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Surgeon TestimonialJeffrey Friedman M.D. I originally started my journey towards weight loss surgery with a different local surgeon. I didn't get to meet the surgeon, but for my insurance I met monthly with the nutritionist / dietician. The first visit with him had me leaving embarassed and angry... with only a few paper handouts to show for the visit. His assumptions and comments were what I expected from the general public, not a weight loss professional. I decided it was a "standard 1st visit speech" so I went back again the 2nd month. I received another fistful of handouts and instructions to cut out "all those deep fried foods" - even though he never reviewed the carefully documented food log I had in hand (which did not list any fried foods). Again, the 5-10 minutes he spent with me left me feeling humiliated and unsure.
I decided I would rather go through life struggling with my weight on my own than to deal with the frustration and embarassment.
And then a friend suggested I visit Dr. Friedman. WOW. What a difference.
The instant I walked in the office door I was greeted with a pleasant waiting room and an even more pleasant lady at the desk, Betty. Dr. Friedman came to the waiting room to get me and I had a consultation with him before even meeting the nutritionist. He was very friendly and down to earth. I wasn't even sure I wanted to go through with surgery, so Dr. Friedman reviewed all of the potential complications, risks and benefits. He sketched out the surgery on a piece of paper and wrote down the various medications and vitamins he would be requiring of me. When I left HIS office, I felt confident in my new decision to have RNY Gastric Bypass, and confident in my decision to have Dr. Friedman as my surgeon.
Throughout the remaining months of my insurance required visits, every visit was pleasant and reassuring. There was no rushing through and no "handout only" consultations. Every time I met with the nutritionist she explained her expectations, why she had them and how I could meet them. The nurse was WONDERFUL about making sure my anxiety and claustrophobia was addressed and made known to the entire team who would be involved in my surgery.
The morning of my surgery I expected to be frantic... but I was very calm and confident that I was placing my life in the hands of a great surgeon who had genuine concern for me as an individual, a friendly and thorough OR team who would see to my needs (especially the anxiety and claustrophobia, if the need arose) and I had advocates in both my surgeon and his nurse.
I woke up from surgery with mild pain, but mostly wanted something to moisten my mouth. I had very little pain throughout my stay (Tuesday morning - Thursday afternoon) and it was always addressed with reasonable quickness by the nurses on the floor. The nurses and techs were caring and attentive. Even the housekeeping staff seemed like my own personal cheer squad as I took my walks in the middle of the night.
Dr. Friedman visited me each day and checked on how I was feeling. He never made me feel like my questions were dumb or insignifcant.
I am only a week post-op and I feel great! I had my first post op visit and everyone in the office was happy and proud for me. It was like celebrating with friends instead of the usual feeling you get in a doctor's office. There is a 5yr aftercare program, so I feel good knowing I have resources available to me for the "long haul."
I adore Dr. Friedman and his staff.... and I feel like they are sincerely interested in playing a part in my success so that I can really LIVE life
- Animal Rescue - I foster horses that are seized by the county
- Cats - 4 of them inside - Diva , Leroy, Boots and Lil
- Dogs - I have a 110lb yellow Lab named Rio. He means more than this line lets me write.
- Horses - 2 horses - 29yr old Skye and 2yr old Buddy
- Gardening - LOVE my garden! Even at my highest weight I was out there in the Florida sun
Where I Am Today on April 14, 2013 8:10 pm
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It has been over a month since I have posted on this blog. In that month I have run myself past the breaking point of fatigue and exhaustion - mental, physical, emotional. And I don't know how to slow down. I am terrified of slowing down.
Today I have had FOUR ice cream bars. About 900 calories of garbage. And for the most part that is how my days go. I manage pretty well throughout the day and then in the evening or late night I binge. I don't know how much longer my gym routine will hold off the inevitable weight gain, and I don't know how much more I can handle cramming into my schedule.
Some days I just want to quit.
Still Dizzy on March 12, 2012 7:23 pm
I have had some really severe dizzy spells over the last few days. Today I was ok, just kind of foggy headed, until this evening... and now I get dizzy quite easily.
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I have a few theories - the 2 main ones are dehydration and exhaustion. I drink way more than 64oz on the days I work because I drink 2 of my 32oz jugs of water and don't even count the Powerade zero or water at home.
But on my off days I am not as active tracking my fluid intake, so while I think I get at least 64oz, maybe I don't ? So I am going to work more on getting that sorted.
I don't know what to do about the exhaustion. I don't really have anything I can take out of my schedule - I help my bedridden mom in the mornings, I have animals that depend on me in the morning / night for food water and shelter, I paid $$ for my sessions with the personal trainer and I have to work whatever schedule fits the coverage needed at work.
I did a WebMD symptom checker and of course there are only 9000 things that dizziness could indicate lol. Dehydration, anemia, vaso-vagal response, etc etc
Support group is tomorrow night, so maybe I will ask Dr. Friedman or his nurse about it.
Tomorrow morning is session 5 of 8 with the personal trainer. She runs a group session called "Sweat Shop" and has to have at least 5 people. It is super cheaper than individual sessions, and it is an hour instead of just 30minutes. One of the ladies won't be back next month due to a surgery, I don't know if the others will come back or not (some folks come in expecting something easy and it is NOT easy at all). I love it - except last Thursday I was feeling so weak and tired I had nothing to give and THAT ticks me off.
Also, I know she will ask about the 5k, and I will be so embarassed to admit I didn't run it, or even try....
Wednesday is supposed to be the day I have this cyst taken off my neck, then I have a 10 1/2 hour day at work with a 2 hour training. Thursday is more PT and a 10hr shift. Friday I will be 7mths Post op!!!
Ding Dangit ! on March 8, 2012 4:14 pm
So much for my little streak of good eating at low calories. Dang.
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this morning I had a high calorie protein shake before working out. I'd read about folks adding orange drink sticks to their shakes, so I went one better and added some actual orange instead.... as well as 1/2 banana. Never again. Way too much bad for just a little good.
I actually felt pretty horrid working out at the group pt session... I think bananas do bad things to me now. Anyway -
5 min warm up on elliptical and then Tobada workouts - 20 seconds work 10 seconds rest 8 sets at station then move to next one. Box step ups w/ high knee, dips w/ 45lb bar, jump pullups (evil), reverse lunges, chest press, skull crushers.
On the box stepups the trainer asked me if I would try to jump on the lower box instead of stepping.... I told her of course I would if she asked me to. In 20 seconds I only jumped on the box 3x. It wasn't even physical so much as my brain was saying "353lbs cannot get enough air to land on a box, and if you do you are going to bust your butt". The first jump my feet were on the edge and it scared me... the mental battle literally paralyzed me, it was all I could do to push myself to even try. I did 2 more jumps and then asked if I could go back to the step ups. I was so angry and ashamed, but I just couldn't push past the mental block. Dang.
I rushed from the gym to 2 different stores to drop off prescriptions and meet a friend (gave her some of my chickens fresh eggs to take to her family ). Then a quick stop at the house to microwave some rotel / velveeta while getting dressed for work. I had a small slice (about a cup) of watermelon and then headed on in. At 2 we had our staff meeting with a taco bar... and that is where I totally gave up control.
I was hungry. I love tacos. The perfect storm.
I took a WW tortilla (regular size, not super, not small) and cut it in half. On one half I put beef taco meat - about 1.5 - 2 oz. On the other I put shredded chicken. Each got a sprinkle of lettuce, cheese, tomato. I got about an oz of queso and sausage but it was too spicy so I didn't eat all of it. I had an oz of refried beans w/ chopped onion. THEN I GOT UP AND WENT BACK FOR MORE!! I had 6-7 shrimp. AND a brownie. Upwards of 750 calories.
With my crazy high calorie shake, I am already past my 1100 calories for the day and have 6 hrs left at work.
I need to drink water, but I am afraid of washing everything out and getting hungry sooner. I brought my planned lunch and snacks thinking I would have ONE crunchy taco at the meeting. Ugh I am so aggravated.
Tomorrow will be tilapia and turkey pepperoni for me! sheesh.
Saturday is 5k, counseling session and dog training so I will be busy... those are usually good low cal days. So I can recover from this. I just hate that I lost control because I KNOW I can eat a LOT of food. Reining myself in has never been a strong point... that's why I had major surgery.
Ding Dangit. >:(
Labs (dogs) and Labs (bloodwork) on March 3, 2012 2:47 pm
Today my church sponsored an event and brought in Hank Hough, from Kingdom Dog Ministries. Wow.. powerful. I have been considering getting a Lab puppy (I lost my 15yr old yellow last May, have an almost 4yr old yellow ) so I talked to Mr. Hough and he has a litter of yellows and blacks on the ground. Now I want one sooo much. My problem is the same black / white ... all / nothing line of thinking that tends to interfere with every area of my life, including WLS. My dog Rio is my room mate, counselor, confidant, comedian and friend. To get a new puppy feels like a betrayal of him (or shortchanging the puppy). I don't know how people have more than one kid LOL
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In other "LAB" news - I got a short note from my surgeon's office saying overall my bloodwork came back fine. I'll go next week to get a copy of the full labs, but they said my Vit D is a 46 with a normal range of 30-100. They said my B6 is high but didn't give me the numbers, just said to be sure to read the labels of my protein shakes and stop B Complex. My cholesterol is 102 lol. HDL (good) is low at 35 vs greater than 50. LDL was fine at 56 vs lower than 100. My Triglycerides were also perfect at 53 vs 30-150.
I only had Click for breakfast, so now that I am home and around food all I want to do is eat. I had a good lunch and now I am fighting the "Hunger" that keeps insisting it is real. It is raining and cooling off fast so that fuels the munchies and keeps me inside instead of out in the garden or with the horses. I'll start drinking my powerade zero in 5 minutes (hour and half after eating) and hopefully that will help fill up the imagined empty spots.
On Losing Battles and Winning Wars on March 2, 2012 12:49 pm
Wednesday night I lost a very important battle. I let stress, anxiety and temptation get the best of me and I binged (different than pre-op binging) on Hershey miniatures. I had 5 over a period of time, then out of fury and punishment for myself, I had 5 all together later in the evening. I felt horrible. Not physically - for whatever reason it didn't effect me- but emotionally it knocked me flat on my butt. I felt like a failure and that I am destined to fail the surgery. I felt worthless and incompetent.
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I posted on OH and emailed my counselor - and got the same responses. Don't set myself up by buying candy "for my team". Don't have candy at home or at work to tempt me. And don't destroy myself over losing one battle.
Today I had my counseling session and we talked the whole session about the candy and my certainty that I am going to fail. My counselor believes in me very strongly and he is very honest with me. It was a good session and he helped me find a glimmer of hope. (He asked me why I think I will fail the same as in the past, and then he asked me what I have different now that I didn't have then - pouch, nutritionist, WLS Support group, OH, incentives like riding my horse / being healthy, etc.) I did fine avoiding chocolate as long as I didn't have it at my desk - I did eat a miniature Snickers a couple of weeks ago but I had no problem walking away from the rest of them.
I worked in my garden for a couple of hours and grabbed a big handful of stinging nettles so my hand feels like I dunked it in acid. I'm going to work in the garden some more and then watch a movie with my mom (today is her 76 birthday).
Today my counselor told me that I look at things in black / white... that I have to learn to see some grey. He said I need to learn to give myself some grace... that if I set my calorie goal at 1100 and I end up at 1200 that I don't need to beat myself up over it, but give some grace (because grace doesn't call for "punishment"). He said to look at this WLS as a war... something I will be fighting for the rest of my life. He said there WILL be battles that I lose, but the important thing is I keep fighting, keep using my tools and I will win the war -which is ultimately what matters.