Thursday, January 21, 2010

Surgery: the aftermath

I remember nothing. I look up and I am being wheeled into an elevator. My body hurts. The nurse asks me my pain number but I cannot answer because I am gagging and my stomach is rolling. I am vomiting but nothing is coming up. Over and over my stomach lurches. The nurse tells me not to worry, we are almost there but I am still dry heaving. Each time I heave it feels as though I am ripping open my stomach.

I feel a sense of warmth and realize that not only am I dry heaving but I have lost control of my bladder so each time I vomit I also urinate. Okay, so they told me they were going to catheterize me during the surgery. If this is true then why the hell did they pump me full of saline and then remove the cath before i woke up?? Especially considering my history of violent vomiting with anesthesia. I was so mad and frustrated. I mean really, who wants to pee all over themselves when it is nearly impossible to clean up by yourself? We get to my room and as the nurse is adjusting my bed and clipping it into the frame, I look at her with mortification and explain that on the ride up I wet myself...EVERYWHERE!

The nurse is so sweet. She peels off my yellow stained thigh high leg wraps, helps me to the bathroom and then proceeds to take a washcloth and clean me up in the areas I cannot reach. She hangs a fresh gown up and leaves me alone to finish my business. As i sit down on the toilet the first thing I notice is the feeling of razor blades as I pee. I ask the nurse if this is normal and she says yes, this is a side affect of a cath. Oh yay!

By this time my parents and Jeremy had arrived in the room. All i remember is how much i hurt and wishing to God I had not done this. My pain number...a resounding 9. They shoot me with more morphine. Still a 9. More and it goes down to a 7. Phew, its manageable now. I can open my eyes. I am so fricking thirsty but I am not allowed anything to drink. Every fiber of my being hurts and the pain meds only take the edge off. I look at Jeremy and tell him that I shouldn't have done this. He tells me not to judge within an hour of surgery, that it's not a fair time for judgment. I laugh, and it hurts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The surgery

I am going to try to be more diligent with this blog. especially now that I have finally had my surgery I want to use this page as my resource to record my thoughts, experiences and just whatever I feel like with regard to the surgery and anything else that may be in my head.

Let me start at the beginning. The day of.

I woke up at 4am. Well, I woke up a lot more than that but I woke up and actually got up at 4am. I had to be at the hospital at 5:30. I had my "hopeful clothes" bag packed and ready to go. Yes, hopeful clothes. Hopeful to wear underwear at some point. A comfy nightgown and pajama pants. Comfy socks. All of those things that would make the hospital experience less painful and scary and more comfortable and reassuring.

Riding with my dad was a bit of a nightmare. Our car took a trip to the shop while I was in hospital since I wouldn't be needing it so onward with Rudy the 3 of us went. By the time we got to the hospital I couldn't wait to get out. I can't even begin to describe the thoughts racing through my head and only a couple of them were about the surgery. =)

I checked in and waited. And waited some more. After 3o minutes of waiting and not wanting to leave to use the restroom I finally broke down and quickly went. Within minutes I was called back and the first thing they said was they needed a urine sample. oops.. Well no one even bothered to tell me they would want a pee sample and I couldn't help the fact I had just gone. But...alas they claimed they just needed a tad for a prego test. Ha! Me pregnant! Yeah... with a "snipped" husband, birth control pills and a serious lack of intimate activity since I was in Mexico for a week, then 4 days after i came home Jeremy had hernia surgery, the concept of being pregnant was a laughable one. I tried to explain all of this to no avail. I managed to pee, they came back with the oh so shocking news I wasn't pregnant...

On to the IV. Yah, so no one ever seems to be able to give me good IV's. I can count on one finger how many good ones I have had in the last 5 years. But I thought positively to myself. This is a center of excellence, therefore they will be excellent at IV's. I just know it. Unfortunately the power of positive thinking did not help the situation and once again, after digging in my left forearm with an 18 gauge needle and having no success the nurse assured me she would call someone. And she did. And that someone was aghast at nurse 1 for having used an 18 gauge needle. Nurse 2 used a 20 gauge and got it fast right in my hand. Ouch.

I look at the clock. It is 7am.. my 7:30 time is drawing near. My surgeon comes in and says hello. All is ready, all is a go. Finally my parents and husband get to come back. My mom squeezes my hand, my dad gives me sweet kisses on my forehead, both reassuring me everything is going to be alright. I have managed to hold it together but I can't anymore. The nurse ushers my parents out leaving Jeremy and I to ourselves for a last few moments before I go to the operating room. I start to cry. "I can't do this. I don't want to do this. This can't be the only way... I'm not ready". My husband has tears in his eyes as he too reassures me that it is good. It is what I want. "What if I die Jeremy? What if something goes wrong"? "I love you", he says.

It is time to go. They are wheeling me down the hall and I can't quit crying. I am scared. I am not ready. Can I still stop this? I have to quit crying or they won't be able to put me under. My throat is closing up. I am scared. I know this is best. All of these thoughts and more are running through my head as the doors to the operating room open. Everyone asks me how I am. Clearly I am not good. Tears are still coursing down my cheeks. I move to the operating table. The anesthesiologist looks at me, smiles. I look back, terrified. He begins pushing the plunger...

to be continued...

Monday, January 4, 2010

The night before...

I find it interesting the last blog I have on here is the blog of the day I found out my first surgery was declined. For tonight is the night before the now approved Bariatric Surgery.

How does one make sense of something like this? I have spent the last 18 months preparing but here I am less than 18 hours before and I feel completely bowled over both physically and emotionally. Physically because I am realizing now after a week and a half off of anti-inflammatories just how much by body hurts. My shoulders, my hips, my lower back...they officially exist now. Whereas before they were simply dull aches now they are all out uncomfortable pains.

Emotionally...I suppose to understand where I am I have to break my emotions into equal 1/3 parts. The first 1/3 is excitement and anticipation masked for the moment by fear and an overwhelming sense of "what next"?

The second third I would categorize as unbelievably thankful for this opportunity and so mystified as to why my insurance covers this 100% when some insurance companies won't cover it at all. In this same category is the knowledge this is the best thing and I am making the right and wisest choice. It holds the confidence that God orchestrated this and the door is wide open if only I will step through.

The third Third is unfortunately where most of my energy and focus is right now. It is the third that feels like an utter failure. It is the category that wanted so desperately to be that success story, the girl who started the road to Gastric Bypass and on the way she learned how to eat healthy and make good portion choices and exercise etc... and she lost 100 lbs. 18 months ago I thought that could be me. After the first 6 months of strict eating and exercise when only 12 lbs were lost it was discouraging. And the first surgery decline was devastating. But then the dream came back. I thought, I will start again. I will do it this time. I know how to do it all. I bought even more books than before. This time I became aware of the low glycemic index way of eating. I changed things even further. I perfectly balanced our meals. I worked out (not as much as i should...but some). Jeremy lost 15 lbs. I lost 3. I felt like the slimquick commercial.

The end of the second 6 months came, and again, it wasn't enough. My blood sugars and cholesterol still weren't controlled. Not with diet, not with all of the maximum doses of meds i was taking. Not with anything. It seemed my body had turned against me. It was rotten. It was frustrating and then the surgery was approved. I was exhilirated, I jumped up and down. And then as it all set in I came back to this place. I had failed...again. And whether I have failed me, or my body has failed me, or a little bit of both, my surgery tomorrow is bittersweet.

I have to imagine it is akin somewhat to a pregnant mom. Excited for the outcome but scared of the process. Excited for that amazing child but scared of the labor. Excited for each of those daily milestones but exhausted by the lack of sleep that a child brings. Excited for that time where they begin to walk and explore but exhausted by walking behind them making sure their space is safe. Excited to see the person they become but scared to death you will screw them up.

I am excited for the surgery outcome but I am afraid of the process that gets me there. I am excited for the beginning months but I am freaked out that my body will respond negatively. I am excited for what my life will be like a year from now but afraid that a year from now I will be in a worse place and wish I would have never had it. Excited for the life changes of being diabetes free but afraid the surgery won't work.

Do you see my excited but... theme. ;) I am trying with everything in me to be positive. More than anything I just want to wake up tomorrow afternoon and just be that...Awake. Awake with the knowledge that I defied the little 1/10 of 1% odd. Then I will begin to work my butt off and I pray that I will defy the next 1% of major complications and then the next, the 10% of people who have minor complications. And I will be like a friend of mine who not only made it through but he did with flying colors. And I know this is not my usual trend. But that is my hope. That is my prayer.