geeze louise, barb!!!! as if you two aren't dealing with enough stressful stuff right now!!!!!!
just a couple of quick thoughts, and i'll be thinking more about this as well.
first, you might have to go behind his back on this one, and talk to the doctor on your own. you've said that the hospital where he had the surgery has one of the best programs [and from what i've seen on the internet, you're right!!!!]. that suggests that they have some experience and support for you folks. it might mean a consultation with a dietician. but start with the doc.
in the meantime [because old alvin won't go to any appts willingly!!! that's come through LOUD AND CLEAR from your posts], you can sneak baby food meat into just about anything, including gravy [kind of like a thickener]. and if he's having trouble with meat [yes, it does kind of sit heavy, and some folks just can't tolerate chicken at all!!!!], gravy helps, but also THE RULES: tiny bites, chew everything to a paste, eat slowly.
as for the constipation, i suggest a couple of things. first and foremost, metamucil. he needs the fiber. and i don't blame him for a second about being afraid of another blockage. and try another protein shake. there are a number on the market. one of the easiest to tolerate [even though i feel like i've swallowed a jellyfish every time i drink one] are the isopures. they look like weird koolaid. and taste kind of like it too.
protein bars? i think they're gross and disgusting, but many people really like them.
one product that we've gotten out here [the manufacturer is just over the delaware river in pennsylvania] is protein cakes. they're made with whey powder, and each slice has about 22 grams. and 120-150 calories. they've been a life saver for many people. the company is LES in Lehigh Valley, PA, and they'll set anyone up as a distributor as long as they have a company.
they come in 4 flavors: vanilla, banana, chocolate, and marble. folks are making french toast with the vanilla and banana, and spreading peanut butter on the chocolate ones. i like to toast them, and top them with some fruit, and add a couple of tablespoons of light cream [so shoot me!!!!] shortcake!!!! YUMMMM.
another way to get them is to contact the GNC in CLinton NJ or Mansfield, NJ and they'll send you a box of 12 for a 15.00 shipping and handling fee, plus the cost, which is currently 3.29 each. a little pricy, but a very very easy-to-eat, convenient way to get the protein in. if you'd like phone numbers, addresses, let me know.
not every GNC carries them, as most GNCs are corporate and allowed to carry ONLY the GNC line. these two are privately owned by a husband and wife [who are just fascinated and supportive of the WLS, by the way], and that's why they can stock these cakes.
some things that help make the meat eating easier: meatballs [with very little breadcrumbs], chili [just about the best, it's nearly all protein with just a little soupiness], stewed anything [chicken and dumplings, light on the dumplings], anything with ground meat, thinly sliced anything [veal cutlets, pounded chicken cutlets, pounded pork tenderloins]
and, if you'd like, the nurse who ran the obesity center where i had my surgery has recently left there to start her own business, and she's available to ANYONE. and you can ask her questions through her website. www.partnershipinweightcontrol.com
tell her i suggested that you contact her [her name is mary], and remember, she's had the surgery as well, as she said, in the BC era [before carnie!], so she's an old hand. and she's seen everything.
she also knows of a few products that make the protein needs easier.
if alvin doesn't get his protein, he'll be losing his muscle and jeopardizing his long-term weight loss and health. and this habit of midnight grazing HAS to stop, but you knew that. it sounds to me as if everything you two have had to cope with over the past few months is stressing him out and he's turning to his old buddy, his old coping mechanism: FOOD. and his doctor needs to be aware of this.
keep us posted, barb. this is a tough one.