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Ten Days to Go

Sue Dohnim


Well, August is pretty much done. Tomorrow is September 1, with surgery on the 10th. I’m getting everything paid for tomorrow, and I’ve scheduled my pre-op hospital visit for Friday. Yikes!

On Wednesday, I have an appointment with a hematologist for my extremely low iron (I’ve had anemia for years), and wouldn’t be surprised if the doctor schedules me for a pre-op iron boost. In the meantime, I took the advice of someone here in a thread I can’t remember and got some Ferrett’s liquid iron – I had to smile ruefully last night as I bolted a dose down before bed: strawberry flavor, my fanny! Blech. And it looks just like iodine.

I’ve been on the NUT’s diet for about ten days already, with a couple of minor food funerals. Neither were worth it. Today I pretty much blew my levels (70g protein/30g carbs) at lunch but it was healthy eating at a locavore* restaurant - lovely, tender, locally sourced beef skirt steak in a garlic-heavy marinade, cilantro, lettuce, and limes made into street tacos with tiny (4 inch?) corn tortillas, with a few tiny forkfuls of their awesome rice on the side. I felt so bad, physically, that I knew I needed more than just the hardboiled egg and protein drinks I had earlier in the day. I was really disciplined at breakfast and mid-morning, and again in the evening tonight, but I had to. My body thanked me with a surge of energy and not feeling crappy. I think I'm too far under a certain caloric level, or my body simply is not liking this.

I will say that this pre-op thing suuuuuucks. I feel like crap most of the time; it’s probably sugar withdrawals and the reduced caloric intake. The good thing is that I’m definitely in ketosis with that atrocious taste in the mouth you get when you hit it. However, the upside is that I’m not even tempted by the cookie and cracker and chip aisles at the store. Not. Even. Tempted.

We went out last night in the little downtown area near our house. My smoked wings with a touch of buffalo sauce were nearly inedible, as they’d been smoked too long and pretty leathery – the levels of flavor were fantastic. I did take a tiny fingernail-sized piece off of my husband’s house-made potato chips last night and declared it good. The coal-fired cheese pizza for my son looked grand (husband declared it awesome), but I didn’t dare. I’ve been breadless for about 10 days now and I want it to stay that way.

That’s a wake-up call, too: at some point, I will naturally be going out with family or friends after surgery and I’ll have to say no to whatever’s being served. It’s just as well – restaurant food is inherently inferior to home cooked.

I think the hardest habit that will need to be broken is the 30/30 not drinking with food rule. Having something to drink with your food is ingrained from toddlerhood. It will have to be a very conscious effort to take any drinks off the table and adhere to it. I'm conscious of drinking my tea during a meal now, and know I'm going to have to get it all out of sight later.

There’s a pretty lively discussion on the boards about who people told pre and post op. My husband asked what he should say to the office – I said to tell them I’m having hernia surgery, which isn’t a lie… it’s just not the whole story. Otherwise, only he knows the entire truth on either side of the family.

My family… well, you can call them artisans of tearing people down. It's all they do. I don’t need the judgment, the toxicity, the commentary, and the half-assed “advice” from the peanut gallery. His family is nosy, pretentious, and judgmental, and he has been forbidden to tell his parents at all.

Other than my husband, I have told two people who have gone through similar procedures: T, who has a band, and M, who was supposed to get a sleeve but wound up with a bypass. T has been absent. M has been a doll, albeit from out of state. Better some than none.

I’ve set up the first of my counseling sessions. Because we’re so new in town, we don’t have the network we did back in AZ, so I want to make sure I have some sort of support net, even if it’s just a professional one.

Here we go!


*locavore: the trend of having locally sourced food in restaurants


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