In a previous post, a fellow blogger, Hayley (from Addicted to Sugar) asked a few questions and I thought that they were something that would merit their own post since others are probably interested in the response as well.
Hayley said …
… I wanted to ask you somethings. Do you feel any different now, knowing whats gone on inside of you, it’s a big change, does anything feel strange or different? I’ve been wondering about that.
Are you getting any side effects? Is there anything you can’t eat now. Can you drink when you eat.. this bit worries me, being diabetic I have a drink with me at all times! lol
So far, was it all worth it?
Sorry if thats alot or you don’t want to answer, I watched something the other day and it’s scared me a little and I have my meeting this week, so getting all nervous! …
Truthfully, I do not feel much different… physically or mentally. I know it probably sounds so weird because I know I’m different now than I was a few months ago but I never saw myself as that big until after the fact. Physically, I’m starting to notice changes… I’m shrinking and I can feel areas (like my back for instance) that just feel smoother… not as many fat lumps. I look in the mirror and am shocked at my reflection (especially when I put on my old clothes that used to be tight). Mentally, I still feel like the same me inside, though I do not socialize by going to all food events or bars now and when I do, I have to make better choices. The mental thing is the hard part. You have to be careful not to fall back into bad habits and you have to deal with your mind craving things that your body doesn’t need. That part will be an everyday struggle after you get your hunger back. Sometimes I feel sad that I cannot partake in my old habits and binge on delicious but horrible-for-you foods. BUT I know that this is what is better for me and occasionally I’ll have a bite or two of something that isn’t great for me but it satisfies that craving.
Side effects… OMG! This topic would have made me cry a few weeks ago. I had so many problems with solid foods in the beginning. Every time I would eat meat (to get my protein in), I would get the foamies (dry heaving followed by spitting up white foam, along with bad chest pain). It didn’t just stop at meat… it seemed like most things I tried would make me sick. And then I got sick from my protein shakes because I had them way too much. This wasn’t a problem consistently but occurred on and off for a while. Finally something switched between weeks 10 and 11. Since then, I haven’t been having any issues with solids. Maybe I’m learning to chew more or eat slower (the two main causes of the foamies are doing these incorrectly). You have to really focus on eating post-op. Do not hold a conversation while you are eating or watch TV because then you do not pay enough attention and you eat too fast. You really need to be alert of your body (and how it reacts) when eating, especially the first few months post-op. Since your body is healing, each day may allow you to add a little more food or it may make you sick. You may not be able to tolerate a certain type or texture of food. If something makes you sick one meal, try it again in a week and it might go down fine. You are relearning how to eat and what you can eat. This can be an EXTREMELY frustrating process.
Drinking with your meals is a no-no. You are supposed to stop all fluids 30 minutes before a meal and wait 30 minutes after a meal to start drinking again. Does this mean you cannot have fluid if you absolutely need it? No. I always order a water with my food, just in case something gets stuck or if something is too hot. But that’s only in case of an emergency (and you should only take small sips if you need it). Your new pouch will not have enough room for food and liquids. So do not drink fluids with your meals or you may not get in enough calories throughout the day. There have been times when I’ve got food stuck and thought drinking would help that. I was sorely mistaken. If food gets “stuck” in your pouch, it normally means that your pouch is full and the liquid will not be able to go down… there is only one way for it to go and that is back up. This can have you running for the bathroom. It’s not a pleasant feeling and I highly recommend following the rule of waiting 30 minutes before and after a meal to drink.
Foods I cannot have… I have been having less issues as time goes on with foods but some foods that I cannot deal with are pastas, breads, and doughy textured foods. These foods get moist going down your throat and ball up (imagine a ball of play-dough) and get stuck in your pouch. Now, if it’s a really crunchy bread (like a biscotti or cracker) I do not have any issues. It’s weird. I thought crunchy things would bother me but they go down the best. Before surgery, I never liked crunchy foods but not they are my saving grace. Meats used to bother me but I’m slowly trying them again and am having much better luck now at almost 3 months out. Seafood seems the easiest to eat which is great because I’m from Maryland and we love our crabs and steamed shrimp (covered in Old Bay seasoning) here.
Was it worth it? Heck yes! If given the choice again, I’d make the same decision. There will be moments when you are sad and regret your decision (mostly when you are getting sick from eating) but after you learn how to eat for your new body and after your body has had time to heal, you will absolutely love everything about your new life. I am almost back to my high school weight and I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin than I do now. I feel sexy for the first time in my adult life. I feel happy that I can run around with my niece and nephews without wanting to pass out… I even jumped on the trampoline the other day with them which I never thought I could do again. Clothes shopping is the most amazing thing ever (I may have a slight addiction to shopping. Lol). I can wear heels and wedges again without my feet screaming for release. Exercise is easier (even though I still don’t really like it). And it’s almost swim suit season and I’m actually looking forward to it this year. I feel that surgery has given me a second chance at life and I do not intend on wasting it.
Feel free to ask me anything! I love to share my experiences and would love to hear yours. Visit my Contact Me page.