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Spikeyjaycee’s bypass blog….

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    My Gastric Bypass Operation Blog

    Thursday 4 Feb – operation day.

    Got up at 4.30am (surprised I slept the night before!) and left for Chichester about 5.40am. Luckily at that time in the morning there’s not a lot of traffic around so made it to the hospital about 7.15am. Took the lift to the 2nd floor where the Chichester Suite was and met up with Jeanette, another lady having her bypass that day. I was told I was first on the list but it turned out to be Jeanette so she was whisked away and I was taken to the ward and told my operation would probably be about 11.30am. The surgeon Chris Pring came along to see me, and go over what would happen and got me to sign the consent form. Matt (my husband) said he looked like a character out of MASH. I just thought he looked dishy! Matt and his mother Sandra left about 9am cos he was so nervous and I wasn’t!!! I couldn’t believe how calm I was. I guess I was ready for it mentally as well as physically. I was weighed and had lost 12 lbs. on the pre-op diet and my BMI had gone down from 54 to 49. One of the ladies on the ward who had been operated on the day before I recognised from the pre-op assessment so I went and spoke to her. We remembered another woman who was also at the pre-op who was a complete nightmare and hoped we wouldn’t meet up with her………if only…….!!!
    The 2 nurses on the ward Suzie and Andrea were really nice and made me feel welcome. Then it was a case of waiting………
    The anaesthetist came and took some blood and then I was gowned up. Unfortunately the day before my period had turned up and I was concerned whether I could wear my knickers and sanitary towel during the op. I was told to wear them and the operating staff would make the final decision. At about 11.45am I was called for and walked down to the theatre. I remember them making a big issue about my pants and saying I couldn’t wear them but they would put paper knickers on me – I never did find out whether they did or not! I also remember Chris Pring walking behind me and putting his hand on my shoulder in a comforting way. I laid down and the anaesthetist put the lines and drips in me. It was quite painful at times – a bit like a hot needle in my vein. When I said so, he put more anaesthetic around the area to numb it. The last thing I remember was looking at the clock and it saying midday…..
    I woke up in recovery at 5pm (where did those 5 hours go??) feeling sore but not in pain as such. I do remember asking for a large gin and tonic and a McDonalds! Must have been the drugs…….!! I found out later that the reason my op took longer than anticipated was that my liver was quite large and that affects the time spent on the bypass. Luckily my blood pressure was fine throughout. Matt tells me that Mr Pring actually rang him personally after I was in recovery to tell him I was ok – a nice touch. Got taken up to the ward about 5.30pm where they wired me up to monitors for my heart rate and BP and stuck a cannula in my hand for intravenous liquids to keep my hydrated. I also found out at this point that whilst in theatre they had put a catheter in – felt strange having it there. Matt came into visit about 6.30am but I told him to go cos I was really sleepy and not much company. You are given self-induced morphine at this point but the pain wasn’t too bad – more discomfort. To be honest, the period pain gave me more problems than the operation pain! I dozed for a while but then got up about 7.30am and sat in a chair till midnight when the night staff helped me to bed. I slept ok but with the continuous BP checks, bloods taken and the constant beeping of the monitors I kept waking up. In the end I got up at 4.30am and sat in a chair cos my left buttock was numb!

    Friday 5 Feb

    Chris Pring was away in Leeds today but rang the night staff at 6.30am to see how we were all doing. Guy Slater (the consultant I originally saw) did ward rounds about 8.30am and said I could start free fluids. I’d been nil by mouth till that point apart from a sponge that you could wet and wipe over your mouth and teeth. That first taste of water was divine! The anaesthetist came to check on me and said he would take me off the self0induced morphine cos I wasn’t using it enough!!!!
    Had fun and games awhile later when they took out my catheter. Cos I still had my period I had a sanitary towel sort of wedged in place but it got caught in my thigh so it wasn’t visible as the catheter was taken out (quite a lot of blood came too!) Of course when I went to the toilet later on I had trouble ‘starting’ and when it did start there was this ‘rush’ and when I looked in the pan there was the sanitary towel. I panicked cos I thought my intestines had fallen out!!!!
    Had the dressings on my 7 incisions changed and did a lot of walking around the ward if only to get off my backside which was still numb! Pat asked one of the nurses to take a photo of the four of us (her, me, Anita and Jeanette). We were all having such a laugh and kept bursting into song. We got on so well and I think the laughter helped with our recovery. Staff from other wards kept coming in to see what was going on (we were also next to the high dependency ward!) but at least we made the nursing staff smile. In fact the 4 of us have formed our own singing group – The Bariatric Girls – and we’re gonna audition for X-Factor next year!
    I suffered alot during the night with a sore bum and period pains – the operation pain was nothing!

    Saturday 6 Feb

    Woke up at 3am with my numb bum and ended up sitting in a chair for the rest of the day, interspersed with walking around the ward. Went back to bed about 5am (with some paracetamol) but got woken up at 7.30am by 2 new patients. Now remember be talking about the woman from the pre-op assessment who was a nightmare……yes it was her….and she was loud, moaning, rude and self-opinionated. I’d said to Matt if she ends up on the ward with me I will probably want to suffocate her with her pillow………hold that thought! (BTW if she reads this….you know who you are and you need to change your attitude!) The nurses on the ward had been lovely and she was being rude to them, wanted to know everything they were doing to her and why were they doing it etc. Luckily she was taken down first to see Mr John the surgeon. Now apparently, after he’s done his operation he tends to flush a blue dye into the patient to check for leaks in the bypass and when Gobby (as I called her) came back she had blue lips and a blue streak through her hair – was funny!
    Had my first ‘proper’ food since the operation. Chicken soup and orange jelly. Had some but didn’t want to overindulge as I had seen Anita gulp her food down and then suffer the ‘dumping’ syndrome. This can involve shaking, nausea, sickness, diahorrhea and general feeling of not feeling well. Anita was due to go home today but Pat stayed another day cos of reflux problems.
    The other new patient that day was Tina. I think having us 4 around helped her with her nerves cos it was gone 4pm before she had her operation – Gobby was down there a long time!
    Matt and Sandra came to visit and we walked to the Terrace Restaurant for a coffee. Quite a way and it tired me out. When I got back to the ward Gobby was back from theatre. I asked the nursing staff if I could have earplugs and a gag…I got the earplugs at least!
    Shaw Somers came round to see us – he’s just as nice as he is on TV although I think he was slightly bemused (even scared) of us 4 with our laughter and singing. Said I could go home tomorrow. Great!
    Tried settling down to sleep about 11pm but got woken up at 3.15am by Tina (in the bed next to me) talking on her phone (I had earplugs in too!) Now who possibly makes a phone call at that hour of the morning???? Also Gobby was being loud, moaning, and a general pain the backside. I ended up going and sleeping in the nurses lounge to get some peace and quiet! Petra, the night nurse, brought me some pillows and a blanket and I fell asleep there. Woke about 6.40am and went back to bed and Tina was STILL on the blinking phone!!!! At this point I thought if they don’t discharge me I’d discharge myself!! I felt severely depraved of proper sleep.

    Sunday 7 Feb

    My BP was a little high this morning (any wonder???) but they did let me go home. I tried talking to Gobby but first impressions etc…she was hard work. The night before she had asked how she could get a private room and was told it was up to the manager and it would cost as its private funded. I suggested to Pat that we have a whip round – I’m sure the nursing staff would have chipped in to get her moved!!! But alas it wasn’t to be.
    Was given a month’s supply of anti-acid tablets for reflux and 2 weeks supply of heparin injections (thins the blood – useful with a period I can tell ya!) Has fun the night before being shown how to self-administer the injections (Matt hates needles so it was down to me). I kept laughing cos I just couldn’t bring myself to put the needle into my belly cos I knew a needle would hurt. Did it eventually and its not that bad really.
    Pat’s husband came to collect her and bought with him a cardboard sign he has made with the wording “X-Fatter – The Bariatric Girls”. We all had hysterics at that and Pat and I had our photos taken with it.
    Asked Matt to bring in a plant, some chocolates and a thank you card for the staff cos they had been, without question, fantastic. Whatever they are paid….it needs doubling or even tripling. Having to put up with the likes of Gobby…………well, they certainly earn their money.
    Left about 3.30pm and was home by 5pm

    Monday 8 Feb onwards…..

    Am slowly getting used to my new regime. Matt has been fantastic in cooking all my meals for me. I have to remember not to eat and drink 30 minutes either side and eat at least every 4 hours but apart from that kits been ok. Its now a week on from the operation and apart from slight twinges in my side and getting tired easily I feel fine.

    BTW: remember Gobby? Well Mark had his operation the day I left and he told me that he and Tina ended up in private rooms cos of Gobby. How can one person create such havoc I don’t know!!

    So there you have it….my experience of a gastric bypass. Hope it wasn’t too painful to read and is helpful for anyone waiting for their ops.

    Good luck!

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