Friday, August 29, 2008


Well I have been home for about 24 hours. No one tells you the bad parts. And I will try not to dwell on those but it is not a PICNIC! I checked in on time and nurse Kate took my vitals. The most vital to me was the scale. 234.8 Since you might not be keeping track, that is 8.8 pounds from August 6 which is the date when I really started modifying my diet to prepare for surgery. That paid off because CNP Tracy Sorenson said my liver was very small, easy to move, and see around. I didn't, don't have any pain except from gas. I was very bloated in the hospital and no amount of walking did the trick. The pain elevated my blood pressure and Vince was a bit jittery.
Once again Sanford provide an excellent nursing team from RNs to students serving as aides (they have a different title but I didn't get it). I had Sarah and Sophia, Amanda and Deb, and Rachel and Amy taking care of my needs. Alexis was my case manager. Of course, Georgia came by to give me some diet updates and provide her encouraging smile. The surgical procedure took one hour and 30 minutes. I have five incisions on my tummy. One of them is quite badly bruised because that is where the band was inserted. CNP Sorenson explained that she had to inject that area with numbing medication so that I would not hurt so bad after surgery and that caused the bruising. That incision is about two inches wide. The port incision is also in the center of my stomach area and is two inches wide. The other three incisions are only about one inch.
When I arrived back in the room, Vince was there to greet me. He had a gentle smile on his face and I knew it must have gone well. I was tired, a bit scared about what comes next, and somewhat relieved it was over. I had an oxygen nose gadget, I had a blood pressure monitor, and the IV feeding me liquids. I don't remember too much about things other than I didn't have to take that wicked H Pilori medication. All of the medications were given intraveneously except for an injection of heprin that was given right into the stomach to guard against clotting.
I tried to walk often because I knew I would be fighting the gases. I walked three times on the surgery day and four times on the next day. My shoulder had the gas pain from the carbon dioxide they inject during the operation to open the cavity so they can see better. They brought in a heating pad machine similar to the one I used for my rotator cuff surgery (only that one pumped ice water while this one pumped warm water). That seemed to help as I only remember that pain for about six hours. When I finally had the full intestinal gas attack yesterday afternoon, they started a medication or two that restarted the peristalsis of the intestines. I had pretty immediate relief. Vince also monitored the breathing aparatus (this plastic contraption that you take a breath slowly in to ward off pneumonia). He put it in my face every six minutes because the respiratory tech told him ten times an hour. Vince wasn't paid any extra for this care but it goes to show you what a great guy he is. He also took off and put on the leggings that massage your legs to prevent blood clots when I had to get up.
I seemed to feel really good for awhile and then really bad for awhile. That is when the famous expression they tell you about came up. "What have I done to myself?"
I also had a visit from the exercise specialist. I am so glad I had already started this routine as much of what she told me, I knew Thomas was ready to commence. We left the hospital at 4:30pm and I don't think I slept all the way home as I so often have done. I would have to ask Vince.
I slept pretty well in about three hours phases through the night. I would wake up and have to go to the bathroom. I had a little difficulty going back to sleep but would again wake up and find three hours had elapsed. Today I am still on clear liquids. The warm chicken broth really hit the spot. I went to the rec at 11:00 to meet my appointment with Thomas. He weighed me on his scales and I weighed 235 and this scale also gives you a body fat % and the reading was 71. Thomas said that was erroneously high because I still have a lot of bloating. I walked for 15 minutes on the treadmill and accomplished .57 miles. Thomas made me stop because my pulse was up to 143 and that is about my max. Vince and I went back to rec at 2:00pm and I walked again. This time I walked .43 miles so that is my first mile!
Remember my purpose for writing this is to get it all out and if I can help someone else, I want to do that. I so appreciate all my well-wishers. The encouragement really helps.

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