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6 Weeks Post-Op

Well, here I am at six weeks post-op. I was in a no-weight loss rut for about 10 days. I'd lose a few tenths of a pound, then gain it back. Up/down, up/down. Finally, three days ago, I broke through the stall. I've now lost 29 lbs (29 since the liquid diet and 19 since surgery).  I've been keeping a daily diary of everything I'm eating and drinking in MyFitnessPal. That really helps me a lot. I'm sticking with the plan. I'm upping my activity level. I'm really trying hard to get my fluid goals met every day. I'm still not doing great with the fluids. Otherwise, I feel really well. I've officially moved to regular foods. I've been tolerating things very well. We had chicken thighs for dinner one night this past week. I was able to eat 2 oz of chicken, plus about 2 tablespoons of a goulash-y veggie mixture I made, and about a tablespoon of mashed cauliflower. That's a lot of food for me. I'm up to about 700 calories a day now. 

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

3 Weeks Post-Op

I'm in pureed foods mode right now. I'm supposed to start soft foods later this week. We'll see how that goes. My sugar readings are still normal, which is awesome! I've lost a total of 24 lbs (14 since surgery). I'm down in the 180s now, so I can't complain. Just going with the flow.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 12 Post-Op

Blood sugar: 88 Weight loss: 0.4lbs (total lost: 20.4lbs/13 lost since surgery).  Pain level: still about a 1, mostly around the one incision where they removed my stomach Protein consumption: only about 40 grams yesterday. Goal is 60-80 grams daily. As far as the pureed foods go, I've tried homemade chicken salad, diced ham, and a poached egg (which I was told is often well-tolerated). None of them have gone down really smoothly. The only pureed food I can get down with ease is small curd cottage cheese. I'm not going to push it. Otherwise, it hurts or just feels uncomfortable swallowing down those other foods.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 10 Post-Op

Blood sugar: 87 Weight loss: 0.2lbs (total lost: 19.6lbs/12.2 lost since surgery) Pain level: about a 2 Protein consumption: about 42 grams yesterday I've been cleared for pureed foods! Woohoo! I've literally been starving for the past week and a half, so I'm hoping this will curb some of that. My surgeon's PA said that, unfortunately, around 1/3 of their patients experience true hunger from day 1 and I seem to be one of those lucky individuals. Otherwise, the PA is very pleased with my progress so far. I told her how the skin surrounding my incisions has been a bit itchy. She said I can try a very small amount of Benadryl cream or hydrocortisone ointment, but I have to be careful not to get my incisions too moist yet with creams and lotions, because my incisions can split open. That would obviously be bad. I ordered these little hors d'oeuvres dishes from World Market that are 2" squares that hold one liquid ounce. I also ordered a set of cocktail forks and spoons. Those are what I use to eat. They've come in very handy for measuring out an appropriate portion of cottage cheese or chicken salad (which I made homemade from a rotisserie chicken this afternoon and am enjoying now for my first pureed meal). I felt like the chicken was a little bit difficult to get down, so I'm going to hold off for a bit before eating it again. My next experiment will be with eggs, I think.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 9 Post-Op

Blood sugar: 94 Weight loss: 0.4lbs (total lost: 19.4lbs) Pain level: about a 2 most of the time, although when I hiccup it hurts my entire belly cavity. Also, sipping down my first shake of the day today is hurting like crazy and I don't understand why. Even the teeniest, tiniest sip feels like I swallowed a whole pretzel log sideways in my stomach. Protein consumption: only about 26 grams yesterday. I need to do better today. 

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 8 Post-Op

Blood sugar: 84 (now I have to worry about it going too low)
Weight loss: 0.4lbs (total lost: 19lbs)
Pain level: hovering between a 2 and 3
Protein consumption: about 52 grams yesterday! I'm getting there. Goal is 60-80 grams. For the past two days I've nibbled on small curd fat free cottage cheese, a little at a time. I just felt like I was ready for it and wanted it. I don't even like cottage cheese, but it tasted so damn good in light of all the shakes and sugar free popsicles I've been having. I just made sure it was a toothpaste consistency before I swallowed it down --- and the teeny bit that I ate each time barely fit on the tip of a cocktail spoon. No adverse reactions. And 1/2 cup contains 11 grams of protein. I had about 1/4 cup yesterday. Again, it took me about an hour to eat that 1/4 cup, but I did it and felt well afterwards. I also tried about a tablespoon's worth of unsweetened applesauce last night, just for something different. It took me about 20 minutes to eat that tablespoon, but again I had no issues. I have my first post-op appointment this coming Thursday with my surgeon's PA. I'm hoping she'll give me the go-ahead to move on to pureed foods, because I feel like I'm ready to. Normally, they want you to be on full liquids for 14 days, but I feel like my body is telling me it's time to move forward. Fingers crossed.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 6 Post-Op, Part II

Oh, a revelation last night. I only have 6 incisions, after all. There's a spot on the left lower side of my belly that's had a yucky scab and bruising. Since I've taken a few showers since my surgery, it's become clear that's it's not an incision, as I originally thought...and the giveway should've been the fact that it doesn't have any glue on it, but it was hard to tell initially. I finally figured out it's where they gave me a needle in my stomach with the medicine that prevents blood clots. I have a smaller, less hideous matching spot on my right side, because they gave it to me upon admission on my left side and then again on my right side upon discharge. So yay for colorful contusions that aren't incisions.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 6 Post-Op

Blood sugar: 94!!!!
Weight loss: 0.2lbs
Pain level: fluctuates between a 3 and a 4
Protein consumption: about 30 grams yesterday. Goal is 60-80 grams. Yesterday I had a good long walk around Target, where I had to pick up a few last-minute things. The venture wore me out, though, and I was happy to get home. For dinner, I treated myself to some Campbell's cream of potato soup mixed with skim milk, of which I was able to consume 2 oz. I had to pulverize the chunks of potato so that they blended in with the liquid part of the soup. Basically, I dunked my spoon upright into the cup and just sipped off the residue that was left on the spoon when I lifted it up. It took about 45 minutes to an hour to consume those 2 oz., but it felt like a gourmet meal compared to all of the water, popsicles, and shakes I've been having. I felt very satisfied after eating it, which was nice. I'm finding that already, I'm able to take slightly bigger sips of liquids than I was just 4 days ago. That's been helpful in getting down my couple of medications that aren't liquid or chewable. My surgeon's office says that for the next 3 to 6 months, I will need to remain on chewable or liquid medications that can't be consumed in a pill or capsule that is smaller than an M&M.  My incision and stomach muscle pain is alleviating more each day. I can now get into a sitting position without too much agony. Standing or walking for long periods of time can make my incisions start to hurt and just make my belly ache. You don't realize how much you use your core muscles for simple everyday movements, until they're sore. My weight loss has suddenly slowed, but based on an article about weight loss plateaus that I read earlier this morning, I completely understand why and I'm not worried about it. I have an obsession with the scale anyway, so that's my own issue to work through.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 5 Post-Op

Blood sugar: 105 (not a true fasting blood sugar reading, because I was up at 5am to have pain medication. I'd gone to bed without any and made it through almost the entire night without it. I think it probably has a little bit of sugar in it, plus I had a sugar-free popsicle afterwards because I was thirsty and I hate the taste of the pain med, so the combination probably affected my sugar reading a bit.) Weight loss: 1.4lbs (bringing total lost to 17.2 since NYC, 7.2 since surgery) Pain level: still a 4 Protein consumption: only about 24 grams yesterday. Goal is 60-80 grams.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 3 Post-Op

I had a good day yesterday and a pretty good night. Each day I awaken feeling better than the day before. This morning I remembered to test my blood sugar before ingesting anything and it was 113. It keeps going down on its own and that makes me very happy. It's going to be challenging for me to get in all of my fluid and protein intake. Most of the time my stomach feels like it would feel when you eat way too much and you're so stuffed you feel sick...but I've also been feeling what I think are hunger pangs in spite of that. It's weird. My doctor said that often it's just the various adjustments my insides are making that make me feel like it's hunger, but when I read through these forums, many other sleeve patients have said they feel hunger, too. I don't know. It's so early in all of this, it's hard to tell what's what. I know my body needs time. My brain especially needs time. This morning when I got on the scale I'd lost more weight. We had a trip to NYC the week before I started my pre-op liquid diet. I lost 4lbs that week and I was at my highest weight. The following week, on full liquids, I lost another 6lbs. I gained back 3lbs in the hospital, then lost it overnight plus one additional pound. As of this morning, I've now lost another 4lbs, bringing me to a total of 15lbs lost since NYC (Nov 29-Dec 3) and 5lbs lost since surgery on Monday. Today I definitely have more energy. I'm going to get a lot more walking in today, even if it's just up and down the stairs numerous times. I'm hoping to get through the day without pain medication and only need it tonight to get to sleep. I'll play it by ear.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Day 2 Post-Surgery

I had a pretty rough night last night. I am hurting, but not so much from my incisions (I have 7!) as from the after-effects of the paralytics they used as part of my anesthesia. Oh my. My discomfort was pretty intense overnight. Every bit of my body hurt and I felt like I'd been hit by a car or had been in a really bad accident. I wasn't prepared for that at all. I'd been holding off on taking the Hycet painkiller they'd sent home because I'm scared of getting hooked on it, but eventually I caved and took it. I'm glad I did. I was finally able to get to sleep at around 4am. I thought sleeping in the recliner in our living room would be the best place for me since I could be mostly upright, but it turns out I was more comfortable in my bed with 3 pillows under my head. So after I took the Hycet I eventually dozed off reasonably comfortable. My surgeon sent me home with instructions to NOT take my Glucophage tablets for my diabetes. When I left the hospital, my last reading had been 119 (the lowest it's been in a couple of weeks) and the nurses felt confident it would go lower. I forgot to check my blood sugar this morning before I had a sugar-free popsicle, so I will check it again about an hour after I finish the decaf hot tea I'm having right now. When I got on the scale yesterday, I had gained back 3 of the 10 pounds I'd lost pre-op, but I was completely expecting that as a result of my hospital stay. When I awoke this morning, I got on the scale and those 3 pounds were gone along with an additional pound. Don't know where it all went, but it's gone. So the roller coaster ride begins. My incisions look yucky in a scabby sort of way, but normal. One of my incisions on my right side looks bloody awful, like a terrible contusion, but it doesn't hurt any more than the others. I don't know why that one looks so bad. I thought he took the stomach out of one of the incisions on the left side and therefore I'd be expecting one of those to look awful. Anyway, I feel a heck of a lot better this morning than I did overnight, but I'm still hurting. I'm up and walking around, though, doing laps around the first floor of my house. I've also been using my incentive spirometer to open up my lungs and help prevent pneumonia. I'm finding warm fluids are easier to get down than really cold or even room temperature fluids. Still, if I sip just a bit too much it hurts like hell. It feels like it would if you accidentally swallowed a whole piece of hard candy. It makes it a challenge, then, to get all of the liquid down that they want me to get down. The goal is at least 40oz of fluid a day, but they really want me to do 64oz. When I took my thyroid pill this morning it got stuck in my throat because I couldn't take a big enough sip of water or enough sips in a row to make it go down without the sips hurting. That was really fun. I know this will all get better with time. I'm only 2 days post-op. I'm swollen and my body is adjusting. It's challenging right now, but eventually things will get easier. I'm feeling well overall, all things considered.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Going Home?

I'm really hopeful I'll be able to go home this afternoon. The nurse said if I can give her another good hour of getting fluids down, she'll recommend me for discharge. I've managed most of the little bowl of sugar free Jell-O they brought me for lunch, along with some sips of chicken broth and Crystal Light lemonade. I've also managed to get down 330ml of water, which equals 11oz. It's been slow going, but I've done it. It does hurt if I take my sips too close together or if I take a bit more than a sip, so I really have to pace myself. I've also managed to take two good walks around the hospital floor today. I'm ready to sleep in my own bed. Fingers crossed I can go home.

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

Morning After Surgery

I had a good night. I've started my liquid diet today. They've give me the worst beef broth I've ever tasted. The dietitian came in and tried to tell me it's homemade here and I'm thinking BS. It just tastes like a bunch of boullion cubes mashed up and melted in water. It's sustenance, so whatever. My surgeon came in to see me about 7:00 this morning and I told him that I actually think I'm feeling hungry, which I didn't think I was supposed to feel, but he says it's probably just a sensation being created by all that's going on in my tummy right now and I just need to give my body time to adjust. We'll see.

pandygirl

pandygirl

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