Something I Wish I’d Known Beforehand

One of the purposes behind this blog is to use my personal experience to let those who are interested in or actively pursuing bariatric surgery in on a few things. The medical professionals and other patients involved in the process have a wealth of information to share as well, but I’ve noticed while on my own journey that they fail to mention some things. I’m guessing it just doesn’t occur to them to tell me what they aren’t telling me, so I’m trying to detail them as I think of them so you all can benefit from my experience. Well yesterday, I thought of another thing to share.

Band surgery marked the first time I had ever had general anesthesia. They put me under for my wisdom tooth extraction a few years prior, but I came to find out shortly before surgery that that was not the same thing. So if you’re looking into bariatric surgery and have also never experienced the effects of general anesthesia, take note:

You may find it difficult to breathe upon waking. I’ve heard from others who’ve been under general anesthesia that they also had this problem, and the nurses in the post-op recovery room where I had my surgery didn’t seem overly concerned by my gasping for air, so I’m guessing this isn’t that uncommon. But nobody warned me about it ahead of time, and I really wish they had. I wasn’t expecting it, so in my drug-induced haze, I panicked a little and started fighting for air. That only made it worse. It evened out after only a breath or two, but in the meantime it was still pretty scary, especially since I was doped out of my mind and not in full control of my faculties. So again, just so you know, this may happen to you.

Also, personal milestone: Today I am wearing a shirt that was at least a size or two too small for me two months ago. Like many other garments (piece of jewelry, shoes…), I had given up ever being able to wear it again because of my weight. But I’ve been returning to a lot of clothing in that category and discovering that if it doesn’t fit me now, then it will once I’ve lost about five or ten more pounds. Needless to say, it’s pretty damn awesome.

Upcoming: What it’s like getting through airport security with a medical device in one’s guts, and my April meeting with my surgeon. I am expecting and actually kind of wanting a fill. And here’s hoping my weigh-in at the doctor’s office shows marked progress.

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