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!  😡  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!!

On your mark, Get set, GO!

Road Start!

My WLS journey has officially begun! Last Wednesday was my first appointment with Dr. Lahmann, my surgeon.  I really do like him. He is so straight forward but with a wonderful bed side manner. He gave me the checklist of what appointments need made and I’ve already tackled it with a vengeance. My breathing test is tomorrow. Chest x-ray was last Thursday, counseling starts tonight and cardiac clearance appointment is next Tuesday. (and exhale)

I don’t think I’ve been to so many doctors in my life! Get this; When I was in Dr. Lahmann’s office Wednesday morning, the girls were getting me all checked in, and she had me stand against the wall so she can measure My height. She says 59″. My mouth dropped and I felt my face get all scrunched up. WHAT?!? NO WAY!!! I’m at least 60″ I proclaimed quite loudly! She said, sorry Fran, you are actually an eighth of an inch under 59″, but I’m gonna give it to ya anyway. Oh gee, thanks! WTF! I shrunk! I’m 43, not 93! *UGH*

Which reminds me. Last week my endocrinologist sent me for fasting blood work. When I say blood work, I mean they took 7 vials. I was surprised I still had any blood left! I see the nurse practitioner in my endocrinologist’s office and she is very thorough. Yesterday I had a follow-up appointment with her to go over the results from the blood tests. in 2009 I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. Nobody has ever questioned that diagnosis due to my weight and symptoms. She was the 1st person to run a test to see if my body produces insulin. The answer, nope it doesn’t. Which means I am a type 1 diabetic, not type 2. That’s the 2nd time this week I felt my face get all scrunchy. Kind of an out of the norm” diagnosis since most type 1 diabetics tend to be youths, and definitely not overweight adults like myself.

The other condition I see Alexis (my endocrinologist nurse practitioner) for is my thyroid. Again, you’d think being overweight, I’d have hypothyroidism, but you can take the odds to Vegas, I don’t ever fit the norm. Scrunchy face number three. I have hyperthyroidism. She is increasing my thyroid medication hoping to even my levels. She has also mentioned the possibility of graves disease. Unfortunately it’s it’s a waiting game. Increase meds. Wait. Draw blood. Wait. Change meds. Rinse & repeat.

It is the combination of my diabetes and thyroid that worry me about holding up my surgery. I know my heart and lungs will pass inspection. I’m just afraid that if there are issues getting my thyroid or A1C under control, it will prolong the surgery. Obviously, I want to be safe and have it done under the most healthy conditions as possible, but I am also anxious and don’t want to wait forever either.


I have been diligently keeping track of my calories, weight, blood sugars, work outs, blood pressures and heart rates. I have already begun to feel my energy increase and dietary habits start to change. When it come to food, if I bite it – I write it. I try to go to the gym 3 times a week, but go at least twice. I’ve doubled my average daily steps and am also drinking more water. I know how important this is and realize it’s going to be a drastic lifestyle change.

A few days ago I made chicken fajitas with extra veggies. The following day, I came home from the gym starving. Went to the fridge, grabbed the salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips and plopped down in front of the TV. When I looked down, I knew I shouldn’t be eating it, so I got up, put a small amount of sour cream into a bowl with some salsa and sat back down. Feeling better that I had portion control I dipped a chip and ate it. Two seconds later, I got back up, still unsatisfied with what I was doing, grabbed my unflavored protein powder and mixed it into my dip. Convinced that I had now turned a bad choice into a good one, I sat back down, dipped and ate 2 chips and felt complete guilty. I actually felt guilt. I went back in the kitchen and traded the chips and salsa for baby carrots with light ranch. I couldn’t believe it. This was a monumental step for me. Wanna know what was even more significant? I actually enjoyed them more! They had the same crunch and I knew I wasn’t sacrificing my whole workout. It was in that moment, I knew I had this. I knew I could do it no matter what. With nobody watching I did the right thing on my own.

Look out world, Frannie’s growing up!

I know I have a very looooooong road ahead of me, but I am super confident that I can do this. I may be an inch shorter, but each day I am a step closer and a whole lot stronger.

Its my Blog-iversary!

 screenshot_2016-11-05-19-19-28-1Today’s WordPress notifications included a surprise *Pat On The Back* so to speak. It has been 5 years since I created this blog making it my blog-iversary! (insert party horns and confetti cannon here) 

November 5, 2011. Seems like a lifetime ago. I was in an 11 year relationship. Planning my 2nd wedding. Running a successful business on the Las Vegas strip with 2 locations, grossing 7 figures a year. I had lost 80 pounds and I was on top of the world.

I started this blog with the intentions  of documenting my weight loss and creating a space where I would be held accountable for my eating decisions. Immediately after creating this site, I received notice that my most lucrative location was having its lease pulled due to Casino construction (the Linq project). I obtained an attorney and fought as hard as I could. With several News broadcasts and mounting legal fees, I lost.

May 12, 2012 I got married, it was on our 12 year anniversary. I was floating on cloud 9. I believed things were finally looking up. Hoqever my world came violently crashing down 2 months later when I learned my husband was having an affair. I was crushed to the core. Utterly devastated.  She was an employee of ours and someone I thought was a friend. (not to mention she had the audacity to attend our wedding and my bachelorette party). I allowed myself to be a ping pong ball until October of 2013 when I finally had enough and moved home to Chicago.

Three months shy of my 41st birthday and I was living back home with my Mom. 2 failed marriages. A failed business. Lost weight, gained back. After 4 years of not smoking I had started again and blamed it on stress. For a full year I was in a catatonic state. Everything made me cry. Pictures, commercials, movies, TV, songs, holidays, EVERYTHING! I felt like I lost it all. I lost my husband, house, business, love, friends. HE was the one who fucked up. Why was I the one who had to suffer? It just wasn’t fair in my book. It has taken me these past 4 years to be able to even type this without sobbing. I’ve never carried a desire for revenge.I’ve learned to forgive. 


I bring that up because when I was going through all of it, I thought this blog would be therapeutic. I believed it would help me cope. The problem was, I could never bring myself to actually type the words. I thought, if I were to put it in writing, if I actually wrote it down and published it, it would make it real. People would know. I wouldn’t be able to hideaway in the fantasy place I had created in my mind. As long as I didn’t make it public, I could stay cocooned. I liked it like that. I created a happy place. A place where I was still loved and where things were still the same. Where I could look at pictures and the people were the same, even though they had all changed.

Along the way I took small steps. I sold my wedding bands. Deleted him and his pictures from Facebook. Went back to my maiden name. Even tried dating.

What a fiasco that was. I had been separated & living in different states for almost 3 years when I was forced back into the dating pool by some friends of mine. They were thoroughly fed up with me sitting home one the weekends and crying to RomComs. I even tossed around the idea to use this blog as a ‘What happens when you have a  POF profile’. However those stories became a little too embarrassing for my own good. If I didn’t have people who actually knew me as followers I would have had no issue moving forward, but WOW, even the select few I told the stories to blushed. Ive made the decision to withdraw my profile on the couple of websites I had joined. Dating has just changed so much from when I was last single in 1999. Whatever happened to just getting an introduction for a face to face meeting from your friends cousin’s roommate?

So here we are, present day. I quit smoking back in February, joined the fitness center 2 months ago and lost 17 pounds so far. I received cortisone shots in both shoulders and knees. My flexibility and mobility has improved tremendously as a result. On November 9th I have an appointment with my bariatric surgeon to get the ball rolling. There simply are not words to express my excitement.

fb_img_1477665839789I’ve read fellow bloggers posts regarding their surgeries and its pure inspiration. I keep a notebook next to my chair along with my laptop. Whenever I see something that I want to ask my surgeon, or something that needs to be added to my preparation list, I jot it down. I want to be sure to plan ahead. Use the advice of others who have been through the process.

Looking back at everything I have been through over the past 5 years, and lifetime in general, I am more ready for this next chapter of my life than ever. Documenting my journey along the way. Life has knocked me down more times than I can count, showed me things I have never wanted to see, but one thing always remains true; weebles wobble but don’t fall down!

Eat to live, Don’t live to eat!

Back in 2010 was the 1st time I went on a calorie counting diet. I remember 2 things my doc told me that I still use to this day.

  1. If you bite it, you write it. This got me in the practice of being accountable for everything that went into my mouth. I remember doc told me a story once. He said he ate a piece of his son’s Halloween candy. He didnt like the taste, and as soon as it went in his mouth, he spit it out. I’ll never forget that. HE SPIT IT OUT! I had never spit anything out. If it went in my mouth…hell, if it went on my plate, I was committed at this point to eating it. There were starving people in 3rd World Countries after all.This was huge for me. It meant I had choices. I could choose what I ate. Choose what calories went into my body. Choose what I swallowed.
  2. Would you rather eat or drink your calories? After my 1st week of writing down my foods, doc looked it over. He looked at me and asked, Fran, would you rather eat or drink your calories? I must have had a puzzled look on my face, because it seemed like stupid question…of course I’d rather eat them. *DUH* Once we calculated my liquid caloric intake, I could have had a cheeseburger and a slice of cheesecake instead! WOW!

These 2 simple lessons have stayed with me for years. They have helped me to not regain a truckload of weight that I lost, and have helped me build a foundation for a healthier life.

It just seems crazy to me that some of us seem to have this healthy gene and others don’t. I lived for years not realizing that my way of thinking about food was wrong. I didn’t become aware of it until my late 20’s. I was in a relationship with a guy who worked as a Personal Trainer. When I saw how differently he lived his life when it came to food, I was shocked. For example, he would eat Total cereal for breakfast…with NO sugar. (and liked it) A light bulb went off regarding what people meant when they said “You need you eat to live, not live to eat.”

I’ll admit it scares me. Will I be able to change this obsession I have? My never ending love affair with food. Will I ever be able to break up with it for good, or will it finally break me?

Pre-surgery liquid diet: my plan in photos 

I absolutely LOVE this step by step list. Definitely something that’s helped me get prepared and stocked up. Thanks!


I wanted to post the pre-surgery liquid diet that I am doingfor anyone who might be researching weight loss surgery or interested in the process for supportingsomeone they know who might be going through it.

When I first started thinking about getting the surgery done I couldn’t find a lot of information on the specifics of this part of the diet.

Each surgeon and hospitalprescribes aslightly different version of this diet, but the most important goal of the liquid diet is the same:to shrink any fat that might be around your liver so that your surgeon can access your insides more easily.

My surgeon requires 2 weeks on a clear liquid diet before surgery. We also have to make sure we are getting between 80-100 grams of protein PER DAY. So here is my plan:

I decided to use bone broth because of the 7 grams of protein per serving…

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Take a break from the ordinary

Scoop of protien powder, some use water, some use milk, and shake. After awhile it can get monotonous. UNTIL NOW! 

Did you know that you could change up your protien shakes by adding a tablespoon of your favorite sugar free gelatin? Currently I use Six Star Pro Vanilla Cream protien powder (from Walmart) and so far I’ve made shakes with cherry and raspberry gelatin. It’s delicious. Guess what the best part is…the possibilities are endless: peach, lemon, lime, strawberry banana even. Use chocolate protien and make chocolate cherry, banana, strawberry or maybe try orange.

Let me know if you try this, and what your favorite flavor combinations are, I’d love to know. 

The call

4:28pm today, I got the call. On the phone was the office where I attended the seminar last Wednesday. I felt my heart pounding as soon as she identified herself and where she was from. Thoughts immediately ran rapid in my head…

  • She’s gonna tell me there’s a problem with my insurance, isn’t she? 
  • If they DO take my insurance, I bet they only cover like 60% or something.
  • Betcha I filled the forms and health questionnaire out wrong.

I was holding my breath as this cheerful voice said “Everything seems in order with your insurance and we’d like to schedule you for your first consultation. I see that you’ve already gone online and filled out the necessary forms, thank you for that.”  She called my name and asked if I was ok. Through the tears I told her I was fine. Hell, I was better than fine. After all these years my prayers had been answered. The initial steps had begun and I was on my way to finally having weight loss surgery! She went on to tell me that with my insurance, I should be covered 100%……100%!!!!!!!!

I’m absolutely elated! This is the journey of my new life, and it all started with this call.