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NSV’s still rule the day over the scale

So it has been a number of days since I have last put anything up here.  I can hear my Ukrainian brethren calling out for me now…Where is Beeeg Guy?  So just to bring everyone up to date, I am doing just fine and I am still wasting away to nothing.  Okay…maybe not quite nothing, but I do continue to shrink.  I am seeing NSV’s more the SV’s but I am moving in the right direction.

Some of the NSV’s that I have noticed lately.

  • I am able to at least bend over now and tie a pair of tennis shoes.
  • I sat in a booth in a restaurant without having to move the table.
  • I am no longer taking the elevator up one floor at work.
  • I have gone down 2 shirt sizes in dress shirts.
  • I am on the last hole of a belt that I bought right before my surgery and it barely…and I mean barely fit me.
  • I have much more energy than before.
  • I don’t try to park in the absolute closest space I can find to the door.
  • I am sure there have been more, but those are some that I can think of off the top of my head.

 So let’s talk about the stuff that hasn’t gone well.  First of all if you are reading this and are contemplating the Roux-en-Y surgery or have just gone through the surgery, your mileage may vary against mine.  With that disclaimer out of the way let me just say that do what the doctor says…don’t try to jump ahead in the food game.  I thought I was feeling pretty good and thought, ha! I am okay, I don’t need to do all of the weeks of the pureed food stage.  Yeah…no so much.  I tried to move off the pureed foods and into soft and somewhat normal foods way to fast.  While I never got sick, I found myself being pretty miserable after a few meals where I tried to push the boundaries of correct food choices.  I thought at first maybe I was developing a stricture, but I hadn’t been sick and I figured let me go back a step in the food choices to see if that makes some sort of change.

 I have tried some chicken multiple times, fixed multiple ways, and each time I was sorry for eating it.  Last week after an extremely unpleasant experience with chicken I decided to go back to the mainly pureed stage of things, with lots of Greek yogurt (I got tired of cottage cheese) and a lot of soup and protein shakes.  I have found that the black bean soup from Panera Bread (probably not found in the Ukraine) makes a good lunch time meal in a snap.  It doesn’t look the most appetizing, but overall it is pretty good for me.  A cup of it, which I really can’t finish, only has 2 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein.  Chili has also been okay…but just remember what your doctor or nutritionist tells you about chewing.  You really want to make sure that you do eat slow and chew your food thoroughly.

 Well loyal readers…sorry, but this is a quick update.  Now that I am back to work and starting to feel normal again it makes it hard to keep up here.  I will try to keep up with a weekly update and musing.

So far total weight loss to date (starting February 28) is 77lbs.

How much does 14 two-liter bottles of soda weigh?

So today was my 4 week follow-up visit for my surgery.  Actually tomorrow is the 4 week anniversary, but Wednesday’s is the day my surgeon does office visits.  So overall the visits are fairly comprehensive in that you typically are scheduled to speak with multiple people.  The first person is the nurse practitioner he goes over the basics, reviewed my lab work, asks the basic questions…How do you feel? Any thing we should know about?  How much fluid are you drinking? Any problems with eating? yada yada yada….

After the nurse practitioner next up was a meeting with Laura who is my NUT (nutritionist)…so the good news from Laura is that I can leave pureed foods behind by this weekend and start with “soft” foods.  Which for all intensive purposes I can start to eat somewhat normally…no nuts, no fruit with skins, no filet mignon…but I can have things like chicken, fish, and things that go crunch like a wheat thin or two.  Also as I grow into my pouch I can increase my servings sizes incrementally still being fairly meager but working their way towards about a cup of food at a meal sitting, still eaten very slowly.

Finally the last person to make their appearance in my surgeon.  Typically whenever we meeti he is always in a hurry…I get it and I don’t ask a lot of him and he will always take the time to answer my questions, but he doesn’t make idle talk with me either.  He comes into the room with a purpose and then he is on to the next person.  For some this may be a turn off…for me, I just get it.  He takes the time with me that I need and that is good enough, there are nor frills with our conversations.  So anyway this time was slightly different.  We dispensed quickly with the niceties…gave me kudos on my weight loss so far and said he is sure I will be one of their greatest success stories.  Yeah…I may be on a low sodium diet, but I took that comment with a grain of salt as with over 900 surgeries under his belt I am sure that there have been far greater success stories than mine thus far.

So at this point Dr. Dan asks if I want to hear something funny? Absolutely…a doctor wants to lighten the mood I am all ears.  So he proceeds to recant to me that when they were operating on me that the decision to do the full bypass vs. the sleeve was a difficult one and they labored over the decision in the operating room.  While he felt he was doing the right thing he was just not entirely sure that the choice he made was correct.  So when I say ”they” that means there was an attending surgeon, Dr. Sedgewick, who is based at the hospital on a 12 month fellowship.  I have met him before and knew he would be assisting Dr. Dan.  So any way…Dr. Dan tells me that the following Monday after my surgery he comes into the office and tells Dr. Sedgewick that he just got a page and that I am currently in the emergency froom with a racing heart and it looks like there are complications with my surgery.  He told him that he needed to get down there right away and start accessing the situation while he started to arrange for an operating room.  Dr. Dan told me that Dr. Sedgewick was pretty shook, because he was very aware of there troubled decision they made between the bypass vs. sleeve.  So he dropped everything and was headed for the door when Dr. Dan asked him a simple question.  Hey do you know what the date is today?  As loyal readers you know that obviously none of this happened to me…and the date of that Monday you ask?….Well it was April 1st.

Okay..for my Ukrainian peeps…this might have been lost on you.  So apparently you will need to Google American traditions and April 1st.  For everyone else that understands April fools I found this entirely entertaining and funny.  Because if there is one thing that I have, and I hope I never lose, it is my sense of humor and the ability to appreciate a good practical joke.  So I for one was very pleased that my situation was used in some way to prank someone no matter how macabre it was.  I was just pleased to know that Dr. Sedgewick cared enough and was shaken somewhat to the core over my “situation.”  For me that just means I had the right people working on me.

So folks here is where I sign off for now…but not with out giving you a status update on my weight.  So I got on the official scale and I am now down…drum roll please…..70lbs!  That’s right…since February 28th I have shed 70lbs which is the equivalent of losing 14 two-liter bottles of soda!  The number seems a little irrelavent to me since I really need to lose 70lbs more and then another 70 after that, but the journey of a thousand miles that started with a chocolate shake is most definitely in process.

My Fat 2 Skinny Bucket List

It will be a month this coming Thursday that I had my innards re-plumbed.  So far the progress has been good…at times slower than I want, but overall at this juncture I am doing pretty good.  My biggest issue that I am contending with is getting enough protein in my system and drink enough water.  I literally forget to eat for long stretches of time as I am just not hungry.  I am not sure if this is a physiological or psychological change to my body or what…I guess I need to write that down as a question to ask the doctor or nutritionist when I am in to visit them in two days for my one month check-up.

So I have been giving some thought about things that I want to “reclaim” in my life.  I have seen others with similar lists and somehow I feel compelled to have my own.  I guess its a fat to skinny bucket list of sorts.  The problem is that some of these things are rather personal, some could be embarrassing and since it looks like my readership has jumped significantly from 6 to 9 (for those that aren’t math majors that is a 50% jump in readership.) When it comes to sharing that type of information, sometimes I am a little gun shy.  Though I realize for this blog to have some meaning and  substance, as a writer (I am using that term loosely) I need to be honest and pour out my soul on paper…easier said than done folks.

Okay…here is my F2S Bucket List:

  • Get rid of my blood pressure meds.
  • Stop having to use a C-PAP.
  • Be able to go to almost any store that sells men’s clothing and be able to buy a pair of pants and shirt.
  • Be able to wear a pair of shoes that I can tie.
  • Put on a pair of socks with out trouble.
  • Be able to cross my legs.
  • Not have to buy extra long neck ties because my neck size is so large.
  • Register somewhere in the low side of overweight in the BMI scale. Did you know “super obese” is a level – Something you learn when you find out that you are in it.
  • Be able to clean all parts of my body in the shower without the need of a long handled brush. (This is one of those more embarrassing things for me though I am happy to report this is one of my NSV’s and I am able to successfully do this now!)
  • Not to fear stairs anymore.
  • Be able to sit comfortably next to my wife in the theater.
  • Fly on an airplane again.
  • Be able to stand for a period of time longer than 5 minutes without having to lean on something.
  • Be able to sit in a chair and wonder whether or not that it will collapse under my weight.
  • Be able to get up off the floor without any aid or handholds.
  • Be able to run even a short distance without the fear that I will start a friction fire from my thighs rubbing together.
  • Start working through the Kama Sutra again. (Basically rekindle the sexual relationship with my wife).
  • Look at going to an amusement park as a fun thing to do and not be fearful that I will not fit into a ride seat.
  • Use a normal size bathroom stall and not feel like I am wedged into a sardine can.
  •  Go to my 35th High School Reunion, I skipped my 30th because I was embarrassed of my weight.
  • Never wear a piece of clothing that has more than 1 X in the size.
  • Feel comfortable having my photo taken from the neck down.
  • Actually have my drivers license height and weight resemble something close to what I weigh.  Last time I got it renewed I was to embarrassed to tell them my new weight.
  • Stop making excuses for not being able to do something because I am fearful of not being able to do it because I am to fat. (Sorry that got wordy…basically start saying yes more than I say no.)
  • Not walk into a room and immediately look to see if I am the largest one there.  For the past few years I routinely won that title.
  • Not feel like an embarrassment to my sons in front of their friends.  I am sure somewhere along the way they catch some shit for my size.
  • Look in the mirror and like the person that is looking back at me.

I am sure if I gave it some thought there would be more to list, but overall that is the jest of it.  Some of those are a little embarrassing and there are a few things I could probably expound on, but I relented and invoked the TMI rule.

Well…time to wrap up this post.  It was somewhat spur of the moment and I need to have planned it out a little better, but something is better than nothing.  And I have an obligation to keep my loyal readers informed as well as my Ukrainian readers.

Oh BTW…unofficial weight loss so far 68lbs.  I will post the official when I hit the scale at the doctor’s office Wednesday morning.

Magic Monday’s aren’t so magic anymore….

Well folks it has been almost 3 weeks since my surgery.  In some respects it feels like it happened 3 months ago and at the same time more like 3 days.  I went back to work yesterday…part out of necessity and part out of boredom.  It isn’t easy sitting at home recuperating.  I did catch up on a few things that I have wanted to watch and highly recommend the following: season 1 of House of Cards (can be found on Netflix or your favorite bit torrent site, thanks for turning me on to this E!), season 3 of Shameless, and the latest season 5 or 6 of Californication.  I also, got in my fair share of Duck Dynasty and other mind numbing reality based shows where they are either catching a big ass alligator, a big ass fish, a bank robber, rapist or drug dealer, or they are at an auction, in a pawn shop, digging something out of the ground or repossessing something.  In two weeks I saw them all and have had my fill of it for quite some time.

One of the things that became blatantly clear yesterday is that even though I feel one way…my body doesn’t necessarily follow suit.  I sit at a desk all day and I am on the phone, in a meeting or on a computer the majority of the time.  Not what you would classify as physically taxing by any stretch of the imagination.  But I have to tell you, after 7 hours of “work” (typically I work about a 9 to 10 hour work day) yesterday I was wiped out!  I took a nap for about an hour, but woke up for dinner feeling worse than when I laid down.  In general I have not slept very well since I have been home.  Last night was no different.  I started using my Fit Bit again (I know i promised a review, I will get to it soon enough…or not) and it registered that I was in bed for close to 7 hours, slept a little over 6 hours, but was awakened 16 times during the night, and only going about an hour at the longest without waking.  So you can see that I am waking up in the morning without a good quality nights sleep, which then just wears me down quicker through out the day.  Not sure what to do about that…that last thing I want to do is ask for a sleeping pill.  If you read my earlier post you will know that I don’t have a lot of spare room in my pill box.

Let me spend a few words talking about my state of mind.  Overall it is pretty positive…I am seeing scale and non-scale victories all the time, buttttttt……..there are some underlying things that I am contending with.  Most of it is the permanency of what I have done to my body.  Until you go through something like this you don’t realize how food centric this country is, at least I didn’t…we all talk about wanting to be healthy and eat right and work at beating the rapidly growing obesity problem in the USA.  I only have one thing to say to that….bull shit…pure plain and simple bull shit.  If that was the case then I would have never had to view a commercial last night for Burger King and their new burger that is mixed with bacon and cheese and topped with deep fried onion rings. REALLY…this is what is going to save the world from obesity.  They are no different than the tobacco companies.  What is the difference between the Marlboro Man and Ronald McDonald or the Burger King…Abso-fucking-lutely nothing, they are talking heads for a product that kills.  I know…I am the pot calling the kettle black and I am sure I am preaching to the WLS choir, and I have probably just cast a stone in the glass house that I am living in.  But if you spend any amount of time watching TV commercials (I am not advocating this) you will notice that every other commercial is typically for some sort of restaurant or fast food chain and typically it is spotlighting one of the unhealthiest things they have on their menu.

I have digressed way off my original point, but it does relate…or at least I will try to make it relate.  The finality of the surgery keeps hitting me that I will never be able to do certain things again, and that I will never truly be able to enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant.  I know some of that is not true and I will enjoy food, I just won’t be able to eat the way I used to eat…. wait…news flash…that is what got me here in the first place, but there is still some sadness.  I am sure over the course of time….say 10 0r 15 years….I will come to grips with the fact that I won’t be able to take advantage of Magic Monday’s at McDonald’s and get a second Big Mac for 25 cents when I buy the first one at regular price.  I am hoping that maybe I am just going to be ahead of the curve, when the talking heads quit talking and actually start doing something about the obesity problem.  Let’s hope it is soon, because I am really tired of seeing the next unhealthy food concoction in high definition on my television.

Well readers that is all I have for now.  I called it early today because I am tired and I am going to go grab myself a nap.  Rest assured…there is more of this rant left in me.

No news is mostly good news…

Well loyal readers I know it has been a few days since I have had the opportunity to put some words on the screen.  I could tell you that I have been very busy and there just hasn’t been time, but that would be a relative load of bullshit or for my Ukrainian friends Pizdet!  I have really taken it easy this week and am learning to live with my new stomach or more accurately, my new pouch that I am now left with.  It is strange to look at portion sizes so much differently.  There is a definite size perception that I will have to get accustomed to.  I have been eating my fair share of non-fat cottage cheese and find that to be the most satisfying.  Typically I eat about a 1/3 of a cup a couple times a day and use a baby spoon to eat it with.  That helps to put the serving size in perspective.  Though I will say I had some soup yesterday and used a regular size spoon.  It seemed like I was using a serving size spoon to eat with!  Damn it sure seemed big!

So in looking at the scale this morning I am down 58 pounds! The weight keeps dropping off me at a fairly alarming rate, though I need to find a way to get more protein in me on a daily basis.  I am just not hungry, though I am craving some real food, I am still not starving at at all.  Just sipping on water through out the day keeps me satiated.  I m supposed to stay on this stage of the diet until next Wednesday, though I will probably try to incorporate a few pureed foods into my meal schedule this weekend.  I will need to be planned for when I return to work next week and figure out healthy things to pack.

Well got to go for now…just wanted to give everyone a quick update.

We’re gonna need a bigger pill box….

Okay, so I am going to try to get caught up on this post.  I may gloss over quite a bit, but it has drug out too long and I need to catch up to present day.

So coming home was a good thing, it was nice just to be unattached from a machine and in my own surroundings.  I will tell you the first few days I was still in a pretty good Percocet haze,  and was taking them every 4 hours to manage the pain.  I still had a drain coming out of my stomach which was a bit surreal and just trying to make sure I didn’t spill any of it was a challenge.  Another good thing about coming home was a shower and shave.  That will automatically bump things up a few points in a positive direction.  Never under estimate the value of a hot shower and fresh shave…does the body and mind good!

During the first 5 days I was home from the hospital I was on a pure clear liquid diet…meaning, water, gatorade, watered down fruit juice and Jello…oh sweet Jello.  There was much happiness to be found in the bottom of a sugar free Jello cup.  Never thought I would say that, but dark cherry Jello was truly a delight for me.  I didn’t keep track over those 5 days of how many calories that I ingested, but I will tell you that it was NO more than 700 total in those 5 days.  Mainly coming from watered down fruit juice and the G2 brand of Gatorade.  I could feel the weight coming off me with no problem.

I couldn’t wait to get back to the Bariatric office for my first follow-up visit and more importantly to get the drain out.  I will also mention that during the 5 days I did get calls from them and the hospital following up and seeing how I was doing.  My insurance company even called…yes, a live person! and they wanted to know if I needed anything.  I was truly impressed with that, but at that time I was tired of giving everyone a blow by blow account of my daily drinking, pill taking, urinating and bowel movement practices.  It was like the Grand Inquisition at times… “Tell me…tell me, right this instant… when is the last time you made a doody!”  All that was missing is the blinding light in my eyes and the “good cop.”

So the trip to the Bariatric office was no walk in the park for a few reasons.  First that tube removal thing?  The one everyone told me was so painless.  Well…that wasn’t my fucking case.  That bitch stung coming out then caused me to have a Vasovagal response.  Which right about that time my surgeon blows into the room tells me everything is looking good and then starts talking about the liver biopsy they did on me.  Then as my head is starting to spin a little he starts throwing out words like  ”nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.” Yeah…say that 3 times fast.  My head is spinning and I feel like I am going to pass out and all I key in on is the word hepatitis. Which shakes me a little bit, but I listen a little closer and he tells me this is an advanced form of “fatty liver disease” and if left unchecked will progress slowly towards cirrhosis of the liver.

Yeah..so you can imagine at that point I am just at my limit.  All I want to do is lay down, get a cold wash cloth on my head and order a strong drink!  I quit drinking 25 years ago to fucking avoid cirrhosis of the liver, and now someone is telling me that too many fucking cheeseburgers will cause it.  So let’s fast forward a little before I digress and go way off track.  I got some watered down cranberry juice in me, a cold towel on my forehead and got to the point where we could come home armed with 2 new prescriptions the name of a liver specialist that is supposed to call me for an appointment…..Yay for me! <insert sarcasm here>  The positive news out of all of this is that it appears it has been discovered in time and with the diet and exercise regime I will be on things can be reversed.  This is actually something that reaffirms I did the right thing and may have saved my life in a different way because of the biopsy they performed during the surgery.

So to bring everyone up to current day.  I now on what is considered a full liquid diet which does afford me a few “solid” food choices… Though I use that term loosely.  I can have thinks like yogurt and cottage cheese.  Nothing spells mmm…mmm…good like a 1/4 cup of low fat cottage cheese mixed with a little fat free ricotta cheese.  My pill regimin is a little different right now and according to the the nurse at the Bariatric center I can only ever take 2 pills at one time…so between the vitamins and meds it becomes a little bit of a logistical nightmare to get them all in and down.  Though ever prepared in my swag bag they sent me home with from the hospital I did get a new fancy schmancy pill container…guess what?…It still isn’t big enough.  Said in my best Roy Scheider impression from Jaws…and instead of saying “we’re gonna need a bigger boat” It is “we’re gonna need a bigger pill-box.”

Currently my pill/vitamin regimen is:

  • blood pressure med 1x day
  • gall bladder med 2x day
  • acid reflux med 1x day
  • 2 Flitstone chewables – these move to swallow type at 3 months out from surgery
  • 3 calcium chewables (spread through out the day)
  • biotin 1x a day
  • Vitamin D 5000 iu 1x day
  • Vitamin B12 sublingual 1x week

Oh and throw in a half dozen Tylenol throughout the day to manage the residual pain.

I told my wife that I had a tickle in my throat and she told me maybe I should take another pill for that.  I jumped a little down her throat…I thought JFC…that is just what I need, just one more pill to try and fit in my daily schedule.  I feel like a Pez dispenser that someone just keeps filing everyday, but never taking any away.

Well loyal readers…this gets you to this morning and my current state.  I can honestly say I feel probably as good this morning as I have felt since coming home.  I still have a little pain, but it is definitely in check with the Tylenol.  I had a tasty 1/4 cup of yogurt for breakfast and have been sipping on a delicious glass of cold water as I pen this blog post.  My six incisions on my fraken-stomach have almost healed and the hot shower and shave this morning put me in a motivated mood.  Also, it didn’t hurt that when I got on the scale this morning it confirmed that my clothes are loose for a reason.  Since starting Optifast 30 days before my surgery I have lost 53 lbs., and since I came home from the hospital I have dropped 23 lbs. in under 10 days. Impressed?…I am.

 

 

 

I told you I was going to lie to you….

So in the post I am going to talk a little bit about my first night in the hospital the ensuing morning and the the upper GI leak test and then get me home the following day.

So after I did get up and walk for a short bit…and I mean a short bit.  I shuffled maybe 15 steps with my trusty side kick nurse Sarah who was hiding the back of my gown so I was showing my ass to the world.  Though with the amount of drugs in my system, I really could have cared less. After my stroll I settled into my bed to watch a little basketball and try to just rest..it had been a long day.

I drifted in and out of sleep typically waking when someone wanted to poke me with a needle, take my vitals, or the alarm would go off when my IV bag ran out.  Sometime after midnight I woke to raised voices and heard a man in the room across the hall from me tell a nurse “I told you I was going to lie to you, and that is exactly what I did!”  This was in a voice loud enough that I think they heard it on two floors down.  She calmly responded…”sir, if you are not going to calm down I will have to call security”…to which his eloquent reply was…. “I don’t give a fuck who you have to call…go ahead call’em!”  After that I am not sure who they called or what they gave him, and when my nurse came in my room to draw blood at 4:30am, I asked her about it, but due to HIPAA regulations she wasn’t going to tell me anything except the patient wouldn’t be on our floor any more.  Say Hallelujah!!!

So as I mentioned, my night nurse Cathi, came in about 4:30AM to get me up to draw some blood, give me a morphine cocktail and see if I wanted to go for a walk.  She warned me that I would need to walk at least 3 times on the second day.  Feeling a little better I decided that what the hell, since I was up.  Cathi grabbed a second gown and hung it around my neck like a cape and sent me on my way down the hall looking like Superman in a hospital gown. I am sure it was quite a sight.

I walked up and down the hall and came back and actually sat up in chair in my room waiting until I was picked up to go do my Upper GI test.  I drifted on and off to sleep sitting in my chair and at a little before 7:00AM that morning, cousins of Laurel and Hardy picked me up in a wheelchair and set off to take me to radiology.

Now I have already been fair warned about this Upper GI test by multiple sources.  Everyone told me that I would have to drink a Barium cocktail and they also told me that it will be one of the nastiest things I ever tasted.  Well, I am here to say that they did not disappoint, and I can honestly say that was by far the nastiest thing I ever had to drink.  Now what nobody failed to fucking mention was that I dad to take not one, not two, not three, not four….but FIVE sips of this shit tasting cocktail as they kept taking x-rays from different positions.  And then the topper is they won’t give you anything to rinse your mouth out with until they can view the pictures to make sure that I don’t have any internal leaks.  So 15 minutes after sitting in an uncomfortable wheelchair they finally gave me  the green light and I was able to rinse the awful taste of the Barium from my mouth. You would think that with at all the advancements in medicine, someone could have figured out how to make this stuff taste better.

Well…I could give you a minute by minute account of the rest of the stay in the hospital, but it was largely uneventful after that.  The only other two highlights were getting to actually sip on fluids and then there was the removal of the catheter.  I will tell you that first of all I was pretty damn happy that they installed the thing when I was asleep, and second of all they may say it is painless when they take it out, but they are slightly exaggerating the painless part.  Trusty nurse Sarah got to do the dirty deed, luckily I don’t get embarrassed easy and she just flipped up my gown and said this won’t take long.  Honestly I had a lot of jokes chambered for this moment, but when a woman is getting ready to yank something out of your urethra I want a steady hand and don’t need her laughing at anything else.  Sarah handled the job professionally and was left feeling like a wine bottle that just had its cork pulled.

The following morning my surgeon cleared me to leave the hospital and I just waited for my wife to pick me up and get me home.

We are almost getting caught up….to be continued.

The medical theories of the Marquis de Sade….

Continued from the previous post

Okay…so to continue on…Upon leaving the pre-op room I kissed my wife good-bye and left her standing there with my Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney, hoping that in the next 210 minutes she would not have to wield their powers.  On the way up to the surgical room I asked the nurse if we could write “I beat Anorexia” on my chest to give the surgical team a laugh, and while she did find that pretty funny she said that would probably not be the best idea since they may be making an incision point in it and they would worry about infection.

As we rolled down the floor to my awaiting operating room the doors were all sci-fi like sliding open with a hydraulic “whoosh” instead of swinging open. Upon entering the operating room I was greeted by a host of people in masks and was told all of their names of which I can only remember my surgeons name, Dr. Dan, and the anestegiologist aid Toby.  Toby was female and the name just stuck with me, plus she saw me in the pre-op room and asked me some of the questions I already answered before.  They wheeled me up to the surgical table and I slid over on to that table…now The hospital I am at handles a lot of bariatric patients so they typically have equipment to handle larger people.  Let me tell you the surgical table felt like it could have been a full ass cheek bigger than what it was for me.  I figured though that they were the professionals and at some point when I was asleep they would strap me in, I am sure falling off the table in the middle of surgery would not be a good thing.

Dr. Dan again, went over the procedure of what he was going to do and then had me sign another surgical order specifing that it could either be the sleeve or a Roux-en-y procedure.  It didn’t take long once I was on the table for the sleep doctors to do their thing…I reminded them that I paid for the package deal and they assured me they would wake me up.  They put a mask over my face and told me to take 5 deep breathes.  I knew that I would probably not get to 5, and when I did I was surprised…I figured by the second I would be off in dream land.  However, I heard them talking and apparently they didn’t have something quite right and they told me to keep breathing deeply.  I maybe got two more breaths in and the next thing I remember was trying to wake up in the recovery unit.

I did fine coming out of the deep sleep, but I can tell you that it took quite awhile.  At this point I lost all concept of time and I think I remember asking someone at some point and they told me it was 1:30PM.  I am sure my addled mind was trying to process all of that, but I do remember thinking damn, that was a long time.  As I mentioned in the first post the first thing I wanted to know when I woke up was whether or not I had a sleeve or the Roux-en-y.  And I do remember when they told me the good news I relaxed and drifted back off.  As I said the coming out of sleep process was pretty drawn out.  And all in all I was on the table for about 3 hours, in recovery for close to another 3.  I finally made it into my room at about 2:30PM.

The trip to my room was performed by two very capable attendants who I will nickname Oliver and Hardy (for my Ukrainian peeps…we will call them Boris and Natasha)…though technically one was actually female, Boris and Natasha may be a better fit.  All I can say was what a long friggin trip that was to get to my room…apparently the elevators in the hospital, at least the part I was in, go up and down okay, but they don’t always stop exactly level with the floor. So when they were trying to get me off the elevator on my floor the bed casters would get caught jostling me in my bed and causing me a fair amount of discomfort…strike that, it was down right fucking painful.  Let me just say that I let it be known after the second time that if they tried it again I would get up and walk off the fucking elevator for them than have them once more try to ram the bed over the raised gap….damn was that painful.  Finally they went up a floor and then came back down to see if that leveled things out and then called a third stooge…sorry I am mixing up my TV Land characters.  With the aid of Curly they were able to get the bed up over the threshold without causing me too much more pain than what I was already in.

When I got too my room and got situated…met my primary RN, Sarah, that would be attending to my needs from 7AM to 7pm daily, and getting everything else situated so my wife was finally allowed to visit with me.  I remember we talked a little, but honestly much of that time I was pretty far out of it and just wanted to sleep some more.  Though the RN did tell me that by about 6:00PM she would be coming to get me to go for a short walk.  They warned me that this would be the case…but they neglected to warn me that I was going to feel like a bus ran over me, backed up and had another go, and then I was expected to get up and go after it…they say it helps the healing process.  Who came up with that theory, the Marquis de Sade?

Well loyal readers this is where I write, to be continued……

 

He Lives….

I know it has been a few days since my last update and I am sure all 6 of my readers were wondering about me.  Though I think I personally let most of you know how I fared.  So for the rest that didn’t know, and my loyal Ukrainian followers where do I start?  First of all I am still alive, and for all intensive purposes the surgery was successful.  There is quite a lot for me to blog about and I am not quite sure where to start it all…from the time in the waiting room waiting to be called back, to the point at which the anesthesiologist said take 5 deep breathes, to my 3 hours on the operating room table, to the waking up, my time in recovery, first steps, going home and the recovery process I am dealing with currently.  There is a lot to cover and I don’t think I will get to nearly all of that in this post, so I am going to dole this out in installments over the next week or so as I feel up to putting the words down on the screen.  I am still pretty heavily medicated and the pain meds make me pretty drowsy and in general feel lazy.  So blogging isn’t high on my priority list right this second.  Drinking 1 ounce of fluid every 15 minutes and checking my drain to see if I sprung any leaks probably ranks a little higher.

For now I am going to start with the best part of everything.  The one thing that was weighing heavily on my mind through out this process was not knowing exactly what surgical procedure I was going have.  Well let the trumpets sound…to my great pleasure Dr. Dan was able to perform the Roux-en-Y bypass procedure and I didn’t have to get the sleeve done.  This now negates me from having to have a second procedure performed.  I will tell you though right up to the point of the surgery, Dr. Dan was telling me in the operating room that if it is not safe at all the would do the sleeve.  He made me state out loud (I can assume everything was being recorded for legal sake) that I understood what his process would be.  Literally the first question I asked when I came out of anesthesia was what procedure I had done.

Okay…where should I begin my journey from the last post.  Well I could start with the part where I left work on Wednesday about 3:30pM in plenty of time to get home and do my bowel prep ( I will get to more of that in a minute.)  When I got out to my truck I discovered another flat tire.  If you have been reading my blog you would remember about my earlier flat tire fiasco.   I will save everyone the reading (and me the writing) and just say that thanks to someone in my office and a new fangled gadget they had in their new car I was able to get the tire inflated enough to get me out of my parking deck and down the street to the Bridgestone tire shop.  And $132 later for a new tire I was on my way home and it only set me back about 90 minutes.  All in all it was a minor inconvenience , but I just kept thinking, if this is an omen, it is a pretty ominous one.

As soon as I got home I mixed my first 32oz. MiraLAX cocktail…if you don’t know what this elixir is just Google it, you will see it is used for constipation.  Though the amount I mixed up was like quadruple what you would normally do.  And I not only had to do this once…but TWICE that night.  Needless to say I spent a fair amount of the evening on the toilet, and I can spare you the gory details of it all, but I will tell you that by midnight I had purged everything that I had ever eaten in the last decade and my colon was as clean as it was going to get.  Bowel prep is not a pleasant experience, but after going through the surgery it is something that you really tend to forget about and how, no pun intended, shitty it really was.

I finally was able to go to sleep that night about 1:00AM and was back up at 4:45AM for my trip to the hospital.  My wife urged me to come to bed earlier, but the late start on the MiraLAX and my nerves were not going to allow me a good nights sleep.

I was supposed to be to the surgical center at 6:00AM and we left the house around 5:30AM.  I really wasn’t in a talkative mood on the drive and to be honest I really didn’t want anyone to talk to me.  This was something I wanted…but honestly I was trying to hold it together inside and depending on what my wife said to me would either make me mad or bring tears…so I just really wanted silence.  She must have understood this because she kept conversation to a minimum.

After getting to the center it took about 20 minutes before I got called back. We did get there a little early, but it just seemed like an intermable wait to be called back to the prep room for surgery.

Once I was back in the room basically they want you to get like the day you were born and put on their footies and gown.  Everything else goes into a plastic bag and was turned over to my wife when she was allowed to come back.  Once I was changed and comfortable the medical staff started their pre-op process…get the IV started and then start asking me questions that I have answered repeatedly over the course of the last 6 months.  Apparently they need to keep doing this to check and see if I was lying about my paternal grandparents health.  Once the preliminary Q&A period is over then the anesthesiologist people start making their appearance….lather..rinse…repeat for many questions I have already answered.  Basically the only question I had for them was to check to make sure that my insurance company paid for both putting me under AND waking me up.  They let me know it was a package deal and that they would make sure I would wake back up after the surgery.

This process took a little over a hour and my surgery time was scheduled for 8:00AM.  The biggest surprise that came out of this part of the process was that they told me the doctor reserved the operating room for 210 minutes…I may have flunked out of Calculus 2 in college, but I could figure out pretty fast that 210 minutes was three and a half hours!  Damn I really did  not expect to be on the table that long!

To be continued….

 

 

 

Are you sure you want to do this?

Last day of Optifast – Surgery in 2 days

Somewhere I think I fucked up the timing of days in my earlier posts.  Anyway, to set the record straight, 48 hours from now, at least by the time this is posted, I will be under general anesthesia and have probably 4 or 5 people standing around me talking about what basketball teams are still left in their bracket.  (If you are in the Ukraine and don’t know about March Madness…sorry I got nothing for you here…Google it)… Oh and at the same time said people will be perfoming a surgical procedure that will forever change my life.

Getting my head in the right place and keeping it there has been difficult at times during this process.  I have had many distractions along the way, and my spouse is still continually giving me the vibe that she really does not want me to do this.  Two days ago a friend of ours was over and they were wishing me good luck and asking about the procedure.  The entire time I could see a look on my wife’s face that looked like she just wanted to blurt out that I am making a mistake and she doesn’t want me to do this.  It was really not hard to mistake that look, if we were playing poker I would have folded in a heartbeat.  Then last night we found ourselves alone in the house and having a conversation, mainly we were talking about our most popular topic the kids.  I know eventually the conversation would turn towards my impending surgery and eventually my wife asked me if I was ready for Thursday.  I told her what I have told everyone these past few weeks.  Sure I am ready, but am I scared, anxious, excited, nervous?…yes…in fact hell to the yes! I am all of the above and then some.  Then she said 8 words to me that pretty much confirmed that she really isn’t 100% behind me.  She asked “are you sure you want to do this?”…it was not hard to see she wanted to talk about this, and honey if you are reading this I am sorry….but at that time I just couldn’t go into a long conversation or debate over the reasons of why I am doing this.  I really just wanted to avoid that conversation last night…right or wrong, for me I simply answered “yes, I am sure” and left it at that.  And that folks pretty much will kill a conversation if you let it…and I did.

This surgery is something I have been preparing to do for the past 6 months, and the original thought of going through this was probably close to a year ago.  The road has been long, and certainly not easy, I have been examined, poked, prodded, are-you-sureinvaded and I have whipped my debit card out to pay $40 co-pays more times than I want to know.  I have worked hard to get and keep my head in the right place, I know the risks during surgery and post surgery, I know there is still a long road after this and this will not be an easy process to get to where I want to be.  I know that this will not be easy on my family, I know this will effect me in ways I don’t totally comprehend yet.  I know all of these things because I have read and done my research and listened to others that have gone before me.  If you are reading this and contemplating surgery, do your research!  Because it doesn’t matter how much you know about it, you will quickly realize there is much you still don’t know.  This is something I have not gone into without considerable thought.

So to answer the earlier question again….Yes, I am ready…I am ready to change my life for the better and to live a healthier and happier lifestyle, whatever that ultimately looks like.