******See Pictures at Bottom of Profile******
Hospital Reviews(Falls Church, VA) - Inova Fairfax
Surgeon: Wanda Kaniewski, M.D., F,A.C.S
WEIGHT LOSS CHART:
START 320 Height 5'5"
MONTH 1 287 -33
MONTH 2 272 -48
MONTH 3 255 -65
MONTH 4 245 -75
MONTH 5 238 -82
MONTH 6 229 -91
MONTH 7 226 -94
MONTH 8 220 -100 CENTURY CLUB!!!!!
MONTH 9 216 -104
MONTH 10 216 -104
MONTH 11 213 -107
MONTH 12 210 -110 **FIRST ANNIVERSARY **
MONTH 13 210 -110
MONTH 14 206 -114
MONTH 15 205 -115
MONTH 16 204 -116
MONTH 17 204 -116
MONTH 18 207 -113
MONTH 19 208 -112
MONTH 20 210 -110
MONTH 21 204 -116
MONTH 22 206 -114
MONTH 23 210 -110
MONTH 24 210 -110 **SECOND ANNIVERSARY**
MONTH 36 220 -100 **THIRD ANNIVERSARY**
MONTH 48 219 -101 **FOURTH ANNIVERSARY**
MONTH 60 235 - 85 **FIFTH ANNIVERSARY**
MONTH 72 265 - 55 **SIXTH ANNIVERSARY**
2/19/09: SIXTH ANNIVERSARY: - I don't know where to start this update. My weight has been in a serious upward spiral for the past two years, despite having a wonderful therapist, being on every-increasing levels of medication for depression, attending Overeater's Anonymous meetings, and joining Curves for exercise. My mouth monster has been raging. I am so addicted to sugar, especially in the form of chocolate candy. I seem to be successful at abstaining from it for a month or two, but then I fall off the wagon. I've made some great strides with learning the 'why' of my eating disorder, but I continue to fail to control it. The problem continues to be grazing all day. I eat very reasonable quantities of food at meal times but I crave mouth activity all day and night. My diabetis is back, high blood pressure pills are now a daily event, and my cholesterol continues to run high which requires high levels of medication. The old problems of agility are creeping back. To say I'm frustrated is an understatement. That's probably why I didn't post an update on my 5th anniversary - I was just too disguested!! I will NEVER be sorry that I had this surgery. But now knowing how wonderful I felt at my lowest weight only seems to contribute to my frustration that I can't seem to get the scale to go DOWN rather than UP. All I can do is keep trying everything I can. And keep living my life in a way that brings me joy.
2/19/07: FOURTH ANNIVERSARY: - My battle with my mouth hunger rages on but I've made some big progress this year. I continue to attend Overeaters' Anonymous at least once, often twice, a week. I am working with a sponsor and I have been abstinent of sugar for about 45 days now and plan to maintain this abstinence in my new lfestyle which includes walking 45-60 minutes a day at least 5 days per week. I walk outside both alone and with a walking partner and I LOVE TO WALK!!! But my need to graze throughout the day, particularly at work, is very strong. It seems to be my reaction to stress and activity.
I started taking Zoloft this year because I was experiencing a deeper and deeper depression. I've been on Zoloft 100mg now for about 6 months and it has changed my life! I'm the happiest and most content that I've ever been. I've developed friendships with a number of women with whom I have dinner and go walking. And my flirting and friendships with men are fun, appropriate and non-threatening.
During this year my husband was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle and has undergone surgery which must now be repeated. I was relieved to discover that, because of my weight loss, I was able to do everything that needed to be done for him, including putting a wheelchair in and out of the car, cleaning, cooking and doing all of the chores of daily life. My husband had taken care of me in this way for most of our married life so it was a wonderful feeling to know that I could now do this for him.
With all of its struggles and difficulties, I can readily state that this year has been the most wonderful of my life. I am in great health and my diabetes continues to be in remission. I will always be eternally grateful for having gastric bypass surgery!!
2/19/06: THIRD ANNIVERSARY: - It's been a tough year for my head and body. I continue to attend Overeaters' Anonymous meetings each week but discontinued my individual counseling with a behavioral therapist about 6 moths ago. I just felt like I wasn't progressing. Over this year, I've discovered that I cycle through three phases: Content (food is under control) - Restless (begin losing control over food) - Randy (food goes crazy). I can identify when I'm moving from one psychological state to another by what's happening with my eating. When I'm content, I'm happy with my marriage and feel a wonderful sense of well-being. I'm then much more able to control my compulive eating. But I become confident in my appearance and begin to want male attention. That's when my Restless phase begins. It's disruptive to my emotional satisfaction with my marriage so I begin emotional eating. I then enter the Randy phase when I start flirting and my eating goes completely out of control. Eventually, when my flirting is unproductive, which it always is, I settle back in to contentment my marriage, thus returning back to the Content phase. My lifelong challenge will be to elongate the Content phase to a point where it becomes constant.
Although I gain a lot of emotional strength in the support of the OA meetings, I have not committed to total abstinence. I've tried sugar abstinence and made it through many weeks. But the feeling of deprivation just leads me to graze for oral satisfaction throughout the day. That's my biggest problem - GRAZING!!!! I feel the compulsion to eat all day and night. I don't eat large amounts of food at one sitting, but I eat small amounts all day. Fortunately, I do experience the 'dumping' syndrome so that keeps me from eating candy, ice cream, cakes and cookies. But I've learned to substitute with sugar free candy, low carb ice cream, etc.. Unfortunately, sugar free does not mean calorie free, so I've allowed too many calories to creep back into daily eating.
I'm extremely saddened by the fact that I've allowed myself to gain back 20 pounds from my lowest point after the surgery. I can feel it in my clothes and I can see it my pictures. My big fear is that year after year, I will regain the weight and will end up back at 300 pounds again for my old age. What a nightmare!!
So, I'm commiting my 4th year to exercise and getting control over my grazing. In order to be successful at controling my weight for the remainder of my lifetime, I absolutely must exercise regularly and overcome my grazing problem.
7/8/05: Another two months have passed, and I continue to struggle day by day. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat. My problem is that I graze....I want to eat something all the time. Emotionally, the lighter I get, the sexier I feel, and the more pressure that puts on my marriage. When that pressure and need for change gets too great, I've discovered that I managed to calm things down (emotionally, for me)if I let my eating get out of control, gain a few pounds, feel bloated and thus no longer feel sexy and attractive to other men. I've GOT to find the courage to risk my marriage to get healthy.
I will never regret having the gastric bypass. I wish I had been more compliant with the 'rules' during months 6-18. I wish I'd understood what kind of eater I am....a grazer....prior to the surgery. I never realized how HARD it would be to maintain my weight. I never realized how I'd let food and fat totally mask all of my true problems with my life. Now that most of the fat is gone, I see the problems and must continue to face them while not letting food put the fat back on.
5/9/05: I've had a hell of a struggle over the past three months trying to maintain my weight. In fact, I actually saw the scale creep all the way up to 215!! I panicked! Thank heaven I've been going to a counselor and Overeaters' Anonymous for a year. Both have been very helpful. I've also made a couple of terrific friends through OA. One in particular has really helped me get on track. I'm about to get a Sponsor in OA and really make an effort to work the program. I've been abstinent of refined sugar for 9 days now and feeling strong. But I know this disease....and sooner or later I will weaken and fall down if I don't make a change. It's time to surrender my will to a Sponsor and let her guide me through recovery day by day. My weight is back down to 207 and I've set a goal of breaking 200 by June 1st. I REALLY need to break through the 200 mark. I've been sabbotaging myself for a year. Time to stop. Time to try a new path. Time to admit that I don't have the power alone to make the necessary change.
2/19/05: TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY - I've been successful in maintaining my weight loss for a year, but I've failed to lose more. I continue to attend Overeaters' Anonymous every Saturday morning, and I see a counsellor every other week. It's helped me a great deal - probably has kept me from gaining weight. But I still can't control my compulsive overeating. I can only eat about 1.5 cups of food at a meal, but I graze throughout the afternoon and evening. I've tried so many strategies but nothing seems to work well for more than a day or two. On the positive side, I've been extremely healthy and feeling wonderful. I love my clothes (1X/18W). I feel young and sexy. I must report that I was nearly one of the gastric bypass statistics with regard to broken marriage. I nearly walked away a month ago but panicked at the last minute. Lots of reasons...none I'll discuss here. But I'm going to continue my struggle to find peace and contentment with my marriage and my still-obese body. I'm so very grateful that I lost 1/3 of my body weight and have been given a new, healtier life. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I've spent the last year having my mouth reconstructed and I love the result. Next year I plan to have abdominal surgery, if it's covered by insurance. I will continue to try to lose more weight before I have the surgery. And I'd love to have my neck waddle surgery done at the same time. Only time will tell...
1/19/05: MONTH 23 ANNIVERSARY- BAAAAAD!!! I'm slipping. Too much stress. Lots of things I can't really talk about. I've fallen back into comfort eating and I must climb out asap. I need to be HEALTHY and ATTRACTIVE!!! To do that, I need to turn things around and keep losing, not regaining. I need to change some things that are hindering my progress. I've known that for many months and now I need to take some action. I NEED.....to move on........
12/19/04: MONTH 22 ANNIVERSARY- It's been a stressful month!! I've been encountering stress at work (hey, I thought I retired to get AWAY from stress??) and my husband just had a knee replacement. Concerns about diet and abstinence blew away about two weeks ago. I'll get back on board after the holidays. I'm angry at myself that I broke my abstinence from chocolate and sugar. At this point I'm just trying to keep from gaining weight. I look and feel fine, but as soon as I stop adhering to a strict diet, I always expect to see the 300 pound person looking back at me in the mirror. It's amazing how I can now really FEEL 2-3 pounds in how my clothes fit!! Oh well...the battle continues....
11/19/04: MONTH 21 ANNIVERSARY- Finally I'm back down to my lowest point. I've maintained 7 days of abstinence from sugar and flour - WOW!!! That's HUGE for me. I continue on Step 1 of the South Beach diet and continue to feel motivated. I tried going back to the gym but really didn't enjoy the experience. Last year, I enjoyed it but I can't seem to revive that feeling. I'll have to keep trying. I do enjoy walking outside, though. Unfortunately, I don't have a walking partner and it's getting dark so early now that my walking options after work are limited. I'm really, really going to try to break the 200 pound mark on the scale by Thanksgiving Day (6 more days). If I do, perhaps that will motivate me to keep abstinent that day - but that will really be hard!! ONE DAY AT A TIME.........
11/15/04: TEETH....I have teeth!!! I'm very excited because 15 months ago, at great expense, I began a full-mouth restoration. Well, yesterday I received the last of my crowns. This followed extractions, bone grafts, implants, etc., etc.. I haven't had lower molars to chew on for over a year. I ate steak last night on my new teeth and it was such a thrill. The rest of the WLS group is having plastic surgery while I've literally put my money where my mouth is. I'm not sure I'll ever have plastics - too expensive. But I could sure use a face lift (turkey waddle). I've embarked on a very low carb food plan and it's going well so far. I'm totally abstinent from sugar and flour and dropping pounds daily. Maybe this time I'll finally break through the 200 pound mark on the scale. I'm convinced that if I could, I'd feel totally motivated to keep moving down. All we can do is the best we can do.........
11/12/04: I slipped a lot over the past two weeks, saw the number 213 on the scale, and panicked!! So yesterday I finally managed to have one completely (carb) abstinent day. Yippee!!! Now I know I can do it. I'm trying to follow the South Beach Diet to get rid of the pounds I put back on. I'd really like to establish a low carb lifestyle where I abstain from eating sugar. That's the only method that will work for me to lose more weight and successfully maintain that loss. My therapy sessions are helping me to understand my food addiction and learn what I need to do to overcome compulsive eating. But it still requires me to REALLY want to commit to success. Easier said than done!!
10/24/04: OK, I'm back on track....am back down to 208 and moving downward. I'm taking less food to work for snacking and thus, I'm snacking much less. I found the miniature Tootsie Roll Pops which are 16 calories each. A couple of them seem to keep my mouth happy during the workday and the few extra calories don't seem to be too harmful, especially when they keep me from eating cheese or nuts which contain fat. So here's hoping it continues. I'd love to give myself a wonderful Christmas present of weight loss. My husband has lost 15 pounds in the past two months in preparation for knee replacement surgery on November 9. So we're both in the mindset to be losers :-)
10/19/04: MONTH 20 ANNIVERSARY: As you can see, I'm gaining. I just can't seem to get a handle on my compulsion to eat all the time. I continue with Overeater's Anonymous and individual behavioral therapy. I've even been to hypnotherapy. But I'm not exercising and not drinking water. I eat too many calories because I eat all the time. Every day is a struggle with food. I manage to remain abstinent from chocolate but have developed a love of bagels and cookies. I've learned to be satisfied drinking diet soda, even Diet Pepsi. I use to think that Pepsi and chocolate were my two food addictions and if I could conquer them, I'd be thin. Well, that's not true. My mouth wants the satisfaction of eating all the time. Emotionally, I'm content right now except for my self-hate over gaining some pounds. I've been blaming the weight gain on all of the traveling and vacations I've had over the past two months. But that's not really true. It comes down to too much food in the mouth and not enough exercise. I've got to get a handle on this!!
8/19/04: MONTH 18 ANNIVERSARY: It's been a tough month food-wise. I actually saw the scale go up to 211 at one point. I've worked hard to get it back down to 207 by today. The problem is that I snack and graze. It's not that I eat lots of food at a meal, nor do I eat bad things. I just eat for entertainment and comfort, especially if I'm bored. I'm back on track with OA and have decided to give hypnotherapy a try. And the new bike is helping me to rededicate myself to activity and exercise. I had really hoped to break 200 by my birthday (8/22) but clearly I won't make that goal. I'm just trying hard to find the routine that will make it possible for me to at least maintain my loss and, hopefully, to continue to lose slowly over time. I've fully accepted the fact that this will continue to be a life-long battle. But I must tell you all, it is sooooooo worth it!! I love the way I feel and look (most of the time). I love to be able to find lovely clothes and feel pretty and even sexy at times. My thoughts have been drifting toward plastic surgery, but I know I'm at least a year away from being able to consider it financially. I also need to lose more weight in order to maximize the benefits of a tummy tuck. But it's wonderful to have a dream.
8/15/04: Another milestone....today I bought a NEW BIKE. I've graduated to a 21-speed Gary Fisher Capitola 16.5" (Red/Silver). That's a regular, real persons bike!! I needed to upgrade to more gears and lighter weight. My former bike, a Biria, was heavier and had only 7 speeds, but I bought it because the design was for easy boarding, which I needed at the time. Now I'm more agile and flexible, although I still have difficulty raising my leg over a very high bike. Because the new bike places me in a different position over the pedals, I'm having to use some new muscles to ride. Ouch!! But that means I'll get new benefit from riding. So that's good. Anyway, I'm pleased with my new purchase. I think Bernie and I are also going to buy folding (traveling) bikes so we can take them with us on airplanes, etc.. Neat! Toys are lots of fun!
8/7/04: The scale is going the WRONG WAY. As I approach my 18-month anniversary, I've learned that not only has my window of opportunity closed, it has slammed shut with a loud bang!! Every day has become a battle with head hunger. I have a compulsion to graze all day and night. I don't binge on any one food...I just feel the need to be eating something almost constantly. I'm concerned that my diabetes may be coming back because I'm having some fairly strong hypoglycemic attacks. This occurs even when I'm having diet soda, so I think the sugar substitute is causing insulin production. And I think the insulin production is causing my body to not only NOT lose weight but to gain weight. My scale seems to go up-up-up each week. I've started back at OA, and I've scheduled hypnotherapy sessions for the end of August. I'm willing to try anything and everything. I MUST stop the constant craving for food and get control of my grazing. Abstinence seems to be the only thing that works for me but I can't abstain from eating everything and therein lies the rub. I can't seem to restrict myself...never could. All I can do is keep up the effort to gain control.
7/19/04: 17 MONTH ANNIVERSARY - So I've blown another month!! It seems that all I'm able to accomplish is to maintain. I just can't seem to continue to lose. In truth, I don't let myself lose. As soon as I get close to breaking the 200 mark, I give myself permission to eat too often and too many of the wrong things. I think I'm sabbotaging myself, but I don't know why. I'm happy that I'm maintaining and not gaining, but it would be all too easy to overeat and start gaining again. I absolutely MUST continue to lose. I've been so busy this past month that I haven't been getting to my OA meetings. I've reduced the frequency of my therapy sessions, from weekly to biweekly. Life is terrific!! I'm content, I'm happy, I'm busy and I'm loving summer.
6/30/04: I'm so close......201. I've just GOT to break 200 in July. I can do it....I know I can....
6/19/04: 16 MONTH ANNIVERSARY - Another month has flown by, and I've battled another month of carb cravings. Trying to hold my weight steady is a daily battle. I weigh myself every morning. I'm losing only a pound a month. I'm pleased I'm not gaining, but I'm disappointed with myself that I just can't seem to get a grip on this carb thing. I continue with weekly therapy and weekly OA meetings. I find them both helpful for my general mental status, but I feel like I'm not working at my OA commitment and food addiction. I continue to be abstinent from chocolate candy (3 months now!!) but I must admit to several events of having a regular soda over the past month. I've learned to drink Diet Sprite, Diet Coke, Diet Cherry Coke and Diet Root Beer, so that saves me 98% of the time. For candy, I eat Chuckles (hard to find) or Dots. I save that treat for the movies. I like licorice and marshmallows also and have a bit each evening. I continue to take all of my vitamins and concentrate on protein at my meals. Meat, Cheese and Eggs are my protein staples. I occasionally have salad, and enjoy small portions of veggies with my dinner. As for quantity, I would say that I now eat what a normal-sized woman eats. It's still MUCH less than I was eating prior to surgery. I still 'dump' from too much fat and sugar. My reaction is that I get very hot and sweaty for about 15 minutes. Generally, I feel extremely well and healthy with a high energy level. I'm trying to get back to biking 3-4 times a week, although there always seems to be some other diversion calling me. I enjoy biking once I'm in the outfit and on the trail. It's just getting to it.....Life is very good!!
5/19/04: 15 MONTH ANNIVERSARY!!! I can't believe how fast the time is passing. And I'm very disappointed with myself that I can't seem to overcome my craving for carbs. Upon my return from Paris last week (which was a WONDERFUL trip), I weighed 200. And then within a couple of days, my weight jumped up to 208. I was filled with water, constipated, and basically couldn't stop eating carbs. It's like my body was trying to adjust back to having 'normal' food again. Somehow I've managed to get it back down to 205, but I was truly hoping to break the 200 level by today's anniversary. Oh well. I'm finding it truly essential to weigh myself every day and never, never 'let go' of my vigilance even for one day. I'll need to watch my weight and food intake each and every day for the rest of my life. I believe the weight loss benefits of my gastric bypass surgery are now over for me. I'm grateful for the 115 pound loss I've experienced. I still want to lose more, but I'll have to continue to work very hard and to exercise if I'm going to accomplish significant additional weight loss. As soon as I eat any carbs, my body craves carbs all day. If I discipline myself to drinking Glucerna, I can be successful. But if I let myself get hungry, I stray and that's the beginning of the end. I have tiny lollipops at work and if I eat just one, I crave sugar all day. So I'll get rid of those lollipops today! I'm not feeling empowered and encouraged this week. I'm not feeling thin and sexy. I guess it's not REAL to feel that way all of the time. But I truly enjoy feeling thin and sexy. The good news is that I am now buying some 16W tops/blouses, and I found flying and the endless walking in Paris very easy for me. So life is still quite wonderful.
4/28/04: My scale saw 204 this morning. Yippee!!! I'm soooo close to breaking the 200 mark. My husband and I decided to kick some (fat) butt this week by doing Slim-Fast (Glucerna for me) for breakfast and lunch, and then eating a nice dinner. It's working! We keep busy during the day so the fasting isn't too difficult. Although our heads really look forward to dinner, we're not really hungry. We allow ourselves sugar-free jello and sugar-free ice pops, as well as diet soda, during the day but I have not been doing that because all of the citric acid irritates my pouch. I've just started antibiotics for a sinus infection so I'm having to 'cheat' and eat a couple of ounces of cheese in the morning with my pill so I don't get nauseous. Of course, the additional protein is good for me. Using a meal replacement is NOT recommended for WLS patients because we need more protein, but for a limited period of time I doubt it's harmful. I concentrate on protein with my dinner meal. Next week we fly to Paris for a week's vacation. Initially we wanted to lose a few pounds so we could allow ourselves to gain a few in Paris. But I'm hoping that if we're lucky enough to break 200 before we go, we'll want to hold on to that progress while there. I think that will work for me but my husband LOVES good food and is very excited about trying all of the delicacies Paris has to offer! No matter what happens in Paris, I'm intent on breaking 200 by my 15 month anniversary on May 19. If that means I have to fast for a week after I get back, I'll do what I have to! I hope.......
4/18/04: Tomorrow is my fourteen month anniversary. I've lost 4 pounds this month. I was hoping for more but...hey, it's 4 pounds! I'm writing this update from Florida where I'm on a mini-vacation. The best news of all is that I flew here - yup, in an airplane!!! I haven't flown for 20 years because I knew I wouldn't be able to fit comfortably into the seats and clip the seatbelt. Well, it was extremely comfortable this time. And then I dropped down the tray and it went all the way down. Look out world, here I come!! I found out from my nephew today that he's been following my profile since Day 1. So to Rick, I say a fond "Hello" and deep thanks for taking such an interest in my journey. One last note of excitement: I bought my first Size 16W blouse this week. That was really encouraging. So now I have to get back to serious biking and knock off the next 6 pounds so I can break the big 200lb level. That will be hard to do this month because in 2 1/2 weeks, I go on vacation to Paris for a week. Ooh-la-la!! I intend to enjoy myself but will try to eat sensibly. I'm continuing to abstain from regular soda and chocolate candy. I'm trying not to drink with my meals but I'm finding that it is a hard habit to break now. But I'll keep working at it. Month 14.....it goes by so quickly. All we can do is remember the bad times and live one day at a time to keep our new bodies. "It works if you work it."
4/7/04: This morning I actually saw 206 on my scale!!! I hope I can keep it there long enough to drop some more. I battle with grazing and snacking each day, but continue to be committed to Overeater's Anonymous. I continue to abstain from regular soda and chocolate candy, my two biggest demons. I'm actually learning to drink diet cola, something I thought I'd NEVER be able to do. Now I have to work on my night snacking problem. My health continues to be excellent,however I continue to have a sore tailbone, a problem which has plagued me for months. My full mouth restoration dental work is moving along nicely. Another 6 months and I will be done, at long last. The new 'Me' is getting lots of positive feedback. I truly love feeling NORMAL at last!
3/28/04: I have made great strides....have lost 3 pounds in the last 10 days since abstaining from soda and chocolate. I'm committed to Overeaters Anonymous and find the weekly meetings very inspiring. I've started weekly sessions with a therapist (CSW) to work on the 'WHY' of my chronic overeating. And, I've made an appointment with a nutritionist to work out a realistic eating plan that I can follow in order to lose more weight. I feel very motivated and encouraged right now because I'm taking action. I sincerely hope I can sustain the momentum!!
3/19/04: I've entered a new phase. This month I lost 2 pounds, gained 4 pounds and then lost 2 pounds! I've had to acknowledge that I'm eating too much, too often and too many of the wrong things. I'm searching for the program/mindset that will keep me on the losing track and will eventually allow me to maintain my loss. I've made an appointment with a counsellor and am anxious to explore that path. Yesterday I attended an Overeaters Anonymous meeting to explore a 12-Step program. I'm not sure that group is for me, but I'm going to try another OA group tomorrow that is designed for beginners. I've also bought a book that may give me some insights. Initially I'm trying to adopt at least one aspect of the 12-Step approach: One day at a time. Something I read in the Kuffel book has stuck in my mind - "Can you do it TODAY?" I managed to get through yesterday without soda or chocolate candy. I'm going to try to do it again today and tomorrow and the next day. It's a start. I've also arranged to get two other local post-ops together for breakfast this weekend so we can start our own support group. If they want to continue it, perhaps we can expand the group and meet regularly once each month. So as you can see, it's a new phase for Year 2.
3/10/04: There's a book all post-ops MUST read...."Passing For Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self" by Frances Kuffel (look in the Biography section at the book store). Last weekend I saw her interviewed on the Today Show and I ran right out to get the book. The author went from 338 to 168 on a 12-Step program. She has the ability to put into words all of our worst experiences as well as our hopes and dreams, and does it with wit as well as pathos. I loved the book!! It has helped me realize something very important.... I need to see a counsellor to help me maintain what I've lost thus far, to help me lose more, and to work out some issues about the 'new me'. I am no longer a thinner version of the person I was a year ago. I've been reborn and I don't know what to do with this new energy, new interest in life and new physical being. For a year I've been a curiousity to myself, my friends and family. But I've suddenly realized that for people who never knew me fat, I'm a different person from the one my family and friends know. But I don't know that other person and need to find her. Perhaps, I need to FORM her. So a new phase has now begun.
3/3/04: Finally my surgeon has returned the $2,000 deposit I was required to submit prior to surgery!! My primary carrier paid within 5 months but my secondary carrier was very slow in approving the surgery, requiring documentation to be submitted three times!! In the end, my surgeon received over $20,000 for my lap Roux-En-Y and gallbladder removal. When combined with the hospital fees, anesthesiologist and all of the pre-op tests, my insurance carriers have paid over $65,000 for this surgery. But hey, I'm worth it!!! I'm in the midst of a full-mouth restoration and spent 4.5 hours in the chair at my prosthodontist yesterday. But the results are wonderful and I'm very, very pleased. So I have a new body and soon will have an entirely new mouth. I suspect I'll never be able to afford plastic surgery next year (which I need already), but we're taking it one step at a time. The scale this morning said 208, so I'm down 112 pounds as I head toward my 13 month anniversary. It's still moving DOWN, albeit slowly. I love the way I feel and I love my new clothes. I look forward to each day as a new adventure and a gift. I hope this feeling never ends. My BMI is now under 35, which means I'm officially no longer OBESE. Now I'm described as VERY OVERWEIGHT. Sounds like music to my ears!
2/19/04: FIRST ANNIVERSARY!!!! This has been an incredibly fast year, and a most wonderful one! I am extremely pleased with my loss of 110 pounds, although I am disappointed with myself that I did not take full advantage of my 'tool' in order to lose more during this time. On the positive side, I am healthier now than I've been in over 30 years. My diabetes is cured, blood pressure and cholesterol are now normal, and all lab tests are normal for protein, iron, B-12, glucose, etc., etc.. I still take medicine for mild asthma and sleep with an oxygen cannula for sleep apnea, but hopefully time will resolve the sleep apnea. I feel fantastic and exercise every day, either at the gym, walking, biking or swimming. I've gone from a 5X/Size 32 to 1X/Size 18W. I can now find clothes in regular department stores - Women's department. No more catalog orders from Lane Bryant or Roamans. I can fit in any theater seat and restaurant chair or booth. I can walk for hours without getting tired. I am agile and energetic. And I love sleeping in a bed again after 8+ years in a reclining chair.
On the negative side, I drink liquids with my meals and have done so since the beginning. I believe this is why I have not lost more weight. In the beginning, I did so because I would fill up so quickly that my mouth didn't have time to get satisfied. So I found that if I drank water while I ate, I could eat more until I was orally satisfied. Thus, I took in more calories than needed to really fill my pouch. I now eat too many sweets and it worries me that I have fallen back into old, destructive patterns. I understand nutrition much more now so I'm trying to eat healthy snacks (cheese for protein, etc.), but I allow myself to eat too frequently. I know I need plastic surgery but doubt I'll be able to afford it for several years, if then. I hate my neck 'waddle' the most but that surgery will never be covered by insurance. My belly skin may qualify eventually. In the meantime, I hide it with dark pants and longer tops.
The surgery has cured my body, but I must cure my head if I'm going to maintain the weight loss. I hope to lose 20-30 more pounds over the next year. I've made great progress with increasing my exercise. Now I need to decrease my caloric intake to really get back on the weight lose track. I love my clothes and look forward to dressing each morning. I wear bright colors and they make me feel happy and young.
Words cannot express my gratitude!! I have been one of the very fortunate ones who has healed quickly, lost consistently and has developed no complications (thus far!!). I've been on an emotional high for a year now. Life is wonderful!
2/12/04: I've just accomplished two more steps toward my new physical makeover; First, I got new, frameless, glareless glasses and I'm very pleased with them. They do make a difference. Second, I had oral surgery yesterday to remove my remaining 7 upper teeth and now have a full denture on top. I'm in the process of having the lower teeth reconstructed as well, with bone grafts, implants and new crowns. Expensive - yes!! But after a lifetime of spending a fortune on trying to save my very soft teeth, and many rounds of crowns and bridges, I've lost the battle on the upper jaw so at least I still have some options on the lower. How do I feel today, less than 24 hours postop? Tender and sore but not at all depressed. The good news is that I have top MD's working with me and the denture looks wonderfully natural. I couldn't be more pleased with the appearance. As for my current liquid and soft diet, I've been there before - like two months postop with the gastric bypass surgery. I could use the jump start on weight loss, although there are LOTS of high calorie liquid and soft items, like soda and ice cream. Heck, chocolate melts in your mouth :-P I'd like to drop a couple of pounds before my one-year anniversary next week. We'll see. I still enjoy the gym, particularly the strength and weights training. I'm beginning to walk outside more now that it's warming up a bit (low 40's). I'm eager for Spring to ride my bike. But all things considered, life if amazing and I feel terrific!!
1/19/04: Happy 11 Month Anniversary!! I didn't lose lots of weight but at least the scale is moving DOWN. I've tried to be very faithful about going to the gym. It's now been one month since I joined the gym and I go 4 to 5 times a week, working out for about 45-60 minutes. I start on the treadmill (hate it!) for 10-15 minutes and then go to the various strength training machines (love 'em). I also enjoy working with the free weights. Many days I have to psych myself up to go, but always I feel terrific after my workout. I find it easy to make a routine of going to the gym directly from work. What's harder is to go on the weekend when I'm warm and comfy at home. But the gym is much less crowded on the weekend so the actual workout is more enjoyable on the weekend. It's just harder to get motivated to go.
I'm weaning myself from two medications: Lasix and Nexium. I've been on Lasix (a diuretic) for years and by now, my kidneys are dependent upon it. I'm now splitting the pills so I take half as much, and as a result now take only half as much of the potassium supplement. As for the Nexium, I've been taking it for months. I discovered that by taking it, I can eat foods that otherwise tend to bother my pouch, like citrus fruit and juice, spicy foods, tomato sauce, etc.. But I know I shouldn't depend on a medication and need to adjust my eating. So I'm trying to do that now. I just don't want to risk an ulcer but also understand that Nexium can mask an underlying problem. So I need to get 'real'.
I'm eating more salads and veggies now, but still concentrating on protein. I'm still battling the chocolate monster, although now that the holidays are over the candy boxes have finally disappeared from the office. I need to increase my daily walking and decrease my snacking. I wish it would warm up outside so I could walk and bike. I hope Spring comes very soon!!! I'm just holding on until then!!!
Joining the gym is working out to be the best thing I've done for myself since I started biking last April. I've gone every day, find that I enjoy (most) of it, feel excellent and am full of energy. The scale is moving DOWN, even with eating chocolate right now. It would appear that the secret is EXERCISE!!! I've lost 3 pounds in the past week. Hope it continues!!
Today is my ten-month anniversary. Time has really flown by. Unfortunately, it's been a B-A-D month food-wise. Without being able to use my bicycle due to the cold, my activity has been drastically reduced. I do try to do a hefty walk several times a week but it's not enough. And with the holiday season, there is chocolate EVERYWHERE at work. I have no resistance to chocolate candy. A WLS buddy has introduced me to the concept of a personal trainer. I think it may work (although it is expensive). It's working very, very well for her. So today I'm going to join my husband's gym and plan to start with a personal trainer during January. Also, my husband and I going to take swing dance lessons at the gym every Sunday afternoon. Can't hurt!! I guess with all the food temptations around right now, I should be satisfied to just hold my weight steady until after the holidays. But we're told that 12-18 months is the weight-loss 'window of opportunity' and I'm wasting precious time. I seem to crave food all the time and have no willpower to pass up the treats. On the positive side, I'm very good about eating protein and taking my vitamins. I feel terrific!! I have so much energy and never seem to get tired or out of breath. I weigh myself every morning and if I see the scale go up, I work really hard to reduce my intake and increase my exercise. I just can't sustain that momentum for many days in a row. People that think having this surgery is the easy way out clearly have not had the surgery or had to maintain the loss!
I had dental surgery two days ago and won't be able to chew well for a l-o-n-g time (am in the process of a full-mouth restoration). I'm eating much less and feeling fairly well satisfied. This morning, the scale said 215. So I'm on my way back down again. I'll miss steak and other meats, but I like scrambled eggs so they will become my primary protein source until my dental issues are resolved. I really want to break 200 by my 1-yr anniversary in February!! I haven't done that in over 30 years. What a dream!
Something's happening, and it isn't good!! My weight is going UP. I'm trying to stop it but it seems to continue. I'm retaining fluid, etc.. I know I've been eating badly but I'm trying to get a handle on that also. Why the sudden jump? I had gotten down to 214 and this morning the scale said 219 again. I seem to crave food all the time. I'm trying to eat mostly protein, and limit foods that have a high glycemic index. I've got to stop this gaining trend and start losing again. I'm getting scared!!
I've posted a new 'After' picture (see bottom of website profile). My weight bounces back and forth from 214 to 216. My body misses biking and I'm not getting enough exercise. Yesterday I finally came to realize that drinking diet soda affects my body like drinking regular soda - I makes me want to eat. A couple of years ago I went on the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet and remember reading at that time that Aspertame and other sweetners can trigger your insulin response the same as regular sugar does. My body is a living laboratory which proves this axiom!! Yesterday, I had Diet Sprite at lunch and craved food and sweets all afternoon. The same thing has been happening in the evenings after having Diet Sprite at dinner (yes, I know I'm not supposed to be drinking with my meals). So I'm trying to get back to the eating pattern which was successful for me during the first 6 months. I know my pouch has expanded quite a bit. Recently I read that carbonation expands the pouch size. I didn't know that. I thought the only concern was when the pouch was healing. I didn't realize carbonation could do permanent damage and sabbotage future weight loss. So I'm now going to cut down considerably, although it may already be too late. I want to break 200 at least. Ideally, I'd like to get down to 170. I need to work harder at it and stop giving myself permission to eat treats.
Today's my 9-month anniversary, and I've given birth to more than ten babies during this time!! My weight loss is slow now due to my own weakness for sweets. I understand that the window of opportunity to maximize weight loss is only 12-18 months and I'm wasting precious time. Why?? I think part of it is that I feel terrific and love all of my new clothes. Although I truly would like to get down to 150-170, I look and feel better now than I have in 30 years. I guess I feel satisfied with my surgical result. But I'd be foolish not to take advantage of doing the very best I can during my window. So.....I must stop being naughty (eating too many sweets) and get back on the horse. Now that it's gotten cold, I find I'm not comfortable biking. I like to walk but I only power walk a couple of times a week because of the weather. I need to overcome the weather problem and get into some exercise I enjoy. I like to mall walk but can't afford it...it's too tempting to shop!! We're going to try deep water aerobics again in February. February....my 1-yr anniversary. Hopefully, I will have broken 200 by then!
The pounds are just melting off suddenly. This morning I am down to 216!!! I haven't been eating badly (I concentrate on protein now), but I've been having candy so I know I'm taking in more calories than I should. So why the weight loss?? I saw my surgeon yesterday and all is going well. I'm now taking iron supplements because my bloodwork indicated that, although still in the normal range, my iron level is low. I do B-12 sublingual a couple of times a week, and take calcium citrate daily. I feel wonderful and love my energy. Life continues to be great!!
I just returned from a two-week vacation in Florida. First we visited with family in St. Petersburg, then on to Disney World and the Sheraton Vistana Resort, and finished off with a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas on Carnival's FANTASY. Whew!!! It was the best vacation of my life. I was able to sleep in regular beds and walked 'til I collapsed from exhaustion. Wonderful! Yesterday we drove straight through from Port Canaveral, FL to our home in Reston, VA. I hopped on the scale this morning expecting the worst since I've eaten all kinds of bad things in the past two weeks. Surprise! I actually lost a pound :-) So now I'm at 219. My next goal is to break 200.
THE CENTURY CLUB - I'VE MADE IT!!!! This morning I weighed in at 220, which is a loss of 100 pounds in just under 8 months. Wonderful!! I could not be more excited!!!
I bought a sports car!!!! Well actually, it's for my husband but it's in my name. When we retired, we gave up a car and became a one-car couple. Well, our lives have become so active and full that having only one car was becoming a problem. So we decided to get an inexpensive second car. As we were about to negotiate for a used Ford Escort, I asked the saleman if by any chance he had a Mazada Miata. My husband has been dreaming about a Miata for years. As luck would have it, they had two. One was white and manual, the other bright blue and automatic. As soon as we saw the blue car, we said "We'll take it!" So now we have our mid-life crisis car. It was an amazing feeling to finally be able to buy the car we want, not the only one I could fit in. Two and one-half years ago when we bought our Ford Taurus SES, I had to 'try on' cars. We ended up with the Taurus because it has adjustable pedals. In order to sit far enough back from the steering wheel to leave space for my belly, my legs were too short to reach the pedals. The Taurus solved that problem. Now look at me!!! Weight loss is so freeing. I can go anywhere, do anything, fit in any car or theater seat or restaurant booth, and sleep in any bed. I have felt euphoric ever since my surgery. No words can express my joy.
I went to New York over the weekend to visit with my daughter and my former work buddies. My workmates were shocked at the difference in my appearance, particularly my face. I even got a few "WOW"s. I had tried clothes on and off for days, trying to find the perfect outfit that would make me look as slim as possible. I guess I was successful!! Although I tried to watch what I was eating over the weekend, I was afraid I'd put on a pound or two. Surprise!! This morning my scale said 223, which is down 3 pounds from last week. I'll take it!
Ironic....Yesterday I commented to my husband that I haven't been 'sick' in over a month. Tonight, I got sick!! When I got home from work I was hungry, so I had a few raw baby carrots (first time since the surgery). Ooops!!! I guess I didn't chew them up well enough and they filled up my pouch. About 45 minutes later, I had a couple of bites of dinner and wow, did I feel sick. It lasted for about 1 1/2 hours of groaning misery. It served as an unpleasant reminder that, no matter how normal I think I'm able to eat now, I still have to be careful with my pouch.
Today's my Month 7 anniversary and I don't have much loss to report. I've hit a major plateau and I'm trying hard to work through it. Earlier in this month, I had actually gained a couple of pounds, which I've lost now, but I just can't seem to get the scale to move. I'm biking about 4 times a week and average about 10 miles each time. I try to walk a couple of times a week but as winter approaches, I'll need to start doing some serious walking. Once it gets dark early, I won't be able to bike at all on work days. I'll have to depend on walking, which I enjoy but I don't have the stamina for walking as I do for biking. I'm wearing size 18/20 pants and size 18 tops. I'm feeling terrific and have endless energy. Life continues to be wonderful!!
I've spent the last 2+ weeks GAINING!!!! Dr. S told me to switch to nuts for my snacks (for protein). So I did.....BIG TIME. The scale jumped up 4 pounds!!!! So this morning I cleared the house of EVERY no-no and have been drinking liquids and starving all day. I'm going to knock of the 4 pounds and a little more before my Month 7 anniversary next Friday 9/19. Got to!!!!!
Funny thing is, my body is smaller. I'm down to a size 42 bra. I'm in 18/20 slacks now and wear 18 tops. If watching my diet VERY closely doesn't result in a significant re-start to my weight loss, I'm going to start getting worried that this bowling ball in my stomach is more than fat and a hernia but is really a giant tumor growing out of control!!!
What a thrill! I've discovered that I'm too small for my old 'fat' store and can now shop in the Woman's section of major department stores like Nordstrom, Hecht's and Lord & Taylor. In fact, even some 1X's are too big, especially in coats. This is dangerous. I'm going to have to be REALLY careful that I don't overspend on clothes. I love the way they look now. My body shape is still strange tho' - I'm a size 18 on top and a 20 on the bottom. Aren't we greedy?? The more we lose and smaller we get, the more we want to lose and smaller we want to become.
I saw the surgeon, Dr. Sabharwal, last week. It was a good session. He convinced me that it was time to give up the Advil and Chondroitin/Glucosamine (arthritis), Nexium (acid reflux), and Lipitor (cholesterol). My blood work stats are excellent and I'm feeling terrific. He also insisted that my diabetes has been cured. In fact, I've had a few events of hypoglycemia after having high sugar snacks. So I certainly do produce sufficient insulin!
This morning I weighed in at 224, a loss of 96 pounds. The big 100 is getting very close now. I should definitely be celebrating the Century within the next couple of weeks. And I can show off my new self to my former work buddies when I visit New York at the end of September.
I've hit another milestone - sleeping in a bed again. I've been sleeping in a recliner for nearly 8 years because I had trouble breathing while lying on a bed. Well, yesterday we took delivery on our new bed and I spent my first night on it last night. Success! It's like sleeping on a marshmallow. It has a pillow top made of memory foam. Wonderful!!
Happy (57th) Birthday to me!!! And Six-Month Anniversary :-) I don't think I've every had such a happy birthday. I feel absolutely wonderful. This week my daughter was visiting and I took her biking and white water rafting. Fabulous!! Six month's ago I could barely walk without a cane and without becoming breathless. My weight is holding at 230 but I'm not concerned. It's been a busy three weeks of vacation, eating and fun, and at least I've held my loss and not gained. So next week, it's back to the routine. I need to reach the 100 pound loss mark and plan to do it by the end of September. Here's hoping!!!
Another milestone - this morning the scale said 230, for a loss of 90 pounds. I've been working hard at controlling my snacking and food intake, and increasing my daily exercise by walking. I've set a goal: I want to lose 100+ pounds by the time I go to New York on September 26 since I will be visiting my former workmates. It's an achievable goal as long as I keep a strong hold on my current loss over the next week - my houseboat vacation. I'm feeling very well and find that I look forward to eating a good dinner now as long as I don't snack during the day. I get sick very, very seldom now. When it does happen, it's as a result of food that doesn't agree with my pouch, not because I've overeaten. There are a few foods I can't tolerate (too fibrous, too much fat, too much sugar) but generally, I can eat quite normally now, just smaller quantitites. This surgery has been a real lifesaver for me, and I love my new life!!
Yippee!! The scale is moving again and this morning it said 233, for a loss of 87 pounds. The big 100 is coming into view (September?) and I'm amazed that what was once a dream is going to become a reality. I now weigh less thatn I've weighed since my daughter was born 26 years ago. I'm wearing my hair short and poofy now that I have a jaw line and only one chin ;-) I don't know why my nearly 3-week plateau finally was broken. I've tried to limit my calories but am sure I'm still eating too much. I did start taking calcium citrate a little over a week ago and I've read that calcium 'releases fat cells' which promotes weight loss. So maybe that was the secret. Or maybe it was just time. Whatever the reason, I'm thrilled. I went shopping the other day to my favorite 'Fat Store' and had the amazing experience of finding everything too big. Looks like I need to find a new store. I'm still losing hair and the thinning is obvious to Bernie and me but not to anyone else. I think I've developed some gum issues which may or may not be related to the WLS, but I'll find out soon. I got sick last night on fibrous pot roast but I get sick very seldom now. And as awful as it feels for about an hour, it's worth it to have this new life!!! I've also discovered that black licorice works as a marvelous laxative for me. So about once a week I clean out and that seems to help move my weight loss along. Ah, the secrets and tricks we learn!!
Five-Month Anniversary: I've hit another plateau and am stuck at -82 pounds. I've only lost 7 pounds in the past month. I love the way I look and feel, but realize that my old snacking habits are preventing me from losing weight at the rate I should. I won't meet my goal of 100 pounds by my birthday in August - my fault!! I've increased my biking activity but must cut calories. All of my vitamin and mineral levels are normal, however my B-12 level is on the low side of normal so I've begun taking sublingual B-12 pills. I've been losing hair for about a month but my hair is so thick, it's not really obvious. Life is otherwise quite good and I'm enjoying my summer feeling more energetic and agile than I have in many, many years.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY 2003!!! WOW, this has been an incredible day! This morning I said goodbye to my wonderful tricycle as I passed it along to my workmate. I then went on a 17-mile ride on my new bike. It was 90 degrees and humid all day and I drank about 3 gallons of water, but I felt full of energy all day. After the bike ride, I went swimming for about two hours before cleaning up to go into Washington, DC via the Metro for 'A Capital Fourth' celebration. As Bernie and I were entering the Metro station, a lovely Indian family was walking toward us. The son handed me two tickets, which turned out to be All-day Passes for the Metro. So Bernie and I got a free trip in and out of the city. The train ride was very pleasant and the walk to the Capitol steps was no problem for me. In fact, because Bernie's leg was bothering him, I'm the one who walked 1+ miles back to a hot dog stand to buy us some food and drinks to carry back to where I left Bernie. Hey, he's been the one to wait on me for the past 29 years, it certainly was my turn. And even in the heat, in the crowd and after a full day of activity, I didn't find the walking to be a problem. I LOVE MY NEW BODY!!! The Capital concert was wonderful: Dolly Parton, The Chieftans, and John Williams with the National Symphony Orchestra. We were seated right at the bottom of the capitol steps and had a center view of the stage. Wonderful! The fireworks were terrific, albeit someone obscured by the stage and bright lights in the concert area. Next year I'd like to watch from the Washington Monument. At the end of the night, a half million people left the city at the same time, most of them from our Metro station, but everything was orderly and went smoothly. What a wonderful day!! I feel so truly liberated and free to participate fully in life.
Congratulations to me!!! I'm celebrating two milestones today. I have now lost 80 pounds and feel tremendous. And Yesterday I brought home my new baby.....a beautiful two-wheeler bike. I've graduated from the tricycle and have passed it on to a workmate who is also obese and has an obese young daughter. I hope they are as successful with it as I have been. In fact, my bike dealer has decided to do a TV commercial on trikes on the local cable network and has asked me to ride a trike in the commercial. Fun!!
Today the scale hit 245. That's a loss of 75 pounds in four months. Great!!! I'm concentrating on drinking water and eating protein. I also bike about 40 miles a week. Yesterday I rode a two-wheeler for the first time in a hundred years. I fell but was able to get right up. I tried out bikes and have ordered my new two-wheeler for delivery on July 4th. It will be a real independence day for me!! I feel very well now. The Nexium my surgeon gave me for the stomach irritation has helped a great deal. I'm being very careful about what I eat so I don't have a recurrence. I had lab work done the other day and am anxious to hear about the results on iron, calcium, B-12 and protein. I hope they're all normal.
Yippee! Today I biked/triked 20 miles!!! I really love the sport and am so proud of my progress. I can't wait to get a REAL bike now so I can explore new trails.
The scale has finally moved. I'm now down 70 pounds. Hopefully, I'll lose a few more before my four-month anniversary (6/19/03). My goal was to be down 75 pounds by then but we'll see..... I've figured out how to avoid the pain from my stomach irritation (ulcer?) by keeping food in my stomach at all times and avoiding ALL acidic food and drink. I see my surgeon in two days. I'm sure she'll schedule me for an upper endoscopy and I realize it's necessary. I just hope that a combination of proper diet and some medication will resolve this problem. I also need to find an alternate medication for my arthritis since I can't continue to take ibuprophen/Advil. This new life/body certainly has its own complications!! Still, it's so wonderful to feel this agile and energetic.
Well, the scale still hasn't budged. I'm approaching 3 weeks on this plateau. I've successfully cut back on the snacking and grazing problems so I'm feeling good about that. I've increased my protein and am trying to increase my water consumption. Within the past few days, I've developed a problem with my pouch. The combination of taking ibuprophen, drinking orange juice, drinking carbonated diet drinks, and eating mint lifesavers has caused me to have an irritated pouch. I started having intermittent pain in the center of my chest. I thought it related to my asthma, but it was more persistent than I've experienced in the past. It took me three days before I realized it was my pouch. So I've stopped the mint, oranges and carbonated drinks. I temporarily stopped the ibuprophen but I need it to control my arthritis. I asked Dr. Kaniewski for a prescription for the liquid Pepcid (I hate chewable pills!!!) So I'm hopeful I can get this problem under control. I want to avoid having an endoscopic procedure, but I especially want to avoid an ulcerated pouch!!! That's a MAJOR complication.
I'm feeling discouraged. My weight has stayed about the same for nearly two weeks now. I was warned that plateaus would happen, but I'm feeling like I've lost all the weight I'm going to lose. I feel terrific and love my new life of activity and energy. I'm just so afraid this is all the weight loss I'll have. My head says that's not true, but my heart is afraid. I'm struggling so much with snacking and bad choices. This week I had a soda with lunch and had insatiable hunger all afternoon. Won't do that again. So now I'm trying to curb my snacking, and when I do need to snack, I'm trying to concentrate on protein snacks (cheese & nuts) rather than carbs (pretzels & lifesavers). One piece of good news: In my journal on 2/7/03, which was about two weeks BEFORE my surgery, I wrote that I bought a sweatshirt jacket in a size 22 for wearing in the Spring. I wore a size 30 at the time. It was my symbol of hope. Well, it fits and I wore it biking this week!! It's so exciting!!! But that's why I'm discouraged and afraid....I don't want the weight loss to end.
My weightloss has slowed down a bit in the past week because it's been raining and I haven't been able to bike very often or very far. So this morning the scale said 252....down 68 pounds. Not bad, but not great. Saw Dr. Kaniewski on Monday for my three-month checkup. She gave me a tongue lashing, as I requested, about my lack of willpower and tendency to snack. She also wants me to drink protein shakes (HATE THEM!!!) and take vitamin B-12, either injections or sub-lingual. So I'll try the sub-ligual...but I doubt I'll manage the protein drinks. Let's see how the lab studies look next month...
I'm down 65 pounds as of today. I also hit another milestone: I was able to exit the community pool by climbing up the ladder for the very first time. This is a big accomplishment for me and I believe it's a result of strengthening my leg muscles through biking. Now I can swim in any pool, especially pools on cruise ships ;-)
Today is my 12-week anniversary. I'm down 62 pounds and beginning to realize that my demons still live....my body wants to SNACK all night. I can now eat almost anything I desire and I've been indulging my sweet tooth too much lately. I need to get a handle on this FAST. It's been raining a lot lately so my biking has been limited and thus, my weight loss has slowed down considerably this week. I think my pouch has stretched because I can eat larger quantities of food at a sitting, such as salad. I cut it up small and can eat about 1 1/2 cups at a sitting. When it comes to meat, I'm still limited on the quantity my body will accept. I've found that my body accepts protein at breakfast and lunch but does NOT want meat at dinner. So now I'm trying to eat a salad for dinner and my meat meal at lunch. I feel terrific and love my new body. I'm just upset with myself that I allow myself to snack so often.
P.S. After work today, I biked/triked 18 miles!!! That's my personal best thus far. Not bad for someone who's only been biking for 4 weeks :-))
This is my 11-week anniversary. I've lost 60 pounds!!!! I've gone from 320 to 260 and I feel fantastic. All of my lab studies indicate everything's now normal - blood sugar, cholesterol, protein, potassium, magnesium, etc., etc.. This weekend I slept in a bed for the first time in seven years and did very well. Looks like we'll be shopping for a new king size bed within the next couple of months. I owe all my success to Dr. Kaniewski and my tricycle :-)
I hit an exercise milestone today: I finally got my tricycle back from the repair shop last night (broken gear cable). Early this morning I woke Bernie up and we got on our bikes. It was 'Bike To Work' day in the DC-MD-VA area and the Reston Town Center was hosting an event. We rode over there and received tee-shirts, water bottles, movie passes and raffle tickets. I ended up winning a bike pump in the raffle. We then started to ride on the W&OD trail. Three hours later, I had peddled 12 miles!!!! I felt great!!
Tomorrow is my ten-week anniversary and I'm down -55 pounds. I'm very pleased. I'm learning that I need to get control over my food indulgences now. This weekend I made a number of mistakes: I have had a craving for McDonald's french fries so I went to McDonald's and bought a small fries, cheeseburger and small shake. I had one small bite of the cheeseburger, five fries and a mouthful of the shake. I then ran to the bathroom! My body totally rejected that assault. Two days later I made the mistake of eating an entire single scoop of premium chocolate ice cream. Immediately upon finishing it, I felt very sick to my stomach. About ten minutes later, I began to sweat and feel quite sick. I had to sit down for about 1/2 hour to get my insides to settle down. Was that my first 'Dumping' experience?? So, now I know NOT to do that again! I had a light supper last night, went to a concert, and later in the evening I was hungry. I had some warmed up canned green beans with margarine. As soon as I finished, I had the 'Sink Backup' response and felt ill. I went to bed and about two hours later, I was awakened by swallowing multiple times to get rid of all the saliva I was producing. I've had this reaction before when I've overeaten, but it usually happens within 15 minutes of the eating event. So, as of today, I am going to concentrate on eating in a more healthy, routine fashion. My tricycle gears broke so I haven't been able to ride in the past three days and I miss it. The trike is being repaired right now so hopefully I'll have it back tonight or tomorrow so I can get back to my exercise routine.
I'm now at -52 pounds, thanks to my new biking hobby. I really enjoy my trike but am looking forward to getting a regular bike in a few months. The trike is heavy and hard to pedal up hills. Also, I have no way to transport it so I can't ride other venues. I'm feeling tremendous energy and want to bike, walk or swim all the time. I plan to ride my bike to work on nice days and my husband walks with me during my lunch hours. Food-wise, I will now need to begin to carefully watch what I eat. I'm beginning to feel hunger, and to crave sweets. I've discovered that I feel MUCH slimmer than my pictures show, and when I see myself in pictures now I'm disappointed. I wonder if I'll ever have a time when I look thinner in pictures than I feel. Can't imagine that!!
Happy Two-Month Anniversary!!! I'm down 49 pounds and feeling the loss of every one. I have so much more energy and stamina. I can do lots of things now I couldn't do two months ago, like sit in booths, sit in chairs with arms, lean over and tie my shoes, blow dry and curl my hair, and I'm down two clothing sizes :-) In another 25 pounds, I expect to transfer back to a bed from the recliner I've been sleeping in for over seven years. I'm walking and biking, and soon will be swimming again. I'm twice as energetic as I had been before the surgery, and am eating a miniscule amount of food compared with two months ago. My best-tolerated foods continue to be cheese, hard-boiled eggs, turkey, chicken, ham, soup and some fruits. I drink primarily water, but enjoy a small amount (4 oz) of orange or white grape juice for breakfast, and occasionally some lemonade at lunch with soup. My snacks are Weight-Watcher Mousse Pops and pretzels. [Unfortunately, I've discovered that my new body DOES tolerate foods with a high fat or sugar content so I will have to be vigilant about my eating habits all my life.] My evening meal usually consists of meat and a very, very small amount of potato and vegetable. My body generally does not enjoy the evening meal and I can expect a good deal of discomfort for 1/2 - 1 hour following dinner. I most enjoy having soup because it passes quickly through the pouch and I can eat enough to satisfy my mouth. Also, I can drink when I have soup. I'm very happy with my weight loss thus far and look forward to losing another 10-15 pounds next month.
I bought a toy - a new tricycle!!! It's a Trailmate Desoto Adult 24" tricycle and I love it. I've been wanting to ride a bike again for many, many years. My knees are not flexible enough yet, and my body doesn't balance well, to ride a regular 2-wheeler. Years ago I saw an adult tricycle and have wanted one ever since. Well, I bought it and spent two hours on my maiden voyage today. My husband bought a bike also, so now we have a new hobby. What a ball! I know I overdid it for the first time out but I loved every second of it. I'm intent on breaking through my current plateau and hope that riding a bike will help push through it and get me back on the losing track.
Happy Week 7 :-) So far I've lost 46 pounds. My weight loss seems to have slowed down a bit (only 2 pounds per week), but I find that I'm eating more now. I also have trouble getting in all of my water, so I have to concentrate on that. I started taking pills yesterday and so far, so good. I try to be really careful, cut them small, drink plenty of water, and eat food soon after so the pills don't sit in my stomach. In two days I already feel better from taking the additional vitamins, potassium and magnesium. It's probably all in my head, but I do feel better and I'm walking better. I'm still hoping to lose 50 pounds by Easter. On the positive side, I have begun to sit in booths at restaurants, and in chairs with arms. I can really feel my weight loss.
I have always been fat. I've never really felt 'normal'. After thinking about this surgery for several years, I am now ready and eager to meet the challenge.
11/11/02: Today I finally made the call to set up an introductory appointment with the gastric bypass surgeon. I'm feeling a bit emotional about it.
11/25/02: My husband and I met with the surgeon today. We are very impressed with her. She was extremely thorough and answered all of our questions. She gave me written information about the surgery, required pre-op tests and clearances, and the nutritional requirements post-op. Anyone who thinks that gastric bypass surgery is the 'easy way out' has never read this material!! It will be a challenge, but look at the reward!! My BMI is 55, which is well above the BMI of 40 that is the minimum required to do this surgery. I am 186 pounds over my goal weight. I need to lose 1 1/4 persons!!!
12/20/02: It's been a busy month of medical appointments and tests (sleep study, echocardiogram, chest x-ray, abdominal ultrasound, Dobutamine Stress Test, pulmonary studies, blood tests, etc.). I'll be glad when all of the tests and appointments are over so I can have some free time again.
1/4/03: I just attended Dr. Kaniewski and Dr. Sabharwal's seminar on obsesity surgery. The room was crowded with a mix of folks, many just gathering information, a few pre-op and many post-op there for support. I took my husband and best friend with me and they were both impressed. I am now more convinced than ever that this is the surgery I need and these are the surgeons I want treating me. By the end of this month, my pre-op testing should all be complete. Hopefully, I will be scheduled for surgery in February.
1/11/03: All required pre-op testing has now been completed and I've received clearance from my cardiologist, pulmonologist and GP. I'm relieved to have the testing done. Some tests were not pleasant but I just kept focusing on the reward awaiting me!!
1/20/03: I saw my surgeon today. She has given me a surgery date of February 19, 2003, pending insurance approval. At first she didn't think she had time in her surgical schedule until March. I broke down when I heard that because I've worked so hard to get everything done in order to have the surgery in February. She was wonderful about it and somehow worked out the February date. So my dream is becoming a reality very soon.
1/30/03: My insurance company has approved my surgery after just six days from the date of submission. Amazing! I guess my co-morbidities were very compelling. So now I have less than three weeks to go before the big day. I can hardly believe that it's going to be a reality. All of those years of saying, "Someday when I'm thin" will now prove to be prophetic. Of course, I doubt anyone will EVER use the word 'thin' in reference to me EVER, but to an obese person, even normal size is 'thin'.
2/7/03: An insurance SNAFU popped up this week. I discovered that my insurance approval was for the hospital admission (Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield) but did not address a pre-determination of benefits for my surgeons. So we've had to submit another packet of info to another insurer. This provider (United Healthcare of New York)is NOT patient-friendly. Now we wait again and a response will probably not be received until a minute before the surgery. I've told the surgeon that I will pay privately if necessary. This surgery is not an option for me. I'm trying to save my life. Sure, I want to lose weight to look great but the primary reason I'm having this surgery is to improve my health. Yesterday was a bad day - I had alot of trouble walking and breathing. I think this happens periodically just to remind me of why I NEED this surgery. I'm getting anxious and a bit nervous now, but the support of other weight-loss surgery patients helps a great deal. There's a group of about 30 people throughout the USA, all having surgery on the same day I am, that are in contact via email right now. This has been great!! I get about 5 emails a day, with everyone sharing their stories and preparation tips. I'm reminded every day that I am not alone in facing this challenge.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!! I got my love gift this afternoon when I called United Healthcare of New York and found that they have APPROVED my procedure. A letter has gone out to the surgeon, with a copy to me. I don't know the amount of the fees submitted, but the allowed amount comes to just under $8,000 for the surgeon. I also have a secondary insurance through my husband so that should take care of any balance. But I will pay whatever I must out of pocket in order to have this surgery since my life depends upon it. Am I nervous? You bet!!! But I'm also very excited. All of the last minute SNAFU's have been untangled through the fantastic help of 'William', my surgeon's office assistance, and a caring woman named Susan at United Healthcare of New York who decided to put a name and face on an otherwise cold-hearted organization. I called yesterday and, through great fortune, was connected to Susan in Customer Service. When she told me that my Pre-determination form was not due to be processed until 2/25/03, I nearly fainted! I explained that my surgery is on 2/19/03 and asked if there was any way she could expedite the review process. She put me on hold. As I sat listening to silence for over 8 minutes, I almost lost hope and hung up. But something told me to stay on the line. When Susan resurfaced, she said that she had just personally placed my paperwork on the reviewers desk and that "it's been expedited as high up the chain as is possible." She then wished me well and told me to call back the following afternoon. Alas, a real human being at an insurance company!!! So all of you pre-ops out there, take heart. Exercise patience (not my personal strength)and appeal to the human side of the person on the other end of the phone. It's OK to express frustration, just hold on to your anger. (I need to take my own advice more often.)So five more days.......I never thought I'd look forward to being a LOSER :-)
Well, this is it - my last pre-op posting. My day has been filled with cards, phone calls and emails from family, friends and WLS supporters. It has been wonderful and helps more than I can say. The bowel prep has gone smoothly and, much to my relief, the mega-doses of antibiotics (Erythromycin and Neomycin)I had to take today have not made me nauseous. I find that I feel a bit ill when I let my stomach get completely empty, so I drink lots of water and occasionally have a couple of ounces of clear fruit juice (apple or white grape juice). The sugar in the juice gives my stomach something to work on and helps to keep my blood sugar more stable (I am diabetic). So all things considered, today could have been MUCH worse. I'm thinking positive thoughts and hoping that all of my dreams will come true. I just have to remember that when I wake up after the surgery, I won't be thin (yet) and I won't be 35 again (ever!). But that's OK. I'm ready to work to earn my new body. Here's to an exciting future!!
It's so wonderful to be on the other side of the surgery. I just can't wipe the smile off of my face. My surgical saga is a bit unusual in that I was an intubation risk. In 1977, I had a surgical procedure and they had difficulty with intubation. That resulted in some major complications. I have dreaded the need for general anesthesia ever since. This problem, combined with my asthma and sleep apnea, put me at high risk. Through prior arrangement made by my surgeon, I received a call from the hospital's head of anesthesia. I gave him the entire history verbally and we discussed what would occur. I was aware that I would need to be intubated while awake, to ensure that I had an unobstructed airway for the surgery. In fact, the MD prepared me that I might wake up still intubated and might need to remain intubated until the next day, to ensure no breathing problems would occur overnight. Fortunately, I do not remember any part of the intubation, which I understand took over 1/2 hour and I thrashed and gagged throughout. I just remember waking up in the recovery room and being delighted to realize that I did NOT have a tube in my throat. I was able to speak immediately!! According to my surgeon, the gastric bypass aspect of the surgery was a textbook case. The tough part was removing my gall bladder. The first problem was to find it and expose it, which was apparently quite difficult. Then, she needed to crush a 2cm gall stone in order to remove the gall bladder. She said that my incision at that site is a bit bigger than is normal as a result of this problem. The entire surgery, from intubation to recovery room, took six hours. She had expected it to take a maximum of 4 hours.
I had a very comfortable night in the hospital, and requested to get up and walk around 10:00pm. It felt so good to be moving around, albeit in pain, that I got up every 2-3 hours and took a long walk around the corridors UNESCORTED. I didn't get much sleep that night but I didn't feel the need for it.
The next morning my surgeon visited. I was allowed to drink some water with ice chips. About two hours after that, I was given some watered down fruit juice. I thought I would be having an Upper GI that morning to test for leaks. In fact, my surgeon performs this immediately following the surgery before the patient leaves the operating room. So once the water and juice went down with no problem, I was discharged at 3:00 pm the day following my surgery!!
I am now beginning my third post-op day and must say that I am very pleasantly surprised at how well things have gone for me. On post-op days 1 and 2, I needed to take my pain medication faithfully every three hours. By now, I'm quite comfortable. I've realized that the majority of my pain relates to the gall bladder removal, and to gas pain. I started having gas pain yesterday and did a good deal of walking to get things moving along. This morning I had the 'explosion' I had been warned about! You wouldn't think you'd have anything in your bowels when you've just had water, Jello and broth for 5 days. Surprise!!! So now I know that all of my plumbing is working well :-) By the way, low sodium chicken broth tastes like a turkey dinner after SF Jello and SF ice pops!!! Be sure to have some on hand for immediate use post-op.
I'm sleeping and mending very well. Fortunately, I have my husband to help me with changing my dressing and showering. I'm glad I had the foresight to buy one of the reaching devices with pinchers on the end (like short people use to get things off shelves). They allowed me to change myself all by myself this morning. Yipee!! Even the little successes are worth celebrating.
My blood sugar has been stable throughout the pre- and post-surgical periods. I'm still experimenting with my various pills and how to crush and consume them. Some are bitter and nasty! So if I've been through the worst, than I am a happy, happy person indeed!!!
The glow of survival has evolved into a smile of accomplishment. This is hard work. Finding my medications in liquid form, finding liquid multi-vitamins, finding a protein supplement I can tolerate - these have been my challenges during Week #1. I've felt like a gas factory. When my pain medicine (Tylenol w/codeine Elixir) ran out, I decided to try to go without the codeine, so I've just been using Tylenol adult liquid. Well, that has reduced the gas production by an incredible amount. I also purchased the generic equivalent of Gas-X liquid, which is helping with the remaining gas. Yesterday I tried a protein powder I'd purchased and used it to make a shake/smoothie with a bit of banana. It wasn't intolerable but will take getting used to. Problem is, I didn't realize how much the protein powder bulks up in the stomach. I felt bloated and uncomfortable for hours. So today I will try again with a much smaller amount. I'm working my way up to 70gms of Protein per day but I've got a long way to go. I'm also working toward 64oz of water a day, but that too is a struggle. I visited my internist to discuss the various medications I was on and which ones at what dosage levels I need to continue right now. He's looking for a local pharmacist who will make liquids out of my meds. I just can't tolerate chewable pills, and crushing the others results in a bitter powder. I'm glad I'm not going back to work until next week. I need this week to finish getting all the medications together and get my routines established. I'm still easily tired. I think once I get all of the proper vitamins and medications going routinely, I'll feel much stronger.
I had my end-of-week#1 visit with the surgeon this afternoon. She removed my drain - not a fun feeling at all. And the weight loss news? 13 pounds for Week #1 - yipee!!!!! So I'm on my way. Without the drain, I'm able to be more agile. My abdomen is still tender to the touch and I still have internal abdominal pain but that is decreasing each day. I had my first case of real 'head hunger' this evening over something silly - a pickle!! I craved the sweet and vinegar tastes. The MD told me I can start pureed foods in Week 3 so I'm looking forward to having a broader range of food choices. Creamed soups are great but you tire of the taste. I'm looking forward to having some substance in my mouth. I still haven't worked out the protein issue yet - just can't seem to tolerate the taste and texture of the protein drinks and powders I've tried thus far. So that will be my challenge over the next week.
I had a great day yesterday. I feel like I really turned a corner. I'm fully independent now (can finally tie my shoes) and without the drain, my morning cleanup routine is back to normal. I was full of energy and spent the majority of the day running errands and walking in the mall for exercise. I had my hair cut and styled, changed my lipstick color, and now feel like a fresh, new person. My husband is glowing from seeing the difference in me, both physically and mentally. On the advice of my surgeon, I started using occasional pain medicine again yesterday and it has made a real difference. I end up with more gas when I take the medicine but it is manageable and not painful now. But the med allows me to feel completely agile without any abdominal pain. I've been surprised that my abdomen has been very tender to the touch. It's like there are lots of nerve endings just under the skin from the belly button to chest area. My home scale indicates that I'm losing about 2 pounds per day right now. I'm sure that will slow down once I go on the pureed diet in another week. But for now, yipee! I'd love to meet a one-month weight-loss goal/dream of 30 pounds. How greedy of me!!
I'm feeling terrific! For the past two days, I've been out and about all day, doing a lot of walking. It's not aerobic walking - I'm not quite there yet. But just being on my feet, moving around a mall is quite an accomplishment for me. I'm enjoying having a special treat of soup and lemonade when I'm out. Yesterday, for the first time, I really craved to chew some food. I'm still not feeling hunger at all, and am quite physically satisfied with the liquid diet. But my eyes see all the other good tastes and I'm envious. I'd love to chew a fresh salad. I've been craving something with vinegar.
I stepped on the scale this morning - 299. So I've broken the 300 mark!! I haven't done that in over a year.
Yesterday Bernie and I went to the surgeon's seminar in Alexandria. It wasn't as full as the January seminar but it was still very worthwhile. I felt compelled to speak (when don't I feel compelled to speak!)and found that I got quite emotional. I just want everyone to have this miracle for themself. Even Bernie said that when he sees an uncomfortable obese person, he wants to hand them Dr. Kaniewski's card. I've thought the same thing many times.
I plan to return to work tomorrow. It's a day early but they need the help and I'm restless. Time to jump back into life and concentrate on something other than myself for a change.
The scale this morning indicates 25 pounds lost in 2 weeks. Excellent!! It's been terrific being back to work. I'm feeling full of energy. I spend my lunch hour walking outside, something I haven't been able to do much of for nearly a year. I started pureed food today: mashed potatoes, baby food chicken in chicken broth, baby food green beans, and applesauce. What a feast. Of course, I ate less than 1/2 cup all together, but it was totally satisfying. My mouth is enjoying having food again. I've missed my veggies. A very Happy Week 3 to me!!
I'm down to 292 - 28 pounds lost. I've lost about 10 inches in total thus far. I feel the difference but really didn't expect to be able to measure it so soon. I'm a bit frustrated because I have all kinds of energy and my legs are limiting me. I'll have a great walking day, and then I'll need two days to recover. I don't know if the discomfort is circulation-related or muscular. It's strange. I do know that it is NOT my knees (arthritis) so that's the good news. At times my legs are so 'antsy' that I can't be comfortable sitting in any chair. I'm wondering if it has to do with my withdrawal from so many of my medications. I'll have to discuss it with my MD. As for the eating, I still have no hunger at all. I'm tolerating pureed veggies and meats quite well. I tried scrambled eggbeaters two days ago and everything was fine. But yesterday and today, my body has NOT liked them. This morning I thought I would not be able to keep them down. I'm going to keep trying, because they are such a good source of protein. Next time I'll loosen them up a bit more with skim milk. Perhaps they're just too concentrated right now.
I enjoy going out to restaurants. It's an adventure to find a soup or pureed vegetables that I can eat. The other night I had mashed potatoes, butternut squash and some sauteed spinach. All went down very well. I even ate a small piece of bread (no crust) with a little butter. I chew everything up to a very fine consistency. Of course, I eat very small amounts of everything. I can eat about 1/2 cup now. It totally satisfies me. I do miss being able to drink something with my meals. I've found that I am able to drink lemonade, so when I have soup I have a little lemonade. Otherwise, when I eat pureed food, I don't drink at all. I think by the end of the week I may be ready to try some crab (yum!) and tuna fish. Right now chicken is the only meat I've eaten.
My scars are nearly healed into tight scabs. I keep lotion on them so they don't feel so tight. I still have some stubborn residue from the bandage tape that won't come off no matter what I try. Sooner or later, it will have to wear off.
I forgot to mention two issues that popped up within a week of the surgery: Thrush in my mouth and a vaginal infection. Both were probably the result of the antibiotics I was given in the prep, but the Thrush could also relate to the steriods I was given during the anesthesia process to conteract my asthma problems. So I got a prescription for Nystatin from my surgeon and the usual OTC cream from the pharmacy for the vaginal infection. Neither were too bad and both problems are now gone completly.
It's been a good week. I find I'm still a bit tired in the afternoon, especially on days when I work. But I'm eating quite well. I've had turkey and crab this week and both were well tolerated. I now make scrambled Eggbeaters with a good deal of skim milk. I'm able to eat the equivalent of one egg for a meal. I believe I've developed an infection in one incision, perhaps two, so I plan to see my doctor today. My legs are a bit less antsy now and I'm really enjoying walking. I can't wait to be able to walk for longer periods of time. As of this morning, I've lost 31 pounds and I'm very pleased with my progress. My Body Mass Index has gone from 54.9 (Super Obese) to 49.6 (Morbidly Obese) in just three weeks. Talk about motivation!!
I'm celebrating my one-month anniversary today and am happy to report that I've lost 35 pounds in the first month since my gastric bypass (320 to 285). Pretty impressive!! Wouldn't it be great if I could continue to lose at this rate? Not likely, but it's a terrific start. I can feel the difference in many ways; my clothes, my breathing and my walking. My husband says he can really see the difference, particularly in my face.
As for my eating, I'm really quite flexible now. I eat mushy vegetables and fruits. For meat, I eat chicken, turkey and crab, all shredded and well chewed. For treats I eat Weight Watcher Mousse Pops (like a low sugar fudgecicle), sugar free Jello, and an occasional pretzel rod [very well chewed]. My diet is quite varied and very satisfying. I never feel hunger. My only frustration is that I fill so quickly that my mouth doesn't have time to get satisfied with tastes. I can eat about 1/2 cup of food at a meal.
I'm now wearing a pedometer and yesterday I walked 1.5 miles, quite an accomplishment for me!! The arthritis in my knees continues to hinder me since I'm not permitted take Advil but I believe I'll be allowed to restart Advil in Month 3. I haven't taken any medication for diabetes since February 17, and my blood sugar levels range from 120-133, which is high-normal. I'm hopeful that as I continue to drop weight, my blood sugar levels will continue to go down to the point where I'm considered cured of diabetes. What a gift that will be!!
The most amazing part of my recovery is that I've felt in love with life this past month. I was so willing to face death to risk this surgery that I now feel my life is a special gift. My recovery has been nearly textbook perfect and I am so grateful!! I can actually now imagine becoming a 'normal' size in my lifetime and am already investing in smaller sized clothing for the summer :-) It's so wonderful to know that I have won the lottery and the miracle is going to be mine!!
Well, I've had a 'first' that I could have lived without: I over ate and got sick for nearly two hours. It happened without realizing it. I'd eaten an afternoon snack, which apparently had not left my stomach before I ate dinner. I didn't feel full when I first started eating dinner. Then it hit me and the discomfort continued to build for a hour. I felt so sick I was wishing I'd vomit just to relieve the terrible pressure in my lower chest. I'd try to sip water to get some of the food to move out of my stomach, but even a sip would make me feel more ill. I didn't really vomit, but spit up a few times which gave me minimal relief. Finally, after two hours, the discomfort passed. I feel like I never want to eat again because I never want to live through that feeling again. It was the longest two hours of my life!!
I had my five-week appointment today with Dr. Kaniewski. Over the past week my knees(arthritis) have gotten progressively worse and by today, the pain was almost unbearable. I discussed this with the doctor and told her I'm lost without being able to take ibuprophen. She told me that we'd need to take the risk and advised that I take full doses for the next couple of days until the inflammation calms down. Then I will take a maintenance dosage. I have to 'wash it down' with water and food, and take Pepcid twice a day in order to prevent an ulcer. By tonight I'm feeling MUCH better and am hoping that I'm able to sleep through the night again without leg pain.
Today is my five-week anniversary and I've lost 40 pounds!!! I'm very pleased. I continue to not feel hunger and in general, get no pleasure from food. Many foods I used to like don't taste as good to me now. I hate that 'full' feeling after eating (pressure under my breast bone) and would prefer to never have to eat at all. The only exception is soup - I really enjoy having soup and lemonade for lunch! I think I could be happy with a liquid diet forever, however I can't get adequate protein just eating soup. If I have one major complaint, it would have to be about medicine. I'm sick of all the fruity medicine I take, and wish I could take things like Motrin IB Sinus for my allergies, etc.. I dread my twice daily medication Yuck Fest. But it's all worth the weight loss and the improved health!!
Happy 6-week anniversary!! As of this morning, I'm down 44 pounds. My new goal is to lose 50 pounds in the first two months. During the past week, I've had alot of trouble with my left leg - my leg knee especially. My surgeon thinks it's a combination of arthritis and tendonitis. I'm now taking liquid ibuprophen followed by water and twice-daily Pepcid (liquid) in order to prevent an ulcer. After a week, I'm beginning to feel relief from the pain. I can't wait to begin walking for exercise again!
I had blood work this week and just received the good news/bad news results. The good news is that my blood sugar (HgA1C) level is down to 5.8, which is NORMAL. Looks like I'm one of the lucky ones for whom this surgery is the cure for diabetes!! The bad news is that my cholesterol is quite high again since I stopped my Lipitor, my potassium is very low since I stopped my Klor-Con, and my magnesium is low. So it looks like I need to restart some of my pills, although I'm not supposed to take any pills until at least Week 9 (I'm just about to begin Week 7). I've tried the oral suspension for potassium and it makes me sick to my stomach. I also had an oral suspension made up for the Lipitor when I first had surgery but it tastes so vile I can't handle it. My only other option is to use a pill splitter and cut them up very small. So that's what I'll do. I'll just be careful not to take them all at once.
***NOTE: See current update at top of profile.
I found my surgeon through an internet search for Bariatric Surgeons. My first impression of her office was NOT good. The office needs to be updated, the exam rooms are small and the waiting room furniture is definitely NOT meant for large people. There appears to be only one staff member who runs the very small office by himself. My husband and I met with Dr. Kaniewski for over one hour. We were very impressed with her knowledge and she answered every question we had in a very forthright manner. She is articulate and does instill confidence. That was a very pleasant surprise since my husband and I were very close to walking out on the appointment after seeing the shabby waiting room and disorganized office. I am trusting the feedback other patients are posting about this surgeon. That is more important than the appearance of her office! I am moving ahead with my pre-op testing.
2/3/03:Update - I understand that Dr. Kaniewski and her partner/husband have moved into their new office in Alexandria. I now understand why they did not put their money into spiffing up their old office in Arlington. I just thought this note was important for those reading about these surgeons since my initial impression of their office was so negative. The old saying is true: Do not judge a book by its cover!!
Blue Cross/Blue Shield, New York State Empire Plan
The patient should call the Pre-Certification unit to obtain a Pending File number. Provide that number and the phone number to the surgeon, who then calls with the details. The surgeon then submits a packet of documentation referencing the Pending File Number. IMPORTANT NOTE: In addition to the hospitalization pre-certification, you must obtain a Pre-determination of Benefits from the major medical portion of the plan, United Healthcare of New York. Don't forget this important second step!!! This is the step that pays your surgeons and physicians.