September 20, 2020
The day before surgery.
This is strange. Any other surgery I’ve had was ultimately going to result in me feeling normal again. For instance, when I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago, I knew that after recovery I would feel “normal” again. Life would go on as it always had. There would be no learning how to do things, for the most part. I mean, same old behavior and same general routine in life. This one is different in that from the moment I’m conscious again, things will be different than they ever were. Completely. Different. I will have to learn how to eat and drink all over again. I’ll have to do a lot of trial and error and the errors can be pretty painful, from what I hear. It’s all going to be new. I’m not complaining. I know what I’m getting myself into (as best as I can know). I’m just contemplating.
I have to learn how eat and drink slower than I ever have. I’m a fast eater generally speaking. So not only do I have to learn how to eat slowly, I have to learn how to eat even more slowly than a slow eater. No more chugging water when I’m thirsty (for a while, anyway). Sips and tiny bites and lots of space between each sip and each bite. And no sipping and biting at the same time either. All new to me.
I have to schedule everything that I’m putting in my body for the first few months. I’m sure it’ll become easier as I get used to it, but again – learning. When to take my vitamins. When and how often to sip and when to stop sipping so that I can prepare my pouch to eat actual food. 15-30 minutes between my last sip to my first bite. And then schedule properly to get in enough liquid without drinking too much at a time… and don’t forget the required amount of protein… 60-100 grams of protein. That’s a lot of protein when I can only sip small sips for a while.
And then comes the full liquids in a couple of weeks. And then pureed foods. Learn how to eat pureed foods. YUCK. Some of it seems natural to me. I can eat pureed refried beans without too much difficulty. I can eat pureed potatoes with some protein powder added and that won’t gross me out. But pureed fish? No. I don’t want smooth tilapia paste or tuna paste. Just the thought of it makes me ill. Again- I’ll be learning to tolerate different textures and consistencies. I’ll be learning what works and what doesn’t.
Then soft foods and regular foods in about a month. This is going to be the hardest part, I think. I’ll be introducing foods back into my diet and while there are definitely some guidelines I will be following (low carbs, low sugar, low fat), from what I understand, every body is different. People heal at different rates and food tolerance varies from person to person. Again, trial and error. And the errors mean extreme discomfort or dumping. That’s going to be an adventure. I just pray I am in the privacy of my own home if that happens… or should I say when that happens.
So yes, I’ll be waking up from surgery, hopefully around this time tomorrow morning with a whole new set of circumstances to navigate. Yes, this is definitely a strange world I’ll be waking up to after surgery.
I feel confident that I have researched enough. I know as much as I can know about what I’m in for. I’m confident in my surgeons and my doctors. I’m surrounded by so much support. My fridge and cabinets are stocked with everything I’ll need for the next few weeks. I have every supply and gadget that should make my life easier during the recovery process and afterwards. Yes. I’m ready.
- Pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy across the street
- Take my “before” pictures and measurements
- Vacuum the living room and bedroom
- Change the sheets and wash the comforter
- Water the plants outside
- Add last items to the hospital bag
- Eat a hot fudge sundae
(just kidding on that last one )
How am I feeling? I’m feeling loved and supported. I’m feeling content with my decision. I’m feeling ready.
I will post again as soon as I’m able. Until then…