Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 17 and counting

Seventeen days ago I had my stomach reshaped from the size of a bloated football and turned into something about the diameter of my thumb. For folks who want a better idea of what they did and how, here is a picture describing the surgery. And here is a little more information about what the surgery entails.

I have had numerous questions on facebook asking two basic questions:
1) Why did I have this surgery (or does this fix what the surgeons botched back in 2009?)
2) What kind of eating restrictions do I have?

The answer to the first question is pretty straightforward. I decided last year that I was tired and frustrated of dealing with all the complications that have arisen as a result of the failed surgery and coma back in 2009. I have been plagued by every sort of complication one can have after such a debacle.... diabetes, heart issues, sleep apnea, hernias, and more. My life was becoming one giant trip to the doctor. After seeing my colon/rectal surgeon for the second time, he suggested bariatric surgery as a last ditch solution to help me lose fifty pounds or more. I had been trying to lose weight ever since my massive abdominal wound had healed in 2010... with no success. The assumption now is that the liver function and the pancreatic function were both damaged due to the sepsis and peritonitis. The amount of visceral fat throughout my body and around my organs had reached a point where the fat had a mind of its own. I say that only slightly ironically. This is a hot topic in the research of obesity and diabetes.

After meeting with my colon/rectal surgeon, Dr. Domajnko, he recommended Dr. Johnson at Highland Hospital perform some type of gastric surgery. The idea is that in order for Dr. Domajnko to have enough room to get inside me, re-attach the large intestine to the rectum (basically fixing the colostomy),...and then to repair all the numerous hernias... he wanted LOTS of room to work. The only way for that to happen is to lose a ton of weight.

In short, the gastric sleeve surgery doesn't fix the hernias or the colostomy, but it has already had major effects on most of my other symptoms. My diabetes is GONE. Sleep apnea and heart issues are showing great improvement. The weight is coming off incredibly rapidly. More on this stuff in a later post.

So, on to question #2. Eating restrictions.
Here is the link to the pdfs that Highland Hospital's bariatric team requires that patients follow:
Currently I am on the pureed diet, stage 2, and will be until the end of May.

The short answer for folks wishing they could bring me food, etc, is don't worry about it. I can't eat "normal" food till July, but in the meanwhile, this is NOT a bad thing. I look forward to every meal and I enjoy it thoroughly. I am not suffering at all! The hardest part is remembering to eat often, to eat slowly and to stop when I am full. Hard to adjust the brain to think in such incredibly small quantities. The most food I ever eat amounts to 1/2 cup of protein plus up to 1/4 c of mashed veggies. That is not a lot of food. And it takes me close to an hour to eat it all.

More on the food stuff in the next post!

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