Tomorrow it will be 2 weeks since my surgery. I have been on pureed food since the surgery, which for me has mostly been soup, yogurt, protein shakes, and smoothies. It's been challenging to get in enough calories and proteins each day.
I strive for 900-1,100 calories, and most days I reach it and some days I don't. I also shoot for 60-80 grams of protein. I'm pretty good at getting the protein in but I'm not always as good at getting the calories in. Tomorrow I move on to soft foods. I'm very excited for this. I miss chewing. I am so tired of sipping and drinking. I just want to chew on something.
My scale seems to be stuck at 264... That's my story and I'm stickin to it. For a week now my scale has not budged. It is only capable of moving up during the day, then first thing in the morning it just gets stuck at 264. I'm thinking that hopefully it will begin to move again when I move into the next phase of eating. I can't really complain, considering that I've lost 23 pounds in the past 27 days.
I promised in my post recounting my surgery that I would also recount my recovery. Recovery for me has gone pretty smooth. The day after surgery I felt pretty great actually. I felt sore, but not miserable. Then came day 2 after surgery... Miserable. I was a mess. When I say this, I mean, I woke up and was feeling swollen and sore. Much more sore than the day after surgery. I had been warned about this, but it didn't make it any easier.
The day after surgery I had been able to tolerate jello and liquids. The second day I decided to try some baby food. I had a container of squash and it went down pretty well (even though I didn't love how it tasted). I slept most of the second day and whenever I got up, I tried to get something in my stomach. My protein shake went down ok. It took a long time to get through it though, like 30 minutes. Nothing goes down quickly at this point and that takes some getting used to. Then came the evening time. I figured I would try some baby food pears. NO BUENO. I took two small bites before my mouth filled with this salty taste. It was miserable. I thought at first it was the baby food that was salty and began to look for the expiration date. Then I felt sick to my stomach. I didn't get any retching sensation or anything, but I did take myself to the restroom and spit out whatever was in my mouth. For whatever reason, this really upset me, and I found myself back in bed and in tears. I felt defeated. I was questioning if I had made the right decision. I was flooded with emotions in that moment and all I could do was sit quietly and cry. My brother stopped in my room to check on me and noticed I was crying. Now he's not the most comforting guy out there. He's not much of an affectionate person beyond the hello hugs and kisses. But in that moment, he was so sweet and encouraging. He didn't say much but he did tell me to remember I was just out of the gates and not to get discouraged. He reminded me that today had just been a tough day and that tomorrow would be better. There's not much better than being comforted by your big brother (other than your dad, and he passed a few years ago). My brother is a bit older than me so there is a sense of authority there and I respect him the way I would a parent or an uncle, most likely because he's been in a parent-like position with me for most of my life. So his words held extra weight with me in that moment and made me feel comforted. I went back to bed and slept off the weepiness.
Then came days 3-5. Man did I feel better. It was like a night and day difference. I moved from the liquid Lortab to liquid Tylenol. I felt more like myself. The only issue that I had at that point is that my digestion hadn't quite caught on to the program yet. **This next paragraph is for informational purposes only, not to gross out my friend's and family. Skip this if you are a non-bander** I went to the store and to the horror of my 17 year old niece, bought some Dulcolax suppositories. As we left the pharmacy, my niece wanted to get a bagel, and my genius instincts kicked in and I decided to try one last effort before relying on the Dulcolax. COFFEE!!! I had a cup of iced coffee. It took me about 20 minutes to drink and about 25 minutes to take affect. I had to be so bold, but after finally being able to use the potty after 5 days (2 days before surgery and 2 after) I felt so much better, less bloated, less discomfort and just overall happier. The combination of a lack of fluid intake, lack of food intake and the pain killers probably all had a hand in this issue and it's something I'm still trying to get balanced out even 2 weeks post-op.
I went back to work on Monday (surgery was the previous Tuesday). I was absolutely ok. A little on the tired side and went to bed early when I got home, but overall I felt ok to be back. By the end of the week I was cooked though and the weekend gave me the rest that I needed. Tonight, 13 days post-op I am going on my first big walk. I'm going to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and back with a fellow bandster. It's 3 miles to cross and return. I'm sure it'll wear me out for bed tonight.
If I had to pick the most difficult parts of recovery, I would say that 2 days after was the worst over all. Just feeling overall tired, sore, awkward from sleeping on my back (total tummy sleeper normally) and just a little sick to my tummy. The other difficult thing was the pains from the air (gas) from the surgery settling into my neck/shoulders/back. It's not exactly painful, but damn is it uncomfortable. Walking probably helped it the most. Deep breathing helped as well. Not fun. If I had to do it all over again, I absolutely would. Now that I'm already seeing results and feeling better, it's made it all worth it.