Wednesday, June 05, 2013

VSG Journey Update 3 Weeks Out from Surgery

My current status as of Wednesday, June 5th:  I am three weeks and a day out from surgery!
From discharge day (Thurs., May 16) I did one week clear liquids and two weeks full liquids. Clear liquids were pretty dang hard and I felt weak much of the time. I also failed miserably at getting all my water and all my protein in each day. Full liquids made me immediately feel better although I must admit that I grew SICK of protein shakes and also failed at getting my protein or all my water in each day. I did a lot better, but still had trouble. One evening after Jefferson Chorale, we all went to TGI Friday's afterwards. I sampled their dark French onion soup (without the toppings or eating any I hate onions) and their broccoli cheese soup. I had never in my life had broccoli cheese soup. The Fr. onion was ok and I was able to get in a couple of spoonfuls. Then....THEN....the BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP was from HEAVEN. Yes, it truly was. It made my stomach very grumbly, but it went and stayed down just fine. I took the rest home and had it for two more days. Later, I read somewhere that fibrous veggies like broccoli are to be avoided, but I feel like it was pretty ground up and avoided all chunks anyway :-)

Now, I am MORE THAN READY to begin soft foods. Some people call this stage "the mushies", but to me that just sounds gross. I can't do pureed foods unless it's something that is actually supposed to be pureed. Last Friday, I tried a tiny bit of lean, very thinly-sliced deli turkey and it went down and stayed down just fine. I was OVERJOYED! I had it with half a Babybel soft cheese. I've been doing that once a day since Saturday. I also tried scrambled eggs with cheese. Never in my life had I ever had eggs with cheese, but it tasted good. I ate about 1/3 of one egg and it felt like a brick in my stomach for several hours. I did not feel ill, just heavy. I decided to wait a bit before having more of that.

Tomorrow, I begin soft foods and I think I'm supposed to introduce one new food a day. If anything doesn't settle well, I am to go back to protein shakes or something mild that did work well. I'll continue the deli turkey & Babybel cheese. The first new things I will try will be soft, baked fish, refried beans & grated cheddar, chili, and maybe scrambled eggs again. I'd love grits, but am not sure yet about them. I might make some more egg custard. I actually went and bought ramekins, learned how to make egg custard and made it, sugarfree. I didn't like it so much, but it was ok. I can use the little bowls though...
I really would like to try the "meats pressure cooked to tenderize", but in my head, those are more solid so I am a bit shy of that just yet.

Even though I will not have to be on a strict vitamin regimen, I am taking Biotin, Thiamine, a multi (gummy), Omega 3 (gummy), B-12 & D + Calcium (sublingual tabs).

I'm feeling pretty back to normal most of the time although I get easily tired out. I am used to having an extremely high level of energy so that kind of stinks, but I know it will get back up there. Everyone seemed so surprised that I was back at church, back in the singing groups, going to work, etc. I was not on pain meds for more than a day and a half at the hospital and once I stopped the IV, the pain was manageable. The nausea went away after two-three days and I have not thrown up at all. Many MANY people have. I hate throwing up so I am trying to be super cautious about when to STOP eating. My little stomach is now exactly 4 (FOUR) ounces. Anything I've eaten was only one or two and then I feel full. It's still healing. I'll prob have to eat little small meals several times a day eventually. Today, I had my protein shakes and vitamins first and then took an applesauce, a pudding, a cheese stick, and some turkey with me for the rest of the day until I can have some veggie soup tonight after choir. Before you judge, we are SUPPOSED to be having snacks and those (applesauce, cheese, pudding) are on the list!

Here is a before picture and then a picture from a week and a half a go. I cannot tell too much difference yet. My 3X clothes are now loose and I've lost 35 lbs so far. This weekend, I'll post some more pictures of before and after. I'll try to make a collage of sorts. The cool thing is that I am wearing a dress I haven't been able to wear in years and now I'm at the weight that I was when I moved to NOLA eight years ago! My starting weight was 270. I don't mind sharing that. My current weight is 235. Cool! No amount of exercise or fad or legit dieting was ever able to get me this kind of change.......and I've been trying off and on for 30 years. Some part of me says "wow, I could have just stayed on a liquid diet for a long time" and the other parts of me remind myself "I already did that and it ALL came back the minute that diet session stopped." This time, it is not a diet. It's a continuation of my mostly healthy lifestyle, PLUS the surgical help of restricted portions. Oh, and surgery is N O T the "easy way out". Think what you want, but if you say that to me, you might want to know I can throw a pretty solid punch. ;-)

Night bef surgery: 257                                             In this picture: 248


Annie Wynn said...

So happy for you, Caroline! You are doing well, and that smile in the first "after" picture in this post is awesome indeed!

Tante D said...

Caroline, Thank you for sharing all of this. I have a friend who is considering this...she too, has tried EVERYTHING...nothing worked for her either. I am reporting your progress to her and sharing your experiences, so that she has some hope. God bless you for your courage and honesty! Muwah!! So happy for you and that you have not thrown up!

randall said...

I CAN tell a difference! Thanks for sharing your journey. Many who might have been surprised at your reentry into things maybe didn't realize what the timeline might be for such things. You have helped in our education.

Very happy for you.

Caroline of Carsonia said...

WOWZERS guys! Thank you so much for reading this and also for the encouraging comments! :-) Also, Tante if you ever want to email me directly or your friend does, my email is
~ caroline

Fabienne said...

Well done Caroline!! I hope it all keeps going! Enjoy your "new" life and Europe in the summer!! Fabienne ��

Caroline of Carsonia said...

Thanks so much for reading Fabienne! :-)