A month and a half post-op

Jul 01, 2018

I'm just going to give some quick bullet points. It's been a busy summer thus far, between recovery, work, summer classes, and the kiddos!

  • Surgery & Recovery: I was not prepared for the pain I felt when I woke up from surgery. It was miserable. They also struggled getting me to come back from anesthesia. What should have only been a single overnight stay ended up with me staying in the hospital for three days. I would vomit after every time I would walk for some crazy reason. Ironically, as soon as I left the hospital that stopped. My incisions were/are taking forever to heal. I have one, which is the one the stomach was pulled out of, that still is not healed. My body rejected the internal stitches, and actually pushed internal stitches outward, which resulted in them actually holding the incision open. I ended up finding this on my own and cut them out. My incision started healing again, but it is taking forever.
  • Nutrition: Getting adequate water was impossible at first, but I seem to be doing much better now. About a week after surgery I was able to get my 60g of protein in for 2 days, then suddenly my body started rejecting ALL protein drinks. I even bought Genepro and my body still rejected that. By rejecting I mean that my after 2 sips my stomach would feel bloated and painful, and if I continued to attempt to force the fluids I would vomit. Thankfully, I have found ways to get better at the protein. I mix my genepro in with lemonade Crystal Light and pour it over ice. For some reason, everything I drink HAS to be over ice since I had surgery. Odd.
  • Weight: My highest weight was 370, roughly a year ago. I didn't lose much through the 6 month pre-op process, until I did my pre-op liquid diet. On the day of surgery I was at 333lbs. I dropped weight rapidly when I couldn't consume much beyond water. Once I was able to start with the puree stage, and soft foods, then I hit the dreaded stall. I was stalled at around 305 lbs. The weight has started coming off, and as of yesterday I was officially out of the 300's!! I stepped on the scale and saw 299.2! It's been far too long since I saw a 2 at the beginning of my weight!

Anyhow, I just wanted to post a quick update. Below are a few pictures I have posted to my instagram lately (ignore my annoyed expression, I am not a fan of having such unflattering pictures taken haha). By the way, if you would like more updates, please feel free to follow me at https://www.instagram.com/honey.ishrunkmyself/



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The big day!!

May 15, 2018

Its finally here! I go in to the hospital in half an hour and I should be going back to the OR at noon!

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Preop Diet: Day 6... not enough?

May 06, 2018

So far it's been smooth sailing. I had a pretty strong craving today when my boyfriend was making bagel sandwiches for the kids, but I was able to power through... with my Premier Protein and water haha. 

I have been wondering, what happens if you don't have enough of the protein throughout the day? I'm usually having two, I've hit 3 once. That's in addition to the 4oz of lean protein and veggies I am allowed at the end of the day. I feel full all the time. That is, until I don't... then I feel sickly hungry. It's so immediate, from one to the next. 

Anyhow, things are well. I've been outside planting flowers, soaking up the sunshine. Finals are next week, so I've finished up 3 essays, and I have two tests left to take. I also train for my second part time job tomorrow. As well, I have to go see the neurologist tomorrow to see what's going on with my headache... which of course haven't bothered me for a while now (just like taking a car to the mechanic!). Wednesday I have to go get my blood pressure checked at my doctor's office, because it was low when I saw my surgeon last. Thursday, I drive to Casper for my two pre-op appointments with my surgeon and the anesthesiologist. Friday is graduation, so I'll be supporting some friends there. Sunday is my nephew's graduation. Monday we head to Casper... and Tuesday is the big day! It's going to be here before I know it!! I'm so excited!!

 

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Surgery & Pre-op Diet

May 01, 2018

 

 

Sorry it's been so long. Things have been chaotic! I am still going to school full time, I'm working a part time job and I'm taking on another part-time gig. Whew!

Anyhow, today is officially Day 1 of my pre-op liquid diet!! Technically March was my 6th month; however, I chose to wait until after the semester was done. I didn't want to have surgery in April and miss a week or two of classes right before finals. No way. So, my surgery is scheduled for May 15!! Luckily things will be so chaotic until then that I won't have much time to whine about not eating food haha. 

I will try to be better about putting out an update here and there at least. 

These are all pictures from last week. The first couple are from a BBQ a good friend of mine threw to celebrate my surgery. Kind of a last hoorah before surgery. Don't worry, I wasn't drinking beer lol. The other pics are from an honors convocation at school. I recieved the "Outstanding Biology Student" of the year award. It's funny how I let people take pictures of me knowing these will be some of the last of me in this condition; where before I wouldn't even let anyone point a camera at me. 

 




Now, here's to hoping I'm not too moody this next week lol.

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A scare

Nov 29, 2017

This is the end of the 2nd month of my required 6 month pre-op process. 

Wait a second though... maybe it's not time to celebrate yet...

I haven't gained any weight, so that's good. I've been steady at my 21ish lbs lost. I'm okay with that for now. Here's where the problem may be...

Last week I went to have blood work done. Since I am having my upper endoscopy next month (the 14th), my surgeon ordered a bunch of labs. Luckily my PCP has a lab and they were able to do the work. That was exactly a week ago. Today I got a phone call. They informed me that something came back on my blood work and that my PCP needs me to schedule and appointment so we can discuss it. Uhm... not good! I have been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what the heck it could be... I haven't a clue. It was basic pre-op blood work. I went in to see if my nurse could tell me, but whatever it is, it's something he feels he needs to tell me. To say that I am petrified is an understatement.

I'm not so much worried about something terminal. I mean... yeah that's a little bit of a worry, but I feel fine (minus this annoying headache)! I'm worried I won't be able to have the procedure now. 

Tomorrow afternoon I will know more. So, if you're the praying type, I could use some of that right now. Some positive vibes, well wishes, whatever it is you choose... I just hope for the best. 

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First Appointment with Surgeon

Oct 27, 2017

Today was the day! I was so anxious I couldn't sleep last night! I left my first appointment knowing I made the right choice; not only to have the surgery, but even as far as my surgeon goes. 

We discussed a lot. I legitimately showed up with a notebook I had written questions down in. I guess we should start with the beginning... I lost another pound in less than a week, so that was great. That's 17lbs down from my highest weight. I've left the 360's, and the 350's! 

The nurse was very nice, as was the surgeon. When he came in he told me that we were going to start with any questions I had for him. I whipped out my notebook and asked, "Are you sure?" Haha. I opened with me asking him about me having acid reflux in the past. I had lost my voice for 6 months and no one could figure out why. Finally an ENT specialist informed me that I was having acid reflux in my sleep and it was irritating and eroding my esphogus. Anyhow, I told him about that because I know that reflux and GERD can be a real issue with the sleeve. What I didn't know was that bypass actually helps relieve those issues. I asked many many other questions. I won't bore you with the gory details, though.

The surgeon would like to get me in to see the dietician before the end of the month, since I have to have 6 consecutive months of meetings with her before I can get approval. I am to see my local physician next month, then I will see my surgeon again in December. My surgeon would like to do my endoscopy in December as well. He did inform me not to do my psychiatric evaluation until we are much closer to the surgery, because they expire after 90 days. 

He told me I am an ideal candidate!! I was SO happy to hear that. 6 months... it seems so close, yet so far away! I haven't decided if now is the time to reveal my decision to my friends, or not. Any pointers there? I'm not keeping anything secret, and I actually intend to be quite public with my journey... I want to help break the mold, and break that stigma that goes along with WLS.

Also, I could use some tips here. My surgeon told me that so long as my endoscopy comes back showing no permanent damage, and no pre-cancerous cells, it is up to me which procedure to have. I have been trying to weigh the pros and cons of each... and I am so balanced on them. Part of me wants to say just do RNY because of the acid reflux risk. Not only that but I have considerable weight to lose, so it would make more sense to me to do the one that offers the most weight loss. Plus, it is the oldest procedure. As far as the sleeve, there is less risk regarding malnourishment, so that's a huge benefit. It just seems less scary. Ideas? Tips? Pointers?

Anyhow, that's my update! Hope everyone is doing well!!

-Kim

 

HW: 365
CW: 348

3 comments

Just a quickie

Oct 24, 2017

Had to go see my doc again today. I had to get my Letter of Necessity for my surgeon. I meet with the surgeon at 930am on Friday. My weight is still going down, though only by 1.6lbs. I guess it's not that bad since I'm dealing with bloating (it's that time), and I had a belly full of water. So, I'd say it's fair to say I lost another (at least) 3 total, but I will go by what their scale said. 

HW: 365
CW: 349.2

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Unexpected

Oct 06, 2017

Just a quick one this time.

In Science Association  I took a protein snack pack thing for my lunch. After our meeting I had someone come up and start looking at it. I told her I was focusing on less carbs and more protein. I was shocked when she told me that she was as well, because she had gastric bypass! She is 140lbs down and had her surgery in May 2016. It was nice to speak, face to face, with someone who has been through it and is going through it. We talked for an hour... we discussed everything from pre-op to post-op, to how people treat those of us who are obese, etc. Just thought I would share!

Have a good weekend! 

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(PreOp) One month in -- it's a long one

Oct 04, 2017

I apologize for not keeping up on here better, but I haven't really had anything eventful going on. I figured it is best to update when there is actually something happening, rather than to just have a bunch of filler.

Let's start with non-weight loss updates...

Life has been going well. School is going great! I found out (yesterday) that I have a 102.29% in my English class. That made my day! I've been studying nonstop and working very hard. I've made it my goal to get invited to join Phi Theta Kappa... a very prestigious 2-year college honor society. This week has been full of mid-terms, so stress has been through the roof. Tomorrow is the final midterm for me, thank goodness! Then it's just the waiting game to find out my grades in the other classes.

In my American and Wyoming Government class I had a project of writing a personal mission statement, and writing a letter to myself. My professor had us turn them in in a self addressed and stamped envelope, and he will be mailing them to us in 5 years. I was so dead set on ensuring I get my letter back that I went and got a PO Box haha. 
Why am I rambling about this personal mission statement? Well...
I found this to be my most difficult assignment to date. Silly, right? I've never written any sort of mission statement. He gave us ideas (ie. write about your accomplishments, write about your goals), but I found myself coming up with some very generic topics. I sat down one night after everyone else was asleep... I googled how to write a personal mission statement. Then it made sense. The first part of personal mission statement is PERSONAL... it's not a professional mission statement, which is where I was heading with mine. When I googled how to write it, I came across this link https://liveboldandbloom.com/10/writing/personal-mission-statement. This is what helped, a ton!
After completing the steps... this is what I came to...
"My mission is to regain control of my life, health, and future; and always be the best version of myself. As well, it is my mission to be a positive influence in those around me. Also, to understand that I am worthy of success; and that success is not to be feared, but it must be earned."

This assignment may be the most meaningful thing I have done in years. This assignment taught me that who I am, and who I want to be, are worlds apart. I have begun to made strides to do as I said "be the best version of myself". 

I was always on facebook, only getting off of it when I had to. Frequently getting wrapped up in stuff that didn't matter, and ignoring the things that did matter. Facebook was one of the first things to go once I realized this. I actually disabled my account for 8 days. At first I realized just how dependent on Facebook I am. As the days went on I found myself reading more, and keeping up on news better. I also found that the true friendships mattered more, while the fillers didn't. 
I went back to Facebook on day 9.
Moaning, groaning, complaning, negativity, ugliness (not physical). That's all I saw. I instantly deleted the app. I left my account going so that I can use messenger and utilize facebook when I need it; but overall, I have stayed away.... and it feels great!

Now... for the health....

Had my follow-up appointment with my new doctor today. We went over my blood work, took my weight, etc. 
Blood work: 
My TSH is only slightly off now (currently at almost an 8). My levothyroxin is being upped from 100MCG to 112MCG. 
My fasting blood sugars were slightly elevated (thanks PCOS), but my A1C was perfect.
My blood pressure was perfect, a "text book case", in the words of my doctor. Of course, I was put on blood pressure medication when I went in last time. Unfortunately, that particular medication has been causing me to cough--a lot. I'm sucking on 10 (or more) cough drops a day. I didn't check the calorie content of them until today. 210 calories PER COUGH DROP!! I almost fell out of my chair! That nearly my daily calorie content in cough drops!! So, new medication coming for that...
My cholesterol.. this is what shocked us all. My cholesterol was not only good, but it is LOW! He said he almost never sees that, even in people who aren't obese! I was pretty proud of that one!
Finally... my weight...
Highest weight: 365 lbs. 
Weight a month ago: 358.8 lbs.
Weight today: 350.8 lbs!!!
I know it doesn't seem like much, but this is pre-op. I also haven't worked out, at all. This is simply adding in either a banana or a greek yogurt for breakfast. I have incoporated more protein. I have not cut out carbs, I don't count carbs, but I have made changes... I have been avoiding sweets, I don't have potatoes on the side, I have veggie pasta (not a fan of Zoodles), I have whole wheat/multigrain bread, etc. I also followed my physicians instructions on the 5 minute timer! Drink at least one half liter of water before eating, then set a 5 minute timer, eat for 5 minutes, then stop when the timer goes off. I have found this to be extremely helpful in teaching me to listen to my stomach and not my food addiction. I don't always do the 5 minute timer, and I told my doctor this. I am a very slow eater, and in the 5 minute time I realized I was gorging myself and it seemed counterproductive at times. We determined that I am making progress in recognizing and changing my food addiction, so he said to only use the timer when I feel it is necessary.

PROGRESS!
I have to lose at least 10% of my beginning body weight, that's 36.5lbs, before my insurance will agree to surgery. So far I am15 lbs down, 21.5 lbs.

On the 9th my boyfriend goes in for his appointment.
On the 27th I go for my initial appointment with my surgeon. 

Hope you're all doing well
&
Thank you for reading 

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Post-Seminar Update

Sep 15, 2017

Hello, hello!

Well, Wednesday was the day of the seminar. I was really hoping to make it back on that night to give an update, but I had to go to classes for 5 hours, then drive 2 hours away, attend the seminar, and come back home so I could go to classes again first thing in the morning. We didn't get home until late... so, heres the update.

The seminar went very well. It was very informative! I am so happy my boyfriend went with me. He is now very interested in bariatric surgery as well. For those who don't know (I think that may be all of you?), I live in Wyoming. I was astounded by the number of people at the seminar. I think there were 4 chairs left open in the room. I was expecting there to be just a couple other people. I was wrong!

At the seminar I decided to ask the surgeon how much of the process could be handled on a local level, and how much I would need to travel there for. I was very pleasantly surprised when he informed me that he has a satellite office here! That took a huge amount of stress away. Anyone who knows Wyoming winters knows they are unpredictable (at best), and travelling can be quite hazardous. I will only have to travel to see him for my endoscopy and for the surgery itself.

So... I did it! I got out of class early today and I called his office to schedule my consultation!! I was little bummed to find out that he was in town today, and won't be back until the end of next month. Then I remembered what a long process this is. I have no reason to be disappointed. I'm just excited that step one is done, and I'm well on my way to step two! 

Dietary changes I'm still struggling with. I'm doing great at not drinking my calories (unless I have a protein shake). I have cut out sodas, juices, etc. I never really would drink a lot of them anyway, so that wasn't a big deal. I am still struggling with having breakfast every day, especially the days that I have class early. Those are the worst days! I'm doing well with my time limits as well. I'm mostly focusing on my 5 minute limits at dinner time, because that tends to be when I over-do it. I have found that with drinking my water, then only eating for five minutes, then stepping away from my food for a few minutes... I actually do begin to feel full! It takes at least two minutes before the full/satisfied sensation kicks in, but it does happen. 

Also, a huge thank you for the link to the questions to ask my surgeon. I haven't had much of a chance to look at them, but I will be doing that as soon as I finish this blog. Thank you!!

I would like some thoughts on this last bit. I am a part of the Science Association in my school  and our faculty representative has requested we all do a presentation on something that is important to us or interests us. It doesn't have to be scientific in nature, but it is preferred. I am thinking of doing mine on bariatric surgery. Not only is it health related (I'm going to school for nursing), but it's scientific. Beyond that, I think there is a huge stigma around weight-loss surgery. I don't want to act like what I'm doing is a secret, because I'm not ashamed of it. It's important to me right now. It's where I'm at in my life at the moment. Frankly, I don't feel like I have any reason to be ashamed, but I do want to break the shell of silence that seems to surround bariatric surgery. Thoughts? Opinions? It only needs to be roughly a 5 minutes presentation, so it doesn't need to be huge. 

Anyhow, I hope everyone is doing well!

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About Me
45.4
BMI
VSG
Surgery
05/15/2018
Surgery Date
Aug 24, 2017
Member Since

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