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WLS: the big day!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Finally! October 20!

I was so excited!

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One of my dearest friends took me to Brigham and Women's Hospital, and stayed with me until they took me into the operating room. I was so grateful for the company because I was starting to get anxious. Not about the decision, or the risk, or the surgery, or the healing afterwards. It was the dratted needles! Having the IV put in was WORST part!

What? Hacking out part of my stomach is ok, but piercing my skin with a tiny needle is not? Hey, I never claimed to be sane!

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But the anesthesiologist, Dominic was great, and very patient and kind in the face of my growing panic. There was the typical search for a vein, and finally he numbed my hand, and got the thing in there, with me enthusiastically NOT looking, and clinging to my friend's hand with my other one. I meant to ask her if I left bruises.

Amazingly, I was allowed to drink water that morning, so the wait was less painful. My friend and I chatted about what life might be like after, and about how taking a cruise after losing weight will be great. And finally they took me in.

My first memory, about an hour later, was being wheeled out of the operating room, and giving Dominic a high five because I felt so good. I was happy. It was done, I survived. I was starting my big adventure!

I spent two nights in a semi-private room. Everyone was wonderful. The pain was manageable, and I was never nauseated. The worst part there was trying to sit up so I could get to the bathroom. But that only hurt for a moment, and the bed rails were a big help.

I had a lot of gas pains from having my stomach inflated for the laparoscopy. Walking helped a lot. (Interesting that I didn't have that problem when my gall bladder was removed.)

You're probably wondering about food for the first couple days? Here's how it played out:

Day 1 - Nothing! They had little sponges on sticks that they soaked in a cup of ice. I could suck on a sponge. And was I thirsty!!! I kept stealing ice chips. (Not a good sign that I'm breaking the rules already, huh?)

Day 2 - They brought me a full tray! Sugar free Jello, milk and Carnation instant Breakfast for me to mix together, a bowl of some kind of broth, and a cup of juice.

It took me an hour to drink the shake. They gave me those little plastic pill cups to fill and drink from so I never drank too much at once. And they wanted me to count how many I had, so I kept a stack, and the nurse kept track.

I also had to pee in a hat; that's what they call the toilet insert they use to measure volume. I guess they wanted to measure input and output to make sure all the pipes are working.

Also, I started walking more. I brought PJ's and a robe, but with an IV, I couldn't change or put on a robe. I did drape the robe over my shoulders, though. And I walked, pulling the IV stand on wheels behind me. Actually it felt good to be up and mobile.

One other thing they gave me several times was something to prevent blood clots. All my other meds were via IV, but this was a series of injections in my thighs. And oh boy did I get some colorful bruises.

Day 3 - Same tray. Can't say I'm a big fan of Carnation Instant Breakfast, but I've had worse. Then a nutritionist came to discuss my "eating" plan for the next week, and a nurse came to remove the IV so I could go home - finally!

My dear friend collected me and we picked up prescriptions and went home! Yay! Meds were: something for pain, a chewable for gas, and something for acid reduction. All short term meds.

So it was all a positive experience. I was quite happy.

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More about post-op food coming soon.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • HACKERMAN6
    Thank you for sharing!! I have thought about seeing a bariatric doctor to discuss this but am super scared of the procedure itself. I know the everyone has different reactions and outcomes but yours is the first that has went really into what it's like in those first few days.
    866 days ago
  • SEAGLASS1215
    Kind of reminds me of the three C-sections I had - I remember them wanting me to walk and me hanging on to the bedrails to pull myself up and the searing pain in the incision site. Sneezing and coughing were awful...

    My veins are hard to find also - they say they allow you drink water so you are more hydrated and they can find veins easier that way...
    871 days ago
  • KATIEWOLFIE
    Oct 20, 2015 was my surgery date! The experience you describe is almost the same as mine. I had some interesting experiences with the drain, nothing painful, but a little scary and weird because I didn't know what to expect. Also, you mentioned peeing in the hat - I was shocked that for the first couple days my pee was bright aqua green in color! And, I was on clear liquids post-op X 3 days. I walked about 200 miles in the hospital because it helped the gas pain - I had almost none. I had a little nausea, but have never vomited. It's always interesting to hear & compare other people's experiences.
    thanks for sharing
    872 days ago
  • MISSUSRIVERRAT
    You must be a lot more comfortable with medical procedures and hospitals than I am.
    It's not so much the needles for me, it's hospitals !
    The info you are presenting should be very helpful for someone going through the process and procedure. Great of you to share !
    872 days ago
  • WHITE-GREEN
    Thank you for sharing. It is quite an adventure hm? Still glad it all went so well even though I know it's months ago!
    872 days ago
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