10 days post-op

I have read numerous complaints from people early post-op regarding their LACK of being able to drink water and fluids. I am not one of those people. I have absolutely no problem getting all my fluids in. None whatsoever. I’m constantly drinking something– either water or a mix of water and apple juice or a protein shake or, if I’m super lucky, some creamed soup with unflavored protein powder. Not necessarily because I’m thirsty or ┬ámy mouth is dry; no, I’m constantly drinking because I’m in desperation for actual food.

I. am. hungry.

I. want. to. eat.

I have my followup appointment tomorrow morning with the surgeon and I’m going to BEG that he allow me to move on to the next stage of blended foods. Dear god PLEASE tell me he’ll let me move on before the official two weeks (Friday) is here.

Christmas Eve was especially difficult for me. My dad came over in the afternoon. Then my mom and niece and her family came over in the evening. My husband was cooking all day long and finally when everyone sat down to eat dinner, I went into the bedroom and hid under the covers. I couldn’t even muster the strength to cry, but I wanted to.

I love food. I love food so fucking much and not being able to eat it sucks so much. I don’t even understand how hard it sucks. It’s weird too because I FEEL totally fine!!! I get tired pretty easily but otherwise, I feel completely normal and healthy and like I didn’t just have most of my stomach removed!! My incisions are even looking great.

I haven’t been out of the house much to walk or anything but I’m walking plenty in the house. And I have no issues with bowel movements or anything. The gas and bloating has all subsided–it’s been days!

Seriously, I feel like I didn’t have surgery 10 days ago!

All that whining and complaining aside, I’m down… over 20 pounds since starting the liquid diet on 12/2. So what is that? Over 20 pounds down in 24 days. NUTS. But really, NOT EATING ANY REAL FOOD will do that to anyone I suppose.

Enough of that. I’m ALIVE and well and THAT is what is important. I get a second chance here and I WILL own it.

the big follow-up to VSG post

Nearly a week out and finally updating.

Friday 12/16, Day of-

went fine until I woke up.

Wow that wasn’t a whole lotta fun waking up to people smiling at me and looking at me and feeling like what a newborn might feel upon its birth. It was strange. What was stranger was my incredible desire to pee.

The nurse slid a bedpan under me after telling her multiple times that I really did need to pee. My mom was there. She said she just got there as I was waking. I believe that’s what I remember. I was really out of it. My husband was not there; he had a job interview probably at the same time I was coming out of surgery so I knew he might not be there and that was okay.

The bedpan stayed with me for so long (I sincerely had to peeeeeeee), that when the nurse finally removed it, she had to peel it off of my ass. Fun times. Seriously, I was so stoned, what did I care?

I kept telling my mom to go home I was incredibly nauseated and thirsty. My throat didn’t hurt so much as it was just dry. Like a fucking bone. Please can I have some ice chips I begged. But one ice chip fed to me from a spoon just wasn’t enough. It made it worse My throat felt like it was closing and between that and the nausea, holy hell it was hard.

All I could really do was try to focus on breathing. I wasn’t in any real pain or anything. Just stoned and so incredibly dry and nauseated.

There was talk of a hernia repair from some of the visitors. I was assured everything went well and looked great.

Finally a room became open and they wheeled me into an elevator and into a private room. Before even getting all the way into the room, I asked to pee again. This time they let me get up and use the actual bathroom. No more bedpan, hoorah.

I sat on that toilet for what seemed like hours. I’m sure it was probably minutes but people kept checking in on me and I kept apologizing and telling them the pee wouldn’t stop coming. Not fast, but I kept having to pee.

It was fucking crazy, really.

At one point the nurse finally came in and told me that she thought it was time to get up and get into the bed, that I was probably done urinating. When I stood and she saw the pee in the cup, she wasn’t shy in her amazement in all that there truly was.

Everyone kept commenting on how they couldn’t believe I was walking already- just hours from surgery. It’s not that I was walking laps, I was just walking to pee and walking back to the bed, but okay.

My mom stuck around forever. My husband finally showed up. My baby girl was with neighbors eating dinner so it had been a good six hours since surgery. It was snowing out. Pretty badly apparently.

I finally convinced my mom to leave. She lives an hour away. We said I Love You, literally, to each for the first time that I can remember.

My husband stuck around for a bit longer before I convinced him to leave too. I just wanted not to puke, I just wanted some moisture in my mouth, I just wanted to sleep.

I’m not sure how many times I called the poor night nurse to help me go pee that night, but every single time, she came and helped me up and to the bathroom and was pretty impressed with all that I was peeing.

It stunk (the pee).

Saturday 12/17, Day 1 post op-

There wasn’t enough ice chips in the world to satiate me, and it’s all I was allowed until my Upper GI.

I was still pretty out of it and in all honesty, was wondering why everyone that came in and out of my room was so fucking happy and … nice. All I could think was how dry I was and how sick I was to my stomach and all they could do was smile and be positive and supportive and tell me how well I was doing. How great it was that I was getting out of bed so much. How the nausea would stop as soon as I could get some clear liquids in after the GI test. How everything went well.

Finally at the GI test the doctor told me to drink the thick chalky shit and I took a sip and wanted to hurl and he said for me to gulp it and all I could think was how different that was to all the fucking SIPPING I remember being bombarded with but whatever. I gulped to get it down.

Everything looked great supposedly and I was able to go back to my room and finally order room service. I opted for an apple juice and a sugar free popsicle, alongside a full cup of ice chips.

I believe I consumed an ounce of apple juice and one tiny bit of the popsicle before I had to call it quits.

I felt hungry. I wanted to take in more. But no way could I.

I was so fucking sick to my stomach.

The ice chips saved me. As did the morphine drip.

My husband and kid showed up in the afternoon and hung out with me for several hours. I mostly napped sitting up in the chair and sucked on ice chips. My baby girl looked terrified when they walked in the room. I tried to look more alive when I heard them coming in, but I don’t think I fooled her. She asked why I wouldn’t come home that day and I told her that the surgeon just wanted to make sure everything was absolutely perfect before I do. I asked her to pick me up the next day and she said she would.

I climbed into bed and slapped on my cpap at about 7 that night. I was up every couple of hours to pee, otherwise it went well.

Sunday 12/18, Day 2 Post op-

Everybody kept saying “everyday will get better and better”. Day 2 was when the nausea finally subsided dramatically. I enjoyed a couple ounces of decaf tea and some apple juice for breakfast. For lunch I had what was left. I was off the morphine. I was unhooked from the IV so I could shower. It was pretty fucking glorious.

At about 4:30 I finally left the hospital.

***

The surgeon stopped by a couple times during my 2 night, 3 day stay at the hospital. He was always very positive and bright and told me how well everything went. Turned out I did have a stomach hernia that needed repairing, but he said it wasn’t a big deal and added only a couple minutes onto the surgery. He told me I had six incisions and that the one big one, where the stomach was pulled from, was bruised but thought it looked well.

He commented that usually when the stomach comes out, it comes out in pieces, which, he assured me after seeing the look of horror on my face, that that was completely normal and okay. But that for me, the stomach came out in one piece. He seemed impressed by that. Heh.

He also commented that all Sleeves are the same, but that (for whatever reason) mine looked exceptionally nice.

***

Today, day 6 pre-op, and I’m doing quite well. I’m super tired and sleeping like ass. I’ve got this stupid cough that is finally subsiding but man those first several days of coughing fits after surgery was NOT FUN. Even though I just had my period two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get it again yesterday. I don’t have any cramping or real PMS symptoms that I normally do so I’m not complaining.

I’m doing quite well with following all the rules. I’m getting in all my water and protein. I’m a lucky girl I guess because really, other than sleeping like ass every single night, I have no complaints.

I will say that time in the hospital was spent a lot in my head. I didn’t watch any tv. I couldn’t read. I couldn’t really do anything but concentrate on not puking. And I was often left wondering if I hadn’t made a huge mistake.

But less than a week out and I know I didn’t make a mistake. This was my time. This IS my time. This is me. And I got me. I really truly got me.