It surely seems obvious to someone just reading this, but the recovery period for this procedure is much longer and tougher than it was for my exploratory laparoscopy done several years ago. There, while they made similar incisions and poke around my innards, this time they actually cut and reattached things, and rearranged my guts, rather than just poking around. It should not be a surprise that recovery has been longer, and will continue for a good bit more. But somehow I find that I'm reminding myself of that nearly every day.
We've finally got the scale issue settled down - I wrote to Amber, the program nutritionist, last week and laid out my concerns - she said it was absolutely typical. After such a major surgery - and it was major, despite being done laparoscopically - your body does hang on to waste, water, and all sorts of things as it tries to figure out what it will need to heal. In just the day or two after I wrote her, I was steady enough on my feet and apparently my body got back in the grove, that I was getting steady readings on the scale again - and wow, it really is sliding right off of me. That too shouldn't be much of a surprise, given that I've gone above 500 calories in a day just once since my return home - and that was something like 517.
I'm still quite hot and cold with what I can actually eat (vs. drink). At least half of my protein is coming from a protein shake - mixed with 1% Lactaid milk I get 32g of protein for a 1 cup serving. With my protein goal of 60-65g, two of those would fill that need. However, I'm trying to get the remaining 28-33g of protein from pureed items. That's been a challenge - their guide of 1 to 3 tbsp of food at a time has truly been my limit - even half a spoonful more than that leaves me with uncomfortable pressure in my new baby stomach. The toughest challenge still is getting all my water in - minimum of 48 ounces is a lot when you can't chug it - I have to remember to reach for the bottle every 5 minutes or so and sip, sip, sip. The best I've really done so far is about 38 oz. That's what I'll have to work on most this week.
I had been chatting with my dear friend Erica a bit before surgery, about how I was anxious thinking about what this would do to my "foodie" tendencies. I'll clearly have some sugar and fat restrictions that I'll need to work around, and of course there's just no going into a restaurant and having a 3 or 4 course meal anymore. There's no reason I can't eat amazing food, I'll just have to plan very carefully to be able to enjoy bites of all the dishes I want to taste. I'm also a pretty damned good home cook as well - I have several famous dishes that are always requested for the holidays, and am very comfortable putting on a dinner party for 6-10 people. Obviously during the puree and soon-after stages, I won't be making full gourmet meals, but as the months pass, I'll eventually be moving toward 800-1200 calories a day. I'll be able to eat a full, albeit small portioned, meal. I mused about writing a cookbook geared toward the bariatric eater - portions sized for our needs, fats and sugars balanced appropriately, and even hints for when an item could successfully be turned into a puree.
The more I think about it, the more committed I am to undertaking this project - I'll be working on recipes as I begin eating more regularly. Erica's husband "R" has offered to test cook for me, and I'm sure more of my friends will join in that endeavor. I'll be challenging myself to use ingredients that I may have passed over in the past (I'm not a big seafood eater, and have a textural aversion to mushrooms), in large part to be accommodating to palettes that are different than my own. Ironically, much of my television viewing these past two weeks has been on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel - something you'd think would create unsatisfying urges, but it's not been an issue for me. Something can look very tasty, but I can skip right by it without thinking I'm hungry, or feeling the need to go rummage in the kitchen for a substitute. I've been watching, taking notes on inspirations, and generally plotting how I might go about all this. It should be quite fun. As I begin, watch for pages dedicated to recipes to be added to this site - probably in about 2 months or so.
So finally - the dirty details of my progress:
Tentatively off high blood pressure meds - taking home readings until I see surgeon on 12/29 - but have been within normal ranges.
Insulin dosage down by half, still taking oral meds. I wish this was going away quicker, but it should adjust as I lose more.
Getting the exercise in - today's treadmill jaunt will be 13 minutes at 1.5mph - going up a minute a day and .1 mph as tolerate until I hit 20 minutes and 2 mph as my initial goal.
Today's weight: 293.4 lbs
Total loss: 44.6 lbs
Post-op loss: 10.6 lbs