Day 9 Post Op

Day 9 post op – Mum left early this morning 😥 I know that I will be fine but it all feels a bit overwhelming right at this moment. The last two nights have been rough. I have a wound that does not wish to play nicely and keeps bleeding. Obviously I am moving too much at night because I woke up feeling sore and I bled through my dressing. I’ve cleaned myself up now with new steri strips and a new dressing. I am down another kilo so yay for that! 

This morning I forgot that I really need to wait a few weeks before I start trying to perform much cleaning – Oops 😔 I am not allowed to do any lifting for 4-6 weeks because of my prior history of hernia and how many previous surgeries I have had. I may need to write myself some reminder notes because it’s easy to forget. 

This morning I had a protein shake for breakfast – I am able to have about 1/3 of an optifast sachet so that’s not too bad. My gorgeous boys have vacuumed the house and dusted while I have been told to get back to bed which I think I will ignore. I have done a few laps around the inside of the house today and Steve said he will come with me to go for a little walk later this afternoon. I can’t go too far just yet and I am not going to lie, it really is an adjustment to get used to the amount of calories that I now consume in a day. I don’t want to get dizzy and fall on my face so I will just take things slow 🙂 #gastricbypass

Puree

Purée phase – hmmmm in my usual blunt and honest style I am going to attempt to unpack how I feel about this. I know that I can’t stay on fluids as I will end up deficient in essential vitamins and minerals (Gastric Bypass already causes malabsorption) but I can fully understand why people can get stuck on this phase when they are post bypass. It feels like the purée sat in my stomach for a long time even though I know that is not possible. It wasn’t uncomfortable but it didn’t feel great either. Yesterday I had one purée meal and I was not particularly hungry for the rest of the day. It felt odd to eat something that is a thicker consistency. My dietitian has said that I am not allowed to be on my fluid diet for longer than a day or two more so hopefully when I eat my purée lunch today it will be a better experience. But pretty much – purée sucks 

Another side effect of gastric bypass is hair loss – this charming side effect does not stay around forever but it is something that I am dealing with already. Plus side – it’s winter and cold enough in geelong to live in beanies 😂 but I have a husband that has always preferred my hair to be long. It’s a preference and not something that he has mentioned for a long long time, probably 15 years – but my 5 Jarrett boys will find shorter hair to be strange on me. If I am very honest so will I, because there is a strong chance that I will need to get the chop 😭

My skin is already starting to feel squishy – it’s only 8 days since surgery but the 17 kilos that have gone have left me feeling nowhere near as firm as I did 😕 it’s strange to feel squishy. The boys have taken to calling me Dory – if you don’t get it then you need to watch finding Nemo!! I suppose a very positive thing is that my knees are hurting less and I haven’t been brought to my knees in tears because of mesh pain since the surgeon removed the adhesions to the mesh while he was in there doing the bypass! 

Today is the last day that Mum will be here 😭 I know that I will be fine but I will miss her and so will Steve and the kids.

Day 7 Post Op

Day 7 post op – Just a quick update you guys! Woohoo for the start of the purée phase that I will be having for the next two weeks. I made myself a beef casserole that I have puréed so that seemed like the place to start! I was legitimately terrified but watered it down a bit further and managed to get about 1/3 of a cup down or a bit less. It has stayed down!! No vomiting so that is a great thing indeed.

Tummy Scars

My amazing surgeon Mr. Darrin Goodall Wilson, looked at me before I went under and he said “Tash I’ll try to use some of your current scars” and he patted me on the shoulder. You know something – I never even thought about my scars for a second! I made peace with having well over 30 surgical scars on my tummy – what’s 5 more? But I love him all the more for thinking of that when I was not in the head space to give it a second thought. “oh no my beautiful body will be marred” never once crossed my mind hahahaha!! This bad boy is one of my 5 surgical incisions and this annoying one caused quite a scare in recovery. I required two to changes in hospital gowns because it bled badly – it started to carrying on again last night 😑 meanwhile the four others are getting to that itchy healing kind of stage. I really do bruise quite impressively don’t I!

Actually I am feeling very very much better today as opposed to the sick feelings over the past few days and the regrets of yesterday. I have just had 80 mls of optifast for breakfast and lunch and I think I’ll have soup for dinner. Optifast is NOT my favourite – I am fairly sure that my body feels the need to purge it from my body as soon as it enters…. or at last that is how I feel! I am starting to think about what I will do next week when I start on purée foods. What did you have? What was advised to you?

UUuugh! PAIN

This morning has been tough. I woke up feeling nauseous and the bruising on my tummy is coming out in force, so that seems to hurt more today. The surgeon did not just do gastric bypass, he also went and looked at the mesh and dealt with some adheasions and I have bruising coming out from that part of the surgery too. Aunty flo decided to add insult to injury by making an unwanted appearance and I think I am a bit constipated – this seems crazy when I have literally eaten less than 1 cup of food in the last three days. All that combined has seen my mood be somewhat down this morning. However I am happy that the kids are now going to be off school!! It’s the last day of term for them – and three weeks of holidays to follow!! No school runs until I can drive again which is such a great thing ☺️ 

This morning I have done a bit of thinking about how I felt the last time that I lost a lot of weight – how different I looked – how people asked Steve to introduce them to his new wife, how differently I was perceived and consequently treated by others. I am slowly wrapping my head around the changes that are about to happen in our lives. At least I am aware of the anger and residual cynicism that I felt last time and I am hoping to find really great ways around those feelings this time. I think it helps to understand that not everyone has to understand our journey and that taking things at face value really is important. 

I hope you have a great weekend, I am planning to spend most of it resting.

Tummy bruising

Thoughts Before Surgery!

These were my thoughts right before I went under – I am sitting in the surgical waiting room. Ted stockings are on, my blood pressure and weight have been taken (OMG 12.6 kilos down from my pre surgery diet starting weight and 26 kilos down from my heaviest weight) I am wondering if the hospital scales are faulty – how can that possibly be right 😳 

I am so thankful for the blessing of having amazing people encouraging me. Thank you girls and guys! Your love, well wishes, support and prayers mean the world and more. 

I think I should be honest and say that I have never really been one to love and embrace change. I am the kind of person that you may find clinging to the safe and familiar with everything that I have. Over the last 5 years I have become better with change but today I feel like my progress has been very very small. I thought I would be standing here, about to escape my fat loop, with all of the joy of a child on Christmas morning. But what happens when my excuses are gone 🙂 this is the part of the journey where the rubber meets the road and I know that. What would my business look like without my excuses, what would my relationships look like without my excuses? What will my life look like without my excuses – I guess we are about to find out.

And I will be honest here – I woke up on surgery day crying. I literally felt filled to the very brim of my heart with fear and sobbed into my pillow because of it. I cried because of years lost, I cried because I wished I could stay the same and that things would just magically be different, the mesh from my old hernia repair would be gone, my joints wouldn’t ache and I wouldn’t be at the front of the queue for diabetes and heart disease. I was going to miss my ample curves, lamenting the inevitable days ahead when I would look like a human candle and my skin will hang from me in the same unsightly way that my fat now fills it. 

Then I looked over at my little boys, who had a sleep over in our room the night before surgery and I became more resolute to give them the mother that they need. The one who spends hours with them in the water at the beach, the one who can wear shorts in the summer, the one who isn’t constantly held back because of fear and self loathing – and I got up, had a shower, prayed and got myself ready to go. I did it afraid because that’s sometimes the only way that New things happen.

Yup – I felt how I looked 🤣
My wounds including the one that liked bleeding 😳
Post op diet

Packing My Hospital Bag

Today it is so very cold! I spent the morning watching two of my beautiful boys play footy and have now returned home. First task was to pack my bag for the hospital. 

Two sets of pj’s
Two bras
A robe 
Two sets of lounge clothes 
A pair of trackies
Socks 
Undies
Toiletries 
Benefibre
Chewable vitamins 
Lip gloss
Cardigan ….. yep that seems right – OHHHHHHhhhhhh and a long phone charger cord!

Next job is to do my online shopping so that I can
start my food prep for the next few weeks while I am taking things a little bit easier

Meal Prepping

Do Your Research

One thing that I have learned is that documentation and research matter when it comes to making a huge decision like the one to undergo a surgery like this one.

Knowing what you want to achieve and why makes it so much easier. We upgraded our private health insurance 14 months ago so that we have top hospital cover and then knew that we were on a countdown. For me, this isn’t about becoming waif thin, wearing a bikini or even how I will look at the end of this process. For me it is about avoiding type 2 diabetes, avoiding knee surgery and getting rid of the mesh that holds my lower abdomen together. I have realistic expectations and I also know that while the surgery is a tool, I have to do things differently. 

I came to terms with my body a long time ago. I am not sure if that is one of the joys that comes with being in my 40’s or not? However, I am more comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been before. I know what my body is capable of and I have put a lot of my self loathing away. So I suppose I am actually emotionally prepared for the change that has already begun. 

Once I realised that I was ready for surgery I set about finding the best surgeon to perform the procedure. I talked to a lot of people, read a lot of reviews and eventually settled on someone with an outstanding reputation. I did consider going to QLD and having the surgeon that operated on my siblings and also on me 9 years ago do my weight loss surgery but I am happy with the choice I have made. 

I made the appointment with my surgeon for one month after I had satisfied the 14 month waiting period for the changes in our health insurance to take effect. Two weeks prior to the appointment with the surgeon I saw my Gp to get a referral letter. 

After that it was appointment with the surgeon. Finding out the gap payment for this type of surgery can make your eyes water a little bit. Mine did!! 

Then a phone call to the health fund with item numbers from both the surgeon and the Gas Dr. 6 item numbers in total – this is to check that all of the item numbers are covered by the health insurance provider. Also ensuring that your surgery takes places in a hospital preferred by your health fund is a good idea so that you are at less of a risk of out of pocket expenses. 

Then!!! 

Blood tests

Dietitian appointment 

Start pre operative diet 2 weeks prior

Barium Meal X-ray 

Pre operative appointment and pay all out of pocket costs to the doctors 

And now all I am waiting on is surgery!

Grateful!

June 10th 2018 – I’ve been sitting in bed (it’s cold in Geelong this morning) thinking about how grateful I am to the amazing people that have been so supportive towards me. 9 years ago, when I had lap band surgery and the mesh hernia repairs, I ended up in and out of hospital for 18 months – it was horrendous for my family. We are now 8 sleeps away from surgery!

My beautiful family are as supportive as ever. Without Steve none of this would be happening. I don’t have enough ways to thank the guy that has happily and sometimes grumpily stood by my side for 23 years. He hasn’t ever made me feel like I was less loveable as I am and through the good and the crap times, he is always there for me. I am thankful that my Mum will arrive next Sunday. She is taking 11 days out of her life to come and be here for my family – that means so much. With Mum here, the care of my grandfather will be on my siblings, both the blood ones and the love ones – thank you guys for making it possible for Mum to come down – especially considering that my brother is having back surgery on Wednesday!

My amazing friends locally, have been and will continue to be, such a great support. Our children’s school community have offered their support also in practical ways and I honestly feel overwhelmed and grateful. Also my beautiful grown up kids will be doing school runs for me because I am not allowed to drive for 6 weeks. You know, they don’t have to do this stuff but I am so blessed that they will. Without my village this whole thing just wouldn’t happen. I am grateful!!

The Cyst in my Face

May 17th 2018 – What a week it has been! And this photo is 5 minutes old – I am trying to decide if I should plaster myself in make up to try and cover the bruises or just leave them out. One week ago was surgery for the cyst above my front tooth. It was dealt with 18 months ago but decided to come back. Does anyone else watch Dr. Pimple Popper? All I could think was that the sack wasn’t removed last time so this was always going to be possible 😳 I didn’t really expect to bruise quite this much though. The funniest part of this, to me anyway is that the extensive bruising to the inside of my mouth looks, on the outside, like I have a moustache 😂😂 Today I get to go back and see Dr. Ching and he will take the stitches out of my mouth! Yay!!