gastric bypass · RNY · rny gastric bypass surgery · weight loss · weight loss community · weight loss journey · weight loss surgery

Hairballs and Kidneys

Hey guys! Here I am exactly 3 months post op (go me!) and I’m back with an update.

So it’s finally started happening. The great hair loss. It was fully expected but I was really hoping I would be one of those rare people who didn’t have to deal with it. Unfortunately that is not the case. Thankfully my lovely husband has been so kind as to keep detaching the top of the shower drain and cleaning it out so I don’t clog it too badly. I also have a dear girlfriend who is an ahhhmazing hair stylist who knows how to cut my hair just right. She took off a few inches which I feel like has completely made my hair feel and look much better so I’m not seeing a bunch of stringy hairballs like before. (if you want her info let me know and I will totally hook you up) Who knows how long this will last. Everyone says something different. I just know that is a very common side effect and there is little anyone can do about it. My doctors say that as long as I focus on getting in my protein, vitamins/supplements, get in all my fluids then I will be good. The good news is that the hair will grow back.

For those of you that are friends with myself or my husband on Facebook you may have seen an adorable picture floating around of me and my sweet baby girl snuggling up on the couch while I wasn’t feeling good. Well that was taken after a nice long day spent in the ER being poked and prodded. I guess it was about two weeks ago I woke up one day just feeling kind blah. Low energy, not much of an appetite and a headache. Not really thinking much of it I went along with my normal routine. The headache lasted a couple of days and so did the low energy etc. Then I started feeling kind of dizzy/shaky. Assuming it was because my blood sugar was low because I hadn’t eaten or even drank much. So I made it a point to really focus on getting in all my protein and really drink a lot of water. I did feel better after that. Or so I thought. That night around 12:30 am I woke up freezing with the chills. When I say the chills I mean I was literally uncontrollably shaking. Shaking to the point that I had to put on a robe and heating pad while under a comforter in order to warm up and stop shaking. After about 45 minutes I stopped shaking and fell asleep only to wake up burning up with a fever of 102 about an hour later. The next morning I felt ok. I was exhausted but I felt ok. I called my surgeons office and left a message at the nurses station stating what happened because I assumed it was related to my surgery and to be honest I was really fucking scared. I never got a call back from anyone. (still a little bitter about that) This went on for three (yes 3) days. I would get the chills, like my insides were cold and I couldn’t get warm, and then I would start burning up to the point of dripping sweat. Like soaking wet and having to change my clothes. So I take a nice hot shower because what else would I do when I’m so damn cold. Yeah, not the best idea. I’m in the shower when the tunnel vision starts and I have to hold onto the wall because I’m about to black out. I call for my husband and tell him what’s going on and that I want to go to the ER. Get out of the shower shaking, get dressed and off we go. Now remember my symptoms were literally just fever and chills. I felt a little light headed but that was it. No other symptoms of anything. They take lots of blood, do blood cultures, urine sample, check me for the flu because they had just seen their first case the day before, did a chest x-ray, and an EKG. The culprit? My urine! I apparently had a urinary tract infection that was left untreated and had moved to my kidneys. Only I had zero symptoms of a UTI or kidney infection. Listen I drink water ALL day long which in turn means I pee ALL day long. I had no painful urination, never felt like I had to pee and nothing was coming out. Zero symptoms! So while this wasn’t directly related to my surgery, my surgery did affect the way my body reacted to the infection. Once they realized what was going on I received and IV of antibiotics and a script. I followed up with my primary doctor a few days later. He looked up my blood work to make sure I wasn’t resistant to the antibiotic they gave me and guess what? …. ding ding ding you guessed it, I was! Heres the kicker, he took another urine sample and it came back clean and there was no new bacteria growth. Wanting to play its safe, he gave me another antibiotic anyway. I am finally feeling better and back to having energy and an appetite. It’s crazy how different my body reacts to things now. It definitely made me be more self-aware and to really pay attention and listen to my body.

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Okay, enough of that stuff. A new non scale victory for me… Going to buy new jeans and grab what I thought was my size only to realize that I needed a smaller size. So my friends drum roll please…. I have gone from a size 18 to currently a size 12. A lot of people keep asking me how much I’m down now and my response has been that I stopped weighing myself which is true. But for this update I did just weigh myself today and saw that I am officially down 60 pounds! I honestly cannot believe it. It’s so weird to me because I feel like I have become a bit obsessed with not liking how certain body parts look. Not at all trying to sound vain. I just look at pictures of myself and think how could I do that to myself? How could I let myself go like that? Why didn’t I make myself a priority? Why didn’t I love myself enough to take control? I’m not trying to beat myself up but it does kind of make me sad that I let it get that bad. I know I’ve said it before but it truly makes me appreciate this tool and the opportunity I have been given. As always I appreciate all of the support that I have received over the past few months. So many of you have gone out of your way to check in with me or just to tell me that you’re rooting for me and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Tina ☮❤️☀️

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gastric bypass · RNY · rny gastric bypass surgery · weight loss · weight loss journey · weight loss surgery

What you wanna know…

Hi Friends! I’m back with the answers to your questions. I received some really good ones. A lot were pretty similar so I’m going to post the questions along with the answers. Again, I need to stress that not all surgeries are created equal. Not all surgeons are the same or require the same of their patients. This is MY personal experience. So, here we go.

Q: What is the hardest part so far of this experience? (asked a lot)

A: I have a couple of things I am finding hard. The first would be getting on a schedule/routine of working out. I walk pretty often but now that the kids are all back to school and things are becoming more routine for all of us I am really trying to make a habit of working out. I don’t have the money to join a fancy gym so ideally I would like to mix things up by doing an at home workout and then pop into a yoga class a couple of times a week. I feel like once I conquer the workout routine I’ll be a little more satisfied. I am still working on making myself a priority but I am definitely getting there. (baby steps friends 😉) I’m trying to save my lash loot for a Peloton bike (another goal set)

The next thing that has been hard getting used to is not eating and drinking at the same time. Sounds like no biggie right? Try it… most of have been drinking with our meals our entire lives. If I drink and eat at the same time then I won’t really be able to eat much of anything let alone get all the protein and nutrition I need. It can also cause horrible gas pains. I’m getting used to it but it’s not easy.

Lastly, not being able to chug a bottle of water. Wahhhhh! If you know me, you know that I ALWAYS have a bottle or giant cup of water with me at all times. Because of my new little stomach, chugging anything is out of the questions. I still have my trusty bottle of water with me at all times but now I just have to sip. The bigger the sip seriously hurts. I still take too big of a sip sometimes and I just have breathe it out lol.

Q: Do you think you will have to have skin removal surgery and will insurance cover it?

A: I am really not sure about having skin removal surgery. I am down 50 lbs so far. My goal is to lose another 55. I will see where I am when I get there. As far as insurance covering it, as far as I know it is not usually covered unless it is medically necessary for it to be removed which does happen in certain cases. I just don’t think it would happen in my case. So for me, I am not saying its out of the question. I think I would be more interested in a mommy makeover type of plastic surgery lol.

Q: Do you miss drinking alcohol? Can you drink?

A: No & No. Haha so I have never been much of a drinker. It’s just not something that I really care about or ever have for that matter. I don’t particularly like it. I enjoy a few drinks here and there but getting drunk is just not my thing. With that being said, yes you can eventually drink. It was recommended to me by my surgeon that I not drink alcohol for about a year. Deep breath people, it’s not that bad. With part of your stomach removed or bypassed you are unable to metabolize the alcohol. Most alcohol absorption happens in the small intestine. If the stomach can’t break as much down, more alcohol will be absorbed by your system. (catching my drift? no nutritional value there either) Procedures that bypass the connection between your stomach and small intestine no longer have that barrier to slow down the passing of fluids. As a result, the alcohol passes even more quickly into your small intestines and boom you are drunk, like after one drink. Plus all of the sugar and carbs in those adult bevies are not ideal for a freshly healing stomach. Will I eventually drink again? Of course I will. But I will absolutely continue to follow my doctors orders and I will do it when I get the ok.

Q: How are you dealing with your food addiction? (this was asked a lot)

A: Pardon my language.. but it’s fucking hard as shit! Flat out, some days suck and some are just easier than others. Some days I want nothing to do with junk. Some days I want to eat a bag of Jax or dark chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s or Doritos wrapped in a soft pretzel. But I am absolutely finding that those days are becoming less and less. I think that since I am not hungry most of the time it really helps. I don’t think about it all the time. I also really try to make it habit of not having a ton of junk in my house. Yes I still buy some things. I have three growing boys who NEVER stop eating. BUT, I am really trying to get them to make better choices, so while they might have a bag of chips or popcorn in the pantry, they will also pick up an apple, banana, orange or string cheese to eat. I am also finding joy and happiness in things other than food. For instance, I love being an esthetician. I recently started a new job and so far I am really enjoying it. I look forward to going there and meeting new people. (P.S. if you’re looking for an amazing esty, come see me at 3000BC Chesnut Hill) Again, the workout routine coming into play would be another check off my list to keep me busy. I would just like to be one of those people who truly enjoys working out (again baby steps). The other thing that really helps is support. My husband, my family & friends. I have so much support. It might sound corny but being able to share this with all of you keeps me motivated. I have a lot to prove to myself and I don’t know when or why or how it happened but I am more motivated now that I have ever been. I think because I am seeing the results and I just feel better all around so that helps keep my head on straight if that makes sense.

Q: Did your insurance cover your surgery? What qualifications did you need to be approved for surgery?

A: Yes my insurance covered my surgery 100%. The only thing I paid was co-pays to see my surgeon, nutritionist and psychologist. I also paid $10 for cable in my hospital room. If I am being honest I am not totally sure about the requirements. I know that is probably not the answer you are looking for but I know all insurance companies are different.  I am pretty sure the main requirement is that you have to be diagnosed as morbidly obese with a BMI over 40. Some insurances will require you to see a psychologist (some for a certain amount of time) and a nutritionist. My suggestion would be to call your insurance company and ask. That’s what I did. As soon as they said it was covered I called to meet with a surgeon for more info. Once I got the ball rolling it took five months from meeting my surgeon to having the surgery.

So that’s it for now. I loved being able to hear from a lot of you and I appreciate the questions. I am always open to talking about it so don’t be afraid to ask.

Here are some non scale victories….

  • I have a neck, just one!
  • my collarbone is poking through, like you can actually see it!
  • I can comfortable cross my legs.
  • my feet are shrinking.
  • my wedding ring is officially too big. So much so that I had to buy and temporary sizer to put on it.
  • You can actually start to see my dimples in my face.
  • I bought a sweater in a size SMALL!! Holy SHIT you guys!

Ok I’m really done this time. Thank you all for always supporting me.

Tina ❤️☮☀️

 

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gastric bypass · weight loss surgery

Ask me anything…

Hey friends! So I wanted to do something a little different this time around. I want you, my lovely supportive readers, to ask me your questions. What do you want to know either about me personally, about surgery, about pre or post op? Are you thinking about having surgery and don’t know where to begin? ANYTHING! Either drop me a line here, on Facebook or through private message and I will do my best to answer your all of your questions.  I will then post the questions and answers in the next blog and give you another update because I have few things going on that I want to share. I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Tina ☮❤️☀️

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gastric bypass · weight loss surgery

The Dreaded Stall and other things…

Hi friends! I’m back with an update of a day in the life post gastric bypass. Here are some things I’ve been learning along the way.

I’ll start with this, I’ve hit the dreaded stall. Wahhhhh! I knew it was coming. I was prepared for it but just hoped that it wouldn’t happen to me. It’s like once you start losing weight and seeing results you become obsessed with that damn scale and weighing yourself every day. Big no no! Bad scale is going right back into the closet! The good thing is I know it won’t last. Thankfully I belong to two support groups so I knew to expect this but it still sucks. You kind of feel like you’re failing in a way. I mean I know that I’m not but you just can’t help but think that way sometimes.

My daily life currently revolves around making sure I get in 60 grams of protein, 64 ounces of water, taking two medications (3 daily) and three vitamins. That’s six, yes 6 pills a day. Oh and two of those pills cannot be taken with other medications so my phone is constantly going off to remind me to drink water or take a pill. Keep in mind my stomach can hold about 4 ounces. Pile all that on top of taking care of the kids, sports/football team mom, household duties, exercise (which I’m still trying to get into a routine), quality time with my husband, quality time with my kids, quality time with friends, oh yeah and I’m starting a new job in a week… gahhhhh my head is spinning, is yours? It’s totally overwhelming! Losing weight is HARD! No matter how you do it. It’s a lot of work and dedication and I am still finding my way.

I thought food ruled my life before but now it really does, in a good way. I am so much more conscious of what I’m putting into my body and even more conscious of what my family is putting into their bodies. I’m sure I am annoying them by telling them how much they are eating or how much sugar is in their drink but I don’t care. I don’t want my boys to find themselves in the same position I got myself into.

So far I’ve given up sugar, carbs, caffeine and most dairy. And guess what? I’m still alive! And truthfully I feel so much better for it. Now I fully admit I have cheated! I have had a bite of birthday cake (no frosting). I lived. I have had a couple of french fries. I lived. I had a few chips/pretzels. I lived. But you know what? After eating crappy food, I get an instant headache. It’s crazy (not really if you think about it) but it’s instant! Did I feel bad about it? Meh, not so much. I think it’s mainly because I literally had only a few of those things. (Spare me your judgement, no one is harder on me than me so shove it 😏) Like I said it’s a learning process. There are lots of times that I want to eat but I’m not hungry. It’s a head game and a daily battle. A battle I do not ever intend on losing. I think this whole process has changed my perspective. It’s given me the confidence to know I can do this even though it’s incredibly hard.

Here are a few more things you should know if bariatric surgery is something you’re considering.

  1. Not all insurances are created equal. There are so many things that factor whether or not your insurance will approve the surgery. Definitely find a great surgeon and discuss all possibilities.
  2. Weight gain is possible. Yes, you can stretch your stomach. Yes, you can gain the weight back. The diet that is given to you by your surgeon is imperative. There is a reason you should follow what they say.
  3. You will still have an appetite. You will still want to eat. You have to change your relationship with food.
  4. Support groups. Use them. Make friends with people. You need to have someone who can relate to all of the good and bad things.
  5. There is always the risk of having complications. Again, speak with your surgeon. Ask every question you can think of. Do your research. Weigh your options. You need to be mentally and physically prepared as much as possible. It is NOT a quick fix! Period. It is a lifetime commitment!
  6. Be prepared to take vitamins/supplements for the rest of your life. Yes seriously!
  7. Dumping Syndrome. It’s real. It’s very common. Be afraid. Be verrrrrry afraid. I think this is what keeps me in check the most because I am terrified of it happening to me. Dumping occurs when undigested food rapidly enters the small bowel. Then it’s dumped into the small intestine with a lot of fluid. This usually happens when a person has eaten foods high in fat or sugar. Sometimes it can last for a few hours.
  8. Gas pains are comparable to mild contractions. I wish I was kidding. I think the further out you are then maybe they become less frequent but gas pains effing hurt! If I drink water too fast or take too big of a sip I feel it right away and it’s not pleasant. Also you don’t just feel it in your belly. I have had gas pains in my back, neck and shoulders.

If someone were to ask me if I had to, would I have the surgery all over again my answer would be without a doubt yes. I am loving the highs and even the lows of this journey. I feel really lucky to have been given this opportunity and to share my experience with all of you. Most importantly I am making myself a priority something I haven’t done in a very long time.

As always I cherish all of your continued support!

Tina☮❤️☀️

 

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*disclaimer* – This is my experience and opinion only. The views expressed are to simply share my personal experience.

 

gastric bypass · weight loss surgery

Freeeeedooomm! I have been cleared! I repeat I have been CLEARED!

Hi friends! Haha yes I’m being dramatic. But I am so excited to share that I have been cleared to do more physical activities, swim and introduce soft foods (which I started over the weekend).

I know its been a while since I’ve updated everyone but I was waiting until my 1 month follow-up with my doctor to check in with all of you! Technically its been 5 weeks but who’s counting? 😉

As of today I have officially shed 32 pounds. Yay! Go me! I say “shed” instead of “lost” because I have no intention of ever finding those pounds again.

How’s it going you ask? I would say overall it’s going great! Yes every day is a struggle. Some days are much easier than others and some days I just want to binge on crappy food and lay on the couch. It’s definitely a mental struggle. I am for sure still learning about food prepping and trying to get into a groove of preparing meals ahead of time.

Some things I feel like I need to say/get off my chest. Did anyone ever tell you if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all? So maybe that’s a little harsh, but guess what? Tough shit! I get it some people don’t “agree” with what I did but I don’t really care. Here’s the thing, if you have never been obese or have a food addiction then you flat-out will never understand what I go through on a daily basis so you telling me “oh that’s gonna be a big lifestyle change” doesn’t really give me all the feels. Just don’t say anything at all! I am fully aware of how much of a lifestyle change this is. I did research it for a year ya know?! It’s not like I woke up one day and said hmmm, I’m gonna go get bariatric surgery. I didn’t do any of this for anyones personal praise. I didn’t do this because I felt ugly or didn’t like the way I look. In fact, I know that I am beautiful no matter what. I did this because I want to improve my quality of life. I did this because I don’t want to end up with diabetes or end up on medication for the rest of my life. I did this because I want to live! And while I’m ranting, please for the love of God, stop telling me your horror stories! “My friends brothers uncles nephew died from getting that done”…. Again, I am fully aware of the risks and side effects. I’m more than appreciative of all of the support. I know that sharing my story comes with praise, and some negative critics but if you don’t agree with it keep it to yourself. I’m trying to live my best life and I don’t have time for anything but love! Whew! Now that I got that out of the way I can move on.

Here are some things that nobody tells you will happen after bariatric surgery,

  1. Your posture goes to shit! I always thought I paid attention to my posture. Wrong! My back is killing me after shedding the pounds. I’m really looking forward to doing some yoga and learning some good stretching.
  2. I am cold quite often. Its 92 degrees out today and I turned the air up in my house to 77 because I have been freezing most of the day. (obviously not while outside ha)
  3. You won’t realize how many social situations revolve around food. Personally I think I have been to some sort of BBQ or friendly hang out almost every weekend and I have been ok. I’m not a big drinker anyway so that doesn’t bother me. But if you are considering this surgery, you might end up feeling left out for a little while.
  4. The clothes…. oh the clothes. Anyone that’s seen me recently knows I have more than likely worn the same couple of pairs of leggings over and over. I refuse to buy more clothes until I absolutely have to. So bear with me people.
  5. Last but certainly not least on my list of changes is your taste buds. Boy have they changed. I’ve always been a sweets lover. Like literally craved chocolate and peanut butter. I can say without certainty that I no longer have that craving. I actually bought this protein ice cream with low sugar etc… took one bite and said no thank you! It just wasn’t for me. I know that could change in the future but for now I am enjoying my new taste buds.

As always, thank you for keeping up with my journey. Thank you to everyone who encourages me even just by being a part of my life. I cherish all of you more than you all know!

Tina ☮❤️☀️

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gastric bypass · weight loss surgery

The Perfect Storm

Welcome back to my life on the losers bench. Here is a little glimpse into what it’s been like at home recovering.

Before I had surgery I took a class to learn all about my new tool and all of the things I could and couldn’t have, everything that could possibly cause problems in the future etc.

One of things I was told was that my menstrual cycle could be delayed (winning!! am I right ladies?) Yeah, no go! That bitch came right on schedule and with a vengeance. The perfect storm has come. I am in pain from surgery, and now I am having the worst cramps of my life and excuse me while I get nasty but the damn flood gates had opened. I needed chocolate and my bed asap! Except I didn’t, I mean not really. Normally when it’s my time of the month all I want is chocolate. Dark chocolate is my kryptonite and I literally have zero control when it’s in front of me! This time around I didn’t even think about chocolate. I seriously can’t even believe it. I guess it a good thing that it came on time but man I would have loved a few months off.

After surgery you are put on a very strict regimen that goes in different stages. The first two days after you are only allowed to have clear liquids. If all goes well then you can move onto full liquids which consists of water, low sodium broth and very thinned out yogurt, cream of wheat and some soup. That lasts for a week. This is where you find out what you can tolerate because of course it’s a learning process. I was given lots of recipes to play with so here I am making tomato soup mixed with cottage cheese, desperate for anything that isn’t broth. I put it in my Ninja and add a little water to get it nice and runny. (it has to be dripping off the spoon, remember my stomach is still healing and I can’t quite digest very much yet) It tasted pretty good. I seriously only had a few tablespoons but it was ok. Oh my God was I wrong! Epic fail! Either it just didn’t agree with me or it was too thick because I got so sick! So when something doesn’t agree with you a few things happen, you get monster pains in your stomach and you break out in a hot sweat and feel nauseous. Only here’s the catch, you can’t throw up! Literally. I have tried. I can dry heave and a little bit of foam comes out but that’s it! Like I said learning process, message received loud and clear.

Next comes our weekly dinner with my father in law. Every Thursday is pizza or hoagie night. Kill. Me. Now. I have to sit here and smell pizza and wings while I am stuck eating cream of wheat (the only thing I can tolerate after the tomato soup disaster). I don’t think I have ever wanted to beat someone up and take their food until that night. It smelled so good and I was just starting to get my appetite back so yes I had a teeny tiny moment of hating everyone. I stayed strong, and thought of the whole reason I started this process in the first place so everyone lived to see another day. 😉 As the days went on, it got much easier. I have made my family complete meals that I can’t have and I am ok with it. I know eventually I will be able to treat myself to a few things here and there but I am focusing on the now, one day at a time. I have since moved on to the puréed food stage. I can have a better variety of proteins, veggies etc. and I havent had any issues, thank goodness.

All in all, I would say everything is going great. I am already seeing some amazing results. Who knew I could live without carbs, sugar and caffeine? I feel like I am sleeping so much better. I have a lot more energy. Most importantly I have learned how strong I actually am, and how it is in fact mind over matter. I am extremely lucky to have been given this tool and I am doing my best to not take it for granted. Thanks to all who’ve supported me along the way.

Tina ☮❤️☀️

 

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gastric bypass · weight loss surgery

Surgery Day 07.17.17

First, let me start off by thanking all of you! So so many of you have taken the time out to message me personally or congratulate and encourage me and I couldn’t be more thankful.

When I decided to do this blog and invite everyone into this little part of my life I told myself that I wasn’t going to sugar coat and I was without a doubt going to be honest. So here I am. I am going to paint a little picture of my surgery experience. It’s not going to be pretty but here it goes.

5:30 am on Monday,  July 17,2017, I check into AMH. My sister is sitting with me until I get taken back. Once they call my name I head back to get ready. Surprisingly I was really calm. The nurse comes in, tells me to put on the gown, socks etc. Once I’m settled in the bed, they start the IV. My surgeon comes in and talks to me for a bit, writes on my belly and moves along. Then the anesthesiologist comes in. Have another little chat and we move on. I get wheeled back to the operating room, move onto the table and BOOM I’m out! I don’t remember a single thing until I wake up in the PACU. Kinda scary if you think about it huh?

I groggily start coming out of anesthesia in the recovery room. My surgeon is there and tells me everything was successful. I give him a thumbs up and doze back off. I start waking up again, this time to the sound of an older gentlemen across the hall moaning in pain and all I can think of is please make him stop. I’m not saying that to be mean but I was alone and it scared me. The more I woke up, the more I hurt. Oh my God did I ache. I finally make it to my room. I’m all settled in and after a short time, my husband and sister make their way in.

My face was the first thing that I noticed hurt. I could tell my lips were dry and chapped (which is normal from having the breathing tube down my throat) but I was not prepared for what they actually looked and felt like. Let’s just say this, I put Kylie Jenner to shame… like 3 times bigger than hers! Apparently, I had a reaction to something they gave me and my tongue swelled so they had to delay my surgery because they couldn’t get the breathing tube down my throat. On top of that, every single inch of my body was swollen. My hands were so swollen I couldn’t make a fist. My legs, and obviously my belly. Oh my word, it looked like I just had a baby only I didn’t have a sweet smelling newborn in my arms. I also couldn’t talk. My voice was pretty much gone from the tube.

Coming out of anesthesia is not pleasant. The hours that followed were not fun. I was in a lot of pain. I smelled (because you’re not allowed to shower), and to top it off I wasn’t allowed to have anything to eat or drink until the next day. They gave me these lemon flavored swabs so I could swab my dry ass mouth. Ugh I can taste them right now and I want to barf.  I was nauseous and filled with instant regret. What the F did I just do to myself? Why did no one try to talk me out of this? Maybe I can get this reversed. I am such an idiot. Why? Why? Why!!! I just wanted to cry and I wanted to go home and be surrounded by my crazies and who cares if I was fat for the rest of my life right? All of that nonsense, that was the pain talking. I slept off and on throughout the night. With nurses coming in to check my vitals every two hours. (Remember that guy who was moaning in pain? Yeah his room was right next to mine and he was much worse off than I was. Poor thing was just having a terrible time. Be thankful I’m sparing you the details)

The clearer my mind became the better I felt about it. I was up and walking (even though it hurt so freaking bad), I was going to the bathroom on my own, I was in better shape than the day before. Then they tell me its time for my upper GI study. I’m thinking ok, bring it on. Get some x-rays, take a couple more walks and then I’ll get released later. HA!  Boy was I wrong. Yeah so I didn’t realize that when you have this done, what it actually entails. I get down to the ice cold x-ray room. Not kidding, I was literally shaking. They take a couple of x-rays and I think, thank God I’m done. Wrong again… next came the barium. Have you ever had to drink that crap? I’m seriously gagging while I write this. First I only had to take a few sips so I’m like ok I can do this. Then I had to down it. Nope! This stuff is horrible. To top it off I just had surgery so I can’t down anything! I don’t know if I can accurately describe to you how awful it was. I just know that when it was finally over, I wanted to die. I was back to feeling nauseous. Back to my room I went. All I kept thinking was please please let this be over soon. (there was that regret again) My nurse came in and gave me some Zofran and pain meds. I took a little nap and all was right with the world. Once I woke up, I was given clear liquids. Water, chicken broth and jello. If I could tolerate it and everything was good with my GI study I would be released. I drank half of the broth and ate a little jello. So far, so good. I got my butt in gear and prepped to be released. Which meant walking, walking and more walking …. doing laps around the unit until it was time to go. Around 4pm they came in and told me I was cleared to go home! YAY! Thank you Jesus! I packed my stuff, was given my spirometer and compression stockings and off we went!

All in all, when I look back at my experience the word traumatizing comes to mind. Not in a dramatic being a baby type of way but it is a serious surgery and it was a lot to go through. The initial regret I was feeling has faded. The staff was amazing! I mean every single person I encountered was thoughtful, caring and more than understanding throughout the entire process. Now that I’m home I am feeling really good. I have very minimal pain. And I’m off of liquids and onto puréed foods. I had my post-op appointment and they called me an overachiever. I’ll take that any day!

Again this is my own personal experience. Obviously everyone has their own. Stay tuned for another update about what it’s like at home while everyone is eating normal food and I can’t.

Thanks for stopping by… off to eat some mashed cauliflower. ☮❤️☀️

Tina