Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Liquid Diaries: Day Three and My Next Piece of Advice

This morning I had my final step in the process - the pre-op nutrition and exercise class followed by a final consult with the surgeon (or rather with his PA).  Yesterday I saw Dr. H (my primary) for a medical clearance exam, and as long as he did that correctly and everything gets faxed properly, I have nothing further to do except drink my protein shakes and wait for next Wednesday.  Well, I still have to clean my house and make sure I get all my bills up to date and whatnot, but you know what I mean.

I found out today that it's okay for me to have one cup of coffee a day.  Hallelujah!! It needs to be small and should preferably be decaf, but whatever.  I'll compromise and drink half-caf.  And if that weren't enough to completely make my day, I also found out that they've changed the pre-op diet to include a half-cup of non-starchy vegetables, which means I can chop up some celery or peppers or scallions into my chicken broth.  Holy joy of joys!  I never thought I'd be so happy to eat vegetables in my life.

The PA told me that it's always roughest in the beginning, and that I can expect to feel better with each day going forward.  I already feel better today, but that might have something to do with hearing I can have coffee and vegetables.

So anyway...I promised advice, right?  Well.  Here it is:

Tylenol and baby wipes. 

Yes.  Tylenol and baby wipes. Do NOT attempt to live any part of your life whatsoever without these two things in close reach. Do NOT leave home without either one while you are preparing for weight loss surgery.  DO have them at home. Lots of them.  Like, go to BJ's and get the biggest fucking package of each that you possibly can, and do not think for one second that you've bought too much.

I guess I sort of expected that the liquid diet might mess with me a little. I figured I'd be a little cranky and tired, and maybe have a little headache, that I'd certainly prone to pangs of hunger, and naturally I expected to be peeing every 20 minutes.  I figured maybe I'd have a little gas from the protein powder and artificial sweeteners, maybe a little diarrhea, whatevs.  Like I said, I've done fasts and cleanses before; surely this couldn't be THAT much different.


First of all, you can't take aspirin or Ibuprofen when you're preparing for surgery, and in fact I will never be able to take Ibuprofen regularly - if ever - again.  So that big-ass bottle of Motrin 800s that's been a staple in my bag for many months is no longer useful.  Ditto for the Excedrin that I keep around for migraines. All garbage.  So when the blinding detox headache came on, I was S.O.L.  I had nothing to take for it, and I was too sick to go out and get some.  Screwed. 

Secondly, the baby wipes - do you really need detail?  Look, we're all adults here, right?  The hard truth is that you're going to shit out half your intestines, and I'm not even kidding.  And just when you think you're done, the other half will appear - usually at the most inopportune time, like while standing in line at the bank. So just trust me on this one.  In fact I'm a little bummed (no pun intended) that none of my mentors doled out this precious piece of advice among all the other profoundly useful tips and hints they've heretofore administered.  Everyone told me about after surgery, but no one warned me about the pre-op bathroom hilarity that would ensue. You can get all fancy and grown-up with your "fresh wipes" and whatnot, but why?  At the rate you'll go through them, you'll go broke before you're done.  And toilet paper?  One word: ouch.  Even the Charmin bears would be grimacing at this point. 

Maybe it's just me, but I kind of doubt that. 

Tylenol and baby wipes.  Who knew?

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