Just when you thought I was gone forever ...

Oct 03, 2011

I show back up :)

20 months out, I now know that not only am I going to live through this experience, but I'm going to thrive because of it.  My weight has settled around 180 pounds with a few fluctuations up or down and I'm happy there.  I never planned on becoming a size 6 and I'm quite content being a size 16.  I have more energy, I feel better about myself, and trying new things is something I look forward to each and every day.

I eat fairly normally most days, in regard to the types of foods that I can eat.  I still stay far away from carbs as much as possible, but if I stray and have a french fry, I don't beat myself up for it.  I eat a lot of soups, but that's because I have always loved soup and because it doesn't cause me any distress as long as I leave out carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, and refined/processed rices, grains, and pastas.  

Things I have discovered the hard way -
1) Whole grain does NOT mean that it hasn't been processed or enriched.  If it's been either, I can't have it because it causes me digestive distress.   The more organic or whole food it is, the less it causes me problems.  They're also higher in protein and nutrition content, which is always a plus.
2) It's far better for me to have something with natural sugar (cane, guave, etc) than any sweetner that ends in -itol.  I would suggest avoiding those to anyone who has had bariatric surgery.  Immediate and nasty results ensue if you don't.  
3) I cannot have carmelized or cooked onions of any kind.  They will make me literally go weak and then pass out.  For some reason, they do not react with my system at all in any way other than bad.  I do not know why when I can eat a few M&Ms or a few french fries with no ill feelings, but the second the tiniest of cooked onions hits my stomach, I literally go weak and pass out.
4) There are days when I just don't do food well without feeling uncomfortable.  Soups, shakes, liquid foods work out better for me than solids.  On those days, i just accept that it's a bad food day and that tomorrow will be better.  

But for the record, I'd still rather have had the surgery and be 300 pounds lighter, even with those things.  I also don't have diabetes, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, or other issues that I once either had or was in danger of having.  My knees don't hurt anywhere near as much, my hips are more flexible, and I can run a mile without becoming winded.  Yes, I said RUN.  Not walk, not stroll, but run.  I can run, I can jump, I can dance, I can bend to the floor and touch my toes, I can pirouette with my granddaughters, I can climb through the monkey bars with my grandsons.  I can sit on a plane without feeling like I'm either scrunched in a seat or that I'm taking more than my share of the room.  I don't need seat belt extenders, I can fit in any car without worrying about whether I can get in or out, and men look at me appreciatively when I walk into and out of a room.  Have no doubt, life is good now and it can only get better.  It may not always be sunshine and roses, but it's always good.  I wouldn't change a thing and I'd have the surgery again in a heartbeat.

5 weeks out and maybe I'm going to live?

Jan 28, 2010

It's now been 5 weeks and in the last few days I've noticed that the suture line no longer hurts all the time, but it still tweaks now and then.  I think that'll go away eventually, too, I just have to be patient.

The nausea is a bit more under control as long as I religiously take the prescription prevacid in the morning and evening.  I'm still sleeping on the couch, though, because I can't lie down in the bed without the acid reflux making me get back up in a few minutes.  Baby steps, right? 

I actually have started feeling like I'm going to turn the corner with this and start getting better.  Of course, it probably helps that I no longer have a rampant bladder infection and I'm over the stomach flu that plagued me earlier this week.  Not to mention that I found a protein that I can handle, although it's probably not one that I'm supposed to have because it's not sugar free.  However that may be, it *is* protein and I *can* get it down and that can't be completely bad for me.  It's Odawalla Protein Monster, it's soy, and it's chocolate.  It is kinda on the thick side though, so I suggest cutting it with unsweetened soy milk or with lots of crushed ice.

I still don't feel great, though, and I have to admit that it had me worried because everyone on the board who has had this surgery seems to have done so much better than what I'm doing.  Then I found a couple of people who actually said they had just as hard of a time on other boards and I felt that maybe I wasn't as much of a loser as I thought I was.  

The newest thing to address is the cyst on my left ovary.  Apparently it's the size of a cricket ball.  I didn't even know I had one until Dr S told me that it was there after surgery.  It's a 'complex' cyst, so I think I'm probably looking at another surgery down the road.  I went in today to have an ultrasound and I'll see the OB/GYN right after my next surgeon's visit on Feb 4th. 

At this point, I'm just wondering if there's an end to all this health stuff as I'm so tired of being sick and tired. 

Oh well, tomorrow's a new day and each day that I wake up on this side of the grass is a good day :)
1 comment

4 weeks out and counting..

Jan 21, 2010

I was at 4 weeks out this past Tuesday and I've got to say it's been a bumpy ride.  I do want to sing the praises of my surgeon, Dr Srikanth, and the entire team at St Francis Hospital in Federal Way.  Dr Srikanth was, and is, amazing and the health care professionals were attentive, compassionate, and knowledgeable.  Even on my multiple ER visits they've been awesome and have made every effort to stay in constant communication with Dr Srikanth and to make me comfortable.

The bad stuff:
*I stay dehydrated because I just can't make my head wrap around the fact that I need to be sipping something constantly.  I've always been dehydrated, but I have to remind myself that I can no longer gulp down 40 ounces of water or juice at one time to help alleviate it. 

*I've also had major issues with nausea from day one, but again, it's something from my past health concerns that's interjecting itself here as well.  I was diagnosed with hyperacidity and 3 ulcers at age 10, so while the ulcers have long ago healed, the high acid issues have always remained.  All I can say is thank God for Zofran.  Without it, I wouldn't be able to function at all. 

*Now if this darned inflammation along my suture line (my body doesn't like the strip used to bind the outer edges of my stomach) would go away, I think I'll finally be ok.  This causes me to be in pain and keeps me from being able to get fluids in because I can't drink as much as I could that first week after the surgery.  So, back on pain meds I go for a week or two to let things settle down. 

The Good Stuff:

*Pre-surgery, I lost 50 pounds in 5 months.  Since surgery, I've lost 30.  I'm enjoying looking at my body and seeing the changes in it.  I can find bones that I haven't seen or felt in years.  I even saw my collarbones the other day and couldn't believe it!!  I turned over in bed and while moving the covers back over me, I felt something odd along my side and realized that it was my ribs under my fingertips.  It was an amusing moment, to say the least :)

*I no longer have an issue with my blood pressure staying at the high end of normal.  I am now always in the normal or lower end of normal range.  This is good because it has a direct bearing on my migraines.  Lower blood pressure = fewer migraines.

*My sciatica is also showing improvement and I'm no longer in total agonizing pain each morning. 

*My fatty liver is also better and I'm not having nearly as many issues with it, either.

So while I've had a lot of downs since my surgery, I'm also experiencing a lot of ups.  I truly believe that this is going to get better because the other folks on the DS forum keep saying that it will.  I'm holding onto that hope and some days that's all that keeps me from going insane when the nausea just refuses to go away and the pain along my suture keeps me from being able to stand upright.

Please keep me in your thoughts and say a prayer when you think about it.  I'm normally pretty tough and independent, but this constantly going from one thing to another has taken a heavy toll on me.
1 comment

About Me
Surgery Date
May 26, 2009
Member Since

Friends 11

Latest Blog 3