Six Weeks Post Op status
Jan 09, 2007
I have had a mostly smooth post op period. I needed no help at home for anything except could not drive a car for the first week. Was off pain meds in a few days. I had no problem taking my meds, whole whether caps or pills. I am now off all three blood pressure meds as my B/P stays around 105/60 and goes only as high as 118/68. I am also off Glucophage since before surgery, that was for insulin resistance and my primary MD thought I would never be off that one. Now, I only take a thyroid pill and three antidepressant/antianxiety pills and one for my gall bladder, then all the necessary vitamins.
I am eating soft foods now. Wendy's chili is great and I can now eat 1 cup of that, whereas when I eat broiled salmon I get full on 3 oz and can't eat the veggie not even a bite. I have had one episode of what I hear are called the "foamies". I ate Endamame(soy beans) with a little squash and perhaps did not chew well enough or ate to much, no sure but had the tightness then pain in my sternum, mid chest, stood up, walked around, then bent over the kitchen sink and coughed and up can nothing but mucus, gobbs of it over a 10 minute period. Yuck, this is not pleasant. Wierd though as I have eaten chicken, beef, fish with no problem.
My only real problem is a total lack of energy when I do the simplest things like go to the store or visit a friend, or get my hair cut, or even if I stay home and do nothing. I end up taking a nap every day. I need a job and am looking hard but if I had one I am not sure how I would be able to handle eight hours. My surgeons says this happens to some of his patients and it is a matter of the body healing, and in time this will pass. One OH/OFF friend says her energy did not return till between two and three months post op. Just knowing it has happened to at least one other person helps me not feel so weird.
I am losing less than 4 # per week, but my body is shrinking fast. I have lost 30# since 11/14 when I went on the pre op fasting liquid diet. I went shopping in my closet for something to wear to an interview yesterday and found more than half of my clothes are way too big. After finding a suit to wear to interview I stopped trying on things as being unemployed I cannot afford to replace clothes. I find it scary to think that I really must discard the clothes that don't fit and keep only those that do fit, as few as they might be. I also must start shopping which I hate, have always hated, and trying on clothes to see the size I am and find a place to shop as my sizes change, etc. I have tried two resale shops so far and was very disappointed overall. Will keep trying these shops though. Watching myself shrink on the other hand is fun as I keep seeing a different shape every few days.
Having the OFF forum has been such a great support for me and these ladies have helped me so much in both getting ready to have the surgery and post op. Thanks to everyone on OH and OFF. Your support in invaluable.
First day home from hospital post op.
Dec 01, 2006
I got home this afternoon. Wow, how fast these last few days went. My brother and sister in law arrived Monday afternoon, we visited a bit, then they picked me up at 5:30 am and arrived at the hospital at 6:00 am. Picture being in a hospital that looks more like a resort, waiting to be taken upstairs and the grand piano starts playing in the lobby. It was quite surreal. It was automatic, the playing I mean, but I thought I would turn around and find a grand gentleman sitting in tux and tails at this piano. That is how the morning began. Then one minute I am saying goodbye to family in pre op holding going to OR, and that is all I recall till about two to three hours later when I woke up in recovery. The cotton ball mouth was the worst. Got ice chips in recovery but not on floor, said no order, so I talked them into swabs with a cup of ice and a little water, and soaked the swabs in this, worked great. Morphine pump took care of pain where I was stabbed five times, but morphine and I don't get along so well I found out, made me itchy and hot. I had them discontinue Morphine before the swallow test next day. Nasty tasting barium, but neat machine and got to see my new pouch and connection and that all was flowing properly. Then got back to my room and loudly announced I could have liquids. Well they got there in two minutes. Talk about overkill. Pitcher of fresh chicken broth, huge bowl of jello, plus something else. Found out the broth was fabulous, couldn't handle jello too sweet, even sf. This hospital has three chefs and all food items even liquids are made from scratch, not the jello. Oh, to get a tray or any food at any time you just dial the extension and order what ever you like within your food restrictions. Just like a cruise ship, minus restrictions of course. Really meals are not delivered at certain times, no menus, no carts, each tray is delivered by a waiter. Cool, and I even ordered broth today in go cup which I have been sipping on all day. I get it now how hard it is to keep sipping and get enough fluids in. I remember Linda Woods said once about tightness in her chest indicating fullness. I think I have had this happen once, not sure. I have so much gas still who knows. Boy, getting rid of that barium is a process, just keeps coming. I walked three times this morning around the nursing floor, actually two circles each of the three times, and several yesterday and once Tuesday night with my brother. Getting the drain out today was a relief and a breeze, did not feel it at all. Will be so glad to sleep in my own bed tonight with no one to wake me up to do stuff to me.
It is just hard to believe I actually had surgery, except for the five stab wounds in my belly. I mean the pain has been minimal, movement has been easy so getting prepared for the worst and hoping for the best worked great for me. Preparing for all this for the past seven months was the most helpful, especially this OFF forum. I was really ready aand knew what to expect. So I start full liquids tomorrow, adding my protein powder, then on to pureed in two days. I know this is a faster progression than some have had but my surgeon said it is what he has found works best.
Thanks for all your supportive comments over these past few days both here and on my support page. Meeting Linda Jones was neat having talked and emailed only. Her experiences over the past two weeks helped me prepare as her surgeon was my surgeons father and they are in practice together.
My kitty did miss me just like Jan said, but he is playing it cool, especially since I have to keep a pillow on my stomach so he can't jump on me. He took to my brother very well, gracing Chuck's lap with his furry body. They took good care of him.
I highly recommend asking family to come rather than trying to be independent and not ask for help. It was hard for me to ask but they were glad to come and glad to be here and I was so happy to see when I got back from the recovery room. Though they needed to do very little other than care for my kitty, take out the trash, get me a few items at drugstore and grocery, I felt so comforted by their presence.
Surgery date 11/28/06
Nov 01, 2006
My WLS journey
Oct 15, 2006
I met with the psychologist and nutritionist today and each state she approved me for gastric bypass. I met with Dr. Garth Davis already and his approval was contingent on theirs.
I have started an MD supervised DIET and am in my second week. This is a requirement of the insurance.
Wow, what a great surgeon and office staff. I have communicated with them and they have agreed to proceed with my surgery after 4-6months of supervised diet. I will have my surgery in the fall about October or November. The reason for this decision is my personal circumstance plus the fact that they feel my records showing comorbities and Necessity Letter coupled with a few months of supervised diet will result in payment by FEP Blue.
I have gotten better this week with the DIET, but last week I acted like I was having one big last supper all week. I get it now that this is not about dieting but preparing for surgery. This is hard though, not eating sweets. Life basically sucks for me now and eating sweets is so comforting. BUT I will do my best now and sticking with the eating plan especially no sweets. I am working with my therapist now on how to control my emotional eating and doing a lot of seaching of self to find alternate coping mechanisms and start using them. I will also start attending the support group meetings monthly.
WOW, learning exactly about what post op eating will be like was an eye opener. I have been reading a lot of OH postings and profiles about what people eat but seeing it in print was huge, especially the first month. I cannot imagine blenderized or pureed meats or any other food for that matter. It sounds gross. This is all the more reason to get the emotional eating under control even though I will have the TOol of the POUCH.
Now, I must WAIT which is especially hard as I am unemployed and feel I must wait till post op to find a job in my field. I lost my last job due to missing too much work in my probationary period. I know I will need two to three weeks off post op and could not do that with a new job. More frustration.
I was asked today to name my support people. I really do not have any but the closest two are my ex husband and my "best friend". Neither really get why I cannot lose weight on my own, but lo and behold my ex gets it much more now that we are not together. It is quite sad to say I have no one, but have really isolated myself in the past few years.
I am almost finished with my six month diet and so glad I had to do it. I have researched WLS, talked with many people, had lots of second thoughts, had the fantasy I can do this myself one more time. I have taken the Emotional Eating online course at MasteringFood.com and highly recommend it. I have noticed changes in my need to eat and am so much more aware of why I eat. I joined Curves and go 2 to 3 times per week plus I got back to swimming which I love. I have lost 30# now and am down to 290. I weighed 321 when I started the diet in May. I know my body is healthier now and will be ready for surgery.
I am now ready to have this surgery. I decided to ask my brother and his wife to drive in from Memphis for my surgery and he said yes. I don't know why I have such trouble asking for help. Now I feel safer knowing my only family will be with me. I hope to have a date soon for sometime before Thanksgiving.
I recently sent my pictures from my heaviest weight to OH and they posted them for me. An OFF forum friend made the comment that I did not look tall in my picture. I am 5'9" and have always been taller than many women. When I looked at my pictures again, I can see how the fat body obliterates the tall body.
Me standing 5'9" 330 #. Seated photo taken in 2000, my highest weight 360#
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Surgeon: Garth Davis M.D.
FEP BCBS, Karen Martin
FEP BCBS of Texas has a policy that clearly states they cover Gastric Bypass as long as BMI greater than 40 and presence of comorbidities, at least one. FYI they do not cover gastric banding of any kind. They require a letter of medical necessity from referring MD. They do not do predetermination which is why I cannot answer the question about approval letter. The physcian's office will not know if they will be reimbursed till after my surgery. They also say they can choose to use BCBS of Texas policy when deciding to approve or not. This policy requires 12 months of MD supervised, nutritionist meetings, DIET as well as five years of primary MD documentation as to my weight and what he recommended I should do, et. There are other requirements in addition to these. I learned after going through three representatives and two supervisors as well as three separate contacts my surgeons office had with them that at first you learn only what the policy states about the letter of medical necessity. It takes a couple of supervisors to get to the part about the 12 month DIET. Persistence is of no help as there is no predetermination at all. I am basically in the hands of my surgeons office staff to say when I can have the surgery. This will be based on the documentation they have in my file at that time they approve it. They then must wait till after surgery to bill and hope they get paid after providing the documentation. The other thing is FEP BLUE TX will not put anything in writing pre op, yes or no, neither one. It is frustrating to say the least. The main recommendation is to keep in touch with the surgeon's office staff often about how you are doing with the DIET, make sure they have copies of the nutritionist reports signed by an MD. Ask them to go through the info in your chart to make sure they have everything they need over and over.