Friday, December 21, 2012

What I Have Learned About Healthy Weight Gain

Hello to anyone who is still checking in. I appreciate any of you who still do. Hope the cricket chirping is not terribly annoying. The pace is about to pick up soon. I have little choice but to et out of bed or else these days. Sitting up at the computer is about the only activity I have the energy to do, so that is it by defeat. I am enormously frustrated with politics and have not watched a lick of television since the grisly school shooting last week, so Lord knows what I will write about.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I was hospitalized again for six days to be treated for dehydration and a potassium deficiency. Apparently, losing nutrients effects people in different ways. I lose potassium as I grow weaker. By grow weaker, I am trying to avoid the word barf for the sake of polite company. There is also a peculiar notion that if one is having trouble eating, hospital food is the way to go. Figure that one out. The bottom line here is that is have lost six more pounds. I am not at 68 pounds--please do not try to visualize it--so we have had to take a far more aggressive diet.

I would like to tell you I have some interesting stories about it, but I do not. I am drinking protein shakes and muscle maintenance powers mixed in with fruit juice that would make a billy goat gag, but I do not have a choice. There is not much choice. I have nearly lost a third of my ideal body weight. While no medical professional thinks I am in danger of damaging my heart or kidneys yet, there is not a lot of wiggle room left, either.

For the rest of this post, I am going to ramble on about some technical stuff about the mistakes that were made for me to reach this points and the solutions I am currently working. I am a “hits is hits” kind of blogger, and google brings a handful of visitors everyday looking for posts I wrote years ago about my detached retina and diverticulitis. There is bound to be more folks out there dealing with rapid weiht loss who would be interested. Feel free to skip it. You are not missing any thing.

Some big mistakes were made post-surgery largely because I recovered from the burst iverticula so quickly. There was a false sense my general digestive health was just as resilient. In fact, my instructions upon release from the hospital were: Eat. Eat anything. Eat everything. You can’t eat enough. You are severely malnourished. Those instructions would have been fine if I had been as healthy as assumed.

Here are some bullet point issues:
Gatorade is a good idea as a general drink for this kind of recovery, but if it is not matched nearly drop for drop with water, you are wasting your time trying to stay hydrated.
Quit drinking ginger ale, especially if your food intake drops. I started drinking ginger ale when it was the first clear liquid drink given to me once the NV tube was pulled. It is gentle on your stomach for a while, but you soon should switch to something else. I kepy drinking it for weeks. Right before my last hospitalization when my food intake was nearly down to nothing, I would wretch and gag because of nausea, but the only thing coming up was painful carbonation because I kept drinking ginger ale on an empty stomach.
No sweets at all. That includes cereal like Frosted Flakes or donots, which is what I generally ate for breakfast pos-surgery. They do not sit well, and dry you right up. I had some temporary lactose intolerance problems, to boot.
Forget fast food even if it does pack on the pounds.Those are the big mistakes that have landed me in the hospital twice after a month-long stay in the first place. Here are the major points of my course correction:
Drink water until you pee like a race horse. Water is really the only way to stay hydrated period, but especially when you cannot eat.
Cheerios exclusively for breakfast. They are bland, but very healthy, which is why they give them to finicky children to eat. I eat honey nut Cheerois because they do have a little more flavor with the same benefits.
Eat smaller meals to feel less pressure to fill up even when you are not hungry. People not in a similar situation do not seem to undrrstand thay even though I have lost thirty pounds in seven weeks, food is not appetizing to me riht now. I am passed the hunger point.
Drink Ensure. I drink four a day. I have one as a beverage with each meal and one before bed. They are only eight ounces, but have 350 calories each. The strawberry are too icky sweet for more, but I alternate happily between the vanilla and chocolate.
Once a day, mix a muscle maintenance powder into a drink to prevent atrophy. This is the worst thing I have to do these days. I have yet to find a tasty combination.
Broiled, boiled, or baked meat. nothing else. I altnate between ham, turke, and roast beef slices straight from the deli.
Walk around the house twice a day not matter how bad you feel. I am still using a walker because of my weakened leg muscles, but I go anyway in order to et out of bed. Be careful there is always somewhere to sit just in case. If you think you are going to fall, you are.
Use a multivitamin. I have the chewy, Gummy Bear type. Do not laugh. They are packed with what I need.
Pray. A lot. For patience and endurance. I have always been a very thin person not much interested in food. Having to spend so much time on the issue now is an ordeal only people recovering from eating disorders likely understand.
I have pretty much summed up what is going on in my life these days. Prayers and well-wishes are very much appreciated. Hopefully, something I have said might be helpful to someone in return. I shall blog again when I blog again. .

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