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Jotting down some thoughts

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12 weeks and 50% gone

Well today is my 12 week surgeversary, and I am at the half way point to goal. (Including the 10 pounds I lost before surgery) I have gone from a 22 pant to a 15. My butt has a double chin, but Ill take it. Less junk in the trunk for sure. Like the husband says,"wouldn't you know it that the boobs and butt go first!" I have had a mens shirt sitting on my dresser for YEARS. Its this very cool white Mexican lace shirt, that I could never get into... I figured, some day I will meet a cool small guy, who will really love this shirt.... will rock this shirt, and I will give it to him. Well too late, it fits ME now. I will rock it until it is too large for me then give it away. My labs are good, I am waiting for my cardiologist meeting to see if I can get off the statins. I have started taking Tango lessons, and the first guy I danced with told me i was a beautiful woman. This is just the beginning... its only been 3 months! Im loving my sleeve......not original, but true.

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Last appointment 6 days before surgery

Here is what I did on my last surgeons visit day 6 days before surgery.   --I met with the before surgery nurse,   She checked my meds, went over the steps I would have to take to get to the surgery. Talked about the self injected blood thinner I would have to take for a while and gave me some booklets on how to inject myself and the lists and maps of where I would have to go during the day and the day of surgery.   --a "fellow" (Dr intern),   went over the consent form contract for the surgery and had me sign it. Got my copy. Asked him if the center ever did sleeves... he said yes, that he had assisted on 5 himself and there were many other interns that were assisting at other times. He said that the bypass takes a ton of skill, and not just anyone can do it, they do a bunch of bypasses and have for years, he said the sleeve just needs someone who knows how to do it. I asked if I could have a copy of my surgery recording... and he said no, it was a liability for them. I asked him what Bougie size the Dr used and he said of all the questions anyone has ever asked, no one has ever asked that one. He said they use a 36 and staple it loose. He said they hand stitch the staple line or sometimes us a robot to stitch. There is no advantage they have found to one or the other. The surgery is 3 1/2 -4 hours long. I said that seemed long, and he said Teaching Universities are in no hurry. There is plenty of time taken for surgery, no need to rush. The hand stitching takes a long time. I asked him why I heard so little about the sleeve before my first meeting with a Dr. He said that California is way behind the east coast as far as sleeves go, not because the Drs skill or desire, but the insurance here is so screwed up that it has been excluded until recently by most insurance companies. He said he worked doing sleeves for three years on the east coast before coming here to California.   --a research representative,   asked me to agree to be part of an ongoing study of WLS as part of them keeping their "Center of Excellence" status. The want to do followups for 5+ years if possible. I signed that.   --the during and after surgery head nurse, Anne.   She went over much of the same stuff as the before surgery nurse, and we chatted about travel, and how 50 is the new 40. She wrote me a note to give to my work saying I need 6 WEEKS! off to recover. Ouch, I have sick pay/time saved up for 3 weeks, and one staff at work is going to try and give me some of hers... well see....She said the Dr (Ali) was at a meeting and couldn't see me that day, but he would see me on the day of the surgery. She decided what my med schedule would be before and after the surgery. She put a list into the pharmacy for the dissolvable meds I would need. She did a short physical to access my state for surgery, checked my heart, reflexes, flexibility and asked questions about arthritis and such.   -- the Lab for blood work and a pregnancy test, and then   I went next door and got my blood and urine done. They need a pregnancy test. I told the lab tech that if I was pregnant then she was witness to a miracle. (being menopausal) They took about 6 tubes for testing.   --the surgeon   I went back to the office to pick up my letter for work, and the after surgery nurse grabbed me and said the Dr was back and wanted to talk to me. I went in and had a nice 20 minute visit with him. He was really nice, and personable. I asked him about the bougie size and he asked me why I wanted to know, and i told him about wanting good restriction and not to leave much of the stomach that stretches out more. He said all the parts are stretchy. He said they use a 36. I asked them about the loose cut, and he said it has to be loose because they stitch the whole thing and the extra room is to do that. He also leaves a little bit extra by the pylorus end to avoid complications that sometime happen there. He said that even people that have a 60 bougie lose weight, that the main reason for people gaining weight is their own actions, not the size of the bougie. You have to make changes in how and what you eat for the surgery to be a success. He also warned that it is his opinion that more people will gain weight back from the sleeve than RNY. Even though the long term results are not in yet. I asked him if he thought the people who gain back weight do it more because they eat around the sleeve, or because the sleeve stretches out, and he said they are related, and the people who gain weight back are more likely to look for some outside reason for it than how they eat and exercise. Those who follow the plan and exercise into the future lose the weight and keep most of it off. He talked about leaks, and nausea. He said that nausea is the most common complication. It can last one day to months. In the case of months, some people need to be fed by IV. 20% of his patients have some amount of nausea. There are meds for nausea. He said he thought I would be a good candidate and believed I could find success with the sleeve. I asked him why I didn't see or hear anything about the sleeve in his lecture or literature, and he said that until recently the sleeve was not covered by insurance in California and so he didn't bring it up as a choice.   --the anesthesiology offices.   They checked my meds, asked again about allergies and such.   About a 5 hour day.         They will call me friday to let me know when I need to go in for surgery on tuesday. The day of surgery will be about 8 hours of check in, wait, surgery, recovery and to the room. They expect I will be in over night, there will be a leak test the next day. If all looks well, I can go home the next day. They want to see that I don't have a lot of nausea before I go home and will keep me an extra day if need be.         There ya go. The rundown as well as I remember it.   More later!    

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satisfaction

This is all very interesting. I know there are times... LOTS of times that if I listen to what my body wants, I eat too much, and of the wrong things. Now maybe this is not my body talking, its my head, but really they are connected at the neck, and have something to do with each other. I have spent quite a bit of time analyzing the cause and effect of what I eat - to how I feel... and I find that when I eat some kinds of food I may generally love how they taste, and like putting them in my mouth, and like the immediate feeling it produces... through my shoulders and chest of all places, but what is missing is satisfaction. I'm not talking about feeling full. There is something I am looking for that I don't usually get from food...satisfaction. Like, Im finished now. I feel fine, I got the energy from the food now... or something like that. Perhaps this is partly what people call emotional eating. I think emotions may be part of the picture sometimes for me, but not always. The satisfaction I crave feels more physical. When I really look close at the/my overeating experience, this is missing almost all the time. I realize I don't really like the taste of the food that much... the taste is not enough for me to be satisfied. Its like I'm not getting the basic nutrition I crave or something. Now I think this is where the addiction label comes into the picture. That craving for satisfaction. I just look for it in the food over and over again. Some types of food really heighten this experience...you all know what they are.... refined carbs... sugar, the "whites" High Fructose.... Its not the fats, its not the protein, its not even the whole grains and carbby vegs in moderation. The only time I get satisfied, is when I cut them out. And I need to cut them out for at least 3 weeks before I feel the satisfaction creep in. When I do this, then the size of the meal goes down, and the pounds start to slide off, and I can start to trust what my body/head asks for. However I make myself eat protein snacks even then, because if I let myself get too hungry, the chance of the old habits to reach for the easy donut are a little easier, and I just don't want to go there and start the cycle again.

feedyoureye

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this sub culture

There could be a VERY interesting movie made about this sub culture... its so hidden, except a few inspirational people out front, and a few tragic star "failures."... Not that I think they are failures, such as Carnie... She has kept off around 100 lbs I believe. If everyone could tell their story and come out of the closet at once... perhaps there could be a revolution. So many people know the pain of overweight and obesity... I see the photos here, and there are so many beautiful faces and intelligent , emotional and moving stories. Fat prejudice is really a horrible and pernicious thing. So misunderstood.

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"passing for thin"

I almost see where I might feel like I am a fat person "passing for thin." after I lose weight. Anyone here feel that way? You may be thin, but don't feel like a "real" thin person? Whatever that is! The times I have lost weight in the past, I thought "I have it now, I can stay this way at last...I have found the trick" Then I would lose the trick and gain back the weight. So many overweight people have lost weight for a while, but the elusive 4% that keep it off with diet and exercise… or the few that lose weight taking thyroid meds or something like that… its really such a small amount of us that have been able to lose it and keep it off … until surgery. Surgery is the only time most of us have had to really sit in the thin body for a while. Do you ever feel like you are thin? or is there a little voice whispering " this wont' last" "the inside doesn't match the outside" or something like that. I am obese now. I have not gotten surgery yet. I will talk about that sooner or later I'm sure. But I cant really say I feel like I'm a fat person. I just feel like ME… and ME isn't quite as fat as I think I look like in the mirror. I look in the mirror sideways and cant 'believe that its me blobing out that way. I look at photos of me from the 70's when I weighed 145lbs and thought I was fat. Boy oh boy. I had NO ass and I thought I was fat. How can I expect to see my self as I really am with that kind of distortion!

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lead pipe

I'm sure there is some sort of "lead water pipe" going on at this time in history... like when the Roman elite used lead pipes to carry drinking water to their homes, and went crazy from lead poisoning. What is the lead pipe that leads to obesity? Do you think there is one (or more?)

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