10 days after surgery
Oct 23, 2016
I had surgery on 10/12/16.
The doctor was supposed to also remove my gallbladder, as it is full of gall stones, but that was not done. I didn't get a clear answer on why, but it was something to do with either being too risky or too time consuming. I see the surgeon for my follow up tomorrow so I am hoping to get a better answer then. The surgeon never did talk to me after the surgery, instead sending his assistant. I thought that was a bit unusual, but I was told that this particular surgeon did not have a very good bedside manner, so I was expecting unusual. I was just not expecting no bedside manner. I am over it. I would never recommend this surgeon though if anyone asks.
The night after my surgery was the worst night of my life. I was in so much gas pain, and I was convinced it was due to the gall stones. I wanted so much to take some GasX, but the nurses would not give me anything that I had to swallow because in the morning they needed to test for leaks, so I had to suffer the entire night. I got maybe one hour's worth of sleep, if that, in short periods between the gas attacks. I tried walking but that only made it worse. The only thing that seemed to help was standing in the doorway to the bathroom and raising and lowering my arms. Luckily, by mid-morning most of the pain had subsided. The test was good and there were no leaks so I began drinking water.
I was in the hospital 3 nights. The only thing I wanted to eat was the lemon icees they brought with the meals. That was all I had for 3 days, but I was not hungry, so it was fine. I was not in a lot of pain, but they did give me a dose of pain meds and the meds made me dry heave so I decided I could live with the pain. Finally one of the nurses thought I might do with a smaller dose so they gave me a quarter dosage along with nausea medication and that did the trick.
Once I was released my plan was to stay on clear liquids for 2 weeks. I distinctly remember the nutritionist telling me this as part of the pre-op instructions, but I guess I got the wrong clear liquids. I had apple juice and I got some icees, but everything seemed to be very high in sugar. My blood sugar bounced between the mid 100s and the low 300s. I was nervous about taking my pills though, as the pre-op instructions said I should crush them, but they all said do not crush, and I tried to control the blood sugar with just insulin. It did not work out very well. I felt horrible every day. Finally, on Thursday (8 days after surgery) I went to see my primary doctor. He told me to get back on all my meds and was not happy that I had been off of them. Once I started taking the long acting insulin (lantus) my blood sugar stabalized. But I was ready to try something other than clear liquids. I calculated I had been on about 400 calories a day for that week and it just wasn't enough. So I decided to add protein shakes.
I realized, after reading many comments online, that different surgeons had different plans for after surgery on when to introduce food. I was still not hungry, but I guess I was craving chewing and swallowing real food. That night, I had 5 crackers. They seemed to settle my stomach and did not kill me so I figured I was ok to get off the clear liquid diet early. The next day I got some protein shakes and some protein bars. Today, I ate a piece of chicken for the first time. It was only about 2 ounces, but it tasted great and filled me up for most of the day. For dinner, I had a small piece of salmon. I think this is a much better way to handle things and my stomach finally stopped bothering me.
I am still having a hard time drinking my 64 ounces of water though. I am getting in about half of that, but it is an improvement over the first week, which was about 16 ounces a day. We will see if eating this food will affect my weight loss, which has been pretty steady and significant every morning. I don't see how it should, as my calorie intake for the day is still very low (under 1000) but I have read where the body adjusts to how many calories it needs fairly quickly so I await tomorrow morning to see how it goes.
If I don't lose any weight, i will be pretty discouraged. Compared to how I used to eat, I am eating barely nothing. But with the real food I am feeling better, so I am not going to starve myself. I have more energy with the real food and if I don't have energy, I won't be able to work an 8 hour day without taking a nap. The surgeon tomorrow will tell me when I can go back to work. I am hoping to be able to stay home for the week and return to work on Halloween.
They told me I would not be hungry for a year, but I am finding that to be a bit optimistic, unless I am confusing a craving with hunger. Whatever it is, it is satisfied with very little food, so I guess the surgery is working. All I know is in the last 10 days, I have eaten less than I did in one meal. That has to be good, right? The last two days though, I have craved a taco. I have not had any beef yet. Maybe that's what it is, or maybe the crunch of the taco, I don't know. I have read about "slider foods" which make you slide back into your old habits. I am concerned about this craving since it has only been 10 days since surgery, and this sliding usually does not happen for 6 months. I am still not sure what I am going to do about it. I will let you know.