Thursday, May 24, 2012
Being fat does bad things to your body. We all know what they are--high blood pressure, high blood sugar leading to diabetes and all it's complications, heart problems, joint problems. When you lose the weight the problems disappear....mostly. You are left with lots of excess skin on the outside (if you were as heavy as I was anyhow) and my knees, hips, shoulders and even the joints in my hands are all arthritic and not getting any better.
As it turns out, and this was a surprise to my doctor too, you are also left with lots of excess skin INSIDE. During my hysterectomy and bladder repair, my doctor could not get oriented when she tried to repair my bladder, partly because of all the excess skin INSIDE of me. My husband didn't tell me until almost the end of the day of surgery that the doctor told him after she was done with surgery that she wasn't able to fix my bladder. He said he didn't know how to tell me, and I was crushed. The whole reason I elected to have the surgery was to get the bladder repaired. Yes...it felt weird to have my uterus poking out down there, and it's nice to have that gone, but I wouldn't have had surgery just because of that. I was tired of always having the urgency to urinate and sometimes not even being able to hold it. THAT's why I had the surgery.
This is probably TMI, but she told my husband that when she went to take out my uterus, it literally fell out. Oh it was still attached, but she had never had that happen before. I wonder now if I had not lost weight if those organs would all still be up there in the right place, held in by my fat. But even knowing all of this, I still am grateful for my weight loss. I feel like my bladder is somewhat better, but things are still pretty sore, so I'm not sure what it will be like after I heal up. She knew I had lost substantial weight, I told her beforehand, but evidently even she didn't anticipate the problems that might cause. She said when my uterus fell out, it caused her to lose her way, she uses other organs to know where things are, and since it fell out prematurely, she was a little lost. Not what you want to hear from your surgeon.
She told me I could go to a specialist surgeon in Omaha a few years down the road if I felt the need, and have the bladder put back in place using mesh. She said my bowel was also prolapsed and needed repair. I guess I will think about that down the road. She seemed to think (I finally talked to her yesterday before I went home from the hospital) I would see some improvement. I hope so.
So this is a downside to losing weight. It is the only downside I have experienced thus far. But it makes it clear to me that even though I am now a normal weight, the effects of being morbidly obese for 30 years will be with me for the rest of my life in some ways.
Now I get to stay at home until July 9. I am looking forward to this period of recovery, because I know every day i will feel better. I have also decided to get back to my walking. I am going to start by walking to the end of my driveway, just as I did in March of 2010, and gradually build up, until I get to the end of the road, my "Rocky" moment. I do not want to go back to work in 6 weeks, having gained a bunch of weight. I am determined to keep it all off, and maybe even lose an extra 5 pounds or so.
This morning I weighed 150.6. I ate practically nothing the day of surgery. I did have 3 bags of intravenous fluid--I often wonder how many calories are in that. They brought in a clear dinner--broth, hot tea, and jello. YUCK. They finally talked me into eating some jello. OMG, it was so sweet. It has been a long time since I ate jello with sugar in it. TOO SWEET. I came home from the hospital before lunch and stopped for a Runza (a Nebraska specialty) on the way home. I had been craving one. I ate half of it. Hubby brought me some grapes in mid afternoon for a snack. Anybody else having trouble finding black grapes right now? Even the red grapes are tiny, and bitter. I will be glad when my sweet black grapes are back in season somewhere, because they are my favorite. For supper, hubby made burger and pulled pork sliders. He had watched a couple cooking shows with me while I was in the hospital, I think he got the slider idea on "The Chew." I don't make them--too much bread. But I enjoyed eating a whole burger slider and half a pulled pork one. I had pulled the pork myself last week off of some leftover ribs, when we had our barbecue on Mother's Day. It was delicious. Later in the evening, he brought me half a cup of ice cream with some strawberries for a snack. It was delicious too, and he knows portion control is important to me.
Hubby is taking good care of me. The nurse was impressed yesterday when I was getting ready to go home and he bent over and took off the booties they give you to wear in the hospital and pulled my socks on for me. That's how he is. The nurse said I can see you will get good care at home. That's why we have been together for 41 years. He is, quite simply, THE BEST.
I made some frozen strawberry jelly Monday night, using up some strawberries that were getting soft. I had been fantasizing about some of that homemade jelly on an English muffin, and that's what I had for breakfast today, along with a banana that I brought home from the hospital's hospitality room. I may have the half of Runza from yesterday for my lunch today. My appetite is still not back. I dread the return of it. It's nice to not be hungry, I will admit. Do you think people who are normal sized their whole life have this lack of appetite all the time? Is that their secret?
I don't want to be a downer for weight loss. The positives still far outweigh the negatives. But I have to be honest always. This was my surgical experience, and there were still complications from my obesity. You can lose the weight, you can keep it off, but it will still be a part of who you are.