Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Archive for 'bariatric surgery'



Tuesday, December 12th, 2017
Post Surgery report–end of week 2

I feel pretty good right now, except for being itchy. I’ve had some sort of allergic reaction and have hives on my stomach and sides and they itch like crazy. I also had a weird possible allergic, possible infection around all of my incisions. My doc put me on antibiotics, which has helped, or else the allergy is receding. Hard to say. I’ve also had a little bit of a skin yeast infection that doesn’t want to go away. I’m not sure why it’s happening, but it doesn’t want to leave, despite medication and various topical applications.

I’ve lost about 13 pounds in the last two weeks. It’s very strange. I eat about 500 calories a day, give or take. I’m usually not hungry. Tomorrow I’m hoping to get off the thick liquid diet and onto soft foods. I expect that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ve also been trying to get my exercise. Unfortunately, my knitting has given me ‘knitter’s elbow’ which is the same as tennis and golf elbows. I’m supposed to not knit and not use the elbow for awhile and ice. I still need to finish a few projects, but hopefully they’ll be quick to finish and then I’ll be able to rest it.

Overall feeling pretty good. Getting in all my protein and fluids, as I’m supposed to be at this stage. As my stomach heals inside, I’ll be able to eat a bigger variety and get back to salads, which I miss.

Finally getting around to watching Star Wars: Rogue One. Not far into it yet, but so far liking it. Next I have to watch the prequel to The Last Jedi, which is the Force Awakens. Yeah, I know. I’m way behind. Haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy 2, either.

I haven’t been as tired as I expected and as predicted post-surgery, but I haven’t been terribly focused either. Working on that. I managed to get some work done yesterday, though. That was good.

Tomorrow it’s off to the doctors for my second week checkup. Then hopefully get some final Xmas shopping done. My family still doesn’t want me driving. Hopefully I’m cleared for that tomorrow. My son has been chauffeuring me. He’s very sweet and doesn’t complain about it at all.

I read a really good book by Alysa Day that I need to review for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
Day 6 post surgery

I ITCH!!! And I cannot scratch. Misery, thy name is itchiness. But it is a sign of healing.

I’ve been out walking today and I feel pretty good but for the itching.

Other than that, not a lot new to report. I have made some more progress on the new Horngate book. I’m enjoying it. I’ll give you a snippet soon.

I’m also hugely angry about the tax bill and about the GOP support of Roy Moore. I am so angry I don’t have any polite words right now to say anything about it. But on my FB page, I have been posting more stuff.

The family and I get to go see an pre-screening this Friday of Jumanji. I’m really excited. I love the actors and can’t wait to see them. I haven’t been into a movie theater in ages, so this will be fun as well. And this theater is one of those that serves food and such, so while I probably won’t be eating anything, the fam will be able to.

We’re also at the beginning of an extended sunny spell for the area. I’m excited because I’ll be able to get out and walk outside without rain. In my particular situation right now, that’s amazingly nice.

Now . . . back to work. And not to itch. No. No. No.

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
Three Days Later–the Journey

Three days ago I had a gastric sleeve surgery. What that means is that they take out part of your stomach. It also means not being able to eat much and figuring out the new signals from your body. But I digress.

The surgery itself went mostly well. The only hitch at all, in fact, was the first IV attempt didn’t go well. So anyhow, I came out and got into my room and was very sore, but it was manageable. My greatest issue was with having trouble with nausea, but mostly that was controlled with some drugs. I actually managed some sleep in the nighttime, but there were a lot of little alarms I managed to set off–accidentally calling the nurse, bending my elbow and kinking my IV, going to sleep and having my O2 go down.

So I was released the next day after doing all the required things in terms of body function, like drinking, ‘eating’ thick liquids, going to the bathroom, and walking around. The trip home was kind of miserable because we left the hospital at 4 and of course rush hour had already begun so the trip took longer. Oh, and I found out that every little bump made me hurt. But I got home and was so happy to see the kids, the dogs, and my own freaking bed.

The next day, yesterday, I felt a whole lot better. I did some walking as required (and because I wanted to), and then I managed to get down most of the protein I needed (the focus on eating is on protein), and I managed to get all my hydration in. All of these things were a bit of a triumph.

Today, I feel even better, though still sore and still figuring out how to eat. The doggies are delighted to snuggle up to me and in fact a couple of minutes ago (as I type this on my laptop on my couch with Voodoo fastened to my side and Viggo just on the other side of him), Voodoo has been giving his brother a little tiny low growl to tell him that he doesn’t like his brother invading his territory and taking mom’s attention. It’s really kind of funny because as soon as he does that, he then apologizes by licking Viggo’s face and ears. It’s cute.

I know from research (and now experience) that you end up with a lot of gas inside your chest cavity from the stuff they pump into you during the surgery, and gas in your stomach/intestines from the air they pump into your stomach. I had some pain, but mostly it felt like nausea and an aching in my chest. That has passed so I’m really happy.

In other news, we’re going to have to go on a road trip for Christmas. We’ll be going to California to visit family and help the Man’s dad with the Man’s uncle’s belongings (his uncle recently passed and his dad needs some help. The Man went down over Thanksgiving, but there’s still more to do). I should be well able to make the trip by then. Everybody down there is worried about what I’ll be able to eat and how much I’ll miss out on from not being able to eat and I’m totally not worried about it. I don’t know if that will change. I don’t know if I’ll end up missing foods hard, but right now, I’m not jonesing for anything and don’t anticipate it. I’m not worried about not being able to drink alcohol (I don’t drink much anyhow), and mostly I’m looking forward to seeing everybody and taking walks through the oak groves near my parents’ house.

One thing that’s odd is burps or the need to burp seems to signal a ‘stop eating now’ flashing sign. It means my stomach is too full and I need to wait to eat.

 

Sunday, November 26th, 2017
Personal Announcement

About six months ago, my doctor recommended a gastric sleeve operation for me to lose weight and get my pre-diabetes under control. I totally said no and nearly had a tantrum. It seemed tantamount to saying that I’m lazy, that I can’t lose weight on my own. I started telling myself that if only I’d just exercise more and eat less I could keep the pounds off. My doctor talked me down, pointing out that I did exercise and eat pretty healthy and was still struggling. She  convinced me to go to an information session. So I began my journey. I attended classes and met with nutritionists, physical therapists, a psychologist, a hematologist, the doctor, and many others. I’ve had a variety of tests and done a ton of research, joined online groups to talk to people who’ve been through the surgery, and discussed this with my family. 

So six months later, I’m about to have surgery. What does this mean, you might ask. Well, it involves laproscopic surgery to cut out 70-80 % of my stomach. After, I won’t be able to eat that much. I’ll follow a diet for awhile of liquids, then soft foods, then add in regular foods until I’m back to eating normal food. But I won’t eat as much, and I’ll have to focus on healthy choices so that I get full nutrition. And it turns out that they remove the part of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone ghrelin, which will help keep hunger under control. This surgery reverses diabetes. I had gestational diabetes and my A1C is high. I also have peripheral artery disease. This surgery will help with both.

This means a huge change in my eating habits. I will not be drinking carbonated anything again. I will need to drink constantly to stay hydrated. I have to chew at least 20-30 times a bite, and I can’t drink a 1/2 hour before or after eating. I have to take my time because it will be easy to overfill my stomach. I’ll need to take vitamins. I’ll have to make sure I get enough protein. My hair is likely to fall out until my body gets used to the change. I’m likely to be very moody as my fat releases hormones. My hair will grow back out and my moods will stabilize. I will likely lose at least 60-70% of my excess weight. I’ll need to carry a protein snack and water with me everywhere.

I’ve had to lose some weight in order to have the surgery and I have lost around 20 lbs. It made me wonder if I should have this surgery or not–can’t I just keep doing this? But here’s the problem. I’ve lost this weight before. Several times. I always plateau, and then the weight creeps back on. What this surgery does is get the weight off without killing the metabolism. My body will reset and I will be able to maintain weightloss so long as I continue to eat properly. I’ve been exercising every day for the last seven month or more, with only about a week off the entire time. Still hasn’t done much in terms of weight. I’ve also been following the diet they ask me to follow to prepare for surgery.

Some people say this is an easy out. Ha. Well, I thought that at first too, especially since I’m not that heavy. Or rather, I don’t look that heavy, but trust me, I have a lot to lose. But healthwise, I need it. The fact is that I want to be around for my family and I want to have as healthy an old age as I can. In fact, I want to put off old age for as long as possible.

I’ve been keeping this a secret from a lot of people, mostly because I’ve been a little embarrassed. Back to that feeling of laziness and why can’t I do it on my own? But that’s an insult to me and an insult to all the others who’ve fought long and hard and come to this decision and then fought through the surgery, the recovery, and all the rest that comes with is. Trust me when I say it’s not an easy out. It is, however, usually very successful for losing weight and so I’m grateful it’s an option.

I will likely keep posting about the journey. It begins this Weds, the 29th.