Saturday, October 30, 2010

Officially Banded

Well, folks, it's done. I'm officially banded, a bandster, whatever you want to call it :) I was tempted to stay at the hospital overnight, but I chose to make the trip back to Daegu. Unfortunately, every time I tried to get up to start getting dressed, the nurses injected me with something else that ended up making me nauseous and I would have to lie down for another hour. I eventually was able to leave the clinic around 5:30pm and we were home by 9pm.

When I got home I immediately took 2 Gas-X (luckily I brought them from the US) because the pains in my shoulder and chest were NOT fun. I also heated up some vegetable broth and added some leeks for flavor and had about 1/2 cup of that. I took a pain pill and got in bed around 10:15. Of course, then I realized I couldn't actually sleep flat on my back, so M brought in a blanket to help elevate my pillows. It was much easier to sleep after that.

My experience at Yedain (여다인) Clinic was really great. When I got to the clinic at 8:45am, they took me to my room (very homey with 2 beds, pink quilts, flowers, yadda yadda) where I was able to change into my pajamas for the day (also pink). Then they took me to the operating room where I laid down on the table and Dr. Kwon took my hand, said "We're starting anesthesia," and I was out. Next thing I remember is waking up to see M next to me. People kept talking to me, but I don't really remember anything. I know I felt very uncomfortable and it was difficult to breathe deep breaths, so this one machine kept beeping because my oxygen saturation or whatever was low.

When I was more alert they took me to my room again and I went to sleep. I slept a lot. As it turns out, Dr. Kwon wasn't able to stay at the clinic all day, so he called one of his former patients (she had problems with the band and had to have it removed, but she's getting rebanded again soon) who speaks great English and she came to act as my translator with the nurses. While the nurses speak a little English, I think it was easier to have someone who could really translate what we were trying to say. She also translated the post-op instruction paper for me.

M was able to hang out with me in the room; since there weren't any other surgical patients that day, he got to nap and lounge around in the other bed. They also ordered in lunch and dinner for him.

I was worried they wouldn't give me any pain medicine, as I've heard stories about this, but as soon as I mentioned having pain after the surgery, someone came and put something in my IV that made me feel all warm and fuzzy all over :) They also sent me home with lots of pain pills, as well a little pain medicine pump called an Accufuser. It's attached to me through a little needle and constantly delivers pain medicine. The medicine is inside a little balloon, and as it gets used up the balloon shrinks. When it's all the way down I just take out the needle.

I also have a compression band that I wear around my midsection. It's to help keep the port from flipping during healing. It's crazy uncomfortable though, especially with this gas pain. I'm also hella constipated. I ate Outback the night before surgery and I'm a bit worried that my body hasn't gotten rid of all that waste yet. Oh well. They said I'd be this was for a few days, so I'm not really worried.

All in all, I think it went well. I don't feel great, but I'm not totally miserable either. If I think about it, I'll try to take some photos later of me and my Accufuser :)


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