I’ve been absent, I know! I can’t really make any apologies for it, it’s a good thing for me. You see, I write when I’m in a bad place, so absence is a sign of positive things.
But I had to write today. Today marks one year since I made a change. A change that has hugely impacted my life, and the lives of my family.
One year ago today I had a Sleeve Gastrectomy. This involves my very awesome surgeon cutting away around 80% of my stomach. It is Bariatric surgery, performed on people who need some help to turn things around.
Sometimes I get told I took the easy way out. I didn’t. But you know what, even if it was the easy way out, does it actually matter? Bottom line is that I was once depressed, sluggish, riddled with health problems, and just floating through life, being a ‘bare minimum mum’. I am now excited, passionate, healthy, and full of life. So, does it actually matter?
The thing is, most people that say that either don’t understand it, or have witnessed someone post-surgery not treating their Sleeve with the respect it deserves. It is not a magic genie. It is not going to fix everything. You need to work with it, treat it gently, treat it with love – you’re in for the long haul together.
Anyway, without further ado, here are my before and after photos for the general public to see for the first time ever #terrified.
Okay here goes, my 2016 year in review! Get ready to take a trip down memory lane, see where we are at now, and read about my hopes for 2017.
2016 was not kind to my family. There were some high peaks, and some bloody low pits.
In 2016 I started my blog. My baby. My virtual ‘Dear Diary’. This was a peak. I have attempted to blog many times before but it never clicked like this one did. It was the right time. I have some amazingly kind, caring, and supportive readers, who have reminded me I’m not alone, lifted my spirits, and thanked me for doing the same in return. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful keyboard companions.
It has been a long few weeks of recovering from surgery, sick kids, and adjusting to my new life and as such I’ve been a bit hesitant to post.
Sometimes I just get too overwhelmed with anxiety to update. Which is silly because venting through my blog is an amazing stress reliever for me. It’s a mind game I play with myself.
So, an update. My surgery went great! I am officially on what my fellow weight loss surgery (WLS) patients call ‘The losers bench’! The first few days of recovery were tough. I was groggy for a crazy amount of time while coming out of the anesthetic. It was horrible. I faintly recall my family coming in to visit in between snoozes.
I remember opening my eyes and seeing my sister, then my parents, and finally my husband sitting next to me. I can’t explain how good it felt to see them. I squeezed hubbies hand so tightly. I didn’t want him to leave. Of course, he had to. He got to solo parent while I was in hospital for 3 days and he did an amazing job of it.
I continued to recover over those days. Starting with sucking on ice chips the first day and then progressing to water and clear liquids the next. On the day I left I got to have apple juice (which I have never liked, but now look forward to).
I had six incisions, which have all healed nicely. I still get some discomfort when I bend or twist in the wrong way, but overall I’m feeling good.
Eating is a very different experience. I don’t get hungry and I don’t find myself thinking about ‘my next fix’ anymore. I started pureed meals at the start of this week. That’s…interesting. It all looks disgusting (check out my deconstructed Shepherd’s pie) but it tastes like it normally would. Such a strange thing to adjust to.
I’ve lost about 11 kilograms so far. I don’t really see a difference, but I feel a difference in my clothes. Hubby has been doing the Optifast diet, which I what I had to do for two weeks leading up to surgery. He has been doing it for just over 4 weeks and has lost a mind-boggling 20 kilos. I so proud of him!
The kids are doing well, they are enjoying sharing all of my meals with me. Marky got accepted into Pre-school for next year! Toby is turning two next month and has just learnt how to open doors – it’s so super fun! (Insertnsert majorly thick sarcasm). Daniel has just turned six months old and is working on sitting and getting up on all fours.
Time really does go too fast. It’s devastating.
Hopefully now that I’m living a healthier lifestyle, I will be around longer. I want as much time with my family as I can get. Family really is the whole reason for everything I do.
Hopefully it won’t be as long between updates this time. The more my body recovers, the more my brain follows suit.
Things have been a little crazy! My surgery is TOMORROW! Insane.
I’ve been preparing like crazy (as much as I can) for the big day and I still feel unprepared. There is a lot to think of and I’m trying to remember it all, but I think my brain might explode it is working that hard!
I’ve been doing the pre-op Optifast diet for two weeks now and I have lost less than I’d wanted to…but I suppose this is the whole reason I need the surgery! Hubby has been doing it to support me (and for himself) and has lost around 12kgs. He’s pretty awesome.
My pre-op meal plan is as follows:
Breakfast – Vanilla Optifast shake with half a teaspoon of coffee. It tastes like an iced coffee and is actually delicious!
Lunch – Optifast Chocolate Bar. It kind of tastes like a space food stick. Not bad, not awesome either.
Dinner – At least 2 cups of approved non-starchy vegetables, cooked with a spoon of oil. My favourite has been Mushroom Stroganoff with either Slendier noodles (noodles made from vegetables) or cauliflower rice.
After Dinner -Optifast Shake or Bar. Usually a Chocolate shake.
If I feel like a snack I have diet jell, raw broccoli or carrot sticks.
I’m actually pleasantly surprised by how little I’ve struggled. I really thought I’d fail…but I didn’t! I made cupcakes and muffins with the boys and didn’t even lick the spoon! Willpower.
Hubby has been my rock. I definitely would have struggled without his support.
The boys are going well. DJ is rolling around the floor like crazy and Toby is getting his daily bump on the head from being too adventurous and hurting himself.
Marky’s surgery went really well for the most part. The Tonsillectomy went flawlessly. The Adenoidectomy went ok, they only did a partial removal as they found he has a short palate. They also discovered he has a Bifid Uvula – that dangly thing at the back of his throat is forked! Only 2% of the population have them and they are often signs of a partial cleft palate! So there you go! I honestly don’t know if it will cause any issues for him, I’ll be sure to ask at his follow up appointment. His hernia repair also went really well and he now has an ‘innie’, much to his disgust.
The only hiccup we had was with the tear duct clearance – the one I’d expected to be smooth. They weren’t able to clear the right tear duct and have referred us to a surgeon in Sydney to have another surgery done. They said something about putting a tube in for a few months to create a passage way. I haven’t had the appointment in Sydney yet so I really don’t know much about it. Hopefully it isn’t too major and things are finished for that little man for a while.
Anyway I’d best go and get packed for tomorrow. Big day. New life.
Wish me luck!
Today’s little wins:
Mumma: Stuck to my pre-op diet like a boss! No breaks!
Biggest-Little: Got through surgery like a champion. He fell asleep on me at one point in the hospital. I’ve missed that.
Middle-Little: Decided he wanted to spend some extra time with his mumma this morning and woke me up at 03:30am – silver linings, right?
Smallest-Little: Rolling here, there, and everywhere. He’s a happy goofy little man.