My Bump in the Road

So, my surgeon told me that in general, you should trend upwards; some days might not be great, but the overall trend should be improvement. I had been getting better…until last week. He also talked about everyone hitting some sort of bump in the road to recovery, so I guess this was mine.

Some nasty “bug” has been going around and a week and a half ago, it hit me hard. It was just general crud/infection: coughing, congestion, head cold. But what seemed to happen when I got all that congestion was I couldn’t hold down solid food. Since my mornings consist of lactose-free milk with protein powder and later yogurt, at first I just thought some of my meals were going badly. But over a day or so, I realized it was more like every meal, every snack, anything solid, anything with a consistency beyond yogurt. Yikes…

So, I focused on hydration and tried different foods to see if I could hold down anything. I kept up my protein shake and my yogurt to give me a good start. Foods that I tried and failed: chicken; cottage cheese; pizza, tortilla chips; any real, non-processed food. Foods that worked during my debacle: peanut butter, peanut butter M&Ms, sun chips, ice cream. I spit up most every bite I swallowed, every attempt at a “meal” for a week. I sustained myself on junk food, yes junk food. It’s almost as though you can’t push your food down when all your congestion is coming back up, unless it’s sugary and processed. This cued hubbie’s comment, “You need to see a doctor. I haven’t seen you eat any meal in the last week that you haven’t spit back up.” I emailed my PA but knew it was related to the “bug”, and I was at the tail end of this illness; I didn’t want to jump the gun if it was all related to the “crud”. Her response was basically make sure you’re still pooping. (See, this gastrectomy thing all goes back to poop.)

Another lesson learned: I tried some decongestant pills that were labeled for 24-hrs and another day for 12-hrs. Bad move. Disgusting as this might seem, I would cough them back up 6-12 hours later. Yeah, that warrants a second, “Disgusting!” So, note to self, for decongestants, must use nothing labeled for long time periods. I checked some children’s liquid decongestants and I’ll try that next time. To date the pill form of ibuprofen and amoxicillin have gone fine.

I lost a pound or two this last week and a half. And I stopped running. (My theory is, if I’m sick and not eating, I shouldn’t be running.) I did continue taking my lunchtime walk. It helped me deal with the frustration of another failed meal and got me outside in this wonderful fall weather. I will say, this was definitely a frustrating, tiring week. At least I had busy days to distract me from how poorly eating was going. I am an amazingly grumpy person by the end of the day when I haven’t been able to eat any substantial food and my apologies for anyone who met “Grumpy Marne”. On the upside, since I don’t ever feel hunger, I don’t think I was all that bothered by not really eating. Aside from the tiredness, it’s not like I felt starving all the time. And hooray for my horrible, high-fat diet for preventing me from losing more weight than I did. My nutritionist would probably have a heart attack reading what I ate over the past week.

The end to this horrible saga was 2 days ago. Thursday I was able to eat again, real food. Small bites, same as before. And it all stayed down. I can’t express just how happy and satisfying it was to finally eat some real food and just have it stay down. Amazing. I felt so good that night, I ran, pushing my daughter in the jogging stroller while my son biked alongside. It was awesome. Sunset was beautiful, I felt so wonderful; again why I love running.

I’ll probably have to focus on excess food for another week so I can try to gain some weight back. Before I got sick, my weight was stable without having to get too gung-ho about 24/7 food intake. I think I’m able to tick that scale back up. I can only say I will be upset if I catch another bug.

Have a good evening.

2 thoughts on “My Bump in the Road

  1. Wow, lots of ups and downs! Am so glad you are posting. Thanks so much for sharing! You are an inspiration to all!
    Susan

  2. I have to undergo surgery on November28 for stomach removal and have been
    Getting some advice from your articles. Nobody knows what it’s like until
    You go through this. All I ever get is..oh you are so strong you’ll
    Do fine…I find this puts enormous pressure on me to ‘not let people down!’
    I am 76 years old and I have been crying a lot to myself. I am also quite
    Bitter because my family physician neglected to order a cat scan three years ago
    when the stomach tumour first appeared. It has grown from3 cm to
    7 plus cent…the size of my fist. I have learned a lot from your articles keep up
    The good work educating us. Thanks. Nadia

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