Post WLS Life: 5 Week Update
First of all I would like to preface this with an apology that I really haven’t done a single update post op. I have more updates on my instagram, but I think I’m over due for a formal blog post.
Post OP Hospital Stay
I was in the hospital for a total of 4 days; my surgeon was Dr. Fuller at Pacific Bariatric at Scripps hospital. Pain was pretty much nonexistent post op. I know a lot of people complained about gas pains, aches, and overall discomfort, but recovery was honestly easy. My surgeon said I was healing the best out of all the other patients.
I was a little sore, but nothing compared to some of the stories I’ve heard. My abdomen felt like I had done a few too many crunches, and there was hardly any pain on my incision site. I was off the narcotics by the first night and just taking Tylenol intravenously for mild discomfort.
The hardest thing I endured was my first day post op: I was not able to drink ANY water or have any ice chips yet. All I was able to do was suck on a sponge that was soaked on water just to keep the moisture in my mouth. Strangely enough I didn’t even need my chapstick despite how dry I was feeling.
Day two I was finally able to suck on ice, and that was great. I wasn’t at all hungry so the hydration was nice. At this point I was expected to walk 5 times a day around the hospital and I was able to do that no problem for the remainder of my stay.
Days 3 and 4 I was finally allowed some broth and Popsicles. At this point I was pretty much just waiting to get discharged, I was an extremely mellow patient, which I’m thankful for, even though it doesn’t make for a great story.
Post Op Recovery At Home
Recovery was pretty great when I got home, I was very motivated because I was losing a TON of weight. The first 7-10 days I was averaging about 4lbs a day which was the most amazing motivation you could ask for! I was on top of my walks, and pushing myself to lose as much as possible. I thought I would be able to easily lose 60-70lbs in a month! It was so, so inspiring to see the scale drop that quickly.
A few days post op out of the hospital, I completely overdid it. After seeing those numbers drop on the scale, I wanted to do everything I could to see the number drop more and more. We actually went to the zoo and walked for about two hours. I was feeling great the first half, but then suddenly I just got super dizzy and faint. If any of you have been to the San Diego Zoo, you know how many hills there are in that place and just how wide that park is. Unfortunately I had to continue the walk in order to get back into the car.
Then, it was all downhill from there.
I was feeling pretty uncomfortable on the ride home, but by the time I made it home I was in excruciating pain. Nothing like how I was at the hospital, I was just laying down on my couch with a heating pad on my stomach, but nothing helped ease those pains. I was borderline crying: I’m assuming it was gas pains because I just felt so bloated, and so uncomfortable. It lasted about three to four hours, and despite all the GasX I took and all the intense burping, nothing could release the pressure in my stomach. I finally ran a very warm bath (making sure to not emerge my incisions!), and after soaking for about a half hour, much of the pain subsided.
Moral of the story: DON’T OVERDO IT.
The rapid loss and then the plateau
By the time I had my one week post-op appointment, I had lost 22 lbs! I thought for sure that I was going to hit that 60-70 lbs goal by the time I got back to work. I knew the 4 lbs a day wasn’t going to last forever, but I figured with exercising I could keep it up.
Yeah well, not so much.
That first week was where I lost the most. Sure, it was a little disappointing, but overall I am still losing consistently. I’ve even hit small plateaus, but it’s OK. This journey, even with surgery, is still very much a marathon, and not a sprint. Overall my first month of post-op life I have lost 38 lbs since my surgery weight. Not too shabby.
Vitamin, Protein, and H20 Goals
I am the biggest hypocrite when it comes to saying this, but please, please try to meet your vitamin, protein and water goals. It’s definitely been a huge struggle for me to keep up with my protein and water, because I can’t chug liquids like I used to. I think something about the constant sipping makes me almost sick, I just get so grossed out by the taste of things post op. Especially protein.
A few Tips: If you are having problem getting your protein in, I would highly recommend trying other forms of protein liquids. Isopure has has a protein drink that tastes more like a juice than a traditional milky protein shake. Unfortunately for me, I still got sick of these because they just weren’t sitting well in my stomach. Thanks to the suggestions of some, I finally made a protein pudding, and that helped solved all my problems. I’ll post a recipe soon!
Also, if you get tired of constantly sipping on water, and the taste starts to bother you, there are many things you can try! Crystal light and diet Snapple to go have some great sugar free mixes if you’re craving a nice flavored drink. You can also get some herbal teas, like passion tea, or youthberry tea from Starbucks with a sweetener of your choice. Just a nice wedge of lemon gives the water a little kick, or you can make yourself some spa water: lemons, cucumbers, and even frozen strawberries make for a refreshing mixture and can help settle your stomach.
There’s no excuse! Get your goals in!
How I’m feeling Today
Overall, I’m feeling quite OK. I’ve been struggling with some nausea about 3-4 times a week, which persists throughout the whole day. It’s been quite a bit of a bother, I’m not going to lie, and I definitely need to discuss this with my surgeon. It has set me back a little bit with my exercise goals for sure. Other than that, my hands, arms, and legs go numb so quickly!
The restriction is still real and good! I have been so worried that I’m going to eat myself out of this surgery. But my portion sizes are still small right now… most days I get in between 500-600 calories. Some days more. Listen to your body! That’s my advice, don’t force yourself to eat, but don’t starve yourself either.