This is always the hard part for me. I'm 29 yrs old, and have been overweight since I hit puberity, so I really don't remember what it's like to not be overweight. I remember those lovely teen years being teased and made fun of for being "the fat girl." I never had a problem getting dates though.
I've always been on one diet or another, everything from low fat to Atkins to Mayo Clinic, to most recently Dr. Phil. The most I've ever lost was 30lbs and of course I gained it all back and then some! Within the last few years it has really started to affect me, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and hypothyroidism, I have GERD and now my joints are aching and I find it hard to get around. That is the part that upsets me the most, I mean even though I'm fat I could ALWAYS get around. I could walk the pants off a thin person, no problem. Now, I can't. I sometimes just sit and think, how on earth did I allow myself to get like this, and I just sit and cry, while stuffing something else in my mouth. Man it sucks being an emotional eater!
I have been thinking about this for a couple of years now. I have been on the fence and off the fence, and now I am definitely on the fence! I know that I need help controlling my weight, and unfortunately, yet another diet alone is not going to help. SO, I am about to embark upon my journey and see what I can do about getting this weight off, feeling better about myself and finally LIVING!
Well tonight I went to the seminar for Dr. Overcash here in Jacksonville. I've read all about him on this site, and wasn't sure if I wanted to use him for surgery or not, but thought I could at least learn something. I decided tonight, I DEFINITELY want to use Dr. Overcash. I know how everyone says he's very straight to the point, but I don't want any more sugar coating! I learned that this man is also about his family and is a Christian. I am very confident in him, and went ahead and scheduled an appointment for next Monday morning. So this week I'll work on my patient packet and trying to get some of the things together that they need. =)
Well I had my first appointment with Dr. Overcash and it went GREAT! Just like everyone says, he calls you back himself and weighs you. It was funny because when he weighed me, he told me 100lbs LESS than I am, so when he asked if that was what I was expecting I said, um no, he realized his mistake and goes, oh sorry I guess if that was it you wouldn't need me LOL. So he definately has a sense of humor. I am VERY confident in him! He was more then happy to explain everything to me and my boyfriend, answered every question I had, and I thought he was very friendly! IMO, I couldn't have picked a better surgeon! His office staff is great as well, and Patrice is a peach! They are all so friendly and helpful. I even chatted with someone who was post-op in the waiting room.
I was able to turn in most of my paperwork. They let my boyfriend submit a letter since I have no family down here. My entire family is in Kentucky (where I am from, GO CATS!) and my sister said she would fax a letter down if it needed to be, but they are letting me use him instead. NOW, I have to attend the nutritional class, which I'm thinking of doing the 27th, I have called to get the letter for my 6 month diet, I have my psych eval appointment next Monday, and lastly I need to get the letter from my PCP. That's the one I am dreading the most, only because I just started seeing him and the first appointment I had with him and I mentioned weightloss, he handed me the Cabbage Soup Diet, can you believe that? But someone told me that he is WLS friendly, I'm praying he will be for me!
Sorry I haven't updated in awhile, guess I've been too frustrated! First, I am still waiting on my PCP. I knew that my thyroid was going to be off, and boy was it. It was like 15 something, 3 times the amount it should be. So I've started taking synthroid and working my way through the different levels until we find one that will even out my thyroid. My PCP won't do a thing until that is taken care of, and while it's frustrating I know it must be done. So I'm on hold until that is fixed. I'm hoping no more than a couple of months. Anyway, I've also decided to continue looking for a surgeon instead of sticking with my first choice. I am not going into details why, it's just a decision I think is best for me. I have a couple of others in mind, just gonna put out some feelers first.
I'm sorry it has been so long since I've updated. I've had a whole lot going on the last few months! My grandmother passed away June 13 and that was devastating to me! Yes it gets a little easier as time passes, but I still have a very hard time talking about it and honestly just prefer not too! Not because I don't miss my grandmother or don't love her, but it's because I do that causes me to just cry and cry! On top of that, I got a really bad infection on my stomach (abscess) and ended up in the hospital and lost my job while I was in the hospital. I was none to happy about that. Anywho...I also got married 8/10. My husband is such a wonderful and supportive man! We've been together for almost 2 years. My family adores him as much as I do. He wasn't gung ho about this surgery, but he was willing to sit down and listen to me and even go to a "seminar" about it to learn more. He's now more comfortable with me having the surgery.
I truly didn't think this would ever start back up. My PCP finally got my thyroid levels at an even keel. I take 100 mcg of synthroid a day and that seems to be doing the trick. I went to him yesterday for my test results. He asked me how I was doing on my WLS search. I told him I believed that I had finally decided on a surgeon that I was comfortable with, who wasn't too far away and that I really haven't heard one single complaint on. He told me he really wanted me to get going on getting things together and he would write my letter for me. I was SO excited! SO I called Dr. Thoburn in Gainesville and they are sending me the packets. YEAH! I have also decided to work from home. I figure I'll be able to do this while I am recovering from surgery. I have found a company that I will hopefully get to work for from home.
What an eventful couple of weeks I've had! I turned *whispering* ahem 30 on the 12th. Man have I had a hard time with that. I know it's just a number, but I can remember when I was a teenager thinking that 30 was so old! I couldn't wait to be in my 20's but 30..no way! I guess because I felt that as long as I was in my 20's I was still young, but once I hit 30, well pack me up and put me in a retirement home LOL! I am VERY SLOWLY adjusting to it. And how did I spend my birthday you ask? Well well well, let me tell you. I've been dealing with this MRSA thing since May really, although I just found out about it last month. Well low and behold another freaking spot pops up on my stomach. My husband noticed it on Sunday. Then of course comes the body aches, the fever etc. By Tuesday it was triple the original size. So I spent my bday in the ER. They admitted me, like I knew they would. I spent my normal 5 days in the hospital and got to come home on Sunday. They did the vancomycin and gave me the zyvox for home. I still haven't gotten any answers as to why this keeps occuring though. FRUSTRATING!
Well my husband's insurance should kick in next month for me. Then I can get this ball rolling! I feel like I have waited forever for this to happen and I'm not the most patient of people, so of course I want everything to happen NOW! I would love it if I could have surgery before the end of the year although my husband would rather it be next year, just because he's out of vacation time for this year. But we'll see. I finally got all the packets from Dr. Thoburn's office and am filling them out. I will call Dr. Martinez next month and get an appointment for the psych eval, then I'll go back to my PCP for my letter so I can get it sent off to Dr. Thoburn. Although actually I may go ahead and get the letter from my Dr. so I have it ready, just in case he takes too long. So I'm ready to get going with this journey! I'm so tired of living like this! I 'm tired of this weight affecting my daily life. I get SO UPSET when I can't do the simple things like I used to be able to do. I mean I shouldn't get winded just vacuuming the house or making the bed. But it's a chore for me. It used to never be. I can remember just 3 years ago, waking up on a Saturday, opening the blinds, cranking the stereo and cleaning up a storm while doing laundry and dancing around the house. No way can I do that now! I can't even go to the mall! I can't handle walking around without turning red in the face and feeling like I'm going to pass out with everyone staring at me! I used to love to go EVERYWHERE! Now I stay home unless I HAVE to leave! I go to Walmart to get groceries on Saturday and that's the extent. Well I might go to the bank for my hubby on Friday, but I don't have to get out of the truck for that. I will conquer this!
Man oh man, my life is like a rollercoaster! Hopefully by the time this is done I'll be able to fit on one! Anywhoo, well I can't seem to get this MRSA under control. I spent the week before Thanksgiving in the hospital and almost spent Christmas there, but my internist gave me the meds so I could avoid it. I REALLY wish someone would tell me how to go longer than 3 weeks without having an outbreak! FRUSTRATING!
My PCP is about as useless as tits on a boar hog! I am having the hardest time trying to get him to write my letter. Last month he said I had to visit the surgeon first. Well I came in yesterday armed with the paper saying I have to have the letter first and so while he agreed to write it, he wont put in that it's medically necessary, just that it's a "legitimate option" Give me a break! I have had nothing but probs with this guy from the get go and my husband doesn't like him anyway, so I've decided that I'm going to switch PCP's. I already have an appointment with someone else for next month. Sooo while I'm waiting for that, I'm going to go ahead and get the psych eval done, so I will have one less thing to worry about.
Christmas went well, although my family got snowed in for a couple of days. They made it down here on Christams Eve and it was nice spending the time with them.
Well I had my psych eval done yesterday, and must have fooled them really well because he said I was sane and thought I was a good candidate for the surgery! WOOHOO! So, I was still waiting for my PCP to get my letter together. I had to literally go to his office and sit in the waiting room until they got the letter signed. The letter was a complete joke! He said I was "makedly obese". Markedly??? New weight rank I suppose. Anyway, he refused to put medically necessary, it was just a joke of a letter. However I went ahead and faxed it with my packet to Dr. Thoburns office anyway. I called to see if they received it, however Shirley is out on Fridays, so I just left a voicemail. I am hoping that will be enough to at least get me my first appointment and I have an appointment on the 19th to see an internist. My friend sees him and she said he is WLS friendly and wrote her a really good letter. SOOO hopefully, I can get him to write me one to add to my stack :D Now it's just wait until I get my first appointment.
Well I stand corrected, there is such a thing as markedly obese, however it is not as well known as morbidly (at least no one I talked to had ever heard of it). Anywho, I got the call from Shirley and she told me she still needed my Dr's notes, thyroid test, etc. Basically that she needed my medical records. Thankfully I had already signed a release to have them sent, and that should've been done today. So I am hoping that by next week they will have my records and I can get set up with that initial consult. I called Empire and talked to them to make sure that they still do the bypass surgery and just to find out exactly what I need. It's the basics, and that's cool, however...The letter has to state medically necessary, just like I said. So I called my PCP's office and told Linda, the office manager, this and got blown off yet again, she just wanted to argue with me. I told her that's what the insurance company said, and she said she would talk to my PCP and see about redoing the letter. I don't know what kind of success I will have, but I'll keep ya updated. I am also praying that he kept notes about my weight loss attempts while I was seeing him. I also hope that the GA Health Dept did as well and that those records are in my chart at my PCP's and that everything will go smoothly. I've heard from a couple of people that Empire was pretty easy to deal with and I am PRAYING that it will be for me too. One lady said it took her 4 weeks another said 4 hours, so I guess I will just have to wait and see, and of course I will be on absolute pins and needles until I know something. But one thing at a time!
And I wait...The Lord is TRULY testing my patience! I am not one who is known for being the most patient person, and that is so being tested right now. Ya know, you would think that a PCP's office , who CLAIMS they do this all the time, would have a clue about what they are doing. Yea, right! Not only did I have to call my PCP's office practically every day until they finally faxed my information to Shirley, but they couldn't even get that right! I got a call from Shirley this morning telling me they only sent her some progress notes, that were pretty much illegible and that they had only sent her a years worth of weight records. Now why wouldn't they do what I said. I told them it had to be 3-5 years of weight records, silly me thinking they would send the stuff from the health dept too since it is in my record. However that just must've been too difficult for them to do. So I called the ole' health dept today, signed a release and am just having them fax my records to Shirley. Of course when I called to confirm they had received the fax, no one knew what I was talking about. SO I am having my hubby fax it yet AGAIN tomorrow. And the second it finishes going through, I am going to call to verify SOMEONE get's it off the machine and into the proper hands. SHEESH! Maybe, just maybe, I can get someone to send in all my information before the end of January so I can get my consultation appointment. And I found out that Dr. Thoburn is leaving, soooo I suppose I will have to pick someone else in the practice.
I know I am being impatient, and of course have all the normal fears, do I have enough info, am I going to be approved, etc. And while I'm worrying myself silly, I have God whispering in my ear to be patient, that everything is going to be ok. I have to trust that! I mean I'm certainly not going to say, but are ya sure?? Anywho...maybe I'll get lucky and get a consult date by the end of the week!
And I have a consultation date! I just got off the phone with Jodie and she scheduled my appointment for my consultation for next Thursday, Feb 10. I will be seeing Dr. Brient since Dr. Thoburn is leaving. That's totally fine with me because I've read good things about Dr. Brient on here. I am so elated, and I know it sounds silly to be excited about a consultation date, but I've waited for this for a long time and worked so hard to get all my paperwork together! Speaking of, my PCP wrote a second letter for me and included medically necessary! I about flipped, because they just kept saying they weren't going to put those words in there. I have actually decided to stay with my PCP because turns out the new one wasn't quite so terrific. Anywho, I'm certainly counting my blessings! I've prayed about this every night and have asked others to pray for me, and God is listening! He's opening the doors for me!
Good Morning! Well we had the glorious Super Bowl in our grand city last night. Hubby and I went over to a friends house for a Super Bowl Party and saw the Ameriquest and Goodyear blimps at the airport near our home. That was kinda neat. We had a lot of fun, but we always do when we go over there. Plus my friend is also going through the process of WLS, she's just waiting to get her letter from her PCP. It's nice to be able to have a really good friend that you can talk to about this, who knows exactly how you're feeling and what you're going through. The very cool part, I met her on here.
Well I've taken it upon myself to start a liquid diet today. This isn't something that I've been told to do by anyone. I just happened to be reading the message boards and one lady said that she was needing to do a liquid diet and someone responded with her liquid diet. It sounded good to me, and most surgeons want you to do one before surgey in order to shrink your liver anyway, so I thought why not. Plus, I feel SO HUGE that I just need to do something. So I ordered various protein samples from Valley Nutrition and got some Carnation Instant Breakfast. I couldn't find any SF fruit juice, so I got some diet V8 splash. I made sure we have plenty of water (I buy my water, not drinking our water YUK!) I also made up some SF jello and got some SF popsicles (so I feel like I'm getting a treat) and of course, got some broth. I bought some SF gum so I at least have something to chew LOL. She said the first 2-3 days are the hardest, but after that it gets easier. Hubby knows he'll be cooking for himself too.
Only 3 more days until my consultation! I am so excited about hat. What's really cool, I've talked to my family about it. At first, my mother was sooo against it. It was really bad timing at first too because someone back home had just died from WLS, but he died from a blood clot. I tried to explain it, but my mom is like me and is stubborn. I guess as time wore on she has become more used to it, and after they came down to visit me for Christmas, I think she understood more. Now she's telling me about people she meets who've had it. She cracks me up, I'm like "mom, how do you know? Are you walking up to people?" She's so funny. So now both her and my dad are so very supportive. My lil sister always has been. It's so nice knowing that I have a good support system. I'm ready to go! =)
I knew this liquid diet wasn't going to be easy. The first few hours yesterday, I thought, this isn't so hard. Well that's because I normally don't eat a lot during the day, sometimes, nothing at all. My hubby would come home and give me grief because I hadn't eaten all day. Yet when supper rolls around I'm starving. Well first let me say that my hubby is an angel! He brought me home 2 quarts of egg drop soup, because he knows it's my fave and thought it would giev me a break between chicken and beef broth. And since I haven't had surgery yet, I dont have to strain the eggs out. Anywhoo...I had my 3 carnation instant breakfast shakes yesterday, my 2 cups of soup, a popsicle and some jello and all the water I could stand LOL. I think I peed more yesterday that I did all weekend LOL It was hard, especially at dinnertime when my hubby sat there eating pizza while I sipped soup. I just keep telling myself it's worth it, and honestly today I feel a little less swollen than I normally am. Oh well, I know I can do this! And I will!
Yesterday was AWESOME! I had my consultation with Dr. Brient yesterday. I really like the office staff there. They are all so sweet! I got there early and had to do the whole insurance paperwork stuff. There were only two of us there and so then we met with Patrick and Shirley regarding insurance and watched a malpractice video. We then met with Trish, the nutritionist. She's nice as well. We talked about nutrition in general. She said we'll get more in depth at the next appointment (right before surgery). I thought it was neat that she had a list of helpful websites on her corkboard, and this site was listed number 1. I let her know just how much this site has helped me too. Then we got to meet with Dr. Brient as a group, and another lady showed up. He just talked about the history of WLS and then what he does. We then got individual meetings with him. We went over my information and he said that I was a good candidate for this because of my age/weight and comorbs. Then he made me blush, he mentioned that normally we don't talk about looks, because this is for health reasons. However, he said, I can't wait to see your results, you're going to be beautiful. He said, you're already beautiful now, but just wait. I don't think of myself like that, but of course my husband says so, and I've recently had a good friend tell me that. So it made my day. The whole visit was great! I really like Dr. Brient. He's very personable! So now, I just have to wait. He will dictate his letter and get it to Shirley. Once she gets it, off to the insurance company it goes. I of course am praying for approval! I'll get a call from Shirley once it's approved (positive thinking here).
Oh yea, he also said he'd like for me to try to lose 5-15lbs before surgery. Basically to decrease liver size. He told me if I was gonna do a last meal to do it last night. Money is sooo tight, so my husband cooked dinner for me. Plus it was our 6 month wedding anniversary. He's a angel! So what I've decided to do. Instead of doing all liquid, I'm going to do the two protein shakes and a sensible dinner. I got my protein samples in from Valley Nutrition. I'm gonna try them to see what I like and what I don't.
If anyone reads my profile, please pray for me!
I'M APPROVED!! I would shout it from the rooftops if I could! They submitted my info for insurance approval last Tuesday. I called this morning and she told me it was approved. I was so stoked! I called my husband crying! He was like, Kim I can't understand you, slow down. Then he goes, why are you crying if you are so happy, I told him it's because I am so happy that I am crying. I'm gonna get my life back! WOOHOO! I called Shirley and she said she already knew (little stinker) but she had been sick and she was waiting to find out what (if any) prepays I have. She is supposed to call me back this afternoon with that info and hopefully some dates. =) I've already called my family to let them in on the good news. I tell ya, it's by the grace of God that this is happening! Prayer works people!
Well I got my call back that afternoon. I was given my prepays, and luckily for me the only thing I have to worry about is my hospital copay. WOOHOO! Shirley told me that she would take my paperwork over to the office that day and I would probably get a call with some dates Thursday or Friday. So I was like ok, I can wait a little longer. Well about 4:30 that afternoon, Debbie called and asked if I was ready for my surgery date. I was very pleasantly surprised! SO I have a support group meeting in Gainesville on March 1st. March 4th I have to go get my pre-op testing done. I have to be there at 7:30am. They are gonna do bloodwork, Upper GI, Chest X-ray, EKG, all that good stuff. Then I go for my pre-op appointment with Dr. Brient to go over everything on March 10th. Then March 14th at 11 am is my big day! So of course my head is swimming with all the things I still have to do to get prepared. I've been writing a list of things to get, and hoping that I remember everything. I ordered some flavorless protein from Unjury, as well as a chocolate sample. I also ordered a sampler with a shaker cup from Susan Maria (bariatriceating.com) I ordered my scale from Amazon. I have never owned a scale, so this will be a first for me. I've also ordered one of Kathy Sitter's beautiful bracelets, with the butterflies. I can't wait to get it!
I thought I would be nervous and scared when the time finally came, but I'm not at all. I'm more excited than anything! I can't wait to begin this wonderful journey to getting my life back. I have total faith and confidence in my surgeon.
Well I had my pre-op testing yesterday. WHEW what a day! I got to the Women's Center a little early (7am) but that was ok. I went in and was able to go and ahead and get pre-registered. I decided to go ahead and upgrade to a private room. My mother has decided to come down and stay with me at the hospital, so a private room would be best. Anywho, after I got all pre-registered, I had to sit in the lobby and wait for the lab to open. I really didn't have to wait that long, 15-20 minutes max. They came out and called me into the lab and I got my blood drawn. Then I had to trek over to Radiology for my testing there. First they did the Gallbladder ultrasound, maybe it's just me, but I swear I thought that girl was gonna break my ribs! I mean I understand she has to push so that she can see everything through all my fat, but good grief! Then I had my chest Xray which took all of two seconds. Then came that ever so lovely upper GI. This was a first for me. So I chug the fizzy stuff, not too bad. Then comes the barium, so I hold my nose, in case it's yucky, and start to chug. I lost my breath so I had to unplug my nose, and I was chugging so fast it's coming out the sides of my mouth. I was a sight for sore eyes, let me tell you! SO I get on the table and my stomach is now a model, turn left, a little more, now right. LOL Then a straw is thrust in my face, ok take a small sip he says. Now another, now drink drink drink until I tell ya to stop. At this point, this was the stuff I wanted to hurl! It was a good thing he said to stop when he did, otherwise the woman holding the container of that NASTY concoction would've been wearing it! She then said, that wasn't so bad, just wait until your leak test. The stuff you drink then tastes like paint thinner. GREAT can't wait! LOL So I finish up and trek BACK to the lab. Then I get sent upstairs for my EKG and lung capacity test. I get up there and at this point, I'm sweating and out of breath, REALLY GOOD! So of course I get my lung test first LOL. It wasn't too bad, you have to clamp your nose shut, and breath in the tube thingy. Take a deep breath and then blow it out hard, and she kept saying breath breath breath, squeeze. I'm like lady, that's all the air I GOT! I then had to have a blood gas drawn, that wasn't a big deal. The EKG was the quickest, it took longer to get the stickers and leads on and off then it took to actually take the reading. Then I went BACK tot he lab and they asked some questions (family history) and went over a few things and that was it. The worse part of the day for me, was the walking. I have a hard time as it is! Other than that it wasn't a biggie. The best part is knowing what the outcome is going to be! I am so close now that I can taste it!
I am starting my liquid diet tomorrow. I did one before, but only for about 4 days. Then I went kinda low carb. SO tomorrow it's liquids only for me. AND my surgeon doesn't require a bowel prep (thank goodness) so the day before surgery starting at noon, it's clear liquids only until midnight.
I have my next pre-op appointment with Dr. Brient on Thursday, so I'll let you know how that goes.
I had my pre-op visit with Dr. Brient yesterday. It went really well! When I first went to him for my consultation visit I got weighed. I had hit my highest weight at 386 and I'm 5'6". I wanted to crawl in a hole and die! So yesterday I got weighed and I had lost 2 lbs. That was a serious accomplishment for me! I was glad I hadn't gained! So now I'm 384. I got to meet with Trish and go over what my post-op diet will be like for the first couple of weeks. Clear liquids. That's ok though. I met with Dr. B and he said that everything looked good, except I have a fatty liver. The only problem that may cause is the incision to be a little longer, instead of 4 inches it might be 6. I told him that was fine with me. I got more paperwork, some to take with me Monday. I am so excited and he was glad that I'm excited. My mom is flying in tomorrow. I'm excited that she'll be here! So....you'll probably here from me again after my surgery!
Honey, I'm HOME! WOOHOO! Yes that's right kiddies, I made it home! A day earlier than scheduled too.
Ok, down to the nitty gritty. Monday morning we got to the hospital. I signed in and waited. They called me back, and that's when I learned the "bad news" Dr. Brient was running late because of a an emergency surgery. I waited in pre-surgery, getting my IV putting on those lovely compression stockings and basically just waited. They let my mom and hubby come back and wait with me. They finally took me to the next waiting area at 1pm. The anesthesiologist and nurse came back, asked a few questions and then started wheeling me back to surgery. The anesthesiologist said ok, here's your happy medicine. After he put it in the IV, he goes ok, bar's open! I said funny you say that, yesterday I was on clear liquids and my friend asked me if that included vodka. That was the last thing I remember. I don't remember being wheeled into surgery, nothing! So I wake up in recovery in some serious pain, and they were screaming at me to breath. Evidently morphine and I don't get along too well. They ended up giving me morphine, toredol and dilated to curb my pain. I was on oxygen, because the morphine was dropping my heartrate and making me stop breathing. They kept yelling at me to breath. I was in recovery for a LONG time! I didn't get to my ICU room until 9pm. I was blessed in recovery though, my nurse was a WLS patient herself.
I ended up spending the entire time in ICU and really didn't mind it. I got EXCELLENT care there and my bed turned into a chair. How cool is that! It made it so much easier to get in and out of bed. I did my first walk at 9pm, from the hall to my ICU bed. I was hotter than blue blazes! And those lemon swabs were a godsend! I got my first sponge bath the next day and it was pure heaven! I walked that morning and continued walking 3 times a day. By Tuesday night I was having ice chips. Wednesday I had my leak test. Talk about nasty! They were right, it tastes like paint thinner! But then once I passed I was allowed clear liquids.
Everyone in ICU was really impressed with how well I was doing (once I got rid of the morphine). They said that they hadn't had anyone so determined in quite awhile. Even Dr. Brient was impressed. So much so that he let me go home a day early. Man I was excited.
So here I am at home. I can drink up to 4 ounces an hour, but usually stick around 3 for now. I got half my staples out and go back to him on the 24th. My mom is staying until next Friday, which is going to be a great help!
That's about all I can sit here and write for now. I'm BEAT! Back to my recliner and water :D
One week today. It still seems so surreal to me. You know you work for something so hard for so long, finally get it and it still just doesn't seem real.
I have done absolutely great with this so far! My incision looks beautiful, and this is coming from a woman with a weak stomach! I can't wait to get the rest of my staples out on Thursday. I had to call Dr. Brient's office because when I was discharged I had forgotten to ask about my medications. Now I knew I wasn't going to need my Nexium anymore, but I wasn't sure whether to go ahead and start taking my synthroid and blood pressure meds again. SO I called and talked to LuAnn and she told me to keep a BP diary and follow up with my PCP before I start retaking that, however I needed to go ahead and start back on my synthroid, it is a small pill afterall. Plus of course take my daily vitamin, and for now I'm taking Centrum Adult Chewables, they have an orange taste. I am also to walk for 60 miunutes a day and continue doing my spirometer every two hours with about 5 sucks. Also on Friday I was to intake 45 ozs and up that by 5 ozs a day until they called me on Monday, take a daily shower with antibac soap and she asked some other questions about how I was feeling. She said if everything went well over the weekend, I could probably go full liquids on Monday (today) and boy was I excited at that thought! I know it sounds strange to be excited about being able to have pudding and soupy grits or creamed soups, but when you've been living on water, SF jello and SF popsicles for week, trust me it's a big treat!
I did really good with following orders, getting my ounces in. I know so many people have different programs to follow and I see so many people worried about protein at first, and getting so many ounces of water in, etc. However my Dr. isn't lke that, and you will see that every Dr. is different. Mine has a nutritionist on staff and I go by exactly what she tells me to do, I mean they've been doing this awhile and have been very successful, so they must be doing something right eh? Anywho...protein is not something I have to worry about now, and they will tell me when it becomes necessary.
I was getting concerned over the weekend because I hadn't had a bowel movement yet and I was so afraid if I didn't have one, I wouldn't be allowed to proceed to the next level. I had even posted the dreaded poop question on the March board, and right after I did, low and behold....yes I had a BM. You would've thought I was a toddler potty training because I yelled it out to my mom and my husband. They laughed at me, but hey, when you've just had your insides rerouted, it's nice to know everything is working properly!
So this morning I'm anxiously awaiting the call so I can dig into my full liquids. In the meantime, I'm continuing to intake my clear liquids (and keeping a log of what I intake). Finally after 2pm, Debbie calls to see how I am and told me I could add skim or ff milk and creamed soups. I asked if Carb countdown or 1% would be ok, and she said it would. She told me to try one thing at a time. Drink the milk only for the hour (I'm allowed 4 ounces an hour) and then if I tolerate it I can add it to the soup and try that for an hour. She said when you add something new, have only that for the hour because if you get sick, you'll know what did it. Of course continue to increase by 5 ozs (so I'm up to 60 ozs) and if I tolerate it then I should be able to go completely full liquids on Tuesday. I let her know that I had my follow up with my PCP on Tuesday morning. So as soon as I hang up the phone with her, I go WOOHOO, let me have some milk! I first tried the Carb Countdown milk. Now I've read some people like it and others don't. I'd never had it before so I wasn't sure whether I would or not. I don't. It was kinda thick, which was ewww already and it just tasted funny. So I said, well let's try the 1%. I was only worried because I had read that so many people dump from the milk sugars. Well I must be one of the lucky ones because I didn't. I was able to tolerate that and boy don't think I was ready for that soup! So my mom and I got my 98% fat free broccoli cheese soup, put it in the blender, added the milk and liquified it. That way I wouldn't have to worry with straining it and I would still get to have the broccoli. I tell you what, that was the best soup! I had been having this strange craving for cheese anyway. I have some 4 oz containers and had bought myself some baby spoons, just so I could get used to eating small bites, and it really made me feel like I was eating a whole lot. Plus it kept me from taking in to much. Not to mention, I knew if I did take in too much I would suffer the consequences and I didn't want that.
The pain is very minimal now and it's really more sore muscle than anything. I mean he had to cut through quite a lot of muscle, so that's to be expected. I make sure that I'm up wakling around the house and try not to ask anyone to get stuff for me, unless it requires some serious lifting, because that's a no no. I also have the Walk Away the Pounds DVDs and can do about half of the 1 mile walk and my wonderful husband does it with me. Isn't he the best! Having him and my mother to help me have truly been a blessing!
Well today I had my appointment with my PCP. My bp was up this morning, but that's because his oh so competant nurse decided to put the regular cuff on me and then asked me to hold it as it was popping off. I told her my arm didn't fit in that, so I was aggravated. UGH! Not to mention, I was in pain from my bra sitting at the top of my staples. Anywho, he opted to keep me on my BP meds for a little bit longer, and I still need to keep my bp log. I really don't think that I'll have to be on it much longer. I also have a rash under my belly so he gave me some medicine for that. Now I went home and called Dr. Brient's office, since they were going to call me anyway. I needed to ask Debbie about how to take my pill. I found out I have to crush it , YUK! I can take my sythroid whole, but it's a small pill. This one is a little bigger. Anywho, she asked how I was doing and told me that I can advance to the full liquids, and now can have up to 6 ozs a day and a total of 78ozs a day. I'm still gonna go slow and increase 5 ozs a day. So yesterday I got in 66 ozs. The only thing that I actually added yesterday was the SF pudding. I made the mistake of putting my pill in it...YUKKY! So tomorrow mom and I are going to try just dissolving it in an ounce of water. that way I can hurry and get it over with.
Well I tried dissolving that pill in water, OMG I about thew up! It was so bitter I just kept gagging. So I was able to call my PCP and he gave me a month's worth of samples of another medication and this one is the same size as my synthroid, so I don't have to worry about crushing it, I can just take it whole. Now on to the good stuff :D
I went back to Dr. Brient's for my first post-op visit. I was nervous about getting on the scale, but when I looked down and saw that I actually had lost weight I was so excited. LuAnn came in the room and said I had lost 21.6 pounds. You talk about someone being excited! Then Dr. Brient came in and took out the rest of my staples. That felt sooo good to get the rest of those out. He took off the old steri strips and put a few new ones down, but after looking at my incision line, I honestly don't think I'm going to have much of a scar. So I met with Trish and she told me since I haven't had any problems I could move on to soft foods. I was sooo excited, just knowing that I would be able to have something that I could chew, even a little bit. So now my diet includes eggs, beans, cheese, low fat crackers, peanut butter, yogurt, potatoes. My daily menu has also changed. I am still to eat 3 meals a day and now I also need to drink 3 protein drinks a day and try to get in at least 60 grams of protein. I haven't really bought any "tubs" of protein yet, but I have quite a few samples to work on. So I have my next appointment April 28th. I can't wait to see what my loss is then! I no longer have to wear the tad hose, no more spirometer. I still can't drive, but that's ok with me. They prefer your inscision area to be completely healed. So I'm doing great, feeling great and gonna keep on doing what I'm doing :D
I'm still doing good. The soft foods have been heavenly and so far I've been able to tolerate everything pretty well. I was worried about eggs because I've read where so many people have problems with them at the beginning. I used the Egg Beaters and scrambled it with some cheese. It was good and stayed down. I've pretty much learned my limits. Although sometimes I think my eyes are still bigger than my belly.
I've been exercising. Before surgery, I bought the Walk Away the Pounds DVD's. Now before surgery I could walk the 1 mile tape, however I had to have a chair in front of me to hold on to because my back would start hurting. After surgery, I did the same thing, but could only walk 1/2 a mile. Yesterday I walked the whole 1 mile without any chair. I was so thrilled! I just finished it again a few minutes ago. I'm going to try to do it about 3 times a day, because it's about 20 minutes long. I weighed myself this morning and I was down to 355, that's a 29 lb loss. Hubby and I decided we'll weigh ourselves once a week and picked Tuesdays.
I just completed another task I was hoping to be able to do after surgery. I just cleaned my entire house, BY MYSELF! I know that might not sound like a big deal to some, but man I couldn't do it before. It KILLED me! Knowing that my poor husband, who works himself to death because I'm out of work now, would have to help me on clean house on his one day off or it wouldn't get done. Well today I got a bug up my rear to do it myself. I turned it into one of my old Saturdays. I turned off the tv, cranked up some Bob Seger (my FAVE!!) and got busy. I just can't believe I did it. AND I even cleaned my hubby's CPAP mask. GO ME! :D It was certainly a workout for me because I was sweating by the time I was done, but I did it all on my own and I feel GREAT!
I've been having some issues with the protein drinks lastely. I don't know why, but the smell and taste of them make me wanna yak! So for now, I'm just backing off. I'm going to TRY to get some protein in other ways.
Now I know why I wasn't feeling good at the end of last week. Turns out I had kidney stones. This is something I've never had before and never want again. The pain was beyond belief! I woke up Sunday morning with back pain. I thought it was from trying to sleep in the bed. Then I noticed it radiated to the front of my abdomen. I thought maybe I was getting a bladder infection, so I sent my hubby out for some cranberry juice. I noticed when I went to the bathroom that there was some blood, so at first I thought maybe I was getting my period, but nope that wasn't it. The pain was getting worse and then when I went to the potty I noticed these two little mustard seed looking things on the TP. I put them in an empty pill bottle and finally once I couldn't handle the pain any longer, I had hubby drive me to the ER. Of course I laid there forever, but finally got back and was given pain meds and made to give a urine sample and had a CAT scan. The sample was the color of tea there was so much blood in it, and the CAT scan confirmed more kidney stones. They decided to admit me because the pain was so severe. Let me tell you, I was in St Vincents here in Jacksonville, and you would've thought they had never seen a gastric bypass patient before. My husband had to bring me food, because they didn't know what to feed me. Even after I told them several times what I could eat. If that wasn't bad enough, my IV came out spewing blood everywhere, and they just threw the bloody sheets and gown in my shower and pulled the curtain shut. I was furious. I was in there from Sunday until Tuesday afternoon. Never again! I ended up passing SEVEN stones. Talk about painful! I didn't bother weighing myself this week because I know I've gained from the IV fluid, I could tell how puffy I was. So now I'm trying to get back on track.
I did learn a lesson tonight! I tried to eat some salmon, thinking that I could get some really good protein in that way. Now I have exactly been cleared for that yet, but I thought if I chewed it well enough, I could get away with it. WRONG! Evidently I didn't chew well enough, after like the second bite it got stuck and came back up. I was sitting there and looked at my hubby, I said, um it's stuck. Then darted from the table and ran for the bathroom. It came right back up. So I stuck to the cheesy mashed potatoes afterwards. No more daring for me! I HATE throwing up! YUK! So I'll be a good girl for now :D
ONE MONTH TODAY! I can't believe that it's already been one month since I had surgery! I am now down 35 pounds and finally below 350. WOOHOO! I tell ya, it just gets better and better every day! I'm still on soft foods and will be until the 28th. That's when I go back to the Dr. for my 6 weeks post-op visit. I'm hoping then I'll get moved to the next stage. I'm ready for some meat! At least some seafood. Anywho...
I never made a list of things I want to do, well not on paper anyway, but if I had, I could cross a couple of more things off. Last weekend I was able to go to the mall, which I hadn't done in AGES! I was able to walk around without feeling like I was dying! My face didn't get red, and I didn't get out of breath, it felt sooo good! So good in fact, Monday hubby and I went to another mall, a 2 level mall here in Jax and walked around both levels. Man it was awesome! AND yesterday I did the 2 mile walk on my Walk Away the Pounds DVD. That was a serious accomplishment to me! I would like to be down 50 lbs by the time I go back to the Dr., but we'll see what happens.
Well today I had my 6 week follow-up appointment. It was a good visit! I got my B-12 shot. I was able to advance my diet. For weeks 6 and 7, I'm allowed fish/seafood, minus oysters and clams, but I don't care for oysters too much anyway, and I can live without clams. Week 8 I get to advance to Poultry, soft veggies, pasta, cereal and toast. Man I'm excited! But the best part of all....I REACHED MY GOAL! I'm down 50 pounds!!! WOOHOO!! I go back in another 6 weeks :D Oh and I'm off my BP meds too :D
Ok so I'm 2 months out and down 63 pounds, yet when I look at myself, I sure can't tell a difference! When oh when will I be able to tell? How much am I going to have to lose before I see changes? I mean I know I'm losing, that's what the scales say, so it has to be coming from somewhere? UGH! So I'm a little aggravated that I can't tell a difference.
Well yesterday was my 3 month anniversary. Sometime's I still can't believe that I had the surgery and time just seems to fly by! I went to the Dr. last Thursday. I got my monthly B-12 shot and this time got my prescription for my next 2 months of B-12 shots. I am now allowed to eat Rice, untoasted bread and cooked greens and all other veggies. In 3 weeks I can add raw/crunchy fruits and veggies. Man I can't wait to have a salad! I told the nutritionist that, and she said a lot of people feel that way. I don't think I'm gonna try the bread, I still haven't eaten toast since I've been allowed to. I might try some rice tonight. As of this morning I'm down 79 pounds. Not too shabby :-) Hubby and I are going to take my monthly pictures and measurements tonight. I'm really hoping that I will finally be able to tell a difference! I know that some of my clothes are starting to get too big. My hubby says my elastic shorts look huge on me as well as some of my shirts. I really don't know what clothing I started wearing before surgery because after I got out of a 26 I just gave up buying clothes. I can now wear some 26's again and I have some 28's that someone sent me and they are getting too big. I'm loving this. Now I think I'm starting to feel confident enough to go back to the gym. I am thinking about going back Friday morning. I have to take hubby to work anyway (so I can run errands). Anywho...That's all for now.
Well I'm about 14 weeks out now and so excited with my progress! I'm down 90lbs now (almost to that century mark) and down to a 22/24 on top and 24's on the bottom. I went back through some more clothes and packed up more that I never got to wear. Oh well I'm not complaining! I had $100 in gift certificates to Lane Bryant that my mom had given me the last 2 Christmas' but I hadn't used them because for one, I was too embarassed to be seen out, second I couldn't walk around the mall to save my life, and three I couldn't fit in anything there anymore. I went Friday and bought 2 new bras and 3 new tops. They were having a sale, I couldn't resist. I was wearing a 52DD, now my poor girls are down to a 46C. I haven't worn a C cup since high school. Oh well...
I've been able to eat salads now. YUMMY! Although I've really only tried what I've had here at home. I just bought a bag of Romaine,carrots, and red cabbage mix, put in a little bit of lite dressing and add some cottage cheese and shredded cheese. YUMMY! I'm going to start going back to the gym now. I'm not so worried about being made fun of like that last time I was there. That was like over a year ago. Anywho...The pic below is one that my hubby took on my 3 month post op date. He says it's his fave =)
Well another month has come and gone and I can't believe that I am 4 months out already! I stepped on the scale this morning and have FINALLY made the century club! WOOHOO! I am so excited about that! I am feeling better every day! I am no longer able to wear my wedding rings. They keep trying to fall off or the animals want to play with them on my finger and try to take them off. SO I put them away in my jewelry box and put on another ring that fits. I have also gone down in clothing sizes again WOOHOO! I bought some dressy tops at Lane Bryant and they were 22/24. I tried on some zip up/button up shorts and they were a 24 =) I bought myself some knit shorts and they were XL/18/20. Man this is GREAT!
I decided to get my hair cut off this weekend. For a couple of reasons. The MAIN reason, they were doing Locks of Love/Kutting for Kids at a local mall here. You had to have 10inches or more, which I did. It went for kids with cancer or burn victims who have no hair. A WONDERFUL cause IMO. SO...I did it! Plus I was shedding. Ok who am I kidding here, I was losing hair LOL But it really has slowed down. No biggie. So here's a not so good pic I took this morning with the webcam. I'm gonna go get it straightened up some and then I'll take some better pictures.
So I am 5 months post-op. Sometimes it still seems so surreal! Lots to update. First I've started going to the gym. I have started going with a friend I made here on the OH board. I was trying to get the courage to go again, afterall I am smaller than when I used to go, but having someone go with me helped me to get the courage up. Now I have the attitude who cares what others think, look how far I've already come! I go early in the morning too so I don't have to worry about the evening meat market LOL Most of the people that go in the morning are there to work out and don't pay attention to anyone else there. Although now it looks like I'm going to have to start going by myself. Rhonda (whom I go to the gym with) doesn't have to be at work until 9 and I will have to be at my new job at 8 or 830 (not sure which yet). Yes you read that correctly I HAVE A NEW JOB WOOHOO!! I had applied for a job with one of the local Dodge dealerships and when I went through the first interview I thought nothing was going to come of it, because the lady who interviewed me didn't seem as though she even liked me and plus I had mentioned that I was going on vacation and wouldn't be able to start for a couple of weeks. Talk about surprised when they called me back for a second interview, and even more surprised when I interviewed with the same lady and she told me how much she liked me and my personality and my desire to work and would love for me to come work there. I took my drug test on Friday and call her Monday morning so that hopefully I can go start training at noon. I will be a receptionist, not exactly what I wanted, but it's an income!
Well hubby and I decided to take a trip to DisneyWorld for our 1 year anniversary (8/10). I invited my sister and my mom decided to come too. Most people are like why would you do that? My family is fun and I love having them around! I wish my dad would've been able to come but he couldn't get off work. My mom first walked in my door and her mouth dropped and she goes WOW! You look like a movie star! (I was dressed up for my 2nd interview) She said she didn't even recognize me, especially since I've had my hair cut. It was so nice, because I had been so bummed out not too long ago when she said she couldn't see a difference (from pictures). So that totally made my day! We went down and had a blast! I still worked out while I was down there too, of course I did a lot of walking too! We went to MGM, Animal Kingdom and Epcot. I was so thrilled that I could fit on all the rides. There were times I was worried but had no reason to. I had no problems walking around and that was such a relief for me! We went out to eat and the first time we were put in a booth I started to freak, it had been so long that I had been able to fit in a booth, I thought there's no way. I'm so used to having to ask for a table, so with reluctance I went to sit down in it and low and behold I fit, with room to spare! I was thrilled! Little things are changing! I can't wear my wedding rings anymore, they are too big, but we decided to wait on sizing them until I'm close to goal. I was wearing a ring he bought me when we first started dating but even that is too big now. SOOO I'm wearing my high school class ring. I never thought that it would fit, but it does!
I go back to Dr. Brient in September for my 6 month check up and I'm hoping to be down to at least 250 by then. We shall see though. I'm very happy with my progress!
Here's a picture of me at Disney with my Crush (if you couldn't tell from my profile) Not the best pic, but that's ok.
The time seems to just fly by anymore! I can't believe it's already been 6 months since my surgery. Last month was slow loss for me. I lost 10 lbs last month, but that's ok, it's better than nothing right? Anywho...I didn't like the job at the dealership, it was so super boring and I wasn't utilizing my skills, so I stayed a week and couldn't take any more. Plus it was killing us in gas since we're a 1 vehicle family right now. Oh well, something better will come along.
Well thought I would do a mid-month update. I've been stuck on a plateau for at least a month, maybe a little loner. I started doing my Walk Away The Pounds DVD's again, although now I'm doing the 3 mile walk and that seems to have helped get me kick started once again. FINALLY! Although I know it's normal to hit a plateau around the 6 month mark it still makes it frustrating. I go for my "6 month" checkup next thursday. I was supposed to have went on my actually 6 month date, but the Dr.'s office had to reschedule.
Some good news, I got a new job yesterday. They called me back for a 2nd interview yesterday and then called last night at 4:58pm and asked me if I'd like to start today. So I'm fixing to head out. Hubby took a couple of pics yesterday so I thought I'd post a new face shot. My body shot is at the end.
I absolutely cannot believe that it has been 7 months! I can definitely tell that the weight loss has slowed down some, but I'm still kicking right along =D I just celebrated my 31st birthday on Wednesday. I made myself a scrumptous pumpkin cake. Oh it's one of my faves! Better than a store birthday cake anyday! I saw my surgeon and he was thrilled with my progress, he thought I would've slowed more than I have so he was excited about my progress.
I've had a problem with my back. I've seen an orthopedist and he recommended physical therapy. So I've started that. They todl me what I already knew, that my lower back muscles are locked tight and my abs are weak. My back is locked up because of carrying the weight around all that time and compensating for the weak abs. So we're working on stretches and exercises to loosen my back muscles and tighten my abs.
The best news I've gotten lately though is that one of my very close friends got her approval for her surgery. SallyKate Losing Weight has been fighting so hard for so long! She finally won her battle and today I'm going with her to get her pre-op testing done and next Monday is her surgery. I told her I'd be right there for her and her family. I'm so excited for her! She was there for me during mine and has seen how it's affected me and I just can't wait until she can do all the things she wants again!
I've been awful about updating, but truth be told, there hasn't been much to update. This will probably be short and sweet. I'm down 143lbs, yes the weight loss has slowed down. I'm now in 18/20 and XL, although I did get an outfit for Christmas that was a Large and it fit great. I'm able to wear jeans again, I got quite a few pairs of size 18 jeans from someone, with a few 16's mixed in. Not quite there yet, but I will be =) Had a great Christmas with my family. I was able to get out and go shopping this year and hang out with them instead of being stuck in the house. Hubby and I spent a nice quiet New Year's Eve alone.
I have FINALLY gotten a job! I am so super excited about it! It feels like I have been waiting forever to get one. I am going to be working for the State, so the benefits are going to be great! The money is decent, but the benefits far outweigh anything else! I start tomorrow. I've been out of work for what feels like forever it's definately going to be a change for me, but I'm looking forward to it!
The weight loss has definately slowed down, which is why I haven't posted as much as I was. I'll get hubby to take some pics soon and post something. I just haven't because I don't think my appearance has changed that much.
My Weight Chart
|Date||Weight||Pounds Lost||Total Pounds Lost||BMI|
If You Want Yours Spruced Up Click Here
My husband and I on our
6 1/2 months post op
(Gainesville, FL) - North Florida Regional Medical Center
Books & Literature - My husband says I could open my own library LOL
Travel - I love to take trips
Dogs - We have a Chi mix (Bear) & Lhaso Apso/Schnauzer mix (Sassy)
Adoption - I am adopted and have met my birth family
Meeting People - I love to meet new people and making new friends!
Movies - Enjoy going to the movies
Music - I love all kinds of music
Shopping, Bargain Hunting & Auctions - I love a good bargain!
Tattoo - 6 so far...
Basketball - I am all about some college hoops UK ALL THE WAY
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: Bruce Brient, M.D.
Dr. Brient is great! He has a great bedside manner. He goes over the history of the surgery with you, let's you know how long he's been doing it and his mortality and leak rate up front (which is I believe 2 in 20+ years). His aftercare program is 18 months. I am very glad that I chose him.
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, PPO
It was a breeze dealing with Empire! I actually didn't have any problems at all. I turned in my paperwork to the surgeons office and they did the rest.
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