The two week liquid diet after surgery was both easier and harder then the two weeks before.
Easier because I had no desire to eat anyways. Harder because I also had no desire to drink either. I couldn’t believe how uncomfortable it could be to drink a medicine cup full of water. I envied Errol, watching him chug a bottle of water. I was sipping it, and making the medicine cups last at least 15 minutes, and yet sometimes that was still too fast. My stomach, or pouch, was now located at the top of my abdomen. If I drank too fast, or too much, it felt like a giant stepped on my chest bone and ground his foot into it.
I was beginning to wonder if this surgery had been such a good idea, then my weight started to drop! I was losing almost every day! I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning to check the scales. By 9-20-18, one month from surgery, I was already under 300 lbs at 290. Things were starting to look up!
After the two week liquid diet came the two week soft food diet. This was when the fun really began! I could now have things like scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and tuna fish. The nutritionist would always stress to stop eating as soon as you’re full to avoid discomfort. Here’s the problem. How do you know that you’re full, if you didn’t feel hungry to begin with? I felt no hunger at all. To be honest, I still don’t after a year. My head and my mouth occasionally “request” a certain taste. The other day it was cucumbers. I just had to have a cucumber! But for the most part, I ate because it was time to. I was told that it could be up to a year and a half before I feel any hunger at all.
Because of this, it was difficult to know when I was full until it was too late. You’re told to eat slowly to give your food a chance to digest to enable you to eat more, but by the time I would realize that I had had enough, it was too late. I’d gone beyond the capacity of my pouch.
Think of it this way. You have an empty glass that you begin to fill with water. It’s all smooth sailing until you overfill it and it flows all over the table, making an awful mess. That’s how it was for me. I would fill my pouch with food, and when the pouch was full and I didn’t stop eating, the excess food would sit on top of the pouch causing great discomfort.
Errol tells everyone the story of the grape that put me “over the edge”. We had just finished eating supper. Aly, a huge lover of all that is fruit, spotted a bowl of big green grapes on the table. She asked to have one, and Nana never says no to fruit. Nana should have said no to Nana though. I thought that those grapes looked awfully good, so I reached over and popped one in my mouth. The fact that it was a mistake was readily apparent. I immediately felt a pain in my chest and knew that grape was sitting on top of my pouch because there was no room inside. I continued to feel uncomfortable for about 30 minutes until my supper digested, and there was room for the grape.
You have to remember that I wasn’t even getting in a 1/4 cup of food at each meal, so getting in the 60 grams of protein that your body requires was not an easy feat! 3 ounces of meat is approximately 21 grams of protein. If you have that at each of your three meals then you’re golden. However, at this stage, it wasn’t happening. I might get in an ounce per meal, which was way below the goal. I had to start adding snacks of protein, cheeses, peanuts, peanut butter, and protein shakes. By doing that, I was able to get in the 60 grams of daily protein, but every solution seemed to cause a new problem.
To be continued…