My god. I can barely afford to be working full-time, because this surgery is a lot of work. To all those people that think surgery is "The easy way out", think again. There is no easy way.
Lately (well, yesterday and today), I've been really angry about that. I've lost around 65lbs in 7 weeks. But, I've been through a major surgery (with complications), 3 minor procedures requiring anesthesia, gone to the emergency room for dehydration, put on supplemental oxygen because I wasn't breathing well, and had to completely change my habits and lifestyle. I've also lost a month and a half of income and more medical bills than I can think about without giving myself the vapors. And I'm just starting the hard part. NOTE: while I am normally a very positive person, I need to vent. So here is the whine of the time:
1. Getting enough water. It's a bitch, frankly. I can take about two mouthfuls of any liquid at a time (that's about 1-2 ounces...I measured it). And I'm required about 64 oz of water a day. This means that if I go to a meeting at work without taking water, I will not meet my minimum of water. If I grocery shop for too long without a bottle of water, I will not meet my minimum. If I nap for too long, if I forget to pay attention, if I get stuck in traffic...whatever. And now that I'm eating solid food, I can't have any liquids for 45 minutes after eating. AND I'm supposed to eat 5-6 times per day. It's exhausting to remember to drink--how ridiculous is that? And yet not drinking enough is one of the surest ways to end up feeling like crap, to the point that I had to visit the ER for an IV to get rehydrated.
2. Eating enough protein. I should have a minimum of 65 grams of protein a day. To give you an idea, 3 whole eggs give you about 21 grams of protein. I, however, can eat 1/2 an egg at a time. That's about 3-4 grams. This is why I have to eat at least 5-6 times a day. And even though I'm not supposed to have any kind of liquid calories, I have to supplement with a protein shake or two just to get enough in. But as much of a pain as this is (preparing food, remembering to pack a lunch, remembering to eat, etc.), without enough protein I feel like hell. Oh, and you'll lose your hair (which has already started).
3. Exercise. Just because you can't eat much doesn't mean you don't have to exercise. Without it, your metabolism will slow to the rate of a quadriplegic land turtle. And I have had a major tendinitis flareup in my foot that keeps me in pain when I walk (and walking is the recommended exercise until about 8 weeks). I wish I could do more, because it is such a pleasure now to be able to walk, move, or shop (the important one) without having to sit down every 200 feet from pain and breathlessness.
4. Old habits die hard. Eating out of boredom, eating out with friends to celebrate, eating whatever you want, eating fast, eating without paying attention to every bite--those are really hard habits to break. I didn't realize the extent to which food ruled my life. I mean, I know I've been fat, so obviously I've had problems with food. But I had no idea how deep it went.
5. Getting good nutrition. I take 2 multivitamins each day. And an iron tablet. And a b-complex. And a b-12. And I have to start on fiber supplements. And 3-4 calcium supplements a day. And biotin (for the hair loss). And omega-3. And glucosomine/chondroitin. And maybe even a probiotic. That's all on top of the thyroid medication, the anti-depressant, and the mood stabilizer (not to worry, I was on those before the surgery). I have a hard time keeping it all straight. And I can't take anything larger than a pencil eraser. So I had to change my current medications, get chewable or liquid versions of everything. And some of them taste terrible.* Imagine getting a headache away from home--where am I supposed to get some liquid Tylenol (I can't take ibuprofin anymore) without going to a drug store?
So yea. Today I'm really whiny. And a big complainer. And I know, all things considered, that I'm extremely blessed. And lucky. And loved. And all that crap. But today, I am pissy, crabby, ungrateful, and mopey. And, unlike before, I'm actually sharing it with people (you lucky folks!). I used to PollyAnna-ize everything so that no one knew what a horrid person I could be sometimes. Even at my most depressed, no one (except maybe 1 or 2 people) knew about it. I got really good at hiding things. And it's taken a long time for me to be able to talk about the mad, stubborn, crabby, and sad parts of me. I like to think it means I'm growing as a person.
So tomorrow will be a new day. Hopefully, I will feel good. I know that planning meals, drinking, taking my vitamins, and walking a little more every day will help. So before I go to bed (no later than 11:30, because lack of sleep makes everything worse), I will pack my lunch and remind myself that I'm doing all the extra work because I'm worth it. Even the whiny me.
*Just found out from one of my favorite bloggers, Eggface, that there is actually a palatable B-12 spray made by Building Blocks Bariatric Vitamin company. If you want to enter to win a free, one, follow this link to enter the contest she is holding. Just tell her I sent you. :-)