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Surgeon TestimonialClifford Deveney, M.D.Dr. Deveney is a brusque, busy guy, who has tons of experience behind him but not a lot of time for patient interaction. His nurse, Vicki, is wonderfully patient and accessible, and she really is the go-to person throughout the experience. I have no complaints about Dr. Deveney, though-he did a fantastic job on me with zero complications. I felt well-supported throughout the whole process. |
Learning how to eat on April 29, 2007 8:16 am
The great news is, I'm down 39 lbs! It's pretty amazing. I didn't realize how many clothes I had stopped wearing because they were too tight. Now, everything in my closet fits. Yesterday I put on a party dress and looked fabulous, I must say, until I realized that we were just going to Home Depot and I looked a little silly. So, I changed back into jeans. I'm realizing that I have a lot of expensive clothes that won't fit for much longer and it's stressing me out! But in a good way, of course. All of my 24-26 jeans are too big and I am now wearing an old pair of 22s that is starting to get way too loose. Last night I went to Target and bought a pair of size 18s and also a 16 for good measure. I cleared out a drawer for clothes that don't fit yet but soon will! I don't know when those 18s will fit but I am excited! It was such a blast to leave the Fat Clothes Ghetto and go into the normal size side of the store. The selection was huge, and the cut of the clothes much more hip. It really is a shame that because of our weight we're stuck with less variety to choose from, and frumpy styles, not to mention a much higher price tag. I've always loved clothes, and looking good has been very challenging, due to these issues. I used to get a lot of stuff at the Nordstrom Rack downtown, when one day the company decided to pull all their plus sizes from all the stores except one that's in a far-away suburb. I was so pissed off! I also think back to the many times I waited in an endless line at Lane Bryant to pay for my stuff, putting up with crappy customer service, high prices, and a single cash register in a crowded store, because that was the only place I could find anything halfway decent. Damn, I can't wait to not have to shop there any more!
Anyway, enough of that rant. Since last week I had been eating solid food, and nearly every day something was getting stuck and making be vomit. It's a horrible feeling when something gets stuck. It feels like I swallowed a golf ball, then I start salivating huge amounts, then my nose gets stuffed up and then very runny, then I start sneezing, then the pain gets worse and worse until I start to panic, then I finally barf up whatever it was. It's not like normal vomiting-there's no stomach acid. It's basically throwing up a wad of whatever I just ate. I've barfed in the street, a parking lot, a public bathroom, into a towel in the car, a friend's bathroom, and at home. Oh yeah, and at the check-out counter at the store. I had thrown up a few minutes before grocery shopping and thought I was OK, but when I got to the register and the cashier handed me the money, I sneezed and accidentally threw up the last bit on my hand and down the front of my shirt. The poor kid was horrified and I ran out of there. Not fun. The things that made me sick so far are a bagel, chicken, tuna, crackers with spinach dip, beef, and a the insides of a vegetable dumpling. I noticed that the reason I throw up is either that I ate too fast or drank too close to eating. So, now I am being very strict about waiting at least 30 minutes before and after meals to drink water, and also decided yesterday to go back on soft foods and wait a while before trying solids again. What a relief!
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35 lbs down on April 25, 2007 8:19 am
My followup appointment on Monday went very well. I've had no complications at all from surgery and am feeling great. I still get tired in the afternoons, but I know that will improve. One of my incisions had opened and the surgeon stitched it closed while I was there. It wasn't infected, but the hole was big enough that it would be difficult for my skin to grow back together. I am officially down 35 lbs., which is just amazing. My clothes are definitely looser, and I'm having much less foot pain. I'm getting better at taking small bites and chewing thoroughly. Sunday I ended up throwing up in the street after eating a couple bites of chicken too quickly. It was awful! It promptly got stuck, then I suffered for about 10 or 15 minutes with extreme discomfort and excess salivation. It was very embarrassing to barf in public, but oh, what a relief. Since then I've been very, very careful. I'm still not able to eat salad or bread, but I've had bites of toast that were fine.
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Oy, vey! on April 20, 2007 3:31 pm
The good news is that today the depression was completely gone. I feel wonderful! The bad news is, I decided to try a toasted bagel and cream cheese (I know, I know we're not supposed to) and man oh man did I pay the price. I finished about a third of it when I realized that something was really wrong. The bagel was swelling up in my poor little pouch and got stuck. It was extreme discomfort, to put it mildly. I went into the bathroom and paced around, with that horrible stuck feeling, with my nose running and my mouth watering uncontrollably. Oh, it was awful. After about 5 or 10 minutes (it felt like hours) I realized I was going to throw up. Thank goodness, because it was instant relief. I retched so hard a blood vessel under my eye broke. I'm so grateful nobody else was in there! When I was done I actually said a prayer of thanks that it was over. Now I feel tired and shaky. Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Even though it was a horrible experience, I have to say that I'm glad to know the pouch is working. I simply can't binge, and I need to accept that.
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Depressed on April 19, 2007 1:20 pm
I don't know what's going on with me! I am so excited to be losing weight, but have been fighting a severe melancholy since yesterday. I can't find an explanation for why I'm feeling so depressed, but I remember reading that estrogen is stored in fat cells, and as you lose weight your hormones go crazy. I also know that people commonly get depressed after anesthesia or from pain pills. I haven't taken any pain pills in a few days. One problem is that stuffing myself has always been my coping mechanism to numb myself from negative feelings, and I no longer have that option. I am beginning to realize that any feelings that come up will have to be dealt with, and it's a scary thought. Last night I made reuben sandwiches for dinner, and I am so sick of pureed foods, I decided to try half of one. I took very small bites and chewed thoroughly, and had no problems. I ate about 1/3 of a sandwich. It tasted so good, but I panicked that I'm able to eat too much too early. The whole time I was eating it I had to fight an insane urge to take big bites and gulp them down until I was stuffed. I hope I haven't stretched out my pouch and ruined the surgery. Is that even possible?
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Week 2 on April 18, 2007 8:41 am
I can't believe how good I'm feeling at this stage! On Saturday, I walked all over the Farmer's Market, then Saturday Market (a crafts fair), then went grocery shopping, and I felt fine. My feet were hurting much less than before the surgery. The last time I went to Saturday Market, about a week before surgery, I had to stop and rest several times because of the pain in my feet and legs. This time I made it through without stopping. I'm down 24 lbs. and my clothes are getting noticeably loose. The swelling in my feet and ankles is completely gone, and I'm no longer struggling to breathe. It's amazing what a huge difference I feel after only two weeks. A few weeks ago I just couldn't imagine feeling this good. I think that's part of why it was so hard for me to diet. I'm eating between 500-800 calories a day. I don't really feel hunger, but make myself eat throughout the day so I won't get weak. For breakfast I've been having a scrambled egg with cheese, then a sugar-free yogurt or some cottage cheese for a snack, then soup or chicken salad for lunch, then whatever I make for dinner I'll just puree it for myself. If I need more protein at the end of the night, I'll make a strawberry or blueberry smoothie with plain yogurt, or some sugar free pudding. Because I'm eating so little, the flavor of everything is much more intense. On Sunday I had some Indian food and it was fantastic-I had some spinach, some lentil dal, and yogurt raita. It was so nice to eat some intense flavors after my bland diet! A few days ago I had a bite of shredded beef out of a tamale and even though I thought I had chewed it well, it got stuck and I was miserable! I swear I could feel the chunk backing up and trying again to get through the opening again and again. Oh, such misery! Luckily, it only lasted a few minutes. It was a wake-up call to really take small bites and chew like crazy, though. There's still a lot to get used to-it's still hard to remember to take small sips, especially in the middle of the night when I take a drink of water. It hurts if I take a big gulp. I have a lot of fear over stretching my pouch out, or not being succesful with this surgery. I think I've failed so many times at diets, it's hard to believe that I won't fail at this, too. At this point I'm just focusing on getting in enough protein and doing my best and trusting that everything will be OK.
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