It’s almost been 6 weeks post op, and several people have been asking, so I figured it was time for a weight loss surgery update. The real truth is I’m just okay. Remember when I talked about being “just okay” with depression? Well, this is a little like that. I have good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments. I’m doing what I’m supposed to and trucking along the best I know how, but things are just not “great” quite yet. Let me explain a little more.
When I started this journey (gosh, I wish there was another word for it because journey is so cliche) I had to go on a liquid diet for three weeks. My doc said 2-3 weeks and I just chose 3 weeks. The purpose of the pre-op liquid diet is to shrink your liver so it’s easier for the surgeon to operate so I figured the longer the better and I had plenty of time. December 9, 2015 was my day to start liquids. I continued liquids up until my surgery on December 30 and the doc didn’t have any complaints about my liver so I guess I did okay.
Well, after surgery, I had to be on liquids for another 2 weeks while my body healed. After that 2 weeks, I could have pureed foods, but not many of them sat very well in my stomach so I was a little half/half on the liquids and pureed foods. Plus, by this time, I was getting pretty tired of liquids and mushy foods and I just wanted something to nosh on!
At my first post op appointment with the surgeon, he finally released me to eat regular food (two days shy of 3 weeks post op) and I was super thrilled. I wanted something crunchy and chewable and now I can’t even remember what my first real meal was…hmm…but I’m sure it was good! I’ve been eating “real” food now for a little over 2 weeks and I’m still working on figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t. I still prefer crunchy foods and I have an aversion to yogurt unless it has granola in it.
Most days I have a stomach ache at some point during the day. This is usually due to me eating too fast or maybe a bite too many. I do a pretty good job of not overeating because my surgeon told me to only eat 1/4 cup of food at a time, but the eating too fast is a challenge for me. I have to eat every other hour so I’ve learned to eat on the even hours and drink on the odd hours (since I’m not supposed to eat and drink at the same time). Some of my favorite snacks are almonds, string cheese, yogurt with granola, cubed ham, and just recently I rediscovered pork rinds! I’m supposed to be getting in mostly protein so these are all good options for me.
As far as weight loss, I have lost 26 lbs. I feel like this is a slow loss, but my surgeon warned me that I might be a slow loser because of my depression medicines. I’m happy about the 26 lbs, but I do wish it would come off a little faster. I try to look on the bright side and hope that I won’t have as much saggy skin if I lose slower. I don’t know that for a fact, but I’m just wishful thinking.
Another aspect of my weight loss is exercise and I’m not the world’s best patient when it comes to exercise. I try to walk almost every day around the parking lot at work, but there are some days when my fatigue just takes over and I can’t get it done. When I do walk, I make two laps around the parking lot and that’s not really enough to get a good burn going, but it seems to be what I can do right now and hopefully I’ll be able to increase again soon. I have never exercised consistently in my life so I am a work in progress.
I mentioned fatigue up there and that is a big roadblock for me right now. I’m tired ALL of the time. I go to bed early and get up as late as possible. I wake up tired and it just follows me around all day long. I take naps when I can and sometimes I even fall asleep at my desk for a minute at work. I’ve tried coffee, but it just hurts my stomach so I limit it to only a couple of times per week. I’m afraid that I might not be absorbing my depression medication that I take first thing in the morning because there is nothing in my stomach when I take it. I’m going to discuss it with my surgeon when I see him in a week.
One final “side effect” of my surgery and weight loss is that I’m constantly freezing. We currently have our heater at the house set on 74 and I’m in pajamas, long sleeves, covered in a comforter and shivering. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but it seems to be a common thing for weight loss surgery patients. I hope it’s only a passing phase for me!
On the bright side, I’m very positive about this change that I’m making. I don’t regret the surgery, but I’m ready to be healed and move on with my life. This past weekend, I was able to go on a hike with the Boy Scouts and the following day, I was able to easily walk around the zoo with the family. Things are improving, albeit slowly, so I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I have watched Howard go through this process and now he is feeling great and has lost 150 lbs, so I know I can do this!
Now that I’ve given you my weight loss surgery update, what questions do you have? How often would you like to read an update? Are you on this journey as well or just starting out? I want to hear from you, so comment below!
P.S. I’ll update with photos soon. I just haven’t had a chance to take a good one yet and really…I don’t know if you’ll see a difference with only a 26 lb loss, but I’ll update asap!