The journey so far...

Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I was very excited to step on the scale and see a new number -- 175! I had a sort of unofficial goal with myself to reach 175 by Christmas, and I did it!

So, to update, my starting weight was 229, weight at surgery on Sept. 14 was 214. So far, I've lost a total of 54 lbs. Woo! =)

Goals for now: continue getting enough water every day, but also get enough protein, which has been a lot harder recently.

I hope you're all doing great!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A very, very short dinner party

One of the hardest things I've encountered since my wls has been how to deal with dinner parties and other functions where the main focus is on food. It's not that I overeat, thankfully; it's just that I'm done eating so much faster than everyone else, and then there's not much to do besides watch everyone else eat. Talking, of course, is the obvious answer, but I'm not great at creating conversations, especially with people I don't know well. So, tonight is my work Christmas dinner, and it just seems like a lot of hassle to go through for half an hour of awkward conversation followed by six small bites of food followed by an hour of awkward conversation while everyone else eats. And I'm PMSy and frankly would just rather not go. I hate to be anti-social, but there it is. What would y'all do?

Friday, November 25, 2011

180 Degree Turnaround

I'm still here. I'm not quite sure why I dropped off the radar after my surgery. I thought I'd have so much to say, want to document everything I experienced. Nope! For some reason, my journey has felt incredibly personal, very introspective. I really haven't felt like I wanted to blog about anything. But today, for whatever reason, I do. :)

So, to get me back into the swing of things, a List Of Things I've Experienced:

1. BY THE NUMBERS -- my weight this morning: 180.8 lbs! That's down 49 lbs. from my top weight of 229 when I started with my bariatric program, and 39 lbs. since the date of my surgery (Sept. 14). In a few more pounds, I will go from obese to just overweight. :)

2. People are starting to make eye contact with me again. Give me a friendly smile. Guys hold doors for me. Offer me their seats in a crowded room. My husband thinks I'm just noticing it more now, or they are picking up on my newfound confidence, but...I'm pretty sure none of that happened very much when I was at my top weight.

3. I went bra shopping, and actually found one that mostly fits!

4. I tried on clothes in the regular size section, and some of them fit!

5. I feel like I can move so much easier.

6. I'm kind of surprised that the weight has come off this fast and this easily. I'm nine or ten weeks out and have lost about 2/3 of the weight I need to lose. I remember my first meeting with the surgeon, when he told me that with the VSG, I could expect to lose about 35 to 40 lbs. Less than 3 months in, I'm past that!

7. I'm pretty much worried all the time that I will stretch out my stomach. I have eaten more than I should a couple of times. It was SO uncomfortable those times, which is good since I don't ever want to get in the habit of letting that happen. I wonder at what point I can stop worrying about that -- if ever?

8. First Thanksgiving after bariatric surgery went pretty well. To be honest, I kind of did miss stuffing myself with good food, but given the choice between being chock-full of good food and all the above things (plus, you know, the whole 'being healthier' thing), I'll take all the above. :) And hopefully at some point, I won't miss big meals anymore. :) I was able to eat a couple of ounces of turkey with cranberry sauce and a bite or two of a couple of sides. I even had three bites of pumpkin pie later on, so I didn't feel deprived at all. I've always thought holidays were more about family than food, anyway, and I think that helps me come to terms with eating less holiday food. We'll see how Christmas goes in a few weeks!

9. Oh! And just about the only thing I've found that I absolutely do not like/can't eat are most powdered protein shakes. They are just so sickeningly sweet! For whatever reason, I can still drink the EAS AdvantEDGE shakes. Dairy products in general sometimes make my stomach gurgle and complain, but so far I can still eat them.

So anyway, that's me. Hope you're all doing well. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I have a teeny little sleeve

Hey, y'all! It's a new day and a new me! I was sleeved on Wednesday and aside from some bumps along the road, it's gone really well so far!

Here's what I remember. My surgery was scheduled for 2 p.m. and we were told to be there by 10 a.m. We arrived at 9:40 p.m. (traffic was light, for a change!) We didn't have to wait too long until we were brought back to the room. I got changed out of all of my clothes (except I was given permission to wear some of those oh-so-stylin' fancy granny panties because my TOM had of course decided to make an appearance. *eyeroll* They had given me a typical hospital gown, along with littleAnswered about a billion questions. Got my IV line in (and was very pleased that they used lidocaine to numb the area so it didn't hurt at all. The surgeon popped in at about 11 to say he was ahead of schedule and we would probably get into surgery earlier than scheduled. Yay! I had had NOTHING AT ALL by mouth after I had a drink of water at 11 p.m. Tuesday night, so this was great news.

So, we waited. I kept applying chapstick becase my lips were so dry. And we waited some more. Finally, at about 3 p.m., the nurse came in to start my IV antibiotics and said it would be about an hour until they were ready for me! Argh! My husband and I made the decision that he would leave immediately and go pick up our daughter at school, and hopefully get back not long after I went into surgery. I have to tell you, it sucked to have my support person leave, but we had no choice. My daugher had to be picked up, and no one else could do it on such short notice. So, I spent the last hour waiting by myself, driven to distraction by thirst.

Finally, they came to get me. I was wheeled into the operating room and asked to scoot over onto the actual operating table. And...the next thing I remember is waking up to a nurse's voice.

"Mrs. B., wake up; your surgery is over and it went well." I cracked open my eyes and looked around. And that's when the nausea started.

I'm not talking about "hmm, I wonder if I should take some Tums" kind of nausea. I'm talking about the "oh, God, I'm going to puke and I can't puke because I'll pull out my staples, but I can't stop it, so I'm going to puke!" kind of nausea. At that point, I could barely speak. The nurse kept asking if I was in pain, which I was, but the most pressing need at the moment was to NOT PUKE. I guess I finally was able to articulate that I needed something for nausea. They injected something into my IV line, and I felt a SLIGHT relief that lasted about 15 seconds, after which I started begging for something else.

Meanwhile, they had had to turn off my pacemaker/defibrillator during the surgery, and I could hear the heart monitor alarming almost constantly. I could hear them talking quietly to each other about needing to get someone down here to get my pacemaker/defib started up again. They gave me something else for the nausea, which worked about as well as the first one. By this time, I was dry-heaving almost constantly, and OMG it did hurt. "We're going to give you something for the nausea," someone said, and the next thing I remember, I was waking up in recovery AGAIN. There was much less nausea at this point, though it didn't completely stop until Friday night.

Finally, they started to take me to my room. Hubby was there waiting for me. I found out that it was after 9:30 p.m. -- I had been in Recovery for THREE HOURS. Hubby had to leave almost immediately to get home before the kids' bedtime. I was given sweet, blessed pain killers and more anti-nausea medication.

I slept about three hours and then insisted the floor nurses get me up and let me walk. Yow, the gas pains were awful! One would think there might be a way to expand the abdoment without needing to blow us up like a balloon and wait for the gas to dissipate by now! And I asked for something to drink. A lot. "Nothing by mouth for the first 18 hours" is my surgeon's policy. I asked to be able to brush my teeth. Nope. I asked if I could just gargle and spit. No. Ice chips? Nope. I just had to tough it out.

Thursday at mid-day, I finally got to drink some watered-down Crystal Light and apple juice...and it kinda hurt. I had my leak/swallow test. Aside from another bout with nausea, it was okay. Everything looked great!

Back to the room, and back to trying to drink something. The nurse brought me some sort of tomato cream soup, which irritated my throat and burned in my stomach. Vanilla milk went down a bit easier.

Friday was the day I was supposed to go home, but I still wasn't able to get down four ounces every hour, so they kept me another day. Frankly, I'm glad they did. I had the opportunity to walk more, practice sipping and  be sure I could tolerate enough liquids to keep from becoming dehydrated.

Okay, getting tired now, so to make a long story a little bit shorter, I got to come home today. Yay!

I hope y'all are all well! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The stomach comes out...tomorrow! (Sing it with me!)

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
My surgery's tomorrow!
It's only a day away.

So! Tomorrow's the big day. I can't believe it's finally here! I'm a little nervous and a LOT excited. I'm also tired from (I assume) being on clear liquids for the past day, and most of all, ready to get this show on the road.

For a little while today, I thought I wasn't going to get to have surgery after all. I went for my "anesthesia interview" and the nurse practicianer saw something on my stress test report that she said was a problem. She said the report showed that part of my heart was not beating properly, that it looked ischemic -- basically meaning I had blockage in one of my arteries. She and my cardiologist and the technician who did my stress test went back and forth on the phone and via fax for 20 minutes or so, after which they determined that the problem was with the computer printout, not my heart. Phew!

So I suppose that's all for now. See you all on the other side. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I have a date (and other news)!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 -- a new hope!

That's the day I'll have my sleeve surgery. I can hardly believe after all this time, I actually have a date. It's actually going to happen -- and so soon! The whole process has been wait, wait, wait, and now everything is HURRY!

I start my liquid diet this Wednesday, and oddly enough, I'm almost more worried about that than I am about the surgery itself. I've discovered that I kind of have this irrational fear of being hungry. Isn't that weird? Or maybe it's that I fear that I can't handle any sort of hunger. I don't know! All I know is, I'm stressing the next couple of weeks.

[On a related note, what are your favorite protein drinks?]

Tomorrow, I have to have a stress test and an Upper GI. I can't have anything by mouth after midnight, and I don't even check in until 12:55 p.m. It'll be suppertime before I can eat or even have water. I am sweating this, too! I'm drinking as much as I can this evening, and I'm thinking of setting my alarm for 11:45 to have a protein shake and more water. So, we'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I got some unexpected news this past week -- I have cataracts and need surgery. I'm 43, y'all! Why is my body falling apart already? They wanted to go ahead and do them both before my sleeve surgery, but man, I just didn't think I could deal with it. I scheduled the first one for two weeks after my sleeve, and the other one for two weeks after that. On the upside, after the cataracts are out, I won't need glasses anymore, which is nice.

That's about it from here. Hope you're all doing well. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Insurance approved my surgery!

Yes, yes, yes!!! I just had a call from my bariatric center, and insurance has approved my surgery! *snoopydances* Hopefully next week I should get a date!

Have a great weekend, everyone! <3

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More waiting...

I met my surgeon today. Yay!

He wants me to have a stress test before surgery. Boo!

My file was sent to my insurance company. Yay!

But I didn't get a date for the surgery yet. Boo!

The surgeon thinks VSG surgery will be the best choice for me. Yay!

I also have to have some sort of swallowing test -- just when I thought I had finally finished all of that. Boo!

I was only up one pound -- either something magical happened or the surgeon's scales are EXTREMELY kind. Yay!

Dr. Surgeon said I just barely qualify for surgery based on my weight. Um. Boo? Yay? (Which leads me to ask: why did they have me lose five percent? What if I'd lost too much? Sheesh!)

So, now I wait to hear from the insurance company. Boo! Dr. Surgeon said it could be as soon as two days. His insurance staff said no way; it'll be at least a week. Double Boo!

My knee and back feel almost completely better! No new body parts are currently falling apart! Yay!

So, I guess that's it from this end. Oh, one more thing -- do any of you hang out on I asked a couple of questions there, some people there are not terribly supportive/welcoming, are they? Are they just rude to newbies, or is everyone fair game? Also? I was really angry to see some comments blaming the girl who died after her DS revision for her own death. "We told her so!" Hmm...self-righteous much?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm bummed!

So, I physically feel pretty crummy -- my knee's still a little sore, my lower back is KILLING me (seriously, I'm walking like I'm 90 years old) and I'm still ravenous ALL OF THE TIME. I finally got in a very gentle 30 minutes on my beloved recumbent bike today, but I have to go very slow and easy because of my body falling to pieces around me. And, you know what ravenous + much less exercise means, right? Ugh.

I'm anxious for my first appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday, but also kind of dreading it because I've gained four pounds since I hit my 5 percent. What's going to happen when I show up at the surgeon's office, and I'm sure they'll want to weigh me, and when they see I'm no longer at 5 percent, what happens then? Has anyone heard of this happening to anyone? Will they send me back to try to lose those four pounds back? Will my insurance deny me for it?

Ugh, y'all, I'm trying so hard, and sometimes it feels like I'll never make it to the actual surgery! And I'm feeling awfully petulant that we show up at the bariatric practice because we have trouble losing weight and keeping it off, and what's the first thing they say? "Lose weight." Does that sound like cruel and inhuman punishment to anyone else? ;)

Erk, sorry for the whine-age. I'm going to bed and find a better attitude in the morning. *hugs for all*

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Have to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time...

The fam and I went for some light hiking today! We picked two easy trails, about a mile long each, and had a break in between. My knee's a little sore tonight but not too bad. I'm hopeful that I can get back in a routine soon. :)

I wish I hated pictures of myself less -- it would've been nice to be in some of the pictures. But I just don't wan't to look at myself at this point. Hopefully soon!