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Saving money and kind friends.

Boy, I did not realize how much money I was spending on food.  Now that I've been on liquids for almost 3 weeks, I haven't spent basically anything.   I mean, I was already stocked up on protein and vitamins before the surgery, and I will eventually need to spend money on that.... well, and I will need to start spending money on food this coming Wednesday when I move on to purees.... BUT STILL.  I used to eat out every day (and not cheap fast food, but real restaurants), and it's no wonder I was kinda living paycheck to paycheck.  But, boy, I did eat some delicious things. At any rate, that isn't the only thing I've noticed.  Sitting around at home and at work, HUNGRY, I've been constantly thinking about food.  My relationship with food, my future with food.  Pre-surgery I was telling myself and others that eventually I'll be able to eat everything I want again, just smaller portions.  Now I am realizing that that would be a complete mistake, that eating like that is why I'm so unhealthy in the first place, and I would be undoing the benefit of this "extreme measure" I took to get healthy.  I love to bake, but I'm going to need to be careful now.  I'm coming to terms with the fact that I will probably never eat sugar the same way again - I will need to be extremely careful and use low-calorie options whenever possible and avoid candy (which I used to binge-eat); I'm kinda okay with this... I've been addicted to sugar, but my true love is UMAMI (savory flavor).  So it will be harder for me to avoid fats like butter and olive oil, gravies, fancy cheese, coconut milk (in its role in Indian food).  I am a foodie, and I want big, rich, complicated flavors!  Thankfully, there are tons of calorie-free spices and low calorie condiments, but I'm not a good cook yet - something I will now work on, since I have no choice. So, I am nearly 50 lbs down from my highest weight when I started this journey in June - 14 lbs down since surgery.  The power is off in my town, so I went to the city to a spice shop and treated myself to some delicious, aromatic spices.  A fancy taco seasoning for the refried beans I'm going to eat on Wednesday (when I start purees), some Garam Masala for when I want to make something that tastes like Indian food, and a couple little tasters of spice blends to experiment with.  One of the first non-food rewards... though, maybe it kinda IS a food reward.... but anyways, it doesn't involve calories going into my mouth. Healing-wise, I'm doing very well.  So far, I haven't had anything that disagreed with me, haven't accidentally over-stuffed myself, haven't caused myself much pain.  The worst part right now is the itching and scabs at the incision sites, which I have a compulsion to pick at.  Thankfully there are still steri-strips there as a physical block to my wandering itch-seeking fingers.  I hope to start purees on Wednesday (my 2-week surgiversary), but I might try some very liquidy purees ahead of time.  I'm antsy to get started on real food, but I need to make sure I don't injure my healing stomach. Some friends of mine have been very kind to me - they are elderly people (and very very thin), and they said that they don't know what I'm going through having never struggled with weight, but they care about me and understand that it is going to be a difficult process and wanted to offer me actual money for meeting my goals!  I was floored.  I told them that that wasn't necessary, but thanks for the thought, but I think they might actually do it, saying that it'll be for my upcoming trip to Germany so I can be healthy and active and ready for anything.  What kind, kind friends.  AND My pastor and his wife, those dear people, gave me an incredible, thoughtful gift - a weighted blanket!  I've always wanted one, I find the weight so soothing and comforting both for my body and for my anxious/depressed brain. I have been shown so much kindness lately, it has brought me out of the self-pity and has reminded me to be thankful.  And I am.  I'm also thankful for quick healing and no complications.

boringtessa

boringtessa

 

Going slow, getting bored.

Being an invalid is so boring.  I want to go out and do something, but my body isn't ready at all. Thankfully, I haven't had much pain (other than the gas pains, which, thankfully, I was able to get rid of while still in hospital).  Even in the hospital, my pain was relatively minimal, so I'm doing okay without the pain killers so far.  I've been able to take my psych meds - most can be broken in half, so I only have to crush one of them.  I've started taking my chewable vitamins, and there are no issues with those so far.  All-in-all, It looks like I'm doing well! I'm a bit concerned about getting enough liquids in - I may be trying to push to hard, but every time I take a sip of something, it hurts a little and gurgles.  I've tried hot, cold, and lukewarm, salty, sweet, plain water.  I'm hoping that this will get better because I don't want to end up in the hospital with dehydration.  A bit of me kinda wishes I was still in the hospital for that reason... Not that it was particularly pleasant, but it was nice to know that I wouldn't get dehydrated because I had an IV in.  I don't know why dehydration is such a concern for me, perhaps because I've never been good about getting in my fluids. I haven't felt what I would call real hunger yet, so that is a relief, but I am craving foods that I can't have yet - specifically, refried bean puree spiced with taco seasoning!  I don't know why I'm craving that so much, but I'm just really looking forward to it.  I'm getting very very bored with clear liquids - I'm not enjoying broth like I thought I would, which is a shame. I'm feeling pretty down, probably because I'm so bored.  Watching TV in the middle of the day makes me so uncomfortable!  I'm kinda regretting the decision just a little, but when I remember what the doctor said about how big my liver was and how close I am to having cirrhosis, I know I've made the right choice.  I mean, I know I made the right choice, anyways, but thinking about food is getting me down.  It's not all about food.  I have to remember that, even though my life revolved around food before, it doesn't have to  - I can find other ways to be fulfilled. Looking forward to getting back to roller-skating and eating something with some spices in it!

boringtessa

boringtessa

 

The other side.

Well, I'm back!  The surgery was Wednesday, but they made me stay until today (Friday)... not because I wasn't doing well, but because it is a requirement of the surgeon.  I was actually impressing all the nurses with how well I was recovering.  I was up and walking within a couple hours, absolutely determined to progress.  AND the gas pains were surprising!  It's really unfortunate that there isn't really anything they can do to help with the gas pains except encourage walking, but the drugs did a great job with the incision pain. It was very boring at the hospital - I thought I had loaded my mp3 player with audiobooks, but of course that wasn't working.  There was TV, but there was nothing interesting on it.  I pretty much sat around staring at nothing for hours, ugh.  Eventually, I remembered to text my people to let them know I was alright, and I was able to get some sleeping medication to knock me out.  Everyone at the hospital was so nice and incredibly helpful, I felt like I was being taken great care of. The surgeon said that my liver was HUGE, and that, without weight loss, I'd have cirrhosis within 5 years... yikes!  It is a good thing I was able to have the surgery - just another reason that I NEEDED to do something drastic. I'm getting a little nervous about hydration - 64 oz seems like a lot of liquid now that I can only take in a tiny bit of water at a time.  So far, I haven't been able to get down much liquid at all, it feels a little uncomfortable and gets all gurgly, but I will keep trying. Well, anyways, I'm back and well!

boringtessa

boringtessa

 

Last Days and Second Thoughts.

Surgery is the day after tomorrow!     I'm starting to second-guess myself about the surgery - I know it's pre-surgery nerves, but it's still very real.  I think the thing that is bothering me the most is that I won't be able to eat like I used to.  Like, it's hard for me to imagine being able to be satisfied with just 1/2 cup of food.  I am a total foodie.  The delight of my life has been delicious, high quality food; I believe that the human sense of taste is one of God's kindest gifts, given for our pleasure.  How can I enjoy gourmet meals if I only get a tiny taste?  I know this is silly, I'm just used to bigger portions and eating fast as if I haven't eaten in days... once I am able to feel full quickly (imagine, actually being able to feel full?) and when I'm forced to really slow down and savor a meal, a small portion isn't going to be so bad.  But I am freaking out a little bit.  I just have to tell myself it will be worth it, and it won't be as bad as I think.   At this point, it's hard not to hope (and maybe even expect) that the surgery is going to show results immediately.  I'm not going to walk out of the hospital a thinner person, it's going to take maybe a year to get to goal weight, or maybe I'll never even reach my goal weight.  This has to be okay with me.   An update about the liquid diet - this is my 4th day on full liquids, and I think I'm doing okay.  I can't watch food shows/videos or anything because it's making me crazy and a little depressed, but I am not as hangry as I expected.  I am a bit grumpy, no doubt, but I've been able to stave off hunger pangs with protein drinks, soup, and V8.  The thing I haven't been able to prevent is migraines - I've got the family curse (it runs in my dad's side of the family).  One of my biggest migraine triggers is HUNGER, so I woke up this morning with a migraine; I've been expecting this, and I'm impressed that I haven't had one yet, but it was time for it to pop up.  Thankfully, my migraine medication is okay to take, which is helpful even if I can't take any effective pain killers (no blood thinners).   Alright, so, tomorrow - clear liquids and bowel prep; Wednesday, surgery!!

boringtessa

boringtessa

 

The Beginning of a New Life

So tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. Yes, it is Surgery Day! I am absolutely giddy today, mostly just because I am so excited, but maybe a little nervous, too. I can't even say that it seems like it's taken forever to get to this point because I only started the whole process on August 8th. But still, it seems like it's taken forever!  I have a really strong support system, especially in my Mom & Step-Dad. I will be staying with them for at least the first week when I come home, possibly even two weeks. We will see how well I am doing at that point. I know that my kitty, Portia Lin will be anxiously awaiting for my return home. I suppose that is all for now. I need to finish getting ready for my big day tomorrow! Any prayers would be greatly appreciated! Blessings to you all! ~Precious~

LovePrecious

LovePrecious

 

Food funerals and nerves.

The day is coming up!  A week from this Wednesday!  I'm getting nervous, but mostly in a good way.  I've told all my close people, and everyone is supportive so far; I've got a few people praying for me (well, mostly for the surgeon and his team), which is a comfort. I've been having "food funerals", though I'm on the fence about that concept in general... in some ways, it doesn't seem like a good idea to have "one last...." if it means binging on things.  That kinda defeats the purpose of the pre-op diet you were on to develop good habits.  But I've been doing them.  Indian food one last time.  Baking one last cake for myself.  One last ice cream.  I begin my pre-op liquid diet on this coming Friday, so I'm kinda going a little crazy with the last meals, almost on the verge of a binge - though, encouragingly, I've been able to control the urge to binge so far, avoiding situations that would cause that behavior. Speaking of the 5-day pre-op liquid diet, I think the thing I'm getting most nervous about is being HANGRY for those 5 days before the surgery, but I have to remind myself that it will be worth it, and in doing so, I hope I can keep my attitude from being totally rotten.  But BOY do I get hangry.

boringtessa

boringtessa

 

Pre-Op Appointment.

I met with my surgeon today for my pre-op appointment where he showed me what he would be doing, how long it should take, the risks involved, and the diet to follow.  He told me I had lost a total of 32 lbs so far and asked if I wanted to drop out and lose the weight on my own; when I told him I still believe I need the help, he told me he agreed with my decision, and so the countdown begins! There will be a 5-day liquid pre-op diet (no 2-week liver shrink diet like I feared, thank goodness), and then the regular diet progression of clear liquids - full liquids - purees - soft foods.  I'll be "eating" only liquids for a total of almost 3 weeks, and that is what I am looking forward to the least.  That seems like such a long time, and I know it's going to be hard.  I'm going to be drinking a lot of broth and V8 to break up the sweetness of the protein shakes. I need a water bottle to help me meet my hydration requirement, but it's hard for me to find what I want.  I want a stainless steel bottle, it would be nice to have a sippy straw or lid, but I don't want something that can get moldy, but it would be nice to have a filter bottle, otherwise I need something large because I get squeamish about drinking unfiltered water; It might also be nice to have a bottle that reminds you to drink water, but nothing too expensive.  Obviously I can't have all of these in one bottle, so I just don't know.  A silly thing to think so much about, haha, but drinking water is going to be my life for a while. Anyways, I'm getting totally pumped!  Starting to tell a few more people about the surgery, making sure I have a good support base and people praying for me.  So far, everyone has been supportive - I haven't gotten any back-talk from anyone, which is encouraging.  At the moment, I don't care if they are secretly judging me in their hearts, as long as they don't plague me with their opinions.  I know I'm doing the right thing, and I don't want to argue about it or have to justify myself to anyone.  I'm a bit of a sensitive person, so, even though I won't be changing my mind, I get extremely anxious when there's conflict, and I don't need a hit to my morale at this time.  I'm just trying to live my life. Wow, this was a long and boring entry, but writing this stuff out really does help me, I don't expect people to be as interested in it as I am.

boringtessa

boringtessa

 

Approved!

I just got the call this morning - the insurance had approved the surgery!  My surgery date is October 3, 2018, which is a little sooner than I was expecting. I've been losing weight lately - so far I've lost about 30 lbs since when I started the journey.  This brings with it some doubts and waverings... sometimes I think, "Do I really need the surgery?", and for a while I think I'll cancel - I mean, I've been losing weight without it, maybe I can do it myself?  But I know that I need the help, I've tried losing weight many times before without being able to sustain the change.  I need help, and I think that if this chance is presented to me, I should take it.  I know that relying too much on the sleeve to cure my bad habits is not wise or correct, but from what I know about myself, I will be more likely to continue knowing that I have a "help-mate", an actual physical reason to help inspire me.  Losing a bunch of weight very fast will help me realize that it is possible and that it is REAL.  One of my biggest failings is that I will give up or not even try if I can't "visualize" what the end result would be - this has affected my previous weight loss attempts along with many other aspects of my life.  Losing a bunch of weight in a short amount of time will help me get past my hesitations and help me "visualize" success.  And I need to succeed, my health and well-being depend on it. Anyways, I'm very excited!  I am going to seize this opportunity!  I can't wait to make a fresh start!

boringtessa

boringtessa

 

A Little History

I'm a 46 year-old mother/wife with four children. The youngest turning 7 this year. I suffered from gestational diabetes during that pregnancy, but none of the others. Maybe being 39 at the time had something to do with it.  I've been struggling with weight gain since 2011. Although, I haven't really done anything about it. Mostly complain and avoid my reflection. Over time with everyday stresses from work and home, I have been taking Zoloft. I had been considered pre-diabetic for several years, but about a year ago was finally put on diabetic medication: Metformin. Only taking one per day.   Taking it didn't make me feel any different and being in denial, I guess, I felt like I didn't need it. Along with the weight gain, diabetes diagnosis, I've also been dealing with pre-menopausal stuff (maybe?) and my vision seems to be deteriorating. I've gone from occasionally using reading glasses to actually needing them to read more and more. I was also recently diagnosed with IBS, which has become more of a consistent issue that I have to deal with on an almost daily basis. With the increased stress of declining health, Wellbutrin is now part of my medicinal arsenal. I started looking into and considering bariatric surgery in October 2017 and have finally decided the surgery is needed as part of my determination to get healthy again.  

QponL8y

QponL8y

 

Three takeaways coming from beating CIGNA and winning another bariatric surgery appeal

Whether you’re reading this as the patient who needs bariatric surgery, someone who loves that patient, or the provider committed to caring for the patient, there are at least three important lessons coming out of this experience that should be taken away for future benefit. Three takeaways coming from beating CIGNA and winning another bariatric surgery appeal
 

Requirements cleared.

Well, it looks like I've met all my requirements!  Woooo!  I see the surgeon next Thursday, and I'll be ready for him to send all the info off for insurance approval.  This is very exciting!  I hope that he'll set a date for my surgery at that point... I'm going to start slowly buying things I know I'm going to need after my surgery; today I ordered a "fancy" scale (which was an affordable off-brand, but which I have read is accurate) and some leggings (since my pants are already falling off me).  My biggest problem is that I'll really get into something then GO ALL OUT and buy everything I need for it in one go... and then I'm broke for weeks until I build my finances back up.  So I'm working on doing it slowly, just getting one or two things that I can afford within my budget for the week.  I am pretty excited about this - it seems like this surgery is not only going to improve my weight, it may also force me into healthy habits that I wasn't expecting, like practicing self-control and discipline.  I already feel the improvements, I'm making positive changes in my behavior. My mother is also obese and would like to have the surgery, but she is now 66 (in a youthful way, though), and I hear that some doctors won't operate on older folks.  My surgeon does sometimes take older patients, depending on the patient.  I hope my mom gets the help she needs, it would be good for her, a diabetic, to make such a change - I want her to be around a lot longer.

boringtessa

boringtessa

 

Psych eval review.

So, I decided to use bariatricpsychevaluations.com for my eval - I was able to find only a few reviews, and they were split down the middle between satisfied people and people whose evaluations never made it to their doctors.  I figured I would chance it, and it paid off for me! I was able to get an evaluation appointment within a week, and the woman I spoke with was very thorough and easy to talk to.  For a little more than 2 weeks, though, I was calling my surgeon to see if the report showed up, since it was only supposed to take 72 hours, but it hadn't appeared yet.  I decided to call the number on the website, and was able to reach a person (I called on a Monday in the middle of the day), and she was very helpful - it turned out they had the wrong fax number.  She went ahead and faxed the report again right away, and that's another requirement crossed off my list! I needed an evaluation quickly, they were reasonably priced out-of-pocket, and the wrong fax number was my only issue.  If one decides to try it, I would recommend writing the correct fax number in the notes section on sign-up and perhaps also giving it to the evaluator.
 

Very tough week

Just not feeling "it" this week.  I'm exhausted, not sleeping well, feeling really run down, drained.  I feel fat.  I know I'm not anywhere near as fat as I was, but... I feel fat this week.  Bloated, gross, fat fat fat fat fat.

My sleep **SUCKS** not sure if it's the weight loss changing my CPAP pressure requirements, or something else all together.  I don't want to have to get another sleep study, because they blow, but I know I need some follow up.  Not looking forward to yet another medical bill. Work sucks this week too, a shop of 5, reduced to 2.  really 1 and a half since it's just me and my team lead, and my team lead has to do all the leadership / team lead stuff... so, It's just me, supporting just under 3000 users, on over 2000 computer systems, in 20-30 buildings spread out over all of RI, parts of Mass and CT.  Fun stuff.

I've been in and out of stalls for almost a month now, more in than out of at this point.  Between Monday and today I'm up 2 lbs... not sure why exactly.  All intake is right where it should  be and I've been in the gym daily.  Not going today, just not feeling it.  Way too tired and drained to even care really.

Growing tired of this forum again as well.  Which sucks because, well, I do enjoy helping folks out.  Just getting to the point where every question has been answered over and over again, yet almost no one bothers to use the search function first.

So that's it really... Not a happy Matt at all this week.

Matt Z

Matt Z

 

Surgery videos.

I've been watching videos of the VSG surgery, and I am fascinated.  It is really helpful for me to actually see what the procedure is, what is involved, what it looks like afterward, and to get a view of the anatomy in the area.  I think I would recommend these videos if one isn't squeamish, I think it is good to know what's going to happen to help one make the best decision for oneself. It is really a big hassle to be having the surgery so far away - it's a 1.25 hour drive each way to my surgeon's office, and I find myself having to make that journey sometimes two days in a row.  Not easy on my elderly vehicle, but at least I have audiobooks and podcasts to listen to while I go.  I do have to say, before I got this surgeon, my PCP told me I could get a surgeon anywhere in my Northern California area, which could have meant driving 4 hours each way in some cases, so I AM thankful; in fact, I'm pretty sure this is the closest surgeon I could have had. How hard is it to go to a party when one is on a diet?  So difficult.  I went to an annual Fried Chicken Day party on Saturday, and, boy, it was hard not to graze.  I even made an Apple Cheddar Pie for the occasion, and I had to taste that, of course.  I have been steadily losing weight over the last month or so, and I only have 4 more lbs to lose to meet the requirement, but things like this may set me back quite a bit.  I need to buckle down.  I have a little less than a month to lose that 4 pounds, and I can't keep using special occasions as an excuse.
 

Checking things off the list.

I made a checklist a while back of all the surgery prerequisites, and I have been checking things off - feels so good!  Because my blood work showed elevated liver enzymes (this has been the case for me for a while), the surgeon added one more requirement: get a liver ultrasound.  Ah, well.  But even with this new requirement, I will still be finished with everything by the end of the month!  Then he can submit everything to the insurance, and hopefully I'll be able to have the surgery in September! I've been reading The Emotional First + Aid Kit: A Practical Guide to Life After Bariatric Surgery, and it has proved to be a good resource.  Lots of earnest information, honest truths, short stories of success or failures, helpful suggestions, useful activities.  I definitely recommend it.  A suggestion it gave was to create pros and cons lists, just to get everything out in front of you and to really make you think honestly about your choice to pursue surgery and what it could mean to do it as well as what it would mean NOT to do it.  Good stuff.  A simple suggestion, but definitely useful.
 

Feeling encouraged.

Last night I went to one of the required Support Group meetings, and I wasn't sure what to expect.  Turns out, all the people there were also pre-op, and the group leaders were very encouraging.  We talked a lot about the sleeve and it's benefits and some about the band - looks like most of the people getting surgery from Dr. Hanna have the sleeve, which is encouraging because that is the procedure I want; I definitely do not want the band.  I mean, what if my insurance runs out?  I won't be able to come in for adjustments and would be stuck with a foreign object in me! At any rate, the best part was... at the end of the meeting they spoke about how hard it has been to get a psych evaluation, and I was presented with other options... so I'm going to get my evaluation done at the beginning of July, which means that all of my requirements will have been met by the end of July!  This is such a relief for me. So I see the surgeon again on Tuesday - can't wait to find out how much weight I've lost and possibly get a tentative surgery date!
 

The Journey Continues

Its been soo long since ive done an entry. I think I actually missed my entries and I think that I will continue to blog with the hopes of healing myself and maybe helping someone. so here is a little back story. I had the lapband in  2011 and in 2014 it slipped and I had the gastric sleeve. I developed really bad GERD and in 5/1/2018 I had the gastric bypass. I am still happily married and we actually added a new member to the family I had my daughter 12/26/13 and lord does she keep me on my toes. I have started my own business and which I have opened two stores in one year.  Now that I have had the gastric bypass I will say that I think this is the best surgery I have had. I will admit I still have to work on the program the dr. has in place for me. I just feel that I have so much to focus on that the plan is like a final exam that I have to continue to work on. I will say  I am committed to losing the weight and finally reaching my goal and come my 7Th wedding anniversary next year I will be on a beach and proud of the body and the person I have become thought out this journey. Unit tomorrow  
 

Deep hunger and exercise struggles.

I had my colonoscopy/upper-endoscopy last Thursday, and the prep for that was a struggle - I think my body registered the Miralax solution as a poison because I could not keep it down, and I got a migraine from not eating.  But the procedure went fine, except... and this is so embarrassing... I think I ended up singing during it!  I know I was all drugged up, but I am so mortified about singing a love song while there was a camera in my colon! Anyways, ever since then, I have been eating like a crazy person again.  Just always feeling that deep, deep hunger, and I'm struggling to control myself.  The other day, I ate more than double the amount of calories I was supposed to, ugh.  I think it may have to do with the fact that I'm feeling very depressed lately, and I have always tried to use food to comfort myself (like many of us here, I'm sure). I'm also struggling with the exercise portion of this diet.  At the beginning,  I took a 30 minute walk, and my lower back seized up after about 10 minutes - and, of course, I had just gone down a steep hill, so I HAD to continue around the loop to get home via a much easier hill.  That was very very painful, and I've been afraid to walk more than 10 minutes ever since. I do, however, go rollerskating twice a week, which is AMAZING exercise, low-impact, and it doesn't hurt as much even when I skate for an hour.  But there is a huge fire happening in my area, and the fire department is using the parking lot of my local skating rink, so they're closed for a few weeks.  What will I do?  I love to skate. Hopefully I can knock this depression soon and just get on with life.  Just wish I could skate it off.
 

Diet update and psych eval woes.

I was so so nervous and discouraged about the 1,200 calorie diet the surgeon wanted me to do, but it has turned out to be okay.  I go over the calorie limit much of the time, but not by much, and I am able to take it in stride and not beat myself up over it.  But lately it has been easier to control my eating (I almost feel like the promise of surgery is bolstering my spirits), but half of the days I still have that deep deep hunger that just won't seem to go away.  I'm not sure how long I'd be able to keep up this diet without the eventual help of the surgery, but I seem to be doing okay with it for now.  YAY! In other news... wow, it is hard to get a bariatric psych evaluation.  All of the qualified individuals in my provider network are extremely backed-up, and many of them are not taking new clients.  It is frustrating because I will be done with all of the other requirements by the end of July, but my psych eval appointment is at the end of October!  I can't even get a surgery date set until after I've had the evaluation.  I'd rather not have to wait that long, but I don't know of viable alternatives... ...Except I was googling and I saw bariatricpsychevaluations.com - I am not sure what to think about it... if I could get it done more quickly, paying $150 seems like it would be worth it, but is it legit?  I was able to find a few reviews, and it seems to be split half-and-half - some people are happy, but other people never got their evaluation sent to their surgeon.  Hard to know what to do. To be safe, I should probably just be patient and wait until October, but I need to have this surgery, and now that I've made up my mind about it, I don't want to wait.  I need to be healthy YESTERDAY. 
 

Diet nerves.

From 06-03-2018   I have always been easily discouraged.  I will often not try something because I "know" I will fail at it, or I may do some other self-sabotaging thing.  This is a terrible way to live life, and I've only recently started working on it. This weight loss surgery is something I know I need to do, something I even WANT to do, and I am determined to give it a shot even though I "know" (untrue) it's just another thing I will likely fail at.  I'm trying to push past my automatic hide-under-a-rock reaction. So, keeping in mind my default self-defeating attitude, I am already struggling with this diet.  It was only YESTERDAY that the surgeon told me I needed to lose 20 lbs and that I need to keep a food log and try to eat only 1200 calories/day.  I guess I'm struggling with the IDEA of the diet.  1200 calories is crazy!  I'm HUGE, how am I going to successfully function in day-to-day life on so little sustenance?  I'm going to get low-blood-sugar migraines, I'm going to be even tireder than I already am, I'm going to be so so hungry all the time. The thing is, I have barely even started the diet, but I am already psyching myself out, worrying before it's necessary, my brain is screaming for me to eat a huge amount of whatever I want in protest.  Am I strong enough to withstand?  I'm not so sure.  So then how am I going to be successful with the surgery?? Lots for me to think about.  I want this so badly, but I am AFRAID that I won't be successful.  Being so full of fear can really squash all the joy from life.
 

The beginning.

From 06-02-2018   Well, the surgeon said I am a great candidate for the surgery, so we're moving forward! I am very excited, I was so worried that he wouldn't approve, but it took very little time for him to evaluate me. Boy, the requirements!  Obviously there's the Nutrition appointments and a psych eval, but there's also lots of blood work and X-Rays, a Colonoscopy/Endoscopy, and the dreaded Pap Smear.  I will also need to attend a support group, twice.  It's fine, though, I am willing to jump through the hoops, I just wish that all of this wasn't so far away - 1 hour drive each way. The other requirement is: LOSE 20 LBS.  From what I've read so far, this is quite a common requirement, but it seems really difficult, since I have been gradually and constantly gaining weight over the last year.  In fact, I GAINED 20lbs over the last 6 months, which is incredibly alarming, and was the main reason I even thought I might need the surgery. I liked the doctor - he seems like a no-nonsense type.  The only thing is, we didn't talk about the different types of surgery yet.  I suspect he wants to see if I seriously follow his requirements before taking the time, but even so, much of the information in the packet I was sent home with talks about the LAP Band, which is a procedure I most certainly do not want.  I know he also performs the sleeve, which is the one I've chosen for myself, so I'm hoping my suspicions are correct and that we discuss surgery types next time we meet. Anyways, YAY!  I'm on the way
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    • I'm not going to make it to 64 ounces today. (They sent me home yesterday.) If I really push, I can make it past half way there before bedtime. I never believed people who were like "plain water hurts, but I can do [some more interesting thing]," so karma showed up to put me in my place. I do OK with jello! Hot (really, warm) tea seems to do OK, too. Protein water I can do, but I have to go slowly. Plain water HURTS. I think I'll try my first protein shake (not just protein water) tomorrow. Anyway, I'm glad we're both back out in the non-hospital world and moving forward! ❤️
    • I have kind of gone back and forth, sometimes using sugar-free stuff and sometimes avoiding it. I had a bit of a diet soda habit over the past couple of years, so I guess I'm used to aspartame, at least. Though I do notice the flavor--I can tell it from sugary stuff by the aftertaste (or lack thereof, in the case of sugar). I don't notice an aftertaste with sugar-free Jello, the same way I do with a lot of the sf stuff. It just tastes like Jello to me. I hope you're as lucky, there! I haven't told anyone in my family, besides obviously my husband, who is ... worried, but really supportive, and trying not to burden me with his worry. (That's why I didn't tell my mom. I'd spend all my energy reassuring her, and she'd harass my husband all day on the surgery day.) Well, I told my younger brother, but he lives in another state, and his wife just had the sleeve, plus he's thinking of doing it early next year, so that conversation went well. It's safer than a gallbladder removal or a joint replacement, statistically speaking, and those are also considered to be safe surgeries! I hope that we are both on the right side of all of the statistics--safe, pretty easy recovery, no complications, etc. ❤️ I look forward to hearing how great you're doing when we both check in on the 4th!
    • I know, it is totally weird how different everyone's plan is. I'm sorry that you had to be on liquids for 7 days! It's going to totally be worth it! You're so lucky to not have a bowel prep - I don't really understand why I have to do it, but I am willing to jump through any hoops to get this done. I need to get some SF Jello, that is a good idea - something with a little "substance", haha. Were you eating SF stuff before, or did you just recently convert for the surgery? Were you able to get used to it fairly quickly? I'm not used to Sugar-Free, so I'm a little nervous about even going down that road. I hope your surgery and recovery go well, as well! I will definitely check in afterwards, and will look forward to seeing you check in, too. Some of my friends/family are nervous for me because it's kinda a serious surgery, but I've been acting like it's NBD. But it IS kinda serious - removing most of the stomach! So, in that light, I hope you don't have any complications and that you come out of it all safely. Good luck!
    • It's weird how the plans are all different. Today's my 6th day on full liquids, and tomorrow is clear liquids only. No bowel prep, which maybe I am grateful for? I don't think I'm allowed to have V8. (I didn't ask, since tomatoes settle badly for me, anyway.) Sugar free Jello has been the unsung hero of my week, and I think I might actually sing about it tomorrow, when it is the only "thick" thing I'm allowed to have. Anyway, I hear you about second thoughts. I am really full of them, myself. I'm mostly worried about the near-term, right now--getting through the next month or so--but I share some of your longer-term concerns, too. Anyway, I hope your surgery is quick and easy and your recovery goes well! Check in on the October 2018 Sleevers thread when you're able to, after surgery, OK? I'm on the 3rd, too, but I probably won't check in on these forums until I'm home on (fingers crossed) the 4th.
    • As I am sitting here reading your post, I am eating Taco Johns... for the last time. LOL! My surgery is Thursday... I have been on shakes and 1 small meal for the last 11 days, and tomorrow I do liquids only. I completely understand the difficulty and the way of thinking. But yet I feel awful when I do something I know I shouldn't. Don't get me wrong, I am very excited for the surgery! I've been ready and just waiting for it, but I'm not a patient person at all. LOL! Many blessings on your upcoming surgery!
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