Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm getting tired of it

I am really frustrated right now. I keep having, what I call, "bad days" which include pain in my pouch, lower abdomen, constipation, acid reflux, nausea and vomiting. The vomiting can happen once or several times in a row.

Originally, it seemed like I was in a cycle of about 6 - 8 good days, where eating and digestion were normal, but I experienced constipation. Then, I would begin to experience pressure to have a bowel movement and, because I was constipated, I couldn't. The pain in my lower gut would be awful and then I would start vomiting. So, it seemed to me that the vomiting was somehow related to the constipation. I changed my diet; added more roughage and for about a week everything seemed to be working normally. My eating was good, as were my bowel movements. I thought for sure I had cottoned onto what was going on and looked forward to significantly less nausea and vomiting.

However, this past Wednesday, after drinking water, I started to vomit. I vomited a total of three time, about every two hours, and it was only bile and water. The acid reflux between the vomiting would be calmed by nothing and as the evening wore on I become more and more exhausted. Finally, at 2:30 in the morning, everything settled down and I went to bed.

Thursday morning found me exhausted and with a headache. My back was sore and my pouch hurt when I drank water. I concluded that maybe I was having difficulty because I had eaten "store packaged soup". Maybe my system is just to sensitive to eat prepackaged food. So after my loving husband cleaned the kitchen for me, I went about (on shaky ground) making myself split pea soup. By 7:00 that evening I was able to consume 1 cup of the broth from the soup and went to bed with a new plan of cooking all my food.

Today, I have been eating soup, drinking water and ate 2oz of tuna and 2 crackers. Really not the quantity of food I should be eating to maintain nutritional requirements, but everything is staying down.

I am getting tired of vomiting. I can't tell you how painful it is. It would be different if I was trying to get rid of food that was not chewed properly or food that my system couldn't break down, but this is different. There is nothing in my pouch. I am vomiting stuff that is so low in my intestines that my diaphragm hurts and I am breaking blood vessels in my eyes. It is a painful, disgusting, and spiritually exhausting experience and I am tired of it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What Happened to My Face?

I have finally found something that I don't like about the weight loss. It's the winkles. Take a look at this picture.

This picture is a lie. I am actually having a great time with my nephew, but look at my face. It looks like I am either really pissed off or frowning! I can't believe how the weight loss has changed my face.

Since my cheeks are no longer "plump" I have two large creases that travel from the corners of my nose to either edge of my lips all the way down to the jaw line. The lines make it look like I am constantly frowning. And it doesn't change no matter what emotion I am expressing, unless I am smiling with an incessant grin.

When I brought this up with Chris he just kind of brushed it off and made a flip remark that my age is finally catching up to me. All I could think of is "Thank god for plastic surgery!". I can't even imagine what my face will look like after I reach my goal weight. I understood full well that I would have a lot of excess skin across the front of my body, under my upper arms and upper thighs, but I did not expect my face to go to hell in a hand-basket so fast!

Before the gastric bypass surgery I had contemplated plastic surgery from my belly and for my breasts, but I had not really considered it for my face. Well I can tell you that I have changed my mind. There is no way I am going through the rest of my life looking pissed off (even if I am).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Follow Up Appointment with Dr. Hagen

I saw Dr. Hagen yesterday. We discussed two specific items. The first was the results of the x-rays. Dr. Hagen noted that there was a small amount of narrowing at the junction of the pouch to the small intestine. The junction had narrowed to about 8mm. He was not concerned about this and did not feel that the narrowing had contributed to the two vomiting episodes. He had also expected the junction to narrow a bit at this time.

We also discussed the pain that I have been experiencing lately. His first and foremost thought was that I was going through an adjustment period and concluded that as long as food was moving through the pouch, I was having bowel movements, and passing gas there was nothing to worry about. The pain would eventually subside. He told me that should I begin to vomit with every meal, could not have a bowel movement and was in constant pain to come and see him immediately.

His second thought was that the pain could possible be attributed to the bowel being twisted during the original surgery. He felt that this was highly unlikely and really did not want to explore this any further at this time because it basically meant undergoing exploratory surgery.

So here I am at home, frustrated almost to tears with the whole situation. I guess I had expected (hoped) that I would have an easier recovery. I kept imagining myself becoming very active; riding my bike, going to the gym, gardening, and eating regular food with no consequences.

Instead, I constantly remind myself that things could be a lot worse. It has only been 7 weeks since the surgery and in reality I am doing very well. So maybe I am more tired that I had expected, and maybe I am not eating regular food yet, but I am not in the hospital and I am not dead yet!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What The?

Sorry if I have not been keeping up to date. For the last four days I have been suffering with intense abdominal pain. The pain seemed to be located below the pouch and more in the small intestine. However, the pain was so intense that I could not eat or take my medication. I was barely able to keep water down. Sometimes the pain would wake me up in the early hours of the morning. It was so bad, I would just lay in bed panting. I discovered that using a heating pad helped, but nothing really took the pain away. Trust me, I was unhappy and very cranky. Chris was really worried, as was my Mom. She called me twice a day to check up on me. Chris would not leave the house.

The good news is that I am feeling right as rain as of today and I do have an appointment to see Dr. Hagen tomorrow.

I have no idea why this happened. The only thing that I can think of was I spent a few days away from home and was not sleeping properly. I think the combination of exhaustion and stress just obliterated my body's ability to cope with my new digestive system.

I should have realized this earlier. I mean, before the surgery, if I became overtired or overstressed, I would have a minor Crohn's flair up. I guess my sensitivity to sleep deprivation and stress is even more precarious now.

I will have to be more careful in the future and make sure I get my 8 hours of beauty rest. As Chris says "Meditate baby. Be one with the world." Easier said than done!