And welcome to the Valley of Death! Before you continue I would like to emphatically impress upon any readers that at no point did I ever regret being banded, not once did I ask myself why did I do this?
At the hospital by 11.30 for a 1.30 surgery. Told I would get some sedative type drugs before surgery to calm me – what I didnt know was they meant I was getting a needle as I was being wheeled into the operating theatre. Anyway, I made it in one piece and before I knew it I was waking up in recovery with someone saying it all went well which meant nothing to me as I was sliding down a slippery slope into the valley of death and into the most……….
You see, my gas pain is not in my shoulders but in my chest and at best it feels like a rock and at worst it stops you from breathing. So I woke up with what felt like a knife through my chest and another in my port site and not being able to breathe or talk or cry just emit tiny gasps and moans for drugs. You see painkillers have never agreed with me so morphine was out of the question and I don’t know what they were actually giving me but it wasn’t working! After about 10 top ups it was slightly bearable and I was busting for a wee. Apparently they pumped 2 litres of water into me during the op and I have no idea why! During this time more patients started coming into recovery and they wanted me out but the porters were taking someone else back to their room and the nurses wanted me to wait til I got to my room to go and I insisted on a bed pan which was one of those huge ancient ones I had to jack myself up on it (still in agony) and try to wee lying down which is no easy feat when you are cramped up from busting, full of gas and have a bladder that has been destroyed by 3 c sections and severe adhesions. But I did manage some before going back to my room.
Back at the room and I wanted more drugs, the pain was gobsmacking, I was on the main road of the Valley of Death and I still had to do a wee and the thought of getting up without more drugs made me want to wet the bed. The anesthetist suggested I do more wee in a pan to relieve some pressure - after an horrendously painful failed attempt at trying to get up. I did do some more wee which did help me get up and sit on the toilet and really do a wee and I felt much better but still like I had been hit by a truck in the chest. I decided I wasn’t going back to the bed as it was too hard and painful to get up and down and I sat in a chair at which point I could feel the drug withdrawal kicking in. By this time I had been asking for more painkillers for at least 15minutes or more. Now I was DESPERATE! I could feel the cold hand of drug withdrawal tightening around my stomach, squeezing the cold sweats out of me and I know this only leads to one place – VOMIT LAND! (The capital city of the Valley of Death) Which I know is absolutely a no no after this surgery so I was SCREAMING the place down to get something into me before I ………
And then I did.
Yes, I violently heaved 4 times within 1 hour of having my stomach stitched around a lap band.
Then they took me seriously didn’t they! They came running with my beautiful friend Pethidine and guess what they said, I had to get back on the bed so they could give it to me!!!!!!!!!!!
Repeat the previous agonizing steps and continue with story.
So, Pethidine – lovely sweet friend of mine – doesn’t actually take the pain away but it certainly makes it so you can psychologically cope with it. And I found a little peace for a moment or two.
Did I mention that my three little children witnessed all of this? They of course were trembling in a corner (they weren’t meant to be there but I accidentally bumped into them coming back from surgery and my husband had to be all hands on deck by this time so unfortunately they were innocent bystanders). They did however last see me all pretty and pethidined and they understood that everything was OK now and even mummies need band aids sometimes! (I will start putting money away now though for their future psychiatric needs)
Lets go back to the part where they pumped 2 litres of whatever in me for whatever reason and lets just say that the entire night was spent getting up and going to the toilet! Because of the chest pain I couldn’t lay down and because of the port site pain I couldn’t sit up and because of the weeing I couldn’t stay still so I walked and reclined and fidgeted and wee’ed my way through the night!
Word of warning – when in hospital NEVER expect anyone else to keep up with your pain meds. It is your responsibility! If you don’t ask you don’t receive for some f#$%d up reason they think you mustn’t be in pain if you’re not screaming and heaving in a corner somewhere. Especially if its nurse change over time. My nurse said I would’nt be getting anymore meds til the next shift which was about 5 hours after the pethidine. Thanks! At about 11pm (6 hours later) I went sobbing to the nurses station to pick up my own painkillers and I got some pretty Endone. Another lovely drug! This allowed me to doze a little in between the reclining, fidgeting, walking and weeing. By 3.30 I said a little prayer to my spirit people and asked for help with the pain. The signals get a little crossed with all the drugs and I don’t know how I figured it out but all I know is I arched my back and squeezed in my ribs with my hands and I released the most blissful amount of gas from my chest. It bubbled and gurgled and fizzled and popped its way through my body and the relief was indescribable! From there I slept for 2 hours and awoke to more lovely drugs and feeling a whole lot better!
Surgeon came for a visit around 7am and PEAKED OUT that I was allowed to heave the previous afternoon. The word sepsis was thrown around but clearly I was OK and I have to say the pain I experienced during and after the heaving was no different or anymore than the pain before so I really don’t think I did any serious damage.
All I can say is from then on things only got better! Going home was bliss. Showering was heaven. The pain got better every minute. Liquids suck. I still have chest pain but a good thump and it moves on.
Friday night I had an emotional meltdown from not being a normal human being and not being able to cope with food in a respectful manner. Its now called Friday Night Depression. No take away and no wine are the only causes known to man of Friday Night Depression and the symptoms are many and varied.
In all fairness I have had all my favourite foods and tempations around me and it has been really hard to cope at times but I have a new found respect for this amazing body that heals on its own and only asks that I give it a little rest for a week or two. I know one day soon I’ll be able to eat my favourite foods in moderation and not kill myself with food abuse.
I already love my band. I love the restriction and I feel yucky after a few mouthfuls and I have no desire whatsoever to continue eating (drinking) no matter how great the fluid is. I can figure my body out so much better and understand what it needs when you’re down to the baseline. I know exactly when I need more fluid energy. What will not go down well. What will last longest. I love it! I do get freaked out by the pains and pops and burps and such and wondering if its all f#$d up and going to fall out of me and get infected or something. I just so want this all to be OK now. I feel so worried but so hopeful.
But back to today. Its day 6 and I couldnt have believed it could be so good. Every burp and fart and sickly soup I get closer and closer to feeling like a normal human being again. The pain is now more discomfort and I'm up and about but very carefully and with plenty of rests although i think I did well today taking the kids to the Aquarium and then coming home to cook dinner. The housework is catching up but I'll build up to that. Liquids are proving a challenge but i think i've come through the worst of it now. I’m taking great pleasure in the small things, a flavoursome tinned soup, a gas relieving burp, a body splitting fart and last but certainly not least the 8.2kg weight loss! That’s 3 kg since Tuesday! Love it! Everyone is freaking out looking at me cause I look so different. So unswollen and happy!
So I start and finish with the fact that no matter how dark the Valley of Death (and lets face it my Valley of Death was not as dark as a lot of bloggers) it has all been worth it!