My Gastric Sleeve Journey

My Gastric Sleeve Journey

Devo and the Wizard of Oz – Part Deux – There’s No Place like Home

on January 26, 2015

Sorry for the delay folks! It has been a week since I last wrote and believe me, it has been interesting!

Just to establish goals once I am home, let me give a little background on some of the things I will be reporting. They are outlined below (The information provided is intended for patients enrolled in the Capital Health Weight Loss Surgery Program and written exclusively by Capital Health):

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So the diet progression, based on these goals is as follows:

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I am currently in Stage 3 and will be until Feb 12th. Some exciting examples of this type of diet are as follows:

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Jealous! Yeah, you’re jealous… 😉  Well, without further adieu,,,,

Thursday 1/15

( where we left off) 11:00 am – Amanda and Dale are here to get me! I said goodbye to everyone on the way out. So glad to be going home. Props to Dale’s mom for the loan of her car. I like it! We stop at the pharmacy closest to my home and get the Ursodiol. My doctor’s office is right there so I stop in and leave a message for Dr. Murray about the staples.  I get the Rx and we go home.

12:15pm – Amanda and Dale need to leave right away to get the car back. Amanda carries my luggage in and puts it on my bed. Mika is lying right there where my pillow would normally be. I had decided that since I have a memory foam mattress, it may be too hard to get out of bed, so I set up my guest room to sleep in and all the pillows were there. She did not move and seemed to not believe I was there. I thank Amanda and she left. I go back to unpack my bag.  Mika now believes and am home and is snuggling and talking up a storm! I unpack. And go to the kitchen. Mika follows. I know I am not supposed to, but I step on the scale. I am up 8 pounds. Wait, what????? Amazing! They actually pumped 8 pounds of fluids into me in 3 days. More, because some of that I managed to pee out! No wonder my arms hurt and are swollen!

1:00 pm – I get into the shower! Yes! Nothing feels better than a shower and a shower after 3 days in the hospital is better than chocolate and sex combined (well, as far as I remember anyway)! I am sure I will never get out! I have to be careful of my dressings. The incisions underneath are new and I must gentle. I scrub everything else and, with a twinge of regret, get out of the shower. Ahhhhhhh, that’s better!

2:00 pm – I am puttering around the apt. I get ½ cup yogurt and add milk to dilute it. Tasty!! I sit and check out my email. My phone is blowing up as congratulations and concerns come flowing in. My friends and family are so nice!

4:00 pm – I am going to lie down on the couch and watch the first of 8 seasons of ‘Two and a half Men’. My training partner in crime loaned them to me. So funny!

7:00 pm – back is still paining a bit, but much better. Mika is attached to my hip and refuses to let me go anywhere without her. Including the bathroom. Sigh…

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8:00 pm – ½ cup of lime Jell-o. How can something that tasted so good before the surgery now taste like slime?? I manage to get it down, but it is obvious that Jell-o will not be my fave thing.

9:00 pm – I am tired! Time for bed! I get everything ready, take my meds with sips of water and get Mika’s treats. I cannot bend over like I used to so I try to get as close to the floor as possible and then release the treats. Unfortunately, Mika pokes her head up and the treats go flying everywhere. One is stuck in her fur. Crazy cat! I manage to get it out and go to bed. Nighty night!

Friday 1/16

7:20 am – I am up. I did not sleep well. My guest bed mattress is firm and my back did not appreciate it. Fine. Tonight we will try my bed. It just means that I will need to move everything back to my room. No problem. I am still not experiencing any real pain in my incisions. They feel uncomfortable and tight, but I assume that is the staples pulling. Such a shame. I got that cool pain scale ready for no real reason it seems! I have my meds and then I make a smoothie. Because I have to count everything and make sure I have enough protein, I am tracking it, both in my Fitness Pal and on paper. The smoothie has 1 cup of 1% milk (9 grams of protein), 1 cup of frozen berries (2 grams of protein), and I scoop of vanilla flavoured protein powder (25 grams protein). This makes 3 cups of smoothie. Because my tummy is now the size of a small banana, I can only sip small amounts at a time. This smoothie will actually be eaten over 3 different hours in the day and give me a total of 36 grams of protein.  Solid start to my day!

9:00 am – lots of texts, FB messages and calls to answer.

11:00 am – nap time! I am so tired! I sleep in my bed. Success! I will be okay. Getting out is a bit tricky, but I manage.

12:00 pm – lots of water. I have to sip it, but find that 1 cup of water can very easily go down. The colder, the better!

3:00 pm. I think I will have some soup. I take some clam chowder (4 grams protein), add a tin of salmon (23 grams protein) and throw in a ¼ cup of low fat cheddar cheese (7 grams protein). Then I blend the crap out of it until it is smooth. This makes 2 cups of chowder, so two meals! Each one is 17 grams of protein! Not bad for my first official day home!

6:00 pm – I try some more Jell-o (1/2 cup = 1 gram of protein) and watch more ‘Two and a half Men’.

9:00pm – Call from my mom! We chitchat and laugh about the fluid weight gain!

10:00pm – Bed time! Take my meds, get treats for Mika (avoid her head this time) and go to bed.

Saturday 1/17

6:45 am – I am up. I slept a little better, but Mika is at my door, crying! I have to pee. Thanks cat! After a chat with Nikki, I decide I should change my dressings. I am seeing my staples for the first time. I regret not having someone here to help. I could take the sight of staples in skin in someone else, but in my own body, it is really grossing me out. I was advised that the hospital to open them and let them air dry, but I just can’t. Some of the staples are poking out and the sight is terrible!! I cover them back up ASAP! I am a bit surprised. I thought the stomach would be removed through my belly button. However, that is not the case. It was removed through an incision right under the left side of my ribs, close to the sternum. It is the largest incision and has the most staples. It is also the one pulling the most. I have six incisions in total and 4 are right on the fat roll above my belly button. Really? This makes it incredible hard to see if I am covering them properly, as I have to use the mirror. The old dressings have very little blood and all seems to be healing well. Once I am covered, it’s meds and brekky time!

7:30 am – I am making Carnation Instant Breakfast complete meal. I package (7 grams protein), 1 cup milk (9 grams protein) and 1/8 cup of egg white (3.5 grams of protein), which totals 19.5 grams. Yum!

9:00 am – I decide I should go for a walk. It’s okay outside, I think it is best to walk around the building and see how I take the stairs. All is good!

9:30 am – ½ cup of yogurt (6 grams protein). More TV watching!

11:00 am – I finish off the rest of the soup. Yum! 17 more grams of protein!

12:00 pm – I am drinking so much water in between ‘meals’. I find it is easier to process the protein when I make sure to keep sipping water.

5:00 pm – I am going to try an experiment. I am blending oatmeal until it is a powder (5 grams pro). Then I cook it according to directions. I add a ¼ cup of applesauce, some apple pie spice and some vanilla protein powder (12.5 grams pro). Then I add some milk (1/2 cup = 4.5 grams pro) and blend it up again for good measure. It is not bad! It’s a little thicker than it should be. It takes a while to get it all down. Another 22 grams of protein!

7:00 pm – I am having caffeine free tea with lots of milk (1/4 cup).

9:00 pm – ½ cup yogurt (6 grams pro)

9:30 pm – a quick chit chat with my mom

10:30 pm – Bedtime!

I really won’t continue to bore you with every moment of my days. Most times I am just trying to get my protein in, resting and walking. I will just note the highlights.

Sunday 1/18

8:30 am – I am not feeling that well today. Bowel movements have been few and far between up to now as you can imagine. However, this morning, it is not an issue. My tummy is gurgling madly and I am in the bathroom a lot already. I may have pushed it with the oatmeal! It’s hard to believe that it has been less than a week since my surgery!  I think a BOOST (16 grams of protein) is in order.

9:30 pm – I manage to get in 65 grams of protein over the course of the day! Yay me!

Monday 1/19

7:30 am – I am really sick today. I have terrible diarrhea and bad cramping. I try to eat, but I just end up in the bathroom.

6:30 pm – I only end up getting 27.5 grams of protein in. I sleep and drink water and apple juice.

8:00 pm – I weighed myself again. I am down 14 pounds! Cool!

Tuesday 1/20

7:30 am – I am feeling so much better today! I am down another 2 pounds. I make a smoothie (42 grams of protein) over 3 cups.

12:00 pm – more soup! This time I mix cheddar cheese soup with cream of mushroom and garlic soup (8 grams pro). I add tin of Flakes of Turkey (24 grams pro) and add 1cup milk (9 grams pro) and 1 cup water. This made 4 cups of soup! Each serving is 10.25 grams of protein.

5:00 pm – Yogurt time! (6 grams pro)

8:00 pm – I manage to get in 60.5 grams of protein. So full!

Thursday 1/22

8:55 am – Up late today! Today I am also getting the staples pulled out. Yay! I can’t wait! I have Carnation Instant Breakfast (7 grams pro) with 1 cup milk (9 grams pro) and ½ scoop of protein powder (12.5 grams pro).

1:45 pm – I am showered and ready to go to the doctors. Her office is about a 15 minute walk from my house. I bring some water with me so I can continue to sip. This will be my first long walk outside since I came home. My appt. Is at 2:15 pm. I love my doctor, but no one ever has their appt. on time. Wish me luck!

2:30 pm – It starts snowing. Really?? Ugh….

3:00 pm – I am in an office. While I am waiting, I go and weigh myself. I am down another 4 pounds! Whoot!

3:10 pm – Doctor is here. I have a care package for her. It is a staple removing kit, some papers for the records and some dressings. She gets all the info about the surgery and enters everything.  Then I hop up on the table. I am scared it will hurt. I am such a wimp! I only have a total of 17 staples it turns out. 5 are in the large incision. Most of them just pinch a bit. Some are stuck in the scabs and hurt coming out. Of course all of them in the big incision are that way. Blah! Then she takes an alcohol swab and cleans up everything so she can see my progress. Sting!!!!! Again, I am such a wimp! 🙂 She is very impressed with the how well they are healing. Next, we check the blood pressure. Before my surgery, I had controlled high blood pressure with two medications. My arms were so flappy (Dumbo ears I call them) that my doctor needed a very large cuff. To top it off, my stolic number is very hard to hear and the diastolic could not be heard at all. She always needed to use a machine. That all changes today. A regular cuff is needed and the machine cannot read my pressure because it is too low! Dr. Murray finally reads it the old fashioned way at 92/70!!! She instantly takes me off one of the meds (the cheap one of course 🙂 ) and I have to come back in two weeks to have it checked again. I feel fine! Not dizzy or anything! Oh well!

4:00 pm – Now, I can check the Lawton’s next door for cottage cheese. I have been craving cottage cheese. I can have it, as long as I blend it up. I go in to the food section. Balls! No cottage cheese! I will have to wait until tomorrow. I am not schlepping all over just for cottage cheese. My incisions feel so much better except the large one. I do not want to walk home and risk slipping. The wind is really picking up. I get on the bus and go home.

5:00 pm – Soup time!

Friday 1/23

7:30 am – up! I have a lot of errands today (pay day!) so Boost is best for breakfast (16 grams pro).

9:30 am – I am showered and ready to go! I get some water and some grocery bags and head for the bus stop.

10:30 am – I get to the bank and then stop in to work to see everyone! I have never taken this long a ‘vacation’ and I am sort of freaking out. But as I get in, I can see everything seems the same. Of course! I wander around and visit. I discover that standing for long periods cannot be accomplished as of yet. My shoulders hurt and my incision is giving me a little trouble today, There is actual pain. Maybe at a scale of 1 or2? It was a great visit. I got through all of my emails, checked in on everyone, showed off my new svelte self and then left.

1:30 pm – I hit Sobeys for some grocery shopping. After paying all my bills, I do not have a ton left, but I don’t really need much. This is a blessing with this surgery. I cannot eat very much so grocery bills are a little less. All I need is some soup, milk, baby cereal (yes, baby cereal. It is a good investment, nice and smooth on your tummy and chock full of vitamins and minerals. I got Gerber’s Wheat, Yogurt and Raspberry.). Some smoked oysters and light tuna packed in water are on sale. These will be great blended into soups or to wait for the stage 4 diet. And last but not least – COTTAGE CHEESE!!!!! The 1% 500 gram size is on sale! I get lots. It is a whopping 15 grams per ½ cup serving, so I am very excited to add it to my diet. Shopping is quick, but I am tuckered out and the grocery bag is heavy. I have enough money for a cab and take it.

2:45 pm – I am home and unpack the groceries. Mika is so happy to see me! I take a nap on the couch.

5:30pm – Whoa! Long nap! The large incision still hurts and I have to cover it with my hand to move. Weird, but there it is! I am having blended cottage cheese and no one can stop me! Yum! It is as good as I imagined. I am not surprised that my body likes it. I always enjoyed salty snacks as opposed to sweet. It is a nice change from sweet smoothies.

Saturday 1/24

8:00 am – I am up. My incision does not hurt today. I almost forgot about them until I touched the scabs in the shower. Getting better every day!

8:30 am – Cottage cheese time! I get so full after a ½ cup and it takes me a long time to eat it all up! (15 grams pro)

10:30 am – I try the baby food I bought. You add water and presto! Brekky! I also added some strawberry protein powder and amped it up for addition protein. I really need variety in my diet and this helps add it! (23 grams pro)

1:00 pm – More cottage cheese? Why not? 🙂 (15 grams pro)

5:00 pm – Soup time! (11 grams pro)

7:00 pm – I think cottage cheese is a great way to end the day! (15 grams pro)

9:00 pm – I figured it out and this was a 79 grams protein kind of day! I think I will lay off so much cottage cheese. It helps ramp up the protein but I am sure it is too much. Too bad. 🙂 The weight loss has stalled  as well. That’s okay. I was getting a little scared!

Epilogue 

I think that is more than enough for now. I hope this close look at my day-to-day helps others who have yet to take the surgery.

I have to tell a very great secret. I thought I would chicken out. I hate change. I hate disruptions to my routine and usually do not succumb to them easily or quietly. Even as I was being walked to the OR, I thought I would change my mind. But in the end, I didn’t. This is SERIOUS! Make sure you mean it. Somewhere inside of me, I must have meant it or I would have never taken it as far as I did. I have no regrets. Do I think I will have bad days? Of course! It would be naive of me to think I won’t. Stupid. This surgery will be another tool in my repertoire to battle terrible food and life habits I had established. This is the change I must embrace and succumb to.

I will continue to chronicle my journey. This is very cathartic for me and on those days that I may be floundering, I can look back and see my accomplishments and the strides I took to get where I am. Nothing happens all at once and I need to keep that very fresh in my mind. I hope you will join me!

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5 responses to “Devo and the Wizard of Oz – Part Deux – There’s No Place like Home

  1. Icesis says:

    I’m still very impressed/proud. We weren’t sure you were going to go through with it, but we’re proud you did!

    Glad to hear you’re healing well, and using this as a great opportunity to blog on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sharonisin says:

    Great blog, Devona. It sounds like you are doing wonderfully well so soon after the surgery. And it is nice to hear the positivity in your voice. Like you say, you will have bad days, but hopefully the good ones will far outnumber them. We are such a food-driven society and it does no one any favours, so kudos to you for your courage in taking this step and in sharing your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • devolyn1 says:

      Thanks so much. I am glad what I am trying to convey is getting through and makes sense. I am so looking forward to healing and growing and making use of this opportunity! 🙂 Thanks for keeping up my spirits!

      Like

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