I was “sleeved” on July 10, 2018. The surgery named Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), also known as Gastric Sleeve, is a bariatric weight loss surgery procedure where nearly 90% of my stomach was cut out and the rest was stapled together to form a pouch resembling a small banana.
I am glad that I choose to write about my first two weeks nearly 12 months after my surgery. Those are by far the toughest two weeks in your first-year journey. Each week after that progressively got better for me, but if you would have asked me what I thought about getting the surgery during those first two weeks I would have not responded positively.
Sip It Up!
This period is known as the “liquid stage”. Most surgeons require the patient to only drink liquids during this phase. The main reason for this is to allow your new stomach time to heal. Adding any type of solid food could risk blowing a staple and leaking stomach acid into your body. NOT WHAT YOU WANT!
I was told to “stay in the box”. Only drink water, broth, Crystal Light, or some protein drinks like Premier Protein. That is pretty much what I lived on, which was actually fine with me because I wasn’t the least bit hungry.
The one thing to remember as far as food goes, is to sip your liquid. Small amounts all day long. It is a weird task, because you want to gulp, because you will probably start feeling dehydrated, but you don’t want to drink anything because you can’t stand the idea of something in your body. If that sounds confusing to you, it was.
I couldn’t stand the protein shakes, they felt very heavy in my stomach, and my taste buds were going crazy. Before the surgery, I was drinking the Caramel Premier Protein shakes, which tasted great to me before surgery, but after I just could not stomach the taste. Some people say they couldn’t stand the taste of water, but that is really all that I wanted. During my one week post-operative appointment with my surgeon, he wasn’t too worried about me getting in protein during the first one or two weeks. The most important thing for him was to stay hydrated.
One of the things that I remember was a lot of gas pains in my chest. I felt like I was going to pop inside. The instructions were to walk, walk, and walk. I had to force myself to get up and out the first three days, but by the 4th it started to feel better and I could tell that I was burping out gas, which made me feel so much better. My advice to anyone that is getting the surgery is to make yourself get up and walk, even if you don’t want to. You will feel better faster.
Milk of Magnesia Sucks!
The heading for this section isn’t necessary, but I just wanted to make sure that I told the world how I feel about it. Granted that I didn’t like it prior to having the surgery, but I REALLY didn’t like it after the surgery. My surgeon told me to sip it, to help with bowel movements, but I just couldn’t do it. It would make me heave every time I tried to sip, which wasn’t too many times.
All of that to say that I was urinating just fine, but it did take a good 4 to 5 days for me to produce a BM. After that, I was perfectly fine. Just a new normal.
I would do it again!
After a year of changes, I would definitely go through that pain again to achieve the results, that I have had. I am so much healthier now. I can get up and have the energy to do things. All my ailments are gone and I will be here for my kids. Many people are scared of premature death. The risk of complications is extremely low and the stress of carrying excessive weight on your body will have horrible effects on your body, leading to premature death.
Don’t let fear get in your way!