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God bless the kindness of friends & strangers willing to help others like me.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

God bless the kindness of friends and strangers willing to help others like me.

08/02/14 = I am 5 days out from surgery today and I needed advice and asked for advice for the Sleeve Team that I am lucky to be a member of…. They helped me very, very much….. and they helped me REMEMBER that I am ONLY 5 days out from surgery and that I should be following the guidelines EXACTLY as they are written to follow. God bless the kindness of friends and strangers willing to help others like me.

ME: I love mash potatoes but I don't love it enough to get into PAIN to eat it....
I had a tiny bit and stopped in fear of potential pain if I ate over 1 ounce. any advice?

Here is their advice: ... the 4 angels who helped me see....

emoticon RHOOK20047 wrote: While the entry of food was staged, by 4-5 weeks I was eating vegetable soups and other soft foods. By 2 monts I was starting the regular foods. I still have some issues eating thick meats like steak and some roasts but I really haven't had any real issues, except for my love of corn beef and cabbage. I guess it was too gassy, and that made me sick. So I will cut that out, maybe just try the corned beef by itself. But I so loved it before. I was given a staged menu according to weeks post op and I was chicken and followed it religiously. Except for sugar free fudgecicles, they are still in the freezer 4 months later. I couldn't make myself eat them.

isn't it amazing how little we need? I just ate a 1/2 sandwich for lunch, and commented to my wife, that I would have eaten two sandwiches in the past with the homegrown tomatoes, and 1/2 with a little fruit filled me up! Stick with it. You will get there! Just keep sipping. That's how I got through the first weeks.

You have to be patient.

You had a major surgery and change to your stomach so slow and steady is the best way to approach this. I know the liquid diet sucks, but it is important to allow your stomach to fully heal. If you need more help with what to eat, I can lookup my paperwork and forward the information for you. Be patient, the time will fly by. I got reintroduced to soups and stuff and still eat soup because of the benefits of some of them. All but lentil soup. I didn't like it and won't eat it. My dogs ate my lentil soup after I tried it.

Your patience will pay off in the long run. You can do it. And we are here to help you along the way! Happy to help! Rob

emoticonQUEENDIVA50 wrote: I was self pay too, and 6.5 years later I still have issues with a few foods. I can't eat rice at all, and pasta has to be mush so I just don't eat it. Like Bob, I had a 3-4 week food chart of what to eat and when to eat add things back into my diet. Steak and shrimp were the last things added and that wasn't until 6 months out. I still have problems eating steak or dense meat. I cut steak into really small pieces and chew it to death when I eat it. I don't enjoy it like before so I don't have it very often.

I had all the tests you mentioned. I think it's standard whether you are self pay or insurance pay. I'm very happy and have no regrets about having surgery. My dr says I'm his best patient because I have been so successful. This is the first year I wasn't down a few pounds at my annual appointment. I still enjoy a chocolate smoothie on a regular basis. It's about the only way to get enough protein. My tummy still prefers soups and gumbos. It has definitely been a lifestyle change for me. I would have surgery again in a New York minute. No regrets here!!! …

At 5 days post op I still thought "what in the world have I done". I couldn't keep anything in my stomach. The best thing is to follow your docs instructions. Bob is correct. You had major surgery. Your stomach needs to heal so that's the reason for liquids. You can do it!!

Sunshine, you are very welcome. We are all here to help. It's been so long for me I don't remember a lot about the beginning but I know I didn't want to eat. It all takes time. Hang in there!!!! Cassie

emoticonKMGREENWOOD wrote: My Dr sent me home with a schedule of what I could eat when, and I have advanced it a little because I have had no complications or nausea/discomfort at all.
First 2 weeks were full liquids: protein shakes, crystal light, jello, broth, water and tea, sugar free popsicles.

Weeks 3 I could add pureed bean soup (lentil, pea, white bean) and yogurt, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs and pudding.

Weeks 4-5 I could add pureed meat (ugh....), pureed vegetables, pureed fruit, mashed potatoes and cream of wheat.

Week 6 they call "Soft & Moist" which includes cereal in milk, poached egg on toast, ground turkey in gravy, tuna or ham salad and cooked vegetables and soft fruits.

I am week 4 post op and I have no trouble eating 2-3 oz of moist fish, ground turkey in sauce and very well cooked vegetables. Rice and pasta seem like a waste to me because I have to make sure I get my protein, and I would rather eat 3 oz of fish than 1 oz of fish and a 1/2 cup of rice and then have to drink a protein shake. Being on the liquid diet now for 6 weeks has made me appreciate quality food more, and gives meaning to what I want to put in my body. It has also made me realize that portions in restaurants are WAAAAY out of whack. My husband and I ordered one entree yesterday and split it, and still didn't finish it all and we were both satisfied. (I am lucky in that he has been supporting me through all of this by following the same restrictions and has lost 30 lbs along with me. :) He even did the liquid diet for 2 weeks pre surgery.) Hope this helps as a guideline.

emoticon LFHUTCHINS wrote:

My surgery was 07/14/2014.

I started slowly adding "real" food the eighth day after my surgery (the day after I had my first pre-op appointment with my surgeon).

The first day I had a poached egg for breakfast and then protein shakes for lunch and dinner.
The next day I had a poached egg for breakfast, 2 oz. tuna fish mixed with 2 tablespoons of hummus and a protein shake for dinner.
Third day I had the same breakfast and lunch and then tried adding 2 ounces of cooked ground turkey for dinner.
I discovered the next morning that I wasn't ready for the ground turkey (horrible case of the runs).
I tried the same menu the next day and the same thing happened, so I backed off to eating the same thing I ate the second day (and the protein shakes that had been sitting so well before surgery rebelled, so I switched brands to the GNC Lean 25 Vanilla Shake and that sat well).

NUTRITION APPT = When I saw my nutritionist saw me on Tuesday, She said what they really want to concentrate on the first few weeks is protein, protein, protein.
What I've noticed is that protein has really helped my incisions to heal, my energy level is getting better. and (knock on wood) I haven't noticed any hair thinning problems. she suggested trying the other kinds of canned meat and seafood because they're pretty well finely shredded and a bit easier to digest. The other suggestion she made was cooking some chicken in the crock pot until it's really soft.

I am slowly adding "soft food" protein to my diet.
I discovered that cooked ground turkey isn't agreeing with me yet, so am eating things like canned tuna, chicken and tiny shrimp and mixing them with plain hummus or lemon hummus.

1ST POST OP APPT WITH SURGEON = My first follow up appointment with the surgeon went well and he was pleased how my incisions are healing.

I've got the visiting nurse coming in 3 times a week mainly because I'm on a blood thinner that I inject (I was put on it as a precaution after surgery because I had a pulmonary embolism about 10 years ago and because I use a wheelchair they're just being cautious).
I've decided that keeping track of meals and fluids after surgery is a full-time job LOL.
The multivitamin they suggested I take after surgery is a chewable one made by Bariatric Fusion and it has a good amount of B-12 etc. They have a website - - if you feel like checking it out.

I know what you mean about that uncomfortable feeling if you drink too fast (or eat too fast - last night I had 8 oz. of vanilla Greek yogurt and it took me 30 minutes to eat it (before surgery that would have been gone in under 10 minutes).
I figure it's all a learning process (or re-learning process) but it's going to be an interesting journey :)

My days seem to have been filled with post op appointments and trying to get things back on a more normal track. I've worked up to having soft protein at each meal now - discovered I need to wait a bit longer to eat ground turkey, but things like tuna fish baby shrimp and chicken (all canned) are sitting well. I had some cramping, but it didn't come on until I tried the cooked ground turkey.

One thing I've really been watching is the amount of water I've been drinking (another full time job), and another thing they asked us to do was drink a protein drink in addition to the water. I've been drinking the Iso Pure Protein Drink - it's a clear drink that comes in 8 oz. bottles.

Big Hugs and I hope the cramping settles down!

emoticon KICKBOXLVR = Day 6 post op. Still not able to get all required liquids down. I feel full constantly. I feel like I am "snacking" just to get my intakes.(I get cramping after an oz ) I am down to 215 which is crazy! So exciting!

@sunshine hopefully you are following your instructions to a “t”. It’s to your Benefit for long term. I have found that everyone’s instructions are different. I am not allowed purées until stage 3 which starts day 15.

emoticonMY REPLY: Dearest Bob, Cassie , Kmgreenwood, Lynn, Kickbox emoticon

If I could cry right now I would..... that's how grateful I am to you for sharing your journey to help me learn and re-group.

All of your posts were so informative, honest and open that it helped me realize that I am only 5 days out from surgery... HOW did I expect to eat any food at this point for crying out loud...... for some reason: because I felt so well, I thought I was further out than I thought I was....
I cherish your journey and advice and wisdom for always
and thank you for your kindness sincerely and I am very, very grateful emoticon

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