Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And In This Corner, Weighing In At......

.....Well honestly I'm not ready to say how much I weigh on this blog yet but someday I swear I will. It will make your jaw drop.

Here's some of what's been going on since my last post a week ago.

Wednesday, Nov 23, I had my one week follow up appointment with the doctor. I got some staples removed and of course weighed me. I was down 18 pounds in a week! It was wonderful! I pretty much felt like crap but the weight loss made it worth it. I was also down a total of 27 since June 10, when I had my initial consultation with the surgeon.

I was "promoted" to the next food level which allows me to add reduced fat creamed soups and drinkable yogurt to my food plan. Truth be told I really wanted a tuna fish sandwich!

Thursday, Nov. 24-Thanksgiving. I wasn't really worried about Thanksgiving because I felt like I could have some soup and maybe some runny mashed potatoes and feel fine. That's pretty much what I did. It did fill me up and I didn't feel like I was missing out on too much. I wasn't hungry in the way I would have been prior to surgery. I did have a couple of bites of moist turkey which satisfied me. I was a little nervous about how it would make my tummy feel but all was well.

Friday brought a new challenge because I REALLY wanted something to chew. I had some tomato soup for lunch and added 3 Cheese-It crackers. NOT the best idea. It didn't bother me at all, except in my brain because I knew I shouldn't really have crackers. I figured it couldn't be all that bad since it was all soggy and mushy from the soup. I resolved that Saturday I would not add any extras to my food plan.

On Saturday I needed to go to the grocery store. I hardly eat a thing but the rest of my family needs to eat. I have been tracking my calorie intake and I'm basically surviving on any where from 300 to 500 calories. It's not a great way to sustain yourself when you have much to do. So basically I almost passed out at Walmart because by 3 in the afternoon I'd managed to get water in but also only about 4 ounces of a protein shake so that was only about 75 calories for the day. Walking around Walmart, pushing a cart and shopping pretty much did me in. Luckily my husband was there, took me to find a seat, gave me some applesauce and I waited for him to finish.

It was an interesting phenomena to be in Walmart surrounded by food but not really have the desire to want to buy something to eat it. Nothing really sounds that great except for tuna fish!

I joined a group online called Obesity Help and have found a lot of people in the same circumstances as I am. It is a great resource to have and a great way to feel supported by people who KNOW what I'm going through.

One thing I've found is that EVERY single surgeon out there has their own idea of how to "graduate" food levels. There are some people who are eating soft foods within 4 days of surgery. My surgeon, however, seems to be very conservative. His plan is for you to be on liquids for a week, then for the next two weeks to be on modified liquids with the soups and yogurt added in and then at week 4 to add soft meats, cheeses, etc.

Well....one of the gals I met on the site had surgery the same day I did and she's been eating ALL kinds of stuff including eggs. I REALLY wanted something savory. The protein shake, sweet drinks, water, broth thing gets old REAL fast. So I made myself an egg on Sunday night. NOT the best idea I've ever had! That thing just sat on my stomach and made me feel terrible. I was up until 2 a.m. drinking water trying to get it down and out of my tummy. Lesson learned.

I go back to the doctor on Friday to have the rest of the staples removed. I've lost another 3 pounds since being there last week so the losing has slowed down significantly. It can be a little discouraging because I'm like, "Geeze, if I'm only eating like 500 calories a day and I can't lose more weight than this is it going to be worth it?" But I have read a lot and talked to a lot of people and I'm assured that my body is just adjusting and that I'll start losing more again.

Non Scale Victories- I put away my summer clothes NEVER to wear them again. I will donate them to the local clothes closet in the spring when they want summery clothes. It felt wonderful to say, "it's all too big!"

I also go out my winter clothes and all of my jeans from last year are already too big. I'll just have to wear baggy clothes for now. I'll have to get a couple of slacks at the new year for sure! Whoot!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

So...I had my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy on the 16th...6 days ago. I thought I'd feel better than I do. It's still a bit painful to swallow stuff and have "food" which is just liquids in my tummy for now. I see the surgeon tomorrow for a follow up. I was totally wishing they could undo what they'd done to me about 30 minutes after I woke up in the recovery room. I felt awful.

Today I'm feeling slightly better. I actually got up, got a shower, did my hair and makeup. I took a picture of myself and put it side by side with a photo I took on October 27. All I can say is A. MAY. ZING.! I took my measurements and I'm down 14.25 inches since the surgery! I guess feeling like garbage is paying off.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm not gonna lie...

As soon as I woke up from the surgery I thought to myself..."just put my stomach back and let me go home!" I was in quite a bit of pain and VERY groggy from the pain medication.

Honestly I didn't have any issues with not being able to eat anything until Thursday because I was so out of it after the surgery. Food was the last thing on my mind. I haven't really had any hunger pains at all. I have felt my tummy growl this afternoon but that's because I've been sleeping on and off since I got home.

The doctor presented my husband with this lovely photo of my guts. He says he loves my guts but honestly who wants to see this? (I'm assuming someone might since I'm posting it here) My doc was very surprised that I didn't have diabetes because of the fat infiltration in my liver. He says that as I lose weight this will go away.

See all that fat? It's disgusting isn't it? I wonder why they don't lipsuction it out when they are doing the surgery? That would be swell wouldn't it?

Anyway...the first night was pure hell. I didn't sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time because I had all these IV fluids going into me and I was up going to the bathroom ALL night long. I wasn't all that happy about them coming into my room to change the sharps container at 3 a.m. either.

At 8:00 a.m. they took about 4 of us down to the radiology department to do a scan of our stomachs to see if they were still holding, any leaks etc. The barium was so gross it made me gag. I really wanted a huge swig of water but there is no such thing as huge swigs right now.

Back to the room around 8:30 and I was brought clear liquids to drink. Protein drinks, Crystal Lite, chicken broth, water. They also brought me a sheet of paper to keep track of my liquids. I'm to drink 1 ounce of liquid every 15 minutes...and it should take just about 15 minutes to get that one ounce down too. I'm forever drinking but it is getting a lot better.

I have NO desire to eat any real food at this point. In fact tonight my family ordered pizza from my favorite pizza place but it kind of looked like my stomach pictures up there so I wasn't feeling cheated at all.

Last night around 8 or so I got on the scale...One day and 6 pounds gone. Today when I got home...another 4 pounds since Wednesday. I know it will slow down but I'm going to make the most of this by following the guidelines strictly. On Thursday, just in time for Thanksgiving, I can add yogurt drinks and soup to my regime. I'm good with that. I don't feel like I have to have pie or anything like that at all. I'm so looking forward to this new life.

I stayed an extra night in the hospital because my white count was up a little bit but after this morning's blood work it was working it's way down so I was discharged. I have to give myself lovanox shots for the next 7 days to thin my blood and prevent blood clots, got an RX for liquid hydrocodone and also for Zofran. I really haven't felt nauseated at all since a few hours after surgery. I'm getting used to swallowing for now.

Look for more updates later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dawn of a New Day

My Mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on.
- the movie Forrest Gump
Tomorrow morning I begin anew. Here are the classic before shots. It's me today but not me tomorrow. 

P.S. I'm either crazy or brave to post these pictures for the world to see. But then again, I let people see me every day so....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ch, ch, ch, changes...

So this morning I've been thinking....I got on the scale this morning and realized that after today I will NEVER see the number that I saw on there today! This is the last weekend before my surgery. I am more than excited!

On Wednesday I went to take my stress test and to the pre surgery class. I got my "Bariatric Bible" which tells me what I can eat for the next 7 weeks and beyond. I'm not gonna lie...the first 3 weeks sound like hell but I know it will be so worth it!

And I chose to have the surgery right before Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I'm really o.k. with it. I had to go grocery shopping yesterday. (I do have a family that needs to eat regular food while I am working on liquids and soft foods.) It was interesting to me how much money I didn't have to spend on groceries. Walking down the aisles and knowing that I cannot put certain things in my mouth kept me from even putting them in my cart. Instead of feeling disappointed at the things I cannot eat I am excited about the weight I will lose and getting back to a healthy weight.

Today I've been a little emotional thinking about how much life will change for me in 4 days. I don't find myself wishing for a cookie or feeling like I'll miss out on food which I obviously will for a while. I find myself thinking about who I will become after this procedure. I find myself thinking, "When people see pictures of me at my daughter's college graduation they will wonder who is standing with my husband and daughter." , "When I am about 5 months out I might just be wearing a size 12 skirt." and things of that nature. I'm really only thinking about the positive things that will come out of this.

I have thought about the negatives, the lose skin, the nausea etc. But overall I'm happy that I can get past those things. I did find out that 2 years post op I will be able to have a tummy tuck. That will be another wonderful day in my life. My stomach has not looked the same since November 1984 when I was about 4 months pregnant with my first child. The stretch marks came even then. My post pregnancy body was such a disappointment to me. I never had the opportunity for my stomach to shrink because the skin was so stretched after my first baby that it just hung there. Not puffy or swollen but hanging. Not a pretty sight. Lucky (and I do say lucky) for me I have a hernia. SO...that means when it's time for that to be fixed I can score a tummy tuck.

There are some whose reactions to my decision have been less than supportive. They've never been me and they've never been this over weight and they've never tried to lose weight unsuccessfully for almost 27 years. Those that are supportive have been great! I'm really excited to recreate this body. The thin girl in me is ready to emerge again!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 1 Of Liquid

I'm not gonna lie...this sucks!

I've had 2 protein shakes today, lots of water and I want to eat my fist off! It's going to be worth it in the end....right?!

I know it will be worth it in the end but you have no idea how much I just want to go in my kitchen and eat something...anything. It can be healthy, I'd eat a banana, an apple or some cottage cheese but I don't think I'm allowed to do that at all. Just the shakes and one lean cuisine or Healthy Choice type dinner.

Now to go make spaghetti for the rest of the family. Can I lick the spoon of the pasta sauce?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A date which will live in...what's the opposite of Infamy?

Apparently the opposite of infamy are dignity, goodness, innocence, morality, righteousness and virtue. I think the most appropriate word for this situation might be goodness.

In any case...I finally have my surgery scheduled for Wednesday, November 16. I will begin my liquid/low cal diet on Monday. I'm supposed to have 2 protein shakes a day and one dinner which should be a Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice type frozen dinner. I also have to go in for a stress test on the 9th. I figure I should do pretty well on that actually. If they make me run they might have to get the paddles out though!

The reality of what I will be going through probably hasn't really sunk into my brain yet. I do know that I'm very prepared for the reality of eating a half a boiled egg and feeling satisfied. I mean, for how many years have I been eating the way I have been. I am praying with all my might that I'll do alright for the 10 days on this low, low cal diet before the surgery.

Now, let me just say a little something about the picture I chose for this blog entry. It says Happiness Just Ahead. I am generally a very happy person. The thing is that I know that I will be happier at a healthier more normal weight. I know I'll be happier not having to shop at plus size stores. I know I'll be happier in some ways that I am not happy in right now. It's not that I expect the surgery to "fix" everything in life. Like I said, I'm pretty darn happy right now! I have a husband who loves me whether I have the surgery or not, I have awesome kids and grandkids, I have a great place to live, a nice car to drive, I have a great spiritual life, I have wonderful friends, a fulfilling job in my church. So it's not that I'm looking for the surgery to "make me happy". I'm just looking for the surgery to help enhance my already happy life. Plus I'm looking forward to buying a pair of jeans that are meant for fit one person and not a pair that two people can wear.

So....some happiness is just ahead. Before the happy part will come some uncomfortable stuff but I'm ok with that.