So I'm almost a month post-op now, and since that's a time for checking in on goals and measuring progress, I figured it would be a good time to look at my pre-op list of things I wanted to be able to do. I'm happy to report I can already do three of the things from my list!
5) Park far away from things. I can park hella far away from my office, walk all the way to the building and up to the 5th floor and all over the office - without stopping in the lobby to rest so nobody sees me turning bright red and huffing and puffing.
6) Shopping! While I haven't been clothes shopping yet, I have done so much more grocery shopping than I did before surgery. Not necessarily because I need the groceries (though buying one ounce of everything is a lot of work) - but mostly just because I can. Tonight Leah and I went to Whole Foods, wandered around the store for half an hour grabbing stuff, then went to Shaw's for kitty litter and poster board (I'm on deck for Halloween decorations at our house every year, and this is a staple). When I got out of the car, Leah was surprised. "You're coming in??" she asked. Because I can't carry the kitty litter yet - I'm not yet released to lift heavy things - and usually if I'm not paying for something at a story I'm not going IN to the store - I would get tired and be in pain. NOT SO TONIGHT. I went in just for the sheer enjoyment of being able to go in and move around. It was NICE!
7) Stand around chatting with people at the office. After I park far away from the office and get upstairs, I can absolutely just hang out in someone's office doorway and chat with them for ten or fifteen minutes, without needing to sit down, or being in terrible pain. Or any pain! I just stand there! It's awesome.
And while this isn't on my list, I've found that with extra exercise comes easier exercise. My previous top speed on our treadmill desk (1.5 mph) is now my "slow-down-and-rest" speed. My current top speed is 2 mph - and climbing! I can do 2 mph for most of a half hour workout. For the first time ever yesterday, I closed the green ring on my apple watch (30 min workout with a high enough heart rate). I closed the pink one too, but I'd missed the blue one (stand goal) by ONE MEASELY HOUR. Thanks to being on an IV, so not necessarily my fault, but I was still annoyed.
Another super cool achievement: Smaller clothes! My still-big-but-smaller-than-me friend Meg brought over a bag clothes she doesn't wear, and we figured maybe a month from now I would fit into some of them. I took them out of the bag to put them away this morning, and started trying on some of the things I liked. They fit! And then I tried on other things... and they ALSO fit. Eventually I had tried it all on and ALL of it fits! These are 18/20 bottoms and 22/24 tops, and my friends... I have been wandering around in 30/32 tops and bottoms because I didn't think I'd lost enough weight to move down a size yet. I wore one of the sweaters today and when my nurse showed up, she said she thought it was a little BIG on me. !!! !!! !!! She also wants me to text her my weight a week before our next visit (5 weeks from now) because she thinks they'll need to recalibrate the dosage for my infusion. So there's that.
And finally - inspired by @NerdyLady, I pulled out some of the rings I wear occasionally when I go into the office. I have a fairly nice, delicate gold claddagh ring and my mom's gold university class ring, both of which mean a lot to me for various reasons. Previously, the claddagh was a tight fit on my ring finger and a no-go on my middle fingers. Now it fits my ring finger verrrry loosely and my middle finger just a bit too tightly. My mom's class ring... is actually going to be a problem soon. I used to be able to wear it on either ring finger - securely, though it was a bit loose. Now I can only wear it securely on my index finger.
Ok, so that wasn't final... I also wanted to mention a few of the things I thought and worried about before surgery, and how they've turned out so far:
1) "I'm crossing my fingers that I'll turn out to be a plan-following, quick-losing, no-nausea-having, minimal-pain-having success story this time next year." Well, it's not next year yet, but at one month out I can say: So far, so good!
2) "what are the first few minutes like when you wake up?" Super painful! I was not expecting that. But then, if you're a newbie reading this, keep in mind that they deliberately woke me up really soon because I have sleep apnea; they wanted me awake and breathing really quick. The only pain that didn't fade immediately after my first hit of morphine was throat pain from the intubation, which actually took about two weeks to go away completely.
3) "Am I going to be one of those people who has no significant pain post-op?" Yes! "One of those who has agony?" Nope! At least not for more than a minute after waking up. "One of those who can't keep anything down, or one of those who never feel any restriction?" No and no. I have had VERY little nausea at all, and I do now feel restriction when trying to eat more solid foods. "Will I have dumping syndrome?" I don't know yet, but I'm kind of dying to find out. I'm just scared to eat something that might cause it. "Will I be a slow loser or a quick loser?" Jury's still out. Does 17ish lbs in the first month count as slow, or quick? Or somewhere in the middle? "Will I have a stricture?" Not so far, though I thought I did for about a minute. Turns out my stomach just sometimes really doesn't like Premier protein shakes. "Iron-deficiency?" Not so far, but it would take longer than a month to show up. "Will I never feel hunger or food-interest again like some people report?" I don't know about never, but I haven't felt hunger so far. I'm interested in food - I still like eating food that tastes good. But I don't eat because of that, or because of hunger. I eat because I need to hit my protein goals. "Or will I be one of those people who feels hungry immediately after surgery?" Happy to report a no on that one! "Will things taste and smell the same, or will I find I don't like stuff I used to like? Will my sense of smell go off the charts?" I haven't noticed any change in the way things taste to me, and my sense of smell is dead normal.
So that's my big introspective end-of-month post; tomorrow will be my big weight update/charts post.