9 months out WOO HOO!!!

Jun 03, 2011

I cannot believe it has been 9 months since my surgery.  WOW what a difference.  I am so happy I did this.  My health is so improved.  I am 157lbs smaller than I was when I got serious about this journey.  I have had so many improvements in my health I cannot believe it.  Last March, 2010, I weighed in at 385 lbs and I am only 5'4".   I could not breath, or walk, and hardly smiled.  I had diabetes, heart trouble, HBP, sleep apnea, and arthritis in my knees, back and shoulder.   Even tho I was a leukemia survivor, I was still killing myself with overeating.  I was anxious about everything, and frequently sad.  Totally bereft of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Then I was approved for surgery.  I let go of my desire to have the VSG because I was told it could be 2+ years before it was an approved procedure for Medicare and I trusted my doctors recommendation for the RNY.  I had been so reticient to have the RNY, but I knew the universe would not give me more than I could handle.  Also I knew I could not wait another 2 years or I might not make it.  I am so happy I did not try that.

I have been mostly overjoy with my decision.  (Mostly, because there were times I did not think this was such a good idea.)  It was more painful than I expected, more difficult to slow down my eating, harder to take small, well chewed bites, but it is all worth it.   Getting past 6 months was a challenge some days.  I am still overjoyed with my decision.  I have everything I wanted, except knees that work well.  I am healthier, happier and less anxious 99 % of the time.  Life still throws me challenges, finances, tornadoes, pain to name a few, but I can take charge of my eating now and that is BIG.  I had tried to take control of my eating for so many years and Failed, Failed, Failed......but now I spend lots of time taking care of myself and I love it.

My challenges at 6 months was the slowing down of the weight loss.  I was losing almost 15 lbs a month.  Then at 6 months that went away.  I felt like I was hungry all the time and I began eating more.  I discovered sugar free candy and began eating 5-6 per day.  I did not think about protein first, but ate anything I wanted, including some fast foods.  WoW...that was a shocker.  Finally I regain some sanity and came back to reality.  I think I lost 3 lbs that month.  Now I am back on track.  I am drinking protein 2-3 times per week, eating healthier, decreased the SF candy and am back to losing still more weight.  Not 15 lbs a month, but not 3 lbs either.  more around 7-10 lbs. 

I am joining a new class next week based on Michelle May's book Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.  It is about being mindfull of your body while eating and it is a great approach to weight loss and retraining your mind to eat to live.  I am so excited because this class is 8 weeks long, two friends are joining me and I expect success for myself.  I know this surgery caused me to lose weight, but I feel I still need assistance to help retrain my mind back to (maybe not retrain, but learn for the first time) healthy eating habits that can help me maintain this new life.  I have heard as we all do that WLS may not last forever.  For my part I want to do everything I can to maintain this healthier me.  It is a constant goal to make this a success.  And this new approach is a balanced, healthy way to learn new ways of listening to what my body is telling me what I really need and how much I need. 

I hope all on this journey with me are continuing to learn new things about themselves.  I look forward to my continued success.  MY goal is to be down to goal weight by my birthday 4 more months, 48 lbs.    WOO HOO!!!

6 months on to a new life!!

Mar 04, 2011

6 Months  WOW!!!!!

Well, I can honestly say it has been a fun(mostly) ride this past 6 months since my surgery.  I have experienced so many new highs, not weight related, mostly health related.  And some new lows and fears, sugar cravings, lots of vomiting (a double edged sword), no money for new clothes.

On the positive side I have lost 140 lbs since my 2010 highest and I can tie my shoes not on my bed, wear shoes my feet would not fit in as they were so swollen, sit with my legs crossed, clean myself better, sleep all night long without getting up to pee, fasten my seatbelt, leave all meds except pain meds behind, sit on the floor with my granddaughter, walk longer ( I just did 7 minutes on a treadmill.  My first time ever.) breathe easier, and get lots of compliments.  That part is so fun.  All those things are the reason I decided on surgery as my final option.  I knew for years diets were not working, therapy, plans, routines, etc did not work for me.  I was heavy at 16 yo when I had my first child and gained progressively through the years until I reached a whopping 405 lbs (I am 5'4") at 56 I was packing it on and losing my life.  Actually, I was diagnosed with cancer(leukemia) in 2007 and was told I had a 20% survival chance without chemo.  But I beat the odds with 5 months of chemo and survived.  During chemo I lost about 60-70 lbs, but was way into gaining it back when I decided I had to have surgery to conrtrol this spiralling weight gain.  So last March I went to the oncologist and got verbal approval to proceed with changing my life for the better.  One thing a dear friend said to me when I was first diagnosed with CA+ "You are going to have to decide if you want to live or not."  I took that to heart and literally made a conscious decision to choose life.  When it came to pass I did survive, I had to ask myself  "now that you have been given a life to live, what are you gonna do with it?"   GET HEALTHIER!!!   was my answer.  That was and continues to be my main goal.  This surgery is the tool bringing about the changes I can live with.

I am forgetting the negative things about this surgery.  Just like I am forgetting the negative things which happened with cancer and childbirth:  the pain, discomfort, painful stricture, intense vomiting. So the picture seems rosy.  However, right now I am dealing with sugar cravings.  I went from Aug till Christmas without sugar or very minimal real sugar.  Then the Christmas season came and I ate more sugared foods than I had in the 4 previous months.   Still losing and doing better than ever before, but more than my little tummy was used to.  No dumping for me,since I have been increasing the sugar content in my diet, sprinkling some on cereal 1-2 times per week, getting coffee at the convenience store and adding sugar instead of splenda, buying myself and my granddaughter M&M's at walmart at the end of a shopping trip, having ice cream cake for a birthday party, and lastly buying Dove's Dark Chocolate for myself for Valentine's Day "because I love myself".  What BS!! I decided if I truly love myself I would love my self by eating my SF chocolate instead.  This week I am returning to SF foods totally. No more candy, ice cream, sugared cereal, etc.  That is loving myself.  I went shopping to buy several SF options I had not purchased during the cold weather.  That is how I really love myself, by taking care of my body.  Yes it is still heavy, even in the seriously obese range I am sure.  It is FLABBY beyond repair.   I still struggle with intense knee pain, shoulder pain and back pain.  But it is mine, the only one I will be given, and it deserves respect, love, compassion and caring.  It deserves the best I have to give.  And sugar is not the best I have.  It is the worst.

My pouch is changing, the honeymoon period is wearing off.  I can eat more without discomfort.  That is scary!!!  I can eat more variety, though unground meat, pork and beef, hot dogs(even healthy ones) rice and other chunky foods still cause discomfort in my upper digestive track.  But I can put away more than a few bites now and that means control is in my mind's ability, rather than my physical structure.  As I have heard  "My best thinking got me here." so that scares me too.  When I am in a fear based place I have always retreated into food, now I am learning to retreat into any other activity other than eating.  it is not the norm for me.  But I am more mindful of what my structure is saying, eat slower (a very hard one to learn), chew more, stop now and I am getting better at listening.   I catch my thoughts quicker and listen  better.  For that I am thankful.  I can't wait for a year to pass.  I want to see how my life has changed next September 3, my surgerversiry.  I will continue with gratitude daily for this opportunity to improve my health and improve my happiness. 

Thank you universe, for allowing this to happen.  I am very grateful to the people involved in my changes.  I am equally grateful for the people on theis website ho support me in this extraordinary journey!!!  Wow Wow Wow!!!

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Four months out

Jan 04, 2011

Yesterday was my 4 month surgery date.  It has been a medium roller coaster ride.  At first I did think I was never going to get the hang of, then finally now I feel in a swing.  I can eat some now, I do not throw up nearly as much and I feel full almost all the time.  I don't think I have thrown up since the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I am learning about listening to my stomach and hearing what it is telling me much better.  I had incredible weight loss over the 2 months past.  Through both holidays I thought I would maintain whatever I was at the start of November, but throughout Nov and Dec I lost 15 lbs.  That must be a personal record and I continue on the downward slope.  I really started this weight loss in March of 2010, I went to the oncologist and weighed in at 385 lbs.  When I had my firast chemo treatment in Jan. 2008 I weighed in at 405, but after many rounds of treatment I was down to 345 lbs.  When I went back this year I was back up to 385 lbs, and decided I would keep going up if something did not stop me.  Now I am 266 lbs.  Surgery, Doctor Scott,  and all my hard work has got me down and living healthy.  My BMI has dropped from 66 to 45.  I am still self absorbed and have many irregular thought processes that get in the way, but I am getting healthier each day.  I work on my faults and make amends when I screw up.

I only wish my knees were better.  I love to walk, but the arthritis has not improved, in fact may have worsened since I am up using my knees more.  I hate that, I wanted it to improve so badly.  I am trying not to project yet, but if it continues I may have knee replacement surgery sometime in the future.  Dang I really want to avoid that if at all possible.

I am inspired by this surgery, my friends and family are so complimentary, my grandkids are all excited about my changing health.  I have lots of blessings and much gratitude as I start out on my 2011 adventure.  WOOHOO!!!


7 weeks out tomorrow

Oct 21, 2010

Tomorrow, I will be 7 weeks out from surgery and I had another WOW moment today, not only can I put on and tie my shoes while sitting in a chair, but I did something I had not done for 20 years--------I PUT ON A PAIR OF JEANS, and they were too big.  I am wearing them with a belt or they are too long and too baggy.  This amazes me to no end!! I was so happy today I had to wake up my son to show him.  We were then both amazed.  What a HOOT.  I feel so much better.  I have lost a total of 93 lbs since March 2010 and 52 lbs since seeing the surgeon and making the final decision to have this surgery.  I am so looking forward to the continued changes

I still have food issues.  For instance I can only eat about 2 ozs of meat before feeling like I am going to throw up, tho the office told me I could eat 3 ozs/meal, and anything more than 1-2 tablespoon of anything else is too filling.  Mostly I still want soups and soft foods, but I continue to try new things.  I had my first salad this week.  It was only about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, but I bought bibb lettuce, stuff off the salad bar (carrots, frozen peas, boiled eggs, black olives, artichoke hearts and shredded cheese). Ate it with no dressing, just Cavendars seasoning and it was great.  No vomiting.  I have had deli ham and chicken, kept both down, and cooking baked chicken tonite.   I spend 80% of my day fixated on food and what, when and how much to eat, drink etc... I also bought my first carton of unflavored protein powder from Unjury and awaiting its delivery so I can get more protein in per day.  I can no longer stand the chocolate protein drink from EAS.  It is still good, I have just had too many since Aug 1 to drink another at this time.  So on this site I connected to the Unjury site and lo and behold I now have found unflavored protein powder.  I hope the testimonials did not lie to me, it just sounded too easy so I will see.  

Another 25 to35 lbs and I will begin exercising.  I have been reluctant because I am a procrastinator, and because I am still very winded every time I exert much energy (a left over result of the leukemia and treatment of same).  It is improving and I can walk further then I have in years, but soon it will be even better for me.  As the weight dissappears my stamina improves.  I could not walk to the gym yet (in the apartment complex I am in) but I am getting closer each day.  What a challenge.  I wanted to turn back the clock and be 40 again, instead of 59 so I could be in better shape and exercise more.  But reality is I am 59 and a cancer survivor with other medical challenges, so exercising is more difficult for me.  However, I am losing weight anyway and soon will be able to do more than I can today.  What a blessing.

Well I continue on this journey of discovery and fascination.  I will keep sharing my thoughts.   Hope all who read this enjoy your journey and mine.

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Corrective procedure

Oct 08, 2010

Well, it has been a weird couple of days.  On Tuesday, I went to the surgeons office for my 1 month check up.  I was still throwing up almost daily for the last three weeks.  Dr suggested I had a stricture at my stomach opening.  It means a narrowing at the insertion point of the stomach from the esophagus.  So yesterday I had another endoscope and low and behold, there was a stricture alright.  It was dialated from 3 mm to 12 mm, so my dime size opening was down to a pencil.  No wonder I was vomiting everything up.  Well it is open again and now I can eat my soft foods and progress to the next stage of eating.  I am very glad to have the correction.  I would love to be able to have a small meal  sometime in the future.  It feels like now it might be a possibility.    So now that I feel better I am gonna clean house around here and try to find some smaller clothes to fit into again.  

I am getting smaller and my pants/slacks are becoming too big.  I have a young MR women who needs my clothing.  So I get the opportunity to share what I have worn and create a vaccuum for me to fill with better fitting clothing.  I would love to shop again in stores, but not yet.  It will happen I just need to be patient.  One thing this surgery is teaching me, patience.  Many, many lessons being learned during this month post surg.


Ponderings One month update

Oct 03, 2010

Well, today is the 1 month date since my surgery.  It has been MUCH harder than I expected.  I have had several health challenges in the past, but this seems like the hardest so far,even beating out cancer treatment.  I had more pain during the first week and more vomiting from week 2-4 than I ever expected.  I only had one day of really wishing I could undo the procedure, but many days of dissappointment and wishing I could have a meal (a small meal would have been okay), but no.  I could not even keep down a sip of tomato juice, or protein drink.  I certainly upchucked anything that wasn't totally soft.  I could only eat mashed potatoes, yogurt and pudding consistently.  Everything else came back up.  I am sick of it.   But I think I am making a turn for the better.

I went to a get together with friends yesterday and had a meal, quiche without the crust,  rice and some canned pears.  I only had a teaspoon of each, but I had a meal.  Looking at the portions the other 4 had and I was amazed at how LARGE they (the portions) all were and it struck me at how I used to eat like that.  Several had 1/4 a pie slice and one person had 2 other smaller helpings.  I thought "Wow, I used to put that much in my stomach  every day" and maybe every meal. 
Now granted mine were XXsmall but even so I was knocked out by the difference.  It gave me a good perspective.  I live almost alone so seeing the difference on 2 plates at the same time truly shocked me as to how out of control I had been.  A big Ah Ha moment.

Some "Wow" moments have also occurred this past week.  I was in my car and stopping for gas.  I noticed my shoes were untied.  So I hitched my foot up and tied my shoe!!!!  Before I could not bend my knee that far and I could not bend over stomach to get to my shoe.  I had to sit on the bed to get my shoes tied.   WOW!!

Another "Wow" moment was walking to the hospital.  Before I had to be at the first 1-2 handicapped spot to be able to walk to the door with huffing and puffing.  Last week I had to park in the next to last handicapped spot and I walked all the way to the door before stopping to rest, about a half a city block.  I don't have strangers asking me if I need help anymore.  So I guess that my breathing is improving too.  WOW!!!

Finally, the other day I vacuumed my apartment in one effort.  Now granted my apt is not very big, but before surgery I could not get through one room without multiple sitting spells.  My breathing, my knees, my back hurt so bad I tried to do most of the vacuuming sitting down, but not now. WOW!!!

And I have lost a total since March of 82 lbs and 19 since surgery a month ago.  My bloodwork is all in normal range.  I no longer am hypertensive and my diabetes is gone.  I have gone from 8 meds to 3 meds and I only take them every other day since they are all pain meds, instead of 3 times per day.  I am SOOOOOO VERY HAPPY my health is improving.  WOW!!!!!

So for my final assessment for the month, I am amazed at how hard it has been, but I made it through one month and I am seeing results, physical tangible results.  Just in time for my favorite time of year, FALL!  Woo Hoo.  The goal for this month is to start excercising. I feel like my breathing and knees are good enough to get to the onsite equiptment to try out a machine.  Maybe I will start with walking over there and checking out what is inside the gym (I have never been inside a gym/fitness center since junior high).  Now I need to walk to get there first, not drive over to it.  So I will start practicing  by walking out my apt and see how close I can get to the fitness center before having to turn back.

Thank you God, Thank you God, Thank you God.


4 days out

Sep 07, 2010

Hey guys and gals, hope it is a good evening.  I am sure glad I am now 4 days out from surgery.  Each day is a little less painful than the day before.  I know I was telling my daughter "I did not expect this to hurt as bad as it did and I did not do well with the morphine."  I could not walk, because i could not stay awake long enough.  They did try to make me wake up alot of times, but the nurse just kept saying you are not awake enough to walk I had surgery at 10 am and walked at 1:00 am the next morning(in the middle of the night).

Anyway I am happy to be on the losing side of the equation.  I had an episode of too much last night, too much broth and jello.  I was sick and gurgling all night long.  Too much gas, too much rumbling, no sleep.  Finally, I was better this am.  The longer I was up the better it was.  Now I have learned that lesson.  Hopefully, I won't have to go through it again.

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It's down to the wire

Aug 31, 2010

Well it is now 2 days out till my surgery date.  I still haven't heard from the Hospital about the time of the surgery, but now my cell is dead, so I guess it will be another day to wait.  Still unpacking from the move, getting tired of boxes, tho they are dwindling quickly.  I am also getting tired of the 4-5 week liquid meals.  I have cheated once or twice after finding out not everyone was on this liquid program.  It is childish and there is an inner child stomping her foot saying "I shouldn't have to do this, no one else is".  However, I am sure my MD knows what he is doing, he has certainly done lots of these surgeries.  And it has caused me to lose alot of weight, before surgery even happens.  I have gone from 385 lbs this March to 326 almost 2 weeks ago.  I can't weight to get on the scale at the hospital's this Friday.

The other thing is nervousness.  Not about the surgery so much as life after the surgery.  Will I be able to do this.  Will I be the only person in history who doesn't lose weight?   Will I ever be able to live life as a normal person.....what have I done agreeing to this new lifestyle. Questions?  Questions?? Questions???  I guess the answers will come in time.


All Approved and Ready to GO

Aug 23, 2010

Well, it has been a crazy few weeks.  I have looked for a new place to live in 100+ degree weather, found a really cute apartment, down sized by 1/2, had my pre-op class my surgeon requires, got a surgery date and working on unpacking while maintaining a liquid diet for 2 weeks.  It has been challenging.  I have cheated only 1 day and had a regular meal after I got a surgery date. 

Now I am back in the swing of things and headed on the downward track to health and recovery.  I have lost 18 lbs in 6 weeks, still pre-op and need to be buying myself a scales so I can weigh myself on a regular basis.  I already feel less bloated, able to move better and less SOB.  I am feeling happy.

When I went to the class I was hearing how people who also had the pre-op liquid meals were complaining how hard it was to not eat, but for the most part it was easier than I expected.  My mind still wants to eat, but my stomach is full and doesn't really feel the need for food.  I drink my protein shakes 3-5 a day, 1 V8 a day, vitamin waters, tea with Splenda, and one can of soup, Chicken Noodle or Veg Beef (my one food thing a day).  I know I am losing water weight, my shoes are looser, and the lymphedema is better. 

I feel more hopeful than I have in years.  Thanks to all for support and continued progress to all.


Surgeon's visit

Jul 01, 2010

Well, today was the follow up to all my testing.  Everything was okay, except I have a "Large hiatal hernia" shown up by the endoscopy, and my stomach has moved up into my chest cavity.  Okay so he said he would fix this during the surgery.  Two for the price of one.!!!!! Well not really the price, but at the same time as one.  But the not so good news for me was that I cannot have the VSG in any near future, since it is likely to be two years before the VSG is covered by medicare.  I know many people have had a successful RNY, so I am trying to release my fears and proceed now with the RNY.  I so wanted to keep my intestines intact, I however, do NOT want to wait.  I have been waiting since 2004/05 and cannot continue to put my life on hold till Medicare gets its act together.  I am really sad about losing my option of VSG, and angry with God, but I am trying to get to acceptanceand feel comfortable with this option. My doc has done hundreds of the RNY and does feel it will work well for me so I am comfortable with him and my decision to change. But I have not been able to resolve my grief over losing my desired procedure.  I think this sounds silly from my head, but my heart is breaking.  I had been so hopeful this would flow easily, without this hitch, but no not to be the way Iplanned it to happen.  

I am another step closer to the reality of surgery and a new life for me.  I am excited to start my new life and feel hopeful that this will come to pass sooner than I thought.    I have my 1 day class (7:30 to 4:30) and then will get a surgery date.   That is really exciting.  Yeah!  I am continuing to see myself in abundant health and wholeness, able to do more physically and finding a safe and secure place to reside.


About Me
St Louis, MO
Surgery Date
Jan 31, 2004
Member Since

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