Warning: horn tooting ahead:
When I began this bariatric adventure my leg pain and numbness was so bad I could barely walk or stand for five minutes. I had to stop working at a big hospital back East and move home to my family on the West coast. I told the team at the weight loss clinic that my goal was to get down to where I could be back on my feet and get back to work, if not I would have to go on disability. I'm an ultrasound technologist, so it's long hours on hard floors all around the hospital. Well today, I got a job offer from the nice little hospital five minutes from my house. I have worked so hard to be able to stand and walk again. I really think I will be able to do the work.
Tomorrow I have an appointment to see the surgeon's office for my 6 month follow up from RNY and I get to tell them the good news. I have lost over 100 lbs (some of that was pre-op diet) and am somewhere in Twoterville . My home scale won't give me a reliable reading, so I don't know exactly where I am. My primary doctor told me a few weeks ago that I am having the best outcome of anyone he has ever worked with through this process. That really helps make me feel good when I worry that I should be losing faster.
So anyway, not to ramble and brag, but I have hit the century mark, made it to Twoterville, and got a job. Life is good.
Just to catch up my blog that I promised myself I would keep.
I'm getting into the groove of bariatric eating. I'm still in the soft food stage, so I can't eat jerky or nuts, etc; but I'm finding my way. Chicken has been my worst experience. I named my pouch Minnie. She does not like anything about chicken and she sends it right back up the pipe. Minnie prefers cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
I'm feeling more energy and happier overall. I'm still having difficulty walking due to balance and leg problems from neuropathy, but I hope it continues to improve. Aqua aerobics are great. I can move like a normal person in the water. I had to buy a smaller swim skirt and new underwear, but am otherwise shopping in my vast closet of things that haven't fit in forever.
So all in all, everything is going great. I'm trying to remain mindful to embrace the honeymoon period and make as much progress as I can.
Now I am four weeks out from RNY surgery. I was allowed to go back to my aqua aerobics this week, which makes me happy, but I feel like I'm not doing this right. My Nut recommended using an app to track food. I found a fun app with a cute avatar that slims down with me and I earn clothes for her by using the app. Unfortunately, it doesn't track protein. Blarghhh. Useless.
I haven't figured out what to eat for a soft diet. I haven't had any major incidents that landed me in the hospital, but I keep poking at my poor pouch to find out what will and won't work. Unfortunately, I found that I do not dump when I eat wrong things. This has led to sneaking a few bad bites here and there. Every day I tell myself I won't go off track, but then I find myself sneaking something in. It is very frustrating. I want to do this right. I stopped going to Weight Watchers after my umpteenth time a few years ago because I knew too many ways to break the diet. Most of those ways were learned in meetings from other members.
I've been reading these boards a lot. I need to make some changes:
1.) I need to make a break from carbs. That might be what is giving me cravings and wandering eyes.
2.) I need to hold myself accountable to physically write down every nibble. I'm not an app person. I'm Generation X, not Generation Nose Stuck to my Iphone.
3.) I need to hit my targets for water and protein every day.I need to find my groove with eating and drinking. It is still hard not to drink while I eat.
There are more areas to get better, but I can't do everything at once. I need to be nicer to my pouch. I'd like to name it like some people on here have. I will work on a name.
So I will report back on my progress in a few days.
Here I am on the loser's bench. For real. Settling in, getting the lay of the land, looking for the best foot rest. My surgery was eight days ago. The surgeons were very happy with how everything went.. I spent two nights in the hospital.
The first night was pure hell on earth. I did not get the sleep study, so I've never had a c pap. They had a O2 monitor on me with a claxon that went off if my oxygen levels went below 90%. Which they did.every.time.I.drifted.off. I can see how this is a good technique for torturing people. I did not get a single minute of sleep. I started feeling very anxious, but I remember people on these boards saying there were hormones flying around after surgery. I asked for something for anxiety at 2am and at every hourly vitals check thereafter. By 6am, I was an incoherent sobbing mess. After 7am, they started rounding, and all stared at me like I was a zoo animal. I kept trying to tell them, that I wasn't like this, and no, I don't usually take anything for anxiety. I never did get anything for anxiety, but the day nurse was very sweet and treated me like a human, so I came back out of it later that day.
The second night, I rolled over onto my side and slept through the night without any awakening other than vitals/sugar checks. I really don't think I have sleep apnea. I think my breathing was shallow after surgery.
So now I have that on my doctor's record.
I saw my PCP today and I have lost five pounds since surgery. I can't seem process if that is a lot or a little, so for now it's just a number. I know it will build from there.
Oh, and I have to go get a sleep study
Surgery is tomorrow! I am getting so nervous. I'm not nervous about physically going to surgery, because I've been through many surgeries on my arm. I think it's more about taking this huge step. I'm excited that I am getting this done. I am going to join the loser's bench for real. I'm getting my do-over. It's really happening.
The surgeon's office called today and scheduled me for my surgery. . . in two weeks!! I'm going in for RNY on May 25. They had a cancellation, otherwise it would have been much later. Now I am on the very low calorie diet until surgery. I'm sure I'll get nervous later, but today I'm super happy.
The meeting with the surgeon last Friday went well. We decided that the RNY would be the best choice for me. All of my tests came out well, so everything is moving along. They submitted the plan to insurance. Now I wait for insurance to okay things, then I will move on to Phase Three and get a surgery date. When I get a date, I will start the very low calorie diet. I am still trying to follow the plan I have been on the past six months. I don't want to do a farewell tour of bad things to eat, but I have slipped a few extra bites in here and there. Mainly from nerves, I think. Fingers crossed, I hope they call sooner than later.
Whew! I am getting to the next level. I have completed my six month pre-op diet for insurance and all of the medical appointments for the surgeon's office. All my boxes are checked with good results. Today they called me to set up my appoint with the actual surgeon. This Friday!! An all day appointment/class with my support person in tow. I am thrilled/terrified. I am so inspired by so many people on this forum and can't wait to join you on the loser's bench. I can't believe it's moving toward becoming a reality. It has been a hazy target in the distance, but now, OMG, I see the surgeon on Friday!!
I am still working on my six month pre op routine. I thought I was in the groove and doing well, but I had an epiphany a few days ago and realized that I was not truly doing everything I should. No major breaks in the plan, just a few cookies here and some French fries there. I was "dieting" like I did when I was on Weight Watchers. Eating larger portions than I should and not cutting the carbs out like I should. Still getting losses on the scale, and doing my aqua aerobics, but getting away with extra nibbles.
What woke me up, strangely enough, was reading about Jodie Sweetin's work toward sobriety after a few years of partying with the likes of Miley Cyrus. It struck me of how much she had to give up. The whole party scene. Granted the drugs and alcohol had to go, but also the fun of going out with friends, the weekend entertainment plan, celebrations, everything about it had to go.
For some reason, that clarified what I am actually working toward here. I am giving up the food scene. The rituals of eating for comfort after a bad day, big platefuls at potlucks, celebrating everything with cake, etc. There is not a word I know to define food sobriety. So much of society revolves around sharing food. I have always been a comfort eater, and have had to deal with stress about my mother's health the past few months. Knowing I need to find a new way to cope and doing it are two different things.
I do have a different mindset the past few days. I have not been looking for opportunities to grab an extra bite here and there. No grazing while I cook. No cookies (they have always been my Kryptonite). I feel like I have clunked some gear into place and am doing this for real.
Sorry for the rambling navel gazing. There are a lot of brain transitions to work through.
Okay, I haven't checked in for a while (and forgot my password here). Everything is taking forever, yet moving right along.
I'm knocking down the pre-op list for insurance. I have completed the upper GI, endoscopy, manometry, esophageal pH, and the bloodwork. So far, the results have all been good. I'm going strong with my water aerobics, journaling my food intake, and working with my NUT. I've lost beyond the insurance required 5 %. I have to keep puttering along three more months.
I feel like I'm in the zone. It's starting to feel real that I might actually get this surgery and be thinner. I think I have been afraid to believe it would come together. I still have a few more hoops to jump through and a few more months on monitored dieting, but it's moving along. My nurse contact from the insurance company was very encouraging on the phone today. I'm feeling optimistically hopeful.
So, I'm putting along in my 6-month pre-op course. I have to lose about 20 lbs to meet the insurance's requirements. As of yesterday, I have lost 22. (Insert cheers and marching band music here). I have made my peace with eating more vegetables and haven't been craving sweets like I used to. Getting through the holidays is a little more challenging, as there are so many goodies everywhere. I have had a few bites of favorites here and there as a sort of going away party.
I started water aerobics this week. My NUT had made that my goal for this check in. I had been so afraid to try the class. For several years, my legs have been very weak and painful with the tendency to go numb after I'm on them more than a few minutes. I didn't know if I would be able to tolerate moving around that much. My problem is nerve damage and that pain, which is more of a "I'll haunt you later tonight and for days to come" pain that a hurts in-the-minute pain. It's so wonderful to be able to move around in the water.
The classes are forty five minutes long. I went at my own pace and adjusted a few steps, but I lasted the whole class three times this week! (bring the marching band back through for another lap). I hate getting out at the end, because it feels like gravity had tripled. Yesterday, I broke new frontiers in fashion by wearing both a bra and tank top under my swimsuit. It definitely made it more comfortable to bounce up and down with less "bouncing up and down" and feeling more securely covered. I am still figuring out the logistics about using the locker room, because I'm very modest and had some bad locker room experiences back in school.
Overall, it's two prune-y thumbs up for the water aerobics!
So now I'm cruising through my first week of the six months of monitored nutrition. My NUT set some nice, clear guidelines for eating. It all seemed perfectly reasonable sitting in her office. But now that the rubber hits the road, I'm having trouble with meeting the vegetable quota. She wants me to have 1 1/2 to 2 cups of non-carb veggies at lunch and dinner everyday. Since I had my gallbladder out 20 years ago, I have had issues with vegetables. It took about fifteen years for my chronic pain and dumping to be diagnosed as bile salt diarrhea. I have had trouble digesting most raw vegetables and some cooked vegetables. Salads do not work for me. I have been trying different things to hit my mark on veggies. (Note to self: a whole can of spinach at dinner is a bad, bad idea.)
I posted my problem on the boards here and V8 juice was suggested as an alternative. I hope that works. I could totally do that. Next time I go to the store, I'm going to grab some. But for tonight, I have a refrigerator full of random veggies to deal with. So I got inspired to make some nice vegetable soup. I put some random veggies on to a low boil with broth and water. Half an hour later, I checked on it and found a nice pan of mush. Ergghh. So, now the kitchen smells like cauliflower and I don't know what to do for dinner.
Today was my first follow-up weigh in at the NUT office. I am down 8 lbs!! Hooray! I had a few wobbles last week, dealing with veggies and Halloween candy, but things worked out. My NUT was very happy for me. She okayed using vegetable juice and soups to meet my quotas. We discussed ways to work in more veggies. I went to the store and bought a ton of veggies, fresh and frozen. I will conquer this monster called Veg.
So, I really enjoy thinking of my dietician's office as the Nut office. snerk. I met my Nut today and we set out the first steps of my six-month monitored diet program. I was nervous that she would have some strict, difficult set of rules to follow, but she developed the diet around what worked for me. I feel like this will be doable. I see her again in two weeks. I have to lose 20 lbs in six months. Fingers crossed. Here we go . . .
I finally got the call from my insurance today that I have hit Level 2 on my wls trek. I started talking to my primary on April 24, 2015 to get the ball rolling. I dealt with a nice case of shingles and a big family wedding this summer; while I have been biding my time waiting for the phone call. Someone misplaced my bloodwork from June, so I got it redrawn this week and now, Woot! I'm finally in progress. I had completely lost faith that this was going to come together. I'm don't want to be the squeaky wheel all the time, ranting and raving over my case.
I have had weight issues my whole life, and done my fair share of dieting. Things have gotten out of control in the past couple of years when I was dealing with an impossible job situation. I finally got to the point that I quit the job and moved across country back home. I am very limited on my walking and standing, but don't know if it is due to my weight or an exotic nerve condition.
So, Stage 2 is 6 months of monitored dieting and journaling with a nutritionist while I get all the orientations and clearances. The nurse assured me that this will be a busy time. I'm excited to get started. I can't contact my primary and set up a nutritionist until next week. The nurse said to enjoy this weekend. I'm afraid to eat. Afraid to not eat. I don't know what to do with myself. I don't want to do a fair well tour of my favorite foods and rack up more pounds I need to lose. But, I'm sure I will miss some foods down the way. I'm breaking up with food -- divorcing my bad eating habits.