- HEALTH TRACKER
Post Op - BMI: 21.6
Surgery Type: RNY
Member ID: B1077789113
Web Site: http://www.geocities.com/wlshatbox/index.htm
Surgeon: James K. Weber M.D.
Click here for Just's surgery support page
Click here for the 07/2004 Reunion Page
Click here to print Just's cards
(You can print your own cards, and if you're good at it,
you can help print cards for your friends as well!)
Weight (beginning): 256 pounds
Weight (goal): 150
Doctor: Dr. Weber of Seattle
Biggest Issue: Time
Co-morbs: Asthma, Arthritis, Hypothyroid
Pulmanary Function Test
Tomorrow is my one week appointment. I am looking forward to the weigh in. The last three nights, we have gone out for one mile walks. It feels really good. When I got home Friday, I was in tons of pain. Saturday I was feeling pretty good. It was a good thing. DH didn't take any time off from work. So he went to work Friday night. That night, my oldest slept in my room just in case I needed some help. Saturday, they all got hungry around diner time and stood around looking at me. I swear if I would have died, they would have too because the five of them can't seem to feed themselves without a credit card. They ate out the whole time I was gone. No one even did the dishes while I was in the hospital. I am back to full wife/mom duties except I refuse to carry the laundry up or down the stairs.
My appointment was fast. But, I can't complain. There really wasn't anything much to talk about. Dr. Weber wasn't rushed. I am sure he would have made as much time for me as I needed. The coolest thing happened at the appointment First, let me remind you that I am used to military hospitals where children are considered germ carrying little disruptions. I have and continue to be amazed at how well kids are treated in the civilian world. The big thing in today's appointment was to have my staples removed. I had something like 15. The plan was to remove 2/3 of them. Since the Dr. is an hour away, he said we could remove the rest of them at home later in the week. I asked my 10 yo and my 8 yo if they would like to remove a staple when we take the final ones out. Just asking turned my oldest green again. He turns green everytime I show him my stapples. S2 (the 8yo) was interested. Of all of my kids, he is the most likely to become a doctor. OK so today at the office, they called me back. Because of S1's green tendency, I knew they couldn't all go back with me. So, I invited S2. When we got back, the doc laid me out and had removed two staples before I even realized what he was doing. Granted, it is hard to see over the "girls" to see what he was doing. I called S2 over. The doc asked him if he would like to try and take one out. S2 did a great job and then had the job of removing the rest of the staples. I am healing so well that they removed them all. Then S2 placed the little tape things on my belly. He did so well. And, I was so proud of him. Dr. W ended our appointment with a big hug. Then he went out and said the nicest things about me to DH while I was setting up my next appointment. Oh, BTW, my weight at my pre-op appt was 256. My weight on the day of surgery after not eating for 2 days was 250. I got up to 265 in the hospital. Today's weight was 248.After the appointment, I went over to the hospital to see the woman that visited me last week. I thought she would have been in the room for at least two hours by the time I got there. She had only been in the room for 20. I almost started crying for her when I saw how much pain she was in. I took her a pillow and some tea for when she got home. I was in the room for about 2 minutes because I didn't want to make her feel any worse with a visitor. The nurses were surprised to see me. I got to have a mini visit with all of them except with the one that was tending to my friend. I tried to get them to hook me back up to the morphine drip for old times sake, but they wouldn't. LOL The kids were welcomed with open arms there too. I can't say enough nice things about the staff. They made me feel so good and I know they were the reason that my recovery went so well.
I can have anything (healthy) that can be sucked through a straw after it comes out of the blender or chopper. Tomorrow, I am going to go buy a shrimp. Just one because that is all I need for a meal. Talk about cheap date. LOL Today, I was trying to figure out how to suck a Dick's hamburger and fries through a straw. We had never been there, but stopped after my appointment. I had to sit in the car with everyone eating what smelled to be the best hamburgers ever. So far there are things I miss. But, the two I miss most are diet coke and being able to drink a large glass of water. Yesterday I would have paid good money if someone would have just hooked me up to an IV for an hour.
The weekend I don't really have anything to complain about. But, I won't let that hold me back. I am tired. No, it is beyond tired. Yesterday we had my oldest son's birthday party. So, Sat. we had to get ready. Plus, we had some other things to do. By the time we got to the last part of the shopping, I almost didn't make it though the store. For those of you that have been pregnant, it was like those last days when your baby is a week late and just moving is a major effort. We had house cleaning to do. But, when we got home DH sent me straight to bed. Its a good thing because I didn't think I could stood for another 5 minutes. I thought an hour's nap would do me. 3 hours later I woke up and found my house clean except for the kitchen. OK so I have complained about him but he does come through sometimes. So, I had to give him credit. I have been actively trying to get some carbs in my diet for energy. But, I suspect that one of my main problems is low iron. I don't know how quickly it can go down, but I haven't been able to find liquid iron anywhere. So, there is none in my diet. I need to suck it up and buy them online. BTW, I am still walking. I know that a lot of people say that to get energy, you have to get moving. So, I haven't give up on that.Tomorrow is my two week anniversary. I am down 15 1/2 pounds. I made it into the 230s. So, I reached that goal. I am bored with food. Not all food. Just the foods I can eat. My son's hamburger tonight looked really interesting. So much so that I took a bite and chewed it up. Then I had to spit it out. But, it got me over the craving. I promise you that if this was just a diet, I would have fallen off the wagon by now. A bite here and there would have lead to a slice here and there. So, I can tell this surgery was what I really needed. Someone or something had to keep me in check. Hopefully this retraining will have worked by the time I am back on my own. And, if not, then I hope that I am a big dumper. Oh this reminds me. I have thrown up twice this weekend. Too much water too fast was the reason at Costco. Then last night I was sucking the juice from grapes and it happened again. Who knew the grapes were that juicy. OK, maybe I should have. But, I never said I was a quick learner. One thing I have done is stopped opening up my capsules of medicine. The taste was killing me. I am now taking the whole. So far, so good. But, now that I think of it, that might have something to do with last nights puking. I try and space them out so each one has time to dissolve before I throw the next one it. That in itself is a meal. Well, that is all for now. Lots of good things with a few not so bad things thrown in just to make the story a little interesting.
I ran. And, no one was chasing me with a big butcher knife. I stood around chatting with a pre-op friend after our support meeting today. She told me that she did a walk jog combo workout. After that I felt kind of lazy for just walking. I haven't even tried to jog for 2 years. My kids tore me up pretty bad and now I have bladder issues. But, I am on meds for that. So, I didn't really know if I could use that for an excuse or not. Come to find out, I can't. Only two of my boys went with me. So, we were making pretty good time. The first 3/4 of the mile, I kept thinking about my friend. So, I told my oldest we were going to try jogging. I made it last 1/4 of a mile with only one walking period. If you guys had known me for a long time, you would know that is a big deal for me. Now for the down side. Tomorrow I will have to do the same or push myself a little longer. I figure one of two things is going to happen. Either I am going to turn into a jogger or I am going to need medical attention one of these nights.
I am now 17 days post op. I have been pushing for the 20 pounds mark as a goal. Today I hit it. Well, almost hit it. I actually hit 21 pounds lost. The last two days I have lost a pound and half each day. I am pushing hard this month because I figure after the first month, the weight lose will be a lot harder. Last night, I rode my son's bicycle. It was fun and harder than I thought it would be. This morning I find that my booty is bruised. What were they thinking when they put such a small seat on that thing? I don't think I will be back on a bicycle again until I figure out how to attach a nice couch sized seat to it.
I do have one problem now (other than bruised buns). Indigestion. It keept me up last night. And, this morning I noticed that I am burned from it. My lungs hurt a little too when I first got up. I know that the two are separate. So, I wonder if I breathed in some of the acid or something in my sleep. I am going to pick up soe rolaids or something for when it happens again. I have never had this problem before.
I still want to eat. But, I don't get all that upset about not being able to. I am supposed to be on a baby food diet. But, I can't seem to keep it down any longer. I guess I am eatting one bite too many or too fast. But, I have gotten so sick of throwing up that I only try once a day for solids instead of three. When I start wishing I could eat, I just remember the pain and throwing up. It cures me. I am eating/drinking about 400 cals a day. 250 of that comes from my protein.
As of last Sat, my waste was 3 or 4 inches smaller. But, I couldn't tell much by my clothes. But, now I can. I am still in the same size. The weight seems to be coming off my mid section.
I feel bad. I haven't had anything other than liquid since Thurs. And, I haven't had any liquid since yesterday morning. Everything thing that goes in my mouth comes right back out. And, I mean everything. I threw up most of last night because I kept trying to get something down. I am so thirsty. I was sipping so slowly that I was just putting drops on my mouth at a time. Then I would wait 5 minutes and take some more drops. Back it came. I am not sure what to do. Do I go to the local ER and see if they can help me? Do I call Dr. Weber even though it is Sunday? Or do I suck it up until tomorrow and call him as soon as the doc's office opens?
I really do feel rotten. But, I don't know which way to turn.
8/15/04 (Later that day)
I posted right before we were off to pick up my son's glasses at Costco. But, this and that happened and we decided to not go. My neighbor got ahold of DH and insisted that he take me to the ER. I was too tired to argue. It took a couple of hours to get a room since they sent me to the ER side instead of the clinic side. The doc was pretty cool. He admitted he didn't know much. And, when I promised to see my surgeon tomorrow or the next day, he was happy check my liver functions and juicing me up with two bags of IV fluids. All in all, it took way too long. They kept forgetting about me. I had to go find someone every time I needed anything. About half way through my second bag, the doc showed back up in my room. He said my blood work and liver functions were fine and as long as I promised to see my surgeon, I could leave. I wanted the second half of my second bag. So, we signed the paperwork and he said when it was finished, I would be ready to leave. So, when my bag was finished, I went back up to the nurse's station and told them my bag was empty. They sent a tech to my room who agreed it was indeed finished. Then they left me. And left me and left me. I finally walked back to the nurse's station and found all of the nurses chatting. One of them asked me what I needed. I held out my arm and told him I needed my iv removed. He did it on the spot. He asked if I had my final paperwork. So, I told him I had signed it, but no one had given me a copy. I kind of figured he might get it for me. Nope. So, after waiting a while longer, I left. I wonder if they have figured out my room is empty yet.
I feel better. I have heart burn, but at least I am thinking a little clearer. I will be calling Dr. Weber's office first thing in the morning. Tomorrow is a big day for our family. But, like DH said, my health has to take priority. I think I will try and go to bed now.
I woke up this morning bright and early and called Dr. Weber's office. It took them until 1 pm to decide what to do with me. They wanted me to go to Steven's ER. I forget now who I talked to on the phone, but she said she would call ahead and give them orders on what to do with me when I got there. After waiting 6 hours just to be seen, I found out that Dr. W's office called and told them I was coming. The only orders were to figure out what was wrong and treat me. The doc I saw there didn't know what to do with me. He had a hard time getting it through is skull that I didn't have the flu. We had some words and he finally said he would page Dr. Weber and see what they were supposed to do. In the end, they decided to send me back home after getting some IV fluids and have me return tomorrow morning at 7:30 to scope me. I just got home about an hour ago. My kids are scattered around with friends. And, nothing was done today to help me except for the fluids. If I go to bed right now, I am going to get about 4 hours sleep. So, I guess that is what I should do.
I am tired, cranky and really want a Diet Coke. I hope tomorrow I can get something done about the first two.
Oh and here is the funny thing. The ER doc told me to not drink anything after midnight. Well, duh. If I could, I wouldn't need to be there. Dork.
The results are in. I had a stricture.
We had to be back to the hospital by 7:30 this morning. We got there about an hour early. It gave us time to dress the boys and try and settle my nerves. As funny as it may seem, I was more scared of this than the surgery. Everyone was really nice, but I was scared to death. The only thing that kept me from running and hiding was that I knew I couldn't spend the rest of my life waiting in ER rooms trying to get IV fluid. I have to say something about my nurse. I told her how scared I was. She was wonderful. She did everything she could to make me feel comfortable. Unfortunately, she is off next week when I have to return to do it all over again.
When I get nervous, I tell stupid jokes. Even before my WLS, I was asking everyone if they had gone out drinking the night before and telling the worst jokes you have ever heard in your life. This morning, I didn't tell one joke. I went through one of my sons' births with no pain med and only a little with the others. So, pain in general isn't an issue. But, this was different. Maybe it is the control issue coupled with pain. Anyway, I got there and told them flat out I was going to be a big old baby. One of the most helpful things they did for me was listen to every word I said. Until today, it seems like people haven't really listened to me. They would cut me off (last night's doc was the worst) or just didn't care enough to ask. But, the guy that checked me in and my nurse let me lay it all out for them. I filled out some paperwork and then they came for me. They put me in this room with two big windows so I could kind of see outside. They hooked me up to all of the usual equipment after I changed. BTW, all I had to take off was my shirt. They let me keep my pants and most important to me, my bra. I told my nurse that I had real issues with IV needles. I can give blood all day, but any other kind of needle scares (if that's the right word) me. The kids once chased me with a toy syringe and almost got in real trouble for it. I could feel the pain even though it was a toy. Anyway, I asked her to numb the area. Since I was still dehydrated, it was slim pickings. She numbed me up and let it sit for a little while to make sure it was good and numb. Finally she put the IV in and we were ready for the doc. But, we were 30 minute early. So, the nurse went and called Dr. Dines to see if he wanted to start early. I didn't know how I was going to stay calm and wait 30 minutes. But, he showed up in only a few minutes. She had me gargle some nasty stuff that numbs the gag reflex. It was a huge amount. She said to gargle as long as I could. Then in the middle, she told me I would have to swallow it. I think my eyes bugged out. It had been since Sunday since I had swallowed anything. And, I knew this amount would hurt. My throat started to go numb and it kind of felt like it was swelling shut. The nurse talked me through this so I wouldn't panic. Then she said that I gargled for such a long time that I could just spit it out. Thank goodness. The doc came in and we talked a bit about what would happen. I found out what meds they would be giving me and warned him that one of them didn't do much for me when I had it before when I was in labor with my third son. He gave me a little of both and then a little more and a little more and a little more. They later told me that it was a mega dose. Everyone had promised me that the meds would take effect and I would forget everything that happened. I would wake up after the procedure and have no memory. Not. I remember everything that took place. But, it was pain free. And, it was over in no time. Like I said before, the opening to my pouch should have been a 12. Instead, it was a 4. They stretched it, but it would only stretch to an 8. So, next Monday we are head back up for another stretching. At least this time I will be much calmer. I was able to eat food at diner. I had a bit of mashed potatos, some gravy and an egg yolk. It was all very tasty. And, I didn't get sick.
8/18/04 6 Hours Later
Ok so when I was writing the above entry, my chest started to tighten up. I had taken some of the meds that my doc sent home with me after my surgery. So, I shouldn't have been in any pain at all. I started to get light head and really scared. After thinking about it and realizing that if I passed out or worse, no one would know until morning since they were all in bed. So, I woke DH. It was one of the worst pains I have ever had. I couldn't breath and nothing I did made the pain ease up. DH paniced and scooted me off to the ER. They never figured out what was wrong. But, I was there long enough that the pain eased up. And, they gave me this nasty stuff to drink that seemed to have helped. They did find that my liver functions are to high. The ER doc wants me to have a liver US in the next 72 hours. He thought about keeping me around for another couple of hours so I could have it done this morning. But, since I promised to see my PCP later today, he let me out. I did contact my PCP and he said it was no big deal. He said that ER docs tend to over react. He did agree to give me a referral, but said I would have to wait for a regular opening. He refuses to put a rush on it.
Today I spent my time trying to get everything worked out so TriWest would pay for my civilian care. If they don't want to, then I get stuck with the bill. I am just going to have faith that it will work itself out. When I wasn't on the phone, I was sleeping. I can't seem to catch up on my sleep. And, until I get some food in me, I suspect I will continue to be weak.
Because of all of the action, I didn't get a 3 week weight. I think I lost a couple of pound through all of this, but I will probably have to wait until my one month anniversary to really know.
This is enough excitement for any one surgery. I am hoping that everything from here on out is smooth as the first two weeks were. Thanks for all of the prayers and well wishes. It means a lot to me.
Tricare has agreed to pay for my civilian care over this last weekend and next Monday. They had to pay for my civilian ER visit because it was an emergency. But, the stretching a few hours later might not have been concidered emergency care. And, without pre-approval, I was worried I would get stuck with the bill. I can't even imagine how much it will be.
I went to talk to a TriWest rep today. My PCP's nurse gave her the wrong phone number, so she was happy to see me since she needed some more info. They couldn't figure out how I ended up north of Seattle for care. But, after I explained I needed to be near my surgeon just in case he had to go back in, they said the completely understood. I put her in touch with the billing woman from Dr. Dines office and everyone was happy. TriWest put a rush on my approval for care on Monday. In fact, I already have approval. She said that Dines isn't a network doc. She didn't say, but I assume I might have a co-payment. She said that my PCP also put in a referral for continuation of care for Dr. Weber. That shouldn't be a problem. Surgeons don't like to touch each other patients especially when there has been a complication.
I am feeling tones better. But, I am still tired. I have thrown up once but that was my own fault for eating a bite to many. I am kind of surprised that it is still too small because everything seems to go down fine. But, it would be nice to have the comfort of a little more room so that maybe I can take my pills. Dehydration isn't any more of an issue for me now that any other post op that is 3 weeks out. I am drinking tons of water. I was slow to start on any type of food because I was worried about getting sick. I have been not going to my son's football practices because of the heat. I went to one and it really kicked my butt. The down side of being so tired is that I am not back to exercising yet. I promised my sons that we would start up again tomorrow. We did go swimming yesterday. But, that doesn't seem like exercise. At least it is movement.
Someone asked what Dr. Weber said during the middle of my stricture thing and someone else asked if he called to see how I am doing. Now, I love Dr. Weber and he did a good job on my surgery. But, I am disappointed over this whole stricture thing.
When I was scared and really sick, I never spoke to him. First they took about 5 hours to call me back. I had called them twice. They had forwarded my message to his nurse. According to her answering machine, she doesn't deal with problems. She is there to answer general questions about the surgery. Then when she calls me back, I had to wait until she called Dr. W to see what to do. His office called me back, said they would do one thing and then dropped the ball. This resulted in my having to wait an additional day to get treatment. Since I was scoped, I haven't heard from the office at all.
Now I know they are busy. I know his other patients have needs too. But, it would have ment the world to me have heard his voice at least once. Anyway, I am not going to dwell on it. But, if anything else goes wrong, I won't worry about bothering them during the weekend. This was the only time I wished I would have had my surgery at the army post down the road.
I don't want to discourage you from Dr. Weber. He is a very good surgeon. And, when you see him in his office at an appointment, he is very warm and caring. But, I had to tell it like it was. I should mention though that he operates in the mornings. So, that is why he didn't personally get to me. I just wish his staff had taken my condition a lot more seriously. His nurse made me feel like it was all my fault. She didn't even mention that it could be a stricture. After asking what I had been eating, I told her that all of my foods have been through the blender and, yes, could be sucked through a straw. She then went on to tell me that I had probably clogged up my pouch. So, basically it was my fault. I could feel where the food stopped, so I knew that wasn't the case. She said that I should take caster oil to try and clear it out, but then decided to check with Dr W to see what he wanted to do. As far as I know, this was the first time he heard of my condition. And, there is no telling what they told him of my condition. I do know that the doc that did my scope was in touch with Dr. Weber about me though.
As for why I got a stricture, it is just something that happens to some people. There is no way to predict. As I healed, my stoma was trying to heal closed. The doc today said that I might not have another. But, if I do, it will happen within the first year. 3 weeks 6 days down, 48 weeks 1 day to go
My appointment went well today. We arrived on time only to be told that I didn't have an appointment. The lady was really friendly and called upstairs to see what was up. They didn't have me in their books either but I was on the board. So, I checked in and went up stairs. I really like this doc. He took time to talk to me when we ran into eachother in the halls. When I got to my room, I did the usual and asked the nurse to numb the area before putting in the IV if she picked any vein other than the one that doesn't hurt with an IV. She said the down side of numbing the area was that vein might hide. I stood firm and told her that having to do a little extra hunting was better than listening to me whine big time. I am such a baby about IVs. She said she would try the vein that I suggested and didn't need numbing first. I have to admit this was the most painfree IV I have ever had. The woman has magic finger. Other stuff happened and then it was time to gargle with nasty numbing stuff. Instead of going as long as I could like last week, she counted to ten and then had me swallow. The result was that I wasn't completely numb. Although, it wasn't too bad. But, I could feel the scope in spots.
When the doc arrived, I reminded him that the meds they use don't do the trick unles they give me a lot of them. He said he remembered and filled me up. This made me like him even more. Again, I remember all that went on during the scoping.
The opening to my stoma was 8 mm. We were going to try and open it up to 12 mm like Dr. Weber wanted. But, he had to stop at 11 mm. They were afraid to push it any further. I can live with an 11.
I was then sent off to the recovery room. Immediately, my oxygen level dropped into the 80s. So, I was put on O2. Even on O2, I was still registering a 91 and 92. Bummer. We waited and waited for it to come up so I could try room air. Finally, we decided to try me out in the chair instead of the bed. I stopped by the bathroom on the way and had a firm talk with my lungs and blood. It didn't do much good but at least I was scoring a 92 on room air. During this time, the doc's next patient arrived and was placed in the bed next to me. Finally, my O2 levels came up. But, my blood pressure dropped into something over 53. Bummer. I was now being held up by the blood pressure being too low. During all of this, my pulse spiked to 137 and alarms went off. This is just one of those things that happens with my heart, so I wasn't worried. I told them that I must have been moving my hand around or something and it was a false reading. (I really wanted to go home.) It was dropping back down. At this time, the woman in the next bed says she is ready to go home. The nurse checked on her and said she was. I couldn't help it. I called over to her and the nurse and told them that I was first and no one was leaving until I did. BTW, she made it out just before I did even though I threatened to trip her. :-) Finally, my blood pressure went back up to something over 58 and they said I could leave. We unplugged everything before anything else could go down and I was on my way.
Today and this last week, I have been feeling much better. I am still really tired, but every day is better than the last. I was able to get most of the laundry done yesterday. That was a big deal even before my surgery.
Today is my one month anniversary. I missed my goal by 1/2 pound. I would have made it but my weight loss stalled out 2 days ago. OK so 2 days isn't much of a stall, but I got used to losing everyday. So, my grand total for the month is 29.5 pounds. No conplaining here. That puts me 27% of the way to my final goal. My goal is 150 and Dr. W says if I work hard and stick to my diet, I should be able to make it in 9 more months.
I can't believe it has been a month either. The third week is kind of a blur though. My pants are getting big. But, I haven't dropped a size. That is probable because I was wearing those jeans that stretch and I was pushing them to their limits because I refused to buy a different size. So far, only people that know I had surgery notice any lose. And, I am not sure if they notice it or just know it is happening and want to know how much. I need to take pictures tonight and see what change I can see.
I am still having trouble getting my blender food down. Until I master that, I can't move on. But, over all, I am feeling better. I only barfed once yesterday and only once today. Then again, I only ate once yesterday and once today. But, not all of it came back up, so I feel like a winner.
I got my TriWest explanation of benefits today. Swedish Medical Center billed TriWest $22,941.51. TriWest paid $9,319.49. My cost $0. That is a lot of money for 3 nights stay. I assume that Dr. W's bill still hasn't been paid. I am really interested in what the final billed amount and paid amounts will be.
I feel very good. My biggest problem is getting dizzy when I stand up. This happens several times a day. But, I know it is from not eating enough. Some days nothing stays down. Unlike with my stricture, this is completely my fault. I thought that by now my pouch had stretched out more than it has. I got a craving for cottage cheese the other day. I slowly ate a tablespoon amout of food and I was stuffed. My average bite is about the size of a bean. And, even one more bite would have sent me to the bathroom. It is hard to stop eatting when my taste buds are screaming for just one more bite even when my brain is telling me no.
I haven't eaten much since my last update. Nothing is staying down excpet water. Somedays I don't even try and eat. Today was my appointment with Dr. W. And, my eating was the major focus of the appointment. In short, he wants me to ride it out. He doesn't think that I have another stricture. He asked if I was taking the meds that they prescribed after my stricture was repaired. I lied and said yes. But, I haven't be. I didn't think it was any big deal. Opps, I am going to get it filled and start taking it right away. I hope it helps. Some of this throwing up lasts for hours. And, it is violent.
Seems like a funny thing to be happy about. And, it isn't nearly as exciting as Rachael's announcement. But, I have gone from morbidly obese to simply obese. And, I hit my 40 pound goal. My next goal is 57 pounds. It would be nice to make that by my two month anniversary, but I doubt it. The stall where I lost 4 pounds one week and 2 the next threw me off.
I am really hungery right now. But, the fear of getting sick makes it so I don't want anything. It's frustrating.
BTW, I messed up big this morning. I was at a soccer game. I decided to suck the juice out of an orange. At the same time, I was handing out oranges and talking to the team. Without thinking, I swallowed a big chunk of of the orange. I went to the bathroom 5 minutes later and got it back. There was no way it was ever going to make it through my stoma and I could feel it sitting there laughing at me.
Potato soup sounds good.
Weird things are going on in this skin. Ok so my body is changing. It appears that almost everything is getting smaller. Almost I say because apparently my head is getting bigger. I have bruises on three different spots on it from hitting it three different times. It is really pretty funny. I thought I knew how big my head was. I thought I knew how to avoid banging it into things. But, as I rub my forehead and wonder where this bruise came from, I realize that I am probably the first one to complain that WLS caused an over sized hear.
My other complaint is about the other end. This one I have heard people talk a lot about. My rear hurts. Apparently I have lost enough padding to sit comfortably for a long time. I need a soft toilet seat. Not that I am sitting in there all that long. But, that is where it first became apparent. And, it really surprised me because I still have a sizable rear. Now I know why those boney girls always stand around. They can't sit on those tiny little bums.
Ok and this is for the girls in the group. Guys, you probably want to move on. I noticed that I have lost some breast size. DH's blood pressure goes up as my breast size goes down. He is a boobman. This is normal enough. Except, they are losing at different times. One of them will get smaller then the other. They have finally evened out for now.
Tell me. How can I get four kids to do what I want when I can't even get my own body parts under control?
Just when I had give up ever finding a workout buddy, I found one...and she tried to kill me. Let me back up a bit. Today was my youngest's first day of school. Last year I promised myself that no matter if I had WLS or not, I was going to go to the gym this year. Last week I rested up. But, up until this morning, I was excited. I hadn't changed my mind, but was a little less thrilled this morning. So, after an hour and half of watching my son walk around with his backpack on, it was finally time to take him. I saw some old friends and was invited to work out with one of them. She is a thin one so that slightly scared me. Plus, she mentioned the words "spin class". Visions of what that could be filled my head. I finally settled on a vision of my passing out and their workout was to see who could spin me in a circle the most times.
We interrupt this story to bring you some late breaking news. MY THIN FRIEND NOTICED MY WEIGHT LOSS!! She is the first one to noticed. I am not a hugger. But, I almost lost control and hugged her. She is now my favorite person of the week.
Back to our murder mystery. Spin class, well, I guess I could try it. Surely when I woke up, they would tell me who won. She was in a hurry so she was off. There was a new mom there. Her son was a little less than excited for her to leave. So, we chatted and realized we were both headed off to work out. She is about my build and I felt we matched well. Remember, I haven't worked out much since my stricture because I haven't felt all that grand. Also, my idea of a workout is to pick a distance and complete it as quickly as possible. She had other plans. We started off on the treadmill. I was thinking 20 minutes doing it the way I used to with increasing challenge. She ended up keeping me on that darn thing at between 3 and 4 mph for 30 minutes. I was ready to go. But, no, she drug me over to the bikes. 20 minutes of peddling later I finally talked my way out of there. I left her with a smile on her face. I am not one to let someone out do me, but today I was happy to do so.
I have to admit, I feel great. I figure Wed. I will stay for a full hour...if I can walk.
Eating is getting better. Today I had some soup and a tiny tiny bite of turkey sandwich meat. I was full and it all stayed in place. On the down side, there is a burning in my esophogus. It is worse at night. I have to wake up in the middle of the night and take some of that medication that coats my system. It helps. I figure I will give the medication a week or two to work and give me time to heal. If it still burns after that time, I am calling my gastro back and getting an appointment.
I have tons of clothes. New clothes with the tags still on them. At the beginning of the year, I stacked them all according to size so I could find them when I needed them. A few weeks ago, I went through my long shorts to find something that would fit and not look nasty on me. But, I didn't check out the pants. After all, the next size I have is 16. I figured that I would need to lose another 10 pounds before I could get into them. But, this morning I couldn't take the baggy butt any longer. I figure I was going to force myself in to those 16s no matter what. Plus, they are the stretchy kind. I was so shocked when I put on a pair yesterday and they fit. I didn't even need to suck it in when I zipped them up. And, I received complements all day. My DH kept rubbing my rear and saying it was just the right size and to not lose any more weight. I know I have a long way to go, but I did feel like I looked good today.
The down side is that I am still puking all the time. I had a couple of days where I only puked half of what I was eating. So, I thought this med they gave me might be working. Then came today. I puked at diner. Then I took a nap. I figured/hoped that my pouch would calm down. When I got up, I carefully ate a small amount. Then I not so carefully puked. I tried my meds. Puked them up. I tried a little water. Puked. I tried some warm tea. This was a really bad idea. I spent 7 or 8 hours puking. The last two hours, I was puking on my own spit.
I really don't want to go back up to Seattle again. But, if this isn't better by next week, I am calling the gastro again. I guess two good things are coming from this. First the weight lose. Second, I have really changed my views on food. I don't see it as something I want any longer. I see it has something I have to do to try and stay alive. Now I really understand that phrase...Don't live to eat. Eat to live.
Today was a rocky start. I started with a sip and puke of water. But, now at the end of the day, I am happy to say that I ate. I had 2 brazil nuts, 1 pecan, and two cashews. Then for diner, I had some mashed potatoes and gravy.
This is why I haven't called the gastro yet. Just when I get to the point where I want to see him, I start to feel better.
I went to see Heidi today. I copied my food diary with me. She said it was exactly what she likes to see. The format not the foods. She griped at me for eating foods that I didn't make at home. Hard to cook your own foods when you are on a trip, but I got her meaning. I also got smacked for a couple of times that I didn't have FF products (mayo). And, the cream of soups that we are while we were gone were bad.
One thing that we are going to try is to eat every two hours even if it does make me sick. She says that going without food and having my sugar levels drop may be causing my pouch to reject food. So, even if I only have two crackers, I have to eat every two hours. I am going to make an honest effort to do as she suggests and hope it works.
The magic number for feeling better seems to be 4 months. So, that is my end of the tunnel. It might not be four months for me, but if I have a goal to make it to, then I will be able to cope better. I am one of those people that needs the light at the end of the tunnel to focus on.
Since I started 2 months ago, I have lost 54 pounds; 9" off my hips; 7.25" off my waist; 2" off my arm; 5.5 off my thigh. I wish I had done better on my thighs. My breast measurement is interesting. I take a measurement below and on my breasts. Below was a loss of 4.5". On is a loss of 5". So, comparing the two, my breasts are only down .5" and the rest should be torso fat, right?
Woohoo! I made it back into the 100s. As of this morning, I am officially 199. My scale kept playing with my head for the last four days. It would tell me I was going to make it and then roll the numbers back on me. But, today I finally feel that it is for real. This is the first time in at least 12 years that I have seen a number that started with 1. And, the bonus is that I now weigh less than my husband. Sure he is 6 inches taller than me and I should never have weighed more than him, but I did. While he is proud of me, I think it bothers him a little too. He has started talking about his weight and needing to slim up some. He isn't overweight, but he could be if he keeps eating like he does. Even so, I like my men with a little meat on their bones. So, I think he is just right.
My weight lose has been slow and steady. I noticed that for the last three weeks, I have lost 4 pounds each week. That isn't too bad. And, I suspect that if I was eating more, I could lose more. The last two days I haven't barfed even once. Two nights ago, I had a really bad chest pain. It is the same one I have been getting since my third week. But, this time it last much longer and hurt much more. I came home from soccer practice and told them they had to make their own diner. I usually suck it up and make their diner anyway. So, they knew I really wasn't feeling good. During it, I had some more of that violent barfing. But, since then, I have only felt the pain once. And, it was really minimal then and passed quickly. I hope that this is a change for the good. If I can finally get some food in, I can crawl out of my starvation mode and hopefully increase my weight lose speed.
I found out last Friday that they will be making a decision on my husband's career next week. The way it goes, we expect him to lose his military career because of the asthma he has developed in the last two years. He has been in for 13 1/2 years. If they did the right thing, they would give him a medical retirement or cross train him so he could still serve his country. But, they want to give us some money and kick him out. We will lose all benifits such as medical insurance. This really scares me. You can't have kids and not have medical insurance. To make matters worse, one of my sons is handicapped. His medical bills a month are over $1000. Plus, what if I get sick? In fact, it makes me sick just thinking about it. He was willing to put his life on the line for them for 13 years, but they are throwing him away with no loyalty to him. It's a great system we have here. :-(
Last week I had my appointment with Dr. Weber. He has a new intern that follows him around on Tuesdays. They met eachother during my appointment. I sat and listened while he filled her in on GBS and his ring he puts on. Anyway, all of this I already knew. But, I didn't know that he says that he can predict how much someone will lose by how much they have lost at 3 1/2 months as long as they don't start cheating and keep exercising right. So, that is roughly 15 weeks.
Tomorrow I will be 12 weeks out. If this is true for me, I will be well past my goal of 150. I figured out how much I should have lost if I stay at my current 4 pounds a week. I would have an ending weight of 104 pounds. Not likely. I know there are women out there that are my height and do weigh that much. I also know that I can't ever be that size and alive. But, I thought it was an interesting way to estimate what to expect for typical people. I guess I am not typical. I never want to be a Skinny Ninny.
I had no idea how many calories Dr. W wanted us to have in a day. But, he did tell me last week that at least with a stricture, I couldn't over eat when I told him that I was having trouble getting over 200 cals a day. Some guy was in there at the time complaining that he was shooting for 1000 a day but couldn't get over 500. I almost kicked him. Not being able to eat is really bother me. Food isn't as important to me as it once was. But, I want to be able to eat enough to substain life.
I thought I might post an update. We find out on Nov. 8 what the
Air Force is going to do with my husband and his asthma. Their last offer was to kick him out and give us a little bit of cash. We wouldn't have any retirement or medical benifits. I have a handicapped son that has medical bills that are pretty high each month. Plus, I am concerned about my own health care. And, then there is the fact that I need heath insurance just because I have four boys and you never know what they are going to break next. All h@ll broke loose a couple of weeks ago that really pushed my buttons. As it turns out, the people here at our base that are supposed to be helping and supporting us are screwing us. But, that really isn't WLS related.
The burning in my food pipe (can't spell that E word) has not been as bad lately. The last time it got really bad I was was in so much pain and nothing helped. I called the gastro the next day and asked for an appointment. I had that last Friday. I got the feeling from both Dr. Weber and the gastro that I was supposed to go through Dr. W's office before making any more appointments with the gastro. My feeling is that it isn't worth the hassle of dealing with Dr. W's office.
I saw Dr. W last Tuesday. It was a no big deal appointment. He was happy with my progress. I told him that I still couldn't eat. He said that strictures can be a good thing because the further limit our food intake. But, on days like today, I don't see it as a good thing at all. Anyway, I told him that I had already called the gastro doc. After we chatted a little, he agreed that it was probably a good idea. But, I got the feeling he wanted to be called first. Then he called the gastro doc and asked him to look for a stricture and to coat my throat with something. I don't think the gastro agreed to coat my throat with anything. And, I think he said we would discuss a scope when I saw him. At some point he told me that my next appointment with him was going to be when I was six months out. At this point, I told him that I wouldn't be back to see him because we would probably lose our medical insurance. He said to come in anyway. He wanted to see me and wouldn't charge. I thought that was really nice, but I bet Pam wouldn't. LOL Anyway, we aren't staying in the area. So, I won't even be around. He said that I should at least email him about 6 months. And, he wants to see me next month before I go.
On Friday we saw the gastro. It was a quick appointment. I
explained how hard eating is for me. So, he scheduled me for a scope in a couple of weeks. They could have gotten me in a week earlier, but I have to have a driver and DH will be down in Texas finding out what the Air Force is going to do with us.
The last 24 hours has been bad food wise. Last night I tried a
little baked potato and a tiny bit of fish. Both have been fine in the past. But, both came up very quickly after I ate. It took me hours before I could even drink again. Everything today other than water and one protein shake has come back up. I am trying my best not to let it come back up. I try and try to not barf. And, I know that if I drink anything, I won't be able to control it. After some well chewed chicken this lunch time, I didn't drink for 1 1/2 hours. But, I knew it wasn't going anywhere. So, finally I took a drink and up it came. One thing about barfing is you get to reevaluate how well you chewed. I chewed very well. The protein shake came in between lunch and diner. It made me sick but stayed down. Then diner came back up
right away. The feeling I had tonight was that the food didn't even make it to my pouch. I never thought I had another stricture, but now I am wonder if that is what is going on. This is really concerning because if I have developed another, then I will feel that I am prone to them and will really need that medical coverage.
I am really happy that the doctors are trying to help me get
everything taken care of before the insurance is gone. I just keep praying that the Air Force will do the right thing. But, after so much has gone wrong, I only see a dark path financially.
I am suffering from brain smells. It has happened a couple of
times. But, today was the most real. I was leaving the hospital and smelled a chili dog with mustard and onions. The smell was so close I thought I could taste. And, I had a clear image of it. Of course I started looking around to find the person eating it. I might not be able to have such foods, but I sure like to see others eating them. No one around was eating anything. Then it passed.
It's funny how it isn't enough your tempted by everything around
you, but your own body and brain tempt you too. No wonder I couldn't do this on my own.
DH and I went out to a Halloween party last night. As far as
costumes go, all we had was a couple of wigs. I didn't put mush
effort into planning and realized at the last minute that I really should have. I went through my closet and found nothing that really did anything other than cover me up. And, most of it was too big. Finally, I decided to not wear a costume. I was pretty upset because I wanted to wear something that showed off my new and developing figure. DH's wig was dredlocks (sp?), so he was a hippy. Before we left, we wandered over to the neighbor's house to let them know we had found a babysitter at the last minute. This is the same neighbor that loaned me a shirt when we went out a couple of weeks ago. She took one look at me with no costume and said she had the perfect thing. It was a tight one piece thing with fluff on it to make a dress. It was tight upstairs and made my boobs and waist look great
but the fluff covered up my sagging belly and bottom. Everyone said it looked great. I was really happy. Too bad we didn't take any pictures. The down side is that when we got to the party, we realized that it was an outdoor party. Last night was freezing. I have been so quick to get cold since losing the weight. So, I spent all night with my full length coat on. But, my friend at the party was sure that everyone got to see my costume and my new body. I felt so good.
I went to see the nutritionist today. After looking over my food
diary for the last week, she said that she is surprised I haven't stalled out in my weight loss. Two days last week, I tossed everything except my protein shake. I am still throwing up at least onces a day.
My main worries are that I am getting close to goal. I am 2/3 of
the way there. What if I can't stop losing when I get there since I can't eat anything now? Also, I really am tired of not being able to eat anything without having to sit next to the trash for the next hour.
She is worried that I am or will be soon losing muscle. Also, I am not getting enough carbs to feed my brain. Ms. Direct said that I am showing signs of a deprived brain. LOL If only she knew. She is also concerned that the puking isn't good for me and that not being able to eat is wearing on my nerves and me mentally.
She was happy that I am going in to be scoped. I worry that there isn't a stricture and they won't be able to help me. The plan is for me to go back on a liquid diet for a week. I really don't want to and hate most of the liquid "food." I asked if I could double my protein drink instead. She wants more than the 5 carbs that my protein drinks provide. We discussed several liquid "foods" I could eat. We finally agreed that I would have two SlimFast a day and one protein drink. Since nuts are working for me if I haven't pissed off my pouch, she is allowing a small amount of nuts. I had to beg for that. I bought a huge jug of cashews at Costco and really enjoy them.
I also went for lab work. They drew 7 or 8 vials of blood. They
were amazed at all that she was looking for. But, both of us expect my levels to be way out of whack. I have to call her next week for the results. We will see how my pouch is doing and go from there.
Finally, she said she doesn't like it when people lose more than 4 pounds a week. That is what I am averaging for the last month or so. I miss those big loss weeks, but I guess healthy is better. And, I want to lose the fat, not the muscle.
I almost forgot to mention that Heidi also asked me about my
workouts. I was honest with her and told her that I was still doing some walking, but I had stopped going to the gym. She told me she absolutely does NOT want me in the gym. She said I could keep walk, but to do no more. She says she thinks it would stress my body too much. I bet Dr. W would die if he heard her say that.
Well, I am going to bed. I have been out with the girls. But, I
have had a close eye on the TV on this exciting election day. Let's just hope this doesn't drag out for weeks.
This morning I was 184.5. This has been a big lose week for me. I kind of stalled out with only a 2 pound loss the previous week. The last seven days, I have lost 6 pounds. I can't help but to like it. But, it would drive Heidi nuts. As of this morning, I am down 70.5 pounds in 3 months one week. The big difference in my diet was that when I could keep food down, it was nuts. I wonder how much better my weight loss would be if I had been able to eat more calories.
According to Fitday.com, 1 oz of peanuts has 165 kcal, 14 fat, 5
carbs and 7 protein. I mentioned to Heidi that I was a little worried about the cal and fat, but she said it really isn't an issue for me now. That is a big change from the last time I saw her and she road me about getting too much fat because we were out of town and eating out.
I was asked, " What is the one thing you miss the most that you
can no longer eat?" My reply is...
There are lots of foods that I miss. But, most of all I miss being normal. There are many times that I have to be somewhere. For instance, I take pictures for teams and people. I had a job about an hour after I was supposed to eat. There are no safe foods for me to eat. So, I had to eat and pray that I wouldn't need to spend the next few hours throwing up. I have had to leave places early because something I ate earlier suddenly wanted to revisit the outside world. I also miss sitting down to a meal with my family. OK, yes I still get to sit down. But, I don't get to eat. I sit and watch.
We do have a new normal. My kids no longer think it is a big deal to see me throw up. In fact, they pretty much expect it. Another new normal is that I am not as good as I used to be. I could juggle working in the class with my kids, medical appointments, home care, being a team mom, making gifts and more. Now it is normal for me to be too tired to do even half of that. It is so normal now that I didn't even realize it had happened until I took a step back and looked at my new life.
This too shall pass. This too shall pass. Say it with me...This
too shall pass.
It was decided yesterday that DH will be kicked out. They won't
medically retire him. They refused to consider his other medical
issues (arthritis developing in his spine, arthritis developing in his hand-both from on the job injuries that required surgery) and only considered his asthma. With his asthma alone, he doesn't qualify for a medical retirement. The VA will still take care of HIS medical issues. But, the boys and I are on our own for health care. My son's medical bills each month are currently $600 to $1000. Without Tricare to cover them, I am really worried. Plus, when he needs new orthotics, we are going to be really hurting.
Someone asked me about COBRA and if it covered the military. I
don't know anything about COBRA. Until one of us gets a job that has insurance, I guess we are going to have to put the kids on state aid. But, the problem with that is that we will get a lump sum of money from the AF. That will disqualify the kids for aid because we will have too much in the bank. So, I need to get rid of the money quickly. The down side of that is then we won't have any money. I keep playing it through my head over and over trying to figure it out. All I can do is pray that I stay healthy.
I am really pissed off. After 13 1/2 years of doing what ever they told him and willing to risk his life for them, they are kicking him to the curb like an old hammer they don't need any longer. And, the boys and I are of no concern to him because we aren't their business. They don't feel that this affects us at all. And, they don't feel that we have made any sacrafices (sp?) for his career. We were married when he went in. Sad thing is we picked the AF because it was the most family friendly of the services. I love my military brothers
and sisters, but I am very angry with the system. I loved being a military spouse. And, I am going to miss the lifestyle more than any one could know.
Since I am on a tangent, I'll also say that it pisses me off even more that at least two of my neighbors want out and can't get out. Here is my husband who really doesn't want out and they are getting rid of him. He has never gotten into trouble and always been a good troup. Yet, they don't want him. There are still jobs he could do for the AF. And, if they would just get us out of here, he would be healthy. It has been over a year since he had an attack even with living here. And, he has never missed a day of work because of his asthma.
As for my issues, I pretty much insisted on being scoped. I am
still throwning up a lot and can't eat hardly anything. This last week I have been back on a liquid diet because my carbs were very low and protein is nothing to brag about. My nutritionist put me on two SlimFast a day and one protein shake. I begged and she finally agreed I could have cashews. They stay down more often than not. But, everything else is completely unpredictable.
My four month anniversary is 5 days. This morning I weighed in at 174.5. That means I am down 81.5 pounds. I want to make my goal by the end of the year. My guess is that I will miss it by a couple of weeks. But, that will be ok.
I do have another stricture. Last Monday I had an Upper GI. It
isn't as bad as my first one. But, it is still taking two stretchings to get it back up to size. I still love Dr. Dines even though he keeps shoving things down my throat.
A couple of things have really struck me as strange lately. First, I until this last two weeks, I haven't felt like I have flown through sizes. I know most people say they do. I have a pair of pants on now that I will only wear one time. My oldest son and husband have been walking around behind me marking pants for disposal. Makes my neighbor happy though.
Clothing sizes have really changed since I was this size the last time. There is no way I could have worn size 14 when I was in the 170s the last time. I had heard that it had happened. But, this is the first time I have seen it on myself. I had even purchased a size 13 low rise when I was 180 something. They cut in on my hip bones but fit nicely when I dropped 3 more pounds.
Since my last stretching, I am able to eat a lot more. I even had hamburger mixed with refried beans the other night. That is the first beef that has stayed down since my surgery. I have also found that bad foods seems to go down. Chips and salsa. Crackers. Chex. Carbs. I still haven't had any sugars like candy, cakes and such. I haven't had any trouble with juices. So, with all of my complaining, I at least I haven't dumped.
Sugar Free candy is a nice treat. It helped me get through
Halloween. There are still a ton of calories in it. So, I really
Jerky is a great invention. I found that I can eat it with no
problem and it satifies the chewing craving. Next payday, I am going to make some of my own.
I haven't exercised since Heidi told me to cut it out until we got my eating under control. I am feeling better, so I guess I will have to stop using that as an excuse.
Our dog finally had puppies last week. The first one was born
within an hour of my appointment with Dr. W in the back of our new Suburban. By the time the day (and night) was over, she had given birth to 10 pups. 3 have been adopted already. We have named most of them just so we can keep them straight.
We are preparing for the move. Things are going slowly, but I know they will pick up when we know what date we have to be out of here. Just thinking about it makes me tired.
The kids are taking turns being sick. One would think that after
months of watching me barf, they would know where to do it. Not.
Nothing says good morning like the sound of your kid barfing at the foot of your bed.
I finally broke down and went bra shopping. I started off
squeezing into an H cup. I lost back fat early on. But, I only went down to a comfortable fit in the cup. The other day I chased one of the boys. I realized that I don't have the support I need. I feel so small now.
So, I took DH to the store the other day. There was a bit of
excitement because I haven't shopped in a normal store for a bra in a long time. Lane Bryant carries the cup size I was, but not in the number I needed. (36H) I was having to special order them. Anyway, DH swore that I am so small now that I was a D cup. I didn't think I could have lost that much, but agreed to try a D cup. I ended up shoving myself into a DD cup. I figure they will really fit well in about 10 pounds.
Since losing our medical insurance means that a TT is going to be out of the question, I have been looking at my tummy closely since I had surgery. I have noticed recently that my skin is starting to do its part to avoid a TT. I suspect that when I am at goal, I could still use a TT. It would be nice to have the extra skin with the pregnancy stretchmarks on it removed. But, I think that I will be able to get by without one. I knew when I got my WLS scar that my bikini days were over. OK, so there never were any bikini days for me. But, now I know there never will be. I can live with that.
I just wanted to let the newbies know that there is hope that you will get to keep your chest and not have to have a TT.
Look ma, I got bones.
Crossing my legs a recent big deal for me. No one IRL really knows how proud I am that I can do it. I made sure I crossed them for our family Chirstmas pictures. The down side of crossing them is that I have developed a bruise on the outside of my knee from crossing them. It hurts to feel cool. Works for me. I have also noticed bruises on the inside of my knees from sleeping on my side. Then there is my rear. We haven't talked about my rear lately, have we? My hip has been hurting because of the weather change. Happens every year. It's
just one of those things. But, I bruised the darn thing (my rear) on the toilet seat from sitting down too quickly because of my hip.
Hey, did I mention that I have collar bones? My poor son can't get comfortable putting his head on my sholder because he keeps hitting them with his face.
So, we can conclude that a smaller body has me hurting myself. I
bet if the psychologist could have predicted this in my eval, he
would have had a field day with my report.
I thought my pouch was about 2 ounces because I could eat that
much cream of wheat. Then I realized that it wasn't all going into my pouch. I was eating it reallly thin, so some was slipping through and some was getting backed up before entering the pouch. My best guess is that my pouch is about the size of 1/2 of an egg. Would that be an ounce? I got in a bit of trouble when I mentioned it to Dr. Weber. He asked why I would want it to be bigger than an ounce. I don't really care how big it is. But, it would be nice to be able to eat enough food to substain life. We are saving a lot of money though since I
never have to order food.
Water is just about the only thing I haven't had any trouble
getting down. The nutritionist even told me to back off the water. She thought it might be messing with my hunger level.
I want to warn you, when you get close to your goal weight, you
are going to be so tired. Oh and let's not forget poor.
I am now wearing size 12 to 14 and medium tops. A couple of weeks ago, I started taking an interest in fashion. It kind of happened because I ran out of clothes that fit. I was going to post about one of my shopping trips, but have been too busy. I think we probably all have the same history with shopping. You pick out something with hope that it fits. You work your way into it and then with more hope, you turn to look in the mirror. If all goes well, you give it the final test. You stop holding your breath and sucking in your belly. With any luck, it still looks ok. So maybe this is how everyone tries on
clothes. But, it is my method. So, we went to Walmart the Sat. after Thanksgiving. I picked up several items. DH found this outfit. It is basically a denim body suit. And, he insisted I try it on. So, I went in the dressing room with no hope of not being the store joke when I came out wearing it. I went through my routine. Every time I pull pants on, my radar tells me it isn't going to fit. My clothing radar is still out of whack. I zipped it up and prepared myself for the horror of the mirror. The mirror was kind to me. Heck, I liked what I saw. Now for the next test, stop holding my breath and let that belly
fall out to its natural possition. This is where the shock came. I wasn't holding in my belly. The girl working the the dressing room complemented me and said that few people could carry off this outfit. And, DH insisted we buy it. My son said he really liked it, but I can't ever wear it to his school.
Well, this and more shopping pretty much covers the poor part of
the recovery. Now that I can shop, I can't stop. And, you know if you have the clothes, you have to use them. So, that is why I am so tired. I have been out being social. The neighbors women and I have been going out every other week or so. Since it is a bunch of girls, we haven't ever really relaxed. But, Friday night we took the guys with us. Heck, we even took an extra guy with us. So, four guys and three wives. We all figured we were safe. So, the party was on. Oh, and I wore my denim body suit thing. You would think that guys would leave an old married woman alone when she is out with her husband and
his buddies. But, men have never proven to be the smartest when they are drinking. We heard some sad pick up lines. And, one guy had to be encouraged to let go of me on the dance floor. DH was more than happy to do the encouraging.
My DH is being really cool about everything. So far, he hasn't
shown any jealousy. Heck, he wants me to look good when I go out. But, he is dealing with his own demons. He admits that he is worried that I will trade up. It's not going to happen, but I think it is a common worry with the husbands. I admit that I am way more confident that I was when we got together. But, when we got together, I was thin from being really sick and chose him then.
Here of late, it has been an emotional rollercoaster for me. I
have heard women say that before surgery, they were invisible. But, for me, I wasn't invisible. I could hear comments. I knew what they were thinking when they elbowed their buddy and pointed at me. Now they are still doing it. But, for another reason. So, when I hear a sad pick up line, I have no trouble being rude when I shut them down. I know that just 4 months ago they would have been rude with me. So, I figure they have it coming. But, still, I see myself as a fat girl. And, when I see another girl being disrespected, I feel so bad for her. I am also not shy when it happens either. On the flip side, when
I am comfortable with people I have known for a long time and get a little flirty, I feel cheap. I know there is no reason to feel that way, but my inner fat girl tells me I should be hiding in the corner. I am constantly trying to figure out how outgoing is too much. I think finding the new me is going to take time. I'm the first to admit that I have changed. My relationship with my husband has only gotten better. I am still the same mom...just faster. But, I am different. Now I will look people in the eye when I speak to them. I have actually become social.
It has all been better than I thought. But, the mental side of it kind of surprised me. It came on pretty much over night. I think the biggest thing for me is that I never thought I could make a guy's head turn. And, now that I have, I am not sure what to do with it or even if I like it.
Since my last stretching last week, I have been eating better. I
still don't eat as much as most newly post ops. But, I have found that Bloody Marys go down well. So, I get my vitamins when I go out.
Buying clothes that show off my now socially acceptable curves is so much fun. I never want to go back to square shirts that cover everything to my knees. We have discussed going to his shop's Christmas party. I really want to go buy a little black dress. But, I don't think I will since it would be a one wear item. At least everything else can be worn many times.
Buying new underwear was fun too. Another neighbor was after me to stop wearing granny panties. I put it off until I started buying low cut waist jeans. Then I had to. It took a while to get used to the low rise jeans, but now I rather enjoy them. My big fear is that I will move and my belly will show. It doesn't look too bad under clothes, but nude it is gross. Last week I decided to go ahead and get my belly button pierced. Then I had a good look at my belly button and decided against it. Maybe if we can save enough for a TT, I will get one then.
I have been toying with the idea of a change. My neighbor is going to give me a perm. But, so far, we haven't gotten together on it. My hair had thinned to about half of what I had before. And, an change would be good. But, I really like having long hair. It's a trade off. I know my hair doesn't look good, but at least it is long. The neighborhood wants me to cut it and get bangs. But, that seems like too much work every morning. I like the wash and go styles. Most of all, I would like it if my hair would stop falling out.
I just have to tell someone. I went shopping for a dress yesterday and today for the Christmas party. Last I noticed, I was able to shove into a size 12. But, noticed yesterday that 12 was a little big. OK, so I figured that it was just dresses that run big. Today I found a nice pair of jeans and matching denim jacket. Both were a size 10 and both fit! Yea! I tell you, this is worth every minute I have spent barfing.
After I lost some weight, I stopped hiding in my house. Suddenly, I became social. I have also been discovering myself. I haven't wanted to just sit around any longer. That means less time on the computer. That is why my updates are slow coming and not as detailed as they used to be.
Something else has happened with me. I know someone IRL that reads the boards. OK so I know more than just one person IRL that reads the boards. But, one person has made it a little more uncomfortable for me. She has been known to go around mis-repeating what I say. So, if I post too much about my emotions or things that are bothering me, then she is out telling other people I know that haven't had WLS that I said such and such when that might not even be close to what I actual said or feel. She has even gone so far as to tell everyone that it is my own fault that I have been so sick since surgery.
Apparently, she doesn't think I should have been up and walking so soon after surgery. And, at Thanksgiving (I was 4 months post op) I shouldn't have been nibbling on small amounts of turkey. I guess she didn't like the support I was receiving from my real life friends. There are many emotional issues I would like to discuss. But, I won't.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Oh and can someone tell me how it is fair that diner takes hours
to cook and minutes to eat? Although, this worked out fine for me. By the time it was time to eat, I was so sick from the heat that I didn't hardly touch my food. I had a really hard time with the kitchen heat today. That kind of surprises me because I have been cold since my surgery.
Lunch was a slice of jerky.
Supper was a Tbs. of stuffing, very small slice of ham, tsp of
Late night snack was a slice of jerky.
Very late night snack was a slice of jerky.
The kids went to bed at 9. DH went to bed at 10. And, I got bored. I had two choices. I could either spend my time cutting my head off or editing my profile. So, naturally I cut my head off.
I decided to put a webpage together. There is more I want to add. But, for now there are pictures. The third picture is in the outfit my neighbor named "The Catsuit."
My clothing has been the subject of discussion around here. DH
likes me to show off my new figure. But, twice I have been told by the same person that I am dressing like a slut. She said it "joking" but we all know that there is some truth to what she is thinking since she said it more than once. Granted, the catsuit is tight. But,it is also a going out outfit. I have worn it out twice. Once when I went out with the girls and another time when DH and I went out with other couples.
I don't have to hide behind clothes any longer. But, I do keep
everything covered up. My mid drift never shows. That would be scary with all of the baggy skin. I kind of figure that if DH doesn't have a problem, my oldest son (11 years old) doesn't have a problem, then whose business is it anyway? I will wear what ever I want. A friend of mine who has had WLS says that some other women tend to get jealous and then snotty. So, I shouldn't worry about it. Anyone else encounter this with your "friends?"
I guess I should give you the link, eh?
Oh and a note about looking for a pre-op picture. It can be a
little scary. I never felt that big. Then again, I knew there was a reason I avoided the camera.
Here is a funny. I just showed the boys and DH my new webpage.
They all wanted to know why I put a picture of someone else on my page. They were looking at my before picture. Thank goodness memories are short. DH said he doesn't remember my ever looking that (he paused trying to find a word that wouldn't offend me) large.
I was at Costco today. As is now my habit, I was checking out the shirts. I saw some that I thought might be what I was looking for. But, they looked like they ran a little smaller than their stated size. While I was holding one up, a lady next to me asked if I thought they were small. She was an average sized woman. I said I thought they might be but was going to try one on. As long as I have someone with me to hold down my other shirt, I will try one on over it. When I got it on, the sizing seemed about right. So, I told her that. Plus, it went a little longer than most other shirts that like to show your belly. That is a good thing. So, her interest is peaked again and she slips one on. Then she said that it must just be her. After all, I am petite. Well, my mouth feel open and I just staired at her. I guess my silence made her uncomfortable from her expression. It took a good 30 seconds for my reply. And, then all I could say was that it had been years since anyone had thought of me as petite. Of course she didn't know what I was talking about and hurried away because she thought I was a nut.
I may have to change my name. I don't think I am a hat hiding in a box any longer. Any suggestions?
My 5 month anniversary was this last week. My goal was to hit 150 by the end of the year. All was going well until this last month. My weight loss became irregular. Then two weeks ago, I came to a stand still. And, last week I GAINED a pound. Now, that really sucks. I am battleing the same two pounds. I decided to cut carbs back out of my diet. DH is thrilled. He wanted me to stop losing. But, I admit I have become addicted to watching the scale go down. In the past month, I have changed my final goal weight from 150 to 140. And, now I am thinking that 130 might be more fun. My other gripe is that my clothes aren't looking good. The ones that I can find are a bit big. But, I don't dare go shopping again. And, I have two missing pairs of jeans that I would like to wear but can't find. I went to the Airman's attic the other day and picked up a bunch of size 10s and 31s. I had hoped that some of them would fit. But, at least I have something to move into when I get things moving again.
As far as my recent body happenings, my belly is depressing. I can stand in front of the mirror and pull at least five inches of skin before my belly looks a little normal. Maybe I should buy a bigger bra and pull that extra skin up into my bra.
I need to get away. A girlfriend and I have talked about taking an over night trip to Seattle. Maybe I should get the ball rolling on it.
The scale finally moved! This morning I saw 159 for the first time since high school. I was going through my closet last night and found a sweat top I used to wear in high school. I slipped it on and it fit just fine.
DH and I were talking about what I would like my final weight to be. When all of this started, I thought 150 would be a fine weight. Now that I am close, I see that my body isn't what it should be. My legs are still too fat and my waist needs a lot of work. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that 140 would be better. But, now I am thinking I could safely shoot for 130. Then again, maybe I am just setting myself up for failure. Nah, I can do it. DH doesn't want my to lose much more. And, he is still worried that it won't stop. After this last plateau, I am not so worried about that. I am worried that even with only eating a little bit more than I do now, I will start to gain.
Drum roll please....
I am now part of the Century Club. 100 pounds gone baby! That leaves me 6 pounds from my original goal. I am going to go celebrate now by folding some laundry.
My BMI = 24.9
And, you know what that means. I am NORMAL! Or at least my weight is. This one means so much more to me than the Century Club or any of the other goals. I am just so tickled this morning. I hope everyone has as wonderful of a day as I am having so far. Heck, my kids even got up and did their chores already without my griping at them.
I am now wearing a comfortable size 10. To tell the truth, I dreamed of being a size 12 again some day. I had a secret dream to fit into a 10. But, I wouldn't have admitted it to anyone because I didn't think it would ever happen.
I tried on the denim catsuit today. The d@mn thing is baggy. That is one of the things that sucks. You find an outfit you like and then it is too big. I have a pair of size 13 pants sitting here that I bought and never even took the tags off of. I need to figure out if I can find some places that carries the same thing and exchange them for a smaller size. As for the catsuit, I need to see if I can take it up.
There was something else that I always wanted to do. The last time I lost a bunch of weight, I was able to put my hand in behind my ribs. I can do that now. I am not sure why anyone would want to do it. But, I never claimed anything other than my current weight was normal either.
Last Thur. was my 6 month anniversary. Beside all of the other things going on in my life, I have been reflecting a lot. My weight hasn't changed much recently. I had oped to have hit my goal by my anniversary.
My weight loss has been up and down.
Month 1 30 lbs
2 22 lbs
3 14 lbs
4 19 lbs
5 8 lbs
6 9 lbs
The last two months don't seem fair. I wasn't ready for the honeymoon to end. It looks more like I was on a regular diet. But, at least I haven't felt like I was starving (at least most of the time).
It seems like forever since those really hard first months when I felt like I was being left out of the fun of food. Pizza was almost painful for me to give up. Dr. Weber said I would be able to eat pizza again as long as I didn't have cheese on it. But, now, I don't even care for the taste all that much. Every once in a while when the kids order pizza, I will have a bite. Maybe it is all of that chewing that kills the attractiveness. Chewing forever does that to a lot of foods. Burger King still smells really good. But, it is nasty.
I can eat steak now. I credit jerky with allowing me to learn to do so. But, hamberger isn't happening for me unles it is in a patty. I think it is because it is harder for me to chew smaller pieces. I find this is true of a few other foods, but I can't remember what right now.
I am still puking about 4 times a week. But, I am getting better at figuring out why. Apparently, I do dump. I didn't think I did. And, the dumping causes me to puke. Then I get the chills and want to sleep. I had thought the puking was all from the strictures. It wasn't until I asked the board about the chills that come with it that someone suggested I was dumping. I can have a tiny taste of sugar foods or a medium amount of fatty foods without trouble. But, when I cross that line, I feel horrible. Last week we had pork and beans that I thought would kill me. I was passed out on the couch minutes after the puking stopped.
Head hunger has kicked back in. It is sometimes a battle to stop eating when my pouch says no more and my mouth is demanding more satisfaction. In the end, my pouch wins or teachs us a lesson.
The other day I sat on the floor for an hour. A year ago that would have left me with days of pain. Very cool. A funny little side thing that I am really enjoying is shaving my legs in half the time because of half of the surface area. Plus, I can reach a whole lot better.
I received a late anniversary gift. We found out that we will probably be given 180 days of medical coverage after they give DH the boot. That means that I should be able to get my TT. I almost got up on the desk and did a happy dance when I found out. Heck, if someone would have handed me a Bloody Mary, I probably would have. This also means that I will be able to do the follow up on the lump they found in my breast. And, more important, my son will be able to continue with his medical needs. After the 180 days is up, we have the option to buy medical care at the price of $8000 a year for the family. Ouch.
I have started to get nervous about telling my parents about my surgery. I find that when something is tearing me up, I have bad dreams about my parents. I have been having them a lot recently. I know it will be fine, but it still plays on my nerves. What is the worst that can happen? They could gripe at me.
My dog really loves me. After I chew the heck out of my meat, she knows she is getting the part too big to swallow.
DH did my inches the other day. Even with a 9 pound loss, there isn't much happening with my body. My cup size has gone down a little as well as my arms. But, my thights got 1/2 bigger. How the heck? Oh well. There wasn't that much of a difference. So, that leads me to believe that I lost 7 pounds of hair last month. The good news is that the hair loss has slowed down.
Saggy skin is really sad. The other day I asked DH if he could see my panty line. He said oh yeah, right there. I was wearing a THONG. I guess I might as well wear the panities since my rear skin gives me the look aways. And, you have already heard me complain about my tummy. So, I will spare you.
Time to go fold towels. Does it seem to anyone else like all I do is laundry? Too bad it isn't a cardio activity.
I have had a pretty good week.
2 or 3 years ago, I found a nice pair of leather pants. I picked them up for my mom. But, she hasn't been that size in a while. Since I was wearing a size 18 at the time, they looked so small. They are a size 10. I told her I would hold on to them and the first one of us to get to that size got to keep them. As my weight has dropped, I have kept an eye on the pants. But, when I finally hit size 10, they were still too small. OK, so up to this week...on Tuesday, I went out with a friend. I was trying to find something to wear when DH pulled out the leather pants. I didn't think they would fit, but tried anyway. They fit perfect. It is so cool when that happens.
In getting ready for the big move, I tried on every pair of pants I currently own. The last time I went though the pile, I had built up a pretty big stock pile for my next size. It is amazing that sizes can vary so much. 12 absolutely don't fit any longer. Since we are close to our move, I am saving them for my mom. Most of the size 10s fit. I think the difference is which department they come from. If they are misses, then they may or may not fit. But, if they come from the adult female section, they fit. Even though I have lost weight, my legs remain thick. I had also been picking up size 8s lately. I haven't picked up many because I wasn't at all sure I would lose even one more pound. But, I found that a couple of the 7/8s I picked up fit perfectly. That was a shock. But, what was really shocking was how much fun trying the clothes on was. Clothing shopping (even if it was in my own stash) was always so depressing. Now it is just a whole lot of fun. Thank goodness I have been picking up second hand clothing. If not, then I would either be broke or own only two pairs of pants.
Now for the really big news. Today was the day I have been dreaming of for a year. I weighed in this morning and was exactly my goal-- 150 pounds. The funny thing was how long it took to register. I was focusing on the fact that I hadn't dropped to the 140s. DH and I were arguing about what it would be when it popped up. He said 148.5. I said 152.5. It read 150 and I made some comment about stupid numbers. It wasn't for a couple of minutes until I realized that I was on the magic number. I treated myself to a nice shopping trip to Ikea even though they don't sell clothes. The laundry is caught up, so I had to find some other way to treat myself.
Now I have to decide what to do with my body. Do I switch to maintainance? Or do I pick a new goal? What I need is for someone to be really honest with me and tell me what they think. DH wants me to stop trying to lose. But, I am still unhappy with my thighs and belly. OTOH, if I keep losing, I am afraid I will lose my chest. And, I kind of want my booty back. I think it is still back there, but because my legs are so big, my booty doesn't really yell BOOTY any longer.
Thanks to everyone for your prayers during my less than happy times and support during my crazy times. I know that when we move, I will still think of this as my home. And, I will probably need you all more than ever because you will be my support. I don't plan on going to support meetings or telling anyone in our new town about my surgery.
The movers came by today. I forgot to move the scale out of their reach. So, I am not going to have daily weigh ins until my scale catches up with me. I hope they were gentle with it. It has been good to me...for the most part. I am so used to doing morning and nightly weigh ins. I know I am going to have withdrawls. I might be tempted to buy another scale. But, I don't want to cheat on my ol' boy. I am fighting the urge to run up stairs and rip the box open.
Another interesting thing happened today. I had to carry some weights down the stairs and out to the car. At one point, I was carrying 70 pounds. The one thought I had (other than keep breathing ) was how the h@ll did I walk around with all that extra weight just a year ago. I am amazed I could even get out of bed every morning.
Today was the second day with the movers. They wore me out. I am off to sleep soon. My body hurts. My feet hurts. My brain hurts. But, I had to share this little gem.
It's no secret that my boys play with Barbie. So, we have several around the house in various stages of dress. My youngest is still hopeful that he can get some milk out of her. Anyway, it has been a while since one has been out to play. When he saw her, he took off with her. Then he returned. He held her up and told me...Look Mommy, they made a doll out of you. He is my new favorite child. When I told DH the story to night, he got a funny look on his face and then said that my son was right. While I think my son's observation was pure, I suspect that DH is just trying to get out of the hole for blowing off Valentine's Day yet again. Still, I'll take my complements where I can.
I thought I would check in. We are all alive and well. Although, there was one Motel 6 we stayed in that was so small I thought we were all going to kill eachother. I hate not having a home to escape to. Living in hotels is not all it is cracked up to be. Most of the places we have stayed at have allowed Mocca (our dog) to stay with us. And, since that Motel 6 was also in a very questionable area, I was glad to have her close. I don't think she would ever bite anyone, but if we are attacked by a herd of poodles, I know I will be safe. 2 people have approached us already about buying puppies from us when we breed her. I have already promised that we would breed her one more time so we can keep one of the puppies. There were a couple from her first liter that I would have loved to have kept. But, there was no way I was moving with her and a puppy. Personally, I am happy with just one dog.
Anyway, eating has been a challenge. I know I have eatten too much junk. Well, not that much. But, I have been drinking sodas and not enough water. We need to go to Costco tomorrow and pick up some bottled water. I have tried to stick with jerky and such foods. But, when there is so much junk around, well, you know.
I miss my scale so much. I was battling the same number for the week or two before the movers came and kidnapped my scale. It is killing me not knowing if I have won yet or not. I have been using my hip bones to gauge how I am doing. At least I don't think I am gaining.
Tomorrow I see my parents and come clean. I am more and more nervous each passing moment. I told her today that I cut off about 12 inches of my hair. That shocked her. I just don't know how they are going to take it. I have thought about the different ways to present myself to them. I even thought about walking by them in the hallway to see if they would realize it was me. One would think your parents would recognize you no matter what. But, I have heard stories where that didn't happen.
As for DH's family, I have seen two of them. His brother was shocked to say the least. It took him less than 5 minutes to start asking everyone other than me if I had surgery. We aren't telling. His (adult) neice wasn't all that shocked. It is weird, but I am kind of uncomfortable with the attention. I didn't mind before. But, I guess the combination of knowing that I face my parents tomorrow and knowing that there is going to be so much gossip going on is ridding on my nerves. To make myself feel better, I went to Ross tonight. I bought a couple of cute t-shirts with prints on them. Shopping with the family is fun because everyone is pulling out clothes and saying they think I should get it. Who can argue with that?
Well, I have been out of the closet for about 36 hours now. Or maybe I should say from behind the door.
My parents showed up a little after noon yesterday. I stood behind the hotel door while the boys rushed them. I don't know what made the boys more excited...seeing their grandparents for the first time in a long while or showing me off. Even before I exposed myself, the boys were telling them to look at me. I had thought about having a camera ready to get a picture of that first look. And, I probably should have done so because the looks on their faces were priceless. After they picked their chin from off the floor, the complements started. That was very cool. LOL Then my second son dropped the bomb. "Mom, did you show her the scar yet?" Opps. That wasn't really the plan. My dad didn't hear. But, my mom sure did. There was a lot of action in the room at that moment. So, I asked her down to the lobby of the hotel. I described the operation and answered all of her questions. But, being in shock, she didn't have all that many at that time. I also explained why I didn't tell her. The poor woman went through so many emotions. At one time, there were tears in her eyes. As a mom, I can understand.
After, we headed back to the room where I took her to my web page. My dad was still clueless until he saw my before and after photos. I hadn't noticed that my first photo says pre-op on it. My dad immediately saw it and wanted to know exactly what op I was pre for. He was thinking tummy tuck. I pulled up another person's webpage because she had some good pictures to help me explain what the surgery involved. Then there were more questions. In fact, the questions haven't stopped.
Over all, they are happy for me. I printed off my diaries for them to read. And, to keep them safe, I put them in our fire safe. Then I promptly forgot where I put the key. Tonight, my dad told me that he was glad that I didn't tell them. He said he wouldn't have slept for 6 month from worry. He also told me that I shouldn't lose even one more pound. When I mentioned that I would like to lose another 20, I thought they might smack me across the back of the head.
So, over all I did the right thing by not telling them. And, now was the right time to tell them. They are going to be active in helping me find a new surgeon to take over my after care. And, after seeing my lose skin, my mom said they will help me find a good plastic surgeon.
Now I get to see the rest of DH's huge family. One of his brothers drove all over town looking for us the other night because he had heard that I was skinny. (I still can't get used to saying or thinking of myself as "skinny.") The poor guy didn't know we had left town for a couple of days. Then tonight I was supposed to go with DH to see him. But, I was tired and wanted to come back to the motel. He just might kick my butt when I finally see him. DH warned me to expect to be picked up. With DH's family, I am averaging about one family member a day. At this rate, it will take me the rest of the year to see them all.
It has been two weeks since my last post. Life has changed a lot. But, my body hasn't much. I will be reunited with my scale on Tuesday. I know he misses me as much as I miss him. I hope he brings good news with him. The last time I weighed was Feb. 14. I am guessing, but not getting my hopes up, that I have lost 5 pounds in the last month. I know there has been some change. Some of the pants that I packed to wear during the move are too big. And, today I wore a pair of size 8s that were tighted when we left. But, they fit just right.
My eating has been really bad. Several times I made an honest effort to get my protein in and up my water intake. But, it is so hard when you are eating out all of the time. For the most part, I have been missing meals. Or, like today, I have a bite or two from someone else. I ate a lot of salads. It is like going through the motions with absolutely no real value. We rented a house a couple of days ago, so I was able to pull out my protein bars and shakes. Today I did pretty good with two shakes and one bar. My solid foods were a bite of donut (it was SOO worth it) and some jerky. I had some potatoes too. But, I accidentally got some hamburger with it and promptly barfed. I also had a bite of a fish sandwich.
My scale is still missing. :-/ I have no idea what box the movers put it in. I found the box with all of the other bathroom stuff. But, as with everything, nothing is where it should be. I think the movers wanted to make my life more interestings by mismarking the boxes. At the very least, it has been interesting.
The good news is my clothes are speaking to me. I had a box of pants that I was holding on to just in case I lost some more weight. I only recently thought I might make it to size 6, so I don't have that many. Yesterday when I found the box, I decided to try a pair on. Surprise! The pair I tried on fit. Very cool. But, since pants tend to vary by brand, I didn't get my hopes up too much. I was on my way out, so I didn't try any other pairs from the box. Later when we went shopping, DH wanted to buy me a new pair of pants. Hopeful, we grabbed a size 6. And, they fit too. Another thing I have noticed is that I have gone down to a size small shirt. And, my medium pants have started getting baggy. This is so weird. Everything I pick up looks like the wrong size. My old size and even extra large and large look way to big. But, smalls look too small.
Monday I saw a PCP for referals. I need to hook up with a local (by local I mean someone within 3 hours drive) WL surgeon, a plastic surgeon and have my blood work done. The PCP isn't familiar with Tricare, but said she would get the ball rolling. Although, she said I would have to have my followup breast exam done before any PS would touch me. I am still having pain in my breast. I really can't tell if the lump is stil there or not. When I feel around, all I can feel are my ribs. That is something in itself. My breast tissue is so thin I can see my ribs behind them when I am braless. I really want this fixed. Then again...
This is the other side of the coin. My clothes look pretty good on me. And, a good bra hides how bad my breasts look. So, I have bene debating if I even want PS. I argue with myself about if I need to look good naked. Looking at myself naked really depresses me. When I didn't think I would have any medical coverage at all when DH was released from his job, I was so upset. Then when I found out I would have time to slip some PS in before we lost insurance, I was the happiest woman around. But, there is that voice that nags me and says that I am just being vane. And, am I really willing to risk something going wrong and move scars just to look good naked. Then I go to the bathroom and pull my skin up to see how my stomache would look and want it again. I really have debated more about this than I did for WLS.
I guess I will try for the PS. But, if it doesn't work out, then I am going to try and learn to live with it.
My eating has gotten better since we move into this house and I have my own kitchen again. And, if you count moving and unpacking boxes, then I am getting some sort of work out. But, it is time to get serous about getting my butt into shape. Summer and wearing shorts is a little more than scary.
I finally found my scale. I told DH that nothing else will be unpacked for year because I have found the one item that I really needed. The rest is stuff. :-)
Looking back it has been 5 weeks since my last weigh in. 5 weeks ago I was 150. As of this morning, I am 141.5. It's slow, but it is movement. And, I was figuring that I had only lost 5 pounds at the most. So, no complaining here. My pants size has also gone from a size 8 to a size 6. And, I have moved into small shirts.
I was thinking about how much this surgry has changed my day to day life. We all think about how grand life will be if we could just have a "normal" look. But, there is so much more to it than that...at least for me. It has changed almost every part of my life from how long it takes me to get dressed to my interrest in my appearance to my habits.
My first thought as I rolled out of bed this morning was...here we go again. A day of trying to find something to eat. Sigh. I shouldn't have been all that surprised that it was my first thought. I woke up last night at 2:30 am. I really needed a bathroom visit. While I was in there, I realized I was really hungry. Since I don't get in enough during the day, I figured I would go grab something to eat. I took a half a slice of bread and some fake crab. Then I spent the next hour barfing my brains out. Because I pissed off my pouch last night, today's choices are espeically important until things calm down.
Then, I went to get dressed. It was hot here yesterday. So, I wanted to wear something that was kind of springy. 20 minutes later, I realized that I had nothing to wear that I liked. Presurgery, I would have thrown on the first thing I found and not cared. Then, because I took so long getting dressed, we were running late. I went to finish my make up, something I would have probably just skipped preop, and DH wanted me to put it on in the car. This was something I would do preop if he really wanted me to wear make up. Heck, I could almost put it on without a mirror because I care so little. But, no, now I care. So, it has to be done in the bathroom. On the way out of the house, I grabbed the laptop because I knew I wouldn't be actually eating with them at Pizza Hut. I ended up ording a salad. But, I didn't eat much of it.
After, it was off to the grocery store. We needed ground beef. We have needed it for the last three grocery store trips. But, because I can't eat it, I kept forgetting to buy it. And, that relates to two other ways my life has change. I am actually cooking almost all of our meals. I don't mind cooking. But, I like the almost instant gratification of ordering a meal at a restaurant and no mess to clean up. Now, I am not only cooking meals, but because of the limitations in my diet, I am having to cook more complicated meals that I did before.
**After reading this, someone asked me if I was still happy that I had surgery. ABSOLUTELY! My life has changed for the better in almost every way. But, it isn't carefree by any means. What the surgery has done for me is kept my thoughts on making good choices and forced me to start really caring for myself.**
Today is my 8 month anniversary. I am 139 as of this morning. It has been a good and fast 8 months. A year ago, I was working on getting a referal. Because we were expecting to move or that DH might lose his job, which I found out the day I got out of the hospital that he did, someone suggested I wait to try and have my surgery. I am so glad I didn't.
DH and I laid in bed this morning talking about my goal. We decided on 128 just because it was half of my original weight.
Today is my 8 month anniversary. I am 139 as of this morning. It has been a good and fast 8 months. A year ago, I was working on getting a referal. Because we were expecting to move or that DH might lose his job, which I found out the day I got out of the hospital that he did, someone suggested I wait to try and have my surgery. I am so glad I didn't.
DH and I laid in bed this morning talking about my goal. We decided on 128 just because it was half of my original weight.
I got my labs back today. Last time I had them done was about 3 months. Everything was fine then except my protein was too low. After my poor eating during the move, I figured that my labs would be really jacked up. Nope. They are perfect.
It has been two weeks since they were supposed to start working on my referral for plastics. Apparently, she still hasn't done anything. But, now we have added to the list of referrals I need with the request for a mamo. I guess when things start moving, I will be busy. But for now, I am in a holding pattern. At least I know I am well fed while I am waiting.
Happy Birthday Me!
I hate birthdays. I realize that one of the reasons that this is true is that it means that I wasted another year not taking care of myself and being fat. Or, at least that was what went wrong with all of my other birthdays. I guess this year I was bummed out because it is my habit to be so. I was finally able to start pulling out of the funk when I realized I was in it and that I hadn't wasted another year. All in all, everyone avoided me for three days. My life has changed so much over the last year. There has been a mix of good and bad. The good is mostly from the changes that I have taken for myself. And, for that, I am thankful.
A couple of things have happened. My new PCP's insurance person called. After going round and round with Tricare, she learned that I don't need a referal to see a plastic surgeon. But, I do need to find a surgeon that accepts Tricare. There is a PS about 3 hours from here. So, I called her office first. They can't get me in until June 24. I lose Tricare mid-August. So, I don't think that will work. But, I booked the appointment anyway. She charges a $65 consult fee even if you have insurance that will pay for the appointment. Then I called a surgeon in the other direction. It will take me about 5 hours to get there. And, my mom won't be able to be with me. But, they can get me in on May 4. I booked that appointment too.
I was standing in front of the mirror yesterday taking a good look at myself. My waist is still thick. But, my rear is gone. My breasts are flat. And, my face is starting to look sunken. This whole goal thing has been on my mind since the beginning. I never really knew how far I wanted to go. But, now I am starting to think that I have gone far enough. Just last week I thought I wanted to lose another 10 pounds. Now I am not so sure. I don't like the way my face is starting to look. And, I have lost a lot of the good curves my body has always had.
My new mind set is that if I lose a little more, then that is ok. But, if I stay right here at 140, then that is fine too. I don't think I can diet my waist down any smaller than it is. I was flip flopping about plastic surgery for a while. But, I have decided that I really need it to give me that waist that I need to have my curves. I can't diet away that pouch of extra skin on my belly.
This is what the Dali Lama has to say for 2005. All it takes is a few seconds to read and think over.
Instructions For Life
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's
~Respect for self.
~Respect for others.
~Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Life a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
I have taken a job. So, my computer time has taken a hit. Most nights I don't even get on line. I miss my OH family. But, just so you don't soon forget me, I have taken some pictures that show way more of me than you would ever want to see. Ok, so that isn't really why I am sharing the pictures. I am sharing them because I think that honest pictures are valuable to see. I can't really expect others to show their honest pictures if I won't show mine. But, I am not brave enough to show my face yet. So, I am still headless. BTW, in the side picture, I am covering my breast. But, I am not pushing down on it. My breasts are that flat. I was shocked when I saw the picture. And, I am sorry to show you my rear. But, I am even more sorry it is my rear.
Here is a little more about why all of my pictures are headless. I know that some people are happy to tell everyone they know about their surgery. For me, it isn't that way. It was a very person dicision. And, it was a private decision. I have decided to not tell most of my and DH's family members. And, now that we have moved, I don't want to talk to anyone about my surgery. I have started a new life. Of course if someone I know decides to have surgery, then I will be supportive and help them in anyway I can. But, my medical history is my business. Who I share it with is my business. I hope this doesn't sound to cranky.
I went to see a plastic surgeon. The trip took us about 8 hours each way. We stopped for diner once and drinks another time. I thought the trip was only going to take 4 or 5 hours each way. So, we were going to do it in a day. But, when I found out last weekend that it was such a long trip, I decided we would leave the night before. I told my boss that I wanted to leave work early. I kind of make my own hours, so it isn't really leaving early. He knew why and told me to leave even earlier than I told him I wanted to. Then he called me and said he wanted me to go to the bank for him. But, I had to sit and wait for him to call back with the info. 2 hours later, he finally showed up in the office. He was bummed out about something. It was like pulling teeth getting the info out of him that I needed for the bank. So, I not only didn't get off early, but later than usual. We got into Phoenix at 1 am.
We tried to sleep in this morning. But, since the kids slept in the car and there was a pool at the hotel, they were up early. Boo! Dh took them swimming and I got online for a few minutes. I had this pit in my belly that told me that it was a long wasted trip. But, when I saw the doc, he was really possitive. He will only do tummy or breasts at a time. He felt that we should go after my belly first. So, he took a look and some pictures. Two things sucked. I hated having him take the pictures even though I have them on my public profile. Go figure. The other thing that sucked was having him "play" with my skin. He pushed and pulled and tugged and tucked. I guess it didn't suck as much as was just plain ol' weird. I don't even let DH spend that much time with my belly skin...not that he wants to.
The surgeon wasn't even going to talk about my breasts. But, I insisted. I told him that if I didn't get approved for the TT, then I wanted to have the breasts ready to submit. I really don't want to have to make that trip again for a 10 minute appointment. So, he had me strip and took a look. Amazing that after all those years of medical school, the best word he could come up with to discribe my breasts was "deflated." He rolled them, tucked them and announce that implants were a must. Then the tape measure came out and he took some notes. He said that if I opted for silicone, it would cost me an extra $1000. I haven't decided what I want. But, for now, we are focusing on the tummy.
We explained the time limit we have with insurance running out in Aug. I didn't take anything with me like pictures or documents of a rash. I figured he would tell me what I needed and I could send it to him. But, he said he didn't need anything. But, he is confident that I can get approved. I hate to get my hopes up now since I had pretty much decided I wouldn't be approved. Apparently he will write it up to say that I had this procedure that they approved of and paid for that is now causing me problems that will need to be corrected. We talked briefly about my out of pocket expenses. He said that after they have settled with Tricare, they will bill me. But, Tricare sets the price and I would only have to pay my 20%. I feel good about this.
I also had him take a look at my rear. I don't even know if he does rears. But, he said he doesn't think it is is a good surgery even though my rear is sad looking. I should have mentioned being compared to a dog. Anyway, his reason for rear lifts not being good are that it is heavy skin that is being pulled up. It tends to pull back down over time. So, the pulling down means that the scar is really large over time and it doesn't last. Plus, the scar is right where you sit. So, it is irritating. Since Tricare won't pay for it, I wasn't going to have it done anyway. But, reasons he gave made me feel better about not having it done.
For now, I am optimistic but not too hopeful. Oh heck, who am I kidding? I am really hopeful. I had heard that this doc wouldn't do a TT until I was 15 months post op. So, it seems that he is really trying to work with me. He said that he is pretty booked up. But, he would work me in. He said the paperwork should be sent off to Tricare by Monday.
Oh and he said because I had an open RNY, he would do an anchor cut. On the way home, DH pointed out that it was a good thing because it will hide my WLS scar. Sure, I will have more of a scar. But, since I am not telling anyone about the WLS, I can say the scar is from the TT if someone should happen to see it.
I knew I would need new clothes. But, needing a new chair was a surprise. I have found that my computer chair is too big. I mean it isn't uncomfortable. But, since we need to buy a new chair, I am going to get a much smaller one so it fits me and the space better. Very cool. Size affects so many parts of our lives besides pants size.
I found a chair that I really like. It's like finding a pefect pair of jeans when you find the right chair. I tried on many, but this one is perfect.
Another great thing happened today. I ran down the isle at Sam's. Yes, I know I shouldn't run in stores. But, it felt so good like I was flying. A little over a week ago, I was running around chasing the boys. DH was watching and said it looked like I was tight and afraid when I ran. Today I stretched out my legs and just went. I realize the difference is that when I was chasing the boys, I was still running like the fat person I was.
I have to take pictures of myself to see myself. But, it seems I quickly forget. I still look down at my body or in the mirror and see a fat woman. Not as fat as I was, but not someone thin. Today I was pointing out thin women to DH. I was complaining that I will never be as thin as they were. He kept saying I was. But, I seem to get hung up on my faults. My belly still seems big. And, my legs are definately chubby. There isn't anything I can do short of liposuction to correct the legs. I have always had big legs. I almost asked the plastic surgeon about liposuction on my legs. But, then I would have more loose skin. So, I would be buying one problem instead of another
I just need to ramble a little. I might have an answer this week about my TT. At first, I was feeling lucky. Now, not so much. If you looked at my profile, you can see why I don't expect to be approved. After talking to the surgeon, I really got my hopes up. And, I was curious enough to call the insurance company on Thur. to see if they had decided. They still didn't have any record on the computer and coudn't tell me anything. Then I realized that I don't really want to know. I mean, if the answer is yes, then I want to know right away. But, if the answer is no, then I don't want to know. It will kill the dream. It was the same thing when I applied for WLS. Although, I figured my chances of being approved for it was greater. I know this really isn't going anywhere. I just needed to talk it out with someone.
My oldest son's class went to the Rec Center in Durango. He asked me on Friday if I would call my boss and ask to come in late so I could go. I have a certain amount of freedom with work, so my boss didn't have a problem with it. I was torn between going and having fun and doing the responsible thing. I went for the fun.
For the longest time, I have watched the boys climb rock walls. And, I have been so jealous. I swore to myself that if I lost enough weight, I would do it. OK, so you should know that I have a big issue with heights. For what ever reason, I didn't relate climbing a 40 foot rock wall with being 40 feet off the ground until I was standing there looking up at it. It looked more like 100 feet. I had my doubts about the whole thing. But, decided I had waited too long to chicken out. So, I had the girl strap the harness on me. And, then I made her promise that she had never seen anyone die while trying to climb the wall. I had to wait my turn. So, that gave me even more time to consider my mortality. I noted where half way up was and made a mental note of it. Turns out this wasn't such a good idea. At about 5 feet off the ground, my harness made a clicking noise. Turns out, it wasn't a big deal. But, it didn't help my nerves much. At about half way up, I noticed the half way marker. Something clicked in my brain and I lost it. Everything went black and the shakes set in. I had a death grip and pressed myself against the wall. The girl and DH just thought I couldn't find my next grip. So, they started yelling up and telling me where to go next. It seemed like I held on forever. Finally, I got it together enough to yell down something. I don't even remember what. But, DH realized what was happening. They managed to talk me into trusting the support rope and I went down. I kept my eyes closed and walked myself down with my feet. It is all a blur. When I got to the bottom, I almost bust into tears. And, I was shaking really bad. The poor girl felt so bad for me. She kept apologizing.
OK so that seems like it should be the end of it. But, when I finally got my act together, I was even more determined. Even DH was surprised when I said I was going back up. I made it all the way to the top. Again, I had to figure out how to get down. I just sucked it up and jumped. That short period of time between jumping and the rope catching was enough to give anyone a heart attack. I cried out a bit, but not enough anyone heard me. And, then I enjoyed my trip down. It was all so cool. I couldn't stop smiling.
My 4 year old went on the wall too. He got about 6 feet up when he got bored with it all. I don't think the kid has enough healthy fears.
I have tried to wait nicely. But, every Thursday since my plastic surgeon said he would send in my request for plastic surgery, I have called. I was so bored at work today that I pushed it ahead by a day. It has been 4 weeks since I saw him. He said that they would have the request sent off within a week of my appointment. For the sake of keeping the story short, I will skin the run around I got and just say they said they sent it in yesterday. Although, I am not all that sure it has gone in yet. The doc's insurance gal was a ray of sunshine. She said that she is 100% certain I will NOT be approved for a TT. It is a complete flip from the surgeon being so sure he could get me approved. She said that Tricare is hardly approving anyone anymore. And, she said that she has seen women with skin hanging down to their knees approved. So, it doesn't look good for someone like me that just wants to look better when those who really need it can't get it. She went on to say that as soon as I am denied, she will get a quote for me so I can go ahead and make plans to self pay. Hum, I have four kids to support. My husband still is unemployeed. And, I am making $8 an hour with no benifits. We can't even afford water for the money tree.
At least I can still enjoy hearing about everyone else. Sad but not bitter here.
It is amazing how quickly those little pounds can jump back on a girl. I didn't eat that bad all weekend. But, I didn't take my Synthroid. The result is a 5 pound gain in 3 days. I have noticed that taking my Synthoid is as important as eating right.
The last two weeks I have really had trouble with my guts. Last week, well, let's just say that my system cleaned itself out really well. I was a little worried I would end up dehydrated. Then we went the other way. And, to top it off, I have had some killer gas. It is painful. A funny thing about my belly is I can feel my guts moving air pockets around. I can feel it better and sometimes see it better than when I was very pregnant. Before I was able to push the air through. But, lately, it just goes back and forth. I guess I am going to have to invest in some Gas X to try and break it up. I have IBS. But, I had hoped that all of this was a thing of the past. The worst part is that a little gas really affects my belly size. Even with the extra skin, my belly is pretty flat. But, the other morning I woke up looking 5 months pregnant. It really stuck out there. And, then my pants wouldn't fit right.
On the plus side of a 5 pound gain, it came back in the right places more or less. I am a bit thicker in my mid section. But, my booty filled out a little too. I really needed that to balance my thick thighs.
There is nothing to report. Absolutely nothing. I saw the PS at the beginning of May. He promised that they would send in the paperwork the following Monday. Four weeks later they say they are sending it in that day when I call them. Now, three weeks later, they still haven't made a move. Last week I called them again and told them that Triwest was requesting that they resubmit the paperwork. That was on a Tuesday. As of today, Triwest repots that nothng has been received. At the end of this month, I have an appointment with a different PS. I have decided that I will go to that appointment even though I have to pay $70 for the appointment. I'll just pay it and turn it in to Triwest to pay me back. If they do, good. If not, then oh well.
I am bouncing between accepting my body the way it is and coughing up the money. Like I said before, we are hardly making it financially. But, I know if I want it bad enough, I will find a way. As far as my body goes, I am happy with it until the clothes come off. Then everything falls. Emotionally it is hard to look down and see that extra skin. Plus, there are some issues. The skin is starting to give me problems now that it is warmer. Plus, my breasts are constantly messed up. It is hard to imagine until you get to this point. But, when I put my bra on, it is a combination of rolling up and turning in on itself. And, sometimes it gets twisted and cuts off circulation. Plus, they are always wet when I set them free.
On the other fronts, the barfing continues. Sometimes I feel like I could eat an entire cow. Then, other times like an hour ago, I am back to barfing my brains out with a small amount of food.
Fried foods don't make me dump. But, greasy foods do. Dumping isn't all that bad. At least I get a good nap out of it after the barfing stops.
I also have to watch my blood sugar. At least I guess that is what the problem is. Sometimes I turn pale and get the shakes. If I am at work, I trie and hide it. But, others can see it. Usually eating something helps. But, it knocks me out of commision for about an hour. I really hate that feeling.
does anyone else have trouble shaving their arm pits? Mine are now sunken in so much that the razor is too big to get in. I really have to work the angles and usually miss sections. Seems like a funny problem to have, doesn't it?
That should be enough for now. I have a couple of emails to asnwer and thn it is off to bed. I think the meat I ate was too greasy. I am still barfing a bit, but the need for sleep has set in.
Speaking of exercising, I have started again. I got up at 5 this moring and worked out. It is amazing how much easier it is without the extra 100+ pound working against me.
I called TriWest today to see if the doctor had finally submitted my paperwork. To my surprise, it was not only submitted, but APPROVED! The guy on the phone gave me the authorization number and said I would be receiving something in the mail. I asked if he could fax a copy to me. Nope, they only do that for providers. But, he would give me all of the information. After giving me the authorization number and the dates I need to have the surgery by, he says "Oh wait. There is something here." Then I am on hold for 2 minutes. He comes back and says that there is another page to my approval that says I am NOT approved. He says if I give him a minute, he will try and find out what is going on. 5 minutes later, he says that I am not approved, but not denied either. They need more info from the doctor.
I went through such exteamly range of emotions during that call. I just don't see how I can have an approval number but not be approved. Of course when I called the doctor's office right after getting off the phone, the insurance gal is out until Monday. She is the only one that can find out what else they need.
So, that is my big update.
I think one of the most amazing changes in my body has been my foot size. For Father's Day, DH took ME shoe shopping. I bought 8 pair. OK, so that was a bit much, but they were cheap. For years, I have worn size 10 and usually wide. All of the shoes I bought yesterday were size 8.
I called the PS's office today. They told me that Triwest is requesting the pictures to be mailed instead of faxed. She said they mailed them out on Friday. I know that isn't true because she wasn't there on Friday. But, what ever. At least she was familiar with my case. I am just going to have to stay on top of her. I then called Triwest. They are now callinmy my approval number a case number. She said to call back on Wednesday. Hopefully, I will know before my appointment with the other PS on Friday. I swear I would just dump this PS for the ohter one except I have seen the first PS work on someone else's tummy and he did a great job. I am not so impressed with his breast work.
So, that is my update. Now that I think about it, I guess I am not so scary any more because when I threaten to kick someone in the rear (such as insurance ladies) they figure my tiny feet can't do much damage.
I am so annoyed with the PS I have been seeing. Let's see. At last report, TriWest needed more information (pictures). I found this out last Thurs. I called the Doc's office and learned that the insurance gal was off until Monday. So, Monday I give her a call. They kept trying to send me to her answering machine, but I insisted on waiting for her on the phone. When she finally got on, she told me that she knew all about what they needed and had sent it off on Friday. Friday? They told me she didn't work Friday. Obviously someone isn't telling the truth. But, I was hoping that either way, the pictures had been sent off. Everyday, I called and checked in with Tricare. On this last Thurs. I got the guy that had originally told me I was approved and then put the breaks on because I just have a tracking number, not an approval number. Even though he made a mistake, I really like this guy. When I spoke to him two days ago, he said that the doc's office still has not contacted TriWest or they would have made a note of it. And, of course, nothing has arrived. Frustrated to the end of my rope with this doc's office, I asked the Tricare rep how hard it would be to change doctors if the first doc gets me approved. He said no trouble at all.
So, armed with this new information, I went to see a second PS on Friday. I was slotted for a 30 minute appointment. She spent over an hour with me. She answered all of my questions. I liked her so much. I learned a lot and got her opinion on even more. I told her about the other PS and that I would want her to do the TT if I am approved. She said they would go ahead and try and get approval for the breast lift and do both at the same time. Unlike the other guy, she doesn't want to do an anchor cut. She thinks that a hip to hip cut would be enough. She also talked me down in breast size. I had wanted to go up to a large D to DD. She said that going that big would mean that the implant couldn't be placed behind my muscle and my skin was too damaged to support an implant. I was a little upset. But, she pointed out that I was using my heavy weight as a basis for what size I wanted to be. She went and got a bra with an implant and showed me what a solid D would look like. It was perfect.
We also spent a bit of time talking about saline verses silicone. She said she had never cut open a silicone implant because they are too expensive. But, she was telling us about the new silicone. I squeezed the implant a little to feel it and then handed it over to DH and told him to squeeze it. He gave it a little squeeze and then it popped open. The look on his face was priceless. I know a ton of thoughts went through his mind, but the first one being, OMG that was $1000 I owe her now. The surgeon assured us that it already had a pin hole in it and that it was ok. Things happen. And, most important, he won't be able to squeeze my boob and pop it. LOL
My timeline was the last thing we talked about. She said she understands about getting Tricare to pay for at least part of it. She said that since my time is short and her schedual will fill up quick, she wanted to go ahead and pencil me in. So, I have a rough date the middle of August.
I also spent a lot of time talking to the insurance woman about my time issues. She said she would do everything she could to get it sent off to Tricare. The shortest it could be would be a week. But, if something goes wrong, then it could be two weeks. She said I could call her anytime to check on it. She was so nice. And, not that fake tell you what you want to hear nice. She also said that there was only a 25% chance that Triwest would agree to pay for a breast lift. I told her I know that it is hard to get approved, but it was worth trying. She agreed. And, she said that Tricare was one of the easier ones to get approval through.
So, that is what is new. No matter how it turns out, I can say I tried.
I called Tricare today. Since the doc's office hasn't contacted them, my request is no longer under consideration. When I got home, there was a letter from Tricare informing me that my doc's office had requested approval to do a TT and a NECK LIFT. Geez, I thought that it was just the insurance gal that couldn't get her act together. But, apparently the surgeon didn't even write down anything we talked about and they don't even know what to cut on. Now that makes me feel comfortable with handing them a knife.
I hope the other PS's office knows what they are doing. I am about to throw in the towel and wash my hands of the whole thing. Grrr. Not much of a 11 month anniversary.
I am really annoyed tonight. OK, I have been annoyed for over a month now. But, today I called Tricare and got the official word. I was denied. I was prepared to be denied for various reason. But, the reason I got was totally unacceptable. The reason I was denied was because Tricare requested more information from my plastic surgeon's office. Even after I called the office twice, they never sent any of the information that Tricare was requesting. They just blew the request and me off.
I thought about writing to the surgeon and letting him know what is going on, or I should say not going on, in his office. But, I doubt he opens his own mail.
That is today's good news. Yesterday I tried to call the other PS. Their office was closed. Today at work, I got busy and put it off. To my surprise, the insurance gal from that office called ME. She said she wanted to check in and give me an update. Amazing. She said they sent off the paperwork on June 30. They didn't send in any pictures because they wait until they are requested. Since my pictures aren't all that supportive at least for the TT, they want to try and get approval with words first. She said that it will take about a week for Tricare to get the pictures if and when they request them.
I would be disappointed but not mad about the denial if it had been for any other reason than an incompetent doctor's office. That insurance gal said I would be denied. And, she was true to her word. When it looked like I might be approved, she did what she could to get me a denial.
I asked Tricare if having a bad PS's office would work against me with the other PS's request. They said no. So, things are moving again. And, there is still hope.
Something someone said has really stuck with me. She said that you spend thousands on a car you will drive for 5 years. Why not spend the money on a body you will have for the rest of your life. One way or another, I am having this surgery in August.
If your following my story, you know that I was denied the first time because the PS wouldn't send the info that Tricare requested. They say that if the doc ever sends the info, they will consider it. While all of this was going on, I saw a second surgeon. She was really good and sent in the request with in 2 weeks. Tricare didn't mess around. They didn't ask for any additional information or anything. They simply denied me. And, they didn't give a reason why. I have two actions I can do now. I can try and get the first plastic surgeon to send in the info that was requested. Or, I can appeal. Or, I guess I can give up and just pay it. The cost for a TT plus silicone implants and breast lift will be $11,550 plus tax.
For now, I am pushing for an Aug. date. I figure that at least Tricare can pay for my pain meds if they won't pay for anything else. Plus, if something were to go wrong, then I could either make them pay or transfer to the military hospital. I have worked out the financing. This all seems so selfish. But, I really want it.
I have called plastic surgeon #1's insurance gal. She screens calls and won't answer when I call. They send me to her answering service after asking her if she wants to talk to me. Then she doesn't call back. I am starting to feel like it is a dead end. But, long distance doesn't cost me anything, so I can keep calling.
I am also going to send in an appeal letter. I doubt it will change. But, you never know. If Tricare is smart, they will drag it out a little. I have 5 weeks of coverage left.
I was looking through some old pictures on my computer and found this. I edited the picture right before I had WLS so I could see what I would look like. I am so much happier with the real life results. I need to pull out that outfit and do a real picture.
Sometimes I wonder if I don't need someone to run my life for me. Last week I called twice to set up a surgery date. They told me each time that the guy would call me back. I finally decided that since insurance isn't paying, there isn't a rush, and I wasn't going to worry about it. They would call me when they called me. If it took too long, then I might think about looking for a doc closer to home anyway.
Well, today the guy calls and says I need to set up my preop appointment. I said that was all well and fine, but I didn't have a surgery date yet. He tells me that I do have a date. Aug. 31. Gee, I am always the last to find out these things. But, no complaints. At least I have a date and can start planning.
I know why they charge so much for surgery. I am so stressed over finding the money that I am not even worried about the actual surgery.
Wish me luck,
The cost they quoted me is $11,550 plus tax. It will be $350 less if I don't stay the night in the hospital. As it stands right now, I won't be. I am not sure how I feel about that. I like the idea of saving money. OTOH, I want really good drugs. I am really nervous about the bill part. Sure they quote a price. But, I am still seeing bills come in from my WLS. It seems that if someone was down the hall taking a leak, they sent Tricare a bill claiming that it is someway had to do with my surgery. That is all fine since they are billing Tricare and Tricare knows how to handle them. But, what if they do the same to me. The only thing I can do is pay it. At least if they would have done this before my coverage ended, I could get Tricare to help me out with advice and caps and such.
I am within 2 pounds of my lowest weight. I go up when my period is on the way and back down for the two weeks after. My cravings and hunger levels also range with my cycle. I am really going to try and control it this month since I don't want to head into surgery with extra weight on.
On a weird front, my weight has been in the same 5 pound range for 3 or 4 months now. Things should be settled down. But, I went shopping and found that my size has dropped again. Some smalls are too big. I was a large 5 or solid 6 and sometimes 7. Today I am into a 3/4. Shopping is so much more fun.
DH is doing odd jobs. And, my boss decided that I was working too many hours. So, he cut me back from 40 hours to 30 hours. Let's just say, donations can be sent to.... LOL