Home > Uncategorized > Update: off pain meds!

Update: off pain meds!

July 30, 2017

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.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. jr
    July 30, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Excited for this goth thing. 👍 Glad you’re healing ok!


  2. July 30, 2017 at 10:26 am

    This is wonderfully brave and honest. I wish you a speedy recovery and happy shopping. My son’s girlfriend is all about goth, too (but she’s tiny!) https://goo.gl/Mn5FpA I’ve done well here: https://goo.gl/qsYwAA Good luck!


  3. Christina Sormani
    July 30, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Just a general note to everyone, if you have read somewhere that a certain surgery hurts in one place and you feel immense pain somewhere else, then please see the doctor and ensure that something isn’t wrong. The night after my second child was born one of the six women in my room was crying all night in excruciating pain from her Ceasarian. Other women had the same procedure and were telling her to shut up because we were all in pain. Ultimately it turned out something was tearing inside of her and she needed further surgery done to repair it. So please if your pain is exceptional and especially if it is in the wrong place, see a doctor immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. July 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Do you think it would be a good idea if the post-surgery stay in the hospital were extended? My mother, who is a practicing nurse, is constantly astounded that the week-long stay from childbirth in the 70’s is now just a single night.


  5. July 30, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Isn’t goth passe’ by now… I’d go 100% tie dye (NEVER out-of-style!)


  6. deaneyang
    July 30, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Looking forward to seeing the goth mathbabe in the neighborhood.


  7. Perri McDowell-Demps
    July 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Im so happy ur feeling better i love purple add a bit to your closet its royal like u my sister. Prayers still going up for u much 💘


  8. catalina
    July 30, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    How this?


  9. Neil F
    July 30, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Dear GothBabe with blue hair and high heel combat boots:

    Whew: I can not only breathe breathe again, you made me laugh so hard it almost hurt. I’ll wager that includes a lot of us who’ve been pretty worried. At least now you can lose the combat ice-bucket helmet when awaiting lunch with Wolfy ! Please continue to crack the unsparing whip making certain everyone continues to be very kind to you for a bit !!!


  10. Dana P
    July 30, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    The thing that was the hardest for me was the feeling that I was somehow a traitor to the cause. I always felt beautiful and I never want anyone to think that they are any less of a person for choosing not to get the surgery. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of being seen as “better” or “more worthy” as I got smaller. Three months post-op, I am down over 60 lbs and I while I still struggle with that traitor feeling, I WAS ABLE TO RIDE A HORSE THE OTHER DAY. For the first time in 15 years, I was able to do something with my body that I love to do. I fit into a patagonia raincoat that has been sitting in my closet for six years, just waiting for me to take it on a backpacking trip. It was never about being beautiful or worthy. It was about getting my body out of the way of my living. I never realized how much it was stopping me- I tried not to let it, but it is clear that it has been.

    Another thing that I had to do was mourn the loss of food as a friend / comfort/ whatever. A week post-op (yes, yes, I know) I went on airplane trip for work. When I passed through Teminal F in Philadelphia, my feet just walked over to the chinese place without me realizing it. I had a ritual of eating chinese for dinner before late night flights. It struck me that I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO THAT AGAIN. I physically will be unable to eat a big plate of food and food coma on the late night to Seattle. I don’t feel the physical need to eat like that anymore, and sure, I can have a small portion of something, but I spent a few hours on my shrink’s couch getting through that one. I can report that the “mourning” feeling is now very rare.

    Like you, I don’t know where I will end up. My goal is to end up “fit”. Able to ride a horse for a good long time without wanting to die or feel I am hurting the horse. Wanting to hike without knee pain, run into a sporting goods store for a pair of wind pants and know they will stock my size. Wanting to avoid diabetes. Wanting to jump on the earlier flight even if I can’t get the window seat.

    My best advice is to lean into the honeymoon period. I started working out as soon as I was cleared and it has been extremely helpful for my mental state, muscle gain and, yes, fat loss.

    Hugs to you. Blue hair is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Alex
    July 30, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Glad it’s mostly going well.

    On the pain front I had really good luck. I never felt any and didn’t take any at all once I left the hospital. Weirdly, even the incisions weren’t an issue until about a year later when the scar tissue would itch terribly when I was too hot. Sorry to be that asshole.

    But I us the exact same first night at home experience. Sudden nausea and actually vomited (fortunately only time, I avoided ever overeating to barf point). Scared wife did call doctor at 2am. By time she returned with instructions to tweak dose of one of the medications I was feeling better.

    Good luck on continued progress. One thing that’s amazing to me is how variably various bodies can react to the exact same procedure.


  12. Douglass Fashionable
    July 30, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Hi there! Long time listener, first time caller. The goth thing is going to be awesome. Thanks for all the words and all the honesty over all the time!


  13. Kristine
    July 31, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Check Lularoe. Leggings are great, and hold in the flab you will soon have. Congrats.


  14. August 1, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Glad to hear you are on the mend. We need your voice and I’m sure your family is pretty keen on you too. I’d love to meet some time, maybe in the fall. – Marcos


  15. August 2, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Just listened to your interview with Howard Hughes,Get well soon.


  16. Lincoln
    August 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I heard you on Howard Hughes, from your comment regarding diabetes I thought you were getting a duodenal switch, but in reading it seems like you may have only gotten a sleeve. What surgery did you get?

    I’m 2 years out from my duodenal switch, and maintaining at 185, after my initial 395. The sleeve is a small portion of the duodenal switch, if you need any first hand info I’d be happy to help.


    • August 4, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks for writing. I got the sleeve for now. I will see if it’s enough. Thanks!



  17. Laura Hampton
    August 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I’m glad you made it through surgery successfully and that you are feeling better!

    I came across this clothing company recently: https://www.universalstandard.net/ I haven’t ordered anything from them, so I can’t say anything about the fit or quality, but they say they will replace some of their garments if you change sizes within a year. They sell items in black, too.


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