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Day 1 Sunday:10/08/2000
UpDate at botton of page

Me and my wife arrived at Durham 11:20 via NorthWest, lost as an Easter egg at first, When we went to claim our Luggage we were one bag short and you guessed it, it was mine. After I talked to Northwest about this, they seemed to think it never got loaded on the plane in Kentucky. I never got too excited about because I knew if I let this detour me it could only be the beginning of a long road of disappointment. So me and Tanya waited outside of the airport for the Shuttle to take us to Dollar Retail After about 25 minutes and $351.75 later we were in our car and headed to our room. (warning there was about 100 dollars added to the Internet price of the car estimated charges, it seems they charge 10% to use the shuttle and another additional 14% for taxes). this could be true with all car rentals Iím not sure. Leaving the airport on I-40 , we took the 270 (US Route 15/501/ Chapel Hill Durham Blvd.) North towards Durham. Follow US business Route 15/501 (Chapel Hill Durham blvd.) Turn Left onto Tower Blvd. and travel approximately 200 yards and there was our place to stay Extended Stay America will be on the right. Still keeping myself on track not letting too much bug us we checked in. The price was just what they said on their web site (we were very pleased with the room and the area it was in and I donít know about you but, that recliner in the room was worth a million to me and Tanya. We went to eat and check out the town, came back and crashed for the rest of the evening. (8:30 call from NorthWest found bag Yah Hoo! and is going to bring it to me 14 miles away. What a great bunch of people!!!) P.S. never leave the airport without getting something in writing that you have reported to your airline that your luggage is missing.

Day 2 Monday
We slept forever it seemed. After getting dressed we were ready to check out the town a little more. It seems everything we needed was within sight. We knew that we were going to have the surgery so we begin stocking up on some supplies. CVS, Big K, Kroger, Circuit City, and Office Depot where we UPSed our kid a few items we got at this really neat place called Sign of the Fish, (Christian bookstore ) We went to Doctor Rís office a day early just to see where it was. After arriving there we decided to see what we could get done a day early. We were able to go ahead and register and if I had brought my checks with me we would have not even had to come back to the office Tuesday before clinic. So we went back to our room and talked about how excited we where.

Day 3 Tuesday
We got up early today and were down the road by 7 A.M. We got to Dr. R's Office (very nice place) early but there were still people there waiting to get in. We introduced ourselves to a few people and then I gave them my checks because Tanya had all of her work already done. OK really excited, (50% I canít believe we are doing this and 50% letís get the hell out of here. when we arrived at the Health Service building we got to meet alot of really good folks I have to say the people at clinic that day were some of the kindest people we have ever meet. We felt at home. Well after weighing in and measuring, this thin tall man appears and says Hi Iím Dr.Rutledge. we watch the surgery on video (yuck!) had questions and answers and then he met with each of us in a private room, me and Tanya went in together. Man---Oh----Man, now we are really pumped and after seeing some of the post op there I knew this was the surgery for me. I thought this one girl had come with her sister or something like that , but was a post op and had lost 110 pounds in just 11 months she passed around her pre op pics man what a difference. We then went to eat with our new best friends from Florida, that were staying at the Duke Towers (nicer place than ours put it also cost more about 75.00 a nite family style rooms) had a great meal @ Oíbriens. Tanya ate very light because she was going to have surgery the next morning.. Said see ya to our new best friends. We went back to our rooms and just rested. We went to Red Lobster that night, we were so keyed up we could only eat a couple of bites. We brought the rest back with us (Big mistake that stuff haunted us after surgery) We tried to sleep that night . Tanya took here meds for the last time at 5 AM. we dressed and packed what we needed for surgery, I figured that I would not be back until after I had surgery so I packed what I needed also.

Day 4 Wednesday
We parked the car in the train lane at the hospital and went in to register. Since I was having surgery the next day I went and registered with her (p.s. make sure you check you social security number and name on the papers before you leave the downstairs registration area) By 7:30 we were at ambulatory services waiting on someone to take Tanyaís papers. Then we were sent to SDA on 5th floor where Tanya got undressed and put on the gown and started to fill out all the papers and write the sentences at the end of each paragraph ( piece of cake even for me). after about 45 minutes a lady came put Tanya on the bed and we were off to the third floor when the elevator stopped I kissed Tanya and told her I loved her, Tanya and the lady went left and I went right to the waiting room where I sat ( what seemed forever) I got a beeper at the desk so I could walk around and still stay in touch in case they needed me. It seemed to give me more peace of mind, knowing I could be reached up to 5 miles from the hospital. I got to meet several other people that were waiting on others having the MGB there were 4 or 5 total that day. at 12:15 Dr. R came out and talked about how well things went during surgery, He said it took 29 minutes and he bypassed about 6 feet. He told me that in about an hour I could go to the room and they would be bringing her back up. When Tanya got back to the room she was feeling some pretty bad pain and there was some kind of mix up (according to the nurses) because they did not have her pain pump ready in the room after a while the pump came and it took about 15 minutes to get her pain under control. By that time me and another pre-op were looking for the exit. (to get the hell out of there LOL) I donít want to scare anyone but after about the third patient from surgery I thought I was in a haunted house. (the nurses said that everyone hurt that day) . Soon after Tanya got her pain under control she started to have some pretty bad dry heaves that only lasted a short while ( had an allergic reaction to patch the night before and had to take it off). By 6 P.M. things were beginning to go well. She started walking about 6 that night. I stayed the night( knowing I was going to have surgery in the morning).because I felt like she needed me. She was up and down all night, it kept me busy so I did not have time to think about my surgery. I took my meds that night and took a shower (nurses said it was ok to use the patient shower just down the hall) with that pink junk and tried to rest .

Day 5 Thursday
I got up at 4A.M. and took my other meds and showered with the pink stuff again. (we only purchased a small bottle and had enough for both of us.) I kissed Tanya again and told her I loved her, I went to registration @ 7:30 picked up my papers went to second floor checked in went to 5th floor got undressed answered all the question got on the table and took off to surgery arriving at third floor. As soon as I got there Shelia put my IV in (what a great job no pain just a fast pinch) Dr R. Showed up we talked, someone came by and said they were going to give something to relax me the next thing I knew I was in recovery saying things like can I move, can I turn on my side, can I talk, finally the nurse said Mr. Pemberton this is not mother may I you can do what you want to (LOL) when I got back to my room right before they started my pump I did have a little pain in one of the left ports. ( I hear that is where he does the most work from). Within 30 minutes I was up and walking the halls trying to check on my new friend that had surgery right after me. I think I must have walked at least every hour or so, even during the night. I had only used my pump three times until 6 P.M. when I started using it a lot so I could walk without pain. I never felt sick at my stomach just empty ( since all I had the day before surgery was some peanut butter crackers and water ) (Dr. R. told me that he has never had a guy to get sick after surgery yet) I rested very well that night without any of the so called gas pains.( I donít know if this was the right thing to do, but the only way I could get rid of that dry lump in my throat was to use saline nose spray about every three hours after surgery for about three days)

Day 6 Friday
Tanya stayed an extra night because her insurance gave her three days to stay but she could have left the next day after surgery but she wanted to wait on me. So we checked out Friday said good bye to all the staff ( what a great bunch of people) and Jeff walked us down to the lobby where I went and got the car and drove us back to motel . ( Jeff told us that was his last day at he hospital because he was going to start working at some kind of medical software place) We got to our room and took about a 3 hour very sound nap, I was the first to wake we were sleeping so well I looked over at Tanya just to make sure she was still alive (lol). We started talking about everything that happen at the hospital and how we looked and acted when we came back from surgery and we laughed so much I think it made us more sore. We took our temp before we went to bed Tanya was 98.4 and mine was 99 I started to worry but Tanya said your still have nothing to worry about until it reaches 101.5 We walked about 3 block that evening and then went to bed. ( I still want to meet that guy that mowed his yard the day after surgery... LOL)

Day 7 Saturday
First thing I check my temp. 98.4 Thank you God! I rested great, my bowels started working ,after about 4 rounds with the bathroom I got dressed and walked 1.5 miles down behind the motel. ( this is a great place to walk all new sidewalks, and a real neat wooded area. If you see the morning glories still draped on the black fence think of me because when I saw them say hello to me I knew all was well). I got back to the room and started to work on this diary, Not because Iím a writer by no means ,but because I felt like I needed to share my thoughts with you. I started several times to write this up for people to read but knew someone would make fun of it or just think it was stupid. But I feel GREAT today. I think I have a new lease on life and my wife feels the same way. Our new friends from clinic came over and we all went for a great walk. We ended up at Golden Nail where the girls all got a manicure while the guy watched. We went out with our friends to the movies and had a great time (warning... watch the laughing, because it can really be painful LOL) got back to the room and of course checked out our places on our bellies and they all looked good (donít freak out if you have one to bleed because when I first stood up in the hospital my bottom one bled so much that it ran on the floor. They tell me that it just happens some times). I took my walk again Tanya went with me this time and then we turned in for the night.( getting used to all those feedings and meds can be very trying)

Day 8, Sunday
Slept in a little this morning, got up at 8:44 took my carafate. Had a couple very successful round with the bathroom (stinky but normal)(this will change after about 5 days) and started my morning walk. I must have walked over two miles today, and I think that may be the limit for a while. Before I got finished with the walk this morning I had a little pain in the right side of my neck running from the chin to the chest.( but it did not last long, could have been walking too fast) I did not feel the need to take my temp this morning, because it has been fine now. My stab wounds are really starting to bug me. (staples itching and pulling I think they are ready to come out, but will wait till Tuesday clinic) We did some laundry with great success, also went to Big K to get a couple of watches that will alarm every hour for our 1 ounce or water and ever 15 min for our feeding and fluid intake. ( this is just the way we did it) I went walking again and this time Tanya felt well enough to go with me we finished at about 1/2 mile. We just took it easy the rest of the day until about 6PM when we went to the Hong Kong Restaurant to have some soup with some MGB friends pre and post op, what a great bunch of people it was so nice to put the faces with the names. I finished with my afternoon walk (not 2 miles LOL).

Day 9 Monday.
Got up and took my walk, feel great. and spent the day with our new MGB friends. Went to the Hospital and visited with some new post op people Discovered some wonderful soup at the Lonestar restaurant.( It was wonderful but did not eat the steak) We went shopping again. I finished the day with my afternoon walk. (At this point I feel that my future is so bright I need sunglasses to look at it)

Day 10 Tuesday
Clinic Day: My sleep last night was so peaceful, and sound what a great night. I began the day early today, even set the alarm for the first time in about two weeks. I took my morning walk around 7AM, enjoyed every second or it and could have walked farther, but ran out of time. This time my staples in my belly really were bothering me. thank God I get them out this morning. Odd but it seems that my attitude is changing daily, and I must say, for the good. Things just look brighter and more promising, to be out from under the bondage of food. I know things have changed inside of me because I had the MGB but also something has changed inside my head. (sorry canít explain that yet) There are two things that use to really hurt after surgery to laugh, sneeze and hiccup sorry that's three things (did I tell you I can't count...LOL) but itís just a little uncomfortable. Clinic today at 9PM was something else!!! There were so many people there that they ran out or seats. Dr R. let us post-op people all introduce ourselves and tell how it was. Several pre-ops had a lot of questions. We told Dr.R. and our new best friends from Florida bye and went to Shoneyís and had some soup (Shoneyís is off of exit 174 of I85) We also shopped for Tanya some more smaller clothes because she has already went down 1 size since surgery. Went to the room and watched a movie. We had to have some more or that great steak soup from Lonestar. Tanya and I finished our day with a walk ( did I tell you I lost 14 pounds in 5 days we weighed at clinic). All I can say that Tanya and I would do it over in a heart beat. If you ask me did we have any pain, my answer would be have you ever had a major surgery without pain. In my book the pro outweigh the cons by far, and I know that my life has been changed forever. Thanks for taking the time to read this and If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

Thank You
David Mikel Pemberton


Pre OP

Month 3
The Good Doc's Web Site
Month 4
Month 5
Month 8
Month 10
Month 15
Month 19
Month 26
Month 36
Month 42
Contact Letter
3 1/2 years
4 years and Paid