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Surgeon TestimonialDavid Podkameni M.D. My first impression of Dr Podkameni was that he was very knowledgable & experienced. Over time, I found him to be strict but communicated very welll with me, and I could even joke with him some. Some members of his staff have had bariatric surgery (nurses & the dietician, Donna) so they know what they are talking about because they have lived it.
I found it odd that he didn't care about taking labs since it was June when I had pre op labs but my surgery didn't happen until November. Also, I found him to be overly structured and strict at times, but I am a person who likes to test limits...lol
There is a lot of support with the Banner Gateway Bariatric program, ranging from pre op to post op support groups. They even have a clothing exchange program!
The thing that I am most impressed with Dr P is that he is thorough, methodical, and careful with his patients. During my surgery, he found a benign tumor on my liver, and repaired a hiatal hernia I didn't even know I had! Afterwards, when I had some nausea, dry heaves, and a bad rebound headache (probably from the pain meds), he gave a combination of meds thru the IV that took care of all three problems. That made the difference in me having to stay an extra day or not. (I got to go home as scheduled.)
- Cats - I have 5 cats...My husband wishes we only had 2 or 3...
- Museums & Art Galleries - I love the Getty & the Getty Villa! I have been to the Smithsonian National Art
- Walking - I am glad we have spring & fall in the year so I can be outdoors!
- Computer Games - I am addicted to Frontierville on Facebook!
- Movies - Always ready to for a movie! I love vintage movies from the 1940's.
- Flowers - My favorites are lilacs and gardenias...
- Scrapbooks - This is an extension of my love for old family photos & genealogy.
- Cooking & Baking - I love cooking when I am feeling healthy!
- Swimming - We have a pool and I look forward to swim season!
- WLS in your 40's - I will be about 43 when I have my sleeve gastrectomy Nov 16th.
sedonagirl67's JourneyClick Here To View
Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I felt like I was weak and couldn't lose weight because I wasn't disciplined enough. I had accepted that I would be a "big girl" for the rest of my life. It took several years to get there but I never felt picked on...just didn't have any energy...and I don't think I realized how much more I was eating than "normal" people. I always felt hungry...
Struggling and a bit overwhelmed... on January 29, 2011 11:38 pm
I have shared my triumphs, funny stories, and other things, and when I have shared struggles, I have put it in the text of finding answers. Well, I haven't written in a few days because I am struggling right now. I am still stuck in the low 230s bobbing back and forth between the same pound and a half. I am not the first with this struggle, nor will I be the last. But it is amazing how so little can bug me, in light of how far I have come. I haven't lost faith, and I am juggling things around in hopes of breaking into the 220s soon.
I have tried to focus on my weightloss adventure in this blog, but lately, I have wondered if I should share some other life events, since my weightloss doesn't happen in a vacuum. The biggest thing I am struggling with at the moment is that both of my young adult daughters are sick. The older one has a benign brain tumor, called a prolactinoma, that up until a month ago was responding to medication. But her latest MRI has shown that the tumor stopped shrinking, which means the meds are not working as well as needed. There are only 2 meds appropriate to shrink this type of tumor, and she has been on both, so now we are looking at neurosurgery. We meet with the specialists again next week, and expect a decision about this, and probably the surgery will be in March.
The other daughter's illness has also been concerning as she has been dealing with severe ear infections and sinus problems for the past 2 years, and hasn't responded to antibiotics. She is also going to a really good specialist this next week, and we hope to have some answers for her situation, since she is normally very bubbly but has been quite miserable with her sinuses and ears for the last couple of months, while the doctors tried different treatments. (I have been having her use a sinus rinse machine that uses saline, and we have put a couple of drops of peroxide in it, and sometimes Vitamin E drops too). I have had a lot of sinus trouble over the years, and don't respond to antibiotics anymore either when it concerns these passages. So I have researched much and we have tested different things.
On top of this, I have been half looking for a job but realizing that I need to be the flexible family member so that I can help the girls and hubby when problems arise (not to mention that there is a lot of things I do behind the scenes). I am finally going to work for a staffing agency, which suits me nicely because of the flexibility factor and I need to be out in the world again. I have been jumping thru hoops to get my certifications back in order in preparing for this job.
As you can tell, my mind is on everything but my weightloss program right now, as almost every thought I have right now is to reduce my girls' suffering. I am still keeping my food log and trying to be as healthy as I can, but I feel pulled in many directions, so I haven't devoted the time I think I should towards exercise, etc. Maybe after this medical drama has played out a bit more, and I have started working (to where it has become part of my life again), I will have renewed strength for active weight loss. Until then, I will keep doing what I can...
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I heart Chicken again... on January 25, 2011 12:50 am
While eating beef still is an uphill battle for me, I can finally say that chicken is edible now. I have been to Paradise Bakery a few times in the last week and have eaten their Chicken-Walnut Salad (without the bread and only eating tomato with it). Then yesterday, I realized that a large package of chicken breasts were thawing in my fridge and I needed to do something with them. "Oh Hubby!" I lovingly called. "Does the grill have any gas so we can grill out some chicken?" (Hubby got the tanks filled after that question.) We grilled some Sesame Ginger Teriyaki Chicken and I was able to eat about a half of one small breast! I figure I got about 2 ounces of good protein there.
So now that chicken is back in my life, my creative bug bit me into revamping a couple of old favorite recipes for salads (to make them have more protein and less "fluff"). So I am sharing them here so that whoever reads this can use them or revamp them for their own purposes. I don't have any nutrition info for them but they are both high protein, low carb, and pretty healthy overall. If you are less than 4 - 6 weeks post op, I recommend putting these ingredients into the food processor and puree-ing the hell out of it!
Asian Chicken Salad
2 c cooked chicken meat - chopped
1/2 c almond slivers
1/4 c mandarin oranges - chopped
1/4 c green onion - chopped
(Dressing for salad)
2 TBS canola or olive oil
1/4 c Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 c Splenda
2 TBS Lawry's Sesame Ginger marinade
Mix up dressing then add to other ingredients. This salad will have more taste as it sits in the fridge...
Chicken - Bacon - Broccoli Salad
2 c cooked chicken meat - chopped
8 pieces bacon - cooked & chopped small; I use Oscar Mayer Center Cut
1 c steamed or fresh broccoli - chopped
1/4 c red onion - chopped
1/4 c raisins (optional)
1/4 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 TBS vinegar (or more...to taste)
1 - 2 TBS Splenda (or more...to taste)
1/4 tsp Coriander (optional)
1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
Mix up all ingredients. Tastes best if left overnight in fridge before eating.
I look forward to eating more chicken! :)
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Knowing your shortcomings... on January 21, 2011 11:02 pm
I spent a lot of time out of the house this week and marked a lot of "firsts" off too. First time out to dinner since being sleeved, first day trip (without relying on my normal protein sources and having to shoot from the hip to meet my nutritional needs), and first big sorting of my clothes. Looking back at my week thru my handy dandy notebook - where I record everything that goes into my mouth (and a lot of other daily data), I realized I have barely been making my protein goals, calorie goals, and fluid goals for the past 6 days...
At two months post op, I assumed I could live off the land (so to speak), ditching my vigilant eating & drinking schedule along with my "go to" protein & drink sources. The truth is that I still need concentrated protein sources (like my bay scallops with their 23 grams of protein in just about a 1/4 cup of them cooked) and that I can't drink water (with a propel or crystal light packet in it) at the same speed I can drink my decaf iced tea. I have basically compromised my carb counts each day this week so I could drink milk (which I have been craving) with either my Carnation Instant Breakfast sugar free mix or some Special K Protein cereal. I have gotten to the end of day, knowing I was short on nutrition & fluids, but feeling like I just couldn't push myself to eat or drink anything else.
Part of my problem this week is having to estimate my nutritional intake instead of measuring them and looking at a can, box, or package for the nutritional info. I know that people do this every day but I am finding it difficult since I have no idea if I am estimating accurately. Chances are that I am going too high or too low with the numbers, with estimating too high being the greater problem right now. I tend to hang at the lower end of my 60 - 80 g of protein, 600 - 800 calorie scale because I just can't eat enough. My NUT warned me at my appointment last week that I needed to get more in, but how do you do that in the real world?
I realize that I am late is asking these questions because a lot of people go back to work in 1 to 4 weeks after surgery and ask these questions then. I have been blessed to have this time to take my recovery at my own pace. I am planning on starting work in February at a medical staffing company (I interviewed with them and am taking steps to renew my certifications, etc. so I can take some shifts.) It's really hitting me that I will have to come up with some kind of gameplan to deal with being out in the world. All I can say is I have a lot of respect for those who have gone before me and found their own answers to the questions I am facing right now.
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First Major Paring Down of the Clothes... on January 20, 2011 6:22 pm
I have been staring at an eyesore, that has been growing ever so slightly over the last several weeks. I'm talking about the corner chair, the clothes "catcher" in my bedroom. Today, I had "enough" of the pile and finally sorted thru it, then sorting my clothes in the dresser drawers, and stopping at the closet (too many transitional items in there). I had to try on a few things but for the most part, I just knew which items were "too big" and which things I can still get a little more wear from before they officially fall off my body. While I still only have that one pair of 16s that I bought last week (and the rest are 18s & some 20s that still "work" if not actually fitting nicely), it felt good to get those 22s, 24s, & 26s out of the mix.
I am working hard to acknowledge each transition, each little lightbulb going on, and each historical moment thru this transformation process. Acknowledgement, to me, carries with it an understanding of where I have been and where I am headed. So many people get weightloss surgery, thinking they will never again see those upper numbers on the scale or those bigger clothes, but how many people have we seen on OH attempting to lose again after reaching the promised land? I don't want that to happen to me, and I think trying to really learn the lessons of losing & acknowledging those lessons will help me. I didn't get to "obese" land overnight and I don't ever want to be there again.
I'm not sure what I am doing with those bags of clothes yet. There is some fear, yes, and my practical side is fighting it out between having more space for new clothes & the "what if" I get bigger again. When I'm ready, I will let them go...and it will probably be sooner than later. I am not a person who gives into my fears usually, but my process for letting go may take a few weeks. It almost feels like nakedness to let them go right now...and a little uncomfortable in some ways. Sometimes its good to get out of your comfort zone...or so they say...lol
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My First Major Outing...went to Sedona! on January 18, 2011 6:29 pm
I am a little embarrassed to admit this...but I have been a homebody the last 2 months other than running errands and doctor appointments. The first several weeks I felt it was a full time job just trying to get in all my nutrition (you know...scheduling eating & drinking and trying to meet my quotas) and not throw up... But lately, I have been feeling the itch to get back into the world a bit, so when an opportunity to take some extended family on a chauffered sightseeing trip to my favorite place on earth, Sedona, I jumped on board with both feet.
I walked, hiked, and ate at 3 different restaurants, so I got a lot of activity and opportunities to learn how to eat in public. One thing I learned was that it was almost pointless for me to order a drink other than water at a restaurant since I don't want to be drinking so close to mealtime and I don't want to pay for something I am not drinking. Another lesson was that soup is a good item to order, so I have food in front of me but I can still sample from my hubby's plate too. I had an interesting dynamic with hubby at the restaurants because he wanted to help me get in my protein, and we negotiated what he ordered...something he was interested in eating but also something that I could have some bites from (without causing me pain.) Obviously, when I am out with friends instead of hubby, this dynamic will be different.
I had a major victory with the walking and hiking too. I was able to keep up and not feel overly tired. My energy kept up with the activities for the entire day! The 44 pounds that I have lost really made a difference in how I feel. I kept expecting for me to hit the brick wall and be "done" for the day, but it really didn't happen. I am so thankful for that energy and for the activity. That is a big part why I had the surgery and I am so glad, that while I still have 84 more pounds to go, I am seeing the energy and can spend more time being active with my family.
I wish I could say that the day after all that walking and hiking was full of more energy, but sadly, I am pooped and sore! It's to be expected and I will be better tomorrow. I hope I get more days like my outing. It's something to look forward to.
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