- HEALTH TRACKER
Troy, MI, USA
Post Op - BMI: 37.1
Member ID: L1019821204
Web Site: www.joeman.us
Surgeon: Michael H. Wood M.D.
Click here for Karen's surgery support page
Click here for Before & After pictures page
Click here for the 07/2002 Reunion Page
Click here to print Karen'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!)
I can only control what goes in my mouth and what comes out of my mouth at this point. What goes in better be protein. What comes out should be thankfulness. Sometimes it is. Sometimes I whine. I try to express joy and support. I would hope that if anyone has something to say to me, they would seek out their titanium ovaries or kong balls or spine or whatever it takes and be as direct as I have tried to be.
9/28-10/6/03: Computer crash! If I missed signing your page individually, or congratulating you on an approval or a goal, I'm sorry. Know that if I missed you, you were still in my prayers.
9/15/03: Overdue update...We have been BUSY this summer. A real life-style change for us. No huge weight loss to report; I am down 160 lbs/14 mos and Joe is down 80 lbs/4 mos. We are well & healthy. Exercise...hmmm. I am not, and am evidently not ever going to be one of those people who grooves on exercise. I do it and I'm glad when it's over. I have to be disciplined about doing it even when there are things I'd rather do (laying in the hammock with a good book comes to mind...) We have a LOT more energy! The house projects get done faster & easier.
The CORI (our surgeons) picnic was this past weeknd and we had a nice time. The setting was lovely and it was great to connect with people who we had met during our journey. We are looking forward to hosting our second AMOS gathering in early October, and have 2 weekends away planned before then, and one afterward. I recently flew for the first time since WLS and was thrilled to find 12" extra to the seatbelt, room for the tray table with my legs crossed.
A dear friend of mine passed away recently; we hadn't seen each other since 1995, but were immediately back to our level of freindship within minutes of me finding her in my hospital. Going thru that week with Kathleen and her family forcibly reminded me that we aren't any of us going to live forever, and that we have to make our days count. We need to tell others how important they are in our lives. We need to laugh and share joy. We need to support each other thru the worst of times. To all my AMOS family- you have been SO important in my journey and I thank you for your wisdom, your tears and the laughter we've shared.
8/16/03: Just a mention of the BIG BLACKOUT- glad to be back online. I really didn't mind the power loss, except for an emergency at the hospital where I work. My DH had a harder time with the power loss. We had a great backyard bonfire the first night of the power outtage, with all the neighbors. Once I came back home on Friday, we just relaxed- a little napping and reading. We camp, so we really had everything we needed at home. I was amazed to hear about so many people stocking up on everything in sight. I made coffee Friday morning on the grill and then took it to the car to listen to the news for a bit. I really didn't mind the power loss, altho I may have felt differently if it had gone on more than 24 hours.
Weight loss- hmm. July was not a happy weight loss month for me. I danced back and forth over the same 3 pounds multiple times. Instead of getting anxious about a plateau, I chose to think of how well my body was going to maintain after I lose the last 80 lbs. (weight loss thusfar = 160 lbs/13 mos.) I stayed active, and I feel great. One of my neighbors is going to Weight Watchers and, in a backassward compliment, said I'm her inspiration, because she hated the thought that I'll be thinner than she is. Yep, I will be. Heeheehee!
7/1/2003: Happy One Year Anniversary to me! I started at 385 lbs, 5'5". I'm still the same height, and I've lost 148 lbs. My BMI went from 64 to 39! I AM NO LONGER MORBIDLY OBESE! I wear size 14 & 16 now. It's been a great year. I am off all meds for high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and depression. I move, I walk, I dance! I have energy! I want to lose another 90 lbs and I KNOW I CAN. I have eaten unhealthy things at times, I have fallen off the exercise wagon and I got back on. I AM NORMAL. I have learned about myself and my body and I am comfortable with it. I expect to continue learning, with the help of our wonderful AMOS family. Each member has value and each loss grieves us. To anyone reading this- your contributions have inspired me and kept me on track. You are each part of my success. Thank you.
For me, at 7 mos post op, I had to start working for each pound lost. Not a bad thing. Everything worth having is worth working for. The difference is that with my WLS tool, I CAN do it. I can succeed. Thank you God for the skill of my surgeon, Michael Wood. What a wonderful year this has been! And now, I can look forward to many more, instead of knowing that each year would get worse and harder to have a life, until I just died, buried under mass amounts of fat that my body couldn't cope with anymore.
My angel line says it all. I have been blessed by God in sharing my life with my wonderful, loving, supportive, tender, fun, awesome husband Joe. (He is doing SO well! His surgery was 5/22/03 and he has lost 48 lbs thusfar. Men!) Together, we are stronger- we have weathered family deaths, unemployment and financial hardship, clinical depression, and we are united and very happy. I met my beloved hubby over the Internet, and we marvel frequently at how lucky we are. Joe loves me; he loved me obese and he loves me thinner. He lets me know constantly that he cherishes me. I am a very lucky woman.
I'd better send this entry now before it dissolves into complete mush. My very best wishes to my AMOS family- thank you for everything you've given me.
6/3/03: 11 mos post op, weight loss 142 lbs. I'm closing in on that 150 Lost mark! My beloved hubby Joe had his WLS surgery 5/22 and I am taking the opportunity to restart by eating with him. While he had clear liquids, I returned to protein shakes, SF jello & popsicles. Now that he's advanced to full liquids, I'm still doing that. And, gee- 9 lbs lost in the past 10 days. Imagine that- no carbs and lookee the tool works. I am convinced that Detour bars, which I LOVE, are De tool of De devil. The protein doesn't matter, it's that freaking carbs & sugar in them suckers that did me in in terms of weight loss for the past 6 weeks. We walked 1 mile last night; Joe is doing great. I figure I had backing back to my roots post-op. I read TeeAnn's entry recently and saw that she (a phenomenal success story) had stuck with the basics from the beginning and seemed not to have allowed any carbs back into her life. Me too, I've hopped back on the dang bandwagon before my window of opportunity closes. That's it in a nutshell (only appropriate) I have restarted following the rules exactly, restarted my exercise and still haven't quit smoking again. Oh well, a couple things at a time....
5/3/03: 10 mos post-op, weight loss 131 lbs, 55% of my excess weight. I only lost 4 lbs in the past month. That's what falling off the regular exercise wagon does to me. Also, I did not quit smoking again yet. My ventral hernia is still there and I am having no real problems with it. Just woke it one morning and there it was. Hey, it guarantees me a tummy tuck later, eh? That's the way I'm going to look at it anyway. I am very discouraged by the near standstill in weight loss. I want to lose another 110 lbs. I have to remind myself that I'm less than one year post op, and it can happen, but only if I WORK at it. Hunger is real again, and it's VERY EASY to graze, even on hi protein items like soy nuts & jerky. I am trying to replace these with water, but I already get more than 2 liters of water a day in, so I'm starting to slosh. Yesterday's breakfast (we were out) was 1 scrambled egg, 2 strips of bacon and 1/2 piece of wheat toast. Now, that ain't bad; it just seems like alot to me from 5 mos ago. 4 hours later, I had a Detour bar for lunch. Two handfuls of popcorn for a late afternoon snack and a protein snack for dinner. And I was active. That's not an unusual day, and yet I am stuck and whining about it. Let's hope this month I fall off this stinkin' plateau and lose some more weight. It's getting old when people ask me how much I've lost and it's at or near the same dang # it was 1 mo ago. Perhaps I should have some cheese to go with this whine?
4/4/03: 9 mos post op, weight loss 128 lbs. I weigh 257 lbs, and wear a size 18/20 (which just proves that each of our bodies are different!)I would like to lose another 115 lbs. I am still 5'5", and my weight is pretty evenly distributed Everywhere. This month, I have slacked off on exercising regularly and it shows. I have lost less weight than usual this month. I have all the excuses most people have; lack of time, etc. Joe's plantar fascitis has been acting up, and that makes him less eager to go work out with me. And I slack off to 3x/wk on the bike when we don't go to the gym. AND, with losing weight and less cushion, the bike really sets my heretofore placid hemorrhoids off. Ouch! So I have >sigh< spent less time on that as well. So I am writing this so all of you can email me and find out if I have re-upped my exercise program! GREAT NEWS- Joe got a terrific job last week! We are both so relieved- it was his last week of unemployment and I didn't know what we were going to do next. Now, I also have to keep my personal promise to myself- quit smoking again! Joe's request for surgery has been delayed week after week by either of two doctor's offices. I'm not sure yet if it has finally been sent or not. I'm going to keep checking on it. My beloved husband is simply the best. I am astounded at how much support and love he gives me freely everyday. I am a very lucky woman.
3/1/03: HALFWAY TO GOAL!!! I have lost 121 lbs in 8 mos. I am thrilled to be at the point where I have less to lose than what I have already lost. Work has been very stressful this past month, and I found that trigger stills pricks me- I want to eat more. I am also hungrier at this point. I try to keep beef jerky on my desk for snacking. I love crunch, so I started mixing chopped romaine lettuce into my chicken & tuna salads. It seems to help. My routine is the same as it has been. I start the day with a liter of water(33 oz) while I do computer work for the first 90 minutes of the day (my alone time). After getting ready for work, I usually have a protien bar or shake during the drive to the hospital. Then 45 minutes later, I start on the next liter of water. I use Fruit20 or Propel to flavor the water on the 2nd liter, about 1/3 of a bottle of the flavored water mixed into the rest of the liter. Gives a nice lite taste and makes the bottled water go further.
I am a little bummed about the message board this week- I posted this major goal and only 2 people commented on it. This despite posting to every surgery page. But I don't post to the msg board itself that frequently, even tho I read every day. I understand what some people have said about cliques, but I also believe you get back what you put out. Oh well. The strength I need to continue is in myself, not others.
I also find myself jealous of lightweights, losing what I have lost and at goal. People who have 'only' 100 lbs to lose. Good thing I'm not in charge of the criteria for approval, eh? I want/need/plan to lose another 120 lbs.
Joe has started his journey as well, by requesting approval for surgery. In my heart, I am happy about this- I want him to succeed and be as healthy as he can be. I also know that, being male, the weight will fall off him in no time. I am grateful that he let me get a headstart! It would/will be hard on my ego to see him reach goal in 6 mos while I'm still fighting to get more weight off. My BMI was much higher than his. His surgery is dependent not only on approval, but on approval with no out of pocket costs, which we cannot afford at present.
snapshot- I can eat anything, in wonderfully limited qualities. I don't dump on sugar. I found that out by mistake with a protein bar that had 12 gms of sugar in it. Wish I didn't know, but heck, there you go. I use Nitrotech shakes, Detour & Carb Solutions bars, snack on beek jerky, and treat myself to sugar-free fudgsicles & 1/2 a no sugar added Klondike bar. I still exercise at least 5x/wk either at the gym or on the recumbent bike. I feel healthy. My knee occasionally wakes me up with arthritic pain, but I blame that on the Long Cold Winter we are enduring. I am really looking forward to spring, and walking without fear of ice!
2/1/03: 7 mos post-op, down 113 lbs total. Another 9 lbs this month. I can't seem to lose more than 9 lbs a month. At least I'm losing, right? Still watching everything- calories between 750-900 a day, 3 liters of water daily at least, 70 gms protein or more. Still going to the gym 3x week, and riding the recumbent bike- I'm up to 11 miles in 35 minutes, and I'm finally starting to sweat when I work out. This has been a very cold month here and I am still cold, although not as bad as at the 3 mos post period. I am really looking forward to being at the point where I have less to lose than what I have already lost. We went to the support group mtg this past week, and I was reminded that this tool is supposed to help me lose 75% of my excess weight. I have lost 46% of my excess weight at 7 mos. I will stay on track. My personal goal was to lose 10 lbs/mo fro 24 mos. I'm ahead of the curve, but it's catching up with me. I can't help envy the people who have lost their 100lbs and are at goal. I'm wearing size 20 and I'm REALLY wanting to move down more.I did see a woman at the mtg who lost 240 lbs in 20 mos, and dang it, that's where I want to be. I alos note that some of the folks who have lost the fastest don't work full time at outside jobs. Not an option for me. I would love to spend 3 hours a day walking, but winter in Michigan precludes doing that after work. My knees are much better, but I still stick to low impact stuff.
1/2/03: today. 6 mos, 102 lbs GONE
11/25/02: Dang plateaus! Only 3 lbs in the past 11 days. Time to up the protein gain. And, I have had some carbs lately....
11/12/02. UNDER 300! Yesterday, the scale read 299. I kept it quietly to myself until now ;D It was another 10 day plateau. And, gee, how amazing, when I checked fitday.com, I saw that I wasn't getting enough protein in AGAIN. My weight loss is indeed best with 70+ gms protein, and 80+oz water daily. Well I'm faithful to that, I lose. We're still at the gym 4 nights a week. Joe hasn't found a new job yet, but our home improvement projects are going great!
10/10/02: I can see the end of the 300's! I get antsy when I see folks that have lost the same 75 lbs I have and and almost at goal..I have another 150 lbs to lose. Patience. We are doing well at the gym, almost nightly. Joe is seeing a difference too in both our bodies. I am so blessed to have such a supportive, loving husband! I seem to have learned the pouch size now, no more vomiting. Still having some trouble with constipation..who'd have guessed? I always knew I was full of sh*t, but hey, I never had to have help getting rid of it. Joe posted my monthly pictures on our web site, and the difference is terrific! I want to wait till 11/1 to send them to anyone yet. I always want 'more'!
9/27/02 ALMOST 3 mos, I can finally drink all the water I must have easily. And my kidneys have rejoined the orchestra, too. I had some lab tests this week and I am thrilled- especially by the HbA1C. This test shows an average blood sugar for the approximately 4 mos pre-test. I am/was a diabetic who took oral meds until my surgery. No More Meds! And my HbA1C is 4.3... and I quote "Reference range is for non-diabetic patients. The American Diabetes Association recommends that the goal of therapy should be a Hemoglobin A1C of <7%." Can I hear a huge WHOO-HOO!!? My goal was for better health, and I'm getting there. I'm off all hypertension meds too, and holding a BP of 122/68 for 3 mos now. Thank God for this miracle! Almost 3 mos post op, 68 lbs lost. have faith*
9/19/02: My regular birthday- spent with my beloved. We started the day at Dr Wood's office for a much delayed wound check. The incision is completely healed and I am doing well. Down 60 lbs since surgery 7/1/02(10 weeks post) Gym & biking workouts are going well, with the support, encouragement and participation of Joe. My energy level is good. I will get blood drawn this week to check all levels. I have increased protien to 80+ gms/day, water to 70+oz/day and cut the carbs to minimal. The weight loss is continuing. Hard to believe that I could be making the Century Club in the next 6 weeks. I'm gonna fight to lose the maximum. Eating normal foods, just chewing them into paste. Still have to 'listen' to my body in terms of where the last bite is.
9/8/02: Finally broke the dreaded first plateau..after 3weeks! I was upset that it happened so early in the game, but I am now down 60 lbs, and in my third month post-op. I have to remind myself that I am in this for the long haul. I have [had] 250 lbs to lose, and if I lose 10 lbs a month in the alloted 2 years, I'll make it. I have to remind myself that I am already ahead of goal on that. I have to quit grimacing at the folks on the board that weight just melts off of. On a sadder note, I picked up cigarettes again this week. Not back to the old pack a day habit, but dang. My beloved is so disappointed. I am back to an old way of coping with stress. I explained to him that food and cigs were my stress relievers, and now food can't be used. Sounds like an excuse, even to me. I started using the exercise bike and we are looking at a gym membership that we can do together. After my complicated recovery, it is nice to know I can exercise now and help the weight loss along. It is wonderful to exercise without being short of breath- that will help me stop the cigs again. So will the price!
8/15: 6 weeks post-op, weight loss 40 lbs. I am BELOW 350. :D I am eating small portions of regular food, but soft stuff like cottage cheese still likes me best. And chili! And refried beans with cheese. The egg (3/4 of it) that was tolerated last week- nope. The vomiting isn't that bad; no acid from the puch. I have learned that when I get 'that' feeling, it's better to chug (as much as chugging is possible) more water or just induce vomiting with my finger rather than go thru hours of misery. Pushing the water; I use fruit 2o to flavor the water.
8/9: 5 weeks post:The stitches and drain are out, thank God. That was a very uncomfortable 10 days. I will never have a poster-child scar, but then I didn't do this so I could wear a bikini. Eating is interesting- just because something goes down and stays there one time, it may not the next. Chicken is good freshly cooked, but not as leftovers. And a word to the wise- Never Assume It's a Fart!
8/1/02: OUCH!! I am closed! Tuesday it was done in surgery, long ouchy retention sutures with a JP drain. NOT comfy, whoo boy! I expect it to get better day by day, though. My doctor's post-op plan was 1 week clear liquids, 1 week full liquids, 1 week soft/pureed food, then the 4th week post-op, start trying foods on his list such as deli shaved turkey, etc.
7/26/02: Saw Dr Wood yesterday for a wound check. My 8" open incision is looking great and he plans a secondary closure next week. It has gone from 4.5" wide & 3" deep to 3" wide and <1" deep at present. Estimated weight loss 36#/3.5 weeks. I still vomit if I hurry. Very low energy this week, so I started vit/mins from Sapala.
7/21/02 Tomorrow will be 3 weeks. I saw the Dr Thursday; open incision is looking good, continue with wound care, stop antibiotics. Next wound check 7/25. The office scale and the hospital scale disagree by 30lbs. Go figure. I estimate my 3 week weight loss at about 30 lbs, but will probably never know for sure.
7/15/02: Back to work, two weeks after open RNY with the additional surgery last week. My binder is my best friend right now. Joe packs my wound every morning and afternoon. Lots of pink, healthy tissue granulating in.
7/13/02 Home again, after developing a seroma under my incision and needing 3 days IVabx in the hospital, plus additional surgery to re-open abd wound and daily care. Dr. Wood doesn't anticipate closing this until 7/22 or after. Joe, my beloved, is teaching me new lessons about love in his care of me and my open belly. Down 26 lbs per the hospital scale on 7/11.
Seroma: the watery, light yellow fluid that may build up under an incision; the body's reaction to an irritant, much like a blister fluid formation. If undrained, may lead to infection.
7/6/02: 5 days post-op. Taking clear liquids well; walking, altho I should be doing more. No pain meds since Weds. Large amt serosang drainage from the navel area when I laid on my stomach last night, but no s/s infection. Went to the movies yesterday! Getting 40 oz of water/day is still an effort
Stayed awake mostly all day yesterday. Doing great! Joe continues to be totally wonderful* It would be so easy to lay back and slowly heal, but I have things to do! And I know that the walking is actually healing me faster.
6/24/02 One week away! All the normal stuff; should I or shouldn't I? Could I lose the weight it I really, really tried? Frankly, I need the boost of seeing it go away quickly. My weight is finally affecting my job performance and my quality of life.
April 2002: Joe & I watched '20/20' about a whole family who had WLS. I told him I was going to start researching it. I started by calling United Health Care and asking about the bariatric surgery benefit. Yes, it is covered for BMI>40 + co-morbidities. Well, hey, hallelujah, it's me. I am 46 year old, 385 lbs 5'5" with a BMI of +60. I have obesity induced hypertension and type II diabetes, both diagnosed in 1999 and medication controlled. I have osteoarthritis in both knees, and am only walking because of the medication I've been on since 1995. I have clinical depression, under control by yet another med. I cannot do so many of the things that peoople on the site have also shared-amusement parks, tying shoes, long walks. The end result is that I'm tired of trying to lose weight, and I want it OFF. After hearing from my insurance co, I started researching on-line, found this site and others. I chose Dr. Michael Wood due to his micro-pouch procedure. I contacted LivLite and they processed my insurance approval. Timeline: late 4/02, I started the research. 5/1-quit smoking! 5/15: insurance approval 5/24: first consult 6/3:decided to have surgery after food poisoning experience that had me half crippled with arthritis and unable to get to the bathroom with vomiting and diarrhea.This was My Personal Turning Point. 7/1/02: Open Roux En Y surgery at Bi County Hospital. Starting weight approx. 385 lbs
TYPO DYSLEXIA- the June 2003 picture should say 238 lbs.
June 25, 2002