Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 - Surgery Day
Woke up at 05:00 grabbed a shower and lathered in the sterilizing solution that the hospital provided. I had taken a shower and coated with the same solution the night before and slept on clean sheets in order to reduce exposure to things that might prove bothersome with having surgery. Having been someone who has been working a graveyard shift, sleeping through the night was a challenge… one that I was only moderately successful at. Surprisingly, having consumed nothing since 9pm I was neither hungry nor thirsty. Which was one of my concerns, especially the thirst issue considering I am one of those persons that constantly has some sort of beverage even if it is just the water bottle I constantly have at my side. Anyway, my appointment for surgery was at 07:45 so my wife Julie and I departed for the hospital at 06:00 just incase there was morning traffic.
Once at the hospital things progressed rather quickly. Within minutes I was checked in and Julie and I were whisked off to another waiting room where I was taken into another room where I sterilized again and changed into an operating gown. I had barely gotten changed when a nurse showed up, had me get on a gurney and off I went. As they wheeled me through the halls we picked up Julie from the waiting room and she stayed with me in a "Pre-surgery" holding room, but it wasn't long before my surgeon, his AP, and the Anesthesiologist came through and said good morning and asked a few final questions. A short wait and Julie returned to the waiting area and I was rolled into the OR. The last thing I remember was transferring from the gurney to the operating table, laying down situating myself… then the next thing I was aware of was waking up in room with a couple of nurses watching over me, one of them saying "your oxygen is low, you need to breathe!". The next few hours are tough to recall, just kind of a disjointed awareness of my surroundings.
As it turns out there was a bit of a complication during the initial part of the surgery. One of the first things they do is send a scope down your throat to make sure there are no issues with your intestines. This is a very common procedure, however there is a nerve cluster that the scope occasionally comes into contact with and when this happens the results are usually very mild. But I have never been one to not step up to a challenge, instead of the usual minor nerve reactions I did the one in a million reaction and my heart stopped like flipping a switch. I flat lined for a little over 20 seconds before they restarted my heart. My surgeon almost canceled my procedure, but he and another couple of doctors assessed the risk and determined that the risk of continuing were less detrimental to my health than not completing the VSG and my remaining obese.
At about 4pm I was encouraged to get up and walk around the floors perimeter hallway with a nurse guiding me. This was probably the first real awareness I had of the discomfort of all the cuts and stitching and such… not pain, just a tugging sensation when I moved. Especially when I got up out of the bed! I spent the night getting up every 2 hours and doing a lap around the perimeter, by morning I was walking on my own and doing 3-4 laps. During this time they brought me little one-once cups of water, 10 at a time… this is where the sip, sip, sip starts. From 4pm on the 25th and 2pm on the 26th when they released me, I had drank 70 ounces of water and 10 ounces of chicken broth. I guess from their comments this amount was a little unusual, but good.