Adjusting To Life After Surgery

Adjusting to life after surgery.

And learning how to eat again.

And new rules to live by for the rest of my life.

This last Wednesday I’m happy to announce that my Doctor cleared me to start eating again.  Starting with clear liquids, working my way to soft foods, and one of these days I’ll be able to eat any food with no limitations.  I’m super excited about that.  But there are new rules that I have to live by for the rest of my life.

For those of you that don’t know I had an esophajectomy two weeks ago.  That means the Doctor removed my entire esophagus and moved my stomach up to my throat to create a knew one.  Crazy stuff.  But it will help me be able to eat food again my mouth.  Before the surgery I couldn’t eat anything by mouth.  I was on a feeding tube for a couple months.  You can read more about that here.  But this is more of a celebratory Blog to show that I’ve gotten through all that and overcame.

The new rules I have to live by has everything to do with the fact that there is no valve at the top of my esophagus/stomach any more.  I’m an open bottle.  So don’t tip me upside down, everything I ate will pour right out.  Unless you do it really fast, centrifugal force, then it might be okay.  Just kidding.  

If I lay down flat or bend over for too long, all my foods gonna come back up.  So rule #1: No laying down flat.  And rule #2: No bending over.  My wife and I got an adjustable bed for rule number one.  But for rule number two I really have to learn how to do things without bending over.

The best practice would be to start picking things up like a toddler where I bend down with my knees instead of bending at the waist.  The funny thing is that is probably a more healthy way to pick things up anyways.  It’s crazy how we grow out of good habits like that when we get older.  Goes with the old saying, ”Lift with your legs, not your back.”  

I’m still wondering how it will effect my job considering I’m a mechanic on large ships and submarines.  We have to bend over all the time to work and valves and pumps and other components.  Plus squeeze ourselves in very small areas and very awkward positions.  I really don’t want to be on the boat working and all the sudden throw everything I ate up because I’m in a compromising position.  That would be embarrassing.  

Rule number 3: Eat six to eight small meals a day rather than three large meals.  This rule isn’t so bad.  Instead of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I have; breakfast, late breakfast, brunch, lunch, second lunch, dinner, and then either second dinner, or dessert.  Or both.  Which is awesome!  But sadly each meal is only should only be about the size of my fist because my stomach is much smaller now.  But still, I need to eat every two or three hours per Doctor’s orders.  So that’s cool. Rule #4: Sit up perfectly straight while I eat and continue being completely upright of a half hour after I eat. Gravity is my best friend to help my food go down.

So those are my new rules.  I’m still learning how to eat again so I’m not quite at the six to eight meals a day yet.  Which is why I’m still on the feeding tube at night.  But I’m tolerating it better and better each day.  Soon I’ll be able to eat with no problems and I won’t need the feeding tube at all.  Thanks again for all the prayers and support.  And thank you God for getting me through some very hard time and being with me every step of the way.  I’m excited for what the rest of 2020 is going to bring.  New beginnings.  And I’m excited to hopefully be visiting a restaurant again soon.  

P.S. Most people haven’t been to a restaurant in a while because of the Covid19 pandemic.  I haven’t been to one for an even longer while because I couldn’t eat.  But I don’t want to brag.  Lol.  I’ll be going to restaurants again soon.  Plus I saved a bunch of recipes for some good home cooking.  I can’t wait.

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