Friday, October 25, 2013

Week 3 -- food, Food, FOOD!


Okay, so I can only eat "soft foods" but you'd be amazed at how much that opens up. And more importantly -- I CAN CHEW MY FOOD!!! 

No, I'm not excited at all. Can't you tell?

Soft foods also includes toast and crackers but not bread. Of course, me being me, I had to ask my dietitian why not. Basically, for whatever reason, bread, even though it's soft, lands like a rock in bariatric bi-pass tummies and causes a lot of pain and puking for most people and since my fabulous fun filled day of puking over the stupid vitamins I'm not willing to test the theory. But crackers are DELICIOUS. 

I still eat ridiculously small amounts and I still need to drink the protein shake and protein powered chocolate pudding (hardships, really. Mmm mmm chocolate) to supplement my protein intake.

I tried an over medium cooked egg, thinking because of the runny yolks it would be soft and I liked them alright before the surgery. It was gross and to top it off before I could even eat half of it the nasty thing was cold which made it even more nasty. So there's another thing I liked before but hate now. I still miss my Vanilla English Toffee Iced Coffee. Haz sad face.

So the next morning I tried scrambled eggs, something I wasn't terribly fond of before, but it was pretty good. So I can eat one scrambled egg and half of a 5.3 oz greek yogurt for breakfast.

For lunch I make open faced cracker sandwiches -- 3 crackers and about 1.5 oz of chicken lunch meat.

For dinner: I made a cheesy ranch mashed cauliflower. Tastes like potatoes and is better for you. I can eat three TBS of that and then 1 dinosaur chicken and I'm stuffed.

It takes me about a half an hour to eat those small amounts for each meal. So, I've made it a point to eat stuff I don't mind becoming room temp or make it crazy hot so it's still warm when I finish. 

I went to my 2 week follow up appointment on the 23rd. The doc was really impressed with my progress and says I'm having a better than text book recovery and everything is looking really great. She gave me a pass on all the vitamins I have to take for a month and then made my day telling me I don't have to take all the ones that they normally prescribe because that's for the pouch and I have a sleeve. So I left a happy camper. 

I've also been cleared for some exercise which I'm super happy about. I can do anything that works out or tones my arms, shoulders, butt, and legs (doctors words) but nothing to do with my stomach. Unfortunately this includes my deep water aerobics class for another month which is a total bummer as that's my favorite exercise to do. But I'll endeavor to survive.

I got on my elliptical last night for 18 minutes and did fine. I could've gone longer but the Husband had taken the kids out to ride scooters and skateboards and as I watched all the fun they were having I decided to join in with them and ran around the courtyard pushing little kids around on their scooters. Hey, that's exercise too.

Things I still miss:
Chugging water. I barely drink 40 - 50 oz a day when before I could guzzle 100 oz.
Water aerobics
Laying on the floor -- stomach is still sore
Rolling over without hurting -- same as above
IB Profen (something of which I will never be able to take again)
Vanilla English Toffee Iced Coffee (which hopefully I will develop a taste for again)
Salad. I desperately want roughage!

But all in all the list of missing stuff doesn't outweigh the list of benefits having this surgery is going to afford me most of which is BEING HEALTHY!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bariatric Best Friends

My blender. It has gotten more use in the last two weeks than it has since I bought it. I mix pudding and puree soup. And since that's all I can eat (until tomorrow) you can imagine how much it gets used.

4 oz. canning jars are seriously wonderful. I make my pudding and pureed soups and then portion them out in the canning jars. I know I can eat one in a sitting, they stay fresher longer, and they're in a cute little container sized just for me.

Protein powder. I'm sure you're not surprised to know how amazingly hard it is to get enough protein and other nutrients (as well as calories) when all you can eat is yogurt, pudding, and soup. I have "Syntrax Nectar Sweets Chocolate Truffle" protein powder and it is soooo chocolately delicious. I mix it in the pudding and with milk to make sure, that while I can't hit 1200 calories yet, I can hit my 60 - 70 grams of protein I'm supposed to ingest a day. I also got some non flavored protein on the way so I can add it to soups and other food to help with my protein consumption.

Baby spoons. I have to take the tiniest of bites to make sure I don't overfill my stomach. I haven't had the need of forks yet as everything I can eat is a soquid, so I don't know if I like baby forks. But the spoons we got for Sassypants when she first started eating are the spoons I use at every meal. They help make sure my bites are small which is a good thing, even if it does take me 30 minutes to eat 4 oz of food.

Ice Breakers Sugar Free Wintergreen Mints. I have yuck mouth. I have yuck mouth all the time -- no matter how much I brush my teeth, no matter how much I use mouthwash, no matter what. I keep a container of mints with me at all times to help fight off yuck mouth. I even pop one in the middle of the night when I wake up and my mouth is so gross I can't fall right back to sleep. I'm assured by everyone who has had the surgery that it goes away. They can't tell me when, but they all swear that it does. I'm counting down the days because it's seriously gross.

Chewable Vitamins and Chewable Calcium. I tried taking the bevy of vitamins I'm supposed to take for the rest of my life and it made me throw up. And that was unpleasant to say the least. So hello chewables. There are liquids too but I can't drink them. I have an aversion to syrup medicines to the severity that I'd rather be in pain than take the liquid pain killer. *Shivers* Yuck. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Life After Surgery -- First Two Weeks

So I did it. I am now the proud owner of a gastric sleeve where my stomach used to be. I even had pictures of the happy event (unfortunately I forgot them at the hospital).

It wasn't at all what I expected it to be. 

I've had three c-sections. I thought the gastric bi-pass would have nothing on them. I've had my gallbladder removed. I figured this surgery would be more like that. 


I was up and running a few days after having my gallbladder removed. I was up and running a few days after I had my c-sections (now that could be because I had baby induced euphoria and new mommy syndrome and cute baby face distractions). I was knocked on my ass by the stomach surgery. 4ft asked me on the Friday after I had the surgery done if I was going to die, that's how hard it was.

First of all, anesthesia and I do NOT get along. I wake up sick and wishing I was dead after. But the worst part was the pain medicine. I had some horrible medicine called Dulotin (I probably spelled it WAY wrong) and it made me throw up every single time I took it. They tried giving me anti-nausea medicines several different kinds, stacked one on top of the other, and still every single time I took the pain meds I puked my guts out. So I refused to take them. If I was going to hurt, I was going to hurt without puking. I regretted having it done. 

Day 2 started clear liquids. Broths, water, and sugar free jello. The first day of that I maybe ingested 20 oz of liquid the entire day. I was on clear liquids for one week. All I can say to that is yuck, yuck, yuck. My tastebuds so radically changed that I had to choke down the broths. My poor husband kept trying to find one I could tolerate. We just gave up and I lived off of sugar free jello for that week. I think I ate 3 of the little cups total, that week. I focused a lot on trying to be able to drink.

Drinking. I love water. I used to drink like 100 oz a day of water. I cannot drink it now. Some of my support group friends say that it took them a couple months to do water again and not to fret I'll probably be able to stomach it again. I surely hope so. I miss it. Instead I've found Sobe 0 calorie Lifewater that are pretty good and Sugar Free Berry Propel and I drink about 40 oz a day now.

After the first week, I was able to do pureed soups, yogurt, sugar free pudding, and protein shakes. I'm doing much better on that diet. I can eat about 4 oz. at one time. Campbell's Chunky Split Pea Soup pureed so it's smooth is really good and has like a gravy consistency. My mom makes an awesome Tomato Bisque that I love a lot. I drink a half of a protein shake and then at night stir protein into the pudding. My caloric intake is ridiculous at about 550 calories but I'm getting close to 70 grams of protein which is where I need to be. Eventually when my diet restrictions are removed I'll supposedly be able to get up to 1200 calories. I don't see how unless I eat a bag of M&M's but we'll see. 

 I still hurt. It takes an enormous amount of willpower to not eat what my family eats. It's pretty much the consequences of eating it that stops me. If I drink too fast I throw up (which I found out yesterday trying to take all the vitamins I'm supposed to take), so I'm going to try and NEVER do that again. My tastes have changed and the decaf iced coffee with protein that I used to love was undrinkable. I'm an emotional roller coaster which directly correlates with how I'm feeling that day. My husband says I make the process look effortless but I have good days and bad. I'm exhausted all the time (which could be because of the 500 calories deal). I can't wait until I'm allowed to exercise. I could definitely use the endorphins. 

The bright side: I'm losing about a pound a day (that will slow down when I'm able to increase my caloric intake with more solid foods) and I'm going to be healthy. I will have the arsenal I'll need to fight against the auto-immune disease if ever it decides to rear it's ugly head. Eventually I will have the energy to do all the things I want to do and the diet restrictions aren't forever. Why, on Wednesday I get to have scrambled eggs *SQUEE* (and I don't even really like eggs), mashed vegetables, soft proteins like lunch meat, some fish, and possibly some moist chicken, and soft cheeses. And all restrictions will be gone by the time Thanksgiving comes around.

I still have mixed feelings about the surgery. From what I've seen, a lot of people do at this stage. Most people feel that way about it until about 3-4 months out when they get used to the lifestyle, have stopped mourning their old ones, and have shed a bunch of weight.

I'll get there.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pass the Knife

Well, I did it. 

I've lost the 25lbs (and then some) I needed to lose in order to have the gastric bypass surgery. My preop appointment is TOMORROW and I get surgerized (Yeah, I made that word up, what of it?) on Wednesday, October 9th. 

I'm seriously excited.

I was originally going to get the Roux-En-Y bypass which is where they make your stomach from a football sized pouch to the size of an egg sized pouch. But come to find out, due to the auto-immune disease medical stuff wrong with me, I have to have the Gastric Sleeve so they are able to treat my other conditions with medications that could be toxic to a patient with the Roux-En-Y bypass. So basically they're going to slice away most of the stomach and make it one long tube from esophagus to intestines with no pouch for your stomach. I think, I'm glad for it, because this way they don't have to reroute any intestines like they do for the other bypass so I'm hoping, I'll recover faster and have less complications. It's definitely less invasive. 

In other news:

Sassy doesn't need a ladder to climb onto the top bunk of the boys' bed. She is like She-ra and just does a massive pull up on the top bar until she's up and over. So at every opportunity (when I'm not looking -- you know bathroom breaks, food prep, Grumpers' pull-up change) I find her on the top bunk with a smile a mile wide and her giggling and waving at me. I'm hoping she doesn't get any, "I can fly" or "gravity won't affect me" ideas and dives off the top.

4ft has started choir and I can't wait until he sings tune after tune that he's learned over and over and over. When can he start band? Because that way I can listen to that too! (Yeah, and that wasn't sarcasm -- the kid talks nonstop, singing or horrible instrument playing would be a nice change)

Grumpers still insists that he will only ever wear pull-ups and that big boy underwear are just a passing fad. I remain hopeful that he won't go to college wearing Diego decorated pull-ups but am going to buy stock in the company just in case.