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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...
Dusting yourself off after you fall off the wagon... on May 28, 2012 4:35 am
My sleeve has felt like the bottomless pit the last few weeks and I am perplexed as to how the pendulum swung so fast and hard to the other side. As I have felt better, as in I literally woke up one day and the nausea and tummy pain were gone, I am having to learn how to deal with head hunger now and a seemingly larger capacity sleeve. What the hell happened here?
Thankfully, I am keeping within the small margin of error when I am on the scale, but I am battling... 170 and higher is at stake in the weight department, as I go back and forth between 160 and 165. I don't weigh myself every day but about 2 or 3 times a week. Because I have always gained weight very easily, the scale is my reality check.
I must confess that I have been eating a lot of carbs in the form of "breakfast cookies" (180 cal, 5g fiber, 3g protein) and protein bars that can call themselves "high protein" but not low carb (my favorite is Macrobar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip - 15g of protein in 280 cal). I love carbs...especially chocolate chip cookies...they are definitely my Kryptonite...
How easily I have forgotten to eat for energy (and not because I am craving things, or because they taste so wonderful). I am trying to repeat the mantra "nothing tastes as good as thin feels" in my head all the time, but sleevie is really fighting me.
I don't think my problem stems from too much stomach acid, but I have not been as faithful in taking my multivitamin every day. It's such a big liquigel and it tastes super nasty to burp up...and makes me nauseous if I don't take it last in the long line of supplements and meds. I am thinking about double dosing the multi for a couple of days, or adding chromium and/or B complex supplements, but the truth is, this multi is a very good vitamin and I get more than I need in the B vitamins and enough chromium just by taking this one lonely BIG ASS pill!
The cold hard truth is I will always be waging this war of mind over matter with my body (funny how that sounds). It is so easy to take my current weight for granted, so easy to slip up in the calorie department, and so easy to tell myself lies about where I am headed if I don't get my act together. I don't want to bury my head in the sand anymore. I have chosen to live honestly about all things food and weight related, and I can't abandon things now that I actually have to work at it.
I am a little sad that the honeymoon is over, but am glad I have some good tools to keep me in check. For one thing, I still calculate my calories and protein in my head almost daily. I can't seem to turn that part of me off now, and I am thankful for that...no, really...I am...lol Secondly, I can drink a lot better now that the nausea is gone, so I can incorporate more water into my life (as we all know, when you feel hungry but aren't sure its the real deal, drinking low cal beverages can help you feel full). And thirdly, I know that eating meat, veggies, and nuts, will fill my sleeve up quicker than any bread will. (It's downright scary how quickly I down cookies and bread now.)
I am recommitting to a "moderate" low carb diet (100 carbs or less each day). I am not looking forward to giving up honey, nor am I fully willing to go back on sweeteners of questionable health effects (I mean you Splenda! The stevia doesn't cut it for me but crystalized erythritol and xylitol do, so they are my planned sweeteners, along with some agave nectar.) Anything I do, I want to be able to sustain it indefinitely, so moderation is the key. (I have no intentions of giving up my fresh strawberries, peaches, or other favorite fruits...but I will pay attention to portions.)
I have a recipe I created years ago for low carb chocolate chip cookies (using coconut flour, more eggs, and sweeteners to replace the higher carb version) which is also high fiber and protein, that I will be getting out of the dusty box this week, as I know I could never live without my beloved cookies... With my target of "less than 100 carbs" per day, I can afford this version of my little Heaven. (I probably shouldn't put the cookie on the pedestal...but I will save that for another time.)
I may have more things to confess as I get back on the straight and narrow, but I think this is a good place to start... Hunger control will be the key to weight control for me...
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Politically Incorrect about Food...well, maybe... on May 22, 2012 11:02 pm
I have been watching a lot of documentaries about food lately, and have found new motivation to eat and drink healthier. The latest one, "Forks over Knives" touts the "plant-based" diet (i.e. something close to veganism) over eating meat and dairy. I don't think I will ever go vegan, but it did beg the question of "how would you do a plant-based diet after WLS?" I am all for keeping a variety in my diet but 1200 calories in fruits and veggies (with no dairy and low fat) seems like one would be eating more than my sleever stomach can hold.
I was inspired to cut down on my dairy (I like my 1% milk and a little butter here and there) so I bought soy milk for the first time in about 3 years. I don't do the unflavored stuff, but vanilla and chocolate soy milk (like refridgerated Silk) are pretty easy for me to deal with. This morning I put a scoop of my strawberry Jay Robb whey protein with a cup of vanilla, and it actually tasted better than it does with regular milk (I can't do the Jay Robb with water...i tastes like flavored soap to me...lol) But regular milk will still be poured onto my cereal (I do cereal about once a week...but some cereals make me dump...ugh!)
If I have learned anything thru watching these food docs, its this:
1. Eat fresh plants whenever possible....fruits, veggies, etc
2. Look for organic versions of foods...the evidence is mounting that it really does make a difference in your body
3. Lower fat dairy products are probably better for your body, and the less dairy, the better
4. We really are naive to think that food companies only put wholesome goodness into their products
5. Labels are only as good as the FDA requirements are...after all, its not required to let us know if there are genetically modified ingredients are in our food, if pesticides were used on any ingredients, etc
6. Buying and eating locally grown foods really are better for you (the less our food has to travel, the more nutrients it tends to have)
7. Do your own research into the food companies you tend to buy from...
I don't mean to sound "alarming" and I would be the last person to say "never" do/eat/drink anything... We are all responsible for our own actions, and have the freedom to decided what works and what doesn't for our individual bodies and minds... And even if I wanted to, I don't think I could switch to a different lifestyle in eating overnight! (Lord knows I have had my fair share of fast food chicken nuggets!) I come from an "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!" line of thinking, along with "Everything in Moderation"...This is the expanse of my political ambition related to food...lol
For me, the more I educate myself about what I put into my body, the more informed I am in making my choices, and I think over time, I will generally make better choices. So the soy milk purchase this week is my foot in the right direction for me... I still balk at the prices for organic produce but as I can, I will try to switch over...but I will probably be buying less of the organic to make sure I don't let it go to waste sitting in the fridge...
And I think I am ready to "lay off" documentaries for awhile...lol
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An old demon surfaces... on May 17, 2012 10:52 am
Yesterday was the second of my 3 days off from work...and also a very scary day for me. What should have been a relaxing day of meandering thru my "to do" list, after several weeks of working 60 hrs/week, turned into one where an old demon surfaced, making me question question how much I can push myself right now.
I am talking about reactive hypoglycemia attacks. Yesterday, I had two of these insidious attacks, the second one far worse and far scarier!
Hypoglycemia is where the blood sugar dips too low and your body can't or won't initiate the "failsafe" response of having your pancreas/liver release more glucogen into your system. While normally diabetic patients deal with this issue, I have never had diabetes, and am in a "normal" weight range.
Reactive hypoglycemia is were the blood sugar drops 1 - 3 hours after eating, and can be associated with bariatric patients. There are a variety of symptoms one can experience, and for me, the shakiness and feeling "off" are the first things I feel, then moving into profusely sweating and flushing, extreme fatigue and some anxiety. I think the scariest symptom though is losing the ability to communicate and make sense (for some reason, it takes an extreme amount of energy to form words and thoughts). I came very close to my older daughter taking me to the ER.
I have had a few of these attacks before, but they happened when I was experiencing a lot of rebellion from my body several months ago, and before I started taking biotin (which can help stabilize blood sugar along with helping your hair grow.) Yesterday was the worst I have ever experienced, and left me resting in bed for the rest of the day.
Here is what I think contributed to me having a "bad" day - I had a marathon sleep session where I hadn't eaten or drank anything for several hours. When I did get up, I started with water (I have to take thyroid meds at the start of my day - and I am supposed to wait an hour before eating.) Then I ate a cup of fresh strawberries, some granola, followed by a couple of bitesize mini muffins and tea and juice. You notice that there is not one good source of protein in anything I ate (50 lashes with a wet noodle for me there!) All this led to the first "attack" which was pretty mild...and at the time I thought I was dumping...so I laid down until I felt better about 45 minutes later.
Here is where I got into big trouble... When I got up, I went into the kitchen to make myself a protein shake, but started feeling dizzy (a rather normal daily symptom for me living as a post op) so I grabbed a bottle of water instead, and sat down, thinking I just needed more fluids. I felt extremely thirsty all of a sudden and drank 24 oz within about 10 minutes (the fastest I have drank anything!) After that, I felt the blood leave my face and upper body, sweat pouring off me, and I became lethargic. That is when my older daughter stepped in (my younger one, Mini Me, is in Illinois helping my parents move this week).
She asked me if she could make me anything...unfortunately, the only protein I could think of was an egg. Older daughter doesn't eat eggs, and therefore has never cooked one in her 22 years! She also has never made me a protein shake (although I have made several for her...lol) and my mind remembered the bag of popcorn sitting on a counter, so all I could say was "popcorn" and she got that for me. I inhaled several bites of this nonprotein food (just to get some calories into me) and that stabilized me after a few minutes, at which time I could form thoughts again, and explained how to make me a simple protein shake.
Once I made it up the stairs and back into bed, I didn't come back down for the rest of the afternoon or evening, but in between protein shakes, slept like I never wanted to wake up...feeling like I was past having no energy...in a serious deficit that only sleep could restore. My daughter called my hubby and he raced home...worried that we needed to get medical care right away.
I tell you all this, because it was so scary and maybe it will help someone else understand what is happening to them. And maybe, other people have more insight and information.
I have been told by my family that I SHOULD go to the doctor. But after researching on the computer, I am left thinking "I know what this is" and "there is nothing the doctor can do for me that I can't do at home". After all, the treatment seems to be eating better and keeping snacks with you at all times.
But now, I am feeling like, am I safe to be by myself? I didn't anticipate all the events of yesterday, and if my daughter hadn't been here, I think I definitely would have passed out...maybe for a long time...
Anyway, I am feeling better today, and more myself. I made up a big batch of protein shake (pitcher size) in the fridge that I can use anytime I feel a little "off" today. I hope I never go thru this again!
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I did it...batwings and all...Mother's Day pic with... on May 12, 2012 1:10 pm
Just wanted to share a quick pic from our outing this morning, going to breakfast with my hubby and younger daughter (older daughter has a bit of a tummy bug and couldn't go with us at the last minute). It was a great morning! In my sleeveless maxi dress (first time ever wearing it, and going sleeveless.)
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Do I Dare to Bare? And Other PostOp questions... on May 5, 2012 6:25 am
I bought my first Maxi dress the other day (online...so I don't have it yet) and am daring myself to try more styles now that I maintaining my normal weight. My batwings are ready...as both of my daughters have stated (along with my BFF - who is now 4 months post op after getting sleeved) that my arms are "not as bad" as I think they are. (Of course, no one says that when I dangle the evidence - arms flapping in the wind!) So I am taking a chance in wearing this sleeveless style. (Where are you Spring Shrugs?)
And it got me to question a few things...such as, do I dare to bare or discreetly hide other droopy skinned areas? Granted, its much easier to hide my sharpei puppy thighs with my capris (thank God they come down just below the knee) than it is to hide my upper arms. I live in MeLTing HOT Frickin' ARIZONA! So comfort comes first when I am dressing for the heat...who cares about my arms anyway when it is 110 degrees outside! (At least I tell myself comfort comes first...)
I struggle with the idea of creating an icky "what not to wear" moment in public, while feeling liberated to "wear what I damn well please!" My droopy arms and legs are not "hanging over" all the time...but there are certain angles which clearly identify me as the recent 118 pound loser that I am. I have even toyed with the idea of duct taping certain areas if the outfit requires it... So sad...but true...
In a perfect world, plastic surgery would be my next step. But the budget doesn't allow for any nips and tucks in the next year, so I am left to my own devices. Besides, the thought of going under the knife again reminds me of the roulette wheel....you may not be happy with the outcome.
I have also wondered about "what if I lose another 10 pounds?" While there is a part of me that would like a lower BMI, I noticed a big change in my face in the last 25 pounds (as in...it's a lot thinner and I am not sure I like it), and I have reason to believe that losing more may give away my age...or worse, make me look older! And 10 more pounds would not be useful for the droopy butt or thighs either. Come to think of it, maybe I SHOULD regain those last 10 pounds!
So, I am curious...How do you know what weight is best for you? And how do you deal with the wardrobe challenges?
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