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About Calyx

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    Vertical Sleeve

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  1. I had my surgery on August 1st. Afterward, the weight seemed to trickle off - a pound some days and a half a pound on others. Of course, this is a pretty good place, but it felt frustratingly slow when I would see others with huge weight losses in the first month. But I stuck to the plan and lost 20 in my first month. I had my first check up with my surgeon, he said everything was going great, and I left his office that day and I didn't lose a single pound after that for a very long time. The first week I didn't lose weight, I was okay. I knew these things happen. The second week I was starting to feel a little frustrated. By the third week I had stopped getting on the scale. I was demoralized. Logically I knew that I had done everything right. Emotionally, every year of fat shaming I had ever heard, even if not directed at me, started to echo through my doubts. I wasn't hungry, so physically I wasn't bothered. I didn't feel the powerful drive to eat as I had on past dieting attempts, my body sending out hormones to create a hunger so strong I would be forced to eat. I didn't have the shakes from unstable blood sugar levels. I didn't feel tired or weak or cold. But by God, I was angry and disgusted and yes, in some ways I even felt that I deserved it. At 23 days, I finally got back on the scale. Nothing. 24 days. 25. I didn't get back on the scale after that. I went to my 2nd month checkup with a total of 23 pounds lost, all of it in the first month. I was going to the gym four days a week. I was counting calories. I think it would be great if someone would do a study of this. What exactly is happening in your body when your calorie consumption has been halved (or more) and you are still not losing a single pound? A few days after my appointment the scale began to move again, but slowly. I'd lose a pound here, a half of a pound there, then finally began a steady drop again. I lost 10 pounds. Then 20. But part of me had resigned by then. I still don't get on the scale every day. I just eat my proteins and move on. I haven't been counting calories even though I probably should just to establish habits. Then my weight plummeted. I have to tell you, it was scary. I put my skinniest pants on one day and discovered that they kept falling down. Getting on the scale, I discovered I had lost 10 pounds in a single week, maybe a little more. I was bolstered by that, and pleased. The week after, I got on the scale expecting it to read at 235, but it didn't. I hopped on and off the scale a few times to make sure because my digital scale can be finicky. It said 226. In a mere two weeks I had lost 25 pounds. That's nearly as startling as not losing at all. So here I am, 130 days from the date of my surgery with a total of 80 pounds lost. That's something I can live with. I would still like to lose 40 pounds more, but if I stayed at this weight forever, I'd be satisfied.
  2. I've been looking at the posts, thinking, "You ladies and your size four pants"! I haven't worn size four ever. Even when I was a svelte, 117-pound, 24-year-old, I was wearing a size 7. My sister always laughingly laments over her "thunder thighs". She's about 105 pounds soaking wet, but the ladies in our family have all been blessed with thick thighs. What it always means is that when our jeans fit our thighs, we have huge waist gaps, lol! My daughter told me "Thanks, mom" the other day. "Because of you, I'm short, have a big butt, thunder thighs, and I'll probably have big boobs too!" I told her those legs are miracles made for jumping, climbing, and lifting. My legs are significantly stronger than many other women I know, and I'm grateful for them, they've served me well! This weekend I got to go out and buy myself a new pair of pants! I'll never be a size four because of my big butt and thighs, but this weekend I am now a size 22! I'm happy. Soon I'll be able to fit into my "skinny day" size 20 jeans. Then my even smaller 18's. I honestly can't imagine anything smaller than that at this point. I also got a sexy new shirt. I splurged, but it was worth it. If I can edit this later, I'll add a photo.
  3. The good: I had my 30 day appointment and was told that I was doing great! My surgeon actually exclaimed with genuine excitement over how well my incisions had healed. He said that I must have taken good care of them, and I did. My surgeon used Dermabond surgical glue on my incisions. I was very happy with the way they looked after surgery. Very neat and clean. The glue covered them in a clear layer almost like they were covered with a flexible, hot glue. Great stuff and a talented surgeon made it all that much better. I left the glue in place until it began to loosen on its own, about 10 days. I followed that with an application of a hydrocolloid dressing that I purchased at Walgreens for another 7 days. One pack did the trick, I think it was about $7.00. I noticed that once I removed them, my incisions seemed to get somewhat redder, so I have now applied a silicone bandage over them. Although slightly red (I haven't peeked at them since I covered that with the silicone) my incisions are beautifully smooth, and I expect that they will hardly be noticeable a year from now. The bad: I have not lost a single pound since my 30 day checkup. Not even a half a pound. I have fluctuated between a gain and loss of .9 pound over the past 14 days. I have been walking, walking. Over Labor Day weekend I was very active, I walked for over four hours at our local fair, but not one pound lost. More bad: I am really struggling to eat. I feel that this might be impacting my weight loss. The first three weeks after surgery were pretty easy for me. I still had some hunger but it wasn't like before. Drinking the protein shakes served me well. That mild hunger has progressed to something like anti-hunger. While I'm not repulsed by food, I have absolutely no motivation to eat. About five days after my 30 day appointment, I sat down with some white albacore tuna for lunch. 2.5 ounces. It must have been too dry or I had eaten too fast because I had no sooner eaten it and I felt this terrible discomfort like I needed to belch. Instead I ran to the bathroom, vomited twice, then spent the next 10 minutes with the hiccups. I was terrified about the hiccups because all I could think of was my suture line coming loose. Sometimes (but not often) the idea of food is pleasant for me, it smells good, looks nice, and I'm mildly hungry, interested in eating, but the actual experience of eating is difficult and disappointing. I'm often thirsty if I go without a drink for more than 15 or 20 minutes, so following the rules becomes difficult. By the time I'm eating my food all I can think about is getting it over with so I can drink something again. I don't like the way eating feels. Food no longer seems to taste as good. I am definitely not meeting my protein goals. I bought more protein powder to supplement myself until I get through this, but the thought of choking down another protein drink makes me want to cry. Tracking my nutrition intake is frightening, to see it in print. I can't seem to manage to get in anything much more than 600 calories a day. Sometimes I have reached the end of a day under 400 calories and while I know I need to eat, I can't bring myself to do it. Have I mentioned that I haven't lost a single pound for 14 days? "Calories in, calories out" my butt. I've just read at least three online articles that proclaim that plateaus are a myth and urge me to track my calories. Trust me, I'm doing it! The only thing that seems to go down fairly well for me is tuna, but I don't like to eat much of it because of toxins. Oh, what a world we have created for ourselves. I remember walking out to the lake and catching fresh trout, but now you have to worry if it's safe to eat. But that's another story. I'm going to reach out to my doctor's office in the morning and see if they can help me work out a better approach. I know it will get better, I just have to get myself through this. Better news: I'm heading out in the morning to open my gym membership!
  4. Since moving to the second stage with soft and pureed foods I'm really having trouble getting my protein in. So yesterday I was brainstorming a bit and came up with this: 1 scoop Bariatric Advantage Vanilla protein meal replacement 1/2 cup Chobani plain Greek yogurt 1/2 cup skim milk 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry banana sugar-free gelatin powder Whipped it all up with a stick blender or in a shaker cup. This shake as prepared contains 28 grams of protein and 185 calories. The sugar-free gelatin powder adds flavor, the protein powder adds protein, and the plain yogurt not only adds protein too, but cuts through the sweet taste of the protein shake with a refreshing tartness. I'm sure someone may have done something similar before, but I thought I'd put it out here in case it helps! It certainly helped me get really close to meeting my protein goals this week.
  5. I am not to the pureed food stage yet, but I will put this out there. Even my pediatrician told me not to give baby food to my babies. His advice was to feed them whatever we were eating, just to puree it first. Many commercial baby foods are not that nutritious, and the nutrients they do have come from adding nutrients back in after they have been removed from all the processing that the foods go through. So I would second what most are telling you, get yourself a stick blender or something similar. Cook things and mash them up, freeze them in ice cube trays. The silicone ones are great. Use paper plates and bowls if you like because washing dishes is one thing that gets tough without a kitchen.
  6. Amber, I just wrote a post about this. I feel the same way! I have been limiting myself, but I feel like in a few days I could drink all day long and never feel a sensation of fullness. Yet at the same time, I do get a distinct sensation of being done. Not fullness, just a feeling that I want to stop. Glad to hear that this is common!
  7. I'm doing well. My pain has subsided and I lost a mind-boggling two pounds yesterday. A full two pounds less than the day before! The first day I came home from the hospital I had a very difficult time getting liquids in. I began to get frightened as the day went on because the most I could manage was three ounces an hour and I was not even awake every hour to drink. Taking more than that resulted in nausea and pain. Through diligence, and setting a timer on my phone, I worked up to four ounces the following day. Swallowing pills was a marathon event that could last 15 - 45 minutes even cut in halves and quarters. Today I feel like I may actually be able to drink all three of my protein shakes along with some other liquids. It's getting slightly more difficult to drink the shakes because of the lack of variety - but no worries because it's only temporary! I can do anything for two weeks. But this thing called "restriction". I didn't know what I thought I would feel, but I did think that I would feel more than I do. I don't actually feel a sensation of fullness. I don't feel pain, but I'm careful not to allow that to happen because I don't want to do anything to damage my new stomach. I just get a feeling that I'm done. And I stop. And that's it. There was a point the other day while still sedated with pain meds that I began questioning if anything was different about my stomach at all. Of course that's not true because I can't finish a whole can of soup, where before I could do that easily, plus bread and crackers. But this restriction - it feels like a pale ghost. That's not the word I'd apply to my own sensation. I am hungry-not hungry. I think the hunger comes from my lack of choices at this point. It's not a feeling of hunger, just a feeling of desire. I am tired of sweet things and I never cared for them that much to begin with. I am thankful for cream soups and cream of wheat to balance my palate from the protein shakes. My daughter had spaghetti last night and I wanted the sauce so badly. I've always had a craving for tomato based sauces and broths. I tempered the craving with the tomato soup that I'm allowed to have. Other times the thought of food makes me feel ill - the thought of chewing a steak, or a thick hamburger on a bun with slices of tomatoes, onions, and cheese. I think I'm just not ready for any type of solid food at this point - and of course I'm not, that's at least a month away and I'm okay with that. I would be on board with some cottage cheese and Greek yogurt though! It's less than a week away. I'm having a wonderful time saving the delightful recipes posted on my doctor's website for when I can have solid foods again. I hope that my family might want to try some of them too. I've also picked up a few for the soft foods stage. I feel really happy, confident even, about how everything turned out. But this thing called restriction? What you talking 'bout, Willis?
  8. Your surgery date is the same day as my first post surgery check-up! Yes, I've always been very healthy other than my weight too. I felt very sympathetic towards the woman I shared my room with, as she had a whole host of health problems to deal with. I don't have high blood pressure or diabetes or even high cholesterol. This year, I did develop a yet unknown condition that could be autoimmune related. I have mostly recovered from all the symptoms, but it really frightened me. I don't know if they will come back. Going into the holding area before surgery was disconcerting. I don't know if all hospitals are similar, but it felt very ... automated. I felt that I was a task on a board that needed completed. Everyone was very kind, but I could not shake the impression. From my bed, I could see the list of surgeries waiting to be completed, or in progress. I was wheeled into the holding area with one person ahead of me and one behind. There were others lined up. It was very efficient and orderly, but it shook the last bit of fortitude away that I had been holding on to. A nurse stopped by soon after I arrived in my area and offered me a hot blanket, which was incredibly nice, not only comforting, but it was surprisingly cold there. Maybe 50 - 55 degrees Fahrenheit? You just have to remember that everyone there is interested in creating your best outcome. I feel pretty good today. Hardly any pain at all and I'm getting adequate fluids.
  9. I am home from the hospital. I tried to hold it together, but when they wheeled me away from my family and put me in the holding area, I freaked out a little. I cried a little, I tried not to, I didn't want to have a meltdown. I was wiping the tears away when my doctor stopped by. Very nice guy, also very thorough. Not long after, the anesthesiologist stopped by and said he was going g to give me something to relax me. And that was the last thing I remembered. Waking up in recovery was a little tough. Several people were calling my name, but I couldn't open my eyes. I was confused, angry, fearful, like I had a bit of an adrenaline rush going, maybe from the drugs I was given. My first thought once I realized where I was (leaving out the expletives) was Oh my god, did I really just throw half of my stomach away? Why did I do that? Why? What was I thinking? I don't remember being taken to my room. I shared a room with a very nice lady who had the same surgery as me. I was there overnight the day of my surgery then home this afternoon. My incisions look amazing! They used a glue to seal them, Dermabond I think it's called. They're so thin and straight. If everything heals well, the scars should be quite minimal. I'm only having pain in the main incision, I hardly know the others are even there. They also put inflatable leg cuffs on me when I was in my bed to help reduce the chance of clots. They were comforting too, like having a leg massage. I was urged to get up and walk within a few hours. That was tough, but it got easier each time. I can't say enough good things about the hospital and staff. They were very helpful during my entire stay and there was always someone available. I'm having some trouble getting enough fluids right now and had quite a lot of pain this evening probably because I waited too long to take my pain meds. They are kicking in fairly strong now though and I'm nodding off, so I'll just end this right here.
  10. Thank you all for the thoughtful advice! I had two surgeries when I was 17 and both went perfectly fine. I suppose my biggest fear is for my children and husband, to be honest. I've been preparing for the surgery for a couple months, and it was only days ago that I realized that some of the preparations I was making were worst case scenario. You know, spreadsheets with all our financials, cleaning out closets, buying school supplies for the coming year - doing things that could ride my family over for months. I've been going a bit overboard. I'm not accustomed to having others take care of me. I guess that's a bigger issue that began in childhood. My husband has mentioned many times over the years that I don't allow him to do things for me. It's interesting because since I've started reading this board, I've seen others who are similar. I do feel like you do, AZHARLEYDUDE, like I just don't want to go on like this anymore, but at the same time, I keep thinking that my kids are 11 and 14, and losing a parent at that age would be really difficult and the thought of causing my kids in that kind of pain is devastating. Yet - if I continue like this, the odds are against me and they could suffer more. Part of the reason I'm doing this is so I can do more things with my kids. I want to go on a rollercoaster with them, or ride a bike, or hike a few miles on our local trails. I want all those things back. I think the sudden rise in anxiety might have been tied to the fact that I missed taking my Lyrica for a couple days, as it has notable anti-anxiety properties. I don't like Lyrica for that, because I start feeling withdrawal effects very soon if I miss a dose, but it's the only thing that helps the non-diabetic neuropathy I have in my feet. I'm feeling pretty good about it at the moment, but I think I'll give them a call to see if I can get something to help me in the days just before the surgery. And this liquid diet! I can already feel the difference in how my clothes fit. It's exciting and yes, also a little disconcerting.
  11. It's funny because when I was younger, the thought of surgery never phased me, but I woke up this morning having an anxiety attack after a nightmare about my surgery. I have a great hospital, an amazing surgeon. It's just that at some point during my 6 month pre-diet, I developed a fear about the surgery itself. I actually delayed my surgery date to work through it and I thought I had, but this morning it was back with a vengeance. The liquid diet is going well now and I've lost 6 pounds over the past 7 days. I had a rough time on days 4 and 5. Prior to starting my liquid diet I felt that the second week would be the hardest, but it seems like the first week was more difficult for me. I felt very angry for a few days, about corn on the cob, of all things, but it's something that I'll have to give up this year. I'm okay with that now. I keep coming back to the words of my nutritionist, who said I'll eventually be able to have some things again, just in much smaller amounts. I'm trying hard, even at this point, to work on the way I feel about food. It's tough and I know I have some tough months ahead, but I know I can do it because I'm inspired by so many others who have.