Oct 27, 2015
I cannot believe I am finally on the loser's bench! Phew! What a journey!
I was originally scheduled for surgery on Monday, 10/12/15. However, after going in, getting checked in, going thru all the questions, etc. my surgeon came in to ask when I had my last blood thinner shot. I told him that morning. He asked who told me to take one the morning of the surgery. I told him my cardiologist. He said he preferred for the last shot to be the night before, but said taking it that morning only posed a minimal risk. I was ready to take that risk until the anesethiologist came in and explained he had some reservations and would prefer an almost 'no-risk' status, but it was up to me. I chose safe rather than sorry. Didn't need a brain bleed considering I am already half brain-damaged...lol!
So I was rescheduled for Wednesday, 10/14. The surgery and 2 hernia repairs went smooth as pie according to my surgeon. I was done in under 90 minutes. I must have been very comfortable with all the anesthsia & other meds b/c I felt no pain and great that first night. Walked around, visited with family, and slept fairly well considering I was in a hospital. The next morning they advised me my heart rate had dropped into the 30's while asleep and they had called in my cardiologist. He didn't seem concerned saying the anesethia and pain meds in my IV probably suppressed my heart rate. I opted to stay a second night to have this monitored, though, again...better safe than sorry!
My 2nd night was more restless, but not due to pain. I had to pee on the hour due to the IV fluids, and damn if I was calling a nurse everytime to untangle and unhook me from the IV pole, oximeter, and my cpap machine. So doing that every hour got to be a pain! I got home Friday around dinnertime. I would have liked to sleep, but my daughters came to check on me and stayed until 9pm. Finally got to bed...NOTHING like your own bed. Slept like a baby...no pain...no peeing all night...lol!
I did feel weak and light-headed the first week. The 3rd consecutive week of liquids was getting old. I wasn't so much hungry as I was obsessed with what I couldn't have when I saw TV commercials, drove by restaurants, watched my family eat, etc. I couldn't wait to return to 'normal' eating, but at the same time I had fear of being able to do that. Miraculously, on the 7th day and transition to full liquids I began to feel stronger. Still tired alot, but not weak as much. I have done pretty well getting my water in...my protein has been hovering around 55 when I need to be more between 60-80.
I have lost 9 pounds since my surgery date...
I am anxious to see how things play out over the next several weeks as I return to a 'normal' diet. I have felt some restriction...not uncomfortable, but a sensation telling me it's time to stop. I have burped a couple times at the end of an oatmeal or cream of wheat 'meal' which I never do. I think that means I took one bite too many!
Oct 08, 2015
Well 5 days until surgery! I cannot believe I have made it this far! I started off this journey determined to improve my health, but it has been a surreal experience. I cannot believe it has been me making...and LIKING the changes I have had to make. Most have been incredibly easy. I have ENJOYED learning things on this board that have educated me beyond belief. I am THANKFUL I know I am not doomed to a lifetime of eating tofu or other foods I hate, and I can enjoy foods I like as long as I do so in moderation and protein first...always.
I admit to cheating on my add-on diet by eating pudding, but I have followed my protein/calories and other requirements. I am 10 days in and have lost 10 more pounds! I believe I will reach my goal of losing 75 pounds pre-op by Monday...only 2 pounds to go!
Sep 28, 2015
My surgery took longer to get scheduled than planned due to the scheduler being out for vacation the week after Labor Day. But I finally got my date - October 12th!
I had continued to veer off course the past 3 weeks especially due to the unexpected visit from my stepdaughter. We did a lot of eating out which is a trigger for me. I need to work on that down the road when I am on the other side. I also continued to eat a lot of carbs after she left, but did focus on eating my meals in order starting with protein and making sure I had plenty of water. I think I may have gained a couple pounds, but not much. Since I will not weigh at home I need to wait until my next doctor appointment Friday.
I had a lot of anxiety about the surgery after completing all the pre-op requirements. It kind of struck home I was really going to do this and surgery is now imminent. But the past week or so I am not feeling much at all...no anxiety, no excitement...nothing! Weird! I'll see if that changes in the next 2 weeks!
I started the liquid diet this morning and have not had any real problem. My shakes got my protein in and the popsicles and jello kept me satisfied despite carbing out for so long. I hope it continues.
I am finally on my way!
Sep 04, 2015
I have really been going up & down the past few weeks. I am good for a few days...then I get on a carb roll! Mostly this is happening when we go to some kind of event. Yesterday it was taking my sister out to lunch for her birthday. I started craving ice-cream later that night, and gave in and got a small banana split. Ugh! And I always pay for it later...guilt, gas, continued cravings, self-disappointment, etc.
So I have waited to weigh myself at surgeons appointment which was today. I was surprised I lost almost 5 pounds! I think regular exercise has helped, & despite going on carb binges I have mostly stayed under my calorie goal. Except last night where I was a huge 400 calories over.
I was glad to have my surgeon congratulate me on my weight loss so far. He didn't require any. He said I should be successful b/c I have demonstrated my commitment to following my meal plans. He...like the nutritionist...pointed out the carb cravings & 'relapses' were pretty much a matter of time. Bound to happen. I told him it was indicative of me knowing I needed the surgery...I NEED THAT TOOL!
I am feeling good that 1) I can let up on myself for feeling like I am failing b/c of the carbs, 2) the dr. said I should be successful after surgery and 3) I am now cleared to for surgery!!!
All I need to do is wait for the scheduler to call next weekend...of course the holiday weekend is going to cause a slight delay as ppl are on vacation.
Aug 28, 2015
It has been 3 weeks today since my last required appointment before I see the surgeon & hopefully get my date!
The surgeon's office contacted me 2 weeks ago saying they did not have my cardiology clearance. Since my cardiologist had given me verbal clearance back in June I figured it was just a paperwork thing where it had not been faxed. But then I get a call saying I need to be seen before she will clear me!!! WHAT??? I was not going to argue, but I was pissed when she told me she could not get me in until 9/9! I was hoping to be on my liquid diet by then!
Then I get another call this past Monday from the surgeon's office - they received my clearance! I do not know what is going on, but I am going to keep my appointment for the 9th and find out in person. Meanwhile I see the surgeon 9/4. So I should have a date soon.
I am going back & forth on my meals...(refuse to call it a diet b/c it really isn't...this needs to be lifelong). I have a few good days & then a bad day or two. There have been a lot of cook-outs, etc. and I have allowed myself cupcakes, pizza, and fast food over the summer. I am not proud of it, but it has been in moderation and then I get back on track. I am almost looking forward to winter where I am not out as much. If I have my surgery in late September I should be pretty free of temptations until Christmas. But still, I need to amp up the protein and turn down the carbs. I see such a relationship between eating carbs and cravings.
I have not been weighed in close to a month, but I have lost inches so I believe I am down at least a few more pounds. I have not been swimming everyday the past couple weeks between the weather and being out. I've been good about walking & my weightlifting on days I don't get in the pool. I continue to feel better & am surprised that 60 pounds made such a big difference. Hell, I could almost go to bed and wake up 10 pounds heavier so 60 pounds doesn't seem like a whole lot. I still have a lot of weight to go..
I am going to check back in next week after my surgeon's appointment. Hopefully with good news.
6th & Last Pre-Op Dietician Appointment
Aug 08, 2015
Saw the dietician & nurse yesterday for my final pre-op appointments. I weighed in there at 293.6 which they thought was great...still going in the right direction! But I had weighed myself last week at Walmart & was 292. Maybe the scales were off b/c they are different, but I have been eating more as well as eating out more. So I think I gained a little.
I felt major anxiety going in for that appointment. The surgery is now imminent. I am going to have to stick to a meal plan for the rest of my life if I want to be successful, and that is scaring the hell out of me! Will I be able to do it? I was doing really well when I started the program, but I have slipped since then. Carbs are a real issue for me!I am hoping the 'tool' surgery gives me will help, but I know ultimately this is 100% on me. I can't blame others for tempting me with what they are eating and how it makes me crave. I need to put the coping mechanisms I have learned into motion. I need to pay attention to the difference between head hunger & real hunger...and not eat because I am bored or angry.
One of my coping mechanisms have been my backyard pool, but we will close it before my surgery next month. I would not be able to swim for a few weeks post-op anyway, and by then the weather here will turn cooler. I am kind of mourning that loss already. I could join a pool, but that is so different. Instead, I will focus on my walking and weights as the seasons change and it gets colder. Winter will no doubt be a challenge, but I am getting way ahead of myself. I need to remind myself 'one day at a time.' I can't change a month or year at a time...
Some people have complimented me on my pre-op almost 60 pound weight loss, but others don't seem to notice. Maybe 60 pounds isn't enough for ppl to notice when you are so big! I still wear most of my same clothes, and while they are loose or baggy they still fit. But all my capris have elastic waists. It will be interesting to get into a regular pair of pants and see how they look. Some of my measurements have gone down a few inches...others are holding tight. I find that interesting given I have always heard you usually lose inches before you see the loss on the scale...
I wish I could sleep through the pre-op diet until about 2 weeks out from surgery...lol! I am just so ready to get it over and done with and know everything is going to be okay. I hate anxiety. I hate waiting. I hate wondering if everything is going to be alright.
I hope to hear from my surgeons office next week to see him and get the surgery scheduled. It's time to get this show on the road!
5th Dietician Appointment
Jul 08, 2015
Saw the dietician today for my next to last visit before surgery! I only lost 4 pounds, but I'll take any loss! I still have my goal of hitting 290 by the end of July, and that is only 7 pounds to go. I know I have continued to fight the carbs...especially treating myself to the McD's vanilla cones a few times a week! I justify it by telling myself I am under my daily calories, but WHAT you eat does make a difference.
I am going to go back to drinking the protein shakes a few times a week. I had been thinking I wanted to eliminate them during the months before surgery so I was not sick of them during the 2 week fast & 2 weeks after surgery, but I think they help me. And I like them. So why not?
I am kind of surprised the past 5 months have gone so quickly. I know I still have tons to learn about food & meal prep. This time has been so useful. Sometimes I think I'd like to keep going & see how much I can continue to lose on my own...I have never lost weight more than a couple times in my life, and certainly not 53 pounds! But I know I NEED this surgery, and the sooner I get the weight off the healthier I will be.
With the exception of my tailbone pain from my fall a couple weeks ago I am feeling really good! I am able to do things I haven't been able to do in a long time. I know I weighed what I weigh now about 15 years ago & was 15 yrs younger, but I can't recall feeling this HEALTHY! I want this feeling...and energy to continue! I want to keep experiencing more NSV's. I don't have problems getting into our cars & I can see some of the sides of the seats. Before my fat spilled over both sides! I can turn over in bed easier, walk further distances, work on projects longer. I feel like my moods have improved.
I cannot begin to imagine how this will improve any more when I am down another 50-75 pounds. But I can't wait to find out! I am anxious to see where I will be next summer & what I will be doing.
Jun 28, 2015
Well I have been so proud of my daily commitment to exercise...have rarely missed a day except when not feeling well. But last Wednesday night I slipped coming down our swimming pool ladder & fell hard on my butt! Ouch! The good news is I have always carried the majority of my weight back there so it cushioned the fall & probably minimized any other damage. The bad news is my tailbone hurts like hell & I do not see myself getting back in the pool...or even walking...until it gets better. Sigh!
Meanwhile, I had planned to drop my carb intake & increase my protein come July as my September surgery date gets closer. But I am still fighting the 'sugar demon!' I have been good about not eating 'junk,' but I know even fruit has its downfalls. I am open to any feedback on this problem. Overall, I feel like I am doing as well as can be expected, but I am also venturing into new areas like eating out again. I try to make the best choices I can & plan in advance, but I have really learned restaurant eating is tricky & much higher calories than eating at home.
I am still feeling pretty good despite my fall. I feel frustrated I am feeling energetic & can barely walk to even pick up around the house. But I guess that is a good sign! I know one thing...I need to be on here everyday...to learn & for support. This HAS to be my main focus.
4th Dietician Appointment
Jun 16, 2015
Saw the dietician AND bariatric nurse for my 4th appointment yesterday. I feel it went really well!
The nurse explained how I might feel after surgery, recovery time, vitamins & post-op diet. She kept saying how impressed she was w/my weight loss. I told her I felt like I had kinda fallen off the wagon w/the carbs, but she kept saying 9 pounds lost in one month was great...49 overall was excellent!
I then met w/my dietician who also kept complimenting me. She downplayed the carbs I reported I had been indulging in & she told me 1) the surgery would take care of that for quite awhile due to limited food intake & 2) it is normal to go thru these cycles of cravings for many years. When I thought about that it made sense b/c I remember being taught as a drug/alcohol counselor the physiology of drug cravings...they peaked around every 90 days for the 1st year of recovery. And I am just a food addict & my drug of choice is SUGAR!
I weighed in at 301 there. The nurse also pointed out I will lose 'a good amount' during my 2 week pre-op diet as well as the 1st few weeks after surgery. So I am hoping I will have lost the majority of the weight I need to lose by October.
I keep noticing my NSV's. I had been noticing how much easier it has been to turn over in bed at night whereas a few months back I would actually have to struggle & become breathless! I can bend over easier to put on my underwear...before I often missed the openings, my balance is so much better...I used to fear falling a lot when heavier, and I just keep feeling the energy! I think I really missed that the most!
I swim daily in our backyard pool now that it is too humid to walk. I did notice a nasty fat bulge on my upper thigh that probably will sag if I lose muscle tone, but I am not in this to win any beauty contests!
So overall...all is good.
I am going to the beach today & plan to get in the water for the first time in probably 20 years. I don't care how I look to the bikini-clad, tanned, 20-something set. I have survived cancer & lost almost 50 pounds for the 1st time in my life. The haters might relate 30 years down the road!
Jun 15, 2015
This past month I have had more cravings than usual. I started buying myself a large McDonald's Unsweetened iced tea to break the water & homemade tea monotony, and I am wondering if using equal in the McD's tea rather than Stevia like I use at home contributed to this? I am not actually jonesing for sweets, but my carb intake has been higher. I stopped buying the McD tea about 10 days ago so I will see if there is a change. But on a lot of days I have maxed out my daily calorie allotment b/c I was hungry...before when I stuck closely to what was recommended I was fairly full the majority of the time.
Not to let myself off the hook, but I also wonder if my body is adjusting to the lower calories & kinda returning to it's old self. I've only lost about 6 pounds this month after losing 16 last month. I have done a lot more exercise...swimming, and I wonder if that is building muscle and that weighs more.
I know I still FEEL good & have a pretty good amount of energy despite the smaller weight loss & increased hunger. I have experienced ALOT of NSV'S (non-scale victories) since I am down almost 50 pounds. I am just nervous (or OCD) about the returning hunger & slowed weight loss. I do not want to fail this surgery! I guess I can look at it as once I have the surgery/tool I should do pretty good continuing my journey. I just hate feeling hungry.