Janean's WLS Journal
Greetings all! Well, I met with Dr. Garber on March 31, 05...and very ambitiously scheduled every appointment I could within a 2 week period. I was extremely busy...4 kids, a full time job and countless doctors, labs, and tests. Tomorrow is April 14, and I'm just about finished. I have my endoscopy tomorrow morning, and then the cardiac stress test next wednesday and I'm finished....I shouldnt say that...I'll jinx myself.
April 14, 05- Went to Mercy Hospital this morning to have the endoscopy. A little disapointing. Found out that I have an Ulcer. So I need to take medicine for 5 weeks, and then re-scope. He also said I have acid reflux and a hernia. All this time I though I had acid reflux, but I never complained, because I just figured it was because I am so fat.
April 21, 05- oh boy I'm so excited. I just got my date for May 23. I have to have my re-scope on May 19 so I hope the ulcer is cleared up by then.
April 25, 05- Insurance approval!!!!!! yea, sooooo excited!!!!
ULCER BE GONE!!!
Work is a little upsetting. I would love to go out on disability, but they would like me to continue working at home...I really need a break.
May 9, 05- Oh boy...Dr. Garbers office called to reschedule my surgery to May 18!!!!! that's next week....ok...now I have a lot to do..My rescope is the 11th and my presurg is the 12th...
May 11- ok...I'm so happy that my rescope went well...my ulcer is gone so now I can have the surgery
May 12- Pre-surg testing today went well except I've gained 5 pounds... the countdown now begins.
May 25, 05 Oh man.....I had my surgery on May 18, last wed. 1 week today! Havent really been able to post. The pain is alot worse than I had expected.....
The surgery day...arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am and was taken into the room to get my IV pretty quick...the surgery was at 8:30am..they told me husband he would be called into the holding room, I have read about other people remember being in the holding room, and then the unit after that, but I remember nothing but being in excrutiating pain....my husband was never allowed in..I think because of this...I was yelling and moaning alot..... then I remember waking up in my room, and not wanting to move at all.... I kept pressing the morphine button, every six minutes, when they told me I would have to walk every two hours I thought they were crazy...no way!!!! but they make you. The nurses had to really, really, help me, everytime, I couldnt imagine how I was going to go home in 2 days. The day after my surgery, I was being wheeled down to x-ray for the leak test. When I got into the x-ray room I saw the bottle of liquid that I had heard about. The tech poured the whole bottle into a cup, he then said I would have to stand against the machine and sip the drink slowly for the pictures and that 99% of the time it only takes 5 minutes and then I will be back in my bed ready to start sipping fluids...ok..I thought I can do this. It was hard to get up out of the wheelchair and stand, but with help I did it. The drink was nasty, but tolerable..he had me take only about 4 sips..and he kept looking and looking...now I feel this fluid stuck in my chest..he said "well it's not moving" sit down for 10 minutes and then we will take more pictures...oh boy..now I'm getting a bit upset, and I still fell this fluid in my chest. 10 minutes passed and he took the pictures again and the fluid still did not move. He said he would call the Dr. Garber, and Dr. Garber would decide what to do next. So, they wheeled me back to my room. Dr. Holover came into see me, they felt that the fluid was not passing because my insides were so swollen. They put some anti-swelling meds in the iv, and I had to go back to x-ray in 3 hours and re-take the test. There was a chance the fluid would come back up. I was upset, but Anna Stoessel, was wonderful. She made me feel ok...she said that Dr. Garber does an endoscopy after the surgery and everything was fine, and that when the swelling went down I should be fine. (although she hadnt seen this before)...she then met me back at x-ray 3hours later and thankfully the fluid had passed. When redid the leak test the tech said it was now moving, but at a hairline rate, so that evening I would take another dose of the anti-swelling meds. I did not start liquids until that evening, and I was very leary, because of what had happened earlier. The next day they were not sure of my release time, being that I did not start any kind of puree yet. I was ok with this, because I still felt like I wouldnt be able to go home. But as the hours progressed and they kept sticking me and making me walk I thought going home would be good. So, I ate 1 ounce of mashed potatoes. Dr. Holover came to see me, and we decided I would go home early evening. I got home and was still in alot of pain, I took the pain meds every 6 hours, and thank god for my husband he made sure he was there to help me out of bed (which was very hard to do)...
May 26, 05- 1 week post-op..I was very nervous to have the drains out, it wasnt too bad, 14 pounds gone.. I'm still in alot of pain. I recommend taking 2 pain killers before this visit, to make the pulling out of the drains more bearable. Dr. Holover gave me another prescription for pain meds.
May 28, 05- feeling abit better, went outside to lie down today.
June 3, 05- 2 weeks and 2 days post-op...there is NO WAY in hell I could resume work....the one muscle that they go through is still very sore and swollen. The pain radiates around to my back. In some ways I feel worse, because I no longer have pain meds..just tylenol. The visiting nurse came today. She said my blood pressure is low 100/70...due to not drinking enough liquids. I do not want to dehydrate,do I will drink more often. I'm finding it hard to drink, wait 30 minutes, eat for 20, wait 30, and then drink again. This process takes up alot of time. I dont want to complain, but this surgery was/is alot more difficult than I thought. My experience so far has been very painful. The visiting nurse spoke with Donna Franco the PA today, and if the pain continues, I'll need to go to the emergency room. I'm hoping it gets better, and the swelling goes down.
June 6, 05---OK finally feeling better!!!! Thank God!! I was starting to get in a really rotten mood. It's hard to take care of 5 kids,and feel like crap. I'm so glad I decided to take the 6 weeks off of work. I dont know how people go back to work after 2 weeks. For me it's been 2weeks 5 days, and I'm just able to get out of bed alone. I was able to take care of my 2year old today on my own....I thought I would be doing this last week, I guess that's why I got discouraged. I spoke to Dr. Garber,and I'm just one of those people that take longer to heal and for the swelling to go down, he said it would be 4-6weeks...ok...I do feel a little "lighter" today also. I'm not going to weigh myself. I' m waiting to go back to the Dr. at the 4 week mark. I'm enjoying eggwhites with fat free cheddar, and part-skim ricotta on melba toast, very tasty.
June 11, 05- Feeling pretty good today...took my daughter and a few friends to Applebees and then to see the Sisterhood of the Traveling pants for her 12th birthday. I was nervous about eating out...I ordered french onion soup, and sipped the broth and ate the cheese, it was very good and stayed down. I also, ordered a side of mashed potatoes and had 3 tsp. it was perfect. The movie was great. It was my first time really out. So, I got a bit tired.
One of my incisions opened the other night, and it is leaking alot. yuck. The visiting nurse said the liquid is not infected, so I guess all is well.
June 12, 05, Ok today....my one incision is leaking alot, and I'm not getting in enough protein, I cant seem to tolerate the protein drinks, I get so full...I'm focusing on my liquids, and I know the protein will come. I havent weighed myself since the Dr. visit at the first week...I dont want to be addicted to the scale. I feel a little better bloating wise. The addiction I have to food is alot stronger than I realized until now. I find myself getting upset or angry. I am still cooking for 5 kids, and the last couple of days I got real angry. I also cried the other night when I smelled the barbecue...I said to myself, "why couldnt I just have done Atkins, then I could eat all the burgers, hotdogs, and steak, I wanted....but then I reminded myself that I did do Atkins tons of times and never stuck to it for long. My mind is playing games, and I have to constantly check myself. The good thing is I dont have the phsysical hunger only the head hunger.
June 20, 05- Feeling so much better...I went to the park today with Amanda for about 3 hours....walked around the whole lake, and felt good. I'm tired of pureed food....I'm craving other foods, but I know it's in my head, so I keep reminding myself that I'm not hungry. I hope this part gets better soon. Sometimes I get sooooo angry when I'm making my family dinner. I go to Dr. Garbers on Thursday, so I will talk to him about food a little then, and find out my loss. My husband hid the scale from me.
So, I'm curious. I think that once I see the loss it will feel more worth it.
June 25, 05- Well, I went to the Dr. this past Thursday, my 5 week check up, and I lost a total of 26 pounds. I'm pretty happy with that. Its so weird chickent, and tuna doesnt agree with me, but chopped meat and steak does. This pouch is tuff to get used to. The feeling of the chicken getting stuck was the worst. It was like right in the middle of my chest and it took about 15 minutes to pass....I dont know if I ate too fast or didnt chew enough.....It's hard to eat slow...it's all new for me, and I guess it is going to take some time to get used to.
Oh boy!!!School is out, and the kids are driving me nuts!!!!I go back to work next week....I really needed the 6 weeks...well, I probably "needed" 4 weeks, but I'm going to enjoy this last week. I really didnt start to feel ok, until after the 3rd week. I know I need to get in more protein...I'm going to have to have a shake, I was trying to do it with food, but too many things dont agree with me, plus I can only eat such a small amount that I know I'm not getting enough in. I'm averaging between 30-40 grams a day.....not enough!!! I think that's why my energy is low. I think I found a protein drink that I like...well, atleast for the moment the Orange Isopure mixed with the Sunrise Crystal light...so atleast I'll get another 25 grams a day in. I'm trying to only get weighed at the Dr. office...so many people get addicted to the scale, and I'm so tired of the scale dictating how I feel that day...I lived like that for too long...I had this surgery to help me make positive changes in my life.
July 2, 05- I just dropped Eric, Jessica, and Petey off at the airport....10days in Florida with their Aunt....woooo hoooo! It's just me and Amanda, occasionaly Rena, and Adam...who is acting like a real jerk lately. I think it's definately time for me to go back to work. My disability money didnt come yet so I've been without a paycheck for the last 6 weeks, and I dont like feeling like I'm not contributing to the house, plus, my account is empty, and I hate asking him for money (we keep the money separate)....He has been soooo moody, I dont know.....maybe I'm just bored and reading into things too much. I'm kind of grouchy.....it really is hard to not eat certain things and then when I do eat what I can have more times than not I feel like it gets stuck in my chest, so I'm starting to not like to eat...which is something I never thought I would say. I feel like I'm always complaining, and I hate sounding that way. I'm not sorry I had this surgery...my weight was going nowhere, but up....I need to think more positive. now....I'm going to go take a nice walk around the lake with my little girl.
July 6, 05-Second day back at work!!!! Wow, what an adjustment, I got very used to sleeping in. I feel good. Everyone at work noticed I lost weight, so that made me happy. I brought my food....today they are ordering from my favorite Mexican place (we get lunch as a perk), but I am not even going to look at the menu. This is the tough part....I'm not physically hungry, but I want to eat. I know it's in my head......oh well.
Friday, July 8, 05- Work was a little tough this week....for 2 reasons...1 I got tired by the mid afternoon, and 2 I got very used to being home. I would so much rather be home with my kids, especially Amand while she is still so young, but it's not an option...I truly enjoyed the time I had home with her after the surgery. Food is getting a bit better, I'm finding more things that agree with me. It's amazing how little it takes to feel very full. I have been walking a few times a week, but I cant say that I've truly been exercising...I need to get on the ball with that. Physically I'm feeling good, so it's time to start moving...I would like to avoid as much saggy skin as possible, and I would like to keep what little muscle tone that I do have. I definately can feel that I've lost weight. My clothes all fit, they arent tight at all, some are too loose. Good Feeling!!
July 10, 05- Went to my sister's house today for a "food party" one of her friends is selling "wild tree products" so she brings many samplings of dips, cream cheeses, pasta, shrimp scampi, and spread out on the table is bread, crackers, petzles, and about 20 different dips.....the good thing is, I truly wasnt tempted. I asked her for a list of ingredients, so I stayed away from things with sugar. I had 3 whole wheat crackers with a couple of the cheese dips, and I was fine. I havent tried shrimp yet, so I was afraid to try it there, plus it was in a scampi sauce....anyway the only thing that I had my eye on for a minute was the strawberry cream cheese dip with graham crackers, but I got over it quick!!! I'm feeling good. It was a nice day. I got a few questions about the surgery, and what I could eat, but I answered quickly and kind of switched the subject. The kids are still in Florida, so it was just me and Amanda, and she is so good to take out. I have work tomorrow. I havent got in the routine of that yet.....I would rather be home, but I better get over that quick, because it is not an option, so I better just make the best of it and deal with it.
July 14, 05, well this journey is harder than I thought. The other night I ate 2 pieces of steak and I was sick for 3 hours....I drank a little hot water and some meat tenderizer (1/2 cup hot water, 1tsp. Mccormicks meat tenderizer) and that helped. Yesterday, I ate 2tbls of brown rice and a bit of steamed vegs. at work and I was sick in the bathroom for an hour...my chest was in so much pain. Now today I ate half of a veggie burger and I started to feel the pain so I took some sips of water and it went down. I hate the feeling of getting sick almost everyday. I hope I get this under control....It's hard, when I'm home I have the kids, and it's embarrassing when I'm at work...plus when I'm at work I need to be working, not in the bathroom.
July 17, 05, I've been doing good....I'm being more careful with my food choices and eating slower, and chewing...so I'm feeling much better. I started walking around the track every other day, and I'm actually looking forward to it tonite. I'm going with my neighbor, and without the kids, so it's nice.
July 26, 05....wow is time flying by.....I'm doing well. Food is getting better. I have to really chew, chew, chew....and eat very slow, and take little bites, but if I do all that most things are agreeing with my very fussssssy pouch.
July 28, 05 just got back from the dr..and I'm down another 15 lbs...yay for me...I'm so happy...207.5...so I'm down 41 lbs in a little over 2 months...I'm happy with that.
August 12, 05- Things are good....it's been a very hot summer, and the kids are getting bored, school will come soon enough...when I'm off from work I try to do something with them, but I really dont like going outside in this heat. I'm doing ok...I'm starting to notice the weight loss and that makes me happy. Phsically I feel pretty good...eating can be a challenge and it definately is not as enjoyable as it used to be..at times I eat just because I'm supposed to not because I want to...I never thought that would happen. I do miss eating at times....the head thing can be rough. I always used to say there arent too many things in life we can truly enjoy and food is something i love. I realize I need to find other things in life to enjoy. I love my husband and kids, but that's not enough. I'm trying to figure out what I would like to do. Work is work...necessary for money, but I dont "enjoy" it. I cant make shopping a compulsion, and I dont want to start with any unhealthy outlets that I read about others doing..I can see how that would happen. I was thinking about painting or taking a class.....I dont enjoy exercising, I do it because I have to......oh well....another road to cross on this journey.
Sept. 12, 05....down 57 lbs as of about 2 weeks ago. things arent good. my husband cashed the insurance checks....about 1 month ago, without me knowing they even came, he only gave me a check for the dr. for $8,000 out of the 19,500, that was sent to us....so I'm facing the end of my marriage and now.... I am soooo upset and confused...my marriage is in a shambles and now I dont have medical care.....if anyone wants more infor re: the rest of this please feel free to email me.
Oct. 3...I'm feeling pretty good....occasionally my stomach burns, so I will be seeking out a new surgeon this week just in case this is an issue. I'm assuming it's either the start of an ulcer, or an ulcer, or maybe stress can make your stomach burn....I'm not sure....I've met so many wonderful, supportive people through oh that have given me recommendations. I'm enjoying going to different meetings, and hearing about everyones journey, and sharing my own experiences in a "safe" place.
I'm thinking of using this site/profile as more of a food/weight/medical journal rather than a "diary" of sorts. Unfortunately this site is screened so I dont feel I can be totally honest...and I do understand, even if I dont agree with reasons.
I have not been to good with logging what I eat so now is a good time to start...well, tomorrow, as it is 9:30pm right now.
Tomorrow morning I am going to weigh myself....as I only do it once a month, and I'm going to journal my food.
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(Rockville Centre, NY) - Mercy Medical Center
My first impression of Dr. Garber was that he was a competent surgeon who cared about his patients. My impression since first meeting with him has greatly changed. Although I do think he is competent as a surgeon, I think he is unprofessional, uncaring, and basically in this business for money only...and seems to think that just because we are "chubby" we are stupid and cannot see through him....
He emphasizes aftercare, but dropped me 4 months out!!!! so go figure!!! he cares about the aftercare "money" not the patient.
And as far as his bedside manner...yes Dr. Garber did my surgery, but I never saw him again. He did not see me in the hospital, he did not release me, nor did I ever see him at the follow-ups....