Walk. Sip. Rest. Repeat.
That’s pretty much your mantra for the first week of life after Gastric Bypass surgery.
You can barely fit a half cup of liquid into your new pouch, yet you’re supposed to cram 64 ounces of water and 60 grams of protein into it in the course of a day. You hurt like hell, yet you’re supposed to walk as much as possible. Good thing they sent you home with good drugs.
Then, there’s your sudden withdrawal from food. Your brain doesn’t quite know how to process this new lack of hunger. And your emotions are all haywire.
Personally, I felt like I’d had the surgery — why wasn’t I skinny already? And why in the name of everything that’s good must every protein supplement be sweet? Shouldn’t protein taste like chicken? Shouldn’t you at least have that option? That’s what I thought.
Here are some of the things (besides good drugs) that helped me through that first week of hell:
- Sip small. I quickly found that I could fit a lot more liquid into my pouch (without feeling painfully stuffed) if I took teeny tiny sips.
- Burping is everything. With such a small pouch, and constant sips, you get air. Air hurts. So forget the manners and burp as much as you can.
- Walk as much as you possibly can. I did laps around my dining room table. Slow laps, mind you, but laps. And walking while sipping helps the burping – see, it all works together!
- Be prepared for the after-effects of anesthesia: loud or sudden noises really bother me any time I have surgery, as do crowds. It goes away after several days.
- Mood swings. Big ones. Prepare yourself and the family. No, there really isn’t a reason why you’re crying, and for that matter there doesn’t have to be. Just go with it, you’ll be happy again in a little while.
- Remember that this, too, shall pass. And no, it wasn’t a mistake. You made this decision in your right mind for good reasons, and even if you can’t remember them right now, they were valid. Just hang on. It will get better.
- Head hunger. It sucks, but it’s there. You see a commercial and all you can think of are all the things you can’t have. But as soon as you sip your broth, you’re stuffed. It’s all a part of your big Divorce from food. Go ahead and mourn it. Just remind yourself that there’s a reason you did this.
In another week or so, you’ll be feeling much better. Weight will start dropping off (even though you may feel like it’s going slooooowwwly, when you add it up you’ll be surprised) and pretty soon you’ll get more energy.
There will still be day-to-day struggles. But the worst (barring complications) is over.