Post-Op Update
Post-Op Update
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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.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Kelly M.
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I finally visited you’re site after deleting fb and think this is a really great idea and something creative other then telling all friends what is going on in you’re life. I would like to use this tool of expression myself. You have always inspired me and now that we have common food allergies to talk about it makes me curious enough to read updates. You are a true gem. You brightened up my day leaving the balloon festival for even 5 minutes of texting me you are there… inspired to be healthy and keep going. Thank you! LET’S DO DINNER SOON… Gluten free LOL :) xox

  2. Maria
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Your story is so inspiring. I especially loved your moment of self advocacy in the hospital. Nobody should have to put up with sub-standard care, especially when it can put your well being at risk, so kudos for standing up for what was your due. Best wishes, and congrats on all you’ve already accomplished.

  3. Jenn
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Dana, Thanks so much for all of this. Sometimes I forget exactly what I went through 10 years ago. Some I remember and some forget for no reason at all. That leak test was also the worst for me!! After 10 years out I am still judging how much is filling and how much is TOO MUCH! I am the slowest eater and still use a small fork and spoon. You have brought back SOOO many memories. Don’t beat yourself up over the # of lbs. I had to completely stop weighing myself daily, weekly etc because i had set unrealistic goals for myself that differ person to person. I lost the weight the slowest out of the 25 people in my surgery group, yet I am the only one after a decade that has kept it off without added medical means to keep it off or over the counter drugs. I do not obsess over the # but rather the feeling. Either it be walking one house more down the street that the previous day, or 1cm lost in my waist. Keep positive and remember its a “life-long” change, it wont happen overnight – but has so many little rewards to special to overlook. Keep positive and keep writing. :)
    Jenn

  4. Eloise
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Love your story, your self advocacy in the hospital & the creative food choices but most especially, 29lbs!!!!! That is PHENOMENAL!!!! I have been seen – I’m supposed to be on the waiting list. I have heard nothing and just written a letter to my GP asking to be re-referred – I wish I knew what magic button to press to get them to help. But in the mean time, thank you for your candid report!!

  5. Meridith
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I love all of the detail here. I finally feel like I have an idea of what this procedure and recovery are like.

    I wish you the best, Dana. Keep fighting the good fight and stay healthy!

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