2 Weeks Post Op: Weigh-In Wednesday (posted on a Friday!)

Hello!

Well, I survived the first 2 weeks after Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  YAY!  It’s been challenging but in a good way.  Wednesday I had my 2 week check-up with Bariatric office.  Turns out I’ve been a good girl. I’m down about 10 pounds from the surgery and an additional 10 since I started the 2 week pre-op diet, for a total of 20 pounds.  That’s really not a big change from the last time I posted in terms of pounds lost.  At first, I was upset about not having lost more, and considered myself to be a slow loser.  Even when I was at it with traditional weight loss, I was a slow loser and I think that’s not going to change.  I have to fight for every ounce, every pound.  I read about all the remarkable stories from the support forums I belong to and was hoping for bigger numbers, but I must keep reminding myself that everyone is different.  My body is adjusting to a new stomach.  And, the only exercise I am allowed to do right now is walk.  I just know when I am cleared for more than walking, and my food options expand more, I will have great success!  I just need to be patient, which is not a virtue I possess. 20 pounds since this time last month is awesome.  I’m claiming it, saying thanks for it, and shutting up about it:)

During my check-up, of course I asked about returning to the gym.  Unfortunately the gym is a no-no right now. They want me to wait another 1-2 weeks before I do anything more than walk.  The incisions have healed wonderfully on the outside.  We just want to make sure I don’t do too much with my core muscles so that they heal just as nicely on the inside.  I try to walk 2-4 miles a day and they say that is quite enough at this stage.  The doctor also mentioned that she wouldn’t be surprised if at some point I experience some fatigue.  I think she jinxed me! Up until yesterday I had been feeling great with a lot of energy. Yesterday and today I have felt really depleted of energy and very, very tired.  My sister reminded me that I am living on very few calories and burning all that I eat and then some.  Today I am making sure I get all my protein and water in.  Yesterday I was able to get ALMOST to the protein and water goal.  I think that’s why I felt run down.  Maybe a little dehydrated and not enough food.  Today I am trying harder.

I went back to work IN my office Tuesday of this week to meet my teammates, who traveled to Morrisville from our Greensboro office.  I loved seeing all the faces of my co-workers.  Everyone is so supportive and excited for me about this journey.  And truth is, I miss them.  I’ve worked there for almost 10 years.  We are a tightly knit bunch and I miss seeing their faces! I’ll keep going back as I feel better.  I find I eat less when I am away from home, so I am going to be in the office more.

So, for anyone considering this journey, you know we do things in stages as far as food and exercise goes.  The instructions vary from physicians, but at this stage, VSG patients are generally on a diet of pureed foods combined with the liquid diet from weeks 1-2.  Now that I am entering week 3, I have eaten egg salad that I prepare myself and make it more of a whipped texture as opposed to chunks.  Yogurt (which I am learning my new stomach does not particularly care for!), Hummus, Sugar Free Pudding (I put unflavored protein  powder in mine to make sure I meet the 60 gram/per day goal).  I am eating pureed soups and putting small crackers in it.  I CAN eat tuna salad, chicken salad and such, but just haven’t tried it yet.  Next week I get to eat scrambled eggs and most things that are fork tender.  More cooked veggies like green beans and squash, flaky fish, etc.  I am excited about those options!

Next week I go for my nutrition class.  I had a class prior to surgery.  This upcoming class is where we receive instructions for solid foods since we’re eating semi-solids now.  If we eat the wrong things at this point, we could do some damage. I am looking forward to this transition. By this time next month (6 weeks out total) I should be able to eat all meats, veggies, poultry, etc that are low carb options. I can finally eat out with my family and make smart decisions while doing so.  And by then, I will be back at the gym and I simply cannot wait!

This period of time has been strange. Not in a bad way, though. Just different.  Since I started the pre-op diet a month ago, I’ve been pretty much a homebody due to the dietary restrictions.  I never realized how much time I was spending with food and drinks until I couldn’t do it anymore.  It’s been a very relaxed time for me.  I am sure the busy-ness of life will return soon enough.  For right now, it’s a time of taking care of me.  I kinda dig it. I miss the social aspect of things.  Miss seeing familiar faces that I was accustomed to seeing on a weekly basis.  I’ll see them soon, I tell myself- and to just enjoy the downtime and the healing process I am in right now.

So that’s it! Nothing really exciting to tell other than I am pain free, am able to drink more liquids without pain and my body is recognizing when I am hungry and when I am full.  My family is still wonderfully supportive.  I’ve got absolutely NO complaints except that damn Taco Bell Quesalupa commercial! I swear they are going to drive me INSANE! I don’t watch television all that much, but when I do, they air that commercial 5x a night!

Wednesdays are my Weigh-In days.  I will try to post on those days.  Maybe on April 2, I will post a progress picture to see if the changes are visible.  If you are reading, and you’re in the stage I am in, or around it, please feel free to post your comments and progress pictures! I would love to see them.

As always, thank you for reading and following my journey!
XOXO

Dawn

 

 

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Week one after weight loss surgery is done! So now what?

Well hello there, from your newly “sleeved” blogger-friend!

On March 2nd I had a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. We call it VSG or “getting sleeved.”

From my last posts, I mentioned that I was on a really strict liver shrinking diet and wasn’t much of a fan of it. The first week I could have 2 Ketogenx brand protein shakes, 2 Keto snacks, and a lean/green meal at dinner.  The second week, I could have liquid only.  It had to be the Bariatric Advantage protein powder and it had to be 5x per day!  I could fill in the day with clear broths, sugar free Popsicles and Sugar Free Jello. During those 2 weeks of liver shrinking, I lost 10 pounds.  Yay, right?  That’s kinda the point of all this.  Yes.  YAY.  But that doesn’t mean that the preparation for this process doesn’t still suck, ’cause it really does.

Since last Wednesday, I’ve been on all liquids and will be until this coming Wednesday when I can have pureed foods.  Although the word “puree'” still sounds icky, I am going to enjoy the week long phase and add in some yummy soups that I will stick in the blender.  Like creamy potato soup, maybe some Wendy’s chili…that kind of thing

During this current phase, I am not really hungry.  Fun fact: the part of the stomach that is removed also is the area where the hormone lives that makes us think we are hungry.  So, the sensation of hunger is not here now, but I hear it will return later. I am challenged with drinking 64 oz of water, and getting in 60grams of protein each day.  Sounds easy, but isn’t.  Considering I am training myself to take very small sips by drinking from a shot glass, it takes all day- and I didn’t really accomplish that goal until a couple of days ago. (I know my way around a shot glass very well, but never did I think I’d use it for WATER?!?! Sleevers must sip.  NEVER gulp, or it hurts like hell.  And whatever is in our small stomachs may even come back up.  On our way home from the hospital Thursday morning, I quickly figured out the difference between what a sip IS and what it is NOT.  Jason was driving.  I had my Atkins “Lift” drink, which is 20 grams of protein water.  I had a bag in the back seat that I had planned to take to Good Will.  After my first drink on my own outside the hospital, I grabbed that bag and endured the worst feeling!  It felt like a bullet going down my stomach, exploding and then rising back up. You know that feeling in the back of your throat when you’re about to puke?  Get kind of a tingle in your body?  Yep.  All that happened in a matter of seconds.  But thankfully, there was no need for the bag and it can still be donated:)   I have not made that mistake again.  It’s a pain I cannot describe.

Some ask me “if you’re only drinking liquid, how are you managing your protein?”  Since I started this journey, I’ve learned what protein shakes are good and what aren’t.  I try to choose one that has 20 grams or more of protein, has less than 10 sugars, and less than 15 carbs per serving.  My favorite is Premier Protein because it is about 11oz of fluid but 30 grams of protein. If I can get 2 of those, or similar ones down per day, I’ve met the protein goal. I use broths, flavored water, popsicles and jello as other resources for liquid.  FYI- a popsicle is 2oz of water!  Until I can eat real food, this is the way I manage it.

My surgery went really well.  Kind of uneventful.  I arrived at the surgery center at 10am Wednesday for a noon-time surgery.  I did not have this surgery in a traditional hospital.  Since I was a self-pay patient, we had to cut some corners.  Bigger hospitals had bigger fees.  So we went the surgery center route.  The Sleeve is gaining more popularity, so Rex Surgery Center in Cary is where I went.  They only do sleeves on Wednesdays and only 2 per day are done.  I met a delightful young lady  named Jessica (and her mom) there while we recovered together.  It was like being in a hospital, but in a smaller setting with only one or 2 nurses on shift.  They took great care of me.  As long as they kept the pain meds coming, I didn’t really care where I was.  6 hours after surgery, I was able to chew ice chips and sip Isopure that I brought from home. If you don’t already know, Isopure is likely the best protein-fortified clear beverage out there as far as getting protein in at 40g per bottle- but it is by far, the most disgusting tasting liquid on the earth.  Think of the way dirty socks smell and then try drinking that crap.  I say that now….but after going 24 hours without food/drink at all, some red Isopure was tasting pretty damn good.  That’s all I got to say about that….

I also have some unflavored, odorless protein powder that I can put it other stuff, like broth.  It changes the texture to a more creamy soup, but its a nice way to get the protein in.  I will also add it to other protein shakes that are maybe not so high in protein to boost the count per gram. When I graduate to softer foods next week, I can add it to soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt and pudding.  MMmmmmmm pudding…. sound so great to me these days!

My first night at home was not a fun time.  In fact, if you had asked me at 3am Thursday if I made the right decision, I may have told you a big fat NO.  the first night at home was painful but not as painful as like maybe a birth or a hysterectomy – and I have had both.  It’s just that I was so thirsty and I couldn’t drink as fast as I needed or wanted.  That familiar pain I felt in the car the prior day was very much how I felt each hour that I woke up Thursday night.I had pain meds to take (by syringe…remember- no solid anything at that point. It’s a combo of Tylenol/Hydrocodone maybe?  I don’t know, but it was my BFF that night. And though Thursday night was rough, Friday came like it always does, and I was a new woman:) The pain was less, and I realized when I woke that it was a little easier to sip.

And since then, each day has gotten progressively better! I am not in any pain.  just a little discomfort from the incisions, but that is all.  I am walking a little in my neighborhood just to get some exercise. I can’t walk the dogs yet or do any pushing, pulling or lifting more than 5 pounds, but I am managing just fine. My husband and daughter, sister, cousin and my mother have been amazing with their support.  I thought this was gonna be way worse than it has been.  I think I am just really blessed to have such a great support system. I went back to work Monday, but from home. I plan to work from home until the soreness goes away, and then I’ll go back.  Would love to see my co-workers, who have also been wonderful supporters.

If you know me at all, or even if you have just come to read my blog as a stranger, you know that my battle with health and weight have been ongoing since I was a teenager.  It is a battle that I have never been able to win.  The Sleeve is a tool to help me combat morbid obesity and win back my health. This process is challenging, but I already feel that it is really going to be worth it.  If you’re on this journey, I would love to hear about your experience, too.

I guess that’s it! Except…since surgery I’ve lost 5 pounds. For those playing at home, that is a total of 15 since I started the pre-op diet:)   It doesn’t sound like a lot considering I am only taking in 400-500 calories per day.  Some patients actually gain their first week because of all the fluids and meds and stuff they give you in the hospital.   I can feel clothes fitting differently. 15 is a great start to my long journey ahead.  I am so looking forward to the coming months  and really getting back into my groove.

Thank you for reading!

Cheers!

Dawn