Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bariatric Betty: pickle-licker

Before anything else, let me say that my heart and prayers go out to the students and families in Chardon, Ohio after the school shooting yesterday.  May we learn something from this tragedy that helps prevent things like this from happening in the future.  Please remember the families involved in your prayers.

Day 12 (starting counting from the day after surgery when I started fluids) and it's been pretty good so far considering.  I was on full liquids for Day 2-10 and then on Day 11 (yesterday) I got to start thin purees.  Just in time, too, because on Day 10 I found myself licking a slice of pickle!  C'mon, licking a pickle - that's liquid-ish, right? 

I have been lucky to find a protein supplement that I think is pretty good.  I use the Syntrax Nectar Fuzzy Navel.  23 grams of protein and 0 carbs, 0 fat.  I like it because it doesn't have that thick creamy taste that so many protein shakes have (and that I can't stand).  It's Whey protein, so it digests easily in my pouch.  Fuzzy Navel kind of tastes like Tang to me.  And I drink it out of a water bottle with a small opening so I don't smell the "protein smell".  No, I'm not receiving any compensation from Syntrax ;) 

Since Day three I've been able to drink three servings of the protein shakes a day, which has really helped my recovery.  The one incision that was still bandaged and having "ooze" when I was discharged scabbed over 2 days ago.  They said it can take up to two weeks, but that the amount of protein you are getting in makes a difference.  Cha-ching! 

The only downside of having fuzzy navel/ tang taste three times a day (in addition to water and Crystal Light) is that you get very tired of citrus/ fruit flavors.  Hence the pickle-licking incident.  I miss salty, savory flavors!  So yesterday was a banner day.  I made two different purees and alternated during the day.  First up was Low Fat Ricotta cheese, Mids Meatless spaghetti sauce, garlic salt and water.  Yummmmmm.  Think cheese ravioli minus the pasta.  Second was Fat Free Refried Beans, Pace Picante (Mild) and water. Think mexican bean dip without the chips.  Also good.  Both went down easily, no "stuck" feelings.  I had a little more burping than I've had with drinking liquids, but otherwise it didn't feel very different.  I ate 1 cup over the day, split into 4 servings. 

I kept waiting to feel that "full" feeling.  I didn't get it.  I also didn't get any discomfort or anything else associated with eating too quickly or too much.  Later in the day I actually felt hungry.  Hungry?  I'm not supposed to feel hunger now.  Is it "head hunger" - where I'm not really hungry but my brain is confused?  I remembered something I've heard at support groups and on my Weight Loss Surgery FB groups - sometimes you will confuse being thirsty with being hungry.  So, I drank 24 ounces of Crystal Light over the next 30 minutes and felt somewhat better.  Then I had my last 8 ounces of protein shake for the day and the "hunger" was gone.

I wish I was able to identify "full".  Not yet.  I have discovered "thirsty" (which masquerades as "hungry"), and "not hungry".  I only experience discomfort if I drink too fast - sometimes I forget that two swallows in a row is my apparent limit.  If I swallow a third without a pause, it splashes right back.  Then it's fine and I can swallow again.  I don't want to push my luck by eating normal size bites of food, because who WANTS to feel bad, but sometimes I can't help thinking "is my pouch small enough?" and other crazy things like that. 

So other than eating and drinking being slightly TOO easy, my only frustration is muscle pain in my abdomen.  I'm not supposed to be lifting more than 10 pounds, and I am being very careful with that.  The major difficulty has been with my dog.  I have to be able to take him out several times a day, and while he normally is not a big "puller" when we walk, he can get aggresive towards other dogs.  If it's not one of his canine BFFs and they walk by, he's all "This is my yard/ my pack leader/ I'm a tough dog/ go away!!!"  Usually annoying/ amusing (he's a 30 pound cocker spaniel, so he doesn't seem very threatening).  Now, when he pulls on the leash to bark at a dog, he pulls with more than 10 pounds.  I know, because my abs hurt - especially where my stitches are.  So I usually look out the door carefully before taking him outside, but twice now his LEAST favorite dog in the world has come around the corner right after I have gotten my 8 year old on the bus.  Yesterday I hurried back inside, but not before things got pulled enough that it hurt on and off all day.  This morning, same thing, but this time I had sense enough to hand my leash off to another mom, who held on to him for a minute until he had calmed down.  Better. 

I did take him for one of our regular 1 mile walks yesterday - which we have BOTH been missing.  It was the furthest I've walked since surgery, and he has been desperate for more exercise.  That went fine, his archnemesis was no where in sight. 

Speaking of abdominal stitches, I've decided that the indented spot where my doc sewed some muscles together to prevent a hernia post-op is my "one-pack".  I've never had muscle definition in my abs - honestly I don't know if it's possible.  Even at our lightest, my family has always had "soft stomachs", and now-a-days our kids are diagnosed "low tone" and double-jointed.  So one may be as much muscle definition as I ever see there, but I don't care.  Latest numbers: I'm down 12 pounds since surgery, 42 pounds since this journey started.  Whatever frustration I have, I'm not diabetic anymore and still losing, so I'm happy!


  1. I love reading your blogs. Keep up the good work.

  2. I am two years out and my diabetes is in remission as well. At about week three, the diabetic "fog" lifted. I had finally detoxed from all of the drugs I was on because of diabetes. It was an ah...ha... moment and one I will never forget.