Hi everyone... I've been dreading writing this blog. But I've always wanted to be transparent, so I'm writing it. I also don't want anyone to feel alone, and the few instances of my situation that I've read from other people give me such a sense of solidarity, that I want to give that to someone else.
5 years ago, my surgeon suggested I have gastric bypass instead of the lapband. I was too scared and I said no.
2.5 years ago when it became clear that my band was failing, my surgeon suggested I revise to gastric bypass. I said yes. I learned that I needed to trust my surgeon, and so I got on board. It was the day before surgery when my insurance said NO. I was beyond frustrated and went forward with the sleeve even though my surgeon warned me that I may need further surgery if I had the sleeve due to already having GERD.
So here we are now, and I'm revising- yet again.
As soon as I was sleeved, the reflux got worse almost immediately. My doctor switched me from Omeprazole to Protonix 40 mg and that seemed to help A LOT. Then I got pregnant with Xavier and I could hardly eat, so I didn't have much reflux at all. Once he was born, the reflux returned and my doctor increased my Protonix to 80 mg/ day. It helped for almost a year. I could tell my reflux was getting bad around Christmas 2016. I didn't notice at first really, until I realized I'd gone through a small bottle of chewable antacids in 3 days... that made me step back and re-evaluate. So I tried to go a few days without my supplemental chewables, and realized I couldn't without pain.
In the end of January, I woke up one morning with a little blood on my pillow. It was very light and I wasn't sure where it was coming from. It wasn't until later that I realized the recurrent blood on my pillow was so light because it was mixed with saliva. Then in February 2017, I had a really bad day of reflux where I had to take the day off work, it was so bad. And then the vomiting started. There was a good amount of blood in it and it terrified me. I called my surgeon's office and made an appointment, but I already knew what he was going to say.
I knew he was going to tell me that revision was my only option. That is basically what he told me, and ordered a battery of tests to confirm.
Upper GI with X-Ray
Upper Endoscopy with BRAVO pH Monitoring
All tests showed the same conclusion. My esophagus and even my swallowing are suffering as a result of being sleeved. So, next week, I will be having gastrojejunostomy surgery, which in other words, basically means I will be converted to gastric bypass.
I do not want to start over. This is messing with my plans for things I wanted to do in the upcoming months, but it is necessary. I can't live with this pain for another year, much less another 50+ (hopefully) given that I'm only 28.
I'm actually really scared of this surgery still. Every time I pull up to the exit where the hospital is, I begin to feel anxious about it. Especially after my surgeon told me that the hospital has a new anti-analgesic policy, so no pain medication will be given to me after surgery. I'm hoping there is some other relief he didn't mention to me. I'll be asking when I have my anesthesia interview Wednesday.
Another fear is that my milk will dry up-- yes, at 17 months my son still breastfeeds. I want him to be able to continue for as long as he wants (within reason) so that he can continue to get those good antibodies. I have to admit, too, that I love the bond we have when he's nursing. A calm comes over him that I don't see any other time.
All of your positive vibes for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery are greatly appreciated!