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Surgeon TestimonialBrent Bruderer, M.D.2/23/10 Attended Informational Session. Dr. Bruderer could not make it to this session but I did attend another one of his sessions a few years back. This time around, his P.A. was very helpful in letting everyone know what will take place throughout the process. It made me comfortable knowing that I can contact his office at anytime if I had any questions. Will update more to this as I haven't personally talked with him yet. =) |
One Freaking Year! on September 20, 2011 7:57 am
I can't believe that it's already been one year for me. Honestly, if I had to do this all over today, this very second, I would. Definitely.
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This time last year, had I said that running will be my new favorite hobby, I would have thought myself insane! But it is...I love running...even if it's only for a few minutes at a time, in spurts...I can actually say, "I ran today." This time last year, I couldn't even sweep & mop my floor without taking breaks because I thought my back was surely gonna break. This time last year, I had no confidence & no hope for myself at all...in any way. I truly thought that my morbid obesity would be my way out of this world. One year after, sometimes, this surgery is still all that I think about. All day. I cannot believe how it has affected my life in so MANY ways. I truly believe that it is the reason I am who I am today...and that is a better person, both physically & mentally. :)
I'm not gonna lie and say that it's easy, because it's not. When people say it's hard to accept that you are no longer that person you once were, it's true...at least for me it was and still is. I've been a big girl all of my life, so it's all that I've really ever known. I still find myself walking in the plus size clothing area, I still can't take compliments well, I still think that when a guy hits on me, it must be some kinda joke, and I still have it in my brain that I can't do certain things because of my weight, so I never even attempt to try them. It does take some getting used to all of it...and I'm still learning every day to accept those words, "I CAN."
A few complaints (but worth it) : The hair loss is terrible! But, I knew that it was inevitable. My hair was always on the thin side already, but after my surgery, I had to find new ways to fix my hair to cover up the hair loss. Most of the time I wear it down. It's slowly growing back some. I also think that I'm gonna be one of the people who is gonna have to get my gallbladder taken out sooner or later. I can feel it. I'm gonna come right out and say it, I can't stand the extra skin! My upper legs, arms, boobs, and stomach are terrible! I made a promise to myself that as soon as I can find extra work, I'm definitely looking into more surgery. My arms don't bother me as much as the rest, so I think I'd save that for last, and I've always considered getting breast implants, because honestly, there was never much to them anyway. Haha. So, the question with that is, "Silicone or saline?" I think some of my friends & family think I'm joking when I say all of this about getting work done, but I can't be any more serious. I deserve to be happy not only in a healthy way, but also with my physical appearance. Why not? Ya know? Of course, these are just little complaints right now. If I had to live with myself like this forever, I wouldn't care. Extra skin & all. The good that came from this surgery, for me, will ALWAYS outweigh the bad.
I'd also like to take this time to thank my surgeon, Dr. Brent Bruderer, for saving my life! Because in the end, it truly is what he did! There aren't enough words in the dictionary to express all of my thanks & gratitude towards this man. He made me love my life and want to live my life again. He made me realize that my life was worth living and that I deserve to live it healthy. Thank you, Dr. Bruderer, for giving me my life back. I will forever be greatful to you. :)
Anyway, I am down 125 pounds. I started at 335, and I am now at 210. WOW! I've never been this weight. EVER! Haha. Well, not that I can remember anyway. My long term goal is to get to 160 and my new short term goal, is just to get to under 200, which is reasonable to me, since I don't even remember EVER weighing in the 100's. I can honestly say that if my weight loss were to end today, I would be happy with it because I've never felt so healthy in my life, and I love it! :)
In ending with this blog post, I'd like to say to those just starting out on this journey, I wish you strength. Even when you think there is no hope. I know what it's like. We were all there at one point. As cheesy as it may sound, remember that you are worth fighting for. So, stick to it, and NEVER EVER give up on the fight to get healthy. It's awesome! :)
1-11-11. on January 11, 2011 7:59 am
Happy New Year to everyone!
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What a great start to the new year for me. I am down 73 pounds!! It is absolutely unbelievable. Dare I say...it is awesomely RAD! Ha.
With the new year, I've been taking some time just reflecting on my past & future health & past & future life. Just last year at this time I was thinking that this would never happen for me. I was so sad & in a constant pity party with myself daily, and honestly, I am upset with the person that I was just a year ago. How could I have let myself get that far & to that point? I truly did try everything & anything under the sun to try & stay healthy but I believe things happen for a reason & for some reason the day I finally got my surgery date was thee day that would change the rest of my life! I know it. Once again, I have to say that this surgery was my life saver, my hero, as lame as that may sound. Haha.
I am so happy with with the person that I have become in just this last (almost) 4 months. I mean come on, 73 pounds in just (almost) 4 months!! That truly is something great. I've got this crazy energy that I just cannot seem to settle. I swear, somedays I should probably be on Ritalin. I don't want be home anymore. I wanna be doing something...anything! Just typing this makes me all kinds of excited. Haha...
So...to the people just beginning their journey's remember, this takes patience & work & a lot of miserable days but if you could stick it out, the benefits definitely outweigh everything else. Believe me! I waited almost 6 years for a surgery date & I know 6 years is a very long time. But once again, things happen for a reason & I believe there was reason for that long wait. My surgery day was meant to be when it was & I am happy I had it when I did. I wouldn't change that life changing day for anything in the world.
I am almost healthy & that's all that matters to me because that means my life, my future. I am excited for the future me and I can't wait, I can't wait...I CAN'T WAIT! I see a happy/fun/daring/confident Joelle in my future. Yay. :)
3 Month Update. on December 20, 2010 9:31 pm
This surgery truely changed my life in just this past 3 months. I wouldn't change anything about it & I feel great! No back pain when I walk & that's HUGE for me. My back used to get numb from just sweeping my kitchen, but not anymore. I can sweep for days. Haha. Of course, I'm exaggerating...but you get the point. =)
I have my rough days & my good days, but nothing too serious at all. One of the little problems I have is that I cannot eat white bread...AT ALL. I've tried it twice & both times it felt stuck in my chest for a whole day. I have tried whole wheat toast & it did seem to go down better than the white. But I digress, with the bread thing, the less carbs I can handle...the better! Ha. Carbs were my numero uno enemy before surgery. And I can honestly say that it don't matter if I eat white bread ever again, because I've never felt any better than I do now & I don't wish for it all.
It's so crazy how my taste buds have changed throughout this 3 month process so far. Before surgery, I could have eaten pizza EVERY single day. It was my favorite meal. EVER. But now when I cook it for my family, I can't even stand to look at it sometimes! It's so crazy! A lot of the things I enjoyed before I don't enjoy anymore. But I guess that in itself is also a good thing! I can say that the choices I made before surgery weren't all that great anyway. Haha. =)
I'm not saying that this is the easiest thing, because it's not...especially emotionally. There are days that I wish I can eat like I used to, especially with the holidays upon us. My family uses food for comfort & celebration, which we do a lot of. It is hard to see the others eat & enjoy themselves so much & still yet, 3 months after, I'll make myself a plate with more food on it than what I can even handle. Just used of it I guess. I waste a lot! Haha. I just keep in mind that I am far too scared to get sick & I remember why I did this in the first place & I will not be a failure. To the people that say this is the easy way out...I say walk a mile in my shoes...because it's far from it. So many changes, and still changes every single day but I am hitting them head on as they come. It's a plus that my 2 sisters & sister-in-law are always there to talk about things when I'm having a rough day or they are. It definitely helps to know someone else who's been through this. When I say not everyone is the same, believe me...it's true. Especially with this surgery. I try not to ever compare myself with them & what they've been through. I've noticed the 4 of us are so different from one another in so many ways.
I've also noticed for the past 3 weeks, my hair has been falling out like crazy. I was hoping the day wouldn't come at all, but it has come in full force. My hair is thin enough already. I can't afford to lose more. Some days, it makes me wanna cry even. If anyone is reading this...is there any type of vitamin that I can take for hair loss that will work? If so, I'd greatly appreciate it if you let me know which! The hair loss is awful.
All in all, over 60 pounds loss so far. Some days I feel like I'm not losing fast enough, but then I sit back & realize...I couldn't have done this without the surgery & 60 is the greatest weight loss I've ever had in my life. As far as I can remember. I can honestly say, I now know that this surgery has saved my life and I am thankful for it every single day. I'm not sure if I am the only one, but somedays, it's all that I think about. I think about my future as a healthy person. What I want to do, experience...everything I couldn't do before that I'll be able to do now. It's a great feeling...it is a blessing!
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One Month Post-op! on October 20, 2010 9:46 am
Whew. I know it's only been a month today, but it seems like forever already. Anyway, I am down 36 pounds...in one month!That. Is. Extraordinary! I started at 335 and I am now 299.02 to be exact. Haha. I am under 300, which was my first goal. Yay me!
I went to my first check-up last week & they say everything is going great. Even though, I was worried about what I thought I was doing wrong or if I was even doing okay. Turns out, I am right on track and Dr. Bruderer's nurse said I am at the point where I can pretty much eat anything now. Well...I mean anything that'll agree with the surgery...in small amounts.
The thing is, I have been feeling very "ishy" about everything that I can eat though. I mean, I wish for something...I try it, only to find out, it's not as good as I thought it would be. I don't know what happened to my appetite. It's very emotional more than physical for me now. The things I used to LOVE so much, just don't look that great anymore...and I guess that's probably a good thing. But I do hope that changes. The only thing that seems great to me is crackers & cheese. Take yesterday, I've been wishing for veggie soup, so I buy me a can and after I ate very little of it, I just wasn't as interested in it as I thought I was. It's so weird. If it were up to me, I'd never eat, but I have to...so I do. And protein is another story. I cannot find one that I can tolerate. I feel so successful so far, despite my appetite, but if I fail at something with this surgery, it will be because of my lack of protein intake. Sad thing about this is, being unemployed, I cannot afford to try different flavors.
Anyway, after everything...I try to think about my weight loss so far and use that for positivity and it does help. I mean, my surgeon says I'm doing good so far, so that's great! Just wish I could kick this "pregnanty feeling." Haha. That's how my oldest sister, who got the surgery in June describes it. And speaking of which, we just found out last week that she IS indeed pregnant. I know, what a shocker. She's only just 3 months out, I cannot imagine how scared she feels. No wonder she always said that. Haha. All along, she was, in fact, pregnant. Anyway, they are taking extra precautions with her because she's only just 3 months out. She says that she's never been this sick through any of her pregnancies...which is to be expected. I feel so sorry for her, because I really can't imagine how sick she must be. We are hoping for the best for her throughout her pregnancy. Her doctor says it isn't uncommon but she must watch her nutrients throughout her pregnancy and that she may still lose weight, but she should gain at least 20 during the 9 months and after she has the baby, she'll start losing again.
Another update, one of my other sisters just had the surgery last week on the 13th. She's doing great so far, but she tells me she regrets her choice a lot. All I can do is be there for her & tell her that things do get better with every passing day because I don't know how she feels. I do not regret my surgery EVER...and if I did, it was maybe only once so far.
This surgery has already done so much for me. I am not taking my blood pressure pills no longer because it's normal. I can wear flip flops without the risk of getting swollen feet the size of Texas, my back no longer hurts when I do something and I get to buy new clothes soon! That's always a plus. Haha. Just today, I was reading my profile and I had a little moment. It's so surreal to me to see my surgery date and my surgeon's name under my picture. I know it's probably nothing, but for 6 years it was always empty! There was a time when I didn't think I'd ever get to put my surgery date or my surgeon's name for that matter under my little picture on my profile!! Sorta silly huh? Haha. But it makes me so happy. I am there! I am FINALLY on the road to becoming healthy, and so far...success! It does feel great...and I guess...I gotta accept that "ishy" feeling that comes with eating, along with this journey.
By this time next year, first I hope to see myself working full time again, and also on my journey to getting brand new boobies. TMI? Probably. But it's always been a long term goal for me. Haha.
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Update. One week Post-op. on September 27, 2010 8:13 am
So, I am one week post-op today. I have to say, I think that I am doing well. I didn't think I'd ever be able to get sleep after the first few days, but every night I am getting more & more sleep. I swear, my first 2 days home, I got maybe 4 hours of sleep altogether. It was rough. Not that I was in pain or anything...I just COULD NOT sleep. I have no idea why.
As for eating, I'm following my surgeon's menu plan. Sometimes, I feel like I'm even over doing it, or that I'm not eating enough. I'll get a hang of this soon enough though. I believe it takes some getting used to. Teaching myself to eat all over again...it's not as easy as one would think. I'm not rushing or anything...I want to follow my surgeon's plan exactly as it states, that way I know I am not doing anything wrong...but, I wish I was at the point where I could sit down with my family & eat what they eat, instead of cooking something differently every meal. It just feels really weird. This is what my family does, we eat together and it's just odd that I can't eat what they eat. It's almost hard to do, but I always keep in mind the reason why I am doing this...and there is no turning back now. Haha. Not that I regret it. Because I don't. I know, I know, it's only been one week, but when I mean sitting down to eat what they eat, I don't mean doing/eating the same that has gotten me to this point. I mean, just being able to eat what they eat, but not as much. Ya know?
Today, I started the Full Liquid Pureed Diet. I'll be on this for a week & then next week...I get to east crisp white toast!!! The thing is, another weird thing about this is that when I get to the point that I get to eat something that I am anxious to eat...it just does not look good anymore when I can eat it. Haha. Example, I was so anxious to start SF pudding today and I have to say, it doesn't look that good. I know I'm not the only one like this. I've been frequenting the RNY forum and I've been seeing it a lot. But instead of starving myself, even though I don't want to eat, I eat anyway.
Right now, I am drinking a scoop of protein with a cup of skim milk and so far, so good. Yes! The dreaded protein seems to be going down okay, right now. =)
Well, just thought I'd update. I have so much to say and then when I come here to say it...I usually forget what I had to say. Haha. Anyway, I'll keep updating!
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So anyway, I thought I'd start to fill in my OH profile/blog. I've had a profile since 3/14/2004, but now, I actually have a reason to type in it. This is my do-over. Hopefully this time, I’ll accomplish something so that I can blog more often. =)
People usually have specific start date to their journey to weight loss surgery. I'm gonna honestly say, that my journey began the day I was born. Seriously. I think that I was born to be a "fluffy girl." I grew up chubby. I am your typical, classic, dare I say…symbolic, chubby girl story. I got teased by other kids, and then I cried. I still remember the song, “Joelle, Joelle, bowl full of Jell-O.” (Stupid kids. Didn’t even know how to rhyme. Ha!) I hated school. I didn’t go to prom. I was the friend with the great personality, the one someone could always talk to. The friend that had the greatest shoulder to lean on, to cry on during the “hard times” and the friend that always had the best advice. I was the friend with just the pretty face, but always the friend without the boyfriend. Blah, blah, blah. Typical, right? Sometimes, I think the only lesson that I learned in grade school and in high school is that people are cruel.
I don't remember ever being small. Being chubby is all I've ever known. I find it impossible to even picture myself fit. I mean, I've lost weight a few times. Just not huge amounts of weight. The closest that I have ever came to the 200's is 215 about 6 years ago. A size 18, almost a 16. I know it's still obese, but I felt great. Never felt better! I even LOVED shopping! I had a lot of friends and I loved socializing! The thing is, I think I just got comfortable at that weight. Maybe too comfortable. I thought I could keep it off. Here I am 5 years later wishing so much that I was close to that 215 again, the weight I almost felt...healthy & happy. (Yes, I know. Even though.)
Now, here I am. UNHEALTHY. Although I hate, hate, HATE to admit it, I let the negativity that I faced as a child, and still face, define me. I do realize most of the negativity that I face now, comes from myself. I’m hard on myself. Bad. I hate when others are hard on me, but its okay for me to be. It’s not right. I know it. I’ve become somewhat of a bitter person because of it. I don’t want to be bitter, but I am. I just want to finally be happy and HEALTHY!