Head Hunger vs. Real Hunger

I am two weeks and two days post op. Full liquids. I’ve been to two BBQ’s and one huge family dinner. I survived and lived to tell the tale of head hunger.

I’ve heard people refer to it often, but I don’t think I really understood the concept until now. Since surgery I haven’t felt real hunger. No tummy grumbling, no real weakness or low blood sugar. None of the things that make me feel famished. But being around amazing smelling Filipino food constantly has triggered this feeling in me. I caught myself dipping my finger in the different sauces just to taste the taste. Although I’ve broken free from carbs, seeing a nice slab of my cousin’s 18th birthday cake had me drooling. But I knew I wasn’t hungry. It was all in my head, and it’s still all in my head. I find myself having pep talks in my head. I have to tell myself to take time to listen to my stomach. It’s full and there isn’t any room for more. I let it sink in and I move on.

I know that despite having had my VSG that I will always have to battle with food. But taking time to stop and listen to my new stomach is the key for me. I need to listen to what it’s saying.

Aside from that I’m in Winnipeg, my hometown for a little vacation. My cousin is graduating from high school and I promised I’d be here for her commencement. I’m here for a total of two weeks and I don’t have a reliable scale so I haven’t been able to keep up with my scale Nazi tendencies. Which I think is for the best because I was weighing myself twice a day. For now my success is measured in the amount of sag I’m now sporting in my tights. It looks like I took a dump in my pants, no lie. But I’ll take it as a victory!

The Play By Play to End All Play By Plays

Surgery is over and done. Now the hard part begins.

I left for Surgery with Dr. Aceves on Monday June 3rd. Which ended up being the longest day of my life. My Dad, who has been my ever constant supporter flew with me, and due to time constraints we were up before the crack of dawn, 3 am to be precise. From there we headed to the airport for our long flight to San Diego. The worst part was not being able to eat after 7 am. I was dying, and when I fly I tend to need something in my stomach so I don’t get nauseous. But these are the sacrifices we make right?

As soon as the driver Ernesto picked us up we headed to the hospital for blood work, an EKG and a chest x-ray. We got to the hospital and I was quickly greeted by Karla, Dr. Aceves’ coordinator. She ushered me in for the tests. My mind was racing and all I could think of was that there would be something wrong with the test and I would be sent back home, wasting all of my Dad’s time and money. After the testing was completed my Dad and I were sat in a room where we met Dr. Aceves. Now I understand why some people have this “hero” complex about him. He is simply amazing. He’s no-nonsense, but also very passionate. He tells you exactly what is expected of you and makes no bones about this being easy. From there Dr. Campos came in. He assists Dr. Aceves and also plays the role of nutritionist. Aside from being exceptionally good-looking he is also a great resource and breaks it down to a comprehensible level. He’s also quite funny, and helped lighten the mood. After than Yolanda came in, who also works for Dr. Aceves in a coordinator type role. She took the rest of the payment and was lovely enough to give me some Ativan (apparently this is common practice with Dr. Aceves’ patients).

From there I went back to the hotel to have my “last meal” and have a good snooze. Although Dr. Campos instructed no more than 2 margaritas or glasses of wine, I decided to abstain which was a huge feat for me, even my Dad was shocked. I nibbled a little at some fajitas but I was really too anxious to gorge myself like I thought I would. Took the Ativan and slept like a baby despite the fact that my Dad woke me up at midnight, he read his watch wrong and thought it was 6 in the morning and that we were going to be late. Slept and slept and woke up terrified. I hid it well I think, but I was just so nervous. All of the what-ifs started taunting me. What if it doesn’t work? What if there are complications? What if I die? I had to resign myself to the fact that I was in capable hands and that I had come to far to back down now. So I sucked it up, picked out the room I wanted since I was the only surgery that day (of course greedy me picked the most spacious room). The anesthesiologist came in, the internist came in, Dr. Aceves and Campos both came in. Then Perla, the youngest, sweetest most competent nurse I have ever met (and I come from a family of nurses) took me to the operating room where she teased me for having a Spanish last name and not being able to speak Spanish.

I got on to the operating table where a male nurse started wrapping my legs in compression bandages and commented that the liked my tattoo, the anesthesiologist then asked me “Did they give you a tablet?” to which I started panicking because they hadn’t, and then that was it. I was out cold.  Next thing I know I’m in a strange room screaming that I’m in pain. Then they give me more Morphine. From there I’m send back to my room. I’m feeling super nauseous from the Morphine. Dr. Campos informs my Dad that they gave me too much Morphine in the recovery room considering how sensitive I am to it. I freak, as for the kidney bowl and start throwing up blood. After that I’m fine. Absolutely fine.

That night I started walking and doing my breathing exercises with my spirometer. Each day it gets easier and I’m walking more and more. By the last night I’m walking at my usual pace and have enough pep to do my makeup. Dr. Campos tells me that I don’t even look like I’ve had surgery. I swoon.

I’m a week and two days out and I feel fantastic. My incisions are healing beautifully, my scars look like they’ll be pretty minimal. And I’m down 17.2 pounds since the morning of surgery.

I know it might be too early to say it, but I feel like this is the best decision I’ve ever made.