Surgery recovery is hard. Adding food back into your diet is always a gambling game. Can I? Should I? Will I? For three to six months after the reconnection surgery, a low fat and fiber diet is recommended.
How can you tell if you’re ready to start adding more fat and fiber? The only thing you can do is try. Sometimes nothing bad happens. Other times you have to work through a little pain or retreat.
And I recently had to retreat a little.
Surgery Recovery Diet Problems
I wanted to have ragu but all the recipes had a ton of fat. Finally, I settled on Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Hearty Mushroom Bolognese recipe. I still had to adjust it some but it came out great. It is very rich, hearty, and complex without all the fat. Lots of fiber though, but luckily I was able to handle it the first day with penne pasta.
The next day I really wanted to try Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats. I used Pinch of Yum’s recipe, adjusting it to reduce the fat and using the ragu sauce I made instead.
It was delicious but the next day, as I was working at a coffee shop, I started getting intense cramps. They were bad enough that I began to get worried again. And for the past two weeks, I haven’t been worried.
I stuck it out but by the time I went home I was whimpering a little. The whole rest of the day went down the drain. I chugged water and drank some gas relief and dandelion leaf tea to help.
The Monster Inside Me
The next day I felt better and went to my second full session yoga class. Yoga is great for checking in with your body and it is still a little strange for me. I’m hanging out steadily around the 99/100 pound range, which is about 20 pounds lighter than my normal weight.
So my body feels different to me. Laying on my back, rolling over to my side, and rolling up and down in yoga is not very comfortable because of all my bony protrusions. But anyway, we were laying back in Supta Baddha Konasana with our hands on our stomachs. And mine felt weird to me.
Most of it was the weight-there was less padding so I was able to feel my organs more easily, my scar tissue, my internal lumps and bumps. I also felt a heartbeat in my hand.
A doctor in the ER during my pancreatitis stay mentioned that he could hear a heartbeat in my stomach, where there isn’t usually one. This was caused by all the rearranging that went on during the long surgery when my colon was removed.
Then something in my stomach started to move like something was crawling in there. I felt like shouting “It’s Alive, IT’S ALIVE,” in Young Frankenstein style.
So I was lying there, feeling my insides and holding my heartbeat in my hand. Needless to say, especially with all the horror novels I’ve been reading in honor of Halloween, I was a little freaked.
I resisted the urge and was able to continue my practice. But I often feel like my digestive system is my own monster, my IT stalking me in the shadows, retaining a will and life separate of my own.