Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve...A Look Back

New Year’s Eve. Getting better and better every year. I know I have made great strides in accepting who I am and loving who that person is. The body has been the last holdout for me...well, occasionally I have stupid doubts about my lovability...but I am making progress with that as well.

Moving forward in 2008, I'm going to remind myself of this next quote:

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller

As of today, I have lost 100.6 lbs. in 2007. Wow.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best Christmas Ever!

This year has been our best Christmas ever! My son is SOOO the perfect age for this! He still believes in Santa (I'm not sure now many more years I'll get out of it, but I'm hoping for AT LEAST one more), and his excitement about all this Christmas is outstanding! We baked and decorated tons of sugar cookies on Sunday (much to MY demise). He was so excited to give gifts out, he woke up at 5:50 a.m. Christmas day and was so cute...woke up saying "Mom, has Santa already been here?" (I was already awake.) I said "yes sweetheart." He bolted up and said "as soon as I stretched I'm wide awake!" I teased him and said "you don't want to go check your presents NOW do you? You want to sleep a little more, don't you?" He met my question with a resounding "NO SLEEP!" He was patient though and waited for me to make the coffee and serve it (my brother and sister-in-law had slept over), and so he was all snuggly on the sofa bed with my sister-in-law (I got a picture of that) and then he was just so cute and thankful for the things he got. Of course, he was told that Santa ALSO visited my brother and sister-in-law's for him, and so after he got his Nintendo DS at home, he said "I get Santa brought me a Wii at Uncle Andy's house". We talked about how Santa typically limits each child to one electronic game system per this might not be the year he gets a Wii. But he was nonetheless very happy with what he got, and he got me a Webkinz Reindeer (I had gotten him one as well), so they are now twins and are named Rudolph and Randolph. And we talked about Santa...and how Santa and Christmas are both all about love, and that love is magic...and that is why Santa is magic and he exists in every single person who shows their love for others. He is just a little love...and he so gets it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Party at Work....Watch Out

We had our holiday luncheon here at work today. Everything was catered in from a local Italian place. I made good overall food choices (had some mini meatballs, chicken with vegetables, skipped the pasta, some salad, some sausage with peppers and onions and some eggplant parm, probably the "worst" thing in the bunch)...but I just had too much of it. Nothing got stuck, and I didn't feel sick...I just feel way, way too full, over an hour and a half after I finished eating. I'm ready for a nap.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Down to 158 lbs.

158 lbs. now. Wow. Getting closer to having lost 100 lbs. since this time last year.

I am still working on finding my place in this world...but I'm settling a little better every day. My family is my son, my brother and sister-in-law, and her family, as well as the wonderful network of close friends I have developed over the years. They truly are my family. It seems that many of them have stepped up to fill greater roles in my (and my son's) life after the death of my mom. Dad passed away 21 years ago. Mom just 1.5 years ago. Family has been redefined over the years and, in particular, this past 1.5 years. I'm happy with my family. The biological members don’t really know as much about the ins and outs of my weight loss journey, but my friends (in particular through support group and OH) know all the inner workings of my food addiction “recovery.”

I do believe in spirit and souls and that we are all connected. I just have issues with something called God. I lost my dad when I was 16...and then he died when I was 20. I had limited contact with him from the time I was 13 until 16, and I can definitely empathize with the hole it leaves. I spent years watching him wither away from multiple sclerosis (he was diagnosed when I was 4). I watched him go from an intelligent and soft-spoken man to a man who could not speak, walk, feed himself or attend to any other needs himself at all. I watched both of my parents battle chronic illnesses while I grew up...and I endured a lot of questions from my peers as an elementary-aged child about why my dad always did the "hula" when he stood (his balance was greatly impacted in the very beginning of his disease when he could still stand). His death when I was 20 really brought me to my knees. I hadn't seen him or talked to him in 4 years and I was consumed with guilt. I just couldn't even function. And that used to give me such anxiety about how I would cope when my mom passed as she and I were so much closer. I'm thankful for the years I had with her. I wish things had ended on a more positive note (we weren't in a good place with each other at the time of her death). I think it will always hurt.

This year is the second Christmas without my mom. She died very unexpectedly at age 64 of a massive pulmonary embolism. It took us all completely by surprise. She loved Christmas...she WAS Christmas for our family. Last year was hard. This year feels better, even though sad. I do know that she would be happy to have us enjoy the holiday and not be filled with sorrow. And I try to remind myself of that on the more down days. It is also a very good time to reflect on the sweet along with the bitter. I will be eternally grateful for this gift that is my son...he turned my life into something wonderful. Thank goodness for sweet little boys who have infectious enthusiasm for getting Christmas trees up and decorated. If not for Zachary, I probably wouldn't have gotten this done at all. But it's up, and he did a beautiful job decorating. The cats are poised to get the ornaments down.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Annual Review...An "A-ha" Moment

I just had my annual review at work and I don't know whether to laugh or cry just let this headache that is in my brain take over. I have been with my current company for 3.5 years. Until probably the past 7 months, it was a pretty hellish existence here. My former boss, for whatever reason, didn't seem to like me much. I thought I was paranoid for a long time. When I would ask him for feedback on what the issue was, he would actually yell at me and reduce me to tears (much to my own dismay). He left last December, and a senior QA engineer stepped up to be our manager. He stayed until May and then left for another opportunity. That's when my current boss took over as our manager.

My current boss has been here for many years but in a different role. The first thing he did today when we sat down to go over my review was ask me what the story was the past several years because my reviews from past years didn't at all reflect my work, my work ethic, who I am from what he has seen and he literally thought he was looking at the wrong review. He asked if I had become a completely different person in the past 6 months. In some ways I have, but not with regards to my work. So he knew there must be some kind of history there and wanted to ask me about it. I had to ask him first to confirm for me that what he was saying is that he is happy with my work, and not that my work quality is less than what he has read about in the past. He was astonished I even needed to ask.

Suffice it to say that basically, he validated my suspicions of my prior boss. It is apparent that not only did my prior boss not speak well of my skill or dedication, but that he went so far as to just about malign me to other departments in the organization. I thanked my current boss for having an open mind before forming his opinion of me and my work, and giving me the opportunity to show him who I am and what I am capable of.

So yes, this is all good...wonderful in fact. But it is seriously with tears in my eyes and my head pounding at how much shit I have dealt with in the past 3 years here that I think about all the validation he gave me.

Have you ever had those "a-ha" moments when you realize just how crappy you've allowed yourself to be treated, in so many ways, and while you're glad that you're not allowing it anymore, it breaks your heart that you thought so little of yourself for so long? That's what's going through my head right now. And I don’t know if the treatment I received before was due to being obese, but it has definitely crossed my mind.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fear of Intimacy

Several years ago I came to the realization that I had some serious fears of intimacy. I've done a lot of work on those, I think, in therapy…at least as much work as I can without a partner. Someday, I will have a partner who is kind and understanding and I will work through that stuff that can only really be worked out through being in a relationship. But, because of that fear, it was so much easier to be fat and as such, never have anyone (i.e., men) pay me any attention. It was safer to just hide out under my fat. And I struggle with not hiding behind that fat anymore...I still don't really get much male attention so it hasn't become an issue as yet. But, I get plenty of female compliments and such...and plenty of male compliments that aren't flirtation...and I just graciously say thank you and do my best to accept and internalize it. We've worked damn hard to get hard as it is sometimes to know we're being noticed, looked at, paid attention to, I think the more we accept it graciously the more used to it we become and the less foreign it feels. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Pies...Trouble

I have yet to do something that really pushed the limits to see if I dump, except for Thanksgiving day. I had a sliver of pumpkin pie, and then a slightly larger piece of apple pie. I can't say I dumped exactly, but I felt awful. I was queasy for a good 2.5 hours and felt awful, bloated, and was horribly gassy the rest of the evening. So I’m still not sure if I dump or not, but I'm not really all that tempted to find out right now after how icky I felt just after the pie.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Almost 100 lbs. Lost!

Down to 167 lbs. Almost 100 lbs. lost since my initial consult with Dr. B.

What would have been my mom’s 66th birthday just recently passed. It's only her second birthday since she died. I didn't talk to my brother or sister-in-law on her birthday, but I did remind my son that it would have been her birthday. Otherwise, no one mentioned it, which made me kind of sad. Today, I got an email from my mom's best friend from high school saying that she was thinking about us, knew it was mom's birthday this week, and wondered how we are doing. I have finally lost enough weight (and pudginess in my fingers) to be able to wear a ring that she gave me for my birthday several years ago. So now whenever I look at the ring, I think of her and it makes me smile. And today I thought about how proud she would be, and happy for me, that my WLS journey is going as well as it is. I just wanted to share my thoughts since most everyone else in my life kept the day pretty quiet yesterday.

Should we talk about sex? Yes, since surgery my sex drive has definitely been on the rise. But, alas, I do not have a significant other. Enter Friends With Benefits (FWBs). I was explaining this to someone else today...I am monogamous even in my FWBs relationships...for me, I have to have an emotional connection to feel comfortable enough to really enjoy sex...and then, all is good. I seem to be past the days where I could just hook up with someone. I used to be able to...but to be honest, I have found sex to be so much better when I'm comfortable and really care about the person. Even if it's not someone I'm dating but someone who is "just" a FWB, I have an emotional attachment to that person. It just works better for me that way. I know, I probably sound like a freak. Can't just hook up...been there and done that and I think hurt my heart one too many times because even despite my best efforts to remain somewhat emotionally detached, I always end up getting emotionally attached. So, now I just don't sleep with someone unless I have some emotional attachment and deep affection for him to begin with. There is only one person who has been an FWB for me in the past 4.5 years. One. Yup, that makes it monogamous for me.

With that said, I still have growing concerns about actually dating someone and the loose skin I’m beginning to notice on my belly and thighs and breasts. It’s hard for me to tell how much of my belly skin is the way it is because I was heavy and have lost weight, and how much is due to having had a baby. I have never been think post-partum, so I never knew what my belly looked like. I’ve seen way worse, but I’ve also seen better. As for the beautifully full round breasts I used to have? Well, to steal someone else’s phrase, they now look more like two lemons in tube socks. They are just not attractive now that they’re all deflated. Oh well…I’ll deal with it to feel better, have the energy I have…I’ll focus on my increased enthusiasm and activity level when the time comes instead of loose skin, and hopefully so will any partner I have.

The past few weeks I have been feeling extreme hunger within maybe half an hour to an hour after meals. I don't feel hungry immediately after eating, but it doesn't take long before I am wanting to eat again. I'm trying to determine if it’s genuine hunger or head hunger, though I and haven't caved to any cravings even when they are there. I just keep telling myself that if I start snacking, grazing, reintroducing refined carbs now, before I'm even at goal, my weight loss will be over for me, and I cannot go there. My son's Halloween candy is still beckoning me though I haven't caved.

Monday, November 12, 2007


My son and I made cupcakes last night...he chose to make vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting...the only thing I would have liked better is if they were with vanilla frosting. Every time I smell them, it is so hard to walk away from them. And he can't get them out of the container it's this huge waft of wonderful smell every time he gets one. *sigh* I will be SOOO glad when PMS is over this month. I am thoroughly unconvinced that I will survive it this month unscathed.

Friday, November 9, 2007

4 Months Post-op

I’m 4 months post-op today. I have so many things to be thankful for...and many of them are really just about my life in general.

First, I am thankful for my little boy, who is the absolute light of my life and gives me great reason to want to be the best human being I can be. He has been my teacher with regards to unconditional love, joy, compassion and sensitivity. He is the absolute best thing to ever come into my life. Without him, I probably would not have cared enough about myself or my life to have undertaken this surgery that is changing my life so much. It is because I wanted to make sure I would be around for him as he grows up, and it is because I want to enjoy my time with him, that I considered the risks of surgery worth taking.

I am thankful for the time I had with my mother...and in a strange way, as much as I miss her, and this will sound very strange, I am grateful for the events which led up to my surgery...that is, she passed away very unexpectedly (which I am NOT thankful for)...but the shock of it, the loss of my mother at age 38 after losing my father when I was 20, well, made me realize that I could not and would not continue living my life as I had. I needed to make some big changes and her death was the impetus for many of those changes.

I am grateful for my wonderful friends who have supported me throughout this journey so far, who may not understand everything I am going through, but who are there nonetheless, to listen, to love, to lend a helping hand when I need it. We don't get to pick our families...but we do get to pick our friends and I have some of the greatest on this Earth, I have no doubt.

I am grateful for an incredibly competent and compassionate weight loss surgery team for their physical and emotional care with me. My 4 month labs are back and everything looks great (except my B-12 is actually high, so we'll have to figure out how much to cut back on my B-12 sublingual). I am so grateful that I have so many wonderful years ahead of me and that I now have the hope that I will find love and companionship throughout my life.

I am grateful for ObesityHelp and the people I am getting to know there who have really become much like extended family. The support I have gotten there is tremendous and the importance of which cannot be overstated, ever.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Down to 175 lbs.

I'm down to 175 lbs., from a starting weight of 254 lbs. It's hard for even me to believe sometimes.

I think what finally brought me to the decision of having WLS was that I had successfully, and healthfully, lost about 75 lbs. about 10 years ago. I kept it off for about a year...I changed my included eating healthy foods primarily, and the occasional treat...and it included regular, intense exercise and weight training. Then I injured my knee running and moved to a place that gave me grief about doing my NordicTrack in the early morning (they said it made too much noise). There were a lot of other things going on as well, but in essence, all the lifestyle changes I made and was so proud of, went to the wayside. My romantic relationship was on very thin ice. I lost hope that I could ever successfully lose that weight and change my life again. I knew how to eat...I enjoyed eating properly...I can do well for such a long time and then it's like something would snap in my brain and I would no longer be in control of myself with eating and exercise.

I discussed this at length with Dr. B at my initial consult because I needed to know that if I had RNY, it would actually make a difference. How would it be different from things I’d done before? If I had made all these changes before and hadn't been able to stick to them long-term then, what about this surgery would make this time different? And we talked at length about how it is a tool, to help you listen to your body's own signals about satiety and fullness, and that it won't do the work but will help when the work gets tough...if I listen to it and use it as intended. So, that's been my plan since I made this commitment to myself and the surgery. I had the surgery because I felt like I was eating myself to death. I am a single mom to a 6.5 year old little boy...and I couldn't leave him on his own so it became worth the risks of surgery to have a better and longer life for myself and for him. And I know I will succeed...because I've given myself no other choice.

All of my pre-op issues are still there...the ones that make me feel insecure, weepy, worthless. And they are more in my face now because I'm not self-medicating with food...or alcohol...or anything else. Just me and my emotions and, thankfully, a good counselor and wonderful friends. I think some days are just crap, you know? And then another one begins...and it doesn't have to be crap. I’ve made some really awesome friends through NSMC’s weight loss surgery program…people who have become my day to day support, sounding board, people who understand what I need to be doing to be successful with my surgery and life. And then there is the online community of friends I have formed on I’ve connected with so many other people who are living this life and these struggles and successes just like I am.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Struggles with Self-doubt

I'm really struggling with self-doubt...I want to feel good, be happy, and this week is just challenging me so much. I know I have made great strides with my weight loss and body...I know that I'm in a much better place than I have been before in terms of self-esteem. I had memories flooding my head of so many of the issues with my mom that affect my self-esteem even now. She's been gone for almost 1.5 years now...and I know that all the years before took their toll on me...I just am feeling very alone, lonely, unlovable and honestly, wondering whether I will ever find someone that just loves me...truly loves me.

I bought a corset today...never purchased anything quite like that in my life. And as I tried it on behind the closed door of my bedroom, my 6.5 year old barged in (nothing new there), and I tried to cover up. He was with me when I bought it and said "Are you trying on your stuff? Can I see it?" It was just a corset, and I knew the situation would go away so much quicker if I just let him see me. He looked and he said "awwww mom, you look BEAUTIFUL!" You know, I sat there and thought in my head "yeah, sure I do."

Heaven help me because I did not struggle in the first 3 months post-op with much of anything...didn't grieve the loss of food...didn't have a hard time eating...these are just all of my same old issues that have never gone away, that I work on day in and day out in my life and in therapy. I just need some reassurance that someday these feelings and thoughts will really become part of my past, and not my present and future.

Friday, September 21, 2007

10 Weeks Post-op...Wow Moments and New Stirrings

I’m a little over 10 weeks out now. I’ve lost about 32 lbs. since surgery. Since my consult with Dr. B, I’m down about 65 lbs. I feel SO much better than I did. Before surgery, I was wearing size 24 pants (and they were TIGHT) and 2X tops.

There are many things that are becoming more active in my life…like the desire to be in a relationship with someone. I've been both heavy and thin as an adult. There are huge differences in my self-confidence and outgoingness. I have found that when I'm heavier, I really close myself off to people of the opposite sex...I won't even flirt because there's a part of me that's thinking the other person will think "eeew, why on EARTH would she even think I'd be interested to even flirt with her?" I know that's my own issue, not really the other person's (at least I hope not). But it's part of what the weight does in my head...and it makes me a very different, less outgoing person in many ways when I’m heavier. Losing weight means regaining some of that self-confidence and putting myself out there a little more. And with that comes greater risk of being hurt. All things that I will need to deal with.

I’ve had lots of “wow” moments these past two months or so. Coworkers have been so positive and supportive of me these past few months, remarking on how good I Look. My clothes have gone from being so tight they were uncomfortable, to fitting comfortably again, and then becoming baggy and loose. I am now able to take care of personal hygiene properly and thoroughly without becoming a contortionist. My bra is finally becoming so big that the band is loose and the fabric of the cup is so wrinkled that it can't be hidden under clothing so I’ve had to buy some new ones. My son recently started back to school this week and the other moms and his teacher were telling me how incredible I look. We ran into my son's best friend's older sister (who is all of 13) last night at a local pizza place...and she apparently went home and told her mom “MOM! I saw Zachary's mom and she looks INCREDIBLE!” All really feel-good moments. I think I've been living inside myself for a little too long...and I'm done with that...thin, fat, whatever.

October 14, 2007
I'm really struggling with self-doubt...I want to feel good, be happy, and this week is just challenging me so much. I know I have made great strides with my weight loss and body...I know that I'm in a much better place than I have been before in terms of self-esteem. I had memories flooding my head of so many of the issues with my mom that affect my self-esteem even now. She's been gone for almost 1.5 years now...and I know that all the years before took their toll on me...I just am feeling very alone, lonely, unlovable and honestly, wondering whether I will ever find someone that just loves me...truly loves me.

I bought a corset today...never purchased anything quite like that in my life. And as I tried it on behind the closed door of my bedroom, my 6.5 year old barged in (nothing new there), and I tried to cover up. He was with me when I bought it and said "Are you trying on your stuff? Can I see it?" It was just a corset, and I knew the situation would go away so much quicker if I just let him see me. He looked and he said "awwww mom, you look BEAUTIFUL!" You know, I sat there and thought in my head "yeah, sure I do."

Heaven help me because I did not struggle in the first 3 months post-op with much of anything...didn't grieve the loss of food...didn't have a hard time eating...these are just all of my same old issues that have never gone away, that I work on day in and day out in my life and in therapy. I just need some reassurance that someday these feelings and thoughts will really become part of my past, and not my present and future.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Comments on Size - A Painful Memory

Children commenting on size...I think I've blocked a lot of these incidents from my mind. Like the time when my son's father and I were buying a home together and his daughter, who was 4 at the time, was with us and the realtor as we were reviewing the inspection papers. I was maybe 30 to 40 lbs. overweight at the time. I don't remember why she said it, but the 4 year old said something very fresh to me about being so fat...and her dad's reaction to it (he went way overboard on reprimanding her) almost mortified me more because I would rather have ignored it. It didn't help that he didn't even want to have a physical relationship with me at that point because he was turned off by the weight I had gained. I can only imagine how much I disgusted him in the years that followed when we were no longer together and my weight continued to rise to its all-time high of 254, which at not quite 5'2" is getting up there. And then there are the pictures that my own son, who I know adores me, has drawn of us together, he is tiny and slim and I am very, very round. He's told me (without meaning harm, just stating fact) that I am fat and we've had many discussions about how it makes people feel to focus on any one aspect of their bodies that they may not feel so good about. I will never forget one time we were watching a show (I was, he happened to be next to me) on weight loss surgery. One of the women there was very, very large and my son was laughing. He was 5 at the time. I asked him what he thought was so funny, and he started telling me how it's funny that she is so fat. We had a very serious discussion that night about people and their appearance and their feelings. He's little, and he hates it when people refer to him as peanut, or call him small, and so I made sure he understood that it really is no different for someone who is big and heavy...sensitivity training starts so early...and so does the prejudice.

The only other stories I have about being heavy are really from issues with my family (mom mostly) regarding my weight. Her obsession with my weight started when I was pretty young and she made other people obsess about it until I was humiliated. I remember shopping for clothing with her when I was probably 9 or 10, and having been an early bloomer, I had hips and breasts already and clothing in the juniors (or misses?) section didn't fit me like she thought it should. So she yelled at me in the store, in front of everyone, telling me that these clothes SHOULD fit me, and that she was putting me on a diet when we got home. She was angry and I was mortified and ashamed. There was a lot of ridicule from her about my size growing up and even as an adult, though she became more subtle in her undermining.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Zachary Makes Me Laugh

Zachary wanted me to take a picture of him picking his nose. What a goof.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Doubts..And Emotions Behind Eating

Being a new post-op, I have certainly had my moments of doubt about this surgery. I have failed so many times at diets...or rather, succeeded at the diet, failed at the long-term maintenance. I have been in therapy pretty much since I was 12 years old, when I was diagnosed as anorexic. I have worked (mentally/emotionally) on my food issues for many, many years. I have a lot of insight into the reasons I ate...but still not the ability to STOP myself from doing it.

One of the things that I think has been really important for me to recognize in myself in choosing RNY is that I needed the physical tool to help me STOP eating. I think that if the reasons we eat (emotional) go unchecked and unexamined, we run the risk of failing at this as well.

Another reason why this was the right choice for me is because I need and want to deal with my emotions and emotional reasons for eating. It is part of my process as a developing and evolving human being...I want to be better, not just physically but mentally...better able to live and cope with life. I think my tool is helping me learn how to do that because I can't hide behind food or fat anymore.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kashi Go-Lean Crunch Blues

Oh lord...just let this pain go away. I've been severely nauseous before, had foamies, but never all out gotten sick...until now. Kashi Go-Lean Crunch. It must have completely swelled up in my tummy. It hurts. Whine whine whine, I shouldn't complain...I know others deal with this on a daily basis. I’m over 7 weeks out and this is my first time getting sick.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sore Tummy, Fever....Constipation

It has been a very, very long night. I have been running a fever since yesterday stomach/pouch area has been hurting since Sunday (which I am hoping is due to constipation, the lesser of evils) Last night I felt so physically awful that I could only sit and cry, just wanting to make it to the morning to take my son to camp and then to my appointment with Dr. B. today. He was in surgery all day yesterday and so he never called me back. I'm so scared of something happening to me and not being able to take care of my son. I have been up since 4 a.m., unable to get comfortable in bed but the aches and tummy pain are too bad despite taking Tylenol. I just want to feel up to the task of taking care of my little boy pronto.

So the first thing Dr. B. said as he walked into the examining room was "I was supposed to call you back last night. What's going on?" I filled him in. He felt my belly, said that it felt pretty good considering I'm backed up. He said we can't even address fixing the fissures until the constipation issue is resolved otherwise they will just recur. He prescribed Enulose Syrup, a sugar that basically irritates the colon to get it moving along. He said it basically came before Miralax and I won't have to take as much of it to get the benefit. He said if the abdominal pain and fever aren't better in the next day or so that I’ll need to call him and he'll want to do blood work and possibly a CT scan. I'm waiting until I get home from work this evening to take the Enulose...I'd much rather be in my own home using my own bathroom if the runs are finally going to come.

I'm still running a temp and my body aches all over...but this too shall pass. He said some folks occasionally run a temp with constipation...that it would be unlikely to be any kind of post-op infection at 6 weeks out (which I agree with him on). If the constipation continues this severely, he said we'll stop the iron for a couple of weeks until I'm more regulated and try again.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Close Call While Eating

I am 5 weeks out today and have done very well compared to many. However, I still have my moments, like this entire weekend. I tend to wake up with a queasy tummy. I have found that I tolerate cottage cheese and canned fruit (peaches, pears) well and then my tummy is happier and doesn't get queasy for hours on end. That said, last night I still had an issue while I was eating my dinner. I had made sword fish kabobs with peppers and tomatoes. I was going along just fine (I chew really well, so well that most things don't require me to swallow, they just kind of dissolve eventually in my mouth), and then about 3 bites into the fish, I had that feeling like it was stuck...and my mouth started to water like it does just before I'm ready to vomit. Now, I have yet to vomit since I've had surgery...I'm deathly afraid of I've learned to close my eyes, relax and breath as deeply as I can and visualize everything going down smoothly. So far that has worked for me. But last night was darn close.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

One Month Post-op

One month post-op! I’ve lost about 15.5 lbs. in the past month. Not too bad. I had a week or two where I lost nothing, but I was prepared for that to happen and I knew I was doing everything I should be doing (drinking, having my CIB, etc.) so it wasn’t possible for me to not lose eventually. I have done really, really well. I’ve managed to get in my protein every day, and though not all of my fluids, most of them. I haven’t mourned food as some people say they do. I never really thought of anything as being off-limits for the rest of my life…just that it might be a while before I could have some things in moderate quantities. Nothing feels lost forever.

I'm now making the transition to "regular food" again nicely. It's good to eat, and good to feel restriction. It makes me feel so much more in control than the constant hunger I had before surgery. I went back to work far earlier than I wanted to (they called me on day 9 post-op, and I started working from home that day, and then back in the office on my two week surgiversary). I have done my best to keep up...and I think I’ve done darn well. Occasionally it catches up with me and well, I'm one person, doing a lot (raising my son, working full time, recovering from surgery)...and the one thing I can't afford to lose is my's why I did this in the first place. So when it gets too much and I’m fatigued (which happens towards the end of the day), I head home early.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

OK to Eat Solid Foods Again!

If I had any doubts about doing this surgery, I do not have them anymore. I had my Heart & Wellness appointment this morning (blood work done, met with the NUT and nurse) and I'm doing great as far as they are concerned. I got the go ahead to have regular soft solids! Now, I have had little to no issues in the liquid states (except occasionally some mild nausea) and so part of me wondered "did I really get what I hoped to out of this procedure, the restriction I needed/wanted?"

So with the go-ahead to have real food, I went to lunch with a coworker to a local Thai restaurant. I ordered the chicken green curry, asked them to hold the rice. I split the chicken into two portions right off the bat (figuring there was probably 3 to 4 ounces in the entire dish) and started on my lunch half. The first several bites went down great...and then I started to "feel" them...not really in a bad way, but in a way that reassured me and told me "yup, you have restriction, you are more limited in the quantities you can eat." And I was SO happy about this. I got through my half...the last bite I had was absolutely the last bite I could have and I had a few minutes of discomfort but I just breathed through them. In 5 minutes, the discomfort had passed and I had already given them my dish to wrap up the rest. I will have some veggies later for a snack as I didn't have room for them at lunch. It tasted SOOOOOO good!!!!

All that time on liquids was worth the wait for solids to know that my pouch has healed. And the taste of wonderful food again??? YUM!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fears About Not Losing Weight

I have the fear that I won’t lose weight regularly. I do my best not to dwell on it and remind myself that if I eat as I should the majority of the time and exercise, I will be successful. I also try really hard to remind myself that my goal wasn't just weight loss but a healthier body and lifestyle. I never told myself I could never have certain foods again, just that it would be a while before I could have them and I would enjoy them in much more moderation than in the past. From what I hear, it’s pretty common for weight loss surgery patients to think they will be “the one” who doesn’t lose.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Egg Over Easy

I meet with Melinda (the Nutritionist) next Tuesday (YEAH! solid foods here I come). I met with Dr. B. last week. He said I could try an egg, scrambled, hard boiled, whatever. I tried scrambled on Saturday. Got about halfway through and really felt done. Had an over easy egg Sunday and got probably three quarters of the way through that and felt done. Yesterday, I had a hard boiled egg, and finished it all. I felt satisfied and done when it was gone...not over full, but definitely full. And I found myself wondering if I should have been able to eat that much. Should a whole egg be too much food at this point? Should 1/2 a cup of small curd cottage cheese eaten over a period of 20 minutes be too much if it isn't making me uncomfortable?

So I called and talked to Melinda. She said that yup, I should be able to fit a whole egg (and probably little more), and that 1/2 cup of small curd cottage cheese is fine too. She said I was doing great, that next week we'd get me on even more different foods (YEAH!!!). She said it's really just getting the stomach/pouch re-acclimated to food, which is why it felt so different (kind of odd/strange) the first time I had egg and stopped so soon, and got a little farther the second day, and then finished the egg on the third. I feel relieved.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back from Post-op Visit

Back from my post-op visit with Dr. B and all is well. My blood pressure is a little on the low side so he may want me to change my daily migraine medication from a long-acting to short-acting dosage if it doesn't improve. My incisions are healing, although a little slowly. The painful "lump" that I have under my largest incision is from a very deep and tight stitch bunching up tissue. He said it will just take time for it to release. Two of my other incisions have scratchy internal sutures that have come to the surface. He said those will dissolve in time. According to his scale, I've lost 18 lbs. in 4 weeks, including my pre-op liquid diet. He seemed happy. And yippee, in another week he said I could try a scrambled or hard-boiled egg if I'm desperate for something. I don't think I've ever hankered for an egg quite this way before.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Two Weeks Post-op

Two weeks post-op. I’ve lost 11 lbs. I think I’m doing pretty good. I’m tired, very, very tired and still kind of sore in the tummy. But I’m getting in all my protein, all my water. The fatigue is pretty bad, but I haven’t taken any pain meds in a few days…not even at night to help me sleep. I’m still having some issues with insomnia. It kicked up again right after surgery.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Home After Surgery

I have been home since Thursday evening. I have a 6.5 year old little boy who has some anxiety issues, and has been very, very relieved that mom is home and doing fine. He tries very hard to let me rest, but after 20 minutes he forgets and comes and talks to me, so I haven't had a nap during the day since I've been home. I tried to arrange for play dates over the weekend for him to get out, and none of his friends were available. My friend came over to take him out for a bit and he refused to go. So, I have had no down time. I'm weepy.

I have a brother and sister-in-law. They kept my son overnights (when he wasn't in day camp) last week while I was in the hospital three nights. Since I've been home, it's kind of like they're "done" with assisting me. They took us to the grocery store yesterday (Sunday), but other than that, we haven't seen them since Thursday evening. They know that I haven't gotten any naps in (they say "I'm sorry" but never offer to take him off my hands for any amount of time). For some reason, this is the week they've decided they need to start house hunting and so, that is what they did all weekend. And my brother is excited and calls to tell me about the houses they saw, etc. etc. And I try to listen and be cheerful and supportive...but I am tired and growing resentful that my friends (thankfully) have been more understanding of me needing rest than my family (he and my sister-in-law) have been.

My mom passed away May 2006 unexpectedly...she was a huge helping hand with my son. He's refusing to go to camp today and I don't have it in me to fight with him about it. I was supposed to start back at work half days working from home this week, but I'm still taking some pain medication to help me sleep and I can't really function the way I need to when I'm on that stuff. I feel alone and I want to cry...I thankfully do not want to eat, but I feel sad and overwhelmed and alone.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Surgery Day!

Today is the day! I got Zachary off to camp this morning and my friend Phyllis will be here shortly to take me to the hospital. I’m glad she’ll be there with me. I know she can’t wait with me before I go in, but just knowing that she is there and will talk to my surgeon and pass along how I did to my friends and family is reassuring. She and I have talked about this quite a bit and she also is one to help keep me positive.

I have been excited and scared at the same time, and I’ve really tried hard to focus on the positive and do a lot of visualization of a wonderful procedure and outcome. But when I think about the potential for something to go wrong and what that would mean in terms of leaving Zachary without a mom, well, I get very teary and scared. So, I’ve had to talk myself out of that kind of thinking every time it creeps in. And Phyllis is really good about keeping me on track that way. I realize there are risks with this (or any) surgery. But I have done absolutely everything I can to prepare my mind and body for this…I have to trust that I’m ready and everything will be fine. I’ve lost 11 lbs. on the pre-op liquid diet. I plan to tell Dr. B. that I didn’t cheat even once…which I didn’t, because I want my liver to be the smallest liver he’s ever seen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Date of Surgery Confirmed!

June 12 2007. I just heard from Nancy at Dr. B’s office and I'm booked for surgery on Monday, July 9th. :) She said when she gets it all together she'll send me confirmation and such. Yeah!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

20 lbs. Lost, Week 8 of Cardiac Risk Reduction

Tonight was week 8 of the Risk Reduction Program. Both Heidi and Melinda feel that if I feel ready for the surgery, that they feel I am ready for it. Heidi said she and Melinda would touch base last night, and she'd give me a call to let me know definitively next Monday when she is in again, but that is how they both felt. I'm excited, and nervous/scared. I’ve lost just about 20 lbs. during my time in the Risk Reduction Program.

I have really just tried to keep my focus on being healthier, because that is what is going to keep me alive while I raise my son...not specifically losing the weight. If I'm doing the right things, with support, the weight will follow suit. As such, I just need to keep doing what I'm doing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Brother's Wedding

Today was my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. I’m down about 10 lbs. now since starting Risk Reduction, and yet this is the only dress I had that I could squeeze into. I’m glad I at least had something to wear. I hate the way I look. I’m about 245 lbs. in this picture.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Starting Cardiac Risk Reduction

I went to the first meeting of the Cardiac Risk Reduction Program on Wednesday. I enjoyed it, to be was purely "me" time...and it felt good to get some exercise and realize that I could still be comfortable doing it (except for some knee/foot pain...I'm going to see about switching to something other than the treadmill next week...either that, or it's time for another cortisone injection in my foot). In the meeting portion afterwards, it was very relieving for me to see that there were others there for pre-op to gastric bypass. I hadn't realized that it wasn't "just me" who the team decided they wanted to have a little more time to evaluate. It made me see that it isn't really about my history as much as I might have thought...and it validated the perspective I was trying to adopt that these are all things that will prepare me better for surgery and post-surgery.

My sleep is definitely better. I've really only had one night in the past week and half or two (since starting the Ambien) that I've been up and stayed up a bit because I couldn't sleep. I also bought some guided meditation CDs that I really like...some are great for before bed, but one of them is for the "busy person" and so each meditation is 10 minutes or I can actually just do one at my desk during lunch if I'm so inclined.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Delays, Delays, Delays

Today, the weight loss surgery team met and discussed my case. They have not outright denied me at this time from having the surgery, but they are delaying me. They want me to participate in the Pre-Op Risk Reduction Program, run by the NSMC Heart and Wellness Center, who also runs the post-operative program I would need to attend as well. It includes nutritional counseling, cognitive strategies, dietary changes, etc.

Because I still have some issues with depression, and am going through a bunch of things to try and resolve that, and one of the biggest issues is my chronic insomnia, they want to make sure my medication is stable/unchanging, and hope that additionally my degree of depression can be lessened. In addition, because of my history of eating disorders, and because as recently as last year I went off a diet (Medifast) cold turkey (after mom died), without transitioning to regular food again, and as a result gained significant weight, they don't feel certain that I wouldn't respond similarly under great stress and eat compulsively. Their concern then becomes "will she overeat beyond the point of pain? Will she rupture her staples and pouch?" It's not that I don't understand their just feels very much like having been totally honestly about my past is a penalty. Pat (the coordinator) assured me that it was not...if their answer at this point was an outright no, she could see how I would feel that way...but they aren't saying that.

That's where things stand. I was pretty upset when she told me. The tears wouldn't stop falling and the sobbing took a while to subside, which absolutely stinks when you're at work, trying to keep things quiet because you're in a cube where everyone three rows over can hear you. My boss came by because we were supposed to meet as a team to go over some stuff...I had to apologize and tell him I needed a few minutes. This too shall pass, and I'll be better prepared for all of this anyway.

It is help...not in the exact form I wanted right now, but it will be helpful nonetheless.