Faye Bryant

Health Update

I have thought about updating you so many times since my surgery on August 14th. Trouble is, every time I’d think of it, I was incredibly tired or feeling sick or my brain was fuzzy. So, here we are, 23 days out from surgery and I’ll share a bit of what’s been going on.

Umm, you might want to grab something to drink and settle in for a bit.

On the 14th, I was apparently a good girl and behaved during surgery. As the surgeon worked his way through the procedure, he found what he described to Jack as “a large hiatal hernia.” Many times when people have a hiatal hernia, no surgery is even recommended. Apparently, had this one been seen, I would have had surgery to fix it. Fortunately, my surgeon did the work to move my stomach back into place, close up the gaping entry into my diaphragm, and set me to rights.

Jack and I are certain that this whole plan for health through the gastric sleeve was simply to get me on the table so that hernia could be fixed. I had been told about two years prior that I had a tiny one, nothing to be concerned with. I guess I’m fertile ground for a hernia.

The program likes for patients to get up and walk within two hours of surgery and keep walking as much as possible. When I tried to get up just to walk to the restroom, I all but fell into the nurses’ arms. I saw the blackness gathering around me and heard the squeaks of crickets that weren’t there. That was scary.

I was reinstalled into bed and my room got really busy. Seems that my blood pressure was exceedingly low. Like, 71/36 low. So, for the first time in 40 years, I am no longer taking blood pressure medicine.

WHAT???? Just hours after surgery? No weight lost yet, but my BP is low? I almost did a happy dance right there in my hospital bed.

The only problem was, I had to have my blood pressure and heart rate up to a normal range in order to go home. It all worked out. I was sprung Friday evening.

We had to make the stops for medicine and the ride home was fun – do you know how many bumps there are between Maryville and Townsend? My stitched up spots were counting! When we arrived home, I was worn out, but boy, oh boy! Sitting down on my couch, laying my head back in my house was the best!

I won’t bore you with a daily recounting of everything that’s gone on. We’d be here a really long time. Suffice to say, it’s been an up and down journey.

That first week, I could “eat” liquids only. Broth, strained cream soups, protein drinks – kind of like I had the week before surgery. The only problem is, since surgery, I cannot stand those protein shakes. It’s like I bring one to my lips and my stomach starts to revolt right then.

On Day 14 after surgery, I graduated to Phase 3 for eating. That’s soft foods. Scrambled eggs, cottage cheese. There’s other stuff too, but the variety is limited. You know, it’s not really fun to have the same four things every day. I will survive.

That’s all for now. More in a few days.