OK with my heart. Now just 3 weeks until my psych eval, then another week until my chest x-ray and Pulmonologist consult. I am finally on my way. How exciting!
Well, today starts the 5th week without Diet Coke. I am drinking more than 48 ounces of water a day as well as some other sugar free, caffeine free things. I am also taking 2 tbsp of liquid protein daily. All this in preparation for my surgery which is as yet unscheduled. I have my echocardiogram and ekg this week and am on my way. I am so excited and feel so blessed to have this opportunity to get my health back.
Well, I got up my nerve and called my son this evening. I explained to him what I was going to do, told him I had researched everything and could share that with him if he'd like, and he had no objections at all. He asked a few questions and agreed I was in for serious health problems in the future. Now why was I worried? I visited with my friend Mildred and we discussed our Diet Coke addiction. As of Sunday, 4-28-02, I am coke free. Have increased my water to at least 48 ounces a day and am doing OK. The first couple of days I had a bad headache but only once did the Coke craving get me. It was first thing when I got to work which is when I pop the first can. I fought a mental battle for about 30 minutes but just opened my water and started drinking. Tonight my DH went to Sonic to get dinner (something quick) and he also got cherry limeades. I took about 3 drinks of mine and told him "this doesn't taste good". I poured it out and got more water. Now you must understand God must be helping me because I looooovvvvvvvvveeeeee Diet Coke! But for me, that's in the past now! I can see progress already in my journey to a healthier, happier me.
I now have an official angel. She's long distance, all the way in Florida. Ellen H. has offered and I'm so proud to have her. Thanks Ellen.
Well, as I have posted on the message board many times since March 18, I am worn down and weary from all the waiting. It really takes a toll on us. However, my husband called me today at work about 3:30 p.m. and said Mary Jo with PacifiCare had just called him to let him know I was APPROVED! At first I didn't know what he was saying but when it sunk in I got tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. I controlled myself because I didn't want to have to explain my tears to my co-workers. After I hung up I called my friend, Mildred, who has also been approved and told her the good news. OK, so now we're both crying, praising the Lord and everything else. Who cares what my co-workers think! One of them did say "Have you been crying?" I just said yes, that my friend had lost her sister and I was talking to her. Not a lie, the honest truth. Well, needless to say, my mind is going crazy thinking about all I need to start doing. This is really going to be a reality! I called my daughter and she was very pleased. I called my sister and she was ecstatic. My daughter, DeAnne, wants to know when she can tell someone and I told her not to tell anyone. She is concerned that I haven't told my son and daughter-in-law yet. I know I need to do that, but I don't think they will be supportive so keep putting it off. As for co-workers, I'm not telling them until I'm way past surgery. Just don't want to have to deal with "I had a friend who died", "that is so drastic", "aren't you afraid?" or any other negativity. In time all who need to know will know. Right now I just want to say this, our family is Christian, we believe in prayer and now we have evidence that "where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, I will hear them." We are all praising Him for making this happen. You can fight the insurance companies on your own as I did. I had little help from any doctors because they wouldn't allow me to see a surgeon unless I paid up front. I didn't have $340.00 laying around to pay for a surgical consult. So I fought on my own using a lot of stuff I knew myself, being a nurse, plus lots of stuff I learned on this web site. Not only do I thank God, but I thank all of you who had a hand in teaching me, encouraging me and cheering me on. I will be forever grateful to all of you.
Today I mailed my appeal packet to the office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C. This was suggested by Ellen H. from this site. I am very nervous because if this fails I have no other recourse except legal action and am not sure we will be financially able to pay for that.
I have learned that my appeal has been denied. I am supposedly a high risk for complications! When will they ever understand that our lives are all high risk for complications. I feel down but just can't give up. I just can't let their desire to save money overrule my desire for a healthier happier life. With God as my partner I will fight on.
I had stomach stapled in 1981, revision in 1982, then removal of staples in 1987 due to severe GERD. Since meds for acid reflux have come on the market I have had no problems with reflux and would like to have RNY surgery done. I am 56 years old, have diabetes, severe sleep apnea - on bi-pap, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, shortness of breath, unable to exercise, can only walk short distances without stopping to rest. I would like to have a quality life for whatever years I have left. I play piano and organ as hobbies. I also make floral crafts and once owned a flower shop. I work as an LPN for a temp agency. I am married and have 5 grown children and 7 grandchildren.
Feb. 2003 - six months post-op
May 15,2002 Today was my first consult with Dr. Mitchell. He was very kind and made me and my husband feel at ease very quickly. He asked questions of us and allowed us to ask all the questions we wanted to ask. He didn't rush through anything. He treated me as if I was his only patient. He impressed us with his knowledge and answered every question to our satisfaction. I feel very comfortable with him and trust him with my life. I have made a good choice!
August 14, 2002
This will be my post operative review of my surgeon, Dr. Frank Mitchell.
When I first saw Dr. Mitchell in his office he seemed to be a very relaxed, personable surgeon. He made me feel like we were on the same level and was eager to talk and answer questions. There was a feeling there of safeness. I had checked out his credentials before seeing him and found that he had a very good reputation among his peers and was a respected, certified trauma surgeon. I don't remember seeing him before surgery. However, I may have and just don't remember. I was told he started surgery about 8:30 a.m. and it lasted a little more than 5 hours. During this time the surgery staff updated my family in the waiting room several times just as Dr. Mitchell had promised me he would. After surgery was over he came to the waiting room and spoke with my family members and explained everything he did and what my condition was, when I'd be in recovery and what the plan for the rest of the day was. This was very comforting to my family. He was very honest with them but did not cause excess fear or concern for them.
When Dr. Mitchell came in each morning he was smiling, asked how I felt and then told me what my condition was. He was very honest with me, explaining that my surgery had been very serious, and then telling me things were going well and we'd have to take things very slowly. He told me he worked for 2 hours on adhesions and other problems he had found before even starting the RNY procedure. When I decided it was time to go home and he didn't agree, he was very kind but firm. He gave me all the reasons why I needed to stay longer, and they all made sense.
On discharge day Dr. Mitchell came in and gave me all the information I needed to prepare for being home and caring for myself. He went over things that might happen, could happen, and would happen. He gave me all the information I needed to handle everything. His office staff is just a phone call away, and I've called a couple of times and found them to be very cordial and helpful.
I feel that Dr. Frank Mitchell is a giant among surgeons. He is more than competent with just enough humor to temper his seriousness. He knows what he's doing. I felt safe and secure in his care and would not hesitate to recommend him to family or friends. He has an excellent staff of colleagues. The entire group at Surgical Associates is the best. I am very grateful to Dr. Mitchell and his staff for what he's done for me.
I am covered by PacifiCare HMO under the Federal Employees Benefit Plan. My first 2 requests for surgery were denied quickly, first saying it was not a covered benefit and second that it was not medically necessary. I appealed to the Federal Office of Personnel Management who reviews the request and makes a decision on whether it will be covered or not. I sent all the information I had to them and after 44 days I received the news that OPM had overturned PacifiCare's 2 denials. They were instructed to cover the surgery and all I have to pay is a $10.00 co-pay each time I see a physician. I am truly grateful to God and to those who heard my appeal and saw fit to approve me for this surgery.