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  #1  
Unread 08-24-2014, 06:13 AM
steven steven is offline
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Default Advice requested prior to major surgery

My partner and I got into a serious car wreck when a drunken driver slammed into us 4 months ago. I got away with a few scratches but, she, unfortunately, wasn't that lucky.

She has had 3 surgeries so far and as a result has lost a lot of weight in a short space of time. She weighed 52 kgs (at 163 cm in height) prior to this, and now weights 46 kgs.

She is scheduled for one more major surgery to reconstruct the right side of her face that was smashed in. She is mostly functional but, aesthetically, her face tells the story.

Anyway, they will be moving both her jaws (that moved out of alignment when her cheek was crushed), as well as her nose and chin (both of which are now tilted). They have already fixed her cheek bone but they said they might add another plate to it when they move her upper jaw for added support.

Needless to say, she is currently on a soft food and liquid diet. She can only chew on her left side as the teeth on her right don't meet anymore. But even chewing on the normal side causes severe pain so she has been sticking to drinking shakes, mostly.
The doctor has informed us that following the next surgery, she will be on liquids only for 8 weeks as she'll have jaw splints supporting the bones as they heal, followed by another 8 weeks on soft foods before she can begin chewing solids again.

Understandably, proper nutrition is crucial at this point. The surgeon said she should eat like she's planning to run a marathon- carbs, vitamins and iron supplements.
He didn't recommend protein or healthy fats, though I personally wonder if they would be more helpful than carbs (?)

I'm hoping for more input from people who may be knowledgeable, and am hoping that Lyle or David or anyone who has had similar experiences can help.

TIA
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  #2  
Unread 08-24-2014, 07:07 AM
LyleRB LyleRB is offline
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First of all, sorry for your/her misfortune, was she athletically fit ie: decent amount of LBM? I'm assuming from her starting stats she wasn't holding much fat, I'd say protien shakes would be ok....yeah I know... Wrong Lyle haha
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  #3  
Unread 08-24-2014, 08:42 AM
steven steven is offline
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Thanks. It's been difficult. The drunk driver didn't survive and we both felt a ton of grief over that, as odd as it may seem.
I've been with her for a decade and we've had a lot of rough times the past few years. I need her to get through this. She's a trooper, though. She's keeping her spirits up and making the whole process easier by doing so.

Well, she's not really fit, no. She used to be extremely fit. She lifted heavy, ate well, had great stamina with cardio. But then she got severe depression and developed an eating disorder.
She only just stopped therapy- literally one month before the accident, having sufficiently recovered from her eating disorder for her therapist to say she doesn't require professional support anymore.

She's quite skinny (UK size 4, US 00), but carries more body fat now than she did when she was lifting. Skinny fat, I suppose. It's funny, she was just talking to me about returning to lifting, but I digress.

I'm not sure if the fact that she used to be fit will help now. I'm at a loss. I want her to have the best odds going into this surgery. We need to do whatever we can to make her body stronger. She's at risk of having a heart attack on the operating table (due to the fact that she's only just recovered from an ED), so we are really focusing on having her as healthy as possible before they operate.

Also I forgot to mention that the surgery is expected to last 6-8 hours.

Sorry for the length of my posts and the amount of detail I'm sharing. It's hard to know what is necessary to share and what is just rambling. I'm overwhelmed by it all. I really would appreciate any advice.
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  #4  
Unread 08-24-2014, 09:00 AM
samadams92 samadams92 is offline
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I cannot comment only speculate. But nonetheless my thoughts and prayers are with your wife, you and your family.

There are idiots around all the time. Just sometimes it's out of your hands.
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  #5  
Unread 08-24-2014, 11:51 AM
beatle beatle is offline
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I'm certainly no doctor but was in a bad cycling accident in the spring in which I broke both arms, elbow, and clavicle. My body stopped craving carbs (I eat a ton of carbs being an endure) and started to crave a lot of protein and more fats than normal. My surgeon told me to up the protein to help speed healing.
Good luck.
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  #6  
Unread 08-24-2014, 02:00 PM
Jake97 Jake97 is offline
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Usually upping the calories (nutrient dense foods) and protein is general recommendation in hospital patients to prevent cachexia.

Hoping everything turns out ok.

Last edited by Jake97 : 08-24-2014 at 02:04 PM.
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  #7  
Unread 08-24-2014, 02:11 PM
Jake97 Jake97 is offline
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There's also a lot of studies being done with Omega 3's. Doubt they work in isolation, most likely in combination with enough calories and protein. As always, consult with the doctor.
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  #8  
Unread 08-24-2014, 03:21 PM
johnritter
 
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During the post op for my gastric band i was only allowed liquid foods for 2 weeks and then very soft mushy foods for the next 4 weeks. I asked if there was any benefit to take slim fast/health food shakes and they said the attitude was to make a "balanced" healthy meal and then liquidize it.Really not as bad as it sounds as long as its served hot.

Sorry for your situation.
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  #9  
Unread 08-25-2014, 10:44 AM
steven steven is offline
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Thank you all for your thoughts and advice.

@Jake79, the doctor advised against Omega 3's because he was worried they'd thin her blood and may cause her to bleed out.
But good to know that protein is a good thing; the doctor seems focused on carbs and calories. I'll consult with him again and see if he's okay with her upping her protein too.

@beatle, thanks! It's good to hear what a surgeon has recommended. That is extremely helpful.

@johnritter, ermm...that sounds weird, LOL. But I will most certainly try blending up "regular" food and seeing if she can stomach it. She's getting fed up of shakes and pudding, so I'd bet she's willing to try. Thanks for the tip.

I guess I'll speak to her doctor once more and talk to him about upping her protein intake. I hope he doesn't see any problems and that she is able to get through this last obstacle.

Thanks again for everyone who took time to reply and offer support.
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  #10  
Unread 08-29-2014, 08:22 AM
FredBlogg FredBlogg is offline
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First and foremost Steven, I offer my sympathies. As a youngster I lost a pop-up fly ball in the sun; which I caught with my face. What I present to the world is a rather painful reconstruction. The bummer was that I wanted to look like Peter O'Toole, but they did their best to reconstruct the original. Sigh... But I really do understand what your partner is going through.

I have a Vitamix, which is an expensive big-honking-blender. I often have blended "sludges". From your units I gather you are in Australia or the UK. I do not know if Vitamix'ers are common there; but blenders in general will be. Do a search for gazpacho. It is basically liquified veggies and very easy to ingest. Tastes pretty darned good too. If you need protein it is easy to throw cooked chicken breast or whatever into the mix.

Good luck to you both.
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