Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Hunger Games

Photo Credit: Elaine Russo - Delizie! Arte com Açúcar via Compfight cc

Things are strangely quiet here in the household, the kind of silence that descends in a horror movie right before something lurches out of the shadows. Think Rime of the Ancient Mariner kind of calm. We are 24 hours into Lor's "liquid phase", and...

...What's that? The great majority of you have no idea what I am talking about? Let me back up a bit, then.

Any bariatric surgery is surrounded by several periods of time (or "phases") in which diets are radically changed to either prepare for or recover from surgery. We have been in one of those phases for months now - the low carbohydrate phase, where patients are supposed to drastically reduce their carb intake for the 3 months preceding surgery. However, 2 weeks out from surgery, another major dietary shift occurs. The patient is now required to spend two weeks eating (drinking, really) nothing but protein shakes, clear liquids (like broth), and water. Why? In order to shrink the size of the liver, which has to be moved out of the way (laparoscopically, of course) in order to perform any bariatric surgery. The smaller the liver, the easier it is to move around in the abdominal cavity. But the patient still requires high amounts of protein to stay alive, so protein shakes and vitamins it is.

Immediately upon release from the hospital the patient will go back on the "all protein shakes, all the time" diet. This is to give the digestive system time to recover from the traumas that have been inflicted upon it, but also means that the patient will spend 4 weeks on nothing but protein shakes and an occasional yogurt. Many successful patients report that after they are done, they never want to look another protein shake in the face as long as they live.

We are now 24 hours into Lor's protein shake phase. And, while I had anticipated what would be happening to Lor, I hadn't realized what was going to happen to me as well. You see, I will not be eating any food that Lor loves during this 4 week period. Why torture her like that, right? What I had not anticipated is that, cooking boring food for one, I would be really reducing my caloric intake as well. For example, yesterday, Lor got a whole 750 calories in protein shakes. But, I was right behind her, managing only 950 calories in "real food". Plus, she hit her 60 grams of protein target for the day - I actually missed mine.

I am little perplexed as to what to do next, honestly. Do I increase my intake to make sure I stay sane and stable for the next month? Or do I stick it out, suffering in solidarity with my wife like I had originally planned? I feel pretty decent now, I must admit - I have not suffered through the constant hunger that nothing but protein shakes creates. I think I will just wait and see what happens next.

One thing is for sure, though - the next 4 weeks are going to be more interesting than I initially thought they would be.

Hoping Lor And I Do Not Cannibalize Each Other,

- Hawkwind

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