VSG – Details of Surgery Day

VSG – Details of Surgery Day

Well, I’m now three weeks post-op, and I’m feeling pretty wonderful.  I meant to write this a couple weeks ago, but I never really got around to it.  Anyway, here’s my recollection of my hospital stay:

After showing up at 8:00 am, checking in, and waiting, I was escorted to a pre-op room where I changed into my hospital gown.  After the nurse confirmed my medical history, I was given some pills to take, had two IVs placed, had my stomach shaved, used an oxygen mask, had many blood pressure checks, spoke with the surgeon and anesthesiologist, got numbing shots to my abdomen, joked with the nurse about how the IV meds made the picture on the wall move around, and passed out right as they were wheeling me out of the room to the OR.

All I remember from the temporary post-op recovery room is constantly moaning in pain.  Whatever pain meds they gave me at first didn’t work, so my immediate post-op experience was hell.  However, after another pain med, I calmed down and fell asleep, waking up in my actual hospital room.

I think I woke up at around noon to meet the first of a few of my amazing nurses, Jorge.  Most of that day was spent sleeping, so I didn’t have to deal with a whole lot of pain.  I was given six 1 oz medicine cups of water to try to drink, but I didn’t get to them until the next day.  I was able to walk around the halls some that night, but my big mistake was trying to sip water right after I got back.  I definitely wasn’t ready for it, and my body let me know by throwing up.  I threw up a couple more times due to not sipping any liquid medicine I was given, but I haven’t had any problems since.

I slept well until about 5 am, when I was woken by the nurse for a check-up and decided to walk around a little more.  At this point, I felt little pain, and I began to sip on water.  I was brought a tray with decaf coffee, lemon jello, and broth, but I didn’t have any of it.  Before I was able to leave at 11:00 am, my surgeon came in one more time to check my incisions and go over the clear liquid diet.  Changing into my clothes was a bit of a challenge because of soreness and fatigue, but at that point I felt much better than I had 24 hours before.

Overall, I learned that, for the most part, the hospital stay is an extended nap.  If for some reason you decide that you can only bring one thing, BRING MOUTHWASH!  It saved my life from that disgusting post-surgery taste.  Also, don’t be dumb like I was and gargle it; you’ll end up swallowing some.

Go Dawgs!

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Pre-Op Check In

Pre-Op Check In

Well, this is it – my surgery is in less than 48 hours.  Here is my experience during the pre-op diet:

Overall, it wasn’t too difficult.  Some patients are put on a diet that allows them to eat a small amount of lean meats and vegetables.  However, my surgeon gave me Bariatric Advantage protein powder and instructed me to drink 4-5 shakes per day.  Doing the pre-op diet this way took a lot of the guess work out of the equation, allowing me to put food completely out of my mind while preparing for the surgery.  In fact, the protein shakes actually kept me feeling satisfied – I only felt hungry if I went more than four hours without one.

Still, I suffered through some food cravings (You really don’t think about how good food smells until you can’t eat it).  I went to an end-of-the-year/graduation party with pizza, chips, and every kind of dessert you can imagine, and the same weekend, my sister brought some of her friends with us to our family cabin – they got to enjoy chips, wings, muffins, and pancakes while I stuck to my 10 million grams of protein per day diet (Thank God for chocolate Bariatric Advantage!).  In those situations, ignorance is bliss.  As long as I was out of the kitchen while food was being prepared, it was no big deal.

I’ve been a binge-eater for over a year now, so I expected major sugar and caffeine withdrawals over the past two weeks.  Surprisingly, I felt almost nothing!  I was a little lethargic for the first few days, but that was really it.  The few times I felt a headache coming on, I just took a couple Tylenol, drank some water, and was good.  I even made it through my 8:00 am AP test on pre-op day three with no problem!  One of my biggest challenges now is just waiting.  I’m so ready for my sleeve that all I’ve been doing today is reading blogs and browsing BariatricPal to learn more about what to expect.  I really hope I can maintain this mental high throughout my recovery (It would be nice to feel good about myself again!).

Tomorrow, I’m on nothing but clear liquids, and Monday, I get sleeved.  See you all on the other side.

Go Dawgs!

 

Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to my blog!  My name is Matt, and as of now, I have two days until my vertical sleeve gastrectomy and 72 days until I begin my freshman year at the University of Georgia.  Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been trying to find resources for college students undergoing bariatric surgery.  Unfortunately, my Google search for “bariatric surgery in college” didn’t return much.  This is my primary motivation for creating Sleeved in School – I hope to be able to share my experiences with the recovery process and acclimating to college life post-surgery with other students.

Now, my weight story: I’m a victim of the child obesity epidemic, as many in America are.  My tendency to overeat stems from family history and the culture of food I have grown up in.  A few years ago, the doctor told me that I had reached 200 pounds – I was shocked!  From there, I began to count calories, exercise, and watch the weight fall right off… until it stopped.  As frustration settled in from my stalled weight loss (What could I be doing wrong?  I’m barely eating!), the desire to binge took hold of me, and I reached my highest weight of about 280 pounds.  The fact is, dieting overwhelmingly fails to yield lasting results, no matter how much willpower one may claim to have.  This surgery is sort of an emergency brake for myself – I’m breaking my binging habits and slowing down my eating to where I can learn to manage it.  Although weight loss will happen, it isn’t my main goal.  Instead, I’m hoping to learn to manage my relationship with food and gain back my confidence as I prevent further weight gain and possible ailments.

I’ll probably talk more about myself and my goals and expectations as I progress through summer and my freshman year of college, and I’m sure I’ll have many stories to tell, but for now, this is it.  I don’t know what to expect, but I’m excited to share my story with you all.

Go Dawgs!