Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SURGERY.....January (and some Feb) Catch Up...., I can pretty much say that between the new year and now, my life has changed in so many ways and quite drastically. 

First of all, my kidney stone.  Ungh.  I patiently waited the 2 weeks it was supposed to pass.  I went back to the Doc, and got another CAT scan.  Before the results however, the doc recommended I reschedule my gastric sleeve surgery, because it is "elective". 
Well, this just can't happen.  I've already been waiting a year, and it's lined up so perfectly.  My husband is deploying, but would still be in town for the surgery and recovery.  My mom was able to get vacation time, and come to be with me for a week.  Postponing even a week would screw all that up.

So, I went to the surgeon's clinic, to get their opinion.  The SECOND I said "kidney stone", the surgeon said "cancel".  Their reasoning: if I have a pain, they won't know if its a complication from the surgery, or the stone passing.    I was devastated.

When I call the surgeoun's clinic the next day to confirm my new surgery date, the head nurse tells me she can hold my original date IF I can pass it by Monday (its Friday).  If not, she has spoken to the urologist and he is willing to do EMERGENCY surgery on me to remove it.
So, my husband picks up a strainer, and I proceed in this most awkward but necessary procedure.

Then, Sunday night it starts moving.  I blame the car ride.  I've NEVER NEVER NEVER had pain like this before.  I totally freaked my husband out because I would start rocking front to back and hum the same phrase of America the Beautiful over and over and over. 
I'm in bed.....with a heating pad, and even though I'm never comfortable, I am able to drift off to sleep.  Then I WAKE UP!!  To me, it felt like bad poo poo cramps that don't really move.  I must have busted out bawling a dozen times.  My husband was truly beside himself.

That was the longest night of my life. 6am, I go potty, and EUREKA!!!!!!  There's that stupid blasted stone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I scream to my hubby to "Come here!!!"  and again, FREAK him out with worry.  (oopsie)

That morning, which is now Monday, I'd had an appt with the urologist to set up my emergency surgery.  Thank GOD I passed it.  He verified that was the one causing all the trouble, and let me go!  he did say I had a tiny speck of one in my other kidney, but it wouldn't keep me from getting my Sleeve done!!!

All this occurred around the 5th-7th.   I have done my best to block it from my memory.

So now time to focus.  Its GO time!  
My anniversary was coming up, but it would be after surgery, so we spent the next week (before I had to start my liquid diet) going to restaurants when we could, to celebrate and get in those last bites I'd never have again.  Outback- YUM!! 

On Jan 12th, I start my liquid diet.  My husband surprises me with 2 journals.  One I use to track my food, and the other I use to track my weight loss journey - from day 1.  He put a beautiful message in the front for me too.  He's so sweet and such a great support!!

The week of liquid diet was both, not that bad, and AWFUL.  LOL. 
For the most part it was bearable.  I just had to try and not consume my allotted 30 carbs all at once.  (70-90 grams of protein).  I had a few break down moments.....every single food item shown or mentioned by the TV or ANYONE, I wanted.  I craved.  I cried.  All I could see/feel was my empty belly, and the fact that I couldn't even eat a bite of solid food for an entire month.    But I was strong.  I did not cheat even once.   (the point of the liquid diet is to help you to shrink your liver of sugars and fat, to make more room in your belly for the surgery.

(I am going to literally copy my journal for you.  I did not censor myself then, and I won't do it now)

         "On Thursday, the 20th, the day of surgery, I didn't sleep great, so it was ironic that we snoozed too long and were late getting up.  I showered with the hospital's scrub stuff again, and made sure I didn't eat anything.  I was anxious and excited, but not really nervous.  We got there about 9:00, and check in was 9:30.
     They had us wait in the waiting room, which was full, for over 2 hours.  We played on our phones, watched CNN, my hubby played his PSP, and were just generally bored.  Finally, they game me a room to wait in, even though it wasn't my room for after surgery.
     While in there, I changed into my gown and net panties (my period started early due to losing weight - JOY).  My mom and husband ran to the cafeteria and ate the food in the room - which was only slightly cruel.  (I told em I'd rather have their company, and even if I could eat - I was too nervous to).    
So we patiently watched Finding Nemo until they came for me. 
     Right before they took me, they gave me a shot of heparin in my belly - which stung.  (The OR guy that came was late because he'd fallen asleep - hmmph!) 
Even though one family member was allowed in pre-surgery with me, I let them go take care of the animals.
    In pre-surgery, I got asked some more questions, and then got an IV - HA!!!  I literally had the entire anethesia group there poking and prodding me and ATTEMPTING to find an IV site.  Every time they'd try a new spot, they'd do a local anesthetic shot and say "a little bee sting...."   well, I got at least 10 "little beestings"!!!   I'd have 2-3 people per arm at a time trying.  It was nuts!!  They almost resorted to putting one in my neck!
FINALLY, the guys who were searching for a vein with an ultrasound found one.  He put sooo much tape on it so it'd never come out!  He was like, "whatever you do - don't take this IV out before finding another one!!"

    OK, so now they give me some calming drugs and wheel me into the OR.  I scootch over onto an uncomfortable, awkward bed (butt higher than back) and take deep breaths of oxygen....and I'm out.

And then I wake up.

    Now, having just very recently had a kidney stone, I was familiar to PAIN in my abdomen.  But nothing like this.  Even before I was awake, I felt like I was having my guts torn out.  I wanted to curl up in a little ball (like I did with my stone), but I couldn't move my core muscles AT.ALL.
     They kept telling me to do this, and do that, and take deep breaths, and I'd just moan "no, no, no, no, no, no!"  I heard a nurse (I recognized her voice to be one of the anesthesiologists) tell them to push 10 of morphine - which they normally don't do.  I told them I wanted to bend my legs, and they had to put blankets under them - but again, I couldn't help to lift them. 
     Now, keep in mind, the whole time I'm "talking", my eyes are closed, and I am writhing in pain.
     I have no clue how long I was in there, but it felt like forever.  My husband said I went into prep about 1:30, and i wasn't out of post-op til 7:30.  He was starting to get worried - since no one came to tell him anything. 
----OH yeah, I remember in post op them asking me, "on a level from 1-10, what is your pain?" and I'd respond "a 15".  They didn't accept that, so i changed to a 10.  Then they'd say crap like "if I punched you in the stomach, could it be worse?"  WTF?????

     Ok, so they wheel me out down the hall, thru the elevator - and I hear my husband's voice along the way.  Then I go into my room (with a roommate) and continue to die.  For some reason it took then for-ever to hook up my morphine drip.  (I found out later they assumed I had a "pain ball" inserted in my chest, and I didn't).  But the worst part was....when I had to pee.  Now, I'd had a catheter in the OR, and I'd felt them take it out when I'd woken up.  Why they didn't leave it in is beyond me.  Cuz now I'm full of fluids, and NO pain meds, and I have to GET UP AND WALK TO THE BATHROOM!!
     Every moment was excrutiating.  i couldn't even hardly reach to wipe.  Oh, and they'd cut off my net panties, so I just had a pad inbetween my legs - fun!  My butt was hanging out for all to see, but I hurt too much to care. 
     I couldn't hardly stay awake while mom and hubby were there, and I felt bad, but they understood. 
Having my sleep mask and earplugs were so wonderful.  I slept soundly.  I didn't even notice when a nurse left the light on. 
     Because of all the IV fluids being pumped into me, I had to pee every hour or two.  Each time I got up, it was a little bit better.  I tried to be considerate of my roommate (she had gallbladder surgery), but I usually was bursting to go every time.  I needed a nurse's help every time, and we had to pee in "hats" (little buckets in the toilet) so they could monitor our urine output. 
     Sometime in the middle of the night, I got up without help from a nurse, and I was SO proud of myself!!  By this point, I'd gotten a morphine pump, and I'd push the buttons every 8 minutes (or more as needed) - for pain. 

Friday, Jan 21
The next day was long, but not nearly as eventful.  I was progressing.  I could sit up more, walk better, and stay awake a tad more as well.  My mom and husband came, and the first time, I passed out, and apparently didn't even notice my loud roommate and her family - while she showered and packed to leave.

My surgeon came by sometime (maybe the night before even) and talked about my surgery for a minute.  He said despite my liquid diet and losing weight, my liver was still very large, and they had to go in at a 6th site to work around it.  Later, a resident told me I had unusual anatomy - though he didn't go into detail what he meant. 

My hubby set up Gilmore Girls on dvd for me and mom, and around 5:00, when dinner was served, I started trying water, broth, jello, and juice.

I had to go down to radiology and drink a barium mixture to test for leaking.  This was the first "food" or anything I'd had in days, and they wanted it swallowed fast - so it hurt. But apparently I got the all clear.

I was getting conflicting answers as to when I could go home....the nurses said "no way tonight - maybe tomorrow" and the residents said "no problem tonight".  Oh, and they couldn't decide about my drain either.  first they told me I'd have it in til my first post-op appt on Feb 10th!  Then they said they'd take it out today.  WHICH IS IT?? Ugh.

My husband was getting really frustrated cuz the docs would pop in, pull the drain, sign me off and leave, and he wasn't convined I was ready just yet.  He just didn't want to rush it.
But I knew how long the hospital nights lasts, so i wanted to go home.  In hind-sight, it may have been a bit pre-mature, but oh well. 

The ride home wasn't too bad.  I had my pillow over my belly, so it wasn't too terrible.  At home, they set me up on the couch for a while to watch tv.  Then for bed, we had to lock the dogs in their cages, and lock the cats out of the bedroom. 

I couldn't get up on my own at all (without the nifty hospital bed), so I needed help.  My hubby was getting anxious that I'd get dehydrated, because I was way behind on schedule on my drinking water, or any other liquids.  But it hurt my stomach.

It took a while for me to stop hurting.  I was in a lot of pain for a full week.  Each day was a little better though.  Bending was the worst part.  In fact, I still hurt when I bend over a lot.
My husband is now deployed, and I am on my own to lose weight.  I tend to do better when I can control the food in the house though.
I have turned my living room into a gym.  I've been collecting exercise equipment off Craigslist and stuff, and now have an upright stationary bike with arms that move with the pedals, a recumbent bike, a stair stepper, and an elliptical.  I'm working on finding a treadmill and weight bench type machine.
Thanks for reading, hope I didn't bore anyone with this long entry.  I knew it'd be a long one, which is why I put it off so long.
I've lost 27 lbs total so far, and hope to keep on losing!!!


Artsy Ali said...

Yay! I am glad to know the surgery went well. I enjoyed ready this but was cringing the WHOLE time! Keep the postings up! I am so rooting for you! I love you and miss you tons and and tons!

Kristy said...

I'm so proud of you :) wish my you know who was as good as yours, you are so lucky....keep up the good work, it will only get easier. Wish I was there to come see ya, had to use the roomates google acct to post a comment