Whenever I speak to anyone about life as a post-op, the first thing I tell them is, “Get used to drinking protein shakes every day for the rest of your life”. The second thing I tell them is, “Get used to taking vitamins every day for the rest of your life”. And the third thing? “Get used to vomiting”.
Vomiting is gross. But for post-ops, it’s not as gross, because the new stomach pouch created by the surgery produces little to no stomach acids. So, food tastes exactly the same coming up as it did going down. And since you’re eating very small amounts, and chewing the crap out of meats and vegetables in order to minimize the risk of what I call Pouch Rejection, not only does the food not taste any different, but it also comes up pretty easily (unless it’s ground beef — in which case, be prepared to throw up what feels like ground up gritty stones).
Why do post-ops vomit? Here are the most common reasons:
- Eating too much
- Eating too fast
- Not chewing food well enough (creating what I call Stuckage, which leads to Pouch Rejection)
- Drinking while eating
- For no reason at all
For me, after the first couple of months of a slight learning curve where I quickly learned what was compatible and what wasn’t (sometimes: chicken; quite often: beef; almost always: steak, unless it’s filet mignon and even then, chewed to smithereens), For No Reason At All is the most common reason why I throw up. It’s annoying, because what works some days might not work other days…just because. There’s an official term for this, by the way: Esophageal and Gastric Motility Disorder. In laymen’s terms, it means that your esophagus and/or stomach pouch get stupid sometimes and forget that food is supposed to go down, and not up. I had a big problem with this the first couple of months after surgery, and went through a couple of tests (including an endoscopy) to rule out anything else other than the upper portion of my digestive tract being idiotic.
With all that said, when, and yes I say WHEN, you feel the urge to vomit, it’ll be a purely physical urge, with no accompanying nausea. Don’t wait it out hoping it will go away: just vomit it up and be done with it. I promise, you’ll feel a million times better afterward.