At the risk of talking about myself too much I’m going to mix a “How did the surgery go?” post, that many have requested, with a fresh fruit juice post.
Last Friday Luiz and I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. to get the necessary paperwork out of the way and get me to the pre-op room in time to be ready for my scheduled 8:00 a.m. gastric bypass surgery.
Santa Cruz hospital in Niterói is a mind bending hybrid of a WWII hospital fortress with wooden window shutters and occasional ancient, stork-like steel- legged rolling tray tables sharing the space with computer screens and recently widened swinging doors. The walls appeared freshly painted in a pastel blue. Santa Cruz is a private facility utilized by several insurance networks. It is not within the public system.
I knew I was not at a boutique fat surgery facility when I was handed a “one-size-fits-all” modesty wrap that ties in the back (you know the one) and it did not fit across my shoulders, barely wrapped around half my torso, and given my belly, there was no modesty action at all going on below my waist in front. The nurse covered me with a sheet once I laid down on the gurney. [She understood, having gotten a similar surgery herself 7 years earlier – she showed us her scar.]
Once in the operating theater the lead nurse encouraged whoever was able, to speak with me in English. Several folks could bridge that gap. There was on nurse who seemed like a fish out of water, confused, but she mostly stood next to me and stroked my arm or left her hand on my leg offering moral support. Before long I was out.
About five hours later I heard a male nurse telling me it was all over and I could feel myself being rolled into my room. I shared a room with another guy who had been in there for five days after a prostate surgery of some kind (not cancer-related).
Honestly, there was no pain. Luiz adjusted my bed to a 45 degree sitting position and slowly the fog of the anesthesia lifted. Before long a nurse brought me my lunch: coconut water, which I was to sip in tiny quantities throughout the rest of the day.
By about 7 p.m. I was getting restless so I got out of bed and went for a little walk down the hall and back. It was pretty uncomfortable, but I was a bit surprised to be on my feet so quickly.
The next morning, by about 9:00 a.m. I got a visit from the surgeon who debriefed me on the procedure, which he said went without a glitch, and wrote up my discharge papers.
Within the hour Luiz and I had taken a cab back to the apartment and I was signing on to Facebook to check in.
For the first week I am on a “clear juice” diet: 30 ml every 15 minutes. It doesn’t sound like much, but when your stomach is the size of a walnut, just a couple tablespoons of liquid are pretty filling.
We found a delicious white grape juice at a local natural food store (no sugar added) and I made up some apple juice. Luiz added coconut water to the mix and made some chamomile tea. Not exactly a rodizio, but enough to get me started.
I also made some carrot juice, which I then strained through a cloth and colander, but that was still too heavy and did not sit well. Maybe next week.
All in all it has gone very well so far. I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from readers and friends. I’ll keep you posted as interesting developments occur.