2.5 weeks post surgery
Jan 31, 2009Let me start by saying that having the drain tube removed after a week was a very, very wierd experience. It was somewhat painful, but mostly just wierd! It felt like he had wrapped it around all my internal organs, and that they were being flipped over inside of me as the tube was coming out. Just very strange! I had nooooo idea what to expect, so wanted to mention this for others.
I had my 2 week post-op visit this past week and all is going perfect. I was released to soft / pureed diet. I never knew chewable food could taste so good! After a month of liquids, real meat is a real treat! I've had chicken, turkey, beef and pork, all of which has gone down just fine. I've also had sweet potatoe, carrots, potatoe and green beans as well as mashed banana and apple sauce...all fine! The one thing I ate that did not sit well was sugar free chocolate pudding. Big mistake for me! I got really sick after this and did not feel well for most of the next day after I ate it. I'm kind of glad about that. I have hoped I would be one of the people who could not tolerate sweets, fats and rich foods after surgery (because I am otherwise compulsive with these foods) so while I'm not sure what it was about the pudding that caused such a problem for me, I hope it's an indicator of intolerance for JUNK that my body really doesn't need anyway! I am working hard to readjust my relationship with and attitude toward food. I want to put food in it's proper place -- fuel to nourish the body, not medication to sooth the soul, and not a source of pleasure for pleasure's sake (not saying I don't want to enjoy my food, I just don't want to eat for enjoyment).
Pain-wise, I'm well I think. I am mostly just using extra strength Tylenol as needed for pain, although I do have an Rx for Tramadol that I use if it's too bad. Tramadol is non-narcotic, but stronger than Tylenol and can be used with Tylenol. I recommend it for when you are trying to get off the narcotics but still have a fair amount of pain, especially at night (rolling over and getting in and out of bed were when I hurt the most!).
I had great support for my first two weeks -- my Mom was here for about 10 days during/after surgery, then my sister came to finish out the two weeks. It was so very nice to have the company, distraction and assistance! Now I'm solo. It was a long week last week! I went back to work 4 hr days Mon - Wed, increasing to 6 hr days Thur - Fri and it was pretty exhausting. I'm divorced and have three young kids so my evenings are not a "break" most of the time :-) But I am doing well. Today I drove to Des Moines with a couple of friends to see the musical Menopaus. It is soooo funny! This was my second time seeing it and I highly recommend it! But we left here about noon and just got back about 9pm, so it was a very long day including about 4.5 hours of driving. I got a little sore but not bad.
General observations at this point in my recovery -- well, the main one is that it is amazing how little substance the body can survive and thrive on! Throughout the liquid diet pre and post surgery, and now with very small amounts of food, I feel amazingly good, energetic, etc. I never would have believed I could eat so little and be doing so well! Good lesson to learn! Also, I do not get hungry very much and when I do eat I get full very quickly. I can eat 3-5 tablespoons at a time at this point. Probably my biggest challenge at this point is trying to get all the fluid in given that I have to sip approx. 1 cup per hour, and can't eat for 30 min. before, 20 min. during, and 45 min. after each meal (and need to eat 4-6 small meals to get in the protein). I'm still trying to figure out how to make all that work in a normal day and still sleep! ha. But it's all workable and definitely worth it!
At this point I am down about 14 lb. since surgery, and a total of about 43 lb. from my high weight in August. It feels good! What feels even better is that I packed up all of my largest size cloths and gave them to my niece-in-law! And the next size down that I am wearing is actually pretty loose. Yippee!!! Soon I hope to be into 18s (yea!! no "2" on the tag!!). It's all exciting progress. I'm anxious to see how my loss continues in the coming weeks. The next hurdle for me to get over is starting a daily exercise routine. I have to push aside my excuses and get on with that! I know it will make a big difference over time.
The only other thing I'll mention for now is tummy butter...in an effort to make my skin more elastic, hoping to reduce the "hang," I am using "tummy butter" on my stomach, breasts, upper arms, hips and thighs. It has elastin and vit E and other things that are supposed to help with stretch marks. I have no idea if it will help with the hang, but I figure it's worth a try!