Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: A Wife's Perspective - Part 6: The Surgery

Every Wednesday, I am going to write about the process of Eric going through weight loss surgery to record my feelings and perspective as the wife on the sidelines.  As this is an extremely personal decision on Eric's part to change his life, I am trying my best to stay true to my feelings, while at the same time accurately recording the events.

Hi!  I am sorry to have started this series, and then just cut out in the middle of posting.  Life just got really hectic with the WASC accreditation, finishing the yearbook, and a quick trip for a family baptism, and all the other things that go along with daily life.

If you are here, thank you for reading!

The last post I wrote was about Eric's experience with the swallow test.  There were a few things in between that and surgery:

-psych exam
-blood work
-my feelings once we had the actual surgery date

However, I am going to jump ahead to write about the surgery today because it is still so very fresh in my mind.

Eric had his surgery one week ago today on Wednesday, April 15.  Tax day will forever be "Surgery Day" in my mind now!

In preparation for the surgery, Eric had to have one last doctor appointment the day before to ensure all was in order and have blood work done.  Also, on that Tuesday, he had to start a liquid diet.  He was HUNGRY by the end of the day.  Broth, Gatorade and popsicles don't really satiate hunger!

Being that Tuesday was the liquid diet and Wednesday was the surgery, we decided to splurge and go out for a "last meal" on Monday night!  We went to Tahoe Joe's and enjoyed steak, prime rib, mashed potatoes, delicious butter rolls and cheese cake.  And it was sooooo worth it!

Something that was a bit of a bummer was that Eric's surgery was late in the day.  Originally it was scheduled for the morning, then it got pushed back to 1 p.m, then it was pushed back to 4 and finally to 5:30!  Since Eric stopped eating at midnight the night before, it was a pretty uncomfortable day for him all day Wednesday until surgery in the evening.

*Note to self: insist on morning surgeries if possible!

Eric slept most of Wednesday to keep from being too uncomfortable from being hungry.  I taught algebra in the morning, and took the rest of the day off to get ready for the surgery.  We already had people lined up to pick the kids up from school and keep them overnight (thank you Andrade Family!), and another family that picked them up on Thursday after school and took them to Open House that night (thank you Miss Claudia!).

Eric and I left the house at 2 in the afternoon to head to the hospital.  Once we got there, he registered and we headed up to the 2nd floor waiting room to wait for Pre-Op.  I had my 31 bag all packed with papers to grade, a book to read, my planner for planning, my blanket, my socks and snacks!  Um, yeah...I ended up doing nothing but watching episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.  I could barely concentrate on that much less reading or grading papers.  Plus, I was busy helping Eric, especially right after the surgery.

In the waiting room before getting called back for Pre-Op.

We waited for about an hour before Eric was called back for Pre-Op.  After a while they called me back to sit with him until surgery.  He was wheeled into surgery at about 5:30.  I went down to the cafe to eat dinner.  I had to laugh because an employee struck up a conversation while I was waiting for my cheeseburger to be cooked, and I mentioned that my husband was in surgery.  The man asked if it was the IT guy?!  I said yes.  He said he just helped put him to sleep!  He said the last question that anesthesiologist asked was what would Eric be doing if he wasn't in surgery, and his answer was fixing computers!

I leisurely ate my dinner and watched more Gilmore Girls.  I got back up to the waiting room and was called back to meet with the doctor almost the second I walked in!  The nurse put me in a little room to wait for Dr. Higa, who came in and told me the surgery went well and there were no surprises.  The conversation lasted about 17 seconds!

After a while, the nurse sent me up to Eric's room to wait for him there.  He was wheeled in at about 7:30.  It all just seemed to happen so fast.

Eric was on medicine for the pain, but he was not complaining of any issues, and had a great spirit and attitude.  Let's just say that someone (me) can be really pathetic when sick or in the hospital.  Not Eric!  He was so chipper and happy!  I loved it!

For the first hour or so while the nurses were in and out taking vitals and getting Eric settled, I helped out by feeding him ice chips, giving him chapstick, and doing what I could to entertain or help keep him comfortable.

I slept on a little chair that reclined.  It wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't call it comfortable!  However, I'm sure it was better than the window sill bench that Eric slept on when we were in the hospital to have Evan!  It was hard to sleep because of comfort and the fact that the nurses were in and out all night, but that was necessary.  I started sleeping through the interruptions.

The nurses wanted Eric to take a walk before going to sleep, so when he felt ready, he got out of bed and we went walking down the hallway at 11:45 at night!  (Yet another reason for early surgery.  I was EXHAUSTED at this point, but he had to get moving!)  It was quiet at that time of night.

Eric did great sipping water and he did eat a small amount of broth for dinner.  It didn't hurt his stomach, and he was able to tolerate all that he was given.

By the morning, the catheter was removed and he had to continue drinking water to prevent dehydration.  Probably TMI, but he had to prove that he could pee so the nurses would know he was taking in enough water!

Thursday morning ready to go home!

We were dressed and ready to go home in the morning on Thursday.  After talking with the dietician, we left the hospital and were home by 12;30!  Crazy!

Eric feels great, has already lost weight, and is so on top of his food and water intake.  I'll write about life at home and how he is managing his food next week.  I'll also write about how the boys and I are trying to somewhat adapt our eating habits to match Eric's so that this transition will be easier for all of us as a family.

Eric was feeling strong enough to go to the VIP lunch for the boys on Friday.  (He didn't eat the lunch, but he wanted to be with the boys!)

I just have to say how proud I am of my husband for taking control of his health and working so hard to achieve a healthy weight and a longer future with us!

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