The other night I was chatting with some VST folks when I got a call that my 4 yr. old grandson was being taken to the ER. I take care of him several days a week, so I am very attached, and I immediately headed down to the ER. As I was leaving, I grabbed a box of Nutrigrain bars in case we were there for a while and anyone got hungry. As we waited, and waited...my mind kept drifting to those NG bars because I just wanted to eat something even though I knew I wasn't hungry.
But here's the good part: Everytime I thought about eating, I automatically thought of YOU and the urge to eat would pass. Since that night I've really been giving this some thought. More than before, I'm coming to realize that this surgery is such a life altering experience...I can't imagine how isolated and afraid I might have felt going through all these changes by myself. I'm grateful to each one of you for taking the time to post your experiences (good and bad), to respond to questions (that you've probably responded to a lot of other times), to offer suggestions, and to be a source of encouragement and inspiration! This has been an unexpected gift that caught me by surprise!
Well it was 4 weeks ago today that I was sleeved. My recovery has been different than what I expected. I'm not stranger to surgery--I've had 2 c-sections, a tubal, and my gall bladder removed, and I've always bounced back very quickly. This surgery has taken me longer...I haven't taken pain medication since I came home the day after the surgery--but I just haven't had any energy. Maybe in part because I'm getting older (54)...and also it's been a challenge to get in all my liquids, and enough protein and part of feeling weak and tired is about not being able to take in very many calories. I'm up and doing some things, but not pushing myself too hard. My hope is that I will start to feel more energetic when I can eat a little more.
Even though I don't feel super perky, I'm optimistic that this is going to get better as my healing continues. I'm down 29 pounds now and wearing smaller clothes. That's a huge victory because the only place in my area that I could buy a size 28 was Catherines which was an hour away from where I live. Last weekend I was able to shop at the mall in my own town because I'm wearing 24's which you can get in regular department stores. Sleeping better, walking better, and no BP medication. I'm eating "mushies" now--and that feels like a huge improvement. I am surprised by the tiny amount that I'm able to eat. Occasionally it might be 1/2 cup--but more often, it's about 1/4-1/3 cup.
I don't really feel physically hungry very often--but I still feel kind of anxious about not being able to eat more food. I'm trusting that my surgeon knows what he's doing. He said that the stomach capacity usually doubles by the end of the first year, and triples by the end of the third year. If that's correct, then it makes sense to start out with a smaller pouch so that you end up with a reasonably small pouch for the long haul. I'm graphing my weight loss and it's wonderful to watch the red line moving down the page. It does still feel a little overwhelming to know that I have another 110 pounds to go. Just trying to relax and enjoy the journey.
Had my post op appointment today. It was great to get those staples removed and get rid of the drain...and I have no leak! YEH!!! I'm down a total of 20 pounds and I've already been able to discontinue my blood pressure medication. Not only that, my feet aren't hurting nearly as much when I walk...I'm thinking the rest of this ride is going to be a blast. :scared0:
Whoohoo! Surgery was Tuesday. I believe the worst is over and I'm running forward to put the fat past behind me. Truthfully, the gas pain right after surgery felt like my chest was being crushed--I couldn't take a deep breath--and I thought I was having a heart attack. Once they did an EKG and determined that my heart was OK, I just let them load me up with pain meds until it passed. By the next morning the gas was easing up and I came home that afternoon. I haven't needed ANY pain medication since I got home. I actually went grocery shopping on Friday. I still can't swallow anything but tiny sips without feeling pressure in my chest, but today has been much easier in terms of my ability to get stuff down. The first couple days I took anti-nausea meds pretty regularly at the first hint nausea to avoid any vomiting that could tear my staple line...but I haven't needed that today either. Being able to read all your comments and stories before going into surgery really helped to prepare me mentally and give me confidence that I was making a good choice. Thanks to each of you for your support!
Tomorrow is my surgery day. I'm feeling pretty anxious after reading a lot of posts from people struggling with nausea months after the surgery. That is discouraging because I want a good quality of life. I think the sleeve is the right thing for me to do--but it seems like a taking a huge risk and it's one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, because I know I can't undo it once it's done. I'm scared that something will go wrong and that I will have trouble eating enough healthy foods to get the nutrition I need.
My surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday. There is no question...I am scared of the unknown future that will follow surgery...
but I am more scared of the known consequences of no surgery: Another diet, and eventual weight regain. I have dieted most of my life. I have a "lifetime key" at Weight Watchers. I worked as a counselor at Diet Center. I have easily lost and regained more than 500 pounds during my lifetime. I was a ballet dancer in college, weighing in at my lowest adult weight of 119 pounds--and yet here I am, barely able to waddle at 283 pounds. How's that for visible evidence of all my dieting successes? My life has been consumed by trying to control my weight. Now the key word is Morbid. Morbid Obesity. Morbid because this problem with my weight has in many ways been a hidden death sentence. Technically, I am alive, but even though I am 54 years old, I might at well be 84. It hurts to walk, it hurts to stand, it hurts to sit, it hurts to sleep. I have sleep apnea and high blood pressure. No energy to do much of anything. Morbid? Yep...it's the life of the living dead. I'm hoping that this surgery is going to take me out of the "dead zone" and offer me the opportunity to enjoy life again.