5 month update

Apr 10, 2009

Well, I hit the 5 month mark last Sunday, April 5th.  It was also my daughter's 7th birthday!  We went to an Easter egg hunt and did all kinds of fun activities.

So, my WL update:  down 48 pounds!  Whoo hoo!  It seems like it's taking forever, but I'm at 50% of excess weight loss - right on target to hit 100% by 12 months.

The inches lost - not so many:  only 6 inches, with 1.5 from my chest and 1.5 from my hips!  I am now into a size 14, and actually bought a pair of 12/14 shorts from Walmart.  (Okay, I have never heard of a 12/14 - usually it's a 10/12 and a 14/16 but Walmart does wierd sizing)!

My girls are continuing to shrink, although my bra band size has shrunk to a 38 and am still in a comfortable C cup.  I was wearing a 40B but when I went down a band size, the cup size came up, hurrah!

My eating is mostly good although I've been having more candy lately because of the dreaded Easter bunny!  I need to up my protein also - I'm not as vigilant because I've been eating more, but I need to continue with the shakes.

The vomiting problem still comes up occasionally - I puked last night over some chicken.  I am less sure now that it has to do with a mechanical problem then with what it is I'm eating.  i've been keeping a "vomit journal" and it seems that when I have vomited I've had some sort of bread/pasta product.  So I suspect that the bread may be the issue - it's expanding in my stomach and making me too full.  Last night we had a cheesy-buttery pasta with chicken.  I mainly at the chicken but ate a few peices of pasta (it was soo good with parmesan and butter!) and I threw up.   Dr. Crookes wanted to do a scope, but I haven't heard back from him in a few weeks and apparently there are major changes goign on in the hosptial since it has changed hands.  So I'm not in any pain or worry, so I'm hanging out.

The other semi-bad news is that my diabetes is not getting any better.  It's sooo much better than pre-op but I don't think I'll ever get "cured."  Even taking 45 mgs of Actos, my fasting sugars are in the 130s - they're supposed to be under 90.  I could increase my meds, but I am afraid my docs will tell me I have to go back to injections, and I am really really afraid of that.  Oither random blood sugars have been good though.  I wonder if my night snacking has been negatively imapacting my morning readings.  I have been tempted to wake myself up for a 3 am reading to see if what I'm having is bounce back from a low (aka dawn syndrome) but just haven't had the motivation.

Overall, I am 100% satisfied with my surgery - I just seem to be taking longer to reach goal, which is true for a lightweight, and my diabetes is not 100% gone.  I keep hoping that with more weight loss, it will finally go away.  I keep reminding myself that with the slow weight loss, I have less problems with skin!  

Oh and my hair, my poor poor hair.  Falling out by the clump, and it doesn't seem to be letting up.  I'm hoping some starts to grow back in soon, or I'll be bald before I get to the 9 month mark, when everyone says the hair loss stops.

So there you go!  I <3 my DS!
1 comment

4 month update - 3/3/09

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 3/3/09 8:06 pm
Today just seems to be my posting day!  (I've been procrastinating on some work I need to do! LOL)

So  far, 42 pounds lost!  I was having a plateau with little weight loss for most of the month, and then this last week, lost 5 pounds.  Whew!  I'm now at 42.26% of EWL!

I lost a total of 6 inches last month, for a grand total of 47.75 inches lost.

I'm now in a size 16 from a size 22 - and feel like a million bucks!  We celebrated some family birthdays on Sunday, and there was a live band at the brunch place.   I went dancing in front of all these strangers, and didn't feel remotely self-concious!  (Of course it helped that my dance partners were my 5 year old and 7 year old!)

I'm a little bummed my body hasn't changed that much - my middle is still pretty big.  I think my hip bones got wider after my son's birth, because when I recall being this weight, I was in much smaller clothes!  (Pre-pregnancy)

Oh, and I updated my avatar - I figure my face is not nearly so wide as it used to be, so I better flaunt it! 

I've also added some pics to my photo album.  I'm going to have to get a new pair of bike shorts to take pics in though - these are bunching at the waist something bad.

My health is great, I'm eating well, taking my vits (except for the calcium as per my other post!) and in general feeling great.

Thanks again, all you OH-ers for your help, advice and constant support!


Aimee :)

3 mo update w/ labs - 2/2/09

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 2/2/09 8:03 pm

I had my 3 month visit with my surgeon today.  All looks good, and I have lost 34 pounds (only 4 pounds in the last month!) and a total of 41.75 inches!

My labs were damn good, I thought.  My cholesterol went down (although my HDL went down too, but only to 41 (should be >46).  Triglycerides went from 132 to 97, LDL went from 159 to 77.  WHOO HOO.  And this while eating BACON almost daily!!!

Best news of course, my A1C went from 10.2 to 6.6!!!!  I'm still slightly above "normal" which is anything below 6 - but I'm almost non-diabetic. :)

Here's the vitamin stuff:

PTH - 39  (range 10-65)
Serum calcium - 9.0 (range 8.6-10.2)
Vit D, 25 OH  total - 19 (range 20-100)  *****LOW*****

Vit B 12 - 388 (range 200 - 1100)  (Although technically not low, the labs said that "between 5 and 10% of patients with values between 200 and 400 may experience neuropsychiatric and hematologic abnormalities due to occult B12 deficienty, less than 1% of pateins with values above 400 will have symptoms.)

Iron, total - 47 (range 40 - 175)
Iron binding capacity - 378 (range 250-450)
% saturation - 12 (range 15-50%)  ***** LOW*****
Hematocrit - 36.1 (range 35 - 45)
Folate, Serum - 14.6 (normal >5.4)

Protein, total - 6.8 (range 6.2-8.3)

Here's what I'm taking:

2 Centrums (1 each at lunch, dinner)
2 Dry D (400 iu) (1 at lunch and 1 dinner) This is in colecalciferal form.
2 Dry A (10,000) (1 at lunch and 1 dinner)

Upcal-D which has 500 citrate and 250 iu D3. - 3 times per day, although I sometimes forget at least 1 time, usually dinner.

I'm not taking additional iron - I tried it, and it plugged me up.  I've never been anemic, so I wasn't too worried about it. 

I also take a 50 mg zinc daily, and 1000 mg C.

My surgeon didn't tell me to change anything - said that when the sun came out, to sit outside and soak in some rays.  He wasn't concerned about the B12 or the Iron, or the D really.

Overall, I have to admit I'm a happy camper!

Rant: 1st Post Op PCP Visit - 1/7/09

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 1/7/09 11:44 am
Okay, so I have generally loved my PCP in the past.  When I told her about the surgery, she was like great, here let me write the referral.  Bada-bing.  She said, you may have trouble getting this surgery since I don't think they'll let you go out of network (how right she was!) but I'll do whatever I can to support you.

When I needed all my pre-op stuff, and I brought her the sheet from Dr. Crookes, even though I wasn't approved yet, she went ahead and ordered all the tests, and coded it correctly so it would get approved.

So I fully expected more interest and open-mindedness today when I went to see her.  I printed out Diana Cox's PCP "script"  (linked here if you don't know it) and put in the pic from DSFacts, and I brought the "Bariatric Nutrition: Suggestions for the Surgical Weight Loss Patient" article since it lists all the major deficiencies and recommendations for DS patients.  I also brought the Hess article, the 10 year retrospective study on DS patients.

She blew me off, oh yeah, I know all about the surgery, and she wanted to talk about my relationship to food.  "Oh, I've had a couple of patients who lost a lot of weight and gained it all back, because they couldn't change how they felt about food, and they stretched out their pouch."

I felt like punching her in the nose.  I'm like, this is not the same surgery.  I DO NOT have a pouch.  This surgery doesn't have as much re-gain, as explained in the Hess article.  There is significant malabsorption.

And then she repeated herself, well you know it's easy to lose now because you don't have any room, but overtime, what are you going to do when you can eat more?

So, I repeated myself - I only absorb about half what I can eat!

Then I explained to her that I don't have a problem with food, that a lot of my weight gain has been from metabolic disorder - starting with a diagnosis of PCOS in college. 

Then she was like, oh, don't drink soda with meals.  At that point, I just rolled my eyes at her, and said, of course not.  (I'm not drinking soda anyway because the gas bothers me and I no longer like the taste.)

She wouldn't even let me get through the list of things on my "script" - she was just so not listening.

I wanted to scream when I left.

I am hoping that if she actually reads what I left her, she will finally have an inkling.  I got the impression that she thought that since she was the doctor, she knew everything.  Which is the opposite of what I have gotten from her in the past. 

It was just bizarre.

Okay, end rant.


Aimee :)

2-month Surgiversary - 1-5-09

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 1/5/09 1:40 pm
So, today is 2 months from my surgery date!

I'm doing pretty well - been upchucking a lot more lately.  I think because I'm feeling better, I"m eating too fast too much.   Gotta work on that!

I've lost a total of 30 pounds today - I'm at 30.9% of EWL. 

I've also lost a total of 35.25 INCHES.  Whoo hoo! 

And now for the pics, which pretty much say it all!  I think the side pics are the most dramatic - even my FOREARMS look thinner!  (who knew you could lose weight there!)

Thanks everyone for your support, your guidance and for putting up with me!!!

1-month Surgiversary! - 12/4/08

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 12/4/08 10:25 pm
Ok, so technically it's tomorrow (5th) but I am going to be too busy to post, so I thought I'd get this out of the way now!

I'm down 21 pounds! 

But, even better than that, are the inches: 23!  The biggest loss was in my waist - I lost 4.5 inches there!  I didn't lose anything from my neck or my calves (either of the extreme ends of me!) but everything else lost at least a little something.  My girls lost some (boo hoo!) but I was saddened by the lack of loss in my hips (only 1.5 inches there.)  I'm going to have a tiny waist and a huge butt at this rate.

My eating:  so far so good.  Last night I had some popcorn which was sooo good, but I retained water overnight.  I tried some pork rinds today and upchucked - I think I wasn't aware of how fast i was eating them since they're so light and they got into a big globby mess.  Ewww. 

Eating pretty much anything, just not huge amounts.  I still have a hard time figuring out when I'm full, and I don't like to chance a run-in with with the vomit-machine, so I could probably fit more in if I tried.  I ate about 15 shrimp today at lunch, over 45 minutes.

I'm getting plenty of liquids in, and am happy making my own concoctions - I can control the Splenda so it doesn't taste so bad - the Crystal Lights tase horrid to me now.

I still enjoy the Champion Pure Whey Stack Chocolate, and am getting those in.  I haven't started any of the vitamins yet, but I tried one of the chewables last week and it made me sooo nauseous.  Not sure how I'm going to get those down.

My follow up with Dr. Crookes is Monday, so hopefully I'll get a thumbs up from him then. 

Overall, I am loving my DS, and just cruising along.  Only 4 more pounds to 25% EWL!

Aimee :)

Diabetes Wow - 11/13/08

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 11/13/08 2:26 pm
Prior to my surgery last week, I was taking nearly 200 units of insulin daily - and my sugars were not well controlled.  My fastings were usually around 250, and untreated my readings were always around 400.

I have been diabetic for >10 years, and knowing that, I chose the DS as the best potential CURE for my diabetes.  I have 2 children and wanted to be able to see them, run with them, care for them until they are adults.  Even with the DS, I knew there was a chance I would not be one of the lucky ones whose diabetes is an immediate cure.  And it wasn't.

With that backdrop, my untreated reading this afternoon was 190!!!  I haven't been taking any insulin because my eating has been so screwy, and it just gets better and better every day.  In the hospital, my readings were around 230.  Now, 4 days later, they're down another 40 points!  At this rate, my numbers will be NORMAL in a month.

This is a very emotional post for me - I am about to burst into tears of joy with the fact that my life threatening, debilitating disease is slowly becoming just a fading nightmare.

I'm not an overtly religious type, but I have to praise God for this surgery, and the people here who really made me think about my options and choose to have the DS.

I LOVE MY DS.  Now where's that damn cookie!

Scared of the Milk Demon! - 11/13/08

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 11/13/08 9:26 am
OK - 8 days post op, so I know, I know, I'm really early.  I've been re-reading stuff I'd bookmarked from before about good foods to eat early on.

My problem:  I have become horribly horribly lactose intolerant.  Most of the stuff I bought to eat prior to surgery was all dairy based!  I ate some cottage cheese the other night, and I was up every 2 hours on the john with horrible gas and poop issues.  (Not that my poop is anything close to normal from the first day post-op, but that's another story.)

I'm now terrified of eating something to give me a repeat of the other night.  I had some tomato soup last night which was not a problem at all for me.  I'm drinking protein drinks without a problem.  I can get pretty good volume in.

I've read the other thread about Taco Bell, definitely going to try the beans but I'm scared of the cheese!

I'm goign to ask my surgeon tomorrow about Lactaid pills.

6 day post op update - 11/11/08

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 11/11/08 7:54 am
Hi All -

First off - thanks everyone for your warm wishes, prayers, lizards and thoughts.  It makes it a lot easier knowing that I am not alone!  Big hugs to Ocean, Sandy and Lisa for making the trek to visit me in the hospital - it really lifted my spritis.

I know Lisa posted some updates but here's the straight scoop:  immediately post-op I spiked a fever (I think the highest reading was ~103.3), went tachycardic, hypotonic-BP.  It was kind of ironic, since in recovery Dr. Crookes visited me and told me that I was such an easy beautiful surgery, he didn't think there were any problems.  Because of the low blood pressure (like 80/55 low!) they reduced my epidural, which was controlling my pain just fine, but potentially the low BP culprit.  So, my pain increases at the same time as my fever is going up.  Dr. C ordered at CT which involved drinking lots of horrible contrast which hurt.  And let me tell you being moved from the bed to the CT table was just awful - that was THE worst experience, pain-wise, of my life - I was screaming my head off.

They also did a nuclear study of my insides and neither test found a leak or anything wrong.  They re-upped my epi, and my pain was fine, my BP stayed fine.  I still had a fever and occasional tachy.  (Both my pre-op EKG strips showed tachy too so they chalked that up to just my having a crazy heart rate.)  They cultured me for everything, didn't find any infection, but gave me several bags of antibiotics anyway.  My fever finally got down below 100 on Saturday.

I came home yesterday!  Whee.  My fever came back though yesterday afternoon, but my kids were playing with the thermometor so I don't know how much it is.  My hubby is off buying a new one.  I can also hear bubbling in my chest area, which I have never heard before - it's like phlegm moving as I breathe in and out just below my neck area. 

I have a severe case of the weird smell thing - I can't even stand the smell of myself right now!  Everything is sooooo gross.  The loratab stuff just digusts me and makes me nauseaus just smelling it so I'm taking children's tylonel for pain, which is okay.  Not great, but okay.  And doable.

Last night I started having diarhea, which Dr. C told me might happen because of the contrast I swallowed, although my first 2 bms in the hospital were soft - this stuff is yellow water (TMI, sorry!)

So that's me - I am taking plenty of liquids in - I really enjoy chewing on ice.  I'm still only doing a bite or two at a time of "real" food - pudding, yogurt etc.

Now for the BIG WOW!

Prior to surgery, I was taking nearly 200 units of insulin daily  - 90 in the am and 90 at night.  This was barely controlling my diabetes.  Barely.  Without insulin my blood sugar readings were in the 400 ranges.

My blood sugar readings now are in the 230-s.  I'm taking about 18 units of insulin a day now.  It is only going to get better! 

Things are rough right now, but I know that this was worth it!

Thanks for reading this far!

Aimee :)

Surgery Wendesday! - 11/2/08

Mar 03, 2009

Post Date: 11/2/08 8:08 pm
Like a bunch of us on tonight, my surgery is in a few days and I am bouncing of the walls with excitement.

I had a total stress dream the other night though - that it was time for me to drop my kids off at my parents (they're staying there for a few days) and I had forgotten to pack their bags!

My cold is MUCH better - no infections.  The Zicam (although nasty) worked well, along with the vitamin C and the decongestants and getting some rest (which I was able to get a little of.)

Had a very nice visit with my angel, Lisa, today!  She was soooo sweet and brought me a bunch of protein samples, and some UpCalD samples. :)  We had a lovely chat and my two hellions actually played nicely with her very patient daughter...

Tomorrow is my pre-op - but I almost had a cow on Saturday.  My surgeon called me and left this very cryptic message.  He told me to page him.  (On a Saturday!)  So, I did, and it turns out he wants me to participate in some study he's doing, and I will have some sort of esophogeal test.  I agreed, but only if they can do it tomorrow while at my pre-op.  So, we will see.  I was afraid he'd gotten my labs and seen something horrible and would have to cancel me!  I wa relieved it wasn't anything of great consequence (for me, obviously Dr. Crookes wants patients for his study!)

So, all is well in Aimeeville, I mean, Corona, lol. :)

Off to do more laundry!

Aimee :)

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Surgery Date
Apr 23, 2007
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