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Health & Fit Jeannie Mai Says She's 'Underweight and Malnourished' After Emergency Surgery: 'I'm Really Frail'

07:00  25 november  2020
07:00  25 november  2020 Source:   people.com

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Really , really frail [and] really tired because I ’ m so underweight and malnourished ,' the TV personality, 41, told People. Long recovery: Jeannie Mai says she feels ' really frail ' and ' really tired' after emergency throat surgery earlier this month left her unable to eat solids and confined to bed

Recovering: Jeannie Mai gave fans an update from her hospital bed on Monday after undergoing emergency throat surgery for epiglottis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Mai , 41, was pictured in the Instagram post lying in her hospital bed propped up on pillows. A bunch of balloons, including one

Edith Yeung lying on a bed: Jeannie Mai © Provided by People Jeannie Mai

Jeannie Mai is giving thanks for her health after undergoing emergency surgery following a "near life-threatening" diagnosis.

Three weeks ago, The Real co-host was forced to withdraw from competing on Dancing with the Stars after she was diagnosed with epiglottitis and suffered from a parapharyngeal abscess.

After Mai, 41, says she was "misdiagnosed" by two doctors, she was referred to Dr. Shawn Nasseri, who she says assessed her the day before she was set to compete on DWTS and discovered the "huge abscess that was growing" in her throat. "My sore throat turned out to be strep throat that quickly turned into a parapharyngeal abscess," Mai explains to PEOPLE for this week's issue. "I was breathing like Darth Vader. It was a traumatic experience."

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Following her premature exit from "Dancing With the Stars" due to emergency surgery , Jeannie Mai 's fiancé, Jeezy, provided an update about " She ’ s doing well," the rapper confirmed during his Thursday appearance on "The Real ," of which Mai serves as a co-host, " She ’ s eating everything in the house.

Jeannie Mai Says She ' s ' Underweight and Malnourished ' After Emergency Surgery : ' I ' m Really Frail '. "I lost a lot of weight and strength, 15 lbs. in total from DWTS and bed rest," Jeannie Mai tells PEOPLE.

"Within minutes" of her appointment with Dr. Nasseri, Mai was "rushed to the ER" to begin the procedure and told she could no longer compete on the ABC reality dance competition series.

"I was devastated, mortified, upset, I was in tears and I actually fought the doctor to say, ‘Can I just at least compete in this week’s competition?’ because I worked so hard on my Charleston, which was our next dance together with [pro partner] Brandon [Armstrong],' " she recalls.

a person lying on a bed: Jeannie Mai © Provided by People Jeannie Mai

RELATED: Jeannie Mai Opens Up About 'Near Life-Threatening' Abscess That Forced Her to Withdraw from DWTS

"I thought maybe I can do the surgery on a Tuesday, take a week to heal, watch the routines virtually and figure it out. But he said, 'Absolutely not.' Because any form of respiratory work — like walking fast, getting excited, laughing — causes the blood pressure to swell in your throat, because that's one of your main pipelines for breathing, and that alone could even erupt or swell them closed more," she explains.

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While she ’ s grateful for her health, she ’ s also “devastated” to be ending her journey on Dancing with the Stars. Jeannie Mai is on the road to recovery. 5, the former Dancing with the Stars contestant opened up about how she ’ s doing four days after undergoing emergency surgery to treat epiglottitis

Jeannie Mai Says She ' s ' Underweight and Malnourished ' After Emergency Surgery : ' I ' m Really Frail '. "I lost a lot of weight and strength, 15 lbs. in total from DWTS and bed rest," Jeannie Mai tells PEOPLE.

Following a successful surgery, Mai had to rest and "stay quiet for two weeks."

Edith Yeung lying on a bed: Jeannie Mai © Provided by People Jeannie Mai

But resting proved to be the most difficult part of her recovery.

"The alarming thing is, I still couldn't breathe afterwards," Mai says. "It was even worse because now — because of extreme surgery, where he had removed my tonsils and also completely cut open the abscess in my throat in order to funnel the liquid out — my throat is swollen. I couldn't eat anything for two weeks, so I was tube feeding there in the hospital for a week, and I had a nurse come in every two hours just to make sure I was breathing."

"Having to be on extreme critical care watch was really scary. That was another scary part, when you realize how fragile you are coming out of surgery even though everything was removed," she adds. "After I left the hospital, for a week being at home, I still had to be on an IV and I could not move, because anything you do that raises your blood pressure causes your throat to tighten up."

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Jeannie Mai announced her engagement to rapper Jeezy last week, after his isolation proposal. On Monday she opened up about her new relationship And as her talk show The Real returned to air on Monday for its first all video chat show, the 41-year-old host opened up about her new relationship

Jeannie Mai made a cameo on Monday evening' s edition of Dancing With the Stars, less than a month after she had withdrew from the show amid a 'But I can definitely say with DWTS and The Real , these people genuinely cared about my wellbeing and took care of me and supported me throughout

a person on a bed: Jeannie Mai and Jeezy in the hospital © Provided by People Jeannie Mai and Jeezy in the hospital
  • For more on Jeannie Mai, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

"I’m not going to lie, I don’t know which I was more upset about: having to withdraw from the competition, [or] having to be off my favorite show [The Real] for two, now maybe three weeks," says Mai, who returned to hosting the daytime talk show on Tuesday.

Ultimately, though, "the hardest part of recovery was going to sleep because when I go to sleep, if you breathe wrong, you get into a coughing fit and it hurt like crazy and it would bleed," says Mai. "So sleeping was difficult because you can’t really go into a slumber where you would snore — you couldn’t sleep very heavy."

RELATED: Hospitalized Jeannie Mai Was Told Her 'Throat Would Have Closed Up' If She 'Had Waited 1 More Day'

She was also limited in what she could eat during her recovery period, including no solids or hot foods.

"Eating foods, I didn’t eat any hot foods for two weeks. You could actually do really big damage," says Mai. "So I ate a lot of cold soups and a lot of juices."

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Due to her constricted diet, Mai dropped 10 lbs. from consuming only liquids. "The other thing mentally is I got kind of depressed because I lost about 10 lbs. from just eating liquids, so I am really frail right now. Really, really frail," says Mai, who feels "really tired because I’m so underweight and malnourished."

"I lost a lot of weight and strength, 15 lbs. in total from DWTS and bed rest," says the star, who "can't wait to get back into the gym to gain back my body and health to conquer my dreams again."

a person standing in front of a stage: Eric McCandless /ABC via Getty Images Brandon Armstrong and Jeannie Mai on DWTS © Provided by People Eric McCandless /ABC via Getty Images Brandon Armstrong and Jeannie Mai on DWTS

Now, Mai is now "96 percent better, where I can speak. I can’t yell, but I can speak."

RELATED: Jeezy Says Fiancée Jeannie Mai Is 'Back in Full Force' After Emergency Surgery — 'She's Fearless'

The TV host is also "able to eat solid foods again" and is "incorporating back starches and meat and things that I can chew. I can’t chew solid, solid foods. I can’t have like bread, or nothing like crackers, but I can eat maybe like porridge or maybe [a] matzo ball."

Although her time on DWTS came to an unexpected end, Mai — who was in the ballroom on Monday's live season 29 finale — is grateful to be alive and for the support she's received from her loved ones and fans, including her fiancé, rapper Jeezy.

a bunch of stuffed animals sitting on top of a flower: Jeannie Mai © Provided by People Jeannie Mai

"Dr. Nasseri definitely gets the points for diagnosing me correctly to urge me into the ER, but Jeezy gets 100 percent of the credit for actually forcing me to go," she says.

Adds Mai: "I am very thankful to be alive, of course, and I’m thankful to have learned that you really cannot take your health for granted."

The Real airs weekdays (check local listings).

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