Is this the Next Stage in Total Gastrectomy Recovery?

I’m about 2 months post op. I’ve just returned to work. My energy levels are more closely reaching my energy levels from before and what I lack, a caffeine boost makes up for to get me through. Getting good. A little spitup here, a little puke there, but nothing I can’t manage. Still happens & is usually associated with one of my first bites of food.

The reason I wonder if this is the next phase of my recovery is because I can consume larger portions. And with more quickly being able to eat or drink, it seems like the healthier the food, the better I feel. Because more can go in more quickly, I can hit my sugar overdose easily. When my body was forcing me to eat mouse-sized portions, I didn’t feel crappy from too much fat or too much sugar. It appears that’s happening now.

In the car, I ate half of my cinnamon twist donut a few hours after my breakfast taco. Wow, sugar crash away. I can do some sugars if I’d had some protein, but clearly this was far too much sugar with far too little protein. Not to mention the fact that the first piece of donut was very quickly thrown up; it was stuck and my body was M-A-D at me for that one. But wow, do I love cinnamon twists. Just shouldn’t have piled in 2 giant bites at one time without a real meal nearby.

Cashews are bailing me out a lot now. If our day is ever unplanned, away from home, cashews fill the void. Cashews specifically are very soft, easy to chew, easy to transport and great on calories. And the protein is a must. This weekend, one of our lunches was delayed until 2:30. Let’s call that timing “unfriendly to the girl missing a stomach”. But a gas station pickup of a giant bag of cashews was 450 calories and pulled me through. Though, by 2:30, it was getting rather dire.

The social aspect of food/eating is what I noticed this weekend. I’m not bothered eating my tiny portions around friends/family who know about my surgery. They get it. But we were at an event with folks who didn’t know I don’t have a stomach, and it was very obvious they had worked very hard BBQing some awesome chicken, beef and all the fixings (this is Texas after all). I got a few looks like “oh, that girl must have an eating problem”. It’s not like it’s an easy or short conversation to explain that you had a gastrectomy and that yes you can live without a stomach. So, more than anything, I’m not personally bothered that it takes me forever to eat and take tiny bites. I just don’t like feeling rude that I’m not saying thank you with my actions of enjoying all that great food that was prepared. Maybe I just care too much what I presume people are thinking. I probably shouldn’t speculate.

So, here’s my eating theory for this 2nd stage of recovery.

  • Continue with real food
  • Actually care that the real food is healthy
  • Try to separate liquid and food intake
  • Try to stay away from anything too filling with not enough calories. (Still only 1/2 of my bagel. It fills me to the max with the yogurt beforehand.)

My food log this weekend:

Saturday (awesome calorie day when all was said and done. was also a very active afternoon at the beach, hence the protein bar. Whataburger dinner began at 9PM)
Potato, egg & cheese taco
1/2 cinnamon twist doughnut glazed (sugar crash & burn)
bag cashews
bud light
14 corn tortilla chips
3/4 cup diced avocado, tomato (kind like guac)
Smoked chicken breast (maybe 3 oz)
1/2 cup baked beans
1/4 cup potato salad
Nature Valley chewy protein bar (might have been too much sugar on too little protein. felt off for 15 min after)
1/2 grilled Whataburger sandwich (had to pull lettuce b/c too hard to chew. Had to tear the coating off chicken because too hard to eat. I’ll call their grilled chicken an epic fail. The breaded is far more tender, tastes better and easier to eat.)

1 cup oatmeal
1 scrambled egg
small bag cashews
2 pan-seared crab cakes
baked tilapia filet (1/2)
1 cup baked beans
bud light
6 peanut butter crackers
cheez-its at the end of the night (felt crummy. is the fat level too high now? I’ve munch on pretzels just fine, but it takes 53 pretzels to get 100 calories)

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