Weight Loss Surgery



My Gastric Bypass Experience

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November 2008

In the beginning God created the George, Then George made himself Fat...

September 24th 2008 403 Pounds  Today I am meeting with my surgeon Dr. Nick Bertha Of Florham Park, NJ.  Angela, the company Secretary is taking this picture in her office.

Sleep? Who can sleep?

October 31st 403 Pounds  Here I am getting a Sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea.  The sleep study was done in Scranton and the Techs were really nice.  I am just not sure how anyone can sleep like this.


The Man Of The Hour...

November 3rd, Surgery.  I have not told you that my wife and I both had the procedure the same day.  It worked out fine.  if you want to do this it makes thing trickier with transportation and such, but it worked out fine anyway.  While they had me open hey found a hernia and stitched that up.  When I woke up I thought a truck had hit me.

See this guy to the left?  That is Dr. Nicholas A. Bertha, DO, FACS  He is the guy who did Both Ellen's and my Gastric Bypasses.  Nick is more than a great surgeon, he is a cool guy too. He understands big people and has a great bedside manor. He first had he experience as a cancer surgeon, and decided to help the obese.   He did more than save my life, I would like to call him a friend.  You can find him and his partners at: http://www.advancedlaparoscopicsurgeons.com/



The Hospital Stay...

November 4th.  Ted Kubly, and Bob Murphy came to see me today.  I really was not up to visitors but these two friends are always a welcome sight.  My nieces Laura and Leslie and of course my son Zachary are always around and I love them for it.  But there is nothing like the love of an old friend.  Bob and Ted have been with me through thick and thin (Yes pun intended).

The Sleep Apnea dude at the hospital got a hold of me and made sure I was fitted with a CPAP.  I hate that thing, and at this point,  I have something to say on the sleep apnea front.

I have a lot of friends who have sleep apnea.  Both my wife and I are heavy and we both snore.  My wife wakes up tired and never seems to get enough rest.  I however wake up refreshed and do not have problems keeping my eyes open all day.  The surgeon right away wanted to get us both tested for sleep apnea.  Since he refused to do the surgery until we did the testing, I decided to humor him.  That was fine I went for the apnea testing and the tech told me I had a mild case of it, that was just over the line.  Nick referred me to a sleep center doctor in the hospital after the surgery and he looked at the same tests and felt I was a study of the worst case of sleep apnea he had ever seen.  He rushed a CPAP machine to my room and I have been stuck with this infernal device ever since.  I was on it for two nights in the hospital, and it sucked.  I did not sleep at all.  Once home I used it for one night, then packed it up and put it in the closet.   By the way to add insult to injury, Ellen does not have sleep apnea at all.

Now I am not discounting the change a CPAP can make in somebody's life.  I have friends on CPAP and it changed their whole outlook.  They were getting good nights sleep and we a lot happier.  They adopted it really easy because if they were still for two minutes they were asleep.  I really did not have that problem.  But recovery in my mind is 90% getting back to normal.  Sleeping with tubes coming out of me is pretty far from normal.  Sorry, tough sell, try me later.

I don't think we are in Kansas anymore...

November 5th going home. Theirs no place like home! Theirs no place like home! Theirs no place like home!  After two nights of no sleep I was SO glad to be back to my own bed.  My Dad came down and drove me home and the trip was not eventful for me.  My sister in law Pam drove Ellen home and she became car sick.  It happens  When I got home I crawled into bed and slept until Thursday.  That was my last painkiller.  I was ok and I was going to be OK!


Leaving Las Vegas...

November 7, 2008.  My friend Marc stopped in today to see me and helped out with some household items that Ellen and I just could not get to.  Marc gets the willies at medical stuff and I abused him by showing him my drain.  It grossed him out and was just too funny!  BTW I think I am getting addicted to that show Las Vegas!  I watch it every day for two hours on TBS from 11:30am to 1:30pm.  I guess I should wean myself off before going back to work.


Shave and a haircut, Two Bits!

November 12, 2008 377 pounds.  26 pounds lighter I have just finished getting a haircut at Hairscapes in east Stroudsburg.  Keep in mind this is 10 days after the surgery. I was to the doctor today and he removed my drain.  I did not like that thing either, and it was quite a feeling when it was removed.  Kind of like a feeling that you were getting turned inside out.  Once it was out I felt much better. 

Oh the pain the pain.....

November 13, 2008  Came down with Gout attack in my right foot.  Called the Doctor who pretty much told me I could not take my Gout meds and I was pretty much going to have to lump it.  Everyone else in my support group is out walking and really living in the high energy fashion.  I am laying in bed with my foot elevated.  I am hoping it is gone by Monday when I need to climb the two huge flights of stairs to get to my office.  if you care what Gout is.  Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs as a result of the build-up of uric acid in the body and the joint fluid (hyperuricemia). This accumulation of uric acid typically occurs when the body has difficulty processing certain protein substances called purines (PURE-EENS) that are found naturally in our diets.

The actual build-up of uric acid can result when the body has difficulty eliminating uric acid through the kidneys and urine, or in some cases, when the body produces too much uric acid. The tendency to accumulate uric acid is often hereditary. It can, however, skip an individual or even a generation and reappear in the children of someone who has no signs of gout. While it is most commonly seen in males between fifty and sixty years of age, gout does occur in females and in younger males.



No more freekin Jello!

November 15th 2008 Soft foods be gone!  I am so done with Jello! tonight I had meatloaf with low carb ketchup!  It tasted like heaven!  You REALLY have to chew your foods a lot after this procedure. (Even Jello) Chewing before just used to slow me down, and the only time I really took my time before is if I was enjoying a good steak.  I am now tasting things a lot longer so I am now more choosy in what I spend my time chewing.



Hi ho Hi ho it's off to work I go!

November 17, 2008 370 Pounds  33 Pounds lighter after 14 days post op.  This is my first day back at work. Gout attack is still with me and walking is a challenge, but I think getting better. It gas gone down in my toe and now seems to be in my ankle.   Everyone tells me my voice is different and that I look so different.  I really do not see it.  it seems like same old me and 33 pounds are a drop in the bucket for what I weigh.  still positive direction and all that.  For lunch today I tried steamed beef from the Chinese place.  Not the best idea.  It chews like gum and you just can't masticate it small enough to fit in the new pouch.  One piece and I was full.  I went home and showered before bed and put my foot up for the night.  Weight after the shower was 361.  I am sure the lack of clothing had something to do with that.


Dogs eating more than I


November 18th 360 Pounds (After shower)  I just realized at dinner tonight that I have 4 dachshunds, and I feed each of them more food than I do myself now!  Lunch was 2 pieces of deli turkey, and dinner was 2 pieces of deli boiled ham, with a slice of turkey chaser.


I still am dealing with the gout attack.  I walk as little as possible due to the pain, and I think my butt is getting sore from sitting too much.  I sure hope this goes away quickly.   The guy to the left is Ben.  He gets into everything.  He doesn't really play the drums, but I was playing around with the new Adobe Fireworks! So now Ben plays the drums.


Twice the pain for the price of half...

November 19th still 360 lbs.  See the wrinkle in my forehead? The one between my eyes? That my friends is pain.  It is now day 6 into the gout attack, and it is now solidly entrenched into my ankle.  Walking on it is pure hell. It is a Last night it just throbbed.  Loosing weight this way is a great byproduct of modern science, but the pain is unbelievable.  Here is the rub.  After gastric bypass all you eat is protein.  if you do not eat enough protein, (You can't) your mussels will get attacked to provide the protein your body needs.  So you need to consume as much protein as you can.  This involves the use of protein supplements.  All this protein creates purines, and this in turn raises the uric acid levels in your blood and then you have gout attacks.  You are screwed if you do, and screwed if you don't.  I have also read on the net about how gout attacks can be triggered by loosing weight.  That is also the issue I guess.

I think last night was family night.  Ellen was out at Eastern Star and I was home in bed with my foot up watching it throb.  My Dad called, And wanted the daily update, then my Brother Doug, So for good measure I called my Sister Deb in Texas, and brought her up to speed.  Now they know all of what you guys know:  Thinner, throbbing, winy.   Ok, got it.


Water Water Everywhere, but not a drop to drink!

November 20, 2008 still 360 lbs.  Plateaus are not unusual with this especially when you are not getting around well.  I HAVE TO GET MORE WATER IN.  I am dehydrating.  I used to drink 4- 8 20 oz bottles of water a day and I am barely getting 40 oz in now.  I used to guzzle 1/4 of a bottle at a time and now I just cant.  The stomach just is not big enough to do that.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to sip 64 ounces a day?  I started having Jello for breakfast to try to get more liquid in with my foods as well.  I know, I know, I kicked Jello to the curb, but it helped before and we will see if it helps again.  As I understand it water, is a huge help in fending off the gout attack.

The gout has now been with me for a week straight.  It feels a little better today.  I would like it to be gone as soon as possible.  The pain is making it hard to think straight.  It could drive me to drink. I guess more water.....



November 21st 2008.  Dropped another pound.  Down to 359.  If I can break 350, (Let's say 345) that will be my lowest weight I have ever achieved on a diet in the last 10 years.  A new affliction seems to have appeared.  It looks like Psoriasis (say "suh-RY-uh-sus")  As I read it it can be linked to high blood pressure meds.  Since I am newly on them I am guessing that could be the issue here.  Also I complained to maintenance yesterday about being so cold.  They came in to the office and measured the temperature at 75 degrees!  Certainly not cold by any means.  I am guessing that that too is a result of the BP meds.  I am getting thinner to be sure, but my quality of life is sinking fast.  I am in enough pain at this point that the only benefit is currently see is the funeral will be cheaper.


Rise to the occaision!

November 24th 2008.  355 pounds Thanksgiving week.  This weekend had some good news and some bad news.  Lets start with the good news.  The impotence problem was temporary!  Not that I used it for anything, but was sure glad it still works!  Sunday was probably the best gout day so far.  Now my ankle is really weak, but I will work on that.  The bad news is I feel like I am coming down with something.  Two people here at work were visibly sick this past week and one of them used my phone, so that is most likely where it came from.  I really did not want to come to work today, but I made it.  Nice thing is since my foot is now only sore instead of screaming in pain, coming to work is not as exhausting at it was last week.  I will keep an eye on it.  Good news, I did walk out of the building the full length of the factory today!  Warren and I stopped to speak to Anatoly for a few minutes and my legs began to shake after a moment or so.  It may be because I did not eat breakfast or lunch.  I just don't feel like eating anymore.  I told Ellen and Zach last night I have just had it.  It hurts to move, it hurts not to, it hurts to eat, and now I am ill.  I just don't want to play this game anymore.  


Duck. (Stuck)

November 25th 2008.  I have to admit I did not weigh myself this morning, but I assure you I have not gained.  I went home last night, checked into my class at Westwood and went to bed.  I did get up for dinner and had pork tenderloin.  I am tired of eating.  Last night I needed comfort food, and unless you chew things to the consistency of applesauce it gets stuck.  Getting things stuck just hurts.  Throwing up is an option if this happens, but so far that doesn't seem to work for me.  Getting things stuck feels like a heat attack.  Granted it will go down eventually but sometimes it can take 24 hours to do so.  The Psoriasis or whatever it is is getting worse, now the back of my arms are getting covered, and it is beginning to get painful.  I will have to call the doctor sometime today and get his take on it.  I am looking forward to the long weekend ahead.



November 24th 2008. 354 pounds 49 pounds lighter than I started Dr. Nicks wild ride!  The gout is almost gone.  Toe pain is fairly minimal at this point except when I kicked the bed steps on my way to the bathroom last night.  Now it hurts from that, but that is to be expected.  The ankle is getting better too.  Now if I could get rid of this cold and the Psoriasis things would be much happier for me. It seems I get up, shower go to work, come home, go to bed.  Not much of a life right now.  I called the doctors office yesterday and I got a nurse practitioner that swore to me that OTC cold pills do not affect blood pressure.  I wonder where she went to school?  Cold pills like that almost landed me in the hospital last time I had a cold.   She also told me that even though the surgeon prescribed the BP meds for me I needed to go to my GP to deal with both the meds and the side effects.  I do not completely understand, I have always had top notch concern and care from that office and yesterday felt like the big blow off.

My GP can't see me until Monday ish so I will see how I feel then and call if needed.



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