When pre-sleeved, I wondered what it was going to feel like right after the surgery. i read everything I could, but I still wanted more, more, more. I'm writing about my experiences to give back to the community that helped me prepare for this surgery. It's a very long post but hopefully it answers some questions about what we might go through, physically, mentally and emotionally.
I'm 5'6, HW 230, SW 222, CW 215.4 and I'm 47 years old.
Day of Surgery (Friday)
I find myself calm, not nervous and ready and prepared thanks to hours spent on this site. I move to a gurney where they inject me, and the next thing i know I'm waking up and there's an oxygen mask on my nose.I keep trying to take it off, and they tell me not to, that I need the oxygen. I fight it a little. Finally, I say I know I'm not supposed to take it off, but I need to breathe, I'll put it back. The doctor checks on me and sees me fighting it, and says it's okay to take it off. I tell them I'm nauseated and they give me something.
I feel so little pain that in my dream state, I keep waking up from a half-sleep thinking, Oh I have to go to surgery today. And then my brain reminds me it's already over. I can't believe it. My husband comes out of his surgery and once he is awake, I make him walk with me. We push our IVs along, marveling at how okay we feel.
I'm okay, he's not so great. He's nauseated his chest feels tight, but there's not too much pain. We walk all day in little bits. My mouth is dry but I rinse it several times, and use my chapstick. We're fine.
Night-time is not fun. Nurses in and out every two hours, injecting one or the other of us. R has really bad heartburn so I'm trying to take care of him. We get through the night.
First Day Post-Op (Saturday)
Cannot WAIT for the ice chips! such a gourmet treat! They arrive and we find we can't really eat them as we should. Two little ice chips and it feels like you have an elephant on your chest. R is worrying about shoulder and chest pain, and I assure him it's not a heart-attack, just gas pains, and keep walking. I nap a lot. He sneaks out and overdoes the walking and increases his pain. But the doc says his gut sounds better than mine, and to keep in mind that pain & symptoms don't mean a poor recovery.
I wonder how the heck we'll ever consume 64 oz of fluid.
Second Day Post Op (Sunday)
Time to go home. We get a bottle of grape juice. Yum! but again, can't imagine how I will finish that little 8 oz bottle. We drive for 12 hours today. Well, I drive. R sleeps the whole time, which is how his body recovers from anything he ever has. I'm happy to be able to do this for him. We stop in Austin to see my son, try to drink some Unjury chicken. The warm soup feels good. We sleep for an hour and I'm refreshed enough to drive home. Keep trying to drink, probably didn't even get in 16 oz this day.
That night, I force the fluids and I'm miserable. Walking up and down the hallways after a long day. I realize this is a lesson. If I ever overdo the food, this is what it's going to feel like. No bueno.
This is my "WTF did I just do?" day. Thanks to this forum, I know that's common and I let the emotions come.
Third Day Post Op (Monday)
Lots of sleeping going on but guess what? We can drink easier now! At least 38-40 oz today including a Nectar Fuzzy Navel! I'm amazed at the progress in just three days. I stop the pain pills. R is cranky and depressed today.We're arguing about stupid sh*t. I tell him it's the hormones, the trauma, the lack of calories and carbs and that it will all be okay. I do 20 mins on a stationary cycle, R walks the dog a mile.
Now my brain shifts to the big changes. Such as, if I'm not always thinking of food, what am I going to do with that spare time?
I kid you not. My existential crisis? What the hell am I going to pin on Pinterest now if not recipes?? I realize front and center food has been in my life and am so grateful we were able to get this surgery.
Fourth Day Post Op (Tuesday)
Feeling like a pro today! I forget I've had surgery and gulp. Ouch. But a shake, an unjury chicken soup, egg drop soup, 2 G-2s, and 2 popsicles! Yay me!
So of course, now that is good, I'm the weepy one today. There's nothing wrong, I just want to cry. But I don't cry easily so even though I try, I can't cry .
No pain, all good. R gets energy back. I'm not there yet and want to sleep. We go out to get something, I'm exhausted. But I do 2 ten minute sessions on the stationary bike. We try Chike with caffeine. Mistake. Feel sick.
Today I make an important decision. In the past, I've always focused on the outcome. Was I losing weight? No? Then let me change my diet AGAIN. How about now? No? So what if it's only been 4 days I better change again. This time, I will not do that. There's a plan here. 800 calories, 80 gms of protein, less than 50 of carbs, 64 oz of water, and walking/cycling. That's it. Until I hit goal, that's the plan. Focus on the plan and the results will follow. I know this from reading others' experiences. I decide to focus on my actions and let go of the outcome. Big move for a control freak
I tell R that now that I am not constantly searching for the best diet, the superfoods, the one ultimate way to lose weight, It has freed up so much psychic energy, that I'm shocked at how much of my time I had devoted to obsessing about my weight. I chose the best way for me. The time to stop looking is over. Time to start DOING.
Fifth Day Post Op (Wednesday)
Liquids not a problem. Protein not a problem. Can you believe that? It's only day 5 but we're getting all liquids in. What a change. I can NOT stay awake and sleep from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm though.
Work intrudes and I take 3 meetings over the phone. Couldn't have done that without the nap. I feel energized. We go out to run and errand and go to the grocery store to buy ingredients for soup which we will start on Saturday while the kids are home. The grocery is full of sample ladies and although I rarely ate samples, it's a different feeling when you can't. I feel different to everyone around me. I realize that I'm different from the others around me in one more new way, but it's a way that doesn't show, unlike my skin, my weight, my ethnicity. It makes me feel like I'm harboring a secret. Weird feeling.
I am happy I'll be able to cook again. I make my son an omelet with cheese, and I find I'm a little tempted but not bad. But I've had food dreams all day today. I want a grilled cheese sandwich with the crisp outer crust and the gooey cheese, I want tomato soup, I want chicken kebabs, I want, I want. I drink my shake. I will do nothing to compromise my recovery.
Sixth Day Post Op (Thursday)
The day has just started who knows what awaits, but R has lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks, and I've lost 15 lbs. Last time I lost 15 lbs it took 6 months of clean eating and walking 4 miles a day. I'll take this!
I now believe that I will lose the weight. I was sure I was going to be that freak of nature that couldn't lose it because I only lost 6 lbs on 2 weeks of pre-op, but now I believe. Today we will do our liquids, our protein, our walk/cycle and tomorrow will be a better day.
My next goal? Visualize myself thin, and be able to see myself wearing cute clothes and start pinning those on Pinterest. Not there yet.
What a difference six days can make!