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March 2020 By-Pass, 3 Months Out



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Hi everyone! I hope that you all are staying safe and doing well. Since I'm taking some days off, I thought that I would catch up and touch base. I think I was among the last of the people whose surgery went as scheduled before everything shut down due the Coronavirus. What a different world we live in today. I do hope that those individuals who were scheduled in late March and in April had their surgeries re-scheduled -- don't give up! I'm here to tell you that it IS worth it in the end!

I'm well on my journey to a transformed life and I would like to share my experiences to date.

So far, I'm down 63 lbs. from when I started this journey and 70 lbs. from my highest weight. When I look in the mirror, sometimes I can hardly believe that I'm even doing this, but I am! My blood pressure has improved to near normal most days and my BMI has gone from 43 to 35. Also, I'm coming up on the halfway point of my journey!

Because I see these questions asked often (and believe me, I had many of same questions myself), I will give my account from my personal experience.

Pre-Op

Following the instructions of your doctor does make a difference. I managed to lose about 20 pounds from October 2019 - March 2020 -- the more you lose, the better for your surgery. Strictly adhere to your 2 week liquid phrase and drink your water!

Surgery

My surgery was scheduled for March 17th and then it got pushed back to March 18th (I think my surgeon had scheduled a long weekend because he does his surgeries on Tuesdays). However because elective surgeries was due to be shut down during that week due to COVID-19, it was returned to the original date and my surgery was the first of the day. In addition to the by-pass, I had a hiatal hernia repair. The surgery took longer than normal because I was a bleeder (whatever that means) and scar tissue from when I had my gallbladder removed many years ago. But the Dr. and his team did their thing and it was a success.

Post-ops was a bit disorientating and I was in a bit of discomfort, but by the time I was wheeled to my room, I was fully alert. What I didn't like: Not having anything to drink for 24 hours! That sucked. When I was able to drink, I could only have a few sips at a time. I had to do breathing exercises (in a little breathing tube thingy which was not a bad idea given COVID-19 was starting to get out there) and hours later, I got myself up and walked. I was determined to get up and walk! What you must do: You must get out of the bed and WALK! I stress that because when I had my gallbladder surgery, I stayed in the bed (it was done the old fashioned way where they hack you in 2 to get it out and I was in the hospital for a week) and did not get up until it was time for me to go home. Talk about the gas and the pain! Whew! I was not trying to feel all that again, so I got up and walked. Basically, post-op, I was fine and did well.

2 Weeks Post-op (Liquid/Strained food Phase)

I didn't have much of an appetite and I did struggle getting in the Protein. I mostly tried to get in the fluids first and foremost. My sis made me a LOT of ginger tea and that helped and I walked around the apartment and did a little walk outside.

Soft Food Phase

So for me, once I started eating food again -- my appetite came ROARING BACK! I mean roaring back and that caused some problems when I got into the regular food phase. I'm not a dairy person, so it was a struggle for me to eat eggs, cheese -- I just couldn't do the plain yogurt (yuck). I did manage to have some chili and Beans, but I don't like beans either! Somehow, I got thru it though.

Regular Food Phase

You want to test drive your pouch? So here is what NOT to do: DO.NOT.OVEREAT. Because I wasn't one of those people who had to force themselves to eat due to a lack of appetite, I had to do a LOT of trial and error before my brain clicked. What I wish I had done: I asked my bari-nutritionist if I should get any special tools and she said no -- yet if I had to do it all over again, I would have purchased the bariatric plates and flatware. Even though I was using small plates, the servings were still not small enough -- typically out of prior habits -- and I would go to eat, then suddenly I felt food stuck in my throat and I wanted to throw up (but I couldn't). After that happened more than a few times, my brain finally got itself together and realized what was going on.

I also was not used to leaving food on my plate -- like EVER. I was forcing myself to finish eating even though my body was giving me clear signals that I was DONE. Also, you learn very quickly which foods you can eat fine and others that you can't (Of course it's all of things that I like to eat...); those foods you have to eat in little portions.

Suddenly I found myself (GASP!) throwing food in the trash! Who knew! Me! Being full and leaving fricking food on the plate and throwing it away! What!?!?!?! Yep, that's what Bari-by pass will do to you!

Now I make smaller portions up front and I make sure that I eat the protein before I get full. I tend to eat only when I get hungry and when I'm full, I'm DONE. That is a big change from before when I kept right on eating and eating and eating and -- well, you get the drift.

Continuing Challenge: Getting the Water in. At best, I get 1 liter in/day. Between my heavy work load and knowing that I can't eat and drink at the same time anymore and I can only drink so much at one time! -- I have to choose on most days whether I'm concentrating on getting the water in or getting the protein in. That is a work in progress.

I finally was able to get in a long walk today - 5 mi. I just have to go early in the morning to avoid the folk who don't wear masks, but it was great and I hope to re-start my walking routine (it will be a long moment before I return to a gym).

So, if you have any questions, ask away!

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Congrats, Mello1! You’re doing GREAT!

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Love this update! Thank you so much for a glimpse into the future. I really relate to the "Am I focusing on Protein or Water today?" thing. You put what I've been doing into words. And yes, that is a work in progress. Mind if I ask... what foods can you NOT tolerate so far? I'm almost 3 weeks post and on my first week of soft Proteins and the only thing that made me sick was avocado. It was not on my safe list. I'd just read someone else had it and it helped them poop so I wanted to try. Boy did it. Wishing you continued success! Those are great loss numbers! You're doing this!!

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26 minutes ago, MaybeMeow said:

Love this update! Thank you so much for a glimpse into the future. I really relate to the "Am I focusing on Protein or Water today?" thing. You put what I've been doing into words. And yes, that is a work in progress. Mind if I ask... what foods can you NOT tolerate so far? I'm almost 3 weeks post and on my first week of soft Proteins and the only thing that made me sick was avocado. It was not on my safe list. I'd just read someone else had it and it helped them poop so I wanted to try. Boy did it. Wishing you continued success! Those are great loss numbers! You're doing this!!

Foods that don't like me no mo: Cooked kale greens, although I may give them another try this fall; chicken breast (too dry), chicken thighs on occasion, bread (not that I eat a lot anyway), paleo/keto pancakes -- basically complex carbs….

And thanks!

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