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Before & After

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regain health and physical energy for the rest of my LONG life.
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 in progress, 
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Jenn's Blog
Jenn Deon's journey back to health

Before and After
October 28, 2011 8:21 am
HW: 270 lbs. SW: 248 lbs. CW: 193 lbs

My sleeve sister Tracy was in St. John's today for appointments so we got to see each other. She looks FANTASTIC and it was so good to see her.

Today is five months and seven days since our VSGs were done here at the Health Sciences Centre.

So we decided to take a picture together and used our driver's license pictures are our "before" pics:

Yeah, wow, eh? Even we were amazed at the difference.

So sweet - thank you God!
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Back in the 100s
October 5, 2011 5:28 am
HW: 270 lbs. SW: 248 lbs. CW: 198 lbs, oh yeah!

Yup - back in the 100s. Never thought I see it again!

Sold, donated and traded away most of my X clothing on the weekend. Mourning the loss of some beautiful clothes a bit, but moving on. Off to Toronto today for a little vacation/shopping trip as my reward. :)

Still feeling good - still challenged in learning how much and what is okay to eat, but learning bit by bit. 

Working on kicking off a support group for NL Sleevers - pre-surgery and post-surgery - apparently there are now 10 of us who have now been done!

Not losing any hair, thank goodness - it might be thinning a bit, but not really noticable. I am grateful that I kept and will continue to keep up those protein shakes every day - protein is everything in this journey, I am realizing.

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all and don't let the turkeys get you down!
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The low-down on the down low
July 29, 2011 6:02 am

So….now I can add blog guilt to the list. (Heck, I’m Catholic, so if there’s a new type of guilt out there, I’m all over it.) Sorry for not updating in the last many weeks.

Life resumed. With all of its busyness and deadlines and sleepy sunshine. Looking amazingly similar to my pre-surgery life, but there are distinct differences.

For instance, there are only so many hours I can go before being reminded about my post-bariatric surgery requirements and restrictions, which is very grounding.

No matter how busy I am, I have to pull back and keep my health as my priority by thinking about how much water I have consumed, what I should be eating next and when, and when I can work in time in my day for exercise.

Pre-surgery, I would get my day going with a traveler mug of coffee and a toasted bagel with some sort of cheese, both usually consumed in the car.

Post-surgery, I have to have a glass of water with some meds first thing when I wake up, because one of them is supposed to be consumed ½ hour before I eat. Then I have to start my day with a protein shake, which gives me 45-50 grams of my minimum 80 grams of protein I have to consume each day. 

(Why so much protein? After bariatric surgery, you must take in sufficient protein every day to speed wound healing, preserve your lean body mass, enhance your fat-burning metabolism and minimize hair loss. For more, read this.)

Bagel? Forget about it – it would take me the entire day to each one. And thankfully, I don’t miss it at all.

Coffee? I had my first one a few days ago – a small Tim Hortons around 9:30am. Not bad. I sure had extra pep for the day. But it’s a slippery slope when it comes to caffeine, so I think I’ll still save it for the occasional use instead of making it a regular habit again.  

(Why is caffeine bad after bariatric surgery? Weight loss surgery patients can hold only small amounts of fluids in their stomach pouches, so we have to sip water frequently throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Since caffeine has a diuretic effect, meaning that it causes water loss through excess urination, we have to be really careful. Dehydration also increases the risk of developing kidney stones after weight loss surgery. For more, read this.)

Exercise is just a difficult to make time for now as it was pre-surgery. The only difference is my motivation. Obviously there are some days I am still a schlump, but most days I am happy to say I have been making the time.

Thank God for the amazing nature trail next to my workplace – I either park at one end in the morning and walk in and back each day, or my husband meets me at lunch and we walk the whole thing together. All told it’s about 2 ½ miles of walking exercise each day – and I am secretly hoping to be able to start jogging/running in a few months.

Socializing is sometimes challenging for me post-surgery. Caught up in the good times being with good friends, occasionally I forget myself and try foods I shouldn’t or eat too fast. Then the good times get interrupted abruptly when I have to excuse myself to go and throw up.

Which is kind of a good thing. Sleevie (my new sleeved stomach) doesn’t brook any funny business. If it’s not good for Sleevie, or it’s too much for Sleevie, Sleevie sends it back. Which is an excellent reminder for me to get back on track tout de suite.

(But to my extreme joy, I have figured out that I can enjoy red wine again – again, moderation being the key, but Sleevie seems okay with it, as long as I balance out possible dehydration issues.)

Okay, now for the good news:

-     I have already shed over 50 pounds and dropped three dress sizes (from 22 to 16).

-     Hardly ANYTHING in my closet fits me anymore.

-     I can handily walk/jog up the three flights of stairs at my work.

-     I can cross my legs again.

-     I can not only wear but also DANCE in high heels again.

-     My blood pressure is excellent and my doctor will be taking me off those meds soon.

-     My lungs and asthma have been in terrific shape in the last few weeks.

-     My back and joint pain is almost non-existent.

-     I look feel as hot as balls.

The challenges I am facing now are mostly with staying grounded and smart.

While I can’t imagine there ever coming a day that I forget that I had bariatric surgery, already there are moments, and that is when the danger occurs. Already I have dropped off journaling everything I eat, so I hope that my brain is calculating my intake properly.

I am relying more now on my instincts and how I am feeling to guide my eating and activity – I don’t know if that is okay, but I suppose the scale will tell the tale.

Today I am 219 pounds. I am still obese, but not morbidly so anymore. My hope is to be “just” overweight, which for me comes about 40 more pounds from now.

I might get there. I might not.

Anything I am is okay from here on out, as long as I am healthy.



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NSV (non-scale victory)
June 17, 2011 4:15 am
4 weeks post-op

I am wearing jeans today I haven't worn since my son was born!

Take THAT fat cells!  Woot!
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Riding the rapids three weeks post-op
June 10, 2011 5:02 am

Three weeks post-op
March 22: 270 lbs
May 20: 248 lbs
June 10: 235 lbs
(warning: the following post contains the wanton use of animated emoticons that may be offensive to some viewers

I can’t believe it’s already been three weeks since my surgery! It’s gone so fast.

In the last 21 days, my weight has gone from 248 at my pre-admission to 235 as of this morning according to my oh-so-friendly Wii Board. Which is a little more than 2 pounds per day.

Obviously, I don’t expect this to continue at this rate forever, otherwise I would be a zygote by Halloween (ooh, costume idea). But it’s damn motivating right now!

My six laparascopic incision sites are healing terrifically. No pain at all to speak of past week one.

Here is what they looked like at 3 days post-op with the staples still in:

Here is what they look like 3 weeks post-op:

My diet and exercise is going well. As I am rebel with a cause, I am following these diet guidelines from Cornell University’s bariatric program, which are working well for me. Eastern Health is just getting their program up and running so I am looking forward to sharing my experiences so far with their newly-hired bariatric dietician next week.

I track my diet very carefully, which is easy thanks to technology. Basically I am consuming no more than 800 calories per day, which are mostly full liquids, with one mushy meal of about ¼ to ½ cup of something like mashed potatoes, scrambled egg, soft meatloaf or flaked fish per day.

The only exercise recommended at this stage is walking, which I usually get 30-40 minutes in per day now, broken up into two segments. This burns between 250-300 calories per day.

I am feeling very good most days. Had some
bad abdominal pain that woke me up the night-before-last - was worried, but turns out it was something quite normal , likely caused by a combination of my calcium supplements and not get enough water.

Speaking of supplements, here is my regimen since surgery:
-    chewable adult multi-vitamin (I will need to take this for the rest of my life)
-    chewable Vitamin C and D
-    Tums 2xday with food (switching to 1200 mg of Calcium Caltrate as of today)
-    B12, 1 strip taken in a sublingual dissolving strip daily
-    And I just started a prescription for a PPI to reduce stomach acid

There are times when I am quite tired, though – I was not using the CPAP machine as regularly as I should have - it's been bugging me lately (Don’t you think I look like some weird Borg-Elephant hybrid when I wear it?), but I am going to give it a good try for the next month.

Worked two 4-hour shifts with no problem on Monday and Tuesday, but had to take the last couple of days off to deal with the abdominal pain issue. Heading back in this afternoon, because I love my job and the people there.

Working in my walks while working is going to be one my biggest challenges, I think. Just going to make sure I leave early enough so I can park my car at the Fluvarium and walk into the HSC via the Long Pond trail.

I am lucky that I got my surgery at a time when it is possible to walk outside – those of you scheduled for winter months, plan carefully!

From what I have heard, Dr. Pace is now in the process of seeing 50 other people this month to schedule them for VSG surgery sometime in the next 12 months.  Surgeries will resume in July. I am so happy for those of you who are starting the journey!

We may all not be in the same boat, but we’re definitely on the same river – I’m just a little further downstream, is all, and will be waiting to cheer you on. 

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