Day 101 

Frequently Asked Questions and ones I know people want to ask of someone recovering from gastric by-pass surgery. 

 

  1. What do you eat?

70-80 grams of protein – it is the most important item to get in every meal and snack. 

Non/Low Fat everything. 

Sugar free if possible or very low sugar content 

I tried to eat at least 800 calories a day. 

64 ounces of water or liquid 

 

  1. What do you actually eat?

In the morning I normally make a protein smoothie for myself and Seth. It has chocolate Fairlife Milk, isolate protein powder, PB2 (peanut butter powder), either kale or spinach, banana, frozen fruit, Greek yogurt, “Kind” blueberry granola.  It is so yummy I get hungry just writing about it. 

For lunch I will have two to four ounces of some sort of protein. I eat non-fat cottage cheese, grilled or baked lean meat or chicken, shrimp, an egg or something like that. 

For a snacks I will have a premixed protein drink, like Muscle Milk, a Protein Pack (it has cut up cheese, nuts and a lean meat), sugar free pudding, SF Popsicle or SF Fudgesicle. Of course, protein bars are a great go-to food to throw in my purse. 

Supper is often similar to lunch food or sometimes I just have a protein drink and later eat a vegetable.  I am getting around to adding vegetables and fruit in very limited amounts. 

Before bed I almost always have a sugar free popsicle.  

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What are the No-No’s?

No caffeine. 

No fried or greasy food. 

No sweets. 

No bread, rice or pasta – at least not yet. 

No gum or drinking from a straw – both will add air to your pouch and be very uncomfortable. I can start trying gum or drinking from a straw but haven’t been willing to risk the dumping syndrome kicking in. 

No soda or anything carbonated. 

Initially, I could not drink anything cold. Room temperature was even tough. Recently, I have been able to drink cold drinks but it can still be a little hard. I feel like my esophagus is cramping all the way down for a while. 

Do not eat and drink at the same time. Wait thirty minutes before and after eating to drink.  If you drink throughout your meal you won’t have enough room in your pouch for the food you need. 

Everyone is different. Every doctor’s suggestions are a little different. 

 

  1. Do you feel hungry after your small stomach pouch is full?

Absolutely not. Imagine eating a big Thanksgiving meal and then someone wants you to eat another portion. You just can’t do it without feeling like you’re going to throw up. 

 

  1. Do you feel deprived?

Nope. I went into the surgery with a great mindset that I was trading poor health for a long life with great health. Honestly, I don’t have a desire for food that will make me feel ill. 

 

  1. Why did you have to crush your medication after surgery?

For a month after surgery, all medications have to be either in liquid form or crushed and put into SF applesauce or yogurt. The opening in the pouch is so small that pills won’t go through it. If they do go through the pill would take up a lot of the small pouch size. Crushing medication was only for the first month. 

 

  1. How big is your new stomach pouch?

Right after surgery it is the size of an egg. Doesn’t take much to fill it up. Eventually, my stomach will be able to hold a half a cup of food.  I can hold about half a cup of soft food now. I can drink about eight ounces as long as I drink slowly.  

 

  1. Don’t you feel hungry?

If I haven’t eaten for a few hours, I get hungry.  It is important to be mindful of your eating and drinking. If I have gone too long between meals or snacks, I have found I eat too fast and cause dumping syndrome. 

 

  1. What is Dumping Syndrome?

A very unpleasant experience that I actually signed up to experience the rest of my life.  Before you think I am crazy let me explain. After the Gastric By-pass procedure if you eat fatty or sweet food, eat too fast, fail to eat tiny bites your body reacts in a very negative way. When I have dumping syndrome I feel nauseous, extreme pain in my chest and esophagus, vomiting, headache and sweating. It feels like my entire chest is having severe cramps.  

 

  1. What do you do when you experience Dumping Syndrome? 

I get to a quiet place. Take two antacids. Put a cold wet cloth on my face. Sit up. If I lay down it is nearly unbearable. Normally, I moan from a lot. After thirty minutes or so I toss my stomach contents and begin to feel better. I have noticed that it seems like I will typically throw up twice before the event is over. Within one to two hours I feel better. Praise God this has only happened a few times. 

 

  1. Why would you have surgery that would have Dumping Syndrome?

I knew I would cheat on the new way of eating if I didn’t have something to govern my progress. I wanted to be successful for life and not be tempted to go back to my old ways of eating and poor health.  I got my wish. If I know something is not good for me, I don’t have a desire to eat it.  

 

  1. What does your surgery scar look like?

The surgeon made six incisions. Five of them are about half an inch long and very tiny, almost like a scratch. The sixth one was longer because it is where the large instrument was used and it had to go through the bowel. Because of my infection in that site it was four inches wide but has shrunk down to a little over an inch.  I also have a small circle scar about the size of a number two pencil. It is where I had the second infection and they had to go drain it and put in a drainage tube.  

The five little incisions are located one at the top of my abdomen, another almost in my belly button, two on my right ab and one on my left.  The circle scar is near the incision on the right side. The larger incision and the site of the first infection is on my left side. 

I still have bruising that doesn’t look like it is going away in several places that were from the blood thinner injections I had to give myself in the stomach. Not fun. I had to do that twice a day for six weeks after surgery because I previously had blood clots in my lungs after shoulder surgery. Praise God I didn’t have them this time. 

 

  1. How much weight will you lose?

On the day of my surgery I was one hundred and seven pounds’ overweight. I have been told the average patients can lose eighty percent of their excess body fat. I plan to not be average and lose all my excess body fat. Three months out I have lost fifty-two pounds. I feel confident with my new lifestyle choices I will be happy where ever I find my healthy weight. 

 

  1. Isn’t bariatric surgery the easy way out of weight loss? It is a jumpstart to weight loss but it is certainly not easy. I have to be focused on when and what I eat or drink at all times. Before I would pop a small piece of something in my mouth and not think twice. Now, I think twice before anything gets gently eaten or drank.

 

  

 

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