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Presurgery weight: 282 pounds
I don’t care how many seminars you attend, how many people you talk to, how much you read and research, you will never fully be prepared the morning of your surgery. It was 5 am and I was in the waiting room with my husband.
The transporter came and wheeled me into a room with about six beds. Everything was surreal; I honestly couldn’t believe I was laying on a gurney in a hospital gown about to get this surgery. I was freaking out. My husband tried to calm me down by making jokes; I was so nervous it just made me want to slap him.
Then the nurse held my hand and asked me why I was scared. And you know what? I honestly had no clue. She continued to ask all the right questions to help me figure out why I was scared. She walked me through the entire day, from where I would go next to how when I awoke it wouldn’t hurt and would be more of a punch-in-the-tummy kind of feeling. Just her being there and taking the time to comfort me was so touching. I wasn’t expecting that.
As I left the prep room and was wheeled to “staging” with my husband walking beside me, I felt like I had the whole hospital by my side. I heard shouts of “Good luck, Jodie,” and “Don’t worry about a thing, we are all here for you.” As I entered the huge staging room, I felt intimidated. Before the fear was able to creep in, a nurse was by my side joking, smiling and holding my hand. I began to feel at ease as the anesthesiologist introduced himself, as well as my OR nurses.
Every place I went, I had my own personal nurses who treated me as if I was one of their family. It was time for my husband to leave and for me to be wheeled into the OR. I had a vision of an empty room with a cold metal operating table that I would have to lay on with bright lights all around me. I entered a room full of smiling people. And the operating table was actually comfortable with blankets. You would have thought I was at Club Med. One nurse smiled down at me as she held my hand; another covered me with a heated blanket. This was not what I expected. They told me they were giving me something to help me relax. Boy, did it ever! The nurse holding my hand smiled and said, “Good night, Jodie.” Smiling back, I said, “Good night.”
“Jodie … open your eyes, Jodie.” They flutter a bit, but I can’t open them. “Hi, Jodie! Everything went fantastic!” I see the nurse through my fluttering eyes. I’m so confused … is it over? But it doesn’t hurt, it’s just pressure. I wonder, “That’s it?” Then I see Dr. Mueller and he tells me it went great.
Everything right after surgery was a bit of a blur. I was wheeled into my room, where my nurse and husband were waiting. The nurses constantly checked on me to make sure I was OK and not in pain. And guess what? Three hours after my surgery you know what I did? I walked! Not far, but I walked. I started to walk about six times a day. If I couldn’t sleep, I buzzed a nurse, and she would walk with me. That was a lot of fun. They all treated me like an old friend. We walked, gossiped and laughed.
I actually really enjoyed my time in the hospital. This experience was definitely nothing like I thought it would be. I was not just a patient, a chart number or a room number. I was part of their family; they all cared for me and rooted for me. About a week after I was released, my husband and I brought the staff bagels. They all remembered me, even the front desk called out hellos to my husband. I would have never thought a hospital would be that wonderful, or that I would be sad to leave. Follow more of Jodie's ongoing weight-loss journey.
For More Information
If you would like to start your own weight-loss journey at Sharp HealthCare, learn more by attending a free informational seminar. To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) or register online at Sharp weight-loss surgery seminar.