Week Two: Sips and Nibbles

This week hasn’t been very eventful. I’m still working on healing after surgery.

I went to my scheduled doctor visit and he said that I’m doing well. My incisions are still looking good. We looked at my new stomach pouch on an x-ray. It was weird. I drank some chalky, white liquid and we watched it move through me. He said that I must be doing what I’m supposed to be because my staples are still holding. I asked if that was a big problem. According to him, people get too excited about eating again and make all manner of bad choices. Sometimes, he has to go back in to repair strictures (narrowing of the new stomach outlet), ulcers and hernias. Nasty, painful business.

The pain level is very tolerable and I’m totally off of pain meds now. It’s really similar to my C-section. I have to take my time moving around and be mindful of my belly. I might move too quickly and get a twinge sometimes, but its nothing I can’t handle.

This week, I got a little bit better about getting my liquids in. I had a hard time drinking 64 oz. before my surgery. Now, my need to sip slowly has made it more difficult. I have managed to figure out a little system that keeps me from constantly sipping. I take a mouthful of water and swallow it a little at a time. Yes, I probably look silly holding water in my cheeks. No, I don’t care what anyone thinks about it. My system works.

I’ve slowly begun eating solids again. Soft foods like oatmeal, grits, yogurt, and applesauce have become staples this week. I can also have protein shakes. Consuming 50 grams of protein every day is nearly impossible without meat and beans. My mother and I are looking for creative ways to get protein powder into foods. She found a new brand that is supposed to work well in recipes. I’ll report on how that goes later.

The cravings for unhealthy things are fewer now, but not totally gone. I still want pastas and pizzas like everyone else. Chips and queso has been my choice comfort food for years. The difference is that I have to convince myself that I don’t want it anymore. Those things will seriously injure me at this point. I don’t need any more surgeries. It has become a literal matter of life and death.

I want to skip ahead in my treatment plan and start testing my pouch with different things. I’ve managed to eat some masked potatoes without pain. Steamed veggies are also okay, provided that I chew them up properly. These are both technically week three foods, but I was feeling ambitious.

Daily vitamins are also a part of my life now. I have to incorporate two multivitamins, vitamin C and B12, biotin, and iron into my daily routine. I was worried about this change, but it hasn’t been too bad. I can work most my vitamins into morning and evening mealtimes. I might need to sneak one of my calcium gummies into my break when I go back to work, but we’ll see what happens.

Speaking of work, I have to go back tomorrow. I know it will take a lot out of me. Work wore me out on a normal day before my surgery. I’m supposed to be taking three 10-minute walks every day to build up endurance and get some exercise in. I do my walks but it really wears me out. The first week back is going to be an endeavor.

I know I’m not supposed to be watching the scale, but its hard not to. I’m there every morning. I surprised myself on New Years Day. For the first time in over fourteen years, I was hovering between 299 and 300 pounds. I haven’t been down that far since before my son was born. It also meant that I had lost thirty pounds since December 1st. Both are huge wins for me.

My goal weight is 200 pounds by December 1st, 2019. I didn’t think it was possible before, but I did that much even before getting the gastric sleeve. It feels like a real possibility. Even if I’m not exactly on the nose, as long as I get close, I can call it a victory. It will take a lot more work and dedication, but I’ve come too far to abandon this now.