Today was my second follow-up visit since I underwent gastric bypass surgery. It’s been exactly three weeks. Since my last weigh-in I’ve lost 10 lbs, 26 lbs total since surgery (including the 12 day pre-op diet) and 35 total since starting this process last fall. Not too shabby!
I see two people when I go for follow-ups, Tina (nurse) and my doctor/surgeon. They are both wonderful! During my last two visits I haven’t been my normal peppy-self. I know they think I’m discouraged because I haven’t lost as much as I’d hoped, but I’m not discouraged. A little disappointed, and mostly just fatigued I haven’t been getting in as much protein as I ought. They are both so amazing and cheery when I come in. They are patient and answer all of my questions (and there are many). They’ve been great at setting my worries to rest and today they were both very encouraging. I left smiling and if there was a little part of me that was discouraged, they dispelled it successfully.
The last few days haven’t been easy. In fact, it’s been a bit of a struggle. I was in the midst of the Stage 3 diet (puree) and it wasn’t fun. Baby food and pureed fish and chicken isn’t awful to taste (though not great), but the look and thought is disgusting. By Monday, I couldn’t even look at food without my stomach turning. Shakes tasted gross as well, so the last three days I hardly took in anything besides water, and I paid for it. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. Sometimes like my body is breaking down, slowly. I cramped up, had nausea, my shoulders hurt and sometimes I could hardly remain standing for more than a few minutes. The only thing that seemed to settle my stomach was no-sugar-added italian ice and water. Occasional sips of Diet Snapple helped too. Pureed fruit was good to taste and was all I was in the mood for, but gave me stomach and chest pains (normal at this stage). The last few days I was over pureed meats and eggs and nothing sounded good at all. I took in a little- but we’re talking 10-15 grams of protein and the need is 60-80 grams a day. I should have forced it, but that’s much easier said than done. When my stomach says no, I feel inclined to listen. Already an improvement.
During Stage 3 I was also to suppose to start with my vitamins: a liquid or chewable multi-vitamin, B-12 and calcium citrate. I went to the Vitamin Shoppe and was overwhelmed with options. There were wafers and droppers and chewables, swalloables, etc…everything. I wound up with a B-12 dropper (25 drops a day) and Alive chewable multi-vitamins, which I later returned for the liquid version because I wimped out and was too nervous to take-in a gummy. I figured the liquid would be a safer bet… but let me tell you, it was ECK! It was thick and a greenish brown color and tasted like spicy peppers and grass. So, I put that aside and went back for some yummy gummy vitamins and haven’t looked back since. As for the calcium citrate, I picked up a bag of chewies from my doctor’s office and they are taste like lemon Starbursts!
Something I haven’t gotten used to yet is how hyper-responsive my body is when I don’t take in enough, or when I take in too much. I had a bite of a soft peach (from the can) this morning, and my chest tightened and my stomach clenched. The doctor says this is probably because I swallowed too fast or didn’t chew enough. Or perhaps I’m just not ready for it yet. When I don’t eat, my body gets angry and I feel very tired and weak, but not after very long at all. I get the feeling you might get if you haven’t eaten for a whole day or two. Once I get a little protein in me, it’s almost instant relief. I can feel the difference it makes and how my body reacts to getting what it needs. So why did I let myself get through days with little-to-no protein this week? It’s not easy. It’s actually been very difficult forcing myself to take in all that I’m suppose to, and it’s a lot. A lot of protein, a lot of water and my stomach is very small and very responsive. I get uncomfortable easily and if I push it too much, I could get sick. Even when I’m hungry, my stomach isn’t always on the same page. I’m still adjusting.
It is getting easier. I can take in a little more than I initially could, so I’m hoping the discomfort will subside when I get a hang of things. I’ve heard stories about how some patients puree pizza and chocolate cake and cheeseburgers and such- can you believe that? For so many reasons that’s just so wrong.
1. I can’t imagine going through all this just to go back to doing the same dumb sh** and eating the same awful foods.
2. I don’t know how they can physically do it. Even puree, the fat and the sugar.. I mean, I had a hard time taking a bite of a soft peach from the can - and that’s on my allowed list!
3. Pureed pizza/cheeseburgers?!?! Not to be all judgy, but WTF?! I mean, of course I miss some of those things.. mostly soda, but I wouldn’t dare. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I really do miss soda.. I took a sip one day over the weekend, but didn’t swallow. I just wanted to taste it. It smelled so good- the yummy sugar, but the second it was on my tongue I spit it out- it was like acid, big time burn! I couldn’t even taste any flavor, just the burn of the carbonation. I wasn’t expecting that. I still miss it though.
Tonight, I feel a little better than I have these past few days- thanks to Stage 4. I’m past pureed foods and on to soft food now. I had some ground turkey in marinara sauce for dinner and I even had some cereal! The cereal was tough. I have to let it get really mushy and I can only have plain cereal and I can’t take much of it, but honestly it’s a treat. I’m hoping the next week goes better and I start to feel more and more like myself. I’ve also now officially been cleared to do more laborious exercises. I can go to the gym and such and I’m hoping this will contribute to my urge to eat and feeling more energized and less like a zombie.
More than anything, I want to go swimming. I’ve been obsessed with water lately, which is a good thing. But I’m always thirsty and you’d think I’d been alone in the desert for a week without any water, because nothing tastes as good as water does. And I know you’re probably thinking, “what does this have to do with swimming?” I don’t know- it just seems like it’d be refreshing. Maybe because I always feel the urge to take big gulps of water and guzzle when I’m thirsty and I can’t do that anymore. I don’t know lol. I’m looking into the Y and see how much that costs. I think swimming would be a great workout I could do each morning. I would enjoy it and maybe I could take water aerobics or water Zumba or something. Can you imagine?!? Lol ;)
This Saturday is a fair held by my surgeon’s office. They are going to have their “biggest losers” present (their most successful patients) and raffles and some walking too. I’m definitely going to go. I really want to meet more people who have had this done and been successful. It’s great support and encouragement.
In the meantime, I’m taking it one day at a time. There will be bad days and good days, especially while I’m going through these next few weeks with my diet changing and discovering what I can and can’t tolerate and trying to take in everything I should. Nobody said it’d be easy, and it hasn’t been… BUT, it’s worth it. In the next week or so I’ll have an appointment with my bariatric counselor and get started on that inner-work as well, which I know is so very important. I need that support and guidance for sure.
My next follow-up appointment is mid-July. My goal is to drop under 300 by my next weigh-in. I have a lot of work to do. With more water and more exercise, I should be able to achieve this!!!! Wish me luck!! As always, I’m very grateful for my loving and supportive friends and family.