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Surgeon TestimonialCharles A. Svendsen, M.D.My first impression of Dr. Svendsen was that he was friendly and made me laugh, so he made me feel comfortable right away. I didn't really have many questions about the procedure, but he asked again and again if I had any. Since I'm a nurse, I felt that I really understood the procedure going into it... But for a lay person, I'm just saying it seems that he would be very patient and thorough in answering questions if needed. Dr. Svendsen was recommended to me by my friend Heather from work, who had her surgery just a couple weeks before I did. She knew other people he had operated on, and she had heard that he was the best. Dr. Svendsen shared with me that his complication rate was much lower than the national average. Methodist hospital is a \"center of excellence\" for bariatric surgery. I felt very confident. Even though I didn't have many questions, he thoroughly addressed the risks of surgery, and he also discussed with me in detail the game plan for surgery that considered my health history. I would recommend him to anyone considering bariatric surgery. He does a lot of these surgeries every year and is truly a specialist in this field. |
7 Weeks on February 21, 2009 5:08 am
Yesterday was my seven week surgiversary. Things are going great. I am starting to enjoy food agin. My newest find is a natural foods co-op (Seward co-op) near where I get acupuncture twice a week. I am able to buy some good protein bars and greek yogurt there. They have a great salad bar that often has bean or lentil based cold salads. I like to fill up a container of odds and ends from their premade salads--it usually lasts me a few days. They also offer a variety of prepared hot foods and soups. I feel like I'm not eating enough yet to justify cooking a whole lot for myself, so this is a great way for me to get a variety of healthy things for myself. I found a product called "flackers" that are flax seeds made into thin crackers. They are actually made by a doctor I work with. They taste great--not that cardboard taste that a lot of healthy crackers have, and it's a great way for me to get some crunch without the carbs. I picked up some curried tuna with almonds the other day and ate it with the flackers--delish! I'm grappling with whether or not to start eating meat on a more regular basis. Perhaps if I get meat from teh co-op, where I can be assured that it is raised and slaughtered humanely, I can start having a little meat in my diet--for the protein. It's a little more expensive to shop there, but since I don't eat as much (not to mention, I dont eat out any more), I can justify spending a little more for high-quality, healthy food.
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Unfortunately my pain has flared up in the last weeks and I've been on and off pain medications, which tend to make me retain a lot of water, so... the scale is not my friend these days... but I'm not sweating it. I know I'm losing weight, but it might not be reflected on the scale so much. I only weigh myself once a week anyway, so it's not a huge deal. I'm down about 35 pounds from my highest weight.
One month on January 30, 2009 9:16 am
Today is my four week surgiversary! I'm down twenty-five pounds from my highest weight and fourteen pounds since surgery. I haven't lost any weight since last week. Not to worry--I'm not trippin'! I'm doing what I'm supposed to. It'll come. It's probably that infamous first stall as my body thinks it is starving.
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I already mentioned I'm down a bra size. Well, I'm also down a pant size and have been able to wear a couple smaller sweaters this week. I am happy about that. I refused to buy myself clothes when I was at my heaviest because I kept telling myself I would lose the weight, and shopping was so discouraging. So I had a "fat uniform" (see bariatric TV). I just wore the same pair of jeans with a college sweatshirt or a big pink sweatshirt. Not flattering.
Sundar is starting to tell me I look hot. I don't think I've got my hot back, but I guess it's a relative term at this point. Not that having the surgery is about hotness, right? I should probably mention that my sleep apnea resolved practically immediately after surgery, according to Sundar. He says I've hardly snored since. I'm also noticing lately that I'm waking up a little earlier--probably because I'm not as tired since I'm breathing better when I sleep? Now, that doesn't mean I don't go ahead and go right back to sleep. I'm just saying.
I also stopped taking my heart medication. I was taking it for tachycardia. But since it was a beta blocker it stimulated my respiratory system a bit and made me cough a lot, so I just stopped. That reminds me, I should check my pulse. I don't feel like my heart is racing without it. I think it's okay.
I saw my nutritionist yesterday and pretty much got the go ahead to slowly start trying new foods. I told her I only did pureed for a couple weeks. I've been eating mostly soft foods and staying on plan. As long as I chew really well, no problems. My newest meal is ricotta cheese, spaghetti sauce, and soy crumbles (I'm a vegetarian). I love pasta and lasagna, so this is doing the trick. Oh... and a little melted mozzarella on top. YES!
I love you, cheese.
Three weeks on January 23, 2009 12:03 pm
Today is my three week surgiversary. Not much to report. No news is good news. I'm still getting used to not eating much, and that's kind of hard. I'm feeling pretty decent, so of course I want to eat. But I've been a good girl. The protein shakes are getting old, but I can do it. Before long I'll be getting more of the nutrients I need from food rather than protein shakes. I took a good picture of myself today. I'm happy about that. I had a piece of cheese today. It was divine!
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Raising girls... plus... the poopie bandit! on January 16, 2009 10:57 am
This is going to be an exciting edition.
So... I have these ratty old Lane Bryant bras that I've had for over a year. They are in bad shape. Each of them has a broken wire under the right boob. One got so uncomfortable that I couldn't wear it. But I put off the idea of getting a new bra because I knew I was having surgery. Why spend $40 on a bra I would only wear for a month or two? And you guys know... A fat chick can't get away with a cheapie little $15 bra. There need to be excesively wide straps and reinforcements and such. So about a month before surgery I couldn't stand the wire poking any more, so I went to LB and bought a bra. Turns out I bought it a size too small--because I was in a hurry and didn't try it on. So fine. I put up with the raggedy pokey bra a while longer.
Well, today... I got on that one-size-smaller bra. I'm wearing it now. And it feels juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Yippie. That must mean I've lost a couple inches, because the bra size is a couple inches smaller.
OK, on to the next subject. My husband is a Poopy Bandit. He has this pavlovian response that if I'm either in the shower or drying my hair, he MUST come into the bathroom to take a dump and stink the place up. Well.... I've been secretly waiting to take my revenge. Now, we all know that post gastric bypass poopies are the WORST! I mean, I've made my own eyes water. I mean, these are the most wretched, foul-smelling poopies ever--and I'm a nurse, so I'm a trained professional poopie assessor.
This morning my hubby was taking a shower, and I felt that special stirring within me. I had to poop! A-ha!, I thought. Revenge is mine. I ran into the bathroom and got to work. But... it... didn't... smell. Why? My hopes and dreams were dashed. My hubby finished his shower as I was finishing my business. He flung open the shower curtain and exclaimed, "Good morning, Baby!"
Damn you Poopie Bandit. I will get you.
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I got DUMPED! on January 14, 2009 10:32 pm
I think I just had my first dumping experience. I was having some abdominal (leftover surgical) pain, so I took some of the pain medication I have left from the surgery. Dilaudid. Hadn't had any problems with it post op... and I didn't figure it would be a problem now. Well, that stuff is actually pretty sweet, and shortly after taking it, I thought, "I don't feel so good," so I lay down. I thought I was okay... but when I stood up a while later, I had this episode of feeling ill and shaky, sweaty, weak. I felt like I needed to poop or puke or something, so I ran to the toilet. That just returned a little gas. When I got up from the toilet, my face was as white as a sheet. I lay down a little longer, and now I'm fine. Must have been my first dump. Guess that will deter me from biting into a sugary piece of cake any time soon. Ha ha!
Tonight I went to the support group sponsored by the Methodist bariatric program. I didn't have any specific expectations other than to show up, find out what it was all about, and see who was there... Some say that great friendships come from these sort of groups. I'm glad I went. I've been struggling the last couple days with food cravings. Right after surgery, of course, I didn't feel like or think much about eating, but the last couple days, I've been having naughty thoughts about pizza and macaroni and cheese and just about any thing that comes across the TV screen, whether I would normally eat it or not. But anyway, we didn't talk specifically about those sorts of issues. We talked about stress and coping. It was insightful for me to see that people who are a lot further along in this process have many of the same struggles we all have with food addiction--even after surgery. It seemed like a safe environment for people to discuss some of the struggles, and some of the ways of coping with them. After the meeting I felt much better--That I had found a place where I could go for support. I'm not sure what exactly it is I need at this point of my journey, but I plan to keep showing up because it will enrich my journey to meet others who have experienced weight loss surgery. I've done the whole weight watchers thing before, and I know from that experience that meetings help me to stay focused and accountable, so yes, I will continue to go.
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