4 Weeks Post Op Gastric Sleeve Surgery- The Good, The Bad, The Beautiful

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4 weeks post op gastric sleeve surgery

I’m 4 weeks post op from gastric sleeve surgery. Physically I am feeling great as far as the surgery is concerned. The recovery was a lot easier than I had thought. I was in pain the first few days but it wasn’t intolerable. Once I was released from the hospital 2 days post op, I only needed the pain meds to sleep the first 2 nights home and that was it. My incision sites were tender for the first 3 weeks but I’m amazed how well I’ve healed. My incisions look great and I’m sure with time they’ll fade even more and be hardly noticeable.

My daughter had a field trip with school to Walt Disney World last week and I wanted to chaperone but didn’t think I would have been up to all that walking. Now I wish I had signed up to go because I totally would have been fine going aside from having to figure out what foods in the park I would have been able to eat. I’ll get more into my eating struggles in a bit. Let’s keep this part the positive section.

I am eating between 500 and 800 calories per day. That includes between 60 and 80 grams of protein and between 5 and 25 carbs. My meals are 2-3 oz and are mostly protein. I’m eating things like eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, salmon, tuna, chicken, ground beef, and steak strips. I was cleared to eat soft, low starch veggies but I’m not really getting to eat the veggies because I’m trying to eat enough protein first.

I have been losing inches all over my body and my clothes are starting to get looser. My jean shorts can be pulled on and off without buttoning them and I had to buy a belt yesterday to keep them up until I buy new clothes. I’m starting to see changes in the mirror and other people are starting to notice, too.

I began to obsess over my weight loss, how many pounds I was losing, etc. so I stopped weighing myself daily and made myself a promise to only weigh myself once a week. I didn’t want to get rid of my scale altogether as I wanted to make sure that what I was eating was keeping me on track. So I’m happy to report that I hit 2 important goals this week. As of today I am down 25 pounds (that is from the preop diet and also the sleeve surgery). With losing 25 pounds I reached the coveted “Onederland”. For those of you who have never been over 200 pounds, “Onederland” is when you get below 200 pounds and in the one hundreds. I am now at 197 pounds. YAY!!!

I am trying to walk 4-5 times a week. I still don’t love it. It’s not a habit yet. I’m not addicted to working out yet. I’m hoping that with time I will enjoy it more. I did great last week and even walked over 4 miles one day. Another good benefit of me walking more is that my daughter has been walking with me and it is helping her be more active and get fit because she is also overweight. But this week my daughter has been home sick and I’ve been tired and achy from my fibromyalgia so we haven’t walked much. Next week will be better.

And the best news…….My endocrinologist had me test my blood sugar a few weeks ago now that I had the surgery and I haven’t had any diabetes meds since before my surgery. I am happy to report that ALL of my blood sugar readings have been in the normal range!!! I am hoping that when I see my endocrinologist next month he will say that I no longer have diabetes. Fingers crossed.


Most people who have gastric sleeve surgery are no longer hungery post op. With so much of the stomach removed much of the hunger hormones are also removed. Unfortunately for me I am still hungry….ALL THE FREAKING TIME! The nutritionist said I’m just “one of the lucky ones”. SIGH! It’s frustrating to say the least.

I am getting in my required 64+ oz of water daily but it’s a slow process. I’m not allowed to drink with a straw ever again (it will cause me to swallow too much air) nor am I allowed carbonated beverages ever again because it can make my sleeve get bigger. Water tastes gross to me now as do many flavors of drink mix so I am still working on finding flavors I can tolerate. But I can only drink 4-5 swallows of any beverage at a time or I get nauseous. So drinking 64 oz is a full time job and I need to make sure I’m drinking all day. I us a free app called Drink Water Reminder that reminds me all day to drink my water and it really helps me stay on track and make sure I get all my fluids in.

I am allowed decaf tea and decaf coffee- I love coffee and tea so I was excited to hear this. BUT post op my tastes have changed (which I have heard is common) and now coffee tastes sour to me. I was a BIG iced coffee drinker preop so it makes me incredibly sad that I no longer enjoy iced coffee. Drinking iced coffee was almost part of my identity so this is a big change to me. I am hoping that my tastes will change back and I will once again be able to enjoy a cup of iced coffee but only time will tell.

Coffee isn’t the only thing that no longer tastes good to me. I used to really enjoy sushi. I can’t have the rice anymore but I can have the fish. I ordered seared ahi tuna last week while out to lunch and it was just blah. No longer enjoying some of my favorite foods because my tastes have changed is another thing I need to get used to. I’m hoping that as time goes by I will be able to enjoy my old favorites or at least find new ones. I want to get to a point where food isn’t ruling my life but I can still enjoy it. I’m not there yet.

I’m follow the doctor’s orders and only taking tiny pinky nail sized bites, chewing 30 seconds per bite, and then putting down my fork for a minute in between each bite. But everything is still getting stuck by the 3rd or 4th bite. It is really frustrating because then I have to wait a few minutes in between each bite to wait for things to go down. It hurts right below my throat near my breastbone. After speaking with my surgeon last night at a support group meeting he is sending me to do a swallow test to make sure everything is ok. He said that I could just be swollen still and things could still be tight but better safe than sorry. Even with my external scars almost healed it still takes 3-6 months for the internal scars to heal so I have a long way to go with that.

I could deal with everything above but what is frustrating me the most is the slow weight loss. Most people with the gastric sleeve lose weight faster than I am. I know in my head that slow weight loss will probably make me more likely to keep the weight off and more likely for my skin to shrink, too, as I lose weight but it’s still frustrating. I have only lost 15 pounds the first month post op since the first 10 were on the preop diet. Many people lose 15 pounds the first WEEK or two so losing it in a month is frustrating. I know that any weight loss is great and I am moving in the right direction but I’m being honest here. I wish I was losing faster. It would make all the other problems “worth it” in a way.

So far my energy is still low from my fibromyalgia. I was hoping that with the surgery, diet change, etc. I would get more energy and less brain fog but that hasn’t happened YET. I’m hopeful that as I lose weight I will eventually get some more energy.


Overall I don’t regret my choice to have gastric sleeve surgery. Even with slower weight loss I keep reminding myself that with the 25 pound weight loss I am more than 25% towards my goal. I would like to get down to 150 at least but ideally 135. That means to get to 135 I needed to lose 87 pounds total. Since I’ve gone from 222 to 197 and lost 25 pounds that means I’ve lost 29% of my goal. I have 62 more pounds to lose so even if I only lose 2 pounds per week I should reach my 135 pound goal in the next 8 months. I got this!

PhotoGrid_1464311451327What a difference a month makes! I wasn’t sure how noticeable my weight loss is until I took 1 month post op pictures in the same shirt that I took my preop pictures in. My stomach is so much smaller and I can see that my face is slimmer, too. I am looking forward to the future and excited to share my journey with you. If anyone has any questions, comments, or just wants to leave me some encouraging words below I would really appreciate it.

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.

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My Road to Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery

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beforeI can’t stand the picture above. It is certainly not flattering and hard to put out there for all to see. But it’s reality. The ugly reality that I’ve become morbidly obese. There, I said it. I’m morbidly obese. But this is a before picture. Things are going to change……

I’ve wanted to get weight loss surgery for several years since nothing else I have tried has worked long term. I was so disappointed to find out 2 years ago that my insurance policy had weight loss surgery as an exclusion. I spent the next 2 years trying to lose weight on my own. Then I got new insurance about 6 months ago and thankfully with my new insurance weight loss surgery is covered.

I went to an informational seminar with a local bariatric surgeon and started the process to get approved for gastric sleeve surgery. I didn’t think the lap band or gastric bypass was right for me. Everyone needs to make their own decision as to which surgery is right for them so talk to your surgeon and do your research. To get a date for surgery I had to do several things- get cleared for surgery with a metal health professional, go for nutritional counseling, and get a letter of medical necessity from my primary doctor who also had to verify that I’ve tried to lose weight with doctor supervision in the past but couldn’t lose enough or keep it off. The letter of medical necessity needed to show that I was not only overweight obese at 222 pounds but also have several co-morbidities such as diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea. Once I got those three things the surgical coordinator contacted my insurance company for approval. It took about a week and a half before my insurance company gave the approval for surgery. I was given April 25th as my surgery date!!! 

At 4 weeks out from surgery I had to get clearances from a pulmologist, endocrinologist (because of the diabetes), cardiologist, and my primary doctor. I was sent for lots of blood tests, stool sample, urine, breath test where you have to drink a special drink and then breath into a special baggie type thing, an EKG, a sonogram of my heart, and a stress test. For the month leading up to my surgery I felt like an 80 year old going to a different doctor every day but I was thankful that all of my body systems were being checked out to make sure I was ready for surgery.

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.

My BMI wasn’t that high so I didn’t have to go on a liquid diet pre-op like some people do. I just had to eat clean, low fat meals leading up to surgery and lose 10 pounds. The whole point of losing weight before surgery is to shrink your liver a little to give the surgeon easier access to your stomach below. I’ll admit that not every meal I had in that last month was a healthy meal. I had several food funerals for things like pizza, popcorn, tacos, and sushi……all my favorite things. I went on a trip to Los Angeles in the middle of my pre-op month so eating clean was hard that week because many of the meals were either from set menus or hotel food but I just made the best choices I could. But I’ll admit for some reason I had a hard time getting the right mindset and taking the preop diet seriously. I’m not sure why I had such a hard time getting in the right mindset. A week before surgery I put myself on a liquid diet with a small protein (3-4 oz) and veggie dinner and that did the trick. I ended up losing about 10 pounds in the month leading up to my surgery.

20160424_174558The night before my surgery I was told that I could have a normal dinner. I just had to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. So my last meal was sushi. I just made sure to not have soy sauce because I didn’t want to be too thirsty the day of my surgery knowing I couldn’t drink. My surgery was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. so I was so afraid I’d be thirsty or hungry the whole day and couldn’t do anything about it. I ended up drinking A TON of water the day before surgery so I was well hydrated even though I couldn’t drink all day. I highly recommend drinking as much as you can the day before surgery so you are well hydrated. I really wasn’t thirsty at all on my surgery day thankfully. I went to bed that night thinking about what my new life would be like.

Read about my Gastric Sleeve surgery day.

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.







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The Cat Is Out of the Bag- I Had Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery

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gastric sleeve surgeryI wasn’t sure if I was going to tell my friends that I had Gastric Sleeve surgery but then I realized that I’d rather put myself out there and be open with everyone so I can help and educate others. If I help even one person on their weight loss journey then it will be worth it. Here’s what I wrote on facebook when I “came out” to my friends:

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this post. I was worried about the backlash and negative comments I would get because I got crap the last time I posted anything about this. But I’ve always been a pretty open person if it means someone else hearing my story would learn from it, gain from it, take comfort in it. That’s probably one of the reasons I became a blogger. So if anyone has anything negative to say, please just go ahead and unfriend me now. Obviously you don’t belong in my life.

So here it is. Monday I had Gastric Sleeve surgery. (This is TOTALLY different than gastric bypass surgery.) I can tell you this- It isn’t the “easy way out” by any stretch of the imagination as some people think. Heck I thought it was the easy way out at one point in my life. But it isn’t. It’s a tool to help me lose weight so I can be healthier and happier for myself and my family, especially my girls. I still have lots of work to do. Life will never be the same. They removed about 85% of my stomach to create my new stomach sleeve. My stomach (once it is healed) will only hold a few ounces. I won’t be able to eat large portions ever again. I won’t be able to drink with my meals (gastric sleeve patients have to stop drinking 15 minutes before meals and can’t drink for 30 minutes after meals). My first year will consist mainly of proteins and then vegetables. Eventually I will be able to add back a few complex carbs but protein will always be my priority.

Right now until the swelling goes down my stomach is about the diameter of a pen. It is very hard to get anything down. I am on liquids and pureed foods right now and each meal is literally only a few bites if I can get that down. Breakfast today was one scrambled egg. I ate about 1/4 of it and was done.

This isn’t the easy way out. This is a challenge. This is work. I know it will all be worth it in the end when I am healthier, but it is hard. I am in pain. My incisions hurt. It hurts when each sip hits the bottom of my new stomach. It hurts when each bite hits bottom. But it is all worth it.

I’ve been told that this surgery wasn’t for someone like me. That it was for people over 500 pounds who really needed it and we on death’s door. I’ve been asked why I couldn’t just lose weight on my own. I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. I just haven’t been able to maintain it over the years. With PCOS, fibromyalgia, diabetes, adrenal fatigue, and several other issues, it’s been difficult to say the least. I’m not getting any younger and neither are my girls. I want to be the best mommy I can be for them and that includes having the energy to play with them. I know that the surgery won’t cure my fibro and I will probably still always be tired and in pain but I am hopeful that it will help make things less painful and give me some more energy. That’s all I can do is hope and work towards my goal. So here I go….

(ETA- I saw my surgeon over 2 years ago but at the time it wasn’t covered my my insurance so I had been looking into this for a while and educated myself on it as much as I could. I suggest anyone thinking about getting this or any bariatric surgery to do their homework. get all the info, and make the best choice for themselves. If anyone wants to talk about my journey and their own privately I’m happy do chat, be a resource, etc.)

Read more about my weight loss surgery here and here.

InstaSize_2016_1 _ 229406Me with one of my reasons for having weight loss surgery. To be a healthier, stronger mommy!

Read more about my Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Journey.

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