I am Georgette, typcially called Gigee. I am 42 and have been fighting the fat monster (281 lbs) for ages now. I was born a premie and that was the last time I was thin! I remember wearing a size 7 women's dress in the 5th grade. Diagnoses at the age of 15 with PCOS did nothing more than put a name on what I was already realizing would be my life. A few years down the road my body figured it would add hypothyrodism for good measure.
Climbed over the 200 lb mark during 8th grade. WLS surgery has been around for years and I have watched friends utilize this tool. Never thinking that it would be a tool that I would one day work towards having. I don't think around here I need to mention the huge array of fad diets and practical diets I have been on all my life.
A couple of years ago my primary doctor mentioned this surgery to me. I was a bit taken aback. And told her it surprised me that she mentioned it for other than that and a couple of aches and pains I am healthy. She agreed and then told me that she is beginning to see the importance of this surgery as preventative medicine. One to help you stay healthy and stop the weight before one would get cardio problems or diabetes etc. Well I listened and didn't do a thing. It still didn't seem the thing for me.
I did start an excercise program and healthy eating and was doing great! Went from 311 to 265 lbs. Then I blew out my knees. I can no longer walk aggressively or go site-seeing without these puppies swelling up on me bringing intense pain and causing me a week of near down time to recover.
So this past year at my physical, after discussing the herniated disc in my back, my breathing problems (what a difference a year makes eh?) and my knees, I mentioned the surgery to my doctor. Again, I asked, do you consider this a bit drastic? She said, with PCOS and Hypothyroidism my metabolic system is out of whack and it would take something drastic for me to ever be completely successful in taking off this weight. I said, but it's so major. She said ok, one major surgery now, or two major surgeries in 10 years when we replace your knees. Well that got my attention.
Took me a couple of months to settle this within me. I scheduled a consult with a surgeon. And had my appointment with him in October, 2004. I have signed up for my lifeskills class (a requirement) and they begin on January 4. The first of the tests, the endoscopy (sp) is December 17.
It is with determination that all my tests come out wonderful (let's see if positive thinking really does work!) and insurance is easy to deal with (more positive thinking) so I can have this surgery in March. That is my goal. Here's hoping it is the goal of all those involved with me and my care.
Even though I had my consult a month ago, I still had not moved toward making any of the pre-op appointments. I'm not sure why. I just hadn't. In fact, they were basically out of my mind while I continued to dig deep in research.
I get a phone call today. The conversation went something like this:
Hospital: We need information before your procedure.
Gigee: I have a procedure?
Hospital: We do have you on our list.
Gigee: Really? I have a procedure? What procedure do I have?
Hospital:To be honest, I'm not sure, I won't be able to see until after page 2 of your information.
Gigee: Ok, I'm game. What do you need.
So the questions begin. And then....
Hospital: We have you as married.
Gigee: OMG, I'm married! Who is he? Can I get a formal introduction before this unknown procedure??
Hospital: Laughing - you are making my day.
Gigee: I'm making yours? You just found me a husband! You've made my decade!!
Gigee: Do we know the procedure yet?
Hospital: Not yet, close. Oh, btw, did you know your home phone is disconnected?
Gigee: My phone is disconnected?? Well no wonder my husband can't call me!
Hospital: I'm so embarrassed, I misread my notes, that was the person I called before you that is disconnected.
Gigee: Mean ol husband not calling me... Do I have a procedure yet?
Hospital: Yes ma'am. Endoscopy on the 17.
So after that, I figured I may as well buck up and get the rest started so I am now enrolled in my lifeskills class, beginning January 4 and will call to schedule the rest when the office is open.
So my journey begins. Can't thank you all enough for letting me lurk since *cough* July. And now that my journey has started, I'll be working on my profile.
Expect to hear tons more from me *Grin*
Even though work has been crazy lately I sat this morning and took the time to make what seemed like a million appointments to further my journey into WLS. My schedule now looks like this:
12/15 Cardiac Clearance
01/04 Begin Lifeskills class (ends 02/08)
01/26 Nurse Practitioner
02/17 Pulmunary Clearance
02/28 Medical Doctor (specializes in Bariactric patients and is required appointment)
I then called the insurance. I wanted to discuss with them which of those appointments would be covered. I tell ya.. it was an art! She had non-commital answers down to a fine art. I basically walked away with, as long as it wasn't submitted as routine, it was covered. Well if that is so, this girl is gonna do her some talking at each appointment and discuss how it is all submitted to the insurance.
I'm tired already! Oh wait, tired could be that I put in 12 hours today and have to head back to work in 7 short hours and put in another 17 or so. The never-ending project at work is actually coming to an end (after 2.5 years) this weekend. I can't wait! I'll be able to slow down a bit.
Of course, with all the work stuff, I haven't been able to sit and memorize the music I've needed to. The group I sing with is doing 2 concerts next week (Dec 11 and 12) so I guess I'll be busy with my head in music all next week.
As a side note. I am struggling within me over something I did the other day. I had a long time friend email me the other day. Asked me what I had been up to, mentioning that I never contact him anymore. Well, I looked at that and thought, of course I don't contact you anymore.... then replied with: Well I gave up on you! Any attempt by me to converse has been ignored by you. I only hear from you when you want me to post your football picks. :-p~~~~~
I didn't in anyway, say that in anger, but of course, it is type so who knows how he took it? All I can say is he up and quit the football pool and considers our friendship over. He as well didn't say anything in anger.. but the friendship, according to him, is over.
I could have kept my mouth shut I supposed and lied and said, oh.. I've been busy. I could have played his game and just not answered. But I'm not into lies or games. No matter. I still feel guilty as hell. I'll just have to work through this one.
Life... may it always stay interesting. Love you all! Gigee
As a quick update. I poured on the charm with my friend. All is right now. Wohoo!
My first 2 appointments are next week. I've been so busy that the time has just flown by. I was reminded of how quickly they are approaching when I received a packet in the mail today for the Cardiologist. I have tons of background paperwork to fill out. You know, when I was reading the packet and was going through the, do you have or have you ever experienced checklist I realized that... ummmmmm... maybe I'm not as healthy as I always fooled myself into believing. It has really been an eye opener for me.
On other fronts, work has settled down a bit. A 2 year long project ended this past Monday and I actually have time to breathe again. A long overdue vacation is coming up the week before Christmas. I plan on doing absolutely nothing. A well deserved nothing.
I sing with The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware. A group with about 65 voices. Our holiday concerts are this Saturday and Sunday. I found out yesterday that both are sold out AND we got a call from the governor to sing at her inauguration. How awesome is that? Our first ever CD goes on sell Saturday as well. It's just been an awesome year for me, for the Chorale and for life in general.
As busy as I am now, there are things about obesity that has really put a damper on the activities that I am involved in. I get tired of being in the middle of activities and looking for a place to sit because my knees are yelling me. I sing yet don't have the wind compacity that I should have and need. There are many other examples I could give. It just all boils down to one thing.
I want to be healthy (healthier). I want to continue to always be this busy and to even be busier if I so choose. I want to participate in all of it without pain or lagging behind AND I want to do it all for at least 40 more years!
If that isn't incentative I don't know what is!
May life never be boring... Love you all!
Howdy folks! Today was my appointment with the cardiologist Dr. Kumar. What a wonderful man. If he was in primary care I would be more than tempted to take him on as my physician. And since he isn't, then after these appointments, I'll just have to date him. Oh wait... hmmm... I didn't ask. Darnit all, I'll have to assume such a nice man is already taken. But just in case he isn't and just in case he's out there listening... Call me anytime Dr. Kumar *grin*.
The appointment went well. My EKG was normal. I tried to get in writing from him that I was normal, for my friends wouldn't believe it! He was quick (maybe too quick... sigh) to clarify... My EKG was normal. And I will not have to have a stress test.
I do have a heart murmur which was diagnosed when I was a small child. He is having me participate in an echo-cardiogram. (Yes, particpate and that is my word. I know longer lay back quietly as people do things to me. I figured I was missing out on too much when I did that. So now everything becomes a part of my life.) We do this echo-cardiogram on Monday morning (my first day of vacation) at 7:15 am so we can better determine how the murmur is doing. But let me say this. It is a minor thing, this murmur, so no bad news is anticipated. It's never bothered me and as far as I am concerned, it never will!
This 7:15 am appointment is the perfect excuse to be out very early on a "non-work" work day and get some shopping done before the masses come out in droves.
I had my endoscopy this morning. I was a good girl and got there early. Made my surgeon happy for he had a lapse between patients so they took me early.
I vaguely remember waking up toward the end of the procedure. Vaguely remember someone telling me to not try to talk and vaguely remember asking for something to write on because I wanted to tell them they were going to make me throw up! *Grin*
I think I vaguely remember the surgeon telling me everything was alright aftwards and I think I remember telling him I had a present for him for I couldn't stand the sight of his empty desk at work.
What I do remember well is calling the nurse in and asking her to put the head of my bed down. She said oh no hun, the job is to wake up and not to sleep. I said I am awake but something is not right. About that time the alarms went off because my blood pressure had dropped to 69/34. She put the head down, they increased fluids and eventually (seemed like forever to me) it began to come up.
Was still very low when I left but much better. I got home at 2, in bed by 3 and slept until 8. The way I feel I could and probably should still be sleeping. But I'm much to nosey to let an entire day go by without me
I wish I could say this experience is unusal.. but it seems that ever time they put me to sleep it happens. It's been worse. I'm thankful this was a good day overall
Spent all weekend feeling a bit fuzzy from the endocsopy but I didn't let it stop me. Life is good and I was on the run. Didn't have to do much without feeling wiped out but I kept plugging on.
This morning (and it's not even 10 am yet) has been one heck of an experience. I had a 7:15 appointment for my echocardiogram. No biggie right?
I wake up late, at 6:45, the time I'm supposed to be leaving for my appointment. So I rush and run outside in 6 degree weather. Start the jeep, scrape the ice and head off. About half a mile from the cardiologist the jeep overheats. I had to deal with it and get it off to the side of the road. I don't think the police would have been happy if I had left it at the traffic light it stalled at. The school crossing guards stopped traffic for me so I could let it coast down the hill to a better place to leave it.
I jump out of the jeep and start to walk to my appt. As I am walking I'm calling my mechanic. I think it is at this intersection I say on their voicemail. I'll call you back when I know for sure. By the time I get to my appt it is 7:40, my nose is numb, my forehead is numb, the front of my thighs are numb and I'm thankful I put on my boots this morning. I walk in there and ask about the intersection and they say yes, it is the one you thought it was. GREAT! So I call back, leave another message and say yup, it's there!
I get back in the room and this other girl says, no hun, that's not right it's this intersection. So now I'm half naked on the table, she is trying to work on me, I have the phone to my ear calling directory assistance. They put me through to my mechanic who answered and I said no no, it's at this intersection! He said ok!
Finally we are done with the test and the tech tells me I can get dressed and leave... then she hesitated at the door and said... but you probably want to dress quickly, the fire alarms are going off.
YIPES! I rush into my clothes and fly out the door. As I"m standing outside with everyone I come to the realization that my infinite wisdom failed me this morning. While rushing out the door for the appointment I thought, all I need is my lic and my insurance card. So no purse, no money, nothing. I can't call a cab, I can't take a bus. I'm just stuck!
So I start making calls. Everyone I know works so this isnt' good. Finally found a friend that was willing and able to leave work and come rescue me.
Then my mechanic calls asking where the jeep is. And I think... didn't I just talk to him and tell him? My friend picks me up and as we turn in my drive my phone rings. It's my mechanic! He said we are there to pick it up but it's already on a truck for a different mechanic! I said, impossible, I just drove by there 5 mins ago and it was still there! So he gave me the phone number of the mechanic who now had my car. Seems directory assistance put me through to the wrong mechanic and being busy getting the echocardiogram I just talked to whoever answered assuming it was them!
I am home and have just had a call from the mechanic that has my car. He was willing to release it to my mechanic. I said no, you've gone through the trouble, you keep the job.
Life should always be a good story!!
And how is your Monday??
Since I started this journey I have found myself at times really laying low, perhaps withdrawing. I have a few days of "up" and then about a week of reflection. I find that I am reflecting on my past, invisioning my future and rediscovering myself. I have a group of friends that are party hounds and I party right along with them! During the holidays I was with them and chose to not drink and not party as hard. Though I was there with them. I think it was testing the waters so to speak. If I'm not drinking and getting sloshed with them, how will they react? And it was all good. I would get asked, what are you drinking? Water. That's it? Yup! And we'd just move on to another conversation. It was not a biggie. I liked that. I liked that about my friends.
I have also found that I have put many areas on hold. I have never had a problem getting a date and dating. But now, I don't give out my phone number or I say no when asked out. I just want this journey to be about me. I want to be a bit selfish right now and make this all about me. It's all very different. I want to be so sure I am mentally prepared.
I sat down yesterday and wrote an email to a special friend of mine and apologized for putting him on hold. He was so understanding and gracious about it. It just made me feel so warm and loved. I am truly blessed with wonderful people in my life. He lives in another country and wants to be my angel on this journey. I think I will explain to him what I need in this journey as far as my angel is concerned. And if he still wants to do it, I will let him.
Tuesday starts my Lifeskills class. I look forward to it yet at the same time there is a bit of hesitation in me. This brings me one step closer. Am I ready? Am I truly ready? Not yet. But I will be.
My cellphone rang at work today and I ignored it. Why in the world would anyone call my cellphone at work anyway? Yada yada yada....
Just listened to the message. It was my surgeons office trying to get ahold of me so they could set my surgery date.
Never again will I ignore that phone! Watch out first thing Monday morning! I'll be a dialing fool... ring ring ring
And again I say... POOPIEPANTS!
Life has been in full swing. I have my date *grin*. March 15. So much to do, so little time. I saw the nurse practioner today. And got my clearance from the psycologist. I didn't know what to expect when I walked in there. But it was easy. We just sat and talked. Talked about my eating habits and talked about adjustments after. It went quickly and smoothly.
Last night at my Lifeskills class I did my weekly weighin. And I gained 7 lbs? I know I was celebrating last week but surely not that much????!!! So this morning I was back to the same place for my appointments and they weighed me on the same exact scale. I was 4 lbs lighter than I was last night. Sometimes I hate the fact that the weight I have to show I've lost for this class is dependent upon being weighed in the evening. I do retain so much fluid.
I got full clearence from the cardiologist as well. 2 appointments left. The pulmonologist and the medical doctor at the clinic. He will be the one who takes all the results and gives them the once over. He happens to be an endocronologist. I actually look forward to speaking with him for I have a few questions about WLS and PCOS.
Celebrated my birthday last week. Well actually, I'm still celebrating, it usually takes about 2 weeks to get it out of my system.
About a year ago I wrote a small poem for a friend. I find that at this moment in my life, it just may apply more to me.
The Next Journey
Waiting patiently for the dawn
The next journey quietly calls
Beckoning to be followed
Desiring to be found
Hoping for the one
Lost in the sea of life
The one who will
Welcome that journey
Out of the darkness
On a path
That finds the light
Of a brand new day
Embrace the dawning
of the next journey
Love you all,
Got a Bodyrow Tuesday night. Thought I would put it together last night. Opened the box.. ugh. Took out the owner's manual... UGH 62 parts listed.. 62!!! Closed the box. I had to mentally prepare for that one.
Got home tonight and got after it. 62 parts and 200 reps later. Here I am! Arms tired, legs tired... I'm such a wimp. But that's ok. I'll just slowly build up to good stuff.
So now the exercise has begun. In 2 weeks I finish the Lifeskills class (hoping this Bodyrow helps me meet the weight loss goal) and in about 6 weeks my surgery!
Just call me buffy!!
*flexing arms to make a muscle*
I have been taking .25 mg of synthroid for about 13 years now. Towards the middle of the year last year this all of a sudden was not enough of a dosage so my doctor and I have been working all this time upping my dosage and trying to regulate it. Since that time I have put on a whopping 30 lbs. And the weight is still climbing. And fliud. I am retaining so much fluid again it's not even funny.
It's 3 am. I woke up feeling like I was drowning and having problems breathing. As I'm laying there thinking about it and thinking about how I'm getting the full rounded bloated face again (noticed that in the mirror yesterday) this thought ran through my head.
G, you haven't felt this way and looked this well rounded everything puffy fingers tight and swollen way since they were first trying to regulate your thyroid.
Then BINGO! It hit me. When they first started me on this medication all those years ago I tried the generic brand. They could never get me regulated. I went up to .3 mg and still they could not. As soon as I got off the generic things started working right. I was, at that time able to move down to .25 mg.
During the first quarter of last year to save a dime or two, I moved to the generic. Surely it has to all be related. Or are these just the ramblings of a woman awake in the middle of the night feeling miserable? I'll talk to my pharamcist after they open today.
One another note. I got myself up to 600 reps on the rowing machine yesterday. I think I'll go for 1000 today and keep it there for a while. Doesn't take long, especially when watching tv at the same time.
Not much going on lately. Still struggling with no smoking. That's working out ok. Had a call from the surgeon's office yesterday to schedule my pre-op appt wiht the surgeon. While talking to her she mentioned my surgery date of March 22nd. March 22nd? I stopped her. Ummm... what happened to March 15? She put me on hold and came back and told me that I was rescheduled because the surgeon was going to be out of office on the 15th. Well ok, that makes sense. Would be easier to have the surgery if he was there. Kind of an odd way to find out they moved my surgery though.
I have been feeling pretty bad the past few days. Skipped work yesterday and today. And the fluid this old body is holding on to is getting worse. I think it has a lot to do with how I am feeling. I have an appointment with my PCP today at 2:45 so maybe she can figure out what we can do about this.
And that's all there is for now!
Just back from the doctor. While I was there she called up the lab to have them fax my blood work results since she had not received them as of yet. When she walked back in the room with them she said well, I know why you feel like crap. Your TSH levels are greather than 100. You are just all out of whack. I explained to her how I had been getting the generic synthroid and I had just gotten back on the brand on January 30th. She said she wanted new bloodwork in 6 weeks. I said that will work, that is when my surgery is and I'll be having the bloodwork done again then. She said oh, you won't be having surgery until this is under control. Major surgery with your levels this out of whack could cause you to have a heart attack. We'll need to see this number go to less than 10 before you consider surgery. And with levels this bad it will take a couple of months to get them right again.
I just didn't know what to say. I guess the next step is to call the surgeon's office, which I've tried, but they are apparantly gone for the day. I'll give them a call tomorrow.
**Update number 2. As suspected, I did not pass the class tonight due to the weight requirements. We talked about the issue at hand and since my surgery date will be postponed all I will need to focus on is the weight part. So I have hmmm... a bit of time to get that in.
Here's hoping the delay doesn't mean I have to get any of these clearances over again. We shall see!
I spoke with the surgeon's office yesterday. Explained about the TSH levels and how I wouldn't be getting them checked again until just before my surgery date. They didn't seem concerned enough to take me off the calendar. Basically what she said was, if they are not good she'll not have a problem filling that date with someone else, even if last minute. So as it stands I still have a sugery date. March 22 at 12:30. This thyroid mess has me so tired that I can't seem to get excited about it. Ahhhh, but this too shall pass!
Me again, new date again. I feel like a dog chasing a fox with this date! March 29, 2005 is my new surgery date. Gives me an additional week to get this TSH level good. Here's hoping :)
Today I had my appointment with the pulmonogist. This was the only one I was worried about. After a bout with pneumonia and 3 rounds of bronchitus following it I had been diagnosed with Chronic Bronchitus. Granted, it's been a year now since I've had any bronchitus. My lungs typically sound nasty. Shoot, I can hear the nastiness myself, never needed a doctor to tell me that. But this last year.. it's been better. Last week when I say my PCP her comment was... Wow, your lungs sound good. That didn't enourage me any for today's appointment.
So I went in to this appointment this afternoon carrying my x-rays from this morning. Answered all his questions, did the breathing test. He said *drum roll* you are great! I am giving you clearance. What? HUH? weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee YES!
He also said that, probably, because I'm a smoker, that I didn't have chronic bronchitus. It just took me longer to heal from the pneumonia. 1 year and a half? Yes. He said there is not a thing wrong with my lungs.
And yes, after the stress of what I have been going through I am still smoking... err.. smoking again after just over a week of not smoking, but not as much and I have given myself a new hard date to quit. Since the moved my surgery date I am not out of compliance... yet. So the end of the month is my new date.
I told the pulmonologist that it defies logic. Smoking stinks, people around me hate it. It's messy. It's expensive... but damn I love to smoke. He said that's because it is an addiction. I'm guessing he is right.
So again I am mentally preparing for the mental battle within me to stop this smoking thing. Wish me luck!
I did it! My surgery was March 29, this past Tuesday. The surgeon told my son that things couldn't have gone more perfectly. That's great to hear. And I can't tell you how those words comforted my son. My time in the hospital was a bit boring. I started running a fever Wed night and still had some on Thursday morning so they did a leak test on me. After that test was complete and it showed I was fine they sent me on home. My back was so sore from the hospital bed that after the first night I refused to sleep in it. It was sooo good to get back in my own bed. Oh yeah. I walked on Thursday and went shopping on Friday.
I forgot that I couldn't so as I could before the surgery, I was feeling just that good. So I overdid it shopping and paid the price for it last night. But I woke up feeling very good this morning. But I made a promise to myself that these next 2 days I would take it easy and do nothing other than walking. So I'll be behaving.
My son and his girlfriend have been with me every evening with the grandbaby. It's been awesome. They decided this week that they are going to make their relationship permanent. So since we are all family I've drug them to the kitchen with me to be taste testers on the protein shake recipes I am trying out. Quite the family affair and kinda fun too. I've always loved experimenting in the kitchen. The first recipe I tried was one of my own, it went down the drain lol. Now I'm working on recipes others have provided to find the ones I really like.
Anyway, that's the latest! Ya'll have fun out there!
It's been 13 days since my surgery so I thought I'd give ya'll an update of my life right now :)
The surgery went great. My surgeon said it couldn't have gone more perfectly. Since the surgery was wonderful that leaves the rest up to me and any little bumps are my fault. And that's ok. I can adjust me. I can't adjust the surgery.
I won't kid you, the adjustments have not been easy. I went to the hospital with a stomach the size of a football and came home with a pouch the size of an egg and 3 ft. less of my smaller intestine. 5 small incisions and one big bad and ugly drain hole. I am happy to say the incisions (but one) and drain hole are healed up. Now, try to get 40 grams of protein a day into an egg and a bruised egg at that! Need I say more about adjustments? I have to get that in through protein shakes cause 1.5 oz of pureed food (6 times a day if I time it right) just ain't getting it.
This little pouch talks a different language than my stomach did as well. The first few days I had no idea if i was putting too much or too little into my body. I was using the menu plans I had to do in nutrician class. Well well, when this pouch woke up was it ever too much! I was miserable. So I learned quickly how much I can handle of pureed food. My first and biggest adjustment. It seems so odd that a couple of teaspoons worth of food fills me up. It will take a long while before I actually feel hunger and I really don't have a desire for food. So by the clock I eat.
I am now at the cusp of what my surgeon calls the honeymoon stage. I feel great! He said after 2 weeks (that's any time now) my body will say WHOA! Where are all those nutrients I use to get? And it will rebell on me some. To expect extreme tiredness possibly some depression. I'm gonna try like heck to get that protein in so my body doesn't scream to loudly.
Being abdominal surgery, as you can imagine, some things I still can't do. As of today I can drive, but I still can't lift, mop, vaccum (wow, those are actually good things!) etc. When I get out to go to the store, or like today, go to the doctor these small trips just wear me out. And of course there is a big ol nap time in every day :).
I was sent home with pain medication. After the first 2 days I only used it at night so I could get comfortable enough laying down to sleep. And I haven't had to do that since Friday. Then came the SNEEZE. Oh yes. Yesterday I let out a sneeze that just about sent my eyeballs flying across the room. Oh hello abdomin! That was quite uncomfortable. And stayed that way all day yesterday. So last night I head to bed about midnight. At 2 am, still awake, I get up. Frustrated. I was trying so hard not to do the pain med thing. But I gave in and took some. Now, my pain meds say "if this upsets your tummy take it with crackers (not on my diet) or bread (not on my diet). Didn't matter. It had never upset my pouch. I am here to tell you... PAIN MEDS AND AN EMPTY POUCH DO NOT MIX! Within 5 minutes of taking it I though OMG I need to get to my bed. About 3 minutes later I came to, lying on the floor on the side of my bed in a cold clammy sweat. I crawled up on the bed worried. I was quite disoriented, as you can imagine, and wasn't sure why that happened or if it was going to happen again. I laid there for about an hour then got up. Thought about it and put to and to together and decide it was the meds on the empty pouch. And yes, I spoke with my surgeon today and he agreed. I WON'T DO THAT AGAIN! That has been my only real issue to date.
It feels like every moment of every day is an adjustment. And adjustment in thought process and in mentality. You can prepare all you want for something as life changing as this but you just aren't prepared when it happens. Today was my 2 wk post-op appointment with my surgeon and he said everything is going well. I just need to up my protein to 65 grams a day (and I'm still scrambling to get that 40) and I have to make a couple of appointments with PMRI who is also watching my care. And I have to go back to see my surgeon in 2 weeks. If I am doing well I will then graduate to solid foods.... and vaccuming (sigh). Oh, while I was there today I gave my surgeon a little gift. It was something I had gotten for his desk months ago (I've never seen such a barren desk!). I was sure to tell him that I bought it months ago, but was determined he wasn't gonna get it until I knew he'd done a good job on me. He did good, he got his gift.
The outpouring of love and concern I have gotten has been amazing. The cards and flowers continue to come. When I was released from the hospital my surgeon looked at my "love wall" and declared me the winner of all his patients.
So far so good. Nap time!
I think I want to back up a little in time today and share my surgery and hospital experience.
I found out around noon on Monday, March 28th that I was actually going to have my surgery on Tuesday, March 29th. Because of all the problems I had been having with my thyroid, I was doing lab work up until the last minute. I was so focused on that, and since my date had been moved so many times, I really didn't think the surgery was going to happen on the 29th. This was actually a great thing. Because of this I had no idea when they submitted my information to the insurance and had planned Monday as a regular day. I was all ready to be grumpy when they told me that they would have to move my surgery again for I had been on a 2 day clear liquid diet over Easter weekend. OH, and for those on the clear liquid diet? I just can't say this enough. STAY AWAY FROM THE VEGETABLE BROTH! As much as I LOVE veggies and as good as that sounded. That was the nastiest stuff I've ever put in my mouth :). I got the call around noon on Monday and just stood up at work and cheered. I worked a full day, went directly to rehearsal, then out to eat with the gang as usual (had a diet coke - my last soda. ahhhhh :) ), got home about 11 pm, went to bed, woke up the next morning showered and went to the hospital. Who had time to get nervous? Not me! I didn't even have time to contact a lot of folks who wanted to be there with me. And yes, I've been spanked for that A LOT ever since.
I arrived at the hospital at 9:00 on the dot! I may have been excited, but not excited enough to be early :). I was put in the holding tank where they put me in my lovely fashionable hospital gown. When the nurse handed it to me I asked, "Is that a big girl gown?" She laughed at me and said yes, we'll keep you covered. Thank goodness, I have a family disease called "noassatall". And even though I don't have one, last thing I want is the missing one to be showing to the world. They came to give me a shot of blood thinner. I delayed them while "I" checked my wrist band to make sure they had the right person. After the shot my son joined me in my cell and we watched Jerry Springer "Moms, Boyfriends and Beer". I'm not sure I recall any discussion of beer, but there was plenty of moms stealing their daughter's boyfriends on there. What is this world coming to?
After an hour and a half I was wheeled to pre-op by a lovely gentlemen who seem so much to love his job. We chatted and laughed all the way there. Once there, to match my lovely designer gown, I was given a yellow tummy and some yellow leg thingies to match. Those were cool as they massaged my legs.
My doctor of anesthesiology (sp?) walked by my bed on wheels and asked this other gentleman if he thought he could put in my IV. The reply? "I think I can." Then he came to me. I said hold it buster. There's no thinking you can when you work on me. So quick! Give a better answer! He said, "I know I can but...." But what?
Seems he was a doctor who was there to intern on intubation. He looked at me and said. I'll be honest. It would probably be better to have a nurse do this. I ask... one that does it all the time and can do it in their sleep? He said yes. He was so young. Like my son! and looked so nervous. I said sweetie, get to it. I will be your guinea pig. OH wait.. umm.. Dr.? You have been hovering over my bed? Am I your guinea pig for intubation too? He just smiled. Yup, that said it all. But let me tell you all something. I have had 6 sugeries in the past 5 years. This is the first time I did NOT have a sore throat from being intubated. I think I want a newbie doing that to me in the future. They must be a bit more careful about it :)
While he was inserting my IV Dr. Patel (the anesthesiologist (sp) ) came to the other side of my porche on wheels and told me it was now his job to distract me from the other Dr. I said, well hun, you better get funny fast cause I'm about to sit up and guide him in my vein *Grin*.
And you know. That's pretty much the last I remember. How awesome that they put you to sleep in pre-op now. Though I do find operating rooms interesting, I haven't missed not seeing it.
Next thing I remember I came to and man oh man was I hurting. I remember trying to communicate with them and could not do so clearly. And I remember them asking if I was in pain. YES! And I remember them telling me that there were about to give me something for the pain.
Next thing I remember is sweet little comforting voices telling me to that they just had to get that plastic thing they put under me in surgery out and then they would let me rest. I opened my eyes and said a hang bar above me. I plopped a hand on there closed my eyes and said tell me when. They said "now be careful, we'll do most the work." And I said... Tell me WHEN. They said ok.. WHEN. I still have great arm strenght from playing sports and staying active and god love the rowing machine. They said WHEN and I lifed my body off that bed lol. I heard WOW! That sure made that easy. They introduced me to the "pump" button, took off my designer cap and I heard WOW, look at all that hair! I smiled and went back to sleep. Somewhere in there I never saw the recovery room either. Not bad I say.
Next I opened my eyes and there was my son. Oh how I love him and how good it was to see him. And next to him was my best friend Christopher. He is so awesome. Then I looked and there was my friend Richard. He may be the sweetest man I've ever met. And my Angel Val showed up. What a sweetie she is. Then a couple more angels Jenn and Joni showed up. Joni's surgery is April 25. I am so excited for her. She and Jenn are life partners and the sweetest most loving couple I've ever met. This group made me laugh which sent me to the pump! I wanted to get up but the nurses wouldn't let me yet. I think I was too drugged up still but I was raring to go. My friend Christopher said, and I quote: "You walked within 6 hours of your surgery and you took two spins around the nurses stations....You tried to go really fast and they told you to slow down, but you were defying the rules cause 'you waz high', end of quote lol. And when they brought that little sponge? OMG.... like an oasis in the desert :).
Pain meds rarely make me sleep unless I want them to. So everyone was there and talking to me and of course I didn't want to sleep. They laughed at me. For the morphine didn't put me out but it sure put me on a delay. I'd be asked a question, seemed like 5 minutes later I'd answer. They'd say something funny and 5 mintues later I'd laugh. Christopher re-wrote the words to a song (Defying Gravity) to fit my surgery and new life and belted it out. This song is from the musical "Wicked". A musical that I love and is one that Christopher took me to see for my birthday. The musical was great and the song as he re-wrote it was great too! Here are the words.
Something has changed within me
Something in not the same
I'm through with dealing with
The hurt and the pain
Too long I've been a BIG girl
Full of fear and strife
It's time to trust the doctors
Go out and LIVE my liiiiiiiiiiiife
It's time to try, defying, calories
I think you should try defying caloreis
They'll never weigh you now!
I'm through accepting candy
'cause someone says it's good
Some things I can not eat
'cause if I do you know I'll puke
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing half of me
Well if food is love
It comes at much to high a cost
I think I'll try defying calories
Kiss 1/2 me goodbye, I'm defying calories
And they'll never weigh me now
So if you care to find me
Look in the shopping mall
As some one told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to SHOP!
And if I'm shopping solo, at least I'm shopping petite
To those who'd stop me, take a message back from me
Tell them how I
am defying calories
I'm happy now, defying calories
And nobdy, in all my life,
No fat girl that there ever was
Is ever gonna bring me down
Between the porche on wheels and the hospital bed. After the first night (I have a herniated disc) I could no longer stand my back and the morphine didn't help it any (though it did clear up my tennis elbow for 2 days!!). I refused to use my bed for the most part and hung out in a little straight chair. I slept between that chair and a recliner they had in the room. I had problems closing the recliner so I didn't use it much either. I was happy in that chair. I felt good and my back felt good in it.
I got in a lot of walking and would zoom all around. I rearranged my room a bit when I heard a roomie was coming. The nurses came in to help. I shoo'd them away. I got it! Won't take me long. I watched TV in the big room since I couldn't stand my bed. I was everywhere BUT my bed. I brought a book but with the morphine I did have a problem focusing.When I got home from the hospital I think I was still on the same sentence I went to the hospital on.
I started running a fever the day after my surgery. It was about 101. 12 hours later it was still there. So on the morning of release they did a leak test on me to make sure all was well. It was. I spoke with my surgeon and he said he didn't think it was anything to worry about. It happens sometimes for naught, to him as well. I said well it's that time of the month, maybe I'm ovulating lol. He said that he never has fever for that reason. lol, everyone's a comedian. And the fever went away about 2 hours after I got home.
He released me and told me that I could leave as soon as they removed the j-tube drain. Now, let's talk. For two days I was really feeling a bit sore and I figured it was due to the parts they had operated on. Makes sense yes? When the physician assistant came in to remove the drain (I wish I remembered her name, she was such a sweetie, cute as a button too, I want to look like her when I grow up)she said ok here's what we are going to do. You are going to take a deep breath and as you exhale I'll remove the drain. Okie dokie. Deep breath.. Exhale... she pulled the entire length of my exhale. I thought wow that sucker was long. Then omg.. immediate release. That soreness I had been feeling? It was the drain! It was awsome having that thing out.
On reflection, it was so long it kinda reminded me of starting a lawn mower. I can imagine it now, me laying on my bed, her standing over me, reaching down, foot on my belly, grabbing hold and pulling that sucker out! Starting my motor home! And was I ever ready to get home to my chair and my bed. All friendly to my back.
The care I got was exceptional. Our hospital has a bariatric wing. My evening nurse is soon to have her one year anniversary of Lap Band. My night nurse is soon to have her one year anniverary of RNY. You could tell by the care you got that they had been there done that. That they understood. I sent the nurses there at the hospital and the surgeon's office who took care of everything without me having to worry about a thing a fruit bouquet. I believe in taking care of those who take care of me. And they were all awesome.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Love and best wishes to you all.
Prior to surgery my surgeon provided me with Basic Guidelines for my new life directly after surgery and further down the road. I also had to attend a Lifeskills class that helped guide me in a Life Eating Plan and had me create Sample Menus for Pureed and the first stage of Regular meals. They also provided me with a Vitamin and Supplement Nutrient Plan.These have been very helpful for me so I wanted to share.
I am 26 days out and have been doing awesome! Then all of a sudden, starting on Friday, I feel like someone punched me in the gut! Now, I can drink fine, I can eat fine. I am following the rules of my surgeon, still on pureed. I don't recall lifting anything heavy (though who knows, I may have absent mindedly done so. All I know is it is beyond sore. I just find this entire thing odd. It's like someone flipped a switch on Friday and I'm feeling like I did the first week out of surgery.
I saw my surgeon today and he is suspicious that my "punch gut" feeling is remnant Distension (where the fluids/juices/stuff/whatever it's called is not able to drain from the old stomach so it is swelling up,probably caused by inflamation of the new area where it is attached to the intestine to drain.)
He poked around and and said he could feel my swelling and my pain. I didn't think it hurt to the touch but lemme tell you, he knew just where to push. I had do the barium, dye CT Scan (ick). He mentioned edema a lot but in relation to the area where my old stomach now leads to my small intestine saying edema may be causing the fluids from the old tummy to not drain like it should.
I did ask him that if this were the case what treatment was and he mentioned something about a couple days in the hospital with IV fluids and didnt' say much more. I asked him if it meant possibly more surgery and he said in rare cases, to clear it up yet, but not to worry about that. I'm not sure if he was being vague on purpose not to worry me or if he was just in thought so much that not much got communicated. I couldn't tell by looking at him.
My instructions were to get the Ct Scan and get it done today or tomorrow and to get it done at the hospital because he tap into their computers for faster results.
I had the CT Scan done this evening and they said my doctor should get the results by tomorrow.
Punched Gut - The rest of the story
(IF you know me at all, you know this will be long-winded lol - and even longer winded cause I'm on drugs :)
As you know I have been suffering from a pain in my abdomin that feels like I have been punched in the gut.
I had a CT Scan done on Tuesday. My surgeon thought I may have had Remnant Distension. The results of that scan ruled that out and showed that everything is working properly. YEAH!
Dr. Peters called me yesterday while I was at the hospital visiting Joni and Jenn. (Joni had her LAP-RNY done Monday and I am proud to report is doing very well [she went home today]. Jenn is Joni's partner the support I saw from her to Joni may well be the best I've ever seen.)
He told me to stay right where I was while he reviewed the scan results. Called back about 30 mins later asking where in the hospital I was (for he was there too) and next thing you know he's there in Joni's room with us talking to me and pressing and poking around and decided to admit me to run tests for Pancreatitus (sp), PE, and Ulcers. He asked me where on the scale for pain I was saying I was pretty stoic and it was hard to tell. I told him a 6. He directly admitted me into the hospital. Now, that's to say his part was done and I had doctor's orders in my hand.
I decided to just stick around the hospital figuring that as soon as I left they'd call me to come back. Makes sense yes? ummmm.. 5 hours later (Thank you Joni and Jenn and Vickie [her surgery was Monday] and her family and Leonard [his surgery was Monday] and his family for putting up with me flitting around for 5 hours back and forth. I appointed myself "walking cheerleader" let's get walking (Didn't need to do that with Joni she was doing marathons already lol)....... yup, 5 hours later, I got my bed.
In walked Dr. Peters again and he got the ball rolling. He had been in and around the hospital for at least 16 hours at this point. I think he is awesome. First things first, the PET Scan (very negative!). Then some blood work to check for pancreatitus and I also got some diladid which made me very woozy and itchy so benadryl follow and being in an unmonitored bed I slept all night uninterrupted.
I no sooner woke up this morning and they gave me some stuff for ulcers hoping that would settle things down. I had been NPO for quite a few hours and it didn't sit well so I tried walking about a bit and the pain gripped me again. So they gave me some more diladid. Nurse at my bed still and I said, ohhh, I don't feel good. She asked how I felt and I said tell you what, If i were standing right now I think I'd pass out. So next thing you know my bed is surrounded by 4 people. Checking blood pressure (it had dropped drastically) pulse, oxygen levels and a different nurse came in and starting asking a bunch of question of which I didn't have the gumption to answer. I was too busy feeling bad. I finally just said, I don't feel good and closed my eyes so she would get the hint and stop asking questions. She got the hint . My surgeon came in right after and I believe his comment was... I hear you tanked on us this morning. I said oh yes, I don't want any more of that stuff lol
Finally, off to get the scope. I get back to my room and sleep a bit (in fact I slept more times than not) Jenn said she came in a few times but I was always sleeping. I found notes left by folks I guess I was still really out of it from the diladid earlier.
Then my surgeon came in and I got an answer to the problem. My little pouch has already developed not 1 but 2 ulcers. So I am home now with some meds for ulcers, prevacid and when he was trying to figure out what pain med to send me home with (of course not diladid) and he mentioned Labtor, to which I said no no, that was the stuff that caused me to pass out at home. Then I told him to just send me with tylenol with codeine knowing that codeine makes me itch. I told him I'd rather go home with the known reaction than with something that may give me an unknown reaction. Got permission to take over the counter benadryl along with it.
I'll see him again in 2 weeks and have another scope done in 3 months.
Until that time I get to figure out how I'm am going to take a med that I have to take 4 times a day, on an empty stomach (1 hour prior to, 2-3 hours after eating) which cannot be taken at the same time as my vitamins. I think my med box that has 4 slots for each day is not going to be enough lol.
Well, still drowsy from the scope plus I've just taken a dose of the tylenol (refuse to apologize for typos and sentences that don't make sense lol) I'll be headed to bed very shortly
Love you all. Your support has been amazing! I was blessed the day I found this site and all you wonderful people.
I was all showered and was putting on my face the other day when and long time internet friend msg'd me. I was talking to him and he asked how i've been doing since the surgery.
I said, well...... tell you what, after i have my face on and my hair is dried I'll flip on my cam and you tell me if you see a difference. He said ok.
After my face was on and while i was drying my hair my son and his girlfriend arrived. I came back in my room and sat at the computer and sent my friend the invite for my cam.
My son was sitting on my bed talking to me I was in my chair and my friend never accepted the invite. A couple minutes later i'm standing up... out of cam view and my son's gf now was in the doorway of my room.
All of a sudden this message comes across... OMG!!!!! YOU LOOK GREAT!!!!
LMAO, he was look at my son's girlfriend!
We laughed so hard over here that we all cried!
Life should always be a good story
I had my two week appt after the discovery of my ulcers. The culprit we are thinking was my Aldactone, which I take for the symptoms of PCOS (and I smoke(ed) which didn't help matters any). I was taken off of it immediately.
This has been miracle medicine for me. Before I began taking this medication I never ovulated (never - without it being medically forced), I retained fluid to the point of my feet, legs and hands being twice their size and stiff and painful. And (drum roll) I had hair on my chest, my upper arms, my back, my belly, from the tip of my toes to to the top of my thighs. I could grow a full beard in 3 days and had to shave twice a day to keep my face manageable. Imagine the hairest man you know and that was me!
Since I started taking Aldactone, I ovulate, the water retention is better AND no chest, arm, back, belly or leg hair (haven't shaved my legs in 6 years - don't need to) and i have some facial hair (only shave once a day) and people don't even notice it anymore.
At my appointment yesterday I told my surgeon that we needed to figure out just what we could do to get me back on my Aldactone for I did NOT want to become the Side Show Freak again. EVER.
He gave me the number of a Compound Pharmacist in our area and said if I could get it liquified I could try it again but to stop immediately if I cramped at all with it.
I spoke with the Pharmacist and explained to him that I was looking to have this liquified. I explained to him that I was crushing it and how it affected me. He said he could do that for me and said that was the reason they were in existence! The mix the medictions themselves and offered me the pick of 120 different flavors to be added to it. I chose Strawberry (sounded so much better than liver).
I picked it up this morning. I was actually a bit intimidated by the Aldactone. Trust me, it cramped me up immediately upon taking it since the surgery. I went over to a friends house for moral support and took my first dose.
WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO so far so good! It didn't bother me a bit. My hopes are subsequent dosages are the same.
So why this post? hmmm? huh huh?
Just a reminder that there are alternatives out there if a drug you are taking does not come in liquid form. Ask your surgeon or PCP to refer you to a Compound Pharmacist. It's possible they can help you!
And that's all she wrote!
Ever since the discovery of the ulcers and the taking of Carafate my intake has been way off. My liquids, my protein. It is a struggle to get it in me. I am working hard on getting these levels back up but it is definitely not easy for me right now. In spite of that (on a side note), my weight loss has been good. I went clothes shopping yesterday for the first time since surgery. I'm down 42 lbs and found that I am down 3 sizes in tops and 2 sizes in bottoms. yeah!
I start back to work in 2 short days and I wonder... if I can't get my protein and fluid in now how am I going to do with the distractions at work? I am determined to pack all I need and bring it with me. I think I'm going to have to set up calendar reminders to pop up and tell me it's time to eat and remind me to drink drink drink. I have an appointment with my nutricianist on Tuesday. I'm sure to hear all about it. I expect it and I have it coming. Maybe she can help me figure this all out.
My liquid form of Aldactone is still working good for me. The fluid I was retaining is now coming off quite nicely and I'm able to realize weight loss on the scales. It's nice to see that. I don't sweat it if there is none for I know there will be stalls but for a while there the water retention had taken over what the scales would have shown.
I am very thankful for this opportunity I have been given. I feel so much better in these short weeks after the surgery. My knees love me again! They tell me, each time I go walking how they appreciate the step I've taken and the effort I've put in since surgery.
I am going walking a few times a week with Atilla the Hun aka Jodie. And when I don't feel like walking, like this morning at 7 am, and I'm strolling instead of walking, she purposely picks up the pace knowing I will walk faster to keep up with her so we can talk. 2 miles. We are doing 2 miles. She is already working on me mentally to step it up to 4 miles. Maybe I'll attempt it tomorrow. We'll see what the day brings.
This morning my pouch wasn't into walking and about a mile into the walk I told her I had to sit before I got sick. So we did and talked and finally I said, well it's not feeling better so we may as well finish this last mile and get going. Of course, as we start walking again what comes around the corner? Ohhhh, about 60 of our servicemen (who we had noticed earlier standing in the parking lot), out for their run. They were running towards us so we got a good view! Jodie accused me of using stall tactics waiting for them to start their run so I could watch them. Did I? Maybe *grin*. I'm the only one that knows for sure :) I think I'll give my surgeon kudos for suggesting this place to walk. Trust me, he did me a favor this morning. Nothing like eye candy to perk up your step!
Just finished 15 gms of protein, 50 to go! ugh.
I'll get there.
3 months out, down 71 lbs
First off, my apologies for being so silent since I went back to work. But I made it back in time for the end of a major project that we placed in production today. wohooo! I'm free for a while.
I see my surgeon on Monday for my 3 month but, the bloodwork is all in and all numbers are good except for the numbers that measure the protein intake for the past 2 - 3 weeks. I forget what it is called. But this was expected for I had sinus infection. The antibiotics inflamed my ulcers and gave me a yeast infection in my mouth and throat so my intake has been off. I was quite pleased to see all the other results.
I have been having a lot of problems with light-headedness and dizzyness. Even to the point of almost passing out during our concert and having to be helped off the stage. It seems the hotter it is the worse the problem. My pcp feels I am not getting enough salt so has instructed me to have a salty snack and load up on water before I do any outside activtities and then of course, drink drink (which I'm doing) while I'm out.
My main problem right now is some neurophy I am having in my lower right leg and foot. I can't wear closed toe shoes, because i can't control my toes and they curl up in my shoes. It was weird today watching my doctor do anything she wanted to with my big toe while I was trying to resist her. It was like I wasn't doing anything and I could not feel, could only see what she was doing. My B12 was fine so that's not the problem. Today was worse than yesterday. If I walked without conciously thinking about it then my foot would drag. She feels that whatever this is is likely to continue to progress.
She sent me for more bloodwork which I had done as soon as I left her office. She was checking for lyme disease and a couple of other things. I also have to get an MRI on my lower spine and an EMG (I have no idea what that is) I will call tomorrow and schedule them.
Other than that! I am doing awesome! Down 71 lbs in just over 3 months. I remain in awe at the how the weight has come off. I am in a 2 week stall right now, but that I think was long overdue so I'm not worried about the no loss.
Anyway, that's the update on me! I hope each and everyone of you dear people are doing well!
I've pondered a lot today. Why can't I stay out of clothing stores? I'm just going to the beach for the weekend. I had to buy a new outfit for every day. I'm quickly going broke. And this is after I went out and bought 3 rooms of new furniture. Wohooo it will be delivered Tuesday. Shoot, I took a day vacation on Tuesday so I can be here and then admire it the rest of the day. Did they do surgery on my tummy or on my brain?
The jury is out...
I had my EMG this past Tuesday. I expected to go in there and hear that my problem is minimal and they'll give me something and I'll be all well in a month! I expected the worst part of the test, to be the test.
What I heard was I have severe nerve damage caused by my back. I've had a herniated L5 for years and diagnoses for the past 4 years of a dengerative L5/S1. The neurologist said that only surgery can help. That I need it asap and should not put it off. If I put it off this problem will only continue to progress and I would have further damage. He said that surgery would stop the progression. But there are no guarantees that the feeling I have lost in my leg, ankle and foot will come back. It is possible it all may come back, or that it may partially come back, but it is also possible it will never come back. As I was leaving the hospital from this test Dr. Fischer wanted to get me a wheel chair to go back out to my car. I refused. I would give up if I gave in.
The problem is more than twice as bad as it was when it showed up 14 days ago. My drop foot is more than twice as bad. I can't control my toes or foot. I am stumbling and have even fallen and twisted that ankle.
Of all that has been tossed at me in my life this is the most difficult for me. It is easy to put your arms around surgery when you are hurting and in pain. I know, I've had 7 surgeries in my lifetime. It is easy to choose to have surgery such as WLS when you have done years worth of research. It is easy because you are mentally there. I haven't been hurting. Oh the occasional pain down my left leg but I've lived with that for years. This numbess came on like someone flipped a switch. One moment I was fine, the next I thought my leg went to sleep. I got up to walk it off and I'm still trying to walk it off.
I've had one surgery this year and have been in the hospital twice. (Whining now starts). I don't want more this year. I'm still adjusting to WLS. I don't want to find out the hard way what other pain medications I'm allergic too. I don't WANT those hospital beds, they tore my back up the first time I was in there and after the first night I slept in the small chair by my bed. I don't want more time off of work. I love my job. I don't want to wear a splint (and have refused to do so). I want to be able to walk normal again. I want to be able to walk without falling. I want to be able to stretch at night and watch and feel my foot and toes stretch too! I want to be able to wear closed toe shoes and I want to be able to wear open toe shoes without having to reach down and pull my toes through and straighten them out. I want this to just go away.
I've set aside this weekend to mentally deal with this. I woke up this morning with even more progression. Very difficult for me to walk today. I'm slow, I limp and I'm having problems keeping my balance. Even with concentrating on each step and lifting my knee so my foot doesn't drag I stumbled twice today at our support group meeting. For the first time, on the way home, I had difficulty driving. I am worried about how I am going to manuever at work on Monday. With this new progression I almost feel like I'm back at square one mentally in dealing with this.
The neurologist who diagnosed me and performed the test, along with my PCP, set me up an appointment with another neurologist whom I will see on Tuesday. Today I only know high level. I'll get details then.
This was my year to have WLS and get all better. This just came out of nowhere and landed in my lap.
I am not ready for this.
07/23/2005 Nancy and Julie
No news is good news? I saw the other neurologist this past Tuesday. At the end of my appointment he walked to the offices next door to his to speak with a neuro-surgeon who wanted to see me within a week. So this coming Tuesday I will see him. I will update in regards to my back after that appointment.
In the meantime *grin*.....
There is such a wonderful group of people here in Delaware that have had this surgery and are so supportive of each other. Not just supportive with the surgery but supportive of you as a person. I was fortunate to get pictures of a few of them this past Saturday at our support group meeting. This of course is not near all of them and I will be getting more and more pictures of them. I have chosen NOT to put their names with these pictures until I know they are ok with being identified with their pictures on the web. I would expect I will be updating with names soon :). Until then, and in no particular order, meet some of the local group. They are awesome!
The DIVAS - Gster and Dster
I have been thinking about my back and I realize much of the reason I have been allowed in my life to go so long with this back is because of Obesity. Let me explain.
I actually injured my back at age 15. Yes, 28 years ago. I slipped coming down some steps, flew up in the air and the small of my back took the fall when I landed on the corner of the concrete step. It was ugly. I suffered for years and years. I would go along ok and then one morning I would wake up and couldn't get out of bed. There were times I had to have someone come over and dress me and then drive me to see the doctor. Now, as you know, I have been heavy forever. My diagnosis everytime I went to the doctor? That I was fat. Lose weight the problem will go away. For now, take these muscle relaxers and go to bed for a week.
I have been unable to lay on my back for more than 20 years. I have found it impossible to do the back excercises they have given me to do for they all call for you to lay on your back. If you would like to experience what I feel when I lay on my back then go outside and get a plum sized rock. Position it in the small of your back and then lay down. That is what I've felt for all these years. I am also unable to lay on my stomach. The slight sway you get in your back when you do puts me in pain. I lay on my side to sleep. And I have to turn over about every 30 minutes because my back begins to hurt. So needless to say, I've not slept well in all these years either.
For 20 odd years I heard. Lose weight. You have problems because you are obese. I finally asked one Dr to tell me what he would tell a skinny person that came in with this problem. And he told me he could not, for my problem was my weight. I moved to Delaware 8.5 years ago. I have just not mentioned it to my doctor. I gave that up long ago.
Finally, 2 years ago the siatica (sp?) pain down my left leg was so bad and so constant that I made an appointment with my orthopedist (sp again). He did shoulder surgery on me a few years ago and is awesome. He had me get an MRI and looked at the results and found degenerative disc/herniation in my L5/S1. Somehow I felt justified. He sent me to a back surgeon. The surgeon is one that is not quick to jump into doing surgery. A method I appreciated. He sent me to physical therapy. The therapist was great and worked to alter excercises that were meant for laying on your back so I wouldn't have to do that. After 6 weeks of therapy my pain was back to being occasional. Something I had adjusted to years ago so nothing was persued any further.
On July 3rd of this year I was sitting home and realized my leg went to sleep. Not unusual so I just got up to walk it off. When I realized it wasn't going away I made an appt with my PCP for July 6. She examined me and sent me for some blood work and MRI and an EMG. On July 11th I happened to have an appt with my WL surgeon. I mentioned it to him. He checked it out, was a bit stumped and said he could not say it was not from the surgery I just had in March. I told him the steps that were being taken and he told me they would probably put me on steriods. And that he would allow it (I indeed needed his permission), but warned me that steriods and ulcers don't play well together. The next morning was the EMG. Dr. Fischer. He was all business and quick to diagnose and urgent in his manner to get me to understand this needed to be looked in to now. The numbness was already twice as bad as when it started. He called Dr. Elener (my PCP) and she called and got me an appt with neurologist.
That appointment was this past Tuesday. The progression was twice as bad as the week before. After examining me and reading the results of my tests he was basically going to put me on steriods and send me along my way. After an hour appt he then went to read the MRI films himself. When he came back to the office his comment was that the films were under-read. The report from the radiologist said there was no compression. Dr. Munson saw compression. He walked to the offices next door to speak to a neuro-surgeon there. After he explained what he saw in the films and my symptoms and asked if they wanted me started on steroids, Dr. Yalamanchili said yes, start the steriods and I need to see her within a week.
Finally, someone is listening about my back. Finally someone is taking it serious. Finally after 28 years of pain, I did not hear, lose weight, you'll be fine. If it were not so sad, I would be rejoicing. How sad that even doctors can't see past the fat to treat someone. And how sad it took nerve damage to get the process really moving.
I guess I am a bit bitter in some regards. But now the focus has to be, let's get whatever we have to do done. I want to remember what it is like to have no back pain.
Tuesday is my appt. I recieved 50 million forms to fill out in the mail yesterday. And I am heading out to purchase a cane. That will keep me busy today.
2 neurologists and 1 neuro-surgeon have come to the same conclusion. Surgery. I will be having a bi-lateral L5/S1 discectomy this coming Monday. The news from the surgeon today that I did not like was that even though the symptoms were new, the EMG showed the damage to be old. He said there is not much hope that I will regain that I have lost in my right leg/ankle/foot. Here's hoping we see better results.
Two days since my back surgery and I finally feel up to getting an update out to everyone.
There is something different about going into a surgery where you just don't know what you are expecting. I think the WLS spoiled me a bit with that one. I did so much research and had this wonderful message board to read. And read it I did, for a year before my WLS. I had the in and outs and saw thousands of experiences and had more than just a basic idea of what to expect. It was a wonderful thing.
This back surgery I knew little. Very little. Just that we "hope" to stop the sciatica pain, we "hope" to stop the progression and there is "very little hope" we will recover what you lost in the right leg. I knew I would be off work 2 -4 weeks, I didn't know how the pain would be or how I would manage. I have a rough idea now so it's time for my story.
Knowing that my protein levels where down a bit I started pumping in the protein about 3 days before my surgery. Since protein promotes healing I wanted to make sure I had plenty in me to go around. I stopped using store brand shakes that typically have only 15 grms and started making my own that have 30. I went from one shake a day back to 3. Plus at least 4 of my meals a day where highly concentrated in protein. I have been able to continue this regimen since surgery. Protein will NOT be a problem :)
I did not sleep well the 2 or 3 days prior to the surgery. I was very anxious and still trying to deal mentally with this one. Monday morning found me up bright and early to take my prevacid. That was the only medication they required me to take before the surgery and even though my surgery was not scheduled until 8:45 (report at 7:45) was told the prevacid had to be taken at 6:00 am. I'm not sure what that did for me medically but considering I live 5 minutes away from the clinic it gave me way too much time on my hands to do nothing but sit and wait to leave.
The staff at the surgical clinic was by far the most awesome staff I have every worked with or ... worked with me. I was delayed in going into surgery because the one prior to me was taking a bit longer than expected. I had someone at my bedside the entire time just shooting the bull with me. They never once left me alone there. When I finally mentioned that my son was sitting out in the waiting area I asked them to make sure he knew exactly when I went back so he would not be out there worrying thinking this 1.5 hour surgery for me was taking 3 hours. They immediately went and got him and let him sit back with me until they took to surgery. My surgeon stopped by and met Joe and we were talking about after care and he said I was being sent home with an instruction sheet. I asked if I could read it now, before I was all druggy and he handed it over and stood there while I read it in case I had any questions. I did not, It was straight forward and to the point and covered tons of things. You could tell they tried to handle all questions they had heard before on this one. It was around 10:00 when they finally wheeled me back to the operating room.
I'm not sure how this conversation started but the gentleman Jody, who wheeled me back, and I were heavily in the middle of a conversation about rectal surgery as I was being pushed through the doors. So everyone in the room waiting for me heard.. I don't know Jody, this has definitely got to be a fetish. How does someone choose to be an expert in that field? He was agreeing and everyone stopped what they were doing and you could see they were trying to figure out what we were talking about. So to help them out I said:
Do they just wake up one morning in their lives and say... Gee, for the rest of my life I think I want to operate on people hineys. Yup, has to be a fetish. After I got more strange looks from everyone I said... Don't blame me... HE started this conversation! They are started laughing and said, that explains everything!
I checked out the bed they rolled me next to with all it's lumps and bumps and such in it, asked if my face was going into one certain area they said yes and then I said good, I'm glad positioning happens AFTER I'm alseep. Next thing you know, I was out.
When I came to in recovery I told them I could not breath. They told me I was doing fine and I said no, I cannot breath. Trust me, I cannot breath. So they gave me some oxygen and it was much better.
Then they asked me one at a time to move my legs, they worked, move my feet the left was great as usual, the right was iffy, as usual. Move my toes, my left was great as usual and after I attempted the right I just started crying. They asked what was wrong. I said OMG.. I moved my toes! I still can't move them up. Bit I could feel them move down a bit! It was pitiful, I cried like a baby, I was so happy. I wanted to lay on my side so they showed me a less painful way to turn over and stuffed me with pillows all around and even got me an extra when I told them I had to have one to hug.
Before I could get over those emotions they had walked away and my surgeon came up and as soon as I saw him I started crying again. He asked what was wrong and through all my tears I just say, Thank you so much Dr. Yalamanchlil, I could move my toes. Amazing I still sit here and cry as I type this. I was so scared I would get nothing back and to have tiny bit back so quickly gives me so much hope that more will come back.
The surgeon told told me that the protrusion was so old that is was hard and calcified. I took that at face value not really understanding anything more about it than that.
After my surgeon walked away (ok, here comes TMI but what the heck, it's funny so you get to hear it) I told them I was going to sleep a bit so I snuggled back up in my pillows. For about hmmm 5 minutes. Then, the dreaded stomach cramp. I thought please do NOT tell me I'm going to have to take a poopie. I laid there a minute and that cramp would continue on. Lemme try laying on my other side so I turned over. I think it really just encouraged it. sigh.
I looked around and saw no one. I turned over again it continued. Looked around again and saw a nurse at the desk I just started waving my hand. She waved back and we both laughed and she came over. I said hun, I have to potty NOW. She said ok, helped me to my back and lifted the bed and said I'll get a bed pan. I said ummm hun? I don't have to pee, I have to POOPIE NOW. She said well you can't do that in a bed pan. I said thank you best news I've heard all day get me to the bathroom. She said but you are just coming out of anestesia it will not be good for you to get up.
I looked at her.
Ok sweetie here is what you need to understand. I just had gastric bypass. I don't go often, but when I have to go? I HAVE TO GO. And if you couple that with the fact that I had a sphincteronomy as few years ago then you will understand that I don't even know I have to go until it is there a READY TO GO! WE CANNOT DELAY THIS.
Shocked looked on her face.... I'll get a wheelchair.
I was so drugged seemed like it took me forever to get out of that bed into the wheelchair. Finally there I said you hurry or YOU'LL have a mess to clean up, I have a feeling ya'll won't let me clean it.
Oooooooooooooh Boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy was I flying down that hall in wheel chair.. zoooom zoooom. She got me close to the toilet and I didn't care. Door was open, she was in there and I sat in 2 seconds flat, looked at her and said.
BTW, Gastric Bypass? You dont' want to be in here hun, this will kill you!
She flew out of that bathroom and closed the door! I just had to laugh. And laugh some more. I realized though that I was actually feeling pretty good, walked to the sink, washed my hands, got myself back in the wheelchair.
I just wanted to go home. There was a slight delay in that for my blood pressure was too low for them to release me. And after what seemed like forever waiting for it to go up they decided to try taking it on my other arm. Wala! I was good to go and was released.
I came home, Joe banished me to my chair to not move until he got back as he went out to get my prescriptions filled. So I sat about an hour until he got home with some Vicadin for me. He did not come home with the steriods (for inflamation) for they said they would have to order it and it wouldn't be in until wednesday so Joe decided he would call around until he found someone who had it in. I took some vicadin, took my meds and vitiamins that I had to skip before surgery and I'm good right?
Vicadin may now be added to the list of medications that I react too. Not harmful reactions, just on edge, antsy, couldn't sleep. It would wear off, take more, more on edge, couldn't sleep at all.
Tuesday morning late I made a call to my surgeons off asked them to change the drug for I had only been able to sleep for 2 hours since I woke up in recovery. The sciatica in my left leg was hurting me twice as bad as it had hurt me in my entire life. The back was secondary. I couldn't complain. Sure I just had surgery, it was sore but not as bad as previous backahces I have had, but the leg, I just couldn't get away from the leg. I couldn't sit, walk, stand or lay down in a way that would help it. My neuro-surgeons office doesn't understand Gastric Bypass patients very well. I was told I could go ahead and take.. and they begin to name off every NSAID in the book. And when I said I can't take NSAIDS she asked me what NSAIDS were (sigh). Ok, I can't take any products with asprin in them, that is all your are recommending. Hun, you'll need to call me something out. I have not slept, I can't sleep, it's been 24 hours I need your help.
So they called me out some Darvocet. Another I've never tried but what the heck. I no sooner got off the phone with her when Jody from the clinic called to check on me. I told him about the leg pain and how I figured it was because I've not been able to rest so the inflamantion in my mind was probably worse than it should be. He agreed that would to that but also said that the protrusion was so hard and calcified that I would be experiencing more inflamantion that say the normal person that had that surgery. He suggested that since I had no idea how the Darvocet would react with me that I have them also call out Xanax to help me sleep. So this time I called my PCP. Explained to her what was going on and told her the suggestion and asked her to call it out. She did.
Last night my friend Mark came over. He's such a dear. He picked up my meds at the pharmacy, brought me dinner, brought a movie over for us to watch, even took out my trash for me. I took the darvocet, took the xanax, ate, laid on the couch to watch the movie and I'm not sure when, but Mark woke me up to let me know he was headed out. I was sleeping!! yeah! During that time Joe had come home with steriods as well.
In fact, I was so loaded that I could have taken on the world, gotten beaten up by all of them, had all my worldly goods stolen and shoot, I just wouldn't have cared. Not sure which of those did that to me or if it was the combination of both but hey! I didn't care. This was one loaded puppy. It was great.
After I got up I was up until about midnight and guess what!! It was time for another dose weeeeeeeeeeeee. Joe was in my room talking to me while I was taking them and my steriod. I would say about 15-20 minutes later, while sitting in my chair, they hit me again. Great happy loopy stuff. OH JOE!! COME HERE! He came. lol I didn't trust myself to make it to my bed so he helped me in it and wow, I slept all night long. Work up this morning feeling so much better. Nothing like some sleep! The sciatica on my left leg is better. In fact as of yet, I've had no desire to take any pain meds and I think I'll just hold off for a while and see how it goes.
I go Friday to be casted so they can make a mold for my brace. PT starts in 2 wks with my ankle. PT for the back will start after I see Dr. Yalamanchili at my followup. I will start work again after that follow-up. That is September 5. I think I will call them today to make sure. Isn't the 5 Labor Day?
This will be a long road in recovery in regards to my right leg. I still have little motion in it, but I can still move those toes down a bit. That encourages me. And as long as I am encourage I will fight to the bone to do all I can to get this well. It's a mind game now and I refuse to lose.
(I'm sure this is full of typos, just as I am sure I'm still full of some of last nights meds.. so I just don't care.. live with them :-p~~~)
August 10, 2005
4 months out - down 84 lbs
My last post was a couple of days after my back surgery. I was feeling better and up to posting. I think I felt better ohhhh, for about 8 hours. Then it was downhill from there.
It seems the steriod they put me on did not like me too much. I suffered for days with throwing up and a migraine. I called my back surgeon's office and told them on Friday. I was told they were in surgery but they would be informed when they got out. OK... I was so sick and had been for 3 days. If I were not lying prone it felt as if my neck and head were going to explode. I was weak, shakey and downright the most miserable I had ever been in my life. That is not an exxageration.
My dear friend Kenn picked me up on Friday (8/5) to take me to the place that would cast my leg for a mold for the brace I will be wearing. His first comment was "ahem" not very flattering. I don't remember it exactly but it equated to be looking like hell. I felt that way too. It's amazing to me how I typically remember things in strict detail, but much of this time was quite a blurr to me.
He drove me to my appointment and there I am holding my plastic bag ready to puke again at any moment. Once I made it in their office, not an easy feat, I was so weak and hurt so bad, first things first for me. Kenn started ringing the bell, told them to show me to the bathroom and told them he'd sign me in.
Now, while I was back being casted, these folks were amazing. They put a trash can by my side and dealt with me feeling so miserable. They were great.
Have I mentioned that my WLS surgeon is in the same building as my appt? When I came out of the back and was ready to go home and go to bed Kenn told me to come on, he'd been to other office and Dr. Peters was in and would see me right now.
When we got there I took a look in the waiting room. I have never seen it so full. I looked at Kenn and I thought omg, there is no way I can do this. I cannot sit here and wait to be worked in. And of course, since I had just moved again, I had to go straight to the bathroom as soon as I got in there. I was so weak, hurting so bad and with this partial paralysis in my right leg I almost didn't get myself off the floor in that bathroom.
I'm not sure what Kenn told them, or if it was how I looked or a combination of both but, they took me next. Dr. Peters took a look at me asked me a couple of questions and admitted me right away into the hospital. They had a bed ready for me in less than an hour.
When I got to the hospital, of course, I had been moving again so as soon as I was in my room I was straight in the bathroom. This time I could not get myself off the floor. They had to come help me up and i just crawled in the bed fully clothed. I just didn't care about anything anymore. I think I had finally realized as well that whatever was going on, I was really sick and getting sicker and weaker by the moment. My friend Darlene, who took me to the hospital was a God send. By my side, wiping my face with a cool rag, tell them how to care for me, like a only a good southern woman can do.
The resident doctor came in and told me how they were going to start treating me. They started putting fluids in me as high as that little drip would go. They gave me something for nausea and they gave me diladid. Good ol diladid, which doesn't like me much at all. But the resident doctor assured me the would just give me the lowest dose and I made her promise they would stick around for a bit when they gave it to me to make sure my blood pressure didn't drop too low. She said they would monitor and move me to morphine if the problem became significant. I am happy to say, that even though my blood pressure dropped, at this low dose it stay within a reasonably healthy range (hung around 83/56).
Dr. Peters came in about the time they were giving me everything. He told me it was his job to get me well. My only job was to sleep. And since diladid makes me senseless in about 15 seconds flat this was no problem and it was so appreciated.
My back surgeon never called me back. Dr. Peters picked up my care without hesitation the responsiveness of him and his office staff was humbling to me.
Saturday I was still having some problems eating. My head was better but the hurting was not completely gone. My nausea was better but not completely gone. The dietician there came and spoke to me. We talked about the diet they were serving me and tweaked it a bit. Spoke about the liquids they were bringing with my meals and tweaked those quite a bit. By dinner time on Saturday I was able to eat a bit and tolerate it.
Come Sunday morning I was feeling better enough to be miserable at the hospital. I started on them at 6:30 am to get me out of there. I was out by 8:30. Dr. Peters was pleased when he saw me Sunday morning, mentioning I had some color again and saw that I had eaten.
I have to tell you all, if someone told me that I either had to take steriods or the world would blow up. I'm afraid we'd all go out in a bang. Never again, never.
After being home I was still weak for quite a few days, in fact yesterday was the turning point for me. I felt human again, I felt like a woman again. Got my nails done, put on makeup.. it felt good. Then being the vain little person I am, and now that I'm 4 months out I had to take a new picture as well. It is above this post :).
Physical Therapy to help strenghten my ankle begins on Monday. Physical Therapy for my back starts in just over 2 weeks. My brace should be ready in about a week.
Now to get this right leg working again. I still have some downward movement in my toes but still can't lift my foot. My left leg sciatica is the worse it has even been in my life. My leg muscles on the right continue to get weaker. I look forward to PT and I am determined to do all I can to make this all better. And finally, after all this time, I realize that if it doesn't get better, I will be able to adjust. Nothing has stopped me before and I'll be damned if this stops me now.
September 28, 2005
6 months out - down 100 lbs
10/9/2005 10/5/05 me as Southern Comfort
It has taken me almost 2 months to get my lazy butt on here and update. So if you thought the others were long..... *grin*
Let me begin with a little pouch update. One month out of surgery I was diagnosed with not one but two ulcers. I am very happy to announce that I am down to just one, and they call that marginal. I am very pleased. Hopefully before long I can say I am ulcer free. I am down 103 lbs. Century club woohooo! As for the WLS I feel great and have not one single regret. Unless you factor in how much I miss the twins lol.
My back is feeling better than it has in years. I wish for more than one reason they had been open to doing this surgery a long time ago. But I can no longer look back and be bitter. I have to and am moving forward.
The leg. I whined a long time (5 weeks) about having to wear a brace. In fact I whined so much that even I got tired of hearing it lol. Once I got my brace and got used to it... oh, is this brace ever my best friend. No limp with it. I can walk reasonably fast with it. We are still doing some adjustments on it to make it more comfortable and next week will be adding an additional strap to it in hopes it will stop my foot from sliding which will stop my toes from hitting the end of my shoe when I walk.
For a while I had good days and bad days with my leg foot and ankle. A bad day would last for exactly that, a day. Recently I had a bad day and it's still here. A bad day lasting two weeks now. My surgeon says wait a couple of weeks and see what happens. My PCP says we are not waiting and is sending me for another MRI for she feels (as do I) that some of the weakness is worse. I will have that done on Monday evening. Maybe it will show something more or maybe it won't. We'll see and deal with it when it happens.
I do have to say that my overall leg weakness is tons better. So for appearances sake I'm doing great! And that does make it all feel better. It's the area with partial paralysis that is not doing so good. And that is helped by the brace. I have some atrophy in this leg below the knee. It is smaller now than the left leg. My vanity hates this! But what can I do? I just keep trucking on :)
On a lighter note... I am going to a fund raiser tomorrow. And I am going to join a couple of Drag Queen friends and well.. when in Rome... Yup, I'll be a Drag Queen. A woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman. And yes, Victor/Victoria is one of my favorite movies. I'll be sure and post pictures :)
Ya'll have a great day!
11/6/2005 Hallwoeen 2004 Hiding behind the costume. I was a brain.
So much has been going on this year for me. I don't even know how to put some of it in words anymore.
My weight loss is fantastic. I have lost 110 lbs and am in a size 16. My physical therapist who works on my back and lately my butt too (darn sciatica :) ) comments way to often that I have no fat back there. Me? No fat? huh? That is hard to grasp. He says as well that I have no muscle back there either. Skin then nerve. Friday he was massaging me and ran across my tail bone. I hear him say.. wow. I said that bone is right there isn't it? He said yes it is. I laugh and said, you should try sitting on this thing! IT HURTS! He laughed and said, I guess it would!
I am now weighing 186 lbs. I figure I don't want to weigh less than 160 at my height. And I will get this belly cut off. So what? I would have about 15 lbs more to lose and the rest would be the belly?
Am I almost done already? That is amazing to me.
My energy level is through the roof and I'm feeling great as far as WLS is concerned. I am done to one ulcer and hopefully that will be gone soon. As long as I take my prevacid religiously that ulcer does not bother me.
After my back surgery, my neuro-urgeon has forgotten that I exist. Calls to the office are not satisfactory. Most of the time I can't get a call back. And I am calling because my physical therapist is concerned about the regression in my leg. Even my physical therapist did not get a call back until I called their office and gave them the "what for" about it. And their response to him? Wait two weeks let's see what happens.
So I went to my PCP to see if I could get her to be an advocate for me with this surgeon. She basically said that if I, the one paying couldn't get to him, she wouldn't be able to.
She then examined my leg and was shocked at the regression in it. Stated my movement was better before surgery (yup, that was the concern of me and my physical therapist) and she was even more shocked at the atrophy in my right leg. It is now one inch smaller in circumferance than my right leg.
Because, at that time, I was still in the post-operative stage she didn't feel that any other surgeon in Delaware would touch me. So she asked me where I wanted to go.. Philly? Balitmore? I said philly is fine, there's temple and jeff and penn. I asked her which was better. She said they were all good, but that she may have a quick "in" for me in at Temple. She sent me for another MRI which showed post-operative fibrosis and the suspicions of a disc fragment floating around back there. That was on a Wed. One Monday Dr. Wetzel's (of Temple) office called me and wanted to see me the next day. But we had to wait a week so I could get a copy of all the films.
Dr. Wetzel turns out to be a professor of orthopaedic surgery and neuro-surgery at Temple, as well as being a practicing physician. My PCP was his parent's physician. Dr. Wetzel and Dr. Elener appear to have a mutual admiration society going on. Dr. Wetzel was very friendly and personable. So far I've not even had to go through his front desk. I was given his nurse's direct line if I needed anything.
He examined me and ordered a CT Myleogram to ensure there was no more compression of nerves going on. He said if there is, we'll decide what to do or not to do at that time. He was also quick to say that unfortunately, 3 - 4 percent of the people with the problem I had just don't get the leg back.
My physical therapist said on Friday that he expects it to find something wrong. That this regression is just not normal, something has to be happening.
I am scheduled for the CT Myleogram tomorrow. They will mess with nerves so much that I will be at Temple Hospital all day tomorrow. I have to be there at 9. The actual test is at 11. I won't be released until about 3 or 4. I will have to lay completely still for those hours after the test. It will minimize the spinal fluid that will leak out after the small needle punture they will do to the epidural sac surrounding the S1 nerve root. I will not even be able to drive afterwards. And will have to sleep with my head elevated for two days afterwards.
I am not sure what I want or don't want them to find. I am just ready for this all to end. I was digging through a box yesterday and found a book titled "This is Not the Trip I Signed Up For". I am reading it now and hoping to find something that will help me adjust better than I am.
It's been a long year. But overall. I am happier and healthier. I can't complain though, the facts are just the facts.
But I do ask for ya'lls prayers and positive thoughts for my test tomorrow.
On another front.. I'm dating up a storm! I had decided to take 2005 off from dating to adjust to WLS and the changes in me. But dang I got bored.
I hope all is well with each of you.
2005 Halloween - Loving it.
Time for a bit of an update. After my myleogram last month, as true to course, I got the ol spinal headache. The test was Monday, I spent the day in ER on Wednesday, back to the hospital on Thursday for a blood patch. Whoever came up with the procedure for the blood patch is my hero. I have never in my life experienced a headache such as that. And I have been a migraine sufferer for years! After spending that week in bed I begin noticing that my leg was starting to wake up. I've only worn my brace twice since then and not at all in the past month. It's not perfect but oh so much better. AND *drum roll* I can wear heels again :).
I had a checkup with my WLS surgeon a couple of weeks ago. All is going well. We talked about my ulcer and I explained to him that I know it's better for some signs of it or no longer there, but I also knew it was alive and well for let me forget to take my prevacid just once! Then by end of the work day pain would be there. He scheduled me for another endoscopy. I had that procedure done today. Unfortunately Dr. Peters had a schedule conflict so I didn't get to see him, but another surgeon from their office took care of me. He was great as well.
The results? There are no more ulcers though my pouch is still a bit swollen. Great! No more ulcers! But wait, then why still the pain? The surgeon who performed the test told me that I would need to call and schedule another appt with Dr. Peters so they can determine where that pain is coming from. Said I would probably be sent for a CAT Scan.
This pain, it's not so bad that I would ever think I need to run to the ER with it. It is not constant, nor daily. So am I worried? Not really, but I guess we need to figure out what it is.
As for weightloss. I am now down 122 lbs. Wearing (depending on the style clothing) a size 14. I had always said I would be happy to weigh 180. I'm now at 174 so I guess I have surpassed my goal. I am happy with this size 14 as well. I'm was never looking to be "thin". I was wanting my knees to love me again... they do. I wanted to be able to stand for long periods of time (while performing in a concert, for example) without pain. I can now. I wanted to go up steps and not be winded. I can now. And good grief! I wanted to be able to sneeze without peeing all over myself! And I can now! So much has changed in 9 months. It has gone quicker than I ever anticipated. I feel good. I feel good about the decision to have this surgery. I physically feel good. I mentally feel good.
Life is good.
02/04/2006 The Dress - Carnegie Performance 2/19/06.
After being on a plateau for almost 2 months I got on the scale this morning to find I had dropped 4 lbs.
My scale also measures BMI. It doesn't say exactly what it is, it just puts a mark where you are. It goes from ++ to + to O to -.
That O represents normal weight. Not over, not under but NORMAL. I'm freaking NORMAL!
And to top that off, I sing on the stage of Carnegie Hall two weeks from tomorrow and today I bought the most fabulously expensive dress in a size 16 for the performance. A size 16!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This time last year I was in a size 30).
Am I feeling good?
Oh yeah, I'm feeling good
I'm feeling darn good.
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Surgeon: Michael Peters Jr. MD
When I met Dr. Peter's I found him to be very business like (consult). Asking me why I wanted the surgery and then explaining my options and risks of each option. He as very informative and I was pleased with him. I did not see him again until my pre-surgery appt 1 week before my surgery. He was pretty much the same. My surgery went very well and once I had reached this point I found him to be, without a doubt, the most compassionate doctor I have ever had. He is caring and listens. He has a wonderful bedside manner and a refreshing since of humor. Is he the best out there? I don't know, I've not met many in this area of expertise. But I can say this. He was/is the best for me.
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