Stomach Surgery: from fluids to puree

I am now two weeks out of hospital and am in the early stages of transitioning between a liquid and puree diet.

Life is getting back to normal. I started back at work on Tuesday (day 15 after the surgery) and had no big issues. I was a little tired, and I found my stomach and my back were quite uncomfortable after sitting at my desk all day – but I just left a little earlier, and kept my heat pack on hand. It was nice to go back to work and have people say they could already see that I’d lost weight. Everyone seems to be seeing it around my chin/face – but to be honest I can’t see anything. Some people might think 10 kilos is a lot of weight to lose, but it’s only 8% of my weight, so it’s not as obvious to me when I see myself in the mirror every day.

I might not be noticing it because I haven’t actually lost any weight in a week. I’m averaging between 500-700 calories a day (recommended for women is 1200) – but I am not losing anything. It’s baffling, and it is annoying, but I know (/hope) it’s not forever. I believe I am “plateauing”, something I had expected but had not expected to happen so soon. I guess if I haven’t lost any more weight by this time next week, I’ll reassess my diet. I have been eating a lot of cheese…

I'm eating 4-5 of these a day. I suck them to death!
I’m eating 4-5 of these a day. I suck them to death!

I slowly started my transition to puree foods over the weekend, introducing one meal a day, and then by mid-week I am now up to two/three. At the beginning I was so excited to not be on liquids that I decided to experiment with blending up some of my favourite foods, including an entire laksa (tofu, noodles, meat and vege included) and chips & gravy. I only ate a small teaspoon or two of each (ie I licked the food to death). The laksa was oddly textured (thanks to the noodles), but still tasted nice; the chips & gravy where delicious, they tasted just like lumpy mashed potato. The chips & gravy were a bit of a Sunday treat, and not something I’ll be making a habit out of, but it was nice to have something that wasn’t liquid and still tasted great. Ironically, I laughed when the dietician told me people had put Big Macs in blenders during the puree stage, and here I am putting chips and gravy in!

Ever wanted to know what a whole Laksa looks like blended up...
Ever wanted to know what a whole Laksa looks like blended up…

I did have scrambled eggs for dinner one night; even though they’re not on the puree list (they’re on the “soft foods” list, still another three weeks away). I made them extra mushy and chewed them to death before swallowing – and my stomach handled it fine.

I went to the movies on Monday, my first time in a month – I am a big fan of going to the cinema, and not just for the films. I usually end up eating a whole large bucket of popcorn, regardless of what I have eaten before – I always joked that I have a second stomach just for popcorn, but I’m 95% sure it was true. I was a little worried about being surrounded by popcorn, that I’d want to grab some off some poor stranger than stood too close… but I found that my iced coffee hit the spot and gave me some sweetness – it felt like a treat. And I utilised my visualisation technique of seeing the popcorn in my healing stomach, picturing the kernels getting stuck in the staples. It worked a treat.

Overall I am drinking faster than I was – I’ve stopped sipping like an old lady and can easily take a mouthful of water without it hurting. I still can’t gulp, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to again. However, I’ve been having trouble getting all of my daily water amount in. It’s really hard to drink so much water when it takes you so long to do so, and when you have to space it out around your meals – can’t drink up to 30 mins before or 30 mins after a meal, and sometimes that meal can take an hour or two to eat!

I used to be able to drink two of the big bottles a day, now I am lucky to get in 2/3 of the small.
I used to be able to drink two of the big bottles a day, now I am lucky to get in 2 or 3 of the small.

I drank a lot of tea with lemon and honey this week – I found it went down easy and was a good way to intake my Benefibre. I am averaging about 2 cups a day, not sure the honey is so good for me fructose wise, but it’s a natural healer of wounds and fighter of infections. Honey is also great for acid reflux – which I have been getting a lot of this week. And hey, Victoria Beckham swears by it.

I also started having a Berocca tablet with my morning water – I’m not allowed to take my normal vitamin tablets yet, and I find the chewables ones horrible, so Berocca seems like a good option for the time being.

I am really constipated. I’ve been having Benefibre at least twice a day, but I’m clogged right up. It’s strange sensation, I’m used to having the opposite issue. I’ve never been constipated in my life. I don’t quite know what to do, it’s hard to get fibre in your diet at this stage, although I am starting to incorporate more pureed fruit to assist the Benefibre. If it hasn’t improved by this weekend, I think I’ll be trying some other avenues (if you get my drift).

I’ve noticed some other random changes in my body; my skin is so dry and flaky (it’s usually oily), and my body temperature is more normal (less hot-blooded). I assume this is due to the change in diet.

Here’s a rundown of my diet for the week (I took out the tea, since I was having so much of it and it’s now become less “food” and more back to being a drink again).

Day 11 (Friday): Weight – 112.5. Breakfast: Juice with Benefibre. Lunch: Nothing. Dinner: Musashi P30 Protein popper. Snacks: Lemonade icy pole. Laughing Cow cheese wedges (4).

Day 12 (Saturday): Weight – 112.5. Breakfast: Strawberry Up & Go. Lunch: Blended Laksa. Dinner: Milo (with skim milk and Benefibre). Snacks: Laughing Cow cheese wedges (4).

Day 13 (Sunday): Weight 112.5. Breakfast: Juice, Berocca. Lunch: Blended chips & gravy. Snacks: Laughing Cow cheese wedges (4), Nestle Soliel chocolate mousse.

Day 14 (Monday): Weight 112.1. Breakfast: Juice. Lunch: Musashi Protein P30. Dinner: Mushroom soup – made by me, recipe is coming.  Snacks: Oak iced coffee. : Laughing Cow cheese wedges (5). Milo with skim milk.

Day 15 (Tuesday): Weight – 112.2. Breakfast: Greek yoghurt. Lunch: Left over mushroom soup. Dinner: Baby food (banana, apple and blueberry). Snacks: Musashi slm protein popper, Laughing Cow cheese wedges (4).

Day 16 (Wednesday): Weight 112.1. Breakfast: Musashi Slm toning Protein popper. Lunch: Laughing Cow cheese wedges (2), Babyfood (pear, mango and banana). Dinner: (very) Scrambled eggs (with milk, cheese and chipotle sauce). Snacks: Lemonade icy pole. Musashi Slm toning Protein popper.

Day 17 (Thursday): Weight 112.1. Breakfast: Greek yoghurt (I put some cinnamon in). Lunch: Hummus and Laughing Cow cheese wedges (2). Dinner: Smoothie (banana, raspberry, yoghurt and protein powder).

As I move in to my second week on puree, I intend to be a bit more adventurous. I must admit that I was terrified of eating; thinking everything I tried was going to get stuck or cause me pain. But moving slowly has been good for the healing process, and I will start adding a few more purees in here and there. This weekend I am going to soak some oats and blend them with raspberries and yoghurt – and I’m really looking forward to it.

 

(Edit 16/06/2014, the following Monday – I stopped using the Benefibre on Thursday afternoon and by Friday my pooping was back to normal! I believe the Benefibre was solidifying, which meant it was stuck! The fibre I am getting through my other foods is obviously enough because I’ve not had any issues since.)

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