Post-Op Week 106: Revisiting the Pre-Op Diet

So it’s been 2 years since my VSG surgery, and I’m on the brink of a second surgery.

No, not another bariatric surgery, although I have had fleeting thoughts about having a DS.  Then I remember all the supplementation I’d have to have and I rethink that thought.

I visited with another surgeon in Dr. Nicholson’s office about having my gallbladder out.  Gallbladder removal is not an uncommon side effect of rapid weight loss, and I was warned about the possibility of its occurrence back before I had my VSG.  Two ultrasounds in about a year, both detecting “layering sludge” in my gallbladder, a trip to the ER with the worst pain and pressure in my abdomen ever, and both my PCP and Dr. Roshek (who’s removing my GB for me) have determined that it must come out.

So this past Tuesday, I had my consult for that surgery.  Got all my labs done there in the office, and scheduled the surgery:  August 4.  Dr. R is requiring me to do the same diet I did prior to my VSG two years ago:  protein shakes/bars 3-4x a day, plus one “lean and green” meal, all in the hopes that it makes my liver a bit easier to manipulate and move around during the surgery since he’s got to push it up to peel the gallbladder off of it so he can cut the bugger out at the bile ducts, which he’ll clamp off.

This would not be so bad if I weren’t headed out of town this week for a conference.  UGH.

But you know what?  I purposely scheduled my surgery when I did so that I could challenge myself this way.  If I’d waited any longer, I’d have had to have surgery the week I am due back at school.  As it is, I will be two weeks out of surgery when I return for inservice.

I can do this.  I’ve done harder things.  I can do hard things.  And at this point, there is no choice but to do this.  No liver shrinkage = no gallbladder removal.  And if I can’t have my gallbladder out now, I’ll be pissed.  I’ve met my deductible, and I really don’t want to feel that pain I felt before when I had an attack ever again.  I swear, it was miserable.

The bad thing is that I find myself doing the same thing I did before I had my VSG:  a smaller version of a food funeral.  I know that post-cholecystectomy (medical term for gallbladder removal), there will be some things I won’t be able to eat for a good long while, so I’ve taken to indulging in them the past few days before I begin my pre-op diet. Not the best behavior to exhibit, I know, but I also know that when I did this before, the things that came afterward ended up being really good for me in the long run.  So here’s to hoping.

I’m hoping that this pre-op diet will be the reset that I need to get my shit together so that I can get down to the weight where my body was feeling its best.

I’ve come to accept that I won’t weigh under 200 pounds.  It’s a tough thing to swallow, but my body simply isn’t built to weigh less than that.  If I can get down to where I was when my body was at its best feeling (about 215), I will be happy with that because I felt good both physically and mentally.   This also means dragging my butt back to the gym, which I plan to do when I return home from my trip.  I’ve got it scheduled in the new planner I bought–I decided to move away from scheduling things in my phone because they became too easy to dismiss, and often I’d forget they were scheduled there.  So I scheduled gym time in before my surgery as I am unsure when I will be able to return to the gym post-op.

Here goes getting ready for a second abdominal surgery…good times.

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3 responses to “Post-Op Week 106: Revisiting the Pre-Op Diet

  1. I hope the surgery goes well! You can do this! You’ve proven that by having done it before. Best of luck!

  2. I had my gallbladder out years before my VSG, and it’s a much easier recovery. You’ll be fine. Most of the foods you can’t eat are high fat foods that aren’t recommended for weight loss anyway (and when I say can’t, you can totally eat them, you’ll just end up running to the bathroom).
    I’ve also had a knee scope, which you’ve mentioned you need, and it wasn’t too bad a recovery, either, although I have been told to avoid impact exercise and climbing stairs for the rest of my life in order to prevent further damage.

    • I didn’t really eat a lot of high-fat things before this all happened, but I am pretty sure I won’t be eating anything with a significant amount of fat now! I’ve heard horror stories from folks who’ve had their gallbladders out, and I think my plan of attack for this week is to keep it bland, full of fiber to keep things moving along (I really don’t want to have to take laxatives, and haven’t ever, post-op WLS like I know some folks do), and to drink plenty of water. I figure the week after, I’ll start reintroducing things like egg whites (which I eat all the time) and chicken breast, Brussels sprouts, broccoli…all that stuff, so that I know how my body will react. I go back to school on the 17th, and I have to know what will be safe for me to eat at school since I can’t leave kids unsupervised to dash to the bathroom if I eat something I haven’t tested yet, ya know?

      As for the knee surgery…it’s being put on the back burner for now. Thanks, gallbladder! I figure a bad gallbladder can kill me, a bad knee can’t. So I’ll take care of the knee next summer. Thanks for the info and advice.

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