Three weeks ago, my doctor performed the Vertical Gastric Sleeve on me. My first couple of days were the hardest. The night I was released from the hospital, I struggled to sleep in my bed because I had so much pressure in my stomach. I slept on my couch for the first two weeks. The procedure didn’t interrupt my day to day life too much. I was able to start driving two days after the surgery. I also was able to return to work a week after my surgery because I was never in much pain. Thankfully.
Instead of pain, I was just uncomfortable with much pressure. I learned quickly that Gas-X strips and walking helped relieve the gas. The faster I got the gas out, the better I felt. Whether it was burping or passing gas, I just had to get the gas out. Walking was the best way to release the gas and relieve the pressure.
The first week after surgery, I stayed on a liquid diet. Drinking liquids were so tricky. Every hour I attempted to drink at least 1 oz of protein drink and 4 oz of water. Honestly, for the first couple of days, I wasn’t able to get it all in, but I still tried. Being dehydrated was the biggest fear of mines. I made sure that if I weren’t able to get all my liquids in then, I would eat a Popsicle. With each sip, I would allow it to coat the inside of my mouth and slowly let it go down my throat. I found that drinking liquids like that didn’t give me as much discomfort as drinking regularly. This lasted for the first week and a half. Drinking water was the first thing that was easy for me. Because the protein drinks are a lot thicker, it took me a couple more days until I was able to start drinking them usually. Once I was able to drink protein shakes normal, I was over drinking them, and I just wanted something else. I wanted a different texture in my mouth. I took it upon myself to move on to the puree stage.
Yogurt, cheese, and eggs were the first things I tried. I slowly introduced my new stomach to the food. I would take my time and pay attention to how my stomach reacted to it. Also, to my surprise, my stomach responded well to each. I could only take a couple of bites, but I was able to keep it down. I always made sure I took a small bit. The food would only fill the tip of my spoon, and I chewed it 30 times before I swallowed it. I had to ensure that the food didn’t get stuck. Now on to the big question.
How many pounds have you lost is always the first questions that I am asked? Also, the honest answer is… I have no clue. I weighed myself the first week, and I lost 5 lbs. I was so discouraged, and from that moment, I refused to get on the scale again. I didn’t want to get caught up in the number. I know that I am a lot smaller than the majority of people who get this procedure — meaning, my weight loss process may be slower than your average person. Also, one thing I noticed is that EVERYONE has a stall three week after surgery. So instead of being obsessive over the scale, I choose only to weigh myself once a month. The last thing I want is to be discouraged over the scale, not moving. So around September, 30th expect a weight update.
My experience may have been a lot different than some people. Throughout this process, you have to make sure you are listening to your body and do not overextend yourself. If you feel like something is wrong to make sure you always contact your doctor ASAP.