Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Now I have to walk, too?!

Dad decided I (we) need to start walking. We may have been a bit ambitious, though. I traversed the track at the park close to my house yesterday. Whew! It took me 1424 steps, lots of sweat, a headache, and, I'm ashamed to admit, some tears.
I hate working out.
It's hard.
It's hot.
It hurts.
I breathe hard.
I sweat.
I'm tired.
My face gets red. 
It generally sucks all the way around.

But I did it. And I (stupidly) promised to do it again.
The silver lining here? Get it? The clouds... It will get easier and I got to have a Smoothie King shake!! I'll take it!

So this whole experience is interesting. It reminds me of having my leg amputated. Stay with me, here. When making all the crazy decisions in the hospital, I kind of became detached from the situation. You know it's you and your life, but you have to use your logic to figure out what's best regardless of your emotions. I don't know if that makes sense or not. The point is, one day it catches up with you. For my leg, it was the first time I called myself an amputee: I started out saying the word and ended up half whispering it. Then I cried. That was never my life plan. I never saw a future where an amputation was on my radar. It wasn't even in the realm of possibilities. Likewise, a future where I am overweight was also never in my visions of the future. This whole process of eating again is like my whole hospital stay (minus all the bills). I feel kind of detached, but know it will eventually catch up to me. Not necessarily in a bad way, just in general. I make my food decisions with my brain rather than my emotions or my cravings.

For instance, I went to dinner with my sister and a friend tonight. After they had finished eating, I had almost completely convinced myself that some ground beef and refried beans wouldn't be that bad and were like mushy food. I was soooo close to ordering, but I tried to remember my end goal. You'll be happy to know that I did not cave, nor did I eat when I got home. I wrote this and went to bed. I'm trying really hard to stick to my food plan and "be good". It's hard, but I also know it will be worth it. Most life choices seem to be this way.

Don't let this post make you think I'm not happy or regret anything; I'm not and I don't. I'm a generally happy person, but I apparently have some deep thoughts occasionally. Enjoy!
Also, my favorite thing I've bought for this whole process were these cute little food containers. I got them on Amazon. They're 5.5 ounces and are perfect for portioning out my mushy foods. Such a good buy!!

And that's life...
P.S. Saw the world's largest hose today!! What are they watering with that?! Maybe it's a HUGE sprinkler!!! Who knows?

Friday, April 18, 2014


Yesterday I subbed for the first time since my surgery. I also went golfing with Dad. Now when I say "golfing", I really mean I half rode half drove the cart to each hole in the freezing cold and drizzling rain. It was really fun, though!! I could put his size large jacket on and zip it! I wouldn't have even ever tried that 6 weeks ago. The subbing was a great first day back. I ended up walking over 5,000 steps and drank all my protein and water. I was tempted to cheat at dinner with Dad and his friend because I didn't plan for that after school, but I didn't! Woohoo!! Willpower.

My incisions were not healing like I thought they should be, and I was worried. Since I'm a little leery about infection (I can't imagine why... leg), I went to the doctor on Wednesday.  It appears some of my suture lines are actually infected. So I get to take some delicious (read: horrible-nasty-disgusting-bleh) liquid antibiotics and have a cream to spread on those things. Two days later and they're already looking TONS better!
While at the doctor, you know they weigh you. I am always worried I have gained weight, which seems impossible. It turns out it actually is; I have lost 31 pounds so far!!! I am so excited!! I have a little more to go before I reach my first BIG goal and can't wait!
Today I ate some mushy food for the first time. I made some Buffalo Chicken puree. Now stop judging that picture, it was DELICIOUS! I adapted and "healthified" a recipe from a friend. I was so happy just to chew something!! I will get through this phase by thinking of everything as dip, which this one actually was dip with a lot of protein. To those of you keeping a close count on my food timeline progression: yes, I am a little bit early on the mushy food. Like 5 days. I feel like I'll be ok, though. I will drink my protein for the rest of the day. It was more of a test run for Easter. I used my timer for the thirty minutes before and after the meal to drink my water. I also had no adverse or weird effects.

I was told I can never chew gum again because you swallow a lot of air or you can swallow the gum (which I haven't done in like 20 years). I think this is false. I tried gum because I need to chew. Now, it's sugar free gum, but I chewed it. I regret nothing!! I have always chewed gum. I feel like it really helps me focus and gives me something to do. It's weird, but so am I. 

My biggest challenge has been not feeling full. When you sip liquids, you don't ever achieve that "full" feeling. Ever. If you feel full after drinking, then you drank a lot really fast; something I can't do. I do feel very satisfied after eating my Buffalo Chicken Dip, and that is a welcome change. So is how easy my jeans come off without unbuttoning them! Ha!

I am dropping down my dosage of fish oil. I am having some adverse effects and am pretty sure it's due to the fish oil. So I'm going to skip a day and then just take 2 a day. We will see if that helps, which hopefully it does.

And that's life...

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I've been reluctant to write because I feel a little underwhelmed with this whole surgery. I mean, I'm still on liquids and I don't feel any different. It's hard to stay motivated when I feel the same. I have new scars (I think the count is at like 103958383920 million now) and am a little sore on my left side (like I did crunches- ha!), but that's it. It's sooooo frustrating!! I haven't noticed much change yet, although I didn't struggle into my jeans this morning and my ankle isn't swelling as much. Maybe these are good signs... 

However, I did meet with the doctor on Wednesday to get my itchy staples out and found out I've lost 27 pounds since starting my liquid diet!! Woohoo! I feel like I should've lost more, but I guess not. My pouch is also working perfectly and not leaking or anything! I'm trying to remain focused on my goal and not scratch my belly very much. Turns out I'm probably allergic to adhesive. Around each incision it's read from the sticky stuff and so super itchy!! They put a patch behind my ear to help with nausea, which I took off as soon as I got home, and it left a mark. The first pic is right when I got home and the second is tonight. 

The best part is I still get to sleep on my tummy! I thought I would have to sleep on my back for a while. Turns out I don't! Since I get little to no sleep that way, I'm a happy girl!! 

So after being on clear protein about 4 days, I switched to what they call "full liquids". These include soup and protein shakes. That's it. Just those two. Jeez!! Also, I have to be on them for 3, yes T-H-R-E-E, weeks. After that, I get to to go puréed foods with an "applesauce" consistency. This may sound unappetizing or gross, but I assure you that I am THRILLED to move to that step!! Every time I "eat" my soup my stomach kind of cramps up for a second. I've been assured this is normal and will pass. I sure hope so because I really don't like it!! 

At first I had trouble getting all my water in. I know, that's nuts. I was having lots of gas come back up and a little pain even though I was trying to sip. So I switched to my Camelbak water bottle with the bite valve and now I drink most of my water everyday! I'm not supposed to be drinking with a straw, but my Camelbak removes almost all of the air out of the water and works for me. Plus, I'm conditioned to see my water bottle, check how much I've had, and drink. It's the little things that make alllll the difference! 

I have to take a LOT of vitamins now. 1 multi-vitamin, 3 grams of fish oil, vitamin D, B-complex, 2 Pepcids, and my allergy pill. Sheesh! It wouldn't be so bad, but I chew my multi and B, but have to individually swallow the rest. My fish oil takes 2 pills at EACH meal to get it all in. Needless to say, I'm getting about 2 grams right now; morning and night. The Pepcid I take morning and night, too. I take the allergy pill only at night and the D only in the morning. It's hard to remember everything. Also, I have to chew the occasional gigantic fiber- gross!! The bright side is that after 6 weeks post-op, I'm allowed to swallow regular pills and can switch from these tiny or chewable pills and get some of them all in one! Also, I don't have to take iron which sounds like I would gag if I had to chew it. 

I know this pic is in one of the others, but I think my neck looks skinny, so I'm going to post it again. Haha! 

That's all I've got for now. Feel free to ask any questions. I'd post pics of my incisions, but it freaks some people out. Ha! 

And that's life... 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Two Days Post Op

Not gonna lie, I felt a bit of regret while still in the hospital. Every single muscle hurt and I kept dry heaving. It was horrible!! 

However, I woke up today, walked some, and have kept all my liquids down. Woohoo!! I have been awake all day and am trying to force down some clear protein in tiny sips. Talk about torture!

I'm feeling much better today; like a smaller truck hit me instead of a Mack truck. For those of you that know me well know that I hate soup, but today I even ate some broth!! Yay salt!!!! 

I also have not had any pain meds today. I hate taking meds if I don't have to, so this pleases me immensely. 

I have six incisions that are stapled shut. They look like they let a child staple me up. They're not in a straight line or anything. I'm also pretty bruised on my stomach. There is sticky stuff everywhere and I am ready to get all of it off!! Ugh. 

I watched some tv between walks and protein. Laughing and sneezing is excruciating; I'm ready for that to be over. 

Overall, I'm still excited for my new life! I have had many people check on me and lots of people praying for me. I could not ask for better friends or family. I am extremely blessed and thankful for all the kind words and prayers. 

And that's life...