What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Gastric Bypass

Viruses are much more vicious on a newly post-op body.

I’ve been concentrating on social media to slowly pull myself back into the real world, but it’s been aslow process. I think I’m finally REALLY back on the upswing. I got sick back in May and stayed sick until about a week ago. I’m not sure what I had (I got the flu shot at the hospital when I had my surgery in January), but my best friend had it, too. We were both rendered useless for almost a week. There was weakness, hot flashes, tiredness, achy muscles and upset stomach. Then on top of it, my pouch decided that it is significantly more sensitive to nausea than my stomach, and I wasn’t even able to keep anything down.

Because of that, I was not getting in my nutrients – protein, vitamins, I was barely getting in water. Kathie got better – slowly, but still better – but there were multiple times when I went out to the store and would nearly pass out and throw up. It was as though it was just too much for my body. Finally, I struggled through and managed to start being able to keep things down. I’m still not back up to getting all of my protein in, but I am getting way more than I was before, and I’m pulling the nose back up and getting in more every day.

The reason I bring this up, and go into detail, is because I definitely feel like it’s something that I wish I’d been aware of when having the surgery. I didn’t know how long it would take to get over a simple virus when my body is (technically) so malnourished at the moment. I also had some issues with my depression creeping up on me, so that could have had something to do with my extensive recovery time. I am certain, though, that being sick post-op was an incredibly different experience to being sick pre-op – at least so newly post-op. I’m hoping that will change in the future.

And yet, I’m not even sure how much I’ve lost at this point, but I will say that I still don’t regret a single second of this. It is a battle – but it’s worth it. I went shopping the other day, and my feet didn’t hurt at all by the time we left. I sit Indian style on the couch, comfortably. I tried on a shirt that I was positive wouldn’t fit me yet, and it fit like a glove. There is progress, there’s a difference in the way I feel. I just need to make sure I can keep ahold of that progress and build on it, and stay motivated.

Hey, and while I have spent entirely too much time binge-watching Netflix – anyone else totally obsessed with The Keepers? How about that Orange is the New Black season?? Anyone have any good recommendations?

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March 2017 – Waiting For the Car to Warm Up Sucks

March Weight Recap

01/25/17 to 04/04/17

 

“At least I don’t weigh 500 pounds! 🐷🐽🐄”

 

Six months ago, I might have been annoyed by this comment. It might have even brought me to tears, if I’d been feeling particularly fat that day. Today? I just laughed when this insult was thrown at me. (Emoji’s and everything!) This surgery has changed that part of me, because I know that I’m doing something – and there are so much worse things I could be. And to be honest, of all the bad things going on in the world right now, being fat should be the least of our worries. Let’s first worry about being kind, and respectful, and showing compassion. Then maybe we’ll worry about why someone else’s weight offends you so much.

strong, girl, female, feminism, woman

It’s been 11 weeks today since my surgery, and I’m finally starting to learn more about my pouch and understand how this process works. This is partly good and partly bad, but all necessary as I make progress! Even though some parts of this might not be fun, I’m determined to take the bad with the good, because I know it will all be worth it in the end.

 

  • I. Am. Freezing. It’s actually been warming up here in California, it’s been regularly in the 70’s, even reaching 80 the other day. But it doesn’t seem to matter much, I’m always cold. I was already bad with the cold so this was expected but unwelcomed. (Especially by those privy to my whining!)

spring, cherry blossom, flower, blossom, pink, tree, sun, warm, allergies

  • Nutrition comes from protein shakes and vitamins. My surgeon had to remind me of this on my second appointment. I knew it, but it just seemed so foreign to me to go so long without eating, like I was being unhealthy and I guess I just went into panic mode.  That I had to get something in me. However, once you relax and learn that you aren’t just going to keel over from malnutrition if you go a few days without eating anything, it’s much easier to trust the process. It’s just weird at first.
  • I have felt the suburbs of this big energy metropolis I hear everyone referencing so often, and the tired haze I used to feel is much easier to see through, in comparison. I think mostly I’m trying to fight the mental tendency to get overwhelmed and just shut down. Now where I’d usually just give up and avoid it all, I’ve been pushing myself to fight through it, even if it means I don’t accomplish much – it’s better than letting myself fall into old habits that are little more than a pathway back down the road I just came from.
  • The hardest daily goal for me to hit is definitely the water – it’s hard to keep pushing that much liquid in, and to make it habit. I have no problems with getting my protein in, and my vitamins, but the water is just so easy to forget about!
  • The BFF keeps telling me that my arms show the biggest change, whereas it’s hard for me to see that. I still don’t feel any smaller, per se – I know that I am losing, and I notice randomly that things are smaller than they used to be. (Example: “Hey, you can see the muscle on my arm now instead of just fat!” or “These pants weren’t this big last time I wore them…”) But it’s still hard to notice a difference when I look in the mirror. This is common, apparently many people don’t feel any different until about 3 months out, when the weight really starts to come off as the body fully heals and the metabolism starts really putting pedal to the metal, so to speak. It helps to know that my progress is normal, even if I’m feeling disappointed that it’s not going away faster, and keeps me from feeling discouraged on the whole.

scale, weight loss, obese, fat, pounds

  • I have lost the pleasure of eating – it now just kind of feels like a chore. This is common too, especially for more recent surgeries, and lasts for the first few years post-op. It kind of sucks, but it’s also exciting to try to find other things to make you happy. People, hobbies, music, traveling, there’s so many things to shift that focus to, instead. Just, you know, remember that you have to eat (or drink a protein shake) every now and then!
  • Chicken and turkey are still a big “no” for Evelyn Pouch. I’ve gotten sick a handful of times – the first time, I ate too fast. I was watching TV and not paying attention to taking slow, tiny bites. I paid for it! Every other time since then has been when I’ve tried to eat chicken or turkey. It gets stuck, no matter how much I chew. For some people it takes as long as a year to be able to eat it again, I hope I’m not one of those. There’s so many good chicken recipes I want to try!

 

March was definitely a month of adjustment and searching for new, healthy habits. Some of them stuck (protein coffee – yes, please!) and some didn’t (updating my blog every day…), but it all helped me settle more into my new life. You never know unless you try, and that’s been my March Mantra. (I didn’t even plan that one!)

 

Honestly, while the actual scale didn’t move as much as I wanted it to (it did move – significant amounts, even, I’m just impatient and set the bar a little too high for myself), I still feel the good effects of what I’m doing. I can feel the strength in my body in places I haven’t in a very long time. I feel more driven, and focused. I feel overwhelmed when I look at the length of the journey I have to make, but I try to remind myself that big successes are just made up of a bunch of little ones. And now the journey has started, and I’m on the road. No matter how slow the progress may be, at least there’s progress. And I’ll get there.

 

Learning patience is definitely my goal for April! Patience and more water. Sip, sip sip!

 

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