I had my gastric bypass 5 weeks ago, and I struggle every day to drink enough water. I’m meant to be drinking 2 litres of fluid every day, but that’s a lot of water to get through when I can only drink very very slowly.
It sometimes feels like the water drinking is a full-time job, because it needs to be a fairly constant activity through the day. If I forget to drink for an hour or two, then I often won’t get enough liquids in me, and I’ll end up dehydrated.
I can only take one or two sips at a time, and then I have to wait for a few minutes for it to pass through my system before I can have some more. And so the drinking has to spaced out over a long period of time. It used to be that I could finish my 800ml water bottle in a couple of minutes, but it now takes a couple of hours!
No drinking before or after meals
Then there’s the restrictions about not drinking for at least 30 minutes before or after meals, which further extends the amount of time taken to get the full 2 litres in me.
I’m not meant to drink for 30 minutes before a meal, because otherwise my stomach will still be full of liquid, and I’ll not be able to eat enough food. And likewise after a meal, I have to wait for the food to pass through my stomach and make room for the liquid. There’s also the danger that drinking straight after a meal might flush the food out of the stomach and straight into the intestines. And if that happens then the nutrients from the food may not be absorbed properly, and it could increase the chances of dumping syndrome.
Taking my water bottle with me everywhere
I’ve found that the only way to drink enough is to take my water bottle with me everywhere. So if I go for a walk with the dogs, or go shopping in the supermarket, then the water bottle goes with me. I also have it with my when I’m on my bicycle, and I use every red traffic light as a cue to take a couple of sips.
I have my water bottle on my desk with me all day as I work, and will frequently stop what I’m doing to take drinks from it, even when I’m in the middle of a video-conference call.
It gets to the point where I’m now getting a bit obsessive about having water with me all the time. If I leave the house without any water, I feel the need to stop in a shop and buy a drink. Otherwise it might mean a couple of hours without drinking, and then I’ll struggle to drink the full 2 litres.
I’m hoping that over time I will become easier to drink a little quicker, so I won’t need to think about it so much during the day!