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Recovering anorexic-- post-surgery support?


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Hey all, 


I'm recovering from top surgery and dealing with some complications from surgery. Namely, one of my nipples has poor blood supply and is basically half dead. I have to wait for the dead stuff to fall off and hope there's healthy tissue underneath. Which, for one, is super gross and terrifying. It looks awful and has this unknown element (what will the end result look like?) and it's really triggering my old food habits, which are basically to avoid or severely restrict food. It's how I've always "managed" my dysphoria in the past and the awful thing is it works. It makes me feel more in control of the situation and like I can make my body do what I need it to do. But I know rationally that right now it's critical that I get the right amount of calories and nutrients so that my body can actually heal. But then I get caught up on the fact that I'm on activity restriction from my doctor so I don't know how many calories I'm burning and I'm SO AFRAID of gaining weight and that pulls me back in a dangerous direction. I'm just feeling very defeated and scared. 

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I know when I am not feeling well my appetite is gone and I tend to "forget" to eat but I realize that is the worse thing to do as our bodies need the energy input to heal and stay healthy.   Don't worry about calories right now.   I recently went through a period where my lung issue had flared up.  I won't get into details except to say I lost 5% of my body weight in a short period of time.   Since I've gotten stabilized I have been eating whatever I can and want (pasta, bread, ice cream) and my weight is still slow to return.   You will not blow up with weight gain over a short time.  Please eat!  


As to the nipple, when I had GRS I had a similar situation with a portion of my labia.  I was fearful it would not look right afterwards but once the dead skin fell off, nature took over, it healed well and things look great now.   Have faith in your body.  


Hugs, Jani

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Thanks, Jani. It's been helpful to hear from people who have experienced similar issues that resolved well. I'm doing my best to eat and my partner has been great about going out and getting whatever I feel like I can get down, as well as trying to find nutrient-dense and protein-rich stuff for me. It's hard because it's not even really forgetting to eat. But it's not quite willfully not eating, it's somewhere in between. Like the thought of food just sends my thoughts spiraling into bad stuff and my reflexive response is to avoid it. Historically, once I hit a certain point in a hunger cycle, I don't feel hungry any more and it's easy to get out of control from there. It hasn't hit that point as I've been mindful of it but I think getting my thoughts out helps me stay accountable. 

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I understand.  I never willfully do not eat.  I am and have always been lean and while I don't think I have issues, I know I fret over getting fat, or at least getting a belly if I overdo it at the table.  I never seem to, but the stress is there.  Mind you I love food, but the image I maintain of myself is important too.  As I mentioned, one, two or so good meals will not hurt, as in put on lots of pounds, but it will go a long way to nourishing the parts of our bodies we don't see (the important inner workings).


Hang in there, I'm with you.  Hugs, 


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 It certainly is very important to eat properly, especially when recuperating from surgery, I remember my first month after major pelvic surgery following a motorcycle accident, I had no desire to eat whatsoever and I was losing weight so rapidly my doctors were fearful that I might have serious complications. Fortunately my doctors tried a number of things to see if my appetite would return,  and for whatever reason I settled in on a regular diet of fruit, it probably is not what you need but at the time it worked for me and was allowing me to eat until my appetite improved. I was still losing quite a bit of weight while eating fruit regularly but for whatever reason it got me through the hard spot. It’s always very hard to overcome our own bad instincts  and habits, I often find myself wanting to raid the fridge for a late snack but I’m smart enough to not stock up the refrigerator with anything other than healthy choices in modest amounts as I shop quite often to keep the quantity of food available rather low. This is a bit of a trick but it works for me. Have you and your partner thought stocking up a few of your favorite things were some things that might sound good to you or maybe even new things you haven’t tried  that you could be adventurous with? I sincerely don’t think you have to worry about weight right now, but it is vitally important that you have proper nutrition during recovery from surgery especially if you’re willing your body to regenerate and recuperate.  The good news is once you feel better and can be quite a bit more active you can hit the gym and pump some iron, burning calories and losing weight doesn’t seem like something you need to do, but if you ever wish to put on a gun show you’re going to need to really eat some protein and carbs to build some muscle, might as well get a Headstart on it now !



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