Life, Shedding my Weight, weight loss

VSG Journey: Three Weeks Post Op

Previously, I was on a weight loss journey where I documented the struggles and triumphs. However, as working mom and student in the midst of breastfeeding. I took a break to focus on other things and didn’t want to add to my daily stress. Admittedly, I was struggling. I always told myself if I have to resort to surgery I would consider it so here I am.

September 2021 I started the process for VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy). For those don’t know, there’s a process in which you need to be cleared for surgery involving specialists and even a psych evaluation. Although tedious, it’s necessary to be cleared for surgery and to follow the instructions of the surgeon when making this decision. Society might say this is the easy way out. However, three weeks in? It is not easy as people make it seem.

This is a permanent lifestyle change. You learn to eat again. The first few weeks you’re on a liquid diet then a purée/soft diet. You watch everyone around you eat “normally” yet you’re limited. Your relationship with food changes physically and emotionally you might realize more than initially thought.

A lot of struggles I’ve noticed is waiting to eat somewhat normal again. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the internal staples to heal. The liquid diet gives you what you need for a while to not only shrink your liver but let the staples heal a bit. The purée diet is a gentle way of introducing foods again without much pain to the stomach. If you’re someone like me who had a habit of eating quickly this is a struggle. You have to sip on everything. Make sure you’re eating as slow as you possibly can. You chew your food excessively, swallow and wait. If you don’t you’ll experience nausea, sweating, light headed, throwing up and even diarrhea in some cases. This phenomenon is known as dumping syndrome.

Currently, I am doing alright. I’m halfway through puree diet and soft foods I still drink my protein shakes twice a day. One a day vitamin and calcium chews along with some other medications to make sure my stomach doesn’t have issues. The vitamins I will need everyday for the rest of my life. It’s important to try to remember to take it everyday as you’re limited in calories and your body can’t get enough nutrients with the new limit your stomach has.

So far I’ve lost about 20 pounds. I feel the loss in the clothing I wear and mostly see it in my facial features. The progress will take time and I’m ready to face whatever comes my way. Do I have regrets? Sometimes. As it’s frustrating not being able to eat what I want, when I want since I’m at the mercy of the healing and small new stomach. But, I look forward to welcoming this new lifestyle and the health benefits.

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