So, before surgery for 14 days I need to go on a Liver Reduction Diet (LRD). The aim of this is to shrink the size of my liver. The liver sits in front of the stomach so the smaller the liver essentially the easier it is to get to my stomach behind, making the operation safer.
There seem to be a huge amount of LRD’s out there, from milk only, to milk and yoghurt based to low calorie, which essentially mine is. Basically, you get given a sheet with options for breakfast e.g. One slice of bread, a small roll or 30g of cereal, Lunch and dinner are the same – small portions of carbs (crispbread, pasta or potato), 100g of protein (Quorn, meat or fish) or a small amount of cheese and 100g of veg. no creamy dressings or oil. No booze but you are allowed two portions of fruit and a low-calorie yoghurt. 800-1000Kcals a day. Yummy… The image attached is a full days food.
Days 1-2 – I was hungry, really hungry and by the end of day 2 I was struggling with a headache/migraine. Day 3 I managed to get my head around the fact I shouldn’t just eat when it was lunchtime but only when I was hungry. This meant less food in the morning and more in the evening.
Day 4-6 I felt really good, no issues around loss of energy and still being at work distracted me from the lack of food. Then the weekend came I felt my mood dip towards the end of day 6 and moving into the weekend. I remember thinking ‘gosh I’ve had a really hard week I’d love to get a pizza or some cheesy chips for dinner’. And then thinking ‘Oh, and feeling really disappointed’.
As I am self-isolating prior to my operation due to COVID19 it also means I can’t see my partner for 2 weeks. He was due to have his children that weekend at his parents so I know he would also be distracted with family life and dealing with the demands of a 4 & 5-year-old.
Day 6, a Saturday I really felt my mood dip and my family had arranged a Zoom catch up for that evening. I kept myself distracted all day with cleaning, painting and reading but as soon as I saw my parents, I could feel myself well up.
Day 7 a Sunday it all just got worse, I turned to my partner for support feeling low and was expecting an understanding supportive call that Sunday. My partner seemed to assume that my low mood was somehow directed at him and took offence to that, long story short I ended up hanging up on him and an argument ensued. I spent most of the Sunday on the phone to my mother again feeling weepy overwhelmed and a little lost. By the evening things were sorted out and we had an honest conversation about the misunderstanding but I am struggling going though all of this without being able to just talk face to face and have a cuddle. Its amazing how much the little things mean.
Day 8 and back to work and the distraction of a busy evening with private clients, I found day 8 okay, just felt very insecure in myself and my relationship without being able to place a finger on exactly why apart from the previous day’s argument. I was reassured someone by the fact I have contact with another woman who is having the same surgery the same day as me, she said to me that she had been experiencing really similar weepiness.
So today is Day 9, I am 6.2lbs down and actually I am finding the food prep okay now. I still have a lingering headache almost daily and by the time it gets to the evening I find I am tired and my concentration is really poor. I seem to watch TV instead of reading as I find it less effort. Yesterday I actually felt full eating my tiny dinner and I am getting used to feeling hungry for a while before I eat.
Psychologically I am struggling with the fact that I am aware I can physically fit in large amounts of junk food; I keep getting fleeting thoughts of ‘you could just eat xxxx one last time as you won’t be able to after Sunday’. I keep reminding myself that is the whole point of this. I am actually surprised that the thoughts are not too common and relatively easy to brush aside. It’s still early days yet through….
I am aware that the surgery will only provide a physical restriction from eating but ‘head hunger’ will still be something I will need to learn to overcome.
9 days down and 5 days to go. I can’t wait to get the rest of my journey to begin