Monday July 23rd marks two weeks since I started my new life with a stomach the size of a small banana. After undergoing vertical gastric sleeve, and including my two week pre-op diet, I’ve lost a total of 29 pounds! To be honest, I was hoping for 30 pounds by the time I wrote this, and I sit here beating myself up a little over it. I have to remember that while I’m stressing over only one pound, I’ve lost 29 in four weeks. That’s incredible. I made a decision that this surgery would create a new me in many ways. I need to focus on the good things, and not look at the bad. There will still be weeks where my body adjusts to the minimal number of calories I’m taking in, and I will not lose weight. I always tell people that one cannot change the things that happen, they can only change the way they react. This is where I need to take my own advice.
The past two weeks have been both exciting and miserable. I hated my hospital stay. While I don’t think anyone actually enjoys staying in a hospital, mine was made into a nightmare by a nurse who had just returned to work a twelve hour shift after being out from surgery herself. She essentially ignored any of my requests for my medications or help. This includes my pain medication, a seizure medication that if not taken could cause a seizure, and any help I needed for various reasons such as using the bathroom. She is also the reason I had to stay a second night, as she reported to my surgeon’s office that I was in pain. Of course I was in pain! Eventually, I managed to get out of bed on my own and stage a one person riot in the front of the nurse’s desk, which resulted in receiving all the help and medication I needed. Once this particular nurse’s shift was over, I continued to receive what I needed every few hours, plus a warm blanket after hours of shivering from an air conditioner I had been told couldn’t be turned off. Yes, I threw a tantrum and acted crazy, but in the end those screams and tears got me what I needed. However childish I may have acted, I do not care.
Before I was able to leave the hospital, I had to pass a leak test by sipping some gross fluid for a CAT Scan, followed by having to drink 30cc of water from 5 little cups. This was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and I’m not even joking. I could only take tiny sips. The hard part was that with each sip it felt as if bricks were hitting my stomach. I would have rather been stung by a wasp a hundred times. At least after it was finished, I was able to go home. After a moment the previous night where I seriously questioned if I had made the right decision, I was now telling myself “It will get better”. Though at this point, that was somewhat hard to believe.
Once I was home, things improved dramatically. I only needed my pain medication twice, and I eventually found a way to get comfortable on my couch. I only consumed liquids for the first week, as I ended up having a surprise hiatal hernia repair that was done at the same time as the surgery. Ice pops and cold liquids went down the best. I could not handle soup or anything warm until week two. Yesterday I had my first cup of warm tea. I am currently now on a pureed diet, think baby food and high in protein, eating about one to two ounces every three hours. My goal is to get between 60-80 grams of protein in a day. I’ve been eating a protein shake, ricotta cheese, tuna fish, and beans all purred. Every new food I put into my mouth, causes my stomach to make a little bit of a noise, but then the next time it goes down easier. Same thing with knowing how much to eat. It’s a bit challenging to know how much makes me feel full. Every bite I take is with a baby spoon. This allows me to slow down my eating, and take in a very small amount at a time. Yesterday I had my first real life experience being out of my house. I attended my friend’s Bridal Shower at a Japanese restaurant. I had to think creatively on what I could eat, so I had miso soup, and a spicy tuna roll without the rice or seaweed. Basically, think of a lump of spicy tuna on a plate. The best part though is that it was filling. One ounce of food was filling! I couldn’t even imagine what that felt like before this surgery.
For now, even though my energy level is not all that great, I keep busy walking through my neighborhood, in parks, and in the mall on rainy days. I will be visiting my surgeon and nutritionist at the end of this week for my first follow up, where hopefully I’ll be given the OK to move onto soft foods like scallops, salmon, and ground meat. By my next blog, hopefully I’ll be a few pounds lighter, but if I’m not that’s alright, too. Just as long as I’m losing inches in my measurements!
Dana Pollati is first and for most, a Jersey Girl. She always has an opinion and is never afraid to share it. Dana is a wife, artist, lover of life, hater of the phrase “FML”, and a life long unsuccessful dieter. When she’s not working for adigital publisher, she spends her time drawing pretty pictures, searching for that great vintage find, reading palms, walking, walking, and walking again. Discovering creative ways to share life experiences is really what keeps this girl moving forward.