I’m still alive! One month now post-gastric sleeve surgery, and I’m taking it day-by-day, meal by meal, ounce by ounce. I keep thinking back to all my fears with blood sugars and blood sugar management around this whole “changing my digestive system from what I knew before,” and now I can’t understand why I was so worried about lows. Honestly, lows have NOT been an issue. I’ve had the occasional, “Oh crap, my Dexcom shows 70 and a down arrow!” but I would take a few sips (literally) of a juice box, and things leveled out almost immediately.

One of the most interesting things about my “new” stomach that is taking some getting used to….food/drink hitting my system literally seconds after I consume it. I spent years figuring out when and how to take my insulin in order to have it be most effective at the time when my food would be digesting. I used square wave and dual wave boluses on my pump like it was my job (well, because diabetes IS like another job, after all.) I rarely pre-bolused before meals…I would wait until right before I ate, and then take insulin in a manner befitting what kind of food I was eating. You know, like for pizza – you take some, square or dual wave some over the next 2-3 hours, then take some more a little later, still go high, correct a bit, and then hope and pray you don’t over-correct. Stuff like that. That system and way of insulin-taking? Gone.

Now, I have to think ahead once again…take little bits of insulin (depending on what I plan to eat or drink) a good 15-20 minutes ahead of time. And I CAN’T forget to eat. I need all the nutrition I can get, and don’t want to waste an eating opportunity on scarfing down a juice box. Because, even though before this surgery, I planned my entire day around eating/insulin/exercise/diabetes, I STILL have to do that now, only adding in the caveat that my stomach will-not-allow me to consume more than a small amount of anything at a time. I get a full feeling very quickly. I cannot really “scarf” down semi-solid foods (I’m still in the pureed stage right now, so things like runny scrambled eggs are a staple.) If I try to take several bites one after the other, it feels like it gets “stuck” somewhere in my upper chest, and is VERY uncomfortable. The other morning, I was in a hurry, and ate my eggs too fast. Big mistake. I saw those eggs again very quickly when I vomited. Lesson learned, but still hard to adhere to.

Eggs and decaf coffee, breakfast of champions

Decaf coffee with Stevia & a little protein powder added into it, and a serving of an egg/egg substitute mixture with a smidge of bacon salt in them. I have to drink my coffee either 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after I eat the eggs. And I’m LUCKY if I can eat as much of the eggs as you see in this picture.

This is my biggest challenge at present: Eating slowly. I know I have to, I know it’s better for me, I know it will help me feel fuller longer (and also cue in faster to when my new stomach is getting full)…..but for years, I’ve been a “get the food in while it’s hot and while you can because your kid is going to need something soon, and then you won’t eat and then your sugar will crash, and then….” kind of person. That habit is really hard to break. But like a lot of things in life now, I’m working on it!

7 thoughts on “E…a…t…i…n…g………S…l…o…w…l…y

  1. I am curious if the food tastes good to you, or is it more just like another medication to balance?

    If you felt like it, could you take a tiny lick of an ice cream cone, or would even that take up too much room?

    This story is incredible. I hope you’ll keep posting!

    • After being on an all liquid (and very bland) diet for 1 week before and 2 weeks after surgery, moving to pureed foods made angels sing in my mouth. Eggs never tasted so good (even when they were mixed with egg whites/egg substitute.) My sense of smell is heightened now more than it ever was. Food tastes AMAZING. Which, I think causes part of my wanting-to-eat-too-fast problem. I apparently have a hard time savoring things. Having patience and moving slowly isn’t something I do by nature. Yes, I could probably just take little tastes of things and it not take up too much room – the other day, I licked the grease on a fork from cooking a hot dog. Man! It was tasty. I can’t really eat meats yet (not even if I pureed them – bleck), and when I can, I shouldn’t be eating hot dogs – need to keep it to lean meats, fishes, etc. I’m sure a bite here and there of something “bad” won’t hurt, but probably best for me to avoid the temptation (as well as the potential stomach upset that would come with it.)

  2. Has it been a month already? Sounds like you’re doing great despite the temporary “reversals of fortune”. Good for you! Hope things continue to get better.

  3. Thanks for the update and glad things are going to plan. I assume we’d all be better off if we ate a little more slowly…

  4. Enjoy your blog and so happy you are adjusting well. Keep up the good writing and good care of yourself!

  5. How are your blood sugars running? I just had VSG and was really high for like a few days after surgery and was fine for stage 1 liquid diet. Now that I’m on stage 2 and introducing protein shakes, it’s going really high again 😦 I’ve made adjustments to my pump but it’s so confusing, and I really DON’T want to get back on glucophage/Victoza (even though I’m type 1).

    • I had some days where I ran high, even on the protein shakes only, so I started back taking my Metformin for now. Asked my endo about it, and what he said makes sense: the surgery doesn’t immediately end your insulin resistance. If it’s due to being overweight, then (obviously) you need to lose a fair amount of the weight before the insulin resistance starts lessening. My sugars are decent now….I have a few spikes here and there – sometimes I can figure out why, sometimes I can’t – but overall, I’d say they are “good.” Most times when they run high, it’s because I *haven’t* eaten anything in too long a time frame, or because I’m partially dehydrated.

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