I'm alive, 4 days post op!
Today is Saturday the 29th November 2008; I'm alive and happy to say I made it through the surgery. The morning of the big day was so stressful I thought I was going to burst with nervous tension, I was shaking and stressed and going through in my mind all the things that might go wrong and asking myself if this is really what I want to do and is this the right thing.
I woke up at around 6.50am in a bit of a panic as I was asked by my anaesthesiologist to have at least 750mls of water before 7am, so I ran down to the kitchen and proceeded to drink close to a litre of cold water. The reason he asked me to d this was due to my veins being small, drinking water prior to the surgery helps with the drip the veins swell and the catheda is easier to get in.I then proceeded to have a shower making sure my legs and underarms were shaved, hair washed and ready to face the surgeon. I got dressed and basically snapped at everyone all morning as I was so scared.
Craig and I arrived at the day unit side of the hospital. I only had to wait around 30minutes and the nurse came to get me and they did the big weighing to ensure I had lost at least 4kgs on the optifast , thank god I had lost nearly 5kgs. She then took my blood pressure, it was slightly up but she said that was due to nerves and it was fine, she then placed all my ID bands on both my wrists and took me through to a bed, I then had to put on the very attractive hospital gown, they are such a fashion statement, the way they sit just right and the beautiful open back and buttons on the shoulder, NICE.
A student nurse from Newcastle University came in and the senior nurse asked if it was OK if the student nurse gave me my heparin injection. Heparin is to stop clots. I said sure stab away, she did a great job I didn’t even feel the needle, I had it in my stomach. Mum arrived so It was Craig mum and I waiting for the wards man to come and take me away hahahaha...
My anaesthetist came in and checked my heart and breathing and also checked down my throat and the flexibility of my neck , all these little checks are a little unsettling , however I guess I’m glad they are so thorougher, better than saying later, shit I wish I’d checked that before the op....
10 minutes later the wards man came and wheeled me around to the aesthetic bay, with a teary goodbye to mum and Craig off I went, I waited in the bay just outside the operating theatre and a chirpy nurse came bouncing in with hot towels to put on my arms and hands to keep my veins warm, as my veins are often difficult to find, like my mother's, they are small. She also place scuds on my legs, these are inflatable stockings that are attached later to a machine and they pump up and down your legs, they are also to prevent clots. I had these on when I had my gall bladder out in 2005 so I knew what to expect.
Due to the large amount of water and of course nerves I was dying to do another wee, although a little inconvenient off I ran to the nurse’s toilet up the hall, scuds and all... Arriving back Dr Goldsmith came in to put the catheter in for the drip , this was not fun , however he managed to get it in with the help of my water drinking and the hot towels and yes his skill and experience. I don’t even have a bruise where it went in. Dr Munro then popped in to say hi and make sure I was OK, he is such a dish......If you are going to have a surgeon you might as well have a good looking one....I waited for around 10 minutes then they came and wheeled me into the operating theatre, lights camera action, the show was ready to begin.
I was asked to wiggle across onto the operating table; I did have a flash of fight or flight, but decided it was the big girl thing to do to go through with it and wiggle I did. The massive lights in banks of 8 were all above me and there were a selection of instruments and nurse and doctors were everywhere. As I lay on the table I heard a hi Trace how are you going from a familiar voice and I looked over to see Iris my GP's nurse, she assists Peter ( My family doctor) at his skin cancer clinic on a Thursday's, it was nice to see her and she reassured me that I had the best team and that this would be the best thing I have ever done for myself.. She promised to look after me. I do remember seeing her last time Craig and I had our annual skin cancer check up and she did tell me she also works as a theatre nurse for Doctor Munro and we chatted about the lap banding.
Dr Munroe was there in his mask and gown looking very dashing in a surgeon kinda way, he was assuring me all’s well, the aesthetic nurse then wired me for sound placing small sticky receptors all over me, 4 on my arm , three on each leg and approx 8 around my heart on my chest and then hooked them up to the machine, all of a sudden I could hear my heart beat , beep, beep , beeping in stereo through the room, she also put the blood pressure cuff on and every 5 minutes it puffed up and tightened and then released with a hiss and projected my blood pressure onto the screen, it was a little high due to stress, 150/85. They weren’t worried and indicated it was fine... Dr Goldsmith then said we were ready to go and got the aesthetic injection ready and I saw the mask come up and then the nurse unclasped the buttons on my chest ready to reveal all , belly and boobs to the cast of doctors and nurses................!!!!!!
Then a high pitched alarm sounded and I thought, shit I’m having a heart attack, all the medical team stopped what they were doing and looked at each other, the alarm continued getting louder and louder, then a voice came over the alarm to say it was a fire alarm code red and all non essential procedures had to stop and all staff were to stand down until clear. I was now absolutely in a state of panic, the doctors were all mumbling and then doctor Munro said Tracey I’m sorry we will have to evacuate until we are given permission to start the operation, I asked if I had to go, and they then said no that procedure was that the patient remain with one nurse until further instructions, that is to either evacuate as there really is a fire or to proceed as it was a false alarm. Of course I looked at my blood pressure and it spiked at 165/90.
They all left and for 25 of the longest minutes of my life I lied there on that operating table with my arms out to the side like Jesus on the cross.
Finally the alarm stopped and they all came back in , trying to make light of the situation talking about people burning toast and joking, all I could say was knock me out, NOW..No sooner had I said that and Dr goldsmith placed the aesthetic in my drip and the nurse placed the mask over my face and said breathe deeply, This was a little scary at first I felt like I wasn’t getting any air or aesthetic, she then turned up the oxygen and I breathed deeply as the warm rush of the aesthetic pumped into my left arm, it was warm and kind of tingled and stung at the same time and that was it lights out.
1.5 hours later I woke up still in the operating room, and with the breathing tube down my throat, Dr Goldsmith remarked that “Tracey is back with us" and then asked me to stay calm and he will remove the breathing tube. I was able to stay calm as I was able t breath even with the tube taking up my mouth and throat, within a few seconds he had slid the tubes out and I was able to breathe normally. They then slid me across onto a bed off the operating table and I was wheeled back to the recovery ward. I was drowsy but awake.
A young pretty dark haired nurse came and had a brief chat telling me all’s well and the op was over and she slipped ice into my mouth that felt sensational. I was in recovery for around 1/2 hour then wheeled back to my room, bed 210.I arrived back to my room around 1pm, Craig , mum , dad and Nanna were all there waiting for me, I was groggy but knew what was happening and they all told me I did great and all went well. The nurse came in and washed my stomach to get the bedadine off me as she said it makes you itchy if left on the skin for too long. I was talking to everyone and felt quite OK, no pain and the nurse made sure I had plenty of ice to suck, so all was well with the world.
Renee and her boyfriend Dave arrive also to say hi and make sure all was well.It was around 2pm. Mum dad, nanna, Renee and Dave left and Craig stayed with me till after midnight, not even leaving my side to have dinner, he is such a devoted man. My male nurse Phillip came and gave me a pethidine shot in my leg at around 11.30pm as the pain was taking hold, I was on a drip of panadole and antibiotics and fluids and I had my scuds on hooked up to the machine inflating them every 10minutes, I also had the oxygen tubes in my nose, I love oxygen...
I was in a shared room with a woman named Rebecca she was 10 weeks pregnant with IVF twins and she had to have surgery on her ovary, it had twisted. Her husband was also with her till late the only problem was he was asleep and snoring the ward down. Craig left around 1am and made the nurse aware of Rebecca’s husband and the snoring and they came and woke him up and suggested it was time to go home as the patients needed their rest.
I was awake till after 3am , could sleep , my night nurse was lovely , her name was Karen and her husband was having lap band surgery in three weeks so she was extra attentive and we had a few good chats in the early hours of the morning...I was awake at 6am with the noise of the bloody hospital, those places are certainly no good for sleeping and there were renovations taking place down the hall so I also had the jackhammer to content with.
The phone rang all morning with people ringing to see how I went, I got up and had a shower and put my face on and got dressed , I could truly face my public without my face on , I was stiff and sore and in pain but not too bad considering. I was still sucking ice and didn’t feel nauseous at all. Dr Munro came in to see me at around 7am and said I was OK to go home and that all went well, he said my liver was a little enlarged but the surgery went well and that I have to make an appointment to see him in his rooms in a month’s time.
Craig arrived at around 12noon and we checked out of hotel North Gosford Private and I was on my way to being thin.......The last four days have been OK, I’m stiff and very sore around my upper abdomen, and it hurts to get up and down and hurts to sneeze or cough, I have only been able to lie on my back in bed and I have been very tired. It hurts to take a deep breath, due to the gas they use to blow up your stomach so they can operate laproscopically. I have had a little shoulder tip pain, but not much, not as much as I'd expected. I have been taking liquid panadole during the day and I crushed up some panadine forte with codeine in them for the night, this has also helped me sleep.
I have been very tired and a little out of breath, but basically I’m recovering.
Day 1 after surgery we went up to Erina Fair and did a bit of shopping , walking around is uncomfortable but I managed. I had apple juice and water all day.
Day 2 I was actually feeling hungry so I had some clear tomato soup and some custard in the evening.
Day 3 I had custard and some pumpkin soup and also a little mashed potato with salmon and cheese sauce mixed into a mushy paste , it was delicious and I was able to tolerate it no problem, I even had a little bit of ice cream last night , and all went down well. I did have a little diarea on day 2 and 3 but that’s gone now.
Today I haven’t really felt hungry at all, Craig took me to the movies to see Australia by Baz Lowman with Nicole Kidman it was fantastic and went for nearly 3 hours, I loved it and I had no trouble or pain sitting in the theatre for all that time. Today I have had juice and water; I had some KFC potato and gravy for lunch at around 4pm after the movie. I will probably have my salmon mixture from last night for dinner. I weighed myself this morning and since I was weighed at the start of the optifast I have lost 7.6kgs (16.7 pounds) that’s amazing in just two and a bit weeks.....Tomorrow is another day and I’m feeling better and better every day, again thanks you to my fantastic husband and to my family and my friends for being there through the start of this transformation. Talk soon.