Thursday, June 21, 2012

Officially on the Loser's Bench Part 1.

Tuesday was my surgery date and I'll be honest, I wasn't really nervous at all. I think what I was, was simply ready to get it over with.

Waiting for the IV to be put in.

I checked into the hospital at 6:00 AM and the waiting game began.  About 45 minutes later I was called into the admission area and my hospital bands were placed on my wrist.  Very soon after I was weighed, and placed in my holding area where I was told to get into the hospital gown and yes, wait some more.

My throat was sore and I was very thirsty at this point.  Part of my prep for this surgery is that I could not have anything to eat or drink after 10 PM the prior night.  It would turn out that I would not, could not have anything at all until the following day (Wednesday the 20th of June).  That was not fun, believe me.

Eventually the RN came in and put my IV in my left arm.  After that it was only a matter of minutes.

The IV is in!
Within a few minutes the anesthesiologist arrived and had me start inhaling a gas.  After that I didn't wake up again until I was in my room.

I was operated on at Forrest Park Medical Center in Dallas, TX which has to be one of the nicest facilities I have ever seen.  Every patient has a private room with WiFi, flat screen TV,  and room.  Lots of room actually.  When you called for the nurses for whatever reason, they responded very quickly with whatever you had asked for.

After the surgery, which lasted about an hour, the surgeon, Dr. Nick Nicholson, came out to talk to my wife and one of my fears was relieved quickly.  I was very concerned that my liver would not be up to par for the surgery.  You see, you need as small and healthy a liver you can get to have a good shot at a successful surgery.  I know of some patients who have been in the operating room and had the surgeon call off the surgery because the liver wasn't ready.  So that was a very nice bright spot for me.

Except for the numerous times I was awakened for the various normal functions the nurses had to take care of, I slept.  And slept.  And slept a lot more.  There were times when I thought the nurses were growing concerned over my sleeping all the time.  Oh, and those normal functions I needed to do?  That consisted of having my vitals checked, breathing through an airlife spirometer and walking.  Not to mention having my blood sugar checked due to the steroid shot I received before surgery.

In My room after surgery.  Sleep was my best friend!
The dreaded spirometer!

It took me a while to start drinking liquids again, but when I did I felt like I was in heaven!  Finally cool liquid goodness running down my parched throat!  I just had to do it in sips.  SIPS!  One of the items a newly sleeved patient absolutely has to learn how to do.  If I didn't sip, I had the hiccups.  Trust me in that I learned that lesson very quickly!

A couple of things about my stay and then I'll save the rest for my next post.

The first is that apparently there was a new doctor making rounds at the hospital who had never worked with bariatric patients.  All I can say is thank God I was asleep when he came in.  My wife informed me that he lifted my gown, and started pressing in and poking my stomach!  He actually thought I had just gone through a hernia surgery and my wife had to explain to this young doctor what I had surgery for,  why I had a drain installed, and why I had a pain pump installed.  My wife told me the young doctor was lucky I was asleep and I believe she was right.  I don't think I would have hit him, but I would have told him a few things he would not have wanted to hear!

The other item before I sign off this post was when the nurse took the drain tube out of my body.  My wife said it was an uncomfortable feeling when I asked her about her's being taken out.

She lied.

I have never had such an excruciating pain in my life!  I actually was crying and hyper-ventilating from the pain it was so intense!  I actually asked her, begged her to stop for a couple of minutes just so I could start breathing normally.  It finally came out, but holy cow!  That was actually worse than anything I had ever gone through before.

A little while after that I walked out of the hospital, got into our minivan and watched the world go by as my wife drove us home.

In part two, I will go over how things are going at home for me.

I hope you have a great rest of the day!


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