Easter Victory

prideSo, I was completely nervous going into this holiday weekend. Why? Because Easter was my first holiday that celebrates with food since my weight loss surgery. Well, there was St. Patrick’s day, but it was easy to forgo the potatoes and focus on the protein. Oh, but yesterday’s spread, let me tell you, there was so much delicious smelling and looking foods that I wanted to dive into…but I didn’t, and I am SO proud of myself. It might not be that big of a deal for most people, but today I am totally holding my head a little higher and feeling more confident!

Last week I met with my counselor and she kept drilling it in me that FOOD IS FUEL. Yea ok, that is not an easy thing to retrain a fat girl mind to believe. Food is supposed to taste good, be delicious. Food is fun, food is social, but fuel? That’s boring LOL. She told me that the celebration is the people around the food, NOT the food itself. All week I kept reminding myself this, over and over again. I honestly believe that is what helped me get through yesterday. (but DAMN that baklava sure did look amazing)

DadsLily.pngEaster service was amazing. The music was beyond uplifting and I absolutely LOVE my Church! This year I decided to have one of the Easter lilies they use to decorate the Church dedicated to the memory of my Dad. It made me feel like he was a part of the service. They printed his name in the bulletin along with the other families who honored their loved ones. I’ve decided that I’m going to plant it next to the lily of the valley we planted this year that remind me of my Grandmother (his Mom). It will be a nice tribute I think, having them planted together.

I have been slacking with going to the gym the past couple weeks, so I have decided to make sure that I do a walk today, and get my butt back into the gym. I want to make sure that I make it there a minimum of twice a week. Ideally I’d like to go 4 times a week, 2 classes and 2 separate workouts, but for now I would be happy with actually going twice a week over not going at all.

I did get some good news when I went and saw my Endocrinologist last week. She performed a series of blood test earlier in the week to test my diabetes and my thyroid. She had given me a C-Peptide test about a year ago and determined that after all these years of thinking I was a type 2 diabetic, I was actually type 1. At the time it was discouraging news because it meant that even after my WLS I would probably never get of diabetic medicine. The positive side was that almost immediately after surgery I DID get off insulin and was only on Metformin. I spoke with my surgeon and he explained that he has seen many a patient’s pancreas recover and heal itself after WLS and to not lose hope. I went back to my ENDO and relayed the info and we both remained hopeful. Well, she redid a C-Peptide test and after only 2 months from my surgery, it is back up and I am now considered a type 2 diabetic again! This means that there IS hope that someday I WILL be able to be off my diabetes medicine!  WHOHOOOO!

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I did however get two bits of discouraging news from her during that same visit. First, she informed me that she is leaving the practice. Ok well, THAT SUCKS! I really grew to like her. Let’s face it, we bonded. She helped me get my A1C down from a 9.7 to a 6.2! She has worked with me when my thyroid issues ping ponging between hyper and hypothyroidism. UGH, I mean I wish her all the best, but I hate starting over with someone new if I’m going to be completely honest.

The second icky thing was that my thyroid decided to become hypothyroid again from hyper. What does that mean? Well its another medication adjustment and it’s also probably why I haven’t been losing weight as quickly as she thinks I should have been based on how my diet is and the surgery. I have been averaging  a loss of 2-4lbs a week when some lose 1-2lbs a day. Hopefully with the medication adjustment and my getting back to the gym it’ll get me back on track. (not that I’m complaining about my progress at all.)

ProgressSpeaking of progress…Yesterday after Church I took Ma to my friend Barb’s house and then we went over to her friend Phyllis’. Both of whom are like family to us. Now I haven’t seen Phyllis or her family (with the exception of her daughter and son) since my surgery. When I walked in the door, I was shocked when I was greeted with dropped jaws, looks of astonishment and compliments on how great I looked. They had me spin around and walk in the living room showing off my progress (50lbs so far) to everyone before I could even set my bags down!  LOL Talk about a confidence booster. I felt like a star! Now I know I have lost weight but I don’t see major changes in the mirror so it felt AMAZING to get greeted like that! To be honest I’m kinda grinning while I’m typing because it’s still a feel good story for me.

I have definitely had my battles emotionally with food over the past couple months, but my victory yesterday and the reactions I received have given me a boost that I think I needed to kick it up a notch. I know this is going to be an ongoing journey, just as much mentally as it is physically, sometimes even more so, but I know I am up for the challenge!

 

 

Palm Sunday Crosses

FB_IMG_1491776182164-1I can’t tell you exactly when this Palm Sunday cross was made, what I can tell you is that my father passed away in 29 years ago and he is the one who made it.

Every year he would take several palms that were handed out at Church and make these little crosses. He would give them to Mom and me, and Grandma and Grandpa. His sister would get one and so would his brother, as well as several of his friends. As the years went on, the list grew. People truly looked forward to receiving them.

It wasn’t until he passed away PhotoGrid_1491776431806and I stopped getting mine, that I realized how much value these little crosses held. So much so that now I keep the very last one I have tucked away behind glass in a mini curio cabinet for protection.

If only I would have paid attention to how he made them when I had the chance. I missed that opportunity to learn from him. I considered watching a YouTube video to learn, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

6wk Post Surgery Update

updateSo much has happened since my RNY gastric bypass surgery 6 weeks ago. I thought I was pretty prepared for what I was in store for but I’m starting to think that I was wrong! I knew I’d lose weight, I knew that I’d have cravings that I wouldn’t be able to satisfy, I knew I’d have to workout and wouldn’t want to, I knew that I’d run into people who were jealous and spiteful, and I was ready for each of those things. However, I wasn’t ready for my taste buds to change. I wasn’t ready to be cold all of the time, I wasn’t ready to be so nauseous and I definitely wasn’t ready for my ass to hurt so damn much! I mean c’mon, its like I have no padding left, AT ALL! I guess its a good thing because it does get me up and moving more since sitting for any time at all makes my tailbone feel like its breaking through my rear end. Oh and chicken, I am so seriously sick of chicken. I have made it every possible way and now the very smell of it makes me sick to my stomach. AND speaking of smells…it’s like I have some super power now in the middle of my face. My nose has turned into this weapon that can sniff out the tiniest odor, pleasant or foul. I feel like the Beverly Hillbilly’s hound dog. Sheesh!

Things that I used to like, I can no longer stand. I used to love grape flavored drinks for example. Now, I can’t tolerate the smell of them let alone the taste, and it literally happened over night. Seriously! One day I was drinking a Powerade Zero grape flavored water enhancer. then when I got up the next morning to take my pills, I had some leftover from the night before. I went to take a sip, and gagged. *UGH* It was horrible. I couldn’t understand what was causing my nausea. So I put my sniffer to work, and sure enough, it was the grape drink! I got rid of everything grape flavored immediately.

It’s crazy how often I get nauseous. If it’s not smells, it’s foods, and there is NO rhyme or reason to it. Tums and Zofran have become new good friends of mine. I talked to the nurse at the office and she said that it is a pretty common thing that happens when transitioning from pureed to solid foods and should gradually subside. In the meantime, it’s definitely no fun!

Same thing with being cold all of the time. I used to keep the heat set on 67-68 degrees. Now I’m like a lil old lady with a throw on top of me all the time and the heat is set on 70-72! *WTF* I have no idea why this happens, but believe it, because it is true. However, I still sleep with a fan on regardless of the thermostat and outside temperature! I doubt anything will stop that from happening.

As of this past Tuesday I am down 45 lbs and feeling good overall. I weigh myself once a week, and take monthly pics to compare my progress. Already I am off insulin and my blood pressure is stabilized. I go to my GP on Monday and hope to get off some more medications. I will update more info on that once I know more, but so far so good as far as I am concerned.

YogaWhen it comes to working out, I have been going to this yoga class at my gym the past 2 weeks and am thinking about signing up for personal training lessons next month. I would have them once a week. I know that I probably should be going more often that I have been, but for me to be actually going at all is an accomplishment in itself. I have also been walking the neighborhood. My distance and time has been improving with each walk. My lil dog, Louie, sure does enjoy walking with me, but the weather has been crazy lately so hopefully we will be able to do more walks as it gets nicer out.

My knees have been holding up ok, but my shoulders have been a little sore since I’ve started yoga. Not sure if its because of the yoga or the weather. Either way they aren’t horrible, but I have noticed they are getting more sensitive. I might have to go back for some more cortisone shots soon. I am impressed though that I haven’t needed any NSAIDs like I thought I would, and since I cant take them anymore as a bariatric patient, it’s a relief that I haven’t needed them.

I have spent a lot of time finding a lot of recipes on Pinterest for low carb swaps and substitutes. I think I have found just about every cauliflower, wonton, spaghetti squash, sugar free or cloud bread recipe there is on there. I’m also following a lot of the keto recipes but not sure how I feel about high fat yet.

The best thing I have noticed since surgery is that I am not hungry all of the time. I was thinking the other day, I thought to myself; “I gave up all the carbs, I’ve dome damn good redoing all of my eating habits. I bet I could have done this on my own without surgery.” NOPE! No way! I was always hungry before, and now I’m not. Now 2-3oz of something and I’m full. Sometimes it doesn’t even take that much. That is thanks to Dr. Lahmann!

I am very fortunate to have a good support group around me. People who love me and want to see me succeed. I can’t express how much that helps and makes it easier to achieve my goals. I still have a long way to go but I have no doubts that I will get there. I’ve already decided that I am going to celebrate my one year surgiversary on a beach with my girls. Not quite sure where. Don’t really care about that, as long as my ass is in the sand with a drink in my hand and the sun on my face and my friends by my side!

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Best decision of my life

It’s been almost 2 weeks postop and although I’m still a lil sore, I feel great! Going for rny gastric bypass was the best decision of my life. My only regret was not getting it done 10 years earlier. 

I am sure many of you are curious how it was so let me take you on a walk of my surgery day and immediate recovery. Like I said in my previous blog, I had no real reference point to measure the level of pain against, so I was going into this pretty nervous. My surgery time was at 8am. I do remember my anesthesiologist and surgeon coming in the room to talk to me. Last thing I remember was my nurse saying it was ‘that’time. I said bye to my Mom and and friend Tina that were with me, and don’t remember a thing after that. When I woke up I was in recovery. I had abdominal cramps, was cold, was totally out of it. All I wanted was something for the pain. “GIMMIE MORE” I kept groaning. My poor nurse. I remember her giving me some kinda good foo foo juice through my IV and feeding me ice chips as she covered me with a heated blankie. AHHHHH, off to la la land I went. 

I woke up a lil while later as she was feeding me more ice chips, asking me how I felt. I told her it hurt. She put my dilaudid pain button in my hand, taught me how to use it and I thought the gates to Heaven had been opened! RELIEF! Sweet glorious relief! 

She informed me there was a wait on my room upstairs, but that she’d allow my Mom and friends to come back allowed see me if I wanted. Mom, Barb and Tina came back for a little while to visit and Barb took over feeding me ice chips. I wasn’t too coherent or the best conversationalist, but Ma did manage to pop off the pic of me giving her a thumbs up. Ma spoke to the surgeon that informed her I did great. He told her I was swearing at everyone. I guess I had a whole comedy routine while under anesthesia that I don’t remember one bit of, but apparently everyone loved it. Go figure, me cussing and cutting up, nahhh not me!  πŸ˜‘  Oops! I guess anesthesia is like alcohol, your real personality leaks out.

Later that night I was taken up to my room and I just rested. Dr. Lahmann’s nursing staff at Silver Cross Hospital was absolutely AMAZING! Accommodating, nurturing, efficient, patient, gentle, professional. I simply can’t say enough nice things about them. The patient’s rooms are like hotel suites complete with sleeper sofas, chair/ottomans, picture windows, 42″ flat careen TVs, recessed lighting. Amazingly comfortable! 

My surgeon, Dr. Lahmann, is the BEST! I can’t stress how important it is to research your doctor. I have researched this surgery since 2002. When I found him, I knew he was the one. He cares. He informs. He nurtures his patients. I belong to various boards on Facebook and it amazes me how many docs out there do this procedure and leave their patients to fend for themselves. They tell them what they need and leave it up to them to go get it, or more importantly, not get what they need. Dr. Lahmann educates you every step along the way. He has his own vitamins and protein powder that you can take so that malnutrition is never an issue. He never fat shames you. Never makes you to feel like you messed up your life. He stressed that you’re you’re a team. I simply adore him and the way he empowers me and the rest of his patients!

Thursday morning I woke up to the most amazing sunrise outside of my hospital window. It was the day I was going home. My discharge day. I was leaving with my new pouch, a new outlook on life, and this gorgeous sunrise solidified it all for me. I laid in my hospital bed, holding on to my bears (I got 2 teddy bears from some of my girls, 1 named Chip, after all the ice chips I ate, and the other named Bari, short for Bariatric) staring out, watching the colors change as the sun came up. Thanking God for getting me through this and for such a beautiful scene. I have a second chance, and I’m not taking this lightly. 

Since I’ve been home I’ve been sore, but each day has been better than the previous one. I still can’t sleep on my stomach or fully on my left side, but that’s ok. The incisions are all healing and closing fine without issue. I’ve decided to only weigh myself once once a week. So far I’m down 22lbs. as of 2/15/17. 

I am still on pureed foods and can’t wait to eat something that crunches! It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be though. I have been creative with the recipes, luckily I haven’t lost my desire to cook or play with foods. Even though I can only have 4oz…which works out to about 3-4 tablespoons HAHAHA! The brightside is that I no longer have that nagging hunger or constant need to snack feeling. I am so glad that’s gone. My blood sugar has leveled off and I haven’t used insulin since I started my preop diet, so WHOOT WHOOT! 

I definitely recommend this to anyone who’s on the fence. I even went with a friend to my doctor’s seminar last Wednesday because she’s considering the surgery. It is life changing. Hell, it’s life saving!!

The time has come!

The time has come!

This past Sunday was a memorable one for me. I chose to get baptized. I was baptized Catholic as a baby, as still hold my faith close to me. I currently attend a nondenominational Christian Church that I love, and had a very enlightening discussion with our Pastor about the differences between sprinkle, dunking, and immersion baptisms. I felt that at this time in my life (especially with my surgery happening) I wanted to reaffirm my relationship with Jesus, similar to a married couple renewing their vows. This is why I decided to make the choice to be baptised. I will never forget how I felt that day. Light as air, it was wonderful! Truly a blessed day.

Pictures from my Baptism 2/5/17

Tomorrow morning at 8am CST I join the loser’s bench when I go for my laparoscopic gastric bypass. I thought I’d be more nervous or anxious,  but I just feel ready.

Ready to take back my life, ready to not have worry about where I’m gonna sit. Ready to live with out pain in my knees when I walk. Ready to be healthy. Ready to lower my health risks…just ready for life!

I do have some nerves as far as the actual surgery. I like to think I have a relatively high threshold for pain, but let’s face it…I don’t have anything real to measure it against. I’ve never broken a bone, never had a surgery where they had to cut me open (or cut through muscle), never had a baby. This outta be interesting! 

I have stuck to my preop diet precisely. I’ve been logging all meals, glucose, BP, weight and exercise activities since October. I know I’m in the right mind set for this. I have done all the research I could do and have been cleared by my doctors. I have a fantastic support group around me of family and friends and Church. 

I know it won’t be easy, nothing worth having rarely ever is…I do however know it’s going to be worth it, and I’m ready…BRING IT ON!

Happy 44th Birthday to Me!

This past Saturday night was a girl’s night out that I won’t soon forget. My good friend Barb organized a night filled with laughs, drinks, food and friends for my birthday and last night before surgery. What a fantastic night it was too!!!

We started the night off at one our favorite local Mexican restaurants for margheritas and grub. I had to start my preop diet today, on my birthday, so I got a nice juicy carne asada burrito. Oooh, it was sooooo delicious. I savored every bite knowing that it will be quite some time until I will be eating something like that again! 

My preop diet consists of 2 protein shakes (mixed with water only), 1 mean with 4oz of a lean protein and a half cup if nonstarchy vegetable, and 64oz of zero calorie liquids per day. This can include sugar-free popsicles, sugar-free jello, clear broth, water, crystal lite, powerade zero etc. No corn, peas, potatoes or sweet potatoes. No caffeine, decaf coffee or carbonated drinks are allowed. Based on my research, each doctor’s diet varies a little, this is just what mine has issued for me. 
I’ve eased into this diet a little at a time so I wasn’t completely shell shocked when I started. I slowly weened off caffeine, gave up pop and got accustomed to mixing my protein shakes with just water. I did make sure to purchase a cookies and creme protein shake so I could have and special birthday drink today since I can’t cut a cake. LOL

I’m so excited about the year ahead. Im turning 44 and this is my transformation year. The year I take my life back. Emotionally, physically, mentally…and I’m not letting anything stand in my way!

Information Highway

Yesterday was my presurgery class. SO INFORMATIVE! I totally feel prepared. But, if I’m being totally honest, I did have a lil freak out sesh…just a lil bit. 

When they were going over they meds and supplements, I was all good. Until they said no more NSAIDs. Ever. Like, E.V.E.R. You see I have debilitating arthritis in both shoulders and both knees. I’ve been told I need replacements since 2006. Meloxicam  (Mobic) and anti-inflammatory drugs are what allows me to move. I’m a big believer in treating the problem and not masking it. I don’t want to just take pain pills or acetaminophen to mask the pain. I want to reduce the inflammation. Now I’ll NEVER be able to take them again. This is rough for me…REALLY rough.

I start my preop diet on Tuesday  (1/24, my 44th birthday) and meet with my Surgeon the following day. I’m hopeful something can be worked out. Possibly the prescription can be ground and mixed into my shakes. We shall see. Fingers crossed!

I’ve tried to do as much mental preperation for this as I can possibly think to do. I’ve joined and actively participated in a couple of Facebook groups to learn as much as possible. I’ve talked to several people who have had the procedure done. Read articles, attended seminars, studied FAQ. I believe I’m just about as ready as I can be, but can help but feel anxious.

It’s still scary. Weight can be like an armor. Without it will I be more vulnerable?  How will it change my personality? Since my needs will be so drastically changing, how is that going to impact the rest of my life? My emotions? *UGH* I’m gonna need a shrink before too long, I just know it. 

God has brought me this far and He isn’t gonna abandon me now. I need to hold on to my faith and believe in His plan. I was torn on which program to attend, and after choosing BMI I learned that 2 ladies from my Church had their WLS done at the same place as me. God is good, we just need to believe and lift our problems up to him in our hour of need with the belief that our prayers will be answered. The hardest lesson I learned in my faith is that it was His will be done, not mine. Prayers may be answered, just not always in the time or fashion you had in mind.