How to Lose Weight by Getting Stabbed in the Belly: a weight loss chronicle

in life •  2 years ago

What it's like after weight loss surgery

First thing you should ask yourself: Are you comfortable vomiting blood for a while? Cause you will.

I woke up after surgery struggling to breath. My throat was sore from what I presume was some sort of breathing tube while I was under full anesthesia. You feel disoriented, you fight to breath, you don't know WTF is going on and you're being rolled down a hallway you're too confused to recognize.

Still struggling to breath, but at least winning you'll arrive in your hospital room, IV in arm, feeling exhausted. Once you recover your ability to get air your mind will finally be able to move on.

There are now 4 big bandages across your belly, and a bottle sticking out of you.

The bottle's the most alarming bit. It's a "drain", to help your body expel blood from your internal cavities from all the bleeding you do inside when they remove most of an organ. I never really thought about this aspect of surgery before. But when you're cut, you bleed. When you're cut inside: you bleed inside. That blood needs to go somewhere and NOT collect inside you like a balloon. That would be bad.

Bad or not, you now have a plastic tube stuck through your sides. Modern medicine = BORG part 1.

The top leads to a little bottle that looks a lot like some squeezy-juicebox thing they had when I was a kid. If there were vampires, this is what they would give their children. Have a squeezy-blood kids!

Losing most of an organ hurts

I got lucky. I only cursed out the nurses regularly for the first 6-12 hours. Other patients brought more...sustained abuse. Supposedly they were giving me morphine. If so, either this REALLY fucking hurts or morphine is useless bullshit. Those more experienced in narcotic painkillers can tell me which is true.

Between bouts at yelling at nurses (who didn't speak English anyway) for "more painkiller" you'll try and sleep. Somehow, miraculously, you'll succeed. Getting sliced and diced takes it out of your, and even the magic keyhole surgery they do now still leaves you with multiple puncture wounds and down an organ and your body needs all the power it can to heal. Plus, at this point you probably haven't eaten for like 2 days. There's nothing left, and despite the pain and confusion you will crash, hard.

You look like a violent mugging victim.

Not me but I looked exactly like this.

This brings me to the blood vomit.

I'm not gonna lie - the first 12 hours SUCKS. Bleeding goes two ways: around the stomach, and inside the stomach. The drain only takes care of the first direction. The second drain = your mouth. Again, I got super lucky - only hacked up a bile of blood and gunk once. Others... not so much. You may or may not vomit a bunch of times. They kept stuff around for throwing up for the first two days so I'm guessing some people have it WAY WAY rougher than I did. Unlike a lot of people with this surgery, I'm ONLY fat. No diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. And I exercised a lot too with a personal trainer for a year pre-surgery. Basically, I heal worlds faster than the average client. And it's still a bit brutal.

And now you walk.

Once you're not vomiting blood and yelling at them in pain, you're over the hump. Is it really shitty? yeah. But it's only 12 hours and you spend at least half that asleep anyway. You'll question if it was a good idea (no going back anyway). Then, suddenly, you'll wake up and the pain will have crossed the "deal with it" threshold. You won't want to vomit blood anymore. The nurses will come in, pull out the catheter (this fucking sucks too, but takes like 5 seconds), and tell you sit up and to go to the bathroom and re-learn how to pee. It's like riding a bicycle, so no big deal. It just hurts now (and the next 2 times). Congratulations, you're over the hump of "god fucking damnit why the fuck did I do this crazy shit fuck".

You'll be ordered to walk. Walking does all sorts of magical stuff to the body: circulates blood for faster healing, helps you detox, helps you not lose more muscle mass from laying in bed forever, avoids bed sores. Walking is good for you. And you'll walk a bit, be exhausted, and have to sit/lay down. Then again. And again. You're a post-surgery toddler. And remember that bottle sticking out of you - still there.

I'm Alive!!!

Day 3 is where the docs and nurses really chill out. If you've gone this long without complications your chances of smooth sailing just keep going up. Around this time the internal bleeding will have stopped and they won't need to keep emptying your blood bottle. Instead, they can finally remove it.

Remember - you have a long plastic tube that goes right to the core of your body. And pulling it out, well, it feels a little like a little mouse-sized alien went and crawled out through through your abdomen. It doesn't hurt, exactly. Honestly I'd prefer pain. Pain you can understand. Instead, the sensation is something your brain just screams "THIS SHOULD NOT BE" as the tube twists and moves inside you. I'd have prefered a few hours of manageable pain to those 5 seconds. At least it's just 5 seconds. Then your done. No more tubes. No more cuts. No more anything. Just you and your organ-lite self, getting your energy back and walking around sipping water.

...And sipping is all you can do

They'll tell you to drink a liter of water a day. This is hard. Even a small sip is uncomfortable. A big sip outright hurts. Chugging is impossible. The most you can really handle would fit in a large thimble. You need 1 liter worth of thimbles, and each one just feels wrong going down. But you need to do it, restart your digestive process. For the last 2-3 days all fluid has gone in via your IV.

Go Home

If all is well, day 4 you can go home. You'll actually feel pretty decent by now if you follow instructions. I flew in for the procedure so going back was a plane trip. Some people cross the atlantic. It's a long way from the water-sipping toddler you were just a day or so before.

Congratulations. You're on your way to actually losing weight unlike that diet/exercise bullshit that fails for basically everyone.

If you have any questions, just ask

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Looking forward to reading more about your results as they unfold.
My sis-in-law was not as lucky as you and the complications nearly killed her - she was at deaths door for about 2 weeks. And that's not hyperbole, they didn't think she'd make it. But she is still with us, phew.

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I got gastric sleeve instead of bypass. Bypass is... dangerous. Sleeve far far far less so. I used to be a medical tech, and bypass patients had constant issues. No thanks for me.

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I'm not sure which she had, I'll have to check.

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Skill of surgeon is also critical. Mine had 1000 simuilar surgeries and hundreds of good references.

My mother in law had it and it was very successful. She has lost over 110lbs in the last year. She said the only thing she doesnt like is the excess skin that is left behind. Mind you, she had it done at the age of 53 so her skin would not bounce back as easily as a younger person. But she looks totally awesome now. Good luck and look forward to reading your updates.

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I plan to get plastic surgery in 1-2 years if needed. Im hoping its not. Wish id done this years ago

Gory read. Not generally my cup of tea but I managed to read it all and gotta say damn... That's nuts. Glad you made it through the pain to write the experience for us. I'm a skinny bloke so I can't really imagine the want to lose weight.. Hell, I wish I knew a way to gain weight. :/ Totally different things I guess in the long run but I guess ones drive to look or feel better to themselves is always there no matter if one is considered over or underweight.

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they have mass gainer powders. my GF has same problem as you. Try those.