Monday, July 24, 2017

Welcome Matilda

Hello everyone! I hope I wasn't too dramatic with my last blog post. It was tough for me to decide how to tell everyone what was going on, so I just figured I'd throw it out there and see what stuck. I do appreciate all the support and well-wishes that I received. It means so much to me.

When I decided late last year to pursue weight loss surgery, I had no clue that the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (or VSG) was an option. Last time I looked into to surgery, my insurance covered the gastric bypass and the lap band, and I decided against both of those because I just knew I could lose weight on my own, which I did. But, as I learned in my studies and experience, there is a big difference between losing weight and maintaining weight loss. My hope is that VSG will help me lose a large portion of my access weight and maintain it. How that happens is for another blog post... it's all about your body set point, and weight loss surgery is a tool to move that needle.

So how am I doing??

I'm one week post op, and I feel good. I started walking as exercise on Saturday, and I went again to the YMCA today for almost one hour. I'm happy that I was working out prior to surgery because I feel my body is already accustomed to moving so I should have a quick and healthy recovery from surgery. I'm also allowed to drive short distances.

I said "NO" to pain meds after the hospital - which I'm happy about because I haven't suffered any ill effects from that stuff.

Did I mention I'm not hungry.... That's a huge plus. I drink plenty of water and calorie free, sugar-free, non-carbonated beverages to prevent dehydration, and I supplement my meals (liquid broths and strained soups) with one scoop of unflavored protein powder or chicken soup flavored protein powder.  Oh, and I really like sugar free popsicles.

My diet is very restrictive to allow for my new tummy to heal. I always though it funny that people named their sleeves after surgery. Why would you do that?  Then, I found out why.  My tummy talks to me all day long. She grumbles and sighs. Huffs and puffs.  Curses and squeals. She's a cantankerous old hag so I named her Matilda. In all honestly, Matilda has treated me quite well. The most unhappy she's been was the night after my surgery when I had two awful bouts of dry heaving.  But that wasn't her fault. Anesthesia is a bitch, and I've never had surgery before.

I also didn't realize how important it was to pass gas! My nurses cheered when I farted in the hospital because it means I'm getting rid of the gas they use to inflate your belly during laparoscopic surgery. The gas can be quite painful and I'm still dealing with it today, but the more you move, the more your fart, and the better you feel. 💨💨

I don't want to bore you incessantly with other drabble, but I will say the staff at UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA is great. They helped to get my nausea and pain under control without using opioids, oh... and if you followed my Popeye arm from FaceBook, the fluid was finally absorbed and my forearm is back to normal (bad IV location). It looks worse than it was.

Next week, I'll have more details on my journey to weight loss surgery and the steps it took.

Thanks for reading!  And feel free to ask me any questions you like. I will also be updating my weight loss chart and including new pictures.