Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cute, New Dishes

Thank you, Katherine, for the wonderful little dishes.  A 1/2 cup fits perfectly.  (That's my baby spoon that reads "Kimberly").

If you're going to go small, better go with something that nourishes the eyes as well.  So much nicer than eating out of a Pyrex measuring cup.  Again, thank you, Katherine!  Love my new dishes.

Less Swelling = More Hunger

I thought I was getting cheated out what other band users feel the first week after surgery:  No Hunger!  Turns out if you have little post surgical swelling, you will experience more hunger.  Ah, an explanation for what I've been feeling.  So I didn't receive the placebo Lap Band, I just am an excellent surgery-recoverer.  That's the good word from my flattery-proficient bariatric surgeon whom I saw in Bremerton for my first check up.

I have no restrictions at the moment (other than the band itself) and have had no fills.  Those saline fills will start 4 weeks from now when we can be reasonably assured that all that fine stitchery holding the band in place on my stomach is healed. 

Oh, I shouldn't have had the little piece of octopus that was in my Sun Du Bu soft tofu soup yesterday?  Surgeon not impressed.  Even after describing how I HAD chewed that tiny piece into a pudding-like paste (I chose to follow the intent of the pudding-like consistency law rather than the letter of said law), he was insistent on NO SOLID foods for the next two weeks.  Something about not blowing his stats...  Okay, my bad.  You win.  I get pudding-like consistency.  Time to break out that baby food mill.

Am reading "If The Buddha Came To Dinner:  How To Nourish Your Body To Awaken Your Spirit" on the ferry ride back to Seattle.  Trying to take care of the head while addressing the body.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Less IS More

I knew forced mindfulness would happen.  I was looking forward to it.  Today begins my change to mushy, well-chewed, pudding-texture foods.  I started experimenting a little early at Rosita's Family Mexican restaurant last night.  I ordered a side of refried beans and guacamole and had about 1/4 - 1/3 cup total volume for my meal that lasted as long as my family members who ordered enchiladas and burrito plates.  What a joy to have a taste other than a sweet protein drink.  The beans where silky with just a bit of texture.  My job was to eliminate that texture before I swallowed so as not to dislodge or irritate Quatto in anyway.  Voila..suddenly very mindful of what was in my mouth, where it was inside my mouth, judging if I should swallow, noticing flavors, and being, well, what they say we should all be when we eat:  mindful.  Delightful!

Today featured about a 1/2 cup of soft tofu in a kimchi broth at Olympus spa.  Again, complete mindfulness. There was so much more nuance to the soup than I ever would have noticed before.  When you're analyzing when it's properly time to swallow, you get to taste every bit of your food on every bit of your tongue.  Now, how often does that happen in real life?  Again, delightful!

I think the bits and tastes of solid foods in the past 24 hours, have been more satisfying and certainly more enjoyable than the last two weeks of of pre-surgery celebratory, "good bye to food" eating.  Maybe it is all about quality and not about quantity.

Quatto-Fueled Fury

At seven days post-op, I'm past (and quite finished) with the all-liquid diet phase of recovery.  To tell the truth, I was tired, hungry and irritable at all of life the past three days.  The high-point of irritation occurred at the Ballard Pool prior to my six-year-old's swimming lessons.  The class just ahead of us is a parents-and-tots sing-and-swim class.  It's great.  I did it with both my kids.  What I DID NOT do was pile my back packs, towels and shoes on the treaded bleacher stairs so no one else could use them.  This wildly ignited my anger.  Wildly!  With my Quatto-enhanced fury, I cleared the treaded stairs of others' stuff, moving everything three feet to the left and marched to the top bleacher where I dared and glared the next navel-gazing, Ballard hipster parent to stack their kids' Uggs where everyone else needs to walk.  Totally Dirty Hairy move, right?  Thanks, Quatto for giving me the quick furry to get the nasty business done.  Looking forward to working on more civil vigilantism projects with you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day Four..Get Back to Work? I Don't Think so..

The lady in the Lap Band brochure said she felt like going back to work by day 4.  Whoa!  Me, not so much.  I still have a little inferred pain in my left shoulder and sitting for more than an hour is quite painful on the incisions.  We'll see what an afernoon of napping and light work can accomplish. 

I've discovered I will never be a narcotic addict.  I can do nothing but sleep when I use my pain medication.  There is to functionality there for me.  No "light computer work".  I can manage a little stoner-vaccuming before I have to lay down and nap.

I do have an interview later on tonight.  I scheduled that thinking, like the lady in the damn brochure "I'd feel like going to work on Day 4".  I suspect I'll be able to pull it together for an hour this evening.  Vicodin-free, even.

Thank you all for the kind words in your emails and phone calls. They help enormously.  Today feels like it's going to be a pretty emotional day. I knew making drastic physical changes would bring into sharp relief equivalent emotional changes.  At least I'll have some interesting "material" to bring to my next group session at Greenlake Nutrition.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's Happening Now..Recovery

Here's a handy link for understanding recovery in the first days and weeks after placement of the Lap Band.


Good Morning..Day 3

Morning.. Easier deep breathing this morning.  Woke to do dishes and laundry.  Hoping to have a BM at some point today.  I entertained the kids at dinner last night with the longest, lowest, rumbliest gass-fest.  So, we know the GI system is working.  Fingers crossed for some "productivity" later on today.

Today my goal is 64 -84 oz of fluid + 30 grams of protein. 

I'm thirsty, thirsty, thirsty.  I've noticed I'm pretty swollen in the fingers, wrists and ankles.  I'm going to see if the extra fluid consumption and maybe a long bath with epsom salts will do the trick in pushing this fluid back into the circulatory system.

Afternoon... I think I let the pain get ahead of me this morning.  I ended up soaking in the tub with a couple of bags of epsom salts to reduce swelling and get things moving.  I napped from 9am - 1pm..in the tub and woke up feeling great.  The water allowed me to take deeper breaths and stretch out my torso.  Since the brusing on the incisions is looking uglier today, I thought I'd try some Arnica to hasten healing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For Those Who Like Stats..I'll update the Ticker Every Week.

Day After Surgery..How'd I Get Here?

I began studying natural and intuitive eating about three years ago.  I can't remember exactly where I heard of the method (a blog, I believe) but it's principles seemed sound and grounded in logic and best nutritional practices.  Intuitive Eating, as defined by Tribole and Resch (2003) is simply following these ten principles:

1.  Reject the Diet Mentality
2.  Honor Your Hunger
3.  Make Peace with Food
4.  Challenge the Food Police
5.  Feel Your Fullness
6.  Discover the Satisfaction Factor
7.  Cope with Your Emotions Without Using Food
8.  Respect Your Body
9.  Exercise-Feel the Difference
10. Honor Your Health-Gentle Nutrition

After two years of trying to practice intuitive eating, most principles clicked for me except for #5, Feeling Your Fullness (I didn't) and #7, Coping With Your Emotions Without Using Food ( I couldn't).  I knew I needed more serious support for both.  The best support group for me continues to be Greenlake Nutrition's "Women's Emotional Eating Workshop".  Here's a testimonial I wrote for them last year:

"...I just finished a 5-week group counseling workshop with Ying and Julie at Green Lake Nutrition. One of the best self-care efforts I've ever undertaken. If you're looking for clarity and help transforming your relationship with food that empowers you to make healthy living a daily practice, I cannot imagine a better resource.  The $$ to value ratio was fair and both Ying and Julie are fantastic counselors:  Compassionate, inspiring and real masters at getting our group of six women to open our hearts and let our hair down. If you’re someone who reacts intensely to feelings and emotions (your own, others’, etc..) and uses food to mask, anesthetize or otherwise cope with said feelings to the point where it affects your life negatively, you might find this type of group counseling a life-saver."  - KJ

And, I have found it a life-saver.  I am more at peace with feeling feelings and have quite an arsenal of new coping skills when dealing with life's unpleasantness.  I'm quite certain this quest for equanimity and mindfulness requires lifelong practice and that the increase in day-to-day happiness makes the practice well worth it. 

However, the more research I did on over-eating the more I discovered the disconnect some folks have between feelings of fullness, satiation and the hormones ghrelin and leptin.  For a variety of reasons, many overweight and obese people have out-of-whack hunger and metabolic hormones.  And, mindfulness or not, if you're getting a chemical signal to GO EAT NOW or don't have the chemical signal that readily says STOP EATING NOW, you're just hanging on by sheer will.  And that is exhausting and not sustainable.

The relationship between emotions, hormones and the brain and body's chemical signals is complex and opinions will vary about how to approach.  I'm curious about combining a surgical approach to help control the hunger and hormonal aspects of over-eating with continued emotional eating counseling to build mindfulness and coping skills.