- Name: Donna Jensen
- Username: djensenak
- Location: Fort Lewis, WA, USA
- Member Since: 4/28/2005
- BMI: 40.9
- Post Op - Planning a revision
- Surgery Type: RNY (06/22/07)
- Surgeon: Kenneth M.R. Warnock
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Before & After
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Surgeon TestimonialKenneth M.R. WarnockI met Dr. Warnock for the first time in early May, and I have to say I was impressed with him. He takes his time with you, answers all of your questions, and tells you what he expects of you. We discussed mortality rate, his techniques, anticipated hospital stay, everything. My husband came to the appointment as well and all of his questions were answered too. I'm feeling very comfortable with the decision to do this surgery.rnUpdate:rnI'm now 1 week post op, and my confidence in Dr. Warnock has been well placed. I've attended a number of support group meetings made up of at least half of Dr. Warnock's patients and everyone agrees. The man is a Godsend. He is the best surgeon I could have ever asked for and I would highly recommend him to anyone considering going to him. He truly cares about each and every one of his patients.
Donna Jensen's JourneyClick Here To View
Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
There wasn't much battle, I just ate what I wanted, when I wanted. Thats how I got where I am today...about 175 pounds overweight. I had a harsh adult life, living most of it right at the poverty line where I didn't qualify for federal help, but didn't make enough to live on. I had to go without so many things that I didn't want to deny myself food. Later on after life improved and I was living comfortably, I'd made food such a pleasurable and fun part of my life, I couldn't give it up. When I did want to lose weight, it was nearly impossible because of my well ingrained habits.
Monday - Sept 17, 2007 / 3 months out on September 17, 2007 1:51 am
Today's post is going to be a reminder of why I have done what I have done to get healthy. It is intended for myself (and anyone else reading) to read and remember why surgery was necessary to change my life should I ever be tempted to stray from the path, or I wonder what the hell I have done to myself. Credit goes to Wulfrune of the UK for starting this thread on the RNY forums and giving me a chance to reflect on my reasons for having surgery.
Top ten reasons I hate being fat.
1. Difficulty driving a car. Can't get that seatbelt around me, and all my shirts have black marks from the steering wheel rubbing my belly.
2. Sitting in restaurant booths just wasn't working for me. I once got wedged in for a few seconds and couldn't get back out or the rest of the way in. Completely mortifying. Ahh but in those restaurants where I DID fit in the booth...the table certainly was a nice resting spot for my boobs. Who needs a napkin in their lap? Not me!
3. Sitting on airplanes was near impossible. I never knew they had seatbelt extenders, so when the seatbelt lights came on, I would just have my sweater in my lap to hide the fact that I wasn't wearing one. Never mind putting the try table down either. I either held my drink or used the tray table in an empty seat near me.
4. Sex was such an ordeal that I started trying to avoid it. It's gotten better, but I still won't do anything in the bedroom with my husband unless it's dark.
5. Not having a lap really sucks. My cats try to get on my lap for some lovin' and I always end up with claws in my leg when they fall off because my belly is in the way. Or how about going to a fancy restaurant, putting the napkin in your itty bitty lap, and having it fall to the floor in 3 seconds flat. Then it's an exercise in futility to pick it back up without getting out of the chair that the nice host just pushed in for me, like a gentleman.
6. Bending over to put on socks and shoes was a workout all by itself. I used to have to put on my pants first, then use the cuff of the pant leg to lift up my leg high enough to get the ankle crossed over the knee just to put on my socks. The shoes I always bought were slip-ons because tying shoes nearly made my head explode from the blood rushing to my head.
7. Buying clothes for myself. This was once a fun thing for me in my younger, thinner days. Now, I buy clothes once every 5 years when everything I own is falling apart. Trying on clothes in the store's dressing room is the worst kind of ordeal. Pick the biggest size they have, take it in, get it halfway on before realizing it's not going to get over my hips let alone zipping or buttoning. Peel everything off, get re-dressed in my old clothes. Come out of the dressing room dripping sweat and shoving stuff at the attendant like it was her fault it didn't fit. Leave the store without new clothes. Story of my adult life. If I do manage to find something that fits, all it seems to do is make me look rumpled and fatter (is that possible?) and like a slob.
8. Having my husband say to me, "let's go camping this weekend" or "let's go for a bike-ride, it's such a nice day out". And me saying, "aww honey, I wish I could, but I have to do XXXX today" or "Eww camping, with all the bugs and crawly things?" Actually I always loved camping and bike riding but weighing this much makes it nearly impossible to do. Last time I tried to sit on a bike was about 15 years ago and the entire bike seat was swallowed by my butt and I felt like I was sitting on a pole without the seat.
9. Walking was becoming an effort as well and I was tempted to use those motorized carts in the grocery stores whenever I went. I'd have to go into the store with a cart even if I was only picking up one or two things because I knew I couldn't make it through the store without that cart to lean on and rest my back.
10. No energy to do ANYTHING. It took me forever to get the most basic of housework done because I always got tired, sweaty and out of breath doing simple things like vaccuuming, mopping the kitchen floor, cleaning the bathroom, brushing the dog, etc. Forget about things like lawn mowing, leaf raking, snow shovelling and weed pulling. Those were automatically delegated to my husband who is as fit as ever thanks to the military. Sometimes I feel like such a burden to him
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Tuesday - August 28, 2007 - 9 weeks out on August 28, 2007 1:52 pm
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I had my first trip to the gym today. First real gym I should say. The pitiful excuse of a fitness center where I used to work was like a dank hole in the wall compared to this! I met with my very own personal trainer, a bright, bubbly, bald man named Otis. He's awesome and has this charismatic way of motivating everyone around him. I'm looking forward to introducing my husband to him lol.
AlohaJenni, that I met from right here on OH, had me meet her at the gym and she introduced me to Otis. She showed me how the computer thingy works that stores all of my workout information, and got me on the treadmill for a short 10 minute walk while we waited for Otis to finish his class. She looks amazing by the way, and only 9 months out. I've seen her pictures on her profile here, but in person, she looks so different! I can only hope I do as well.
So I start tomorrow morning, 3 days a week at 8am on a beginners circuit training program, plus I'll go back every night for a walk on the treadmill with my husband (he doesn't know this yet
) I'm very much looking forward to this!
Look out Terri! I'll be catching up to you before you know it!
Friday - August 24, 2007 - 9 weeks out on August 24, 2007 4:13 pm
Well today is my 9th post-op week. So far so good. I hit a stall a couple of times and I have learned if I eat more
when that happens, the scale starts to move again. Then I go back to what I was eating before until the next stall.
I quit my job this week. Couldn't take anymore of that over stressful place. I'm trying to figure out how to pay my bills, but even that is less stressful than that job. So anywho, I've been exercising more now that I'm gainfully unemployed. And I've been exploring the joys of cooking again. Something I haven't done in many a year. I've found some good recipes on Sparkpeople.com and some really great recipes from some people here on OH. Looking back through weeks and months on the recipe forums also yields some good recipes. Everything I make is low fat, low sugar, high protein, and very yummy. Thus my husband is also getting healthy
I've been to the store to buy one new outfit so I have something that looks halfway decent to interview in. I'm keeping the receipts so I can return everything too lol. I've gone down 3 or 4 sizes since surgery, totally shocked when I went to the dressing room with the size I thought
I'd fit into, only to have to go back out and find the next size down. And get this. My FEET (had to buy new shoes with the new clothes) are a full size smaller! That just rocked me.
I still don't see a real difference in my pics. I am posting an update picture each month now. I'm still heavy. BUT the last time I weighed what I do now was 20 years ago just before I got pregnant with my second child. So that says something. I'm losing slow, but I'm ok with that...as long as I'm losing. I've been big for so long, I won't know what to do with myself once I get down to a healthy weight.
I got to talk on the phone to one of the girls on my friends list today. AlohaJenniH who actually lives pretty close by me. We chatted for a long time today and it was great. We have some stuff in common, like living in Alaska, working in the same place (at different times), having a husband in the military, and stationed at Ft. Sill. We made a date to go to one of the gyms on post for Tuesday. Hopefully I can get on a regular routine and turn up my exercise levels a notch or two. It'll be really nice to have someone to talk to in person who has already experienced what I'm going through now.
Well, haven't I just rambled on and on. I need to get dinner put away and clean up the kitchen. Have a lovely weekend!
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Thursday - Aug 9, 2007 - 7 weeks out on August 9, 2007 3:43 pm
Tomorrow is my 7th post op week, officially. I'm feeling pretty good, even though I can't see
any results yet, I can feel them. I went to my nutritionist today and she told me (gasp) that I'm not getting enough fat or carbs in my diet to be healthy. She said just because I've had surgery doesn't mean my body needs that much less than someone who hasn't had surgery. I think she has a point lol. She said I need fat in my diet so my body can absorb my fat soluble vitamins (those are A, D, E and K in case you wanted to know). I asked if my body can't just use the tons of fat it already has. She said no, of course. That is fat stored in tissue and cells for energy, not for vitamin absorption. That has to come from the foods I eat. She didn't say "DUH" but she didn't need to
Then she said I need to have between 90-100 grams of carbs in my diet to keep out of long term ketosis. Now I know there's a thousand opinions on the safety of being in ketosis, so it's hard to know what to believe. I'll bump up my carbs a little and see how I do on weight loss. If I stall out again, I'll take them back down.
So for the record, this is where she wants to see my ranges for the different levels:
Calories between 600 and 800 (which is where I am)
Protein between 60 and 65 (which is where I am)
Fat between 20 and 25 grams (which I've been way under)
Carbs between 90-100 grams (which I've been about half that)
I got half of it right anyways hehe
I've been back at work for a couple of weeks now. That first day back was a killer! I was fine at work, then came home ravenous because I thought I'd eat lunch at home. WRONG. I ate too fast, didn't chew well enough, and suffered mightily for 12 hours afterwards! Longest day of my life, I swear. I learned to eat my lunch at work, at my desk, and chew it really really good. Since then, everything's been great. I haven't had any foamies since that day, and I'm sure not going to attempt anything that might cause dumping. I don't even want to know if I dump.
I've lost 31 pounds so far, and like I said, I can feel it. I can walk 2 miles, and sometimes 3 miles if the heat lets up for a lousy hour
I can wear things I haven't worn in a good five years, and I'm still thanking God he blessed me with a packrat nature and I never throw away anything, like the old clothes I outgrew 5 years ago! Even my shoes are feeling loose and that just tickles my pickle
Anyways, off to find some dinner. Till next time...
I LOVE MY OH!
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I have been severely overweight for more than 20 years, working up to a BMI of 54. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about bariatric surgery before I decide to do it, but I have had abdominal surgeries before (hernia repair, gall bladder removal, and 2 c-sections) and recovering from surgery is awful for me.I have tried one last time to lose weight the traditional way (watching calories in vs calories out) As always, I lose about 20 pounds then it all comes to a screeching halt. I try for about 2 more weeks, changing the caloric intake, or increasing the exercise....but nothing. So I give up and gain back the 20, plus maybe 10 more. Thus has been the story of my life for the past 22 years. This website has helped me alot, reading from real people that have had the surgery done and reading about their post op life.
My 41st birthday has come and gone now, and my decision to follow through with the surgery is more gelled in my mind. I've been to 2 group support sessions with my surgeon, had 3 consultations with a nutritionist, and one consult with the hospitals social service rep. I'm told to expect to have the surgery around the end of March or beginning of April since this is an Army hospital and my surgeon is currently on a 90 day deployment (gotta wait for her to get back!). In the meantime, I'm told I need to lose 15 pounds which is soooooo hard for me to do, even without the holidays! I'm currently tracking my calorie intake and activity through a web site called Sparkpeople.com. I HIGHLY recommend it since it's one of the few that are free to use.
In past years I tried Phen/fen, which in the end, landed me in intensive care with a near death experience that will stay with me forever. I tried Slimfast, I tried Dexatrim, I tried Atkins Diet (hello skyrocketing cholesterol levels), and South Beach. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Curves, memberships to a health club, enough books on dieting and exercise to fill a library. You name it, I've done it, and failed. One of my greatest fears is vomiting, as I used to experience a drop in blood pressure when it happens and I usually lose consciousness. It's so absolutely scary that I do anything I can to avoid it. That dizzy feeling I get before it happens is the main reason I never got into drugs when all my friends were doing them when I was younger. That will be the main thing to keep me strictly following doctors/dieticians orders when I'm post-op.
Surgery for weight loss is by no means an "easy" way out. For me it's scary and a last resort. I have a love affair ongoing with food and it will be a hard thing to give up, but give it up, I must if I don't want to die young and leave my husband a widower far too young.