6 weeks (tomorrow)!

I met with the PA yesterday for my 6 week (tomorrow) follow-up appointment. As of yesterday’s weigh in at the office, I’m 23 pounds down since day of surgery, 31 since pre-op diet (41.3 BMI vs 47.3).

The best news, to me, is that I officially get to stop crushing pills (which was probably the worst thing about this whole experience for me) (I haven’t crushed them in a week already) and start eating everything and doing anything fitness wise too!

The PA said that they want me now to try and just have three meals a day and we talked a bit about how I feel like I’m constantly eating/hungry. She said I need to forget about all the smooth SLIDER foods and just eat real, high in protein food now: eggs, cheese, lean meats. She claims this will keep me much fuller for much longer and it makes total sense. Protein first (always), then veggies and fruit. Limit carbs.

Basically, it’s time to start officially living life normally again. Sounds good to me!

I scheduled another appointment for my three month follow-up end of March. Two weeks prior to that I’ll have my blood tested so they can go over the results at the follow-up. I’m already taking only half the dose of the pill I’m on for high blood pressure (my BP has been awesomely “normal” for ages). Hopefully I can quit taking it all together, as well as quit taking the lowest dose I’m on for high cholesterol.

The only thing that’s left is to start committing to exercising. I have no freaking excuses anymore not to do something more than just walk as much throughout the day as I can. Yeah, I park far away on purpose and get up at least once an hour if not more, but I need to do more. For my mind and my body.

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32 days post-op

I’ve been eating more soft solids now for several days and, as promised, I’m feeling much more full when eating. I can’t even truly compute this to be honest. Yesterday, for example, we went for arancini (Italian rice balls). In the past I’d have no problem putting away two of these delicious bad boys (it’s a breaded and fried big ball of rice with something in the center– generally meat sauce and peas but my favorite is spinach and ricotta), but yesterday could only eat HALF–of ONE. And I feel like I really pushed it eating half as I was S-T-U-F-F-E-D after.

When I was finished with my half, I looked on at amazement at the other half just sitting there on my plate. My eyes and head wanted to keep eating but there was no way I could. And I can’t even begin to express how INCREDIBLE this is to me.

All of my life I’ve been stuffing food into my pie hole and not really being satisfied no matter what I ate, no matter how much I ate, now matter how often I ate. But now? Now?! Now that I’ve been Sleeved, I finally feel normal. Granted I’m eating WAY less than everyone else around me, including my 7 year old, but the fact that I absolutely have to stop eating makes me feel more normal some how.

Is this just the honeymoon phase of being sleeved? Or is this my new normal?

Hell, is this real life?!?

That all being said, I do start getting hungry just two hours after eating something…even if I stuff myself. I try drinking more water or having a decaf coffee or something, but I usually have to give in and eat. But I’m eating excellent things like cottage cheese with a little fruit, or an egg muffin (egg, cheese, kale, turkey sausage baked in muffin tins) or two for the most part.

Still need to get back into a routine of being more active.

25 days post-op

I’m still here and still blending my foods and very much looking forward to the next stage of soft foods which I can start implementing on Friday: scrambled eggs, tuna, salmon, etc.

Friday is also going to be my first full day back to work in the office. I started working from home for 4 hours every morning last week. I’m so grateful that my boss is so cool regarding all of this because I didn’t want to eat away at all my sick time, yet work is a good 45 minutes each way away, and my stamina still isn’t quite up to par. Truthfully, I could probably use another week or so home, but I know I’ll be fine going back full time too. I just like being home and not interacting with people. đŸ™‚

I talked to the surgeon’s office today and they want me to hold off on any activity that’s too strenuous until 6 weeks post-op. I was inquiring about incorporating yoga and the PA said I could try some stretching, but to be very mindful of any pain and to take things slow. In the meantime, she suggested more walking (which I haven’t been doing much of except for in the house back and forth) and a recumbent bike (which I actually have!). So now I need to get in the habit again with activity. Once I’m in the habit (in the past I’ve done it first thing in the AM or walked during breaks and at lunch during work), I’m consistent and I always feel so much better.

 

post op day 21

Three weeks ago I had a good portion of my stomach removed. And, as a result, today I simply cannot eat as much food as I used to, or that I may want to, or that my head may tell me I can. THANK GOD.

I meet with the nutritionist for the first time since before surgery this afternoon. I’m curious to hear what they have to say. The scale hasn’t moved much since moving from a liquid diet to a blended diet. I’m guessing it’s the carbs from my everyday eats of Farina and blended cream of soups that have potatoes and/or rice and/or noodles in them. My program requires two weeks of blended food before moving on to the next stage of soft foods. While this blended stage is going much better than the liquid, I’m very much looking forward to incorporating other foods WITHOUT having to blend them: eggs, tuna, cheeses, etc. I’m hoping to lessen my carb intake at that point.

I wonder if my nutritionist can tell me if I can do yoga yet or if I should ask the surgeon’s office. I didn’t think to ask about it at my first follow-up with the surgeon since I was only 10 days out and wasn’t really feeling the energy to do much of anything. But I’m definitely itching to do something more these days and the sub zero temps has kept me inside. Plus I’m back to working part-time (from home). But I love me some yoga and hope to start doing that again soon.

Tomorrow I’ll be going to a bariatrics support group meeting. It’ll be my third meeting but my first post-op. Yay!

Happy New Year!

Post op day 16.

I’m having no troubles adding blended foods into my diet. For dinner yesterday, I made the infamous Ricotta Bake from Eggface. It was FANTASTIC. Wow!! I was really surprised that I enjoyed it so much because I’m generally not a big fan of ricotta- unless it’s stuffed inside a crispy canolli shell. đŸ˜€

I’m also enjoying Farina. A lot. I’ve always been a big fan of Farina and oatmeal, so I knew incorporating these back into my diet wouldn’t be a problem.

The only thing is… I get STUFFED after three bites. I guess I really did get sleeved after all eh? Haha I’m sort of kidding. Of course I know I had the surgery but I was sooo hungry during the liquid diet stages, and I’ve been feeling so good, that I was beginning to wonder if the sleeve really happened. And now I know for sure because becoming absolutely stuffed after a couple of spoonfuls of Farina or Ricotta Bake is something that NEVER would’ve been possible prior to this.

That said, I’m finding it difficult to accurately track my nutrients intake. I use and love MyFitnessPal so I’ll put everything in there, but it’s hard to determine how to track three bites of a full serving size. Oh the woes of WLS eh?  What I’ve been doing so far is basically eating what I can and then, when feeling hungry again, continuing on with that same meal until it’s mostly all gone. So my diary looks like I’m having 300 calories in one sitting, but really, that 300 calories is spread in like 5 hours of time.

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.

 

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.