1 Year Post Duodenal Switch

Coped from my update post at BariatricFacts as Im lazy and busy studying (or not studying as the case usually is)

It has been a CRAZY year!

First off, I must apologise for not being as active and supportive around here as I would like to be. I’m doing/trying to do a Bachelor Honours degree and I spend most of my time on the sofa panicking about the papers I should be writing, lol. The life of a student! I am considering taking a break from my studies though, so we shall see! If only there was an app for the forums that begged for my attention the way FB does πŸ˜‰

So lets see. This time last year I had just been taken to theatre (the OR). I don’t remember the song that was playing but I remember dancing on the table to the song as they put me under. I was so scared yet at peace with my decision that I knew whatever happened, good or bad, this was the only chance I had to be who I wanted to be, with the life I wanted to have.

If you are new around here…..as in….joined in the last EIGHT months (it’s been a while since I had a nosy!) and you don’t know my story…here is a quick run down. Im a yank, in the UK. Always been super obese. Graduated high school over 450lbs. Had the DS in two stages as by the time I admitted I needed WLS and it wasn’t this evil plot to “kill the fatties”, I had reached 644lbs. Add to that that most of my weight is in the belly, this meant that even with a top surgeon, it was too risky for a DS in one go. Had sleeve Aug 2010 and had my DS a year ago today. I am now 324lbs. 2lbs to go until Im half the woman I was.

So, my DS. It was a rough start. I had many complications even after sailing through the VSG at my top weight. My Op was textbook, until I started to bleed out an hour or two after my op. I was rushed back into surgery and due to the urgency of the situation, I was sliced open from one side to the other (incision was over a foot long to start and heaven know’s how deep). They were able to stop the bleed and get me sorted. However, I then failed to wake up from anaesthesia. I was out for 6 days. They were at the point where brain scans were being considered to see if I was still alive or if I was a vegetable. It never came to that as I did come around before the scan, demanding ice chips!

It wasn’t over for me though. The wound got infected whilst I was in never never land. This meant that the wound had to be ripped open (whilst I was away thankfully) and wet packed with IV antibiotics. A wound cannot be restitched as I found out. I was left with a open wound that finally healed less than 2 weeks ago. For nearly a year I had nurses coming around to change dressings and all the fun stuff. There were wound vacs and all sorts, but it still took a YEAR. (This mean no exercise for me as I am very disabled and can only do water exercises…can’t get into water with an open wound!)

I also woke up to severe carpal tunnel in my left hand. I could not feel anything in my ass wiping hand!!!!!!!!! Ugh. That was one of the most troublesome and heartbreaking complications (to me). I had no feeling, no strength, and at times the hand would burn, sting and tingle. I couldn’t even hold a pencil. This has also improved. My GP gave my a cortisone shot in my wrist late last summer. I thought it hadn’t worked, but little by little I was able to feel and do things again. It was such a slow process that I didn’t even notice it until the hubz asked how my hand was as I hadn’t mentioned it in a while. So glad I have both hands again!!!!

Then there was the nerve tingling/burning in my right thigh. I still have that at times but it is not chronic like it was for the first 9 months or so. I have hope that it will continue to get better!

So those were some of the challenges I had directly resulting from the operation itself. Now for the DSer bits πŸ˜‰

Codeine. Codeine used to be my saving grace. (2 types of arthritis, hips shot to hell, etc) Post DS, I could OD on codeine (the good stuff, pure codeine, not the stuff you get in the USA mixed with stuff) and I got minor relief. I put up with this a lot longer than I should have as I was afraid to try stronger medication. Better the devil you know and all that jazz. Well, I bit the bullet and am now on Fentanyl 50mcg/h patches and they are AWESOME! I have some sort of mobility back without crying and punching the walls out of frustration (yes, that really happened!) They also don’t make me giddy and high feeling like codeine, which is awesome as Im too old for that shit lol.

Poop. I had poop issues. Really urgent, loose, poop issues. I have those sorted now, just needed a bit more carbs (won’t work for any one else, just ME. Do NOT try carbs at home!) I’m going like clockwork now, even a bit better than pre op if you can believe it.

Vits. It took me a while to get the hang of things. I thought I would never ever understand the required vits. It was overwhelming to me every time I looked at Vitalady’s schedule. Through this experience, I have realised I learn by doing. Reading and hearing just confuses me even more. I had to sit down and do it. The first time I sorted my monthly vits its took nearly 3 hours. Not kidding!!!! However, by month 4 or 5 I could easily do it without the cheat sheet and I was a bit faster each time. Now, sorting my vits for the month takes about an hour, including getting everything out and opening all the slots. And I can do all of this whilst watching South Park without the cheat sheet. It does get better and easier. I’ve been a little nutty about my vits. In the past year I have missed a total of 3 days, but I made up the doses (if thats even possible lol) by adding in extras the next day. Im a bit anal about my vits if Im honest. Malnutrition scares the shit out me!

So, it a nutshell, I have been to hell and back and never regretted my DS for a second. No buyers remorse, no regrets, no woulda shoulda couldas from me. I don’t even regret having the DS in two stages as living with a sleeve taught me valuable lessons. I toughed out my sleeve, refusing to give up on hope and that taught me patience, perseverance, self acceptance and self LOVE. My DS has allowed me to be a bit less frantic in dieting although I do have to monitor things a bit more than other DSers. I don’t care πŸ™‚ This is my journey to walk and it’s a pretty unusual journey on a hardly trodden path, so I find what works for ME and I do that….and if it stops working, I find something ELSE…and do THAT πŸ™‚

To celebrate my surgiversary today, I went to physical therapy, breakfast and then SWIMMING!!!!! yay! Physical therapy is now over for me. i graduated, yay lol. She was impressed by my improvements and self motivation and wasn’t sure what she could offer someone to driven so she let me go on my way. Breakfast could have been better!!!! I had tiny tummy syndrome today! Went to breakfast buffet and managed 1 sausage and 2 egg yolks. Meh. Still worth Β£4 πŸ™‚ The swimming was AWESOME! I forgot how much I loved being in the water, but as I got in I had the hugest, stupidest grin on my face! Was truly fantastic! Looking forward to a lot more time in the pool to help me get stronger as being bed bound for 4 months and housebound for a year does pretty shit things to your muscles!

Here is my latest full length pic taken in January 2015 πŸ™‚

Anyways, there it is! I’m doing FANTASTIC!!! Losing slowish but still losing and VERY happy! I leave you with this meme that describes my journey. Im not perfect, my life isn’t easy, but dammit I never ever give up!!!

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