Getting Hydrated As a New Post-op Dehydration can be a problem for some new post-ops. Our new stomachs are angry and swollen from surgery and sometimes they don’t want to let us eat or drink very much at one time. Rest assured that if this happens to you, it will get better as the stomach heals. So, how do you get enough to drink when even one single gulp feels like it is too much? First thing to know is DON’T GULP. Not in the beginning anyway. Sips, seriously small sips, are the way to go. It can be surprising how small a sip might need to be in the beginning, but sipping is key. Let’s take a look at some numbers: We need no less than 64 ounces of fluid and most of us need more than that. It takes 6 teaspoons to equal 1 ounce of fluid. Try using a teaspoon to sip your fluids, or to see what a sip feels like. If you took a teaspoonful every minute you would end up drinking 10 ounces in one hour. Pretty good, huh? However, even that might feel like a lot in the beginning. So, try a teaspoon every 2 minutes. This is doable. Sipping is like a full-time job in the beginning, and it should be. One teaspoon every 2 minutes will equal 5 ounces over the course of one hour. That is only a little bit more than ½ cup – in an hour. Easy. If you sleep 8 hours per day and you are awake for 16 hours you can get 80 ounces of fluid each day just by sipping every couple of minutes. It takes a little bit of effort but it is possible to avoid dehydration. Fluid Hints Try different temperatures. If cold water doesn’t settle well try room temp, warm, hot. If water seems difficult try adding some lemon or lime. If you want something other than water you can try herbal teas and these can be hot, cold, or in between. Gatorade and pedialyte, etc. are also good alternatives. Kool-aid is another option. Make the old-fashioned type according to package directions but don't add the sugar. Then pour a glass and sweeten just the glass you pour with the sweetener of your choice. This way you can customize the amount of sweetness you like instead of having it taste too sweet. Other things that count as fluid: Broth, popsicles, jello, soups, crushed ice, etc..