I have NEVER been thin, so this will be a new experience for me. I am looking forward to WLS as a TOOL to help me live a more normal life. Starting BMI of 46.6. For years I was physically active, camping, canoeing, playing field hockey and the like. Over the past years it has become a chore.
In an attempt to get ready for surgery I have been working on the mental and physical. Other than the decision to have the WLS, the most positive thing I have done for myself has been to join the "Y" and start doing water exercises at least 3 times a week. I have just recently been able to move up to 10 minutes on the recumbant bicycle. The knees still protest too much.
I have to say that I am really looking forward to reducing and/or eliminating meds. This second week of December 2002 I had my first (and hopefully last) near death expereince. While doing my fast for a fasting blood sugar I got too low. When my (exchange) son found me I was comatose and unresponsive. Had my first, and hopefully last, ambulance ride. I could barely hear, was unable to move or speak - not something I ever want to expereince again.
Now I am really ready for that surgery. Friday the 13th has been a good day, for I now know that not only has the surgery been approved, but I have a scheduled date.
Okay, ___ days and not counting, ergo the blank. I am just trying to get ready. You know the drill. What to take to the hospital, what to have ready at home . . . My to take list includes tooth brush, walking shoes, tummy pillow for trip home and coughing jags, tape player and audio books, lots of extra undies (thanks for that hint from the message board), . . . I keep adding.
I've got a great support group in the 1/28 club, all of those with same surgery date. I've got an angel - Kathy Sikkenga - whose name still does not appear on my page. Neither of us are worried about that. She is going to go away from he tax schedule to keep you posted.
Let's see, what else. Have started to adapt my recliner so it has a more secure base and will not tip me out. Haircut yesterday and an appointment for the day before. Grab bar in the bathroom, stool for shower, pretesting of products and recipes. Hope I don't leave stuff off list.
Met with PA today. Went in with a typed page of questions. Some, he said, will be covered on Wednesday with the nutritionist, although he dis answer all. He put a copy of questions and his answers in my file and I went home with my copy full of notes. Lots of medication changes as of Wednesday, a week before and then post-op. Several will change from pill to liquid. The only thing I will really miss is the Diet Coke. No problem with coffee, booze or cigarettes as I don't use, but that soda . . . Have a chest x-ray scheduled for tomorrow and a vein ultra sound of the legs. I mentioned a "hot spot" on my thigh. Think its just a precaution. Probably too high for phlebitis, but . . . Thanks to my angel, Kathy, I am now the proud owner of a "butt brush" you know one of those dishwashing sponges on a handle that you can fill with soap. Will let me reach that place where the sun don't shine without pulling everything loose. My own thought was diaper wipes to put over head for the first one or 2 swipes to do the preliminary cleaning. Just make sure you get the sponge, not the scrubber!
Lot's more are joining our WLS 1/28 Club
. We are going to be such a great bunch of losers! Terri keeps setting up on line chats for those of us who are having surgery the same day. Shirley even suggested a chat for the kids so they can support each other. Told you I belong to two great groups of losers - AMOS and the 1/28 club. Oh yes, down 7.2 from my high. YES!
Have started the protein diet - required for 2 weeks pre-op. Guess it is getting more real each day. Had my "last supper" at Old Country Buffet. Soup, salad and turkey. I will really miss the salads and veggies. Good thing that I don't like dressings and sauces. At least I will not miss those. The easist part of the liquid diet will be the water. Man, that's good stuff. I just may float to the OR.
Okay, I am not counting days, but I am counting tasks. I started the protein shakes, liquids only yesterday. Hey, what gives here. Not even post-op and have dumped! I really think the shakes are too sweet. Did get will done today. Still have to get the living will done and ready for hospital, but being cheap, I understand that they will help me with that at the hospital.
Lets see, now 4 more days in the pool, 1 haircut, 1 more nutritionsit appointment . . . Just realized that Monday is a school holiday (MLK Birthday). I was going to sleep in. Forget it. Will be up and in the water for the last time. Hope the suit makes 4 more trips to the Y. Chlorine has just about destroyed it. Won't make much difference in 4 weeks. It will fall off. Cover those eyes. Did check the scale at the Y today. Might just be down another 8 on these liquids.
Well the countdown has begun. Three more days of water aerobics, thirty-one more Optifast
meals, one more haircut . . . I'm not going to bother with days. Too mundane. What am I looking forward to . . . I almost want to say the iv. Cannot stand those shakes, or my love affair with the bathroom. Water is not the problem. Started the chewable vitamins and calcium, just to have something to chew.
Back again. Saw Dr. White, another internist associated with MMPC. Have to admit that I maligned OptiFast
. The original product was Nutra Recipes
. That was the one that was way too sweet, and if I have figured correctly, it was affecting the roof of my mouth. Will see. I am switching to the OptiFast
, after first trying the product. It does not have quantities of supplemental vitamins and minerals and I will be using more (quantity) of the product thand the Nutra Recipes
, but I think I can handle it.
An interesting aside on this is both produccts are manufactured by the same company, Novartis Nutrition Corporation and while many of the ingredients are the same, the chocolate one is artificial, the other natural. Oh well.
I am down another 3.6 (those tenths sure are important!) pounds. I hposted 3 articles on the clothing exchange yesterday and I now have clothes on their way to TN and OH. What a network this is.
Well, I certainly have in interesing development to add here. On Friday it was announced on the local news that President Bush was coming to Grand Rapids, Michigan to present his new Medicare and prescription plan for seniors. His public news conference will take place in Spectrum-Butterworth Hospital
. Your gueesed it. My hospital, and the day after surgery. As one of my WLS 1/28 Club
members said, at least I will be in the most secure hospital in the United States. Wondering what effect those security neasures will have on my walking, discharge, etc.? Will I still be able to use my walking stick? Only time will tell. Oh well, at least this is a different problem.
Surgery was the 28th, as scheduled. Can't say too much about it as I was only physically present. The last thing I remember was being taken from the holding area to the OR, then it was time for lights out - me only. Kept trying to wake up in recovery but it was pretty hard to convince those eyes to open up.
I remember very little of the journey up to my room, other than passing by this role with a circle of lights around it. Saw later that it was one of the support beams or poles for the ceiling. Perspective is a strang thing. Did keep trying to wake up and field the multitude of phone calls that came in. Fortunately my very good friend Lois did not listen to me and came up to the hospital after school. She fielded a lot of the calls, dealt with getting my stuff reunited with me and put away.
I was happy to have my good walking clogs there instead of slippers, never used my tongs or "butt" brush (I had lap and could reach places where . . . (you get the picture). I could have left my tummy pillow in the car for I did not need in the hospital. Never used my own socks or down booties. The compression booties were conderful. If I had those at home I would not need the neurontin for the foot neuropathy. (and the liquid medicine for that is AWFUL.
I've now been home for 14 hours and have managed about 4 oz. of the OptiFast, some walking, some breathing exercises and lots of sleep. Finally got down the 12 steps to the computer to update, but figure it is soon time to take a nap after a few laps around the house.
Guess I should mention that I had a corner room on the 7th floor with a great vantage point for all of the arrival hoopla of GWB, but sort of slept through the snipers on the rooftops, the helicopters and the notorcade, to say nothing of his arrival. The main street in front of the hospital was blocked off, the parking lot and the entrance I came in was closed and people coming in for surgery on the 29th had to maneuver through miles of hospital corridors. Didn't make a lot of difference to me, my surgeon, PA's and others found their ways in.
2/2/2003 It tastes Yucky! It's too sweet! I can't stand drinking it!
We've all said it at one time or another. Well, file this away for future reference. Last night the surgeon in the chat room was asked about this and he gave this hint for resetting your taste buds. Take a slice of fresh lemon and put it in your mouth for as long as you can. Then drink decaffeinated tea. This will reset your taste buds and you should be able to tolerate more flavors and tastes.
Guess what? It works!
I was finally able to get my 3 protein shakes and 64 oz. of other fluids in in a 24-hour period. I guess that if I set small goals I will feel that I am advancing on this path more quickly.
Two weeks post-op and down 11.6 pounds. 2 of the 4 lap incisions are healed completely and it lookes like I might be back swimming in a week - a week ahead of previous possible date. The one puzzle is why the blood sugars are all over the page. Believe it or not, the BS goes up with more vigorous esercise.
On the treadmill at the Y today for the first time. Have been walking but this was different. At least the knees were not complaining as loudly.
Have added pea soup to the diet, with the blessing of the MMPC nutritionist. My calculations indicate that it has about 15 grams of protein and is the approximate equivilent of an Optifast shake.
On another note, I have the opportunity for a long term sub position out at MTA, the same school my exchange son attends. Will have to give that serious consideration.
Okay, 3 weeks out. Only liquids for another 5.5 days, but who is counting. Subbed last Friday, resumed water aerobics (with doctor's permission) on Monday, and did school observation thing on Tuesday. Back in the water today. Still waiting to see if the school wants me for the rest of the year. Had decided to take the job, but in the meantime they did find another, who will probalby work for less and not be gone as I will for some of those doctor's appointments or planned activities that I have as a retiree. Oh well, it may mean less money but more water aerbics and exercise.
Nice post on the MB today. Says those who do water aerobics do better at toning. Like that.
Okay, 4 weeks out. Only down 16 from surgery, but 35 since starting this journey. The best part is the transition to REAL food as of today. Still a soft diet, but away from those too sweet shakes. Have to work on 45 gms of protein during the day, spread over 6 small meals. Took both shake and homemade bean soup to Grand Rapids with me today. With the okay for other food I celebrated by leaving the shake alone and eating the bean soup for lunch. Was good even cold. Will consider putting the rest in the freezer for later date. Tuna, her I come!
Six weeks out, down a little over 20 lbs since surgery. I like the way MMPC talks though, they count it at minus 35 pounds when they look were I was when I went on product. Of course, I had an epipheny last night when I realized that I was not getting enough calories in. Duh? How silly of me.
Then, I just may have selective hearing as I heard 45 gms of protein. Christine maintains she said 50 to 60 gms. and it could be higher. I can now add fruits (peeled of course) and veggies. Oh happy day.
Big weight on the balance scale is down a notch. Fifty pounds to the next notch. How long will that be? I am the slowest loser in the WLS 1/28 Club, but perhaps it will mean that I will be the best toned of all.
I am up to half mile on the treadmill at least 2 times a week, water aerobices at least 3 times a week and then 2 more selfdirected pool sessions. Six laps this morning with no stopping in between. When I started this I could barely do 2 minutes on treadmill without severe leg pain and could barely do 2 laps in the pool. Things are improving.
It's time to SHOUT!
the WLS 1/28 Club
is reporting in. We are 6 weeks out. Our total loss in the reporting group (39 have had WLS, 1 has had plastic surgery) is at a whopping 1275.6 pounds!
That's right! 1275.6 pounds! We will have lost a total of ton in no time flat! What a great bunch of losers! Hugs to all losers! Carol in MI
Have just thrown away the 2nd bathing suit. Would love to say that I am shrinking out of it, but I am not only shrinking, chlorine is taking its toll. Bought 2 new ones in Florida and hope that I will be able to wear for a while or take in and wear in their altered states. Tags say chlorine resistant. Time will tell.
Have to share with you. Just got back from Spring Break in Florida. Cannot say the trip down and back was great as we drove straight through, but I packed lots of protein bars, nuts, seads and cereal and followed the diet. Came back with less money and down 6 pounds. Best loss since the first weeks of this journey.
The WLS 1/28 Club is closing in on the ton. Maybe if everyone reports in tomorrow we will make our first ton. We are at 1817 pounds as of today.
Milestone today. Just noticed today that I can cross my legs. Now I know that this crossing does cut circulation so I won't do it iften, but I can cross my legs!
Must be those water aerobics with the noodles and the laps in the pool. Now the question is . . . Can I avoid the bat thighs?
24 hour flu just reared its ugly head. Was fine one minute, the next I was afraid I would die and afraid I wouldn't. Fell into bed. Surfaced briefly. Finally made it up for bathroom. Proceeded to faint in the process. When I finally extricated myself from the "pretzel position between tub and stool I made it back to bed. Only bright spot is down a total of 3 pounds in a big hurry. Of course, the blood sugar was up, and again without food. Go figure.
I think it is time to stop and smell the roses. Those "buds" are certainly there. There are so many small things that I have accomplished or realized on this journey. Do we really stop to look at what we have accomplished, or are we so focused on the pounds lost? I no longer qualify for WLS. I can cross my legs. It is easy to tie my shoes, to put on socks, rise from a chair and fasten the seat belt. Wow. Life is great. I can get down on the floor and not have to "plan" my method of getting up. I am 25 pounds from my next "weight" goal - my low of 10 years ago when I was going to Weight Watchers and travelling to Japan. I am working a a little over a pound a week, but thus far no "bat wings". Guess that too is another rose along the way.
Well, my BMI today, before update was 36.8. Guess my next milestone will be down 10 points from the high. Actually I posting today for there is another marker to note on this journey. I have bathing suits haning on the door down to 14. Today I took the next size suit down and put it on again. It fits!
The "apron" is still here, but not as noticable. I wore it to water aerobics this a.m. and let me tell you - it was like "swimming naked." This is my first suit without a skirt or shorts in over a decade - no make that 3 decades - really and truly. I have been wearing a skirted suit since 1968!
Actually, I have noticed a drop in inches, not pounds. Almost overnight clothes that were no longer tight now just hang. I am not kidding, the change really was overnight. Am down 65 pounds from my highest, not all since surgery - about 17 was before surgery. Still able to get most of my protein from "normal" food. Target is 60 grams per day.
Okay, 6 month checkup done early as it is time to spend some time with the parents and let my brother have some time off. Nice to be around to help my mom celebrate her 81st firthday and the parents celebration of 60 years of marriage. I certainly will be able to enjoy. Now that I think of it, maybe I will pack the dress I wore at their 50th. It should be falling off now!
Each time I sit with legs crossed, I marvel. And then that "apron" that I thought would never go away (well, it probably will always be with me without "plastics") is getting smaller. I actually will wear a swim suit without a skirt!
I am losing some hair, but it saves me money. I no longer have to pay the extra $ to have the hair thinned.
Packing up those ffc's (formerly fatter clothes) and they will be ready for a big yard sale in September. Said to say, but advertising large sized women's clothes brings out lots of shoppers. Will set any money raised aside for that special spring break in Florida.
Am I glad I have started this journey. You bet! Do I miss things? Yes! Some of my foods, drinking a liquid with my meals, eating fast, and veggies. Would I go back. No way. My knees are better, my endurance greater. Doing yardwork is again a pleasure - usually. My meds are less, by health is better and the weight keeps going down.
6 months out, 6 pounds from my first personal weight goal. Am I happy I have had this surgery . . . you'd better believe it! Went clothes shopping with my mom yesterday. Of course I lost her in the store. How anyone can lose an 80 year old mother and walker is beyond me, but I did it. Foound her in a wide asile. At least she was not hidden by the clothes rack that dwarf her.
I hadto go shopping. My clothes were falling off me. I am 800 miles away form home, down to 2 pairs of fitting shorts, all tops are tents, I have new kids coming from overseas for their stay as exchange sons for the coming year and I have to live in these clothes - no way! Oh, such fun to find new and smaller clothes!
Now almost 12 months (year) out and below 200 for the first time in ??? years. Loss has really slowed down, but it is my own fault. Not wnough exercise and some really poor food choices. I've been sitting on my butt for too long. Of course that is the only way to drive a car and I have been doing that! Since last entry I've probably put 10,000 miles on the car. Who else do you know that drives to Michigan from New jersey, via Washington DC, Williamsburg, VA, Winston-Salem, NC, Knoxville, TN, Lexington, KY? At least I left Detroit, MI out on my way to the west side of MI!
Have a couple of things to share about the WLS journey. First, clothes. I may ot be losing the pounds, but the inches are definitly going. Since my weight is centered between knees and neck and little in lower legs or arms, where do I lose first? You guessed it. Arms and legs. Wrists down by a good half inch. But I do notice it in other places too. Was at my parents and put the old underwear on. When I decided 2 of us could wear at the same time, I mad the decision to toss and shop. New undies are great! Can even wear the old underwire without thought of impaling slef. On 1/29/2004 I wore my first pair of jeans since high schoo!
On a more sober note, I lost clothes. Car breakin while in Toronto. Silly thieves took my dirty clothes. One of 3 pairs of pants that actually fit the new me and a favotie 3X sweatshirt that I cold not bear to part with. That was the tip of the iceberg. Got one son's dirty laundy too, along with whatever else they could get out through the rear (van) vent window. Live and learn.
One year checkup coming in 4 days. Meds much fewere. 2 diabetic comas since surgey, both my fault.
12/13/02 Have had the initial consult. Have to say I was favorably impressed. As I am "on my own", I really want it to be a lap proceedure and he is willing to try, no guarantees. He was able to answer all of my questions, felt that he took time to listen and valued me as a person.
Actually the approval was alsot a given. I called them prior to beginning the process and they just waited upon the documentation. I really did not have to jump through any hoops, but then I had most of my ducks in a row, almost by accident. I had copies of all of my medical tests, and there were lots of those because of other problems.
I actually went into the initial consult with results of complete lab work, stress test, EKG, pshych ok and referral and documentation from my PCP.
I also took a list of all of my meds, dossages, schedule, supplementary vitamins and minerals and immunizations. My flu, pneumonia and tetnus were up to date. I had completed the Hep B and the first of Hep A. I do not think that hurt my case either.