Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Two Down

L went in for her surgery on Monday! That's two of us down, and just me left to go.

Did I tell you that L got the call on Thursday that she should arrive at the hospital at 6:15, just like K did? Well, she did. Over the weekend, she did her 2-day liquid diet. She did pretty well on it once we figured out to put the protein powder in chicken broth. Then it felt more like food. Swanson has some awesome "flavor infused" chicken stocks. Haven't tried all of them, but Chinese Hot & Sour is good. So is Mexican Tortilla. I think that one would be even better as the liquid when you make rice. It smells like a Mexican restaurant, and tastes like Mexican rice flavor. Yum. But 24-hour liquid diet was still hard for her. She kind of flipped out when anyone else was eating. I am not looking forward to my turn at that this weekend.

K had some leg cramps on Friday, so she called the office. They told her to go get it checked at the emergency room, in case it was a blood clot. But it wasn't, so yay! She had an ultrasound at the local ER just to check.

Traffic was busier this week than it was when we brought K in for surgery. But we got there on time. L was super nervous. We're getting good at this routine, though. In through the Clough Surgical Center entrance. (They really need to fix that automatic door -- it doesn't open all the way and you have to push through.) Into the elevator, down to level 1. Follow the hall to the surgery center. Patient checks in at the desk. Family waits in the waiting area when they call patient back to get ready. When the patient is set, then the family can go back and sit with them until they're taken to surgery. L didn't have any pre-surgery problems. She did forget to leave her Hunger Games Mockingjay necklace at home. lol. But otherwise, everything was uncomplicated. They marked her allergies on her bracelet, and used paper tape instead of the hideous adhesives that make her break out in a rash.

J came with us this time. He got hungry while we were waiting after she went into surgery. So we went down to the cafeteria. They don't have a lot more when you go at the right time for breakfast than they do if you go at the wrong time. A salad-free salad bar with some kind of yogurt, cottage cheese, and a few kinds of cut up melons. The packaged yogurt, chips, and puddings that they had the last time, and some potato puffs. That was all I saw. Nope. Pass. J got Smartfood and potato puffs. I stole two of his potato puffs and got peanuts out of a vending machine. K just drank her protein shake. Then we went back upstairs. She was still surgery, but moved to recovery soon afterward. It was a while before we heard anything, though.

K had 10:30 and 11:00 appointments over at the office. We joked that if she was late, we'd tell the office that we were busy waiting for Dr. Lautz to tell us how L did. lol. No need, though. He came out at about 10:00 and let us know how it went. She did great. Fixed the hiatal hernia and did the bypass. Awesome! She did have a little bit of bleeding on her upper left side, so they stitched that up. He said that might be a little more painful than the other parts. After that, we checked in with the desk to let them know that we were heading over to his office for appointments and would be back by noon or so. They said to just check with them again when we got back, and they'd let us know where she was. Cool! Off to the office, then!

K had appointments with both Jessica and LeBron. They both went well. LeBron said her incisions looked good, and that it looked like she'd had an allergic reaction to the tape adhesive in a couple of places.  Jessica cleared her to move on to the soft/ground/extremely chewed foods stage!! Yay! She has to have some more blood tests, but since I have my consent signing on Friday, she's just going to run upstairs while I'm there and do it then. Oh, Keisha had her baby and is back at work, btw! She looks awesome, and says he's doing great.

I checked in with Marie while I was there. I'm halfway through my two week diet, and the protein shakes have not been sitting well with me. I can't stand the sweet, milk-based ones. They're too thick, too creamy, too sweet, too foamy, or all of the above. Blergh. And what I thought was induction sickness from cutting carbs seems to have been can't-drink-these-things sickness. It's too bad, because I actually liked the Nectar Naturals Peach and Orange. They taste perfectly fine, and they have the textuer of a normal juice. But I felt nauseated and bloated after drinking them. I tried mixing the unflavored Isopure with the chicken soup, like L had been doing. That sat better in my stomach, and it tasted fine. I think I will have some more of that this weekend.  Marie gave me a sample of strawberry-flavored "About Time" brand protein shake. I haven't tried it yet. She also suggested that I try the Unjury chicken soup flavor, Liquacel brand liquid protein, which you can get at Target, Vega One brand powder, which they apparently have samples of at Whole Foods, (wherever there's one of those), or an egg white protein powder like Jay Robb. Jay Robb = $$$$$, btw. I mentioned that I'd seen a Now Foods egg white powder on Amazon, and she said that would be fine. She also recommended that I try the ready-to-drink Isopure Zero Carb drinks. You can get them individually at GNC or Vitamin Shoppe, both of which have stores that were on our way home from Concord. You can also buy them by the case online. Amazon sells them. I think Lucky Vitamin has them, and I'm pretty sure I saw them on bodybuilding.com. But shop around for the best price.

After the office visits, we went and got some food at Subway. I had the double chicken salad. It was pretty good. I wish they had avocado, though. I love some avocado. K got a ham and cheese sandwich without the sandwich. lol. She asked for no bread, just honey mustard for dipping. Confused the heck out of the woman. It stayed down for her, so yay ham & cheese!

Back at the hospital (take a ticket so you can pay yet again for parking) L was still in the recovery room, but they said they'd be sending her up to her room shortly. So Susan who tells you where to go and brings you places told us we could go up and wait in her room. We asked at the desk. They recognized K from two weeks ago. They told us they weren't sure which room she was getting, but that we could wait in the waiting room. Makes sense. We weren't in there very long before they wheeled her bed past the door and into the room across the hall, where she would have a roommate. (Please don't let me have a roommate.) Interesting note: The free socks they give you are color-coded. At least, the orange socks are a color code. There's a pair of orange socks stapled to the wall in the waiting room, along with little (bad) poems about how people with orange socks are fragile, and are not allowed to walk anywhere without assistance. Now we are all wondering what it means that K got navy blue socks, and L got bright red socks. I am also wondering what color socks I'll get.

Anyway, we stayed back out of the way outside while people were coming in and out of the room, setting her up. She was much more alert than K had been. Her IV monitor kept going off, which was annoying. They just kept shutting the noise off. Her roommate's doctor came in and changed her roommate's wound dressing. I heard him say it was an open wound that they couldn't stitch, and that they had to just keep packing it. Yikes! K glanced over through the open part of the curtain when he was changing it, and told me later that it had looked awful. A guy came in and changed L's oxygen thing to a new oxygen monitor. We all kind of huddled around L's bed, and were basically completely in the way any time someone came in. Roommate had a lot more of the room than L did. Not tons of room, but still more room. She seemed nice, though. L got a bunch of mouth sponges and used her lip balm a lot while we were there.

We stopped at Vitamin Shoppe on the way home and picked up a few flavors of the Isopure Zero Carb drinks. I got two blue raspberry, two orange and a passion fruit (no idea what passion fruit tastes like). K got an apple melon one. I also got a regular (not zero carb) one that was Lemon Green Tea. I also picked up a $2 sample of the Jay Robb Egg White Powder (I chose vanilla) and grabbed freebie samples of Hemp Hearts and some Prince of Peace ginger & ginseng things. Ginger candy (tastes like spicy, sweetish, ginger-flaored, flat gummy bears - not bad, but kind of odd), ginger honey crystals that I guess you make tea with, and some ginseng tea. Haven't tried any of the samples other than the ginger gummy thing. I did try the blue raspberry drink, and the Lemon Green Tea drink. they were both pretty good, and sat well in my stomach. They taste kind of like a vitamin water. And they have a crap ton of protein in them -- 40g in a 20 oz bottle.

We also stopped at the grocery store so K could get some turkey burger. She ate it today with some BBQ sauce. And it came back up. She thinks she ate too fast or a bite too much. She ate some more later and it was fine.

L has been texting K & I and keeping us posted on how it's going. Last night was an awful experience for her. Not because of the actual surgery, though. That was fine. It was hard to get a complete picture, b/c she was texting, but here's what I gather happened. The IV needle broke inside itself. And they had used an artery instead of a vein to put it in her. So they ended up spraying her with blood. All over the place, even got her pressure boots that they make you wear on surgery day. Then they couldn't find someone who could put in a new one. The first girl couldn't do it. The second one missed. They had to wait for a "needle expert." Idk if they ever found one.

Also, roommate, who was an older lady, apparently screamed in her sleep. And grunted. And talked. And make all kinds of sounds. L was freaking out, and her heart rate was elevated. I told her to call a nurse and tell them that she needed her own room. L didn't think they'd give her one. I said to tell them she has PTSD and a panic disorder. She didn't think they'd believe her. I told her to cry. She said she wasn't good at crying. I told her to think about her cat who died on Halloween. That makes her cry every time. So she said she'd do it. Oh, surprise. She didn't need to try to cry. She was that freaked out and upset that she just cried. So they upped her pain medication, gave her some Ativan, and went to find someone they could move in order to get her into her own room. It took a few hours, but eventually they put her in a room next to the waiting room. Roommate felt bad that she was moving, and asked if it was her fault. How do you answer that? I mean, it's not really her fault. It's not like she was trying to make all those sounds. But L couldn't handle it, and wouldn't have been able to sleep. And honestly, that woman needed her own room. If she was going to make noises and scream in the night, nobody would be able to sleep in the room with her. And I don't blame her for screaming. She probably moved wrong in her sleep and was suddenly in even more horrible pain. I'd scream, too. Even after they moved her, at 1:00 in the morning, she could still hear somebody yelling that they couldn't breathe, and that they needed help. I've only ever slept in a hospital in the maternity section or in the children's section. Neither of them was like that. K said it wasn't like that two weeks ago when she was there, either. Although K had night terrors and said she was probably the one screaming, herself.

Today (Tuesday) went much better for L. Upper GI early this morning. The results were fine. She didn't throw up like K did. They let her have water, broth, and sugar-free orange jello. Tomorrow morning she gets a protein drink, and she can go home as soon as she finishes it. She asked me to get there around 10:30 - 11:00 am to pick her up. (Pay for parking again, please and thank you.) She'll probably get to leave around noon or so. So I guess we'll be going to watch her drink her protein shake. lol. I think I will bring an Isopure with me, so that can be what I drink. I'll gag on a thick, milky one if that's what they try to give me.

I guess that's all there is to tell for right now. Two down, and one to go. A week from now they'll be getting ready to pick me up, and we'll all be post-op. Oh, yeah! Goodbye, fat!

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