Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery was a Success (I'm alive, lol)!

Hi guys,
Sorry for being away for so long.
On Feb. 1st, 2017 I had RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery at St. Joseph's Health Center in Toronto, Ontario.  The surgery was done by Dr. David Lindsay, and it went well.

First, I had to go for prep a few hours before surgery and there was some confusion as we were on our way for our 7:30 AM prep appointment, and early at that, when we got a frantic call from my surgeon informing me that my surgery was scheduled for 7:30 and I was late.  I told him my form told me to register at 7:30 AM, and that surgery was scheduled for 9:30 but he didn't believe me.  I had to show him the forms when I got there, and he apologized and said someone must have changed the schedule and failed to notify me about the change.

So I was anxious about the surgery and anxious about the time mix up. There was a bad flu at the hospital so my friends just walked me to the registration area and left; I didn't want them to stick around and get sick.  I was immediately asked to disrobe and was given some weird stretchy underwear to wear, 2 hospital gowns (one to wear as a nightgown and one as a housecoat) as well as some blue plastic things to put over my shoes.  So I changed and was asked to wait.  I waited for about an hour before a nurse came to get me.  She brought me to the front near the nursing station and had me sit in a recliner.  Then she did my bloodwork, checked my stats, and someone put a port in my arm for an IV.  They gave me some fluids, with nothing in them, and I actually fell asleep.

The next thing I knew, I heard laughter and woke to find my very handsome surgeon standing over me, chuckling.  He told me I'd be saving the hospital money on anesthesia since I was putting myself under, lol.

He let me run to the ladies room, and then a nurse helped me push my IV pole to the operating room.  It felt very surreal to have to walk there, and then climb up on the operating table myself.

Everyone in the operating room said hello and I was freaking out because I didn't want to be naked and exposed in front of that many people.  Someone asked if I was feeling nervous about the surgery and I said "No, I'm nervous about being naked. I'm a very private person."

They put an oxygen mask over my face, asked me to breathe, and I took a few breaths and the next thing I knew someone was telling me to wake up.  I asked for 5 more minutes of sleep and they laughed and said I could sleep later.  They told me I had my surgery, that it went well, and I needed to wake up.

I don't know if I woke up for more than a few seconds or what, as the next thing I knew I was waking up again, in my hospital room.  I have no memory of the  recovery room at all.

I was very disoriented and groggy and in a lot of pain when I woke up.  I remember being glad that I was alive, glad the surgery had gone well, but the pain was so bad I was sure I'd made a terrible mistake and should have just stayed fat or tried one more time to lose the weight on my own.

I was cold so the nurse helped me put on some fresh gowns and fresh socks. I had some no slip fuzzy slipper socks so I put those on.  I had a few sips of water and fell back to sleep.

Then the surgeon came in and he was laughing again.  I woke up and he was pointing at my socks and saying, "More fuzzy socks; red this time!  Yesterday you had blue fuzzy socks on.  They told me you were worried about being naked,so we left your fuzzy socks on, so you wouldn't be naked.  How many pairs of fuzzy socks do you have?" he asked.  I told him I had lots of them, lol.  I live in Northern Ontario, Canada, and it gets really cold and the fuzzy socks help insulate my shoes when I go out (I hate wearing boots).

He told me the surgery went well, that it only took 90 minutes, and that I had done a great job on my Optifast diet (I lost 23 Ibs in 3 weeks before surgery). I told him most of my incisions were fine but one really hurt badly.  He asked me to show him which one, and when I pointed to it, he nodded and said that it was the spot where he did the most work, and he had to do a double row of very tight stitches to sew the muscles together again. He also had to use a big knot to close it up, and he said I would feel it until the stitches dissolve.  I think he said it would take about 2 weeks or more but can't be sure. It's more important that the area stay closed and tight and dry,with no leaks, so I can deal with the pain.

I was very surprised that I had to take the pain meds by mouth as I have several friends who had the surgery and they were all given pain pumps.  They did give me morphine in my IV drip, but they also gave me other painkillers, plus  regular tylenol, by mouth. It was gross as it had to be squished into powder before I could take it.  The surgeon said I could probably swallow the small pills without crushing them once I get home, so that's what I've been doing and it's been fine.

I was only supposed to spend one night in the hospital, but I spent 2 because the pain killers were too strong for me and they made me lightheaded and weak when I stood up and walked, so they kept me a second night. 

I also found out I'm allergic to Gravol.  They gave me a gravol to help nausea and my lips and tongue immediately swelled up and I had pins and needles on them.  My friend ran to get the nurse, who started me on Benadryl in my IV, and that helped, except it started hurting so I looked down only to find the Benadryl had pooled under my skin, like a big balloon.  The nurse said it would be OK, that it would get absorbed, but it was one more painful thing.  The gravol and Benadryl made me sleepy so the nurse asked my friend to leave and come back the next day, when I would be discharged.  So Leslie left, and the nurse helped me back into the bed and I went to sleep.

The next thing I knew, a young doctor was waking me up and insisting I needed to get dressed and leave as I had been discharged. I told him I was being kept for another night because I was lightheaded and dizzy, and that I had an allergic reaction to the gravol, and he told me I hadn't had an allergic reaction.  I insisted that I had (I should know, and he wasn't even there) and he kept insisting that I hadn't, that I would have stopped breathing if it was an allergic reaction, and that I needed to leave.  I told him the nurse had already sent my ride home and told her to come back in the morning and he said he didn't care.  I told him my home is 700 km away and he can't just kick me out.  I asked for his name for my records and he wouldn't tell me his last name.
I asked him 3 times and he refused, which I think is illegal. I have a right to know which doctor is treating me badly.  I finally got mad and told him he was obviously misinformed and he should double check my chart.  He did, and when he came back he muttered something about a "misunderstanding" and told me I was being discharged in the morning, which I had already told him.

I never did find out that resident's last name, but the next day I told the nurse about him and she shook her head and sighed and said he's like that, to just ignore him.  She said I most certainly did have an allergic reaction, and a bad one at that.

Leslie and her Mom came to get me in the morning and we drove to the house where I had rented a room for the two of us to stay.  I didn't want to stay at Leslie's because she has 3 kids and a dog, and while I love them dearly I didn't want to impose on them all while I was in pain and recovering. I'd been told I would have to toot a lot to get rid of the gas they pumped into me during surgery, so I didn't want to be around a lot of people.

The room was OK; clean enough, and the bed was comfy.  It was big enough for the two of us, and there was a desk and wardrobe, but only one small chair.  I ended up going on Kijiji and bought a heavy duty camp chair that could hold up to 400 Ibs.  I got it for only $25 bucks and it worked perfectly for our needs, and I told Leslie she could keep it.

We stayed in the room for 5 days.  Leslie used the kitchen to make her meals, and to store my protein drinks, and she made ice for my water, which was nice. There was no microwave which was a pain because my soup broth kept getting cold because I could only sip a bit at a time.  Leslie ran out to the dollar store and picked me up a double walled travel mug to hold the soup, and that helped a lot. She also brought a tiny espresso cup from home, which was perfect to pour my soup broth into from the travel mug.

We played scrabble and watched all of Season 1 of Supernatural, and part of Season 2, on Netflix.  We chatted.  It was nice, except for the excruciating pain every time I stood, walked, sat, bent, or reached for anything. The pain was so bad I had to hold Leslie's travel pillow against the incisions every time I moved.  

I got a little better every day.  At first, I couldn't sit up from a lying position without Leslie there to pull me up, but by the second day, I could sit up on my own.  By the third day, walking was a bit easier, and standing up from a sitting position wasn't as bad.  Now, only sitting from a standing position, or leaning forward or side to side hurts badly. 

I flew home to the Sault 2 days ago and am very happy to be home. Every day is a bit better, and
at 1 week Post Op, I was down 9.8 Ibs from surgery, and 32.8 Ibs since the start of my Optifast pre-op diet 4 weeks ago.

My tops are all sagging on me, and the V necks now reach half way down my belly, lol, but I have smaller tops in my closet that should fit.  I won't bother to wear them now though, as I can't wear a bra yet, so the big tops are perfect and I'm using them as pajama tops now.

I don't regret having surgery now, but the day after surgery, I told the nurse to wheel me over to the psych wing because I was obviously crazy to have done this to myself, lol.

I feel really blessed to have been given this new start at life, and know that once the pain is gone, my new life will be great.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. May I ask did you get the sleeve?

  2. Thank you. No, I had RNY Gastric Bypass, also known as the Roux En Y Gastric Bypass. I'm in Canada and our health insurance considers the RNY the gold standard. They do the sleeve too, but only for patients who are bigger than me; I wasn't big enough to qualify for the sleeve.