Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Surgery On July 10th, 2012

On July 10th I had my vertical sleeve gastrectomy in Tijuana, Mexico with Dr. Pompa.

 I left Saskatoon at 6am on the 9th and got into San Diego at just after 1pm.  It was a great flight and I was feeling pretty calm.  The driver picked me up at the airport and one other couple also.  It was a nice drive through San Diego and it took about 20 minutes to get to the border.

After crossing the border we dropped off the other couple at another clinic.  I'm really glad that I wasn't getting surgery there because I would've turned around and gone back home.  It looked pretty sketchy. I have heard that some of those other places are horrible. I was sure happy that I made the decision to go with WLF!

The hotel that I was at was the Grand Hotel Tijuana.  It was pretty nice but I can imagine that years ago it was considered to be a very fancy place.  The hospital where I had my surgery was in another wing of the hotel so it was good not to have to leave.  I arrived the day prior so I was able to check out the hotel and the pool and have a little time to just relax before the big day.

Surgery day.
My surgery was scheduled for 2pm on July 10th.  I arrived at the hospital at 8am to get settled in and to do pre-op pictures, weight, ECG, and bloodwork.  My pre-op weight was 185 lbs, so I lost 13 lbs on my pre-op diet alone.

Just before 2, I was visited by the surgeon, internist and anesthesiogist.  I then got a nice little happy pill (they call it the tequila pill) and I was flying pretty high with no worries in the world.  I was wheeled into the OR, said hi to the doc and was out like a light.  I woke up at about 7pm in pretty bad shape.  I'm not gonna lie.  It sucked and I was in a whole lotta pain!!!  I guess from what I was told, I had a really big, thick stomach and Dr. Pompa had to staple my stomach and then go over it with sutures just to be sure.  That whole first night was pretty bad.  I had a lot of pain and I threw up a few times.  At about 5am I finally realised that I felt better when laying on my side so I did that and managed to get a few hours of sleep.

Day 1 post-op.
The following day was just a recovery day.  I got my catheter out and showered and just walked and relaxed all day.  I did feel better but it was still rough.  At this point I was kinda regretting my decision and just wanted my stomach and my old life back.  I was not allowed to have anything to drink and was pretty miserable. I think this was my feel sorry for myself day (I learned later that this is normal and most people have these feelings).

Day 2 post-op.
This was the day of my leak test and if all goes well ... the wonderful popsicle.  At 9 we were off to the x-ray where I had to drink a barium solution and get x-rays to make sure I didn't have a leak in my new tiny stomach. The barium that I had to drink was pretty gross.  I managed to keep it down for the first 2 pictures but then I puked it all back up.  I'm pretty fortunate that I didn't have to redo it because at that point, I don't think I would have been able to.  Back at my room, Dr. Pompa came in and gave me the good news that I had no leaks and I got the most wonderful tasting purple popsicle ever (after 3 days of nothing - anything would have been good).  I was then given instructions for my medications, got my drain out and was discharged from the hospital.  Then I checked into the hotel and got all settled in.  I had a 3 hour nap and then went down for supper. 

My supper this night (and every other one for the next three weeks) was/is and will be, chicken broth. It is actually pretty good there but the amazing thing is that I can only drink/eat about 4 oz before I am full.  It's really something that takes some getting used to. 

Day 3 post-op.
This was my relax around the pool, go shopping and have fun day.  That is also exactly what it was.  The facilitator Connie and myself were the only ones left in Mexico and so we hung out for most of the day.  We went to Starbucks in the morning where I found that I just love peppermint tea.  I even bought a tin of the stuff to take home and have on the plane.  Then we went to some little shops across the street and did some shopping.  It was a lot of fun.  We went to the hotel for a rest.  A little while later we went to Revolution Ave to do some more shopping.  It was fun.  I even managed to wear out Connie and she didn't even have surgery. 

Day 4 post-op.
Home day.  I got up and headed to the airport at 9am.  The border crossing going into the US was a lot busier and it took us about 2 hours to get through.  It was so busy but I guess that is why we leave the hospital as early as we do!!  There was a line-up at least 2 miles long of just pedestrians waiting to walk through and the car line-up was probable 5 miles long.  It was unreal. I'm sure glad that I wasn't walking!! :)

The plane ride home was pretty uneventful and I was home safe and sound by 9pm that night.  My little guy was sure happy to see mom and I very happy to see him.

P.S.  I was happy to see my daughter too but she was at a friends house and didn't get home until the next day.

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