4 inches...

Aug 30, 2012

Had my first post op visit yesterday. Have lost 13 lbs which is great, but also found out that they had been using a height of 5'9" for me, I'm only 5'5".  So that got corrected, as I watched my BMI soar. Ok, it didn't really soar, but still...

Turned out I was supposed to get scheduled to see Dr. Jawad, but they put me in with nurse practitioner instead. She had never had a patient that had an open surgery before so she was not comfortable answering ANY of my questions.
When can I go back to work? When can I drive? Can I move to phase 3 of diet yet? She was very unsure. She thought maybe I could accelerate faster as this was a revision. But then maybe I should go slower because it was so complicated.
Guess I'd rather she just say she doesn't know than guess, but I was hoping for some answers.

Anyway, she will see Dr. J on Friday and discuss my list of questions with him and call me back.

Pain is pretty much gone. I experimented today with a scrambled egg for lunch. It tasted sooo good but did experience a little bit of dumping-guess it was the shredded cheese I added, albeit only a teaspoon. It also just sat there for HOURS so I guess I need to stay on stage 2 another week or two. And buy fat free cheese.  I want some real food! Puddings and shakes, and yogurt are getting sooo old. Oh well. Enough whining.

Trying to increase my activity level a bit from 30 min to a little more. Tire out so easily but I think the only way to do that is just to keep slowly increasing. I know from previous experience that open surgeries can take nearly a year before you have your full stamina back.  I'm bored and want to get back to work but I know I still tire too easily. Asked nurse to see if Sept. 13 works for Dr. J and that gives me a couple weeks to get my stregnth back up.



Aug 25, 2012

Friday had to go to hospital for ultrasound of my leg.  Doc's office flipped out a bit when I called to report that my right leg and foot was really really swollen. Could hardly tell I had toes. It was ridiculous. And why only 1 leg? Anyway, they sent me for ultrasound to check for clots and that was clear which is a good thing. Then yesterday started spiking a temp at 101 and called the doc's office. The main man himself was on call and he thinks that these symptoms may be from my lung issues that happened from the GERD that they fought to figure out for over a year. He has put me on antibiotics. I'm scheduled to see him Wed anyway but if fever doesn't go, then he wants to see me Monday.  Really, I'm not in the mood for this. I want my life back. I probably should call pulmonologist for a follow up visit too. Haven't seen him since pre surgery. I was kind of hoping that he and Dr. Jawad would talk or consult or something. I don't think they have. Haven't felt any GERD or done much coughing since the surgery.  They mentioned there were infiltrates on my lungs on the xray they took a couple days after, but maybe they were residual from the aspiration pneumonia pre surgery and just need time to be absorbed into my body.

I am so sick of liquids!  Am anxious to start phase 3 (soft foods) of the diet. A scrambled egg would be so nice...Would probably be ok to eat one now but I want to be 100% compliant. I tend to be one of those people that think I know better than the doctors (although sometimes I do!) but in this case, I will let the esophagus, intestine, stomach heal like I'm supposed to. If I have another complication, won't be my fault!

Yesterday was feeling cruddy so slept most of the day. . Will try to get up and get a little exercise in today without over doing it. Also did not use my lung spirometer but once. Will get on the ball with that today too.

10 days later

Aug 23, 2012

Still home recovering from the open bypass surgery. Incision is a lot less painful than it was and I can move a little more easily. I even was able to cough, albeit gingerly without thinking I was going to tear this huge incision apart.

My right leg and foot are really swollen. Major edema going on. Wonder why or if its anything to worry about. I started taking my blood pressure meds again this morning. Should probably continue til I get some of the weight off to get off it completely and not taking it may be why I'm experiencing elephant leg. Otherwise, I'm following the dietary guidelines religiously, drinking my water and taking my vitamins. I'm slowly getting stregnth back and am following the recommendations on walking for 30 min a day, even if I am breaking them into 10 min. chunks.  Tomorrow I may add some very light stregnth training exercises as shown in the booklet they gave me.

I wonder if I've lost any weight? I weighed myself before I left hospital and was really unhappy that I had somehow GAINED 3 lbs even though I'd only had ice chips and diet jello the entire week I was there. I will assume that is fluid retention related to the surgery.. Plan to resist temptation to weigh myself until I go to Dr. Jawad next Wed. for my first post op follow up.

Another one? Seriously?

Aug 22, 2012

Failed with sleeve, having regained 50 lbs of the original 90 I lost. The sleeve was never as effective for me as it was for other patients as I was constantly struggling with hunger that others didn't seem to be experiencing. (see previous posts). The additude of my original surgeon was sort of scolding, even while I was being 100% compliant. This resulted in my not following up with his office as I should have. I just quit going. I lost 90 lbs and although the last 40 lbs eluded me, I felt like a normal person and not "obese". (what an ugly word. I wish this website would change the name of this site too. Maybe to "fluffy help.com")My biggest mistake was not doing due diligence and enough research prior to having the sleeve. "I don't care, just do it!". Had I researched a bit more, I would have better understood why some of the restrictions were required and how not following them religiously can negatively impact your long term success. I was told "no fluids 30 minutes prior to or after a meal. I had been told that this was because I'd get full too fast and not have room for my protein and I'd feel uncomfortable. But the other reason is that IT STRETCHES YOUR POUCH!.i had been told not to ever drink carbonated beverages because it would make me feel gassy and uncomfortable. But

Bah. Not another operation.

Mar 29, 2008

Well haven't posted in a while. And looking at my ticker, haven't moved in weight at all either. I guess it's a good thing considering the chocolate fix I've been on for the past several months. Eating waaay more sweets than I ever did before. My pre surgery eating habits were mostly starches..breads, pastas, etc. which I can't pig out on anymore. But it seems that a lot of chocolate goes down pretty easily. This is not a good thing.
Time to get back on the downward slope..I only have 40 lbs to go to goal.

Doc says I've lost so much weight that the mesh that had been put in previously to hold everything in place after I herniated after surgery #2 is now too big. So..herniating again. They have to take mesh out and replace and this time he is going to tack the mesh onto my pubic bone. He says I'll be "a little sore". In Dr. Portoghese speak that means "I'll be in bloody agony" Based on the last time they did a mesh replacement it is going to be a long and painful recovery and missing about 2 months worth of work. Being on commission and with the housing market like it is, it's going to be rough missing 2 months of selling opportunities. Not to mention the temptation to sit around idly, on painkillers, bored and unable to move around and thus eating. Have to be vigilant. The one bright spot is that the plastic surgeon, Dr. Steig has agreed to do a lower body lift which is going to be an intense abdominal reconstruction. This means insurance should cover it. I'm lucky as Dr. Steig is one of  the best in Orlando, despite the fact that he is cranky. Most plastics guys won't touch something like this as it is high risk and not profitable. I asked him if couldn't he do a boob lift at the same time but he almost took my head off. So I'll have the belly of a 20 year old and the boobs and butt of a 50 year old. Great. Oh well, it's a start. He's warned me that it will be a very tough recovery, very painful, hard to breathe at first as everything will be pushed up. It's pretty scary. But Dr. P, who has done 6 of my last surgeries says it will be no worse than what i've already experienced. And if this time I get a flat belly instead of all this loose skin, it may be worth it. Dr. S has told me in no uncertain terms that I MUST QUIT SMOKING at least 28 days before surgery. So I guess April 1 will be the day. Unless I rationalize that I can wait til April 3 to be "28 days". 
I'm kind of scared about this whole thing. I don't really have a choice about the surgery but this will be #8 since 2001..and each one takes a major toll on my body which, as Dr. P so kindly mentioned "neither of us are getting any younger".
This year is the big 50..and it's hurtling towards me entirely too fast. How can I possibly be turning 50??? My age had never bothered me before, because I guess it hadn't hit me that I'm well into middle age and before long will be entering senior citizen years..ARGHHHH. It seems like just yesterday I was rocking out to Led Zepellin. HOW is this possible? I am getting so psycho that I even answered an aarp solicitation by frostily telling them to stop sending me their crap as I was not yet 50 and did not qualify for their membership. Maybe dating a 31 year old has helped me stay in a constant state of denial. Been with Dave about 12 years and I guess I've convinced myself I'm the same age as him. Except for when I say "Hey, do you remember when..." and he smirks and says "Oh yes..I was..two!".

So what is up with the drugs???

Jan 14, 2008

This dang hernia has been pretty painful at times so I asked my GP for some pain medication since I'm not allowed Motrin or aspirin and Tylenol just seems pointless. He gave me Vicodin..it didn't work. Then he gave me Percocet. Even 2 of them didn't work. It seems that after this sleeve that I guess pills go right down and don't absorb? What about life saving antibiotics? Have studies been done? Should doctors be made aware?

Oops I did it again!

Jan 08, 2008

Well, the queen of overdoing it has done it again. I now have yet another hernia which will likely require hernia surgery #4 to add to the 3 surgeries I had pre sleeve. 

My grown son, who lives with me rent free, has not been very good about helping around the house lately. He's either "tired" or "has to work" or "is not feeling well" or whatever. Well despite that, I still have a big house, big yard to take care of so rather than ask him anymore, I have just been doing it all by myself. Guess I lifted too much because I felt a sharp stabbing pain and low and behold! It looked like a softball was sticking out of my stomach. 
Went and had a CT scan yesterday but there is little doubt as to what it is b eing that I am becoming an old hand at having hernias. A dubious distinction. Saw GP Dr. Hudson who said he was certain that is also what it is. The question is, how the heck did it get past the mesh?  Having another open mesh surgery scares me as it is a long recovery and very painful. Also, it will make me have to put off the tummy tuck, boob job I was wanting to have this summer. Not to mention Real Estate is SLOWWW and I am not making any money and the company may get sick of me being out on leave. The last builder I had worked at for 10 years fired me because of all my surgeries-none of which were elective, 2 of which were emergency operations where my recovery was 2 weeks in intensive care. Bastards. Anyway, I don't want that to happen again.
I'm going to go see Dr. Stieg, the plastic surgeon who fixed my face when I tore it open last January by falling out of bed and hitting the night table. He did a great job and is highly regarded in Orlando as being oen of the best. His office said he would consider possibly doing a hernia repair and a tummy tuck at the same time. He will have to see my medical records to determine. He may decide I have waaay too much scar tissue (took Dr. Marema 4 hours to do my sleeve because of having to maneuver around all the adhesions) but it's worth a shot. At least I'd get something I really want out of all that pain and down time.

Was very bad over Christmas but yet managed to lose 2 lbs! I don't know how with all the christmas cookies and chocolate I ate..but still been working out though lifting less weights since the hernia popped up.

at 6 months

Oct 24, 2007

Weight loss has slowed considerably but then I've not been as strict about adhering to the no starches/no sugar diet as I was in the beginning. Plus I'm finding I'm able to eat a little more now than before.  only lost about 5 lbs in a month which doesn't seem like much even for a non wls patient. I need to speed things up and adhere to my food plan more.

Hair loss has started which is a bummer. Normally I would be in desperate need of a haircut by now but I really don't need one yet. It's distressing to see all that hair all over the sink every morning.


Sep 16, 2007

I'm finally under the 200 lb mark! Yipee! I haven't weighed less than 200 in about 10 years!  But what is so weird (and idiotic) is that 199 "sounds" fatter than say, 203. 

yesterday was not a good day, food choice wise. Was having trouble sleeping so I took an Ambien which I *know* from experience makes me binge eat and sleep eat (a couple of years ago I found that I had cooked a meal at like 2 am that I didn't remember cooking! and eating.

But I figured since I had the surgery I'd be "safe". I wound up eating 2 weight watchers Ice cream bars and a rice krispie bar. It disturbs me that this didn't make me so full I threw up. I am so pissed off that I did this. Of course, this is not as bad as what I would have done pre surgery, but still-the mindless eating rearing it's ugly head again was very scary.

Dr. Marema warned me about eating too much-he said that people can actually create a second stomach for themselves in their esophagus! That does not sound like a good thing.

I do so well as far as healthy eating during the day. But at night I still get so hungry. I've been able to control it but apparently not if I take ambien. I think I'm going to throw the bottle away so I won't be tempted to take one if I am having another of my insomnia periods. 

Today I had an omelet for breakfast, some turkey and a piece of string cheese for lunch-snack I had a yogurt with some cranberries mixed in. And then there were the two mini snickers that were "there".

Good news is I've been pretty good with exercising-most days of the week. Read an article today that said that it's more important to interval train with short bursts of hard activity for 25 minutes than it is to just go at a moderate pace for 45 minutes. And that if you do this, you need only work out 3 times a week and will gain more benefits. That really sucks. I like a moderate pace and had worked up to 35 min on the elliptical trainer-hard enough to work up a sweat but not as hard as what they were describing in this article!
Maybe I'll try a couple of short bursts tomorrow. Also been doing abdominal and upper body exercises using 3 and 5 lb weights. Article said I should be lifting weights so heavy that I can't do more than 12 reps at a time. This also majorly sucks. And I thought I was doing so well.  Aren't these fitness nuts ever happy???

3 1/2 month update

Aug 25, 2007

Had my 3 month checkup last week. Dr. Marema is pleased with where I am. 49 lbs! Another 6 lbs and I will be under 200. It has been a looong time since that happened.

Dave and I went to Montreal at the beginning of the month. I did my best to stay on the low carb/high protein deal and all in all, didn't do too badly.
I went around trying desperately to find sugar free popsicles or ice cream all over town but the Quebecois looked at me like I was insane. "Ice cream without sugar??? Why???". Also was tough finding diet drinks other than soda. And apparently ALL ice tea in Quebec is sweet tea. So I drank a lot of water. Worked out a few days in the hotel gym, did a lot of walking and some hiking up a mountain. On the bad side, I did hit the mini bar chocolate several nights in a row and had a few other things on my forbidden list.
Oh well. 10 days of that and I lost a pound. I finally gave up and had regular sorbet cause it was sooo freakin' hot!

Have been pretty consistent since I got back though. Not losing weight at crazy rates but have taken off another 9 lbs. since I got back 2 weeks ago.

Have been having pain in my lower right side of my back and also some hesitation in peeing. (sorry for the graphic detail). I thought I had pulled a muscle but it's been over a week and massage and heating pads haven't helped and today I've noticed swelling in my legs. I entered the symptoms into "web md" and it came up as "acute renal failure". Gah!  I have heard that a high protein diet can sometimes cause kidney problems. I'm a bit concerned. If it's not better by tomorrow I may drag myself into the ER.

About Me
Orlando, FL
Surgery Date
May 04, 2007
Member Since

Friends 19

Latest Blog 21
Bah. Not another operation.
So what is up with the drugs???
Oops I did it again!
at 6 months
3 1/2 month update