Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Medical Farce...

In a previous post, I laid out my current medical situation. When last I wrote, I was expecting to go into surgery on Monday to get my gall bladder removed. Well, I was moved down to the OR and then spent 4 hours waiting. I even fell asleep several times while waiting for my turn to go under the knife. After the four hours, my doctor/surgeon comes in and tells me that he's not comfortable with going through with the surgery because it was late in the day, and he didn't want to be rushed during the procedure. So the surgery was rescheduled for today, Tuesday. In the meantime, my privilege of actually INGESTING food, as opposed to having it fed intra-venously into my system, was restored. I was treated to a dinner of 3 servings of Jello (lime, orange, and cherry), some chicken broth, apple juice & some tea. It was DELICIOUS!!

And that brings us up to today. I was told this morning that I would get surgery today around 1:30pm. By 2pm, I started to have doubts if the surgery was going to happen. I got moved down to the OR and several members of the anesthesia team started talking to me. So, I'm like "Okay, this is it." Then my surgeon walks up and tells me that most likely the surgery wasn't going to happen. At least, not today and most definitely NOT in this hospital. And there are solid reasons why.

There are some of you out there reading this that think you are fat. Guess what? You're not fat, but I AM. I weigh 500 pounds (I was weighed the first night I was here.) and I'm shaped like a small moon with arms, legs, and a head. The point of this is that while the surgical table can handle my weight, but it might not be wide enough for me. Normally, the procedure requires a breathing tube to be placed down my throat while I'm knocked out. Given my size, there's a risk that once the tube is removed, I might not be able to start breathing right away, which would lead to my death. My surgeon decided to contact the most badass surgical team with expertise in morbidly obese people: the crack staff of Lahey Clinic.

It turns out that the peeps at Lahey had just encountered a similar situation with one of their patients. Their solution was elegant in its simplicity. Since the patient's weight is what makes the surgery high-risk, have the patient lose weight.  So the plan, in its broad strokes, is that I need to lose 50lbs in order to drastically increase the safety factor of the surgery. In order to accomplish this, the Lahey peeps recommended a specialized diet to my surgeon and I'm waiting to hear the details of it.

The thing that pisses me off is that the people here KNEW my weight & size as I came in this past Thursday. Why did it take 5.5 days to figure out that they couldn't do the surgery here?? I've been stabbed with enough needles to make even the most prolific pin cushion crazy with jealousy. I've been attached to an IV with a machine that NEVER STOPPED beeping and gurgling. I haven't slept right for over a week (since before my hospital stay when I was sick). All of this for a surgery that now isn't going to happen for at least a month according to the new plan. If I wasn't so damned tired, I would be royally PISSED!!!

I'm going to be in the hospital for a couple more days, so they can monitor the diet. Then in two weeks, I have an appointment with a Doc at the Lahey clinic. I guess the question now is: how long will it take for me to lose 50lbs?


  1. Rodney,

    I can speak from experience that Lahey is a top notch hospital. While I've never been a 'guest' there, people close to me have been. In the case of my grandmother, another hospital was content to 'let her go', we transferred her to Lahey and I am happy to say my grandmother is still with us.

    I would most certainly advise you to go to Lahey for this procedure now that it seems that it will be a scheduled procedure rather than the emergency one you went in for...

  2. 50 lbs in actually very easy to lose for someone who is already 500 lbs. Even a modicum amount of exercise and slight adjustment to your diet will drop that many pounds for someone of your size.

    Losing more than that, otoh, would require a more dedicated and drastic lifestyle change -- but for now that first 50 should be a cinch to burn in just 3 weeks, let alone 4.

    And, as I said before on FB -- you can do it! :)

    --David B.

  3. Yeah, my mom has been going to Lahey clinic for awhile for medical assistance. And when I was doing research for the gastric bypass, they got nothing but excellent ratings. So, I'm pretty much set on doing the procedure at Lahey. (Assuming my insurance covers it, of course.) Especially since it seems like my surgeon doesn't want to risk it.

    It's always a good idea to keep losing weight, David. Ideally, whatever diet they put me on will be something that can be sustainable after the surgery. Until I get more information, I can't really make any decisions. Thanks for the vote of confidence, though!