In my last post, I mentioned that I was trying to eat 100 grams of protein a day to help with wound healing for my mastectomy incisions (more later on if you dare read about it). Being a no sugar/starch/grains kinda gal, “How hard could that be?” One hundred grams protein = 400 kcal, and my daily allotment is just at 1200. No biggie. Ha!
Here is what it takes for me to stuff down 100 grams of protein, keeping in mind I am trying to maximize calories (!) because my appetite is
- Whey protein shake with whole milk = 24
- Three 3 eggs = 18
- 1 oz Gouda cheese = 7
- 1 cup Fage 0% Greek yogurt = 20
- 4 oz filet mignon (I get to treat myself) = 33
Now add a couple of servings of berries, a huge salad, some broccoli and I barely make 1,000 calories. The sight of eggs is starting to gag me. Sure we mix up the meat/fish protein (smoked salmon, yummy!), and I can always eat another serving of Fage to make up if my daily count is running low. But, I prefer not to have so much protein coming from dairy sources. Again, my appetite is off, so nibbling on almonds (8 grams for 1/4 cup) just isn’t very palatable now.
Why so focused on protein for wound healing? I couldn’t find a reliable scientific answer about how much I should be eating when trying to heal up a nasty wound. The consensus is more protein = good. (Along with certain vitamins.) As I have bemoaned over many posts, my former breasts were very saggy with resulting thin skin over the chest wall. During a skin-sparing mastectomy, the breast tissue is scooped away from the skin. shearing off blood vessels and nerves. If one has a marginal blood supply to certain skin areas, well, then one is almost guaranteed to have some areas of skin necrosis (death). Even “normal” women who have a mastectomy run a 10% chance of developing some skin necrosis in the incisions. The plastic surgeon left lots of extra skin to work with for my second surgery (when my temporary tissue expanders will be replaced with permanent implants). Good for me because I have a significant amount of necrosis – so much that I am having surgery next Tuesday to remove the dead skin. This is kind of like a burn – there is plenty of good skin underneath, but the bad stuff has to be removed or risk infection and really bad outcomes. Also, the tissue expanders cannot be “blown up” with fluid to prepare my chest for the permanent implants until these incisions get healed. Heavy sigh…
The good news is that 2 of the 4 drains were removed yesterday, which decreased some of the pain I am having. I doubt the other 2 will come out before next week.
Until then, it’s choke down protein, vitamins, green veggies, and fruit; rest; stay mentally active; and keep a positive attitude. I don’t know which of these is harder.