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This is my journal of my gastric sleeve experience

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3/22/13 was the day of surgery. I chose carefully my surgeon, Dr Ortiz, and had had the band done in 05 and then removed in 07 and so I knew the clinic and the staff already. Top notch. I arrived in San Diego on the 21st and stayed the night at the Tijuana Marriott. I'd been drinking protein drinks only for 3 days prior. At weigh in at Ortiz office I was 173. Obvious to me that I'd lost a couple durring the 3 days before. A few of us took the van from the Marriott to the clinic. I was still alone at this point and hubbs was to meet me at clinic that afternoon. They said I would be first to go in. They hooked up my IV and gave me some things that made me feel pretty darned good. Then I walked into the operating room and got on the bed. They put something in my IV and said I would feel dizzy. Sure enough, the room began to spin and I was out. I woke up to them calling my name and things were urgent. I was pretty sure that they were preparing to shock my heart the way they were putting things on my chest and such. Pretty soon 4 doctors were in my room and they were trying to tell me to breath or something. My heart was pounding I guess b/c that's what they were saying, and I had had a reaction to something. My heart rate was 120 and should have been 80. They think it was Reglan. I'm so sensitive to so many medications. My husband was there by then and he is a physician and I felt better knowing that he was there. Anyway, they did something right because my heart rate came back down eventually. I need to get the lowdown now that I am able to think more clearly. I also have anxiety issues big time when it comes to medical procedures and this was my fear realized. My anxiety could have been a part of this but I don't know. They checked me often. The first night my poor husband slept in a "love seat" and I slept in the hospital bed. I was able to walk the halls on and off all night and I was happy about that. I don't remember anything hurting up to this point. Truly nothing at all.

Saturday 3/23/13 I was checked out and sent to the Marriott to recover and was so thankful hubby was there. We walked a lot and he took good care of me. I slept okay but was somewhat uncomfortable Saturday night. Felt some pains of gas. Pretty uneventful though over all. Don't remember much about Saturday. Didn't feel wiped out or hungry at all. Felt swollen and looked it from water retention. Only slep about 4 hours that night but still felt refreshed in the morning.

Sunday 3/24/13 Still on clear liquids. Can only drink about 2 oz and try to do that every 2 hrs or so. More aches today but mostly fine and we walked about 2 1/2 miles to the DQ so hubbs could get a Blizzard. I got and icy drink but could only take a few sips. We walked again that evening and got some liquid yogurt from little store across the street. Things are freaking cheap in MX! That bag of drinks and yogurt was only about 3 dollars and would have been easily 8 here.
So I was prepared for my first day (Monday) of protein drinks and liquid yogurt. All hell broke loose Sunday night as the night was wearing down. I wanted to sleep so bad but was uncomfortable and could not breath very well in any position except standing. You can't sleep standing. I tried for hours and then at 1;30 AM I just got so frustrated b/c I was so worn out. Hubby had been sleeping from about 10:30 till 1:30 when my misery woke him up. I even began to cry a bit. I did feel ok with 3 pillows stacked on the bed and me leaning face first on the bed and the pillows supporting my stomach and my elbows also helping. I fell asleep this way for a minute or two around midnight but my legs couldnt stay standing of course. Soon as I'd lay, pain! Stand, no pain. Hubby helped and brought the chair in the room so I could kneel on it and then lay on the bed of pillows. Then he tickled my back and tried to get me to relax. It finally worked and I fell asleep but that's not comfy for long. But in sleepy mode I was able to get in the bed and after much adjusting fell asleep on the bed. So, I slept from about 2:30 until about 6. Not bad. I felt good when I awoke. So thankful for a husband like this.

Monday 3/25/13 Hubby flies out at noon today. After Sunday night wasn't sure that I was okay with it. Tried the yogurt and OMG it was the best tasting thing I think I'd ever had. Raisin flavor Activia. Something is going on with my taste buds because that was incredible. Everything tastes so good since surgery. It's been no big deal to eat the little tiny portions because I'm not hungry, I just know that I need to eat something. Eating slow makes it so enjoyable because the taste sure is good. Monday I went to clinic for wound cleaning at noon. Had a panic issue on the way but it wasn't bad and I talked myself out of it. My nurse is so sweet and I love her for her kindness. She knows my name and remembers my situation and she is just an awesome individual. The rest of the day I nap and feel GREAT. Don't need hubby now. Napped so often that my night was also a sequence of naps.

So here we are now and it's Tuesday 3/26/13 I'm about to shower and get ready to go to the clinic to have the drain removed. Little worried about that. I've heard good and bad. Wondering if I should take some of the adavan they gave me? IDK. I'll just take my regular pain meds (Supradol) and hope for the best.

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  1. lovesaqha's Avatar
    One bit of advice to anyone staying at the Marriott and getting free broth and popsicles...Ask for a lime to squeeze into the broth. Makes it way better. Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT eat or suck on even the smallest amount of the popsicle if it's watermelon because you will pay for that in pain. It's too gassy a fruit to have right after surgery. I wasn't sure that was it the first time and so I tried it again and I only had a lick or two and same thing. So stupid me tries it one last time. Sure enough, PAIN. It goes away in about an hour but can be avoided completely by NOT licking it. They have popsicles down in the lobby shop so, just don't risk the watermelon thing.
  2. lovesaqha's Avatar
    Also, some people have said how bad they feel right after surgery. They compare it to being hit by a Mac truck. I didn't have that. The only misery I had was when I could not lay down to sleep and was only comfortable standing. Sure there is some pain now and then but it's doable. That comes from one of the biggest babies ever. I cried after C-Sections when they took the staples out! I have such fear of pain and procedures that I have to take a Xanax to go get the painful stuff done. I only take Xanax for that and sometimes flying in small planes and that's it. My fears are great but this is really not that big a deal...other than the ONE night I had. If I'd had those Benadryl strips I think I would have been able to relax and take it.
  3. lovesaqha's Avatar
  4. lovesaqha's Avatar
    Okay so I got the drain out. I accidentally bought Motrin instead of Tylenol and took it. Hope it doesn't hurt me. Dr didn't seem too concerned. So the process of having the drain removed was something I didn't like. I can't say it was painful or that it was not painful, it was just not something I liked at all. My hands were sweaty and my heart rate was 65 and my throat was a little swollen from anxiety. Why am I like this???

    I weighed 173 which was what I weighed the day of surgery. So a lot of water weight has been lost now. 40 or so to go and then I can experiment with eating what I want to. Healthy of course. I gained a lot of my weight eating healthy foods. I love healthy foods and salads and veggies. I also love ice cream but have been told that it's one thing I should NEVER buy and keep in the house. It's okay to go to an ice cream parlor now and then, just don't bring the 1/2 gallon of ice cream home.

    Back to the situation of me...I just better hope that I die suddenly of something later on in life because if I have to have "procedures" or ANYTHING done, I'll kill myself with the stupid anxiety. I guess I have good reason, I'm freaking allergic to so many things and I have the adverse reactions to drugs that say only 2 % get...but I get them.
    Example: I went to have allergy testing done in January and had an anaphylactic shock response to the testing. I had hives all over and my eyes were swollen. I looked like Hitch in the movie when he ate the shrimp. Im super allergic to Ash trees and Dust Mites and a few other Mites.
    So, not knowing what I'm allergic to or overly sensitive to when having procedures done is scary to me ~ along with the pain. I really wanted to have a tummy tuck and maybe a boob lift and maybe a face lift, but I'm not thinking that's going to happen lol...I mean could I have died because my heart was racing at 120?
  5. lovesaqha's Avatar
    Well last night (3/26/13) I had some anxiety issues. Around 3 I woke up from a nap with pounding heart and numb pinkies. I tried to do something to make me not think of it. My old way would have been to eat something lol. Anyway I decided to just have them take me to clinic for safety. Of course I was normal. I must have drank too much around 3 because my stomach was hurting and my chest felt like someone was sitting on it right at the sternum. Maybe stress and maybe I drank a little to much. So I didnt eat or drink another thing after 3. I took my adivan at 9 and pain went away and I fell asleep into lala land.

    Had a great day. Woke up feeling good and able to drink my protein drink in my shot glass. I was really going to measure time and amount and I really feel pretty darned good. No anxiety either as of yet. I went to the clinic to get another adivan, and while I was in the lobby of the Marriott, the PRESIDENT of Mexico was there getting interviewed with tv cameras and such. It amazed me how much security he DIDN'T have! I should have taken a picture. I met a friend in the hotel lobby and we walked the mall by the Walmart after the clinic visit. I got some frozen yogurt! About 1/3- 1/2 cup and it was incredible. Now I'm just a little gassy but not too bad. I leave Tijuana tomorrow.
  6. deswack's Avatar
    Thank you for all the details in your blog - it's super helpful and interesting to read. I hope you keep posting regular updates. Good luck with your surgery and loss!
  7. lovesaqha's Avatar
    Deswack, I'll try to keep up on this : ) I'm not too good at consistency.

    So, it's day 15. I have had some really good days. Mostly I feel great. Once in a while my esophagus will tighten up at night and I can not eat after like 5 or 6 without pain and remorse : ) I don't usually know it's like that until it's too late. But it passes. I went from Mexico straight to visit my college aged sons in Utah. I flew into Vegas and met one son there. We went to eat at Panera Bread and I had the creamy tomato soup and had to be VERY careful because it tasted so good, but I can't tell when I'm full unto it's too late and then I'm dying of pain. So I watched it carefully and had about 1/2 cup and it was soo good. Stayed away from the chunks of course. I stayed out west and was met there by hubby and teen aged son and we stayed for about a week and just got home on Wednesday. Traveling made eating a breeze, but I found I wasn't watching my protein intake and was having yogurt and soup and when you can't eat much, you don't realize how much you need to watch the protein. I had a friend who had the sleeve done in October and she has helped tons and she got me on track. She warned of hair loss, though I don't know how much protein has to do with it. A couple of times I was able to drink a lot and I was worried that maybe I shouldn't because it might stretch my stomach.

    The mourning of the lose of being able to eat food like everyone else has kicked in. It's very weird and can't be explained very well unless you actually have it happen. It's what I wanted though.

    Being "forced" to stop the pattern and habits that I had gotten myself into was the only option I had left in my bag. The sleeve is force...unless you want to die or wish you were dead by eating around it. Now, a "binge" consists of having a couple or 3 M&M's or sucking the flavor off of a Cheeto. Funny but true. Mostly I stick to the rules. I know that some people at 2 weeks out are allowed to eat mushies, but my Dr's rules are 22 days of liquid. I can't express how much I don't like protein shakes...And I really used to enjoy this one brand I use. I don't like any of it now. My favorite thing now is tomato bisque soup. I have about 1/2 cup for lunch and it's so so good. I get so tired of sweet tastes. So, I'm really looking forward to day 22. I have gone from size 12 to 10 already and I am at 164. My highest last month before pre-surgery diet was 178 and my day of surgery weight was 173.

    I am curious about what everyone else's bowels are doing at this point. I don't want to be gross and so I won't tell details. Hopefully someone here, less shy than I, has posted details so I can see if I'm normal : )

    One other note. I get so so tired at about 10 AM. Must be low blood sugar. Sometimes I'm so weak I can't hardly do anything but lay there. It didn't happen today though and so things may be changing now. I usually get in about 5-600 calories a day.
  8. lovesaqha's Avatar
    I'm also going horseback riding on Tuesday. (Dr said I could! Yippy) I'm in a bit of a dilemma about that. I've got 3 ridable horses. 2 of them are younger and 1 is my trusty older mare. I'm taking a visitor with me. Do I give the gentle horse to my visitor to ride or do I take the gentle one because I need a trusty horse due to surgery? Funny huh? I guess I'll decide that soon! Nobody I'm going with knows I even had surgery. Guess I have to say so. Maybe they will take pity on me : )
  9. lovesaqha's Avatar
    I had some bad reflux at 5 am. this morning. It felt like the area where my esophagus meets my stomach was swollen or like something was stuck in there. Nothing was.

    I so hope I'm not one of those who suffers from reflux.

    I used to get it some with the Lapband and I never got it without. I rarely ever had any stomach problems. It used to be with the band that like some days it is swollen and other days it was not.

    I have leaned one thing too. If I drink something with too much sugar, I pay for it with gas and so the fear motivator has been working pretty darned well for me to keep me in line. It's painful, but I know it will pass. The reflux though scares me. I don't know what makes the swelling go down and I'm going to be afraid to eat after 6pm. I lost another pound today. Yippee
  10. lovesaqha's Avatar
    So, today is day 19 post surgery. I lost another pound this morning! Yeah! I went horseback riding and it was a gorgeous day for it. I have been keeping my horses at a place for the winter that is 1.5 hrs away. I woke up excited to go but I never feel to hot in the morning. I am weak and dizzy until I eat a little and drink a little. So, I picked up my friend who was going with me but was about to ask her to drive because I was weak and not sure if I might pass out or something. Soon the nutrition sunk in and I felt MUCH better and so I didn't end up asking her to drive. I did end up riding the more gentle of the two horses just to be safe. The first 30 minutes I could feel a little stressing of tissue/muscle/staples/incisions? I don't know which, but after about 30 minutes of riding I didn't feel anything weird in there, but maybe once or twice that only lasted seconds. I have felt no adverse affects of doing this today. So, the Dr said I could, I did, and I'm happy that I was able to.

    Sleep issues: I do have one thing that has been bothering me a little for about the past week and a half. My hands get numb at night while I sleep. Why? I also feel like my feet and legs are having a little trouble while sleeping regulating heat. It's like I think I feel warm enough to the touch but I feel like My legs and feet are cold and I need extra blankets. Why? Guess I'm going to go look that stuff up right now. I also keep dreaming that I've eaten what I shouldn't and have forgotten to chew and will soon be paying for it. Obviously my subconscious is worried about that.

    No more reflux. I've been careful not to eat after 6ish and I push water all evening. I also avoid chocolate. I have had tiny tastes and I really think that may be the culprit. Seems it makes me gassy and my tummy doesn't like it.

    I'm looking forward to day 22 and the introduction of MUSHIES! I am going to go look and see what others have been having that is good.
  11. lovesaqha's Avatar

    So now I feel really good and it's time to get exercising. No reflux, so glad. I'm able to get 1 liter of water in plus the water that's in my protein drink in the morning (8oz). I usually eat at 8-9 and then at 12-1 and then a snack at 3 and then dinner at 6-7 and then I'm done. An example of what I have been having I will say what I had today.
    Breakfast: 1/2 Protein drink w/ 1T PB and 1/4 banana.
    Lunch: 1 boiled egg, 2t mayo, 1t mustard, 3T milk in a blender.
    Snack: 1/4 c ground beef & 1/4 of a protein bar.
    Dinner: 1/2 c ground beef, salsa, cheese mixture in blender.

    I'm not losing too fast now. I posted about how efficient a body I have and it saves everything. It will be useful someday when there is a famine. I'll be the last person standing while everyone else starves. I will be weighing every week now instead of every couple of days. I'm just going to go with the flow because I know that consistently eating this amount of food will eventually show up on the scale. It has to.
  12. lovesaqha's Avatar

    Can't things just be good? My worst day ever happened Friday. My best friend in the whole world, my husband and my everything, may have colon cancer. Dr thinks it's probably early but won't know until they operate No matter what, he'll have to have a colectomy and we just are hoping that's all it is. My poor babe. Right now, I'll trust the Dr who believes it's early.
  13. lovesaqha's Avatar
    Well, it was a difficult week but all tests have shown that the cancer has not spread and he is scheduled to have a complete colectomy this Wednesday. So glad that it hasn't spread, but so sad that he has to deal with pooping in a bag for who knows how long.

    Sleeve~ well, I can eat whatever I want except sweets. If I eat sweets (very much) I get so sick like almost nauseous which rarely ever happened to me before unless I was actually sick. That really keeps me on track and I don't like that feeling much. I can eat about 3/4 cup 4X a day. I have even tried salad and it doesn't bother me at all. I love this thing. It's so perfect for me. If I eat too much, I feel so crappy that I don't want to do it again and I try hard not to. I am really careful to make sure things do not have too much sugar in them (desserts) and I'll just have a bite, not a helping. I'm so excited that salad is good b/c with the Lapband, I missed salads so much. My weight loss is def slowing down, but heck, I'm not gaining and for me that's good! I don't care if it's slow.Because of everything going on, I haven't been consistent with my exercising. I will get that in tomorrow, I promise. I probably won't write again for quite a while because of the surgery and travel to the hospital out of state. No matter where I go or what I do, this stomach will not let me make huge mistakes and binge. It makes me aware. I should name her lol!
  14. lovesaqha's Avatar
    So life has settled into it's new norm. My husband did have the complete colectomy. Found out that he has to have another surgery no matter whether he decides to reconnect the small intestine to the rectum or keep the iliostomy. He starts chemo on the 7th and that will go on for 6 months.
    Hoping we are the ones that get the breezy type chemo that hardly causes a problem.
    I'm doing fine. Not exercising like I should. I still have a million excuses. Cant do it at home because we dont have a tv in our workout room. Cant go to the gym and do my favorite class because it's so freakin crowded that it's elbow to elbow. Could do the elliptical as boring as that is. Can and do walk but it's not enough. Can and do go horseback riding once or twice a week, but that's not enough. Have an overall body infection that attacks my sinuses and joints and feel like sleeping way too much ~ right next to hubby who has a good excuse to rest and get better.

    The good news is ~ I'm still slowly losing weight. I got to come here today and move my ticker down to 156. I haven't been as good as I could be, but it's nice to know that it still comes off even with a little ice cream or treat here and there. I go to get on the scale about once a week and I'm convinced when I get on that I have to have gained because I feel too good and I eat too well ~ But am happily surprised that it's still going down. Just think how well I'd be doing if I would add a bit more exercise to my day!! I can eat anything except cake and muffins or too much sweets. My tastebuds are so much more sensitive than before. I had a greek wrap yesterday and it was soo soo salty for my taste. Sweets and salts are soooo intense now. I broke the rule yesterday about buying ice cream and I bought one of those very small containers of galletto (sp?) and it's just too sweet to enjoy and so I'm going to mix milk with it today and refreeze it. I got coconut and since nobody in my house will want that, I can tweak it any way I want. I bought them the chocolate because I like chocolate even less than I ever have, so there's not much temptation there. For some reason, chocolate just doesn't taste good like it used to. Ive always been more of a vanilla person, but I still liked chocolate too. Not so much now at all. I don't know why, but my taste has changed and it's just too intense for me and my stomach doesn't like it either much.
    Of all the things about this stomach that I don't like is the fluids. I hate that I can't enjoy spicy mexican food and chase down the heat with a drink! If I eat salty or spicy I ams so freaking thirsty and I'm watching the clock to see when my 45 minutes is up so I can drink. Then I just can't get enough water at a time. There's no room to get enough it feels like. I want to guzzle the water and can't. I've noticed that I have to be careful now that it's hot and keep water close. I love water now and never used to. I love EVIAN WATER the most~ I could drink a gallon in a day!

    So that's the update. I LOVE THE SLEEVE! It ensures consistency.
  15. lovesaqha's Avatar
    It's Christmas! What a year. My husband is done with chemo and what a hellish experience that all was. It added a lot of stress to our lives to say the least. Now he is starting to feel better and better. We still have to look forward to his next surgery where they will reattach the small intestine so that he can get rid of the ileostomy. That's so scary. Major surgery is so scary.

    As for me and the sleeve, I had kept steady at 150-152 for a long while and wondered how I was going to lose anymore...but now I'm just not into food at all. Since the middle of November I have lost another 4-5 pounds! We celebrated our 25th anniversary by going to Vegas and it was fun. I couldn't eat much but of course that is good! When we got back on the 15th of December I just haven't felt the same. Always just a bit nauseated by food after just a couple of bites and was down right sick to my stomach at times. No fever or vomiting though so if I had the flu, it wasn't what other people were getting.
    Taste is so enhanced, even still, that salty and sweet and sour are so exaggerated that it makes me not want anything. Never thought I could learn to give up ice cream and desserts, but I think I want some and when I eat a bite or two I'm done with it. Yes, I may have had a little bit of a bug, but I still feel like I don't want anything to eat. I know that I need to eat and so I try and think of what I can eat that won't nauseate. There's nothing I'm craving and if I think that there is something that I really want, as soon as I taste it, I don't want it. After I eat anything, in meal size, I feel a little sick for about 30 minutes. I had dessert last night and afterwards felt so so so sick that I had to go sit somewhere alone and wait for the sickness to pass.
    If all of this lasts much longer, I'll be at my goal weight very soon! I feel better than I did last week but still not quite right when it comes to food and my stomach.
    I know one thing and that is that I don't do rice at all and I don't do bread or ice cream very well. My previous favorite sweet of sugar cookies and a glass of milk at Christmas is a thing of the past. I like the taste but after I eat one small one, I'm NOT wanting a second! So good for my weight! But weird ~
    I'm finally able to tell sooner how much I can eat and be able to stop before I'm uncomfortable. I can eat about 1-1 1/4 Cup of food at a meal.

    I need to change my ticker again~ yippy! 147!