- Username: Diane324
- Location: Apalachin, NY, USA
- Member Since: 8/30/2009
- BMI: 36.5
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: RNY (09/15/09)
- Surgeon: John Mecenas
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Huge Goal Met - YAY! on April 4, 2010 9:04 am
Anyone who has been following my journey knows that I have struggled with what seems to me to be slow weight loss post Op. At my 6 month visit, I was down less than 60 pounds since surgery. My doctor was ok with the weight loss, but reminded me that I may still end up obese after losing all that I can. That was disappointing news - i didn't have this major life changing surgery to STILL be obese! I was certain that I would be at a 100 pound loss by six months postOp - I had lost 79 pounds preOp. Clearly I had the knowledge, tools and what it takes to really excel at this, right? Hmmm....
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Obviously at the beginning of March I was really doubting myself. Over the past several weeks my weight loss rate has picked up - I'm having some trouble with my stomach. Eating is sometimes difficult and I find myself having more protein drinks to make sure I'm getting in enough protein during the day. To my dismay, I was put back on omeprazole - my primary care thinks the stomach discomfort and trouble eating is due to stomach acid. I will give it a few more days, and then give in and contact my RNY surgeon. I know the omeprazole takes a little while to kick in - so I'm giving it a chance.
So, I weighed in today and I am down 79 pounds post Op - I have matched my pre Op weight loss and have lost 158 pounds! I'm over 2/3 of the way to my goal weight! Another 10 pounds and I will be back to the weight I started at 6 years ago - when I lost 140 pounds and gained back almost 170. That scares and excites me - in a way this is a new beginning - venturing into new territory that I haven't seen since my early 20s - hoping that I can break past the next big goals. 210 will be 100 pounds lost since surgery, and then there is breaking the 200 pound barrier and getting into ONDERland - for the first time since I was probably 18! I never thought I would get back to this place again - and as hard as it is to try NOT to look ahead to a goal weight - seeing the goals that are coming up ten pounds at a time is SO exciting!
Ten pounds seems like NOTHING compared to 158 pounds - when I started this journey even losing 30 pounds didn't affect my clothing size - now, ten pounds can change whether or not a pair of jeans fits! My pants are down from a snug size 32 to a comfortable 20/22 depending on the cut and material. Shirts are a 22/24. I would probably be a full two sizes smaller if it weren't for the large amount of loose skin around my stomach and abdomen - but for now, I will just live with it. I'm starting to have some rashes and discomfort around the skin folds - I will start finding out how to document these issues and hope that my health insurance will at least help pay to remove some of the excess skin down the road. But for now - I have these 66 pounds to work on. And who knows if that's my real goal - I've always said that I will know what my goal is when I get there. How do you decide what is right for your body when you haven't been a "normal" weight since before puberty?
I write these blogs for a few reasons - I want to be able to look back on what I was thinking and feeling during this journey. I keep my blog public for anyone who might find support, help or information they need in here. It would be great if the world realized that WLS is NOT the easy way out. Have any of us had an easy time getting here?
I'm encouraged that the scale is moving again - I see a glimmer of light at then tunnel's end. Don't misunderstand me - working on my weight is going to be my job for the rest of my life, but with perserverence it will be maintaining a healthy weight and not losing the same weight again and again (and again ...)
So I didn't get to 100 pounds in months - it's not how fast I can do this - it's that I do this, and that I stick to it, stop giving up and don't go back where I started. No more stuffing my emotions with food. I am thankful everyday for this tool - that it keeps me from undoing all of my hard work.
As always I will check back with news, hopefully good news.
6 month bloodwork, my issues .... on February 28, 2010 1:15 pm
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Ok, I've acknowledged for awhile that I have issues - and that I'm dealing with some and I still need to confront some others.So - I thought that my pre surgery weight loss of 79 pounds meant I was going to be a postOp Rock Star. Here I am, 2 weeks shy of my 6 month "Surgiversary", and my postOp weight loss is 61 pounds. I am disappointed to say the least - yes, it's still a good thing and no, I'm not giving up. I just wonder what I'm doing wrong?In November my iron levels were found to be slightly low - so I started iron supplements - yet the fatigue has continued. I am MORE tired that I have every been - even 140 pounds ago.My 10 tubes of blood, drawn for my 6 month PostOp showed that I am at the low end of the Vitamin D range - although inside of the "normal" range - my primary care said anything below 30 is considered deficient (I'm at 27). From what I have seen on line - a good level is up around 70 or so? And apparently obesity and Vitamin D deficiency are linked together - although I couldn't find any information that indicates getting your Vitamin D levels back up would help with weight loss. But it really makes me wonder, is this Vitamin D deficiency part of the explanation for my sluggish weight loss? (If anyone out there has any information about this - feel free to comment or PM me).
It also revealed that my liver enzymes are elevated. These same enzymes were normal in November. Since the liver metabolizes fat - again I wonder, is this related to my slow weight loss? My PC is repeating the tests and adding some additional liver function tests and also testing for hepatitis - although the hepatitis is unlikely. From the research I have done, weight loss can be the cause of the elevated enzymes - and from talking to my PC - they could be a lot higher than they are, and I would still be ok, so I guess they are only mildly elevated at this point. And since lots of stuff are stored in fat - I imagine as we lose fat, these things have to be released and processed as this happens. We rarely go out to eat since surgery - it's a frustrating experience. I can find things on the menu - but often because of the coumadin, I can't have any of the side dishes. I don't mind that I have to take 2/3 or more of my meal home - its nice to have meals I don't have to prepare - but the things I used to love about going out to dinner just aren't there anymore. The one thing that IS so cool - and I STILL have to sit and enjoy it for a few minutes BEFORE I even look at the menu is sitting in a booth. There is a good 6 or 8 inches between my belly and the table now - last year - if we got stuck with a booth (I would usually request a table if at all possible) I had to squeeze into it, and would drip food onto myself because I couldn't lean forward because I just didn't fit! I also moved my car seat forward recently.So - my 6 months is over in just 15 days. I still have 80 to 100 pounds to lose - and I'm scared to death I am not going to lose it because I have missed my window. I thought when I started on this journey that I would be happy just to get below 200 pounds - but that is 49 pounds away and I know now that is isn't enough for me. I want to get to "normal". I'm also starting to deal with discouragement with my skin. My upper arms, panni/abdomen and thighs are so loose and gross already. Even in the cold February weather I'm already itchy and having minor rashes - I imagine summer is going to be a nightmare.
So - I've upped my Vitamin D - per my PC's direction - and I will see what my surgeon and NUT have to say next Monday when I go in. And I imagine they will have some insight as to they relationship between the Vitamin D level and whether or not it has anything to do with how slow my weight loss is going. If nothing else - I'm sure they will have some suggestions for me - and some advice to encourage me and get me past my current discouraged state.
I know depression is not uncommon post RNY - and I actually have a psyc consult coming up next week. Certainly being the single mom to 2 "terrible teens" is adding to my frustration - and they are both causing me a lot of stress and their antics have been spilling over into issues at the school and legal problems which now means that Social Services is a part of my life - and of course in their eyes - anything my kids do wrong is my fault. It took me until I was 41 to focus on myself and get my life under control (starting with my weight) and its hard not to feel that I'm being punished for not putting the kids ahead of myself like I have for the past 13 years of raising them on my own. I'm sure that feeling of guilt over doing something for myself isn't uncommon for WLS patients. And it's probably all part of the struggle I'm currently going through - wondering if I'm one of the people who's surgery wasn't successful. I know that sounds crazy - since 61 pounds isn't a flop either. And all in all I am down 140 pounds - which is a HUGE big deal. I always want MORE than what I've got.
So I will pop back in a few weeks and let you know how the postOp visit went, and what's going on with the Vitamin deficiency and the Liver Enzymes.
Till then ... keep losing - hopefully I will too!
Inches ... on January 3, 2010 12:25 pm
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I didn't have the forethought to take measurements when I was at my highest weight - but I did take a set in September. In December, I took another set to see what the difference was. At the time my weight loss was 36 pounds between the sets of measurements. The amazing part is that I lost 10.5 inches with those 36 pounds. I really wish I knew the before measurements - it would be amazing to know the total inches lost by now!
I had planned to take photos and measurements every month, but somehow plans never seem to workout. But I think doing it quarterly is probably good. That way I can see a noticeable difference. Maybe when a months weight loss is aKin greater percentage of the total the frequency will increase.
The slow weight loss has me bummed - I've been going over food logs and trying to figure out where I'm going wrong. I've some to the conclusion that I think I'm not getting enough protein. I will be chatting with the nutritionist tomorrow and getting some recommendations for how to increase the protein and whether it should be shakes or food.
My water and supplements are good, my activity level is increasing. I'm sure I will push through this and get back into the losing zone.
I recently read one of my posts written right after surgery where I had said "I find it hard to believe depression is an issue after this surgery" - and now I stare it in the face most days. I'm not convinced that it's enough to consider medication, but I do think its time to go talk to someone before it goes any further.
Kind of a depressing post ... but I think its just another part of this journey.
Until next time .... Diane
End of the year - what I accomplished this year ... on December 31, 2009 7:28 am
This time last year I weighed about 360 pounds and was miserable at my job - I hated it. I was suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, High Blood Pressure, Borderline Type II Diabetes, back pain, depression (all weight related) and in March what started as Bronchitis ended up revealing bilateral Pulmonary Embolisms (blood clots in each lung - 30% chance of fatality) and caused my March 24th (actual birthday) RNY surgery to be cancelled.
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In June, I was laid off, and the area I live in has been hit very hard by the recession - 5 years ago it took me a year to find a programming job, and as my ex isn't paying child support, I got behind on my bills even faster this time. I got a notification about a job fair from the Dept of Labor and went to it - I waited over 2 hours for 5 minutes with the recruiter. He said he was going to forward my resume on and indicated I was in the running for 2 positions. By late August I hadn't heard back from them, so I contacted the recruiter and asked if they were still interested, when he said yes, I took a chance and told him I was having "minor" surgery on Sept 15th and wondered if we could schedule the interview before the surgery so it didn't hold up their hiring process. Hoping that honesty was the right thing to do, but worried that I had just cut my own throat, I got a phone call that afternoon and interviewed on Sept 2nd. Of course the date they said they would let me know by came and went, so I thought I was waiting for "the letter" in the mail.
As we pulled into the hospital parking lot I got a call from the recruiter telling me to expect an email offer in the next few days, for the higher paying of the two jobs, no longer just a programmer, now I am a Database Administrator and I do some programming as needed. The timing couldn't have been better - talk about going into surgery with a positive attitude!
Surgery went off without a hitch, one extra day in the hospital because of the blood thinners, no big deal. I was even able to sleep in my own bed most of the first night home. My family is less than supportive - I was dropped off at my house and no one ever called or asked if we needed anything, I literally was out driving the next day because we needed a few groceries and stuff. I paid for overdoing it - I was VERY sore that first week or so.
Surgery was September 15th, not my birthday, but it is the birthday of a close friend from support group. Her and I started in the same size pants, 32 and busting out of them. I'm down 10 sizes to a 22 as of now, my dear friend is a tiny size 4 (FOUR) - she is petite and looks amazing especially for a 62 year old woman! I don't see a size 4 in my future, but who knows? I'm looking forward to shopping in the REGULAR section of the store!
I started my new job on October 12th, just 1 day short of 4 weeks postOp. I am happy at my new job, I work with great people and I am in a field that is unlikely to be affectd by recessions. And I ended up with a $5000 "raise". I no longer dread walking in the door at work or fear my boss showing up.
Today I am 264 pounds - which means I lost 96 pounds this year, 46 of those since surgery. My total preOp weight loss was 70 pounds, so I am down a grand total of 125 pounds! I have set my goal at 165 pounds, which may need to be adjusted, but I haven't been that small since 10th grade. So as of today I have LESS than 100 pounds to goal - 99 pounds, but still, having the "to go" ticker in double digits is pretty amazing. I don't recognize the person in the consultation photo - her face is so round and the chin and neck aren't even separate. Even since September my face has continued to change - I wonder what I will look like in another year?
I'm looking forward to this time next year to see what 15 months of RNY can do. I will be SO pleased if I am at my goal - here's to me and all the positive changes I have made. I do hope Mr. Right shows up sometime in the near future - I miss having someone in my life.
Happy New Year! Let's get going on this new year and kick it's butt!
Hugs until later .... Diane
Cautiously Optimistic - I had a GREAT week!!! on December 13, 2009 8:28 am
After the doctors passed the proverbial "buck" around from primary care (who is out of the office, so I can understand the fill in not making a decision) to the surgeon who wanted the hemotologist to decide if I needed an iron supplement - FINALLY a decision was made that yes, I should add an iron supplement. So, Tuesday I added the iron and am still wondering about it because they put me on Ferrous Sulfate - and every place I have looked on the net says Ferrous Fumerate is the better supplement for RNY patients. I will try this for now and see how it goes.
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My surgeon was pleased with the ~36 pounds lost since surgery - and told me not to compare my results to other patients (where have I heard that before?) and that the 79 pounds I lost before surgery defnintely matters and over all I'm doing great. When I commented I had expected to be down close to 100 pounds at 6 months, he said "you have 3 more months - it's entirely possible you will be at or near that weight loss by March". After struggling since late October for each pound I was thinking is he not listening? I go a week or two then lost 3 or 4 pounds then a week or two ...
So, I followed that visit with a meeting with the Nut (I love that abbreviation - just because sometimes I think they are a little crazy). We went over the addition of iron - which she said definitely required Vitamin C with it - chewable. And said to turn back to chewable vitamins and Calcium (w/D) because they seem to be better absorbed. I will finish my current bottle of Citrical, and probably order Calcium on-line because I have yet to find a chewable Calcium Citrate in stores. But I did immediately go back to the chewable vitamins. She also (with the help of a nurse who was visiting for the day) rearranged how I take my medications - to make sure nothing was interfearing with anything else. The up side - maximum absorption of everything I'm taking - the down side - EIGHT doses of medication per day five of which are Calcium (3), Multi-V and Iron +C, then AM meds, PM meds and my coumadin was moved to all by itself at ~5pm - hopefully maximizing it's absorption. I would LOVE to get off of the coumadin, but until I can get down closer to 200 pounds - I'm guessing I won't be able to get the hemotologist to go for that - since repeat blood clots indicate lifetime coumadin therapy.
So - the GREAT WEEK part?!?!?!? I dropped 6 pounds this week from Monday to Sunday! I haven't lost that much in a week since the first couple weeks post surgery and I'm THRILLED! I am hoping that this isn't just because I stalled from 12/1 to 12/7 - but even with recent stalls, I still haven't seen a 6 pound drop in a week. So, I think the addition of iron and changing to the chewable vitamin (which is also a 'better' vitamin meaning it has more in it) that the coated pill I was swallowing - that may have just been passing right through. The cautious part comes it when I wait to see how the next couple weeks go. I truly hope this continues - even if it's 3 or 4 pounds per week - I do get SO frustrated when that needle on the scale stands still day after day. (Note: I do not weigh myself everyday - I try to go about 3 days between checking on that scale, and I never record my weight more than once per week. Lately it's been only every couple weeks, when the scale changes by at least 3 or 4 pounds.)
The other thing that improved my week was seeing my consultation photo. I never took a photo at my maximum weight - then again, who ever knows when they are at their maximum weight? But, the nurse at the surgeons office took a new photo at this visit, and I asked if I could get a copy of the original photo, and she printed both out for me. I really needed to see the difference that ~120 pounds has made - I will up load the photos as soon as I scan them - but I can see the things other people have commented on. My face is totally different - I have cheek bones, and while I still have an extra chin - I'm not sure if you could tell where my chin ended and my neck began before!
Obviously at 268 pounds and a BMI of 43.3 I still have a way to go - 103 pounds to my goal weight - so I still see a fat person in the mirror - and now this fat person has some seriously sagging skin which is a whole other post to discuss - but I can see the progress I have made. And I have so much confidence that this is permanent weight loss because of the changes I made for over a year before surgery that allowed me to lose 79 pounds before having surgery. I can't wait to match that number with post surgery weight loss - there will be a little party when I get to 231 pounds! That's only 37pounds away, can you imagine a time when one of us would have said "ONLY 37 POUNDS" - and for the record, that will put me right about at the weight I got down to in 2004 when I lost 140 pounds on my own, and then gained back 170 pounds and beat myself up for a couple years before taking control back and finding my wonderful surgeon and his support program. I wouldn't be where I am without my support group.
On that note - I'm going to end this post - check back later for a couple photos - the consultation one, and the new one the surgeon took. I really need to update my measurements to see how many inches I have lost. I got my butt into a pair of jeans that have been laughing at me for awhile - and it felt great! They are jeans with NO stretch to them!
For anyone not in a support group - please find one - it's my life line. In addition to having a couple close friends who have had surgery and are several years post op and have been successful. And I do know someone who isn't in a support group and has used her lap band to become bulemic she's lost weight - but she is well on her way to becoming seriously ill and her family and friends won't say anything to her. Take care of yourselves - we did this to get healthy - not to develop a new illness!
I will be in touch soon - and hopefully with more good news!
My Story I am 41 years old and have been pursuing WLS for about a year and a half now. In March 2008 my weight reached an all time high of 389 pounds. I had been working with a surgeon closer to my home, but wasn't making progress with weight loss due to fluid retention - after a troubling session with their psychologist, I chose to leave their program.
In August 2008 I met with Dr. Mecenas, who seemed quiet and reserved, but knowledgeble and concerned. I had researched the surgeries and decided that after being overweight since I was about 12 years old, and after multiple yo-yo attempts at weight loss that always ended up adding more weight than I had lost, the RNY was a better option for me than the lap band. I also wasn't crazy about the idea of having the band inserted and having fills done periodically.
By the time I met with Dr. M, I had to prepare written answers to about a dozen questions that would indicate I fully understood the procedure - I think I ended up with about 14 pages of information that I had looked up on the Internet and after going over that and my reasons for choosing the RNY procedure he agreed with me and gave me a goal to reduce my BMI from ~64 to 50 before the surgery.
As of today, 16 days before my surgery, I have about 7 pounds to lose to meet that objective. I am beginning my two week liquid diet, I have given up my vice, Coke and I am cautioulsy optimistic. My original surgery was scheduled for March 24, 2009 - but had to be cancelled because I developed bilateral PEs (blood clots) in my lungs just 2 weeks before the surgery.
Although the blood clots have been gone for a couple months, Dr. M was insistent that the surgery not take place before September to insure my safety during the surgery. I am hopeful that this surgery will be the tool that helps me lose this weight permanently and will help to relieve the back pain I experience everyday. I hope to experience life as a normal size person, and to break free of the discrimination that obese people live with everyday.