Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Long Update!

This is super super long. Sorry

So I know it has been a bit. I swore to myself that I would keep this blog up and document this journey better. Oh well I came to to realization that I am not a good blogger and I most likely will never be. I'm going to try and re-cap the best I can. I have had so much happen in the past few weeks. I will be 3 months out on Monday.

My recovery from surgery went super well. I really didn't have much pain. I only used my pain medicine a few times after I came home. It was super hard to get all of my protein in. I was having a hard time drinking protein shakes. I still can't find one I like. It just feels like they don't sit well in my tummy. A few days before I went back to work I was feeling super dizzy and lethargic. I went to the urgent care and was treated for dehydration ( the start of the cycle trip #1 ). It is and still is so hard for me to get all of my fluids in. I feel like all I do is drink drink drink. I have a water bottle attached to me at all times. I went back to work a little before 4 weeks. I was super tired and had a hard time adjusting back to work life.

As soon as I started back to work I got really nauseous. All day, every day nausea. I was put on Zofran which helped a little at first. Every time I would smell a strong perfume or cologne I would vomit. I have had a hard time adjusting to smells. Any smell, all smells. My Mom takes an omega 3 supplement and had to stop because I could smell fish on her and it made me so sick.

Then on 05/14 I woke up at about 3 am with the most severe pain I have ever had in my life. I had such severe pain in my right hip area that radiated up into my rib cage area. I went to urgent care (trip #2) and after a CAT scan was diagnosed with a kidney stone and a kidney infection. I have never experienced pain like that in my life. Thinking back about it now makes me cringe. I wouldn't wish a kidney stone on my worst enemy. I was sent home a few hours later with some antibiotics (Cipro aka horse pills) and was told to crush them. I have a ton of allergies to antibiotics so they were unable (or I was told they were unable) to find me a liquid antibiotic to take.

So home I went and tried to crush the antibiotic as directed. Unfortunately every time I tried to take it I would vomit it right back up. I tried to take it with a little applesauce and had no luck. It would burn my throat and then come right back up. I called my surgeons nurse and told her. At this point I was unable to drink any liquid or eat. I was so nauseous. My tummy was so irritated from vomiting throughout the day. She advised me to go back to urgent care and she told me my surgeon was on call that night if they needed to contact him. So back in the car for the hour drive to urgent care ( trip #3). Unfortunately this trip I got a not so nice doctor. The first thing she said was " I don't really have that much experience with bypass patients". I was floored. I asked her to call my surgeon and consult with him because something was wrong. She said she didn't feel the need to. That her job is to make sure I am hydrated and send me home. I was so irritated. I called my surgeons after hours line and they said to tell her to page him. So she did. I was worried and didn't feel confident in her decision making process regarding my care. So he recommended that we do another CAT scan this time with contrast so we can see my insides better.

The second CAT scan was done and everything looked OK. At this point I was so frustrated and done. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep. She instructed me to keep taking the pills and to keep crushing them, I told her how bad they burned and she said to mix them with something....ugh..I tired that already but I was so frustrated I just said OK and home I went.

I took the pills for the next 2 maybe 3 days. I noticed my tongue started to turn white and I called urgent care back. The nurse told me to try and crush the pills and put them in honey or peanut butter. I told her I was post-op rny and those foods were either to high in sugar or too high in fat for me. She then suggested to mix it in yogurt. Unfortunately the antibiotic was Cipro and Cipro cant be mixed with calcium products. So i just toughed it out and tried to cut the pills into chunks to take. I was also still having pain in the upper right side of my rib cage.

On 05/20 I had an appointment with my gyno to get my depo shot. I woke up the morning of my appointment and couldn't speak. I felt like my throat was swelling shut. Inside my mouth it was completely white and covered with tons of tiny little blisters and they were super painful. I got to my appointment and see my gyno (Dr. Mitchell). He looked at me and told me to go to urgent care that maybe I was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotic. So I got my depo shot and back to urgent care I go (trip #4). So back at urgent care I was diagnosed with stomatitis and sent home with some nasty stuff to rinse my mouth with. I had this crazy white coating in my mouth and my Mom said to her it looked like thrush. The urgent care doctor said nope it wasn't thrush just stomatitis.

Jump to 05/27. I am starting to feel normal just super tired. I'm still struggling with protein and water. Off to my regular doctor (well one of her associates) today, One look in my still white mouth I was told I have thrush and he gave me some medicine. It started to go away almost immediately. I told him about the pain in the upper right side of my rib cage and he suggested that I talk to my surgeon about it at my next appointment and that he felt it might be my gall bladder. The kicker of this appointment was the fact that he told me I never needed the antibiotic that all of my urine tests came back negative for any type of kidney infection, UTI, or bladder infection.

All this time I'm being a trooper still going to work. Working 10-12 hour days. Coming home and going straight to bed. I was becoming so run down. The nausea was so bad I was vomiting all the time and vomiting everything from water to soup broth to jello. I would just start to gag for no reason. I would wake up in the middle of the night and just be gagging.

My next appointment with my surgeon Dr. T was on 06/08. (I also saw him one more time before this but I forgot At this point he told me he didn't see a reason for my nausea, gagging, and vomiting. I didn't have any pain in my bypass area so he didn't feel I had a stricture. I told him I wanted an ultrasound on my gall bladder and he agreed. He said he didn't feel the nausea was from my gall bladder but we could do the ultra sound to rule it out. I told him the nausea/gagging had gotten so bad it was now interfering with my everyday life. I couldn't function. I couldn't eat or drink without being sick. He said my labs looked great and that just my potassium was a little low but nothing to be concerned about at this point. Honestly this was the first time I felt I butted heads with Dr. T. I didn't feel he was listening to me and he wasn't too nice this day. He was super short with me in his responses to my problems. I left this appointment rather pissed off. I will be totally honest here I was super mad at him. Maybe he was having a bad day but oh well that shouldn't be my problem.

I go in on 06/11 for the ultrasound of my gall bladder. I received a call from Dr Takata and he said that the ultrasound showed that I have sludge in my gall bladder but no gall stones. He stated that gall bladder sludge can come and go and he really didn't want to put me through another surgery this soon. I agreed but told him i was still nauseous/gagging and that something had to give soon. I was becoming so frustrated and tired.

I woke up the next morning 06/12 and couldn't even get out of bed to go to work. I felt like my legs wouldn't move. So off to urgent care yet again (trip #5). At urgent care they did more blood work. It showed that now my magnesium was low and my potassium was even lower. The urgent care doctor gave me a bag of potassium, a bag of magnesium and some IV fluids. So back home I went feeling worse then when I went into urgent care and now with a prescription for liquid potassium (gag!).

I called in sick to work again on Monday and wound up back in urgent care on 06/15 Tuesday (trip #6...see a pattern here). I felt like crap. I couldn't move. My body just wouldn't work. I still can't eat or drink much. Some stuff would stay in and other stuff would come right back up. This time the urgent care doctor called Dr Takata and told him my potassium was still low and I was unable to hold anything in. So off to another CAT scan I go. The CAT scan came back normal and I was given more fluids/ more potassium.

After talking to Dr. T he stated that he wanted me to go in for an Upper GI. So on 06/17 I went in for an Upper GI. Can I just say YUCK! I received a phone call from Dr. T that afternoon and he told me the Upper GI looked fine and he doesn't understand whats going on with me. OK so here is where I lost it. I just started crying. I told him something was wrong I didn't know what but something was wrong. He asked me if I felt I was having anxiety over the surgery or over the weight loss? I said no. I have never had anxiety over anything in my life. I feel that I have adjusted to life after RNY pretty well. I just couldn't keep anything in. The nausea/gagging was killing me. I told him I felt worse now at this point then I did after my surgery. Something was wrong I just didn't know what. He asked me what he wanted me to do and my Mom (in the background) said she felt I needed to be admitted. He said OK and go check into the hospital in a few hours. He said they will fill me with fluids and some vitamins to see if that helps.

So a few hours later off to Scripps Green I went. I got all checked in and the nurses were unable to find a vein to hook the IV into. All the trips to urgent care had taken all the good veins. They had to call a picc nurse to do an IV. She was amazing and got me on the first stick. The only problem was the IV was in the vein on the inside of my wrist...ouch! Dr. T phoned my room that evening and said he didn't think he was going to be able to come back in that night and see me. I think they had already finished rounds for the day. He said they would start me on fluids and such. I still think he wanted to stay home and watch the Lakers game that night (it was the last game in the I would rather be at home watching it too). That night I was given a banana bag of fluids. Its a crazy mix of vitamins. I had a super cool roommate (Rose Marie) who had had surgery on her shoulder. My night nurse was amazing. Super sweet and helpful. The next morning when Dr. T came in at the crack of dawn he said my potassium was even lower (now at 2.2 or 2.6... I forgot). He wanted to keep me one more night and give me bags of potassium and more fluids. We also agreed to do another ultrasound on my gall badder since I was still having pain in the upper right side of my back. Oh and I also asked him who won the game last night and he asked what game? ha ha funny...and he told me The Lakers!

So after 4 very painful bags of IV potassium, drinking a ton more liquid potassium, and an IV going all day I was feeling pretty good. The second ultrasound looked good and showed no more sludge (WTF? I still hurt). Dr T's physician assistant CT came in to check on me in the evening. She said she saw I was admitted and wanted to come see me. I love CT she is so sweet and caring. Its funny but I think her and Dr T complement each other very well. So my second night in the hospital I was able to move around the floor as I wanted just had to take my IV with me. This was a good thing because my roommate the second night was this crazy 81 year old woman who freaked out because are CNA was a male. She felt they shouldn't let men take care of women. She was a tough lady but drove me up the wall. So I walked the halls a lot. You can't sleep at a hospital more so when you are not on pain meds.

The next , Saturday 6/19 Dr T came in and said my labs look better and that I could go home. I told him I felt 100% better and had not vomited since yesterday early am. My nausea was also pretty much gone at this point too. I felt like me again. After all this my official diagnosis was dehydration. Wow just wow. 6 trips to the urgent care complaining of dehydration and nausea/gagging. Finally I got someone to listen and I felt like me again. On a somewhat bright side I had a room with a view this time and was coherent enough to enjoy it

So back home I went. Its funny but as soon as I went home I could eat and drink. My Mom said looking back it seemed like something had been wrong for awhile to which I agreed. I have not had to take any nausea medicine.

I have energy again. I have been walking and going swimming in the pool. I even went to the Del Mar fair today (I still refuse to call it the San Diego Fair). My niece was performing today so I wanted to see her dance. We only stayed for a few hours but it was a lot of fun and no I didn't have fried butter or chocolate fried bacon....gross!

I saw Dr T this past Tuesday 06/29. (I'm not mad at him anymore) He said my labs look great again. My potassium is at 4.4. I told him I feel great again. I can eat and drink. I don't feel nauseous. I haven't vomited. I feel like me. I told him that I have felt a tugging on my lower left side ever since the vomiting. He said we will just keep an eye on it and that was where all the major suturing was done. I have to go back in 6 weeks and then 6 weeks after that. I guess he is keeping a closer eye on me since I have had some complications. He seemed pretty happy with my weight loss and with how good I was feeling.

So after 3 CAT scans, 2 Ultrasounds, and an Upper GI I have learned that when you feel something is wrong that something most likely is wrong. You are your only advocate. No one else will stick up for you except you. I have also learned that I am very lucky and fortunate to have amazing health insurance and that I also have a phenomenal support system.

I will be 3 months out on Monday (4 days away) I am down 83 pounds to 256. Before surgery I was on 2 different blood pressure medicines. I am now off of both of them and my blood pressure is completely within normal ranges. I used to wear a size 26 and some 28's. I bought a size 20 pair of capris yesterday. I have been able to tolerate all the foods I have tried. I still measure all my food. I don't want to get sick anymore. I read all of my labels to watch my sugar/fat intake. I can eat most fruits/veggies and also salad. I am having a tough time with the more dense proteins but I eat a lot of turkey. I just tried tilapia for the first time and it went well. I can't wait to try more seafoods in the next few weeks. I still can't handle shakes though.

I am a little nervous about returning to work tomorrow. I have not worked since 6/11. I don't want to wear myself out again. I'm going to only work 8 hours shifts for the next few weeks to try and readjust back to work. I just hope some of my work clothes fit me. We have to wear all black and I don't want to spend a ton of money on new clothes. My job in pretty strenuous and I work super long days I should of given my body more time to heal. Looking back now I feel that was a huge mistake I should of taken more time off.

And if you made it this far sorry it was so long. I hope it makes sense also. I feel like I left tons out and if I did I will edit this post later. I am going to try and update more frequently but I do suck at blogging.


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