Tales of dehydration, potassium and a broken Kindle

So, the first week was tough. The second week was tougher – I was readmitted to the hospital due to dehydration. And the third week, well lets just say I was readmitted again this afternoon for dehydration, vomiting and nausea.

It’s been a frustrating time as I’ve tried to adapt to my new plumbing. I’m down almost 40 pounds, but that’s probably too much, too fast. I just can’t keep anything down. I’m having some tests tomorrow and hopefully the docs will figure this out. Tonight I’m stuck in a hospital bed with a broken Kindle (yeah, I dropped my precious Amazon.com bookreader onto the hard hospital linoleum, shattering it’s screen).

But the dehydration, vomiting, nausea and just feeling like @#$% haven’t even been the worst of my weight loss surgery experience. I’ve had some great nurses to help me through (shout-outs to Lauda, Susan, Cassie, Lisa and a few others I only remember through the post-op drug-induced haze). No, the worst part was during my second readmission, when a (nameless) doc at the hospital decided I was simply choosing not to drink. It was post-surgical anxiety, he said and ordered a psych consult. A psych consult, to help with nausea and vomiting.

Insulting, to say the least.

So, before asking the psych guys (yes, plural) to go away, I suggested they were lucky I hadn’t yet yaked all over them. They left rather abruptly.

I can’t help feeling angry at the (nameless) doc who ordered the consult in the first place. How does vomiting and dehydration stem from post-surgical anxiety? It doesn’t. Frankly, I don’t understand why he didn’t listen to me. I don’t understand why he didn’t take my symptoms more seriously. If we could have dealt with my symptoms last week, I might have avoided a third admission.

The last few weeks have been hard on me, but even harder on Erica and Annie (I’m not ignoring Ari; he’s just too little to understand). Erica is a doc and knows what can go wrong, so she’s always thinking about the worst case scenario. And Annie is just a kid, nine-years-old at that, who’s watched her dad struggle through three inpatient hospital stays in three weeks. Not to mention the week I spent inpatient back in March and the two nights last December, both due to my herniated neck disks. I think she just wants her dad home. I think both my girls just want our normal life back.

They’re right. It’s enough already. I’m starting to wonder if this was a big, giant mistake – an un-doable one at that. To top it all off, at this very moment, they are running all kinds of fluids into my slowly rehydrating body. One of  ‘em is potassium. You’ve heard of it – the Chiquita Banana stuff. It’s good for you, I know. But it burns like hell running through an IV. UGH!


10 thoughts on “Tales of dehydration, potassium and a broken Kindle

  1. Ohhhhh Mike, I am so sorry you are going through this. Hateful, hateful, hateful! I understand your anger at the doc not listening to you though. I would be showing out to say the least. I know you are going to get better soon. I just know it. In the mean time…I will send you my Kindle to use until you get yours repaired. Just let me know….

  2. Have they done an EGD to look at your new stomach pouch? It sounds like it could be a stricture – where the upper closure of the new stomach pouch is too tight/narrow of an opening, not allowing fluids to pass through. I had a questionable stricture at about 4-5 weeks post op – couldn’t tolerate drinking anything (although, I didn’t vomit either), and I was severely dehydrated. My EGD actually did NOT show a stricture, but I needed IV hydration to try to get back on track again.

    Go slowly with the sips of fluid. I remember I could only tolerate tiny little sips at the beginning stages. Plus I had to go very, very, very slowly. You literally are trying to sip fluids all day long. Keep some fluids at your bedside at night too, and sip when you wake (I’m an insomniac, so I’m up most of the night). Hang in there! It’s tough the first several weeks to months, until you get used to your new body structures.

    PS – I’m 3+ years out from my roux-en-y. I had regrets in the first several weeks/months, when it was a daily struggle to get liquids in. But now? I totally love it!

  3. Hey Mike Sorry to hear your back in the Hospital again, take it one step at a time and don’t get frustrated. I know it’s easy for me to say but remember the great results of loosing lots of weight you don’t want. YOU WILL GET BETTER !!!!
    Stay positive and remember not to look back, but look ahead. What was , was and what will be is a great “NEW” Mike, Husband and Dad !! A thinner one at that. We can then share clothes, HA HA HA HA HA Just like the old days. Love to you and Erica and the Kids and keep smiling. You are on a slow road to a happier future!
    Love Uncle Merrill and Aunt Marla

  4. Mike. Please don’t judge the doc who ordered the psych consult. Maybe he was trying to cover all his bases. Post surgery anxiety is an actual thing, and can result in behaviour like you said. I remember one time, after i had surgery, that i was so filled with anxiety i was afraid to eat or go to the bathroom. I was so afraid of being in more pain than i already was. I wish someone had ordered a psych consult for me. You do have a history of depression. Remember to keep an open mind during this whole thing.

  5. Mike – our prayers are with you. I had a hard time with vomiting after my surgery as well. I was so afraid I was going to rip the stitches. The vomiting lasted about 5 days for me and I can tell you it was horrible. I know what you are going through…hang in there!


  6. Hi Michael. Keeping up on your recuperation through emails from your dad and Merrill. I do hope this is the beginning of the end and that you are on a fast track road to recovery. May your blog ‘bigfatmike’ morph into ‘newmike2’.
    You can always call me and talk. I am a great listener, and as I stated in earlier comments to you here, I have three friends who have gone through this exact same surgery and are doing extremely well. They hae offered to talk with you too.
    My love to you, your beautiful wife and the fabulous kids. I most likely will be up your way in August.
    Uncle Robb

  7. Hi Mike! I’m thinking of you and I hope you’re starting to feel better. I’m sure it’s been very difficult. You are brave to have taken this on.

    Just think, 40 lbs! Wow! Just think how good you’ll feel when everything finally gets sorted out.

    My very best, Jon

  8. God Bless Mike and hopefully everything will straighten out for you. The anxiety is real, when they admitted me the second time and then told that I had this huge orange sized abcess and that they were going to insert a drain, I was scared out of my mind. Couldn’t drink anything, but I found that if they kept a glass of ice chips close by I could reach in and grab a few every few minutes. Sleep was out of the question. that was on the 18th. Yesterday they finally removed that drain and I am hoping I am on the road to recover and I hope you are right behind me. I also question what I have done, but everyone assures me if I can just stick it out for about three months that I will be forever glad. I certainly hope so. Prayers for you and your family. I am sure your daughter is very confused as you are the best thing in her life. Daddies and their daughters, a match made in heaven. Get well soon.

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