Sunday, April 10, 2005

So, Where Have I Been? Surgery Again

If you are a regular reader of my blog, please accept my humble apologies for the big drought of information lately. I'm doing better and vowing to write more.

First, I've had surgery again on the day after Easter. For anyone counting, that's four surgeries NOT COUNTING weight loss surgery 7.5 months ago. I have intentionally not written much about the saga because it's not related to weight loss surgery, but it has set the tone for my struggle and affected my efforts to lose weight. A couple of weeks ago, my hernia repair was repaired. The wound vac device was replaced with a temporary J.P. tube to drain any remaining fluid and help me finally beat the remnants of the infection I've battled for several months. I hope to lose the remaining staples from surgery and the drain tube tomorrow. The picture at the right is me on Easter Sunday with my flyaway hair and wound vac tubing.

It is official, hernia repair surgery has proven to be much more difficult for me than the weight-loss surgery where I had a AGB (adjustable gastric banding or lap band).

Please note: Unrelated to lap band surgery!

I've told countless folks, but I'll state it again for the record, my last four trips to the operating room have not been a result of weight-loss surgery. My hernia is incisional (term means resulting from a surgical incision), but the incision site was not my lap band (because it was laproscopic). Instead, the hernia came from the C-section incision made during the birth of my little girl Cecilia (Pink Power Girl, for those of you who really follow this blog).

Cecilia's birth concluded my fifth high-risk pregnancy and she was our first survivor. Before her, our longest time of survival was four hours before my first daughter and second child Rachel Cecelia died. The five pregnancies and a slew of abdominal procedures before, during and after pregnancy has contributed greatly to my weight gain and my weakened abdominal wall. That story, however, is another blog's worth of content altogether and I won't elaborate except to say my pregnancy rule of thumb was "By any means necessary," and I have no regrets.

(Actually, I will elaborate when our struggle to have a family and my pregnancy story will appear in the June issue of Obesity Help Magazine. I will let you know how you can get a copy when its published.)

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Dr. Karl Leblanc

My surgeon, SupaDoc, believes that he has finally hammered that pesky hernia into submission and I'm still putting my bets on him to be right. I think if there's some medical "super glue" out there, it's holding my latest hernia patch in place.

What has helped the open wound close so well (maybe too quickly) was my weight loss so far and that should also help keep pressure off the latest patch work in my abdominal wall. After some stalling and some heart-breaking gains, I'm back to a total weight loss of 70 pounds in a little more than seven months.

The hernia, staph infection and surgery setbacks have made me incredibly discouraged at times. I haven't been able to exercise and regular daily activities (like chasing a 2-year-old, cooking and cleaning) have been terribly painful. I wanted to settle down to a healthy dose of depression, but I was afraid life would steamroll right over me if I slowed down too long.

I'm hoping if I'm free of staples and attachments tomorrow, it will spark a new chapter in my weight loss saga and my life.


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