Welcome to my ebb and flow ...
In addition to my wls journal I've tried to include some links and information that I've found helpful in my journey including inspirational profiles, supplement recommendations and useful websites full of information to help others on their weight loss journey. It is my hope that you will find something here that might offer you encouragement, insight or direction in your own quest. Bright blessings to you ... Caroline
Stuff You Gotta Check Out!
Leilani ~*~ has one of the most inspirational profiles I've read on OH.com. From her before and after pictures to all the EXTRAS that she shares in her profile it's soooo worth the time you take to look it over. I find that I am always blessed when I go to read her page!
~*~Vitamins, Protein Supplements, & Other Post Op Goodies~*~
*I currently buy my vitamins and the vast majority of my protein supplements from Susan Maria's site called bariatriceating.com . She is a member of OH.com and a post op of several years. I enjoy the ease of shopping at predominantly one place for my supplemental needs and I enjoy the very personal nature of the way Susan Maria does business. Yes, sometimes I could find the items I wanted on sale some place else but no one else I've dealt with online has such a personal and warm interaction with her customers! She includes additional samples in each of my orders, personal messages, and is available to answer any questions that I have about the products that she carries personally. She generously takes time to share new recipes and tips on the OH.com message board, in emails and on her own site. I appreciate her discriminating determination to search for and carry only the best possible tasting products. Also, I appreciate the personal touches her customers enjoy when dealing with her! For me this journey was scary enough in the beginning and I wanted more than just a company with "no face" to deal with ... I've found that in Susan Maria.
*Vista Vitamins~these are the BEST! I started out taking Flintstones and quickly moved to prenatals but didn't really start feeling good as a post op until I started taking Vistas! I feel more energized and healthy taking these than any other vitamin supplement I've tried. I order mine from bariatriceating.com
Syntrax Fruit Nectar~Fuzzy Navel Flavor~this is currently my FAVORITE protein mix! It's sweetened with splenda and is perfect for mixing with crystal light or lite/diet juices from Ocean Spray or V-8. I get tired of milk based protein shakes so this is a great change from all the milky ones! I order mine from bariatriceating.com
Whey Fruity~comes in both lemonade and fruit punch which are equally yummy! Again, I mix with crystal lite or with a fruit juice and they are really tastey! I don't even like fruit punch normally but I am crazy about this suff! I order mine from bariatriceating.com
Other Protein mixes~If you like milk based protein shakes I recommend Proplete Gold Vanilla Pineapple or Banana Creme. If you like Chocolate, I recommend Elite Chocolate Mint or Mocha or Proplete Double Chocolate Ice Cream flavors. For tasteless protein I like AnyWhey. I order these from bariatriceating.com
Order samples from bariatriceating.com samples
New Odyssey Slim Advantage Protein Bar~hands down this is one of the best protein bars I've ever eaten! The regular Odyssey bars are great too but the Slim Advantage bar tends to be a more managable size for us as a post op! I order mine from bariatriceating.com
Power Crunch Bars~one of my top favorite protein bars! It's like a sugar wafer kind of bar which is a great taste ... still with 13g. of protein so better than a sugar free chocolate kinda candy for a special treat! I order mine from bariatriceating.com
Doctor's CarbRite Diet protein bar~this is one of my new favorites!!!! It's one of the best tasting chocolate/coconut bars I've tried ... absolutely! 18 grams of protein too! I order mine from bariatriceating.com
Slim Whey protein bar~these are my absolute new favorites! OMG they are fantastic!!! The coconut almond and the peanut butter bar are just heavenly! I haven't tried the caramel nut one yet but I plan on it. You just have to try these! I order mine from bariatriceating.com
ONEWAY protein bars~another really great tasting protein bar for the money. This is a less expensive bar so a bit more of an aftertaste but still really delicious in my book! I buy mine locally at Walmart!
Majestic Moisturizer~after wls I had the worst dry skin and this is a GREAT product that I've found to help combat it! Hand made moisturizer made by one of our OH.com own, and she will even scent it to order for you! I LOVE the cinnamon! It's a wonderfully rich and thick moisturizer that works especially well for my feet! I order mine from Divine Intervention
~*~Cool WLS Tools to use~*~
Check out fitday.com to log in and track calories, protein, carbs and even exercise!
Check out how to exercise for great animated instructions on simple do at home exercises sponsored by Ladies Home Journal.
Check out thinnerself.com to chart your progress with weightloss and inches. It's got some really fantastic information and tools to use to keep up with your weight loss progress!
WLS ~*~ My Journey
Beginning Weight: 318 lbs
Beginning BMI: 54.6
Current Weight: 231 lbs(4/03/04)
Current Total Loss: 87 lbs(4/03/04)
Sometime in November 2003...
I am not even sure where to start ... I didn't find OH until after my surgery so unfortunately I have not been a fantastic chronicler of events. Too, I find myself hesitant to go back now and try to fill in the blank spots. Anesthesia is NOT the friend of memory for sure! ~laughing~
Well, let's see ... I had my surgery lap RNY on October 22, 2003. I found out about the surgery just about a year before and talked it over with my husband who is a Navy Corpsman. We agreed to speak to my PCP about it, never thinking that she would be supportive. Boy was I in for the shock of my life when she told me that she felt that it would be a great decision for someone in my situation. At that time, I was just over a year diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, taking 1 NPH insulin shot a night and 1,000mg of glucophage twice a day as well as 4mg of Amaryl once a day. In addition, I had already been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian disease and was taking birth control pills to try to combat some of that. I also had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was taking synthroid for that.
Obviously I was already on my way to being a great candidate with co-morbidities and such, so my doctor was fabulous. Unfortunately she was TAD'd to Cuba for a short while and my quest for surgery was put on hold until the early spring of '03. When she returned I was in worse shape, now needing 1,000mg of blood pressure medicine every day and eventually working up to 6 Prilosec a day for inexplicable stomach pain. I was just topping 300 lbs and honestly, I spent most days incapable of doing the simplest tasks.
I have been heavy as long as I can remember so it's just been a part of me. I was always the fat girl with the amazing personality to compensate. However, the past few years had started to take an enormous toll on my ability to pretend that being fat was not a big deal in hindering me. I started becoming positively reclusive ... not even wanting to attend family functions because I was growing so ashamed and unable to navigate well.
One of the interesting things for me about getting this surgery was my required visit to the Endocrinologist who explained me to me better than anyone else has my whole life. He explained what a hormonal/glandular wreck I am and have been since I was in my early teens. This was a relief of incredible magnitude. Unlike some people I know, I had NEVER been able to have a successful dieting venture. The MOST I ever lost on a diet was 8lbs. My body just simply refuses to give up any weight and it's sooooo blasted efficient at storing weight it's positively nauseating. ~laughing~
Both my PCP, Endocrinologist and referring surgeon all agreed that I would never stand a chance of losing weight of any significance through conventional dieting. My body is my own worst enemy ... not just psychologically but physically as well. This was incredibly disheartening on the one hand but at least it explained to me what I had begun to suspect after getting my hopes up time and time again with new meds that finally something would work. WLS was truly my last option ... which made me eager that there was a hope, but afraid too because essentially, that's the nature of last options I think.
By this time it had started to grow nearly impossible to grocery shop, would take me like 12 hours to do a few dishes and a couple of loads of laundry, and I could not even, would not even walk the few yards to the mailbox from exhaustion. I was having headaches constantly and spent the better part of every day trying to sleep to compensate for waking up every 30 mins all night long ... and that was on the nights I didn't have insomnia.
As I worked slowly through the system of referrals I saw so many different kinds of doctors and endured so many procedures it became a nagging wish in the back of my mind that maybe it would be better just to die and be out of this pain ... I felt trapped, claustrophobic ... literally like I was suffocating in my own body. As I was getting my clearances checked off, I got the devastating news that my PCP would be leaving the Navy. I can not underestimate how terrified this news made me. This woman literally saved my life, both with the surgery and agreeing to see me at all since I had given up seeing any military physician for several years.
My Doc worked with my husband and after he told her about my obesity and health problems, she insisted that I come in and see her specifically. She was willing to buck a very finicky military system to see me ... of all places, in military sick call where all the active, fit Marines and Sailors are seen. I didn't care though, once I met her ... I was willing to endure their stares to try to get some help.
So anyways, she was leaving and I was blessed again because she got me in with another PCP who was very much of the same type of mindset. My new PCP has been fabulous and is so available to help with anything I have needed from pain meds to papsmears to vitamin B12 shots.
Well, finally all the pre-qualifying was done and I met my surgeon and things seemed to be on the move when I got a little, innocuous letter in the mail stating that I was denied. I wanted to die right there on the spot ... after all of my hopes that had been raised ... all the work to get to those freaking referrals ... all the people who had seen me naked!!!! I was so crushed I just didn't feel I could wrap my mind around life doomed to slowly suffocate in this enormous body. I quickly began calling because the letter said I only had 3 days for an emergency appeal and I had a surgery date already on the books for less than 2 weeks away ... I was already in my pre-op diet for goodness sakes!
My new PCP was fabulous and outraged, immediatly sitting down to write a letter of appeal, as well as one of my referring gastrointestinal surgeons (the Navy sends us to civilians for wls here in NC). With their letters as well as other supporting information my husband faxed in the information and I began an agonizing wait. They had three days to respond and within that time, I was notified of approval!!!! I was so happy I think I cried some then too!
So the weeks before surgery (surgery date was moved once) seemed to go by pretty quickly with me trying to learn what I could and trying to educate my family a bit. I so wish I had known about OH before I had my wls ... it would have been SUCH a help! I didn't have a huge pre-op prep to do ... only an Atkins type diet about 3 or 4 weeks before surgery if at all possible. I was on the high end of the BMI scale for lap at I think 53 or so, so my surgeon was not positive I could even have the procedure lap, which is his general surgery specialty. The Atkins diet was to shrink the liver and the fatty tissue around it to give my surgeon more room.
I was very scared pre-op but didn't talk about it much because I didn't want to scare anyone else like my husband who is the most amazing man I have ever known. Without him there is no way I could have had the courage or strength to do anything good or positive with myself at this point. He has held my hand, my bed pan, my shots, my world in his own hands so beautifully that if I started now saying how amazing and wonderful he is, I would not have enough time in this lifetime to truly express it.
We opted not to stay in a hotel the night before my surgery so that we could give our cats last minute meds so we had a good bit of a drive in the dark to get to the hospital on time. Things progressed as well as I expected ... given that I was still half expecting for something to go wrong and to be denied the surgery at the last minute. Some of my records were not found so I had to have a few extra tests the morning of surgery which was a real bummer, otherwise all went well. Most of my immediate family was able to be at the hospital with me including my little niece (3 years old) who entertained me with Sesame Street showtunes, complete with the big finish every time until I was whisked away to the pre-op staging area.
This was probably the most traumatic time in the whole process for me because Dr. Naziri was running late and I was left alone for well over an hour and a half waiting to be wheeled in. They gave me some Vercid in my IV but I just started to feel so incredibly alone ... I cried ... the only time that day. I felt so sorry for myself and I had the awful feeling that I was in some bad horror movie. The holding area is in an older part of the hospital and the ceilings aren't very high, and I have very claustrophobic so I felt like it was just so icky and surreal and my husband wasn't allowed there to hold my hand. It was the worst. No one even acted like they could see me ... I was sort of off in a corner out of the traffic. People kept being wheeled in and off and there I was. Finally though it was time and boy was I relieved.
The last thing I remember in surgery was the nurse who was attending ... she introduced herself and said ... "hello Caroline, my name is Faith and I will be with you the entire time. We are gonna take good care of you." I really felt that was a message from God to be calm ... faith was with me. ~grins~
I had a strange situation happen at some point (at the end I think) of my surgery. I was warned about the breathing tube and not to bother it but it seems I semi-woke up and promptly began jerking it out of my throat. My eyes were not even open but I must have had some strength cause I could feel other people trying to keep it in place and get my hands away. I just couldn't control the feeling that I wanted it out of me now!!! I was jerking and choking and I heard someone say, "she's turning blue" and a man's voice saying, "just take it out" ... the next thing I remember was waking up in my ICU recovery room moaning that it hurt so bad.
The first few days of my recovery were a fog of pain meds (those that did and those that didn't work), my husband, my parents, a really soft, stuffed Eeyore, going to the bathroom, walking, ensure, and sitting in this chair that had to be from the torture pit it was so uncomfortable. I stayed a day longer than planned but Dr. Naziri was great with that and I was happy to have the extra time since I went a good amount of time without regulated pain meds. I was in on a Monday and released on a Thursday to go home.
The real extra fun began on Friday when I realized I was starting to have a kidney stone episode. This sounds bad enough until you consider not being able to ingest more than 2 oz of water an hour and then ... it becomes REAL bad. Virtually impossible to flush a kidney stone out on your own at that point. So with up'd pain meds and IV fluids on both Friday night and then back in for more on Sunday, I was really packing in the liquids. Each bag of IV fluid weighs roughly 2.2lbs I am told, so it wasn't doing anything for my early weight loss hopes either.
The next week I spent in a recovery/pain med blur. Between everything smelling so awful it's indescribable and tasting so yucky I was nearly gagging, it was quite an adventure. Privately I spent most of that first week at home wondering what in the heck I had done to myself and almost in a panic. By the next Friday I was again having serious kidney stone issues and was discharged from the ER but admitted to the hospital by my precious PCP who promptly ordered a CAT scan which did reveal the stones. I was in the hospital getting steady IV fluids for hydration the entire weekend ... really packing on the pounds! ~laughs~ Finally, monday morning I passed three sizable stones and was released to go home.
Because I had had so many problems with the liquid Loretab my Doctor opted to put me on a duragesic pain patch. I was given some bum instructions by one of my healthcare providers however and was told to cut the patch as I stepped down off the pain meds. Now, keeping in mind that I had morphine, anesthesia, Lortab, Demoral, AND the constant pain patch all within a very short couple of weeks period. Well, I cut the pain patch as instructed but what happened was that all the medicine leaked out and into my body at one time ... that was THREE days worth. I was soooo sick I immediately stopped all pain therapy. My body takes a while to process narcotics anyway and I was absolutely swimming in them from the past few weeks.
Also, I might mention that I was told to make arrangements for reliable birth control before my surgery, that the pill would not be an option, so I opted without investigation to use the Depro shot. Let me just say that it was an enormous mistake. I had my second Depro shot the week after my surgery as well. If I had one thing I could do over during this whole thing it would have been to research the shot better. It's an anabolic steroid which causes many people, myself included to GAIN weight. It also causes some funky other side effects in some people. It's a great birth control method for many women but there are side effects that no one talked to me about. I gained 16 lbs the first month after I took my first shot but I didn't realize it was from the Depo. I thought it was just one more funky thing my body was doing. Then I started researching and found it happens to many women.
I'd say it took me until about week 5 to feel like everything was going to really be ok. I had tons of questions and going to a support group meeting finally at week 4 also helped alot. I finally started to leave the night terrors, the worries, the regrets and the foggy head behind, as well as those acute senses of smell and taste. During the first five weeks, no sugar added fruit popsicles saved my sanity!! ~grins~
I haven't kept up with the figures very well and I've already had several plateaus that have given me small moments of panic but I can give the basics. My last known weight before surgery was 318lbs and today I weighed in at 8 weeks at 270lbs so that's 48lbs in 8 weeks. I have never lost that much weight in my life and as my husband will attest, I feel like a NEW WOMAN!!! I have so much energy doing my housework and stuff that it just blows me away. Though I have a long way to go ... haven't even really gotten up the courage to set a goal ... I am thrilled so far. No regrets. Best of all ... no more diabetes meds, no more Prilosec, and no more high blood pressure meds. The only medication I still have to take is my thyroid medicine.
I have been lucky to have very very few dumping episodes though I have learned well how quickly I can make myself miserable by eating too fast or too much or the wrong thing! I don't seem to dump on sweets but clear the roads if I ingest too much fat. OMG ... I tried pork rinds because I really used to like them pre-op ... let's just say it was the ugliest episode in my small dumping history.
I guess that's all for now, but I will try to keep this updated with thoughts and experiences as I do along.
Gosh I've not been very good at keeping up with the journal portion of this profile thing have I? ~chuckles~ Let's see, last weigh in was at 260lbs so I have lost 58 since my surgery. Not as fast as some but faster I guess than others. I have to remind myself alot that this is a personal journey not a contest and what works for me and my body is what I have to embrace, learn and live with. I seem to lose about 2 to 3 lbs a week ... closer to the two lbs a week side and if I manage 10lbs a month I suppose I am doing ok.
Of course, I know there are things I could be doing better and am working on. Not eating my new vice, popcorn is one thing. I am throwing the popcorn away today, for me it's too much of a temptation. Also, it would help if my hubby stopped baking his new love sugar free Christmas cookies so that I am not tempted, but it's not anything that has gotten out of control at this point. I keep telling him that sugar free does NOT mean calorie free. ~laughing~
One of the hardest things for me right now is not getting my food in appropriate increments throughout the day and not getting enough water in. Most days I don't even feel like starting to eat until 4pm or so, which does not do much for helping to get in 60grams of protein before I am exhausted and ready for bed. I don't seem to have any appetite earlier in the day and it's harder to make myself go ahead and start eating. I can get in the 64oz of liquid but man is it hard to keep pushing myself all day long. It's definitely a personal victory for me when I am able to get it in!!!
I am trying to find some really satisfactory protein supplements right now, and have been ordering a good amount of supplies from www.bariatriceating.com . I really like the Proplete gold Vanilla Pineapple protein drink mix and of course, my hubby wants his flavors too! Though he isn't obese, he was getting on the high end of his allowable weight by the Navy for his height and age, but has lost 18lbs since my surgery! He is doing lowfat, low carb, high protein and really enjoying himself. It just makes ordering supplements twice as expensive which ... for his health and mine, I guess a small price to pay!
I am still worried about the pending deployment in January but am trying not to think about it through the holidays so I don't make myself insane with fears that I can do nothing about. It's really hard but I see other women being so strong and it gives me courage!!
Still enjoying my emerging neck and shrinking fingers a great deal! It's funny that one of my biggest excitements is not having a triple chin and an huge puffy face and not having just totally chubby little fingers ... slowly the weight is sliding off ... I just have to keep telling myself ... discipline and patience!!
Well, it's official, I have started losing my hair in impressive degrees. Last night after I worked out and took a bath, there was hair everywhere ... in considerable quantity just bailing off of my head like it was the Titanic! ~sighs~ I knew it was coming but ... is anyone ever comfortable getting handfuls of hair falling out into their hands when they run their fingers through it? ~gentle shrug~ My hair was very close to the bottom of my back just before I had surgery, but I got it all cut off in preperation for all of these changes so it's not going to be as traumatic is as it would have been if I were shedding 2ft. long hairs all over the place!!
I noticed something funny today too ... though I am not sure how long it will last. When I first had surgery I was one of the ones who was hungry allll the time ... I had rumblings and pinching feelings, true hunger pains constantly except for the hour right after I ate. My surgeon's assistant assured me that it would pass, and while I nodded and thanked her, I was thinking to myself ... "yeah right". I knew it was physical hunger, not head hunger and could not imagine that it would go away. I felt like this all the time before surgery but I am told lots of diabetics do.
Anyways, I realized during the night sometime that she was right. The reason I am struggling to eat during the day is just that I am not hungry hardly ever any more. The constant hunger pains are gone ... and more often I am head hungry for food than I am actually physically wanting it. Interesting the changes we go through with this surgery!!!
The hair continues to fall out impressively. I know they say that it won't last forever but boy, if I lose at this rate for 3 months I WILL be bald! ~laughing~
Nothing new much going on. I am battling my addiction, (yes, it IS an addiction) to popcorn, so far it's winning. I feel like I get two parts to my formula right most days but rarely do I get all three of them nailed. When I do it's a really stellar day for me. It's either water lacking or protein lacking or a bit too much carbs or snacking ... it's tough. I struggle most I think with the liquids. I just can't seem to consistently get down 64oz a day, never mind the panic that sets in when I hear people talking about doubling that amount!!
There are new challenges every day but my standard three are about enough for the moment. I've been able to stay off the scales more lately ... am finally down out of the 260's and at 257 last check so that's 61lbs. I am trying very hard to learn to be more content with every day rather than letting the scales set my feelings of success or failure. It's all about a change of lifestyle after all ... this ain't temporary! ~grins~
Found out yesturday that my hubby will not be deployed this month as was possible. I am relieved but at the same time feel so guilty with so many others going and families having to face the same realities that I feared. My heart and prayers go out to them ... please remember our troops and families too!!
Went to the Base Hospital today and weighed in ... 253 so that's 65 pounds for me! ~soft smile~ It was pretty neat to see all the folks my hubby works with. I just got my hair cut and colored and got loads of compliments on it and my weight loss. I was afraid the longer my hair was the worse the shedding appears so I went ahead and got a pretty cute short cut. My hubby said great, he'd support it so long as it wasn't a boy cut. ~laughing~
He seems very happy with it ... I plan to take a pic this weekend so I can get some film developed and post them. I have hated having my picture taken for years but now, I am actually starting to get a little excited when it's picture taking time.
Finally 248lbs this morning!! That's 70lbs lost since surgery. I can't believe I've actually lost 70lbs. On the one hand it seems soooo slow and on the other it seems incomprehensible that I could have ever lost so much weight. Today, in the early morning jubulation, it doesn't feel like this has been so hard. Today in fact, it feels like it's been really pretty easy. Ummmm ... ask me again in a few days and things might have changed by then. ~laughing~
Went to the doctor today and weighed in at 244. That's 74lbs gone ... slow but steady! ~grins~
*Also, I started taking Vista vitamins on Jan. 28th instead of the Natachew prenatals I have been trying to take. I just wasn't doing a good enough job taking the Natachews every day cause the taste was just putting me off so now I am going with the Vistas. We will see how those work out.
Additionally I am starting to do a protein shake every morning to see if that will help keep my protein intake up. Since I've finally found some protein shakes that I really like it's much easier to stick with my routine. I've been doing one a day in the mornings of these also since Jan 25th or so.
Horrible week this week ... I was in the ER for 4.5 hours Tuesday night in excruciating stomach pain ... after Toradol and nausea meds including a shot of Benadryl I finally felt better. They aren't sure if I had a touch of stomach flu or really horrendous gas ... lovely huh? I GAINED back up to 245.7lbs almost overnight from the IV fluids and water retention however today I weighed again and am down to 241.5 which makes me -77lbs down overall. Hubby is on a crazy schedule this weekend so it's going to be hard for me to stay on my schedule ... I'm already behind on my water so it's likely gonna be a crazy weekend too.
Had my first session with my new psychologist/behavioral counselor today. It went pretty well. I am really trying hard to get a handle on the issues behind THE ISSUE (weight) so that I can ensure the best possible chances for my success with this whole wls journey. He assigned a book for me to read called, "The Search for Significance" ... so we will see how that goes. I wonder if I am the only one to feel vaguely strange and naked in talking to someone who's whole job is to analyze you. ~laughing~
At any rate, I know I have a very difficult time identifying my own destructive/negative/counterproductive behaviors so I am hoping that this will help. I used to blame ALL of my weight difficulties on myself and my lack of willpower ... but then after seeing an endocrinologist who finally explained about all of my endocrine disorders and how it was inevitible without treatment that I'd get to this size ... well ... it's been very hard to be able to objectively see what IS my fault any more.
I just tend to want to blame everything on the endocrine issues and let that be that ... which isn't going to help me be fully successful here ... sooooo it's to the counselor I am going ... I HAVE to do everything I can to make sure to check myself and give myself the best shot at success that I can.
I FINALLY lost another pound today too so that's 78lbs all total. I am way ready to drop out of the 240's and get moving along. I've got to start on a steady exercise program but I seem to lack so much drive in that department right now. Still ... no excuses ... I must do it!
I think my serious hairloss is finally starting to ease up. I've noticed my last couple of showers I've had less hair coming out and in between showers it's not seemed to be shedding as bad either. I attribute that to being close to my 6 month mark which my surgeon indicated would be when it would easing up and my Vista vitamins which I really feel are a superior nutritional source! I did start using some Nixion shampoo and conditioner this week but I don't think it's had any instant effect on my hair loss ... I am just trying to make my thin, frizzy hair look healthier. I've always had stick straight hair but suddenly my hair is growing in and growing out with this natural curl/frizz to it. Freaks me out! ~laughing~
I've been on one longggggg plateau it feels like ... forever since I've lost a pound. I am still stuck at 240 ... 78lbs lost and starting to fear this is it for me ... I tell myself it isn't but it's disconcerting after about a month of no real progress. ughhhh!!! Oh well ... here's to all the wonderful changes so far and for getting to have my health back. I was able to spend this whole week past with friends in crisis and my new baby neice which I could never have done 6 months ago ... so Cheers mates!!!! Life is getting better every day!!
Well finally I'm past the 240's! ~laughing~ I weighed in at the doctor's at 237.3 so that's 81lbs lost so far! Yeah! I had great blood pressure, 126/74 and pulse rate, 72 so I am totally thrilled. This from the girl with the galloping 120's range for my pulse preop! Dr. Naziri was great ... totally encouraging and pleased with my progress. I was a bit afraid that since I've not lost the "standard" 100lbs at six months that he would be disappointed but I definitely sold him short! He was great ... a real blessing and encourager! He told me that if I didn't lose another pound he feels the surgery has been successful for me. Everything else is gravy at this point!
I do think the hair loss is really almost over ... it's diminished notably this week so I'm also REAL glad about that! It was really starting to unnerve me frankly!
The bad news? I've got a hideous eye infection that forced me to the ER this morning for treatment! The good news? I weighed on my doctor's scale and ... ~drum roll~ I am down to 233!!!! That's 85lbs total!!!!
This is such a big deal to me right now cause I've been a rather slow loser (to me) and have had a lot of periods of stalling out. I'd begun to wonder if my weight loss was about over ... and have been feeling a little blue about it ... seems like I was in the 240's for weeks. It feels really good to know that I've got some more losing left to do with proof from the scales cause I've been telling myself it's too soon to be totally finished but my eyes have been reading the scales and fearing a different story! I'm only about halfway to my goal ... so I'm thrilled today despite the pain of the eye infection!
Worse news it seems! ~sighs~ I do NOT have an eye infection but I have uveitis which is a very serious inflamation of different levels of the eye. I have pretty bad scarring and seriously impaired vision in my left eye with signs of emerging problems in the right eye. I was started on steriod drops last week with some improvement but my opthomologist was not fully pleased so moved me to oral steriods starting yesturday. Needless to say, I am really bummed cause of the eye problems and the likely weight gain.
I called my bariatric surgeon this morning to let him know about the steriods and left a message with one of his staff ... just expecting her to call me back. Dr. Naziri actually called me back himself which really impressed me ... he was both very concerned for my my stomach and my general health. I can't say how good it was to get such a warm and positive response from someone that I not only admire as an amazing influence in my life but a very impressive professional as well. It makes me happy that he takes the time to really invest in his patients well beyond what most would normally even consider! Yet another reason why I'm so thankful that God put Dr. Naziri in my path ... he has been really phenominal to me!!!
Dr. Naziri did start me on prevacid to help the effects of the steriods on my pouch so I'm glad that I did call to let them know about the meds change. I was on 6 prilosec before my surgery and I don't want to ever go back to that misery in my stomach again ... since the steriods can cause ulcers Dr. Naziri wanted to be extra careful.
Otherwise not much is going on ... hoping like crazy that this uveitis will pass soon and/or a cause can be found. My Opthomologist started blood tests, urinalysis, and a chest xray yesturday to try to start to find some sort of source for the inflamation since this is generally a secondary condition stemming from other health problems.
Weighed in today at 231.3 lbs for a total loss of 87lbs. I am pretty thrilled at this point because I've been very worried about potential/probable weight gain from the steriods I've been having to take for my uveitis. I have always gained considerable weight on steriods in the past and feared this time it would be bad since I'm on them indefinitely. I'm 5 whole days into them and lost two pounds though so I feel pretty good. No change in the uveitis which gives me a good bit of concern about further treatment that will be needed but I'll have to cross that bridge when I get there I reckon.
Went clothes shopping for the FIRST time since surgery the other day ... and even down 87lbs it was really depressing! I forget that for so long I've been wearing the 3 & 4x big men's shirts and shorts and the largest Just My Size sweats and shorts that it was gonna take me a while to even get back into women's clothing at all. The last women's clothing I wore was 26/28 and I am BACK into those sizes now ... I realize I could not have even come close to fitting in them 6 months ago ... but it's still kinda hard to be at the largest end of the clothing scale even after all this weight lost. ~soft laugh~ Geez ... are we ever satisfied?
I feel like a total punk for moaning about ONLY getting into a size 26/28 but I guess I just wanted to go some place I've not been in so long that I've forgotten where I've been for the past few years ... if that makes sense. I have vowed to not spend a load on new clothes until I am down much smaller but I did break down and get a new shirt to go with some black pants I can still wear for something slightly dressy for Easter.
Soooo for the first time in almost anyone in my family's recent memory I will be wearing a colorful sheer/guazy top over a mauve spaghetti strap top for the family get together. It's a big deal for me cause I've mostly lived in a uniform of white shirt with everything for the last 5 or 6 years cause it's almost all I could find to wear. Sounds silly I know, but it's a really big step for me ... even though I am still in the biggest, big momma sizes ... I'll at least be colorful and a bit festive this Easter! ~winks~
You know ... I was thinking the past few days about the things that have changed in my life for the positive since my surgery ... things that I probably wouldn't be experiencing if I hadn't had the surgery. One of the things I am most relieved about is the remission of my Type II Diabetes and other related symptoms. My blood sugar is now regularly below 100 with no medications and secondary symptoms from the diabetes have started to subside. I am no longer experiencing the sensitivity in my legs that was really uncomfortable before and I'm also no longer experiencing the pain during sexual intimacies that was really upsetting/discouraging. My drive is starting to return to normal and of course that's been great news for my hubby and I! ~grins~
I am so thankful that these symptoms won't be a curse to me for the rest of my life ... this is much more of a relief than ANY dress size I ever manage to get into! I had virtually no hope before this surgery for getting relief from the endless yeast infections, painful intercourse and the leg/nerve pain and now all of these miserable problems have practically disappeared! If I never lost another pound it would be worth this 10x's over to have relief from the diabetes!!!
Oh the agonies of the ebb and flow of this journey! It's been a long and discouraging month for me overall. I've been on steriod therapy all month, orals, drops and finally a shot in the eye and it's played havoc on my whole system. From not sleeping to being famished and OF COURSE, no weight loss the whole entire month. ~sighs~
Finally I am off of the steriods and am praying to stay off. I decided yesturday that I've really got to do more ... to work harder while I still have a good window of opportunity to lose this weight. It's been grinding to a halt and I just don't really want to give up on this thing ... I've not put nearly the effort into exercising as I can and have decided to.
This morning I went with hubby to work and started walking again on the treadmill. I even managed to jog for a few minutes without passing out, nearly dying of being out of breath or having cardic arrest! ~grins~ It was really cool and I was/am super excited about it. I can't even remember the last time in my life I was able to run/jog for more than 10 steps. Actually I jogged for 2 and a half minutes which is a joke to most people I know but to me it was a MAJOR milestone! I think I have a hard time with the treadmill usually because I get bored ... it's certainly not that it's hard but I end up just staring at the timer and I get frustrated and bored that it takes so long so I am gonna take magazines or books to read and to try to distract myself.
I had planned to join a local/neighboring town's gym that has really terrific water aerobics but right now the price of gas is soo high I can't see making the 50 mile round trip every day extra ... so I am gonna try to avail myself to the FREE workout equipment at the hospital and really get my rump in gear. I WANT to look better because I FINALLY FEEL better. I also really want to lose some more weight ... I am really only a little over half way to my goal ... it's WAY too soon to stop I think!
Today I am 32 weeks post op ... if anyone is counting by weeks. It's been really discouraging lately ... between my own struggles with self control and the steriods ... I was really afraid that I was already at the end of my weight loss. Today I went to the hospital to work out with hubby and FINALLY the scales have dipped below 230!!! I am now at 229lbs for a total loss of 89lbs overall. This is my first "real" weightloss in a month. I played with about 5lbs for most of the month and have lost that over the past week or so ... but I'm only counting from my lowest weights as far as progress goes ... so I'm down 89lbs as of right now.
I bicycled today for the second time since my surgery. The first time I tried doing it on the stationary bike I could only do it for about 3 minutes before I thought I would die. It was about 2 months after my surgery. Today I managed the darn thing for 20 mins for a total of 7.17 miles. I was really proud of myself! I've been trying to go to the gym at the hospital at least every other day in the past week to try to get on some sort of exercise plan and get my butt in gear! I still have about 100 more pounds to lose ... and at this rate ... I don't think I'll make it. I MUST make changes ... even the ones I don't EVEN want to deal with!
I am now at 226lbs for a total loss of 92lbs overall. It has been so difficult the last two months with almost NO weightloss at all ... that's additional stress added to an already crazy situation here at home. We found out last week that my hubby will be a victim of the new Navy downsizing ... and will be involuntarily separated with honorable discharge in a month ... sooo there goes our everything. We have to figure out what in the world we are going to do with the rest of our lives now and it's been really crazy!!!! Go figure ... we are still in a war overseas and are committing troops to places new all the time ... but we are downsizing the military even as recruiters are saying anything to get new blood to join ... ~shrugs~ I have to believe that God is ready to take us in a new direction but the not knowing sure is never easy!
(Greenville, NC) - Pitt County Memorial Hospital
Crystal Lite Pink Lemonade
Flintstones Chewable Vitamins
Proplete Gold-Pineapple Vanilla
Crystal Light - Crystal Light Ruby Red Grapefruit mix
Crystal Light - Raspbery Lemonade
Molecular Nutrition - Whey Fruity - Tropical Punch Flavor
Molecular Nutrition - Whey Fruity Protein Lemonade
Syntrax - Nectar- Fuzzy Navel
Vista Medical Technologies - VistaVitamins
Animals - growing more and more drawn to animal rescue projects!!!
Books & Literature - Am a voracious reader!!!
Cats - I have three and they are our babies!
Adoption - Am adopted and am a huge advocate!
Cooking & Baking - I love love love to cook!
Navy - Am a Navy Dependant ... my husband is a Corpsman
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - It's a nightmare but hopefully things will soon get better.
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: Wade Nazari, M.D.
My first impression of Doctor Naziri, my bariatric surgeon was that he is a very confident and composed doctor. He was friendly but very professional, seemed very knowledgeable and assured. This impression has stayed with me so far for the almost 5 months since I first met him.
Let me qualify by saying that I have very strong feelings about characteristics I want in a surgeon, one being intellect, two being confidence even bordering on cocky is fine, and three is a good track record. Dr. Naziri fits this bill for me which was an enormous comfort during my consults, surgery and now, during my recovery. I feel that it takes a good deal of confidence to be willing to take the responsibility to cut someone open and rewire their insides, in a potentially life/death surgery so it's something that I strongly look for in a surgeon.
Dr. Naziri is not the joke a minute type of doctor who is all warm and fuzzy, though I enjoy his candor and the little glimpses of warmth that bleed through with his patients as he gets to know you. Also, very important to me is that I feel that I am given a good deal of his attention during my visits and that he directly listens and responds to my concerns and questions.
Maybe most important of all though was in the hospital when a discharge date was being discussed. I was in surgery all day on Monday 9/22 and on Wednesday there was potential for me to be discharged. Dr. Naziri came into my room and spoke with me about it in such a kind and non-pressured way. I was able to express that I didn't feel ready to leave yet (I am very slow to recover from narcotic meds) -- without batting an eye he declared that I would stay another night then. There was no pressure to keep his stats good by getting me out of there quickly. It was clear that my comfort and well being were the most important things to him.
His office staff is generally very enthusiastic and friendly. I've had some struggles with getting my paperwork faxed to the correct office (there are two sides to his practice) which has led to more than one frustrating afternoon, however overall they are wonderful. Most especially Keri and Christina are really wonderful! They always seem happy to see me and are very encouraging with each visit. They also welcome me to call them at any time with questions should I think of anything or have any complications. Thus far there have been no serious complications at all.
Ironically, the thing I like least about Dr. Naziri has to do with one of the things I like best about him. Sometimes I am intimidated when trying to remember all the questions I might want to ask. This is mostly my problem however ... in the presence of his confidence, I find myself wilting a bit. It's not in what he does to be stand offish, it's just easy to misread him since he isn't a jokster. I am too quick to assume that he is displeased when he is being his usual intense self. Incidently, he does have a good sense of humor as you get to know him ... it's just not like his office is the set of Letterman or anything.
The most important thing to know about him for future patients to know I think is to not be intimidated by him. He is really great and will take as much time as you need to discuss this surgery or concerns with you, however he is rather no-nonsense. Don't be intimidated and remind yourself that a confident surgeon is in your best interest provided he is as skilled as Dr. Naziri is.
Right now aftercare is a big stress for him with me because I am still healing. As long as there is an open incision, you see him every two weeks so he can keep up with the healing and any difficulties you may have. As for diets and regimines, he is not so very strict with food lists and so forth. He is conservative about immediate post op eating, moving from liquids, slowly to mashed/pureed, then solids, slowly adding foods as tolerated. A support group is offered however, since I live pretty far away, I don't attend the one he sponsors.
I spent about an hour or better with Christina in his office discussing about 6 pages of risks/complications from the surgery and in a subsequent visit, he went over the same list with me. He made sure that I understood the dangers but in a way that was very calm and down to earth. We went over every listed complication as well as the simple fact that there are no guarantees, but still he was very reassuring and confident so that helped to balance the pros and cons for me nicely.
Overall, I highly recommend Dr. Naziri as an excellent surgeon. I value surgical competence above anything else when it comes to my body and I am very confident that I had one of the best surgeons possible for this surgery. His bedside manner is a bit more reserved which is fine with me, as he warms to his patients during the many months of working together that are required with this type of surgery.
Tri-Care was actually pretty easy to work with, all things considered. I am a military dependent of my husband who is active duty so I didn't even have co-payments to struggle with.
One of the important things to remember is to call and make sure all appointments are covered as they are made and that procedures required by your doctors are covered as well. Tri-Care makes referral appointments for you so there are not always tons of choices with doctors and sometimes you have to wait a bit longer for appointments.
I was denied my first letter and given a scant three business days to respond with an emergency appeal. I was fortunate to have been home and not out of town when I got the denial. My family doctor was fabulous to write a letter of support to accompany my letter of appeal and a few more documents. I was then approved in the following three days after faxing in my expedited appeal.
I think I have been really blessed to have such a relatively easy time with my insurance issues.
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