It’s been over two weeks since I last made a post and I have a feeling people are starting to wonder where I’ve been. Good news. I’m still here!
A while ago, I mentioned that I saw a common trend in CDH1 bloggers. When people start to do well, they slow down blogging because they are too busy living their regular lives. Well this has happened to me as well and I’m super happy about it. But more on that later. First I wanted to do a big food and activity update since it’s been a while since I’ve really gotten into the nitty gritty of it all. This is more for people who have had this type of surgery but educational for others as well.
Being the holiday season, it only seems appropriate to start this post discussing food. I eat frequent small portions throughout the day. I have learned that smaller portions chewed well are the way to go. I make sure to chew carbohydrates REALLY well since they are harder to digest. I could stuff myself with calories to the point of feeling uncomfortable, but then I’m left feeling a lot of pain and agony for the next 1/2- 1 1/2 hours. Not worth it!
I will eat a bite or two of bread but most of the time I avoid bread. When I do have some bread, it’s always some sort of brown bread (rye, whole wheat, pumpernickle) and ALWAYS combined with protein. Even with my protein rule, I avoid white bread because it always makes me feel ill afterwards. Goodbye, Wonderbread.
Thankfully, I am able to tolerate foods higher in sugar these days. As long as I eat a load of protein before the meal, I seem to be fine. I was able to eat a whole piece of tiramasu after Christmas dinner. I paced myself over a period of about 20-30 minutes but I was fine afterwards. This has come with a heafty price though. More sugar = return of acne! I had heard about this before but sugar is definitively a pro-inflammatory food.
One of my favourite things to eat these days is savoury oatmeal. To make it you combine 1/3 cup of oatmeal, 1/4 cup of red lentils, 1 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Then simmer it all in a saucepan for about 10-12 minutes. Add hummus or salsa on top. I like eating it for breakfast, lunch, or even a snack. Another one of my favourite things to eat is cheesy eggs. All it is is scrambled eggs with cheese mixed in. Fast, easy, delicious and calorie loaded.
I can eat a wide variety of fruit (i.e. oranges, apples, watermelon). I find fruit is better for satisfying your sugar cravings because not only is it better for you, it is also hydrating. I continue to struggle with drinking enough liquid in a day. I’ll be lucky if I consume greater than 500mL of liquid a day. I’m often thirsty because I still usually choose food over liquid.
Speaking of liquid, I now have an easier time drinking straight water than before. I’d prefer to mix it with something but I’m able to drink it if I’ve got nothing to mix into it. It’s also better if it’s chilled with a lot of ice. I also enjoy drinking cold tea. It’s something I had a lot of when I was traveling in Japan and recently started drinking it again.
But probably one of the most interesting beverages to consume without a stomach is alcohol and caffeine. I recently learned that a 5 oz glass of wine consumed on an empty system can be quiet the experience. Same goes with a cup of coffee. I describe it like the alcohol or coffee is injected straight to your bloodstream. I guess it is doing just that since there is no longer a reservoir with a sphincter to regulate the passage of liquids into your small intestine.
As mentioned earlier, I have returned to the gym! I have been able to participate in a variety of group exercise classes twice a week at a lower level. I bring juice water with me to each of the classes to ensure that I stay hydrated but also to prevent my blood sugar from plummeting. During the class, I have to ensure that I don’t go all out like I used to because that results in near passing out. Every class I have attended to this point, I have felt light headed at least 5-10x during the class and needed to back off. It’s funny how it’s not my cardio or muscular fatigue that does it but my entire system throwing in the towel.
My mom and I participate in these group exercise classes together. It’s funny for us to look in the mirrors at the gym and see our body shapes. We are skinny. We are toned. We are both out of shape but no one would know. That’s one of the pluses of having a total gastrectomy. You are more lean than the average person because your body uses your fat for energy. Last Friday during the step class I looked around the room and thought to myself, “who would have thought two people without stomachs would ever be doing step class?”. A sight I would have never considered seeing.
I was concerned about my weight dropping during this time; however, with the combination of holiday goodies and holiday eating, I have maintained. I am around 107lbs these days and still going strong.
There was a job opening to manage the clinic where I work. I am currently working part time but my long term plan (even before surgery) was to eventually treat part time as well as work administratively part time. Since I am on the upswing, I decided to apply for this position. It was a new challenge that I was willing to accept. Just before Christmas, I received word that I got the position. Currently, I am managing a team of around 18 people as well as working about fifteen clinical hours.
Last post I ended by stating:
“I used to count down the weeks closer to one year post surgery because I think I was waiting for something magical to happen and suddenly, I would be back to normal. Back to the way I was at this time last year. But this is not true. I won’t be back to the way I was last year. I’m going to be better.”
The moment I made this decision so many great things happened in my life. It could not have been more fitting.
I can’t talk about 2014 out loud because I always get overly emotional. It was a year full of life lessons, challenges, and a lot of personal growth. It was an important year for me but I am so ready to say goodbye.
Happy New Year to everybody. Let 2015 bring on many new exciting adventures. Thank you all for following my blog.