Gallbladder update

I saw my surgeon this morning and actually got a copy of the report.

According to the report, it’s distended, I have a small polyp and have a function of 32% with 30% as the absolute minimum.

He still wants me to have an upper endoscopy to check for an ulcer before proceeding with possible surgery.

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Playing “what could it be” or is it my gallbladder?

Okay, it not quite 5AM and I was awake for about 3 hours now with discomfort located right at the bottom of my rib cage. I’m not nauseous and my back always hurts, had back surgery years ago. But this pain at my ribs is new….and it’s pretty much in the center. It’s also tender to press on.

Then it went away.

At lunchtime, it came back. Pain is back, not as bad as last night, called the after hours number for Dr. B. She called me back about 30 mins later.
The on call nurse called Dr. B and he thinks it might be a baby ulcer so they are calling in something to add to the PPI I am taking already. If that doesn’t help, then they will go from there.

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Two week follow up with surgeon’s office

Okay, so I went in today for my 2 week followup. I took in my list of meds/OTC meds which I do for every doctor visit when anything has changed. That list is usually the one that changes the fasted and taking a typed list in is easier than trying to remember them all.

Anyway, it has all my vitalady list under my prescription meds.

First off, she goes:

Nurse: Are you taking all this in addition to our multi?
Me: No, turns out your chewable made me nauseous post op so I switched to the chewable my husband is using. And yes, I am taking all this in addition. My PCP saw this same list earlier this week and has no problems with it.
Nurse: You need to let us handle your vitamins, not you, we know what you need.
Me: I’ll let my labs decide that when we have them.
And speaking of labs, I need a hard copy before I leave that day of my labs. I always get a copy of all my lab work cause I keep an eye on my lab values myself.

Nurse: (under breathe) “sigh” Okay. (as in yes, you can have your labs and I give up on the vitamins. (guess I qualify for non-compliant according to them)

Next: We discuss the mixup on who “pulled the plug at the hospital on two meds I was taking that are titrated meds. Dr. B didn’t accord to my conversation with him on Wed morning but on Tues night, the nurse on duty said he had it on my file not to give them to me. As a result, I was feverish and hallucinating.

She then said I should stay on liquids another two weeks cause my pouch still needed to heal.
I said, I don’t have a pouch, I still have my stomach, it’s smaller but it’s still there.
Oh, I know but like the pouch, your stomach is still swollen near the top (okay, I don’t get that one cause he didn’t touch my stoma) and needs to heal or soft foods will make you throw up.

I didn’t tell her I’ve been on soft foods, haven’t thrown up yet and doing just fine.

11 months and two weeks is all I have to put up with these people. My primary care is handling my husband’s aftercare for Dr. Pomp long distance and is doing very well. As soon as my 1 year surgiversary comes up, I am handing off my care to my PCP.

Upside: I’ve lost 15 lbs and 20% of my body fat.

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Had my pre-op yesterday

Was suppose to have it Monday but it snowed and it got canceled. We couldn’t get there.

Anyway, first off was the pre-op at the surgeon’s office with the nurse. I don’t know why it is but some of their staff, I get crosswise in the road with, she was one. Some of the staff, I’m fine with, the office staff is an example. We were going along fine til we got to two subjects, my insulin pump and my celebrex.

First off my celebrex. I knew I had to come off it for the week prior to surgery, I was mentally prepared for that. But then she tells me I have to stay off it for a month afterward. MAN!!!! I am going to be one hurting puppy!, I asked what else there was to take and she said, I was already on everything else they would give.

Next, my insulin pump. While most diabetics are resolved from their diabetes because of this surgery, it’s not 100% and even then, it’s not always immediately. It can take several months for your diabetes to resolve. I was planning on wearing my pump, set on it’s basel rate which is it’s rate which I use when I don’t eat anything, thru surgery so that it would be out of the way of any surgery location. I have done this for other major surgeries such as my sleep apnea (UPPP) surgery and my spinal surgery. And it was fine, the surgeons had no issue and my blood sugars remained normal throughout the procedure.

Anyway, the nurse I saw yesterday informs me not to even bother wearing it to the hospital as I won’t need it during the surgery or afterward because my diabetes WILL be resolved. Now, the statistics is 98% on resolution, NOT 100%. And even when it does resolve, it’s not always immediately after surgery. She goes on to inform me, that I will be rewired. Well, yes, but I will still be a diabetic. So I am wearing my pump to the hospital, and will disconnect it once there and give it to my husband. I am also planning on taking all my supplies so I can reconnect myself to it IF needed afterward. I do NOT trust her absolute assertion as I have read the journals and scientific studies as well and not just those from the bariatric world, but those from the endocrinology world.

On the up side, in spite of my paperwork saying I had to diet for two weeks pre-op and my doctor saying no, I didn’t, she agreed with the doctor, no diet, except for the midnight to surgery slot normal to every surgery.

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Today was my diet class

And I learned absolutely NOTHING. It was geared entirely toward the Roux-En-Y (Gastric ByPass). I even made a comment a time or two that some slides needed changing as not everyone will have pouches at the end of their surgery. And she did agree. They also made the blanket statement that NO ONE can take NSAIDS and that is a blatant untruth.

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The last two weeks…long post

Okay, I can finally sit down and process what has gone on the last two weeks. Leaving here and going to NY City for Charles’ surgery was an interesting experience. We had originally booked coach because by the time we got everything sorted, that’s all that was left. Once on the train we were able to upgrade that portion to a sleeper (altho it was very tiny) so we were able to stretch out and sleep. And the meals were included.

However we did discover that Charles gets train sick. Dr. Pomp mentioned if he faces the way the train is traveling it helps and apparently it did cause coming home he was able to face the way we were traveling and he was able to not be sick.

Anyway, we got there, checked in and collapsed. Monday was spent at the hospital going thru preop, meeting Dr. Pomp, Charles’ surgeon, getting weighed in officially (he weighed in that day at 255.9. (he weighed in this morning at 231.2 for a lose of 24.7 lbs) and our NUT (nutritionist visit. I swear that woman talks faster that an express train.

Next day, we had planned on going out to sightsee but it was 19 with a windchill of 9 and just so cold that after 2 trips out, we decided to not try a third until Carol& Jack showed up and we headed to the nearest store for a VERY quick trip inside for a few essentials. We had a kitchen in our hotel room so most meals were taken there. That store was on the “basement” level and we had to go down the escalator to get to it.

After a great visit with them but a quick one we were hoping for a chance to head out the next day but Wed was just as cold if not colder. We did find a grocery store that delivered by then so we got some more groceries to finish out our stay. We also found out that Charles had to be at the hospital at 7AM for his surgery to start at 9AM. I knew it was a 4 hour surgery so I figured he would be in his room by 2-3PM at the latest…boy was I ever wrong.

I was right about the time he finished surgery but he didn’t get a room til almost 7PM and then was put in a step down unit…but let me go back to that morning.
Now in EVERY hospital he or I have ever had any surgery in and that includes, the University of Michigan, San Fransisco, University of Toledo, University of South Carolina, University of Pittsburgh, Cleveland Clinic, etc, when you go into preop, you are put in a room and put on a gurney and that is where you stay until ROLLED into surgery. NOT this one.

He was taken off and I was plopped in a waiting room. He comes back to me, dressed in his cute little surgical getup , attached to a glucose solution, and with his clothes in a bag, and sits with me til they call him again. Then he comes back and waits again. They call him again and THIS time they WALK him to the OR. I walk out to the waiting room this time with his clothes and wait, and wait, and wait.

So after he gets into recovery and I can see him we wait longer…waiting for a room in the step down unit. Because of Charles’s previous history he had a urologist handle the catheter, typical a technician handles that. Anyway, he ended up having two surgeries for the price of one. And they wanted to be sure that end would heal as well.
He was suppose to go to the Bariatric floor on Saturday but they never had a bed open up so he never managed to move out of the step down unit. A step down unit is a cross between a normal nursing floor and intensive care. Normal nurses have about 7-10 patients (with an aid) where as intensive care is almost a one nurse to 2 patient ratio. In a step down unit it’s one nurse/one aid to 3 patients. His cardiologist that saw him at NYPH had a patient who was in recovery for three days cause there was not a bed to be had in the step down units.

Anyway, he was able to go “home” on Monday. Home being across the street at the Helmsley Medical Tower. Once we realized that we didn’t have to see Dr. Pomp again after Charles left the hospital, we tried to get home sooner on Amtrak. I had already upgraded our trip on Friday to a handicapped sleeper which is the same as a first class sleeper. But nothing opened up so we left on Friday. Glad we did.

We got to my daddy’s at 4:15 AM Christmas morning and promptly went back to bed for a few hours. I had gotten up about 2AM to call him to wake him up at his request. He and Dawn (my oldest half sister) came down to pick us up.

We had Christmas dinner at my youngest half sister about noon time that day and exchanged presents. Then got the older half sister on the road. As the rest of us headed back up the mountain, it started snowing (about 2PM) so by the next morning we had 5 inches on the ground…it hasn’t snowed in that area for a White Christmas since the 60′s.

We got a chance to see that the interstate was clear the next morning and I was worried that it would warm up and then freeze overnight and turn into a skating rink so we took a chance and drove home Sunday. Turns out that the last part of I-40 in NC was very iffy but doable…took us 5 hours to drive a normal 3.5 hour drive. We got to the NC/TN line and it was like a completely different storm system…almost no snow here. But it was so worth getting out of there and getting out of the stress.

Our cats let us know just how they felt about us being gone so long!!! They’ve yelled at us and cuddled at the same time.

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