Sunday, October 31, 2010


I know that something is wrong. I am swollen, specially on my left side. I came to the totally unscientific and strictly intuitive conclusion that my problem is on the inside, and the seroma accumulation on the surface is just a symptom and byproduct of the real issue. I feel great internal pressure, and I can push the swelling that it resonates all around. It is really hard to describe. I am waiting to the Tuesday appointment with my doctor, however I think I will request consultation with the bariatric surgeon. I feel like I need to get real with it. I might need another MRI to look inside. I don't know - but that is getting very hard to tolerate. Just as I was very passive patient waiting to heal, now I feel the sense of urgency the I must do something, be active, take the charge. Again, I was able to catch one hour of sleep before waking up and staying awake in the middle of the night. Now I am getting really upset about this situation. It just cannot continue like that.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Yesterday the drain came out, followed up by a flood from the hole...
It was not pretty or pleasant.
"Treatment strategies for persistent seroma include aspiration, drain placement, sclerosis, and surgery."
Well, the first two so far are not working.
We all agreed that:
1. I am not healing and will not heal unless something else is done
2. That something else will be chemical treatment, called sclerotherapy (or sclerosis). They will inject some alcohol based solution into the space (cavity) where the seroma accumulates. That should aggravate the lining of the tissues and facilitate the subsequent healing. That will require insertion of one or more drain tubes and possible multiple treatments.
3. It that will not work, I must have another surgery that will be performed to open up the cavity and scrape up the lining.

The problem is that the 'cavity' is almost my whole belly. Second problem is that my doctor does not want any abrasive chemicals to aggravate my muscles stitches. He wants them to heal first, so we will buy some time by visiting him twice weekly for the seroma extraction using syringe.

Well, what can I say...
Overall, I feel (as I wrote before) that something is happening internally. I generally feel sick, no energy, no appetite, no restful sleep, swelling in the abdomen, pain on the sides and back...

I still function OK - but it takes very large effort.
I can be very tired, go to bed, and sleep only one hour. That's it.
In the long term this is not sustainable.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sleepless in Eugene

For a while this blog was sort of friend of mine I can confine to without the 'social' obligations to discuss it further... It was suppose to document my change - and overall the positive one. Lately however I feel like I am just writing doom and gloom.
Well, this is how I feel.
I feel like a 90 years old fellow. My walk is slow, have some strange pains and almost every step hurts on the side, and sometimes just standing straight is a painful effort. It seems like I swell internally and then the pressure around my waist feels like a vise grip.
I can only sleep few hours, and with the help of sleeping pills, melatonin, etc. I usually wake up at around 3AM and sometimes force myself to go back to sleep, again, with the sleeping pill. I am not sure - is it the stress, or something is really happening.
Tonight I experienced incredible chills. Had to set up thermostat at 76, added extra comforter, and turned an electric blanked to the max. My hands were icy cold, and I was shivering like as standing naked outside in the sub-zero weather. I checked my sugar and temperature. Both were normal.
I am upset, since I just cannot afford  to be in such shape. Over 400 students keep watching and listening. Somehow in the classroom the adrenaline kicks in, and I am OK, but not afterward.
I know that something is wrong.
That is not normal, at least not normal for me.

I needed to do something nice for myself and yesterday I purchased this fabulous and expensive motorcycle leather jacket. I rode it to school on my big BMW...
Yes, the retail therapy works! I'm not sure what I will buy today...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wet Awakenig

Last night I woke up at 3:30 AM WET!
The drain container apparently filled up, popped open, and spilled everything in bed. That, of course, followed up by a mandatory one hour of swearing and cleaning.
How gross, and how it only adds up to my upset about this persistent problem.
I had a hard time sleeping anyway...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Below 200lbs!

As I am waiting for the new drain tube to be inserted at noon today, I had a pleasant observation. My weight dropped to under 200 lbs (for the first time in 20 years).
197.8 lbs! Yea!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Drain Tube

The date is set - tomorrow new drain tube will be inserted.
This is the fourth time (including the ones inserted during the surgery).
I am really upset. Now I worry that a new surgery will be necessary to clean up the previous surgery site. 
Keep fingers crossed.

Water Mattress Effect Again

This morning a very disheartening observation. I can push the seroma and it will bounce back and forth across my belly like water mattress. I am very disappointed and sad, as this means more drilling tomorrow and possible reinsertion of new drain. Today is 10 weeks since the surgery and that was suppose to be all over. I cannot stand the thought of having new drain installed, but I am afraid that this is what is going to happen.

On the positive side, my University of Oregon Ducks are ranked #1 in football and today at 6PM is their first game as the best team in the nation! I had to cancel my two classes as all my students will be at the stadium or in front of TVs drinking beer. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Progress, but no cigar

The drain is gone - what a relief, two days shy of 10 weeks from the surgery. However, and it seems like lately there is always 'however', the doctor had to take his favorite syringe and drew 20cc from two or three places. So as long as seroma accumulates, I need to see him. Friday's next visit. So there is progress, but not the finish line.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Still Dripping

As Burt Bacharach would say:

...Those drain drops are falling on my side, they keep falling
But there's one thing I know
The blues it sends to meet me won't defeat me
It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me

Today's verdict - the drain stays on. Not only, the good doctor used his syringe (but this time with a normal needle - or may be the previous one scared me so much that it looked much bigger...) to draw some stuff from the other side.
I REALLY hoped that today will be it and drain be gone. Did not happen...
On the positive side, the seroma packets now seem to be isolated and much smaller. According to him, I am healing. According to me - not fast enough.
I have real trouble sleeping, only two hours last night.
At work the landslide of troubles, but this blog is about my weight, not work 8^)

I want this *^%$# drain thingy out of my side! And out of my sight!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still Dripping

Last Tuesday Dr. Movassaghi refused to remove the drain tube. I am still on antibiotics, still dripping. Friday is my next checkup. May be I should bring flowers and chocolates and bribe everybody...
I'm really annoyed by this tube and ball hanging from my side. The seroma liquid, that used to be very clear now has become cloudy with white specs. I am not sure if this is good or bad. I have to use syringe daily to pull the stuff out from the valve - otherwise it get plugged. That little maneuver keep the juice flowing, But why it is not healing?
I wear an elastic binder with extra foam to put pressure in my waist. I wear it 23 hours per day, just taking short breaks. It is annoying. Still have problem with sleeping. The doctor prescribed Ambien, and yesterday one pill made wonders - I slept all night. Today another single pill only lasted less than 2 hours, and I am wide awaken again.
I have too much work to do to feel so tired. I am not a happy camper now...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Who'll stop the drain.

With the apology to the Creedence Clearwater Revival:

Still the drain kept pourin', fallin' through my side.
And I wonder, Still I wonder Who'll stop the drain.

Wednesday the drain stopped leaking, at least that was what I thought. Today, at the doctor's visit I was expecting the drain to be removed. It turned out it was just plugged-in and after he used syringe to pull some of the blocking stuff, the drain started to flow freely. It is over 8 weeks now.
From my web searching I know that persistent seroma can lead to smoothing out the surfaces to the point that they will not adhere. Also, there is a chance of a fibrous seroma, encapsulated form with the membrane, that has to be removed surgically. Both of these complications are bummer, on top of the infection (I am suppose to continue on antibiotics for another 11 days). If anyone had similar experience - please share.
Next visit on Tuesday

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Infection Continues

Last week on Friday I went to Radiology at the Peace Health hospital and they inserted new drain tube. I could have pushed the liquid under the surface of my belly from left to right like a water bed. Today I went to see my doctor for a change of dressing, and he put me again on antibiotics. The drain still drains, I do not feel that I have infection, but apparently I do as they got the culture results. May be I just got used to it. Well, I just have to take it as it is, day by day, and see where it goes. I try not to have an opinion now, just do what I am told. In two days it will be 8 weeks. since the surgery.