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Surgery tomorrow!

July 23, 2017

I’ve been scheduled for surgery tomorrow. That means I’m super excited and somewhat nervous. We met with the surgeon last week, and he seemed very smart and good at his job by all accounts, which is to say online searches and word of mouth.

In order to prepare for surgery, I’ve been on a liquid diet except for some very low-carb raw veggies since the moment I heard I was cleared, July 13th. The drinks I’m allowed to have are all “meal replacement” high protein, low carb and low fat drinks. They’re very disgusting, being chalky and sickeningly sweet, but I’ve been extremely diligent, learning to drink them quickly and try not to gag.

Since my overall calorie intake has been less than 800 calories per day, I’ve been in ketosis since around the 15th, which means I have been burning body fat (it also means I’m not exactly starving – appetite is subdued in ketosis). This is exactly why I’m on the pre-op diet: to get rid of the extra fat hanging around on my liver and around my stomach. This will make it easier for the surgeon to get to my stomach laparoscopically tomorrow.

One thing that upset me a couple of days ago is that I was feeling very weak, confused and disoriented. I could barely walk around after waking up. I guessed that simply being on such a low calorie diet might explain such symptoms, but I also started desperately craving salt, to the point where I cheated: I ate two small pieces of grilled skinless boneless well-salted chicken. I simply couldn’t resist the saltiness. Then I looked into the salt content of the “meal replacement” drinks: they don’t have enough salt, even though they’re supposed to provide all the vitamins and minerals my body needs. What?!

When you add to that the fact that it’s extremely hot outside, so I sweat profusely every time I take a walk, I realized I was sodium deprived. This could actually be very unhealthy and possibly dangerous. It’s upsetting that I was making myself sick by following directions carefully. I modified my diet to include chicken broth and now I feel perfectly fine, but it made me wonder how the directions could be so badly off. Wouldn’t other people have noticed this defect?

Well, that brought me to a google search, with the result that I found an online bariatric pre-op diet forum which explained to me the following:

  1. there are lots of different pre-op diets
  2. some of them tell you to have chicken broth or even lean meats or even crackers
  3. nobody, or at least very few people, seem to actually follow these diets
  4. some people are hilariously bad at following their diet
  5. or maybe it’s really sad, but I chose to find it hilarious
  6. except for the crazy people who are eating sandwiches right before surgery and planning not to tell their surgeon
  7. that could actually kill you
  8. yes, I realize that the people on a forum like that are self-selected, but even so

Long story short, I think I’ve been more than sufficiently compliant on my diet, and I will tell the nutritionist at Columbia Presbyterian to add “broth” to the daily schedule.

Today it’s all liquid, I’m not even allowed to have raw veggies. Tomorrow I don’t get to eat or drink at all in preparation for the surgery.

Wish me luck, friends!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 23, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Good luck.


  2. July 23, 2017 at 7:33 am

    The very best of luck, Cathy!!! Look forward to reading how you’re getting on post op.


  3. July 23, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Good luck, Cathy! Lots of love from Malmö + here’s to a quick recovery afterwards.


  4. Perri McDowell-Demps
    July 23, 2017 at 8:01 am

    God bless the surgeon the nurses the anesthesiologist the operating room the housekeepers n anyone else that will tend to Ms Cathy tomorrow. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laminated Lychee
    July 23, 2017 at 8:30 am

    super…I’ll think of you




  6. July 23, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Best wishes and hope all goes great!

    Here’s lookin’ forward to hearing from you when you’re better.


  7. July 23, 2017 at 9:11 am

    May the force be with you… 😉


  8. Gordon Henderson
    July 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Good luck, Cathy – will be thinking of you and hoping that everything goes wonderfully.


  9. July 23, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Best of luck!


  10. July 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Good luck!


  11. Michael
    July 23, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I hope I he surgeon isn’t using any WMDs. Best of luck!


  12. Ernie Davis
    July 23, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Good luck, Cathy!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. July 23, 2017 at 11:38 am

    It’s horrid to be on such a restrictive diet. I’ve had to empty myself several times in the last twenty years before having a colonoscopy. The last stage of cleansing your colon is to drink like a gallon or more of this awful stuff. There must be a better way to do it. Every time my doctor tells me it’s time for a follow-up colonoscopy, I mentally cringe.


  14. nkossmd
    July 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    You never have to doubt that you are doing the right thing. Spoken from a surgeon involved in bariatric surgery. PS: I interned at P&S many years ago!!


  15. Carolyn
    July 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Best of luck!


  16. July 23, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Waiting for your comeback. Hope you’ll be fine soon!


  17. July 23, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Sending all good health wishes your way, Cathy. Your observations have made me fascinated w a topic about which I thot I cared little. You have put a human – and a caring and interesting human at that – face on it. ❤️😻


  18. dmf
    July 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    don’t let them rush you home and get a good looking over before you leave the hospital, also please be kind to yourself in terms of time for healing (easier said than done I know), best, dirk

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Jeff
    July 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Best of luck for a speedy recovery

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Benjamin Mark Lynch
    July 23, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Good on you for following doctor’s orders! Best of luck with the surgery and hope to see you posting again soon!


  21. jim
    July 24, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Very best of luck with your surgery. It boggles me that people would not follow a diet in preparation for surgery and I think it boggles me more that the diet would miss something as obvious as salt.


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