This may be a little harder than I thought. Talking about this is kind of like opening up to the entire world about a very personal transformation going on in my life.
I turned 40 this year. I also brought into the 40s: diabetes, neuropathy, pseudo tumor cerebri, high blood pressure, and was overweight from having twins, not getting enough exercise and being chained to a sedentary computer job for the last 10 years.
Last November, I had heard of many friends and acquaintances in this area going to King's Daughters Medical Center to have a procedure done called Roux n Y surgery or Lap band surgery in order to lose weight and abolish many of the co-morbidities such as diabetes. I knew my blood sugar was very very high and I had tried every diet from Atkins to the Zone... and nothing worked. Particularly, for me it was because I am a 100% vegetarian and also had problems walking and exercising because of the neuropathy. (I needed a cane to walk more than a couple of blocks.)
I had to take a slew of tests before I could be approved for the surgery. (You may remember that probably the most public case of this surgery was Carnie Wilson's story. She went from 300 pounds to about 140 or so and vastly improved her health.)
So, anyway, I was approved early this year and in July I had the surgery performed. These pages are devoted mostly for myself so I can keep track of what happened as well as create a visual journey of results - but you may be interested in the things I have found out.
July 11, 2005 - 228 lbs.
The surgery was performed. I don't remember anything about what happened. I was completely out of it. I remember waking up and being a little sore - and I must give thanks to Dr. Roderick Tompkins who performed this procedure so well. The first thing everyone needs you to do is get up and walk around - and I did that quite a bit the 2 days I was in the hospital. My diet in the hospital is Phase 1: clear liquids only.
July 15th - 218 lbs.
I was released from the hospital (10 pounds lighter!) to go home and begin the Phase 2 diet. I already feel amazing. The areas around my 5 very small scars are sore and a bit red, but otherwise I am fine. I have to sleep on my back for a few days.
This is really annoying but I can deal with that. I am having absolutely no nausea or vomiting or anything - I am blessed! I hear something like 30% of patients go through that quite a bit. In Phase 2 which lasts for about 3 weeks, you can eat the following things:
Clear Liquids, Fruit20, decaffeinated coffee and tea, creamed soups, yogurt, etc.
The hugely important factor in my diet now is to get enough protein. I had evaluated a number of different mixes before surgery and...I found that almost every protein drink I tried tasted really pretty gross. Except for one - Sport Pharma Whey Blend with 21 gms. of protein, low carbs, and low sugars. This has been my mainstay for the last 2 weeks. I mix it with water or skim milk and sometimes add a half tsp. of natural peanut butter. This is three times a day and a couple of snacks of yogurt or popsicles while everything is healing.... But... the protein shakes are getting boring - palatable but boring. But what a HUGE difference having the protein in my vegetarian diet makes - I am supposed to get at least 62 - 70 gms. of protein a day -- and now I know I barely got any. I can see the difference in my energy, my hair is growing longer, my nails are growing quickly. Weird. How something so simple can make so much of a difference.
July 18th - 216 lbs.
One week after surgery. I have already lost 12 pounds. I feel more incredible than I have in years. I have so much energy I don't know what to do with myself. I cleaned and reorganized my office, my dining room, scrap booked a little and really did "go back to work" in about 4 days!
July 28, 2005 - 212 lbs.
I went to the doctor for the post op check up. I've lost 17 pounds and feel fabulous. I no longer take the second of my diabetic medicine or my neuropathy medicine or my IIH medicine! My blood sugar has been in the 90s for the last 10 days. He told me to start Phase 3 on Monday as well as my vitamins and such. SO MUCH ENERGY. I can barely sleep. I think of a million and one things I can do and start everything. I ordered the Profect Sampler instant protein drinks on the 18th and they came today. These are simply delicious - no mixing, nothing at all - they come in vials in 4 flavors and each vial (about 3 ozs.) has a whopping 25 grams of protein. I can seriously handle this... especially since I'm in the car and dropping off kids and running errands all the time. I really needed something portable! This is amazingly good stuff. You can use Coupon Code PR15 for 15% off their sampler!
July 29th - 208.5 lbs.
The areas around my 5 very small scars are sore and a bit red, but otherwise I am fine. I can now sleep on my sides as well. My Mom and Dad are coming tomorrow and I can't wait to see them. My twins and my eldest are starting school August 15th and this is my oldest son's senior year. We are really looking forward to senior football season - he's a varsity player - and senior pictures and prom and college visits and more. He's an amazing kid. He is at the top percentage of his class and has been involved in so many great community events and clubs, has already won a bunch of scholarships and just recently attended Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program at Bellarmine University in Louisville. Ravi and I could not be more proud. More tomorrow!!
August 1 - 205.5 lbs.
It was a wonderful weekend. I LOVE it when any of our family members come home to visit. We went and did some back-to-school shopping and watched movies and the twins made a convert out of their grandma by teaching her how to play The Sims. I'm down another 3 pounds over the weekend. My clothes are already feeling bigger to me. Football camp starts today and the work week begins again.... For this site, I have a lot of ideas for the fall section for educators and am busy developing them right now. The other 3 sites I own: GolfIndia.net, Masala Mom, and Puerto Rico Beach Vacation also have long overdue updates in the works. 14 days until the kids are back at school. The house will be quiet again for another 9 months. I've been getting lots of suggestions for adding content to Brainy Betty. More flash, more templates... you guys are being heard and things are in development! I'm very excited about this half of the year! I hope you'll come back to the site and see what becomes available to you in the weeks and months ahead.
I went to visit my neurologist today. He's an absolute dear. If you all are ever in need of a kind and attentive neurologist and happen to be in Eastern Kentucky - call Dr. Bhasin at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital! I am completely off my Diamox and Neurontin now! I can't believe the amount of energy I have.... it's a problem. I can't sleep nights until about 2 or 3 and I sit up reading and reading. I must have finished 4 books in the last couple of weeks. Even worse, I can't sleep past 7 or so in the morning.
Tonight is our first scrimmage of the season! (GO RAMS!) I can't wait! High school football is quite possibly the most fun you can have in late summer and early fall! There's a thunderstorm brewing outside right now. I hope it will pass over before the game begins!
I added some great 3D Backgrounds in eye-popping color to Brainy Betty today! Thanks to all of you who have written and wished me well. I really do read each and every email and try to respond to as many as I can every day!
August 11: 198.5 pounds (Total lost at this point: 29.5 pounds)
I couldn't be happier this morning! I'm finally FINALLY in 1-derland! I was trying to find ways to exercise everyday without thinking too much about it and this past weekend I got an MP3 player at Walmart. Then yesterday, I downloaded a BUNCH of songs I used to dance to when I was in my teens - all songs from the 70s and very early 80s and some from the 90s and 2000s.
I got all these:
"Boogie Oogie Oogie" - A Taste Of Honey
"On Our Own" - Bobby Brown
"Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" - C + C Music Factory
"Ain't Nobody" - Chaka Khan
"Good Times" - Chic
"Love's Train" - Con Funk Shun
"Let's Groove" - Earth, Wind & Fire
"Always And Forever" - Heatwave
"Rockit" - Herbie Hancock
"Come And Talk To Me" - Jodeci
"Looking For A New Love" - Jody Watley
"Can You Stand The Rain - (with New Edition)" - Johnny Gill
"Rub You The Right Way - (Radio Edit)" - Johnny Gill
"Get Down Tonight" - KC & The Sunshine Band
"Your Love Is On The One" - Lakeside
"Fantastic Voyage" - Lakeside
"Born To Be Blue" - Mel Torme
"Hot In Herre" - Nelly
"In The Air Tonight" - Phil Collins
"Take Your Time (Do It Right)" - The S.O.S. Band
"The Bird" - The Time
"More Bounce To The Ounce" - Zapp & Roger
"Computer Love" - Zapp & Roger
So I danced my way through everything yesterday - chores, I was shaking my booty in the computer chair half the time!
I finally got over that 200 pound hump and was 198.5 this morning!!!!! Amazing! I love it! Have a great day everybody!
Goddamn it. I have been hovering on 174 -175 for like, 31 days of this month. It truly SUCKS. I am SO frustrated. But, I KNOW what I am doing - which is even more frustrating... I SHOULD be excersizing more. I SHOULD be eating more solids. Dangit all.
January 13, 2006
It's Friday the 13th. I have a business trip next week. R and I fuoght and didn't speak to each other for 3 whole days! (and then made up.... yay!) I do love that dork. And yeah, I am STILL at 174. Went to the doctor today for bloodwork for my 6 month checkup which occurs in 2 weeks. Can't wait to see if everything is on track. I am eating/snacking WAY too much - especially after 7 p.m.... Damn. need to figure that out.
January 20, 2006
I'm in Phoenix. It's my 23rd (!) anniversary and I'm on a business trip. ()
I have been horrible on this trip eating all kinds of crap. Can't wait to get home tonight.
January 25, 2006
I'm 173.5 today! Lost one damned pound in the last 2 months! WooHoo! It's my birthday and I am 41 years YOUNG. Man, do I feel good. I think I will go out and celebrate with my baby tonight! R bought me beautiful garnet earrings for my birthday anf Victoria's Secret stuff for our anniversary.... sob.... he's so sweet!
January 26, 2006
I had my 6 month checkup today with Dr. Tompkins. The good news is he was happy with my weight loss - his goal for me was 170 and I am almost there. He thinks I'll lose another 10 or 15 pounds before the year is up. I had a bone scan done for osteoporosis and everything was kosher in that department. My iron level was even lower than last time, so I got the *right* kind of iron and was advised to take up to 60 mg a day. Apparently ferrous fumate is the kind our bodies absorb the best after bypass surgery. I also got some great samples from the nutritionist Angela. She sat down with me and went over what my diet should look like, etc. and gave me Susan Maria protein samples of Nectar and some other drinks and bars. Cool stuff. I feel better now that I talked to him today. It's an exiciting start to a great year!
It's February...the 22nd to be exact. I'm still 172/173. This sucks, but I really can't complain - I haven't made real effective changes. I don't know if I am depressed or just lazy, but I suspect the former - because shoot, to run 2 businesses, work at another full time job and take care of 3 boys - well, i wouldn't say that was lazy. maybe I am just UNinspired right now. Ugh. I have braces now. They hurt.
February 25, 2006
My braces hurt like hell. I called Dr. Porter today to make an appt. for Monday to take em off. Dammit. I don't want pretty teeth that badly.
I have suffered through childbirth (natural) with twins and multiple surgeries, but this is just plain WRONG. I cannot move without shooting pains in my mouth and I can't function feeling this way. Everybody I have talked to says they have not experienced that kind of pain with braces.
Anyhoo - I want to quit my day job and move onto better and bigger things and focus on my businesses. I really think the Las Vegas trip'll be a blast and I can't wait to meet some of these awesome women on this board!
March 11, 2006
Oh my gosh! I woke up this morning and found that I am 169 pounds! I haven't been in the 160s since high school! And crazy as it sounds - for the last 3 months I have been on a big ass plataeu - bopping back and forth between 174 and 172 and this week, boom - I lost 4 pounds. Is that not crazy?! I'm very excited. I hope it keeps going for a little bit anyway. I'm feeling so good these days... Spring is coming and I feel like roller skating!
March 18, 2006
Yesterday was R's 47th birthday and St. Patrick's Day. It was especially lucky because Tejas heard about his U of L scholarship and got the McConnell! 4 years of tuition! It was an AWESOME birthday present for R and a huge gift for Tejas as well. That kid is so brilliant. In any case, I wanted to post a couple of family pics here. These were taken on our annual beach trip/family reunion. This time it was the Outer Banks. You can see the men and the women of the family here...
April 9, 2006
The twins and my parents and I spent Spring Break week in Orlando at the Universal Studios resort. 5 days of walking 6 to 7 hours a day and riding roller coasters and other rides I hadn't done in about 16 years! My DH couldn't make it this time - he had a business meeting in Chicago all week. It was an AWESOME experience. I worried all week about Tejas - he had driven down to Daytona Beach with HIS friends for Spring Break. They should be driving back tonight. I bought a TON of high protein foods at Kroger after eating everything not good for me on this trip. Lots of veggie burgers and such. I am really hoping to lose a few pounds this month. Things have slowed down quite a bit.