Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dumping and a compression belt

One of the things I always vowed when I started writing this blog was to keep things real.  I wanted to write about a journey that, while it was my own, was an honest glimpse into my life as an obese person (technically "super morbidly obese") trying her best to become a healthy person.  Sometimes the days are wonderful and beautiful with rainbows and kitties.  Other times it might include depression or bodily functions polite people don't always talk about.

Well, I'm about to become very impolite.  My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Reynolds, would not be very pleased.  Sorry, Mrs. Reynolds, but I just have to go there.

Yesterday marked two weeks that I had my rebirth and underwent gastric bypass surgery.  I have a new tiny little pouch in my body.  I call her Katrina.  That name is the amalgamation of all the ways people have messed up my first name over the years.  (My legal first name is Kathryn, although I go by Kathy or Kath, even Kat.  People have called me Katty, Katie, Kristin, Christine, Katrina.  Seriously, how hard is Kathy?  Anyway, I'm deviating.)  I have been adjusting well to Katrina, but it has not been the easiest thing in the world.

There is a phenomenon that people who have had a gastric bypass go through called dumping.  As I understand it, dumping occurs when you've had something to eat and instead of your body digesting this food, it dumps right into your small intestines.  This occurs because perhaps the item you had contained too much starch, sugar or it just didn't agree with your system.  Some of the symptoms that come along with this include nausea, cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea.

I'm always a little fearful of experiencing dumping.  I mean, it doesn't sound pleasant, does it?  I have had two episodes that might fit into this category.  First, I drank a protein shake pretty quickly.  I didn't down it or anything, but I just sipped it consistently until it was gone.  My doctor warned me not to drink protein too fast, but it's hard to remember all the rules when you're new to all of this.  I had my Premiere Protein shake in about 30 minutes.  Maybe that's normal for a person with a full-sized stomach, but I have a little pouch now.  It made me practically run to the bathroom.  I didn't vomit but something equally as unpleasant.  Your imagination right now is spot on.  The second episode was when I think I had too much to eat.  It's not that I was eating a lot because, frankly, I can't eat that much.  However, one extra bite is enough to send pouches like mine to dumping.  After I had a particular meal, I was burping consistently for quite some time and my tummy felt like I had a stomach ache.

Oh the adventures of my life!  I know this is temporary and it will pass.  I am having a positive attitude about everything because what else can I do?  Already it looks like my diabetes is in remission and that right there makes me very grateful.  The weight is dripping off my body pretty quickly and so I'm just hanging on for the ride.  I am experiencing pain on my left side under one of my incisions, so I know I can't resume normal activities yet.  I went walking the other day and decided to go for more than ten minutes.  All of a sudden, the pain came on and it was pretty unbearable.  I walked very slow so that I could get back home in minimal pain.  I put on my compression belt to help keep everything tightly in.

As you can imagine, it's hot when I have it on.  While it feels good for awhile, I have to take it off to breathe comfortably.  I know things will get better in time, but for now I tire pretty easily and that pain reminds me that I can't return to normal life quite yet.  It is still there on the left side, so I know it will take time.  I'm on sick leave from work for six weeks, but oh my Lord am I bored.  I've been reading books, watching crazy daytime TV, playing Candy Crush and trying to exercise when I can.  Recovery takes time and I need to always remember that.  Just because my incisions don't look like much looking at them from the outside, a lot of twists and turns did occur inside my body.


Beth Ann said...

Dumping doesn't sound fun. With a Band with get PB's which aren't fun either. There are always cons, huh? But I'm sure you will adapt and learn as you go!

Kathy said...

Definitely cons but the pros outweigh them for sure!

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