This is my journey through weight loss surgery. The good, the bad, the ugly.
I’m now two months and two weeks post surgery. I’m down 45lbs since surgery, and 60lbs from my highest weight, at 297lbs. I seem to have hit a stall, as I’ve been bouncing back and forth between a 4lb range for the past week. Frankly, it makes me sick.
I went in to the surgery (RNY) with the highest of expectations, thinking I would fly through with no complications. Boy, was I wrong! I had surgery on Monday, December 12th. They released me that Wednesday, and by Friday I was back in the hospital with infection. I was there until December 23rd. Then December 30th, I had to go back to the ER. I had looked down, noticing my bandages were a lot more wet than usual. I took them off, and the most foul-smelling pus ever came poring in rivers out of my primary incision site. They released me from the ER, saying that “that’s normal”…no, no, it’s not. I had an appointment the following Wednesday with my surgeon, and had to start packing it with iodoform strips.
So I packed it. And packed it. And then ran out of packing, and it was almost healed and I thought “well, it looks okay, it’s not deep at all, it should be fine if I just throw a bandage over it”.
Don’t do that. Trust me on this one. Just. Don’t.
So the top heals over. And I go on about my merry way. Until February 12th, when my incision broke back open and fluid started coming back out. So back to the surgeon’s office I go on the 15th. My incision has now tunneled two inches deep and I have to go back to packing it with the iodoform strips. Now, one five-yard canister is lasting me about 5-6 days.
It’s gross. The human body was not designed for things to be stuffed into man-made orifices. It trips me out every time I have to pack this stupid incision.
That being said, there are things I wish I had known prior to going into this surgery. Yes, my surgeon’s office did a good job on nutrition education and I know what I should and should not eat. Of course, I’m still finding out what I can and cannot eat. Bread is a no-no. Dumping feels like death. It really does. You do NOT want to go there. Trust me, a half a dinner roll isn’t worth the suffering you’ll endure later.
I wish I had known my hair could fall out. That delightful bit started a couple of weeks ago. It truly is disturbing. I’ve taken to wearing a boho bandeau to cover the thinning spots. I wish I knew my teeth could fall out. I met a woman last year who had an RNY and was doing well. Then I didn’t see her again for nearly a year, and I saw her at the beginning of the month. On the outside she looked great. However, she now has dentures as her teeth fell out from calcium deficiency.
That brings me to my next thing…vitamins. If a person likes sweet tarts, they’ll be fine. I do not. I can’t stand tart. But that’s the flavor of my chewable vitamins. Tart. It’s not fun. Wish I had known that bit prior to surgery.
And let’s not forget nausea. It was really bad for me in the beginning, less so now. Prescription nausea meds were my best friend. I’m having to take them less often now, but it was a real issue for awhile.
I waffle back and forth right now between wishing I had never gotten the surgery and being glad I did. I’m off my blood pressure meds, which is a primary reason for getting the surgery in the first place. What I was on wasn’t working, and I couldn’t take anything else due to the fact that my body dumps potassium for some reason. I’m down 60lbs and wearing a jean size I haven’t seen in over a decade (except for a very brief period of time eight years ago).
There’s positives and negatives to this surgery. It’s not a decision to make lightly. It’s a huge lifestyle change. I guess we’ll see as time goes on how my perspective changes….