Friday, January 8, 2010

Officially Banded :)

All went well with the surgery today, from leaving the house at 9:30am with bestie in tow to arriving back at home at about 9:30pm, this time with bestie having me in tow! The last twelve hours happened pretty quickly - when we got to the hospital at noon, it wasn't long before I saw the admitting nurse, paid my co-pay, signed paperwork, etc. Then, bestie and I were whisked back to the surgical ward where I immediately gave a urine sample, got dressed in the oh-so-fashionable hospital garb (open to the back - woo baby!), and chilled in a bed while an IV was put in my wrist (side note: I HATE IV'S in my wrist! HATE them!). By 1pm I was chillin' in my bed in the room outside of the operating room - which would later be the recovery room for me. I hung out there for awhile, met with my doctor, anesthesiologist, and nurse, and was wheeled into the operating room at about 2pm. Once there, it wasn't long before I was literally strapped down, arms out to either side of me, and legs strapped down together like I was a prisoner in a mental ward...and, while final tightening and adjustments were being made to my arms and legs, the anesthesiologist threw an oxygen mask on me, told me to take deep breaths...

...and I woke up back in the recovery room at about 4pm (although apparently the nurse had told bestie at 3pm that I was done and on my way out - guess I took awhile to recover!). Doctors said my surgery went perfectly! At that point, my throat was VERY dry and I was feeling pain in my stomach, which I later found out is where the "port" incision for my LapBand is. After taking in more oxygen, because the doctor says I wasn't taking deep enough breaths to fully recover from the anesthesia, I was wheeled to the original room I was in (with a "Hi Bestie!" mid way to grab him from the waiting room) at about 4:30pm. We hung out for about an hour while I continued to wake up, use the restroom, get the IV removed, get my prescriptions, talk with the doctor, got dressed, contacted It was an eventful hour :). And, with that? I was wheeled out to the front of the hospital and in my car before 6pm, with bestie driving, of course!

The trip home was uneventful for me - I was still in pain at the port incision (I had learned that I have 4 incisions in mah belly, and that the two surrounding the port will be the most painful for me, according to the doctor), and the trapped CO2 gas in my stomach was finally trying to escape...leading me to have shoulder pains from trapped gas trying to escape. I know bestie had fun navigating Los Angeles traffic for the first time, but I was in and out of consciousness, so I couldn't tell ya much of what happened! I did have him stop after about an hour so I could get up and walk...I've read too much about developing blood clots in your legs from all of this, and that walking also helps to get rid of the trapped gas in your body. So, we walked around a 76 station (I believe - I was kinda out of it...) in Santa Clarita for a bit, and we hopped back in the car...destination: PHARMACY!

Yup, by that time I was ready for drugs. I was drinking water to soothe the VERY dry throat, but was nervous about it - not knowing how much water my now-little belly could hold. But, I wanted to get my post-op drugs so I could start recovering the way I'm supposed to. Luckily, the first store we stopped at once getting back in town had some awesome ladies in the pharmacy - with twenty minutes to closing, they were more than happy to fill my two prescriptions, talk with me and get me on my way. Yay! I also picked up some Gas-X strips, because I've heard they help greatly with all this trapped CO2, and some sugar-free Caramel Coffee Werther's Original candies...omg YUM! The nurse had told me I could suck on cough drops, so I figured this was just as safe - as long I don't chew it up or take any chunks down mah esophagus!

Equipped with my Walgreen's bag of goodies, bestie and I headed (finally) for home. I downed 2 Gas-X strips on the way (peppermint-yum!) which seem to be helping with the gas buildup, sucked a Werther's down (omg-yummier!), and got home to greet my kitty cats and take the first round of meds. (1) I've got liquid vicodin/acetaminophen to help with the pain - I'm able to take that every 4 hours, up to 5 times a day. I giggled at the pharmacy lady when she advised me to take it with food - then told her I was on strictly liquids for a week! (2) I've got antibiotics in capsule form, which I get to open and mix the capsule-y powder into a liquid in order to consume four times a day. First time? I dumped the powder on top of the 1/2 ounce of liquid painkiller - lemme tell ya, NEITHER of the meds taste good...all sorts of "ew" went down with those first meds. I believe my quote to bestie was, "This tastes like every sort of ass in the world." But, they're both great for me - antibiotics must be taken for the next seven days, and I'm not about to be a martyr for pain, so I'll be sure to be taking the liquid pain cocktail of goodness often, as permitted :). I'd read that a lot of post-op "bandsters" feel that they don't need the pain meds, so they don't take it, then fall asleep and wake up with horrendous pain. No thanks! I have no problem at all downin' some liquid feel good meds!

Sooo...that's it! I'm home now, bloggin'. I've updated Facebook (LOVED all the support I got there today - you guys are AWESOME!), called friends, bestie's back to recording music in his room, and I'm talking to *him!* I look forward to healing over the next week, savoring the liquids I get to consume, and checking in with my doctor for my post-op appointment (here in town) on Thursday morning! Added bonus?? *He* is flying here on Monday...gonna have an incredible time with him, just being lazy around the house and letting him pamper and spoil me as I recover! LOL! Lovz you babe :).

Today's Weight (pre-op): 328.6 pounds
Total Weight Lost: 9.6 pounds


  1. So glad you were able to Blog last night, Joia. I thought about you all day yesterday, and hoped everything went well. :) Sooooo happy it did. And I cannot believe you were 328.6 pre-op - NO WAAAYYY!! You sure didn't look it, honey. I would never have guessed you were even over 200 lbs., much less 300! Well, ya got MY support down here in Florida. I'll be keepin' mah eye on your progress, and will be cheerin' ya on!

    Welcome back home - now be LAZY!

  2. Joia, thanks so much for being willing to share your amazing story. I've often thought about having this surgery my self. If insurance would have paid for it. I would have already had it! I think your an amazing person and I'm happy that you've chosen to take on your health. Your a beautiful girl inside and out! :) Hugs Nici xxxx