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Archive for July 30, 2017

Update: off pain meds!

I’m happy to report I’m off pain meds, which makes thinking enormously easier. I want to share observations and comments I’ve accumulated while high over the past week before I forget them:

1. Pain

  • There are lots of online resources, like this one, which tell you what to expect after bariatric sleeve surgery. When they talk about pain, they get everything wrong.
  • In particular, they act like the five little incisions on your tummy that correspond to the laparoscopic tools entry points (and ex-stomach parts exit point) are the main sources of pain.
  • WRONG! In the past week, I have experienced no pain from my incisions except one time when I was turning over badly at night.
  • The vast majority of my pain, say 99.5% of it, came from the insides. Namely, I had most of my stomach yanked out and the remainder tied together with twine. All of my nerves inside my body are well aware of this fact and stayed busy for at least five days continuously notifying me of this act of brutality.
  • So, long story short, the first real observation about my bariatric sleeve surgery is this: it’s a crude and unsparing act.
  • I think, when you first hear about it, you know that. But then you get used to thinking about it, and you hear the risks are low, and that it’s laparoscopic, and that you only stay in the hospital one day, and you end up – or I ended up – thinking it was no big deal. And websites telling you your incisions will be slightly sore don’t help. But friends, I know better now. This is for real.
  • Also, it’s possible that other people don’t have tons of nerve endings in their insides like I do and actually only feel pain on their tummy incisions. Good for them. They’re the same assholes who talk about how they orgasmed during childbirth.
  • But I think the actual situation is that those websites are written by people who haven’t actually experiences the surgery themselves.

2. Regret

  • Next observation: I don’t think I’ll regret this.
  • I had moments, especially right before I went in to surgery, where I was thinking, why would I put myself at risk like this?
  • I also had moments, especially when I got home from the hospital in the taxi that should win the highest award of New York City’s Worst Shocks, where the pain meds – which involved narcotics, mind you – were insufficient to my internal turmoil. That made me wonder what I’d got myself into.
  • And there was one other moment, in the middle of that first night home, when I woke up extremely nauseous and the mere thought of throwing up threw me into a panic. At that moment I thought I might even die. But I didn’t. Instead I lay down on the bed and pointed my fan at my sweaty body and my adoring and wonderful husband called the doctor and by the time he called back I was actually fine.
  • As I said, I’m off pain meds now. That’s because, since that horrible first night home, I’ve had four more nights home, and each of them has been tons better than the night before.
  • Tons. Better.
  • It’s amazing, actually, how quickly we can heal.

3. Advice

  • I have advice for anyone considering this surgery:
    • Give yourself a full week post-surgery to get absolutely nothing done.
    • Make sure you have helpful people around you for that entire week.
    • Bonus if there are multiple helpful people around you so they can work in shifts.
    • Accept all help and gifts of food (thank you Elizabeth, Laura, and Mel!) so that your family is fed while you’re not up to cooking and so there are loving people around you who can remind you how quickly you’re healing.
    • Also, give yourself the two weeks beforehand to get nothing done while you’re on the pre-op starvation diet.
    • For that matter, give yourself a few more weeks afterwards to get pretty much nothing done.

4. Going Goth

  • So, I’ve lost 20 pounds since I started the pre-op diet, and the dress I’m currently wearing is already too big for me.
  • All of the clothes in my closet will soon be too big for me.
  • I have no idea what my final weight will be.
  • I don’t care. The point of this was to avoid diabetes and be able to stay healthy and exercise, even in the summer.
  • But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually decide what my wardrobe should look like
  • I’m going goth. Blue hair stays, clothes are entirely black.
  • I already bought myself some amazing platform combat boots. Black, obviously.
  • Exceptions to the “all black” will be made for hand-knitted or otherwise handmade garments, which I will allow or indeed insist that they be colorful.
  • Comments about how awesome this goth thing will be are welcome. Also, links to stretchy black clothing between the sizes of 12 and 20. Bonus if they would look good baggy and/or with saggy skin.

 

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