September 22, 2017

Tabula Rasa: Aftermath

When I say these past few days since you’ve last heard from me have been hell, it’s what I imagine hell would be like. I will try to sum it all up in one post so that I can start writing in real time rather than the past.

Let me start by the day I actually remember following the surgery which would be Thursday night. I started actually feeling like myself and could stay awake for a conversation.

I felt pretty decent. A bit groggy, but the nausea was being kept at bay by lots and lots of medication. I was able to walk the hallway and they removed the catheter.

This last bit not nearly as painful as I had imagined. My mom starting saying I finally looked like January again. I am pretty sure I didn’t turn into someone else, but just one of those mom things.

I started taking in the amount of fluid and protein they required in these tiny little cups – 50 cc’s an hour. The next day Doctor Smith came around and I told him as much – so he told me by the evening (on Friday) I would be discharged. Yay!

At home things went pretty good the first day, I was able to do everything I was supposed to, still not eating anything. This thing is a piece of cake! I had lots of visitors and flowers, cards and even a stuffed bear and coloring book.

People were so great – I am not listing detail in fear I will forget someone or something and I would never want to give someone the impression their presence was not greatly appreciated.

I cannot stress enough how the positive messages and just knowing so many people were there really helped me through this whole process, and continue to help me today.

Saturday I got thrush. If you do not know what this is – lucky you! Its like having white fuzzy stuff growing on your tongue. It’s fun! I think quite possibly the yuckiest feeling I’ve ever experienced. Nasty.

So I called the Dr. and got medicine for that right away. It went away by Monday. Saturday night when I went to lay down for sleep I was feeling terrible. I was tired, nauseous, and ached from head to toe.

My mom had to find some anti-nausea medicine and I took a huge dose of my pain liquid medication to finally fall asleep. Once again, I woke up and felt decent, but still just worn out. “You just had major surgery” everyone tells me.

Okay, I get that – but I still felt like shit, which I must admit I did not prepare for. I’ve never really been sick and other than my tonsils being out as a kid, I’ve never had surgery. It was no picnic. Sunday was a pretty relaxed day, just laid around most of the day – some of my favorite people came to visit. Not too bad overall.

I go to bed on Sunday night and all of a sudden I feel like a truck has hit me and I was going to die at any moment. Now, I do have a flair for the dramatics – but saying I was almost wishing for death is by no means an exaggeration.

Again, more pain meds (which I hate) and I was finally able to sleep. I barely wake up at all on Monday, felt terrible all day. At this point I no longer can put anything in my mouth with any flavor at all. As soon as it hit the back of my throat, back up it came. I was getting weaker and weaker.

I slept many, many hours to no avail. I continued trying to keep down my water, but I was just crying a lot (depression came fast and quick), feeling terrible, and just staying to myself. This continued pretty much through Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving day I sat at the table with the rest of my family and I ate mashed potatoes and took a bite of dressing ( a no,no) and a bite of my mom’s sweet potato rings with marshmallows (another no, no). I paid heavily for it that night. I again, took a pill for the nausea and pain medication then went to sleep.

I woke up Friday morning and it was as if a weight had been lifted off of my body literally. I knew immediately upon waking I felt better. Finally, a break! I still couldn’t eat much of anything or put certain things in my mouth, but I drank plenty of water and visited with family.

My mom and I even got out and went for a walk around the new walking path in Franklin, Ga. It was great to get out! I walked .5 miles then drove around the new rec center and just saw the sights. By the end of the drive I started feeling very tired and ready to be home.

This whole time I kept getting strange smell and taste sensations that made me feel sick. My mom chewed a piece of spearmint gum and it gave me a headache and I wanted to throw up. I spent the rest of the night in bed, sleeping and reading.

Saturday was the beginning of feeling terrible again. The same things. I often said I took a perfectly healthy body and pretty much destroyed it, that is how I felt.

I began feeling like I had made a mistake. Even the comments from people on how much weight I had lost had no meaning to me, I felt like hell. This continues for several days.

Monday was my doctors appointment. I lost 25 lbs since my surgery day. Down to 355 lbs! Pretty neat. I was feeling bad while at the doctors office.

I explained everything that was going on, and he gave me some prescriptions and ordered me back to the hospital the next day to get 2 liters of fluids. He also said I would not be returning to work that week, and extended my time off until the following Monday.

The rest of the day I rested and tried to take in my fluids. All this time I still have not been able to take my vitamins, protein, nor eat the food I am supposed to.

So on Tues 11/29 I went back to Kennestone for the day. I got 2 liters of fluids and vitamins. This took several hours. Not a fun experience, but not terrible – I was thankful there was something to potentially make me feel better. That night I slept 14 hours.

I woke up Wed 11/30 feeling great. I haven’t felt that good the whole time. I was able to keep things down, eat what I am supposed to and even got in a lot of protein. I took my doggie, Marley for a walk and was able to really feel present and enjoy my shrinking body.

Again, today I woke up and the same thing – feeling great. Walked again and even went to the grocery store on my own. I am not trying to jinx myself, but hopefully this is the beginning of my feeling better. I feel stronger and more able to join in my life again.

Only one more week of liquid foods and I can start eating soft foods like pasta, seafood, etc. I am so excited about that. I feel like I’ve skipped over some pretty important details and if I think of anything in particular I will definitely add more as I remember.

But I’m going to try and go back to work on Saturday if this continues. I feel like I’ve stepped out of a bad dream. I am so thankful for these two days… one step at a time, right?

I have many, many pictures to add to this post which I will do when I get home – tomorrow. Please stay tuned 🙂 As always, thanks so much for encouraging my journey and I hope any information I share will be helpful to anyone considering bariatric surgery.

Comments

  1. Got to tell you, that I think you are one brave lady!Keep up the good work!

    • Debra Summerlin says:

      has been reading your stories and i’m hoping to face the surgery in Feb… i do my last insurance requirement in Jan . and we are summit to insurance on Jan 19th, ……. keep up the good work,,,,

  2. Anna Kirkpatrick says:

    Keep it up 😀 good job.

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