Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Hubby was scheduled to go in at 6 AM and I was scheduled for 9AM. We turned on our alarms to wake up at 4:30 AM to shower and gather the last few things we needed. I woke up at 2 AM stressing and wishing I could back out but from the beginning hubby and I made a deal, “You jump, I jump” meaning if he was determined to do this then I would as well. Of course, I was not as “all in” to this idea as he was so I balked a lot over the last few weeks and cried a lot and mourned the change and loss of food and loss of traditions and routines and anything else I could find to cry about I did. So this morning was no different I tossed and turned and prayed and wished I was not going to have to do this. At 4 AM I finally woke Stewart up and let him in on my panic attack telling him while I cried how crazy this was, that we were insane for thinking this was a solution, trying to bribe him with his favorite meal at our favorite restaurant, every stage of grief I had been going through over the last two weeks I went through again at 4 AM the morning of our surgery. I was freaking out a bit because we had thought I would go first so he could “hand hold” me but then they switched it up and I knew I had to brave it alone without my soul mate. I had my mom to sit with me of course but well, my hubby lets me be a big baby and deals with it, I wasn’t sure how vulnerable I would allow myself to be with my mom. We headed to the hospital and they whisked us away to the back as soon as we arrived. Stewart didn’t even have a chance to hug the kids, we were just moved back to the prep room.
They gave him his gown, socks, and hair net thing and he got suited up. I gathered his clothes and put them in the bag they provided and we wait. He kept telling me how sorry he was that he was going first. He was so worried about me having to deal with my nerves all on my own. I honestly felt ok at that point, my 4AM last ditch effort to get him to back out had failed so I was in “cowgirl up” mode. We talked and comforted each other between nurses coming in and asking questions, starting an IV, and taking vital signs. The one nurse had the surgery 7 months ago and her testimony was very helpful in calming us. After about 2 hours of waiting the doctor came in and said he was ready to go, I kissed my hubby and watched as they rolled him away.
They told me to go ahead and go back to the room they just rolled him out of and they would get me prepped. I told them to hold on a sec I had to go get my mom. So I went to the waiting area and my daughter was laying on a love seat resting everyone else was gone. I was a bit panicked because it was my turn to get prepped and my mom wasn’t in the waiting room they had gone to the cafeteria for a few minutes. I texted her and told her I was ready and barely got to hug the kids before I too was expected back in prep room 5. I walked in and they had already replaced the bed and had my stuff laid out for me to change into. I got suited up, mom braided my hair and I sat and waited. The same nurses asked me the same questions, put in an IV and took my vitals. Finally, after about an hour, one nurse came in and said they had started on Stewart about 30 minutes ago and so far everything was going well. So I sat and waited some more. Mom and I talked a little but I wasn’t very talkative, mostly just nerves and trying to hold it together. My sweet patient mom just sat there by my side waiting for what seemed like forever. Finally, the doctor came in and told me that Stewart was out of surgery and in recovery and that everything went well. He had a little trouble getting him intubated because of hubby’s thick neck and facial hair but they got the job done. He said, his stomach wasn’t the largest he has ever seen but it was right up there with it. He said he had one more quick procedure and they would be right in for me. I figure someone had to have a colonoscopy which only takes 30 minutes. So again I wait. A nurse comes in and said the other procedure was going to take longer than expected, I assume they found an issue in the coloscopy (I hope it isn’t serious) and I wait some more.
I text my daughter silly snap chats and texted Stewart a message on Facebook just to let him know I wasn’t wigging out too bad and that everything was going to be ok. Finally they surgery team comes to my door about the same time Anna tells me dad is in his room and they are going up to see him. As they ready me to be rolled out I tell mom, “He is in room 405, tell him I love him!” They give me something that relaxes me and rolls me away.
I barely remember anything after that, glimpses of them prepping me, and then nothing. The next thing I know I jump startled, I hear, “Oh no she pulled out her IV.” “I can’t get it” “I’ll try here” Two people on either side of me trying like crazy to get an IV in my arms and I am in some serious pain. My stomach felt like it was cut from my sternum to my belly button. I ask was it laparoscopically, “Yes” was the response as they continue to struggle with my veins that have always been a problem to stick. I am getting to the point of tears and I tell them ok guys y’all need to get it because this is just too much.” Right-hand lady says, “I think I got it!” at the same time left-hand lady says, “Finally, I have it in!” I kind of zone back out again.
I remember an image of the recovery room there may have been a man to my left behind another curtain but I could have dreamed it. I remember being rolled into my room, my mom comes in with my sister and daughter, they have me move into my bed while I try to keep from flashing the creepy little nurse aid guy that is at the foot of my bed. They put the pressure things on my legs to keep blood clots from being an issue, cover me up and I see my hubby walking to my room with my youngest son, Adam. “He is already up and walking, How long was I out?” He comes in and patted me and talked to me for a second then went back to his room to rest. I was so groggy. People were still doing stuff, I was hurting above my sternum. I had my mommy rub my tummy. I was in and out of it for a while. My cell phone started ringing I knew that would only be one person, my son Austin! I couldn’t find my phone, it’s on my bedside. I ask the nurse to hand it to me she didn’t. The phone stopped ringing. I panic, Anna finally gets around the nurse and hands the phone to me. I wait. A few seconds later it rings again. My boy called to check on momma. I was still groggy and I explain to him that my surgery was bumped so I am just getting to my room and still a bit out of it. I tell him everything went well, dad and I are both fine, so he didn’t have to worry. He talked to me a bit but the time is never long enough and I was struggling to stay focused and talk. He promised to call back, probably Sunday. We hang up, sweet sorrow. Ok, I was ready for pain meds, I got to talk to my boy so if the meds put me out that was ok now. I had mom help me get my pajamas on so my hiney wasn’t shining anymore from the unflattering hospital gowns.
Mom and Brenda had already stayed almost all day and was really needing to get back to their husbands and I was a big baby not wanting my mommy to leave. I told my mom, “Tell Daddy I’m the baby!” (He thought that was funny) Finally, they left and it was just me and my daughter, Anna, in my room. Adam was staying in Stewart’s room to assist him. It would work out fine. I finally started to get my bearings and less groggy so it wasn’t so scary to be there when you’re not in super pain and out of it.
Stewart came back to my room occasionally, I finally got the nurse to undo my IV so I could put a shirt on and then I was ready to get up and walk with my hubby about the floor. It was slow moving and I felt a little unstable still but the pain was managed and the kids were there if we needed to be steadied. Hubby would pop in and out of my room to visit and the go to his to nap. When he was asleep Adam would come to my room and visit and lay beside my legs on my bed. It reminded me of when I had my last big surgery, the boy wouldn’t leave my side, not much has changed except his size.
The night was broken sleep and nurses doing rounds but it was ok, the pain meds worked and I was doing ok just tired. The staff was all really great, except for creepy nurse aid guy who mouthed me right at first and said to the other nurse that I was being “stupid” and not getting up and walking. I guess he thought I was still out of it because I told him, as soon as I get my pain meds I plan to walk thank you very much! Then I assume trying to make small talk for being a jerk, he asked me why did I get this surgery. I said, “Uh, I was 305 pounds and couldn’t lose it.” (DUH) He really doesn’t need to work with people, just saying. But other than him, the staff was great! The said they like patients like me who was no problem, I told them I try my best not to be a pain to others.
Finally, the next day the doctor came in at noon and gave us our green light to go home. I admit I was kind of nervous leaving the hospital because I knew they were watching us and we were ok as long as we were there and going home meant we had to do this alone. Scary! I texted my sister to come to get us and we swung by got our meds and headed home to settle into our new life as “Sleevers.”
Till Next time…
Peace, Love, & Blessings,
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