Just a chick trying to figure out life. These are my confessions.

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The DSM Bloggess

So there I am! Living it up in my 30-somethings with a ridiculously hot hubby, 3 seriously outgoing matter-of-fact smart beautiful kids, a cat named Roxii that just won't quit, 2 chihuahuas named Lokii (what was I thinking) and Brodii who don't understand the concept of pee outside.

I'm a strongly opinionated, outspoken, inappropriate and absolutely unapologetic chick going through this thing called life and trying to do it with my sanity intact. So far, this isn't working out so well!

Follow me as I confession myself straight to the LCBO. My rants, my way...you've been warned ;) Xo

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Gastric Bypass Diaries - Part 2

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A few people had asked me what sort of supplements I was put on prior to having surgery. Although these will differ from patient to patient my regiment PRE surgery was calcium citrate 3 times a day and a multivitamin. I bought the Jamp brand calcium citrate for around $12 for a bottle of 60 chewable tabs (These had to be ordered through the pharmacy as they don't carry them in store. NOTE: ** I hate taking large pills and figured after surgery taking them might of been a challenge, so I opted for as many chewable products as possible). For the multivitamin I went to Unjury's website and bought their Opurity bypass and sleeve optimized multivitamin because most others you have to take 2 in order to meet the minimum requirements needed for bariatric patients. I got samples from the dietitian and they seemed ok. They cost me $30 USD plus shipping etc to get them in and there are 90 chewables in a bottle. I was also phoned after the blood work results came back and put on a 1 x a week Vitamin D gel cap that was 50,000UI. Clearly they knew I was a vampire and hated the sun so my vitamin d was down, which was zero surprise to me. Dr. Poddar gave me a script for 12 weeks of Vitamin D. I did joke that I would probably explode from the amount of sunshine I was ingesting at one time.

Alright moving on to the day of surgery and going forward. For the first week I'll give you a daily brief as it was the most eventful of everything that happened after that.

March 9 - I was to be at the hospital for noon as my surgery was booked in for 3pm. At that time I had no idea that I was the last patient of the day for my surgeon, who was Dr. Doumouras. Not that it really would of made any difference but no one wants to be the first or the last haha. I got there just before 12 and within 15 mins I was registered and they were taking me back to get me all gowned up and IV in. Finally around 12:30/12:45 they let Rog come back and sit with me. Nothing exciting happened during this time except they were trying to get all the fluids and antacids etc that you get pre-surgery.

They finally said I was good to go, gave hubby a kiss and said see ya soon and I was wheeled down to the OR. My surgery was booked for 2 hour time slot. At this point I was told they were hoping to do a gastric bypass but that it may end up being a sleeve, they wouldn't know until they were in there. Fair enough as I knew they would do whatever was best for me. Getting strapped in the bed etc was interesting as all prior surgeries that I have had done, this was never done. Apparently during this procedure you are tipped up on a slant so things dropped out of the way etc. Either way it was pretty weird and I was ready to go. The anesthetist was fantastic and making some jokes and suddenly I was out.

I woke up in recovery and was groggy and had my first spells of nausea. I did not experience any other symptoms that others have with regards to gas pains and it reaching up to shoulders and back etc. So I guess I was lucky in that respect BUT the nausea is no joke. It was manageable with some good drugs of course and I lived with a wet cold cloth on my head. Rog was there in the waiting room the whole time and when he seen I was being moved to my room he came right away. Right away he was all over me with cold cloth, cold water, getting ahold of a nurse if I needed etc. The planets greatest husband and best friend ever.

Now, for the first 2 days I was a hot mess. The nausea always seemed to be right at the bottom of my neck and dry heaving was extra special and fun (Pffft). I did not do much talking because that required moving, but the dry heaves sucked so bad to the point that my bed had to be changed out not once but twice from urinating because of how bad the heaves were. I wasn't drinking much of anything for the first 2 days, trying to sip here and there but it was really hard to do. All the fluid came from IV bags and the nurse had said with the amount of fluid I was taking in I should really get up to use the bathroom. I finally managed to get up, and surprisingly the nausea kind of dropped so it didn't feel like it was in my throat, but it was still there and so I walked to the bathroom, trying to take as many deep breaths as I could and then it was straight back to bed. I lived in my hospital gown, no bra or underwear and didn't give a fuck. I never bothered with slippers, just kept putting my socks on to go to the bathroom.

March 12 - The nausea would come and go but I was able to start sipping on the water and my Premier protein drinks (that I brought from home because I heard the hospital ones were gross) but it was a slow process. They wanted me sipping 30mls of fluids, preferrably the protein drink, every 15 mins at this point. I was lucky to get 30mls in every 30 mins. Once the drugs kicked in it was easier and I could do a bit every 10 mins or so. The nurse checked me and said have you passed any gas, I said a little, she checked my drinking chart and said yay you can go home. With the amount of anti nausea (Dilaudid) I had in me, along with the Gravol I was able to bust out of the hospital. I felt great. I slept on the way home and passed gas, it was such a heavenly feeling I tell you. Once I got home I got into my own bed and thought damn, this was easy peasy and tucked in.

March 12-13 - Rog made sure I had everything and left for work around 9pm. I felt a little blah but thought life was fantastic, best decision I ever made etc. I was drinking sips of shake every 30 and water every 30, alternating back and forth every 15 mins. Got up to use the washroom and back to bed. Finally around 12am when I thought I might be able to get some sleep, I had been laying on one side and then switching to the other through the evening and was comfortable and it did not hurt at all, but I was wrong. Nausea started up again kind of full throttle. Before it could hit an all time high I quickly took a gravol. Good idea? Apparently not because within minutes I was throwing up. They said that I might do it, everyone healed differently etc, and if I was throwing up I needed to take it easy on the drinking and gradually move up again. The problem? I was dry heaving and nauseous for the next 1.5 hours straight. I tried to work myself through it. Breathing exercises, closing my eyes and staying propped up, standing and leaning over my bed and anything else I could think of. I stripped down to nothing because I was sweating from all the heaving etc. My kids were worried and one messaged Rog and even said please check on mom when you get home because I think something is wrong, love her. I ended up messaging him myself and said ok this dry heaving won't stop so we need to go back to emerg just like they said. I specifically had to go to St. Joe's because they are better equipped to deal with bariatric patients, and obviously this is where I just had the surgery. Hubby finally made it home around 2:45am and by then I was absolutely exhausted. My legs hurt from standing and leaning over my bed (seemed to be the only relief I could get) and he quickly helped me get dressed (no underwear and bra again of course) and off we went to the emerg at St. Joes.

Also need to keep in mine Covid-19 was just beginning to hit with a bit of an impact so I was happy I was out and not as happy to have to be going back in. That said I got to emerg around 3:30am, sat in waiting room for longer than I would of liked and finally they moved us back into a pod where then came to try to get blood out of me (my veins do not like to share so they always hide, couple that with basically zero fluids and there was no veins to be found). Eventually they got a little blood and also got me set up on an IV again...in the same fucking hand and almost same spot as where they just took the damn thing out. Once that was all set up I sat...and waited...and sat...and waited. I had nausea almost this whole time despite them giving me gravol and eventually dilaudid. During this time Dr. Hart (such a great ER doc) came and checked and eventually sent me for a CT scan to check and see if I had any blockages or anything else going on until my doctor came in to see me and figure out what was happening. Trying to give me the scan was fairly funny in a not so funny way as you have to drink this absolutely DISGUSTING liquid in order for it to shine bright like a diamond in the machine. The technician was like you need to drink almost all of this. BARF I got about 3 swigs in and said that's all you are going to get or I'll throw up right here right now. Got in the machine, they did their scan and back to sit...and wait...and sit...and wait. Not only did Dr. Hart come back and tell me the scan was clear so no blockages etc, but it took almost 10 hours for them to get my nausea under control.

During the last 2 hours my surgeon, Dr. Doumouras and his partner doc, Dr. Remjit came to see me. First I have to say these 2 are 150% amazing. They were happy with the CT scan so they knew it was just a matter of the nausea under control so I could start getting fluids in etc. They also apologized after listening to me tell them that although the nurses had been great, I just felt like that last nurse kind of just rushed me out and didn't care that I had only gotten 100mls in an hour in. They reiterated that they would never had sent me home until I was 100% off the IV meds and taking oral meds and still fine. Clearly there was a disconnect but they were going to admit me and get everything until control 100% and then and only then let me leave. Fair enough.

I was removed from emerg and taken to an overflow ward that was SO nice and so quiet, had amazing nurses there (Amber and Kim) and basically at that point I had zero nausea and was just waiting for meals and to get a room again. I was hoping I would get the same room that I had because I had the funniest older lady in with me and despite her having half the worlds population in our room at any given time, they spoke to my husband and said if she needs anything to please let them know and they felt bad etc. One of the daughters was even advocating on my behalf during all my dry heaving etc.

So up into my room I go, not my old room but Linda was only across the hall, and there I was from Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning. I was nausea free this WHOLE time but I was walking a lot more and eating and getting the fluids in.

March 13 - During this time they did lots of blood work on me and took vitals and all that regular stuff. With the blood work they found that my potassium had dropped down a lot further than they would of liked so I had potassium by IV twice (stings like a bitch so put a COLD cloth over it, totally helped) and then had to do potassium BY MOUTH...the saltiest nastiest shit ever (ok not as bad at the CT scan formula) so I was sipping the potassium then chasing it with watered down juice. I think I had to do it 4 or 5 times during my second stay there. My final one was given by a hot nurse we called Prince Charming (Nate) and he mixed it with cranberry juice before he gave it to me and it was SO much better.

March 13-15 - It was basically a repeat of everything from try to sleep, vitals and bloodwork (I was a pin cushion), drugs, food, drugs, fluids, drugs etc. Finally on Friday night I asked them to take me off IV stuff and just give me drugs orally so I could see if I could handle the pain and feel what it would feel like with the onset so I could manage at home considering the only thing they gave me was Tylenol 2 with codeine for pain. They did as I asked and low and behold the nausea stayed away and by Saturday I wasn't taking anything for pain or nausea and it was more just to make sure I was stable and to complete one more potassium before I went home.

For the whole time I was in the hospital, even when I had gone back, I was on full fluid diet. This phase lasts for 2 weeks so even when I was home I was limited to certain foods. Everything had to be as liquid and strained as possible. After that every week I was able to add a little something to the menu to take me through to the next phase. There are 4 phases in total.

Phase 1 - Liquid 
Phase 2 - Pureed
Phase 3 - Soft Foods
Phase 4 - Diet for Life

At this point I am 9 weeks post op (as of today) and have been on the diet for life since week 6. Still the absolute BEST decision I have ever made. Down 25.6lbs since March 9th, and I do not regret anything at all except not doing it sooner. This is not a quick fix. This is not the easy way out. This is a TOOL to use to change your lifestyle. It is hard fucking work. I'll go through the phases and some pros and cons to my experience in another post but I would do all this again in a heartbeat 100%.

Thanks for reading!