My One Year Surgiversary.
Jul 03, 2012
It is 8pm in sunny South Florida. Today was mostly just hot and boring. I've spent the last few hours typing characters with my bright red glitter nails... sending emails to national bands, record labels, promoters, and venues; performing my duties as band manager for Miami Punk N' Roll band Minority Assembly, and simultaneously having at my duties as a freelance writer. I was catching up to email, when I received a message from OH, congratulating me on my 1 year post op. I couldn't help but smile. Geez Louise! How time flies...
One year ago, I was nearly 400 pounds. And so far, I've lost 130+ pounds of that weight. Yikes!
For the past 2 months I had been busting ass in the gym, and was losing inches [not pounds] on the scale.
2.2 weeks ago, I stopped working out due to the fact that my Osteoarthritis is ruining my life. Arggghhhhh!!!!!
The pain in my right knee has become unbearable. Since I can't take NSAID pills, I've been using Voltaren Gel.
It's not bad, but the Lidocaine patches tend to work better (and quicker) for me for some reason...
When the OA decides to calm down a bit, I'll get my butt back in the gym. For now, I'm eating healthy and taking
my vitamins and B12 sub-lingual dots. I have a lot of lose skin on my abdomen (hides well), and I can't predict anything but a tummy tuck in my future. In fact, I have been thinking about it a lot lately. I promise I'll keep you guys updated.
Many thanks to those of you who keep in touch with me through Facebook, and those that sent me congratulatory messages. I appreciated that very much.
Here's wishing everyone well on their journeys...
PLEASE take a listen and LIKE on Facebook! www.facebook.com/MinorityAssembly ;)
Hitting The Gym Like A Beast!
May 17, 2012
Since April 4th I have been working out 5 to 6 times a week. 40-50 minutes each day. Treadmill, weights, pullies, and stationary bike. I'm getting so much stronger in my legs, body, and energy levels. However, I'm also starting to see where I might need work in the future. Hopefully not, but maybe a brachioplasty and tummy tuck. I don't wanna!!! ::pouts:: Whatever happens, I'm kicking butt, feeling great; motivated and inspired... and just plain proud of who I am becoming. I want this to last forever. I'm doing the best I can to be the best version of me. Keep me in your prayers guys!
I hope everyone is doing great on their journeys. Some days are extremely hard, and some days are just challenges waiting to be tackled. You'd be surprised with what you can do if you just believe in yourself, and make that FIRST step. God speed everyone. Remember YOU are in charge of your destiny.
Turned Off By Meat.
Sep 24, 2011
I'm 70 pounds down.
Red Meat disgusts me even more than before.
I consider myself a poultritarian now. I feel a lot healthier.
Soon I'm gonna post a recipe for Meatless Low-Fat Nachos...
My friend Michelle loves them and they really are sooo good!!!
Been getting my proteins through cheeses & EAS shakes.
My point? ...I'm a total Ninja!
Five Weeks Post Op; 50 Pounds Down!
Aug 08, 2011
I am totally shocked.
I wasn't anticipating significant weight loss today! I mean, I had no idea until I actually stepped on the scale! I gotta say though, I'm really happy. This means that I am "normal" and CAN lose weight like a normal human being!
My nutritionist moved me to Soft Solids today. I don't mind my surgeon's strict rules at all; as long I continue to get these results. I'm allowed fish, scallops, beef, chicken (which I still can't tolerate), pumpkin, plantains, melons, fruit cups in light syrup/water, I'm allowed to eat melba toast, low sodium crackers, light cream cheese, s/f jam, sweet potatoes, and pulp free juices. There's some more, but I'm not gonna post my whole menu on here lol. My protein needs to be upped indefinitely... and I now have to take some gentle iron and calcium citrate. Oh, joy. I wonder why I must take so many calcium pills though; five pills seems a little excessive. Whatever it takes; it's all worth it. You guys should' ve seen my hubbs Raf and my mom's reactions to the weight loss! They were soooo happy for me. This makes victory even sweeter. I don't know what else to say... I'm happy, blessed, and I will always do my best to keep you guys updated. My new camera should be in the mail soon- so count on some new pic posts. ::winks::
Five Weeks Post-Op: A Random Daily Food Blog.
Aug 04, 2011
Breakfast: 3.5 oz of High Protein Greek Yogurt.
Snack: Special K Protein Water.
Lunch: 1 Hard Boiled Egg...only the white part.
Snack: 5 Small Protein Crackers.
Dinner: 3 oz of Baked Salmon w/ Lemon Juice and Pepper.
Before Bed: 5.5 oz Diet V8 Splash.
*Plenty of water throughout the day.
I'm feeling a little blah... I think I'll watch LA Ink and pat my chihuahua to cheer myself up. :)
I hope everyone is healthy, happy, and loved tonight...
Today Makes One Month Post-Op!
Jul 27, 2011
Hey Guys and Dolls!
So it's been a month since my Gastric Bypass Surgery... Geez, it doesn't feel like it. I haven't weighed myself yet, so I can't tell you how much I've lost. What I DO know is some of my shirts are falling off my shoulders. Crazy. As far as food; my surgeon is strict so, I'm still on the pureed stage. I lost 22 pounds the first week, so I can imagine I lost about that much thus far. The nutritionist put me on three weeks pureed food; and to tell you the truth, I don't care. To be honest, I'm a little afraid of eating food. The first time I tried an egg was a really bad experience. Shortly after, I was instructed to try chicken; that too was hell. Even mashed potatoes didn't go down well. I guess it's gonna take some tweaking; which is normal. In the meantime, I'm gonna keep it really simple. It's funny how one person can tolerate something, and another person can't. Ah well, it's only temporary. :)
So, today is Thursday. Yay!!! Thursdays and Fridays are the days my baby and I try to do something extra special. When I'm on the go, I try to always stick a water bottle and a string cheese in my bag just in case. ;)
Anyway, the following is kind of what my daily food schedule looks like:
I'll start the day with a Multi Vitamin and 8oz of water.
Then I'll probably have 2oz of Turkey Sausage for breakfast.
A Mozzarella String Cheese for lunch.
A Special K Protein Water.
Meatless Chili for dinner.
An 8oz bottle of water.
If I get hungry between time (rare) I might have an other 2% String Cheese.
A Special K Protein Water before bed.
That's pretty much it... I really don't mind the routine so far. I'm sure my pouchie is evolving as we speak...
For today's activities... I think I'll go to the fabric store... I want to pick up a soft, leopard print material to make some pillow cases for the bed. Maybe we'll go to Kmart so I can get a hot pink fitted sheet for the bed also. Raf and I definitely have to do the laundry at some point lol. Otherwise, I don't know what he has planned for today, so it should be a nice surprise! ;)
Whatever it is, I'm happy with the simple things. I love to just see him smile at me, and laugh at my jokes. God, I really love to make him laugh. ::giggle::
I hope all of you have a beautiful day, and most importantly; Keep The Faith!
Newly Post-Op... Brutally Honest.
Jul 18, 2011
Disclaimer: Definitely NOT for the faint of heart... or for nervous pre-ops. True and [very] personal account of my RNY experience.
Wow. I can't believe almost a month has gone by... I had my RNY on June 28th. No allergic reaction to the anesthesia and no leaks! Oh! Thank The Lord! ...And thanks to my rock star surgeon as well. I still can't forget the very first time I laid eyes on my new tummy; my pouch. Drinking Barium to check for leaks, and staring blankly at the screen; I was in awe looking at my [new] tiny organ's structure. It thought to myself; "I look like an alien inside! ...Cool!" :p
Okay, I'm sort of jumping ahead here. Let me start from the morning of surgery...
It was June 28th, 2011. I was staring at the morning sun on my surgery date. No longer as afraid as I had been in the previous weeks, but really just wanting to get it all over with. I just said a quick, heart felt prayer and told myself that there was no turning back now. I'm in your hands, my Lord.
I was surrounded by my loved ones: My Mom, My Hubbs Raf, and My friend Michelle. My mom was trying to crack jokes to make us all less nervous. It worked...briefly. Bless her heart, my mom sure talks a lot when she's nervous. I could feel her tears were at the brim, as she tried hard to be strong for everyone. God, I love her so much. It was obvious to me that my best friend Michelle hadn't slept a wink the night before. She was a ball of nerves, but also kept them at bay. I could tell by the way she looked at me that she was sh*tting bricks. She barely spoke. Same goes for my very manly hubby, Raf. He maintained a straight and solemn face; Lack of sleep and hysterical worry; bubbling under the surface. He held my hand for the majority of the time. My mom says she caught him pacing the hall, red in the face and rubbing his forehead. He wouldn't even HEAR of anything bad happening to me. It simply wouldn't be. That was his stance and he was sticking to it. His philosophy was he loves me too much for anything bad to happen. I am so blessed to have these souls in my life. They're everything to me.
It felt so sudden when the head bariatric nurse came in with the anesthesiologist to explain a few things to me... To my horror, there was to be no pain pump; no morphine, dilauded, lortab, etc for surgery... and WORSE; I would have to wait 20 minutes before any form of relief (pain meds) was given to me. Yes, I would have to endure the pain of my surgery through the mild drowsiness of the anesthesia wearing off. I gotta tell ya, that made me just about jump up and run. However, being that nothing in this world is a cake walk- I decided to take my prayer, my love, and my fiery determination with me... as they began wheeling me into the OR. Kisses and tears started to flash around me. They'd all be waiting for me in the lobby when I was done... I tried to smile as I said see you later... and I fought back the tears.
Entering a large, bright room... there were nurses, assistants, techs, and the anesthesiologist. I was wheeled to my own little spot in the room. In front of me, there were two other girls already prepped, IVed, and ready for surgery. We smiled lamely at each other and waited. A kind, young tech had to try me a few times; but finally I was IVed and given something to calm down. In minutes, I felt relaxed and didn't worry as much. Cue Freddy Mercury. My surgeon struts into the OR and says good morning to everyone. This is a regular day for him. He's done this thousands of times. I'm one in one thousand. The room was really quiet, except for beeping machines and whispering nurses. Suddenly the energy shifted in the room. You know, I figured I'd be tricked, and sure enough a nurse put a mask to my face to give me "some oxygen to breathe better"... I was OUT. No "count backwards", no "are you ready"; I breathed maybe twice and I was completely out. BLACK.
When I woke up I was tied down. My brain slowly began to register this tremendous pain. OtherworldIy pain. The only way to describe it is to say that it felt like both fire and ice. Sick, twisted satanic pain; my worst fear realized. I let out a gagged, desperate cry. Then I tried to take a breath. When I tried to breath, I thought maybe the tube was in wrong, or my throat was really swollen- but I could NOT breath. Choke, choke. I began to panic. Being tied down, all I could do was tap my palm quickly, defenselessly to try to get someone to check my tube. I just kept gagging help me, help me. I began to urinate on myself. This level of vulnerability was so new to me. It was as if I was in a horror movie, falling victim to my ravenous captors. Finally a nurse approached me. She smiled and told me not to worry. I desperately tried to tell her I couldn't breathe, but it was a futile attempt. Oh my God, I thought; I'm gonna die. Just then, the anesthesiologist came to check me, and kind of wiggled the tube... he told me to breathe lightly now and that there should be a thin line of air getting through now... "the monitor shows you are breathing well now, just relax." I managed to gurgle out the word pain. "Paihhnn" I cried. "20 minutes for pain meds." Oh. My. God. I dozed for minutes at a time, trying to rise above the pain. It was just impossible. I thought these people were the ring leaders of hell, or a dark sadistic army of demons. "Lord please help me" I prayed. I was in perpetual HELL.
Minutes later, I was told to take a deep breath; and then out came the breathing tube. As soon as I breathed independently, I began to sob like a child. I begged and wept for relief of my infernal pain. I thought the pain would drive me insane. I felt like Freddy Krueger cut up my insides, and that there was no waking up from my nightmare. I think I'll be 90 years old and I'll never forget that pain and desperation. I just kept whispering "Oh my God, No No No Noooo" and urinating on myself over and over. I remember seeing my friend Michelle break in to the OR (did she hear my cries?) as people tried to pull her out, she became angry and desperate to see me in that condition. She shouted something about giving me pain meds. She was frantic and mad as hell, but mostly afraid. She kissed my head. I wished she'd kill everyone and bring me a gallon of morphine; then I'd be satisfied. Suddenly, she was gone. A nurse walked up and injected me with Demorol. She then handed me a soft, shiny pebble with the word Believe carved in it. She said it was from Michelle. I smiled, "Oh, thank you Miss"...Fade to black.
Woke up in my own private room with a large covered window. Clean and bright, with large colorful balloons and flowers everywhere. I tried to appreciate it verbally, but instead I began to cry [again] from the pain. A nurse came in and Raf and Michelle pushed her for more pain meds. She said it wasn't time. "30 minutes more." This time I cursed out loud. I think Michelle cursed too. I said "I can't f*cking take this sh*t anymore." I dozed for a few minutes and then I was given a dose of Demorol. Zzzzz. The thing with Demorol is, you feel the pain when you're awake... but it knocks you out. When you sleep, you feel nothing. When you wake; different story. I moaned a lot when I was awake. Everyone felt utterly helpless. I had never really seen Raf cry like that before. He tried to hide it, but he was miserable and desperate and constantly wiping his eyes. My poor baby, he was so sick with worry. I felt a new level of his endless love for me. Michelle was desperately angry too, her heart was just breaking to see me that way. I hated to be seen like this. Hated it. My mom cried in a corner. All of our hands were tied. The day and evening went the same.
Next day when I woke up, the room was empty except for Raf sitting next to my bed. I began to stir and whimper, so he got the nurse. She said I was being taken off of Demorol. OFF of Demorol. I was going to be given Tylenol 3 for the pain. I think I laughed. I had been taking Tylenol 3 for a year due to painful broken knee cartilage (car accident), and I had thus built up an immunity to it. Never mind the bollocks; they were sticking to Tylenol 3. "Surgeon's Strict Policy." I was screwed. Swallowing tablets after a stomach/intestine surgery is so NOT fun. Even the broken-up pills hurt as they went down. In the new pouch, it was like ingesting glass shards. The sweetest nurse (Jackson North Hospital) Nurse Patricia "Pat" was talking softly to me, trying to make me ease it down my throat and eat some soft green Jello. The Jello was kind of nice, being as thirsty as I was; and the Tylenol actually worked a little better than the Demerol. I was pleasantly surprised. An hour later, a nurse came in and instructed me to walk every hour. I thought I'd DIE when I first sat up in the bed. Pain shot through my body, my tummy, my legs, and my soul. I whimpered and tried my very best to stay strong. When I was finally standing, I felt a horrid pain in my lower abdomen. I screamed "my guts are gonna fall out!!!" I honestly swore they would fall out. I believed it. Raf pressed my tummy for a moment. The pressure evened out, and I began to walk. Up and down the long hall, with Raf's arm around me. Every hour. Raf had to help me up every single time. By the 10th hour, it started to get a little easier to walk. Raf kept egging me on saying "I'm so proud of you Bunny, look at my babygirl walking." I finally smiled. Here I was, walking tough, standing tall despite my guts being rearranged; being held by God and one of his angels, Rafael. Raf said many terrible things happened that first day; many which I couldn't even remember. Thanks Demerol. Through the next day, my lovely and wonderful friends came to visit me; first Michelle came back with a card, post op supplies, and lots of hugs. Then Gigi came with a lovely bouquet of flowers (and more hugs), then Jenni Rose came with a bunch of balloons and a soft little teddy bear... she even helped me walk the hall on that difficult afternoon. I felt so lucky. I felt so loved. My mom came back and shuffled around the room nervously and pat my hand. Michelle called me when she got home and said she'd come to my house the next day too, sending love love love. My Hanne (Raf's Mom), my sister, my brother, my grandmother all called with hope and tenderness and faith. I felt stronger with every moment...
Raf never left my side. He might have slept an hour between me waking in pain and needing meds. He was my hero. A watchman; always 30 minutes ahead of the nurses to get me my meds on time. He helped me to the toilet and (have mercy) he even helped me wipe my peepee. I literally could not bend and therefore could not reach. Yikes. I was so embarrassed, and he just smiled and said he loved me so much. I was at a loss for words. He shined with love. I never met anyone that cared about me the way Raf did. God has blessed me with the BEST loved ones. My Mother, Christine. My Michelle, Jenni Rose, and my sweet Gigi. God has sent me a dark, loving angel to light my life... My tough guy, my protector... The man of my dreams. Gosh, that is so scary to admit.
The morning of the third day, I was discharged. I climbed into Raf's Jeep (ouchie) and we drove home. It felt weird to be back in my room. Marilyn Monroe, Patsy Cline, Mike Ness, and Bruce Springsteen all smiled at me through their frames... My five pillows and prescription pain meds lulled me to sleep. Raf laying next to me, angel eyes closed.
I survived the liquid stage with my mom's delicious Consume', her encouragement, and her love. Everyday has been a little easier. Yucky water became refreshing, chicken broth became cream of mushroom, vitamins became a mindless routine, and pain became tolerable. At my first week weigh-in I lost 22 pounds. Ohhhhhh yeah ;)
Today my nerves and abdominal muscles hurt a little (I have to be careful) because they're still healing. I try to walk often, but I couldn't for two days due to the storming out here. I keep hydrated. Protein shakes are still difficult, but I'm moving to the nectar protein soon; hoping that will be a little easier. On the 21st, I'll be put on mushy foods. I can hardly wait for new stuff. I friggin hate sweet puddings and soups!!! It makes Raf laugh when I say that; he says it's like a little baby tantrum "I don't want soup!" Then he sneaks a little kiss. He loves me so much. No one has ever loved me like that. Ever. My baby. :::sigh:::
Oh man, whatever comes my way; I know I'll be okay. I'm blessed and protected. I'm strong, diligent and faithful. I have so much love. I am so very lucky. My cheeks are burning with smiling-silly happiness. It's amazing what a human being can endure. It's incredible what can happen when you just tackle it head-on and refuse to give up. You have to believe you are worth a better life. Believe it, and then go for it! ...Healthier future here I come! :)
God bless all of you for your endless support. I'm here if you need me.
Love, Amy Lou
To My OH Family...
May 06, 2011
Thanks to all my OH guys and dolls for the [continued] support and words of encouragement. You guys are seriously awesome. My best friend (and family) have been bombarded enough with all this WLS insurance drama lol! So, at the end of the day...I'm glad we all have each other in our OH Family. Stuff's been rough; but with prayer, perseverance, and support anything can be accomplished! If my Orlando Florida lead (VSG Surgeon) falls through- I'll end up having to get the RNY instead of the VSG or DS... That being the case, I'll just have to rock what I'm given and stay positive through it. However cliche' it may sound; I feel that everything happens for a reason and that God has my best interests at heart. Besides, who said it was gonna be easy, right?
No matter what, I'm gonna keep fighting the good fight; and keep lookin cute while I do so.