Saturday, March 14, 2009

Drinking

The greatest concern that the bariatric professionals, particularly the mental health practitioner, of our bariatric treatent team, had about me as a candidate for this surgery, was my alcohol consumption. For years, with the exception of few months that I quit to see if I would lose weight, I drank alcohol, usually daily. We (sue and I) almost always had wine with dinner and I typically drank Irish whiskey, brandy, or vodka. There is great concern in that alcohol consumption within the first 6 months after surgery is harmful and after that, what with the goal being weight loss, alcohol provides calories without nutrients. The quest of the bariatric surgical patient is to find a way to manage to get enough nutrients to be healthy within the limited capacity for eating the surgery leaves one with. If one uses up that capacity drinking or adds additional calories with no nutritional value the concern it either malnutrition or weight gain. And if you have the rouen Y bypass surgery, which is what we are both expecting going into this (t has considerable likelihood that her medical history will necessitate them shifting mid-procedure to sleeve gastrectomy), and you drink, the alcohol is dumped directly into your blood with little of the processing a normal stomach and intestinal system put it through. The result is that the intoxicating effects of alcohol are magnified many times. People become quite intoxicated or at least "buzzed" on a single drink or glass of wine.

They had hoped that I would quit drinking prior to this diet so I could get "used to" not drinking anymore. I didn't do that. It seemed illogical to me. It seemed like if t or swan were going to go away for a long time, perhaps I should quit seeing them before they left so I could get used to their absence rather than enjoying them while I had them. So I didn't quit until last Monday.

We are now almost 6 days into this. I've had no alcohol and I have had no difficulty because of missing it. Occasionally I have thought a drink would be nice, but it has not been a craving or even anything I could describe as a longing. I also did not suffer any huge detoxification effect that I can identify. It could be, I suppose, that the difficulties I had the beginning of last week were in part due to detox, but my symptoms were so very similar to t's, who doesn't drink at all, that I suspect it was simply my body adjusting to this radical diet.

Anyway, not only am I rigidly adhering to this diet, but I have put aside alcohol and will for at least 6 months and two weeks if not longer. Sheesh in April I'll not even be able to toast my 60th birthday. Quite a change for a life long drinker, but too, hopefully, I'll be 75 pounds lighter by then as well:) and well on my way to the 120 to 150 pound weight loss that has been predicted for me if I am compliant with "the program."

t and swan have both commented how impressed and relieved they are that this has not been a problem. A few weeks ago t and I both met with the mental health practitioner of the bariatric treatment team to discuss her concern about this and told her that if I said I would do something I would, and that included stopping drinking. I think she was dubious, but was actively suspending her disbelief in line with our reassurances. I am glad that my reality has born out that pledge.

Drink up readers. Mine tonight will be a frozen chocolate banana protein powder shake before bed:)

All the best,

Tom

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

3 comments:

T said...

Congrats, my Bee-Bee!

I TOLD everyone that you could (and would) do it!

Mores & Mores!

T

Tangerine Tease said...

You really know who you are and what you can do. They are not used to dealing with people like you. Or should I say...People like You.

One week and some change left!

Amber said...

We are heavy drinkers or social drinkers or whatever. I work for a winery and Dan loves his Jack-n-cokes. I often have some wine at night and definitely on weekends. But when we've stopped for dieting reasons or just because we want to clean up our act for a while, we've just stopped without any problems. I've taken years or months off here and there and so has Dan. We always wonder a little if it's going to be difficult but it never is. I've done the same with coffee, too. I took two years off caffeine a couple of years back. Never got headaches, never craved it, I just...stopped. Or sugar...I go through "cleansing" bouts. :)

I guess that's the diff between alcoholics and social drinkers. Plus, I don't care to overindulge, I don't like the feeling it gives me to be plowed and if I do go too far (and I have), I stop.

Which again, isn't addictive behavior. My brothers are both recovering addicts (20 and 22 years, respectively) and they would just drink, drink, drink until they passed out.

So YAY for you guys! We're fortunate we're not affected that way, eh? Because I think it's largely genetic. So we are lucky indeed.