Category: liquid diet


Today is exactly one week from my surgery date.  I’m kinda surprised myself about how well I’m feeling.  This weekend, Jeff and I went out a couple times.  We ran a couple errands and took a brief trip to the grocery store.  I felt pretty good doing it.  I was a kinda tired by the time we got home, but overall it still felt good to get out and see the real world.

I’m not really taking any pain medicine anymore.  I took some Friday night before bed, and I did take a little more last night before bed.  But I’m still happy that I’m not having to rely on medication to get thru the day.

Mostly I’ve been hanging out at home and trying to get in all my protein.  My goal is 80-100 grams of protein each day, which is harder than it sounds when I can only take in so much at a time.  For example, my protein drink that I’ve been drinking (Premier shake from Costco, 30 grams of protein in each serving) takes me about 2 hours to drink and it is 11 oz.  I’m trying to take things really slow and make sure I don’t over-do it.

My little cat, Pixie, is quite happy to have me home!  Jeff told me that she missed me when I was gone.  She would jump up on the bed and look at my empty spot and then snuggle with him.  He said that she didn’t seem to have a lot of energy.  When I came home on Wednesday, she started running around the house like crazy, and started scratching her cat tree and the rug, both of which are her “happy cat” signs.  All weekend she was quite content to sit in my lap until I had to get up.  Even now, she’s laying right next to me as close as she can get!  I think she’s afraid I’ll leave again.  It’s cute to see her so happy that I’m home.  🙂

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Some pictures for you

Let me just start this by saying this is not for the squeemish.  Ok, so here are some photos that I have taken in the last week.  Well, I didn’t take the ones inside my stomach, but you get the idea.

Here I am the morning of my surgery.  I just took a shower!

Here’s a side view.

Ok, that was the easy stuff.  Now for the gruesome stuff!

These are a few shots inside my stomach.  The top left picture is the incision into my stomach.  The top right picture is the portion of my stomach was removed.  The bottom left picture is what my new stomach looks like now.  Kinda narrow with a small pouch on the bottom.  There’s a nice view of my pink healthy liver to the left.  And the bottom right picture is another shot of my new stomach and some of my lovely fat that I am looking forward to getting rid of!

This is what I came home to.  So sweet!!!  🙂

And these are my incisions as of today.  I have 4 incisions plus the hole where my drain was.  You can’t really see the last incision in this shot.  But the red mark that’s not covered on the left side of the picture is where my drain was.  The hole is actually closing pretty fast.  In fact, this morning when I changed the gauze on it, there was only a small amount of discharge on it.  I called the doctor’s office because Jeff wanted to put Neosporin on it.  They said that once it is closed completely and is starting to scab a little, I can put Neosporin on it and a small bandage.  Right now I just have gauze over it.

So there you have it!  I feel pretty good today.  Every day I feel better and better.  Jeff took me walking a little bit last night.  We walked down and up one flight of stairs, and across the whole 3rd floor landing.  It was fairly easy for me.  I did it again this afternoon, and I know Jeff wants to take me out again tonight.  Hopefully I will get out a little this weekend so I can get some light exercise (really just some slow walking).  But walking is really good for me and will help avoid blood clots.

As for pain medication, I have some Tylenol with codeine that I can take every six hours.  The last time I took it was last night before bed.  Today I’ve been feeling ok.  On a pain scale of 1-10, I’m hovering between 2 and 3.  So it’s not too bad.  The hardest part is getting in all the liquids that I need to.  My goal is 80 grams of protein each day and a total of 64 oz of fluids.  Yesterday I hit about 55 grams of protein, and about 40 oz of fluids.  I’m doing better today at it.

Home from the hospital

I was released from the hospital late last night.  The surgery itself went very well.  I was scheduled for surgery at 3pm, but it was delayed.  I found out later that I was the 3rd surgery of the day, and the first guy showed up late which pushed us all back. 

My dad took me to the hospital and sat with me for the 5 hours until surgery.  He was cracking jokes and showing all the nurses my childhood photos on his iPad.  It was a little awkward at first because he came into the pre-op room with me.  This was a big room that had beds separated by curtains.  They told me to go in and strip off everything and put on my robe.  My dad, trying to be courteous, wanted to wait outside the curtain while I changed.  Unfortunately they told him that he needed to come into the room with me.  So my dad held my gown up high enough to cover his face while I was changing to give me a little privacy.  He said it was funny because as he was standing there holding the gown, all of a sudden my arms came thru it.  He helped get me all situated in the bed.  I also had to put on TED hose, which are like think nylons but each leg is individual, meaning there was no crotch to them.  This made it awkward to walk since they kept falling down.  The stockings are to help avoid blood clots.

They hooked me up to an IV and basically it was a lot of “hurry up and wait”.  The nurses were all very nice and having my dad there really helped pass the time.  He regaled me with stories and photos.  I was nervous while I waited and he kept telling me that I could leave at anytime if I was having second thoughts.  I knew I wanted to go thru with it, but it was nice to know that even though he had driven me there and waited for hours with me, he was still willing to take me home if I said so.

Around 6:30, the nurse came by and gave me a heparin shot in my stomach.  This is a blood thinner to help avoid blood clots.  I had a visit from the anesthesiologist and the doctor, and then they wheeled me into the operating room.  I remember transferring myself to the operating table and the lightly strapped my arms down.  The anesthesiologist gave me some oxygen and told me to start thinking of a nice vacation place like Hawaii.  The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room.

While I was out, they inserted a catheter, did the surgery, and inserted a JP drain.  They also inserted a tube in my mouth to my lungs, but this was removed before I woke up.  The catheter didn’t hurt like I was expecting it to.  The drain was the most irritating thing.  When I woke up, Jeff was there with me.  I kept asking if I could lay down flat but they kept me propped up some.  It was putting some pressure on the drain and was uncomfortable.  I also was asking for a mouth swab because my mouth was so dry.  Jeff just sat there holding my hand and telling me how much he loved me.  I was a little worried about him seeing me like that, but he said it just made him love me even more and was even more realization of how much he cared for me.

They wheeled me to my hospital room.  I was connected to a morphine drip with a trigger that I could push every 10 minutes.  Let me tell you, I just kept pushing the trigger as much as I could!  If you pushed it too soon, it would beep at you letting you know you hadn’t waited long enough.  If you waited the 10 minutes and pushed it, it made a noise that sounded like a coffee pot whirring away.  I loved that sound! 

Monday night overall was a pretty rough night.  I didn’t get much sleep since there were nurses coming in at all hours.  Plus I wanted to stay somewhat alert so I could keep pushing my trigger.  On Tuesday morning, I had to go in for an upper GI test to make sure there were no leaks.  I sat up for the first time and felt nauseous.  They gave me some medication for the nausea.  I’m not sure if it was the anesthesia or the morphine that made me feel sick.  Plus I was having all of this on an empty stomach, which I’m sure didn’t help the nausea.  They also removed my catheter on Tuesday.  I really didn’t mind the catheter at all and it was really nice not to feel like I had to go the restroom at all.  When they removed it, the best thing I can compare it to was it felt like a long tampon being taken out.  It didn’t hurt, it was just slightly strange.

Tuesday and Wednesday I spent resting and trying to take in fluids.  On Tuesday, they wanted me to drink 15 ml every 15 minutes, alternating water and protein drink.  On Wednesday, they up-ed it to 30 ml.  As a point of reference, 30 ml is about the size of a measuring cup that comes with a medicine bottle. 

My main issue that I was having was my drain.  The drain came out on my right side, but it was attached inside under my left breast near my lung.  Every time I tried to move or breathe, I felt pressure on it.  On Wednesday, they finally let me put on a sports bra which helped that my breast wasn’t putting as much pressure on it.  It was still painful though.  My roommate, who had gastric bypass, didn’t seem to have much trouble with her drain, so perhaps it is an individual thing. 

The doctor finally came on to the floor around 8pm on Wednesday to release me.  Jeff had come over a few hours earlier to spend time with me and to drive me home.  He watched as the doctor removed my bandages and removed the drain.  It felt really weird to feel it being pulled out of me.  Jeff said it reminded him of Conan the Barbarian, and some scene where a snake is pulled out of a woman’s body.  I just felt it twisting and unraveling inside my chest. 

The doctor said that everything looked good and gave me a prescription for proposed and tylenol with codeine.  Because I have Kaiser I was worried about finding a pharmacy that would be able to fill it so late in the evening, but I remembered that there is a CVS around the corner from my house that will fill first-time prescriptions for Kaiser and they were open 24 hours.  We stopped by there on the way home, which was nice to get up and stretch a little.  Plus I had to use the restroom. 

I was also worried about the stairs at my apartment.  I live on the 3rd floor of a building with no elevator, and I was worried about how I was going to do on the stairs.  They were much easier than I had anticipated.  I just held on to the railing and walked slowly with Jeff right behind me.  He kept his hand on my back and was ready to catch me if I started to fall. 

Pixie was VERY happy to see me when I came home!  Jeff said that she was kinda mopping around while I was gone, and she would jump on the bed and look at my side.  Seeing it empty, she would go over and snuggle with Jeff.  When I came home, she started running around the house like crazy and started scratching the tree, which is what she does when she is excited.  She jumped into my lap and started purring.  I spent a little time with her before going to bed.

I didn’t sleep too well.  I ended up getting up after only a few hours and came out to sit in the living room.  Pixie thought I came out to sit with her, so as I was settling into my recliner, she jumped into my lap and made herself comfortable.

Today, I feel pretty good.  I have some mild pain that fluctuates between a 2-4 on a pain scale of 10.  My sister-in-law came over and sat with me today so I would have some company while Jeff went to work.  She was quite impressed that I was up and about.  I’ve been trying to take it easy on the pain medicine because I don’t want to overdo it.  My intake goals are 2 bottles of water and 80 grams of protein.  Because my stomach is still swollen, I’m having a hard time getting all the fluids in.  I had about 45 grams of protein so far today, but right now I have some unflavored protein powder mixed in to my iced tea, so I’m getting both my fluids and my protein.  Once I finish this, I will be at about 70 grams for the day.  I’m sure it will just get easier every day.  My stomach is making lots of strange noises and I’m burping throughout the day, but I feel good, and I feel like every day is getting better.

Today is the day!

Well, today is the big day. My surgery is at 3pm today. My dad is coming to pick me up and take me over to the hospital. I have to be over there at 1pm, which gives me several hours to sit around and think about everything. I was only allowed a glass of water this morning to take my medicine. So my main wish right now is for some more water because my mouth is dry.

See you all on the flip side!!

That’s all. Carry on!

Yesterday I started my liquid diet.  The beginning of the day wasn’t so bad because I am used to drinking a protein shake for breakfast. 

Jeff and I decided to go out together to run some errands.  I needed to make my car payment at the credit union.  Have you ever seen Operation Repo?  It’s a show about the repo team who go and repo cars that are past due on payments.  Let’s just say antics ensue because there are some CRAZY people out there!!  One guy threw a bowling ball thru his car window as they were taking the car away on a tow truck.  Right,……I’m so upset that you’re taking my car that I’m going to damage MY OWN CAR!!!!!  These people are nuts!!  Anyways, one of the women on the show lives here in our apartment complex.  We’ve seen her driving around a few times, and every time we do we crack up.  She’s one tough cookie!!!  Anyways, our running joke is that we want to make sure we make our car payments so that she doesn’t show up at our door.  She doesn’t have far to go!

After the car payments, we went to Target to pick up some last minute supplies.  I wanted some trashy magazines to read this weekend and during my hospital stay.  We also went over to Panera Bread, where I order some chicken noodle soup sans chicken and vegetables.  Their soup broth is so yummy!  The last stop on our trip was going to Taco Bell for Jeff.  Now before you get all crazy and say “He took you over to Taco Bell while you are on a liquid diet???”, let me say that I told him that he could go thru the drive thru.  I averted my eyes so I didn’t see the menu and made him check the bag to see if everything was there.  But I did hold the bag on the way home, and let me just say it’s a great thing that I can’t smell anything because I think I would have torn that bag up!!  I kept muttering to myself “soup broth, soup broth, soup broth”. 

As soon as we got home, I went in the bedroom to eat my soup while Jeff ate his Taco Bell.  Hey, I can’t smell but I sure as heck didn’t want to WATCH him eat it!  Overall the day was ok.  I started to get a little light headed, so Jeff made a protein shake for me.  I ate/drank soup broth, protein shakes, iced tea, sugar-free jello and sugar-free pudding, and ended the day with a sugar-free popcicle.

Today is my bowel cleanse.  As I type, I am drinking my magnesium citrate.  My take on this little bottle: lemon flavored horse piss.  I haven’t had much experience with horse piss, but if I did, I’m pretty sure this bottle would taste like it.  They try to disguise it with the lemon flavor, but no dice.  I was explaining the taste to Jeff.  The first few sips taste like a super tart Sprite, but after now drinking a whole bottle of it, the Sprite taste has left the building and all I’m left with is horse piss.  Lovely!!!

Well, I better run along.  The bottle says that things should happen within 30 minutes to 6 hours, so I think I should see something soon.  My stomach is starting to churn so I can only imagine what I have in store today.  Jeff has strict instructions to stay away from my bathroom and only slide a magazine or two under the door.

3 days to go!

Well, I’ve got three days to go until surgery. 

Thanksgiving was great.  The food was awesome!  My dad cooked the dark meat of the turkey in the crockpot for 14 hours, and cooked the white meat in the oven.  The white meat was super moist because we didn’t have to wait for the dark meat to cook thru and dry out the white meat.  Which is my favorite part!  Plus my sister made a yummy lasagna. 

I managed to control myself and only had 1 plate of food.  I also controlled myself today with my last day of solid food for a while.  Jeff and I went to the movies to see Harry Potter and I enjoyed some popcorn with my nacho cheese powder on top.  Very classy!!  Especially the powder sheen that ended up on my chest.  VERY classy!  Then we went to McDonald’s for dinner.  Not exactly what I had in mind, but I didn’t really have a craving for anything in particular.  I had a grilled chicken sandwich and a few fries.  I also enjoyed some sweet tea.  Very tasty!

So I’m preparing for my all liquids starting tomorrow.  I’ve already warned Jeff that if he eats anywhere near me, I might have to cut him.  No joke!

Some changes are afoot!

Hello!!!  After some persistent nagging encouragement from some friends, I have decided to resurrect my long-lost blog.  It’s aliiiiiiiiiive!!!  Sorry, I had a Frankenstein moment there!!

There have been some big changes, and I’m starting a new adventure here.  It seemed more appropriate to reformat my blog to just be my adventure.  Jeff is still here having his own adventures, but I’m reclaiming this blog as my space.

In case you hadn’t noticed the new title of the blog (really??? look up!!), my blog is going to be focused on my newest adventure that I am on.  I have decided to have bariatric surgery.  Specifically I am having vertical gastric sleeve surgery.  If this is completely foreign to you, check it out here.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to come back.

………

This has been such a long road for me and my decision has not come lightly.  Let me tell you a little bit about me.  I have always been overweight.  My biggest problem seems to be that I am always hungry.  I love to eat!!!  And I feel like if a little bit of something is good, then a whole lot of it must be better, right?  As I have gotten older, the pounds have just kept adding on.  Nothing seems to help.  I have tried all the diets out there.  I can lose weight for a while, but then it all comes back, with interest. 

I’ve had a little bit of experience with bariatric surgery in my family.  Several family members have done various procedures, but I will actually be the first to do the sleeve procedure.   In the last 6-8 years, I have been doing research on bariatric surgery and if it would be the right choice for me.  My current insurance is thru Kaiser in Southern California, and I do qualify for the procedure to be covered by insurance due to my BMI and co-morbid conditions (high blood pressure, high cholesterol).

 The one thing about the sleeve that I am really looking forward to is the fact that the hunger hormone, ghrenlin, will be removed from my stomach and I won’t feel hungry.  What an amazing feeling that will be!!!  Right now I feel like I’m constantly hungry.  One moment when I knew this was a problem was when I went to Claim Jumpers with Jeff, and about an hour later, I felt hungry again.  If you’ve ever been to Claim Jumpers, you know their portions are HUGE!!!  As Jeff likes to say, “Claim Jumper to death!!”.  So this will be a very exciting thing for me.

So where am I at in the process?  Well, in December of last year, I actually qualified to meet with a bariatric doctor at Kaiser.  Once I met with him, I was signed up for classes.  Kaiser requires you to attend 12 week classes to educate you and make sure you completely understand what you are signing up for.  Half the classes are taught by a nutritionist and the other half are taught by a behaviorist.  So not only do you learn about healthy eating, you start to learn about why you eat and why you eat even when you’re not hungry.  I was initially interested in the lap-band, but after learning more about the sleeve, the sleeve seemed like the better option for me.  The weight loss is usually higher with the sleeve, and the hunger hormone issue seemed to be a great advantage with the sleeve.

I completed my classes in July.  I had to take a myriad of blood tests.  In one sitting, I had 16 vials of blood drawn.   I had been watching True Blood right before this experience, and was completely convinced that they thought I was a vampire and were trying to sell V on the black market!  I also had to do an EKG and a chest x-ray.  Every thing came back great.  I also had to go have a psych eval to make sure my head was in the right place.  For those who know me, this was a great concern for me!!  I have battled with depression for a while and was really nervous about telling a psychiatrist my history for fear that she wouldn’t approve me.  I decided to be completely honest with her and told her everything.  I spilled my guts about my whole history in 20 minutes flat.  She didn’t even bat an eye, and passed me with flying colors.  Which told me that the main thing is to be honest here!

I was referred to a surgeon named John Yadegar in Lancaster, CA.  He is super friendly and immediately put me at ease.  He let me ask whatever questions I wanted to, and didn’t make me feel rushed or anything.  He sat with me for about an hour, listening to me and talking about the procedures.  I feel very comfortable with him.

I had my final pre-op appointment last Friday, and my surgery is scheduled for Monday, November 29 at 3pm.  To prepare for surgery, I will be on a liquid diet starting on Saturday.  Thankfully I will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner before that!  I will also have to do a bowel cleanse on Sunday.  I am really not looking forward to that part of it!  If you can’t find me on Sunday, I will probably be in the bathroom!  I told Jeff just to slip a magazine under the door and walk away.  Hehehe!!!

I’m getting more anxious as the date gets closer.  I feel ready for the surgery, but I also wonder how painful it will be and what I will feel like afterwards.  I will have a morphine trigger that I can use every 8 minutes, but I still wonder exactly how I will feel. 

Feel free to ask me any questions you have, and I will answer to the best of my ability.  Or if you’ve had surgery, tell me how it went!  This blog will post my progress as I go thru this new adventure.