Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hiking Tomorrow

Here I am, podgy as usual, but still drain free and healthy!

Something important I've learned in the last 10 days: raw veggies and I are no longer friends.

The split looks to be long-term, I'm afraid. Last week I ate some cauliflower with my lunch salad, along with my daily apple, and oh lordy, did I pay for it.

It seems, looking back, that whatever underlying condition was giving me difficulty in January and February -- sending me to the doctor -- still exists. In between times, we found out that my gall bladder was faulty. But not, it would appear, at fault for my dicey digestion!

So no raw veggies for me. Isn't it funny that when I could eat raw veggies with impunity (in my wild youth) I hated them. Now that I love them, I can't eat them! It's back to proteins, bready carbs and thoroughly cooked veggies in small doses.

Aside from my adventures in digestion, I'm doing fine. Fatty foods (naturally) don't bother me in the least, so I can consume all I want of fried calamari. I just can't eat the garnishes!

Tomorrow we will go for a hike. My first since the surgery. Also hit the gym today for my first real workout. It was a slow and gentle 45 minutes on the stationary bike.

I'm working hard to control my eating and hold on to the smaller portions that became comfy while I was sick. Not easy, but doable.

A friend of mine has been doing WW and it's really starting to show. She looks great. That, in turn, makes me jealous. She's in the honeymoon phase of weight loss, when it all seems to make sense and it happens fairly easily. Every week her clothes fit better and her face/hips look slimmer. It's making me green with envy. I admit it: jealousy is currently my motivation. Let's see how it works.

Back soon with pics if our hike tomorrow is photo-worthy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Gone, Daddy, Gone

The drain is gone.

Two days with no drains and I have not collapsed in a sudden rush of built up bile pain, nor has my stomach undergone an alarming swelling. So far, so good!

The drain removal wound up being a non-event, mostly because I accidentally caught the tube on the corner of a small table as I put my gown on in a changing room, moments before being called to the radiology room for removal.

I didn't realize it was caught and boy, I gave it one heck of an accidental yank. When I hobbled into the procedure room, the doc flipped up my gown, raised his eyebrows and said, "This drain is pretty much out already."

A couple of snips, snips on scar tissue and sutures, and that puppy was history!

Now must go back to exercise. Someone kindly sent home a box of chocolates with M last night. I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw they were some weird kind of German pralines with brandy inside. Not to my taste at all...or so I thought.

By the time the Office was over, I'd figured out how to gnaw a corner of a chocolate, drain the brandy out (gag -- it was like 100 proof, I swear) and eat the rest of the dark good stuff. I ate the whole box, which luckily (being European) was fairly small. Still, I'd say it was a good 8 or 9 bite-size pieces. Aaarrrrrgh!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Could the End Be Near?

Today is the day I go in for what I'm 99.999999999 percent sure will be my final drain assessment. If it's not yanked out tomorrow at the latest, well... I'll eat my favorite Boston Red Sox cap.

Finally I have some good news to share: since last Tuesday my drain output has dwindled down to essentially nothing. I collect a teeny tiny amount in the bottom of the bag -- like 2 ccs -- in the morning and at night. It's such a small amount it doesn't even bear writing down in my drain log (and yet, as I recently discovered, even 2 ccs of yucky bile makes one heck of a stain on beige pants!).

My first week back at work went pretty well. I bore up to most of the strain without difficulty, but I found myself getting tired and overwrought a few times. It's funny, but some of my body signals are still out of whack -- when I'm hungry I don't get hunger pains, I start to feel tired. When I'm tired, I get super cranky and emotional in a way that I usually do not.

Friday night an ugly scenario loomed when my two bosses -- who had showered me with promises of easing back into work and letting me set the pace when trying to lure me back -- apparently had forgotten all about our deal and were hounding me terribly over some copy (that I had not even written). Long story short, I got so angry at how quickly they had pushed aside their promises to me (as soon as they became inconvenient for them) and I could feel tears welling as I sat at my desk....and I suddenly just had an epiphany right there: "You need to go home, right now," said a voice inside my head. "Go home and take care of yourself."

I am still angry at their selfishness and willful obtuseness, but I'm proud of myself for pulling the plug on the whole nasty situation and getting myself out of there.

Anyway, my strength generally is good, and with the drain output down to nothing and no discomfort elsewhere in my stomach, I think it's time to yank this sucker!

I also really need to get back to more exercise. I don't want to ride my bike with a long dangling drain (scary!) but since my food intake has soared of late, and I've discovered that I can easily tolerate all sorts of formerly forbidden foods (chocolate, avocado, olive oil, even small portions of fried food) I really need to get my butt moving a lot more!

By the way, can I just say that this story, which happened to another NYC-based weight loss blogger, is my worst nightmare?

One of my worst fears when I was heavier was how I was going to navigate seating on airline flights. I am SO GLAD, even if I'm still far from svelte, that flying is no longer one long dance with humiliation for me.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Power of Protein

Nothing terribly exciting to share from the sick bed -- except I think I no longer qualify as sick and I no longer stay in bed all day.

Am swallowing as much protein as I can without overdoing it, and it's making a tremendous difference. Within 48 hours of upping my intake, I felt my strength increase significantly.

The bile output to my remaining drain is dwindling, but not as consistently as I would like. But hey, at least it seems to be heading in the right direction. Healing is not always a linear path, I guess.

I'm reaching the danger zone of becoming just a lazy slug-a-bed instead of a recuperating patient. It may be time to gradually ease back into my job, and try to resume some of my normal activities, even with this annoying drain poking out of my side.

If I keep limiting myself to slow walks and afternoon naps, well.... I think it won't help me regain what's still missing of my strength. At the same time, I still get a bit tired after too much activity.

I'm going to talk to my boss and see if we can find a way for me to go back to work but take it easy for a week or two. Nothing dramatic, just that I can leave early sometimes if I need to, and avoid some of the crazier assignments that would have me running around.

Otherwise, I know that I'll start to get bored and depressed at home now that my mind is not constantly focused on feeling better. I am feeling better, thankfully! So... time to stage a return to the real world, methinks. Plus...I'm scared that if I continue to hang out at home, I'll gain back a ton of weight. I'm eating that danger is very real. Is it sick of me to be thinking of that when I should be focused on eating enough to heal? I have twin worries in my head about it -- I want to get 100 percent better, but don't want to pack on the pounds.