Now when I sit down to blog (in glorious peace and quiet), I have to calculate how long it was since my surgery. It’s hard to believe that in June I will have been without my stomach for 2 years! I’m at the phase now where I’ve truly lost track of how long it has been. My lack of stomach no longer dominates my life or my thoughts. My body still reminds me periodically, and I sometimes wonder what my life would be like today with my dad and aunt still in it. I’d like to think those are gentle reminders to focus on what’s important in life.
As the title eludes, I have been taking my separate iron supplement along with my multivitamin and B complex supplement. That addition of iron to my repertoire of daily supplements has led to super energy Marne again…tons of energy!! And it’s amazing how far I had slipped without realizing the root cause. I eventually felt bad enough that I looked it up and realized I exhibited all the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. I also figured my exhaustion and pace slowdown in running was because I was getting older and out of energy. I ran 5 miles yesterday and was able to drop my pace down into the 7:00 min/mile range again. It’s amazing how much more you can force your body to do with normal iron levels!!
Per WebMD, women age 18-50 require 18mg/day, while men get away only needing 8mg/day (you guys stink!). Between that and my bypassed duodenum, I quickly trended into the iron deficiency anemia “fogginess” and exhaustion. But I’m happy to report, a simply daily supplement of ferrous sulfate is getting me back on track. Make sure you buy the non-coated caplet. Something about the coated one tore up my gut and left me feeling a bit ‘off’.
Onto the story of life…
I love the way my fellow stomachless blogger Steve put it: less things, more memories. To that end, when my son said he wanted to go skiing, we were able to make it happen. Our trip included a LOT of family time, skiing, an airplane flight (half the fun for the kiddos), snow tubing, ice skating, a Utah Jazz basketball game, first ever visit to the great salt lake, and great food! The trip was a blast!! I’m always worried I’ll forget to book a flight or that the activities I plan will be horrible, but I’ve been very impressed how somehow everything just falls into place and works out.
Here is a brief synopsis of my stomachless food and ski tour….
I’m a huge fan of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I actually vicariously enjoyed food in the early post-gastrectomy recovery days by watching the show. So, of course I looked up a few spots to check out and settled on the Red Iguana 2 in Salt Lake City. Here’s the mango chicken enchiladas! They were fabulous, and I ate 1 1/2, took the rest to go. I ate my last half 30 minutes later. It was delicious, and I’m picky about Mexican food.
We had the opportunity to sit on the patio on the beautiful sunny day. Here’s me and my extremely supportive husband:
Then it was off to skiing. I only go once every year or two, so it took me until day 2 to be ready to ski some blues!! I got there, but my stomachless self definitely requires a mid-day break to eat a snack of some sort.
Towards the end of the trip, I stumbled on one of the most amazing sandwich shops, called Even Stevens. I had their pot roast sandwich, which was unbelievable.The meat was tender and moist. The bread was amazing, and they had some sort of jalapeno jelly that defined the sandwich. I was able to eat almost the entire sandwich. If you’d seen this sandwich in person, you’d know that was quite the feat. I ate the remainder of the sandwich and the side of chips 30 minutes later in the car once I wasn’t so full!!
The trip was amazing. The food was incredible. And the wonderful memories we made as a family were unforgettable.
The only challenge post-gastrectomy life leads to is that you no longer have your stomach as a buffer for all the fatty, junky food you consume. You are now more aware when you aren’t eating as well as you should be. It’s tough to eat out every single meal since almost no restaurant limits fat and grease. (I don’t help matters any by going into “vacation mode” and eating too many sweets!) We’re thinking the next trip we go on, we need some sort of kitchenette so we can at least scramble up some eggs for breakfast and have a dinner not at a restaurant.
So, keep living it up my stomachless friends! I know my gastrectomy has taught me that much!