ThriftyTheresa

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About ThriftyTheresa

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Seattle, WA

Information

  • Surgeon
    Dr. Brian Sung
  • Hospital
    Swedish Medical Center
  • Height (ft-in)
    5-09
  • Start Weight
    353
  • Current Weight
    319
  • Surgery Date
    07/10/17
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass
  • Surgeon
    Dr. Brian Sung

Recent Profile Visitors

815 profile views
  1. Sunday I will begin my 2-week "diet" before surgery. My clinic does not require an all-liquid diet, just super low-carb - under 20g a day. This past month I have been working and lowering, and lowering, and lowering my carb intake. I haven't had any alcohol for over a month and I haven't had any sugar in a month except for fresh strawberries and a small squirt of whipped cream once a week. I know this is the final prep to shrink the fat around my liver and make surgery safer. I am taking this very seriously. Sunday is the final stretch toward this goal of getting surgery. It's been a hell of a 10 months to get to this point. Saturday night, however... I've planned for one final night of indulgence. My best friend and I are going to have a party night together. Have lots of alcoholic drinks, lots of greasy food at our favorite dirty diner, sing karaoke, and a final indulgence of Cheesecake Factory. She's not interested in surgery but she is interested in improving her health and losing weight. This Last HURRAH is for us both. I have already picked up the Cheesecake slices for us and I will say that I almost didn't. I had some very intense feelings of embarrassment about going to the restaurant just to order from the to-go counter and take the big bag of cheesecakes on the bus home. I wanted to order the slices online using a delivery service app but the slices my friend wanted were both limited edition and only available in the store. I couldn't order them online. I work exactly 2 blocks away from Cheesecake Factory and walk by it almost every day on my way to the bus. In the 15 years I have worked here I have only been there probably 5 times. It truly is a rare indulgence, and that is 100% due to the shame I feel whenever I go there. I even felt shame about it the ONE time I ordered online to eat in the privacy of my home because a delivery person would had to bring it to me. The place is just so over the top with large portions and once slice of cake has the caloric intake for 2 whole days of food. The last thing I want is for someone to see me, the morbidly obese person that I am, buying 4 slices of cheesecake. The judgment of strangers shouldn't matter to me, and it normally doesn't, but I was really struck with the realization that I was judging myself. I was buying 4 slices of cheesecake with the full intention of pigging out on them this weekend. It's disgusting. I'm disgusted with myself. I don't even want to eat the stupid cheesecake now. So me and my best friend are going to go out and have one last party night. I may or may not eat a greasy cheeseburger. I may or may not drink a lot of alcohol. The cheesecake might end up in the trashcan. I don't need it. I don't need it ever again.
  2. Thanks Jen. It was a weird dream for sure. After writing about it I stopped thinking about it completely. Getting out my feelings made me feel better. This is why I like blogging here. I still feel very excited about the surgery. I still affirm that I am not scared. There's always the fear of the unknown, but the unknown can happen any day and any time. If I was truly afraid of the unknown I would never leave my house and never LIVE. I'm doing this surgery to help me LIVE a long and happy life. There's no reason to be scared.
  3. Now that I've let everyone know my surgery date, people have been asking me "Are you getting nervous yet?" I always answer "No, I'm excited!" I've had abdominal laparoscopic surgery before when I had my tubes tied and fried. I know what to expect on surgery day and I know what I will feel like waking up from the anesthesia. I don't fear any of it. At least that's what I am saying to myself. I woke up this morning from a very bad dream about the surgery. In the dream I was on what appeared to be a TV show being filmed in the hospital. There were bleachers of people watching the live filming. I was there as a "surgery success" patient and had lost a lot of weight. My tummy area was flabby with loose skin. I was wearing a very unflattering "dress" that looked more like a long T-shirt which clung to my flabby rolls, my hair was a mess like I just woke up from sleep. I had the distinct feeling I wasn't wearing a bra or underwear under this ugly gray t-shirt dress. I looked terrible but everyone was cheering and praising me for my great weight loss. There was a another woman there who was larger than my starting weight and she was fresh out of surgery and walking for the first time. She walked to me on the other side of the stage and we hugged and the audience cheered for us. All the while this is happening I keep thinking to myself "I don't understand. I just had surgery yesterday. How did I lose this weight? Why do I look like this?" Then I was talking to someone at a control panel-type desk in the filming studio and noticed a piece of paper, or a newspaper type thing, and saw the date was in February. My mind knew my surgery was in July but the date is telling me an entire 7 months had passed. I didn't remember anything past going to the hospital and going under. How had all this time passed? I couldn't find my father or any friends. I was back in my hospital room talking to a nurse asking why it was February. Was I in a coma all this time? What has happened to me? Why am I here? Where is my father? The nurse just stared at me for a long time while I was crying and asking these questions. Then she said "I don't know why you're so upset. We're taking care of you. Why don't you just take some more drugs and go back to sleep." Around that time I woke up. It's been a long time since I've had such a vivid and upsetting dream. So obviously from this dream I must be more scared than I realize. There are clearly feelings of not being in control of my health or my body. When the nurse told me to take more drugs sounded accusatory like I had become a drug addict. There were feelings of vulnerability being exposed to an audience and the ugly, unflattering dress I was in reminding me that I may be less heavy but I am still unattractive and I don't want people looking at me. So what I take away from this is - sure I am probably a little scared of the surgery, but I am more scared of what will come after the surgery. Or maybe it was just a dumb meaningless dream. I'm not going to let it bother me anymore.
  4. I appreciate the info. I'll be prepared with liquid Tylenol at home. I've had laparoscopic surgery before so I am familiar with the gas pain.
  5. Last week I had an interesting experience and it was very helpful for me as I look forward to my own surgery. I visited a patient who just had Sleeve surgery with my surgeon and got to help her be discharged from the hospital. We have a FB group made specifically for patients at our hospital. No Drs or Nurses are involved, it's just for patient support since we all have the same clinic guidelines and education we can help each other. A woman posted Tuesday morning that she was getting her Sleeve surgery that afternoon and she was all alone. She travelled from a different part of the state to be here - about 300 miles. All of her family are in another state even further away and she was going to be completely alone for a week and staying in a hotel. That broke my heart. I live very close to the hospital (less than 2 miles) and I reached out to her and said I would be happy to come visit her on Wednesday afternoon. No one should have to go through this alone. When I arrived it turned out the lady was ready to be discharged and was already packing her bags. Since she had the sleeve it was just one overnight for her and she was good to go. She was staying at a hotel that is just a couple blocks from the hospital and they sent a shuttle to pick us up. I carried her bags. She had already checked in to the hotel before the surgery and had the room filled up with protein drinks, water, soups, broths. The hotel had a little refrigerator for her and a microwave. She was all set up. After getting back to the hotel she was still feeling really good so we took a walk down to the drug store and got her prescriptions filled. Returning to the room we chatted a while until she was eventually ready for a nap. She spent a couple days recuperating and I visited her again on Saturday and she left Sunday to finish her recovery staying with a friend in another city further away. She will have her 2 week post-op check later this week and fly home after that. All in all I found it very helpful for ME to see what my experience might be like. I will have 2 nights in the hospital because I am getting RNY and she got the Sleeve. It was a nice way for me to see the behind the scenes action from the view of a patient. Seeing the recovery room, the location we would be in the huge hospital campus, met a couple nurses who were assisting her. Seeing how well she was feeling the very next day was amazing! I could not believe how good she was feeling and ready to walk to the pharmacy. She wasn't feeling nauseous or in pain so that really gives me hope I will have a good experience myself and will not be completely incapacitated. Talking to her the next few days was good to hear about the liquid diet, the things she was enjoying and not enjoying drinking. Hearing about her sleep and sleeping positions. She had a really good attitude and I think that also makes a lot of difference. Overall it was a good experience for me to help her and I hope I made her recovery a little easier being in a strange city all alone. I now feel more prepared than ever for my turn on the Losers Bench!
  6. After 2 weeks of waiting for insurance approval I hadn't received any phone calls with confirmation. I had a check-in appointment yesterday and got the good news that insurance has approved the whole shebang and we chose a surgery date of July 10th. It's another 6 weeks of waiting - and preparing - but I am ready! Part of the appointment yesterday was a group class with other patients where we went over the 3 diets we will be on. 2 week low-carb "Atkins" diet (staying under 20g carbs a day), 1 day clear liquids before surgery, and the 2 week post-op liquid only diet. 2 weeks after surgery I will have another class to take on diet advancement to pureed and soft foods. I loaded up on protein and vitamins at the clinic store. We go to sample a lot of the drinks and chewable vitamins before we purchased so that was very helpful. I was surprised to see the prices were a good $5 cheaper than Amazon for most products. The Unjury chicken soup might be the best medical grade food product I have ever tasted! Funny because the Unjury protein powders are absolutely vile! Anyway...it's happening! Now I just need to get all my ducks in a row at work and contact the powers that be regarding time off. I'm almost there!
  7. July 10th confirmed as the big day! Swedish Hospital Seattle with Dr. Brian Sung.
  8. I thought 2 weeks ago the hospital was going to send al my info to insurance but that didn't happen. Instead they gave me another appointment for a "Final Review". So yesterday I had my final review with the surgeon and signed all the paperwork permitting him to poke holes in me and play with my guts. My Case manager at the clinic is NOW submitting everything over the insurance. She told me it could be 2-3 weeks for approval. I called and spoke to my case manager at the insurance company and told her to expect everything this week. She thinks it should only be 2-3 DAYS to get the approval so I am hoping she is right saying DAYS instead of WEEKS. I'm already scheduled for a pre-surgery checkup and a couple pre-surgery classes on May 24th. After taking those classes I will be clear to have surgery anytime in the next 30 days. The journey to get to this point seemed to fly by - been working on this since September last year! This last little bit of waiting and hoping and praying and waiting some more is driving me insane. LETS GET IT DONE ALREADY!
  9. Had my last appointment for my supervised weight loss yesterday. Since September I have lost 29lbs. I have lost 39 lbs from my highest recorded weight in 2015. I'm happy with the results and my medical team is happy with me too. Now I have to wait for the call from my nurse coordinator about submitting to insurance and choosing a surgery date! So happy that this 6 months is over with. It's been up/down, good/bad, but overall I am grateful for this period of time to lose some bad habits, start some better habits, try out new foods, become more active and educate myself about the surgery and what my life will be like post-surgery. So excited to go forward and get this done!
  10. I just finished my 4th month out of 6. I have been very happy and excited during this whole process. I have learned new food recipes, I have been packing my meals for work (breakfast and lunch), I have been reading sites like this one and various Facebook groups for information and inspiration. I guess it's all the mindset of the individual. I am SO EXCITED to get to the goal of surgery (and all of the other goals after surgery) that I am just super happy about progressing toward that goal. Learning the new food habits is not easy, and can be frustrating, but I am proud of myself and what I have accomplished in my 4 months of supervised weight loss. I am proving to myself and the doctors that I can do this and be a successful post-op patient. That being said...I understand you're hurry to want the 6 months over with as soon as possible. I started talking to my doctor in September about surgery, and I met with the surgeons office in October. But my first month of supervised weight loss did not officially start until November. I can't count my September and October appointments toward my 6 months. In order to satisfy my insurance company I am doing everything by the book, jumping through any hoop they ask me to. Satisfying the insurance so they will pay for it is just another goal. So again, perhaps it's just a mindset thing. When you're looking toward the future don't look for all the roadblocks and pitfalls and challenges. Just keep walking. You'll make it there.
  11. Feb 28th was the end of my 4th month of the Supervised Weight Loss required by insurance. I did not lose any weight - however - I did not gain any weight, either. I weighed in at exactly the same (give/take a few ounces) as I did at the end of January. I am still at 35lbs under my highest weight. I am not celebrating and I am not upset, either. I still have 2 more months of supervised weight loss before surgery and I am focused on losing more between now and then. February 3rd was my birthday and I allowed myself to indulge this month without guilt. I had cheesecake multiple times during the month, I had friends take me out for drinks, nachos, brunch throughout the month. My father and I went to Las Vegas to see Cher on Valentine's Day. We ate mostly convenience/fast food and I had cocktails in the casinos. I splurged on Chinese food, Indian food, and Pizza at home. But every time I ate/drank something I tracked it on MyFitnessPal. All the good and all the bad. I tracked it all. I still had "high protein/low carb" on my mind every time I make my food choices. I allowed myself to splurge on certain meals and I would balance that out with healthy choices for the rest of the day/week. The nurse who I met with for my appointment did not shame me for my "bad month" but actually commended me that I did not gain. She reviewed my entire month of food - all the bad and the good - and she says it shows I can do "maintenance". I don't quite agree with her, because frankly there were times where I was a complete hedonist and binged without abandon. That is something I don't want to do again. I am not a fan of the "everything in moderation" mindset because I certainly don't want to talk myself into destructive behavior after I have surgery. I don't want to look back on my "last hurrah!" and my "food funerals" had this month and think to myself that it would be OK to go back to poor eating habits with the false bravado that I could "cheat" and not gain. And the nurse said it was OK to cheat from time to time. That false feeling of security is how other WLS patients get regain. I don't want to even entertain that idea that cheating is OK. I'm a food addict. You don't tell a drug addict that it's OK to have a little heroin from time to time just to treat yourself. My eyes are firmly on the goal of losing more before surgery. So March 1 I am back on track and so excited to be in Month 5 out of 6!. February is now over and I am back on track. Packed breakfasts, lunches for work. I have healthy dinners planned all week. Anyway...onward and downward!
  12. I've been pretty secretive about this weight loss stuff. I have only told 5 people so far; my father, 3 close friends, and 1 coworker. I keep all of them up to date with my monthly weigh-ins and they have been very supportive of me. I am hesitant to share this process with anyone else - specifically my coworkers because of how judgmental and gossipy they are. I'm wondering at what point people will start to notice my weight loss, my dietary changes, or anything else. Right now, at a 35lbs loss from my highest weight I can see the differences already in the mirror. My double chin is going away. My clothes are baggier and loose. I don't want to spend money on new pants yet so I have to wear a belt to keep my baggy jeans up. My winter coat is at the point where it is so big and baggy it's not keeping me warm anymore because it puffs out like a tent because it's not touching my hips or waist anymore. I know I am changing, but I am also actively looking to see my changes. No one looks at me like that. To the world, I'm just fat. 10+ years ago me and my best friend worked really hard together and we both lost a lot of weight. We were cooking together and working out together. She lost 60lbs and I lost 50lbs. We were both wearing clothes 3+ sizes smaller. We were feeling great, looking great, and so happy with our progress. We planned a lunch to meet up with a couple of friends we hadn't seen in a long time. We were so excited to see them and excited for them to see our great weight loss. We were both expecting a WOW moment when they would walk in and say "You guys look great!" but that never happened. Neither of the women commented on our appearance for about 2 hours. So we started talking about how we had both lost a bunch of weight and both of the women were all "Oh! Wow! Good job! That's great!" but neither of them realized anything was different when they saw us or hugged us. We were both still fat. We were fat, lost a bunch of weight, and were still fat. All these women saw was me and her were fat. Not as fat as before? They probably couldn't tell the difference. It was very discouraging for us both. We both left that lunch feeling sad that our friends did not have the WOW reaction we were expecting. And not long after that we both started slipping on our healthy eating and we both stopped going to the gym. We both regained all our lost weight plus more over the years. I've talked about my coworker situation before. I'm not friends with these people. I'm not planning on telling them a dang thing except I am taking time off work for medical reasons. But when will they notice? I've lost 35lbs in 3 months. Has anyone noticed? No one has said anything. On one hand, no one is gossiping about me to my knowledge. If they were gossiping like they usually do I would have heard about it by now. On the other hand, they didn't bat an eyelash when I severely sprained my ankle back in September and was wearing a brace on my leg for 6 weeks. I still limp from time to time and no one ever asks me if I am OK. So what would it take for them to notice me losing weight if they are not even going to notice I have a leg brace on for 6 weeks. When I lose 100lbs I will still be 253lbs. I will sill be clinically Obese. The closest I have been to that weight was 275 which is where I was when me and my friend had that lunch with those blind ladies. That's only 22lbs different. So if no one noticed my weight loss when I was 275, will they notice when I'm 253? Could I lose 100lbs and not have anyone notice? Keeping this a secret feels safe to me because I'm safe from judgment, but not being acknowledged for my hard work will be discouraging. I wish I had more people that I felt comfortable sharing this with. I guess that's why I come to forums like this and write blog posts to get my feelings out because I really don't have many safe outlets for my thoughts and feelings, especially with this sensitive and controversial topic of weight loss surgery.
  13. Monday was my 3rd pre-op weigh-in - I lost 5.2lbs in January. That makes 25lbs lost since October and 35lbs lost since my highest weight in 2015. Yay! Not as great as last month when I lost 10lbs, but I am happy with 5lbs. That's more than 1 pound per week so I am pleased. That is healthy, normal weight loss. I met with the dietician again for this appointment and she was super happy with my progress. Went over my month of food that I printed out from MyFitnessPal and she liked what she saw. She was proud that I was tracking everything, even the "bad" days where I splurged and went over my calorie count or carb count. We discussed vitamins and I got some samples of the chewable vitamins I will need to use after surgery. Still waiting for my first counseling session. It took 3 weeks for the counseling center to call me and make an appointment. And now I get to wait another 4 weeks to have the appointment. I'm glad I don't have a mental health issue that needs immediate attention because this place is freaking slow to get anything done. I'm trying not to regret my decision to stick with them and wait for my appointment instead of saying "forget it!" and finding somewhere else to go. The location is convenient between work and home. Hopefully the therapist they assign me to is a good fit and it will be worth all this hassle in the end. Onto Month 4! February is my birthday month and I have a trip to Las Vegas coming up around Valentine's Day. Hoping Sin City doesn't suck me in and ruin my healthy eating. I'm going to bring protein powders and healthy snacks with me. I'm only travelling with my father so the alcohol drinking will be minimum but I will be sure to log it if I do have any. And I'm sure I will burn a lot of calories walking around like I always do on vacation. Looking forward to it.
  14. I'm almost at the end of month 3 of my 6 months. It's been going by really fast. Hope it goes by fast for you too.
  15. I have never been a cook or interested in cooking. Funny enough, I love watching cooking shows and food videos online. Probably because I am a food addict rather than a chef. With my life so far I pretty much only cook when my Dad is coming over to visit. I rarely cook for myself because I live alone and hate the cleanup afterward. Why dirty the dishes when I can grab some fried chicken at the deli or a bowl from Chipotle? This is the kind of thinking I am trying to get away from. During this pre-op weight loss I am re-learning the types of food I should eat, specifically protein rich and low carb. I've done low fat, low sugar diets before. Having the emphasis on the high protein is new for me. I never realized I was not getting enough protein in my diet, but it makes sense once I think about how much pasta and rice and potato and breads I would usually gravitate toward. Meat was an after thought. But that is changing. I've been reading a lot of blogs and watching a lot of videos for food inspiration and recently I have been trying to cook some stuff at home that I can take to work for breakfasts and lunches. My favorite thing to make, thus far, has been a chicken crust pizza. Very good and satisfied the pizza cravings while packing in the protein. Last night I tried making cauliflower cheesy breadsticks - dipped in marinara. Those were good too for a pizza craving. I will be trying both of those again because they were very easy to make. I tried making a cauliflower fried rice a couple months ago and I need to try that again. I wasn't happy with the flavor, but flavor can be changed with better spices and ingredients so I don't want to give up on that. Try, try again. My other favorite thing to make is ANYTHING I can put in a muffin pan. Great portion control. Easy to refrigerate and heat up. I've made 3 different types of egg muffins - a savory Chinese-inspired egg foo yung cup, a fresh crab , spinach & egg cup, and a basic Ham, egg, veggie and cheese cup. All of them great for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners! I also made cheese stuffed turkey meatballs/mini-meatloafs. Those were fantastic. Last weekend Dad was over and I baked some salmon filets. I forgot how much I love salmon! And it's SO easy to bake. I need to have more of that in my life. I've never cooked for fun before. Cooking always seemed like drudgery but I am changing my mind about that. And as long as I do the dishes while the food is cooking/baking then I don't worry about the mess(I have to wash by hand, no dish-washer machine). And I mentally count it as activity points because I'm in the kitchen on my feet for a hour or so and not laying on the couch being a potato. Ugh...don't think about potatoes. I miss potatoes. Is there such thing as low carb potatoes? I'll have to research that.