Pretty crazy to see how much life has changed within one week, huh?
Hello, Letter Readers! Here I am, finally we’ll enough to sit down and type this bad boy out without feeling any waves of discomfort or pain now that, well…
Hi, my name is Liz, and I’m officially one week post-op!
Man, I never thought I would say that! I’ve mentioned this time and time again, but I was in the Bariatrics Program for 18 months. Normally, the program runs for 6 months but due to COVID, a lot of things (like this) were delayed. After months and months of testing, I signed consent and paid my fee in May, got my surgery date in June, and bam! We are now a week in since I had surgery.
For those who may be wondering, I had gastric bypass surgery. Unlike the sleeve, this type of surgery is when they take a smaller portion of your stomach and make it your “new stomach” and reroute the small intestine directly to that new stomach. In simpler terms, the food doesn’t go into the stomach press, but straight into the intestines.
When I was considering surgery back in January 2020, I was given both options and ultimately went to for the bypass, mainly because I needed some discipline in my new lifestyle. I know myself well enough that if there was some room for error (i.e still being able to obtain sugary things) then I was most likely not going to keep the weight off. With the bypass, if I have anything with added sugars, I can get severely ill. I needed that scare tactic to keep me away from any of the sweet things!
But yeah! Here’s how surgery day went:
I had to be at the hospital by 12:30pm but my actual surgery wasn’t scheduled until 3pm. My family and I got to the hospital and registered, and it wasn’t long until they called me up to the 4th floor (the ambulatory surgery area) to prep myself for surgery. They did the usual; stick me in a room with a gown and all that to put on, a pee cup to take a pregnancy test (which I couldn’t even pee since my nerves were all over the place) and put all the necessary stuff on me before heading to the operating room.
The thing that I hate about procedures like this is that they have you wait FOREVER before they actually call you into the OR. I had to have been sitting in that damn preparation room for 2 hours before I was called to surgery. But nevertheless, a nurse got me, told me it was time, and placed a blanket around me and we walked to the operating room.
Like LITERALLY walked to the operating room like I was entering someone’s party.
Anyway, I walked into the operating room and it looks like what it is; an operating room. The room was bright, there were tons of nurses and doctors getting prepped, and I was directed to lay down on the operating table. Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” was playing while everyone was prepping and I couldn’t help but laugh. For something as small as that, it really did help me calm my nerves a little bit.
So, they strap me down onto the table and hook up cables and all of that onto me, and then someone (I couldn’t see who) was reading and reciting these things that the surgeon and nurses had to answer and state back which was a little nerve-wrecking. The anesthesiologist put the anesthesia on and I was out like a light.
I wake up in the recovery room with a nurse sitting on a chair and typing some things on a computer. Her name was Jannett and honestly she was the best nurse I’ve ever had to date; she was so sweet and she had a good sense of humor! I must’ve been still so goofy on the anesthesia because I was cracking jokes with her and she was laughing while taking care of me. I was only fed some ice chips for the night, but I was encouraged to walk around and use the bathroom and all that jazz. For the most part, I was doing well, until it was time to sleep.
It was hard to sleep just because I was still in the recovery room area and the nurses were attending to those who were newly coming into the recovery room, fresh out of the operation room. Also, I was experiencing some unbearable pain and needed a painkiller to at least help me sleep. It did for a little while, but it definitely was a night of struggles.
I was able to go home the following afternoon because I was making a lot of progress in my recovery. I was able to sit and lay down on my own (even hook myself back up to the machines which blew one of the nurses away when watching me from afar) I was able to walk around and use the bathroom on my own, and my pain was mainly minimal at that point. I was discharged and I came home, took a shower, and tried to relax for most of the night. I did, and the pain was not as bad, but again it was another night of barely sleeping and tons of pain.
As the week progressed, I’ve gotten better. I’ve been taking my medication (a lot of it) as well as my shots to prevent blood clots. My pain has been more on the minor side (with some days being a little worse than others) but for the most part, I am just trying to learn how my body now works. I gotta learn when my body is hungry and when it’s full. I gotta learn how to eat slower and drink slower now that my stomach needs to keep it down in a different way (that’s honestly the hardest part for me is to eat and drink slowly). I need to learn what foods I can handle and what I can’t, how to take my medication without completely forgetting it or dreading it. I have to learn how to move and adjust and make these changes into habits so that I can move past recovery in a smooth and safe matter.
This is just the first week. I am off for another week before I return to my life back at my job, being a human being and doing human responsibilities outside of the house. I hope to come back here for a week two update feeling ready to conquer the world and live the rest of my damn life.
I can’t wait to noticeably see changes in my body, and I mean more than just the weight loss. I wanna be able to walk for long periods of time and feel like I’m not out of breath for once in my life! I can’t wait to be able to push myself to do the things I couldn’t do before having this surgery. It’s a long journey ahead, but man I’m excited to see how it goes.