Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Steady Glow

It was 2pm and I was at my desk. My cell phone vibrated alerting me of a call. It was Dr. Mike's office telling me they had just learned that I needed a Cardiac Clearance before my surgery. Needless to say, My surgery at this point is less than 4 days away.

My emotions ran wild. I was so pissed off that I cried. You see, I was supposed to be leaving on Thursday evening to go to Charleston to Folly Beach to meet some girl friends for an annual retreat. This was my second year attending this and I was more than looking forward to the trip.

My first appointment was with the Cardiologist at 8:30 Friday morning. Needless to say I didn't see him until 10:00. I immediately ask him why I was there and he indicated that the blip on my EKG indicated I had had a prior heart attack. I was speechless. I began prepping for a stress test. I ask the doctor if I had to run on the tread mill, because if I could run, I wouldn't be having weight loss surgery.

The IV was the most painful I had ever had. First, the nurse couldn't find the vein, so he chose to put he IV almost on the side of my arm. I couldn't bend my arm. I knew I would be victim to a great bruise, but luckily I wasn't.

They injected me with a radioactive agent that would make my heart glow. They took photos. I walked uphill on the treadmill until my heart rate was raised until the doctor was satisfied. Then I was off for more pictures of my now glowing heart. I imagined I now looked something like a lightening bug with a steady glow. This of course was just under their camera.

After all the picture taking, I took an Echo Cardiogram. That was an ultrasound of my heart. That was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I have to rank it up there with the ultrasound of a baby.

Needless to say it is now 2:00pm. I almost a day late getting to the beach and I am now waiting on the doctor to give me my result.

I AM FINE. I did receive a note from Dr. Clark stating that I am cleared for surgery from a cardiac standpoint.

I am now 1 day preop. I am wondering what I would like to eat for dinner. I can't think of a thing I really want. Maybe a chocolate sundae.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I had my Pre-Op yesterday at the hospital. I found myself in great comfort. Everyone from the register to the nurse to the x-ray tech made me feel very well taken care of.
I met with Dr. Mike who explained that I will have 6 small incisions around my abdomen. The biggest of these will be about 1 ½ inches in length. That he said will be the sorest one while I am recovering. I will be in the hospital from Monday to Thursday. I really hope to be well enough to go home on Wednesday. I am sure I will get a lot better rest in my own bed. At least I will have that to took forward too. My next entry will be after my surgery when I return home. Talk to you then.

I have added the following for those of you who don’t know much about the bypass.
I have asked the doctor to record it for me and I plan to post that recording here.

How is gastric bypass surgery done?
In gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) the surgeon creates a small pouch at the top of your stomach and adds a bypass around a segment of your stomach and small intestine.
The surgeon staples your stomach across the top, sealing it off from the rest of your stomach. The resulting pouch is about the size of a walnut and can hold only about an ounce of food. The pouch is physically separated from the rest of the stomach. Then, the surgeon cuts the small intestine and sews part of it directly onto the pouch.
This connection redirects the food, bypassing most of your stomach and the first section of your small intestine, the duodenum (doo-o-DEE-num). Food enters directly into the second section of your small intestine, the jejunum (jay-JOO-num), limiting your ability to absorb calories. Even though food never enters the lower part of your stomach, the stomach stays healthy and continues to secrete digestive juices to mix with food in your small intestine.
Some surgeons perform this operation by using a laparoscope — a small, tubular instrument with a camera attached — through short incisions in the abdomen (laparoscopic gastric bypass). The tiny camera on the tip of the scope allows the surgeon to see inside your abdomen.
Compared with traditional "open" gastric bypass, the laparoscopic technique usually shortens your hospital stay and leads to a quicker recovery. Fewer wound-related problems also occur. Not everyone is a candidate for laparoscopic gastric bypass, however. Talk to your doctor about whether this approach is appropriate for you.