As I’ve suffered through the worst of the last week, some words of wisdom from my Oma, tucked away years and years ago, echoed in my head. “There will come a time in your life, Rebecca, when you’ll try to eat and be unable to tolerate any food at all. When that time comes, the only thing you can eat and tolerate will be saltines.”
Apparently, when she came over on a big ship from Germany in the 1940’s, she got one hell of a case of seasickness, and had said the only thing she ate for 3 weeks (and would stay down) was saltines and water. How right she was.
Having an iron stomach, I never thought I would see the day where it would revolt on me, rejecting pretty much anything I gave it, even water. But apparently, one of the side effects of migraine medication was severe nausea, so in addition to feeling like I was hit by a baseball bat, I got sick as a dog whenever I tried to eat or drink anything.
I’m happy to say things are much better now. The headache (other than some minor ache behind the eyes that feels a bit like eye strain) has been gone for about 2 days now, and the nausea has been gone for about the same amount of time. I have been able to eat little things other than saltines now, like scrambled eggs, cream of wheat, soup, etc. with no problem.
I’ve had serious buyers remorse in the past week. After my first weight loss surgery (a RNY in 2001), I never had the level of restriction that was supposed to come with it. In the end, I was happy about that – even though I didn’t lose all my weight, I had kept off over 100 lbs. And was able to eat like a normal person who hadn’t had weight loss surgery. This surgery was supposed to be completely malabsorptive – he wasn’t touching my pouch at all, and it was supposed to be an easy recovery – I just had to let the intestines rest for a couple of weeks, and would be back up to eating to my previous capacity, just not absorbing it all.
I hadn’t bargained on the hernia repair and the mesh that comes with it bringing a level of restriction that I didn’t even have with the first surgery. Everything in my abdomen is so tight at the moment (and add to it the fact I’m pretty much corseted in a binder for the next 3 months), that my actual capacity is 2-4 oz. at a time. Think of a meal for me as ordering a cup (not bowl) of soup, and only being able to eat half of it before I’m uncomfortably full. I know this level of restriction won’t last forever, but for the time being, it sucks.
I’ve compared it to that episode of The Twighlight Zone where after a nuclear war, the person had all the time in the world to read, their passion in life, only to break their glasses and be unable to read at all. In a way, I had this surgery so I could live to enjoy food on a more healthy level for the rest of my life – at least at the moment, I feel as if I’ve broken my stomach. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony – finally getting to a healthy weight, but unable to ever enjoy food again? If it turns out that way, I think I would have rather been fat and happy.
But things are on an upswing. We’re leaving Brazil for home on Tuesday. I’m finally reading and enjoying food blogs again. I’ve been able to branch out a little bit food-wise (will be posting about the wonderful soup we got here soon), and I should be back to normal, at least blog-wise, in the next week or so. Thank you all for your well wishes, and for bearing with me during the hiatus where food was the last thing I wanted to think about.