Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lactose intolerant?

At first I thought so. I got to a point earlier this week where dairy made me feel nasty. Not nauseated, but bloated and yucky. I couldn't eat my beloved cottage cheese. I also couldn't eat ricotta and my protein shakes are made with whey protein. What's a girl to do? Cheat. Hold on, I cheated in a good way.

I was supposed to stick to pureed foods for another 4 or 5 days. I cheated by moving on to soft foods.

Meat (tee hee) my savior: Ground turkey - oh dear lord where has this been all my life? I mean, I've always liked it but MAN was this good. I chewed the living shit out of it to make it easier on my widdle stomach and to my surprise and delight, no nausea or nasty feelings. AND the small amount of ground turkey I can consume packs a whopping 20g of protein. SCORE!

Also noteworthy are scrambled eggs - I add a tablespoon or two of water to a single egg, add salt and a small amount of black pepper and then cook. It's super soft and moist, and best of all it's 7g of protein.

After a couple days of my non-dairy diet I discovered something. I'm NOT lactose intolerant. I was just eating so goddamned much cottage cheese and ricotta cheese that my stomach was all "dude, knock it off." I can now eat a little dairy each day. I just can't use it as a staple anymore, which is fine now that I can eat meat again.

On my list to try next:
- shrimp
- ground turkey with pasta sauce
- low sodium deli meats
- string cheese
- banana
- greek yogurt with finely diced strawberries

Oh, and a word to the wise: broccoli and cheese pureed soup with GNC unflavored soy protein = NASTY STUFF!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What the hell happened to me

Ok, so exactly what surgery did I have? What does it do? I've had a lot of people asking me these questions. Here is my best non-sciencey explanation for non-sciencey people: I have Franken-guts.

The name of the surgery I had was Duodenal Switch. I did NOT have gastric bypass (known as RNY or Roux-en-Y). The Duodenal Switch and the RNY both combine a restrictive element and a malabsorptive element, but that is where the similarities end.

In the Duodenal Switch, 85% of my stomach was removed. This is the restrictive element. I can only consume a small amount of food at a time. The most important thing to me regarding this surgery is that my remaining stomach remains a stomach. I do not have a "pouch" like bypass patients. I have an honest to blog functioning stomach with acid producers and a pyloric valve (not a stoma). It churns and gurgles and does all the things a stomach should do.

The second part of my surgery causes the calories I DO consume to be malabsorbed. The intestines are rerouted so that the food I eat does not have as long of a journey through the small intestine (where all nutrients as well as calories and fats are absorbed). I absorb about 20% of the fat I ingest. Pretty neat, huh? On the down side, it also means I absorb significantly less vitamins and other nutrients. I have to load up on protein and vitamins and minerals in order to not become malnourished. Tit for tat, as far as I see it.

So what does this all mean?
  • Because I don't have a "pouch" I can consume slightly larger quantities of food than a bypass patient.
  • I NEED to consume larger quantities of nutrients because my malabsorption is higher than that of a bypass patient.
  • I will not get "dumping syndrome" if I eat sugar or fat. However, I will pay for overindulgence with very unpleasant bathroom emissions.
  • I have an extremely good chance of maintaining at least 85% of my weight loss after 10 years (as opposed to other weight loss surgery outcomes).
  • I HAVE FRANKEN-GUTS!!! Sorry, but that amuses me to no end.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First food

Do you know how damned good cottage cheese is?

That good. It was FANTASTIC to finally move on to pureed foods after being on liquids for so long. I've become quite the cottage cheese fiend. I'm also drinking protein shakes, having cream soups (like cream of chicken) and I am going to try some re-fried beans tonight.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 3: Release!

Day 3 I was released from the hospital in the late afternoon. I had been doing well with walking and pain meds, sipping on broth and eating jello. It felt SO good to get out of the hospital. We checked into a hotel where we would spend the next 3 nights. The purpose was two-fold. I wanted to continue to recover in air conditioning AND I didn't want to recover near jumpy doggies.

The hotel room was very nice and quite comfortable, although walking from the car to our room was an endurance test for me. The room had a big screen TV and cable but it took a couple days before I could even handle watching it. Most of my time was spent sleeping, walking around, or contemplating my new future.

I'm home now, at my apartment. I miss the air conditioning but I'm glad to have a comfy place to sleep and my dogs and ferrets around me.

Day 2: my first day as a post-op

Day 2 started off with the usual round of medications, pain killers, and vital sign exams. Around mid morning I was taken down to do a swallow study to check for any leaks or blockages. The men who transported me were very very kind and tried to make sure I wasn't jostled. When I got down to the radiology lab, the nurses were... not as nice. They weren't mean per se, but I was in a lot of pain and they seemed to have the "ok we know let's just do this and stop crying" attitude. I had to climb on a large platform that jerked me around (excruciating) and I had to drink this greasy, nasty sour stuff. The only good thing is I got to see the liquid pouring through my new small stomach and intestines on the computer screen. I was cleared and told my swallow study was perfect.

The people transporting me back upstairs straight up sucked. The guy pushed VERY fast and we almost crashed into 2 gurneys and a group of docs. I got bumped on every bump and he just seemed to be in a hurry to get me back to my room. Once there, I got another large dose of pain meds and took a nap. It had been quite an ordeal.

The rest of the day was spent hobbling around the hospital hall with a walker, since I had to get up and walk each hour. Not fun, but necessary.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 1: Surgery and beyond

I arrived at the hospital at 6:30am to check in for pre-op services. My husband accompanied me to a small bed bay surrounded by curtains. I changed into the hospital gown and got my two IVs started. They gave me some medicine to relax me and before I knew it, I was being wheeled to surgery. The room looked like the ORs on TV but less chaotic. I had to scootch myself onto the OR bed myself, and that is the last I remember. I remember being in the recovery room and only being able to speak one word answers. Things like "puke" to mean "I'm nauseated."

The first real thing I remember is being wheeled from recovery to my hospital room. My parents and husband were there. Mostly at this point I slept. I don't remember my day nurse, but my night nurse was a young guy named Chris. Chris kept the pain meds coming and really helped me to survive. At that point I was not drinking or walking... I was just laying in bed trying not to cry and I kept thinking "why the hell did I do this to myself?"

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Before" pics

So I have been putting off posting my before pics because I'm embarassed at how bad I look. Then tonight I realized "well shit, everyone who is reading this blog sees me in person so it's not like they haven't seen this before!"

So anyway, here are a few of my official "before" pics.

Way before (because I'm a smartass like that):

High School:

And now, the official "Before" photo.....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And so it begins...

Welcome to my weight loss journey. I will have weight loss surgery on August 10th, 2011. I will be posting of my experiences during this time of change.

To those of you with more tender sensibilities, I will warn you that this blog WILL be crass but it will also be honest. I mean, look at the title...