October 18th, 2011 was a monumental day in my life. The three months leading up to that date were anxiety filled, and I spent every waking moment on VST and YouTube gathering all the information I could about being sleeved. No matter how much research you do, you're still never fully able to comprehend how much your life will change - in my case for the better.
While in the hospital after being sleeved, things weren't so bad, in fact I was expecting to be in a lot more pain than I actually was. I anticipated that it would be excruciatingly bad, but in comparison to my 3 sections and one natural birth, the pain was minimal. I was able to walk by the second day (very slowly of course) and didn't experience any of the gas issues that people talk about during their experience. Even my nurses and surgeon mentioned how I was doing so well. Physically, I was the ideal post op patient. Mentally however, I was a frickin MESS!
My first couple of days home were a little rocky as I was having issues with my acid reflux meds. The omeperazole they prescribed for me didn't agree with my system, so I had to go on Nexium. No big deal, I had a rough day and a half till we worked that out. But the real issue I had with getting sleeved was the restriction. I knew that I signed up for this surgery because restriction would be the ONLY way that someone like me could ever lose weight and keep it off. I don't have enough will power to stop myself from eating for no reason. Even as a sleeved woman, if there is a piece of food near me I have the urge to eat it - not because I'm hungry, but because its there. With the sleeve though, I have to make a conscious decision before I eat anything or suffer the consequences. Am I willing to eat that food and suffer from "dumping" or feeling overly full for several hours, or even vomiting because it doesn't agree with my new tummy? These are the things that go through my head now before I stuff my face for no reason. My sleeve has made me a conscious eater.
Although the restriction is just what I needed, as you'll see in my previous blogs, I resented this sleeve for not allowing me to be greedy and eat any and everything I wanted. I resented this sleeve because I couldn't just take it back to the store and get my old tummy back. I resented this sleeve because I wasn't in control. I had to do what my sleeve liked. I had to submit to my sleeve and finally after a little over 2 months I can say my sleeve and I are a team. We're in sync. I'm not holding up my end of the bargain as I should with my protein counts, but Im working on it. As long as I keep my sleeve hydrated and give her some stuff to eat every few hours, she's good. No belching, no vomiting, no gurgling, no problems.
I said all this to say that loving my sleeve wasn't necessarily an easy road to get to. Sometimes when you read the posts of those people who have been successful with their sleeve after many months, the "bad" stuff tends to get left out and you're left with these expectations of happy sleevedom and when you do get sleeved you wish you'd never done it. It happened to me. No one told me about the resentment stage and no one told me that I might have buyers remorse in my first few weeks of being sleeved. No one told me that I would feel trapped, and angry, and want to stay in my bed for weeks until it all got better.
I hope this note helps that person out there who is nearing their surgery date - know that the road to recovery may not be easy at first, but when you do get accustomed to your sleeve and new lifestyle it will all be worth it in the end, and you'll be able to pass the info on to the next new sleevester..