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By weeks, yesterday was week 4. By day-to-day, my surgery was the 29th, so tomorrow is the official month mark. Regardless, I'm so excited to be here.
It's incredible how much I feel my body has changed. I'm down 20 pounds. I've been doing a better skincare regimen while I've been off work as well, and between the two, I can kiiinda already see a future where I'm not just dumpy and thick. I attended my works holiday party and got more compliments than I think I've ever received at once. My parents were thrilled when they came over for Christmas Eve, although I felt my entire family was watching every single bite I took (and there were a few snarky comments from my cousin - who is considerably larger than me - about how I "made all this food for everyone that I won't even eat").
It's surprising to me how much of a fight it is to still tamp down bad habits. While my taste buds have changed somewhat, I still have a strong preference towards salty/fatty foods. Sweets just don't taste good to me, which is fairly fortunate, but I've never been much of a sweet tooth person. So far, my sleeve has handled pretty much everything I've thrown at it. As long as I go slow and chew thoroughly, it's a champ.
I learned a valuable lesson Tuesday when I went to see the new Star Wars with my DH. We intended to eat prior, but every place at the mall was so busy there was no way. We ended up sitting at Starbucks, me sipping tea, but because of the crowds they were out of most food that wasn't bread. I did drink a small tea, but I'd been a bit short on fluids otherwise. Our theater is one that serves food to you, and we mistakenly thought we had tickets for that, but we ended up on the "other side" where its still a concession stand. Which would have been fine, it serves food, but again, the lines were astronomically ridiculous and I had doubts about my ability to eat the "grilled" chicken they were serving, so we just found our seats. By the end of the movie, I was dizzy and nauseated with a hollow feeling that felt like a drill through my stomach. I had tears in my eyes just trying to walk out of the theater and I gripped my DH's arm the whole way. When I thought back, I realized it'd been ~7 hours without eating, with several of those hours being us walking around an outdoor mall, and one small tea was the only fluid I consumed. We sat down on the stairs and he ran to get a bottle of water, which helped considerably after about 15 minutes, and then we ate a bit and the worst of it finally passed.
Lesson learned. I can't go that long without eating, and I certainly can't go that long without drinking - at least not this early in the process, for sure. It's easy sometimes to 'forget' to eat, or honestly, to not feel like shoving another 2 ounces of protein pudding in my mouth, but I'll need a plan in place for any long outings from here out.
Overall, my meals right now are a mix of super soft things like pudding (I add unflavored unjury to it) and things that are a bit more substantial, like deli meat or even small pieces of carved turkey or a low fat hot dog. When it's pudding or yogurt, I can manage 4 ounces, but anything with meat, I max out at 2 ounces.
My birthday is Monday and I'm excited to welcome in the ripe age of 33, knowing that this age is going to be a huge change from 32. New job, new body, new habits, more hiking (gosh I'm so excited for this bitter cold to end and for clearance from my surgeon so I can hike).
Happy New Years to all if I don't see you this week. <3
On the one hand, it feels like these two weeks have been a slow-mo of trying to force down protein and water. On the other hand, I can't believe it's already been two weeks!
I finally got sent home last night.
Unfortunately, anesthesia and I have never gotten along. I always take much longer to 'emerge' afterwards, and even with a lot of warning yesterday, it was the same. I was held in recovery for over 4 hours while they tried to wake me up, and then sent on to my room, where it took me another 3 hours to really open my eyes. I remained pretty out of it and barely able to drink that day, but sometime around 3am I was able to get myself out of bed to the bathroom, which was a helluva accomplishment They were super aggressive with my nausea, which makes this the only surgery I've not spent hours vomiting after, so also a huge plus.
The next day, I just couldnt get liquids down without severe pain. Every sip I took, whether cold or room temp or hot, felt like it would just sit on top my lower esophageal sphincter. It would be followed by a severe blooming pain, and I could feel the liquids start to trickle in. Then Id belch, and Id okayish again. But ain't nobody gonna be sipping their water constantly if it means nasty pain each time. The surgeon said he'd had to "blow open" my lower esophagus when they scoped me directly after the procedure, but that he wasn't concerned. He chalked it up to an esophageal sphincter that was really good at doing its job, and was just too swollen that day to give it up.
I was also really, really red in the face and chest and they didn't know why. They thought initially it was from a specialized research nasal cannula that I gave them permission to use on me, but even after that was taken off, it took nearly 36 hours for me to stop looking like I had a second degree sunburn.
That night, determined not to stay the next day, I got a little more serious about water intake, pain or no pain. By morning, it wasn't painful with every sip. I got up and took a long walk every couple of hours to help the worst of the pain, which was just gas pain. They sat me down to ensure I could eat applesauce and thinned purees without vomiting. They were still a little on the fence, but I got 40 ounces of liquids in, plus some applesauce, plus a few hundred feet in walking, and the diagnostics they wanted wouldnt be available till Monday, so we agreed if I was still having issues, they would schedule me outpatient on Monday. They made me wait to get a few doses of IV steroids to hopefully reduce the inflammation, and then I was allowed to leave Friday night!
Thankfully, its been getting better since then too. I have no doubt that getting sleep in 3-5 hour runs instead of 1-2 hour runs in the hospital has helped, too. Its a little harder to sleep propped up, but I'm making it work. Truthfully, the hardest two things about being home is managing my own medication schedule (jesus they send you home on a lot of meds) and keeping Wifi the pup from jumping on me. He's been since locked out of my room via babygate and is not at all amused by it.
I thankfully haven't seemed to gain any weight while hospitalized, but Ive got some serious upper abdomen swelling. That'll be interestiing as it goes down.
Ugh. I've got another 20 ounces to go to meet the bare minimum today, so I best get on it Thank you all for the well wishes!
Holy crap. Surgery is in two days.
I've been in planning mode ever since I got my pre-op date last week!
I knew once I signed a contract saying I'd keep my weight stable for this research study, I'd break that damn plateau. True to my word, I finally - FINALLY - fell below 300 pounds at last week's weigh in, and at Monday's weigh in, dropped another pound. No one at the study can tell me exactly what they consider to be stable - 5 pounds? 10 pounds? 5% of my body weight? - so I'll just keep chugging along. Even losing a couple pounds a week, I shouldn't lose more than 6 pounds before the pre-op phase of the study is over, so I'm focusing on the good - which is finally falling through that plateau!
I had the second visit for the research study today. I did indirect calorimetry - wearing a really tight face mask for 30 minutes to measure my calorie burning at rest - and a long form glucose tolerance test with blood draws every 15 to 30 minutes. They had an issue getting my sugar to come back up after I drank the sugar drink. My fasting was 85, and peaked at 146 about 30 minutes later, and then quickly returned to 85. Then 68. Then 60. Then 54. They called the doc, who said they could keep going as long as I didn't get symptomatic. I didn't feel shaky, just tired and headachey, which was more from lack of caffeine. Anyway, 3 hours later, my sugar was still at 62. Upside, they gave me a sandwich and orange juice before I could leave.
So two kinda cool things:
(holy crap already 8 weekly entries? I don't feel like its been two months...)
So my MRI cleared my foot and the reigning days of das boot are over! Which is fabulous, except my foot still hurts like mad. Docs aware, he just kinda shrugged and ordered some physical therapy for me to see if that helps. Grr. Physical therapy starts tomorrow.
Last week's class was otherwise about long term success with exercise - how to not burn out, try new things to stay interested, etc. Nothing mind blowing, but a solid course. I think today's class will follow in the same vein - long term behavioral success.
This week. Whew.
I share my office with another nurse, who lost 70 pounds last year after a visit to her doctor put her in the prediabetes range. She ate a ketogenic diet for 6 months and dropped it all. Since taking a desk job and stressing about a few things in her life, she's gained some of it back - and while she constantly talks a good game about needing to get the weight off, she's also one of those "frenemies" who constantly tries to push you into eating something. I don't think she does it meanly, I think she wants me to keep eating the way I used to because then I was her excuse, you know? "Delila ate x, so I ate some too!" But for the past couple months I pack a healthy lunch most days and this seems to have almost made her more aggressive.
No class last week because of the holiday - right back at it this week with a weigh in and group exercise class followed by an exercise lecture. However, I found out last week that I stress fractured my foot!
When I started looking into WLS, I was 75% sure I was just going to go with a lapband. Easily removable, I thought. No big malabsorptive issues. Just a bunch of restriction - a kind of hand-holding into making me eat the way I need to.
Then I began my real research, and saw the complication rates were higher, and the amount of appointments necessary were higher, and that overall weightloss was considerably lower. Many people complained of still feeling hungry - which makes sense, when you consider that the rest of your stomach is still there, still largely empty, and still playing on hormones like grhelin to mess with satiety.
So I began to slowly embrace the idea that "real" bariatric surgery was my answer. I've come a long ways since being stalwart in my belief that I didn't need WLS - even if it took me years to get there. For the last couple months, I've been pretty set on VSG.
Lately, fear is creeping in as I read the experiences and see the weightloss of those with VSG versus GB. Don't get me wrong, I see plenty of people who have done absolutely exceptional on VSG and I know it can work - I'm terrified I will make it not work. That I'll end up being one of those people who eats ice cream as a "pureed" food, manipulates what can go in, and will suffer with little weightloss because of it. That I'll need the further restriction and malabsorption offered by a GB in order to have real weight loss.
I've devoured every thread on "how did you choose?" here on TTF and I know that some of my questions will be answered when I finally have that sit down with a surgeon, but in the meantime, I keep adding to my list of "Am I going to be one of those people who goes through a major surgery just to sabotage it?"
I try to shake off the thoughts - I wouldn't be surprised if they're fairly normal. I'm doing well in my pre-op classes (small gain this week, but there was a considerable amount of partying for my parents anniversary this weekend). I understand all that the surgery brings, and I think seeing success after surgery will be a fabulous motivator towards continuing the plan.
All that certainly hasn't stopped the "what ifs" though! The mental part of weight loss is certainly exhausting.
Another week, another weigh in, another tiny bit closer to the operating room!
Today, I met with a psychiatrist for my pre-op psych appointment, and thought it may be about time I started logging my expedition