No release from the doctor...Bad day

Just bad...

Day started off wondering if my 2 inch incision was healing properly or not. During my shower today the other three stereo strips came off. The four lap holes are looking good. It is that darn belly button that had me worried.

The bad news, or is it? Spoke to my doctors office and they said the incision is healing just fine and this is all expected. Well they will not release me to go back to work next week. I was really looking forward to, she said that they have my best intrest in mind. I know they do, I just worry financially and I know I shouldn't everything will be fine. So if I am lucky I will return on the 10th of October after my 7th appointment.

I am doing good overall, I ate to much at dinner and was very, very uncomfortable for over 40 minutes. I guess I will slow down and chew, chew my food.

Take care


3 weeks post op


I weighed in at 295 today that was a nice sight. I have been doing good overall, I still fight the mind. My mind tells me to eat all the time and my body is not hungry. I recognize this and am so grateful I do. I will go drink some liquid and that helps get the mind off of food. Not for long but for a few minutes.

I am drinking a Protein drink in the morning. Then take meds and then go from there. I try not to eat until lunch if I can help it. However, I try to get something in my tummy.

One of my stereo strips came off yesterday, that was nice.

Take care


Good general day.

Rode with Dad

Today I got out of the house and rode with my Dad. It was a nice ride to Weaverville to get a pool permit. We had a chance to just talk about stuff.

I weighed in at 296.8 pounds today. I ate part of one scrambled egg for breakfast. I had a couple of pieces of jerky chunks for lunch. Then had left over taco dip that Brittany made. I made a protein drink this afternoon and it was not to bad, it was chocolate.

Spoke to Sharon with CPMC today and we discussed all sorts of things. Overall sounds like I am doing pretty good on my food and water. I need to try and get more protein in for the day. I should be averaging 60-80 grams a day.

Today is a great day, Barry Bonds is back in the line up for the SF Giants. Just watched Bonds hit a double (hit the top of the fence in center) on his first at bat since being out with and injury last September. Go GIANTS!

Take care


From this day forward I will be making normal entries. I will give a WLS updated every Tuesday. That will be on the week mark since surgery.

I weighed in at 297.2 this morning. I have been doing pretty good. I am eating fine (well small amounts) and drinking my water. I am trying to get my water in more then food.

Tammy is off to some Honey Bee Festival with Pampered Chef. I am so proud of her and what she is accomplishing in Pampered Chef. I am a little antsy in the pantsy right now. I am bored at home and ready to go back to work. Once my wounds heal I will think about going back. I am going to go ride with Dad tomorrow to get out and see how things go.

Take care for now.


10-days Post-Op

Good morning:

Sort of a disappointing morning. I weighed in at I was only 299.0 pounds. That is only a .6 loss, I guess I expect more. I have emailed Barb to ask her if this is normal. I was told normal average loss is about 1 pound a day. I guess this is pretty close just expected more.

Tammy, Adriana, and I went for a walk this morning. We went to the Sundial Bridge and walked for 30 minutes. It was very nice outside and was a beautiful walk. My back hearts a lot, but that will subside in a few weeks.

I feed the baby (Adriana) this morning and I enjoy doing that. Helped Tammy (wife) cut some vegies up for her bunko party tonight.

I am going to list some things I have been eating for future knowledge and/or recollection.

Egg salad
Tuna canned
Tuna fish
Seaseme Jerky (protein)
Crystal Light

I am up to 3 teaspoons before feeling overwhelmed.

My incisions are healing slowly but surely. Can not wait to be able to go swimming. Dad has finished his new pool and it is a work of art. See attached photos of the pool.

Well that is it for now, I will blog later.


9-days Post-Op

Good morning:

Have not written in a few days. I have been doing good overall. I had a couple of days of fatigue and was getting concerned. I am doing better now and am sipping my fluid, I am getting at least 1 liter in a day.

As of this morning I am down to 299.6 pounds. this is a total of 25.9 pounds. I have slowed to about 1 to 2 pounds a day. This is what the doctors wanted to happen about a pound a day.

I want to wait for my incisions to heal before going back to work. I may call Dad and see if he needs company for a day. Just to get out of the house and see how I do.

I have been living off of tuna, egg salad, and beef jerky. I am eating 3 teaspoon of food now, where before it was 1-2 teaspoons.

Well I will try to get back on my game of blogging more frequently.

Take care


5-days Post-Op

Good afternoon:

I woke up at 0300 this morning. Just was uncomfortable and could not sleep. Late morning I started feeling extremely fatigued and drained. I had to laydown for a couple of mintues to get my thoughts back.

I have done pretty well on my water today. We are at 1534 and I have just over a 1/2 liter down. I went with Tammy to the store and that wore me out, but we did get me some sugar free popsicles, man they hit the spot.

There real is no pain today, yet. Although I have noticed that I can sit my my chair easier and I can lay down easier. So on the remend and looking good so far.

I am kind of confused though. I weighed myself (per my cardiologist instructions) and yesterday I was 314 and today it says 306.6 really confusing. Of course this would explain why I am fatigued. I did start my Lasix yesterday and peed a lot, maybe that is what happened. Not sure.

Had to reorder all my meds today. I sure can not wait until the day I can get rid of the heart meds or at least limit them to just a couple a couple of times a day.

That is enough for now, take care.

5-day Post-Op Afternoon

Good afternoon:

Update on how I am doing today. I am not doing bad with the pain, the area where the byopsy took place still gives me fits but getting better.

I am back on all my prescribed heart medications. Today is the first day I took the Lasix and have felt drained all day. Not sure if they are linked together or not. I also get dizzy when getting up, I had that a little before but it is very noticeable today.

Mind: Well my mind has been good today. Not to much thinking about food which was nice.

Breafast I had egg salad
Lunch I had tuna made with mayo and spices
Dinner I am having 3 shrimp

I eat with one of my daughters baby spoons. It takes approx 5 of those to equal one teaspoon. I am eating about 5-6 baby spoons full right now.

Talk to you later.

5:25 PM

5-days Post-Op Morning

Slept okay last night for my first night home. Woke up this morning and immediately had a bowel movemement. Weighted myself and I am at

314 pounds

That is 11 pounds down just a short of a week from surgery. I had 6 baby spoon bites of egg salad my wife made. I am taking my pills slowly over time.

Talk to you later.

10:08 AM

Pre-Op data
Jeff Blankenship
Age: 35
Vertical Gastrectomy Surgery
Surgery date: August 30, 2005
Pre-Op Height: 6' 1" (73 inches)
Pre-Op weight: 325.5 pounds
Pre-Op BMI: 42.9
Pre-Op Fat%: 39.8%
Pre-Op Fat Mass: 129.5 pounds

10:04 AM

Before and after surgury updates

I have had a very successful surgery up to this point. I had VG (Vertical Gastrectomy) surgery on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 0900.

I had to check myself in on Monday for heart precautions. I admitted myself at 0800 and had a right heart catheter put in at 1030 by my cardiologist took 30 minutes. That went extremely well considering the last one I had it took them 2 hours and 4 doctors. Then I went to CCU for the rest of the day. I had bowel prep starting at 1640 and boy oh boy by 1830 I was sitting all night. I consider myself lucky because they thought they were going to putting a balloon pump in and that would have meant I lay there for bowel prep.

I then went into surgery at 0715 on Tuesday and Dr. John Rabkin performed surgery at 0900 (so I was told) and out of surgery at 0959. All early detections were that it was a success. In my wife's mind when I got up to ICU and said something to her she was happy. Quit frankly, I do not remember a damn thing from surgery until the next day. Due to my heart condition I did not get out of bed that night.

I remember seeing some key people on Tuesday. My WIFE, Dr. John Rabkin, and Barbara Metcalf. I was told I held conversations with these people, sorry but do not recall talking.

Lets see, let's be honest here about the pain. Well, I was not in much pain on Tuesday, mainly because I do not remember much of it. Now Wednesday, well started off okay. Then I played macho man and did not use my PCA (morphine drip) nearly enough. The pain at one point was pretty severe. They asked me on a scale of 1-10 how much? My wife looked at the chart that CPMC provided and she said well it is obvious it is a 10 he is crying. So they doped me up and provided extra pain medication. That did the trick, my pain was tolerable, and of course the side effect is that I slept most of the day, but that is okay with me.

Now come Wednesday night, actually I think it was Thursday early am. I told my nurse I wanted my follie out. So we took care of that and with in an hour I also got up and went to the bathroom. They were thrilled about that. So Thursday was a catch up day for me on what happened the two days before. I also had my first meal, well if you call a popsicle a meal then yes my first meal.

I was released Friday and finally made it home. Pain wise, I have some don't get me wrong, however it is not bad at all. I think the biopsy they did on my liver hurts more than my wounds. Speaking of wounds, I have 4 lap holes and one 2 inch incision on my belly button.

Eating is so different, my mind is going crazy. My 9 month old daughter eats more than me. As a matter of fact I am using her baby spoon to eat with. So it feels like I am eating more instead of 2 bites from a teaspoon. I get approx 5-6 baby spoon bites.

Fluids, well fluids have been interesting. I take my sips, sips, sips (like you said Barb). After 1 to 2 sips I have to stop and wait. Then within a min or two I have this throw up sensation, but all it is, is a little air bubble.

Take what I write here as just another example of the way people take surgeries. Remember also I had extra precautionary measures being taken due to my heart condition.

I look forward to keeping everyone updated as the days and weeks go by.

Take care
9:57 AM

3-day Post Op: Update

Good morning all:Today is day 3 post op. I am sore but overall in good spirits. Tuesday is but a blurr to me. Remember seeing certain people but do not recall talking to them. Tuesaday was a the day of sleeping. Of course so was Wednesday for the most part. I was on a morphine drip Tuesaday and Wednesday. According to the nurses I did not use enough. Gees anymore and I would be telling them all my secerts.Well with any luck I will be out of here today. Saturday for sure. Being sore is expected, but does not costatuite staying around this long weekend.I will have a lot to tell later, but wanted to get a quick howdy out. Talk to you guys later.-----------Jeff Blankenship

This was sent from my Blackberry while in my bed in the hospital.