Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm home to take a quick nap & pick up a few items for Chris that we forgot to pack. Surgery was a success. Chris is doing very well... already used the breathing therapy device. More detailed update (and photo) coming soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One Last Appointment, One Last Steak

Chris had his pre-op with Dr. Oakley today. Well, it started with Dr. Oakley... then to the surgical coordinator then across the street to get the pre-admittance 20-questions game and then an EKG. All in all, pretty uneventful. So glad I printed out two pill lists!!

The colon thing discussed on the last post turned out to be nothing. Chris won't have to use it at all, because it had warnings if you are on a low-sodium diet (CHECK), had kidney disease (CHECK), or had Congestive Heart Failure (CHECK).

He is to discontinue his aspirin therapy and Vitamin E (who knew it was a blood thinner?) until after his surgery.

We need to be at the hospital at 6:15 on Monday morning. Surgery starts at 7:30 and shouldn't be more than a couple of hours long. 1 hour in recovery and then off to his regular room on the 6th floor, we think.

Sunday he's not to eat any solid foods -- which means Saturday night he'll have the guys over and order (I suspect) Chicago Connection pizza. We'll also put together his travel bag Sunday and then hope he gets some good rest on Sunday night.

Speaking of last foods... Chris made awesome rib-eye steaks on Sunday for my dad's early birthday party, but he decided to have one more crack at beef tonight. We dined for the first time at The Stagecoach in Garden City. A review I read just an hour or so before said it has been open for nearly 50 years and tonight we learned why. Chris' filet was bacon-wrapped and magnificent. His shrimp were as big as his hands. {I grew up in South Florida eating seafood every chance I got... and I have never seen prawns that big.} Awesome. They have a spaghetti & meatballs special for $6.95 that even comes with a glass of red wine. I may have to try that with Dad one day.

Class Clown

It took me a week to get to the point where I could post about the class we attended last Wednesday without having tears stream down my face from laughter. Seriously, so many things about it were funny... but it wasn't supposed to be. I was doing so well and looking at the funniest presenter with a perfectly straight face, until Chris turned and looked at me. Dang it!

Having done the surgery and hospital thing before, lots of the props were familiar to us already... the oxygen delivery tubes, the fingertip oxygen saturation monitor, the grenade-looking surgical drain, etc.

We did learn a few things:
  • He's going to be issued a giant rubber band at the time of surgery. It can be used to do tons resistance of exercises. I want one, too.
  • We got suggestions on a few things to bring, so we're going to pack a bag with his slippers, a few copies of his list of pills, etc.
  • There's some sort of colon thing that we need to ask about today at his pre-op with Dr. Oakley. (Since they're rearranging his stomach and intestines, I guess they need to make sure nothing's in there.)
  • The nutritionist we so enjoyed from last week's appointment came and brought all kinds of cool recipe options that Chris can try. Ricotta, mozzarella, and a little spaghetti sauce can become a pasta-less lasagna. Yum.
We did some shopping. Okay, *I* did some shopping, with my dad. Chris now has his own area in the pantry (which I'm sure will grow, honey... don't be sad that it's only in a box right now). His box has protein powder in Chocolate and Vanilla, three pre-mixed protein drinks in these cool test-tube looking containers, sugar-free pudding, no sugar added applesauce and berry-flavored applesauce, lots of broth, and some ground flax seeds for later on in the food stages. We also found special bariatric vitamins at Walgreen's and grabbed B-12, since the nutritionist said that particular nutrient is lacking in that particular chewable multi. And who knew that there's a such thing as fat-free half-and-half?

Today is our pre-op appointment with Dr. Oakley, so we have a list of questions. At the top of the list is Chris' medications and how that's going to change... both right after surgery and later on. I suspect that the Requip (for acid reflux) is going away immediately because his esophagus isn't going to be connected to his stomach acid anymore. We also need to know how soon the pre-procedure eating restrictions start. [I'm going to be out of town on Friday night and probably Saturday dinner, too... and he's having the guys over on Thursday, so I suspect tonight is our "last supper" together. I wonder what he'll pick.]

And since you've read this far, you deserve a few gems from last week. The physical therapist was VERY enthusiastic about exercise. My favorite thing was when he said "if you're imaginary" when he meant "if you have a good imagination". Chris, however, liked his "when in Greece..." rendition of the "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". Oh and the "I'm a big fan of the gym." Yeah, we bet.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

About the size of a dose of Nyquil

Go to your medicine cabinet, find a bottle of nyquil, see that cap for measuring the dosage? That will be the new size of my meals for a long time.

So yesterday was the meeting with the Nutritionist, who turned out to be very nice and tolerable. (Some of my previous health care providers have had the bedside manner of a concentration camp doctor, and I swear one guy flipped me off.)

So this is what I discovered some of my limitations will be after the surgery:

  • No carbonated drinks, ever again.
  • No alcohol for a minimum of one year, and after that, I'll be a "Cheap Date"
  • No red meat for at least 6 months.
  • No straws, no gulping, no guzzling.
  • No drinking liquids while eating solids at the same time.
  • I'll have to drink about 48oz of water a day, but since my stomach can only hold about an ounce at a time, I'll have to be sipping every 10 minutes (For the first few months)

Immediately following the surgery, I'll be on a straight liquid protein diet for the first two weeks. after that I'll be able to add foods like applesauce, cottage cheese, pudding and bananas. So I can imagine the first six weeks I'm gonna be a real joy to hang out with, especially if someone tries to eat a hamburger or something in front of me. I'm looking into the law to see if assault would be justified in those cases :)

I've mainly finished my list of final foods, we had the venison roast the other night crock pot style and it was delicious, all I really have left is lasagna, which I plan on making next week. This Saturday is we are having a cookout (burgers, hotdogs and Kim's most excellent potato salad.) I have to call a few people and see if they can make it, but most of my friends are already coming. I have an odd sense of humor, so I'd like the theme to be "Funeral for Fat Ross" but Kim is not crazy about that idea.

And now, for your moment of zen...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Chris' surgery was moved to June 30th. The approval form from the insurance company stated July 1 specifically as the approved date of service, so we're leaving messages & trying to contact them to get that corrected.

We're movin' on down the list of foods. Chris has had his Bottle Caps, root beer float, French dip and has taken a stab at the meatball sub. He didn't like the Cobby's meatball sub (the bread wasn't toasted and that wreaked all kinds of havoc), so that's back on the list. I made strawberry Kolacy for him and dad, too. We do need to get that venison roast cooked one of these days. We may need to rework the list... can't seem to find it.

Couldn't resist adding a picture of Dusty I took this morning. This ramen soup box is sitting just a few inches from his very nice cat hut, but he chooses the box. He's a box-and-bag kind of cat. He loves them.