Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fatigue: Going with it

I’m in the midst of “the hump” as I’ve written previously. This is the weird low energy, even fatigued time that occurs after surgery and before a healed stomach can handle proteins. Confused, the body thinks it’s starving and cycles down to conserve energy.  It’s supposed to be approximately one month post-surgery for the body to figure out what’s happening. I'm beginning my third week post surgery.

I feel like I did when I was pregnant. Really. When pregnant, the body is working so hard it’s the equivalent of climbing a mountain 24/7.  So feeling exhausted is normal, particularly in the first trimester. Now, I am absolutely exhausted 2 or 3 days out of the week and can nap like it’s the end of the world.

My appetite increases gradually, and I’m able to keep more down successfully.  I’ve had good luck with bran cereal, Leslie’s custard (heavenly and nutrient packed), and of course her chicken soup (ditto).  Fails include pastina (too rich) and cream of wheat (despite initial success). There are foods that look and smell divine, yet I dare not eat them because I know what the result will be. However, I’m able to eat more in a sitting. I mean the difference between ¼ cup over a week ago and creeping closer to the 1 ½ cup I’m suppose to consume in one meal. So, I should restrict myself to the prescribed three square meals with no snacks soon.

Here I sit pooped, but not entirely guilt free. Thank heaven I’m not working. Having to get up early and push myself through a day of Corporate clowns would be exceedingly difficult.  I feel extremely fortunate to be in this place and enjoy where I am, while it lasts, knowing it’ll probably be years before I get another chance to rest like this.

So for now … I’m going with it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Hump: One Week After Surgery

My start weight on March 1 was 318 lbs.  Today’s weight is 286.4 lbs.  A 32 pound total loss.

Progress is continuous and that makes this tolerable. I know that every day is a tiny bit easier and brings me a bit closer to recovery.  Each day I can handle a bit more sustenance; of course, I’m talking about the difference between a quarter cup of vanilla yogurt and a third of a cup. I tried Trader Joe’s cream of tomato soup, was in extreme gassy discomfort for about five minutes, and then up it came.  The same thing happened with super mashed/pureed sweet potatoes.  Some foods simply do not want to stay down.   Yet I get hungry and am compelled to try new foods.  Also, my nose works just fine! All food smells heavenly, particularly when I’m hungry.

I went to my first post-surgery doctor’s visit today. I am in the midst of what I call THE HUMP. I have very little energy. I wake up feeling okay, good even, get my head around the day, ease into something to eat, then something to drink. Taking a shower and getting dressed makes me tired. But I can bounce back from that. Then, if we have errands or an appointment, I’m good until about 1:00 p.m. By 3:00 p.m., I’m completely wiped out. I mean, tired like I used to get when I was pregnant with Elizabeth.  This is the hump. I am in the middle of recovering from surgery, and I'm taking in very little sustenance.  As my stomach continues to heal, I’ll be able to take in more foods, which will provide more energy and so forth.   The doctor said my body is confused. It's not sure if we're starving so it's reserving energy.  This will work itself out over the next few weeks.

In spite of these inconveniences, and compared to a lifetime of  joint pain and health issues related to morbid obesity, this is the most effective way for me to take the reins of my health. I realize that a women’s right to her body type is indeed her right, but to me it’s science. A younger body is more equipped to handle 150+ extra pounds.  Approaching 50 … not so much.  We are lucky that this process, like so many other things, is readily available in our demographic.  To get this started, all I had to do was call the doctor’s office.

Leslie's weight loss is consistent. I'm so proud of her will power.  And Elizabeth is super aware of what she eats, and continues to push us toward vegetarianism.  She gives me these precious looks of pride, though, and every so often asks with great sincerity, "Are you okay, Nana?" My girls make my heart melt.

I’ve dropped down into my body with an audible plop. I’m more aware of my physical self now than I’ve been since I was a teenager dancing five days a week.  My imagination still wanders to and fro with very little fencing, particularly now that I’m not working. But, I am acutely focused. In fact, I’m focused down to the most intense point for me at this time … a small glass of ice water.

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