The silence in the elevator was short-lived as the doors opened to ordered chaos of surgeons, nurses and medical professionals. The vibrant lights of the operating room dimmed as the anesthesiologist administered medications. Five hours later my eyes opened to a new life as a Lapband to RNY (Roux-en-Y) revision surgery patient.
I have shared my journey after my Lapband weight loss surgery (WLS) over the past five years. Ii is frustrating to find few revision WLS patients who blog about their experiences. I blog about WLS to educate others about obesity and the opportunities this surgery brings. Many of the posts in the coming weeks and months will highlight my revision WLS experiences.
I am six days post-op. Recovery from RNY surgery as opposed to Lapband WLS is much more difficult. Simply put, a good bit of my digestive system has been re-plumbed. Lapband to RNY revision patients face 100X the chance of a leakage in this plumbing as opposed to the RNY only patient. The surgeon had to perform the RNY procedure around the surgery scarring that remains from the now absent Lapband.
These six days have been mostly about pain and pain management. The pain is constant but is lessoning every day. I monitor my surgical drain daily for signs of leakage. All signs of a complication free surgery look good. In two days, I undergo an upper GI to confirm that there are no leaks.
I will conclude this post with lists of things that keep me moving forward and challenges I face this week.
Things that keep me moving forward
- Getting dressed every day: I don’t linger in sweats or PJs. Showering and shaving, putting on my shorts and t-shirt, and lacing up my sneakers makes me feel healthier and ready for the day ahead.
- Walking: I am convinced that walking makes my recovery faster. I am happier walking my neighborhood rather than parking myself on the sofa in front of the TV.
- Getting outdoors: It has been an awesome week in NE Ohio. I spend as much time as I can on my deck. There is something about fresh air that is very therapeutic.
- Hydration: I try to exceed my 64 ounce of liquids. I remain on a clear liquid diet this week. With the absence of protein and sugar, the body needs this liquid to keep me moving.
- Pain meds: Pain is a little less every day. Percocet allows me to achieve the first four items on this list and make life good.
Things that challenge me
- Pain management: Percocet does not eliminate the pain. It smoothes it. There is a challenge to pain management to get into a routine with the proper amount over the proper time.
- Going it alone: My husband has been out of town on business. It is very difficult to maneuver everyday tasks without assistance. It seemed like a non-issue until reality struck this week.
- My dogs: I love my dogs, but they are responsible for over 50% of the pain I am experiencing. Feeding, watering, cleanups, barking, and the countless ins and outs are taking a toll.
- Boredom: The isolation of being removed from my workplace and cycling has taken much human interaction away from my life. I never realized how important it is to me.
- Wanting to do more: As an active guy, I miss being cycling and hiking. I know the reasons I can’t but that does not take away my desire to be on the bike and on the trails.