29 June 2005

Ewwww ...

One of my incisions is infected. :( It's the bottom-left most incision and it hasn't been doing as well as all the others. Per Dr. O'Malley's NP recommendation, I went to see my local Dr. (so that I wouldn't have to drive the 3 hours to Rochester to see her) today, and she confirmed that it's infected. The area around the incision is very red, and that area keeps getting larger. And, the incision itself hasn't fully closed. So, she gave me a prescription for an antibiotic which I will take twice a day w/ food for the next 10 days. Fun! :P

28 June 2005

Time to get my money back?

Only 2lbs lost over the past week. I know I should be thrilled about losing anything, but after the 1st week of losing 14lbs, I'd really hoped to lose around 10lbs this week. I realize things have changed with the new diet, and I think I wasn't drinking enough water during the first part of the week. I also probably didn't walk enough. When I told my husband, he said, "Ask for your money back!" Mind you, I've not paid a cent yet. :)

I know it will get better; well, at least I hope it will. I mean, I'd been able to successfully lose 2lbs a week on my own; although, once I'd reach the 20lbs lost mark, I'd typically hit a long plateau and then fall off the wagon.

Here's to next week!

27 June 2005

Food Journal

Since being given diet 2, I have been keeping a journal of what I've been eating. Thankfully, I've been able to reach the 60-90 grams of protein level that my Dr. wants me at each day. But, I am finding myself tiring of the protein shakes that prior to surgery I actually enjoyed. I have a very hard time getting a full cup down now, but given that they're a major source of protein, I know I have to keep at them.

I've also tried some of the recipes from the book Before and After that I've mentioned previously as well as some of my own concoctions. The recipes have gone pretty well; although, I didn't at all like the hummus recipe. Thankfully, my husband did, so it didn't go to waste. But, my own attempt at making a little flavorful pureed chicken with the help of lemon juice, olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning didn't go so well. Oh, it tasted good, but after eating it the first time, I couldn't believe the cramps it caused. The pain got so bad that night it made me puke. Not fun! And, I hardly put any of the lemon-pepper on there.

And, the other night, my husband and I got a salmon filet grilled w/ lemon caper sauce (I didn't eat any of the capers) and yukon gold mashed potatoes at our local grocery store, Wegmans. They both tasted so good that I ate too quickly, and a wave a nausea hit me so quickly I couldn't believe it. I used to have nausesa come on after eating pasta, rice or potatoes due to my insulin resistance, but it was never anything like this. And typically, I could tolerate a small amount of potatoes and rice; it was just the pasta that really brought it on. But, this was terrible. I stopped eating right then and didn't eat anything else the rest of the night. And, I'm obviously going to do better about being aware of how quickly I eat.

14 pounds!!!

I have officially lost 14 pounds according to the doctor's scale. Not bad for the first week, huh? Although, I know I can't expect it to continue at that rate as I've been given diet 2 which consists of pureed foods, so now, I can nix the Jell-O (thank you!) and broth and move on to things like mashed potatoes, chicken, turkey, veggies, etc. as long as they're pureed.

I also had my staples removed at this 1st post-op visit. I was pretty freaked out about it (as just looking at them after getting home about caused me to pass out), but I hardly felt a thing! Fabulous!!!!

And, I discussed the issue I was having with always getting weak while in the shower, and Dr. O'Malley's Nurse Practitioner, Kim Meecham, explained it to me with the following:

The hot water from the shower was causing my veins to expand which caused my thinned blood to fly through thus causing my blood pressure to lower ... ta-da, the weakness. So, I've just reduced the temperature of the water in the shower, and woo-hoo, I can stay in there long enough to shave my legs! Finally!

And, she said that the dizziness is typical until my body is given more nutrition through the pureed foods. Yeah for pureed foods!!

22 June 2005

First week at home ...

I had gone to the store prior to going in for surgery to get all of the necessary liquid type foods so that I wouldn't have to send anyone to get them for me after arriving home. So, I had the requisite surgar free Jell-O, pudding, yogurt and popsicles and cream soups. After day 2 of being home and trying regular skim milk, I found I wasn't tolerating it at all (major gas pain). So, I sent my husband on a grocery store run to get some Lactaid. My daily meals pretty much consisted of a 4oz. protein shake and 4oz. Jell-O for breakfast, 4oz. diluted 100%juice for mid-morning (if I got up early enough to have breakfast and mid-morning), 4oz. cream soup and 4oz. yogurt for lunch, SF popsicle for mid-afternoon and 4oz. cream soup w/ 4oz. SF pudding for dinner. I'd chew a Flintstone's complete w/ breakfast and dinner and take my Tagament at bedtime. By Monday, I was _really_ getting sick of the soup and Jell-O, so I was thankful my first post-op visit was coming up on the 21st (where I was to be given my 2nd diet).

I felt rather weak the entire time and even had multiple episodes of becoming extremely weak to the point of almost passing out while showering every day (more about this later). But, with the exception of Saturday, I was able to take my 15 minute (albeit slow) walks every day.

I made an effort to get up and do things for myself as opposed to asking others to do them for me. I knew it was best for me to be up and moving around as much as I could tolerate. My husband kept catching himself asking if I wanted him to do something for me. (He's the best!)

I slept quite well the entire week despite having to completely pick myself up to turn from side to side.

I'd say my biggest issues were gas pain, the weakness caused by taking showers and dizziness. Thankfully, the gas pain issue was largely relieved by switching to lactaid, and the others were answered with my 1st post op visit. More on that later ...

19 June 2005

It's over ... and it's just begun.

On Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at 7:15am, I had laproscopic RNY gastric bypass surgery performed by Dr. William O'Malley and his team at Highland Hospital in Rochester, NY. My pre-surgery weight was 271lbs with my high being 275lbs.

Waiting in the pre-op area with the parade of techs, pre-op nurses, the operation nurse, anesthesiologist and surgeon coming by to prep, poke and prod me brought me to the height of being scared ... not so much about what I was in for after the surgery but about the surgery itself. (I'd never had surgery before.) Then, when my husband and mom were brought in, I lost it. Everyone was great about explaining everything that they were doing with the biggest credit going to the anesthesiologist. She was fantastic.

Once I was given the "relaxant", I was, for the most part, out of it. All I remember about the surgery prior to waking up in recovery was how tightly the blood pressure cuff squeezed my arm in the operating room. (It bruised all around my arm.) I don't remember too much about recovery, either.

Upon being delivered to my room in the hospital, I was left in the wonderful care of Alicia and the techs Barb and Meg. I wish I could have had them around the entire time I was there. The others were fine but seemed a lot less caring and considerate. For example, my original IV had to be removed because my hand had swollen up so badly that I could barely touch it, and the 2nd IV started backing up on me. At some point on Wednesday, one of the many techs that came in to get my vitals smacked the blood pressure cuff against my very swollen and sore hand that was covered by a bandage (so obviously something had gone on there) without a thought to what pain that could have caused.

Alicia had me up and walking around the nurses' station by Tuesday night; although, it was only one lap that caused me to about pass out. As it was described in the book Before And After, it wasn't so much the level of pain that I felt but more a description of how big of a truck I felt I'd been hit by. I don't think I did much more than sleep that first day and probably most of the second as I was on morphine and a medicine for nausesa.

By Thursday morning, however, I felt much better and was able to go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and brush my hair all by myself. I was ready to go home. I just wasn't looking forward to the 3 hour car ride home. By that time, I'd been off the morphine for a while and had yet to take a vicodin as I'd had a previous experience with it after having my wisdom teeth removed. The nurse convinced me, however, as I had been able to get down some instant breakfast and jell-o. I'm sure the ride home was much better for it ... not good, mind you ... but better.

More about what it's been like since being home later ...

05 June 2005


Yesterday my husband and I took a bus to Manhattan to see Wicked and to explore Manhattan a little more. We arrived in Manhattan later than expected because of an unexpected issue with the bus (loathe the bus), so we only had time to grab a quick bite before the 2pm show. We ended up only a block away from the Gershwin Theatre at Victor's Cafe 52 on W 52nd St. It and Wicked were fabulous! After the show, we headed toward 5th Ave for a little shopping. It was sunny and warm (despite what the weather forcast said), and the walk from the Gershwin to 5th and 57th and back just about wore me out. It's so embarassing to step into a fine store covered in sweat. Here's to seriously hoping this surgery and the subsiquent work will get me to a place where walking around in Manhattan (while trying to keep up with my husband) won't be a cause for embarassment.

The first

On Friday I told the first person (other than my family and healthcare professionals) that I was having Gastric Bypass surgery. After answering questions about the surgery and what it means, she was very excited for me given that she knows what it could mean for me. I've been somewhat embarassed by the surgery in that "I have to have surgery to lose weight", but it made me feel good to tell someone and to get the encouragement and support that she gave. Maybe I'll tell others ... who knows!

02 June 2005


I found out today that my surgery has been approved by my insurance company. Given that I'm only 12 days from my surgery date, this is a _very_ good thing. I'm becoming more and more prepared for this major, life-changing surgery as well as more and more scared. I know it's the right thing for me, though, so I can't wait.