Read our guest blog about the importance of staying hydrated post WLS and her experience, by Tash Jarrett.
“Just sip, sip, sip”
How many of us have heard that phrase and internally rolled our eyes and thought “If only it was that easy!!”
I felt like I was having an out of body experience as the very caring and friendly nurse looking after me spoke those words while I was lying in my hospital bed. Did she even know what she was asking me to do? I was lamenting this phrase while she held the cup to my mouth. “Yes, I always like to swallow knives” was the immediate thought that I was struggling to keep from being displayed across my face and from flying out of my dry, parched lips!
There I was lying in my far too small hospital bed, complete with scratchy sheets, a very noisy corridor and a door that loved to rattle but hey, I was grateful, so grateful for weight loss surgery, until I took that first sip!
It felt like a hot sizzle in my chest whenever I took a sip and let liquid slid down my newly routed insides!
Waking up from surgery I wasn’t sure what to expect or what was “normal” and I did feel a little anxious.
Every complication that I had ever read about kept rolling on repeat on the internal movie screen in my brain! Is it meant to feel like this? How is this a good thing? And to be very honest, I felt like being told I was doing a great job for drinking was vastly understating how hard it was! Surely someone was going to launch into song to celebrate the fact that I had managed to swallow 700 mls?!
By day 3 post op, as I sat up in my bed, giving stink eye to the water jug.
I decided that I would get busy and drink it all because I wanted to go home! I wanted the drip out of my arm too, so that was extra motivation and it was time to get the job done. If no one else was going to break into song over my triumphant liquid exploits then I would celebrate it myself! As it turned out, I did get to celebrate it with a trip home to my own bed! All of those worries I had were put to rest and I started to feel more confident. My insides were okay and eventually the discomfort that came with drinking, did ease and I think that being home helped that too because I was more relaxed! I still felt a little bit of anxiety every time I looked at my water bottle but I was determined to keep myself hydrated, so I did my best to do the three S’s.
Not long after I woke from surgery I was given a daily liquid goal by my team and it felt like they had asked me to drink a swimming pool. 1.2 litres a day felt like a lot in those early days and I didn’t always achieve it easily. With all of the regular sipping, I felt a bit confused on the liquid phase. How was I going to avoid drinking 30 minutes before and after my “meal” and still drink enough in a day! Hand’s up if you have been there? Thankfully, with time, I got the hang of things and it all felt less overwhelming than it did in those very early days but I still had to continually remind myself to drink. As I went back to work it became harder to monitor my liquid intake and one day, after a particularly long and busy day I felt absolutely wretched when I arrived home. My partner, who is an avid Adam Sandler fan, informed me in his best “Water Boy” voice that I needed to have an H2O. He wasn’t wrong! Later that night I went to the hospital because I needed some IV fluids.
I had let myself get a little bit too dehydrated and I wasn’t able to drink enough to catch up. I had forgotten that chugging two or three litres of water is now out of the question for me.
You would think that this incident would have taught me my lesson, but I have needed a few subsequent hospital reminders to keep my hydration up. As a consequence of those reminders, my water bottle and I are rarely ever far away from each other. It wasn’t always a love relationship but it really is now!
So as we slide well and truly into the heat of summer and we enjoy those gloriously sparkling, sun-drenched Aussie days and balmy summer evenings, let’s remember to hit our water goals!
I know it isn’t easy, especially if you are on the go ALL THE TIME, but the alternative isn’t fun and truly is motivation enough to stay on top of things!
These are the things that I do to help keep on top of remembering my water! We would love to know the things that have helped you to remember to keep drinking.
- I set an alarm on my phone. Some of the apps used for tracking different things have this feature built in but if you are like me and you like to keep it basic, I just set some alarms to remind myself every hour that I need to have a drink.
- Plan the times of day that are best to be getting your water in. Eventually this becomes second nature but at the start it was a bit hard to get used to.
- Now that I am three and a half years post op I can drink about 4 gulps in a row most days BUT at the start 1 gulp felt like a mission. Don’t lose heart – it will get easier with time.
- Find what you enjoy drinking and drink that. (I mean things of a H2O variety there you cheeky sausage) In the early days I was an alkaline water girl. It seemed to go down more easily than normal water from the tap.
- Adding in some diet cordial and Tasteless Protein or Feel Good Protein Water is a favourite of mine. It helps me with the hydration and also with the protein goals! So that is a win win. I also like to experiment with a dash of lime juice or a drop or two of lemon juice from time to time to help if I am a bit sensitive to sweetness. Find what works best for you and whatever helps you to want to drink your water to realise your optimum hydration levels!
- A dedicated drink bottle! In my house, drink bottles are like gold. Everyone has their own and woe upon the person that touches someone else’s water bottle! At the moment I have two that I love to use. One is my gym bottle that lives in my gym bag and the other one is my all day drink bottle. I know that I need to refill it at least once during the day to be getting close to my water target.
In all the fun of the summer season lets be those people that remember to stay awesomely hydrated!