Last Thursday, I hit the 4-week mark and Saturday was my official one-month postop-aversary. I can honestly say there have been moments when I doubted if I would ever make it this far. (Especially during Week 2 of liquids…cream-based soups still make me want to gag.)
Overall I am doing well. My energy levels are just not where I want them to be, but I haven’t reached my protein goals yet. I also aim to get 600-800 calories (no more than 1000) daily and it is an effort to reach 500 most days. Says the girl who used to down an entire plate of loaded nachos in one sitting (by herself).
My how times have changed. 😉
I know it can take up to eight weeks to really start “feeling normal” so I am doing my best in the meantime. I’ve been walking as much as I can (and as much as this blasted Southern humidity will let me).
I’m a week into my “soft diet” phase, which will last until week eight. So far it’s not bad … it’s a relief to actually eat things with texture. I’m just beginning to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for my body. So far I can handle meat if it is sliced thin or in a soup. I adore fish of all kinds but shrimp makes me feel like I’ve got a rock in my stomach. As does ground beef or ground chicken. It’s kind of amazing how individualized our food tolerances become after bariatric surgery. I’m still not craving sweets or junk food. I’ll walk down the grocery store and see a shelf full of Cheez-It’s (my #1 preop vice) and think “Huh, I remember really liking those.” And it stops there. Thank goodness.
My sense of smell, however, is very much intact, if not sharper than before. This is really annoying. Over Memorial Day weekend when Steve and I would take walks around the neighborhood, I could smell our neighbors grilling all kinds of goodies and it actually made me hungry. But when I actually had food in front of me, the hunger went away. Occasionally I’ll “crave” a particular type of food – ironically it’s usually soup. The other day I desperately wanted to try a Panera Quinoa Broth Bowl (my favorite) but when we got there, they were fresh out. Wop wop. Tonight I’m curiously interested in trying egg drop soup with wontons.
I continue to be amazed at how much my taste buds have changed. Foods that are traditionally salty (but tolerable to my palate before) are overpowering for me now…I tried prosciutto rolled up with some Laughing Cow cheese the other day and could barely finish a slice. Sweets of all kinds make me nauseous (particularly artificial sweeteners). And cheese is my new favorite condiment. I put it on everything. Small amounts of part-skim cheese, mind you, but I eat such small volumes and struggle to get my calories anyway, so I figure if it makes food more palatable then I am willing to go there. Especially for the added protein.
Some other curious changes… My stomach is starting to act more “normal”. It is much less talkative, except when it is empty…just like old times. My incisions are healing really nicely. I weirdly hate hot showers now – I used to be able to stand in the steam until the water ran cold. Now I get dizzy if I’m in there too long. Not sure how I will do with jacuzzis or baths once I’m allowed to use them.
Probably the most satisfying outcome so far has been the utter lack of migraines. They were pretty well-controlled before surgery, especially once I started sleeping with a CPAP, but I had heard that bariatric surgery often improves headaches, sometimes to the point of eliminating them completely. I saw my neurologist today for a post-op followup and he couldn’t have been more pleased. He didn’t see a need to put me back on a prophylactic medication (my surgeon discontinued my propranolol because my BP was running low). We slightly tweaked my rescue meds to remove any trace of NSAIDS or caffeine from my regimen. He said as long as I feel this good I don’t have to come back for six months! If I can get rid of these damn headaches for good, that alone would make this experience well worth it.