Over the month, I have made significant gains in the quantity of food that I can consume as well as the types of food I can eat. The days of eating out and asking the waiter many questions about the ingredients in each meal are fading away. I’m getting closer to eating a normal portion of food. It makes me think back to what I used to be able to eat last summer and realize what I thought was a lot of food, was not a lot at all. No wonder I lost so much weight! Plus, my body needed the extra calories to heal. This is where I want to re-iterate to those who have just undergone surgery that you should not worry, it gets better. My weight still fluctuates but I’m no longer seeing those drops of 1 lbs a week.
I’ve learned that there are two big things that upset my system:
1) Eating too fast – When you have a stomach, you usually feel uncomfortable about 20 minutes after eating. It occurs after your brain realizes you are actually full. This is the same for me as well; however, if I don’t chew my food enough it feels like I’m being punched in the gut until the food has been digested. Since I don’t have a stomach, I don’t have that extra step of mechanical breakdown that the stomach provides. Therefore, I have to chew my food a lot to compensate for this loss. If I don’t chew enough, the food gets stuck or my intestines try to do this work and it isn’t nice.
2) Eating too much – When you have a stomach, it doesn’t feel nice. When you don’t have a stomach, you can add – hot, nausea, intestinal discomfort, and pain in the abdomen (being punched in the gut repetitively) to the list.
The worst is when you put 1 and 2 together. Then I really become the life of the party.
In terms of my medical appointments, my family doctor no longer needs to see me monthly for blood work. My last blood work came back normal. I continue to supplement my Vitamin D, multivitamin, B12, calcium, and Iron. I don’t need to see her for another six months. This is wonderful news!
Next month I will go for a follow up gastroscopy and I hope that I will be discharged from that clinic as well. I will also be screened for colon cancer that day. That same week, I will also be seeing a genetic counselor closer to home so I will not have to return to the big city for my follow up screenings.
My endurance has still not returned to 100% but I am learning how to pace myself to avoid those big fatigue crashes. I remain optimistic that I will get back to where I was at before surgery as this year progresses.
So that about sums up my last month. I’ll probably make another post in March after I’ve spoken to all those specialists again but until then, keep smiling!