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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...
First sickness since surgery...another bleeping... on February 28, 2011 3:31 pm
As I write this, I have lost my voice, my throat is on fire and I am running a nice little fever to go along with this cold that is turning into bronchitis. While it isn't pretty and it's not fun, this marks the first time I have gotten sick with a virus (and not anything to do with the recovery process from my sleeve). Here is what I am learning so far...(Forgive my wooziness if the paragraphs look drunk on cough syrup.)
Screw it with the low carb thing! It's all about my hot green tea with honey, chicken noodle soup, and protein from Red Lobster (one meal from there gives me enough protein for 1 - 2 days). A little lower lip pout and upon hearing my super scratchy voice, my hubby runs over to the big red claw to pick up my requests (presumeably to get away from my childishness and nails on the chalkboard whining). (Who can blame him! I would run too!)
And I hate taking that EmergenC fizzy drink (and I wonder if the fizzyness is like drinking soda) but it does seem to be helping. I broke out the hydrocodone syrup for bedtime because that is the ingredient in prescription cough medicine that calms the cough down so you can sleep. I have been thru asthma and bronchitis enough times to keep this drug on hand (you know, from whenever the doc gives you pain meds oxy or hydrocodone) so that when I am in this situation, I have relief. I also keep Mucinex Expectorant on hand. Guafenisin helps break up the phlegm so you get better faster.
Brrr! Here I go shivering again, so the heated blanket is getting turned up another notch! Remember to take good care of yourselves this cold season, my peeps! Catch you all later!
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Buying more clothes & having realizations... on February 26, 2011 11:24 pm
As I am nearly 20 lb away from onederland now at 5' 9" it feels good to own my body...like I am now just overweight...not obese...even though I still have almost 3 BMI points to go before that is true. I guess I am revelling in the skinny person that is floating to the surface. I am buying more clothes in my current size and the next one down. I am getting into the range of clothing that I wore when I was thin all those years ago, even though I still have 60 something pounds to lose before I even hit 164 (the weight I was when I married my hubby almost 23 years ago). Isn't that surreal? My brain says I shouldn't be in this range yet and yet I am able to wear some things that my 19 year old daughter wears...and she is definitely in onederland! I don't know how to wrap my head around this...
I am starting to look around in public at other people and realizing that I am looking more "normal" than obese. I don't compare myself by guessing what others weigh or anything of that sort, but its more about knowing I am smaller. My 19 year old "mini me" and I were standing at the island in our kitchen working on making dinner when she says "Man, Mom. You are almost my size now." Obviously my 43 year old body has some wear and tear on it that hers doesn't yet. My thighs and hips are bigger than hers but I think we have about the same waist now. We both stood there looking at each other then back at ourselves noticing that we have even more similarities now. Again, what the heck is up with that!!!?
It feels really good to be 4 pounds away from my next "break through" weight (217) where I think back to the last time I was that number (July 1995). After that, its all about hitting onederland for awhile. I am not in a big damn hurry in my journey (after all I am only going to be 3 1/2 months out soon and am close to the halfway mark in my goals). I want to enjoy this journey downward and having the "aha" moments that go with it. I am learning new things about myself and learning to let go of stuff too. The process is the journey...not the end goals necessarily.
I have even started wondering about that end goal of 150 lb. I will be in "normal" range at 169 and realistically, I was a healthy 164 at 21 years old (and weighed in the mid 140s throughout high school). My contentedness with where I am may cause me problems as I get to that 169. I may decide that I am just fine with that, and not push any lower. I hope not, but I know myself pretty well, and its within the range of possibilities.
In the meantime, my OH "twin" who had surgery on the same day as me has been a workout queen and I am so proud of her for her dedication to the gym. We started at a similar weight and are headed for the same goal weight but she is ahead of me by about 6 pounds currently. She is in a size smaller clothes than me too! At first, when she slipped ahead of me, it kinda bugged me but now I am refocusing on my own journey and timeline. We each have our demons and strengths, and only we can wear our shoes and walk that path toward our dreams and accomplishments. So I want to own my journey and not worry about the rest. (OMG! I sound like Stuart on SNL! A little less therapy now or I might puke again - as I did earlier this evening when I ate too fast!)
Okay, head is back on straight now and I am feeling more NIke now...you know....Just Do It!
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3 month surgiversary... on February 17, 2011 6:42 am
It's hard to believe it has been 3 months since I got sleeved and changed my world upsidedown. It certainly has been quite the journey with both good and bad things in it. The good...losing weight at a good steady pace, buying new clothes, feeling more energy, able to cross my legs without it being a major effort, lower food bills, etc. The bad...throwing up when Sleevie doesn't like something, nausea, trying to time drinking and eating so I can get in all my nutrition & fluids, limitations on what I can eat & drink (sometimes I would like a little soda or alcohol!), etc
Now that I am into the groove of what I need to do for my body and am over the initial healing process, I find myself longing for my sleeve to stretch out some so I can have an easier time getting in the nutrition. I would love to have 6 - 8 oz capacity so I can tolerate meat better or have a little more soup. I make myself lots of nutritious things to eat but I struggle to get in enough protein & calories in one sitting to feel like it's worth it sometimes. I still do the best with tuna salad, bay scallops, and chicken salad, but I get tired of them. I can finally eat eggs overeasy (as well as deviled eggs) so that is good. When I started out the gate, eggs didn't stay down at all! I can also eat chicken now...which was also something that didn't stay down well at first. When I eat troublesome foods, I take smaller bites and longer intervals between bites. I also use "food lube" like gravy, sauce, or ketchup to get down dense proteins. And I expect only to eat 1.5 - 2 oz of it (usually no more than 6 small bites worth).
I still do shakes or protein drinks from time to time, either at the beginning of the day (for a good start) or at the end of the day when I haven't gotten enough protein and fluids. I don't hate them as I once did but I am always on the look out for something better than what I have (does that mean the grass is always greener in Protein Shake land?)
I have found that my sleeve usually has less capacity & is more sensitive at the start of the day than the end, can't handle anything with too many carbs/sugars (which usually isn't a big deal), and makes me hiccup when it's full. I still can't drink plain water as fast as I can iced tea (and guzzling anything is just out!) Burping frequently is a big part of my digestive health (but I am mastering the art of stealth burping). And Sleevie can make loud noises when he talks. It's all par for the course though, and I feel like I have mastered the little nuances of his personality now.
I have learned that when eating out or "on the go" to always eat way less than capacity so that I don't risk feeling nauseous or throwing up. Generally, for me this is 1/4 cup of mushy stuff or about 3 bites of meat. When I am at home and can take a lot of time, I can eat up to 1/2 cup of mushy stuff or about 4 - 5 bites of meat.
I can test limits in certain areas now that I couldn't before, namely, I can drink closer to my eating times, when out in a restaurant, I can use a straw (but am careful not to drink too much), and I can eat a little bread too. I am glad for my limits in general, but I still mourn being able to eat more at a time. I look at the things I don't like as "paying for my health" and if given the choice today about having the surgery or not, I would still choose it all over again. It's a commitment, plain and simple, and I don't have to be in love with my sleeve to honor that commitment.
I have finally joined a gym and started working out. I worry that when I start working the end of this months, I will have a hard time keeping the commitment of going early in the morning or early afternoon (after work since I will be off around 2:30pm). But as my weightloss slows down, it will be more important to use the gym so I can keep going on my weightloss journey. If I stall at 201, I will be very sure to break that by working out morning, noon, and night until it is broken! I will never be the workout queen but if I have more energy to complete tasks and go on vacation, then I am down with that!
Overall, things are looking up at the 3 month mark and I am grateful for my journey so far...
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NSV's! (For the newbies...NonScale Victories) on February 12, 2011 2:05 pm
Today, I am 52.5 lb lighter and I could really feel the difference on my walk this afternoon! I am thankful that new 1X work out shorts fit well too! I can also fit into an XL shirt and it looks good on me! I have been losing steadily in my waist area so I want to show my "hourglass" figure as I lose more and more weight. (Thankfully, I still have boobage in the right area so I am thankful for that too.)
I tried on some jeans at Walmart this week too and while I wouldn't buy any pair from there yet (too tight in the thigh area...my biggest problem area), I realized that I can buy shirts and sportswear from there if needed. I will be looking forward to shopping at places like Charlotte Russe when I lose more weight. It's something to look forward to!
On another note, my daughter is having brain surgery on March 9th, and I start my orientation for my new job on Feb 22nd. I am still having sleep issues but my sleep study results should be in now and I have my doctor appointment on Monday. I have a lot on my plate but am managing better than I was a week or two ago. Thanks to all my OH buddies for your support!
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50 pounds gone Forever! (and a recipe!) on February 5, 2011 11:19 pm
These last couple of weeks had been very frustrating, like watching a pot boil on the stove when I weighed myself. Now, I am a daily weigher, and have prided myself in the idea that I am doing this from a scientific point of view, just to note every morning what numbers the scale showed without any emotion. But when I kept going back and forth between the same pound and a half (normally once I reach a number it doesn't go up by more than a half pound, if it does at all...I think this water and poop weight), I found myself getting involved emotionally and questioning what I was doing wrong.
Honestly, I have been splurging a bit on carbs (going up to 60 - 80 carbs, instead of my normal 40 - 50) and haven't been great with my fluids/drinking (only drinking 50 - 64 oz instead my "normal" 72 - 84 oz) and occasionally gotten 800+ calories instead of 600 - 800. On top of that, my stress level has been higher than normal and I have been battling Monster C as well. Within the carbs, I had some cereal & dark chocolate, as well as fruit.
So the last few days, I have had a low carb revival, a return to all that I know is healthy with our low calorie living...drinking more, sticking with meats and veggies, and making sure I take my vitamins & calcium religiously (sometimes I miss one of two dosings a day). I wish I could say I have been exercising a storm too but I can't. I can say that I have been more active though...which, for me, works well for now.
Finally, today, I got on the scale, expecting to drop a half pound....when (lo and behold), I dropped 2 pounds instead, putting me over the 50 pounds lost mark (specifically 50.5!) I am so happy to reach this milestone! To me, it feels like a significant number that shows others my commitment to this process. I am also about 14 pounds away from the halfway point in my weight loss journey (which will be a big deal in itself when I get there). I like being able to say "I've lost 50 pounds!"
So I am currently staying under 30 carbs, over 60 grams of protein, and 600 - 700 calories, and also getting a minimum of 72 oz of fluids. No cereal or chocolate right now, but I like variety so we will see how long that lasts. Monster C has been replaced by Big D again, after having used Milk of Magnesia 3 days ago. I am not cramping though, so I can live with it.
Tonite, in preparing for Super Bowl Sunday, I made a family favorite, Ceviche, but was mindful of my carbs and higher need for protein. I live just a few hours from the Mexican Border, and this "dip" typically used with crackers, is now less "soupy" with more shrimp, avocado, & cucumber in it than normal. Here is the new and improved recipe...
4 - 5 cups frozen small shrimp (deveined & tails off) - I buy 1 bag of this from Walmart for this recipe
1/3 - 1/2 cup Realemon Lime Juice
1 small onion - chopped fine
1/2 tsp dried cilantro (or you can use fresh)
3/4 - 1 cup ketchup
1 tsp (or more) Hot Sauce
1 T Olive Oil
1 avocado - peeled & seeded - chopped fine
1 cucumber - peeled - chopped fine (can use Jicama instead if wanted)
salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder (optional)
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. If its a little soupy, I would add more shrimp & veggies. I am going to eat it with "cheese" crackers (I gave a recipe for that a few blogs ago). It is a spicy dish (but I don't add a lot of hot sauce because I like zesty & tangy more than hot tasting things). The ketchup is the biggest contributor to carbs so if you like less of that (and maybe more lime juice), I think that will work okay. As always, make this recipe into your own... Enjoy!
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