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Gastric Bypass Patients
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  1. Like
    celticNgel reacted to Jonathan Blue for a magazine article, Beating the Pain Game   
    I often times get asked what is the biggest piece of advice I could give someone for surviving their hospital stay. For me the answer is a hands down no brainer. CONTROL YOUR PAIN MEDS! Nurses and hospital staff will be in and out to see you, but you need to realize that each nurse probably has four to six other patients all vying for attention. It is your responsibility to take your pain management into your own hands. You do not want to mess around when it comes to managing your pain! If you are in pain you will be unable to get up and walk. The longer you take to begin walking the greater your risk of complication and the longer your hospital stay. In this case DO NOT BE A TOUGH GUY! Wuss out and take the meds.

    You will be constantly asked during you hospital stay what your pain level is. It will be on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being no pain at all and 10 being the worst pain you have ever felt in your life. Be sure to answer honestly. DO NOT TRY TO BE MACHO! 3 to 5 on this scale is considered pain, but tolerable. If you drop below a 3 many doctors will begin reducing pain medication. Above 5 and they may begin increasing. The doctors and nurses want you in the blissful middle zone of 4 to 5. It should feel as though you have a bad muscle pull in your stomach, but no sharp or stabbing pain on a continual basis.

    Your pain post-surgery will most likely be controlled in one of a two ways. The first is with a gloriously blissful device known as a PCA pump. This is a machine in which a syringe of Morphine or Fentanyl (depending on what your doctor and a hospital pharmacist deem to be appropriate) is placed to be administered to you at the push of a button. The best part is that you have control of the button! The machine can be set to allow you to administer the dose yourself every so many minutes; usually half an hour. The other way your pain will be managed is with an injection of morphine or fentanyl? This is pretty straight forward and don’t worry if you are scared of needles. This pain candy is injected into your IV.

    Once you get past the injections or PCA pumps, usually once they take out your IV, you will most likely be weaned onto an oral pain medication of some kind. Many surgeons prefer Percocet for this application, but you may also be given an oral morphine. There is really no major difference between these in terms of effectiveness though there are other consideration that your doctor and a hospital pharmacist will use in consideration of which to give you.

    It will be your job in the hospital to stay on top of when you get your pain medications. Here is what you need to know from an insider. I work as a pharmacy technician in a hospital so I am familiar with the workarounds. Here is the rule of thumb. The PCA pump will be available to you at your discretion and will most likely be hooked up before you wake up from surgery or shortly after, but injectables last about two hours and the oral liquid lasts about four. That is a very short window and you need to be sure to talk with your nurses and find out how long each medication is good for.

    I made it a point to let my nurse know half an hour before each medication was due. This will allow them plenty of time to get your medication to you before time runs out. If the medication is not stocked on the floor then it will be delivered from the pharmacy and will take time. You want to give your nurse plenty of time to make this happen. Your nurse will not always remember when your pain meds are due so it will be your job to remind them. Remember, they have five other six people all needed medicines and all needing extra special attention so it is possible that you could be forgotten if you do not speak up. I am positive some nurses found me annoying, but other said they really appreciated the fact I was trying to stay so consistent with things and remind them. They key here is to be very nice and just let them know you are trying to stay on top of things since you know how the pharmacy works. Nurse’s love blaming the pharmacy for delays and they will love you for not blaming them. Far too many people do.

    Running out of pain medication is a lot like falling off a cliff. You go down fast and it takes a while to climb back on top of it. So do yourself a favor and make sure you understand how long your pain medication will last and what types you are on. Make it a point with one of your final doctors’ visits prior to surgery to discuss what their plan for pain management will be and specifically which drugs he likes to use and why. With this in particular and your weight loss journey in general, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! The power to finally begin taking control of your life. That is what this amazing journey is all about. This will be a great way to practice in the hospital before you get home and the real work begins!
  2. Like
    celticNgel reacted to 7 Bites_Jen for a magazine article, Pre-Surgery Resources That Will Start You Off Right!   
    With the New Year comes the New Year Resolutions. For many people, one of the largest resolutions is a change in lifestyle - that includes losing weight! I remember my resolution in 2012 was to lose weight and get healthy. And I was able to do that with the help of the vertical sleeve. 2015 is going to hold that for many people and thousands of people undergo weight loss surgery to help them achieve their healthy goals for the new year.
    For those of you that are just thinking about surgery, I want to encourage you to know that you are not alone! You have a wealth of resources at your fingertips. I wanted to take a moment to share with you some amazing resources that you may find helpful on your journey!
    BariatricPal.com Of course, BariatricPal is one of the very best websites to find information and support. Here there are “rooms” geared for each surgery as well as pages for recipes, articles, and much more. You will find information on everything you might want to know from before surgery to years after. I suggest checking out the Before/After pages for a good dose of motivation and inspiration!
    7BitesShow.com 7 Bites is the first cooking series on YouTube geared specifically toward the bariatric community. The website has videos, recipes and blog posts.
    weightlosssurgerychannel.com Weight Loss Surgery Channel has a collection of videos on everything WLS related weather it be health, food and recipes, and more.
    BariatricFoodie The Bariatric Foodie has some great recipes for those that still love food, but want to stay on track
    TheWorldAccordingToEggface Eggface is one of the most popular of the bariatric cooking blogs. You will find great recipes, blog posts and giveaways on her blog.
    BariatricCookery.com This is a great resource page for everything from recipes to products.
    The “Big Book” series by Alex Breacher and Natalie Stein. There are four books in the series and all are great reads. They have a wealth of information on everything you need to know before, during and after surgery. The very best thing about these books is that they include personal stories from people that have been there.
    Breaking The Chains: A Guide To Bariatric Surgery by Jennifer DeMoss and Suzette Munson. The ladies of 7Bites pull from their and others’ experiences with weight loss surgery to provide a simplified, but comprehensive guide. Information on everything from how to pick your surgery and doctor to how to survive the first two weeks after surgery are included.
    The Sleeved Life by Pennie Nicola. This book tells about Pennie’s experience with the Vertical Sleeve procedure and discusses the ins and outs of the surgery from start to finish.
    Weight Loss Surgery For Dummies. The everything you ever wanted to know and then some guide to all things weight loss surgery. Many, MANY doctors and nurses recommend this book to their patients.
    Another great resource not listed here is your local bariatric support group! If you haven’t found one yet, contact your Surgery Center of Excellence or your nutritionist, they should be able to give you a good idea of one or two in your area. Or you can check out the list here on Bariatric Pal - it’s a very comprehensive list of support groups around the world!
  3. Like
    celticNgel reacted to Alex Brecher for a magazine article, Weight Loss Surgery: Be Your Own Best Advocate   
    Ask Questions
    Your advocate should get the information you need. Ask your surgeon how you can best prepare for surgery, what you can do to recover faster, and which mistakes he or she sees most often so you can avoid them. Find out how to contact your surgeon for post-op questions, and learn where you can go for support group meetings.
    You will need to ask plenty of other questions, too! As your own advocate, don’t be shy about asking anyone about anything. Read everything you can online and on BariatricPal, then use the forums to ask about anything you’re not sure about. You are sure to get all kinds of helpful hints that you never expected!
    Provide for Your Needs
    Life does throw curve balls, but your basic needs stay predictable. You know which foods and fluids you will need in any given day, so make sure you have them. Plan your menu for each day and go grocery shopping for the week so you are sure to always have the food you need around.
    Always keep a stash of “extras” in case of unplanned circumstances. Have instant protein meals and other staples in your pantry for last-minute meals. Keep protein bars and nuts in your car, your gym bag, and at work. Have different flavors of protein powder for whenever you find yourself hungry and without other options.
    You can also help yourself out by planning ahead. For example, if you’re going to a party, make sure you will have the foods that you will need for that time without needing to wait until after the party to eat or depending on the host to provide healthy proteins. Stick a protein bar or some nuts in your pocket or purse, or bring a healthy dish to share and nibble on yourself.
    Be Your Own Planner
    If you were taking care of a child with certain needs, you would schedule them in, make sure your child had the materials needed, and get your child to where he needed to go. If you have children, you may keep track of their homework, take them to after-school activities, and make sure they get the nutritious meals and proper sleep that they need. You would keep healthy foods around and provide them with the pencils and sports equipment that they need for school and extracurricular activities.
    Why wouldn’t you be just as good to yourself? Provide the same level of self-care for yourself as you do for your family. Keep healthy foods on hand, and schedule your own exercise and meal planning in and keep your commitment just like it was school.
    Prioritize your commitments, just like you would do for your children. Your meal prep and workout time is important, but so is relaxation time with your family or friends, or by yourself. Over the long term, balancing work and play can keep you on track but satisfied.
    Speak up When Necessary
    Keeping quiet can sometimes seem easier or more considerate to others, but keeping a low profile can work against you sometimes. Learn when it makes sense to speak up for yourself. For example, at restaurants, the server may be willing to bring you what you ask for (like a slab of plain chicken breast or the kids’ meal), but will not even know that is what you want (and need) if you do not say something out loud. You may find that you need to explain your weight loss surgery as a medical condition to get your server to honor your request.
    These are some other times when you should not keep your mouth shut:
    When someone pressures you to eat something that's not on your diet. When you do not understand your surgeon’s or nutritionist’s instructions. When you need help around the house or preparing your food. Learning to be your own best advocate can pay off in a big way, as you will always have someone looking out for your best interests. It is one more thing you can do to help yourself succeed in your WLS journey.
  4. Like
    celticNgel reacted to Alex Brecher for a magazine article, Your Hospital Packing List: What to Bring and Not Bring   
    Paperwork and Documentation
    Photo ID. Credit card, checkbook, and/or cash. List of contacts. List of questions and notebook to take notes. Insurance card, letter of reimbursement acceptance, or any other paperwork. A list of your medications. Passport or passport card Visa Bring a photo ID and any money you will need. You may not need any if you are going to a local hospital and your insurance covers your surgery. You may need a lot if you are self-pay and payment is due at the time of service. Bring money for any incidentals, such as a taxi ride home or to the airport. Bring any insurance paperwork you have if your insurance is helping to cover your surgery. Also bring a list of contacts such as family and friends that you can call if you need help. Include your doctor on the list. You or your surgeon may need to ask about medical conditions or medications that you are on.
    You need to bring the proper documentation if you are going outside the country for your bariatric surgery. At the least, you need a passport or passport card, and to be on the safe side, you should be sure it expires at least 6 months after your scheduled return date. You may need a visa for some countries, although not for Mexico if you are American.
    Slippers or socks with non-slip rubber soles or grips. Loose-fitting clothes to wear home. A change of underwear. You will wear the hospital’s gown, but should bring something loose-fitting to wear when you are discharged. Be sure the waist is very loose and the outfit is easy to slip on since you will be in some pain and will not be very agile after surgery! A gown or dress can be best. Non-slip slippers or socks will let you walk around when you can without needing to put on shoes and without risking falling when you are tired and weak.
    Do not take expensive clothes, tight fitting clothes, or accessories.
    Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap or body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. Lip balm and lotion or Vaseline. Hair ties. Baby wipes Just take the basics. Keep your teeth clean, and take what you need for a shower, if you have time to take one. You might feel very dry after surgery. Lip balm can keep your lips from getting too chapped, while lotion can keep your skin moisturized. A scrunchie or elastic hair band can keep your hair out of your face if you have long hair, and baby wipes can help you freshen up without much effort.
    Go light with your toiletries. Do not bother taking makeup since you will not have time to put it on, and you probably will not have the energy, either!
    Electronics and Entertainment
    Phone and charger. Book or eReader with books on it. Crossword puzzles or other paper or electronic games. Movies. Do not forget your charger for each device!
    Time will probably pass very quickly in the hospital and you may not have a chance to get to any of your entertainment. You may also be too tired or distracted to focus on it.
    Food and Drink
    Tea bags and water enhancers. Protein powders and shakes. Water bottle. Protein blender bottle. Your first priority after weight loss surgery will be to stay hydrated. Water can taste funny, so you might want to pack some water enhancer powder or flavor drops. Decaffeinated herbal tea bags are easy to pack, too. Just make sure you let the tea cool before you sip it so it does not hurt your surgery scar. A water bottle and protein blender bottle can be useful for the trip home.
    You do not need to take any solid food since you will not be eating it for several days to weeks after weight loss surgery.
    For Your Health and Comfort
    Pillow. Medications. Ear plugs and face mask. CPAP machine. Gas-X. Throat lozenges. A pillow on your lap can make your ride home much more comfortable. It can also help you sleep better in the hospital if you are fussy. Ask the hospital about which medications to bring, whether you should bring your own CPAP machine, and how they feel about you using GAS-X to combat your post-op flatulence.
    Do Not Bring
    Jewelry. Irreplaceable keepsakes, such as photos. A simple rule of thumb is if you do not need it and do not want to lose it, do not take it. This goes for pricey items, such as designer handbags and jewelry, and for anything irreplaceable, such as family photos.

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