On August 30, 2017, I had the Vertical Gastric Sleeve done at the University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. Getting to the hospital at 12, the first thing I did was check-in. I appeared to be calm and relaxed on the outside, but a nervous wreck on the inside. After waiting for 45 minutes, they finally called me back.
The first thing the nurse did was take my vitals which consisted of the following; my weight, blood pressure, and pulse. My pulse was the only one that caused a little alarm. My nerves and anxiety caused the numbers to be elevated. She stated, don’t be nervous. I promise you are in good hands.
After getting my vitals, I followed her to the preop room. Walking in I was a little taken aback by the size. I expected it to be small, but my home closet was bigger than this room. After examining the room, I quickly changed into my gown and proceeded to get in bed.
The first nurse was just as lovely as can be, but she had the hardest time putting my IV in. After attempting to put the IV in my right hand twice, the middle of my arm, all tries were an epic fail. Finally, she manages to put it on the side of my right arm. Initially, the IV was fine, but after a couple of minutes, it started to feel a little weird, and when I looked down, my arm started swelling. Eventually, I had a different nurse input my IV in my left arm, which was a success on the first try.
Pre-Op is such a long and drown out process. I “patiently” waited from 1:30 pm -4:30 pm. Throughout this time, I had different nurses, medical students, and doctors come in and ask me the EXACT SAME QUESTIONS to start with and then proceed to tell me what they are going to be doing. Patience is vital to get through this process. I had to say to myself multiple times don’t get annoyed because they are just trying to make sure they are doing the correct procedure on the right patient. So I answered each question with a smile on my face. My name is Chrystal N. My birthday is March 22, and I am having the Gastric Sleeve done.
Around 4:30, they rolled me back. I had to remove my underwear because I was unaware the doctors were going to be putting a catheter in me. This moment is when the nervousness truly sets in. The whole time I was in the back I was praying, but when they started rolling me, I started praying even harder. The very last thing I remember was taking my underwear off and laying back down.
Next thing I know, I am somewhat awake, and one of the doctors said something about walking and farting, and I laughed. To this day, I have no clue what else he said. After surgery, I completely lost track of time. For the next couple of hours, I was going in and out of sleep. I remember not being in horrible pain; it was more so discomfort and pressure on my stomach. It seemed like every position was so uncomfortable. For the first hour that I was fully awake, I pressed the button for the pain medicine every 10 mins. Also, my mouth fell like a dessert. I swear every time I talked dust come out. I was just so thirsty. The only thing I wanted was a sip of water or even ice in my mouth. The nurse politely shut the thought down. She said once I complete the leak test; then I will be able to sip water. Thankfully she did bring some water with a swab so I could dip it and swab it around my mouth, which gave me a little relief. If you can bring a mouth rinse for dry mouth, please do because you will thank me later.
Despite having surgery that night, I wanted to relieve the pain from the gas. I got the clearance from my doctor to start walking. My doctor said that walking would help release the gas from my stomach. He also stated I wasn’t’ able to leave the hospital until I did at least 30 laps. So I started my laps. The doctor always knows best because walking helped relieve the gas pains. Feeling better walking as opposed to laying down, I walked two laps and returned to the bed.
Throughout the night, I had different nurses coming in and out and checking on me. You would think that the pressure in my stomach would be the reason I struggled sleeping, but NO, it was my IV machine. That damn thing kept going off EVERY DAMN HOUR. Thankfully, the day nurse explained to me that it kept going off because I was accidentally folding the cords.
Day After Surgery
The next day was pretty straightforward and easy. I still wasn’t in pain just discomfort; I made sure I was up walking. That afternoon, I was finally able to take my liquid test. I was filled with excitement because I knew if I passed, I would FINALLY be able to drink something. The purpose of the leak test is to make sure you do not have any leaks from the surgery. I had to drink this godawful liquid. The doctor then watched to make sure that it passed through my body correctly. Passing the leak test was the best news of the day. Finally getting ready to drink water, I told myself to take it slow. I took a small sip, let it coat my mouth, and allowed it to go down my throat slowly. My goal was not to try to force the water down because the last thing I wanted was to force air in my stomach when I was trying to get the gas out.
Throughout the day, my doctor wanted me to drink water, protein shake, and walk. The goal was to drink 1 oz of protein and 4 oz of water every hour. One thing about me, when you give me a goal, I push my self to accomplish it. Initially, I was truly pushing myself to get every ounce of water and protein in. However, my body quickly shut that down because I started hiccuping. When I say getting the hiccups after surgery was the WORSE pain. They hurt worse than the damn surgery. The nurse gave me so pain med and laid my ass down and took a nap.
Overall my experience was pretty good.
Three things I want you to take advice on are.
Be Patient: The doctors will ask you the same questions multiple times answer them with no push back.
Push Yourself: If you’re not in “PAIN” but “DISCOMFORT” get up and walk as soon as possible. You’ll feel your discomfort level decrease.
Bring some mouthwash for the dry mouth if you can
I want to hear from you. For my Post-Op loves how long did it take you to get up and walk? My preop loves, is there anything you feel nervous about? Leave your response in the comment section