AnnetteNJ

February 2011 Surgeries

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Science Guy, you are KILLING it! I can't believe how well you are doing, sounds like a great workout routine too. (I really should follow the good examples around here more.)

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So I have to go in for an IV contrast CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis...that is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday AM. Involves drinking a bunch of barium...FUN!

So I have to pick that up today and get instructions in case they can get me insurance approved before Wednesday. If there is a hernia, I will have to discuss the surgical options - can't be any worse than the last surgery, right?

Hey Philly -- I hope it's nothing serious, keep us posted. Healing vibes your way...

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Had my CT scan this morning...all said and told, took about 1/2 hour from start to finish.

Woke @ 5AM and grabbed the 16 oz of Barium from the fridge...wasn't terrible tasting but it wasn't pleasant either and took about 20 minutes to get down all 16 oz of it.

Headed over for my 8:00 appt. and was brought back a little after 8...I wasn't wearing anything metallic so I didn't need to change into a robe/gown.

They had me empty my pockets and remove my medical necklace. Gave me another cup of barium to drink (this one was banana flavored). Then they laid me on the table and took my blood pressure (110/62) - asked me where a good vein was on my and set the IV.

Then started the process...took a deep breath, did a overall scan with just the barium. She then started the dye IV - said I would feel hot, feel like I urinated myself and get a metallic taste in my mouth. A little of all but nothing that made me fee weirder than anything else I have had done to me before. Put me back through, asked me to take a deep breath and hold it...this was was at least a 20 second scan and the sensor in the machine was spinning the whole time. Asked to take another breath and they did a scan of the lower abdomen. That's it...just needed to check the imagining to make sure it all looked OK before letting me go.

Unhooked the IV, sat me up and made sure I was stable...I popped right up and said I was good...they walked me out and told me the results should be ready in 24-48 hours and they will fax (really? fax?) the results to the doctor's office.

So we shall see what (if anything) this slight discomfort underneath where my remnant stomach is turns out to be...

(btw - the tech asked how big I was before the surgery after I said that if it weren't for the surgery, I wouldn't have fit into the hole in the machine - she said I wouldn't have fit on the table, I was beyond the weight limit of the table itself!)

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It's scary to think that you wouldn't even have been able to have a test that you really needed. Let us know what they find.

Everyone is doing so well. I'm very proud of us!

I'm in a stall right now that is irritating the bejeezus out of me (spell checker didn't like that word, imagine that), but I'm pretty happy with my size (which can be anywhere from an 8 to a 12) although I'm pretty sure the 8's are a big fat lie (still willing to claim it).

Saw family yesterday that hadn't seen me in a year and got lots of compliments, including one "Don't lose too much. You'll look sick." Well, duh, but let's face it - I'm not there yet.

Just when I start to get a little vain I try on a dress (this one was a medium) and realize it's still just a tad too tight in the tush (thank you, Grandma) and bust (more sincere thank you, Grandma).

I heard a great line on the radio yesterday. They were interviewing some famous music star and asked her if she had any tattoos anywhere on her breasts and she said " No, but I have stretch marks!" Don't know who it was, but I like her.

Daughter (19) insisted on figuring out what I weigh yesterday when I was trying very hard not to tell her but had just told someone I had 17 pounds to go to reach my goal of 135 so she did the math. She's not happy that I only weigh two more pounds than her (she must have lost 2 because last I had heard she was 152) and she didn't appreciate it when I told her that if she didn't like it, she'd have to lose weight because I have no intention of basing my weight on hers. Every now and then the fact that she is still a teenager shows, like when she instantly asked if I was calling her fat. Eye Roll.

I have 3 people coming in for job interviews today so I'm wearing a dress that claims to be a size 6, but it must be a tent on anyone that small (yes, Dee, the sandals do match).

Well, that was an ADD rambling post if ever there was one.

Edited by gnaed

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Karen, you are doing great. And I sense a bit of envy on my part!! You had surgery after me, you're shorter than me, you started higher than me and you are beating the pants off of me (well, seriously, they kind of fall off by themselves) But then again I'm OLDER than you!! Seriously, you are a Rock Star!!

I personally squeezed into a size 12 jersey knit dress - shows every curve but I like it. I love when my husband loses me in the grocery store. He says he keeps on looking for some fat chick (now that's a left-handed compliment if I've ever heard one).

I've been getting two different types of reactions when I see people I haven't seen in awhile: One is they don't say a word, don't even notice and the other is the "deer in the headlights" look. I also see people at "work" who know I've lost weight and never say a word. But then again, they are all very thin ladies and are so into themselves that they just don't care. And I'm fine with that.

Ok, has anyone from February other than ScienceGuy and PhillyDude started any serious exercising? I've been doing mostly gardening, HEAVY gardening - moving rocks, wheel barrows, etc. But now that it's all done, I need to really get going. The flab in my arms and upper thighs is so annoying. Amazingly my tummy doesn't bother me - YET. So I'm off to do some arm and leg exercises and start with the sit-ups again.

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I make it to the gym a couple of times a week and I've had a few personal trainer sessions but am way overdue for another one. I need to get a routine going. Work keeps getting in the way.

Aww, thanks Annette! It was nice to hear today when the stupid scale hasn't moved in a week. I really don't feel like it's going to "count" as an accomplishment until I get below where I got to last time (144), and I'm starting to feel like that's never going to happen! Remember, I only weighed 210 on surgery day so if you were 233, you're still ahead in post surgical weight loss. As for being older than me, that should make it harder for you to lose, shouldn't it, metabolism wise? I think we are both rockin' it!

My dear little old man at the library told me today that I'm scaring him and need to STOP this weight loss. I tried to explain that I still haven't reached a healthy weight but he wasn't having any of it. Then as I turned away from him, a lady at the copier stopped me to tell me how very nice I look today and I thanked her and asked if she said that because she'd overheard the other patron telling me I was getting too thin and looked unhealthy. She said "No, no, you just look very nice." Then she told me that she is also dieting for health reasons (okay, this woman looks like what the man was saying about me, so thin she looked sickly) and I thanked her again and went on my way.

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Annette,

I have NOT been as good at the gym as ScienceGuy...I was on a kick and then it started getting warmer out and my routine slowed down - with the hernia scare, I am slowing down a bit more on the lifting and such until I get the definite results. I still walk around a lot more than I used to and I can mow that lawn like never before but actually getting to the gym has slowed to a trickle...back this week though!!

I went to the Phillies game yesterday (couldn't have beat S.D. on the game I attend but beat them every other game this year :angry: ) and much to my surprise and joy, when I sat in my seat, I just sat like a normal person and didn't have to squeeze in and get hip pinches from the arms squeezing against me. :D

My wife was left to get what ever concessions she wanted before the game and when she got to our section, she said she was looking for me but couldn't find me, I just blended in with everyone else. It made her happy and scared at the same time...here she had this guy who could be seen easily no matter what and now when she looks, she can't pick me out - I guess our significant others get secure in our size as well at times.

What the travesty was during that game was the cost to stay hydrated...$4.25 for a Dasani??? $4.50 for a 20 oz powerade zero?? Really??? Rediculous!!

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Hey, just got the call about the CT scan...

No hernia - good news!

Bad news - enlarged spleen - not emergent but my surgeon does want me to consult with a hematologist to review the CT scan and see if they want to do additional testing such as blood work and the like

This could really throw a loop for me and vacation in September! I was looking forward to riding all those Disney rides again :angry:

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Hey, just got the call about the CT scan...

No hernia - good news!

Bad news - enlarged spleen - not emergent but my surgeon does want me to consult with a hematologist to review the CT scan and see if they want to do additional testing such as blood work and the like

This could really throw a loop for me and vacation in September! I was looking forward to riding all those Disney rides again :angry:

What causes an enlarged spleen and do they just take it out?

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Dennis, glad it's not a hernia and I also hear that you could do without your spleen. Does the enlarged spleen have anything to do with WLS?

SG, you ARE kickassing!!! Nice to see you're doing so well.

at1983. I'm having the same issue getting liquids in but not because I'm tired, just because I'm unfocused. I think that's the biggest issue with all of us - focus!! Sorry to hear you are sleeping so much. I've got more energy that I can use. I would think the Pedialyte and infused waters would help. Eat a banana and there's some other fruit or veggie that has even more potassium than bananas but I can't think of it now. Also, search here in TT for the PICC line - I don't know much about it.

Karen, your BMI is lower than mine. You are almost normal at 25.5 and I'm 27.45. But who's counting?? LOL. I know this is not a competition but it's a bit nervewracking to be stuck for the first time since surgery. I went to a WLS support group last night and they had a WWF Rocky Jones there to talk about exercise. Well seeing his body at his age (my age) I thought, dang, if this guy can look this good at this age, I sure as heck can look half that good. So today is my first day of 30 minutes of planned exercise. Wish the old lady some luck. And wherever you are, if you hear the crackling of knees and elbows, it's just me!!

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What causes an enlarged spleen and do they just take it out?

We don't know yet...called the hematologist's office and spoke with them...their new patient coordinator is out until next week.

They are going to gather my labs and have a Dr. review everything and then call me late next week to schedule an appointment.

If you read WedMD or Mayo Clinic's websites, it could be anything ranging from anemia, infection (including mono), bacterial heart infection, leukemia, lymphoma and Lou Gehrig's disease...if you read anything on these websites they ultimately lead you to dying! :(

My surgeon was consulted and didn't feel that it was anything he could do related to WLS or general abdominal surgery which is why they referred me to the chief of hematology at my hospital...I'm sure I'll be visiting the vampires again for more $1000+ blood draws...

A Splenectomy is only necessary when no underlying cause of enlargement is found - due to the critical function of the spleen acting as a filter and a white blood cell storage site, they prefer not to remove it when they can...but if removal is required, I would have to be VERY careful going forward with infection risk and the like...

Edited by PhillyDude

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New exercise equipment acquired last night (early b-day present) :D

bike.jpg

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Sexy bike.

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Very cool. My husband and I took at bike ride down the Delaware River Tow Path from Frenchtown to Stockton, NJ 16 miles round trip!! I still can't believe I was able to do it. Only thing is, Dennis, I strongly suggest a gel seat if your bike doesn't come equiped with one.

I also have some mind-boggling news. Went to the eye doctor today for a check-up and because I was having trouble seeing through my contacts or glasses. My eyesight has IMPROVED considerably. It's better than it was 7 years ago when I first started seeing this doctor. It's because of the reversal of the diabetes!!! I was floored!! And thrilled!! and happy, and elated and thankful and crying and laughing! And AMAZED how wonderful this decision has been for me!!!

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Sexy bike.

Thanks! ;)

I needed something with bigger balloon tires because I am only at the weight where many have started their journey from (many even less) and still have a way to go!!

Very cool. My husband and I took at bike ride down the Delaware River Tow Path from Frenchtown to Stockton, NJ 16 miles round trip!! I still can't believe I was able to do it. Only thing is, Dennis, I strongly suggest a gel seat if your bike doesn't come equiped with one.

I also have some mind-boggling news. Went to the eye doctor today for a check-up and because I was having trouble seeing through my contacts or glasses. My eyesight has IMPROVED considerably. It's better than it was 7 years ago when I first started seeing this doctor. It's because of the reversal of the diabetes!!! I was floored!! And thrilled!! and happy, and elated and thankful and crying and laughing! And AMAZED how wonderful this decision has been for me!!!

The seat is good - nice padded saddle seat - tailbone doesn't bother me when I am on it and that's what bugs me the most day in, day out. I did a quick jaunt through the neighborhood and up to the school and behind it and back and it was nearly 2 miles...I couldn't believe how far it actually was and will be heading over to the county park on my next trek (one mile to get there and over 2 miles around).

Great news on the eyesight...mine on the other hand got worse :( My astigmatism went almost 180° the opposite way in my right eye - I tried contacts but the glasses are just so much clearer. My vision isn't terrible, blurry without glasses until I get adjusted and I can pass the driving test without wearing them but for computer and TV time, they definitely make a difference. Perhaps the fat cheeks I have seemingly had forever (my face is smaller now than in my high school yearbook picture) changed the pressure on my eye in regards to this? Yo no se - I'm rambling now

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Hematologist's office bumped my appt to tomorrow morning (Aug 31 original scheduled date)

It is in the cancer wing of the hospital...nothing instills more confidence than going to the cancer wing...

_566045_good_grief.gif

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Hello everyone...

I just came back from the hematologist's office

Good news all around!

Hit the lab @ 8:02 to find that they only open @ 8AM and there were 8 people in front of me. So seeing that I wouldn't be brought back soon for my draw and that my 8:20 appt time was creeping up, I called up to see if I should stick around or not. They told me they can't do anything without having my labs done. Surprisingly, they got the results up to the office while I was filling out paperwork and going through the normal pre-doc routine.

Sat around and waited for the doctor, reading the same article in the April 11 issue of Time that I seem to have read before about Shale Fracking in the Marcellus shale deposits in PA...

He came in and introduced himself and reviewed my information. Basically came to the same conclusion that every other doc has before, aside from mild hypertension and elevated cholesterol, I was a healthy 490+ lb American male. (I'm beginning to think that these specialist think I was lazy and took the "easy" way out) :P

He asked how big of a guy I was...told him I checked in with the surgeon @ 489 and today weighed 322. 418 was my surgery day weight. He was impressed and it all of a sudden made sense...as much as we think we may be bragging, this info was critical to a doc that knew nothing about me before today.

Basically it comes down to this:

  • Blood work all came back normal - no issues with any deficiencies, including anemia
  • No issues with lymphatic system - nothing on the CT scan showed any issues
  • Platelet counts were normal - no issues that could point to leukemia
  • Liver function is fine - if liver is still fatty, it shouldn't be impacting the spleen due to its function
  • Kidney function is good
  • Spleen is 17cm in size, normal is 12cm - the techs doing the report fail to realize the size of the patient they are reporting on - the doc told me that I was the size of 2 people, my spleen should have been large - it will never shrink and as long as it doesn't cause too much discomfort, we will let it be
  • Wants me to get a blood protein test just to ensure eliminate the most rare of all issues - no fasting or special prep required, just hit the lab in the AM sometime this week or next

So after a bit of sweating, worrying and fear, in the end it turned out to be "normal" for me - good news!!!

Especially since vacation is a little over a month away and I am SOOOOO looking forward to it (we are flying now - curious to see if I still need a belt extender)

snoopy_happy_dance.jpg

Edited by PhillyDude

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That's great news, Dennis!

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Went to support group the other night...after not being there for a couple of months, some new faces showed up. Lots of questions and making things take too long...didn't help that I was fighting off a migraine.

I will go to Sept. to see if it gets any better and then decide if I want to go for just the 1st part with the education or the 2nd part for the support group. It was good to see some other folks and their progress.

I will say that I think I was the 2nd highest weight loss in the entire group and the one with the highest had surgery 6 or 7 years ago.

...and I am only 6 months out of surgery! ;)

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Went to support group the other night...after not being there for a couple of months, some new faces showed up. Lots of questions and making things take too long...didn't help that I was fighting off a migraine.

I will go to Sept. to see if it gets any better and then decide if I want to go for just the 1st part with the education or the 2nd part for the support group. It was good to see some other folks and their progress.

I will say that I think I was the 2nd highest weight loss in the entire group and the one with the highest had surgery 6 or 7 years ago.

...and I am only 6 months out of surgery! ;)

Good for you! I go to my support group whenever I can, but I'm starting to kind of wish there was one for say, pre-surgery to 6 months, and one for 6 months to 2 years and then maybe one more for the over 2 year crowd, with anyone welcome at the other ones, but with topics geared toward the main group.

Edited by gnaed

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YES! Exactly...only the die-hard folks that have been meeting since the beginning go long term - everyone else there is 6 mos or less.

I really think there should be an IQ test for some of these folks...I truly wonder how they survive in society let alone control the challenge of the post surgical diet! :P

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Just had to post. I finally made Onederland!!! I haven't weighed in the 100's since I was in college many many many years ago. Still 50 lbs to go but I know it will happen.

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Just had to post. I finally made Onederland!!! I haven't weighed in the 100's since I was in college many many many years ago. Still 50 lbs to go but I know it will happen.

WOOHOO! Congratulations! Doin' the happy dance!

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it's awfully quiet around here...

Tumbleweed.gif

Edited by PhillyDude

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Yes, it is quiet. I've been dealing with the flooding issues in New Jersey. I've got friends who live on the Delaware River whom we helped evacuate for Hurricaine Irene and then again today because of all of the rain we've been getting. Needless to say, I'm stressed and it's showing up in my eating habits. I haven't been on track for a couple of weeks and it's showing (or not) in my weigh-ins. I can't seem to get past 158 - I go up and down and up again. I find myself looking for comfort food - candy - cakes - If I find them, I will have just a few gum drops or a bite of chocolate from my husband's bar. I don't get dumping syndrome but I feel terribly afterwards for having given into the same old habit.

I try every morning to have yogurt and almonds or egg beaters and cheese. Lunch has usually been a protein bar or beef jerky. Dinner is where I have the toughest time - I've been picking more when I'm cooking and then I serve myself, my eyes are bigger than my pouch and I end up eating to the point where I throw up whatever I just ate. I'm still only eating like 3 oz of chicken (or other protein) and a bite or two of potatoes or pasta and a veggies. One of my golden retriever's watches me while I eat and I've noticed that her ears perk up just about when she thinks I've had enough to eat (she gets the leftovers) but I keep eating and sure enough, one more bite has be over the toilet bowl. So I've been watching her and when her ears go up, I STOP eating. It's actually working but then I find myself looking for something else to eat later in the evening. I know, bad habits are hard to break.

I also "graze" on almonds and try to remember how many I had so I can count the proteins in my head. At this stage of the "diet" I should now be concerned with calories AND fats. In my "book", I've only got 12-13 more pounds to lose before I'm a normal BMI. I think after 7 months, the weight loss has definitely come to a crawl. I'm concerned, but obviously not enough to do something about it and that scares me!!!!

I'm also bothered considerably by the sagging skin on my inner thighs, my mid-section, my wings and most of all by my boobies. If I get a tattoo on one of them, it would have to be a loooooong stemed rose!! I know I'm 59 years old, but I never ever even thought I'd consider any plastic surgery except for my eyes. Now! Forget the eyes, I want perky boobs!!! (Sorry, Dennis - TMI) Why oh WHY didn't I have this surgery 10 years ago?????

And while I'm confessing, I'll also tell you that, other than doing some heavy gardening for a friend of mine, I'm getting no real exercise to speak of. I've got a treadmill, an exercise ball and 2 lb weights but I just can't seem to get into exercising. I have good intentions, but all for naught.

How is everyone else doing? Am I all alone out here in 7-month land? Please say it ain't so!! Is anyone else slowing down in weight loss or having issues with comfort food? Please someone tell me something good to keep me motivated or better yet, scold me, shame me into doing the right thing!!

"From the journal of Annette - 9/8/11"

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