Gastric Bypass Girl Part 224

June 22, 2015

I am so glad to be back among the mobile society.  I have been housebound since October 21st and believe me, cabin fever gets to you after a while.  I am still governed by my visiting nurse and bath person, without whom I wouldn’t be coming along as well as I am.  

I am still having to be super careful, make sure everything I eat is soft and chewed thoroughly; taking my time and watching how I lift things and bend; taking walks daily to improve my muscle tone, etc.

I am set to have another Endoscopy on next Tuesday followed by an Ultrasound of the abdomen on Wednesday.  I am skeptical of the Endoscopy but feel confident that the Doctor who will be performing the procedure knows what he is doing.  He was the one who helped save my life last December 4th/5th.  When I went to see him last week, he walked in and gave me a funny look.  He proceeded to check the computer for my records when he turned and said, “I remember you!  I often wondered what the outcome was, you were so very, very ill.”  “I am so happy to see you looking so well!”

He then proceeded to explain exactly what happened that night.  I had not heard exactly what happened and having it explained in depth was quite an experience.  I had been told it was bad but I had no idea HOW bad I was.  It was a very sobering experience

Enough of that, what is in the past needs to stay in the past.  The future is what interests me now and I plan on being here for quite a while longer.  I have started doing my own cooking again.  Today, for example, I made a humongous pot of Chicken Vegetable soup.  I can no longer have fresh vegetables (which I love) so I decided to take chopped celery, onion, zucchini, crookneck squash, sliced carrots, chunked potatoes, sliced mushrooms, and diced turnips and make a pot of soup.  I love all vegetables so this sounded like a winner.  It DID have 4 chicken thighs cubed in the pot but there were so many veggies, the chicken looked very sparse!   Lord it tasted soooooo good!  

Next was to find enough containers in which to freeze my soup.  I called my neighbor who is 87 and asked if she would like some of it.  “Oh, that would be lovely!” was her comment.  I scooped some of it into a small container and walked it to her door.  She was thrilled and announced that she would be having my soup and bread and butter for her dinner.  It tickled me to know that such a small thing could bring so much joy to another humanbeing.  

Well, that is all for this week.  Here is hoping you have a fantastic week and. . . .See you again next week!

Have a wonderful week.

May it be filled with love, joy and peace.

 


Gastric Bypass Girl Part 223

April 18, 2015

AND THE SAGA CONTINUES. . . .

When I had the surgery on 10/21, I acquired a burn approximately 1-1/2 inches in length.  Whatever happened, the skin was burned so badly that it turned black and was totally dead.  Well, the same thing happened with the 12/4 surgery.  Another burn appeared.  My visiting nurse has been treating these for 5 months and they are now finally healing.  We estimate that it will take another 4 to 6 weeks until they are fully healed.  My Wound Care Specialist was sorry to tell me that there would be scars.  I answered her with “My stomach looks like a Jig Saw puzzle now so scarring won’t make a difference to me!”  She just laughed!

I plan on asking the hospital to investigate the burns.  I don’t want anything, just answers.  I don’t want someone else to go through the 5 or 6 months of sometimes painful treatment that I have been dealing with since last October 21st (the first one) and December 4th (the second one). 

In my GBG Part 218, I discussed the water pocket I had been carrying for 26 months.  I proceeded to have 2 needle drain procedures.  These helped for a few weeks but the pockets filled up again.  Since I was scheduled for Pancreas and Spleen cancer surgery, I opted to wait to do anything further on the water pockets. 

Finally on February 9th, I had surgery to find out exactly what was leaking in my abdomen.  I ended up with a 4 inch incision in my original scar (from surgery to remove excess skin/repair 2 hernias in March 2012).  When I woke up, I was informed that I needed to have my visiting nurse pack my deep incision with rolled gauze soaked in Daikon and wrung as dry as possible.  The doctor wanted it packed 3 times a day, however, the visiting nurse is only allowed 1 visit per day and the incision was in a place that I couldn’t pack it myself so it was decided to pack it once a day.  That is good; I couldn’t have stood having the packing solution, Daikon, 3 times a day.  The visiting nurse has been a God send; I don’t know what I would have done without her. 

On February 28tht, we noticed some green on the packing.  I had the visiting nurse call my doctor to ask for antibiotics.  Green usually means infection.  He ordered antibiotics for 7 days.  I was to see him the next Thursday so he could check my wound.

On March 14th we again called the doctor.  Again there was green on the packing.  He decided that we needed to flush the wound with a liter of Daikon solution and then pack it with the Daikon soaked rolled gauze.  Ok, time to figure out what we could use.  I have been around a long time so over the years I have had to substitute things when I didn’t have exactly what I needed.  My solution “How about a turkey baster?”  The look on the nurse’s face said it all.  “Where am I going to find a pot big enough to put her in so I can baste her?”  When she stopped laughing, we went looking for the turkey baster.  Surprisingly, it worked.  When she left, I went to the Pet Shop and to buy aquarium air tubing.  On the way into the store, a puppy on a l-o-n-g lead, wrapped itself around my ankles and down I went!  After determining I was okay, I got the air tubing, which was the wrong size, and proceeded home.  Discovering it was too small I went back later and bought the right size tubing.  When the visiting nurse came the next day, we put the two pieces together and it worked great.  Over the weeks, we have graduated from the large tubing and turkey baster to a catheter hose with a 60cc syringe and now an IV tubing and 60cc syringe.  This has been an experience that I hope I never have to go through again.  I know the nurse hopes it won’t happen again.

The wound has been healing slowly from the inside out.  This is the way you want it to heal.  Hopefully it will be completely healed in a few weeks.

As I said last week, I am about 75% healed.  My strength and energy levels are increasing daily.  All my doctors are amazed at my recovery.  I really didn’t want to go to the Rehab Center but made the decision to go for 1 week.  My cancer surgeon told me that he was sorry he talked me into going to the Rehab Center.  “I can see now that you were right, you should have gone home to recuperate.  I can’t believe the change in your health since you went to your home.”  I tried to tell him that I needed to go home but it is hard to argue with someone who doesn’t really know you and your healing capacity.

 

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT SUNDAY!

STAY HEALTY AND HAPPY!


Gastric Bypass Girl Part 222

April 11, 2015

I am sorry that I have not been able to write my weekly blog parts.  The end of the year 2014 was a duzzy.  I had Pancreas and Spleen surgery for a pre-cancer condition.  This was a success and while I was recovering from that surgery, I had another emergency surgery due to a bleed out caused by ulcers.  I am slowly recuperating from this now and finally feel like getting back on my blog.  This has been a long recovery but I am progressing upward every day.

It is now 5 months since my first surgery and I am about 75% well.  I am still having wound care 7 days a week and am grateful for the wonderful care I have been receiving.  Let me tell you, the “Golden Years” ain’t what they were cracked up to be!

I am pleased about one thing I have started losing weight again.  I gained 30 pounds from the IV fluids given to me during the 10/21 surgery.  Well, when the 12/4 surgery came I had not lost the weight I had gained and, added another 15 pounds of water weight.  I have since lost 68 pounds, most of which was IV fluid.  I am continuing to lose weight and have gone from a 5X to a regular woman’s large size.  The weight loss pleases me but also makes me wonder why I was on a set plateau for over 2 years.  I intend to make an appointment with my Gastric Bypass surgeon to make sure everything is okay. 

My friend from England came 10/19/14 and she was a blessing to me.  I was a wreck when I came home from the hospital.  First off, I was still in shock over finding out I had cancer for the second time (first time was in 2007 Uterine cancer).  I was so blown away that I found myself being truly shocked when the doctor started explaining all the changes that he had made with this surgery.  I found myself being afraid for the first time in my life.  There were shots, Flu, pneumonia and Meningitis.  The last one threw me for a loop!  Was I now susceptible to Meningitis?  He then explained that it was to keep me FROM getting the Meningitis virus. 

During the surgery 10/21/14, I received a bad skin burn.  Nobody knows how or why but never the less, it was there.  They had me use ointment and bandages until it was decided to operate on it and stitch it up.  That was 12/2.  On 12/4, I awoke up at 3:00AM with heavy sweats and dizziness.  I sat on the edge of the bed until my body told me to go back to bed at 4:00AM.  When I awoke at 7:00AM, I immediately called my caregiver and told her that I needed to go to the hospital.  Since I had surgery 2 days prior, I opted to go to that hospital.  The Trauma Unit gave me every test under the sun and, later that evening it was decided to do an endoscopy the next morning.  When the surgery team left the room, I left this earth.  I flat lined I had bled out! Well, it was immediately to the operating room and over night I had Ulcer surgery.  When they sealed the first ulcer, the added blood pressure caused a second ulcer to bleed.  Before the surgery ended I was given 21 units of blood. 

I spent the next 8 days in the hospital.  I was released to a Rehabilitation Center and was there for 7 of the most miserable days of my life.  All the horror stories I had heard were true.  May I NEVER have to go to another one in my lifetime! ! ! !

When December 19th came, I was never so happy to see my friend walk through the door of the Rehab.  I wanted to go home so bad that it was hard to keep from running out the door (however, I wasn’t strong enough to walk straight let alone run!)

As I said at the beginning of this saga, I am about 75% well and progressing a little bit every day.

 

 

 

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR,

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

WHEN IT DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT,

DON’T IGNORE IT.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND CHECK IT OUT!


I’M BACK ! ! ! !

April 6, 2015

Gastric Bypass Girl returns next Sunday.  Hope you will join me as I continue my blog!

Thanks to my loyal followers!

GBG


Gastric Bypass Girl Part 221

October 19, 2014

My friend from the UK is due to arrive at 2:35 PM today and my friends and I are going to meet her at LAX.  I will be so happy to finally meet her.  We have been playing games (Cribbage and Scrabble) on the internet for about 5 years now and have talked on the phone occasionally.  I am SOOOO excited!

I have everything gathered together for my entrance into the hospital for surgery on 10/21/14.  In my packet, I have the 2 test results the Cardiologist requested; my Anesthesia questionnaire; my Medical Directive; a copy of my Medicare and Supplemental Insurance cards; complete medical list of all procedures from 1949 through my pre-op tests on 10/13/14; the sheet of pre-op and post-op instructions.  I have always been an organized person (not in all things) so I feel this is complete.

My cousin is coming from Wrightwood, CA, on Monday night to be with me on surgery day.  She will spend the night and take me to the hospital on Tuesday morning.  Since I won’t know until Monday afternoon/evening, it was best for her to come early so I won’t stress out getting to the hospital. 

As for Baby, my friend lamented that she was concerned that she and Baby won’t hit it off.  “No worry,” I told her, “Baby will have you wrapped around her little paw within 5 minutes!”  Baby loves everyone and everyone loves her.  She is an entertainer and loves to play with her toys, teasing you and playing chase.  The only warning I had for my friend was, “She will constantly try to con you out of COOKIES!”  Other than that, there shouldn’t be any problem!

As you can tell, I am facing this with an open, positive mind and attitude.  I know whatever it is it has been diagnosed early and it will be able to be cured.  Life is good and will be better!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  They are so appreciated.  I have a very strong faith in a Higher Power and know everything will be OKAY.  I will be gone for a few weeks and wish you progress in your journeys. 

 

LIFE IS A JOURNEY WITH LOTS OF TWISTS AND TURNS.  FACE EACH DAY WITH A SMILE AND POSITIVE THOUGHTS.

 

I KNOW MY POSITIVE ATTITUDE HAS CARRIED ME THROUGH 70 YEARS OF LIFE.

 

GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU SAFE AND HEALTHY!


Gastric Bypass Girl Part 220

October 12, 2014

This has been a week of ups and downs.  I notified my family and friends to my upcoming surgery.  My caregiver and my niece were so upset because they were not free to come to my aid, my niece had no vacation time coming and my caregiver is starting a new position on 10/14.  I started checking with my friends and neighbors to see if they could possibly help me, especially the first week after surgery.  They were working on ways to help, i.e., grocery shopping, medical visits, and my main concern, taking care of Baby.  Everybody was coming up with temporary solutions to my problems when I got an e-mail from my Bessie Buddie from the UK.  I was totally blown away!

She offered to come to the USA and be here for the surgery, stay at my house and take care of Baby for me so I wouldn’t be worried.  She will stay with me after surgery for about 10 days.  As I said above, I WAS TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY! 

I immediately responded with a loud YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  It was like someone had lifted a huge weight from off my shoulders.  All my concerns vanished.  I called my niece and my caregiver to let them know I was going to be well taken care of.  Every concern I have had i.e., transportation to and from the airport and the return trip for going back to the UK, no problem.  I have some very unique and caring friends who have come to my rescue, Bless you all!

Now I am looking forward to having my pre-op tests and then to the arrival of my Bessie Buddie on the 19th.  We will have 1 day to get things arranged and get her acquainted with Baby.  That part will be easy Baby is an entertainer and loves to play.  In no time at all, Baby will have my friend wrapped around her little paw!

I go in for my pre-op tests on the 13th.  I don’t think there will be any problem.  Been there, done that several times before.  Luckily all the tests will be done at one facility.  This is a big help as traffic into Los Angeles and back out to my house is a big pain and I am so happy I don’t have to go there. 

I have been getting things in order.  I have Baby all taken care of.  Her meds and flea meds are here and ready for the big fight to get them down her.  (If you give them to her in cheese, no problem, she just swallows them right down.

I will clean my freezer on Wednesday, trash day is Thursday and then I will be able to fill it with fresh foods.  Since my friend and I are watching our figures so there will be only good stuff in the fridge, including fresh fruits, veggies, chicken, beef, etc.   She loves fish but because I can’t be around the smell of fish, she has opted to be satisfied with chicken.  Maybe she can use water packed tuna packets?  She has already said that if she goes out to a meal with another of my friends, she will for sure order fish!

Oh, fine, I just had a call from a wholesaler I shop at and was told that their baby wipes have been contaminated.  JUST WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR!  I called my case nurse and she suggested that I tell the Doctor on Monday when I go in for my tests and let them decide if I need antibiotics or not.  I am good and healthy so I don’t think they will need to put me on antibiotics. 

Called my Doctor and asked him what the probability was that I would be affected by the B Cecapia virus.  His answer was only if you have cystic fibrosis and if your immune system is compromised.  Thankfully, I have neither problem.  On to the pre-op tests on Monday!

I will close for now.  When I have further news, I will post it.  Thanks for your prayers and well wishes.  Hopefully this will be my last surgery.

 

PLAN FOR CHANGES AS BEST YOU CAN

THEN ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES!

GOD HAS A PLAN FOR US AND

ONLY HE KNOWS WHAT IT IS!

 

 

 


Gastric Bypass Girl Part 219

October 5, 2014

We are headed for another hot spell, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I really hope that this is the last spell.  I am so tired of the heat, humidity, fires and drought.  I am hoping for a good El Nino this winter.  I have always wondered why we have cement rivers that make the water flow to the ocean.  I would love to see them dammed up and the water used for the purpose God intended it for.  Such a waste letting it drain off instead of pumping it for use on farms, vineyards, yards, etc. 

Wednesday morning I am going with my friend to have her MRI on her abdomen, checking for gall bladder problems.  She has been in quite a bit of pain lately and it is time to make sure it isn’t something else.  I am hoping the problem can be easily taken care of by Laparoscopy.  She has a new job starting mid month and has enough time to recuperate before it starts.  Since she can’t eat or drink for 10 hours before her MRI, we will go to breakfast/brunch afterward.  Since I am a Diabetic, and will have taken my meds before I leave home, I will also have a Crabmaster yogurt to hold me over until we eat.

Wednesday afternoon I find out what my MRI had to say about the cyst on my Pancreas.  I am sure it isn’t anything to worry about at this time or my surgeon would have notified me to come in sooner.  I could have postponed the MRI for a year or so, but I would much rather find out what is wrong while there is time to treat it before something major develops.  I am too old to ‘wait and see’.

Thursday morning my friend and I are going in for my Ultrasound to see if the water pocket is empty or refilling.  This will help relieve my mind and allow me to ‘get on with my life’.  I have been in a holding pattern for 30 months now and I am ready to break out of my cocoon and fly away!  I have plans for the holidays and I need to be able to do a major redo of my home so that I will be able to have out of town visitors in for a visit.  My home is clean but cluttered.  I need to clean out and throw out all my miscellaneous papers and things that I no longer need or use.  I have spent my entire life saving things and giving things away and now is the time to completely clean everything out.  That way, if something happens it will be easier for my relatives to deal with.  I do not have a ‘fatalists’ attitude, but, at 70 and a Cancer Survivor who was hugely obese for most of my life, I want to live in the present and let go of the past.

Just came from the Oncology surgeon, news is not good.  There is a lesion on the Pancreas and it was decided that I will have surgery on October 21st.  It was definitely NOT the answer I thought I was going to hear but the sooner it is removed, the less time it will have to expose the rest of my body to cancer cells.  I had hoped when he was talking to me, that I would be able to have it removed by Laparoscopy but since I have had numerous abdominal surgeries, that was out.  They are afraid that the mesh used for my hernias might get damaged so it will be open surgery.  Oh, well, with God’s help and your prayers, I will be fine.

 News was not any better on Thursday.  The water is back in my abdomen.  I had to have another needle drain inserted to drain the fluid off.  Instead of 6 small pockets and 1 big one, this time I have 2 big pockets.  While I was laying on the gurney, the tech drained off 2.2 liters of fluid.  I hope this is the last time I have to do this.  Oh, well, time will tell.  At least I will have the fluid off the stomach before 10/21 surgery date. 

That is all for this week.  I will keep you informed to my progress.  I am so glad my Oncologist insisted on a CT scan, it brought out problems that can be handled and kept from becoming deadly.  Even though I was devastated, I know it is early enough to be dealt with.

 

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY,

IT WILL TELL YOU

WHEN SOMETHING IS WRONG.

THE SOONER YOU ARE DIAGNOSED,

THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES

FOR A HEALTHIER LIFE!