two weeks post-op

On one hand, the time has dragged. On the other, it went by in a flash.

My six incisions look better each day. The biggest one, about two inches wide, just above my belly button is finally unbruised. Man, that was looking hairy for a while. Now I just need the bruises from the blood thinner shots to go the ef away. I haven’t had any itching or oozing or anything. In fact, a couple of the incisions were so small, you can barely notice them.

I’m sipping on some blended cream of chicken and rice soup to which I added some bone broth to thin out a bit. It’s fucking delicious. I also added a scoop of unflavored Genepro protein powder for more protein. I’m having absolutely no problem getting enough protein in. 90+ grams every day! All thanks to the unflavored PP because man alive, those flavors from Bariatrics Advantage that I had to use the past month were just too gag me.

Calorie intake has been about 500 a day. Never in all my life did I think I would be saying I’m living on 500 calories a day. But I am. Somehow. This is how I’m dropping the weight so fast, I know. It’s also why I’m taking vitamins and such. It’s why I had the surgery to remove most of my stomach–to make it “easier” to consume fewer calories. I get all this. But what I don’t entirely understand is when/if I should be consuming more. My first follow-up appointment with the NUT is next Friday. I’m hoping to learn more then. In the meantime, I’ll go by the instructions I was given: week 2 & 3 = 4-6 meals a day of blended foods of which I can now include cooked vegetables! Oh my am I excited. Applesauce, mashed potatoes…….. YUMMMMMMMM

Numbers so far… I’m down 24 pounds since starting the pre-op liquid diet on 12/2 & 14 pounds since surgery two weeks ago today. My husband calls me Skinny and tells me nearly every day he can see me getting smaller and smaller. I’m no longer popping out of my bra and shirts that used to be tight aren’t anymore. I don’t really care about the number on the scale- never really have. For me it’s about how I’m feeling and right now, I’m feeling pretty great… I just wish I didn’t get so tired so quickly. But hopefully that will change with the addition of more calories.

 

13 days post-op

Tomorrow I get to move on to the blended stage, hoorah. The PA at my appointment Tuesday said that I’ll probably be feeling fuller once I start this blended stage or soft foods stage. In the meantime, I’ll just keep on trucking with liquids, eh.

Yesterday the kid and I ran some errands including ordering her birthday (today) party (next weekend) cake from Costco. By the time we go into Costco I was, once again, starving. She wanted pizza, I got a berry smoothie.

Of course I couldn’t drink all of it. I don’t even think I got thru a quarter of it. The girlie helped drink the rest along with her pizza bigger than her head.

Prior to the smoothie, I’d had protein shakes, decaf coffee, soup and water. And I had the runs.

After the smoothie… dear lord the gas pains and runs. I spent a LOT of time in the bathroom once we got home.

So while my mind has been wanting more than what I’ve been having when it comes to this liquid diet, clearly my stomach isn’t ready for it. I’m guessing too much fiber and sugar (even though I know it wasn’t added sugar but rather natural via fruits) in the smoothie.

Today is the girl’s actual birthday and we’ll be out doing fun 7-year-old stuff. I’ll stick to water, juice, soup thank you very much.

10 days post-op

I have read numerous complaints from people early post-op regarding their LACK of being able to drink water and fluids. I am not one of those people. I have absolutely no problem getting all my fluids in. None whatsoever. I’m constantly drinking something– either water or a mix of water and apple juice or a protein shake or, if I’m super lucky, some creamed soup with unflavored protein powder. Not necessarily because I’m thirsty or  my mouth is dry; no, I’m constantly drinking because I’m in desperation for actual food.

I. am. hungry.

I. want. to. eat.

I have my followup appointment tomorrow morning with the surgeon and I’m going to BEG that he allow me to move on to the next stage of blended foods. Dear god PLEASE tell me he’ll let me move on before the official two weeks (Friday) is here.

Christmas Eve was especially difficult for me. My dad came over in the afternoon. Then my mom and niece and her family came over in the evening. My husband was cooking all day long and finally when everyone sat down to eat dinner, I went into the bedroom and hid under the covers. I couldn’t even muster the strength to cry, but I wanted to.

I love food. I love food so fucking much and not being able to eat it sucks so much. I don’t even understand how hard it sucks. It’s weird too because I FEEL totally fine!!! I get tired pretty easily but otherwise, I feel completely normal and healthy and like I didn’t just have most of my stomach removed!! My incisions are even looking great.

I haven’t been out of the house much to walk or anything but I’m walking plenty in the house. And I have no issues with bowel movements or anything. The gas and bloating has all subsided–it’s been days!

Seriously, I feel like I didn’t have surgery 10 days ago!

All that whining and complaining aside, I’m down… over 20 pounds since starting the liquid diet on 12/2. So what is that? Over 20 pounds down in 24 days. NUTS. But really, NOT EATING ANY REAL FOOD will do that to anyone I suppose.

Enough of that. I’m ALIVE and well and THAT is what is important. I get a second chance here and I WILL own it.

the big follow-up to VSG post

Nearly a week out and finally updating.

Friday 12/16, Day of-

went fine until I woke up.

Wow that wasn’t a whole lotta fun waking up to people smiling at me and looking at me and feeling like what a newborn might feel upon its birth. It was strange. What was stranger was my incredible desire to pee.

The nurse slid a bedpan under me after telling her multiple times that I really did need to pee. My mom was there. She said she just got there as I was waking. I believe that’s what I remember. I was really out of it. My husband was not there; he had a job interview probably at the same time I was coming out of surgery so I knew he might not be there and that was okay.

The bedpan stayed with me for so long (I sincerely had to peeeeeeee), that when the nurse finally removed it, she had to peel it off of my ass. Fun times. Seriously, I was so stoned, what did I care?

I kept telling my mom to go home I was incredibly nauseated and thirsty. My throat didn’t hurt so much as it was just dry. Like a fucking bone. Please can I have some ice chips I begged. But one ice chip fed to me from a spoon just wasn’t enough. It made it worse My throat felt like it was closing and between that and the nausea, holy hell it was hard.

All I could really do was try to focus on breathing. I wasn’t in any real pain or anything. Just stoned and so incredibly dry and nauseated.

There was talk of a hernia repair from some of the visitors. I was assured everything went well and looked great.

Finally a room became open and they wheeled me into an elevator and into a private room. Before even getting all the way into the room, I asked to pee again. This time they let me get up and use the actual bathroom. No more bedpan, hoorah.

I sat on that toilet for what seemed like hours. I’m sure it was probably minutes but people kept checking in on me and I kept apologizing and telling them the pee wouldn’t stop coming. Not fast, but I kept having to pee.

It was fucking crazy, really.

At one point the nurse finally came in and told me that she thought it was time to get up and get into the bed, that I was probably done urinating. When I stood and she saw the pee in the cup, she wasn’t shy in her amazement in all that there truly was.

Everyone kept commenting on how they couldn’t believe I was walking already- just hours from surgery. It’s not that I was walking laps, I was just walking to pee and walking back to the bed, but okay.

My mom stuck around forever. My husband finally showed up. My baby girl was with neighbors eating dinner so it had been a good six hours since surgery. It was snowing out. Pretty badly apparently.

I finally convinced my mom to leave. She lives an hour away. We said I Love You, literally, to each for the first time that I can remember.

My husband stuck around for a bit longer before I convinced him to leave too. I just wanted not to puke, I just wanted some moisture in my mouth, I just wanted to sleep.

I’m not sure how many times I called the poor night nurse to help me go pee that night, but every single time, she came and helped me up and to the bathroom and was pretty impressed with all that I was peeing.

It stunk (the pee).

Saturday 12/17, Day 1 post op-

There wasn’t enough ice chips in the world to satiate me, and it’s all I was allowed until my Upper GI.

I was still pretty out of it and in all honesty, was wondering why everyone that came in and out of my room was so fucking happy and … nice. All I could think was how dry I was and how sick I was to my stomach and all they could do was smile and be positive and supportive and tell me how well I was doing. How great it was that I was getting out of bed so much. How the nausea would stop as soon as I could get some clear liquids in after the GI test. How everything went well.

Finally at the GI test the doctor told me to drink the thick chalky shit and I took a sip and wanted to hurl and he said for me to gulp it and all I could think was how different that was to all the fucking SIPPING I remember being bombarded with but whatever. I gulped to get it down.

Everything looked great supposedly and I was able to go back to my room and finally order room service. I opted for an apple juice and a sugar free popsicle, alongside a full cup of ice chips.

I believe I consumed an ounce of apple juice and one tiny bit of the popsicle before I had to call it quits.

I felt hungry. I wanted to take in more. But no way could I.

I was so fucking sick to my stomach.

The ice chips saved me. As did the morphine drip.

My husband and kid showed up in the afternoon and hung out with me for several hours. I mostly napped sitting up in the chair and sucked on ice chips. My baby girl looked terrified when they walked in the room. I tried to look more alive when I heard them coming in, but I don’t think I fooled her. She asked why I wouldn’t come home that day and I told her that the surgeon just wanted to make sure everything was absolutely perfect before I do. I asked her to pick me up the next day and she said she would.

I climbed into bed and slapped on my cpap at about 7 that night. I was up every couple of hours to pee, otherwise it went well.

Sunday 12/18, Day 2 Post op-

Everybody kept saying “everyday will get better and better”. Day 2 was when the nausea finally subsided dramatically. I enjoyed a couple ounces of decaf tea and some apple juice for breakfast. For lunch I had what was left. I was off the morphine. I was unhooked from the IV so I could shower. It was pretty fucking glorious.

At about 4:30 I finally left the hospital.

***

The surgeon stopped by a couple times during my 2 night, 3 day stay at the hospital. He was always very positive and bright and told me how well everything went. Turned out I did have a stomach hernia that needed repairing, but he said it wasn’t a big deal and added only a couple minutes onto the surgery. He told me I had six incisions and that the one big one, where the stomach was pulled from, was bruised but thought it looked well.

He commented that usually when the stomach comes out, it comes out in pieces, which, he assured me after seeing the look of horror on my face, that that was completely normal and okay. But that for me, the stomach came out in one piece. He seemed impressed by that. Heh.

He also commented that all Sleeves are the same, but that (for whatever reason) mine looked exceptionally nice.

***

Today, day 6 pre-op, and I’m doing quite well. I’m super tired and sleeping like ass. I’ve got this stupid cough that is finally subsiding but man those first several days of coughing fits after surgery was NOT FUN. Even though I just had my period two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get it again yesterday. I don’t have any cramping or real PMS symptoms that I normally do so I’m not complaining.

I’m doing quite well with following all the rules. I’m getting in all my water and protein. I’m a lucky girl I guess because really, other than sleeping like ass every single night, I have no complaints.

I will say that time in the hospital was spent a lot in my head. I didn’t watch any tv. I couldn’t read. I couldn’t really do anything but concentrate on not puking. And I was often left wondering if I hadn’t made a huge mistake.

But less than a week out and I know I didn’t make a mistake. This was my time. This IS my time. This is me. And I got me. I really truly got me.

 

 

 

exhale

I just wrote two hand-written letters: one to my daughter, one to my husband.

Writing the one to my girl wasn’t so difficult because I just essentially told her how freaking much I love and adore her. Easy peasy.

The one for my husband was more difficult. I cried. Hard.

I’m terrified of dying on Friday during surgery.

This whole time I’ve been pretty damn excited about all of this, about the prospect of being able to get a second chance at living a HEALTHY and happy and active life and then, all of sudden this morning, the fear of dying crept in.

I’m not afraid of the actual surgery; I’m actually excited about that!

But being this close to both Christmas and my sweet doll’s 7th birthday is freaking me out because if I die, how horrifying that would be for her, for my husband?!! For the rest of their lives, they’d always have that reminder of me passing away just before Christmas the year our sweet girl turned 7. And my sweet girl?! OMG just the thought of not experiencing what’s to come for her sickens me. : (

So I wrote them letters telling them how much I love them and how thankful I am for them because if either of them thought, for one second, I felt any differently… poop!

 

two more days. i can do this.

4 days

four days.

that’s all i have left before my life changes drastically.

and

i

can’t

wait!

okay, okay, i can wait a little. like, it’s flying by. even being on this liquid diet thing. it’s all going soooooooooo fast even though i know i said it was going slowly- the liquid diet.

***

i met with my surgeon today for the last time before i see him on Friday, the big day. he said all my tests and whatnot look great and that this should be a easy surgery, not lasting more than 40 minutes. he said to expect to be released THE NEXT DAY!

i know i probably shouldn’t be so happy because that means no good drugs if i’m home, but this close to Christmas and on a weekend, i want to be home with my sweet love asap. i don’t want her to worry about me. if she’s anything like me, and she IS mine, she’ll worry so much and i just want to limit that as much as i can. so that’s why i’m excited to hear he thinks i could very well go home the next day.

***

CONFESSION: yesterday i ate real food. bad food. i had several french fries dipped in cheese. and a couple of nachos. and a couple pieces of oatmeal lace cookies that i made which probably was equivalent to 5 cookies. it’s done and over with and there’s nothing i can do about it now. but i’m putting it here for the future, or in case i can learn from this. i’d been SO good for over a week of liquid dieting. not one morsel of chewing food entered my mouth. i totally followed the diet to a T. then yesterday we went a birthday party for a one year old and there was so much food. so much food. i drank probably six bottles of water to avoid the food but i was fucking hungry and it was just too much temptation. i shouldn’t have gone to the party but i didn’t really have a choice. i look SO forward to going back to the party in a year and only eating some meat and veggies! 🙂

i’m EXCITED for this idea of eating just a little bit and being satisfied with that little bit.

 

one more week

I got an official letter of approval for surgery from my insurance yesterday. Not a day too soon at one week out, eh?! Seriously though, reading the letter… it brought tears to my eyes. Good tears because this is really and truly going to happen and I won’t have to figure out a way to pay for it (other than my deductible)… but sad tears because, if I’m being completely honest with myself, I can’t believe it’s come to this.

In one week I’ll be having surgery… To remove most of my stomach... In the hopes that it helps me lose weight and keep it off once and for all… Because I’ve had a lifelong battle with food… Because I’ve used food as my crutch, my drug of choice for nearly all my life.

That’s sad. To me, that is a sad fact to swallow.

When I told my husband I got teary reading the letter and why he said, “You don’t have to go through with it.”

“I do!” I responded. “I mean, of course I don’t have to do anything, but if I don’t do this… it’s like I’m giving up.”

We’ve both struggled with obesity for probably the same amount of time. So I know he understands. But I also know he’s a wee worried for me, which I understand.

Still, it’s all good. I’m really excited. For the first time since I can remember, I truly feel like I will be able to succeed at living a healthy and active life.

My goodness I can’t wait!