I wanted to start this new blog as I’ve had a major change in my life…I’ll start with a little background info. I am obviously a plus size woman. In August 1996, I had a weight loss surgery, the original non adjustable gastric banding. It seemed to work for about a year. I followed the rules to the letter! I was so happy until it stopped working. We couldn’t figure out what had happened. The original surgeon, he kept accusing me of not following the dietary plan. I gave up trying to explain it to him. I went on with my life, got married, had children, etc….As time went on, I was able to somewhat eat like a normal person again (except I was still vomitting from the band) and that was not normal. I tried the old dieting and exercise, which helped some, but not all the way. This continued for years until late last year. I began getting really sick. I would be doubled over in pain, severe nausea, vomiting, couldn’t eat or drink anything without some sort of horrid backlash from my digestive system. It got so bad, I began vomiting blood. In February, we made an emergency appointment with my doctor, however she was out of the office and I saw another doctor in the practice. He sent me over immediately for a abdominal CT to see if they could see what was causing the issues I was having. I had a “normal” CT. There was a small note from the radiologist that stated he saw a small hernia. The doctor got the report back and concluded that I had a bad case of gastritis and refilled my script for Phenergan. We started me on a BRAT diet and the phenergan as needed. By that weekend, it was so bad, I couldn’t even take the phenergan without vomiting it back up. We went to the emergency room where I met the doctor that I believe saved my life! We told him about the CT and my history. He looked at the images and determined that what they were thinking was a hernia was not that, but was in fact, my banding bulging badly. He gave me phenergan through the IV and told us to see my regular doctor for a referral to a surgeon. I made an appointment the next business day and my regular doctor agreed with the emergency room doctor that I had seen. She referred me to the best bariatric surgeon here, Dr. Bryan Parrent. Then the new journey began….
We went to see Dr. Parrent in May this year. I explained my history and he knew right away what the problem would be. He said that I was not the first person that he had to repair from that physician. He explained that I would need the band removed and he would have to reconstruct my digestive system. It was not pretty. I cried. I felt so violated by my previous doctor. I felt like “how could a professional mutilate a child!” or “how could he do that to a person in general!”. I was only 17 years old when I had the first procedure done. He sent me to have a endoscopy done to see how bad it was. They determined that on a level from A-D, I had a level C in erosion and ulcers from the banding. Surgery was set for June 26th. I was suppose to be sent to a nutritionist for a class for this procedure. Sadly, his staff failed me in that area. I normally would have waited on the surgery until I got into the class, but sadly, due to the severe vomiting, we could no longer wait. It was taking a toll on my body as a whole.
June 26th…Surgery day. I went in for my surgery. I was prepped and brought to the OR. I got a nice nap out of the deal! I was woken up in recovery, thirsty as all get out and was told I was strict npo (nothing by mouth). I was also connected to a PCA pump (medication pump) that allowed me to control my pain meds every 10 minutes. The next morning, my doctor came and spoke with me. He explained what he had found. He said that the banding was fused to my stomach and wrapped around it roughly 3-4 times (which is not how is should be at all) and that it was on my esophagus, again, not where it should be. He had to cut that portion of my stomach out in order to remove the band and the end result, gastric bypass. This was not what I had intended ever, but sadly it’s what needed to be done. The morning following surgery, I had to go to radiology for a swallow test. This is where you get to do a shot (not the fun kind!) of gastrigraph and the radiologist watches it go down to make sure that I had no leaks. I passed and was able to start the bariatric diet, stage one. That basically is nothing but clear liquids. I spent roughly 3 days in the hospital and came home with a gastric drain. I went in a few days later to see my doctor to have it removed. We thought I was okay. Sadly, my incision sites began to open up on their own and I had bad drainage. We have been working on getting that healed. I have to have my spouse help me get up and down, walk me around so I don’t fall, help with showers, wound care, all of it.
Here is my start photo…My start weight was 346 lbs! Yes that is what I said! I know, I look rough! I didn’t bother really doing my hair or make up since I was gonna be knocked out shortly! lol
And for fun…my little bair paws warming socks! Aren’t they cute?
Week one: Clear liquids. That is all I was allowed. Seriously, if I ever see broth, soup, jello again, I will pull my hair out! That was rough! I was like man how you gonna take food away like that!? However, it was the only thing my new “pouch” could handle. I lived on Sugar Free Popcicles. They were my favorite! We discovered some weird side effects. I can smell things like a whole K9 unit and my tastes have changed! Foods I loved before, I hate now! I so miss my wheat bread! Everything tastes so sweet! If anyone knows me, they know I LOVE coffee! I am not really a drinker of it anymore 😦 Current weight: 336.1 lbs.
Week two: Thick liquids. I WELCOMED this new adventure! That meant I could have things like cream of wheat or really runny mushy baby food consistency. By the end of that week, I was so over that! Current weight: 315.5 lbs.
Week 3: Mushy foods/working in solids…OH PRAISE JESUS! FOOD! I was able to start working in some solids such as high protein foods like fish, red meats, beans, eggs, etc…I also now have to drink a protein drink (we are doing high protein Ensure) along with taking a multi vitamin and B Complex with Thiamine and B12 in it. If I do not take these, I will die. My body no longer absorbs nutrients from food the way it used to. In fact, the way my body works now is that when I eat, my food bypasses the portion of the intestines that absorbs a lot of the fat, calories, and nutrients, thus how the weight is lost. Current weight: 305.5 lbs. Here is a photo at week 3.
Grand total so far, 43 lbs in 3 weeks! Go me!
I am now entering week 4…so far so good. Just get nauseated a lot. Foods are trial and error for me right now. One day, I can eat a dish and it tastes great and goes down easily, next time I eat it, I’m sick as a dog! My spouse is going insane because of my new sniffer…it’s insane, I admit. However, I find it funny, if I don’t, I’ll crack up!
This is my journey thus far…it’s new, wild, insane, and well basically we fly by the seat of our pants around here! My goal weight is 140. At the rate I’m going, I should be at that by say 6-8 months post op. Hopefully, my incisions will heal soon and I can start to have a normal life where I can exercise and start toning.
I hope this does help someone or at least make someone giggle. In a few days, I will be posting my one month post op photo…keep an eye out!
xoxo-KD…the amazing shrinking fat ass girl