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Prednisone is not a good time

Hey y'all so I'm 7 months out and just got diagnosed with deltoid bursitis. My PCP who is aware of my sleeve gave me the choice of oral steroids, steroid injection in my hip/butt or referring over to sports medicine for an ultrasound guided steroid injection into my bursa. I don't like being poked and didn't wanna wait so I opted for some tasty prednisone coupled with omeprazole....this was a crap decision, don't do what I did.   Guys, my restless legs are SO bad...as in today at work I couldn't sit still, I have NEVER had restless legs during the day....ever..plus the borderline homicidal rage at the world (not really homicidal, just ANGRY) couple with the fact today was day 2 of a 12 day taper and I already GAINED 3 pounds WTF?!?  And last but not least I think it's screwing with my thirst....I haven't been thirsty almost at all and have had to force down maybe 20ish ounces and still not thirsty even though I have a pounding headache.  So glad tomorrow is the last day of the highest dose, after tomorrow I have 3 days of 30mg, 3 days of 20mg and then 3 days of 10mg...never again if I can help it.  Silver lining, my shoulder is starting to feel better so I guess there's that...

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Kidney Stone .... you suck!

Oh Kidney Stone .... how I hate thee.  And really, there aren't many people or things I hate in life as that's just negativity.  I mean, I hate one person to pieces (but you'd have to know the entire story to understand) but this ..... this stone takes the cake.  At the last ultrasound I had for my stone - I was told it was 10.5mm .... which I proudly told them I would be happy to pass.  However, apparently it's too big, and I'm awaiting a consult with Urology - which will happen in September.  Today though, it's been bugging me and I truly don't think I'll be waiting that long to have it removed, I think it'll start to cause more issues before then.   But what this stone is doing is affecting my day to day living .... I'm finding myself getting slightly annoyed more at things.  I'm more snappy with my family because I feel irritated with it.  And I don't feel like eating, which is throwing a wrench into my wanting to lose this 10 pounds.  I'm trying to get all my water in, however, with that comes lots of peeing and a bit more pain as it swooshes around in my kidney.  I've been desperately trying to get all of my work done in the event I have to take some time off, add it to having iron deficiency anemia and I feel like a mess.   However, if that's all that is bothering me, I can work thru it.  I legit am so scared of having the stone removed.  I pray they can blast it to small pieces and I will be happy to pass whatever remnants that are left.  But I pray that there is no going to grab it and extracting it.  I'm such a private person that this puts me into a completely new anxiety level I've never had before.  So here is hoping.  And here is hoping that if it's going to come out, it comes out soon.  I wouldn't mind enjoying my summer. Happy Monday everyone - I hope everyone enjoyed Canada Day and the Fourth of July!
 

Back to basics

Well today is the day, June 28th, and I have decided to really hunker down and try to lose the 10lbs I have left of regain from having Piper.  I had lost ALL of my weight after having her but then Covid struck, we moved away for the summer and I gained about 15 lbs.  I'm having a really hard time losing the weight from this and I wonder if my body is just happy to be where it's at, but I'm not.  My clothes are all based around 130 so I'd be happy to be about 135.  I was told the other day that I looked "too sickly" at 128-130 and that's not my goal to look like that, but I thought I looked pretty ok.  I feel much better at 148 than I did at almost 300, but, mentally, I'm happy where I once was at 130.  So I'm going to do a happy medium and pick 135 as my goal for now!   Back to basics of protein, protein, and more protein -- and of course water, water and more water!  hahahah  Meal prepping and planning tonight and on Friday I'll order groceries for pick up (staying out of the grocery store as best as I can only temps me to buy Starbucks and food I don't need!).  Cross my fingers I can see goal in a month -- I sure hope so!  
 

Thoughts 6 months later

Howdy y'all! I'm so sorry I haven't been keeping up on here, things have been a whirlwind! Here I am 6 months post op and some days I can't believe the number on the scale. Guys, I found a journal I kept in high school, maybe junior-ish year and I had noted my weight in the nurse's office from beginning of school weigh in at 256lbs...as I sit and write this, this past week I weighed in at 255.7lbs. I haven't been this light since high school...we are talking uhm....maybe 16 years old, maybe 17? That boggles my mind. My surgeon's goal for me is 193, mine is probably closer to 140-150 if I can get my lazy ass off the couch. It is now summer in Texas and guys, I HATE Texas in the summer, it's like living in hellfires. My dog hates it, I hate it, it's a bad time all around. So now that I've enjoyed being lazy for 6 months(not counting some hiking we did this past spring) it's time to nut up and get my **** together. I am paying money for my Fitbit premium and I have a Wii fit game I really enjoy just lately we have been so slammed at work and so, SO shortstaffed I feel like I live at work and just come home to sleep...My days off are usually spent overwhelmed with how far behind I am with housework, schoolwork(started vet tech school back in February when I had hope), house is filthy, schoolwork hasn't been touched for almost 2 months(I'm doing an online only program) and I am always so tired. But that changes now. Boundaries for how late I stay at work will be set(the clinic closes at 6pm, most techs and doctors leave between 6:30-7pm, for the past I don't know how many weeks the receptionists have had to stay till close to 9pm to finish tasks that we just don't have the time/staff to get to while we are open. So if any of you have been nasty to your vet(and I'm sure some of you have been because people lately have sucked hard ass) you should probably by your vet clinic people food or alcohol...but that's a rant for another day. ANYWAY, back to the matter at hand, my crappy eating and lack of movement. I'm on the band wagon of the "I can have whatever I want in moderation" group but I'm sick of stalling so frequently and my crap food choices so first order of business is to trash the sugar. I know, it's BAD, I know, I quit it prior to surgery and it inched its' way back into my life...time to kill it for good...it isn't even the same "high" I got before surgery it is basically just a habit, my brain tricks me into thinking this time it will be tastier, like it was before that it will make my exhaustion ease some and guess what? It doesn't. It lies. I eat it and I'm still miserable. Step 1: kick sugar to the curb...again. Step 2: Develop some sort of exercise routine that I can enjoy enough to make into a habit, key word is ENJOY. I ENJOY hiking-but preferably in drizzly 40-50 degrees and certainly not in 95 degrees...also, I am inherently lazy even though I KNOW exercise makes me feel good if it is something I enjoy doing. It's gonna be trial and error, but I need to get into shape, going on vacation in the North Carolina mountains in September and I remember what the elevation is like and I am NOT where I need to be to fully enjoy the trails I wanna go on.  I digress from most of this, I'm sure some of you are here to see what the last 6 months have been like and if I have regrets etc. The first 2 weeks after surgery physically wasn't the worst thing ever, did it suck? Absolutely, especially when I found out the hard way that while I LOVE my adjustable bed it was to high off the ground for me to get in and out without having to stretch my body...imagine me trying desperately to get my feet to get the floor and sliding while laying on my back but that doesn't work because that stretches my abdomen---and it HURT, well it burned/stung/something and it made me cry a little. Lesson learned, my happy ass slept on my MUCH lower couch for the 2 weeks and I learned to pull myself up to sitting positions from laying down or standing from sitting with nothing but my arms. Each day was gradually better, went to work 2 weeks post op, sitting up straight(not reclining or on an angle but like sitting with decent posture) put tension on my abdomen and work for the 2 days I worked before I had off for Christimas(previously asked off) were exhausting as was my commute to and from work which is an hour each way. However, after coming back from Christmas break(a 5 day reprieve) it was much better and I didn't have much if any problems after that. I don't know if my surgeon is extremely skilled at getting the gas out after they were done with the surgery but I had zero gas pain, just the incisions pulling and burning. No nausea except a little when waking up from surgery and maybe a couple of days post op.  Biggest struggles so far: eating the best choices with my work schedule, with my hair loss that was inevitable I did incorporate protein shakes to help make sure I am getting the minimum amount--I shoot for 2 shakes a day, sometimes I make that sometimes not. Water intake. This has been the single hardest thing for me, as someone that routinely drank 100+oz a day and enjoyed flavored waters to struggle to get in around 44oz has been a huge bummer. Exacerbated by that is my stomach is not a morning stomach and has been known to be extra nauseous when I give it water in the morning and it hasn't woken up enough-granted that is me in a nutshell since I am not a fan of mornings but still, really annoying...especially when it tolerates my Java Monster just fine(yes, I drink one a few times a week, just no bubbles). Most flavors of water taste like fake fruit chemicals and I can't really tolerate them for the most part but I did find a couple of products to help minimize dehydration: Hoist which is a premade flavored beverage that touts itself as "IV level hydration" and was apparently made for soliders on the battlefield. I also found Banana Bag powder, basically it is what you would find in a banana bag for iv fluids. The WHO has recognized it as being used for dehydration, decently priced, I stumbled on it on Amazon and loved I could try it by only buying 5 packets or 15 or 30. It is not the tastiest thing, I would say expect it to taste like a VERY salty lemon lime gatorade--MILD hints of the lemon lime. Luckily it is made to be mixed in only 8-10oz of water so it isn't a huge chore to drink it. I look forward to trying it to keep my dehydration migraines at bay when I do hike later this year because those are quite possibly the worst things ever...I KNOW to get rid of it I have to drink but a lot of times at that point I hurt so bad I'm not even thirsty...yuck.    Anyway, I have rambled enough, i plan on getting on the forums more to hopefully kickstart my restart on food and exercise and hopefully help others with their journeys.    Until next time-could be a couple of days, could be a solid 6 months, Amanda

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

1 year, 3 months after the PS Trifecta

Totally forgot about these blog entries.  Its been over a year since I did a little write up about my (body) plastics, so I feel compelled to do one now, since I am seriously contemplating moving forward with facial plastics (but this is a topic for another blog entry later). Sooooo....here we go: Tummy Tuck: Overall, I am very happy with the results.  My abdominal muscles are pretty visible at rest (more so when I'm low-carbing).  No muffin top when I'm wearing tight low-waisted stuff...well, at least from the front.  The area around my waistband from the back is not nearly as tight looking.  I suppose if I had a full lower body lift, this would have been addressed.  I kinda wish I did have a lower body lift, but then I look at my scars and think, nah, i'm cool.  My TT scar is still pretty dark. At least it's flat now, thanks to 2 rounds of steroid shots, but nowhere near as UN-noticeable as others on my same timeline.  I've said it before, I knew I would scar badly based on my history, but still.  The scar though is easily hidden even in my smallest bikini, so I'm good.  But if I wear a high cut one, you can see the ends of the scar on my hips...so, I just don't wear high cut ones.  The only people who see the scar in its full glory is me, Mr. and my doc. Now i'm going to nit pick here, but I'm allowed to since its my blog, LOL.  What I am a little bummed about (just a little) is that I my abdomen is actually not a flat as it was pre-plastics.  I have a visible roundess on my lower abdomen.  I attribute this to the fact that all the other places have been thinned out and it just looks more pronounced to me now.  Doc said this is normal because there are organs there, but still.  If I am wearing a fitted dress, you can see when I've eaten.  Its sorta fascinating sometimes, cuz I can actually see it get smaller as my body digests. Today my waist measurement is 26".  Which is weird because *I* think it looks smaller, but I was actually 25.5" pre-TT. Breast Lift: This is still by far the surprising winner of my procedures.  The difference (to me) is amazing.  And the fact that I can go bra-less for days on end and still be perky makes me happy. The scarring is at the same level as my TT, and if I wear a string bikini top you can see the scar ends at my sides, if I lift my arms up.  I LOVE that I have no "side boob" oozing.  There is no excess skin spilling out anymore near my armpits when I wear a fitted tank/bra/tube top.  There are times I wish I had a little bit more boob (and got some implants), but then I remember how much they annoyed me before, and it passes. Today my bust measurement is 33".  It was 32.5" pre-BL. Arm Lift: I also love the overall results of my arm lift.  I always hated my arms, even pre-WLS, and getting these done was my #1 wish.  While not as drastic an improvement as my breast lift (in terms of both looks AND quality of life), I am really happy with the shape and size.  My biceps are more noticeable at rest with all the skin gone, but I do have to say my triceps need to flexed to be seen....but this is likely because my triceps just need some more work (I HATE tricep work...dips and extensions SUCK.) The scars here are the worst of them all, and while the 2 rounds of steroid shots have greatly improved them, there is still along way to go before they go unnoticed.  I was always self conscious about the size of my arms when I was bigger (and actually even when i was "normal" sized", and then self conscious about thier flappiness when I got smaller after WLS.  Now I so totally fine with wearing sleeveless stuff even with the scars.  You can't see them unless I raise my arms, but I am a "Whoo"- girl, so people will see them regularly, LOL. Today my arm circumference is just a smidge over 10".  It was 10.5" pre-AL. Would I do it all again? HECKS YA. What would I do differently?: Listen to my doc about NOT doing to much too soon. My stupidity probably added 2-3 months to my total recovery time. NOT smoked. Did more self-massages as I was instructed to break up the scar tissue.  I know I did less than what I should have because it really hurt me to do it.  Had I done it as prescribed, I probably wouldn't have had to have 2 sections of my scar on my right arm cut due to reduced mobility.  Now these two sections where he made incisions are darker than the rest of my scar. Asked for a V-shaped TT incision vs a straight one (so it would be hidden if I wore high cut bikinis) Did my rounds of steroid shots earlier.  I was scheduled to have it done 3-4 months post op, but then Covid happened, and I ended up getting them done 13 & 15 months post op. Asked for some lipo on my lower back while I was on the table. Really though, I am super happy with getting the plastics, thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested, and the minor annoyances of the process and 1 year results are completely overshadowed by how awesome I think my bod looks now. I am not interested in doing any more body plastics work now (or ever, we'll see).  I can live with the rest of my perceived imperfections (i'm looking at you ass, and inner  thighs, and lower back). Next UP: doing something about my face!

ms.sss

ms.sss

 

Slogging through the crappy times

So here I am...almost 2 weeks post op( 2 weeks on Monday). And y'all...the regret is for real. Was not prepared for how painful the incisions would be and how much they would limit how much I moved around, shuffling really even though I was ready mentally to go back out to hiking. Sitting in the car is miserable and I go back to work on Tuesday-an hour commute one way. I can barely tolerate the protein shakes and have basically stopped drinking them, they make my stomach spasm so I have been living off of sugar free pudding with protein powder mixed in, strained soup since broth is to salty and gross and greek yogurt and water. I have made water my priority but even so I have gone from easily drinking 100-150oz on a given day to somewhere between 44-60oz. I am miserable. On top of all this the scale moved the first four days, then bounced back up 15lbs and has not really moved from there. I know I'm losing because I'm tracking inches but it would be nice to get some assurance from the scale. I am also allergic to the skin glue they used so my incisions are red, angry and so f*cking itchy I want to rip my skin off. Living off of Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream at the moment. I am frustrated. Hoping that once I move on to the pureed foods on Tuesday that getting my protein in will be easier and once I am not so sore I will be able to really get moving. It's not all gloom and doom I suppose, I have had no issues with heartburn(I didn't ever prior to surgery), I haven't had any complications, no gas pains to really speak of. I just want to get down all the crap that I'm going through so maybe in a few months when I look back at this I can write something to the tune of "things got better, much better"...fingers crossed. -A

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Got a date aka hurry up and wait

As some of you know by now by my post from a couple of weeks or so ago, I GOT A DATE! Lord willing and the Covid settles a bit, I will be joining the loser's bench on December 7th! Monday starts my preop diet-I can either do an all liquids diet or one with one small meal from a very short list of meat and vegetables. I opted to do whichever one my body needs each morning. I have done water fasting before with my longest without food being 3 days so I have some idea how craptastic this is probably going to be for the first few days. Thankfully while I love my family dearly everyone is okay with me sitting at home to hang out with my protein shake and cleaning supplies while my mom goes to my younger brother's house a few hours away. While I enjoy Thanksgiving food it won't be that much missed away from the smells and watching everyone else eat. My work schedule also is normal so Thursday is just a normal day off for me and then back at it Friday and Saturday so I also will count my blessings my day off isn't spent in a car for a good part of the day. Christmas will probably be different, Christmas is much more family and a lot less eating involved. 😊 So today was my stock up day for the next week or so(I didn't want to go all out buying 2 weeks worth in case tastes change, Covid postpones surgery or my tastebuds change) and of course it was basically everyone else's shopping day...completely didn't think about it being Thanksgiving week...oops. Anywho, ended up with some Fairlife, Premier protein shakes, sugar free jello, tasty bone broth(I can add a small amount of chicken or other meat and some veggies to it to make it more soup like), Mio Sport for electrolyes since I know I have a tendency to have leg cramps, fiber, immodium, bean-o--for any possible stomach irritability on the diet and beyond, and so many water flavor packets! I also have video games I can play, my novel to work on (anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?), books I've been meaning to read and cleaning to do to keep me out of the kitchen and focused on other things when I'm not at work.  Wednesday is my preop visit with the nutritionist/surgeron and finalizing financial stuff and December 4th is my Covid test-if anyone has any insight to how terrible (or not really) that is, I'm all ears. I will be getting the nose swab(yay me. -_-) but my supervisor started my two weeks time off on the 4th and just had me work 4 days in a row which means I can get it done early and come home and go back to bed. Plan on going into nesting mode that weekend-although I'm kinda already working on it now. I've been saving up my vacation basically all year in anticipation of 2 whole weeks off. I want to make sure if I have any complications I won't screw up our schedule but also I work at a vet clinic as a receptionist and y'all...I am EXHAUSTED. I have a couple of friends that have already made plans to come see me while I'm on leave and I also plan on maybe going out to the beach for the day to walk and take pictures if I'm up to it(I know I see others being able to handle several miles of walking only a few days post op). But for the most part, I'm not making any plans but to rest, walk and sip anything else besides that is all extra bonuses! 🙂  I ordered some popsicle making molds from Amazon that I plan to use with my flavored water that should be here in a couple of days along with my pill dispenser (has 4 compartments per day-AM, Lunch, PM, evening) and I can take one large compartment with me to work instead of the whole thing! After so much time sometimes it is really hard for me to believe I actually have a surgery date...I went to my first ever bariatric surgery info session when I was 17...I am now 31...I always say that you can never help someone from addiction or just bad choices unless THEY ARE READY and I never listened to my own advice...until last year on my 30th birthday, I had had so many birthdays where I always promised myself in a year I wouldn't be fat, I could almost picture myself not obese but not quite. 30 was my wake up call that I couldn't do it on my own, I needed my help. In the mountains of Wyoming (I went back to visit with friends I had made while living there for a few years) I decided that I would find a PCP and start figuring it all out. I got insanely lucky, I had no PCP in mind when I called to make an appointment, just asked the receptionist who she would recommend and haven't looked back. She has been rooting for me for months and when I got to send her a message and let her know I had a date was a really big highlight for me. I stuck with this and here I am...16 days from surgery.   
I plan on vetting a therapist here in a few weeks, to find one that matches some specific criteria that also happens to be in network may be a bit of a challenge but I have challenges that weight loss will bring me I've never faced before...like dating...I've been obese since 4th or 5th grade so I've never been in a relationship or worried about unsavory characters giving me attention I do not want although I also plan on starting Krav Maga classes when my surgeron clears me.  I think that's all I got for now, gonna enjoy my last 24 hours of "normal" eating tomorrow and Monday starts the real countdown! Amanda

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Reflecting

As it sits I am now 27 days away from my 7th and final weigh in visit with my PCP. Granted I did find out I have to go over to the lab to get some bloodwork done but I plan on doing that on Friday and don't expect any huge problems that need addressing so really, it that last visit. In the last 7 months as of right now I have 1)quit smoking (February 7th baby!) 2)Gotten to really forge a relationship with my PCP(SO thankful for this, I need as many people rooting for me as possible!) 3) Made quite a few small changes in anticipation of surgery 4) Became more active on this forum and other Facebook pages 5) Kept at this for now almost a year. A few reflections thus far: If you have a supervised diet requirement by your insurance, embrace it y'all. I never really expected to enjoy my visits with my PCP during this time but even she said this last visit that our chats were her favorite appointment and that she was proud of how far I've come. To clarify, I've only lost like ~9lbs(sometimes 6lbs depending on the time of day and if I am wearing work clothes) but I have added in quite a bit more exercise (most weeks I average 30-45mins at least 4-6 days a week), I am drinking so much more water, I've cut out straws(for the most part) and energy drinks and I am currently working on getting rid of soda. I have also most days controlled and conquered my sugar habit, the portion control is where I really struggle honestly and journaling my food should be better but I'm working on that! I guess what I mean to say is that I never really thought about the fact that if I am denied for whatever reason through insurance that I will really need someone in my corner that knows the changes I've made and how much I have worked for this surgery to fight for me. If you don't think your PCP would be willing to do that for you, I'd highly recommend finding a new one before you really get trucking down this path. The small changes really have added up for me, but it's the portion control I lack(I've always lacked) and I am SO ready to have that built in for me to bring alongside my other changes to finally get my life moving the way I want! If you have a few months, make small changes so by the time surgery comes, you aren't trying to change everything about your lifestyle. It hurts to be fat. It really, really does. Incorporating exercise has made me see that even with new shoes, my feet and calves hurt when I power walk and I'm out of commission for the next like 5 days trying to recuperate. Lesson learned: hiking in nature is my go to(zero problems unless I wear the wrong socks-the blisters after 7 miles was like walking in broken glass), but I will also start up my yoga dvd again(it is legit yoga for obese people-the name escapes me at this moment) as well as my Biggest Loser dvds for indoor exercise. I think I'll leave the road pounding to a less fat Amanda, maybe throw in some more gentler, longer walks. My surgeon wants me at 60 minutes of cardio 6 days a week leading up to surgery, can be in increments or all at once. Even being in a little bit better shape than I am now will help my recovery and transition that much easier. If you can, get your bariatric program to pre-schedule all of your weigh in PCP, specialist (sleep, cardiology etc), nutritionist visits at the beginning it will make a HUGE difference. At least it did for me. I had my consult with my surgeon in February, met with the coordinator who scheduled all my appointments (which meant I could ask  for my work schedule to allow for those visits off months ahead of time) but also allowed me to put them in my calendar and gave me the ability to countdown each one. I downloaded a widget for my phone that counts down and I get intense pleasure from resetting it after each PCP visit to restart that month countdown. I have a goal to be down 5-10lbs for my last visit and having a countdown gives me incentive! Having this wait for me really made me realize how into instant gratification I was am. So much of me thought I was so ready for this surgery as soon as I walked out of the surgeon's office. I wanted nothing to do with freaking SEVEN months of visits! Going to Mexico crossed my mind more than I really like to admit just because I didn't want to wait and thought I was 100% ready. Obviously, that was false and the more I settled into my routines of PCP visits intermingled with lifestyle changes and new diagnoses(I have sleep apnea, surprise! -_-) the more I realized that if I had been able to have surgery a few weeks after meeting the surgeon I may have been doomed or just really, really, really miserable at the beginning. When I start to get antsy about dates and waiting I HAVE to remind myself that I didn't get to be where I am health/weight wise overnight, in a week or even in 7 months and waiting a little longer isn't the end of the world(especially if you consider my very first visit to a bariatric seminar was when I was 17-my mom was okay with signing anything she needed to-----I am now 30). I've never seen myself at a healthy weight, or even under 300lbs since college about 9 years ago, I have never dated and always considered myself the fat friend-the one that people keep around because I make them laugh but not much else, and my friendship graveyard seems to confirm that. This wait has brought a lot of emotional issues to deal with that thankfully I can deal with a part from recovering from surgery and fixing my eating habits/lifestyle. I discovered I am terrified of no longer being able to not attract the wrong attention(I have never really worried about being kidnapped or raped or even hit on in a bar) but I have remedied that by finding a Krav Maga club by my work that should very nicely double as a gym/workout as well as planning on getting my concealed carry license. Dating is a whole other game, one I probably won't even think about touching for very long time, being along my whole life has given me the ability to be spontaneous in my plans (the dogs don't care if I wake up and decide to take them 8 hours to a state park to camp and hike with absolutely no warning 🤣🤣. Oh! Last thing, I am now working on an Amazon list of things to order once I am approved and scheduled for surgery! I really think I'm gonna buy that stuffed sleeved stomach stuffed toy(?) animal(?) thing for the hospital stay.     I'm sure there are more things, but this kinda became a rambling stream of stuff. I really should have started this blog the day I had my consult but to tell you the truth, I never really saw myself going through this whole process successfully...but since I'm so close to the end and new beginning I need to throw this bad boy into overdrive! Until next time,
Amanda

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Can't believe how far I've come

I really have been meaning to write more blogs during my journey and well...I'm kind of lazy and was always motivated right at bedtime.  Moving on. So June was my sleep study, have super mild sleep apnea but enough to warrant a cpap machine. I hate it. I hate that I have to pay like $900 for the stupid thing(insurance would not have kicked in until over a thousand dollar deductible had been met so I went with an online provider that I emailed my prescription to and had them set my machine to). So true story, I used it sometimes and for the most part ignored it. Until after talking to one of the nurses about requirements for surgery they require a 75% use of the machine for 4 or more hours a night in the last 30 days (so that is around 22-23 days for anyone wondering). I was in maybe the 25-30% range at that point. I kept taking off the mask at night, or I wouldn't sleep for 4 hours(I skew to a late night person and my job normally has me getting up to get ready to go in at 5am so that clashes most weekday nights). I asked this wonderful community for help and got lots of recommendations and really finally sat down with myself and made sure each night keeping the stupid mask on was at the forefront of my mind every night AND I had to make sure I was in the most comfortable position as possible--9 times out of 10 it worked and I was able to hit my goal. So come to this morning I hit 76%!! Immediately downloaded my sleep report from my app(I have a ResMed machine and their app is pretty great), screenshotted it(can't screen shot it in the app) and messaged it over to Baylor Scott and White (my surgery should be happening in the Temple hospital). That was the last requirement besides the last 2 visits to my super awesome PCP-visit #6 is next Monday and visit #7 is October 27th-two days before my birthday. As soon as the October visit is done my job will be to call the bariatric department to let them know so they can submit all my paperwork(fingers crossed no appeal will be needed)!! When I've tried this process the last few times it has never felt like this, so much more real, something that is SUPPOSED to happen vs doing it because it felt like what everyone wanted me to do. I guess that was something I had to come to the conclusion was the best choice for me, it took me a few years (the first ever wls seminar I went to I was 18-I'm 30 now). I always say that unless someone wants to help themselves it doesn't matter what others offer in support or help(mostly from my experience with people I love and drug habits) and it was so true for me. I always thought I'd lose the weight on my own, day after day, year after year until my weight was 17 pounds higher than my highest ever in the surgeon's office...that was a blow and moment of clarity. is the longest 'supervised diet' I had to do in the past and I have used my time thus far to prepare mentally and emotionally, taking up new hobbies, and changing my habits one at a time. I have thus far: upped my protein and water intake, almost entirely quit sugar(desserts/junk food), quit energy drinks and started working out(this has been a struggle y'all but I plan on taking up Krav Maga and probably kayaking once I'm healed along with my winter hikes to keep it fun). I want to be where I need to be when I wake up from surgery, not grappling with quitting horrible habits and trying to juggle the emotions and physical healing of the surgery. I won't lie, I am an instant gratification person, I would love to be able to just go and self pay with none of the hoops to jump through but now at this point I am so thankful I am not because for me, that would have probably been a disaster.  I have lost some weight along the way and I try to keep the fact that weight lost now will make recovery so much easier to keep me on the straight and narrow. 
I love this community and hope that as I progress from hopeful patient to joining a lot of you on the loser's bench I can contribute valuable insight and motivation.  Until next time, Amanda

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Three years later on my Journey to walk again

Hi Everyone It has been 3 years since I last posted. During that time I had 3 more Plastic Surgeries despite the fact that I never got to my goal weight. The Dr felt that with all the excess skin from having lost 280 pounds it was best to get it off and see if maybe I would be able to walk again. So in May of 2018, I had an extended Brachioplasty. Within 1 hour of waking up, I was sent home and within less than an hour of being home, I was rushed back to the hospital as I had blood pouring out of my left upper arm. The Surgeon's assistant was called when I got to the hospital at about 9 pm. He came right away and said I had a baseball size hematoma and c would have to go back into surgery. No room was available until 4 a.m. so I remained in the ER until an Operating Room was available. I remained in the hospital for 3 days and almost have to have a blood transfusion.  I was released but was told I immediately had to go to the PS office. As I was being loaded into the van my arm started bleeding again.  The Dr greeting me at the door and I was immediately taken into a room. I remember him saying I looked like death warmed over.  He called insurance and they approved for a nurse to come every other day to clean and rewrap my left arm. It took me  10 weeks to recover from that surgery.  I must say I am glad I had the surgery but even though he took off 7 inches of skin from each arm he could have taken off more.  I have Micheline Tire Baby Syndrome and the excess skin removal did not take all the rings away. I still have one roll on each arm and some excess skin as my arms are 14 inches instead of 21. To this day I still cannot wear sleeveless shirts and added sleeves to my bathing suits.  Insurance will probably never approve another surgery on my arms. After this surgery and complications, I had two more. In early Dec of 2018, I  had my panniculectomy and a second hernia was repaired. I had no complications with this surgery and was thrilled to get 10 pounds of skin off my tummy and not have the huge overhang any more.   Wearing the binder was not fun as it kept riding either up or down my butt. By the end of January, I was able to buy my first compression garment and was back to work 2 weeks later. Despite the 10 pounds being gone I still was not able to walk without a cane or a walker. All this excess skin being removed is not helping my 6 herniated discs, yet there is one more surgery and this I am told this one may be the one that allows me to walk.  In late May of 2019, I had a belt lipectomy. The first week was very painful but by week 3 I was doing great. Two days I had terrible pain on the V spot on my back all the way around to my left groin incision. I was in terrible pain, my skin was hot and I had become so swollen I could not sleep on my left side and I had developed a blister. The Dr had been called the weekend I had terrible pain and felt so sick but I was not able to see him until Wednesday.  He Popped the blister and over 5 Emesis Basin of fluid came out. He sent it for testing and 2 days later I was told I had to go to an Infectious Disease Doctor.  The Doctor had no appointments on Friday and by Sunday  2 more blisters developed and I was so scared I went to the ER. It was determined I had MRSA and was in the hospital in an isolated room for 5 days. I had to have a MIdline put in as my veins were collapsing. OMGod that procedure hurt like you cannot believe, I was told I had rolling veins and it took them over 40 minutes to get that midline in. To make matters worse I still had a lot of excess skin in the area they wanted to put the midline. I could not move my arm for at least 2 hours after that procedure. For the next 8 weeks, I had 2 hours of IV Vancomycin 2 times a day. Finally Mid August I was well enough to return to work.  This surgery did not help my ability to walk any better.  I started going to a pain management clinic and he tried all kinds of procedures I can not even remember what they all were.  By January 2020 the pain management Doctor thought that radiofrequency ablation might work. So in late February, he stuck me 4 times on each side of my back with the heat probe that cuts the nerve.  I knew within weeks I had not worked and then Covid19 hit us all and I was in South East Florida a very bad hot spot. Even today as I wrote this we are still under phrase one. With my body the way it is I am afraid to go anywhere. My last day of work in the office was March 12th. I have been out of the house 3 times since that day.   Thank God I can do remote Zoom lessons with my blind clients otherwise I would be homeless. So where do I go from here? I do not think the pain management Doctor who I went to for over 6 months is someone I would want to return to. In Jan I will be 65 years old and even though I have been on a  Medicare advantage plan since 2008 I could change insurance companies and get all new Doctors. The only problem is I have no idea what kind of a Doctor to go to or whether or not these Florida Doctors would do anything for me. I am still obese despite having lost 250 pounds and have another 80 pounds to lose. I am over 4 years post-op for my sleeve surgery and barely manage to lose 5 to 8 pounds a month if I am 100% on plan. I was hoping to be walking by my 65th birthday but it does not look like it will happen.  I wish I could say losing all this weight was the cure to my being able to walk but it was not.  I am so totally disappointed that it did not happen. But I suppose when you have  6 herniated discs losing weight is not going to help them.  Yes, I am thinner but am still in a great deal of pain and cannot do anything without a walker or a scooter. Some Golden Years I will be having. Am so tired of being like this.  Jan 2021 will be 27 years since I was so badly injured at the Quiet Waters Park Kiss Country Chili and Band Competition. I wish I had never gone it was the ruination of my life. 

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Evening ramblings...

Howdy to anyone and everyone out there! I have my own personal blog that I could post these fun things into, but right now, I like the anonymity that I have here from friends and family. While the vast majority of those I want to know, know( I do not plan on keeping it a secret for long after I have the surgery), there are things that I'd rather not put out just yet for all of my social media. Also, I ramble...a lot, just as warning. I hope to one day post all of the posts on my more public blog hopefully to help those that have questions or doubts about the surgery and what kind of process to expect(mentally, physically, spiritually and insurance-ly(?)). Case in point: most of today's post revolves around the steps I have thus far completed towards the insurance requirements. 1) I have completed my first supervised weigh in visit(or whatever it is called) and had gained a staggering 7 pounds since my consult with my surgeon. Holy balls. I refer to them as my 'pandemic pounds' and I vowed that every visit I had there on (with my pcp or other provider) I would not be heavier than my last visit...guys, that 7lbs put me at 347...my HIGHEST EVER WEIGHT. I was mortified. My highest before I had been at was a measly 320- and I'd been at that weight for YEARS. I digress. I got back onto the count-every-calorie-and-log-it train and I have slowly lost around 5-6 of those pounds. Which brings me to another point, if I count every.single.calorie.ever I will usually lose the weight, stop once or twice and get out of the habit of not tracking and BAM! all that weight back plus more. Ugh. I have upped my protein and water intakes drastically and I most admit, protein keeps me from being hungry and thinking about food all the damn time and I look forward to having the surgery that will go hand in hand with that as well as making it impossible to scarf down 4,000 calories in one sitting---done it, hated myself for it and have really started trying to tune into the brain and stomach signals when I'm full to stop and when I want the world to burn, to PUT DOWN THE ICE CREAM AMANDA and take a breather....it's a learning process, and while I'd LOVE to be able to get surgery tomorrow, I am happy for the 7 months of putting into place coping mechanisms as well as upping exercise(and by that, I mean finding things I like besides the long hikes I do in the winter). Step number 2: I have completed the psych evaluation, it was a 15 minute chat with a psychologist on Zoom or whatever telehealth platform they were using and then a 300 questionnaire  that I have issues with--I hate the stupid things with vague, sometimes true and sometimes not true statements that you have to say you agree or disagree with. My paper says that the visit was supposed to also potentially discuss the results, but the guy told me once I'd turned them in he would write a report that goes to whoever needs it. I would like to know my results...guess I will call the bariatric department and make sure I'm not doing all this only to be denied in 6 months because of my evaluation-if that's the case, I've already decided I would find a place like Blossom or maybe Mexico to self pay. I digress. Step 3) Had to do a sleep study, had the consult with a nurse practitioner who decided since I have no major ongoing issues I could complete a home sleep study. Guys, it pretty much sucked balls(see pictures). Got that done, turned it back in and Thursday I have the results visit(I wish they could just tell me if I have sleep apnea or not--I will be kind of surprised if I do) AND weigh in #2 with my PCP! BTW guys, I can't stress this enough, if you don't have a PCP that you enjoy going to see and that will root for you, get you a different one. My PCP supports my decision to pursue bariatric surgery and I enjoy our conversations we have had thus far. Will be even happier if Thursday I am down a good 10ish pounds or so. Last item of business, I went to Michael's this past weekend (it was glorious!) and found this sweet box that I have come to refer to as my "You Got This!" box. My book with all my surgery info is in it, I also plan to write myself notes and put inspirational pictures in it(things I want to wear, places to go, things to do etc) to look through when all I really wanna do is eat 5 pounds of chocolate. I attached a picture if anyone is curious, I like having things like that. I should probably call it a night, it's already after 11pm and I have to be up for work here around 5am.
Look for more of these hot mess blogs, they make me feel good putting it all (well, most) out there.   -Amanda

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Almost gave up...again...and other thoughts

I almost gave up...again. I almost decided that my health wasn't worth waiting another month. I almost did, but I didn't this time. An inconvenience that would not phase almost anyone else made me second guess myself for the billionth time. But this time I stuck with it, even though I was disappointed, even though deep down I wanted to use the fact that my first (of seven) doctor supervised “diet” appointments was made into a telehealth appointment that I subsequently did not attend due to some idiocy on my part and therefore had to push my timeline back another month. I wanted to give up, I wanted to cancel every single appointment the bariatric department had made me already. But rational, 30-year-old Amanda kept focused that it was a minor setback, easily remedied by making an appointment for October for the last visit. Also, my first doctor supervised appointment was last week and it was in clinic, gained 7lbs(I call them pandemic pounds -_-) and forgot how much I like my doctor! Actually had a conversation about what changes to make, how things were going and goals for my next visit! Also also, today is my 90 day mark of having quit smoking! WOOHOO!  I am in the process of making a playlist for days like that(because really, the most doubt was only around for at most a day or two) to get me through the self doubt of my decision even though for 99.999% of the time I am 120% committed to doing this for me. No pressure from anyone else, no real (or imagined)judgment(s) from others to do what I feel like they want me to do. This is on me. A playlist that will incite courage and faith in the journey, to remind me that the process isn't a sprint but a marathon that must be paced accordingly. --If you have suggestions, I'd love them!--- I did my psych evaluation today. Going into it not knowing what to expect was only mildly nerve wracking. The possibility the answers I gave on a 300 some odd questionnaire with stupid statements will preclude me from having surgery does weigh on part of my mind. And let me reiterate the stupidity of the questions, many of which could easily be changed from 'true' to 'false' and vice versa depending on my mood or how my day had been going. If that is how it goes, then I guess that is how it goes. And plan B will have to be found—Mexico maybe? Each month I am trying to focus on changing a habit, getting into a new mindset. I have incorporated more water and protein. This month (after being weighed at +7lbs than my last weight at my doctor's visit) I have re-started logging food and am gradually cutting out the sugar(cookies, candy etc). My highest weight used to be 320, now, with embarrassment it is 347. I was speechless and upset. I luckily do not have any comorbidities...right now...and like I told a coworker, play with fire for to long and you will get burned. In my case, I'm going to get burned badly. With diabetes and high pressure lurking in my family lines it is only a matter of time not to mention my poor knees.   That's all the musings I have for tonight.   Have courage, keep the faith, Amanda    

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

2 Months PS Update

Ah, its been two months to the day since my plastics trifecta, and I have to tell you the past month or so has been a little rough. On Wound Healing: My healing progress took several steps backwards primarily due to my over-eagerness to get back into my exercise routine.  I pushed myself a little too soon, a little too much and ended up opening up a few incisions. TWICE. Add to this that my body for the past few weeks has decided to expell my sutures instead of absorbing them, resulting in more broken skin and open wounds. At it's worst, I had 9 concurrent open wounds that were painful, oozing and stinky. On Exercise: Not including the two ill-advised attempts of full-on running and strength training, along with the equally ill-advised crunches I was doing in bed, I have had almost zero exercise. Now, I do go out for 1+ hour walks every few days, but I don't really count this as "true" exercise as I don't get that exercise "high" afterwards.  I consider walking more of mental health remedy, I guess. On the Blahs: Due to my slow healing and recurring wounds + the lack of exercise + the fact that I have been basically holed up at home for 2 months + the crappy T.O. winter weather + my self-imposed week-long lack of sleep to watch every marquee Australian Open match, and difficulty sleeping even after it was done + my noticeably increased carb (read: sugar) intake + my obsession with the swelling in my lower abdomen, was feeling pretty sh*tty for a while. I was in full-on pity party mode and was being a total B to the fam, and picking totally unnecessary fights with them (Sorry Fam!  They deserve trophies for putting up with me). I went through a week or so of drinking my blahs away, which I put a stop to once I realized what I was doing. I even shared an ENTIRE pack of cigarettes with BFF one night cuz I was just so annoyed and looking back, probably wanted to give an EFF YOU to the universe.  Of all the things, I am most regretful of this.  Mostly because I admitted it to Mr. & the Kid and while they didn't admonish me, I could see that they were disappointed.  Jeez. On Possibly Turning a Corner: Last week, I did a much needed reality check (of which I need to thank @sillykitty for for prompting, along with the break in the winter weather that day, and the first good night's sleep I had in a while the night before). I upped my protein (thanks @FluffyChix for the reminder), and made sure to get more sleep (thanks me!, LOL). As of this morning, I am down to only 4 open wounds. The ooze factor of these have decreased ALOT, and they no longer stink. YAY!  Though I'm going to temper my expectations because I have healed and UN-healed TWICE before and it was a definite hit to the mood. Current PS/body results: Swell hell continues in my lower abdomen & upper thighs.  Some days are better than others.  The one thing I have noticed is that if I wear my abdominal binder too high, the swelling in these areas get worse.  I have been trying to make sure that the binder sits low enough, which results in lots of tugging throughout the day.  I may have to invest in a full body one. My arm compression garment is no longer compressing me, despite being tailored by my mom earlier, but I wear it anyway as it helps keep my silicone tape from coming off.  That and I have developed a weird security-fondness for it. I stopped wearing my sports bra (or any bra at all, for that matter) weeks ago because of the wounds on my under-boob and side boob.  The arm compression garment is doing a little lifting in that area instead. Some Comparison Numbers: Pre-PS Weight:  115 lbs
2m-Po Weight:  117.1 lbs Pre-PS Bust - Waist - Hips measurements:  32.5" - 25.5" - 33"
2m-Po Bust - Waist - Hips measurements:  33.5" - 25.0" - 34" Pre-PS Left UpperArm Circumference: 10.5"
2m-Po Left UpperArm Circumference: 10.0" Pre-PS Right Thigh Circumference: 17.0"
2m-Po Right Thigh Circumference: 19.0" * I didn't think to measure my lower abdomen before, but I did this morning, so I can start keeping track:
2m-Po Lower Abdomen (measuring widest part): 33.0" Next Steps: I have my 2 month post op appointment with my surgeon tomorrow.  He had given me homework to stretch/massage my arms at my 6 week appt, as he felt I should a fuller range of motion that I did at the time.  He wanted to see me be able to raise my arms completely straight up with no resistance.  Well....I CAN do it, BUT i can feel the areas between the armpit and upper tricep stretching to its limit.  It doesn't hurt, but I can definitely feel the pull.  I'm not sure if this is where he wanted me to be at, and I guess we'll see what he says tomorrow. I promised myself I would not go back to my normal level of exercise until ALL my wounds have closed.  This may be overkill, but I really DO NOT want a repeat of last month.  Hopefully this will be in the next couple weeks. I am going back to "work" in a couple weeks as well, so this should help with the boredom. Pictures: My surgeon will be taking pics of me at my appointment tomorrow, will see if I will post those, or take some myself...will decide later. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edited to add update from 2 month follow up appt with Doc:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Soooo....went to my 2 month follow up yesterday and Doc scheduled me for some steroid shots next month...I guess he is not happy with my my scar healing (I was fine with it, but I guess he knows better ) He also asked me again to not wear my tape as much as I have been. I wear them basically 23 hours a day and he wants me to halve that, if not more (he asked me to do this last time, but I didn't listen...but since he asked AGAIN, I guess I should pay attention). I have been tape-less since about 6pm yesterday, and it feels odd. Almost as if the incisions are getting sore again? Only on my arms though...my boobs and tum feel the same. *shrugs* I do notice this morning that a lot of dried skin was flaking off the (healed) incision lines...not sure what the impact of this is *shrugs again*. I slathered some bio oil on them (he did tell me to moisturize). Wound update: I was down to 3 open wounds yesterday! BUT...this morning a new one opened on my left underboob due to another suture expelling, so my number stays at 4. Le sigh. Btw, Doc says that part of the reason why I'm expelling so many sutures is because I am "so skinny". Something about no where for the sutures to be absorbed into. On another note: Speaking of being "so skinny", when I asked Doc about what we can do about my saggy butt, he said that I am not a good candidate for a BBL in my current state, unless I want to gain at least 10 lbs OF FAT. Um, no thanks. He also does not support nor perform implants, which left his option recommendations to: Traditional butt lift Some machine treatment (I forget the name), which is basically a device that simulates 100's of mini squats per session (think Dr. Ho's) Actual Squats I'm gonna go with the Actual Squats       

ms.sss

ms.sss

 

6 Week PO Plastics Update: Is that really ME??

<!-- DEEP.  THOUGHTS.  BEGIN. --> I put on a (new) bikini yesterday to take a picture of myself for this 6 week post op milestone.  When I was cropping my head out of the picture on my phone, I was taken aback a little (okay alot) at how my body looks now.  For some reason, I never noticed until yesterday how my abdominal muscles are so much more noticeable these days.  I knew I had them (I could feel them under my skin), they just never stuck out they way they do now.  And my new lifted arms look nice and trim and toned.  My arms have NEVER been trim nor toned. I look at this picture and find it hard to believe that its me.  I have never looked like this in my life.  Even when I was a thin, 105 lb teenager, my body never looked as fit as it does now at 47 years old.  Crazy.  Thanks WLS.  Thanks Plastics.  Thanks ME.  I am forever grateful and only wish I did more sooner. <!-- DEEP.  THOUGHTS.  END. --> Anyway, some 6 week post-op highlights/updates: SWELLING & PAIN My waist has returned to pre-op measurements (thank goodness). My lower abdomen and upper thighs are still bigger than post op.  So my pants remain tight in these areas, but at least I can button them up now without feeling like I'm going to bust out of them. My right boob is comparatively hard and swollen (vs my left boob) and I have taken to applying ice packs to relieve the achiness. Of all my PS areas, my boobs cause me the most pain (which is fitting since they were the least of my worries in the first weeks after surgery) There are distinct areas on my various incisions that are causing some pain due to the sutures being expelled and breaking the skin when rubbed against.  These areas don't bleed, but they ooze. I went for a run this morning and had to stop due to pain.  Turns out a spot on the incision of my right side boob split open and bled quite a bit.  I had to steri-strip it closed and put a large bandage on it. I still cannot raise my arms to its full extension.  There is no pain, just tightness.  I need to practice raising them more often. SCARS & SILICONE TAPE I have been using silicone tape for almost 2 weeks now.  I take them off to shower and put them back on when I'm dried off. I prefer having silicone tape on my incisions than none.  My incisions feel less "tight" (especially in my armpits); the tape holds down any wayward sutures, as well as protects them from any rubbing from my clothes.  I don't put tape on any areas where the skin is broken.  I put some tape on a couple old WLS keloid scars and I swear they are flatter! They are still dark, but they are not as raised as they were.  I guess this stuff works. The areas that have not split nor rubbed raw are healing nicely (no keloids!). There are no raised areas except for one end of my tummy incision, at the exact spot where one of my drains were.  And this was the drain that I had accidentally pulled on a and caused bleeding (and PAIN!) while I was still in hospital. FOLLOW-UP APPT with DOC Pleased with my healing, told me that the aches and pain and wounds and oozing is normal.  Just keep washing my incisions with soap and water everyday. He applied some silver on all the areas where the skin was broken and it STUNG.  But then he applied some silver on the part that I split open during my run and OH MY GOD it HURT.  I cried.  It's been 5 hours already since he put it on me and it STILL HURTS.  I even took a pain killer and I still have to hold the area whenever I move. Told me not to wear the silicone tape all the time, and that I should have about half the day when they are uncovered. No need to wear compression garments anymore...told him I like them, and he said I can wear if I want to, but to have some time (half the day) not wearing them. I am cleared for all "controlled" exercise (lifting, yoga, running, etc).  I am not to participate in any contact sports or activities with sudden movements (for some reason zumba falls under this category, lol). Apparently I have not been massaging myself with the correct degree of "firmness".  He showed me how hard I should be applying pressure and OH MY GOD, the amount of pressure he applied HURT.  I was not massaging anywhere close to that level.  I don't even think I can!  Speaking of massages, he said I can go get regular ones with my masseuse, no adjustments necessary. Told me I MUST stretch my arms more, as he was not too happy about how far I could raise my arms without feeling tightness.  Told me I was in no danger whatsoever of undoing any stitches so I need to aim to stretch further and further and would like to see me have full range of motion by our next appointment in 1 month.  Guess i have some work to do! The no swimming, nor submersing in water ban continues. That's all for now. Oh, and here is a side-by-side body comparison pic:  

ms.sss

ms.sss

 

3 Week PO Plastics Update: I ​❤️​ my Boobs

Had my 3 week post op follow up with my surgeon tonite.  Before he came by to check me out, one of his PA's took all my steri-stips off, and I finally got a good look at all my incisions.  I was glad to see that they are pretty flat, considering. About 80% of them have some sort of scab in varying states (newish, crusty, peeling, etc.. or whatever). When Doc came by to check me out, he said he was happy with the way I was healing, among other things: NOT cleared for regular exercise.  He said I could walk as much as I want and can do lower body (i.e., leg) work, but that's it. NOT allowed to submerge my body in water yet (i.e., no swimming, baths, hot tubs, etc.) NOT allowed to expose my healing incisions to the sun (which I can't do anyway since I'm to keep my garments on...see below) I am cleared for sex.  LOLOLOLzzz...I didn't even know I wasn't allowed.  Ooopsies. With the steri-stips now off, I am to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Am to keep the compression garments on at all times (save showering) until I see him again in another 3 weeks. I asked about the silicone tape (for scar maintenance) and he said ideally they should be used at least 6 weeks after surgery.  Apparently the body is supposed to do some healing first.  I will be given a supply at my next follow appt. He gave me my "before" pictures he took of me back in June 2018 and holy moly, I look different! Here is a bit more detail organized by each procedure site: ARM LIFT: The arm incisions seems to be the scabbiest of all the areas.  It is also the "raise-iest" incision, specifically in the armpit. Doc said I am still pretty swollen there, which is a little surprising, because I thought it was normal sized.  So I asked does this mean my arm will get even smaller, and he said I could probably expect to see a bit more shrinkage, but that I can also expect the skin to loosen a bit as well, so net result may be zero from this point.  I'm pretty happy with the size right now...so I do NOT want it to get smaller...thought I wouldn't mind a bit more definition (can't wait to be cleared to work em out!) I can wear deodorant if I want to. He asked me to make an effort to lift my hands up as far as comfortable every day until I get full upward extension, but to be careful as the armpit incision is statistically the most likely to separate and become a wider scar. BREAST LIFT w/ SIDE BOOB EXCISION: As the title says, I ❤️ my boobs!  The whole lifting aspect of this was supposed to be secondary, but OMG, I love my boobs!  They are a lot smaller than pre-op WLS, but may actually be bigger than I was pre-op PS (I think I'm a 30C now) but, they are so perky and stand-at-attention-y, LOL.  They have fullness at the upper part now, I won't need a push up at all anymore.  Actually, I probably don't even need a bra, they handle gravity all by themselves.  And my nipples!  After my breast lift correction: reduction many years ago, my nipples looked stretched out and flat.  Now they are perky too and pop out a bit in a nice way even when I'm in a "non-aroused" state...or maybe I'm now perpetually aroused, LOL. .I told Doc that I feel there is still a liiiiiitttlbe bit too much skin left in my left upper side boob for my liking.  He said if after 3 months, it doesn't work itself out, OR I am still displeased, he will do some maintenance in that area under local anesthetic.  Bonus. I can wear regular bras now if I want, but if I want to wear an underwire, to make sure there is some foam or padding around the wire. TUMMY TUCK First thing Doc said when he walked into the room was "Look at your waist!" (I was naked save my panties on the exam table/recliner).  That made me feel good despite the fact that my waist is actually bigger now than it was was pre-op, as is my lower abdomen.  But it is super smooth and tight now When I told him about the size increase, he and the PA said that I can expect there to be swelling for up to a YEAR.  Wtf?!  This is the first I've heard this.  Granted my stomach is not so very big in the grand scheme of things, but it IS much bigger than it was before.  Le Sigh. I told him that I am generally standing upright, except for the little while after I get up after sitting down for a while.  He said what I figured he would: get up more often.  I don't have to get up for long, just lots.  "Its better to go for 10 minute walk every hour than a 60 minute walk every 5 hours" That's all for now. I'll try to post some pics tomorrow now that my steri-strips are off...

ms.sss

ms.sss

 

Day 19 Update: With Pics!

Pic of my tum on Day 19 below, as well as a composite progress pic of my left arm so far... ...also wrote up an update blurb in the caption/description area of the pictures 😉 .    

ms.sss

ms.sss

 

2 Weeks after Plastics Update

I stood up straight today!  But then I sat down in front of the TV for an hour and I "re-hunched" myself.  So I guess I need to move more often I also walked outside for 10.6 kms today!  Mind you it took me 2+ hours over 3 separate trips, but I did it!  So long as the weather is reasonable, I've made it a short term goal to do 10 km outdoor walks until I can start running again. Now that the front of me is looking pretty good due to the PS, by backside (read: my butt) is looking even worse by comparison.  So I also started doing some squats today I hate them, but its really the only exercise I can do given my current recovery state.  We'll see how long I can keep this up, LOL. I really, really, really, want to see how my incisions are doing, but the steri-stips are firmly staying in place and will not be changed (if at all) until Jan 8 at my next follow up with my surgeon. Swelling is still an issue, but I think I'm the only one that notices it.  My pants continue to be tight at the waist.  I am really looking forward to getting out of these joggers and hoodies I've been sporting...especially as its Mr & my anniversary next week and I wanna wear something nice to dinner at least!!  

ms.sss

ms.sss

 

New Year - New Amy

It was an exciting 2019.  After 20 years of considering WLS, I finally had my appointment with a surgeon in May when I weighed the heaviest that I ever have weighed at 230 pounds.  At my height of 5'1", this placed me at a BMI of 43.5. During my 6-month pre-op-required nutrition intervention, I got myself down to 205 pounds.  A 25-pound weight loss is not bad!  But, it is not something I haven't done before.  After all, I have been on a diet off-and-on since the age of 13. I am really good at losing weight, but I am even better at gaining it all back plus some every time I have any significant success.  I suspect I have lost close to 560 pounds in the past 33 years.  With all the ups and down of my weight, my metabolism is surely a mess. My gastric bypass surgery was December 11th. I am so thankful that it went smoothly and complication-free.  Yes, I had significant gas-related abdominal pain and, yes, I was sore and uncomfortable at my surgical sites for about 2 weeks, but it was nothing I couldn't handle.  Since my surgery three weeks ago, I have lost 16 pounds.  Of course, this is mostly due to my liquid-only diet during the first 2 weeks pre-op.  At 189 pounds, I now weigh close to the weight I was before my first son was conceived - a weight that I haven't weighed in 16 years!! As I get ready to watch the ball drop on 2020, I am so excited for all the weight that I will lose in the upcoming year.  I am even more excited to re-set my metabolism so that I can maintain my weight loss.  However, I am most excited to get healthy for perhaps the first time in my adult life.

Amy_new

Amy_new

 

2020 No buy resolution

I feel so guilty about the amount of clothes that im getting rid of, that Im making 2020 my No Buy Year! Im only 3/4 done with cleaning out all my old clothes, and I am absolutely disgusted with myself. I bought not only doubles of everything, not tripples but five times as much clothes for my highest weight! I was so scared that I would never be able to find pants and shirts that I liked that fit me, so apparently I hoarded as much as I could. So much so that I was hiding it from myself. You see in Sweden (and much of Europe) in normal circles, there arent many people who are as heavy as I was and being heavy is really looked down upon MUCH more than in the US where everything is supersize this and that. So even buying clothes online took me forever.  So basically I just bought clothes when I was in the States and brought home mammoth amounts of pants etc...especially one or two types of cargo pants. In fact i had so many that I lost track of how many I had and just squirreled them away and forgot about them. Then when I went back to visit my family in the States, I bought new stuff again. This went on for years! So now, Im making a massive pause in my retail therapy and am going to try a No Buy Year! I do have some caveats, but only big purchases that Ive been thinking about for over a year. It should be interesting to see how my fingers itch to buy stuff online.

Krestel

Krestel

 

PS PO Day 10: Holiday Party Aftermath & Poop Watch 2019

People Suck... I didn't tell many people that I had WLS (just Mr, the Kid, Mom, Sister & BFF).  Those NOT in know were told that I ate much less, chose healthier foods, cut out carbs and exercised every day to lose the weight.  I've been in maintenance for a while now, so being the main topic of conversation at family parties has lessened.  My weight loss is no longer interesting, thank goodness. These past couple days, showing up at the various Xmas parties this season hunched over from my TT, I decided to let those who asked that I had plastic surgery to remove excess skin from massive weight loss.  I was surprised to get the comments and questions most on here get from others when they share they had WLS!  I got: "Why didn't you just do it the real way?" "Cutting your body parts off is a little drastic, isn't it? Why didn't you just go to the gym and turn it into muscle?" "I think if you just dieted more, your skin would have shrunk just like your body did"'. "Plastic Surgery is cheating". "Wow, that's pretty vain of you". After attempting to explain to the first two or three busy-bodies that skin cannot turn to muscle nor shrink with massages or lotions (!), I gave up. I always knew people are sometimes stupid, but man, extended family seems to always raise that bar of stupidity to new levels.  Should have stayed home and kept my mouth shut. Le sigh. To add insult to injury, I didn't even get to dull the drone of their yapping with alcohol.  I am on a regular date schedule with my new friend, BENEDRYL to keep the itching at bay, and have yet to finish my round of antibiotics, so I figured I should refrain.  Which was too bad, as I'm sure a couple glasses of wine would have made these people much more funny and much less annoying. Le double sigh. Poop Watch 2019 continues... Today marks Day 12.  I am carrying TWELVE days of poop in me, people. Mr. (he's a keeper) assisted me with suppository insertion this morning.  After no less than 2 minutes, I felt the sweet, sweet urge to push.  So I skipped (skipped!) to the toilet and out came........a partially melted suppository.  That's it.  Are you effing kidding me. Now, the instructions on the box said not to use more than once in a 24 hour period.  It also said that it should have worked within 15 mins to an hour.  So I'm going to try it again at 6pm tonite, which is 12 hours after this morning's attempt as I figure I basically pooped the suppository out before it even melted and do its thing.   In the meantime I ate 2 prunes.  Good News is that it didn't make me sick, Bad News is that I am not a fan of the taste.  I am also drinking water like a crazy person. Miraculously, despite my backed-upped-ness, I don't have any pain nor cramps.  Just a feeling of absolute bloat.  Ugh. In other news... Haven't weighed myself since the day of surgery (I was 115 lbs even 10 days ago).  Out of curiosity I stepped on the scale earlier and surprise! I am still 115 lbs even.  However, I was fully clothed, along with wearing an arm compression shrug & abdominal binder, am retaining fluid to the equivalent of a 4.5" increase in waist circumference, AND have 12 DAYS OF POOP in my belly. Arms continue to not comfortably raise higher than my shoulders. I am not yet standing up straight. Hands continue to deflate and my forearms no longer make me look like Popeye (I'd say they are maybe 85% to normal) The  v-jay is no longer sore (but is still looking up at me!) For some reason my skin on my face is FABULOUS. I suspect this is due to: (1) not wearing make up for 10 days (2) all the water I have been drinking (3) all the sleep I have been getting (4) swelling??? Been wearing too-big clothes for comfort and ease, and am totally looking forward to putting something cute on and going out.  BUT. MY. PANTS. DON'T. FIT. Le Triple Sigh.

ms.sss

ms.sss

 

PS Post-op Day 5: So Long, Drains! (Hello Itch)

Today's highlights: Actually went Costo shopping with Mr. this morning for some last minute pot-luck parties shopping.  The greeters asked if I wanted one of these motorized shopping cart-moped combos, and while I was tempted just for the fun of it, the point was to get some walking in, so I declined.  It was the most exercise I got at one shot in 5 days.  I was pooped...went home and took a 2 hour hap afterwards. Had my first follow up with my surgeon this afternoon, and he is pleased with the healing, etc., etc. The swelling I continue to have is normal.  Suggestion: drink water, move around, it will get better. The itchiness I am experiencing is normal.  Suggestion: drink water, stay cool, take Benedryl, it will get better. The dizziness I am experiencing is normal.  Suggestion: drink water, move around, eat more, get up slowly, ease up on the narcotics, take the prescribed Iron, it will get better. My tight feeling va-jay-jay is normal.  Suggestion: apply ice packs as needed, it will get better (He also said does not look odd to him.  He says I may not be used to the way it looks because I can actually see it now.  Before the TT, there was excess skin above it the hid it lower between my legs.) I am now free to shower. Any steri-stips that fall off or get loose are to be covered over with a new steri-strip until my next appt on Jan 8th. Am to continue using my arm compression garment, sports bra & abdominal binder. When the tech was changing my dressings, I started to itch really badly.  It seemed to get worse as the appointment went on.  By the time we were walking to the car in the parking lot, it was so bad I was almost crying.  Mr. drove us to the closest pharmacy and bought me a rapid-acting liqui-gel Benedryl.  Within 10 minutes I was feeling better, and in another 20 minutes the itchiness was gone.  BENEDRYL PEOPLE.  BENEDRYL IS YOUR FRIEND. (but it does make me quite sleepy). My long-awaited shower was a tandem one, as Mr. insisted he be there in case I pass out or something.  I didn't pass out. But I did have him wash my hair. I am anxious to stand up straight as the sore back is screaming at me.  And I thought I would be able to do so by the time our annual 5-xmas-parties-over-3-days party marathon kicks off tomorrow night but its looking like its not going to happen...

ms.sss

ms.sss

 

Did not know this!

I had no idea that there was a blog function in BariatricPal. Ive been using what I think is status updates to talk out loud to myself for a while. So now I can do it here instead!

Krestel

Krestel

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