Monday, April 10, 2017

Here we go again.... Revision 2.0

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
Manometry Testing

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!