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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm Home!

Well, it's all over, and it went very, very well. I arrived at Good Samaritan Hospital at 11:30 am, as I had been informed that surgery was at 1:30pm. They took me right back to the short stay unit (SSU) where I was told that it was pushed back to 3:30. The nurse went over Dr Hong's schedule and noted that he was doing about 5 GB's before my lap band case. I made a mental note of that--GB definitely has the potential of going longer than expected, and knowing as I do how surgery schedules change as the day progresses in the OR, I figured it could be later than that. Indeed, I was brought back to preop holding at 3:30. The SSU nurse had trouble getting my IV, but I think she might have just psyched herself out--she saw I was a fair skinned redhead, obviously bariatric, and didn't have the biggest veins ever (although not the smallest either), plus she knew I was a nurse. She tried only 1 time and then called the IV team, which was fine but I think she could have gotten it if she just hadn't worried so much. Oh well, the IV went fine and lasted the whole hospitalization.

Anyway, I stayed in preop holding for 2 hours. 3 people were brought back there after me, and 1 was left when I went to surgery. I met Dr Hong again, who basically just assured me that everything would be fine and looked to make sure that I was getting my antibiotic and my lovenox that was ordered preop. I didn't see my anesthesiologist until about 5:15. He was very friendly, and probably only 5 years or so older than me. Shortly before I was wheeled back, I jokingly told him that I would tell him a "secret": that I was going to Gonzaga for CRNA school. He took it well. :) Not long after that, I was wheeled to the OR by the surgical techs. Stopping in the hall where Dr Ford was talking to a colleague, he gave me some Versed (sedative) in my IV, and I was asleep before I got to the OR.

I'm not sure if I remember PACU or not--I don't think so. I do remember waking up in my room around 8pm. I felt okay. They set up my PCA, and I asked them to call my husband into my room. I was groggy, but not too painful, and very happy to see hubby. I could tell he was fighting the urge to get into my bed with me. :) He was so sweet. Thanks honey! My nurse showed me my incisions when she checked them. They were higher up on my abdomen than I expected. The port incision is just to the right of midline, and it looks to be just over 1" long. I have 2 just left of midline, one over the other, and I have one all the way right and one all the way left. The steristrips are a bit bloody, but covered with clear dressings, so I can shower before they come off.

I got incredibly itchy around 1am, and requested some benadryl (IV). It worked a bit, but I kept getting itchy. I don't know if it was all the stuff that was put on my skin, the sheets, or the dilaudid, but I stopped using the dilaudid around 3am and it seemed to get better. At that point I was only using it to help me sleep anyway. I really had surprisingly little pain, just a bit when I moved or tried laying on my sides. They had ordered Toradol for me as well, which is a strong anti-inflammatory drug, so that was helping a lot with the pain.

I stopped trying to sleep around 4am and just read my book for a while until I got sleepy and dozed off. I slept a little off & on the rest of the morning, but mostly have been awake since then. My hubby came back around 10am. I spent the morning waiting for my swallow study in radiology to make sure that the band was in place and was patent. It didn't happen until 1pm, most likely due to all the surgeries the day before. The band was fine and I started drinking water when I got back. They had me write down my 1 oz. of water (or fluid, including the lortab elixir, which was NASTY!) that I was supposed to drink every 15 minutes. Then I just had to wait for the dietician, who was also held up due to the large number of surgeries on Tuesday. I saw my surgeon around 2:30, who told me everything had gone smoothly and he had used the smaller band (the 4cc band) and even that was pretty loose on me. He said there wasn't a lot of fat around my stomach which had a lot to do with that. I guess when you are on the low end of high BMI, that happens.

I finally saw the nutritionist at 4pm, and she had my personalized Stage 1 diet, which said I should be taking 45-52gm of protein per day. She had some more specific requirements for the first 2 weeks: to use protein shakes, and to use 2% milk instead of my nonfat I have been drinking for years, since I won't really be getting much fat otherwise; and to use full strength fruit juice when I do drink it because I'll need the carbohydrates. She said to use milk based soups and blend them rather than using broth based soups, since those are mostly salt water when you remove the solids. She went over the stage 2 diet (purees) and made sure I knew to use some fat and some sugar so I'd get the needed fats and carbs while my caloric intake is so low. She went over vitamins a bit. Then I was free to go.

It was just great to get outside where it was sunny (although a bit nippy at 54 degrees). Being off the drugs and out of bed, I had loads of energy this evening. The only issue I'm having is after several hours of drinking my required water, and 2 oz. of protein drink which was OK'd for today, I feel FULL. I still am supposed to drink more but I'm just full and uncomfortable and don't want to test my vomiting limit just yet, 24 hours post op. Not sure what to do about that...? My instinct says to trust the fullness and hope it's gone soon.

There it is, post op day 1. Tomorrow I walk!

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. --Will Rogers

1 comment:

Myst_72 said...

Hi Gwen,

I've enjoyed reading the start of your journey! I'll read the rest a little at a time.

My son is being considered for lap band surgery (he is 13) and I'm curious to read some real life stories - hope you don't mind.