The other day, an acquaintance asked me if I'm a "sleever" now. My beloved band is history and I do indeed have a sleeved stomach (thanks to successful surgery on August 16th). My intensive 19 seconds of research revealed that the correct answer to the question is that I'm now a sleevester - a bandster who became a sleever.
I'm finding that recovering from sleeve surgery is harder and lengthier than recovering from band surgery. I feel OK, but have little energy and get tired easily. I've lost 10 lbs since the surgery, so that's cause for celebration. At my 2-week post-op appointment, my surgeon encouraged me to start transitioning from purees to solid food, and said that the hunger I'm having is because purees don't have the staying power of solid food. Well, I already know all the words to that song, but I'm still wondering about the hunger. I can eat only a few bites of solid food, and about an hour later I'm fiercely hungry again. It's very frustrating. Eventually my body should realize that 75% of my stomach is gone now and ratchet down the production of grehlin (hunger hormone) and acid. The sooner the better as far as I'm concerned.
I'm trying to learn my new "stop eating" signals. With my band, my main stop signals were pressure in my chest and a fullness at the back of my throat. Now I feel pressure or a burning sensation in my upper abdomen, and sometimes the fullness at the back of my throat. If I don't notice any signals and overeat, I feel slightly sick. And speaking of sick...it turns out that sleeve patients can dump (something I thought only bypass patients experience). My surgeon says that's because the stomach is too small to store food and therefore "dumps" it into the intestines, where it spikes the blood sugar. Sugary foods are the main culprit, and I'm finding that sugar lurks where you don't expect it, like creamy poppyseed salad dressing and my favorite Click vanilla latte protein shake. Giving up the Click saddens me because I love that stuff, but sugar in liquid form causes havoc (I get dizzy, sweaty, and nauseated) so quickly that I just can't do it, even if I try to drink the Click slowly. So I'm searching for other breakfast options that are quick, easy, and satisfying.
One of the arguments in favor of VSG surgery is that you're basically done when you leave the operating room. No fills, no unfills....it is what it is. But that's also an argument against VSG. Except for further surgery (which in my case would be duodenal switch since I'm already halfway to the switch part), there's no adjusting my stomach or restriction...it is what it is. So I have to find a way to live with what I've got, like it or not.