#DailyLife | Blog 071 | Bariatric Surgery | The Day After
Having finally passed out at about 4:30 am from exhaustion, Kathy managed to get a few bits of sleep, using the pain meds as means to 'pass out' between bouts of wanting to throw up and excruciating pain from the sensation of trapped wind. It's no relief when the medical staff are constantly reminding you that this is normal, not when you're extremely uncomfortable and helpless to do anything about it. The night was tough, and for those who discuss their surgery, it's a little known part of what you should expect to feel, as, for the most part, everyone who has gone through the surgery tends to 'forget to mention' what it could and is likely to be like for anyone going through it. This is not a walk in the park!
I'm working on the video from yesterday, having noticed that at one point the nursing staff, obviously concerned for my wife's privacy, chose to cover my camera which was recording her return from surgery. They later asked my wife if she knew I was filming, and why? They understood that we're documenting this journey, so as to help others who also want to have this type of procedure go into it with their eyes fully open.
Kathy likened the pain she was feeling to that of childbirth. Having had two daughters, it was something she didn't imagine she'd been feeling again when having keyhole surgery to have 75% of her stomach removed. The staff who were on nights on our 5th-floor ward where exceptionally calm and patient throughout the evening. Once you get used to the communication style, you'll appreciate then their professionalism. When pain meds were requested by myself to assist my wife, they were attentive. If you can bring someone with you, do! There is a lady next door from the same area as Kathy and she is here on her own. We called in earlier to see how she was feeling, and she is currently in exactly the same pain as Kathy was yesterday. We handed her the call button which wasn't passed down to her, otherwise, she'd be lying in that room on her own waiting for staff to call in to check on her, rather than taking proactive measures to get them in to help. Her exact words were "I wish I never had this done!". This is the pain level you are entering in to. Kathy, the trooper she is, felt exactly the same way at the same point. Today, today she feels differently about it. Tomorrow, she'll have a completely different view again, which is where you typically find out what people think of their surgery after the trauma has become just a memory that you don't want to revisit.
This blog (and the previous one) is not about putting people off coming for bariatric surgery, together, we're just trying to warn you to be under no illusion, this fucking hurts!
The vomiting of foam is an unusual occurrence. I've not personally seen that before, plus there's a high chance you'll see blood in there too, don't be alarmed, that's all normal, obviously, you're stomach has had some major changes, plus, while you're sleeping they're intubating you for the purposes of anaesthesia, so there are a few bits of blood from the throat too. When my wife was doing her research, a few people had mentioned pain in the upper shoulder area from the trapped wind, she felt it more so just below the sternum, near one of the keyhole entry points. That's still currently open as there's a fluid drain tube in situ. They've only just removed her catheter too.
Just as I'm writing this, the translator and a junior doctor have come to check on her, again, just to numb the pain a little, Kathy has asked for pain relief. In the UK, post-surgery, you would expect to be connected to a morphine driver, where you are in control of the pain relief yourself. Obviously, there are safety measures integrated within the machine so you can't go overboard. Here, they bring in small IV type packets and swap out your saline drip with the pain meds. Once the bag has emptied, they come back in again and hook you back up to the saline. The reason you're going to be on the saline is that you're not going to be drinking anything.
They take cash. The reason being is, that if you do a bank transfer it will increase the costs by 8%. They'll take the deposit for the surgery by bank transfer, typically £200, with your balance of £3,000 (total being £3,200) being due whilst you're here. I would highly recommend bringing your own currency to make the payment (in our case, Sterling), otherwise, like me, you'll have to make loads of trips to the cash machine around the corner and withdrawing Turkish Lira. We have 5 different bank accounts, personal ones each, a joint one, and ones for our businesses, this has allowed us to take out larger amounts on our daily limits, you might want to speak to your bank before arriving to increase your daily withdrawal limit, or risk bringing the cash with you in a money belt. It's not the Wild West here, I've not felt intimidated, or fearful whilst walking around the town, which by the way is very large (there's even a Burger King, for before your surgery lol).
Booking Your Own Surgery
If you're interested in booking with the same Hospital that my wife has undergone her surgery, I would point you in the direction of our information request form, and the hospital will provide you with all the necessary instructions on how to make your booking deposit etc.
Getting Up & Walking Around
They're really keen for you to get up and walk around. You might not feel like it at first, but with the wind sensations, being up-right does help. Kathy managed to get a 4 hours after surgery, albeit slightly unsteady on her feet. She's now in her own PJ's and between sleeping and fighting the urge to vomit, she's in much better form. They've given her a lung exercise toy to play with too. Any surgery (as explained by Dr Ali) has an impact on the lungs, so this exercise toy is a must. You tip it one way to suck in, and then tip it the other way to blow, with the objective being to lift the balls up in the chamber (yeah, I know how it sounds too, and I'm the one writing it).
What Can You Eat?
Nothing. Trust me, you won't want it. Not initially anyway. The mere thought of it makes Kathy gag. Sips of water are all she can take. Even at that, she might bring some of it back up. The hospital dietician suggests sips of water every 10-20 minutes, of teaspoon-sized quantities. Also, they have a special blend of protein powder that Kathy can drink, which is extra in terms of having to purchase it yourself, and we're getting that delivered tomorrow to take away with us, and then I can look at buying more when we're home. Theirs contains proteins, vitamins and minerals, everything your body needs but isn't currently getting. The catering for patients basically consists of some sugar-free apple juice, milk, and water. That's all. Kathy hasn't touched the milk, just a few sips of the apple juice which barely tastes of anything at all.
Anyway, I'm going to get back to editing yesterday's footage so that I can include it below. If you have read this and have any questions, please feel free to do so in the comments section below.
Playlist link here: https://youtu.be/YVxSneHr2P
Keywords: anxiety, back issues, back pain, bariatric, bariatric surgery, depression, documentary, drastic measures, english, erdem hospital turkey, family, fat, fear, gastrectomy, gastric band, gastric sleeve, guilt, health, ireland, irish, kathy mark, keyhole surgery, lazy, life story, medication, medicine, mental health, northern ireland, overweight, pain, procedure, stomach, suicide, surgery, thyroid, turkey, Turkish surgery, uk, united kingdom, weight, weight gain, weight loss, weight loss surgery, wife
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