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Newly Sleeved: My night in the ICU



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I was sleeved on August 5th, just now getting up the energy to get this written. Anyhow, my husband and I arrived at the hospital at 8am and I was feeling pretty good, not all that nervous, Just ready to get it done. I get admitted and set up in the pre-op room waiting for 10am to come around. My inlaws drove over that morning to be with me and with my husband while he waits and I can tell that my MIL is sooo nervous, she keeps rubbing my arm. When the nurses come in we all chit chat while they are taking vitals and hooking me up with this thing and that thing. Someone brought up the question on if I needed a blood type band, but the other nurse said no it wasn't necessary. My husband asked why and was told that my Surgeon "Never needs to do transfusions so we don't worry about it." Meh, sounds good to me, I have complete trust in my surgeon!

Before i know it my surgeon is here and the anesthesiologist is here and we are headed down the hallway. I don't even remember making it to the OR.

Fast forward a few hours and I'm in a small hospital room, my husband is there and he says everything went great! I remember my mouth being soooo super dry and the nurses let me swish some Water around and spit it out. I remember telling my husband to go out to lunch with my inlaws and get something to eat! Then darkness.

I wake back up to several nurses in my room and my husband and lots of beeping going on, someone is trying to either get a vain to put something in me or take blood I'm not sure, I'm so tired I can hardly even keep my eyes open. Everyone is shaking me and telling me to open my eyes, wake up, stay wake but I'm so tired. I hear my husband tell me to open my eyes and now my surgeon is in the room and nurses are on both hands trying to get a vain, I don't feel anything anymore. I hear my husband say "Take Her!" and then I don't remember anything.

Fast-forward to 8pm that night, I wake up in the ICU of the hospital with a very stressed out looking husband. I am hooked up to several machines at this point. My surgeon comes in to check on me and tells me what happened. My sleeve procedure went smoothly, but while organs were being moved around some blood vessels that go from between the stomach and the spleen had gotten pinched/torn but it was in a way that nothing was showing itself as a problem. I had my surgery and was in recovery for 2 hours and in my room for 1 hour without any issues at all, I was a star patient. Until, as my husband told me, the nurses came into the room to start getting me up to walk, as they lifted the head of the bed all of my vitals crashed. As they were trying to get me to get up those blood vessels that were pinched were shifted and I started bleeding out. My surgeon took me back into surgery and said it was like a mini geyser in there. He said he cauterized it 9 times to stop the bleeding.

I lost a lot of blood and while I was in ICU, I received two units of blood. I was on a pain pump, morphine and I remember I kept asking the nurses for something stronger, I just couldn't breath, it felt like I had done a thousand ab crunches and I couldn't even take a breath. After giving me morphine and Vicodin through the IV they finally called in something stronger called HydroMorphin. That stuff was AMAZING! within 20 minutes I was able to take my first real breath. I had lab techs coming in every hour to take blood samples and check my platelet count, my veins were collapsing and they had to call in the big wigs, he said he was only called when no one else could get anything, and it still took in a try or two, I;m still foggy at that point.

I think I fell asleep because I open my eyes and my husband is there the next day, he had to go home shortly after I arrived in ICU to feed and let out our dogs and get some sleep. I am still having labs drawn and by this point I'm still not really feeling the needles, at one point the poor tech only got out a few drops before it was over. That lab had to be redone since it was so small it had clotted. They successfully attempt to get blood out of the IV that they had been giving me blood through. It must of been ok because they didn't hook me up to anymore blood bags. Yay! It's time to start getting up! My ICU nurse starts to position the bed into a seat position and my heart goes from 98 to 160, she panics and lays me back down and starts on the phone with my surgeon who has told them to call him if I go over 110. At this point my respiration drops and more alarms are going off. the nurses come in and check my breathing and open up the air thingy behind me. Respiration goes back up, but I can still hear my heart beating in my ears. that slows down and they draw more labs!

Over the course of the day and three shift changes, I was able to get up and out of bed, I walked a few short trips around the ICU and I was bubbly happy when I was cleared for my first sip of 1oz water! I over heard the ICU nurses talking about me and how crazy it was that they actually had a bariatric patient because "That NEVER happens!" My Surgeon came by and told me how i was a first for him as well, as in bleeding and having to go to the ICU. I was in his "less than 1% complication" I graduate to phase two and started on my Protein Drinks, no problems at all, maybe a little gassy but not bad.

At 11pm that night, (day 2 post-op) I get moved to the bariatric floor of the hospital. I text my husband the room and try to get some sleep. No luck, hourly checks have me awake most of the night. I scare the hospital staff when I try to getup to go to the bathroom, (they took the catheter out at the ICU), my heart rate jumps back up into the 160s and I suddenly have a couple of nurses in my room. Eventually they come to accept that if my heart alarm is going off then I'm out of bed. They slowly stop checking on me throughout the day. I've been up and walking the floor, I've peed tons! I've walked some more. I keep asking to have the IV lines taken out since I wasn't hooked up to them anymore. I keep getting told at 3pm. I am going to get checked out at 3pm. Thankfully 3pm shows up and I've meet with the head nurse, and the nutritionist and some other ppl and I am cleared to go.

By 3:45 I am home and exhausted. I sleep on the couch and my husband tends to me sweetly.

So now that I am 8 days post op here's what I have to say.

I absolutely LOVE my surgeon, as my MIL said, other surgeons would have maybe tried to wait and see if my vitals leveled out but not my surgeon, he saw that there was a problem and took Immediate action!

I would absolute do this surgery again even with time spent in the ICU, The staff there were amazing.

Days 1-6 TOTALLY Completely SUCK Monkey Butt, but it gets better.

I don't want to weigh myself until my two week check up, but I am as gitty as a school girl about it!

So, pick your surgeon wisely and trust him/her completely! I did and still do!

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Thank you for your post. I loved reading it. It was honest and that's what I need to hear as I await my surgery date. I have accepted the fact that there can be complications but I have trust in my surgeon and cant wait until Sept 16th when I have my surgery. I am glad to hear you are doing good and kept a positive attitude, congrats!! Please keep us posted on your progress :)

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Oh my goodness!! You have a life long story to tell there!! I am so glad that you recovered so well! That is scary stuff !! Please keep us posted!! :)

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Nice response by the surgeon, but what was the deal with your blood type? Did they know your blood type? Out of interest, what is your blood type?

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Glad you recovered and that your surgeon accepted the fact of something gone/done wrong.

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Nice response by the surgeon' date=' but what was the deal with your blood type? Did they know your blood type? Out of interest, what is your blood type?[/quote']

I truly think it was just a coincidence about asking for the blood type band and then actually needing it. Had I not needed the transfusion then I most likely would have never thought of it again.

I'm O+ lucky me. ;-) I'm sure it was in my file somewhere since they took labs before surgery.

I'm trying to stay upbeat and honestly it is easier the further out I get... But those first few day were just bad. Like what the heck have I done crying on the couch bad. Of course, sleeping helps tons!

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Just glad you're ok. Hang in there. BTW, I was sleeved August 5th as well.

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Eek. This post has inspired me to make sure I'm typed and cross matched and they have blood on hold for me before surgery. Nurses make the worst patients :)

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I'm glad you are doing well now. PTL that you had a good Dr. and nsg staff. Keep us updated on your recovery.

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Its official. IM SCARED SENSELESS. Glad you're doing well. Me? Not so good. Lol

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So glad to hear you are doing well....I'm waiting to be sleeved Aug 29th and it is always good to hear the good and the BAD stories as well.....hope the rest of your journey goes smooth

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Wow I am so happy you are feeling better. For those that are afraid, don't be. Her situation was one out of 10k. Most people have a smooth process. I was sleeved August 7th and I had zero complications. I was home walking my dog the next day. Sounds like she had a responsible and awesome surgeon!! Good luck with everything I'm sure you will have an amazing journey from here on out.

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As someone who once made an unexpected trip to the ICU (pulmonary embolism) it can be VERY scary...Just hearing ICU can fill most people with dread. But as I was told, it is just a department where the nurse assigned to you can pay much closer attention, as they are not spread out over numerous patients. That being said you went through quite an ordeal, but it is very refreshing to know how you have come to the other side of it now. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing and happy days ahead! Here's wishing you all the success in the world!

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Thanks everyone! Everyday is a better day right now! I was actually good enough to walk around the block this morning between the rain storms.

Please don't be scared to have this surgery, you are changing your life for the better and every journey has a bump or two! :-)

If I had to be honest, once I was feeling better I rather enjoyed my time in the ICU, as said above, I had three nurses (three shift changes) who were dedicated to helping me and looking after me and maybe one other. And I attribute my recovery to their personalized care!

Best of luck to you all!

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I am so glad your story ended well, and that you are now on the road to recovery. I agree with you that choosing the right surgeon is extremely important. So many don't do any in depth checking. They go to a surgeon they saw in an ad or some other way ... but really don't know much about him/her.

I am very glad that your surgeon took quick action and got to you as quickly as he did. However, it looks like he caught onto a problem that he caused. He was the guy who operated, right? He was the one whose surgery had a messy outcome. Thank God he was responsible enough to do what he had to. Certainly anyone can make a mistake, but this sounds like a botched surgery. "but while organs were being moved around some blood vessels that go from between the stomach and the spleen had gotten pinched/torn." The organs didn't move around by themselves, I doubt the nurses did that. You were his first out of how many? I'm glad you feel good, but this was a serious error, not just a complication.

Hoping that your recovery continues unremarkably.

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