Just Keep Swimming

Mingus July 2019. SMD
Mingus July 2019. SMD

OK. Long overdue this update. I wanted to have a full week of good days behind me. Start off with the good news. But that hasn’t happened yet. On top of that my attention span is all of about five minutes. I jump from task to task.

All is well. I am well. My one month follow up, lifted my spirits big time. I thought I was failing at everything. Not getting my 64 oz. of water daily, having a had time getting the quarter-sized vitamins down. Sometimes losing my meals and having to start all over on clear liquids. Broth and Jello.

But I am right on schedule. It takes time to build up to 64 oz. a day. And now I have the vitamin schedule down. One of them can’t be taken close to meals, because it competes with protein for absorption. I get at least 48 oz. of water and that is great.

I can’t drink right before a meal, or right after. Or with. So hard for me. I am used to drinking water consistently throughout the day. And the feeling that tells me I am full, is the same feeling that I had previously when I needed to wash my food down. Nice. LOL. I usually stop eating before that point. But sometimes the feeling comes later. I have to be very conscious of my drinking habits. I have to sip small sips. Very hard on a hot day. Or a thirsty one.

From A Distance. August 1, 2019. SMD
From A Distance. August 1, 2019. SMD

It was such a relief to know I am doing better than I thought. I was sure I was botching it all up. Worst patient ever. NOT! Whew!

In my online searching, I found a site with great recipes for bariatric patients. The author also posted about what not to say to someone who has had bariatric surgery. This paragraph was a message from above. It found me at exactly the right time.

Imagine you woke up tomorrow with the stomach of a newborn baby, but the mind of your adult self. So you can’t eat much. New foods make you sick. But sometimes they don’t. But sometimes they do. And you don’t know when they will or won’t. And your body needs so many calories to survive but you’re incapable of eating that many calories, so you’re tired. But you also need to exercise to lose weight, even though you are tired. While you’re doing all this, you have to address the emotional attachments you had with food and the toxic relationships you had with people that made you turn to food in the first place. And while you’re doing all that, someone, somewhere is telling you that you took the “easy” way out.

Whew! It is not just me doing it wrong. This is how it is. That is it exactly. Sometimes I can eat cottage cheese. YUM! And the next day, I can’t. One day I had fish, and another day, Oh Lord. Then to have the doctor tell me I am doing great. Look great. Healing fabulously. What a relief!

After my last post. Just out of the hospital. First week, was smooth. Clear liquids. Doing great, even ran some errands. Ha ha ha.

Not so fast Charlie Brown.

Second week. Starting soft foods. Following my rulebook. Had soft scrambled eggs for lunch. Oh, I missed eggs. Before bed, I took my evening meds. Seemed fine. But a tiny, teeny little pill brought me to my knees. Horrendous pain. Everyone had gone to bed. We were still at my brother’s house in Phoenix. The whole house heard me scream out in pain. I was dripping sweat, nauseous, and just mumbling. Telling them to call an ambulance. Call the hotline. Call somebody. LOL.

If any of you have had the pain of a gallstone. This felt the same. Intense. Excruciating.

My brother got a hold of the night nurse. She heard me yelping. Gently told us that it would pass. It would either come up, or go down. She said if I went to the hospital all they could do was hydrate me and give me something for the pain. EXACTLY! Hello.

After he disconnected, as we all debated driving 30 minutes to the hospital. It came out. Thank you Jesus! Instant blessed relief. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Storm Light. August 2019. SMD
Storm Light. August 2019. SMD

I was sore for several days. Back on clear liquids. Afraid of ingesting food at all. Heavy on the prayers. And that is my routine. If I lose a meal. Back to clear. And Pray.

I have been much better since then. But it is up and down. I am much weaker now, after so long on limited intake. I am getting as much as I can. Very sure I get as much protein as possible. Enough vegetables. Some fruit.

Storm setting. August 2019. SMD
Stormy Blue. August 2019. SMD

All I can do is try to laugh sometimes. I asked for this. (shaking head)
I gave the surgeon two thumbs up and a huge smile when she asked if I was sure I wanted to do this. I signed the paperwork. HA ha ha.

I am mostly eating soups. Or pureed soups. Mostly chicken, but some turkey (meatballs with BBQ sauce, divine), Some seafood. Fish once. I am in the soft foods phase for one more month.

I am fine with a limited menu. I don’t mind that really. What’s hard is not knowing. I eat less than half a cup. Tiny amount. Three meals. And I often have a couple of bites of protein later in the evening. Cottage cheese, or more soup.

September 11th I have my meeting with the nutritionist to learn about going to the next phase. I am slightly worried about whether or not I will be ready to do so. But there is time. Staying positive, and moving forward. All I can do.

My scars are minimal. Still healing but WOW, they are not a concern at all. I won’t see the lung specialist until the end of October. I had some tests and an office visit a week ago. He was happy with my progress as well. Giving me time to heal, and then we will repeat the pulmonary function tests and see how I do. And then begin to make plans for going forward.

Let’s see, anything else. OH! My cough is very much improved and will continue to improve for about six months. Oh, yes. My site will be up and down for 3 to 4 days. If all goes well. It is being moved to a new server. And my good friend and talented tech Randy, just broke his wrist. That is not going to help. So for those of you that see this post before it goes down.

I’ll be back.

22 thoughts on “Just Keep Swimming

    1. Sheila Post author

      Thanks so much Juana 🙂 I am grateful, more than I can say 🙂 Making steady improvements, glad to report 🙂 And the site will be completed in a few days.
      Happy creating to you Jauna 🙂

      Reply
  1. Judy Jacobs

    Hang in there, Sheila – healing takes time and your surgery is a life-changing one. I know several people who have been through it and their stories are similar but regrets – haven’t heard any after 6 weeks 🙂 Hugs and prayers to you on this journey and hope each day brings a little less discomfort and more permanent healing.

    Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      Thanks so much Judy. Your wish is my command. LOL. 🙂 Things are a little easier day by day. I suppose I just did not consider the eating part of it as much as I should have. Since the surgery was not primarily for weight loss. 🙂
      Thank you for the good thoughts, prayers, and hugs! I’m grateful Judy 🙂

      Reply
  2. laurie mueller

    Hi Sheila, WOW I have read all of your recent news. I cannot believe what you’ve been through. I love your descriptions of everything, how your humor is always present, and how you tell your story so honestly. Please know that I think of you often and even more so now. I have recently been through a family member’s crisis, and I’ll tell you, EVERY one of my prayers have been answered. You are in my prayers, and I know God is watching over your sweet and caring soul. Keep doing whatever you’re doing because you’re a fighter and a survivor. xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

    Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      OH, Laurie! I am so glad the humor comes through. Sometimes my funny doesn’t work. And I’d hate to sound whiny. I very often think I do. LOL. 🙂
      So glad your family’s crisis has passed and that all is well. AMEN! And AMEN to answered prayers!

      Grateful for your prayers on my behalf Laurie. Your kind and generous words have lifted my spirit more than I can say 🙂
      God bless you dear friend 🙂

      Reply
  3. Teresa Hazelbaker

    Oh, Sheila, I am so sorry to hear about your illness. Last year I ate a lot of tomato basil soup and cottage cheese, too, for a bacterial infection. So, I know how debilitating it is to not be able to keep food where it belongs. But this year I am all better, and pray the same for you. I still have some of your artwork on display in our house. You are in my thoughts, and may the Lord be with you always.

    Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      Oh, Teresa, I am so happy to hear you are doing great! I still remember our conversation about health, and what a blessing good health is. 🙂 So nice to hear you display my art, LOL. I will be sending a new postcard out soon, I think you will like it. I am doing better. I will post this weekend with more.
      Grateful for your good thoughts. Blessings dear friend.

      Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      So nice to hear from you Louise 🙂 I hope all is well with you and your family. Very grateful for your good vibes 🙂

      Reply
  4. carol edan

    Happy and sad! Was so happy to see your post but sad to learn of all the difficulties of the healing progress! But that said, the post itself is a a show of your healing, strong spirit! Thoughts, prayers, and Brachot!

    Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      Thank you Carol. I kept putting off posting. Wanted to be able to say I had a good week, instead of just a good day. LOL. Now, I have had two good days in a row. I’ll just keep building on that. Ha ha ha.
      So grateful for your friendship Carol. Thanks so much for your good thoughts, prayers, and encouragement. Brachot dear friend!

      Reply
  5. Val van der Poel

    Wow! It is so nice to hear from you even though some of your news is concerning. I am sure that it has been frightening for you as it would be for any of us. Wishing you a continued recovery and, hopefully, less pain and stress. Take care Sheila!

    Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      So kind of you Val. Thank you 🙂 Your good wishes will help me more than you know 🙂
      Less pain and stress, the very best wish of all 🙂 LOL. Grateful my friend!

      Reply
  6. blueskyredearth

    It’s hard to believe you can love someone you’ve never met, but I do love you. You a strong, powerful woman and you blow me away with what you do every day to support others even though you are going through all this. It sounds like you’ve found some solutions to your health challenges, it’s just a matter of getting through the next few months, and you will, with the grace and gusto that you approach everything. May the angels shower blessings on you as you heal.

    Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      Aww Sea. Thank you. I certainly do not feel graceful or filled with gusto. That you would describe me as such, well that gives me strength. Things are better, will get better, and so will I. Only some days it is hard to remember. I will hold on to your words like a glowing, light-filled balloon to lead me through the fog.
      Thank you for your prayers my dear dear friend.
      Love to you and your sweet Mum.

      Reply
  7. dotty seiter

    Sheila, immediately after reading your response to the painting of mine that evoked in you a feeling of swimming up from underwater in a cool refreshing pool, I went to see your new post and found it entitled: Just Keep Swimming. !!!

    Thank you so much, for offering up such a detailed helpful report of your post-surgery recovery to date, despite your limited energy. Holy moly. I had no idea. But now I do.

    Your sunny disposition and generosity of spirit are such gifts in this world, Sheila, and they return to you in light, love, and prayer from all those whom you touch. You are infused with and embraced by healing.

    That Storm Light photo: magnificent!

    Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      How funny is that Dotty! 🙂 Must have been mulling in my mind.
      Got lucky with that photo, so glad you love it too 🙂
      Such a wonderful way to start the day, with your joyful, kind declarations. My heart is smiling. Grateful is not a big enough word, to convey what your friendship means to me. 🙂

      Reply
  8. laurelle

    Wow, this chapter of your journey is a doozy. All I can say, all I really know, is everything in this life evolves. This WILL pass. I would hold on to your doctor’s words and truly believe them. He’s not giving you false hope. Everyone that goes through any major procedure such as you have done has to be patient with the body as it readjusts to all that has been done to it. You are healing every second. The first month after my husband’s surgery he regretted doing it. It was quite honestly hell. Two months out he was so much better. Today he’s a new man. Everything takes time, especially our little bodies. Still, I’m here in complete solidarity and sending you everyday prayers and beautiful thoughts. You have got this, Sheila. In a little over a month, you will see the doctor again. They seem to schedule their appointments exactly when they know you will be better so you will have less to complain about 😉 Lots of love and a big hug!!

    Reply
    1. Sheila Post author

      Brought me to tears Laurelle. So thankful my friend for your prayers and solidarity! You are a treasure!
      So happy to hear about your husband’s recovery. Happy for his good health. And your sharing it inspired me 🙂 I know, and remind myself, that the Lupus very likely adds to my healing time. It is not a small thing. And the reconstruction, LOL, is a big adjustment.
      Thanks so much for cheering me on 🙂 (Here come the tears.)
      Hugs Laurelle 🙂

      Reply

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