Making progress

Last time I posted I thought the anti-nausea pills had me sorted. I was wrong. I’m now taking some they use for cancer patients, and life is a lot better, but it’s been pretty rough getting sorted. I drank nothing but flat ginger beer for a week! In the last couple of days, I have managed a couple of flat Berocca and a few glasses of water with diet lime flavouring. So, a huge improvement but liquids still make me feel a bit sick.

Oddly enough, food is fine; this week the plan adds things like a 1-egg omelette (I can eat about 1/3-1/2), thinly sliced beef with 2 teaspoons each of mashed broccoli & lite cream cheese, or mashed egg rolled in ham. Although I often don’t eat quite as much as they recommend, I am coping fine with the tastes and textures.

As the surgeon said, most people can drink but not eat, so your case in unusual! Terrific…

In the meantime, Tony continues to be his usual patient self, helping me prepare meals, getting my breakfast ready, making me laugh with appallingly inappropriate comments. (don’t ask lol)

Someone obliquely asked me if I regret the surgery. Hell no. This is a hiccup on the way to a whole new life. What’s to regret?

A difficult few days

Last week I was sailing through the post-surgery recovery, feeling great. On Saturday the nausea kicked in with a vengeance – food was ok, but trying to drink water was almost impossible. The only way I could manage it was tepid water with a little diet lime flavouring. I went from drinking 1.5ltrs a day to well under a litre, feeling sick constantly.

Anti-nausea pills have it pretty much sorted but the combination of too little to drink and a (teeny) high protein diet induced the worst Gout I’ve had in years. Yesterday I had to use my walker and even then I was barely mobile. The nurse at the weight loss clinic said to get whatever meds I needed down me, and rely on the Losec to protect my tummy. I spent all day yesterday sleeping off the meds and today am walking with just my walking stick.  

I’m still a bit nauseous – one sip of water can be one to many – but am clearly on the up again.

On the flip side I have lost just over 10kg since the surgery 12 days ago and am 200gm off 20kg since the pre-op diet began at the start of August. My body doesn’t feel a lot different, although I am wearing clothes I haven’t worn for a couple of years, but my face us changing.


One week post-surgery

I had my weight loss surgery last Friday in Wellington. Dr Dhabuwala and I had planned on a Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass (REYGB) but we knew scar tissue from a difficult hysterectomy 20+ years ago might be an issue, and it was. I ended up with a Single Anastomosis Gastric Bypass. It’s popular overseas for a number of reasons but not in New Zealand yet. The good news is that he was able to undo some of the old adhesions at the same time, which should relieve some of the ongoing pain.

They made 6 ports (holes) and because of the scarring there was a lot of pushing and poking but I have experienced little pain, mainly discomfort. I was up the next morning and in the shower, then walking the corridor from time to time. My blood pressure kept dropping and at one stage they thought there might be a leak but it came right – I am still on only half the blood pressure medication I went in on.

Ailsa was with me for the surgery and spent 3 days at home with Tony and I helping me get the food organised as there’s a lot of fluffing around initially. She also exercised her stomach muscles getting the anti-clot stockings on me each morning! We could not have done it without her and I’m so grateful. My best friend Sandra was, as always, there with me in spirit.

For the first two weeks I can eat 4 teaspoons of high protein food three times a day. Initially I was only managing two teaspoons and couldn’t finish ½ a Cruskit. At week 3 the food increases slightly, and again in week 4. So far all the foods I’m supposed to try have been fine, except for the vanilla yoghurt in the hospital which made me feel awful. Oddly, I don’t want anything that has much flavor at all. I am *not* hungry at all – my appetite has totally been turned off which is a huge relief.


A typical meal. The cup is a tiny espresso one.


I lost 10kg in four weeks’ pre-surgery, which was essential, and have lost 4.5kg this week. I’m a bit tired, but other than that I’m good.


Two days ago on the left, with flowers from work, and in June on the right.


I hate preparing food

I hate preparing food. Domestic goddess I am not. Talking to the psychologist at weightlosssurgery it became clear I have a serious mental block about. She identified the ongoing food prep needed as probably the hardest challenge for me post-surgery.

I have been on the strict pre-op diet since last Monday. I have prepared and cooked veges and a small portion of meat every night. No cheating. Tony and I are both eating way better as a result. No salmon sandwich nights, no takeaways, no meat and bread…

Am I enjoying it? No. But there are a lot of things in life we have to do that aren’t really fun, so I am doing what I say to others to do sometimes – suck it up, sunshine!


Making a dramatic change

I have talked about this a bit on Twitter and Facebook but have yet to blog it except for references in my art journals. I have been overweight all my adult life. I realised, after a Twitter conversation with Dr Robyn Toomath and some extra research, that I could never fix this on my own. My new Doctor agreed, and suggested I apply to withdraw my KiwiSaver money on health grounds, to pay for the surgery. She wrote a letter of support and Civic Assurance paid with no hassles. I contacted weightlosssurgery and began the process, choosing to go to the Wellington branch.

I started the process in May and have surgery on Friday 2 September. I’m only in hospital two nights and will have two weeks off work while I learn to eat well enough to be at work. Currently I am on the very strict pre-op diet, as I need to lose 10kg in 3 weeks pre-surgery in order to reduce the fat round my liver so they can easily shift it out of the way! I started the diet a wee bit early because I felt the need to just keep going on the journey and have lost 5.3kg in 9 days, so with 16 days to go should lose more than that.

I’ve opted for an RYG Bypass for a number of reasons, including long term effects, total weight loss and the fact it makes you feel sick if you eat the wrong thing (conditioning).

The Bariatric Nurse expects, including pre-op, I will lose 38kg in 4 months and 56kg in a year. We’re aiming for an overall weight loss of 60kg roughly. I’m mainly excited, a bit nervous – and keen to move to the post-surgery stage.

I will blog about it for those who want to follow the j0urney. Please only comment if you have something positive to say – thank you!