I’ve Got A Lot of Catching Up To Do!!

I’m going to list all of the things I want to cover then cover then as time allows.  I’ll first start by telling you that I had my surgery on Monday, October 17, 2011 at precisely 9am.  I came home from the hospital on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 and I have not looked back or regretted the decision to stay on this journey to a new, healthier me. I have absolutely NO REGRETS!!

Things I want to tell you about in detail includes:

  • Pre-Op testing including the Endoscopy, Stress Echo, Registration, and TWO weeks of liquids before surgery
  • Planning and preparing for the kids while I was in the hospital
  • Getting to the hospital
  • Being prepped for surgery
  • Going to the OR and how I was treated
  • My hospital stay
  • The people who took care of me
  • My surgeons
  • Coming home
  • What I’ve been doing since I got home
  • Things I’m looking forward to

I believe I have covered everything up to the point of pre-op testing and I may have touched on this subject just a little bit. However, for my sanity and to be able to reference it later I want to cover it in full detail.  Today you’ll get the rundown of pre-op testing and the end results.

Once we went through the process of Insurance approval it was time to begin scheduling the Pre-Op testing. Those test included an Endoscopy, a Stress Echo, Chest X-ray, additional Labs, and registration.  On Wednesday October 21, 2011 I arrived at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Asheville at 7:00am for the scheduled Endoscopy.  I’m still not certain how I felt about having this procedure. I knew it was common, painless, and one of the major requirements for the surgery I was having.

After a quick history I was taken to a room where I had to undress only from the waist up, had an IV started, and additional medical history taken.  Soon the doctor performing the procedure came in to let me know what to expect and almost immediately I was taken back to the procedure room.  There was two people in the room besides the doctor. They both starting hooking me up to monitors. One nurse began injecting some medication into my IV while the other had me open my mouth wide and he sprayed some sort of numbing medication on the back of my throat.  That’s about all I remember until I was being spoken to in the recovery room.  The entire procedure took less than 15 minutes and within 30 minutes after I went to recovery I was ready to go home.  My throat was a little sore, and the meds they put in my IV were kicking my tail but other than that I felt fine.  Mama was with me and she drove home. I don’t remember the drive home or much of anything else that happened for most of the day.  The test results came back on September 23rd and I received a call from my surgeon’s office that I would need to immediately start a two week dosing of antibiotics for something called H-Pyloria Bacteria that was found in my stomach.  This is a bacteria that causes ulcers and is treated by giving high doses of two different antibiotics, Metronidazole 500 MG and Clarithromycin 500 MG. I also took a 14 day dosage of Prilosec.  I started these medication on Friday, October 23, 2011 and took the last dose on Friday, October 7, 2001.  I couldn’t tell any difference in how I felt so apparently the H-Pyloria isn’t something that makes you feel anything physically, unless of course you end up with ulcers.

The next set of tests scheduled was the Stress Echo and the chest X-ray.  Chese X-ray … nuff said. Nothing special there. Get undressed, have a couple of X-rays taken of the upper chest area … done!

The Stress Echo however … a whole new ballpark.  I still say today that if I never have to do this one again … It will be way too soon! The people were awesome, very nice, and very encouraging. The test is just horrible.  I couldn’t eat or drink anything 4 hours before the procedure and since it was at 12:55 in the afternoon I went in to this test both hungry and thirsty.  I was ushered into a room where there was an Ultrasound machine, a Stretcher, a Treadmill, and a heart monitor.  I again had to undress from the waist up and put on a cover that opened in the front.  I laid on the stretcher and the tech did an echo/ultrasound of my heart.  I had an IV catheter inserted and some sort of dye injected. They immediately did another echo/ultrasound. This whole time I’m hooked to an EKG monitor and could see my heart beats and rhythm.   The Cardiologist PA came in and told me how the procedure worked. The only issues they were concerned about was my being able to get my heart rate up to the level needed for the stress part of the test due to the blood pressure medication.  If the walking didn’t bring the rate up where it needed to be then they would have to do it with medication. I wasn’t thrilled about either!!

When they finally put me on the treadmill they started pretty slow and I had to force myself to stay with the machine and not force anything more. Every 10 seconds it would increase both in speed and in elevation.  I stayed on the treadmill for almost 7 minutes before my heart rate hit a level they though would be sufficient for the stress echo. This is where things got horrible. Rather than being able to decrease the treadmill speed it had to be turned off immediately and I had only a few seconds to be back on the stretcher, on my left side, and only a couple of minutes for the stress echo to be done before my heart rate was out of the ‘stress zone’.   When they turned the treadmill off it all happened so quick I was left feeling weak and faint. They said that was normal and I would recover.  I did … and I passed.  My stress echo test was  a success and the final results were perfect so the only hurdle I had left was the two week liquid diet and pre-registration.

Stay with me on this journey and watch for the next installment of my journey to and beyond Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.   During my next post I’ll tell you about registration and what I did to prepare the kids and myself for hospitalization.

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