Thursday, February 26, 2009

To A New Life

I've been banded!

Monday, February 23rd, 2009. The day my new life began.

Given that it's only the 26th, we're not that far into it. But still, a lot has happened. I had my doubts but I know, deep down, that this was the best decision I've made in a long time. 

This blog, I'm hoping it'll be helpful for myself, in dealing with everything that's happening, and help others on the journey to decide on whether or not to get banded.

The process leading up to the surgery was almost surreal. And although it took 6 months to have the surgery, the wait was worth it.

The surgery itself went well. They were able to do it laparoscopically, which rocks. They were also able to use the Realize Band, the newest band approved by the FDA for use in the US. I choose this band because the port is less prominent and won't be as noticeable. And I liked their online support system.

After they woke me up from surgery and I was crazy disoriented (I kept yelling for my mom at first, since I was scared and wanted to see her.) They took me for x-rays of the band and port. I learned then that breathing without the oxygen hurt (from the tube that was originally down my throat) and then saw my band, which was really cool. Then, they wheeled me into the hall to wait for my transport people.

And this is the worst part of the whole experience. The transport people, they didn't come. After about 30 minutes of laying there, in pain because the meds were wearing off, I asked. The nurse called. No one came. Meanwhile, I have to listen to this other lady who was making this "oh" sounds so loudly and frequent that I was about to scream. She was trying to get all kinds of attention from people. It was just annoying because when they asked if she needed help, she ignored them.

Eventually, I was in so much pain I was in tears and told the nurse. She called the transport people, and this time, obviously only because I was in pain, they came. I had sat there for an hour and a half in a freaking hallway.

So then, some nurses assistant comes in, sets up my IV and heart monitor and leaves. Doesn't leave the call button or anything. 20 minutes later, my nose starts to bleed. I have no way to get anyone, so I start yelling. I was scared out of my mind already because I had been told I'd get to see my Mom and Bill (my boyfriend) by 12 and this was 2. Finally, a nurse comes in, almost pissed off that I was yelling, and I tell her my nose is bleeding and that I didn't have the thing and that I still hadn't seen my Mom. By that point, I'm sobbing, hurting my scars and just plain upset. She was nice after that and did get my mom. When my nurse got there, she was an angel. Really. I swear. She was just the nicest woman and was so attentive and everything, just very motherly.

Anyway, the day goes on and I finally get water. It's all I wanted in the world. Now we have a problem. Usually this doesn't happen, but my swelling must be so bad, making the band super tight that the water wasn't getting down well. That in combination with the pain throughout my throat caused pain at the band site. It wasn't as bad until the broth came for dinner. That really hurt. The doctor wanted to keep me overnight because of the pain. I wouldn't have slept there. Well, it would have been a morphine sleep. But anyway, he decided to leave it up to me, and I came home. 

The swallowing is so much better now. I got down a good amount of liquids today and felt a ton better.

Things have been good and bad since then. I don't react well to anesthesia well. It makes me nausea for days. So, after the day at home, we called the doctor and he prescribed something and it worked wonders. 

Otherwise, I've just been really tired. I find myself taking naps each day, which probably has to do with the lack of calories on the liquid stage. It's okay though, I've lost 20 pounds since I began the pre-op diet and now. It's a real motivator, since I can see the weight leaving my face and it just feels great to see the numbers get lower.

So far, this is worth it. But stay tuned! We're going to see things change here!

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