03-13-2015, 03:28 AM
(This post was last modified: 03-13-2015, 03:30 AM by CounselorUSN.)
Oh, and just wanted to cover some additional topics that I have experienced that may help some folks out.
Nicotine - I quit smoking in 2008, but still dipped smokeless. About a year ago, I started using an e-cig to break from the dipping. Well, I still dipped from time to time but this surgery may have finally gotten me to quit that nasty habit as you absolutely cannot do it. My e-cig has been a lifesaver in this respect and I have had no ill effects from using it that I have noticed. I am guessing that nicotine lozenges and gum may work but, as these can cause hiccups, might not want to do that.
Candy - I am a kid when it comes to candy. Love it. All of it. My four favorite holidays are Half Priced Candy Days after Easter, Valentines Day, Halloween, and Christmas. But this too is something you will just not be able to do! Your surgical site will not like the sugar and stuff they put in it. And I have tried all kinds. The worst is that bits and pieces get stuck in your stitches and then you have to try to rinse it out. Hurting the whole time!
Talking - I have failed at trying to limit mine which is causing me more pain. Having a 10 and 11 year old pretty much prevents me from being quiet. But truly, if you can, just don't talk. It helps.
Bad Breath - You will have it. Cannot get out of it and do not try to breath mint it away. That will hurt. On a good note, you lose a significant amount of your gag reflex so it is possible to tongue brush some of it away. But while everything is healing, well, just pretend there is an invisible cat pooping in your mouth when you sleep.
Weight Loss - Yay! A positive side effect! Well, sort of. I have lost about 14 pounds. Which means I eat terrible when I can eat! Make sure you still take a multi vitamin if you can.
Thanks for posting, counselor. Please keep posting your saga.
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Hey all! I meant to get on here every day and update but, well, life keeps going and it is easy to get caught up with it. So here is the story so far.
Since my last post healing has progressed quite, well, weird. I can confirm what most all other UP3 patients have said in that your truly worst days are the first seven. Last Friday and Saturday I was still in quite a bit of pain with liquids and soft foods only. What is strange is that, what I could eat and drink changed almost day to day. For example, there was this berry flavored green tea that I was drinking from D+1 day that was really helping with hydration and then, all of a sudden, something in the tea really started to hurt my surgery sites. Same thing with applesauce. So if you have the surgery, don't think you have found the one food you can eat and have it be okay for the entire duration of the healing.
On Sunday, March 15th, almost a miracle happened. It was a very perceptible change in how it felt while swallowing and all of a sudden I could eat some varying types of solid foods. I smoked some ribs and chicken for the family and was able to eat the chicken and some mildly salted vegetables. The old rules of chewing came into play however and if you have forgotten how many times you should chew your food, your surgery sites will remind you. Seems though that spicy is not the enemy, but citrusy/acidic foods are still painful.
Today, March 17th, I am still sticking to a liquid protein breakfast and keeping it light. Being active duty, I just don't want to complicate this any more than I have to as I have been out of work now for about a week and a half and cannot risk prolonging my time out. Could I eat more? Probably. But an interesting side effect of this surgery is that I am a lot more aware of what I am eating now and thinking more carefully of what my diet is. The total weight loss so far is about 16 pounds which tells me I was really eating a lot of crap before hand.
I have my follow up appointment tomorrow and will post after it is over. I feel good, sleeping great, and am about to end my pain medication regimen. So while, immediately after the surgery I thought life would be miserable forever, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it does get better.
One more thing that some have briefly mentioned but I feel it is worth going into a little detail about. Constipation. Those pain meds will stop you up. I mean seriously. Painfully. My first BM after the surgery was almost as painful as trying to swallow. You must take some sort of laxative once you realize that you may be getting clogged. I waited too long and suffered needlessly for four days over this. It is not about hydration, as you will be as hydrated as you ever have been after being on a liquid diet. But it is brutal what those meds will do down there. And trust me, dealing with your throat AND your lower intestine at the same time is not fun.
More tomorrow after the follow up where I will also list some of the things I found to eat that really helped me pull through this.