Sunday, 31 July 2011


I would never have considered myself a super fast eater but now I find myself totally frustrated by how slow I am!!  I have to chew my food so much that it ends up like a liquid in my mouth.  That totally ruins the sensation of eating something delicious because by the time it is a liquid it has morphed into something no longer desirable.  In the time that it takes me to chew 2 mouth fulls everyone around me is half finished an entire meal!  Try it... Seriously, try chewing every single mouthful at least 60 times or until it is virtually a liquid.  There can be no lumps, at all.  By the time I finish eating my tiny little bowl (about 150g) I am totally over eating and just want to move on.  

On another note, if I eat or swallow too much I find myself now feeling nauseated.  I haven't experienced this at any other time except today.  I feel like I reallllly need to burp but every time I try a lump of food tries to come up.  I feel nauseous to the point where I am uncomfortable and walk around like a dog in labour.  I don't know whether I want to stretch out or curl up, or throw up, but I just feel revolting on the whole.  
Today in particular was ridiculous.  For breakfast I had scrambled eggs and an eye of bacon.  Yesterday, no problem whatsoever, today, one bite of the egg and bacon and that was it.  I had to lie down for 10 minutes.  We went out for lunch and I just had a skim milkshake (only got down about half of that) and 2 hot chips from Ben's plate.  Nope.  No good.  Bed for an hour after.  It is just the most horrible feeling, and I am so not a fan of vomiting (it's not my prettiest moment - the noises and crying that accompany a spew are far from dainty) so I try to avoid it at all costs.  
I'm not sure whether I am pushing myself too much or eating things I'm not meant to (I know the bacon is a no no but I am chewing it up until it resembles nothing like bacon so it should be fine?!?!?!) but I've had scrambled eggs before and they were fine.  Oh well.  It's just another day in the learning process I suppose!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Check Up

I had a follow up appointment with the dietitian on Thursday.  I have my appointments by phone because I couldn't get an appointment with the dietitian in town.  It suits me though, I like her, she's my kind of person, I think.  We both have dogs and a slight obsession with them.  Brian the Beagle is an awesome name for a dog.  She gained my respect instantly!  

She was impressed with the amount of weight that I had lost and gave me some tips for trying new food.  It really is all about texture.  I know the second I put something in my mouth if it is going to be easy or difficult to swallow.  If I think it is going to be difficult i firstly start to panic a little bit and then look for a liquid of some sort to take a tiny sip of and make it a bit mushier to swallow.  The two things that catch me up are a) totally forgetting about the sleeve and putting a "normal" size mouthful in and then having to chew for 5 minutes to be able to swallow a tiny portion and b) getting over excited about a food and wanting to eat more than I'm able to.  I'm still learning to control the excitement!!!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Then & Now & Back to Work

Well, well, well.  It's hard to believe that a whole month has already passed by!  So much has changed in my life and the way I function on a daily basis.  Before I forget what it was like, let's review a typical day's diet for me in the past:
Breakfast - porridge or toast x 2 or bacon and eggs on the weekend.
Morning tea - 99% fat free yoghurt or cake if there was some around (no restraint shown, ever.)
Lunch - salad or ham and salad roll or tuckshop hamburger.
Afternoon tea - Depends on when I got home.  Either nothing if late home or some cheese and crackers or 2 min noodles or some nuts or chocolate or steamed dim sims - afternoons are a hungry time for me.
Dinner - large serve of chicken and rice.  Probably seconds, especially for more rice.
Dessert - chocolate, sometimes half a block.  If there is something else i'd have that too.

Breakfast - most of an optifast shake and multivitamin.
Morning tea - water
Lunch - today I had a weet bix (yes, 1) with half milk and half water.
Afternoon tea - water
Dinner - something soft and squishy that goes down easily.
Dessert - custard or something similar just to get the sweet hit!

There is a MUCH wider variety to choose from now that I'm on minced and mashed.  But it's no walk in the park.  I got far too excited about it this week and strayed from what I know works, to my own detriment.  I made savoury mince and mashed potato for dinner.  Seriously, I was SO excited about having something solid I was dancing around the kitchen!!  The results...  Mashed potato, yes! Fabulous and smooth and yummo!  Savoury mince was ok if I chewed well, but the veg (carrot, peas, corn, zucchini and cabbage) were not friendly, especially the cabbage.  I also think that I wasn't chewing as well as I could have, given my level of excitement this was to be expected!  Then I did something stupid.  I whipped out the puffed pastry and cooked up a couple of little triangles just for the crunchy.  Nope.  Didn't work.  At all.  One bite was all it took to work that out!!  It sat in my food pipe for hours and hours.  Blerk.  It will be a long time until I try that again.

I also need to eat very slowly.  And I need to remind myself I need to eat more slowly.  It takes me longer to eat just a few mouthfuls than it takes people to eat an entire meal.  If I eat too quickly or try to add liquid to the meal, things go pear shaped, quickly and in a worse case scenario, come out one end or the other!!!  Otherwise I am just very, very uncomfortable for about an hour. *Shudders*

I started back at work this week.  The kids are aware of what I have had done and are very supportive and interested in the whole process.  I have an open relationship with them and didn't just want to disappear for 2 weeks without explanation.  Most of them have made some kind of comment that I have lost weight and mainly that I "look different" - I choose to take that as a compliment!! On Monday I asked them if anyone had a question they wanted to ask me.  I had a very captive audience who all wanted to know if I could eat yet.  I ran through what I could do and explained that I had to chew everything very, very well before attempting to swallow or it was painful.  Mistake.  Every time I put anything near my mouth the entire class stops to watch and see if I'm ok!!!  Even if I have a sip of water, someone will ask if it hurts!! In addition to this, many of them have tried chewing until it is a liquid and decided that it takes the fun out of food!!  I totally agree, but what are you going to do?!?!?!!

1 Month

It's been 1 month since I started the pre-op diet and I have officially lost 14.7kg as of this morning.  It's amazing that I have lost that much weight in a month!!!  ALL my clothes are loose on me and yet despite this I have just had a look at the latest photo's and I personally can't see that much of a difference.  I mean, I certainly wasn't expecting to see Elle McPherson but it would have been nice to be able to reallllllly notice it!!  I can tell in my face.  My nose is narrower and I think my eyes and skin are clearer in general, but overall I can't really see a difference.  The close up without the necklace is the photo from a month ago.  This is where I can see the most difference. 

I have had to throw out a complete section of my wardrobe which absolutely, definitely no longer fits and I've moved onto my "oh I love that top, I wish it still fit me" section which is nice!  I'm also now 3kg lighter than I was at my wedding 14 months ago.  

So without any further ado... The latest photo's!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Skinny Jeans!

My apologies for not blogging in the last few days.  The hard drive in my virtually brand new laptop shat itself and needed replacing.  We only got it back today.  This was my first priority!
Things have been progressing smoothly.  I'm down about 11.5kg already.  I feel fantastic and other than feeling like an afternoon nap most days I am as bright as a button.  I still have some air trapped which is irritating and causes minor shoulder pain, and I still can't sleep on my stomach, but that's it.  I have finally taken off my dressings and steristrips.  I was hesitant to take them off just in case I ripped the wounds open, but it was fine.  On the food, or liquids front, I should probably be drinking a lot more than I am, but I honestly find myself not interested in eating or drinking anything at all.  I am very aware of trying to stay hydrated and I'm drinking about a litre of water a day, but otherwise I will have a very small amount of runny porridge in the morning, a Tony Fergusson shake for lunch and a miso soup for dinner.  After dinner, when I always want chocolate or something sweet, I'll have custard or a yogo.  I still get that "blocking" pain right below my sternum when I try to swallow too much, but I seem to have increased the amount that I can swallow considerably since getting home a week ago.  Thick-ish soups and pureed fruit continues to be the enemy so I have chosen to avoid these for the time being!!  I long for a piece of fresh white bread with butter, but that is a very, very long way off!

Do you remember the episode of Sex And The City when Miranda finds a pair of jeans (her "skinny" jeans) that she has had in the top of her cupboard since the 80's and wonders, do I dare try them on?  And when she does, realises that she not only has her pre-baby body back but she is even slimmer than she was before the baby?  I had that exact moment today!  Except for the pre-baby thing, obviously!
I was trying to find something to wear to the movies in The Hamptons with the hubby when I thought I'd try on my jeans.  Now this first pair of jeans I have always fit into, it's just that in the last 18 months I've had to more or less pour myself into them and not breathe or eat for the duration of their wearing.  I put them on and they were too big!!  I'm talking the kind of too big that would make me look ridiculous if I tried to wear them in public.  I glanced over to my skinny jeans (and not the type of skinny jeans that should only be worn by someone who is either considered a supermodel or has toothpicks for legs or is trying to avoid being raped given that they need to be peeled off, but regular boot cut jeans) and thought.... Hmmmm it's probably too early to be trying them on.  I might get them onto my knees but I don't know about doing them up yet.... Oh hell, let's give it a go!
I blew the considerable amount of dust off them and flicked them out.  I haven't worn these since I was 27, 5 years ago.  I put one leg in and chuckled to myself, not a chance but let's keep going... I put the other leg in and began to pull them up over my knees... Wait a cotton pickin' minute, these fuckers are going up without any pulling or tugging or sucking anything in.  Surely this dream is going to stop as soon as I get them over my arse... Ok, they are up and happily around my arse, in fact, I'm going to use the term loose.  They are loose around my arse.  Oh. Em. Gee.  They won't do up, no way they'll do up.  Gethefuckoutoftown they've done up, AND they are loose around my waist too! YEEEEHHHAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! So I have achieved one of my first milestones only 10 days after surgery... My skinny jeans are on! I can't tell you how fricking excited I have been all day!  Today I strutted.  Everywhere I went was with a strut.  I felt gooood!
In other news, at the movies I consumed about 10 pieces of popcorn without any pain at all.  I know I'm not meant to eat anything semi solid for another week but I had to give it a go.  I miss real food!  One piece at a time and I chewed until that was basically a liquid anyway and then swallowed.  No problemo!  Hooray.  I didn't push it because I didn't want to have a stomach full of popcorn which could cause trouble, but a few wee pieces, very well chewed, was fine!  Happy days!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Not So Smooth Sailing...

Today has been my hardest day yet.  6 days post surgery.  I will admit that I've had a big weekend (bed at 2:30am last night - ummarr!) but today I struggled.  I have felt so remarkably good the entire time that I could almost say that I've had ants in my pants!  Aside from a wee bit of continuing pain in my shoulders from the trapped air from the surgery (I'm assuming - maybe my neck is out??) which makes very deep breathing uncomfortable and hiccuping a nightmare, I have not had any other pain! It's hard to curtail your activities when you feel great and can see in yourself that you've lost weight!

After a late start this morning I felt good.  Not as much energy as I've had in past days but nothing wrong with me that caused any bother.  After a sensational and relaxing pedicure and a visit from friends I made pea and ham soup.  I put it in the blender and whizzed the shit out of it so there were no lumps.  To make sure it was quite runny, I added some tomato soup and water too. I poured myself about 150ml and struggled with every single mouthful.  The pain just below my sternum was uncomfortable enough to make me stop every single mouthful and wait until it passed.  I tried smaller mouthfuls and swallowing more slowly - both have worked in the past to stop the pain - but today it was just exhausting.  I had a lie down on the couch and felt better a little while later.  I had a mouthful of water, no pain.  Same amount of apple juice, no pain.  Gahhhh!!  It feels like you take 2 steps forward and then one back!  Yesterday the custard that I had for lunch caused no pain, but today my soup, which was runnier than the custard, hurts.  What's the go, Jo???

I'm always aware that I need to stay hydrated but today I just didn't want anything at all! I am fairly sure that I am well below my 2.5L - 3L intake.  The rest of tonight will be spent sipping water.  That's what you get!  I'm hoping for sunnier skies tomorrow and that whatever is causing the blockage will piss off overnight and let me enjoy the soup I've been fanging for!!!

Friday, 15 July 2011

July 14 & 15

When I got home I was allowed to begin "free fluids".  Basically anything up to the consistency of custard.  I was pretty excited about custard just quietly!  I will do this for 2 weeks to make sure that I am gentle on my new stomach and let it heal properly.  The discomfort I originally felt when having the clear liquids has gone and I can now tolerate a decent mouthful of liquids, however, now I get it with the thicker liquids.  I am very aware of the liklihood of pain (which isn't unbearable, but more uncomfortable) and have been avoiding getting to that point.  I have to "eat" about 1500ml of fluids each day.  This is difficult, believe me.  I have been walking around with a glass of something in my hand to make sure that I am regularly drinking something (especially water).  I am crucially aware of becoming dehydrated and ending up back in hospital.

I find myself a little confused by the sensations that I am feeling and what my brain is telling me.  I can't recognise hungry at the moment.  I haven't felt hungry at all since the surgery.  Psychologically I want to chew on something (more on that later), but I am not hungry as such.  I understand uncomfortable (which I assumed was "I'm full"), but I really am experiencing more of "not interested" and "don't give two shits".  I wish that I had felt that at any time of my life pre-surgery.  I only ever felt the need to consume until there is nothing left.  How times have changed!

We went into town today to get a few things and drop off some of my stuff to Vinnie's.  On the way home Ben got some hot chips.  ohemgee they smelt divine.  I knew I couldn't eat them and that wasn't a problem. I didn't care at all. But I could chew them.  And chew them I did.  When I got home I chewed up and then spat out two chips.  It's actually quite difficult to not swallow what you are chewing.  But you know what, I got the sensation that I had been longing for since before starting that pre-surgery diet.  Hot and crunchy carbs in my mouth.  Yummo!  I happily spat them out and that was that.  Craving satisfied!

Incidently, I am now 10kg lighter than I was on the 27th of June when I started the Optifast diet.  Nice!

The Swallow & Home

I woke up again feeling surprisingly good considering what my body had been through.  It was a little difficult to roll over with the cannula and drip in my left hand and a drain protruding from about 10cm to the right of my belly button.  When moving around the hospital I was sporting a stylish blue bag which held the drain bag and most of the cord attached between it and me.  This went everywhere with me.  To the loo, up the hallways when I needed to stretch and "do a lap".  One of the nurses gave it to me early on because I kept throwing the clear bag and it's contents over my shoulder and she thought it might freak out the other patients!!  Fair call.
I asked the nurse what time my swallow x-ray was.  1pm.  Here was I hoping to be tucking into an apple juice by 10.  Bugger.  At about 10 I had two lovely visitors (who both spoilt me rotten, thanks again gals!) and just as we were getting into it, one of the orderly's came and gave me a 5 minute pick up warning.  Bugger that I had to end my chat with the girls, but it made apple juice that much closer!  
He wheeled me (I asked if I could walk, the answer "not a chance") down to x-ray in the dungeon of the hospital and into what I'm sure used to be the morgue.  It was so bloody cold I was glad I had my cardy on or I might have caught a sniffle!  The swallow x-ray involved standing between 2 giant x-ray plates and swallowing some barium (which looks like sherry but tastes like shit).  The radiographer takes multiple shots of the liquid going down into my stomach and then into my intestine, while making sure there are no leaks.  It was really cool to watch.  It happens much faster than I thought it did and swirls and dances around!
Dreaming of apple juice (it sounds pathetic, but after drinking water for more than 24 hours that tasted like metal, I was desperate) I asked "Is it ok? Are there any leaks? Is it ok?"  she told me she would have to go and get the guy in charge to have a look.  He came in and had a look and walked back out again.  Unable to control myself I pounced "Is it ok? Are there any leaks? Is it ok? Can you please tell me!" Apparently I was a bit loud and eager because he kind of jumped a bit and said that he was going to have a closer look and that they would let me know in the ward.  Great.  How long would that take.  After being wheeled back to the ward, I asked the nurse if she had heard anything.  She went to check and came back with APPLE JUICE!!!!!!!!!  That stuff is like liquid gold.  I was so elated.  Also because it meant that I could get the drip and cannula removed.  Hooray!

The next morning I had my bags packed and was ready to go home at 7:30am.  I text Ben and told him I was ready to go home now.  No reply.  Boo.  The surgeon, Dr R, came in at about 8:30 and gave me the once over and asked if I wanted to go home today.  I pointed to my packed bags.  He laughed.  He reminded me of what to do for the next few weeks and told me to make sure that I followed the dietitian's instructions to the letter.  Of course.  The drain was removed (ahhhh freedom from that uber stylish blue bag) and Ben turned up at 10:30 ("Oh I don't know where my phone is.  I haven't seen it since last night" typical!) and I went home.  There is honestly nothing in this world like your own shower, your own bed, your own couch and your own telly.  Heaven.

Day 1 After Surgery

I woke up and in my very groggy state asked what time it was.  I hate not knowing what time it is. Where is my hisband was the second question.  Ben had come back up to hospital to see me and was there for about 5 seconds before I told him to go home!  Poor bugger.  2 x 110km round trips for the day, plus worrying about me and he was exhausted!  

Due to a problem with my ticker (nothing major, just a leaky valve) I was put into HDU (High Dependency Unit, similiar to ICU) for the first night following my surgery.  I was attached to a ridiculous number of machines: a machine that automatically takes your heart rate and blood pressure every hour, oxygen up the nose, a drip, the same circulation things on my legs inflating and deflating and my attractive drain protruding from my stomach.  There were 3 people in there plus me.  All night I heard "nurse, I need to use the bathroom..." to which the nurse replied "you have a cathedar in, just relax..."  10 minutes later the same request from one of the other patients.  I thought to myself, do I have a catheter in too?  When the nurse came in a while later I asked her what do I do if I need to go to the bathroom? "You get up and walk." she told me.  Oh good.  Major surgery just hours ago, but up you get!  Actually, I was quite pleased with that, I didn't want to use a bed pan and I'm pleased that I got to use the loo! 

After a solid night sleep (when you are still groggy from anesthetic and are being monitored every hour, the sleep is broken, but still good!)  I was awake.  Still a bit groggy, but awake.  And I felt good!  The nurse asked me if I thought I was able to go and have a shower... seriously, she may as well have told me that I had won a million dollars.  I jumped up and went for a shower.  H.E.A.V.E.N.  I felt fabulous.  My shoulders were aching and I still had a pain in my sternum (from being filled with air for the surgery I'm told) but otherwise I was good!  
On return from my shower I was hooked back up to all the machines and had a jab in the stomach to prevent clotting.  I was asked if I would like a Voltaren suppository.  Umm.  I wasn't sure I wanted anything up the bum, but she assured me it would make the pain in my shoulders go.  I agreed.  Anything to get rid of that pain.  Man that stuff is good!  Within 20 minutes all pain and discomfort was gone.  That suppository would be my friend for the next 72 hours.   I might even go so far as to say that I miss it, especially today (5 days later) with nothing but panadol, I'm a little fragile.
Dr V and Dr R both came to see how I was doing and both commented on how chipper I was and that I looked great considering I'd just had surgery.  I honestly think the juices and arnica made the world of difference to my recovery.  
I was eventually moved to the ward, thank goodness.  Being someone who swears a fair bit I kept having to chastise myself for dropping the odd bomb now and then.  Get me to my own room where I can close the door and be myself. 

I was only allowed to drink small amounts of water that day.  I hae never had such a dry mouth in all my life, and the piss weak teaspoons of water weren't helping at all.  I was only allowed to have 60ml of water an hour.  The equivalent of 2 shots an hour.  It sounds like nothing, but it was more than enough to try and handle.  The sensation of water going down into my new stomach felt like an hour glass.  It got so far and then stopped and slowly ran into the new stomach while bubbling and causing me to burp constantly.  I assume that this is the inflamation in the area.  It kind of like when you drink too much, too quickly and you get a pain in your sternum that feels like a blockage, then it let's go and you're fine again.  It bloody hurts.  But by taking smaller sips it makes it easier to run through.  I asked the nurse when I would be allowed to have apple juice.  She told me that I had to have a swallow test tomorrow and that if that came back all clear with no leaks that I would be allowed to have apple juice.  I couldn't wait for it to be tomorrow!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Surgery

Well I'm home and I have survived!  There really is no place like home.  And specifically, your own shower and bed!
I'll tell my hospital experience in a couple of blogs because it's going to be quite long, I think!  So let's start at the very beginning...

Monday morning my alarm bleated at 5:50am.  I had to have a shake before 6am so I jumped up, downed the shake and went back to bed for another hour.  No point wasting valuable sleeping time!  We got to the hospital at 8:30 as instructed.  After checking in and parting with large amounts of dollars for my hospital excess I went down stairs to the next check in. Paperwork.  We sat and waited.  And waited.  And waited.

At 10:00 we were called in to an interview room to speak to the nurse.  He ran over the obvious things and then went to get the anaesthetist to meet me and give me the once over.  So in rocked Dr V.  What a character.  Loud, to the point and obviously very skilled in his field.  "How are you feeling?" he asked me in a thick South African accent.  "I'm terrified" I replied making sure I popped out my doe eyes and batted my eyelashes so that he would be extra gentle with me.  "Yes, you should be.  You could die." he said looking me dead in the eye and smiling.  Fuck.  I'm going to die, I thought.  He noted a couple of "big juicy ones" (veins) that I had and drew some circles on me.  Then said "Ok.  See you on the table!" and he was gone!
20 minutes later we had another meeting with the nurse, at which point he filled the circles Dr V had drawn with numbing cream and a water proof dressing.  Then Dr R (the surgeon) popped in to check that I had been on the diet and understood the complications (that blasted leak thing).  He said that the surgery could be a bit late because his first op was on a woman with a BMI of 71 and that it could be a challenge for him.  Holy shit!  My BMI of 39 made me look anorexic! If she was 170cm tall, she would have nearly weighed 200kg.  Whoa.  Anyway, he disappeared and Ben and I had to (very, very quickly) say our goodbye.  As I walked away,  I got teary that I didn't have time nuzzle into him and breathe in his smell to linger with me for the rest of the day, or to kiss him properly and tell him how much I love him and that he was my best friend and also that it was ok to remarry if I died, and that I wanted 'time of my life' from dirty dancing at my funeral, and that the password for the bank account.... oh you get the picture.  Deep breath, swallow hard and keep going was what I thought. Millions of people do this every day.  Harden up princess.

I was directed to the shower where I had to scrub using their "special sponge", a betadine soaked sponge which is far from my sweet scented palmolive naturals I'm used to.  Then I had to don the stylish white gown and regulation chux undies.  I pleaded my case and was allowed to keep my own undies on (because they were basic and cotton and could be cut off if necessary - thanks for the tip, Jess!).  I was shown to my bed and told that when it was my turn I would be called.  I was given my sexy 'teds' compression stockings and fought with them for about 10 minutes to get them on!  I was given my pre-med tablets and very quickly went to sleep, waking myself up snoring several times!!
An hour later (now about 1pm), I woke up and wondered how much longer I would have to wait.  This isn't good for me, this waiting thing.  I watched an episode of Offspring on my phone and checked Facebook a thousand times.  I listened to a nurse yell at an elderly couple who had both been in for day surgery and both lost their hearing aides. About half an hour later, they were found in the husbands pocket. Just the back and forth banter was hilarious!
At 3:30 I was called.  They wheeled me down the hall and around the corner where I was asked (for the third time today) what my full name, date of birth, allergies and what I was having done today.  They wrapped me up in a nice snuggly warm blanket and put some pressure thingo's on my legs which inflated and deflated to keep the circulation going.  

Then I was wheeled into the theatre.  I was again asked what my full name, date of birth, allergies and what I was having done today (I couldn't bring myself to answer 'gender reassignment' but I wish I had!).  I couldn't see much but I was introduced to all the doctors and nurses in there.  In rocked Dr V again.  He whipped off the dressing and began to insert the cannula while proclaiming "You've got a ganglian (big calcified lump on my bones of my hand) here, but we'll try and go around it and try not to lose any troops!"  I giggled.  "Success, the battle has been won!" he proclaimed loudly.  "Did we lose any troops?" I asked, he giggled. "No troops were lost!  Come on Johnny boy, let's do this!" He called to the surgeon, who's name isn't Johhny.  A nurse put an oxygen mask over my mouth and nose.  "This is it, isn't it?!" I asked.  "Breathe deeply and we'll look after you..." she said soothingly with a gentle smile.  She's nice.  Was my last thought.  

Shit I was glad when I woke up, despite the intense pain right in the centre of my sternum (which I had been told about) and Dr V yelling "BREATHE, ELISSA, BREATHE!"

Sunday, 10 July 2011


OK.  I've packed my bag, and I've got everything I need.  I am incredibly nervous, despite everyone telling me I'll be fine.  My biggest fear is going to sleep and not waking up.  I know I won't, but there is a lot I haven't done in my life yet, and that's what would upset me most.  Anyway, many happy thoughts, deep breaths and remembering that millions of people do this everyday without incident, will get me through.

After 2 horrible weeks on this stupid diet I have lost 7kg.  My liver had better be the size of a fucking peanut or I will have an absolute tantrum!  I was reading through all the post op diet recommendations and I can't tell you how excited I am that in 3 weeks time I will be having semi solid food such as mashed potato and mince.  I was drooling at the mere thought of it!!  I will be without anything (except a drip) for 24 hours or so after surgery, followed by clear liquids for 24-48 hours and then I can have liquids such as yoghurt, custard, optifast shakes, soups and so on, but only about a quarter of a cup which I'm told will be plenty.  I'm pretty excited about the custard too, just quietly!!  I'm hoping to be released from hospital on Thursday.  Until then I will be incommunicado but rest assured I will be writing down the entire experience in all it's glory to retell when I get home!

So, as my friend Ms Metcalfe says, look out world, here comes Elly V2.0!!  A brand new me!  I'm excited to see what I will look like in 12 months from now.  I know that road is going to be difficult at times, but I'm  ready for it.

See you on the flip side!

Friday, 8 July 2011

3 Sleeps To Go!

I can't believe how quickly the last 2 weeks have flown!!  I haven't lost much weight this week, only about 1.5kg.  I'm not sure why. I have been 95% on track and done exactly as I have been told but it's very, very difficult when I've been on holidays and Ben has been back at work (so I haven't got him keeping me in line).  If I eat something that I shouldn't, or too much of something I  feel so incredibly guilty and hope that it hasn't affected the success of the surgery.  I then run around like an idiot to try and get rid of the extra calories I may have consumed so that my liver will have shrunk.  But let's face it, I'm having this surgery because I'm shithouse at sticking to a diet or exercising any kind of self control, so really I've done very well!

I had a blood test today.  They tested FBC, U&E and H&G.  At least I think that was it.  The rather unfriendly lady who was poking holes in me mentioned something about full blood count and was I having surgery soon.  I assume it is routine.  The hospital has changed my check in time to a little earlier.  I thought it might be because of my leaky heart valve but apparently I've been pushed up.

My positive self talk is progressing well.  I'm shouting things like "I'll be all brand new", "new wardrobe!", "millions of people all over the world every day!" and the most common "take a teaspoon of cement and harden up princess!"

I'm planning on cutting out my allowed protein for the last 2 days and just having the shakes.  Maybe a last minute starving of my body will shrink up the liver to the max.  I'm going to give it a go!!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Pre-Admission Interview

Today I had my pre-admission interview for my op.  Basically a nurse from the hospital calls to go through your info which you have already sent in and check for allergies, previous operations etc.  They then go through the procedure for the day (when checking in, not when digging through your guts) and answer any questions you might have.  I asked about pain management and what pain I will experience.  I don't know if this is a scale to work by but they offered me a suppository to slow release the pain killer.  Is it really going to be that bad they need to stick it up my bum?  I can assure you that it is going to have to be very bloody bad if anything is going up that route!!!

The whole procedure is pretty daunting to think about.  I've been doing a lot of positive self talk to tell myself I'm going to be fine but I am still nervous!  The doctors and hospitals are all required to tell you about the possibilities that may occur.  The worst for me is a "leak".  From what I understand (I again refer you to my disclaimer which states I am not qualified to apply a band aid) sometimes (about 1 in 200 cases) the staples/stitches at the top of the newly formed sleeve break open and gastric juices can leak into your abdominal cavity.  This can lead to all sorts of problems, the most drastic being death.  I continue to tell myself that everything is super dooper and that I will be just fine.  Ohmysweetbabyjebus I hope so!

I also paid the surgeon and anaesthetist today.  WWWHHHOAAAA!  I wish I had worked WAY harder at school if that's the kind of money they make in a day... And I'm their 3rd operation! 

Monday, 4 July 2011


I had a thought today that I should probably put a disclaimer on this blog since it is publicly accessible.  So here it is...
I am not responsible for any choices that you may make for yourself.  I make my own awesome decisions and if they are right for me, yay.  If they are wrong for me, shit and whoopsiedoodle. 
I have done significant soul searching and research and spoken to many, many medical experts in this field before making this decision which I believe is right for me (not for anyone else out there no matter how awesome you are).  Before you make you own decisions regarding anything to do with any of the content contained in this blog, you should do the same.  Additionally, anything that I eat or say that I have eaten is not a suitable diet for normal people.  It is a diet that has been designed for me, by a qualified dietitian to suit the needs of MY situation, not yours... So get your own situation.
This blog is intended for entertainment and update purposes for my friends and family all over the place and to save me a gazillion dollars in phone bills and re-telling the same stories over and over again.
You are only allowed to use the photos on this blog if you intend to photoshop them to make me look even better than I already do (ha!), or raise money for starving children in Africa.  Otherwise, no dice.
I will not be liable for anyone out there who takes the information from this blog as medically sound.  I'm not even qualified to put on a band aid.



Maybe I'm just having a good day but I think the shakes thing is getting easier!  I just get up, have it and get on with keeping busy for the day!  Yesterday I only had 2 shakes all day.  Protein and veg for dinner so I skipped the shake.  Lots of water helps to keep the nauseous feeling away if I am hungry.  I'm also having miso soup (which is allowed) to keep me feeling full.  After a week on the dreaded diet I am 4.5kg down.  Nice.

6 days and 7 sleeps to go until d-day...  Nervous! 

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The weekend

All progressing relatively well.  My body has rid itself of carbs and the boundless energy stores are coursing through me making me look like a psychotic child with ADHD.  At least it's only the husband to annoy!!!

On Friday I went to visit a friend at the hospital that is doing my op.  The minute I walked into the foyer I broke out in a sweat and began to panic.  As I get closer to the 11th it is becoming more and more real.  I'm going to have to remind myself of the bigger picture and to bloody breathe and stay calm.  It is pretty daunting though.  I'm just glad Ben will be there to hold my hand and keep me calm and focused.  He's good like that.  We balance each other I think.

Last night we headed up the road for a BBQ with the Hendrie's (thanks for having us Luke and Kel!) I spoke to the dietitian during my consultation and asked if I could have just one night off the dreaded pre-op diet.  She said yes, but told me to try and be sensible.  In other words... Dear bull, when a red flag is waved at you could you please jog carefully towards it and don't hurt anyone. 
We had a delicious steak and salad dinner and I made my first ever potato bake.  I was SO excited at the prospect of potato bake.  I haven't had it in 5 years I recon and I tell you what, yummo!  There is something so good about cream, potato and bacon together.  A few vodka's and some horrid traditional cloudy scrumpy we called it a night.  

Back on liquids again today.