Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fourty days.

I thought that eating my first food after surgery would have more fanfare, more excitment, almost a celebratory experience to it. Like when they bring a cake with a candle in it, to your birthday dinner at a restaurant.

Instead, it was more of a thud. Granted, a tasty thud, but still, bittersweet.

Two weeks prior to surgery, I started a clear liquid diet... As you all know, each surgeon's program is diffirent and I swear that my doctor is the most super-strict of them all! Its not until four weeks following surgery that we start our soft foods/pureed foods stage (for me, this coming Tuesday), so I've been on clear liquids... this.... entire... time...

Well after my less than stellar performance at work, and my dizzy spells and faintness (I'm sure due to lack of not eating anything since December 19th), I made the decision that I needed to try a little something to give me a bit more energy. Water, protein shakes, huge amounts of vitamins, and sugar-free popcicles just weren't cutting it. Fourty days, my friends, nothing of substance had passed my lips for fourty days!

After coming home from work five hours early yesterday, I pureed 1/4 cup of Split Pea Soup and warmed it up. Slowly I ate each bite and it was the most delicious thing that I have ever tasted!!!

Needless to say, I felt guilty not waiting until Tuesday. I'll admit it. But I'm not going to let this get me down, I know I need to listen to my body. But I still feel horrible by not following the exact instructions of my WLS program. Thankfully, today at work, I did not have any dizzy spells or feeling of faintness, and I trully think its because I had another 1/4 cup of Split Pea Soup about 2 hours before working today. It sat well in my new pouch, with I was so excited for!

After work, I went to my moms house... that four hours of work felt like fourteen!!! Exhausted, I made myself 'dinner': another 1/4 cup serving, but this time of cottage cheese.

Best cottage cheese I've ever tasted! Delish! Yum-o! Bon appetit!

So, there you go... These are first things ever in my pouch. And my pouch liked 'em!!!

Back to the daily grind...

Yesterday was my first day back at work (I'm a shift supervisor/barista at Starbucks). And it may seem strange, but it is one of the hardest jobs I've every had: you are always doing on-the-spot problem solving, on your feet and constantly moving (kind of difficult with a 5lb weight restriction), managing partners with varying personalities, and last but not least, hand-crafting yummy SBux beverages for those on the go, go, go...!

I woke up in the morning a little bit nervous, but I felt good... Took my vitamins, made a protein shake, and started my twenty minute drive in for a shift starting at 7am. At Starbucks our 'peak' time of business is anywhere from 6-9am, so business was steady when I got on the floor. At first I felt great, but not long after getting on the floor, I started to feel weak. Looking at the clock, I thought that I had been there for 2 hours, but it had only been an hour.

The people I work with are amazing... I am more thankful for them now, moreso, than I ever have been! The partners are so helpful and supportive, which is a god-send, and they were able to get me off the floor for five minutes to catch my breath and drink some water. My hands were shakey, and I started to feel faint, but it passed with some rest. I was crying because I'm so frustrated that my body isn't cooperating with me, and I felt so overwhelmed.

Back working, I started to feel faint within 15 minutes. This time, the 'tunnel vision' set in, and I couldn't concentrate when ringing up customers... It felt like they were millions of miles away from me, yet just a foot from me. Again, a break. This cycle was repeated several times.

I felt so bad, because it was our peak time of business and it is difficult to be down a person. It is felt by the customers and partners when a store is down a person. Especially with businesses streamlining, like other companies experience too, each employee is expected to do more with less resources, AKA, people. But I had too, my body was screaming: You have to slow down!!!

Out of my 8 hour shift, I wasn't even able to last 3 hours.


I decided that todays shift needed to be cut too, that working 8 hours and during peak would be too much so came late and worked 4 hours. Today I lasted nearly the full 4 hours, but that was, in part, because I decided to 'jump the shark' and eat a small bit of pureed foods to give me energy... I will explain more in my next post.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Julie/Julia Project... for WLS peeps

Last night I watched one of my favorite movies: Julie & Julia.

And it got me thinking... What if I cooked my way thru a weight loss surgery cookbook? Has anyone in our community done this? Has anyone blogged this? Granted, I'm kind of ripping off the idea from the movie based on Julie's experience... but its kind of a cool twist!

Back in October I picked up 'Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery' because after flipping thru it at Borders, I liked how the recipes were taylored to our itty bitty pouches, and many of them looked pretty tasty. Another plus? It has a whole section on sauces - and I've never met a sauce I didn't like! I have yet to cook anything from it, and for that matter, I'm still on a clear liquid diet. (Only 7 days left, but who's keeping track anyway, ha!)

Needless to say, I'm a bit premature in the undertaking of it... but the more I think of it, the more I want to do it. Once I get out my soft foods stage, and advance to something a bit more stable, its going to be my next project... Well, that, and canning. That project is another blog for another day tho!

p.s. Today marks 3 weeks since surgery and two more days until I return to work. I am dog-sitting for my mom, watching Guiliana & Bill (I'm a reality t.v. show addict, but hey, we all have our vices), and doing laundry. A nice, relaxing Tuesday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Goldilocks-inspired response: Ahhh, these pants are just right!

Yesterday I stopped in to Lane Bryant to pick up a pair of new work pants. During my pre-op diet my usual suspects were getting so loose I kept pulling them up by the belt loops, and that was about 15 pounds ago, so I can only imagine what they would have been like when I return to work on Thursday!

Typically I just buy one pant and wear the heck out of them, as being a Starbucks barista, there is always some type of syrup, milk, or prepared drink that I'm spilling on myself!

They had some awesome sales going on, and I found the same style of pant that I had been wearing, and they aren't too bad. About as stylish as any work-pant goes!

I grabbed a size 20, size 18, and size 16. Before the surgery, my highest size was a 22, but I would bounce between 20 & 22 depending on how the clothes fit.

My time in the dressing room was the equivelent to Goldilocks trying to find the perfect porridge... the 20's were wwaaayyy to big, the 18's were too baggy, but the 16's....

Ahhh, the 16's were just right!

I can't even begin to describe how happy I was. My boyfriend, John, was grinning from ear-to-ear as I said to him, 'I think these 18's are too big too...' I can only imagine what its going to be like in the coming months!

Oh... and speaking of porridge, I'm on day 35 of my clear liquid diet - and even porridge from a nursery tale sounds appealing. Cest la vie... only another week plus to go until I start my soft foods stage, and I'm jonesing for a poached egg! Or some yummy oatmeal!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Define: Pouch

Many of you may ask:
What is a pouch, Alissa?

From the website, a pouch, is described as a bag, sack, or similar receptacle, especially one for small articles or quantities. Or for those of you who want a funnier, off-the-wall explaination, just look at!

But for those of us who have had gastric bypass surgery, the word pouch means something completely different. When the surgeon goes in and slices and dices, they seperate our stomach into two sections. The smaller section (the size of a thumb) is what becomes our new stomach, and is renamed our pouch.

Yes. My stomach is now my pouch.

At first, I thought it was kind of funny. I've done some surfing on web forums and people talk about the fact that their pouch likes this. Their pouch doesn't like that. Their pouch doesn't like liquids in the morning. Their pouch prefers room temperature water. And so on, and so on.

Here I am, post-surgery and although I feel a bit odd speaking of my stomach in the 3rd person (and like its an actual person), I do understand all these 'pouch-isms'!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two weeks ago, my life and my anatomy, were forever altered.

This is my first post on my first blog.


I'm at somewhat of a loss on what I want this blog to be, or what it will become. But it was important to me to document this journey I am on.

Two weeks ago, my life and my anatomy, were forever altered. My guts were re-arranged via a gastric bypass surgery, and I'm embracing it. I'm announcing it. I'm not pulling a Star Jones' and lying about the hows and whys on the fact that I will be dropping major poundage in the coming months and years. I'm not ashamed to admit that I needed a little bit of help. Sure the naysayers may speak to the fact that I took the easy way out, but let me tell you, weight loss surgery is anything but the easy way out.

This is my journaling. My sharing. My life. My experiences.

After all, it is just my pouch and me.