Friday, September 18, 2009

Surgery update!

Ok, I want to go back and update on what all happened this past week, so let's rewind to Thursday morning, Sept. 10th... my "re-birthday"....

Mom picked me up at 6 to take me to the hospital.  Paul was just getting off work and met us there.  We checked in at ambulatory surgery at 6:50.  Of course you're never just rushed through anything, so we were in a holding room for a while.  My dad came in about 8:30 after getting my nephew on the bus.  About 15 minutes later, they came to get me.

They wheeled me down the hall and showed my husband and parents where they could wait. I said good-bye and told them I loved them.  I wasn't a bit nervous until that point.  What if I didn't wake up?  Was Paul ready to take over on his own?  Would he know what to do about Devan's medications and routine? What if.... what if.....

So the trip back to the OR was made in tears.  They put me in yet another holding room all by myself.  Soon the anesthesiologist and his tech came in to explain what they were doing and ask me some questions... typical, textbook stuff.  Anesthesiologist left me with the tech.... Poor kid knew I was scared, and kept walking to the door to see where the nurses were.  I could tell I was making HIM nervous, too. 

Finally one of the OR nurses comes in, and the tech makes a hasty departure.  Can't say as I blame him!  The nurse is looking at my chart and says... "Tina Jesse".... Well, I was a bit taken aback because I KNEW my chart had my married name on it, yet she had just used my maiden name... Low and behold I looked up to realize it was an old school friend I hadn't seen in over 20 years!  I was instantly put at ease.  She was going to be with me the entire surgery!  I had every confidence in my surgeon, but there is just something about feeling like you're going through this alone!  With Erin there, I felt SO much better!

The tech comes back with the anesthesiologist and off we go to the OR.  I remember getting into the room, and the gurney being pushed up to the table, but don't remember anything after that. 

Next thing I know, I'm waking up in the recovery room.  It's just after noon, and I was taken in around 9, so not too bad! 

The first 45 minutes were agony, but Jim, the recovery RN, was FABULOUS!  He talked to me the entire time, told me exactly what he was doing, swabbed my mouth before I even said I needed it... what a great nurse!  I was beginning to feel better, and the pain wasn't as bad as I expected.  I did end up down there for 3 hours, though, because the room they assigned me to was still occupied.  They needed to have it cleaned once the patient finally left.  I was fine where I was, Jim took great care of me.  My husband and parents were kept informed about my progress and the delay, so all was good.

Finally get up to my room and get settled.  I won't go into all the little details, but I will say that I was very impressed by the staff at Wilson Regional.  They were superb!  The first day was pretty rough, but that wonderful button every 15 minutes was great!  The first day all I could have were ice chips.  DO NOT eat ice chips post RNY.  I knew this ahead of time so I was prepared.  Let them melt in your mouth before swallowing, otherwise your new pouch will cramp. 

The morning of day 2, I was pretty much getting around very well.  I had already walked the unit, and positioning myself in bed was uncomfortable but not awful.  The radiologist came to get me for my swallow study to see if I had any leaks....

Well, if you've read my blog, you know the funny story about the first swallow study, so I wasn't too concerned about this one.  Let me tell you though, it's a whole 'nother ball game when you're post op.  First, that table is SO high and HARD.  Then they want you to drink a mouthful of that gross stuff (this was different than the barium from the pre-op tests).  Let me tell ya, after not being allowed anything but ice, and having a stomach the size of a golf ball, that was the worst experience I've ever had!  THEN they have you roll on your side and try to drink another mouthful.  First of all, you're not really supposed to drink more than an ounce every 15 minutes (think medicine cup size) so I was already feeling like my pouch would explode.  Second, I couldn't bend my left arm because of the IV, and the X-ray tech kept spilling the stuff down my face and neck instead of getting it in my mouth. 

Well, I finally get it all down and the pictures taken, and they move the bed again, making me sick to my stomach.  So I'm trying desperately to get out from under the machine so I can sit up.  I barely got upright and threw up.  Luckily I warned the tech and she had a basin ready for me.  I was so scared I was going to pop a stitch in my new pouch and have to go through the whole process again!

Once I got back to my room, I was fine.  Went in and got cleaned up.  Back in bed and snoozed.  When I woke up, the nurse told me everything looked fine, and they were advancing to clear liquids.  I called down to room service (isn't that cool??  You can order what you want, WHEN you want instead of waiting for the trays to come around.  What a great thing THAT was!).  Anyway, I ordered sugar free jello and chicken broth...  It took me an 8 hour shift to eat one ounce of jello!  I couldn't finish one ounce of water in 15 minutes.  The restriction is THAT good!

Spent a couple more days in the hospital just to make sure I was feeling up to being home.  Came home Sunday...

The past week has been pretty uneventful.  Had a crying spell on Tuesday, I just wanted to CHEW something.  Talked to some of my support buddies and they said to get sugar free Popsicle's and fudgesicles.  What a relief!  I was never fond of popsicles, but they've been a blessing!  AND they count in my fluid intake!

Tuesday I drove the kids to youth group.  I haven't been using Vicodin except at bedtime, so was ok to drive.  Went for a walk to visit my sister, and had to have a ride home.  After 2 blocks I was done in.

Wednesday I attended a support group meeting and saw some great friends.  Everyone was so helpful and encouraging.  I'm so happy I have such a wonderful support network!

Today, Friday, was my first post-op visit... I took the boys to school and went in to say hello.  Everyone was shocked to see me, and telling me how great I look.  It was so nice to hear! I do feel wonderful.  Very little discomfort, only when I drink something too cold or too fast.  I get very tired very easily, so have to watch it.

Off to the appointment... Dr. Tvetenstrand's nurse, Lin, calls me back and tells me how great I look.  We chatted for a bit, and she weighs me....

I'm down 11.5 lbs since surgery!!  That makes a total loss to date of 62.5lbs!

Dr. Tvetenstrand said everything looks great, can't believe how fast my incisions have healed, and wants to see me in another month.  I can start back at the fitness center next Friday!

Stopped to see my mom and share the good news, and her co-workers (my second family, I've known them my whole life) were all saying they could see the loss already, how great I look, etc.  I am just over the moon happy! 

I wish I had done this 10 years ago!


  1. Congratulations, Tina! I had my RNY surgery on August 3, and am feeling very well. Had my very first dumping episode last night (a month and a half out), which taught me a good lesson about overconfidence, not chewing enough, and eating too quickly. Onward & upward!

  2. Thanks Clara! Congrats on yours as well! What did you dump on? I have a sinking feeling I'm not going to be a dumper... but then again I haven't tried anything really that would make me dump.

  3. I am so happy to see your blog.. I have been waiting to hear how it all went and sounds like it wasn't to bad. I have my last appointment on Friday they they will submit my paper work. I have my fingers crossed..

    I am so happy for you!

  4. Congrats! You'll for sure be a success with your wonderful attitude and supportive family/friends!

  5. Just checking up on you! You sound like you are doing great! Keep up the good work. Taking care of YOU is the best thing you can do for your family right now. <3 Kelly-jo