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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by icon23

  1. icon23


  2. icon23

    Icon23! Where are you?

    In my opinion, the antibiotics aren't that big--about the size of a Tylenol caplet. There is no problem with it fitting in the sleeve, but I understand that you are saying that you have a problem swallowing pills. The pain medicine is an anti-inflammatory (Toradol is the American name), actually, and it worked much better for my pain than codeine, which I tried one day. The ones you are given to take with you are sublingual (dissolve under the tongue) and they're small.
  3. Finally lost all the hospital weight...let the real losing begin!

  4. icon23

    Icon23! Where are you?

    That's a good question and I'm not exactly sure because there was another patient in the van (who was there for another procedure) and we had to run some errands for her before we went to the border. Also, I tried to nap a little in the van because of my cold. Once you're actually in the line leading up to the border, though, there are lots of vendors trying to sell all sorts of goods and foods and it seemed like that part took at least 30 min.
  5. icon23

    Icon23! Where are you?

    PPI stands for proton pump inhibitor and it is basically a class of medications, such as Prevacid, that prevent the release of acid in the stomach and intestines. They are recommended for many people for at least 3 months after WLS. You may have read lots of posts in the forums about people who feel like they're starving within a few days after surgery and many people reply that it's probably due to acid in the stomach and not hunger at all and that taking a PPI helps. I have been taking it since I got out of the hospital and I haven't really felt hungry at all since they allowed me fluids after surgery. I have had a little bit of head hunger--mainly wanting to chew something since I've been on liquids for so long, but it's been pretty minor and SF pudding seems to help. My cold is better, but I'm definitely ready for it to be gone--thanks for asking.
  6. icon23

    Icon23! Where are you?

    I had already asked for wheelchair assistance for the flight home when I booked my ticket, so when I got to the airport in San Diego, I just told one of the outside check-in people for my airline that I had requested wheelchair service and he sent another person inside to get the wheelchair. It took just a minute. I needed my boarding pass, so he wheeled me up to the ticket counter first and that all went as normal, except she also asked if I was able to walk to my seat on the airplane by myself and I told her I was. Then, I got wheeled to the security check-in and that was kind of nice because I got wheeled past the long line of people up to the line for First Class people which only had 1 person in front of me. They asked me if I was able to stand for long enough to do the body scan, so I did that, but no one reminded me to take the liquids out of my bag, so after my stuff was x-rayed, the TSA people had to open my bag, take the liquids out, then x-ray my bag and the liquids again separately. By the way, in the bag of things that A Lighter Me gives you when you get out of the hospital that includes your antibiotics and pain meds, they also give you a 12 or 16 oz bottle of liquid medicine to settle your stomach (it's basically milk of magnesia), but since you're not allowed to bring a bottle of liquid that large on an airplane (you can if you check your bag, but not in a carry-on), I left it behind in the hotel. I had never opened that medicine because I went to a pharmacy and bought a PPI instead. After I got through the security check-in, I got wheeled to my gate and I tipped the guy that wheeled me through the airport $5. He left me in the wheelchair and I only had to wait less than 5 minutes before a woman who worked for the airline came up to me and asked if I was ready to board the plane--this was before they announced boarding for anybody. She wheeled me along the ramp that led up to the plane, then she asked me if I was okay to walk to my seat by myself, which I did--it was nice being the first passenger on the plane. When my flight arrived in Seattle, I got off the plane like normal, but as soon as I got outside the plane, there was someone waiting on the ramp with a wheelchair with my name on it. He wheeled me from the plane to where I asked him to take me (outside, to arrivals where my friend picked me up). My friend wasn't there when we got outside, so the guy said that he would wait 5-7 minutes with me. I didn't time it, but he waited at least 5 minutes with me in the cold before my friend showed up. I also tipped this wheelchair driver $5. I highly recommend using the wheelchair service.
  7. I just had surgery on Thursday and my period started 2 days later. I have a Mirena IUD and my period has been somewhere between non-existent and irregular for the past couple of years.
  8. icon23

    Icon23! Where are you?

    I'm sorry for the loss of your friend's brother. Thank you for your caring and concern. I, too, have grown to care sincerely about many people here on VST and I truly appreciate everyone who has reached out to me as I am going through this life-changing event. I made it home safely a couple of hours ago and I have just been resting. I realized sometime late yesterday that I caught a cold after surgery. At first, I thought my throat was just irritated from the tube that the anesthesiologist put down my throat because the night that I had surgery I wound up coughing up a bunch of phlegm (wasn't too painful) and it just generally felt irritated, but it turned into a cold. I think that's part of the reason I spent so much of the past couple of days sleeping. Other than the cold, though, I feel fine. Today was the first day that I didn't take pain medicine at all and, even with coughing, it doesn't hurt. I also don't know if I have mentioned this yet, but I am having no trouble getting in fluids. I do feel full if I drink a lot, but I don't feel any pain or restriction while I'm drinking and I'm able to drink a 16-20 oz bottle of Water or other Fluid fairly quickly (I guess I should time it, but it seems like I can drink that much on an empty stomach within 30-45 min). It's amazing how much better I feel everyday. I wish for everyone to have such smooth recoveries (and no colds).
  9. icon23

    Icon23! Where are you?

    I'm fine. I did go shopping for a little while yesterday and I did go to Walmart (close to the hotel) earlier today for some juice and Gatorade, but I spent a good deal of yesterday and today sleeping, actually. The fatigue that I have felt the past 2 days is one of my biggest signs that my body has gone through a trauma. I have also had some pain--feels like you've done 1000s of sit ups, as others have described it--and I do take the pain meds they sent with me (Toradol is the American name) when I need it (about every 10-12 hrs), but overall I feel okay. The fatigue isn't overwhelming and I could probably stay awake if I needed to, but since the body does a great deal of healing while you're asleep, I figure I should allow myself to do it as much as possible while I can. Thanks again for the well-wishes!
  10. I have a chewable children's Multivitamin which I will take a double dose of. I also have chewable Calcium, sublingual B12, and the most delicious tasting chewable Iron (peach flavored). I don't have them with me, so I don't remember the brand names or the dosages, but I can fill you in later. I bought them all online. The iron isn't required, but I read that it (and zinc, which I also have, come to think of it) can help prevent hair loss, so I'm going to give it a shot. My surgeon said that I don't have to continue taking these supplements once I'm getting all of my Protein from food, but I probably will at least continue a multivitamin because I have always taken one.
  11. Thank you. I am traveling home to Seattle on Monday afternoon and I'll be happy to post the details about how that goes. It should be interesting because I requested wheelchair service (as suggested by ALM) and it will be the first time I've ever had that type of assistance at the airport. I guess it means I get to be one of the first to board the plane, though, so that's a plus.
  12. I highly suggest bringing some packets of unjury chicken Soup flavor and a food thermometer so you don't curdle the Protein with too hot water--this helped me survive the airport on the way here because I was hungry and there were delicious-looking restaurants everywhere. If you're on clear liquids like I was, you coud bring a different Protein powder packet that can be mixed clear with water--I just really liked the broth style because it made me feel like I was having a delicious, filling soup. I also suggest bringing some Crystal Light packets (or something similar) because so many people say that they can't tolerate the taste of Water post-op. Gas-X strips are not a bad idea, but since they don't work on the type of gas that they pump into you to perform the surgery, I haven't actually needed them yet, although I did feel some gas in my stomach as I drank my first clear liquids today--better safe than sorry. If you're traveling alone (or even if you're not), definitely bring a tablet, smartphone, or laptop--some way to communicate with people back home to let them know that you are safe when you arrive and when you make it through surgery successfully. As far as clothing, bring a pair of slippers (mine are fuzzy and warm, which was nice when I was in cold rooms) for walking around the hospital. Also bring loose clothing, including pants with pockets. For women, I suggest a no-underwire bra, as described above. Don't pack too heavy! I also brought a heating pad, but I haven't used it yet. Some people swear by them (I think it helps to dissipate the gas, but I'm pretty sure I've walked mine out). Depending on how much shopping you might want to do, including purchasing additional meds from a pharmacy, be sure to bring some cash. I brought $200 in $5s and $10s and I plan to go shopping tomorrow and have some left for tipping the driver and the maids at the hotel. Be sure to haggle when you shop--it is expected. A lot of toiletries are provided in the hotel and hospital, but you should bring your own toothbrush and toothpaste and deodorant and anything else you feel very attached to (like makeup for me). Again, don't pack too heavy! If you forget anything, there is a Walmart really close to the Marriott. Even though it seems like I brought a lot, my bag is still light enough for me to pick up on my own post-op. I think that's about it. Oh yeah--passport!
  13. Thanks to everyone for all of your support and well-wishes! Something I forgot to mention yesterday is that I am on the same floor here at Mi Doctor as 3 other VST-ers. It's been nice to put faces and real names with the usernames and avatars. I think I am the only one of us that travelled here alone, but I haven't really felt alone with all of the attention from the ALM people (by the way, Abraham and Eduardo give you numbers to reach them anytime day or night and they mean it), the hospital staff, and my fellow sleevers, plus being able to communicate with my bf back home. The internet has not been good for me at Mi Doctor (they think it's because of the location of my room), so we haven't been able to use Facetime like we can when I'm at the Marriott, but he has used the toll-free number to the hospital provided by ALM and we've talked on the phone a couple of times. Here's how today has gone: I woke up around 5am, I think, and they were supposed to do my blue liquid test at 7am, so I posted on VST for a little while then went back to sleep. They still hadn't come to give me the blue liquid close to 8am, so I went to the nurses' station (which is basically right outside my door) and asked someone and they gave it to me right then. The blue liquid didn't taste good, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. No blue liquid showed up in my drain--so far, so good. Shortly after that, a couple of nurses came in and took my vitals and told me that they were going to close off my IV and detach it so that I could take a shower. I had seen one of my fellow sleevers (room next door) wearing his regular clothes, so I asked if I could put on my regular clothes after the shower and they said yes, as long as they were loose, like sweatpants, which is exactly what I brought. They provided soap, shampoo, and shaving gel in the bathroom (in my room, not shared) and the shower felt great. I just kind of held my drain while I showered. By the way, the drain doesn't hurt or anything--it's just kind of there. My hospital gown had a pocket for it on the chest (I wouldn't have known if a nurse hadn't put it there for me on my first walk--you kind of have to thread it through the gown to get it in the pocket) and when I put on my sweats, I put it in the left pocket--definitely make sure to have a pocket to put the drain in so it doesn't get in the way while walking. Shortly after my shower, they came to take me downstairs to do the leak test in front of the x-ray. I had put on a bra (I brought a front-hook bra with no underwires, which I would recommend--or a sports bra with no hooks or wires) and since it has metal hooks, I had to remove it before the x-ray. For the x-ray, I had to drink this clear liquid, which also tasted bad, but not as bad as I'd feared from some descriptions (I think part of the trick is that I kind of held my breath while drinking to minimize tasting it). It was well more than an ounce of liquid (maybe 2?) and the x-ray technician told me to drink it pretty quickly, which was kind of weird since I've been told that I should only be sipping an ounce at a time these first few days, but it went down fine. It was kind of neat to see my new stomach and they'll be sending me home with a CD of the x-ray as well as all of my lab work, EKG, etc. Dr. Ortiz had told me yesterday that it would take a few hours after the leak tests for them to get the official results and only after then would they allow me to start on Clear liquids and bring me juice and such, but it actually wound up taking nearly 5 hours, so that is my biggest complaint so far (which isn't so bad in the grand scheme of things since I could still have ice chips). During the 5 hour wait and throughout the whole stay really, nurses have come in regularly to take my vitals or give me injections in the IV (antibiotics, anti-nausea, and pain--the pain med is not a narcotic, but it does make me drowsy and I need that, so I've let them give it to me even though I'm really not in pain). At one point, a nurse came in and gave me an injection in my stomach to prevent blood clots--she told me it wouldn't hurt and it didn't. Eduardo came to check on me and answer questions and let me know that Dr. Ortiz would be coming to check on me in a couple of hours. I just got done seeing Dr. Ortiz and he told me that I am a good patient and all the nurses like me because I'm always smiling :-) He brought me a bottle of apple juice, which is nice. He gave me a lot of the same information that he gave me yesterday about what will be happening in the next few days and also what to expect as far as weight loss and so on in the next few months and he told me that he will be repeating a lot of this information to me before I go, which I appreciate because it is a lot to remember and also, I'm sure, some patients are maybe out of it at some points when he comes to talk to them. He answered my questions (again, I didn't have many because he is so thorough)--my biggest one was when I would get broth because I was under the impression that I would have broth and juice here at the hospital, but I was wrong--no broth until I get back to the Marriott. I can't wait to go and have the delicious broth (your choice of beef or chicken) with Abraham tomorrow. We will also go shopping. Overall, today has been pretty uneventful compared to yesterday, but that's a good thing. I'm just trying to take advantage of this time to rest instead of feeling bored. On that note, I think I'll take a nap now.
  14. icon23

    Leak test mexico surgery

    I am doing great, just waiting on some juice, broth, and Water, which should be coming any time now...Dr. Ortiz will also be visiting again soon.
  15. icon23

    Leak test mexico surgery

    I'm currently in MX, had surgery yesterday and 2 leak tests earlier today (in addition to the one they did during surgery). It is my understanding that it is still possible to develop a leak further out, which is why it's important to follow the post-op diet and other instructions about not over-exerting yourself. I don't know what happens for sure if they do find a leak because I don't have a leak, but I would assume that they would take you back to surgery to fix it right away. And yes, for the x-ray you swallow a clear liquid that doesn't taste very good (but it's not as horrible as I'd imagined).
  16. icon23

    Surgery Monday 1/21/13

    Best of luck to you! I had surgery yesterday and I'm doing great--hardly any pain. The best advice I was given is to get up and start walking as soon as you can after surgery. It helps the anesthesia wear off and the anesthesia can cause nausea if it stays in your system too long. Walking also helps get rid of the gas that they pump in to your abdomen to perform the surgery (which was my greatest source of discomfort, so I walked a lot and don't feel it at all anymore) and helps prevent blood clots.
  17. icon23

    No one believes me that I am going to do this!

    Do you know if your insurance will cover complications even though they don't cover the surgery? Some do, so it's worth checking into. As you know, I'm currently in MX and had surgery yesterday and couldn't be doing better, but it's best to be prepared for all possibilities.
  18. Surgery was yesterday--it went smoothly and I'm doing great! Hardly any pain, walking lots. Just wanted to check in.
  19. icon23

    Any january surgery out there

    Surgery was yesterday--it went smoothly and I'm doing great! Hardly any pain, walking lots. Just wanted to check in.
  20. Surgery was yesterday--it went smoothly and I'm doing great! Hardly any pain, walking lots. Just wanted to check in.
  21. icon23

    Anxiety level red!

    I am sorry that your anxiety about this is so high. I was just sleeved yesterday and my recovery has been pretty easy and nearly pain-free so far. If you'd like to read about my experience, it is here: http://www.verticalsleevetalk.com/topic/65606-my-experience-so-farnow-with-details/ -- it's pretty long and detailed because I was also letting people know about the Mexico experience, but I broke it into paragraphs and it should be pretty easy to skip to the surgery and post-op parts.
  22. I, too, am sorry this has been difficult for you. Like others have said, it really is more common for recovery to be mild. I was just sleeved yesterday and it has been mostly easy and virtually pain-free. I was advised before surgery to get up and walk as soon as possible after surgery to help the anesthesia wear off--the anesthesia can cause nausea and vomiting if it stays in your system too long. Even though I got up and walked as soon as I was brought back to my room, they had kept me in the recovery room for 2 hours already and I wound up feeling nauseous after walking back and forth in the hallway about 15 times--I did not vomit, though, and I felt better when I laid back down. They also gave me something in my IV to help with the nausea.