Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Week 1 Post-Op

I am posting again and probably will give one more before the day is out.  I had a hard time while I was at my parent's and I am finally feeling better, so I want to get everything down before I forget.

My recovery has been a mixed bag.  In terms of the actual incisions, there has been virtually no pain at all.  I am so thankful for that.  By Day 3 it didn't really hurt to get out of bed anymore.

My greatest problem has been the left shoulder pain.  I have said this before, but I was COMPLETELY unprepared for how bad it would be.  If any pre-banders stumble upon this blog, I just want you to be warned.  On the night of Day 2, I shot out of sleep with such a terrible pain in my shoulder that I felt nauseous.  It felt like my arm was being sawed off with really hot butter knifes.  I got up and walked the length of the apartment about 50 times and then tried to sleep again.  Slept for about 30 minutes and then shot out of sleep again.  Rinse and repeat for the next 7 days. 

I called the doctor's office and the nurse that I talked to said that there was nothing that I could do.  I just had to wait it out.  During the day it would flare up, but at night it was constant and consistent.  I slept with my trusty blue heating pad on at all times.  That nurse is a LIAR.  I had my post-op yesterday and Gaspar told me to take Motrin.  It is an NSAID which is not advised, but it is an anti-inflammatory and may give some relief.  I bought motrin PM and took that last night.  I slept better than I have in a week.  I will take it again tonight and every night until this goes away.  He said for some people it is 1-2 weeks for others slightly longer.  If you listen to the hysterics over on it can last for 5 years. I try to avoid those threads.

In case you aren't aware of what the pain is, it is nerve pain.  The gas pain typically registers in your chest and across both shoulders.  This pain in the left shoulder is referred pain from the diaphragm.  I am like an expert on this crap because I spent nights googling on my blackberry trying to see why I felt so bad.  The nerve endings for the diaphragm and the left shoulder are housed in the same spot on your spine (C3-C5).  The brain has trouble interpreting pain from some of your internal organs, so it looks at what else is in that spinal region and "refers" the pain there.  (There is probably a doctor who can refute or give more info, but this is how I understand it.)  This is the same reason that when you have a heart attack, you feel pain in your left arm.  The nerve endings are in the same spinal zone.

I am 9 days out now and the daytime pain is somewhat better.  Last night was bliss with the Motrin and I only woke up twice.  I feel rested for the first time since surgery. 

In terms of eating, I still have no appetite.  This is supposed to go away with the swelling and lead me into bandster hell.  I have my first filling on Oct. 11, and I am praying that the swelling subsides on Oct. 10.  I feel I have earned it after all this shoulder nonsense.

And I have thrush.  The nurse said it was from the antibiotics used during surgery.  So gross.  It is a yeast infection.  In my mouth.  I am skeeved out by myself, so I understand if I lose a follower.  Just letting you know it could happen.  They gave me a mouthwash that I have to gargle and then swallow.  The hits just keep on coming. But on a positive note, he did advance me to mushies 2 days early.  I had my first solid food in weeks last night.  Who knew cottage cheese could induce ecstasy.

I would do it over again in a heartbeat. I am 27lbs down today and eating like a bird.  Couldn't be happier. 


  1. Wow, thanks for the heads up on what to expect! I like to know what to expect going in, just to prepare myself mentally. Luckily I have a high tolerance for pain (not that it won't get to me). So glad you are finally felling slightly better. And I will be sure to stock up on the Motrin! Start feeling better soon!

  2. Sorry you're having such a tough time. It really does get a lot better real soon. I was banded in February and I was off work for three days. By day #4 I felt pretty much back to normal. I've since lost more than 80 lbs. I'm so glad I had this surgery. Stop by

  3. Man, thrush sucks. Both of my parents have had it from chemo treatments, so we already have the Biotene mouthwash in the house. Hoping I don't get it.

    So far I've been lucky and haven't had the gas pain, unless it's just referring itself to my right shoulder (a constant waitressing injury that hurt soooo badly yesterday...but that could have also been stress). Thank God for Vicodin....I will be sad on Sunday when I transition to Tylenol.

    PS, my email address is liz dot faughnan at gmail.