Tag Archives: hospital

Home At Last

I am home from my long week in Pittsburgh.  Finally.  It was a very, very long week.  My mother had surgery on her arm which she had broken.  We buried my step-father.  I saw family that I have not seen in years.  It all felt kind of unreal and was very stressful.

I tried as hard as I could to stick close to my diet plan.  I did have a couple of hiccups though.  Then I developed horrible constipation during my last couple of days there.  It got so bad my mother wanted to take me to the ER.  It finally cleared up last night and I was able to make the drive back home safely.  I think it was brought on by a few bad choices and the stress of a very difficult week.  Needless to say, I am very glad that week is over and I am glad to be home.

All that aside, I had three really great experiences I would like to share.

The first, of course, is everyone’s reaction to seeing me 112 pounds smaller.  My stepbrother, Bill, last saw me a couple of years ago.  He and his wife have been getting updates from my mom with pictures.  But pictures really do not do the change I have undergone justice.  When they saw me, they were absolutely flabbergasted.  Bill picked up my baby sister and her husband from the airport and dropped them off at my mom’s house.  He helped bring the luggage in.  When I said hello, he replied with, “OMG Colleen!  When I saw you from the street I thought you were Sandy (my other sister).”  He then gave me a big hug and told me how great I looked.  As we stood there and talked, he just kept shaking his head and saying, “Unbelievable!”  When his wife saw me, she reacted the same way.  Pretty much everyone who saw me had the same reaction.

The other experience had to do with my other stepbrother’s wife.  Michelle had the gastric by-pass surgery a few years ago.  She was so excited when she found out I was getting the surgery.  She has also followed my progress through my mom.  I have not seen her for maybe seven or eight years.  She was always a big woman.  The day of my step-dad’s funeral this tall, thin, gorgeous woman came up to me and gave me a hug to tell me how good it was to see me and how wonderful I looked.  My mouth fell to the floor.  It wasn’t until she started speaking that I knew it was Michelle.  Talk about the tables being turned.

The last and best news that I have to share is I weighed myself when I returned home.  I’ve lost 3 pounds.  I am now down to 183.  At least there is something good that came out of a very long and difficult week.

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Post Surgery

I had my gastric by-pass on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 8:00am at Inova Fair Oaks hospital in Fairfax, VA.  Today is Friday, October 26, 2012 at 3;30am. I woke up about an hour ago and now I cannot get back to sleep.  So, I am going to blog a bit about my experience so far.

I have to say that everyone at this hospital has been wonderful.  From the moment that I checked in until now, everyone is nice and helpful.  They have been great in answering any of my questions, calming my fears, and helping me do everything.  My surgeon, Dr. Osvaldo Anez, is very professional and friendly.  He’s been to check in on me twice.  He wants to check me out later today.  I have to admit, I am a little bit nervous about that, but he seems confident in my progress so far.

So, let me start with the surgery itself.  The surgery went smoothly from what I am to understand.  They did wake me up after the surgery while I was still on the table.  I had a tube down my throat to help me breathe.  They need to make sure that I can breathe on my own before they remove it.  I remember them yelling my name and saying, “Colleen breathe!”  “Take a deep breathe!”

I remember feeling that I could not breathe, but I also remember them pulling the tube out of me, so I must have been breathing.  But they kept waking me and telling me to keep breathing.  Then to assure that I could breathe, they put my c-pap mask on.  The pain was unbelievable.  I remember telling them I was in pain.  Through all of this, I was being wheeled into post-op and everything was foggy. I vaguely remember them taking me to my private room.  My mom and sister were there.

The whole day of Wednesday, was very rough for me.  I had horrible nausea that was caused by the anesthesia.  I do not know how much medicine they gave me, but they kept giving me all kinds of anti-naseau medication.  The anesthesia doctor came in to see me several times.  Finally, she gave me a steroid of some kind that helps with nausea.  That knocked it right out of me.  The bariatric nurse that taught the nutrition/bariatric class came to see me as well.  She was the pretty blonde Ukrainian lady.  She is so nice.  She told me to make sure I was giving myself plenty of pain medicine.  I can give myself pain medication by pressing a button.  I was only pressing the button when I had intense pain.  She told me no, to stay ahead of the pain so that I am able to take deep breaths and walk as much as possible.  I have been taking that advise and it has made a world of difference.

They made me use the bathroom and talk a way about 3pm the day of the surgery.  I did not want to.  I kept saying that I did not have to go to the bathroom and I did not want to walk.  The nurse did not tolerate that.  She had been so sweet all day, but she turned to me and said,”No, you’ve been sleeping and drinking water all day, you’re getting up.  It is time.”

Getting up was hard.  Ultimately though, I’m glad she made me get up.  I only walked about 40 feet the first time, But about an hour later, I took a little bit of a longer walk.  A nurse or volunteer was with me at all times.  My mom and sister left at 6pm on Wednesday and my brother showed up about 730pm.  He was not here long.  About 830pm I went to bed and slept most of the night.

Day one: A lot of pain and nausea, but ended the day on a much better note.

I had the morning to myself yesterday.  I got some walking in and continued to use the bathroom without problem.  I sat up in a chair for about three hours.  My friend Lynn showed up around noon followed quickly by my sister and mom.  I enjoyed visiting with them.  I took a couple of walks with them.  I kind of over did it yesterday with the walking.  My doctor came back to see me.  He is very pleased with my progress.  Everyone has told me how good I look.  I was able to walk by myself and I apparently had a lot of color to my face.  And I have to admit that I felt pretty good.  Yesterday, I started eating.  So far, I have had only liquid food.  I had chicken broth, cranberry juice and jello.  I had to stop drinking the sweet flavored stuff.  I know that there is no sugar, but the sweet taste was not good.  So, I am sticking with the chicken broth and water.  From what I understand, I am going to have pureed food at some point today.

My brother showed up about 630pm is with his wife and my niece. She is four.   She had made me two get well cards.  I was worried about my niece seeing me in the hospital.  I am hooked up to an IV and a pain machine.  I was afraid that I looked terrible and the IV would scare her.  I was right.  She wouldn’t come very close to me.  Her parents tried to convince her to come closer and give me y cards.  I told her it was OK to give them to Aunt Sandy and then Sandy would give them to me.  I told her that I know the wires and stuff are scary, but I explained that they give me medicine to make me feel better.  She did ask about the boo boo on my tummy.  I told her that they gave me a tight t-shirt to keep it covered so that nobody could see it.  What they really gave me is a support garment.  It helps a lot.  She mostly stayed behind her mother’s legs, but before they left, she did say good-bye and tell me she loves me.  My brother took my mom and my sister to dinner.  My mom went back to the hotel to rest.  My sister came back here and sat with me until I fell asleep for the night.

Apparently, my niece talked about me through dinner.  She said that I am only a little bit sick and that I have machines giving me medicine so that I will feel better.   I had told her she can come visit me at Aunt Sandy’s house this weekend, so she talked about that a lot too.  So, she might have been a little scared at the hospital, she did recognize that the scary machines are helping to make me better. I love that little girl so much.  Being an auntie is awesome.

I am getting tired, so  am going to try to get some more sleep.  I am supposed to be discharged today. We shall see.  I will write more later.