July 20, 2007 on July 20, 2007 9:03 am
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I no longer have to sit to put on my undies and pants.
I no longer conserve all my steps during the day. I'll walk down the hall every time I have a copy or delivery to make, rather than saving it up for one time in order to save my energy.
It's my first week back to work, and Friday's are dress down days. I got a pair of jeans from a friend and I'm wearing them. They are a size 20. 7 weeks ago when I started this journey, my size 26 jeans were tight. These 20's are a bit tight, but they're over my butt and that's good enough for me! AND my plain grey shirt is an extra-large rather than the 3XL that I would have had on when I left work 7 weeks ago for surgery
I've had a few really good days in a row here. I started back to work on Monday. I'm getting so many compliments on my new look. Not only have I lost 37 pounds, but I started wearing makeup, and my wardrobe has been tweaked thanks to some generous clothing donations. Of course I also think it helped to have 6 weeks of de-stressing and some time in the sun.
The train stairs: These dreaded steps. Every time I approached them, I would cringe because about half-way up I'd want to die. Sometimes I had to stop then and rest before climbing the rest of the way up. ALWAYS I had to stop at the top and rest for a couple of minutes before I could continue my walk home. So, Monday I approached them in the same way, with dread-filled anticipation. I got half-way and I was fine. Mark was waiting for me at the top. I said, "Now comes the real test." I got to the top, did NOT have to rest, continued walking AND talking!!!!! Mark was impressed. But don't you know that I didn't trust that. Yesterday I again approached the stairs with dread, thinking Monday was just a lucky fluke. This time Sheila was waiting at the top as I climbed the steps and started walking and talking. She interrupted me to point out that I didn't need to rest at all, and she did a pretty good imitation of what I USED to look like when I got to the top of the steps. LOL.
After having a conversation with my Celebrate Recovery sponsor, I had a long talk with Mark about how the only thing that will save our marriage is if he can put CONSISTENT energy into the relationship. He's been great the past couple of days, but we'll have to wait and see how long that lasts. Mark took me out to dinner last night. We went to a diner, and I slid into the booth without any trouble, and was able to sit there comfortably. I ordered onion soup and a salad. I was only able to eat about 1/2 the soup, including 1/2 the cheese, and about 4 bites of the salad. I took my time, and so was finished with that amount when Mark was done with his entire steak dinner that included several sides and an appetizer. I was THRILLED with being able to eat such a small amount and still feel satisfied. In fact, I felt a little full after that.
To work it off, I went to the gym (with my daughters) where we worked out for 30 minutes (like Curves). Then this morning I was up at 5:30 to walk my mile. I feel fantastic!!!
June 9, 2007 on June 9, 2007 5:28 am
Someone called me positive and inspirational today. That means the world to me. She said she read my whole blog. Poor thing. LOL. But that made me realize that I hadn't written since my surgery on May 31, 2007.
My name is Jill. I am a recovering food addict. I have 11 days of abstinence, and I feel GREAT!!!!!
The surgery itself went well. My stay in the hospital was uneventful, although it did include one mini-meltdown and a weird pain in the neck that was worse than the pain from surgery. It went away though.
Since coming home, I've been walking 3 times a day. I started around the block and now am up to 2 blocks. Mr. Sparkles is really enjoying our morning walks; and Sheila comes with me for my evening walk. Yesterday it was too hot to walk in the afternoon.
Yesterday I had a difficult moment when my husband ordered pizza and tuna subs for the family, and my dinner was 8 oz of chicken broth. I got a little sad. A part of me wanted to eat pizza and tuna, but I just knew that wasn't a possibility. And the really funny thing is that they were all finished with their dinners before I even finished my cup of broth. And I thought, "Are they even enjoying what they're eating?" I don't think they were. I'll tell you what. When I CAN eat regular food, I am going to enjoy every single bite of it.
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May 18, 2007 on May 18, 2007 9:31 am
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Pre Admission Testing
Wow, they really want to make sure I do okay with this surgery! The clinic I am going to is really incredible. Bariatric surgery is all they do.
Yesterday I went for PATs. I got there and they went over my insurance coverage information. I really have great coverage. The MOST I'd have to put out of pocket is $500, and it'll probably be less than that.
I had to be weighed in. My surgeon WILL NOT do the surgery if you gain any weight between your consultation date and your surgery date. I was terrified to step on the scale. But I had actually lost 4 pounds, so that was very good.
Then it was on to the laboratory where they took my temperature and blood pressure -- which was an amazing 115/56. They commented on how I must not be worried at all. Good thing they didn't take it BEFORE I got weighed! Personally, I think it was because I actually took my meds in the morning. LOL. They then drew 5 tubes of blood. Next I went into an exam room where I got changed. I had a chest x-ray and ekg done in there. That was followed by pulmonary function tests.
At that point, I was given an incentive spirometer to practice with at home. (It's a machine you use to measure inhalations) I was also given a scrubbie to use on my belly the morning of surgery. Unfortunately, because my BMI is over 50, I also had to have an aterial blood gas drawn. Not fun, but not as bad as I expected. After that, the nurse read my CPAP machine, on which I have clocked over 500 hours. She said that was very good.
Another nurse came in and took my medical history again, checking what medications I am on, among other things. She gave me some basic eating and exercise instructions, some handouts to read, and explained what happens at the hospital. The one thing she said that I found very interesting is this: After surgery, the opening between my stomach and intestine is only the size of the head of a ballpoint pen. This is the reason why I am on a liquid diet for so long. It's because of swelling and healing. At 6 weeks out, which is when I'm allowed "normal" food, this opening is only the size of an M&M. Try to eat something bigger, and it will get stuck, causing me to vomit it up, or requiring surgical intervention to remove it. So I was instructed to CHEW CHEW CHEW everything to DEATH at that point.
Next it was the nutritionist who came to visit. She gave me a binder full of information. They call it the Barix Bible. It has recipes for every stage (clear liquid, full liquid, puree, soft foods, regular foods). She told me that my goals are: 64 oz of fluid daily; 70 grams of protein daily; no more than 10 grams of fat per meal; no more than 2 grams of added sugar per serving in anything I eat. We went over how to read food labels. I have dates for when I go on to each new phase. This binder also has menu ideas, info on complications, and even a section on emotional issues and relationships.
I was given two protein drinks to try. Protein is VERY important after surgery, so that you don't lose muscle, your hair doesn't fall out (too much), and you still have energy. Since food is out of the question for several weeks, protein powders make getting protein in possible. I also bought a container of Capuccino flavored powder. I want to get a few more before surgery -- like chocolate, vanilla, fuzzy navel and non-flavored.
FINALLY, the doctor came in. I swear he was from another planet. He took huge pauses between each word. I am SO glad he's not my surgeon!!! He reviewed my lab results and said everything was fine. He switched my hypertension meds to one without a water pill. He said I'll use that after the surgery instead of my current med, because he doesn't want me dehydrating after surgery. He gave me the all clear.
One more thing before I left. A nurse took me outside to take a "before" picture. Then I went home and took a nap. Doctor appointments are exhausting!!!
May 16, 2007 on May 16, 2007 12:14 pm
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I was thinking about our office Christmas party this year. Yeah, I realize it's only May and I haven't had my surgery yet, but I like to plan ahead. So... I picture myself in this great dress, wearing stockings and heeled shoes. And then I think these parties usually include alcohol and food. And then I picture myself ordering water with lemon. And I picture myself taking a few pieces of sushi, or a couple of cheese cubes, a small piece of chicken and a couple of green beans. And I think, I'll plant myself out on the dance floor and dance like I've never danced before, BECAUSE I CAN!!!
I like envisioning myself in different situations like these before it happens.
May 14, 2007 on May 14, 2007 9:26 am
Thoughts for today. While walking into work this morning, I saw someone I usually take the train in with. She looks like she has lost some weight. She seemed narrower, and her butt looked smaller. And I thought, she lost weight. That's all. Her body is a little smaller. It's just weight. It doesn't make her better, just a little smaller.
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But for me, losing weight is so much more than losing weight. It's so much more than a number or a size. It's so much more than shrinking, or becoming smaller or more narrow. It's LIFE.
For me, losing weight means getting my life back. It means being able to do the things I can't do now. Little things like cutting my own toenails, crossing my legs, wearing panty hose. Bigger things like riding a bike, riding a horse, running around the block. Lifesaving things like not having high blood sugar, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
When people look at me, they will only see the physical me. What I look like, and maybe even what I can do differently. But they will not know the struggles I've gone through, the desperation, the depression, the rationalization. They will not know that it has been life and death for me. They will not see the giving up of food addiction.
I suppose it is that way for the alcoholic. No one knows by looking at him what he's been through, or where he's come from.