That is me one week before surgery. I was in Bermuda learning about the history of island instruments- starting with the steel pan (drum). It is my "before" picture and hopefully never again picture.
I had my surgery on Tuesday July 16th and as of this evening I will have lived one full week as a post-op patient. I had a Sleeve Gastrectomy. My prior blog explains a little more about what that means. Basically my stomach is now 1/10th of its old size. It is shaped in like a banana (or sleeve). I have no foreign objects in my body, well except for the surgical staples.
Now that I have one week under my belt, recovering and living on liquids only the reality has truly set in!
First I struggle with what I should consider my "before" weight as I weighed 233.6 pounds (4 pounds less then I weighed before Bermuda- go figure as I did NOT diet in Bermuda!!) the day of my surgery but then they weigh you after surgery.... and I weighed 240.2. YES, you do gain weight initially because you are all gassed up and bloated from the surgery. Not sure what to do with that. Sitting around recovering makes you think of stupid things... like wondering how to handle this! I think I will use the 233.6 number as the 240 was obviously inflated (ha ha ha!!). See, I am losing it sitting around recovering.
My first panic- is blurry but I know it happened. The recovery room was awful for me, and I am thankful it is a blurred memory. I remember waking up in COMPLETE UTTER (again, utter.. ha ha) PAIN and I know I was screaming about being in pain and asking for meds. And I had a crew of nurses managing my pain, and many others in the room-- I know I was very vocal when I was coming out... the nurses were wonderful- just so empathetic and working hard to keep me managed! Once the pain meds kicked in regularly I was fine. And like I said, I remember this like a dream as I don't actually remember the pain.
My one complaint at this point is that I feel, for me anyway, that the hospital stay is too short! I really could have used one more night of pain meds fed to me via IV and sleeping one more night in a hospital bed. While you don't get a ton of sleep in the hospital because they check your vitals every hour for 24 hours-- one more day of comfort would help with healing. My first night home was a nightmare, and aggravated my spondolyosis. Pain meds at home have to be sipped and sipping is like doing a round off triple flip flop into a double tuck and sticking it (on the beam)- it is difficult is my point! So you have to decide if the pain relief is worth the pain creation... and no one's bed is equipped to pamper a person that just had surgery in their abdomen. It was just a night mare! Now 6 nights into it, I can take my tylenol codeine meds but I take it so I can sleep because my bone degenerative situation of my neck that I aggravated that first night, not my sleeve gastrectomy. I can sip the meds now- creating no extra pain. I only take the pain meds once at night.
The first couple of days of just sipping and learning how to get all the fluids, protein and meds/vitamins in was just that. Sitting around learning how much you can sip without causing pain. The gas pains I had in the very beginning were pretty uncomfortable. It literally took all day, like a full time job to do this (and still does). Now I think I have it all hammered out and timed-- I start around 9am and finish at about 7 or 8pm. I am VERY thankful to have nothing else I have to do during this time-- sounds simple but it is all consuming.
I didn't start craving food until 4 days into this. I have not been hungry but I have craved taste, chewing and just the activity of eating. EVERY OTHER COMMERCIAL IS A FOOD COMMERCIAL. The other day I never wanted a hot dog in a pretzel bun covered in bacon and cheese so much- never even knew such a thing existed but the commercial I saw about it was like visual torture to me.. LOL-- I know very melodramatic but remember I sit around all day recovering.
I do not have any regrets-- but I do have moments of self pity. But how can I not, I have made a change that has forced me to put into action what I must immediately and if I make a mistake (like drinking 8 oz of coffee- MISTAKE!) I physically pay for it and it hurts. I am not mourning food- because I know I get it all back but I am in charge now to learn how to change my thinking and awareness of portion size AND about exercise.
While I DREAD two more weeks on liquids, and being fairly sedentary, I know it is a small price to pay to gain my health back both physical and emotional. I am still so proud of myself that I did this. So those on FB, that read my status's keep in mind I am strong and will do this- I have to! But I can also not deny myself some whining and some pity. As soon as the weight starts coming off, and I can introduce real food back into my life those rants, statuses, and sarcastic comments will lessen- for sure.
So weight loss yet??? Very minute and I am told not to focus on it at all for the first 6 weeks because my body is recovering and adapting, weird things can happen. Since I am going by my weight just prior to going into the OR- I will tell you that I have lost a whopping 7 pounds. LOL... I am NOT discouraged one bit as it has only been a week and I am NOT looking at weight loss at this point and time. I am just trying to heal and get the damn fluids (64oz/day), Protein (60 grams) and all my meds and vitamins in.
What do I do?? I watch a lot of TV (sometimes it is just noise in the background), read A LOT, of course social networking, and I try to sleep. I force a nap once a day. I am exhausted, always. I am not people ready yet (visits or visiting) because I can't wear a bra yet (I did yesterday and it was awful), and I am not comfortable in a car. I need more time. My Mom is going to take me to the movies next week- so that is the outing I am working towards next.
I feel a ton of support via facebook, cards in the mail, and phone calls. Everyone that loves me, likes me, has been great and I cannot tell you how helpful it is- it carries me!!
If you are interested- look for another blog about week 2 next Monday.