So far, the worst things about this surgery have been the two-week pre-surgical diet of two meal-replacement protein shakes and a light meal per day and the prohibition of NSAIDs one week before.
Let me just say, the protein shakes aren’t bad. In fact, the chocolate flavor (which I bought) is very similar to the sugar-free chocolate Jello pudding we used to eat when we were on the Atkins diet. Unfortunately, the texture of the shake is quite like the pudding, too. It’s thick and very filling, which makes it tough to drink. It’s rather like trying to ‘drink’ a Frosty from Wendy’s. You kind of inhale with your head back and the bottle tilted to your open mouth; the stuff rolls in there and you gulp it down. No ladylike sipping here. But that’s not the problem.
The problem is, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and these shakes are very sweet. I’m having ‘chocolate pudding’ twice a day, every day, for two weeks. Granted, I could have tried a different flavor — vanilla — but I suspect it would have been the same, or maybe worse, sweetness-wise. Ugh. I’ll be ready to go back to real food after surgery, even if it’s pureed. I just need more of a flavor variety and less sweet stuff. Tomato soup, here I come!
The other problem, which is more distressing to me, is not being able to take my arthritis medication because it’s an NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug) like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back on it after surgery, which would be awful. While my prescription arthritis medication doesn’t take away all the pain, it does make a significant dent in it, which Tylenol does not. Tylenol is great for headaches, but does not touch my joint pain. My other alternative is Oxycodone, which I have been taking in order to sleep comfortably. It does help.
Other than that, I’m feeling good and am mentally ready for this. There’s a little stress in reaching the goal I’ve been working toward for so long, and a little stress from it being Christmas time, but I’m holding up well. I have a great support system.
photo credit Derrick Coetzee