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Day 10: Finding The New Normal

Wed May 30, 2012

With the liquid diet restriction being removed, I can now consume more calorie/nutritionally dense foods which should allow me to moderate my energy, activities, and ultimately my healing much easier.  Today was my first step toward getting back into a regular routine.

Breakfast Scrambled eggs (2), yogurt, and juice.  Took about an hour to consume it.

Lunch Pretty much just snacked through lunch with liquid options, mainly to avoid having to remove/replace the rubber bands, and do the oral hygiene dance again.

Dinner: Dinner was at Chill’s!  Wound up ordering a bowl of “Loaded Baked Potato Soup” and a side of “Loaded Mashed Potatoes”.  Asked for toppings (crumbled bacon, chopped green onions & cheese) on the side, so I could make sure none of that required chewing.  Not bad!  I remarked to Kristi that this meal probably had more calories than I’ve had in the last week combined!

Shaving: Attempted for the first time to use a blade.  This didn’t really work on the numb parts of my chin/lip, because I can’t tell how far I’m “digging in”.  Would be way too easy to slice a numb chin.  Wound up using an electric razor for the numb spots. This must be the reason why many of the guys with MMA recovery blogs can be seen growing goatees early in their photos. I’m choosing to shave to be able to better monitor/report my swelling.

Weight Loss: As of yesterday, I’m down 12.4 lbs, including 2.0 inches off my waist. I expect the rate of loss to slow down, now that I can have a wider variety (more calorie dense) of foods. While my primary nutritional goals are focused on healing, I have a secondary goal of not gaining back all the weight I had when I went into surgery.

I’m not certain if this can be accomplished while still getting enough calories consumed with such heavy eating restrictions. My plan for now is to monitor the weight loss and see when it levels out, which I expect will be soon now that I’m off strict liquids. At that point I’ll start coordinating my calorie intake with my daily activities, making sure to keep my macronutrients (carb/protein/fat) ratios are at a healthy level. This will be the challenge because a lot of the soft-food options are very carby.

Pain: Today was the first full day of attempting to use over-the-counter Acetaminophen (Tylenol) to manage my pain during the day. Since I happen to be intolerant of NSAID drugs like Ibuprofin (Advil) & Naproxin (Aleve), I’m taking 1000mg Acetaminophin every six hours, and then doing the Vicodin when I sleep. I’m planning an attempt to get completely off the vicodin by next week. Check with your doctor to come up with a good plan for getting off the hard stuff asap.

In terms of pain intensity, I’d say I’m peaking at 4-5 when I’m due for a dose of meds, and living with a 3-4 when the meds are kicked in.  For more than half the time, I’m not distracted by pain.  This is definite progress over last week.

Energy: Today I tried to have as much of a normal day as possible, with regard to staying out of my bedroom during daylight hours. I did pretty much manage it. I was a little wiped out around 4:30pm, and did a one-hour nap on the couch before going to dinner with my family. Then I was up until after midnight doing some writing. So, I’m happy that my energy is high enough to manage a typical sleep/wake pattern.  I’m going to try to work in some productive things tomorrow.

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