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Saturday, August 21, 2010

One month post-op {part 2 of 2!}

Anyway, after my bout in the ER, I called my boss to let her know I'd be taking a 3rd week off. (My surgeon approved me for 6 weeks off; I told my boss I anticipated only needing 3, and she was pushing me to come back after 2). After telling her I'd been so dehydrated that my kidneys were shutting down, she actually said to me, "You know you're supposed to drink water, right?" This wasn't shocking (remember, she told me NO, I could not take leave for surgery, because she had no one to cover for me), but it was still infuriating.
A few times throughout week 2, I had little bites of food here and there, and I would chew them up and spit them out. I never swallowed any, but I was desperate for the chewing sensation and the tastes. I've heard about 50% of WLS patients say they absolutely did that and it's ok; the other 50% said it was so terrible and dangerous. It is what it is, I suppose. I survived.
Week 3: eggs, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, & peanut butter
The third week was a lot easier than the first two. I finally got to try some "semi-solids"; my first food in 15 days! I was running around town, doing errands, visiting with friends, and taking it easy. My mandatory daily naps were no longer mandatory nor daily. I was feeling a lot better. My husband and I even made a day trip to the coast to escape the 110 degree weather and enjoy some nice, clean air with a high of 60. It was fabulous, except for the wonderful smells of all the seafood restaurants we normally eat at when we're there ;)
I got to start "semi-solids" as defined above. The yogurt did NOT agree with my sleeve. About 3 bites and I got the most awful cramping. About half an hour later, it went through me, and continued to do so for the next hour. I ended up taking 1 immodium and 1 pepto to stop it (it happened while we were at the beach, of course). I did well with everything else. I could eat about a third of a scrambled egg per meal and there was still cramping when I ate or drank. For some reason, hard-boiled egg didn't sit well. I did ok with peanut butter, too. Half a tablespoon full filled me up. Sugar-free frozen yogurt didn't and still doesn't like me.
Week four: seafood and nuts
The nuts caused me to be nauseous. I tried almonds, pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, and peanuts. However, grilled salmon really hit the spot. I would have a teeny bite about 4 times a day and be stuffed full. But it was nutritious and delicious! I had a couple of small bites of rice (which isn't recommended because it expands and isn't protein-rich, but if that's the worst I cheated, I'm not too concerned. I know people who've done a lot worse). The rice caused a lot of nausea and pain as well.
At the beginning of week four, I went back to work. After having 3 weeks off, I was utterly exhausted every day. I had a really hard time staying awake throughout the day (it's a good thing I work alone), and I spent each day's 60-min. lunch break sleeping on the exam table! Still, when I got home each evening, I would lock myself in the bedroom with my chihuahua, away from my husband's giant, annoying basset hound puppy, and watch some TV and fall asleep while it was still light out. My husband was actually out of town that whole week at his family's cabin. I missed him, but it was nice to have the house and entire bed to myself after those very exhausting first days back. I also had my first post-op exam that week. The surgeon was thrilled with how my incisions looked (so am I!) The cramping when drinking was going away slowly.
Week 5: Chicken & turkey
I had little bites of grilled or baked chicken all week. I also had hummus with pita, which was delicious. Again, bread isn't recommended, but it's not exactly contraband, either. At the end of week 4, I wanted pizza so bad I was about to pull my hair out. After conferring with a VSG friend, I ordered a thin-crust (which is a first for me) personal pizza with chicken, olives, and mushrooms. I already knew that I'd do ok with the chicken, cheese, and bread. I was really concerned about the tomato sauce, that it might be too acidic. But I went with the least greasy pizza company in town (which happens to be my favorite anyway!) The 'personal' slices there are about 3 bites. With some prayer, down the hatch it went! It was the most amazing thing I've ever tasted in my life! It took about 15 minutes to eat the entire slice. A couple of hours later, feeling great, I had a second slice. I was thrilled to be getting down some protein and nutrients! And of course that teeny pizza lasted me 2 whole days! I definitely don't see it as a "cheat", but as a "splurge". It will be a very rare treat. I did it to celebrate my sleeve's one-month surgiversary. I would never have done so until week 4, because your pouch is at risk for leaking for the first 3 weeks. So by the end of week 4, I knew my sutures were nice and healed inside.
Tomorrow I will try beef for the first time! The following week, I get to add pork. And then I'm done! I'm at free will to eat from any of the aforementioned protein-rich foods!
The tally to date is: 40 lbs lost pre-op plus 30 lbs lost post-op = 70 lbs gone forever!! Good riddance! 30 lbs in 30 days... wow! The compliments feel great! Now that I'm eating real food again, it's high time to get my butt in gear and start working out again! The doc says that after the first month, the weight loss slows down drastically, and then picks up speed again a couple of months later.

Progress Pix

The first one is a few weeks before I started my diet. The second one is 3 weeks after surgery.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Month Post-Op {part one of two!}

Ok, ok... It's well past time to make a blog entry. I haven done so since before my surgery. I have a bunch of excuses for you, though! For the first 3 weeks, as I was off work recovering, I was just exhausted and frustrated and didn't have anything positive to say. LOL. And our activity on the computer at work is now monitored. I uses to do 99% of my blogging during down-time at work. But my boss doesn't know what kind of surgery I had, so I haven't wanted to use the office computer for it. I'm currently blogging from my iphoe for the first time ever. So far, it's not as cumbersome as I had anticipated. We'll see. So let's see if I can recall all of the thoughts i've wanted to share over the past month. The surgery went smoothly. I started to freak out as they wheels me to the OR, so I prayed the whole way. That calmed me a lot. My husband, parents, mother-in-law, and best friend (who is about 7 years post-gastric bypass) were all there the whole time. The anesthesiologist came to give me a shot to calm my nerves, but upon seeing that I'm allergic to Valium, she wouldn't give it to me. The blood thinner shot really burned, though. Once I was in the OR, my first thought was that it looked just like on tv, lol. Some more praying and it was time to begin. Staring up at the big round light, they administered the anesthesia and immediately I told them my vision was blurry, but they couldn't understand me. So I repeated, with very slurred speech, "I have double vision". And then I woke up! I remember drifting in and out of conciousness after they woke me up. I think I asked, "are we done?" about 3 different times. I kept falling asleep. The patient on the other side of the curtain in recovery kept having their vitals monitor go off, so that woke me up repeatedly, but I'd immediately fall back asleep every time. Eventually my family got to come in, one by one. I asked my mom what had I done?! She said she didn't know and laughed. She dissent want me to do it in the first place. I wasn't in pain, just felt weird. The hospital stay went pretty well. I walks 12 laps of the medsurg floor my first day! All of the nurses were stunned. I basically only used my morphine pump once per hour (it allows you to use it every 12 minutes). I'd wake up, push it, an fall back to sleep right away. But in the middle of the night, I was so itchy I couldn't sleep, and my whole body was about to get raw and bloody from the scratching. Four doses of intravenous Benadryl didnt help a bit. Apparently I'm allergic to morphine. The wonderful nurse gave me a sponge bath with ice cold washcloths to ease the itching. So I was left with only vicoden for the pain, which made me so instantly nauseas, they had to immediately follow every dose with IV anti nausea meds. Truth be told, I was in more pain from the hospital bed than the procedure (except while coughing, in which case it hurt a lot). After the X-ray, for which you swallow some vile chalky poison-tasting sludge, (they watch you swallow to make sure you're not leaking), I got discharged. I checked in at 6 am Tuesday and left at 7 pm Wednesday. The first couple of days home, all I did was sleep. Several times, I wondered what I had just done to my body, why I had done it, and whether I was dying. My body was just absolutely exhausted. But still, I had more back pain from laying around than I dd abdominal pain. By the 4th day, I was running short errands with my husband. The first two weeks were brutal. I was allowed water and protein shakes ONLY. Other surgeons allow broth and jello... Not mine! I got the strict one. Which was probably a good thing- better too attract than too lenient! But it was really, really rough. I was supposed to get 80 oz of fluid in my one ounce stomach every day! For about 3 weeks, every single sip I took, wether cold, warm, or room temp, BURNED in my stomach. Within a minute of swallowing, I had these really intense stomach cramps for just a few seconds. Every time! TMI disclaimer! If you're squeamish or dislike talk of bodily functions, skip the next paragraph!!!For the first 6 days, I had constant liquid bowelmovements. My dr said this wasn't normal, but that he wasn't concerned unless it lasted more than a week. Whaddaya know, it stopped right before the one-week mark! Unfortunately, that's the same time the urinary problems began. Intense, 24/7 burning, urgency, and even passing blood. Tests showed zero infection, but signs of kidney distress. Essentially, due to my difficulty drinking and constant diarrhea, I was so dehydrated my kidneys were shutting down. So I spent the night in the ER getting IV fluids and antibiotics. They also removed the surgical tape over my incisions, as I was having a serious allergic reaction to the tape and it was so itchy I couldn't bear it. After that, I forced myselfTo have better water intake. In order to preserve your sanity and interest, I'm going to pause here and create a "part 2" to this entry, so you can break up your reading if you wish :). Go grab your sugar free vitamin water and get cozy for round 2!