I am spoiled by my employer. Not only do they provide me with Medical Insurance that made the process of getting the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy very simple and quick, but they also have Short-Term (and Long-Term) Disability pay to protect my job. For the first eight weeks, I got 100% of my pay, and after that it dropped down to 80% of my pay. Now I know that the normal amount of time approved off for the VSG surgery is about four weeks. However, working with my surgeon, I was approved for six weeks off for recovery. That gave me enough time to get use to my new stomach, and learn to pace myself when eating and drinking. I wanted to make sure that I was able to handle normal foods before I went back to work. For the first four weeks, everything was going just fine, but around the fifth week, all hell broke loose. I was vomiting constantly! I couldn't keep anything down, not even water. I brought this up to my doctor during my last visit with him before I was supposed to go back to work on September 1, 2016, and he had put in a request to have an Upper GI scan done. Well, I didn't end up making it to work that day. I couldn't go but five minutes without vomiting. After picking my husband up from work, I told him that I wanted to go to the Emergency Room because I was completely exhausted from vomiting constantly all day. First thing the doctor wanted to take care of was getting me re-hydrated! I laid in the hospital bed with an IV in my arm for about three hours. My husband and I both thought that they were just going to release me after that. That didn't happen. They admitted me. My husband kept asking the nurse when she thought that I would be released, and she told him probably the following afternoon. Boy, was she wrong! That next morning, they ordered me to do a Pipida Scan. I hated that machine more than anything. The only thing that I can compare it to is a Rubix Cube. I had to lay in that machine for an hour and a half. I was instructed not to move. At this point, the vomiting had decreased tremendously, but I always knew when I was about to vomit again. Well, an hour into the test, they woke me up (I fell asleep a few times actually) and told me that they were going to push Morphine into me, because the fluids weren't traveling into my Gallbladder like it was supposed to. One thing that did make me vomit nearly instantly was pain medication! I told nurse that I was going to vomit if she put the Morphine in my body. She of course said that she had to, and proceeded on. I literally had to choke back the vomit for about five minutes because, I was once again instructed not to move, also with this stupid machine right on top of me, I really had nowhere to go. When they brought me back up to my room, they didn't tell me what anything meant. I was just told that the doctor would be in shortly to discuss the results. I was pretty sure that meant I had a bum Gallbladder. About an hour or so passed by, and the doctor came in and told me that I had a HUGE Gall Stone blocking the entry-way into my Gallbladder, and that darn thing needed to be removed! So I was scheduled to have my Gallbladder removed that following morning. Yikes! I didn't have time to prepare myself for this! I was honestly more freaked out about having my Gallbladder removed, over the VSG surgery. So, Saturday, September 3rd, my parents came and kept me company, as my husband had prior plans to help his aunt move, while I was waiting on the surgeon. I thought I was freezing before, I was so cold this whole entire time, from the point that I was in the ER, until the time that I got back home. When in the recovery room, prior to surgery, I had a total of six blankets on me. I was still freezing. I honestly don't remember anything after they wheeled me back to the Operating Room. However, I do remember being in more pain than I was from when I had my VSG done. I honestly think that the Gallbladder surgery and recovery was worse than the Sleeve surgery. I was in pain for weeks! I was told before and after surgery that most patients get to go home the same day, or the next day. It all just depended on if I could keep foods down. I got really excited, because I wanted to be home more than anything. I dislike being in hospital. Well, that was not the case. I still wasn't able to keep anything down. I was still vomiting. I didn't get to go home until September 9, 2016. I was in the hospital for almost eight full days! Stupid Gallbladder! At this point, I was supposed to be in the stage of being able to eat soft, non-pureed foods, but I hadn't been able to eat anything for 2 weeks, they insisted on keeping me on liquids for a few days. I was, of course, still vomiting. I was getting so tired of vomiting, that I was refusing anything that had to go in my mouth, including medication. (The funny thing is, I never really had pain that required Morphine, but they kept on coming in asking if I was ready for it. Um, no thank you!) The doctors were getting mad at me because I was refusing things that they thought would work. They then decided to put a PICC line in me so they could put me on a nutrition bag of some sort, because I wasn't getting anything other than the IV fluids. They started talking as if I was going to be sent home with this thing! Oh hell no! But I started to feel better afterwards, and I slowly started letting them bring me my liquids, and I tried my best to get in as much as I could at each meal time. I wasn't vomiting as much, and not right after eating, so I started letting them give me some medications by mouth at that point. Well, on September 8th, 2016, they finally brought me pureed meals! I was so happy! I was able to keep it down, and I didn't vomit the whole day! I was really wanting to go home, I thought they were going to release me before dinner. The big slap in the face was when they brought me my meal sheet for September 9th, 2016. I started crying because I didn't think I would ever get out. I thought the doctor was happy that I was finally eating again. I moped in the bed the rest of the day. I was interrupted by a Psychologist that the doctor ordered me to talk with. (I guess they were thinking that I wasn't eating purposely.) He decided that I needed to be on some mood stabilizing medications. I took it just once, and never took it again. It was also supposed to help me sleep, it didn't. I was up half the night, like every other night in the hospital. Well, right after breakfast on the 9th, the lady came in and asked if I was ready to go home! Of course! I called my mom to make sure she could come get me. I had to wait a little while for them to complete all the discharge forms, and for them to take that damn PICC line out of me. Then I had to be monitored for another hour afterwards to make sure there wasn't any bleeding caused by the PICC line. Then I was free to go! I was sent home with $500 worth of medications that they wanted me to take. Most of them were the medications that I refused the whole time while in the hospital.
To go back to the beginning of my post, I ended up being out of work for 12 weeks. I didn't go back to work until October 12th, 2016. I am thankful for having my Short-Term Disability, because I would have been so far behind on my bills, and probably without a job. During the time in the hospital, I actually gained 13 pounds. I was devastated! I literally avoided the scale for almost the entire remaining month of September. The water weight just didn't want to come off! But when October came around, I was right back on track to losing! I went back to work feeling like a completely new person!