3 Weeks and 3 Days...

Mar 15, 2007

Well...I'm 3 weeks and 3 days out now.  Talk about a trip.  Jerry Garcia himself never took one this strange.

My open RNY surgery went fine.  My hospital stay was a nightmare.  So bad I still can't put it all into words yet.  Suffice it to say, I was never so relieved to check out of a hospital in my entire life!

My incision was 11 inches long and closed with 31 staples.  Yeah, ouch...LOL  That was NOTHING compared to what happened next.

I got home from the hospital in the late afternoon on Thursday, February 22nd.  Fairly uneventful for the most part.  I hurt.  Pretty bad actually.  Lortab isn't worth the bottle it's poured from.  The nausea was icky too, unfortunately I wasn't prescribed anything for that.

The morning of Thursday, March 1st, I woke up with a fever.  Not just any old fever mind you, but a temp of 103.7.  Went right in to my PCP, who, luckily is just a few blocks away.  He called an ambulance and had me sent an hour away to the hospital.  NOT the same one I had my surgery in.  That one is about 2 1/2 hours away.  What made the trip interesting is that a huge snow storm was coming through the area.  Me, absolutely freezing to death, huddled up in my jacket, tons of blankets on me, the ambulance heat cranked so high the paramedics were sweating, and I'm still clutching my water bottle...LOL

Seems I had developed a wound infection.  Yippie friggin skippie.  Spent some time in the ER, seemed like forever.  I know it was a couple of hours anyway.  They took some blood, hooked me up to an IV of fluids and other stuff (memory is kind of foggy here).  They wheeled me off to have a CT scan I believe. 

So....they finally get me a bed upstairs.  Private Room!!!!  Everyone starts rushing around doing things.  I have no clue what's going on because by this time my temp had spiked to nearly 105.  More blood taken.  More fluids hung up.  Then bags and bags of antibiotics started getting hung.  A surgeon and his PA came in, took out my staples, and started pressing on either side of my incision.  POP it went and came wide open.  They kept squeezing for a short time.  Had to get the crud out I guess.  Was a very horrible experience, let me tell you!  Pretty soon something else was added to my IV, and it had a big purple thingamabob with a big yellow button.  AHHHHHHH....morphine, my friend.  Don't even ask me what happened for the next few days cuz I really don't remember.  I think that's probably a good thing.

Turns out, I had an infection called Bactaroideez (SP?).  It's a bacteria that flourishes in your intestines.  They assured me there was nothing I could have done to stop it from happening.  Apparently I was expressing some upset that I had done something to cause this.  I hadn't.  Many many bags of antibiotics were hung over the next several days.  I have to say, that was THE BEST care I have ever received at any hospital, EVER!

Eventually, I was introduced to this gurgling, noisy contraption called a Wound Vac.  Now, wound vacs are your friend, you just have to remember that when they remove the dressings. 
I, however, did not care for this particular friend much.  By the time the first dressing change came around, I had lost my dear friend Morph, and was on dilaudid.  Now, dilaudid is an ok pain killer.  For the most part.  But when it came dressing change time, it did nothing.  The pain of that first dressing change was excruciating.  I was literally screaming at the top of my lungs in agony.  Now, I'm not a wuss.  Have had more than my fair share of surgeries.  Suffered in silence.  NOT this time.  Ended up having to put the dressing change on hold while the nurse came in and pumped a fair amount of my friend Morph into my IV.  I still screamed.  Obviously, I lived through it.  Stayed in my mini hell for awhile.  2 days later, guess what?  Yup.  Time for the dressing change again.  This time they did things differently.  The wound vac was turned off for awhile first to let my wound relax, a bunch of saline was poured over the "sponge" that is packed into the wound, to loosen it up, and, you guessed it, Morph came along for the ride.  I still yelped and cried and begged for everything to stop. 

Oh...sometime during the time they were re-opening my incision, no one could get a vein to work, so they took blood from my foot.  That was an experience.  Not too long after that, I was taken to radiology, had the IV pulled out and a Power Pic put in.  This was put in on the underside of my arm just below my armpit.  Has two ports.  Can add things to it, take blood from it, and apparently, because of the placement, it can also handle having contrast put in it.  I don't remember much of that "operation."  I was pretty out of it.  The Power Pic IS your friend.  It really is.

Eventually, it came time for me to go home.  YAY!!!!!!  But here I had to haul around this mini wound vac.  For a long time I was told.  The weight of the wound vac was the limit to the amount I could lift.  5 pounds.  I hurt.  My tummy hurt.  My brain hurt.  Anyway, I ended up getting discharged on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 7th.  I was once again never so happy to get home.  By this time, Buyer's Remorse had set in BIG TIME!  I was whiny and crying and begging to have things go back the way they were before I had surgery.  Of course,  no such luck...LOL

I sit here now with my wound vac gurgling away.  I could have it attached to me for another month or more.  I have to drag Gurgle everywhere.  There's this great big long tube going from my tummy to Gurgle, and it looks really gross.  Makes sounds too, hence the name Gurgle.  Freaks my cat out.

But...I have my dilaudid.  And a home health nurse who comes in 3 times a week to change my dressing.  It doesn't hurt so much now.  They say your nerve endings become a little numb.  The new foam she's using to pack it with makes a big difference too.  It's a very dense white foam that is moist.  I'm told this will take me longer to heal than using the black brillo sponge that I came home with, but right now, a little extra time on the vac is a very good trade off for the less pain that comes with the dressing change.  I'm tired of pain.  I've had enough of it.  I don't care if I have to have this in longer.  At this point, pain reduction is foremost in my mind.

Can't see straight anymore so I guess it's time to haul myself off to bed.  Need to be up to get the kiddo off to school in the morning. 

I'll add to this later.


My Life Lately ;)

Mar 10, 2007

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Anxious to get Pre-Surg Tests and Consult

Feb 08, 2007

In 5 days I'll have my pre-surg tests and consult.  I'm pretty anxious to get this over with.  Mostly because this means I'm one step...one BIG step closer to surgery, and that nagging anxiety of "what if they find something to keep me from having surgery?"

Yeah, I'm a nervous Nelly, always have been.  If I could get paid for worrying, I'd be financially secure beyond my wildest dreams!!  LOL

I had thought about asking when I go in for my consult to be put on a cancellation list for surgery.  I've changed my mind though, my surgery is scheduled for only 11 days afterwards.  I spose that's not too bad. 

I think I still need to have that time to continue to mentally prepare for what is about to happen to me, as well as take care of the things I need to.  I have SO many lists, in fact, I need a list to coordinate my varied lists!!!  One thing my therapist was concerned about was becoming obsessive about all of this.  Her concerns were valid.  In order to be prepared for my "new life", I had to also concentrate on other areas of my life that will no doubt profoundly affect the changes that will happen post surgery.

I'm guessing that I will be bouncing off the walls for those 11 days, but there's a lot to get done during that time, so I should be able to keep myself busy.  Operative word there...should.

When I started on this journey, I thought it was going to take forever to get to this point, if in fact I ever DID get to this point.  I was frustrated that things seemed to take too long to happen.  Now, however, it seems as though that time passed in a blink of an eye, and I'm all the better for it.

I balked at the 6 month supervised thingie with the dietitian.  I realize now, that the monthly visits with her were SO important and VERY educational.  I think I'd be in a really risky position without those visits...I learned so very much.  I feel bad for the people who go into this without all the preparation.  It's like bungee jumping without a bungee.  I would be soooo unprepared otherwise.

I've also spent a majority of my time with my therapist regarding my eating issues.  Not totally focusing on eating per se`, but on the lack of control I have in all areas of my life.  I believe the same attempts and instruction on how to improve those areas applies to the eating as well.  It's kind of a package deal.  She brought up that she felt the eating issues were a result, or symptom of my other issues.  But, over time, they took on a life of their own. 

I've been told I have a realistic outlook on things that may happen after surgery.  That was very important to her, my PDOC, and the psych who did my evaluation. 

I was initially annoyed at the fact that at my psych evaluation I was given a "provisional" approval, rather than an outright one.  Walked out of his office after nearly 3 hours pretty miffed that that is the decision he had made.  Now, in retrospect, and with what I've learned over the past, nearly year, he was absolutely right in the decision he made.  I'm bipolar, I have severe anxiety issues....this plays a major role in how one responds to, and complies with everything you need to do after surgery.  And how realistic you are with the things that are not only assumed may happen, but more than likely will. 

During the time after my initial eval with him, he requested periodic notes from my Doc Therapist and my PDOC.  He wanted to make sure I was relatively stable on my meds, with my illness, and that my therapist and I were discussing how I was going to deal with these challenges.  He also was very concerned during my dietitian visits that I really learned and understood how things would change, and what I would have to do to keep up with those changes nutritionally. At the end of those, actually  months of visits, he looked back over the notes from my therapist and pdoc.  He evaluated them, I saw him one more time, and went over how I viewed things after all the discussion and education I'd received.  He took great care in reading the notes my dietitian had made, which thankfully, were favorable.  After taking all this into consideration, he gave his approval. 

I'm very thankful for the instruction and education I received, and the time I took to begin implementing as much as I could. 

I believe every specialist involved did just the right thing.  I feel all of them were sincerely concerned about my welfare and well being. 

This is not something you jump into lightly, in fact, it's not something you jump into at all.  I believe you need to work your way through it with much care , deep thought, soul searching, and education.  This is the beginning to make sure you have the best opportunity to make this a successful endeavor.  And that's what good professionals want to do.  They want you to be successful.  They want you to get healthy.  I feel the people involved in my care and instruction were highly qualified in their respective fields, and it gives me an extra sense of confidence that they believe I CAN and WILL be able to do this.

I will not be doing this alone.  My therapist and pdoc, as well as my pcp will be very involved.  Their assistance in helping me to succeed is invaluable.

My "head meds" will more than likely need to be adjusted frequently over the months following my surgery.  This is a precarious thing.   I'm stable now, but I very possibly will  not be after surgery.  That's simply an effect of how my meds will need to be managed very carefully.  The support from everyone involved is important to me, and I value the fact that I will have that support.  I most assuredly realize the necessity for this.

Sure I wonder how I'm going to do it.  I took the rose colored glasses off and took a serious look at my life, and the new life I will be getting.  I'm confident, but not overly so.  I think it would be foolish, especially in my case, to think I'll be able to sail right through this.  I'm doing my best to look at this as a challenge I will be able to overcome.  But not fooling myself into believing that no issues will arise.

This is one SERIOUS change of life event.  On all those things where you can "grade" how the changes in your life impact your emotional well being, including divorce, giving birth, moving, losing a job, changing jobs....I believe this one tops the list.  Yes, all the others are very stressful....but this event forces us to look deep within ourselves, face some demons we have been terrified to accept, meet new ones we didn't even know were there, change YEARS of doing harm to ourselves.  That's your "shadow self."  It can be a real difficult and traumatic thing to do.  And it doesn't stop there, it's a continual thing that must be faced and confronted head on during our new lives. 

I feel very privileged to have this opportunity, and have so many people in my life who are concerned for me.  Including my family.  My mom isn't real thrilled with all of this.  Mostly because she's scared.  She knows that I need to make some serious life changes, and still wishes I could do it on my own, but she's finally come to the realization that I can't do it without help.  She's educating herself on the things that normally happen.  She's afraid of something going wrong with the surgery.  That's a normal reaction for a mother.  My children have all had surgery...I was so very scared for them, and myself.  I can see where she's coming from, and although it sometimes upsets me that I have to continually reassure her that although this is major surgery, the incidents of severe complications is relatively rare.  I've had to remind her of all the health complications in my life now.  She's afraid of those too.  It's normal, she's my mom and she loves me, and is concerned about how this will affect my children.  I  have her unconditional support however.  The same goes with my grandparents and my children.  My sister as well.  They will be with me every step of the way.  I know I'll be dealing with food nazis and supplement nazis and the like.  That's ok.  I'm use to it...lol

Of course I'm feeling trepiditious about surgery.  Mostly the anesthesia.  I'm totally confident in my surgeon's abilities.  And a very huge part of my success and health post surgery is in my hands.  Get up and move, prevent those clots as much as humanly possible, drink that water, get rest, take those supplements, get in that protein, exercise....and think positively.  Your own mind has a lot to do with how you perceive and deal with the things ahead. Your actual ability to heal.  Negative thoughts will drag you down.  I don't for one minute believe that I won't have any, but a concerted effort on my part to change those thoughts is a necessity.

I'm excited about the prospect of becoming the person I want to be.  But that is also up to me.  I am very receptive to the advice of those that have gone before me and have become successful.  I believe having those people in my life, however that may be, is invaluable.

I just read over what I wrote, and I realize I mentioned some things more than once.  But that's what's flowing from my brain to my finger tips right now.

I hadn't intended on writing a novella...lol  Apparently I needed to get these things off my chest.

I'm very hopeful.  I want to succeed.


I HAVE A DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 23, 2007


ummm...yeah, did I mention that I have a date?

Monday February 26th, 2007  YAHOOOOOOOOOO

My Pre-Op stuff will all be done on Valentine's Day, can you believe that?  LOL

*skippin off doin the Snoopy Happy Dance*


I AM APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 19, 2007


The insurance gal at my surgeon's office called me this afternoon.  First thing she said was, "are you sitting down?"  All I could think was oh cripes, what is it now???

HEHEHE...but she told me I was approved.  I WOOOOOOHOOOOOed in her ear, hope I didn't blow out her eardrum.

I've been waiting 11 weeks for approval.  I was beginning to think it was NEVER gonna happen.

I started in on all of this in late February or early March, so it's been close to a year.  Not nearly as long as a lot of people, but plenty long for me.

Now I get to bounce against the walls waiting to hear from my surgeon's medical assistant to call and schedule me for my consult and tests.  Then I'll need to wait for my actual date.

I'm wondering if it's safe to go ahead and order samples and stuff now, or if I should wait until after my consult.  I prolly should wait until I hear from her about my consult date, at least.

Don't wanna though....I wanna order the goodies...lol

I've felt like I've had a sugar buzz all afternoon and evening.  I am soooo excited!!

Ohhhh...I gotta make lists!!  LOL



Dec 05, 2006


I'm debating with myself on whether I should even enter this into my blog or not.  I have no desire to offend anyone.  I am generally very tolerant because I share many beliefs with people.  However....every once in awhile, over time, my tolerance nerves begin to wear thin.......

I am not a Christian.  I do believe in Christ.  I do sometimes go to church.  I also believe in Buddha, Brigid, Odin, Cernunnos, Bran,  The Morrigu, Quan Yin ..... the list goes on.

I'm an Eclectic Pagan.  I'm a Druid.  I have Wiccan leanings.  I pray for people, I light candles for people....it's great if people say they'll pray for me.  That's all cool. 

For some reason though, it seems like the boards are all the sudden becoming reallllllly religious.  Ya got people rippin into prayer right there in posts on the board. 

There's also people posting prayers for other people and that squiggs me out.  I realize it's out of the kindness of one's heart, but, I think if someone did that for me without asking, I'd be upset.  I'm not sure I can explain why so anyone else would be able to understand.  Might have something to do with don't presume I'm a Christian, and I have always believed that you don't pray for a specific purpose for someone without their permission. 

My belief is there may be some reason they are going through whatever it is that they are dealing with right now.  Without specific permission or request, I pray that whatever outcome the person needs or would be best for them is what happens.

What would happen if I posted a Druid/Pagan/Wiccan prayer/ritual on the board?  Seriously?????  Would that be acceptable with everyone?  Would no one have any complaints about it????  I seriously doubt it.

What if I broke into spontaneous Pagan prayer on the board for someone without knowing their religious preference?  Would everyone just let that go?

I don't want to step on any one's free speech....I don't want to crush any one's spiritual/religious beliefs....but would mine be as openly accepted?

I don't feel free to do that because of fear of the repercussions.  And it's not all in my head.  The fears are real.

There have been times lately when all the religion has really made me uncomfortable.

I love the support of the people here on OH....  I love the multitude of things you can learn......but man....if the current trend continues, I'm thinkin they are going to have to rename the site 'Christian Obesity Help'.

In Her Service.....

Have you ever been in one of THOSE moods?

Dec 02, 2006

Well....I'm in one today....

I'm angry and hurt at some members of my family......
I'm angry and upset with the incompetence of some of the paper shufflers at my surgeon's clinic...
I am feeling incredibly irritable...
I have not left the house today because I'm having one of those nervous spacey days, and everyone in my path would drive me over the edge...
And I'm afraid I would say this...

A Couple Days Later

Nov 16, 2006

I know, I know....it's only been two days since  I complained about not being patient.  Jeeeeeez Louizzzzze....a lot of people get their approval back and their date set in this amount of time.

I know, I'm whining, but I'm allowed...this is my Blahg.  I'll have some Co-Jack with my whine please.

Oh....my mother is now insisting on taking me to the hospital, being there for the surgery, and bringing me home.  I told her that I hadn't planned on her doing any of that.  I didn't want her doing all that driving.  She said..."like you have anything to say about it." *slappin myself in the forehead*  Ya just can't win. 

I did mention that she certainly shouldn't do the driving all by herself, so she said she'd get someone to come along with her.  All I said is that on the way down, I'm going to be nervous, anxious, excited, stressed....so it better be someone I can tolerate, or I'll push them out of the car on the freeway, and on the way home, I'll prolly be hurtin.  She should know me well enough that she won't bring anyone we would have to stop and bury on our way there or home.  There are a couple people though....oh mannnnnn.......if she's thinking of either one of them, I swear to Goddess I will drive myself!

I do have to confess that I'm also anxious to buy all the "goodies".  Yanno, like a Magic Bullet, and order a gift pack with all the samples, start packing my stuff.  I bought a movie a week or two ago that I'm saving to watch on the portable dvd player we have when I'm in the hospital.  It's killin me that I can sit here and look at it and not watch it.  It's a movie I've wanted to see for a very long time.  House Of 1000 Corpses by Rob Zombie.  hehehehe  I might see if I can eek out a bit of change to get The Hills Have Eyes or The Devils Rejects too. Yeah, I know...I'm sick.

Need to hit the sack...been battling the flu for the last few days.

Later .....

Still Waiting To Hear If I'm Approved

Nov 14, 2006

Yes, I know...it's just shy of two weeks.  I shouldn't be stressing yet.  BUT I AM!

I'm not a very patient person.  I was hoping to get this done yet this year, my surgeon still has openings, but from where it sits now, it doesn't look like that will be possible.

I'm not so sure all the pre-op appointments could be done in time.

One of the good things about this (I'm sure there are others, I just can't think of any right now) is that I get to be an Angel for a wonderful lady.

Karen (Boomer) is having surgery on 11/28, so for a while we thought we might be in the same boat at the same time!  LOL

Maybe I can still hold out hope for December.  I know I want it soon.
I turn 40 on February 1st.  I would like to have WLS before then.  Kind of a birthday or...re-birthday present for myself.  I'd rather have it earlier than it be a belated birthday present. 

Yeah Yeah Yeah...whine whine whine...I know there are a multitude of people who have had to wait oh so much longer than me, and I feel for them.  I can't imagine battling for years for this.  It would drive me bonkers.

That's it for now, I'm feelin kinda cruddy....think I'm coming down with the flu.



Nov 02, 2006

Oh Yeah...............

Talked with my bariatric coordinator......  the bariatric team approved me......  they sent my stuff to the insurance department and they sent it on to the insurance company today................  Keepin my fingers crossed here now!!!

~Shan~ aka hopin to be a loser

About Me
St. Croix County, WI
Surgery Date
Mar 30, 2006
Member Since

Friends 15

Latest Blog 17
3 Weeks and 3 Days...
My Life Lately ;)
Anxious to get Pre-Surg Tests and Consult
I HAVE A DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I AM APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have you ever been in one of THOSE moods?
A Couple Days Later
Still Waiting To Hear If I'm Approved