Barium Is Gross – Day Before Surgery Post

Did you know that it’s REALLY hard to find a long bathrobe? There are tons of robes that are knee-length robes, and even some pretty sexy ones since Valentines Day is next week, but to find a modest robe that will cover your derriere in a hospital gown? Good luck with that! I almost went with the haus frau look in this stylish polka-dot “duster,” but decided to just wear the simple white knit knee-length robe that I already have in my closet.

Today was a pretty crazy day. I had to wake up earlier than (my husband and) I wanted to get some tests done in radiology. But since I had to arrive fasting for the tests, it was kinda nice to have it overwith by 9:30. I had to register (again) and then wait for my procedures. First I had an abdominal ultrasound of my gall bladder to see if I need to have it removed. I’ve had several ultrasounds before, but I’ve got to say it HURTS when they’re repeatedly pressing the transducer into you, right on the edges of your ribs, over and over.

yuckyNext, I went into a different area of radiology for the upper GI procedure. For some reason, I was expecting to have an endoscopy where a scope went down my throat, but it was just a barium swallow study. First, they gave me these really sour/bitter crystals to eat with a little bit of liquid. Oh my goodness – I’ve never been so burpy/bubbly, and they told me to avoid burping. I stood on a platform with my back flat on a “wall”, and I had to start drinking barium.

Have you ever had barium? It’s like the worst milkshake you’ve ever had. It’s like drinking a thick sweet chalky glue. Sooo gross! For the barium swallow test, I had to drink gulps of the liquid, and every time it made me gag and wretch. After I was scanned standing up, they tilted the “wall” I was standing up against 90 degrees, so I was laying flat. Then I had to roll around on the table, sit up, lay on my side, and keep sipping barium through a straw. It was not fun at all. But this is the test that checks to see if you have a hiatal hernia (which Dr Smith suspects),  and I’ll find out in the morning if they’ll be reparing the mythical hernia and removing my gallbladder at the same time as the gastric bypass.

When the testing was done, I was able to break my fast. I had a certificate for a free meal at Tucano’s, and so I had my final solid food meal as Brazilian barbecue.  With me adjusting my diet to prepare for surgery, I was glad I didn’t have to pay for the meal because I really didn’t eat that much.  We walked around The Gateway and picked up a few things, and then went to the grocery store. I picked up cartons of broth, juice, yogurt, and other things I’ll be able to eat in my first week.  The rest of the day was spent with family and preparing for surgery. I also uploaded my first vlog post:

My food diary for today is a little screwy because I had to fast until 10 am, then I went on my clear liquid diet at 3 pm. I have know idea what my calorie counts are, so here’s just what I ate:

  • Breakfast burrito (right after procedures)
  • Brazilian barbecue with salad bar
  • Biscoff spread on a graham cracker
  • Apple juice (to wash down the yucky bowel prep drink)

Tomorrow I report to St. Mark’s Hospital ambulatory surgery at 6am. I’ll be having updates posted on Twitter and Facebook, and I don’t know if I’ll be up to a day-of-surgery post yet. Wish me luck!


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