- Unsweetened juice
- Decaffeinated tea or coffee
- Milk (skim or 1 percent)
- Strained cream soup
- Sugar-free gelatin or popsicles
Coming home from the hospital, I found myself somewhere between a child on Christmas morning and a very determined older woman. Hmmm. What's that all about?Well, for months prior to surgery, one studies and gets tutored on the various Stages of Nutrition. There's a pre-op phase, one in which it is advisable to start cutting down on ALL the things on likes and trying for a weight loss of approximately 1% of one's body weight. All the things include caffeine, alcohol, sugar and rich foods. The reason is simple. All the things one likes are all the things that make a liver fat and heavy. In other words, the risk of complications, right there on the operating table, can be attenuated if the liver is lightened. Fat, heavy liver, more risk. So, there's that
During pre-op workshops and meetings, nutrition is a constant. Over and over and over, the dietitians emphasize the importance of following the guidelines lest one will suffer dire consequences. Lists of foods are presented. Ideas, suggestions, recommendations come at you from all angles. Eat this, not that. Add this for protein, Subtract that for its empty calories. Drink this.....but not during a meal. Stop drinking fluids one hour before a meal. Start again one half hour after. Chew slowly....sip like a snail. Oy-yoi-yoi-yoi-yoi. Lists, booklets, leaflets, blog sites, websites, forums, apps, appointments, classes. And then, you're in the hospital and the dietitian appears, arm in sling, discomfort on her face. You're hurting but she's in pain!!! Poor thing had Rotator Cuff surgery somewhere during your pre-op weeks and she has to go to every patient, pour out highly important information and all you can do is wish she would go home and take care of herself. Yep. That's what happened. So, I took the new set of lists. I tucked the new set of directions for when I got home, into my vast number of other papers and the trays arrived from the kitchen and I pushed them aside and ate a few sips here and there. I know I was being monitored in some fashion but don't know how accurately. "We need to know how much you ate on this shift. We also need to know how much you peed." How? By looking at what I left on my tray? And the pee....well, I know how to measure that and report it but I sure as hell wasn't going to let it sit in the bathroom waiting for a kindly but overworked nursing assistant to come pick it up like my roomie did. I've emptied tons of pee in my nursing days but you know what? Out of desperation, I emptied hers and it was the only time I almost tossed my cookies. Boy, am I rusty!! Anyway, long story short, on the day of discharge, like a naughty girl, I emptied half of my tomato soup down the bathroom sink. Of course I did not realize that it would take some kind of cleaning product to erase the vestiges. Good for my roomie. She had it coming. I only wish her dumb brother in law needed the bathroom when he came to visit.
So, yesterday, I had a day on my own and it wasn't easy. Like the Christmas-kid, I wanted to try all the new foods from the list. I was eager to sample things and to conform to the demands of hydration. It was rough. I got a lot of "stuff" in but spent the day wondering if the rest of my life is going to be like this day?
Got up this morning with a whole new resolve. I drank 11 ounces of Muscle Milk, Light, and did some more reading. My team is aggressive with this Third Stage. By now, I'm okay if I'm only on Clear Liquids for another week, as long as I have 64 ounces in a day. I won't die of starvation although my hunger hormones seemingly have not exited the building as promised. I intend to be patient with that too. All is well and I'm not in pain and not nauseous. And I don't intend to empty another measuring device of pee so long as I shall live.
Be good, Do good, Feel good.