Thursday, 22 August 2013

Well Its Done!

I was trying to think of a clever title for this blog but I think the only way to really sum it up is ITS DONE!! I have had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy in which eighty to eighty five percent of my stomach has been removed. That's crazy, after waiting two years its done. So here I am at the hotel three days post op and how do I feel? Maybe I should start back at day one. I seriously felt zero nerves walking into the hospital that morning. I was so pumped. I got up had my shower, braided my hair so it would be manageable after the surgery, got dressed and pressed forward to my new life. Bill said he was a little nervous but we were both in really good spirits. when I got here and registered I was feeling a little jittery but still more excited than anything else. So when I`m called in I get dressed up in my Johnny coats and white stockings (the stockings that don't fit and they have to change while I am waiting for them to put me to sleep on the surgery table! Of course something like that had to happen. I didn't get embarassed though, just said to myself oh well lets hope this is one of the last times something like this happens) ! I was waiting in the day surgery unit for two hours before my surgeon came and got me for my surgery, luckily I had my pillar of strength with me the whole time! HA HA! As I said my surgeon came to get me and walk me back to the OR. He was talking to us for a few moments and finally told me to follow him. I had to leave my glasses behind with Bill so as I was walking I couldn't see the length of myself. I took my glasses off handed them to Bill, hopped out of the chair and pranced along behind the surgeon like LA LA LA LA!! So happy to follow the man who was going to take over half of my stomach and throw it out. I only realized after i got in the OR that I didn't hug or kiss bill just passed him my glasses with a big grin on my face and followed the Dr. down the hall saying to him "I'm half blind without my glasses!" And he replied, just follow my voice and don't run into any walls. After this I get to a big room with lots of big comfy chairs with foot rests on them, and they cover you up in warm blankets. But I was sitting glassesless, nothing coming into focus and the whole room looked fuzzy. I had no idea if when people were looking at me if they were smiling or not... it was a weird experience. All the while I was thinking to myself, I have had gall bladder removal surgery, I have a high threshold for pain (this i was informed of by a dentist in Nain, and believe me you do NOT want to hear that story!), I have had two babies, one of which was a ten pounder... I GOT THIS!!!! Ohhhh I soooooo did not have this!!! When I got into the or - this white room that was freezing with bright lights but because of my lack of glasses I could not distinguish anything and laid on that very NARROW table that I'm sure was not as wide as my body, I remember thinking that I did not remember any of this from my previous surgery. Then they started in on the IV. I am really not trying to scare any one but this is my story as I felt it on that day, and I have been honest since the beginning and I will be honest about the whole experience. It took three anesthesiologists to put in my IV's. It felt like hours and here is the result after the fact. I thank God for the marvelous nurse who tried to keep me laughing through the experience because I began to get anxious after the third doctor started to try to get the line in. She did a wonderful job of semi keeping my mind off it all. Then she put a mask on my face and I became very claustrophobic and started to panic. I had to stop myself from yelling stop! That was the first time I had second thoughts. But then I woke up in the recovery room. I woke up in way more pain than I was expecting, it hurt. I was given pain meds that took the edge off but in my mind I was thinking... Oh my goodness what did i do to myself?! Finally the pain meds started to kick in and I was brought to my room. After a while I managed to get up and pee. When I saw my reflection in the mirror I actually muttered out loud "you fool". But I gradually came around. The next morning I woke up feeling optimistic Sure there were still some hiccups along the way, I couldn't tolerate the water at first and began throwing it up, which was my worst nightmare because I was so tender. They told me that my esophagus was narrow and this was pre surgical and probably making it difficult to swallow. I threw up and they had to take me off water again for a night but the next morning I seemed to tolerate it fine. I was discharged that day. I really didn't want to be because I was still only sipping water at this point and the hospital was in overflow protocol so I didn't have a choice. But here on day three I feel optimistic and relieved that the first part is all over. It was rough but its done. Today I feel good, and no one knows how good it feels to burp! (being honest about everything!) I have been taking long walks down the hallway at the holiday inn and feeling good. still strolling in the middle of the night. I had a wonderful friend who was in in the hospital at the same time and she was a God send to me. Some lovely women who have been sleeved and are waiting to be sleeved came to visit. I was so lucky to have a great sleeve buddy who was my roommate, he seemed to tolerate the surgery much better than me but he was funny and optimistic and I'm glad he was there. My neices brought me flowers with a balloon that said congrats instead of get well... how smart was that! My niece Melissa and her boyfriend were a big support and came to see me even when i was a cranky cry baby. My parents and freinds (you all) were writing and and texting me and commenting on facebook. I felt lots of love. I have a lot to be thankful for. My surgery is done, I feel good, I had no major complications, I passed the leak test (another story you probably don't want to hear about) and I have a new future to look forward to. Do I regret the surgery anymore, absolutely not! I'm proud of myself for making the decision and following through. So now I'm going to inform you all of something i have never told anyone. When I applied for surgery I was turned down because I weighed too much. I weighed Three hundred and ninety five pounds. Its surreal for me to even write that number. SO I had to lose thirty pounds to even qualify, and I did. I went into surgery and three hundred and fifty five pounds (according to my weights.) This is very difficult to write but I think its time. I'm coming very clean and letting it all out. I have changed so much already in this process. I never told anyone any weight and would never discuss it because it was such a bad subject for me. Well I'm not that person anymore. Its time for the intimidation about it all to stop. I'm sure there are lots of challenges ahead, and you will know all about them, but I have started. I think this may have been the the hardest blog to write because I"m letting go of past embarrassments that I even let my weight get that high. Its a new day.


  1. Congrats indeed! So proud of you!! Here's to a speedy recovery!

  2. Amanda it takes alot of courage to come out with everything that has been bothering you. You are a beautiful woman inside and out. I am so happy that you have taken this journey to Make yourself Happy!! It takes a lot of guts to do what you have done!! Hoping you have a speedy recovery.

  3. Jeannie -
    My husband has had gastric bypass this year and has lost 140pounds- with more to go yet - it has been life changing for him.... BUT he has had to change his life and stay committed to a new regime - eating what is right - chewing slower - vitamins for sure - all the things that they suggest to you DO IT... it can only change your life if you change it too... you will feel so much better.... Good for you...

  4. Amanda, that is fantastic news! Congratulations! I hope that your journey to recovery continues to be good! Very pleased for you!


  5. You, my dear friend, are a total ROCKSTAR! So glad we got to be hospital buddies LOL. It was a treat to be able to see so much of you (not in a johnny-coat sort of way). Wishing you all the best in your recovery and journey... let's hang out again ok? (Just not on 4 North B!!!).