I had the Open RNY on Tuesday, March 16, 2004. I cannot say enough kind words about the staff at Town and Country Hospital.They were great! I came home on Thursday afternoon.
Hospital Reviews(Tampa, FL) - Town n' Country Hospital
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Surgeon: John Dietrick M.D.
The amount of liquid I am supposed to drink every hour is a bit overwhelming right now but I am doing the best I can. I seem to have developed Thursh so will be getting a prescription to get rid of that.
My husband is so good and so supportive. I could never have done this without his love and support.
I only take the liquid pain killer at night so I sleep a bit better. I absolutely hate the taste of it.
04/08/2004 - I am 3 weeks post-op and down 45 pounds and things are going relatively well. I'm tolerating everything I have eaten so far and have had no vomiting or dumping.
My wound did open after the staples were removed so am having to have home health nurses out twice a day to clean, pack, and dress the wound. When I saw Dr. Dietrick yesterday, he clipped the bridge of skin that was growing, creating pockets, and found a pocket of infection that he opened. Hopefully this will be resolved in a couple of weeks, but looking at the wound, it is hard to imagine that it will ever heal up especially now that it is deeper than when I had my staples removed.
Having said that, I must count my blessings. Not all goes so well for others on this journey so I try not to complain. Getting in all the liquid and meals (it is hard to eat when you aren't hungry) has been a real challenge, but I work on it every day.
05/16/2004 - Two months past surgery and I have lost 64 pounds. I feel great and am returning to work tomorrow.
My wound is still open and draining some, but it is smaller now and seems to be healing nicely. I am packing and dressing it myself now. That was a little creepy for me at first but I'm okay with it now. I go back to see Dr. D. next week -- hopefully I will have a good report!
I am still tolerating everything I eat and have not vomited or dumped. I still catch myself eating too fast at times. Old habits die hard!
06/16/2004 - I can't believe it has been three months since my surgery. I have lost 80 pounds. I am wearing clothes in my closet that I havent been able to wear in a couple of years. I have also started a pile of clothes that are too big and are going to be donated to Goodwill. That is a really good feeling.
I must be a slow healer. My wound is still open and draining but it is much smaller and I can see progress. I try to see the positive in everything so I would say that the positive here is really getting to see how caring and compassionate Dr. Dietrich is. He gives me all the time I need when I visit and never fails to ask me if I have any questions or to ask if I am having any problems. I have found he does have a sense of humor... A little dry sometimes but it is there. I think he comes across very serious to most patients because he wants us to understand the seriousness of this life-changing step.
I find I am experiencing a bit of physical hunger now and then, but it is a different feeling than before my surgery. The only times I have experienced "head hunger" is in the evening when watching television. Looking back at my life previous to my surgery, I can now see that we spent a lot of time snacking while we watched TV in the evening. I guess my head is remembering that and wanting to feed. When that occurs, I usually have a handful of almonds, which fill up my tummy and seem to satisfy my mind.
My new tummy also lets me know when I eat too fast. Not a pleasant feeling. Quite painful, actually. It hasn't happened a lot, maybe 5 or 6 times, but enough that I am really trying to pay attention to chewing well and slowing down. I have found that if I cut up my protein serving into small bites then put my fork down between bites, I am more aware of how fast I am eating.
07-16-2004 - Four months out and I'm down 90 pounds and feeling great. I am losing hair. I talked with Deanna, the nutritionist, and she said I need to eat more. Never in my life did I think I would ever hear those words! I am now concentrating really hard in getting in all six "meals" to up my protein intake. It is hard to eat when I don't really feel hungry. Those old ghosts are hard to exorcise but I'm really working on it.
My wound is still open, but is very very small. I go back to the doctor in two weeks, and expect it will be my last visit until my one year anniversary.
I started working out at Curves. I think it is a good beginner program for me. I haven't really exercised in years, and never did on a regular basis. I'm committed to working out at Curves for a year then decide if I want to continue with them or switch to a standard gym and hire a personal trainer.
We took two large leaf bags of clothing that is too big to Goodwill last week. I already have another pile started. I am determined to never wear those sizes again so as my clothes get to large to wear, Im getting rid of them. Im wearing clothes I havent worn for years and even have some new things that I bought in the past while dieting. Things that were on sale and I needed to lease another 15-20 pounds to be able to wear. Of course, that never happened, at least until now.
The folks at the Wish Center continue to be an amazing support system. They really care about their patients and want us to succeed.
And speaking of support systems, George (another Wish Center patient) started a Yahoo support group. These folks are great. George had his surgery last week as did my new friend, Paige. Paige and I are going to go to Busch Gardens and ride a roller coaster together in the next year. I havent been able to get on amusement park rides in years. I am really looking forward to that. And Tina is getting her new tummy on Monday. Tina has an amazing spirit.
These four months have flown by faster than I could imagine. I am so happy I made this life-saving decision.
My husband and I attended the Wish Center Paitent Seminar in October. I was impressed with Dr. Dietrick's calm manner and warm presentation. I feel confident in his abilities. The marketing coordinator, Denise Shreaves, is so kind and so helpful. She has had WLS so is a great source of information.
My current insurance, Blue Cross Blue Care (an HMO) does not provide out-of-network coverage so I am changing my insurance to United Health Options PPO as of January 1, 2004. I have an appointment with the Wish Center team on January 7.
The Wish Center has an outstanding program. There is a lot you must do to prepare for the surgery and to get used to what your diet will be after surgery. Goals are set and must be obtained to get a surgery date.
Risks are outlined in great detail and each professional takes the time to be sure your questions and concerns are answered.
My surgery date has been set for March 16 at 7:00 a.m.
United Healthcare, PPO
My surgeon's office did all the work. I did not have to do anything other than provide information to my surgeon. I was approved 2 weeks after the first letter was submitted. I had checked prior to seeing a surgeon to see what the requirements were and made sure I met those requirements. For my policy, you had to be at least 100 pounds overweight, and the surgery had to be medically necessary.