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 ...

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