I heard this morning that our loan for surgery was approved (my insurance isn’t covering it), so I only have 2 more hurdles before I can schedule my gastric sleeve in March! I need to meet with the psychologist and the dietitian. Lucky for me I don’t have to do 1 hour round-trips to each appointment, because they both do phone consults. Yay me! Today I spoke with the dietitian (which my fingers insist on spelling ‘dietician’ for some reason…), and she was really nice and helpful. We talked about the pre-op and post-op diets first.
Pre-op I’ll have HealthWise meal replacements 2 times a day, and their protein supplements 4 times a day for the 10 days before surgery. Mmm. The day before surgery I go to clear liquids only, and after midnight I can’t have anything at all. (That’s OK because I’ll be asleep long before then!) The day of surgery I’ll take my blood pressure medicines with a tiny bit of water and head to the hospital.
The day after the operation I’ll be on clear liquids. So water, herbal tea, broth, diluted crystal light, popsicles… Then for 2 weeks I’ll be on full liquids. (I was surprised, and happy, to learn that sugar free fat free greek yogurt and sugar free pudding are OK at this stage because they melt in your mouth.) I’ll need to eat 2-3 TB of food 6-8 times a day. Each ‘meal’ should take about 20 minutes, and I’ll need to separate eating and drinking by 20 minutes as well. Through these 2 weeks I’ll also be drinking the meal replacements and protein supplements and getting in my 64 oz of water. The protein goal from here out is 60-80g per day. I’ll also be taking 2 bariatric multivitamins daily for the first 4 months, then dropping to 1 per day for life. B12 once a week for life.
For weeks 3 & 4 I move to puréed foods, which frankly sounds revolting, but again: I’ll do whatever it takes. This includes scrambled eggs and cheese-in-a-blender, soup-in-a-blender, chicken and vegetables-in-a-blender, and so on. It’s real food, just overcooked and mushy. And blenderized. I’ll be eating 2-4 TB of food and drinking the protein drinks according to the same guidelines as above. The priority of foods is protein first, then vegetables, then lastly carbs if I have any room.
In week 5 I move to soft food for a week. This includes scrambled eggs-not-in-a-blender, overcooked vegetables, moistened ground beef and ground turkey, sauces, and similar soft foods. I’ll be eating 2-4 TB 6 times a day per the guidelines above. I’m supposed to only add one new food each meal at most. That way I’ll know the culprit if any food gives me a hard time. I’ll also be having the protein shakes on the above schedule.
Week 6 is real food! Hallelujah! I imagine (hope?) that by this time I’ll be craving normal food. Again, one new food per meal, and I’ll be eating 5-6 times a day. No more protein shakes. The goal now is to get the 60-80g of protein through a normal diet alone.
Some tips she had for me:
- At around 6 months you’ll get to your “new normal” for portion size. Stick to that portion size for life, as opposed to slowly letting it slide upwards.
- The three most important things to remember are: portion control, calorie density (basically: don’t eat gallons of peanut butter and avocados), and getting in enough exercise.
And there are a couple of things I need to work on before the day of surgery:
- I need to quit coffee (gasp). It is a diuretic (bad) and an appetite suppressant (also bad).
- I don’t eat breakfast, but she wants me to start having at least something small. I think I can manage a cheese stick.
And that’s what happens when you meet with a dietitian before gastric sleeve surgery, or at least, that’s what my meeting was like.
Did you have a similar meeting? Were there any surprises? Did it leave you feeling more or less confident about your plan to have surgery? Were all your questions answered?