Updated: Jun 21, 2019
Most great groups I have been a part of have required a hazing period. It may have been a formal process, as one experiences when joining new drum corps, or it may have been the more subtle and defacto skill testing of a new work tribe. But the hazing period before me now is one that will lead me to the other side of the knife, to a growing group of people that have made it onto “the loser’s bench”.
My gastric bypass surgery is in 8 days. I am on day 6 of what is called the Pre-Op Liquid Diet. This diet is almost exactly what it sounds like. I get 4-5 protein shakes a day (3-4 hours apart) and at least 64 oz of water. Our only saving grace for texture is sugar free jello, pudding and popsicles. The purpose of the diet is to shrink the size of your liver which needs to be moved out of the way during surgery. I have chosen to see this diet as a hazing. Testing my commitment to this choice.
I was not ready for how quickly it would affect me on day 1. Despite staying on schedule with shakes, water, and a good salty broth for lunch, by noon I could feel a headache a brewing, and by 2:30 I was struggling to focus on anything being said in our hospice meeting. Thankful for the millionth time that I work with the world’s most compassionate, they got my report and I was on my way... in the most direct path I could take to my bed. That night I crashed hardcore from 4-7, woke up to down more water and another protein shake and headed right back to bed by 9:45.
Day 2 My day off and I was up early, feeling rested and optimistic. I ran the twins in to school, on a rare morning they missed the bus, and headed over to grab some rotisserie chickens from the pig. It was time to make some killer chicken broth! This may be a hazing, but that’s no reason not to make the most of it. I‘ve really loved making home made soups for years now and soon I was back in my zone. It was just one day of only liquids, but I already had a deeper appreciation for the beauty, textures, sounds and smells of the food we work with and consume every day. The simple act of making broth became therapeutic and brought me to the present moment.
I was able to enjoy all day until the afternoon when the headache from hell returned. Seriously, I’ve been filling wls support groups for a couple years now. They always talked about how hard the liquid diet was but I always figured it was because it was severely limited not because it made you feel like crap. I now know it is coined the “carb flu”. My body went into shock over the drastic change in diet and started detoxing at an accelerated rate. The super delicious chocolate cake I made for Memorial Day probably didn’t help at all either Well, now you know and can learn from my mistake and prepare.
Day 3 As I packed up my work bag I gave in and packed the Tylenol. Put myself on a 4 hr Tylenol schedule and made it through work; still fatigued, but made it through all the same. I took a much needed pre-supper nap and after my broth and shake I took some glam shots for our grass fed beef marketing. It’s strange, I know, but literally putting a spot light of a porterhouse and cleaning up all its edges gave me an even deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made for us to live. The beauty of the life cycle, basic and sacred.
Friday I only worked a half day due to a funeral in the afternoon. Physically I felt so much better. I woke up early and ready to get at my day. No headache, no fogginess. I packed a bag with two water bottles, a protein shake and my protein boosted decaf coffee. If only I had planned ahead as well for my afternoon in town. Do yourself a favor. Always carry a water bottle and plan your food for EVERY part of your day! Hangry does not quite cover my level of irritation that afternoon, but once we got back and I could pacify the beast. I actually had an awesome night chillin outside reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly while hubby did a break job on the truck, summer tunes rocking, and our 12-year old cooking on the grill. Damn did those steaks smell and look good, but I was already learning to use my other senses more so I really enjoyed watching them dig in!
While hubby worked on Saturday, the kids and I deep cleaned the house. The day at home was surprisingly easy. Even though I was in the kitchen a lot. I enjoyed creating space in the cupboard for my new life. Shaker bottle, protein mix tubs, back up boxed broth Etc. Whipped up 5 batches of sf Jello, and bagged up the next batch of beef bone broth for the freezer. So overall productive and feeling in control. Packed a bag supper when we headed over for dinner at my mil’s. The extended family gets together for big family dinners at least once a month but usually more often. I was a little concerned that I would feel odd for not eating the same thing or miss out on something but absolutely not! It was neither ignored nor spotlighted in a way to make me uncomfortable. Just family dinner as usual.
Just when I was thinking it was going to be smooth sailing I was hit with the realization that tonight would be exactly one week from. The night I would be packing my bags to go to the hospital, washing my skin with special cloths and obstaining from putting ANYTHING in my mouth until I awoke from surgery... yeah... this is really fucking happening this time. And what did I do? I cheated. I consciously choose to make my son a cheeseburger for supper knowing I wouldn’t be able to resist. I knew so well that I made two patties to prepare for my failure. All while made his burger I also started collecting my meal items and warming my broth. Hmm so maybe I wouldn’t cheat. (Bah hah! Right!) No, I was cheating because I was freaking the fuck out. Does that mean I am destined to fail after wls like all the food police and perfect post-ops say? Who is to know? But you know what I did after I ate that glorious burger piece by piece right out of the damn frying pan. I made my son a plate and went to take a shower. I chose to remove myself from the kitchen before I devoured everything in site. So you know what? I‘m going to choose to see this as a victory and another important step on my journey.
Peace out y’all. (8 sleeps left)