Okay, so yesterday I offered a play-by-play of the past week’s events; it wasn’t very exciting stuff but needed to be done…sorry for the bore fest.

On to the touchy feely stuff…

Christmas Eve was my first outing since the surgery- it had been six days since the big day. Originally it was decided that we weren’t going to join my family on the “Eve” and instead they would come over to our house Christmas afternoon to exchange present and hang out– we all assumed I wouldn’t feel up to going anywhere, but come Friday morning I was feeling confident that I was up for the festivities of Christmas Eve.

Side Note: I still can’t believe how good I’ve felt throughout this process. I joked with Brett last Friday that I wasn’t convinced that the surgeon actually did the procedure. I felt too good…and I was HUNGRY! Perhaps he just made a few incisions, scrambled my guts for a minute, stitched me back up and took an extra long coffee break. I had expected to not have an appetite for a long time but my stomach was growling and the clear liquids were NOT cutting it! Thank goodness for Tylenol with Codeine- made the hunger pains vanish!

Back to the point of this blog entry…Christmas Eve in my family IS Christmas. We have a spread that could feed an army- cold cuts, cheeses, olives, ham rolls (we’ll get to those later) crudite, more cheese and crackers and pepperoni and dough balls (oh man! the dough balls!) plus 15 different kinds of cookies and the night is topped off with a huge pot of linguini with clam sauce. It’s quite the occasion. It’s kind of an open house sort-of-party, people stop by, eat a little, drink a little, talk a little and eat some more.

Before we left to head west to L-town, I packed a cooler with a can of broth, a clear protein powder drink mix and an eight pack of homemade Crystal Light popsicles. Oh and my pain meds…I was prepared! I had taken my meds at three o’clock and would be due again at seven- I was good to go!

When we got there, my sisters dining room table was already lined with food– it was beautiful. My first glance was a bit emotional. I actually felt a little choked up knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat any of the once-a-year Italian delicacies…but I took a deep breath and said to myself, “you’ll live, Andrea” and that was that. The mourning was over. I did find myself wanting to grab a piece of cheese or salami or SOMETHING a few times but that was only out of habit and because it was there. It was weird to NOT walk by the table and snag a cookie but it wasn’t hard. There were a few times that I contemplated pulverizing a ham roll in my sisters blender- technically I was supposed to be on CLEAR LIQUIDS until Monday, BUT I felt like I was ready for some blenderized food– but I didn’t. When the dough balls (perhaps the best part of Christmas Eve) went in the fryer, I heated up my can of broth and sipped it spoonful by spoonful. It hit the savory spot and I survived the DOUGH BALLS!

My family kept giving me apologetic looks. They felt bad eating in front of me and were sorry that I couldn’t enjoy the food with them– but really, I was okay. I wasn’t sad at all. I knew when my surgery date was scheduled that I wouldn’t be eating on Christmas and I was okay with that…I still am. Eating is what got me to where I am now (or was, 20lbs ago– yes, I’m down 20lbs since the two-week-prior liquid diet!) and I knew I would survive without dough balls- I’m living proof to show that it IS possible to survive with dough balls- it IS surprising, but true.

I made it the whole night sipping soup and sucking on my Chrystal Light popsicles- which happened to be a big hit with all the kids that were there- I was happy to share. I made it the whole night without temptation until JUST before we left. Remember those ham rolls I mentioned before? Remember how I thought about blending one up? Well, I didn’t go that far, BUT I did squeeze the cream cheese out of one and swirled it around in my mouth for a minute- it wasn’t even enough to swallow, but it sure was tasty. Who knew ham infused cream cheese could be so delectable?

The next day I decided I was ready to start my pureed diet. Brett made me four hard boiled eggs which I practically liquified with some mayo and calorie free honey mustard and I boiled a potato to make mashed potatoes. They were the best “egg salad” and mashed potatoes I’d EVER had! I finally finished off that egg salad this morning for breakfast and I still have half the mashed taters in the fridge. Crazy, huh?

So what HAVE I been eating? Well, eggs salad and mashed potatoes- two table spoons at a time. The hardest part is not drinking 30 minutes before, with or 30 minutes after eating. I’m finding that I’d rather drink water than eat and occasionally “forget” about the 30 minute rule. It’s hard I tell you! HARD! Perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever done! Okay, now that’s an exaggeration, but it is hard. Actually, I’ll tell you what’s harder than hard…GETTING IN ALL THE FRICKEN VITAMINS THAT I’M SUPPOSE TO GET IN MY BODY IN ONE FREAKIN DAY!!! I’ve accomplished this ONCE so far. It seems near impossible. —I know, I don’t need a lecture. I’ll try harder. I promise.

I guess that’s all for now. So far so good. I feel fantastic and I have nothing to complain about. I will try to update at least once a week to keep track of my progress and document my journey.

Oh one last thing that you may find funny or disgusting or just plain wrong, but I’m happy to report that not only have I not thrown up even once (a common occurrence with gastric by-pass) but my bowels are working like the old pros they are- this makes me extremely happy!

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