I lived!!!!! yay. So I had my vertical sleeve gastrectomy on August 16, 2010 at Kings College Hospital in London by the best surgeon in all of the land….Mr Ameet Patel. He is the rock star of surgeons!
I was called on the afternoon of Sunday Aug 15th to let me know the hospital had a bed ready for me. Then my husband and I hit the road as it is about a 1.5-2 hr trip. London traffic is a nightmare. On the way, I admit, UNASHAMEDLY that I had a double whopper with cheese and onion rings. yum yum yum! (fuck all you haters, lol, it was hella good!)
So I got to the hospital, go to bed and room was so fucking hot….like a sauna. I thought great! Staying the night here sweating my ass off and I won’t need weight loss surgery, lol. But alas, I woke up and I wasn’t any smaller. lol. The next morning the surgeon, his registrar, and the anaesthetist came to talk to me and explain everything I already knew anyways as I had research WLS to death. I signed on the dotted line.
The hospital is not an Obesity Centre of Excellence and while they had a bariatric bed for me, they did not have gowns to fit me. I had brought a couple of sun dresses to wear post op as a wait band on incisions didn’t appeal to me. So being wheeled through the hospital on my bed, I was covered with 2 gowns and a sheet. Not the most dignified, but I was completely covered. 🙂
I got the the theatre (operating room in brit speak) waiting bay where I handed my husband my glasses. I wasn’t tearful at all even though I knew at 620lbs I had a good chance of not making it. I was so at peace with it all. So it was my turn and they wheeled me in to the theatre, pushed me right up against the operating table and told me to hop on, lol. They offered no help and mind you I am nekkid as a jay bird, lol. So I said “right. I hope you all have seen a nekkid fat person before cos if not, you are now” and I scooted and scooted, bounced and scooted until I was on the table. But I did it! yay.
On the table they had me lay what felt like, upside down. They put your head way way down. And they strapped blow up calf protector things to prevent blood clots…and the funnest part was them digging for an artery in my right arm to keep check on my blood pressure. It was too bad. It was all surreal. I knew these were my last moments alive and I was aware of every little detail. There were a lot of people in the room.
The anaesthetist put the gas mask on me and my thoughts were “I have had such a great life.” and I was peaceful and then BAM! Was being woken up by 5 people standing next to my bed calling my name. I never felt so nauseous in all my life. I say “I need a drink. I feel sick” and I repeated that a few times. They shot something into my iv which only took seconds to take effect and I felt better. And then they gave me some water. So thankful for that water!!!
I was told I was very alert, lol. It didn’t feel that way, but I guess that means I do ok under general anaesthetic. 🙂 They then wheeled me to ICU. I stayed there for 2 nights I think. I don’t remember much as I was on a morphine pump. Then they moved me to high dependency, which is a step down from ICU. The next day, they moved me onto the ward.
I will skip the fight with a nurses aid and the breakdown I had with the physical therapist. I had a barium swallow test to check for any leaks in my staple line. I passed with flying colours. Though there are 2 things they don’t tell you. 1) it tastes like black licorice or black jelly beans, neither of which I am fond of. 2) It will give you the worst shits of your life!!! All the while really sore in the tummy.
I didn’t have any “complications” from surgery. I did however go into semi malnutrition due to the hospital not having high protein fluids available. My body, my belly apron specifically, swelled up so bad that you could lay your hand on it and it would leave a print. When I moved I could feel the water swoosh and hit my abdominal wall and it is excruciatingly painful. So painful and they didn’t know what was wrong or causing the pain…so they kept me in a week longer…and all the time, not getting better because I wasn’t getting ANY protein. So yeah. Moral of story, bring your own protein shakes to hospital!