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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hey Look! I'm Back!

It has been exactly 3 months to the day since my last blog entry. Oops. Sorry. If anyone is even out there still, this one's for you! LOL Honestly, I haven't really logged in because I don't feel like I have much to say. I'm pretty adjusted to my new life, and I just don't know if I have any info worth sharing. Other than the product reccommendations I'll be providing at the end!

I'm almost 4.5 mos post-op, and I've lost a total of 110 pounds! I've gone from a size 3X/26 to a size L/14. At times, I feel more confident and amazing than I've ever felt before! At other times, I still feel like a 300-lb blob. I was warned about this by many WLSers, but you just can't comprehend it til it happens to you. It's absurd.

My acid reflux, which at my last post was the worst it's ever been, is now SO much improved. Instead of taking Prilosec twice a day, I now take it once a day. And I haven't needeed Zantac in ages. Nor that horrid liquid stuff he prescribed.
It's funny, the little things you count as milestones... I've read this in other blogs, too: the ability to comfortably and easily cross your legs and sit like a lady! Couldn't do that before... now I feel proud and ladylike every time! LOL I'm actually even sitting indian-style in my office chair right now, LOL. And when we went to Disneyland a month and a half ago for our anniversary, we shared seats on the rides for the first time ever! No single-seaters this time! That was really cool.

A couple of cool "wow" moments this week: A) I went into a longtime favorite store for plus-sized ladies. Their smallest size was too big for me! That was a crazy-good, yet weird, feeling! B) My cousin, who is 4 years younger than me, gave me a bag of her clothes. Her entire life, I have been handing clothes down to her as I outgrew them. So for her to hand them down to me, was insane & cool!

Being somewhat of a trend-follower (within reason), and being a total brand wh*re, I've ALWAYS wanted a pair of Ugg boots. Problem being, they wouldn't go over my fat calves. Last month, I decided to go try some on... and they fit!!!!! I was so ecstatic... and I'm now the proud owner of some beautiful, tan, expensive Uggs. I think I deserved it :)

I've still never vomited since surgery, which is so weird to me. MANY times, after over-eating or eating poorly, I've needed and wanted to. Everyone I know does it non-stop... especially in the beginning. Not that I want to throw up all the time, LOL. But a few times, I've really, really wished I could, to feel better. But nothing! Tis a mystery to me.

Did I mention that my husband is having the surgery, also?! I am SO excited for him! I'm proud that he's taking charge of his health. And at 5 years younger than me, he should respond & recover really well! I'm absolutely thrilled, because he was on his way to serious health problems at such a young age. His is in exactly one month. :)

I am now a full-fledged coffee ADDICT! I used to drink about 4 liters of diet Pepsi per day... yes really. Obviously, that's out of the question now. My doctor says not to have ANY carbonation for a full year, and even then, only small quantities. The carbonation will stretch out your pouch. I have plenty of friends who got back on diet soda right away following surgery, but the truth is, I've had teeny sips a few times, and found the taste absolutely appaling now. Very weird, but I'm kinda greatful for it. If it's not good for me anyway, at least I won't be craving it if it doesn't taste good anymore! I've never been a fan of coffee itself... I like it milked up, sugared up, and flavored up, but not plain. I still won't drink it hot or plain. It's yucky. I was always a fan of Starbucks' sugary, flavorful crap, because I didn't know any better. But Dutch Bros. Coffee is the bee's knees! Not only does it taste better, but it's cheaper! And the staff is always SO nice and cool and down to earth. No snobby, fake, ex-pep squd baristas here. Just run-of-the-mill college-age kids. One has dredlocks, one is like a tatted-up model, but they're ALL "real"! They remember your name, your drink, and your past conversations! OK I'm obsessed with DB, lol. The important part is that unlike sbux, they can and will make 99% of the stuff sugar free, rather than "sorry, it's a pre-made mix!". OK, so my surgeon doesn't allow coffee... but what I found out is that he doesn't think ANYONE should be drinking coffee, period... surgery or not. So his coffee rule is his personal belief, not just realted to patients. I did LOTS & LOTS of research, and haven't found any other docs who ban it. Apparently all WLSers turn their eating vice into a coffee vice ;p

I think that'll about wrap it up for now, with the exception of my list of products you MUST own after surgery!
As for vitamins... my surgeon's office reccommends Flintstone's chewables. 2 per day for life. I find them so repulsively disgusting, I wasn't taking them regularly. I tried 3 different brands. Then I discovered gummy vitamins, and they saved my life!!! Vitafusion gummy vitamins are DELICIOUS! They totally taste just like yummy, yummy candy. And the Target store brand, Up & Up, is just as good! Woo-hoo! I've got the Adult's Gummy Multivitamin, the Vitamin D (which I've been low on even before surgery, so I have to take), and the Power C (just vitamin C for the cold season). Sublingual Vitamin B12 is also ordered, but every brand I've tried was the same-- little cherry-flavored dots that taste just fine.

If you love you some Chair Tea lattes, only to find that the coffee joints can't make it sugar free, than you'll DIE for this! Sbux uses it's own brand of chai, but this is the exact brand DB uses, only Sugar Free!!! I did myself a happy jig right in the middle of Smart & Final groceries when I discovered this & all it's yummy goodness. Tastes exactly the same as the original version, IMO. Yay! $6 at Smart & Final; $3 at Winco.

If your doc orders you to take calcium + D, and I suspect he will, this has been awesome for me. It's Costco's version of Viactiv. Tastes like cheap fuidge, LOL. By that I mean it's not like you're gonna trick yourself into thinking it's grandma's Christmas fudge, but it will satisfy chocolate cravings and it compares in texture to a Tootsie Roll. And if you're a Costco member, it's super duper cheap. Like $5 a bag.

Sugar free popsicles. Seriously, these were basically the only form of liquid (or anything else, for that matter) that I was able to ingest for the first couple of weeks, due to the lumps in my throat and stomach cramps. (Which is why I went to the ER 2 weeks out... because my kidneys were so dehydrated they were trying to shut down... but I went over all of this in a previous blog). However, if it weren't for these, I'd have been in even worse shape. Obviously, don't rely on these for all of your liquid intake, but they sure do help! I found these at Walgreens, and they tasted better and are far cheaper than any others!

Other neccessities:
A) Miralax. Let me spare you the detals, and just say that it is occasionally needed, and it dissolves instantly in any beverage, hot or cold, it's also flavorless and odorless. Must. Have. On. Hand. And on a similar note: Milk of Magnesia tastes like chalk, mint, and poo mixed together. No joke. I gag on it every time. It tastes like the very thing you're trying to expel from your body. If possible, steer clear.
B) I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray. For the occasional times you splurge on some popcorn that is 99% fat-free, whole grain, & tastes remarkably like styrofoam, this will save your tastebuds, yo.
C) A big ol' box of Splenda packets. Or whichever sugar-free sweetener you decide to use. I keep a baggie of them in my purse, and one in my desk at work.
D) Vitamin Water Zero is good. Diet Snapple is ok-- I was never a fan of tea, but before I started coffee, I had to make due with tea. I like the Peach, and the Raspberry was ok, but the Lemon was grody. Either way, they all needed a full packet of artificial sweetener to be palatable )to me).
E) Muscle Milk is lactose free, and the best tasting ready-to-drink protein that I've encountered, period. And the diet ones have very little sugar.

That'll be it for now...
I'll try to blog more frequently again... 'til next time!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blogging... 6 weeks post-op

OK so here's the real deal... I haven't blogged in 2 weeks because I haven't lost a single, solitary pound... in fact, I've GAINED 3 pounds... and I've been too bummed/discouraged/embarrassed to tell you. But there! I did it! Now I have to be accountable for myself, because you all know my dirty little secret.
I lost 30 lbs in the first 30 days. And then it just stopped. I know it's partially because I can eat "real" food now... meat, cheese, etc... and I have yet to really exercise.
To lose my pre-op weight, I walked 1-4 miles a day. This week, I've walked about 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile 3 different times, and I've done 2 short workouts on the easy-rider thing. Not enough!!! I was supposed to get to buy a treadmill last month, but other expenses came up... such is life. I haven't been to the gym since well before surgery. And now that I'm back to work and it's hot out, I'm just so stinking tired... not a good enough excuse, but the truth nonetheless. By the time I get home from work, feed and water the dogs, water the plants, make and eat dinner, get everything ready for the following day... leaving the house is my last idea of fun. I usually get a second wind around 9...Then I'd have to change, drive to the gym, workout, drive back, shower, change again... I know, I sound royally lazy right now. Just being honest. Plus, I need to go to bed around 10. See how it just doesn't seem to fit in? Don't even suggest going in the morning before work... I know myself all too well for that delusion. If I had a treadmill in the next room, however, so what if it's 9 pm? Hop on for 30-60 minutes while I watch tv. Boom. Yeah, I totally need to win the lottery and create a home gym. Too bad I don't play the lottery.
Time for another secret: Truth is, yes, I'm still hungry all the time. Even though my stomach is only 2 oz and I'm supposed to eat only 1/4 cup of food 3-4 times a day, I feel like I can easily eat half a cup before I'm full. Is it my imagination? Probably. I mean they removed the art of the stomach which produces ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Only my brain and my tongue are hungry. Not my stomach.
I had acid reflux before surgery, and was warned that it could get worse. but, my surgeon repaired my small hiatal hernia, and he expected that would stop it. Hardly. I have a burning lump in my throat after every meal. Now I'm on some craptacular tasting liquid junk for ulcers... but it coats the stomach and we're trying it for my reflux. It's tid (that's 3 times a day for my non-medical friends). And that's on TOP of my bid (twice daily) Prilosec. And I still have zantac for break-through burning. And Tums in my purse at all times. GERD (Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease) is no joke, friends! One time, it was so terrible, I actually had to sleep sitting up.
My main lesson learned since surgery has been this week. Do not trust the Sbux baristas regarding sugar content! I was assured by several of them that the Vanilla Rooibos tea and the Chai tea are sugar-free. LIES! There is no sugar added, but upon reading the nutrition facts on their website, they are indeed chock full of sugar. And here I was, sipping away. Maybe THAT's why I'm not losing. * le sigh * I should sue. Kidding. Maybe.
Oh, and now the much-coveted seasonal pumpkin spice latte is available for the year. Which means the caramel brulee latte, et al aren't far behind. And I can't have coffee or sugar. GRRRR.
The diet Snapple is ok. I actually have to add a packet of Splenda to make it palatable.
Sugar free popsicles have saved my life! Yummy.
My typical meals include the following (one at a time, of course, and all low-fat): 2 bites of cheddar cheese wrapped in thin roast beef; 2 bites of mozzerella cheese wrapped in thin turkey; a couple of bites of plain baked chicken, sometimes dipped in hummus; a couple of bites of yogurt or cottage cheese; chili beans (turkey or beef) with cheese. I got super tired of eggs and protein shakes when they were all I could have, so I haven't had either in several weeks. I bought some frozen salmon yesterday, which I can't wait to cook up! Hmmm, I nned to find some sugar-free teriyaki sauce... surely it exists out there somewhere? Come payday, I have to go to the Whole Foods market... probably a better chance of finding it there than Winco (idk if winco is a local thing... for you out-of-state-and-country-ers, it's like the Wal-Mart of grocery stores, lol... cheap kinda dirty people running around, gotta bag your own crap...) I've found Fresh & Easy to be a great resource, and it's super-close to home.
The surgeon thinks I'll be losing about 15 lbs/month now. That means that by the end of October, I should be about 100 pounds lower than I started! I'm excited at the prospect of getting a cute Halloween costume ffrom a store, rather than putting together my own due to the very limited and very expensive "plus-size" selection. My 2 best girlfriends and I are going to have some kind of theme this year... we have a few ideas... I'm also anxious to see how my weight loss improves my Disneyland experience in October! I should be able to share a 2-seater with my husband, instead of us each taking a different car. I can't wait to see how much energy I'll have by then! Right now, I still get slightly fatigued at times... my body is adjusted to a serious change. But doc said I'll be jumping around with energy by then! And then Christmas will be right around the corner... our first Christmas in our house! I won't be too self-conscious to take the pic I want to take for our Christmas cards... myself, the hubs, and the dogs on the front porch of our very own home :) I hope I'll be able to have a few sips of Soy eggnog by then! *drool*
OK, time for the "deep" junk...
This is where I REALLY need input from my fellow WLSers... VSG or otherwise. While 90% of comments are positive, and it feels great to be told I look amazing, there are a couple of things that really irk my turtle. The first one is frustrating: everyone who says "hey skinny!", etc. I'm certainly NOT skinny. I fully understand that these people are trying to compliment me and acknowledge my progress, however, while I may have lost 70 pounds, I am FAR from skinny. In fact I have to lose another 100 lbs just to not be considered obese. Idk why, but it gets my blood boiling. The second one is really hurtful. A handful of times, I've been told the following: "I heard about your surgery! When do you expect to start seeing results?" Again, I know they're not trying to be mean, but really? It makes me think, "I'm SO freaking fat that you can't notice that I've lost SEVENTY pounds?!" This from people who see me anywhere from weekly to monthly. Hello, notice I have 2 chins now instead of 5? LOL My general reply is a quiet and nervous, "Um, I've lost 70 so far... 40 before surgery and 30 after"... and then the kicker is their response. It's never apologetic, it's always, "oh really?!" like that don't believe me. It probably happens about once a week or so. Last week, it happened twice in one day at work, and I burst into tears as soon as she left the room. Now THAT was discouraging.
On a brighter note, I've gone down the following clothing sizes: Tops from 26/28 to 18/20; pants from 24 to 20; MEN, STOP READING HERE! Skip to the next paragraph! LOL and bra from 44DDD to 40DD. You know what's annoying? Adjusting my belt every time I move. If I sit, I have to loosen it, and if I stand, I have to tighten it. If I'm walking, I have to tighten it even more. I'm CONSTANTLY playing with my belt. Real cute.
My incisions look fantastic! I've seen pix of some other peoples' battle scars, and I'm SO pleased with my surgeon. The biggest scar, where my stomach was actually pulled out, is INSIDE my belly button, and under 1/2 an inch long. I have a friend whose is above her belly button, and over an inch long. Yikes! My other 4 are all under 1/4 inch. The surgeon said he specifically cuts on the existing strecth marks so that eventually, there won't be any visible scars (because they'll blend in with the existing scarring).
OK, my fingers are getting tired, and you probably gave up on reading half an hour ago! If you're still here, congratulations! Sound off below :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One month post-op {part 2 of 2!}

Anyway, after my bout in the ER, I called my boss to let her know I'd be taking a 3rd week off. (My surgeon approved me for 6 weeks off; I told my boss I anticipated only needing 3, and she was pushing me to come back after 2). After telling her I'd been so dehydrated that my kidneys were shutting down, she actually said to me, "You know you're supposed to drink water, right?" This wasn't shocking (remember, she told me NO, I could not take leave for surgery, because she had no one to cover for me), but it was still infuriating.
A few times throughout week 2, I had little bites of food here and there, and I would chew them up and spit them out. I never swallowed any, but I was desperate for the chewing sensation and the tastes. I've heard about 50% of WLS patients say they absolutely did that and it's ok; the other 50% said it was so terrible and dangerous. It is what it is, I suppose. I survived.
Week 3: eggs, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, & peanut butter
The third week was a lot easier than the first two. I finally got to try some "semi-solids"; my first food in 15 days! I was running around town, doing errands, visiting with friends, and taking it easy. My mandatory daily naps were no longer mandatory nor daily. I was feeling a lot better. My husband and I even made a day trip to the coast to escape the 110 degree weather and enjoy some nice, clean air with a high of 60. It was fabulous, except for the wonderful smells of all the seafood restaurants we normally eat at when we're there ;)
I got to start "semi-solids" as defined above. The yogurt did NOT agree with my sleeve. About 3 bites and I got the most awful cramping. About half an hour later, it went through me, and continued to do so for the next hour. I ended up taking 1 immodium and 1 pepto to stop it (it happened while we were at the beach, of course). I did well with everything else. I could eat about a third of a scrambled egg per meal and there was still cramping when I ate or drank. For some reason, hard-boiled egg didn't sit well. I did ok with peanut butter, too. Half a tablespoon full filled me up. Sugar-free frozen yogurt didn't and still doesn't like me.
Week four: seafood and nuts
The nuts caused me to be nauseous. I tried almonds, pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, and peanuts. However, grilled salmon really hit the spot. I would have a teeny bite about 4 times a day and be stuffed full. But it was nutritious and delicious! I had a couple of small bites of rice (which isn't recommended because it expands and isn't protein-rich, but if that's the worst I cheated, I'm not too concerned. I know people who've done a lot worse). The rice caused a lot of nausea and pain as well.
At the beginning of week four, I went back to work. After having 3 weeks off, I was utterly exhausted every day. I had a really hard time staying awake throughout the day (it's a good thing I work alone), and I spent each day's 60-min. lunch break sleeping on the exam table! Still, when I got home each evening, I would lock myself in the bedroom with my chihuahua, away from my husband's giant, annoying basset hound puppy, and watch some TV and fall asleep while it was still light out. My husband was actually out of town that whole week at his family's cabin. I missed him, but it was nice to have the house and entire bed to myself after those very exhausting first days back. I also had my first post-op exam that week. The surgeon was thrilled with how my incisions looked (so am I!) The cramping when drinking was going away slowly.
Week 5: Chicken & turkey
I had little bites of grilled or baked chicken all week. I also had hummus with pita, which was delicious. Again, bread isn't recommended, but it's not exactly contraband, either. At the end of week 4, I wanted pizza so bad I was about to pull my hair out. After conferring with a VSG friend, I ordered a thin-crust (which is a first for me) personal pizza with chicken, olives, and mushrooms. I already knew that I'd do ok with the chicken, cheese, and bread. I was really concerned about the tomato sauce, that it might be too acidic. But I went with the least greasy pizza company in town (which happens to be my favorite anyway!) The 'personal' slices there are about 3 bites. With some prayer, down the hatch it went! It was the most amazing thing I've ever tasted in my life! It took about 15 minutes to eat the entire slice. A couple of hours later, feeling great, I had a second slice. I was thrilled to be getting down some protein and nutrients! And of course that teeny pizza lasted me 2 whole days! I definitely don't see it as a "cheat", but as a "splurge". It will be a very rare treat. I did it to celebrate my sleeve's one-month surgiversary. I would never have done so until week 4, because your pouch is at risk for leaking for the first 3 weeks. So by the end of week 4, I knew my sutures were nice and healed inside.
Tomorrow I will try beef for the first time! The following week, I get to add pork. And then I'm done! I'm at free will to eat from any of the aforementioned protein-rich foods!
The tally to date is: 40 lbs lost pre-op plus 30 lbs lost post-op = 70 lbs gone forever!! Good riddance! 30 lbs in 30 days... wow! The compliments feel great! Now that I'm eating real food again, it's high time to get my butt in gear and start working out again! The doc says that after the first month, the weight loss slows down drastically, and then picks up speed again a couple of months later.

Progress Pix

The first one is a few weeks before I started my diet. The second one is 3 weeks after surgery.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Month Post-Op {part one of two!}

Ok, ok... It's well past time to make a blog entry. I haven done so since before my surgery. I have a bunch of excuses for you, though! For the first 3 weeks, as I was off work recovering, I was just exhausted and frustrated and didn't have anything positive to say. LOL. And our activity on the computer at work is now monitored. I uses to do 99% of my blogging during down-time at work. But my boss doesn't know what kind of surgery I had, so I haven't wanted to use the office computer for it. I'm currently blogging from my iphoe for the first time ever. So far, it's not as cumbersome as I had anticipated. We'll see. So let's see if I can recall all of the thoughts i've wanted to share over the past month. The surgery went smoothly. I started to freak out as they wheels me to the OR, so I prayed the whole way. That calmed me a lot. My husband, parents, mother-in-law, and best friend (who is about 7 years post-gastric bypass) were all there the whole time. The anesthesiologist came to give me a shot to calm my nerves, but upon seeing that I'm allergic to Valium, she wouldn't give it to me. The blood thinner shot really burned, though. Once I was in the OR, my first thought was that it looked just like on tv, lol. Some more praying and it was time to begin. Staring up at the big round light, they administered the anesthesia and immediately I told them my vision was blurry, but they couldn't understand me. So I repeated, with very slurred speech, "I have double vision". And then I woke up! I remember drifting in and out of conciousness after they woke me up. I think I asked, "are we done?" about 3 different times. I kept falling asleep. The patient on the other side of the curtain in recovery kept having their vitals monitor go off, so that woke me up repeatedly, but I'd immediately fall back asleep every time. Eventually my family got to come in, one by one. I asked my mom what had I done?! She said she didn't know and laughed. She dissent want me to do it in the first place. I wasn't in pain, just felt weird. The hospital stay went pretty well. I walks 12 laps of the medsurg floor my first day! All of the nurses were stunned. I basically only used my morphine pump once per hour (it allows you to use it every 12 minutes). I'd wake up, push it, an fall back to sleep right away. But in the middle of the night, I was so itchy I couldn't sleep, and my whole body was about to get raw and bloody from the scratching. Four doses of intravenous Benadryl didnt help a bit. Apparently I'm allergic to morphine. The wonderful nurse gave me a sponge bath with ice cold washcloths to ease the itching. So I was left with only vicoden for the pain, which made me so instantly nauseas, they had to immediately follow every dose with IV anti nausea meds. Truth be told, I was in more pain from the hospital bed than the procedure (except while coughing, in which case it hurt a lot). After the X-ray, for which you swallow some vile chalky poison-tasting sludge, (they watch you swallow to make sure you're not leaking), I got discharged. I checked in at 6 am Tuesday and left at 7 pm Wednesday. The first couple of days home, all I did was sleep. Several times, I wondered what I had just done to my body, why I had done it, and whether I was dying. My body was just absolutely exhausted. But still, I had more back pain from laying around than I dd abdominal pain. By the 4th day, I was running short errands with my husband. The first two weeks were brutal. I was allowed water and protein shakes ONLY. Other surgeons allow broth and jello... Not mine! I got the strict one. Which was probably a good thing- better too attract than too lenient! But it was really, really rough. I was supposed to get 80 oz of fluid in my one ounce stomach every day! For about 3 weeks, every single sip I took, wether cold, warm, or room temp, BURNED in my stomach. Within a minute of swallowing, I had these really intense stomach cramps for just a few seconds. Every time! TMI disclaimer! If you're squeamish or dislike talk of bodily functions, skip the next paragraph!!!For the first 6 days, I had constant liquid bowelmovements. My dr said this wasn't normal, but that he wasn't concerned unless it lasted more than a week. Whaddaya know, it stopped right before the one-week mark! Unfortunately, that's the same time the urinary problems began. Intense, 24/7 burning, urgency, and even passing blood. Tests showed zero infection, but signs of kidney distress. Essentially, due to my difficulty drinking and constant diarrhea, I was so dehydrated my kidneys were shutting down. So I spent the night in the ER getting IV fluids and antibiotics. They also removed the surgical tape over my incisions, as I was having a serious allergic reaction to the tape and it was so itchy I couldn't bear it. After that, I forced myselfTo have better water intake. In order to preserve your sanity and interest, I'm going to pause here and create a "part 2" to this entry, so you can break up your reading if you wish :). Go grab your sugar free vitamin water and get cozy for round 2!

Monday, July 26, 2010

One week post-op quick update!

I really have sooooo much blog-material in my head, but I just can't bring myself to sit here and write yet. So what I'm going to do is paste all of my Facebook status updates pertaining to surgery. I'm a fb nut and fooling around on my phone was all I felt up to. So here's the general gist of my first week.

Reporting to hospital at 6 am tomorrow for 8 am surgery.
7/19 11:19 am

Here I go...
7/20 5:44 am

She's out of surgery and in recovery. Everything went well.
(posted on my page by my husband)
7/20 11:04 am

So that's how you find out you're allergic to morphine.
7/21 10:40 am

Headed home
7/21 7:14 pm

Feel like crap. Drinking water or protein hurts sooo bad. Wish I could have the pain meds from the hospital rather than the useless liquid vicodin.
7/22 9:35 am

This must be what dying feels like
7/22 9:52 am

I think they yanked out my insides, put them in a blender, and shoved em back in.
To those of you who visited in the hospital, the happy me is gone. That was the morphine.
7/22 1:33 pm

I hate being emo but the scent of a fresh bag of chips ahoy cookies just made me start sobbing. Ive woken up from 4 dreams where I was eating food. You wouldn't think my smelling his cookies would make me cry, seeing as a teeny tiny sip of water feels like I swallowed a spewing volcano.
7/22 4:47 pm

EW! is the dr trying to make me gag?! Just attempted to take my normal meds crushed in water as directed. I screamed and spit it out
7/22 9:50 pm

bored. stir crazy already
7/24 7:59

You know how skinny I'd be if you had to pedal to keep the iPhone going?
7/25 9:40 am

I haven't had food of any kind since a week ago today :(
Spoke with my surgeon this morning. I now get a third item allowed on my diet: pedialyte. Oh joy.
7/25 11:40 am

The commercial for "right size smoothies" claims that eating under 1,000 calories a day will "actually make you gain weight, not lose it". Really? Cuz I lost 40 lbs in 3 mos by eating 800 cals a day before surgery :p
7/26 10:11 pm

I promise I'll blog this week. And I no longer think I'm dying or that I made the biggest mistake of my life. The first few days home, without pain meds, were rough. But I'm drinking better and improving daily :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Surgery in 2 days!

I'm so anxious! My refrigerator and pantry are equipped for the next couple of weeks:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quick Check-In due to popular demand!

Several people have messaged me and said I need to write in my blog... it's been a couple of weeks. There's a reason for that- I don't feel like I have anything to say! LOL
Surgery is in 6 days! Which means 5 more days of this liquid protein diet. NONE of my friends who've had bariatric surgery had to do a fast beforehand... 2 weeks of this has sucked!! I can have a little bit of plain chicken or tuna, etc. but the majority is protein shakes. Under 800 cal/day and over 70g protein/day.
The thing that has saved me is Carl's Jr's Original Grilled Chicken salad- large and filling, and exactly 200 cals.
About a week ago, I got really freaked out for about 2 days. "What on earth am I about to do?! Removing a major organ by my own choice? Maybe everyone is right, and I should just do this "myself"... {I've been over that in prior blogs so I won't go into detail about 'not doing it myself'} Anyway, I fessed up to my husband that I was finally actually scared. He said I'm doing it for the right reasons. He also vocalized exactly what I've been saying in my head: the only reason I've been able to lose the 40 lbs is because I've had an immediate goal I had to meet... any time I cut my self some slack, I've started rapidly going in the wrong direction and had to change my behavior all over again. I would NOT have done this without the motivation of surgery. Only you WLS'ers can get what I'm saying, I'm sure.
SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: How scared were you before surgery? Out of this 3 month process, I freaked out for 2 days.
My husband was actually relieved... "you're finally nervous? join the club with the rest of us!" He was more concerned that I was the only one who WASN'T scared, LOL. Anyway, with his reassurance, and knowing he's absolutely right-- I totally haven't exercised once since meeting the dr's weight loss goal a month ago; I'd gain the weight back in no time- I am now excited and more chill again.
Til next time!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So. About an hour after posting my last blog, in which I was so happy and excited that surgery is drawing near, a bomb is dropped on my parade.
It was Monday afternoon. I called my supervisor to follow up on the fact that I'd never heard back from her regarding having a few hours off for my pre-op physical. She said she hadn't gotten back to me because it wasn't going to be possible. There was no one to cover for me. (Never mind the courtesy of calling either way, right?) I told her I was sorry, but that I couldn't reschedule it because I had to start my pre-op diet a few days afterward, and this had to be done first. That's when she said, "Actually, I don't have anyone to cover for you at all. You're not going to be able to have surgery." I was silent and then stammering... I know for a fact we have a float who isn't getting any hours right now and needs them. I was like, "excuse me?" when was she planning on telling me this? The day of? I was instantly burning hot, sweating, the room spinning, speechless... what do you mean, I can't have surgery?!?! (She doesn't know what the surgery is, and due to HIPAA laws, she can't ask). She said "there is just absolutely no authorized time off right now. we don't have the coverage." Could she have said this 3 weeks ago when I told her about it? Or any time since then? I told her, "I don't know what to say... I need surgery...". She had the nerve to say, "Doesn't your surgeon understand that you have a full time job which depends on you?". I said "yeah, but when a doctor decides you need surgery..." (trailing off)... "and I guess they thought 6 weeks advance notice should be fine for my employer." BOSS: "well first of all, it wasn't anywhere near 6 weeks... maybe 4." ME: "well it was a little over 5 1/2 weeks, but anyway...". Finally I said, "is there someone above you whom I can call and talk to regarding this?" And she said I could call her manager, but that I'd get the same answer.
So I called her manager and left a message. Then I called the Labor Board. I didn't think it was legal to deny me medical leave. Turns out, if there are less than 50 employees in a 75-mile radius, they can. Crap. Her manager calls me back and I explain the situation and say, "I was under the impression that it wasn't legal to deny me leave for surgery. Can you clarify that for me, please?" She said she'd call me right back. In the mean time, I'm calling my parents, husband, in-laws, etc., freaking out. My husband actually suggests I quit if they won't give it to me. But we totally can't afford that. My world is spinning and I'm doing my best not to start crying or have a panic attack.
I never heard from the manager again, but about an hour later, my supervisor called and asked if my life depending on having surgery. I said yes. She said they'd do everything they could to get coverage and that they'd have HR send me a packet about medical leave. I thanked her profusely and told her I know it's bad timing for her because we're understaffed and going through the process of being bought out by another company, but that it was absolutely necessary for me to have surgery now. I think the words, "is that legal?" freaked them out... I felt a lot better, but not 100%. But the next day, I got my signed time off request faxed to me. However, I'm still having my doctor put me on FMLA to help assure I don't get terminated...
Only those of you who've had WLS can imagine what horror I experienced! Imagine- 3 weeks before surgery! After all that work and planning! Thank goodness I'd already been on Xanax for a full week (see post before last), or I would have lost my mind.
SO, my pre-op physical with my primary doctor and my pre-op consult with my surgeon are both tomorrow, with xrays and bloodwork in between. It will probably be my last weigh-in, and then I'll have 4 days before my strict pre-op diet starts. In that 4 days, I plan to have half of my favorite burger, half of my favorite carne asada burrito, half of my favorite breakfast burrito, and some ice cream :) It's been months... and it'll be many more... so I am going to splurge (but in moderation) for those few days. Then it's on to my 2-week clear liquid & protein diet, during which I'm supposed to lose about 7 more pounds. The purpose of this diet is to shrink the liver so they can get to the stomach easier.
Til next time...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fast Approaching!

My surgery is 3 weeks from tomorrow! Which means my pre-op diet starts a week from tomorrow. My pantry is stocked with sugar free jello, bullion cubes, and canned tuna, albacore, and salmon. I need to pick up more crystal light, vitamin water zero, and muscle milk lite. The good news is I learned it's not a clear-liquid diet afterall; it's a very low-cal protein diet. 800 cals a day (which is what I was doing to lose the weight, except this one is strict. No wiggle room or cheating!) and most of the calories have to come from lean protein. So it's still gonna suck, but not as bad as I first thought.
I've gotten REALLY lazy. Haven't been to the gym in literally a month due to breathing problems (to be explained shortly). Also, since I got my surgery date, I haven't been too good about my diet. Not back to my old ways, but not nearly as strict. I've gained back 2-3 lbs. It seems like there's always an excuse to miss the gym. I got blisters on my feet and needed new shoes. It's too hot. I can't breathe (maybe a good excuse). And since we're currently sharing just one car, I can't go on the weekends because my husband's got the car at work. No one will take me. I was so dedicated to walking daily for a couple of months! Grrr.
My pre-op physical and pre-op consult are on Thursday. If you gain a pound, they cancel your surgery!!! So I have 3 days to lose 3 lbs...
On to the breathing-- for about a month now, I've been feeling what I call 'short of breath' and gulping for air. It doesn't stop me from walking, talking, etc. I just feel like my breaths aren't deep enough. Like I can't fill up my lungs. I'll spend several minutes forcing myself to yawn, and then finally I'll get a good one which feels like it satisfied me. A couple of minutes later, I'm at it again. It started out happening for about half an hour a day, then a little more, until it was 24/7. I was afraid to go to the doctor because I didn't want it to be something which would cause me to fail my pre-op physical. But at the same time, I didn't want to risk it complicating anesthesia during surgery. I was really freaking out about it, which made it worse. So a week ago, I finally went to urgent care. The doctor said I was moving air fine, and my oxygen rate was 99%. This is NOT asthma-related; I'm not wheezing and my inhalor doesn't help it. I mentioned to her that a lot of interenet research I'd done pointed to anxiety attacks. I don't feel that I'm nervous about surgery; I'm really excited. But it IS my first operation, so maybe subconciously, I am. More likely than that, though, is stress at work. The company I work for has filed bankruptcy and been bought out by a competitor. They've said they have "no plans to" close any locations or fire any phlebotomists, but that they can't give us anything in writing. One of our local labs was just shut down, and the phlebo let go, but they say it was an unrelated situation. The Boss has been on a firing streak as it is. And a few people have quit. My lab is one of the least busy in town, and I'm going to be off for a month in the middle of all of the changes that are going to be taking place with the new company taking over. It's an "at-will employer", so they CAN terminate you even when it's medical leave. So I guess I'm definitely stressed about that. She prescribed some anti-anxiety meds, and while the problem isn't gone, it's a lot better, and it doesn't send me into a panic when it happens. She also said she doesn't see any reason why it would interfere with my surgery. That in itself definitely alleviated some anxiety.
On a positive note, I was previously told that the portion of surgery I have to pay for would be about $4grand. I found out last week that it will actually only be $1400. So that'll help. I wish our tax return would hurry up and arrive so we can pay it. And get a car.
I think that's it for now. I'm sure I'll have an update after my pre-op physical, xrays, bloodwork, and surgery consultation later this week!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weight Loss Surgery- Easy Way Out? Lazy? Cheating?

For starters, I finally got my surgery date!! It's just over a month away. July 20th! Which means I start the pre-op diet on July 6th. I want to have my favorite dinners before then... not in excess, but for the last time (at least for a while)... I MUST have teppanyaki, and my favorite sushi bar, and a bite or two of an Egg McMuffin. It'll all be in moderation. That's just 3 "bad" meals in 3 weeks, amongst dieting and exercise. Anyway, on to the topic at hand.
Am I taking the easy way out? Short answer: NO WAY! For the last 2 1/2 months, I've consumed under 800 calories a day! Taste ONE of my protein shakes and you'll see it's NOT easy! For my size, a typical diet reccommends cutting back to only 1500 cals a day. I'm doing half that. After surgery, it'll be closer to 300 cals a day. If you think it's easy fitting 70 grams of protein and 64 oz of water a day into a stomach that can only hold 3-4 oz every few hours, then sure! If going into surgery, having a tube down your throat, drain placed in your stomach, being cut upon, catheters, 80% of a major organ removed, anesthesia, IV's, xrays, breathing spirometers, wires and cables and machines, repeated blood tests and xrays and dr's visits sound easy to you, then yes, it's super easy! Eating protein first for the rest of your life- and then, if you're still hungry, a bite of vegetables. No more carbs, caffeine, carbonation, alcohol, sugar. Easy, right? Chewing each and every bite of food you consume for the rest of your life at least 30 times? Going to a friend's house, a party, a restaraunt and watching everyone else have appetizers, cocktails, delicious meals, desserts, and sodas, while you have a couple of bites of chicken or fish? Easy?! Living with a spouse who's NOT on a diet and eats anything, and smelling it? Or still fixing him dinner you can't even eat? Piece of cake. Speaking of cake: you can forget about that, too. Immediately after bariatric surgery, the patient is restricted to a clear liquid diet, which includes foods such as clear broth, diluted fruit juices or sugar-free gelatin desserts. This diet is continued until the gastrointenstinal tract has recovered somewhat from the surgery. The next stage provides a blended or pureed sugar-free diet for at least two weeks. This may consist of skimmed milk, cream of wheat, a small pat of margarine, protein drinks, cream soup, pureed fruit and mashed potatoes. Yum, right?! ;p HAVING A 3-OZ STOMACH ON THANKSGIVING: NOT EASY!
Is it cheating? Yep, I'm cheating death! Most gastric surgery patients are not having it because of laziness or vanity. Most of us have been told by our doctors, in no uncertain terms, that WE WILL DIE if we don't fix our weight, and many patients literally don't have the time to lose it "on their own", or aren't physically capable of getting out and getting moving. The term 'Morbidly Obese' means I'm so dangerously obese, it could kill me at any time, due to the other health problems it causes. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, and for people with BMI 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions such as diabetes. However, research is emerging that suggests bariatric surgery could be appropriate for those with a BMI of 35 to 40 with no comorbidities or a BMI of 30 to 35 with significant comorbidities. Comorbidites are life-threatening conditions cause or exacerbated by obesity. Obesity can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, sleep apnea, acid reflux, joint pain/degeneration, infertility, and asthma, vascular disorders caused by restricted blood flow to the extremeties, endocrine disease, hormonal disorders, polycystic ovarian syndrome, gastrointestinal disease, liver disease, renal and urinary disease, skin and appendage conditions, musculoskeletal disease, respiratory disease, difficulty in conceiving or carrying a fetus, osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer, and even psychological conditions.
YES, I GOT MYSELF INTO THIS MESS. And I'm getting myself out of it. You don't have to agree with my decision, but please support it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Waiting, Waiting...

I am officially down 30 pounds! I've gotten so used to having my awful little protein shakes for lunch, that I hardly miss eating fast food every day. Weekends get me, though, and I usually have something "normal" in moderation. Dinners are pretty normal, as long as I stay under my daily 800 cals. It hasn't been all that terrible making smarter choices!
Yesterday, the RN from the bariatrics department said I will almost definnitely be getting surgery in mid to late July!!! ~happy dance~ and I should get my surgery date sometimes next week.
I walked nearly every single day in April and May. Sometimes half a mile, usually 1-2 miles, and sometimes 3 miles. But June has been... not as good. I even joined the gym because it's getting to warm to walk outside. Problem is, I was doing most of my walking on my lunch hour... and I can't go now that it's warmer, because I can't come back to work all smelly and sweaty. In the evening, I'm just tired and distracted and full of excuses.
I am SO MUCH more tired all the time since dieting/losing! Insomnia + chronic pain mean I HAVE to take meds to fall asleep; while they don't give me that "hangover" that a lot of sleep meds do, I'm still tired ALL day, every day without my caffeine. If you're new here, over the last 3 months, I weaned from 80oz or more of diet Pepsi daily, all the way down to 12 oz daily, and then onto just one cup of coffee in the am instead, and now I'm on almost NO caffeine. An occasional diet Pepsi during the week and always a soda on the weekend. But caffeine AND carbomnation are contraband after surgery, so I'm trying to get it under control now.
I always thought a 30-lb loss would be pretty major as far as appearance. But I guess when you're obese, it's not. A couple of people have said my clothes are looser around the tummy and chest, and my mom said she's starting to see the loss in my face. I imagined it would be so drastic! I do pull up my scrub pants constantly, and I have to wear a belt with my jeans. And there's room to spare in my bra. But as far as overall appearance, 30 lbs is not noticeable. Whether it's someone that sees me daily, weekly, or monthly, nobody's mentioned it except for close friends who know how much I've lost... if it was really visible, people who DON'T know I'm dieting would be commenting, too. Oh, well. More drive to keep losing, I guess!
It' SO not fair that I'm allergic to milk. The protein shakes my husband occasionally buys at the gym taste just like real milkshakes. Mine taste like soggy cardboard. The 3 friends who've said "let me try a sip" of my shakes make gagging noises and faces, and gain new respect for my diet, lol.
I think that's all I've got for now; time to clock back in from lunch. I'm still in need of everyone's prayers! Thank you all so much.

PS- I need new shoes :p The $9 tennies from walmart just aren't cutting it. I've already gone through 2 pairs of insole inserts. One more week til payday... I hope hubby will spring for some this weekend :) At any given time, I have 6-8 blisters on the ball of EACH foot from walking in crappy cheap shoes. It certainly can't be good for my back, either. And the blisters definitely play a part in finding excuses to skip the gym. Plus, I have to pause the treadmill every half mile or so, take off my shoes, and re-adjust the inserts, lol. ew.
Last night, I took both dogs on a walk (seperately; the 6-yr old Chihuahua is a perfect leash-walker, but the 6-month old Bassett Hound does NOT get it yet). The BH kept lurching forward at random, every other minute, and it literally popped my shoulder out of the socket for a second. It hurt SO MUCH this morning. Hope the hubby starts walking with me to help control his dog :p

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guess I Better Check In

Pretty frustrated. Met my pre-scheduling goal last Wednesday. Waited til today for the bariatric RN to get back from vacation. She said that June & July's surgery schedules are full, and I have to wait up to 2 months until the August schedule opens up to get a surgery date. Are you kidding me?!?! UGH. And I have to go in every 2 weeks to be weighed.
Something most of you won't understand-- I was pretty much only able to lose that 25 lbs because I had a short-term goal, with a short time limit and an immediate reward- scheduling surgery. It's easier when you can push yourself to a short-term goal like that. In the week since neeting my goal, I've been really bad about dieting and I haven't exercised in over a week. I just keep finding excuses and putting it off. And yes, I put a few pounds back on. And I'm sick and tired of people saying, "see? you can lose the weight yourself". Yeah, but look what's already happened. And "you can't let yourself slip like that, stop being lazy, get back on track". That really doesn't help at all. In fact it's pretty infuriating. Why did I lose my drive/motivation so quickly? And nobody understands this stuff except others who have fought with their weight like this.
I'm just so mad that I am waiting up to 2 months to even get a date, and that date will be 4-8 weeks out!!! I don't know if I can mantain my weight that long!! For 2 months, I did my walking every day, and suddenly I'm "over it". WHY?! I'm too tired, too busy, etc... but I HAVE to go to the gym tonight. For 2 mos. I was excited to work out and bummed to miss my daily walk. What happened?! I'm just so frustrated all together.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Now That's Dedication!

Still haven't gotten to the Dr's office to get weighed. The are open 9-5, and I work 8-5, and since I don't have a car (totaled mine in early April), it's kinda impossible to get over there. Today, however, I'm (finally) going to make it over to the blood bank to give blood, and then I'm gonna pop in to the urgent care dept. and ask them to weigh me and put it in my chart, so the surgical RN can review it and get me on the list!
Nobody can say I'm not dedicated to my new lifestyle after today! I went on my 1+ mile lunchbreak walk even though it's raining!!! Since I'm the most accident-proned person you've ever seen (I make Bella Swan look like a graceful ballerina-- Twi-hard joke there--), and I've never met a slick surface without being brought to my knees, I walked in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I figure the asphault isn't as slick when wet as the cement. Funny part- I saw more other pedestrians excercising today in the rain than I have seen the entire time I've been walking at lunch! I'm so pleased with my self for not using the fact that it's raining and cold and I don't have any sort of sweater or umbrella stop me from walking today! I've begun to be really disappointed in myself if I miss my walk or take a short one. But the 110+ degree weather is just around the corner... I really wish I had a treadmill!
Lastly, a word to the wise concerning protein powder! From day one, I've been using the Magic Bullet to mix my powder and water in the mornings (at least I finally found a use for the thing- it won't chop ANYTHING like it's supposed to!). The package says "dissolves instantly- no blender needed!" So today, when I was running really late for work, I decided to believe it, and just ran out the door. Turns out, all the shaking and stirring in the world didn't help. It was all chunks. I nealy gagged over each and every sip of it. *shudders* Never again...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pre-Surgery Weight Requirement Met!

YESSS! I did it! This morning, the scale showed that I have lost the 21 pounds required before they'll schedule my surgery. For the last week, I've stopped having those "we want you to think we're nutritious, but we're SO not" granola bars for breakfast; I've had only a protein shake for lunch(www.spiru-tein.com); if I MUST have a snack at work, it's been string cheese, but most of the time, I've satiated it with WATER (I love Crystal Light)! And I've upped my walking to 2 miles a day instead of one! For dinner, I've tried to be reasonable about things. Yesterday, my husband had ordered a pizza, and I had 3 pieces instead of my usual 5 or so (well, there were only 3 pieces left, but still...)
I'm not going to the doc for my weigh-in til tomorrow. I've been losing a pound a day since starting the protein shakes, and just in case their scale is a little off from mine, I hope to lose that extra pound first. I don't want them to say, "Nope! You've lost 20 pounds, not 21 pounds" and send me home, because that would crush me. AND, they're not open yet before I go to work, so I won't be able to weigh in til I'm on my lunch break, at which time I'll have several bottles of water's worth of weight in my belly. Plus, my best friend (a gastric bypass patient, about 7 years ago) have a date to donate blood at the blood bank this evening, so there's an extra pound off! LOL! (I learned while working there that the pint of blood they take from donors weighs one pound)
I'm doing a happy dance in my head!!! I let out a loud "woo-hoo!" this morning when I stepped on the scale. My husband was like, "what's going on in there?" Maybe he assumed my frogs, who live in an aquarium in the bathroom, finally laid eggs, because I've been catching them "in the act" a lot lately, LOL.
So yesterday, I called the surgeon's office to tell them I was about a pound away from my goal (or should I say THEIR goal for me), and asked whether I needed to make an appointment or just come weigh in (it's the latter). Someone is supposed to call me within TWO WEEKS to schedule me. Argh! I asked the nurse, "NOT that I plan on doing this, but what if I gain a couple of pounds back? It's ok right, because I'll lose again when I do the 2 week liquid fast?" And she said NO! I'll be having several appointments: physical, 'female's annual', EKG, chest x-ray, labwork, etc., and they'll be weighing me every time. She said if I gain a SINGLE POUND, they'll cancel my surgery! Sooo many people have said that after they met the weight loss goal required before scheduling, they totally splurged and had all their favorite restaurants/dishes one last time, and many have said they were actually heavier on surgery day than in the beginning because of this "last hurrah" attitude... So much for that! I definitely have to have all of my favs one last time, but I won't go crazy and I will keep working out and doing my protein lunches! The RN also said the more weight I lose, the safer my surgery will be. FINE, YOU PARTY POOPER! LOL
Also, I emailed my surgeon yesterday with the nutrition facts of some ready-to-drink soy protein meal replacements I found online (I can't have any of the ones they recommend, because I'm allergic to milk). He said it's pretty high in calories compared to Boost, etc., but that it will be OK if it's the only thing I can find. Well I'm NOT trying to drink too many calories, dummy! Back to the drawing board. Worst comes to worst, I'll drink HALF a can per meal.
So PLEASE wish me luck; I'll be weighing in tomorrow!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Small-ish Victory

My cousin, whom I didn't even know was reading my blog, has informed me that she's a blog-stalker and chastised me for not making enough entries. This one's for you!
I went to the doctor's office on Wednesday to weigh myself. My new scale at home said I was down about 15 lbs, but I didn't know if it was accurate, since I got it after I started losing, and hadn't been to the Dr. in a few weeks. I had stopped in to borrow the scale of the doctor whom I work next door to, and their scale said I was only down 5 lbs total. I figured that one was more accurate because it's the old-school kind, not an electric one. So I figured I had better just pop in to my surgeon's office and get a reading on the same scale I started with. I was actually really scared that I hadn't lost anything. They reccommend (but don't require) an 800-calorie diet to lose your pre-op weight, and I have not followed that AT ALL... as I've stated before, I'm just cutting portions in half, trying to make wiser choices, and walking (and dropping soda). SOOOOO... I was pretty thrilled to see that I've lost 14 pounds!!!!

I decided then and there that I'm going to have just a soy protein shake for lunch every day for a week, and see where it gets me. I cannot wait to get that 6 lbs off! As I practically skipped through the hospital halls with a giant perma-smile on my face, I texted my mom and called my hubby to share the good news. There was a Farmer's Market of sorts on the hospital grounds, so I decided to browse for some healthy snacks. Oddly, there was no fresh produce... just snacks, cut flowers, potted flowers, homemade dog food, and "gourmet hummus". So I bought a bully stick for our puppy to gnaw on. The hummus didn't have any nutritional facts on it. The guy at the booth said "it's practically like zero calories" but I wouldn't buy it with no exact numbers. I was like, "and what about the sodium? I'm on a vrey strict diet right now" and he kept arguing that "it's ok for you, it's so healthy!" and I informed him that I wasn't comfortable without the exact numbers. He kept shouting as I walked away. Doofus.
So then I strolled over to a booth with dried, seasoned vegetable chips. I'm talking to the guy (about my age) at the booth, but he never looks up. I tell him that unfortunately, they're way too high in salt for me at the moment. Finally he glances up and says, "oh wow, you're beautiful. oh my. wow" and I was like, "um, thanks!" and I keep looking at the products. He's like, "I should have looked up sooner, I mean I could tell from your voice, but wow" and I'm blushing and thank goodness another customer comes up and starts asking him questions, and I scurry away embarrassed. It was super awkward, as I've never, ever been hit on by a stranger before. I'm sure he was just trying to make a sale, but whatever. I eavesdropped from the next booth to see if he was saying that to everyone, but only much older people were going up to the booth, so no telling what he would have said to another chick our age. Just had to share, LOL.
Soooo, day 4 of just a soy protein shake at lunchtime... can I just say, "bleh"? "Mildly fruit-flavored frothy cardboard taste" is what should be on the label. Haha. But really, as far as soy protein goes, The brand I got (Spirutein & Frutein by Nature's Plus)
is known for tasting better and having a huge variety of flavors. I've been mixing it with water to keep it low-cal, but today I mixed it with soymilk as a "treat". Should be yummier. I'm allergic to milk, so I hafta go with soy protein and not whey protein. >>"allergic to milk" is NOT the same as "lactose intolerant" Lactose intolerance causes stomach upset and digestion troubles. A milk allergy causes a true allergic reaction, ie asthma/hives<< The pre-and-post diets are supposed to consist of Boost, Slim Fast, or other RTD's & MRP's (whoops, that's my past as a vitamin store manager talking. Other bariatric patients will understand it, but for the rest of you: RTD= Ready To Drink; MRP= Meal Replacement Powder), but they're all milk-based. I don't need to spend my life in the bathroom. If I wanted that, I'd have gastric bypass. I have tracked down ONE RTD Spy MRP, but it's around $2 a can. Which wouldn't be terrible if I could try just one, but I've not found it in-stock anywhere and I'd have to order an entire case to get some. It will probably come down to that, though. I'll make 'em from powder when I can, but I'll need some pre-made for on-the-go.
I've also upped my walking. I've gone from doing 1/2 - 1 mile on most days, to 1.5 - 2 miles on most days. Let's kick this 6 pounds' butt and get my new life scheduled already!
I'm SO excited to be able to wear "normal" clothes and go shopping in the same stores as my girlfriends. Instead of going, "oh that's cute, but it doesn't come in plus-size", I can actually get it! Good thing I'll be saving money on food, because I'll be spending it on clothes... I'm also super pumped to be doing this at age 29; by age 30, when people are fretting over aging, I'll have a new lease on life and be healthier than ever!!!
I'm also pleased that my husband has joined the gym and is eating a bit better. One of my biggest fears was living with someone who ate terribly and huge portions and didn't have any desire to change it. Now he's lost 5 pounds, and I'm thrilled!
Well, see what happens every time I think I don't have much to say? You can't shut me up! 'Til next time!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just Checking In

There's really not much to post about until I get a surgery date, etc.
I had my ultrasound to check for gallstones. (If you have them, they remove your gallbladder at time of surgery) I don't have any, but they said I do have an enlarged, fatty liver. Which is why you have to do a 2-week clear liquid diet before surgery (to shrink it so they can get to the stomach easier). I was like, "the liver regenerates itself, so can't we just lop some off to get to the stomach and then just let it regrow?" LOL And no, vodka, etc. do not count on your liquid diet, although I'm sure it would make the 2 weeks much more tolerable ;p Just crap like chicken broth and jello. Boy, I'm gonna be a peach during that 2 weeks.
I'm down about 10 lbs, so 10 more to go before they'll schedule surgery. From what I've read on the message boards, most people haven't been required to lose any prior to scheduling. Of course my surgeon requires it. So to lose the 10 pounds, I've been cutting restaurant portions in half, eating a lot less fast food, and the big one- dropping soda. Diet Pepsi was my life! LOL Friends called it my crack, my oxygen... I literally drank over a gallon of diet Pepsi per day. And while there's no sugar/no calories, the aspartame (artificial sweetener) and sodium aren't so great for you, either. I've been allowing myself a diet Pepsi on the weekends only. I miss it, but I'm not dying like I thought I would. But it's soooo rewarding now when I get some on the weekend :)
I've also been walking most days. I do a mile around the neighborhood on my lunch break at work. At home, I use my Wii Just Dance game for a fun but intense workout! I try to do SOMETHING most days. I actually feel deprived when I miss my walk, so that's a good thing. But with the weather rapidly getting warmer, I won't be able to walk at lunch-- I can't come back to work all stinky. And let's face it, if it's over 70 degrees, I'm whining. I really, really wish I had a treadmill so I can park it and a tv in my spare room and walk inside when it's hot out. My husband thinks it's a waste of money when I could just walk outside. Hello, heat stroke is no good (I'm prone to that), and when it's dark out by the time I'm ready to walk, I can't go, because it's not the safest idea to walk alone in the dark. Let me buy a used treadmill!!!!! Because I know for a fact I won't get out there and walk in the heat. At least our puppy is finally done with his shots, we can take the dogs for walks now!
Soooo, in the mornings, I've been having a large glass which consists of a cup of ice, a cup of soymilk, and a cup of coffee. After that, just water water water. Crystal Light is a lifesaver. I've only been drinking about 3 bottles a day, and I need to do 8! But I'm getting there. I love me some extra-pulp orange juice, but wow, it's high in calories! I want to do the whole protein-shake diet like they recommend for my pre-surgery weight loss, but I'm allergic to milk, and it's been hard to find a low-calorie, high-protein soy shake. They're a lot pricier that the regular protein, but I'll have to buckle down and get some this weeks. I want to lose that 10 lbs and get scheduled already!! They also say to consume only 800 cals a day. I certainly haven't been following that, but I'm gonna try now.
SparkPeople.com is an awesome free site which helps you track your calories, carbs, fat, protein, exercise, water intake, etc. I totally recommend it to everyone trying to lose weight! It's really awesome. I'm also following several blogs of other VSG patients, which is inspiring and informative. ('Waning Woman' is my favorite blog so far. She's funny and real and having great success!)
Lookie there, and I thought I didn't have anything to say! I do expect posts to be sporadic until I'm really on the path to surgery, though.
Anyone on Facebook is welcome to join my group, "Sherry's Gastric Sleeve Journey". I post my blogs there on the 'discussions' tab, and there are lots of Sleeve patients, curious people, and supporters on there giving feedback. Thank you all!
Til next time.
PS- Blogging makes me feel like Doogie Howser :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Celebrities With Obesity Surgery

Just found this interesting and wanted to share! source: http://www.gastric-bypass-guru.com/celebrity-gastric-bypass.html

Celebrity Gastric Bypass
Who's had bariatric surgery? Have you noticed something has changed drastically for your favourite celebrity? Gastric bypass may be the secret to their new look.

This is a list of celebrities who've had some form of obesity surgery. We've listed a little about each person and the type of surgery they had when we could find that info. We'd never heard of some of them, so we thought you might like a little more information than just a name! Please contact us if you can help us fill in some of the details or know of others who aren't listed here. We're particularly interested in information about celebrity gastric bypass for celebrities from countries other than the United States.

Because the list is so long, we've listed just the names here with a link that will take you to the spot on the page that has their information. Click away!

Gastric Bypass:

Patti Austin ~ Roseanne Barr ~ Kent "Big Boy Alexander ~ Darlene Cates ~ Andrae and Sandra Crouch ~ Michael Genadry ~ Gil Gerard ~ Adam Goldstein ~ Jacki Guerra ~ Jennifer Holliday ~ Randy Jackson ~ Jesse Jackson, Jr. ~ Etta James ~ Star Jones ~ Harry Lee ~ Ron Lester ~ Ralphie May ~ JoMarie Payton ~ John Popper ~ Anne Rice ~ Al Roker ~ Lulu Roman ~ Glenn Shadix ~ Deborah Voigt ~ Charlie Weis ~ Basil White ~ Carnie Wilson

Adjustable Gastric Lap Band:

Khaliah Ali ~ Brian Dennehy ~ Anne Diamond ~ Joseph R. Gannascoli ~ Sharon Osbourne ~ Mikey Robbins ~ Ann Wilson

Gastric Bypass:
Patti Austin
roux-en-y, 2004
American R&B and jazz singer, known for hits like Do You Love Me? / The Genie and Baby, Come To Me.
Rosanne Barr
Fobi pouch, 1998
sometimes controversial American comedian and actress who gained fame with her stand-up act and acheived super-stardom with her hit show Roseanne.
Kent "Big Boy" Alexander
duodenal switch, 2003
Los Angeles morning radio DJ. Morning DJs on American radio (especially in big cities) can become nationally famous, as is the case with Big Boy. He once appeared almost nude on a billboard in L.A. - when he was almost 500 pounds.
Darlene Cates
vertical banded gastroplasty, 1984 (the old-fashioned "stomach stapling")
American actress best known for playing "Momma" in the film What's Eating Gilbert Grape. She weighed a little over 400 pounds at the time of her surgery and lost about 100 pounds in the year following surgery. She subsequently gained back the 100 pounds plus at least 100 more. She says she regrets having the surgery and does not wish to have a revision. We find her story particularly poignant. She has struggled with her weight nearly all of her life - like so many of us. We think it's important that we learn from both the good stories and the bad when it comes to obesity surgery.
Andrae and Sandra Crouch
Fobi pouch, 2003 or earlier
American gospel singers and twins. Andrae is quite famous in the U.S. gospel genre.
Michael Genadry
roux-en-y, 2002
American actor, one of the stars of the television dramedy Ed. His surgery was actually written into the storyline to explain his rapid weight loss.
Gil Gerard
mini-gastric bypass, 2006
American actor famous for playing Buck Rogers on television from 1979-1981. He allowed the Discovery Channel to follow his obesity surgery journey, a show which aired in 2007.
Adam Goldstein
roux-en-y, 2003
Club DJ and former boyfriend of Nicole Ritchie.
Jackie Guerra
gastric bypass (type unknown), date unknown
Emmy Award-winning American comedienne, Actress, Author, and Jewelry Designer. She played Selena's sister in the film Selena, had a sitcom called First Time Out, and a show on the DIY network called Jewelry Making.
Jennifer Holliday
Fobi pouch, 1989-1990
American actress and singer. She won a Tony award in 1982 for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for Dreamgirls. She won a Grammy that same year for the song And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going, also from Dreamgirls. Interestingly, She says in a 1991 Ebony article that she lost 148 pounds by going on a liquid diet. Dr. Fobi lists her as a Fobi pouch patient though, so we wonder when exactly she had surgery, and if she just didn't want to reveal it at first.
Randy Jackson
Fobi pouch, 2003
Most famous as an American Idol judge, he's also a Grammy Award-winning musician.
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
gastric bypass (type unknown), revealed in March 2005
American politician and son of activist and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson.
Etta James
Fobi pouch, 2003
American blues/jazz singer and songwriter, most famous for the 1961 song At Last. (one of our favourite songs!)
Star Jones
roux-en-y, 2003
These days we think she is most famous for denying that she had gastric bypass, even though she so obviously lost weight at a dramatic pace when she was one of the hosts of the American television show The View. She finally admitted to having undergone obesity surgery in the August, 2007 issue of Glamour magazine.
Harry Lee
roux-en-y, 2003
He's not necessarily famous in the Hollywood way, but he is a person of note. He was a Chinese-American politician who was elected Sheriff of Jefferson Parish (where New Orleans is) in Louisiana six times, serving over 27 years and had a career full of controversy. He was known for "telling it like it is", although not everyone always appreciated his style. The day before hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans he went on the radio and said, "You better haul ass! Y'all should have left yesterday." A true statement, albeit said with some indelicacy. He died from Leukemia in October 2007, just three weeks before his expected re-election to office.
Ron Lester
gastric bypass (type unknown), 2001
American comedian and actor. He played Billy Bob in the film Varsity Blue, and parodied that role in Not Another Teen Movie. He lost 348 pounds with gastric bypass surgery, an incredible amount of weight. He has reportedly had ten plastic surgery procedures to remove excess skin.
Ralphie May
roux-en-y, 2003
American comedian who gained fame on the television show Last Comic Standing. He won first runner up in the competition, and has since made a comedy CD, did a special on Comedy Central, and makes regular guest appearances on popular comedy radio shows. He was a true heavyweight, tipping the scales at over 800 pounds at his heaviest. In mid-2007 his weight was reportedly in the 300's.
JoMarie Payton
Fobi pouch, 2003 or earlier
American actress most famous for her role as Harriette Winslow (the mom) on the sitcom Family Matters.
John Popper
roux-en-y, 2000
American singer and songwriter. He's the frontman for the group Blues Traveler, and is amazing on the harmonica. Who knew the humble harmonica could be such a beautiful instrument? He had a near heart attack in 1999 at the tender age of 32. He had an emergency angioplasty which revealed that he had 95% arterial blockage.
Anne Rice
roux-en-y, 2003
This American author has a huge following for her book series The Vampire Chronicles, which includes the stunningly successful Interview with a Vampire (later made into a movie starring Tom Cruise, Brad Bitt and Kirsten Dunst). Although she was a self-proclaimed athiest most of her adult life, she returned to her Roman Catholic roots around the time of the death of her husband of 41 years, Stan. She announced in 2005 that she would henceforth write "only for the Lord" and declared most strongly that she would not be writing any more vampire novels, much to the dismay of her fans. In 1998 she discovered that she had Type 1 diabetes after she fell into a diabetic coma. After her husband's death in 2002, her weight rose steadily, and she suffered from sleep apnea "and other weight-related problems", which led her to undergo gastric bypass surgery.
Al Roker
roux-en-y, 2002
Anchor on the American morning news show "Today". Al Roker was one of the first people we remember talking about gastric bypass surgery. We were amazed at the way he seemed to shrink in front of our eyes every day. He seems lately to have gained back a fairly substantial amount of weight. Another example that this surgery is not a cure-all!
Lulu Roman
gastric bypass (type unknown), year unknown
Gospel singer and American actress from the long running comedy-music series Hee-Haw.
Glenn Shadix
roux-en-y, 2000
American actor known for his deep voice and southern accent. He is known for playing Otho in the film Beetlejuice, and does a lot of voice work for animated television shows and movies.
Deborah Voigt
roux-en-y, 2005
An American opera singer. Deborah has expressed some concerns about how her weight loss might have affected her voice. In an 2006 interview with Opera News she asserts that her diaphragm function and voice are not compromised, but she does say, "I do have to think about it more now. I have to remind myself to keep my ribs open. I have to remind myself, if my breath starts to stack. When I took a breath before, the weight would kick in and give it that extra Whhoomf! Now it doesn't do that."
Charlie Weis
roux-en-y, 2002
Head coach of the American football team for the University of Notre Dame. He sued his doctors for damages due to complications from his obesity surgery, during which he almost died. He checked into the hospital under an assumed name hoping to keep the surgery quiet, but the malpractice lawsuit has put every detail of his weight struggle in the public eye. In his book, No Excuses: One Man's Incredible Rise Through the NFL to Head Coach of Notre Dame, he says that having gastric bypass "was probably the biggest mistake of my life." He initially lost 100 pounds, but says he has gained back about 50.
Basil White
roux-en-y, 2000
An American comedian (lots of comedians on this list - we wonder whether that's a coincidence. How many of us have tried to use humour to cover our pain at being obese?). He kept a detailed diary of his experience.
Carnie Wilson
roux-en-y, 2000
She's been so public about her struggle with obesity, her gastric bypass surgery, and her subsequent struggles that we hardly know where to begin! She is the daughter of Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson and his first wife Marilyn Rovell. She was part of the popular pop singing trio Wilson Phillips. She speaks of how humiliating it was to be "the fat one" in this sucessful group. Her surgery was broadcast live on the Internet, she lost 150 pounds, went on to pose for Playboy and wrote the book that changed The Guru's life: Gut Feelings.

Adjustable Gastric Lap Band:
Khaliah Ali (daughter of Muhammad Ali)
date unknown
Khaliah has recently published a book titled Fighting Weight: How I Found Healthy Weight Loss with Banding, a New Procedure that Eliminates Hunger--Forever. We're glad she found a weight loss surgery that suited her, and we're thrilled that she is happy with her weight loss, but we take exception to this: "It was more than that I had kissed away my twenties and was miserable. I couldn't be naked with anybody, couldn't wear a backless dress, couldn't go to the beach - all the things a person should be able to do." Pardon us, but who told her that she couldn't be naked in front of anyone, go to the beach or wear a backless dress at 325 pounds? She personally may have been uncomfortable doing those things, but it was certainly her choice not to do them. The fat & fabulous Guru did all of those things at her top weight thank-you-very-much. We would have preferred that they use a quote describing things that may have been actual physical deterrents, like not fitting into an airline seat or being too big for a roller coaster or having trouble sleeping because of sleep apnea. She is a paid spokesperson for the Inamed Lap-Band System.
Brian Dennehy
date unknown
American film, broadway and television actor.
Anne Diamond
2006 (?)
English television presenter known for Good Morning Britain and Good Morning... with Anne and Nick. She appeared on Celebrity Fit Club, but didn't at first reveal that she'd been banded, which enraged some people.
Joseph R. Gannascoli
2006 (?)
American actor known for playing Vito Spatafore on the HBO series The Sopranos.
Sharon Osbourne
1999, removed 2006
English music manager and promoter, television personality and presenter. She is married to singer Ozzy Osbourne and became well-known after she and her family appeared in a reality show about their lives. She lost 125 pounds with the adjustable gastric lap band, but announced in 2006 that she wanted to have it removed and deal with her weight issues with the help of a therapist.
Mikey Robbins
Australian television and radio personality best known for a satirical game show called Good News Week. He is currently co-host on a morning show on Sydney's Vega 95.6.
Ann Wilson
Lead singer for the rock band Heart. She's a paid spokesperson for Spotlight Health.
You might be surprised at some of the names listed here. Some denied being a weight loss surgery patient for a long time, like Star Jones. Others were so upfront with it that they even broadcast it on the Internet, like Carnie Wilson! When it comes down to it, celebrities are just people like the rest of us, and they struggle with the same things we do. They aren't better or worse for it - they're just human. Hopefully we can use these stars' experiences to inspire - or caution - us.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Diagrams of Sleeve Gastrectomy, Lap Band, and Gastric Bypass

Sleeve Gastrectomy, AKA Gastric Sleeve:

Lap Band:

Roux-en-y, AKA Gastric Bypass:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Change In Plans - Sleeve Gastrectomy!

I've completed my gastric surgery orientation, seminar, psych eval, nutrition counseling, and meeting with the surgeon! Next weekend, I have an ultrasound to check if I have gallstones. If so, they will open up the gallbladder and remove them during surgery. I have to lose 20 lbs (15 to go!) and then I can schedule my surgery. The surgeries are currently scheduled about 6 weeks out, so I hope to be on the operating table in about 2 months!
I've decided to have the gastric-sleeve surgery, instead of the lapband. One reason is that the band is not very effective if your BMI is over 45, which mine is.
(to calculate your own BMI, you can visit http://www.gastric-bypass-guru.com/bmi-index-calculator.html )
It's also a lot harder and slower to lose weight. There's also the possibility of the band slipping, and/or perforating the stomach; the line to your port kinking, and your port shifting. Also, steroids such as prednisone and cortisone cannot be given to bypass or lapband patients. Bypass because you don't have the intestines to break it down, and it causes ulcers. Lapband because it causes thinning and perforating of the stomach wall where the band is. Seeing as I'm a lifelong asthmatic, chances are high that I will need prednisone again at points throughout my life.
I'm personally still 100% against the gastric bypass, AKA roux-en-y or RNY, for several reasons, namely the very unnatural re-routing and splicing & dicing of my intestines. There all also many more side-effects, such as malabsorption, ulcers, and dumping syndrome, and it has the highesty morbidity rate of any gastric surgery.
The "sleeve gastrectomy" is when a bariatric surgeon removes about 60 percent of the stomach so that it takes the shape of a tube or sleeve. This operation is performed laparoscopically, meaning that the surgeon makes small incisions as opposed to one large incision. He inserts a viewing tube with a small camera (laparoscope) and other tiny instruments into these small incisions to remove part of the stomach. The tube-shaped stomach that is left is sealed closed with staples.
As for pre-surgery weight loss, here's what I've done so far:
For the last couple of weeks, I have cut all resteraunt portions in half, and eaten only half. I've also reduced (but not eliminated) fast food, and greatly reduced snacking. I have gone from drinking 88+ oz of diet pepsi per day, to one cup of coffee and 12-24 oz of diet pepsi per day.
I've begun walking again now that it's not dark when I get home from work. So far I've only done 15 minutes (one mile) at a time, but I will increase. I also got the 'Just Dance' excercise game for the Nintendo Wii- it is FUN and quite a workout! I've never sweated so much in my life! It really gets my heart going. So far, I've only done it for 30 min. sessions, but that too will change as my stamina increases.
I think that's about it for now-- keep the prayers coming, please!

Monday, March 8, 2010

ugh, so close!

The surgery department called to schedule my orientation, which is where I meet the docs and they eval me and make a decision. Orientation is only on Fridays from 1:30-3:00. My boss (who has no idea about any of this until it's final) said "no way" to my having a Dr's appt this Friday (no one to cover me), and next Friday we'll be out of state, so my appt. is for the Friday after that. I hafta wait 18 days instead of 4 days! (I'm quite impatient). I want to get this ball rolling! I know that psych evals and dietary training are required before surgery, so I want to get this ball rolling! I am so ready! I don't want to wait anymore! If there's a plus-side to this, it's that I can splurge a little in Vegas, whereas after my consultation, I'll be put on a diet, and wouldn't have been able to. Downside is that I've been finding myself thinking/saying, "oh, I'll splurge with an extra helping, or junk food, because I won't be able to for long... may as well enjoy it while I can!" which obviously isn't ok...
this may be my last entry until after my evaluation in 2 weeks. Prayers please!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Step One: Check!

My husband and I went to the seminar on Wednesday. There was a lot of information (2 hours worth!). I learned a little. And further sealed my decision that I will NOT do roux-en-y (gastric bypass). I'm not ok with cutting up my guts :p
The class is required by my dr's office before even being referred to meet with a surgeon. So now I've been referred, and I'm waiting for the gastric surgery department to contact me! Still scared, but even more excited now!
The worst part was learning that caffeine and carbonation are contra-indicated. I literally drink about 88 oz of diet Pepsi every day. So I'm starting the cutback now. I stuck to 32 oz yesterday (may still sound like a lot, but it's a huge step down! Baby steps!) Today, I had two 32 ouncers. It's a Friday, and I haven't had a patient at work in 6 hours... I needed it to stay awake! 64 is still better than 88!
I am so excited at the prospect of lessening/eliminating my knee pain, acid reflux, and shortness of breath.
When the process really starts rolling, I'll start posting pictures and weigh-ins to chart my progress.
I guess that's all I have to say, until my next appointment happens!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Beginning

I'm 28years old (a month shy of 29, actually); phlebotomist, a wife, a Christian, a Republican, and a mommy to a chihuahua and a bassett hound!!! Obsessed with orchids, diet pepsi, Coach bags, and fairies... I also have 3 bearded dragons... I love anything medically related. This blog is 100% for journaling my experiences with weight-loss surgery... the journey begins tonight, with my Dr's referral complete and the informational seminar.I hope this blog can be informative to my fellow "fat kids" and Fibromyalgia sufferers. I plan to keep track of how my health problems change with weight loss.
I've been "big" all of my life... I was born 10 lbs & 24" !!! Although I was teased for being fat all of my life, I really wasn't until college... I was truly just built bigger than most of the kids my age.
I never dieted in my life until last March (exactly a year ago!), when I did Weight Watchers for about a month, and did pretty well on it! I went off the plan for my birthday trip, and it never stuck when I tried to re-start the program.
About a month and a half ago, I went to the doctor and discovered that the scale said I was finally past 300 lbs... which is when I decided I was sick of it and needed to change, NOW. I have numerous health conditions which could be helped or eliminated by losing weight. My asthma and fibromyalgia (
http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer?pagename=fibromyalgia )existed long before I was obese... but my excrutiating knee pain, acid reflex, chronic cough, & insomnia did not.
This week, my primary physician referred me to the Gastric Surgery specialist... the informational seminar that I'm attending tonight is required before ever meeting with a surgeon to be evaluated for weight-loss surgery.
I've always been 100% against the gastric bypass surgery for myself, personally. I'm not OK with being spliced and diced and having my plumbing re-routed. The lap band is what I currently intend to go forward with.
I also know that the significant weight loss can improve my chances of getting pregnant, regulate my menstrual cycle, and have a safer, easier pregnancy. I want to be able to run around the yard with my kids and teach them how to play baseball, ride a bike, and climb a tree- all things that might bot be as easy in my current condition.

I'm suddenly getting nauseous and nervous! But we'll see what happens after my meeting tonight! Prayers are needed and appreciated :)