Today I saw my surgeon for my 1 week follow-up.  Everything is healing well, except the incision at my belly button is a little red and oozy.  The doc said just put some Neosporin on it and keep it covered with a bandage for now.  I’m actually a little excited about that, since it means I get to use my collection of odd bandaids I’ve received as stocking stuffers over the years.  (Bandages that look like pickles, lipstick kisses, Disney characters, etc).  The doctor also cleared me to start exercising again, which I was very happy about.  The only caveat is that I need to refrain from doing any “core” work like sit-ups or plank moves for a few weeks.  Since the muscles of my abdomen were breached for the surgery in four places, they are weak and doing abdominal exercises could cause a hernia which would require more surgery.

Since the last post, I’ve had two normal bowel movements.  I only took stool softners for three days, and after my first normal BM I stopped.  I’ve been drinking a glass of prune juice every day, as well as eating an “Activia” yogurt every day to help my system run smoothly.  It seems to be working, and I’m no longer concerned about constipation.

Yesterday I felt daring and had half of a snack sized cheese stick for lunch.  It was pepper jack, one of my favorites!  Most of the complaints I’ve read have said that cheese is a no-no, as is spicy food, so I thought I’d knock two birds out with the same stone.  I wanted to try out the plumbing, so to speak, with something small but with a bit of a kick to it.  I ate a bowl of soup with crackers, a glass of “green machine” veggie juice, and the half stick of cheese.  I nervously waited for some sort of “explosion” or unhappy gurgling from my innards, but there was nothing.  I had no troubles at all.  For dinner I had pretty much the same thing, and again with no troubles.  Maybe because it was just a small amount of fat as part of the meal which is why I didn’t have any problems.  I plan to slowly up the fat content in meals until I’m brave enough to try eating a cheeseburger.   I’m thinking of this as reintroducing fat to my body, to train it how to deal with it without my gallbladder.  In the meantime I’m still eating simply, and sticking to low fat food.

Today for lunch I made myself my favorite salad: blue cheese crumbles, onion crisps, chicken, with a blue cheese yogurt dressing (Boathouse Farms, if you’re curious).  With it I had a glass of carrot juice, and a “Good Belly” probiotic shot.  They’re sold at Whole Foods and are supposed to help with digestive health, like Activia yogurt.  Again I waited to see if my insides would rebel against this, since this was the most fat I’d eaten in one meal since the surgery (12 grams).  And again, I had absolutely no troubles.

After being cleared to exercise today I did my usual aerobic workout, and in the evening jogged on my treadmill for 25 minutes.  Aside from some soreness at my belly button incision, everything felt like normal.

I weighed myself the other day and was stunned to see I’d lost 5 lbs since surgery.  I’m eating the same amount of calories, yet my physical activity is less than it was before the surgery so to see that on the scale was a surprise.  I think it’s just a reaction to the surgery itself, since it is a trauma to the body.  I expect that once my body settles down a bit it may try to put the weight back on.  But with continued diet and exercise I hope to prevent that!

Getting up from bed doesn’t hurt anymore, so I no longer have to brace my belly and roll out carefully.  Aside from the issues at the belly button incision site, everything is healing well and I feel pretty much back to normal.  I’m so grateful that I haven’t had any problems, and am hopeful I will turn out to be one of the lucky ones whose life isn’t really affected by having their gallbladder out.