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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Surgery Day

Got up at 6 am, showered, put a little suitcase together just in case they needed me to stay overnight. Drove with my husband to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, parked the car and admitted myself into the hospital.

I was tired, calm and ready for surgery.

We were sent to the 5th floor, where a lot of people were waiting, some patients and lots of family members. After 30 minutes my name was called, I was promised that I would see my husband again before surgery so we did not say good bye. I was then brought to a little chamber to change. I was not allowed to wear anything but the fancy robe which again only came in XL and XXXXXXXXL sizes, this time I chose the smaller one because the huge one I wore at the upper gi endocopy made me feel very uncomfortable.

After I got dressed I had to walk to the other side of the room to get weighted. The scale showed 286.5 which surprised me because I weighted myself at home that morning and I was 290.

Then I was laying on the bed for some time, nurses stopped by, asked questions, made me sign paperwork, put a clip on my finger to monitor my pulse and on the other arm a blood pressure measuring device. The anesthesiologist came, introduced himself, asked more questions, informed me about the risks that were relevant to my case and put the IV in. He really did a good job and it was not painful at all.

At that point my husband was called to join me, which made me very happy. Shortly after my surgeon Dr. Feiz arrived which made me happy too because I had to see him before surgery just to be sure that it is really him performing the surgery. When I went for my lapband seminar he unfortunately had a flat tire and arrived several hours late. While laying in that bed and getting hooked up to everything I could not stop worrying that he may have another flat tire and that some intern could perform my surgery. No idea why I worried about something so unrealistic, but it felt really good to see him and took all my fears away.

Then everything went pretty fast, the nurse came, moved my rope up and gave me a shot into my belly.... It really burned... I have no idea what it was I think something that prevents blood clotting....but that was the moment from which on I lost track of time and events.

I do not remember how I said good bye to my husband, do not remember how my bed was moved to the operating room or what an American operating room looks like. I always wanted to see one. I remember that someone asked me what "NoIdeaWhat" is called in my native language and that I tried very hard to say it but felt that the part of my brain where my native language is stored was already under anesthesia. I have no idea if I was really asked to say something in my native language, what it was and if I was able to answer or not.... and I will most likely never know.

The next thing I remember is being blinded by a very bright light and Dr. Feiz standing on the right side of my bed talking to me. He wore something red on top of his head and I tried to figure out what it was and I couldn't. I think I asked him if I had a hernia and he said yes.... But did it really happened? I do not know... It feels very surreal.

The next thing I remember is the recovering area and another person screaming in severe pain waking me up. I felt so thirsty.... Extremely thirsty and I asked the nurse for something to drink but he only came back with a little pad on a stick (the size of half a square-inch) dipped in water. I sucked all I could out of that pad but was not able to quench my thirst.

According to my husband surgery was completed around 12:30 pm, and I must have slept a lot in the recovering area because I only remember being transported to another area around 3:00 pm. My husband was allowed to join me there... We did not talk much because I was still tired and slept on and off for several hours but it made me feel very good that my husband was there, I could feel his presence. In between I was finally offered something to drink... I was so excited because my mouth was still unbelievably dry and I was sooo looking forward to a big glass of ice cold water... but when the nurse returned with a mini 1 ounce cup (the ones you get with the over the counter cough syrup) of water I was truly disappointed.

Welcome to Lapband-Land I said to my husband... and we both had to laugh which made me feel my incisions for the first time. That was the first time when I uncovered myself and looked at my incisions, not too bad, 3 very tiny incisions and one a little bigger right by my belly button.

At 5:30 the nurse told me that if I could pee I could go home... so my dearest husband wrapped me in the sheet (he is creative isnt he?) and brought me to the rest room. I did not feel any pain and I was able to pee in the designated container. The nurse was very happy with the results, told me to get dressed and made me sign paperwork that explained what I could and could not do. One point I had to sign off was that I should not sign any documents so I was confused because why did she make me sign the paperwork when I was not allowed to sign paperwork? I signed it anyway because I really wanted to go home.

She gave me a small cup of apple juice and told me that I was allowed to drink... I drank it.. which was a big mistake... I will blog about it separately when I feel better... it is time for a nap :-)

Day 1 after Surgery Stats
Pain on a scale from 1 to 10: 4 (incisions hurt and I feel like somebody beat me up from the inside)
Discomfort on a scale from 1 to 10: 8 (only want to lay down and sleep, have to force myself to go for walks)
Overall Feeling: Okay and happy that I really did it!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I will have my surgery in October and I am feeling much better now knowing what to expect.