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About this blog

Random thoughts about my upcoming VGS surgery :)

Entries in this blog

 

ONE YEAR SLEEVE-VERSARY!

Happy Sleeversary to me I can't believe that it has been 12 months since I had the surgery. For those of you who don't know me here are my stats: Starting weight was 173kg/ 382 Pounds and my current weight is 87kg/ 190 Pounds. Before surgery I hadn't slept lying down in a bed (comfortably) in over 7 years. I had chronic asthma, everything hurt all of the time (although I denied it back then) and it was just a struggle to move around. I had the surgery on September 3 2012. Things went badly. I got a leak. It took several surgeries and many months in ICU/ Surgical Ward before I could get the all clear to leave. That was November 2012. I didn't go back to work full time until the end of January 2013. Since then, well heck, things have just been getting better and better. The weight loss has been amazing. I've lost 86 kg/ 189.5 pounds - so tantalisingly close to half way lol. No fudging though - pesky 0.5kg The NSV's have been even better - the CLOTHES, shoes, movement, I am a "runner" now (on week 3 of the Couch to 5 K and am running in a 5K obstacle course at the end of the year), energy, clarity in thinking, enjoyment in life, exciting opportunities, flying without the embarrassment of asking for an extension seat belt, people looking you in the eye, not being "invisible" anymore, shop assistants are helpful and attentive, men FLIRT (okay, so maybe I do too - just a little), I've had a significant promotion, looking to travel OS next year, am planning for a future THAT I WANT not just settling for what I think I can have.   For anyone considering this surgery know that there are real risks involved. For a while, the first few months in fact, I had really thought I had stuffed up and ruined my life by having the surgery. This was due to the complications and difficult recovery that I had during this time. Looking back now, whilst I would never want to be back in that place, I am so grateful for where I am now that I truly believe this to be the most wonderful, life changing – life SAVING – thing I could have done for me, for my family and to secure my future.   Where to from here? Well I want to lose about 14kg more which will mean an overall loss of 100kg and my weight will be around 73kg. I am quite tall so I would look quite thin at this weight. Not sure if I will get there or will want to, but at the least, I would like to lose another 10kg hopefully by Christmas. I am loving my new active life, the way that food has become fuel and though still enjoyable, it’s no longer the driving force in my life. I wish you all the same happiness and success in your own journey’s! I have put in some comparison photo's for you guy's to see the transformation Best wishes to you all! Cheers, Liss

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Six Month Surgiversary

Hello fellow sleevers,   Well tomorrow will be six months since my surgery. Wow, what a ride. For those that haven't read my other blogs, in summary, I had my surgery on 03.09.2012 and my start weight was 173kg (382 pounds). Two days after the surgery, I had emergency surgery due to sepsis from a leak. I was in ICU on a ventillator and later transferred to the surgical ward where I remained (bumping back and forwards from short stays in the ICU) for the next two months.   I came home in November 2012 and have been home ever since. I haven't had to go back to hospital but have to admit that it's only now that I no longer freak out completely (there is still a little freaking out) when I get a twinge in my tummy.   I am back at full time work. I recently applied for and was awarded a pretty significant promotion at work. I am far more active socially now then I was previously and certainly have more energy.   So how have things changed?   Well, I now care about how I look. I don't just look in the mirror and keep going. I stop, have a proper look lol.   I have more confidence - I would never have considered applying for this promotion previously. I also feel much more confident when I go out. Not dating (yet lol) but it's at least an option now where as before I totally would have rejected as even a possibility.   I move quicker and more easily now - I work with kids and I can run, chase and play on the floor. With my own little fellow, I can do things with him. Go swimming. We're actually going on a holiday to the Gold Coast soon and I bought swimmers to wear whilst I am away!   I hate saying this because before surgery I would have totally denied that I was unhappy, but I AM happier now than I was before. How can I not be? It is easier to move, it doesn't hurt to do things. I can easily get in the bath tub and enjoy myself without being squished in and worry I won't be able to haul my butt outta there.   My start with the sleeve sucked and I caution anyone who is thinking about this surgery to really understand what will happen if things go wrong. Take precautions. Make sure that you have things sorted out financially if you can't work for several months.   I'll get off my soap box now and share some before and after picks. So to recap, my start weight was 173kg (382 pounds) and my current weight is 110kg (242 pounds). I still have a lot of weight left to lose (another 38 pounds or 17kg to get to my surgeon's goal and 35 kilos or 76 pounds) to get to my goal.   Hope you're all going well! Cheers, Lila  

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

(Almost) 100 Pounds lost in 3 months!

Hello fellow sleevers,   Well it's been three months since my initial surgery, a little more actually and I am finally doing pretty well. Though I was in hospital for two months with a leak, I am finally starting to feel a little normal. I am back at work (part time admittedly) and getting around to christmas parties etc. I usually love this time of the year - I am loving it a little less this year. I am not sure if it's because I was sick and the whole Christmas thing is (frankly) exhausting or if part of my love of this time of year was food related (and since that's off the books, then my enjoyment is somewhat dimmed)...but I am generally feeling pretty good. My stamina still sucks but I have an exercise program that I will start after Christmas that I am hoping will help with all of that.   What news? Well, I am eating everything now - well most things lol. I am finding that many things do not suit me anymore. Carbs is one of them - bread, pasta and rice are really hard to eat so I avoid them. I hate protein shakes and powders so am focusing on consuming all of my protein through my diet. This means that I prioritise protein over everything else. Basically it's protein, veggies, fruit, dairy, carbs. It's working because as of today, I have lost 98 pounds. I have another 97 to go lol but I've lost it. It now means that my ticker will show double digits to lose rather than triple digits. It's a small milestone but it's mine, okay?? As we use the metric system here in Aus, double digits means anything under 99kg (about 218 pounds) so it will be a while before I get there. But at least my "to lose" pounds are now in the double digits, hey!     I hope you are all well and enjoying your sleeves.   Thank you for all your support and kind wishes during the past few months! I look forward to hearing of your successes and sharing mine along the way!   Merry Christmas!   Cheers, Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Leak no more!

Hello fellow sleevers.   I am now three months out since all of my surgeries, both planned and emergency following my leak.   When I was discharged from hospital at the end of October, the leak test had showed the leak had healed but I was always worried that something would happen and it would come back.   I had my three month consult with my surgeon today and she said that given my overall improving health, fitness, weight loss etc that she is convinced the leak is totally healed and best of all, she has NEVER heard of someone getting another leak, particularly after three months. Which is the greatest!! It has given me such a confidence boost, and just what I needed!!!   The thought of getting sick again and going back to hospital really bothered me. Now, I feel like I am going to be right and my Dr's confirmed it for me. I am just so damn happy!   Oh, and I lost another two kilos this week. Now I am in the clear I can start exercising, so I am going to start heading to the gym soon! I hope it will help tone up and let the weight loss continue. Not that losing weight's been an issue so far, but after 40+kg (about 90 pounds so far), I figure it's going to slow down or even stop soon...just seems to be what other's experience.   Thanks again to all of those who have supported me and who have sent kind messages on this blog. I really appreciate it!!   Cheers, Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

The Stupid Things I Have Done :)

Hello fellow sleevers,   I hope this blog finds you all well. I am almost 7 weeks out since my leak was confirmed to have healed. Yay. I should get clearance from my surgeon soon to start going to the gym which I think will help with my over fitness (or more to the point, lack thereof). Generally things continue to improve. I still struggle (some days more than others) with a faintly sick feeling and a gurgling in my tummy. This usually means I am not eating quite enough or regularly enough. The less I eat at a meal, the more frequently I have to eat - and that depends on the day.   So this blog is about the stupid things I have done, repeatedly, since going back on normal foods. In no particular order (I decided not to rank my stupidity as these are all, quite frankly, ridiculous) are:   Drinking soft drinks (soda): Okay so this is mostly my several attempts to drink soda water. I've had a little lemonade and coke but it's so sweet I only did this a few times before deciding it wasn't worth it. What I have been slower in giving up is soda water (sparkling water). I keep stupidly thinking something would change and it would be okay to drink soda water but I've finally realised (after several uncomfortable and frankly painful experiences) that I should leave it well enough alone. Duh.   Eating Bread (of any kind): So being the genius that I am, I decided to try bread. I always feel kinda ill afterwards. And yet I continued to try it. White, multigrain, soft grains, wholemeal, sourdough...always left with the same feeling of discomfort and just generally a bit yuck. Thank goodness I have finally decided to LEAVE IT ALONE.   Eggs: Oh little eggies, how I loved you before surgery. I could have eaten half a dozen of you little buggers preferably poached, although I wasn't all that choosy. Now you have turned on me and make me very VERY ill. I no longer try to come to some kind of understanding with you...sometimes when you love something, you must set it free. Bye little eggies...you will be missed.   Milk: Another before surgery love. Now, to highlight my stupidity, I need to give a teensy bit of background - I am Lactose Intolerant. Have been for years. And depsite this, I would guzzle a 750mL Iced Coffee three times a day. Yes I'd get the runs. Yes, I'd feel pretty darn sick. But I'd still do it. Post-surgery, I am lucky to be able to have the lactose free milk on my cereal for breakfast. Milk (of any kind) makes me sick. As does icecream which is just wrong. No more yummy iced coffee's or frappe's. Gone for good...   Although it is taking me a while to work out what my sleeve needs, I feel I am making progress. It's slow. But I am learning to listen to what my body is telling me.   Quick weight update - I am 40 kg down from my surgery weight And this Monday (03.12.12) is offically 3 months since the initial surgery date. I am really happy with my weight loss so far and hope to lose another 5kg before Christmas.   Hope this finds you all well, sleevers! Talk soon, Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Life After Leak: Does It Get Better?

Hello fellow sleevers.   So I am now officially six weeks out from the test that confirmed the leak had healed. In reality, we think that perhaps it had healed a fortnight earlier (they'd done a dye test and it didn't come out of the drains so it was probably healed then). So it's possible it is 8 weeks out since I was healed. It's been a rough ride. I really struggled when i first had to eat and drink for myself.   I am pleased to say it's gotten easier. I am slowly learning what is better for me to have these days and what I feel better eating. For example, bread, pasta, sugar - the belly no longer loves It makes me feel sick and sluggish. I do much better when I avoid these things. Don't get me wrong, I still have carbs. I have between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup of cereal with dried fruit for breakfast and I lurve crackers with cheese and tomato. Mostly I do better when I can get my protein in. This is mainly lean mince and fish. Cheese, yoghurt and a half cup of milk per day is the other sources of protein. A friend of mine (who was sleeved two years ago) said to me just after I got home to focus on PROTEIN. Ever second word she said that was advice contained "PROTEIN" in the sentence. And she was right. Friends, if I was arrogant enough to offer advice to those getting sleeved it would be to focus on PROTEIN in the first couple of months. It's hard but totally worth it.   I am still loosing weight...I have lost (depending on the scales) between 38 and 41 kg. One set of scales even had me down an extra 10 kg but decided that they were stuffed lol. But it was AWESOME seeing the numbers around 115kg. I don't think I have been that weight since the millenium hahahahahahaha.   I always take the worst score for my weight because then if it's less then I will be surprised, so it's possible I am a little lighter than I am presenting here   My hair is still falling out. I am not bald or anything but I hate how much I am loosing. I hope this settles down as my nutrition improves. The best thing has been going to the hair dresser (who's a mate) and she puts in a conditioning treatment for me. I am getting this done weekly at the moment to improve my hair's condition which was terrible following all of my surgeries and it seems to be getting a little better. I am also having my first facial and pedicure tomorrow since the surgery. It should be lovely.   So does life get better after a leak? Yep. But it is a SLOW and LONG road back. It has been three months since my first surgery and OMG I am not even close to being back to where I was in terms of energy or fitness. But I am getting a little closer all of the time.   I still worry about the leak coming back but I am trying to let this go. Worrying about it won't make it any more or less likely. And honestly it is holding up my recovery to keep worrying about it.   I hope this blog finds you all well Talk soon! Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Almost Six Weeks Since Leak Healed....

HI everyone,   Well next Tuesday marks the official six week mark since I was tested and the leak was shown to have healed. It's been an up and down couple of weeks - I mistook pulled muscles in my tummy for a leak (and stopped eating and drinking for three days - whoops), have started very light exercise and have gone back to work part time.   It seems like a really slow recovery - I keep forgetting that less than 3 months ago I was in ICU on a ventillator fighting for my life I am really having to remind myself of how far I have come. I am actually going out for the first time with friends tonight to a charity dinner. It's a bit nerve wracking - mostly worried about the food and eating something that makes me sick. But I am also aware that unless I get out there, I will keep putting it off for ages.   I have been cleared to eat normally as of last Monday so I am sure it will be fine.   I am not sure what I weigh - haven't used the scales for two weeks. I don't even own scales myself so I have to use to one's at work I deliberately haven't bought scales as I know if I did, I would be on the damn thing twice a day So it's best for me to have a little forced restraint.   I am preoccupied with my health though and freak out everytime I get a sore stomach. I have one at the moment, probably just pulled muscles but it makes me so anxious that I find it hard to eat which really doesn't help me at all. I will have an appointment with my surgeon in mid-December so hopefully I will get the all clear to start back at the gym which I think I need to get some strength back...   Hope this blog finds you all well! Cheers, Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Wow When Things Go Wrong, They Really Go Wrong!

Hello fellow sleevers.   It's been two months since my last entry and this is because I am one of the unlucky few that got a leak post surgery.   I was still in hospital when it happened and was rushed into emergency surgery two days after my original operation. I had a brief stint in ICU and then a two month stay on the surgery ward at my local hospital.   I can't describe how awful this time has been. There were several complications in addition to the leak (although I had no indicators of being high risk prior to surgery) so it wasn't just the leak but without the leak they wouldn't have happened.   For anyone considering this surgery, I don't want to put you off or to scare you. But even though I was aware that this could happen to me I had no idea what it would mean.   So I just wanted to break it down a little - for me it was:   Intense pain following the surgery; Heart rate over 150 beats per minute Two central lines inserted in my neck Inability to breathe properly 6 hour emergency surgery Two stomach drains Drips Being fed through drips for 7 weeks Pneumonia Collapsed lung two drains inserted through my back to move the fluid from my lung so it would reinflate Inability to sleep lying down for two months due to drains and drips etc No privacy Inability to see to my basic needs without help Depression Anxiety countless tests   Know what you are getting into. Even though I am now home, I am not sure that I would have gone through with the surgery had I known. I hope that over time I will feel better about that .   Anyway, I hope that anyone going into the surgery has a better idea of the risks and that you make an informed decision.   I have to note that my surgeon and her team were amazing!! They kept me alive and got me home and for that I will be forever grateful!

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Two (-Ish) Days To Go :)

So today is Friday, finally. Just the weekend to go before my surgery and I can't wait.   I've made no attempt to hide how hard the pre-op diet was for me but like most people reported (though when I was at the worst of it, I thought everyone lied to me lol), it did get better. Today isn't such a good day but it's not really the diet. It's me not doing the diet properly and being faced with a LOT of temptation.   The story is that my wisdom tooth decided it was a really good time (one week before the op) to come up. My mouth is so sore at the moment I can't really chew anything even on the other side as I can't clench my teeth together as the gum is swollen. Now on the upside, I know it's going down. And I anticipate it will be a lot better by Monday morning. But right now, today, it sucks So I am drinking a LOT of iced water but can't eat the protein.   Since it's my son's birthday today, I had to make and decorate 24 cupcakes to take to the school for his birthday celebration. That wasn't good temptation because kids, icing doesn't need to be chewed. It dissolves on your tongue so very nicely...I managed to resist but barely   I am planning on having a little skim milk smoothie soon with LOTS of ice in it - hoping it will reduce the swelling and improve my recovery. Stupid tooth First time the damn thing's come up in such a painful way. Looks like after the sleeve, I am going to have to consider getting the damn things out...   On the upside...holy fat-pants batman, I've lost a heap of weight. I can really tell just by looking at my stomach. According to the scales at work I've lost 7 kilos and I still have two-ish days before surgery. I am waiting on my "official" weigh in on Monday but my goal was to be under 160 kg before surgery which I think I will do!!   I even ordered a cute shirt (from an awesome show Firefly that was retired before it's time) in a women's extra large. Now there is no chance I will fit into this any time soon, but it's a cute shirt I would never have been able to even think about getting before. It was such a nice feeling when I ordered it thinking...in time, I will be able to wear that! It hasn't arrived so I don't know how big an XL is from this store but usually they are a small make. It will be such an exciting milestone to be able to wear it with a pair of cute shorts (which I will now also be able to wear because I've lost weight - not now but you know what I mean lol)...   Generally folks, things are good. My time is growing nearer and I look forward to the changes to come.   Hope things are going well for you out there I will no doubt have something more to add before surgery!   Cheers, Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

One Week Pre-Op Diet Down, One Week To Go :)

Hello sleevers So at the beginning of the week, things got pretty rough. The first four days of my pre-op diet were beyond horrible. As so many of you commented, it was probably the Carb flu - detoxing is never a pleasant process. Many warned me before-hand, but I truly had no idea how bloody awful it was going to be. For those of you reading this and are just about to start, if I had some advice it would be: Be prepared - for how regularly you will need to eat, for how your tolerances for behaviours changes, how smells really effect you and how crappy you will feel. Be kind to yourself - I work long hours, am on call and had no support (work wise) planned. If I'd known what I was in for, I would have made adjustments to my work schedule, to have someone relieve me over this period. Keep your friends/family close - their support is vital but also watch that they don't inadvertently make things harder from their concern. Take things one day at a time - try not to get too focused on how much longer you have to go, just try to get through today. Go with it - I've had some pretty significant mood shifts this week, as the toxins were being expelled from my system, so just go with it. Apologise when you need to and do your very best to remind yourself of why you are doing this. I found the first few days, I almost didn't care anymore but that too passes So where am I at now? I am feeling pretty good - I got through my son's 7th birthday party without even licking the icing off my fingers lol. I am able to focus on what I will achieve from this surgery again and to feel the anticipation and excitement for my new life. I won't lie - I am glad I only have a week to go on this but I anticipate that the next week will go so very fast that I will have a much easier time of it this week. Pre-op diet, you are my Everest Hope you all are going well! The count-down has begun!! Cheers, Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Day Two Of Pre-Op Diet - And Feeling Miserable :(

Day two of the pre-op diet is drawing to a close and I'm miserable. I have a nasty headache, I've eaten dinner and I am still hungry, I feel kind of nauseated and I am grumpy. Not good. I had to do a pizza run for the volunteers painting the church and it was HELL. Ordering all that pizza and picking it up...not a good feeling.   I am trying to put it into perspective...it's just food, you control it blah blah blah...but for some reason I think i am wallowing in my misery. I have to snap out of it...but am not sure how. I am extraordinarily tired too which I attribute to coming off the sugar.   Can I ask anyone out there already sleeved - is this is what life is like forever? Do you get the headaches, nausea and grumpiness forever?   Starting to have second thoughts...which surprises the hell outta me. I've been so confident - but if this is the reality I am not sure I am ready

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Dear John (Letter)

Dear food,   You have been a source of refuge and comfort for a long time, something to warm me on cold winter nights and to celebrate life's milestones. But sadly, our relationship is no longer working for me.   You've become an obsession, an unhealthy and unproductive millstone. So I've decided that it's time to say goodbye. There are some special mentions I'd like to make...good bye massive bowls of spaghetti, blocks of chocolate, cheesy pizza and my old friend, coke. Though over the coming days our parting will be difficult, and I will no doubt long for the days when I would indulge in you with impunity, I am excited to let you go.   I will get an opportunity to explore life beyond this obsession. So with sadness but absolute determination, fare thee well, old friends.   With no regrets, Lila   (I start my pre-op diet in the morning And I am actually feeling excited about it! Wish me luck!!)

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Where Is The Time Going?

OMG I can't believe how quickly the time is going! With all of the functional stuff done (running around getting all my paperwork sorted for the approvals etc), I kind of expected things to slow down a little, to catch my breath but if anything, it's worse lol.   I am now three weeks away from my surgery (well, I leave on the Saturday and the surgery's on the Monday) and one week off starting my pre-op diet.   I almost hesitate to say anything about the pre-op diet in this blog after reading the responses some people have posted about people voicing their concerns and fears. So this is what I will say - yes I am nervous, yes I am sure it is going to be really hard and yes I am sure that I can do it. The thing I am worried about is not giving up the food as much as exercising control without the physiological strategies in place (i.e. surgery) to do it. I am committed to this process but still worry about the pre-op diet. Please don't jump down my throat   I don't think this indicates a lack of committment on my behalf, just a general worry about how hard it is going to be and how it is going to make me feel. I work long hours, have very little down time and in a profession where you have to (as much as possible) tune out whatever is going on for you and focus on others. I worry about how much harder this is going to be on the pre-op diet. I've considered taking time off pre-surgery (god knows I have the leave accrued) but want to keep the leave reserved in case I need extra time post-surgery. I am already taking three weeks off but you never know...   Wow, got off topic lol.   So, the upshot kiddies is that it feels that I am experiencing the effects of time dilation and am looking for the black hole - should be easy to identify huh I hope that post-surgery things slow down a little and I can take stock.   Wishing you all the best out there, sleevers   Cheers, Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Funding Approved :) And Omg It's Only 26 Days To Go!

Hello fellow sleevers   So I am pleased to report that I got my approval today - the whole surgery is now paid for and I can just prepare myself now for this as it is going to happen. I even got to speak to my clinic today and they asked which time I'd prefer for surgery - I asked for the first one if possible. They said that they will put it on the file and contact me closer to the 3rd of September to advise me of the details, when to get to hospital etc.   it's just the best news! Everyone was telling me not to stress but I admit, I was totally stressed out. Not that if I'd been knocked back it would have stopped me, just delayed me a bit. But this way I get to keep to my preferred schedule It's not an accident I wanted it as soon as possible in September - I want to get myself healed and losing weight so I can swim this Christmas (it's summer in December in Australia). I wanna get in that pool!   I wanna play with my nieces and nephews...and to have more energy, better health and hopefully a better quality of life.   So excited - wishing you all well out there!   Today is a GOOD day!

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Today's The Day - I Find Out If I Got My Funding Approved :)

Soooooo...It's four minutes before DHS opens and I can call them to see if my funding's been approved. They did say to call this morning lol - they probably didn't mean as soon as they openned but you know what I am going to give it a red hot go   Hoping for an outcome, preferably positive please! Will update shortly - using creating this blog as a mechanism for distraction until these last minutes tick by Why so slow, time???? You go fast enough usually!!   Two minutes!!! Gotta go Be back on as soon as I can....

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Funding Update :)

So exciting - got a call from DHS today asking me some clarifying questions about my application but the upshot seems to be that it is all going ahead. I have to call tomorrow for an outcome for it but the lovely man on the phone today indicated that they were only questioning the additional costs of travel that I applied for and seriously, I can manage to work that out - it's the $17500 for surgery that's most important   So I should be able to advise you of the outcome by lunch time WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Two Days Until A Decision - Woot!

OMG I can't wait for the next two days to fly by! I just spoke to DHS and they are checking applications from the 27th which means...in the next day or two they will check my application I lodged on the 30th. I am so damn excited!! And bloody nervous...the reality is that if this doesn't come off I am going to have to push back my surgery date. Though I can't see why they would knock it back, you can never be totally sure and I really want to know the outcome. September 3 isn't far away at all and I can't wait to know for sure if it's going to go ahead. This is the only thing holding me back now...I can't really get excited about it until I get this approval I imagine it is what many of you experience waiting to hear back from your insurance people.   Don't get me wrong, this WILL happen for me, it's just the WHEN that I am worried about. I really don't want to wait any longer than I have to so I can begin this process. It is just that important to me. But I also know that things happen for a reason and I will manage whatever comes my way (I just don't want to have to manage my disappointment lol).   Anyway this was an unnecessary ramble Hope you're all well sleevers!

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Waiting :)

So I am waiting to see if my ERSB is approved and should hear by next Wednesday. I am so excited to actually have an answer which obviously I am hoping is affirmative...it's an all or nothing process. I spoke to someone from DHS today and they indicated that I should know by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.   It's so exciting though...I keep looking at my life and reminding myself how different things will be. For example, just watching Jamie Oliver (food porn lol) and thinking to myself, I'd only be able to have a bite or two of that - no sadness or remorse, just kind of excited. It'd be a damn good mouthful That's how I am looking at it anyway preoperatively. It will be interesting to see if I still think that way post op.   I was also just watching a travel show and thinking to myself, this time next year I could do that I won't have my weight to stop me from doing things! So exciting!   So that's my update for this week. Hope all is well in your world!   See you on the flip side...Lila

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Relieved!

Hello fellow bloggers   This is probably just a little bit of vanity so please excuse me. It's just that I have finsihed sending off all of my paperwork now for my operation and I am feeling great. I should know if my ERSB has been approved by next week (should be fine) and once that is through, it is clear sailing to my date with Mr Sharpie. Well I still have to go through the pre-op diet of course but to be honest, there is a part of me that is looking forward to it...it means that it's the "end of the world as we know it"...lol. In the best possible way.   I am so lucky that several of my friends and work colleagues have had this surgery and they have been so incredibly supportive, telling me of their experience which has really reduced some of my anxiety. For anyone dipping their toes into this pool (gastric sleeve) I highly recommend asking even what you think is the dumbest question of someone who has had the op, preferably close to where you will be having it. In hearing the stories of others there is a vast difference between how things are done depending on which country (or even which state) you live in. But for me, having someone to ask really functional questions of has reduced my anxiety significantly. I am sure as the date draws nearer that my neuroses will rear their ugly little heads again but for now, I am just excited.   I hope that this feeling lasts for the next month! I am hopeful though and not stupid - it's unlikely but I am going to enjoy it for as long as I can!!

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Good News On The Ersb Front!

Found out today that there is no limit on how much superannuation you can use for medical purposes (sorry, applies to Aussies only this blog).   So relieved that I won't have to find the additional cash myself to pay for the surgery...am now just in the process of waiting for the government to sign off on my application (this takes about two weeks) and then they will pay it into my bank account.   It was awful waiting over the weekend to find out if there was a limit to how much you could claim! I am just so pleased that I am able to go ahead!   Bring on September 3 (surgery date)!

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Wow, It's A Roller Coaster!

It's amazing how much of this journey is rollercoaster of emotions!! I am now worried about organising finance for my surgery which I thought was sorted out via early release of my superannuation. I can't find anywhere that stipulates that there is a maximum amount although another member told me it's capped at $10000 and by the time they reserve tax, it's closer to $7900. I have mentioned the approximate costs along the way to both the DHS and the superannuation company and no one mentioned that there was a limit...I was under the impression that they just paid the amount on the quote. So basically I may be scrambling to find $10 000 in a month. What's so annoying is that I've lost more in super since the GFC than the amount that I am applying for. It seems so wrong that I won't be able to get what I need to have this surgery.   I am trying to remain positive though - it is very important for me to have the surgery and I will be able to manage to find the money if I really, really need it. I just am hoping for a better outcome...can't wait until Monday so that I can speak to someone!   Will update my blog when I know a little more...

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

I Have A Surgery Date!

I had my first appointments over the past two days with the psychologist, dietician and surgeon. Here in Australia, I only have to see each once before the surgery which seems very different from the process for others. For those interested, this was my experience...   Psychologist - met with him just once and will see him again at 6 weeks, 6 months and at 12 months. Basically, he was interested in looking at motivation for ongoing lifestyle changes and some of the patterns of behaviour that led to this point. It was obviously a screen for underlying eating disorders and doing some "myth busting" about the surgery and it's outcomes. I was there for around 30 minutes. No startling revelations - I eat as an extension of poor emotional regulation during periods of stress. I have a sedentary job and lifestyle as contributing factors. I wouldn't say it was a waste of time but have to admit, I feel that I really did not get too much out of it. I hate saying that as I am a psychologist (different field) as well and was hoping to report something different as I've never seen a psych myself before...but it is what it is   Dietician - met with her once mostly discuss my current habits and to discuss the pre-op and post op diets. Very little else was done but she was really nice and very easy to talk to. She made herself very available to me for contact during this whole process which was great as I live quite a long way away.   Pre-op Diet - I will be on the VLCD Optislim diet for two weeks prior to surgery. During this time I can also have fruit twice per day, jelly once per day and twice a day have a salad or stirfried veggies or a soup from the "free" vegetables list. There is a lot more variation in the diet than I was expecting which I am really happy about. It's still going to be tough I am sure, but not so bad as I'd originally feared.   Surgeon - I met with Dr Candice Silverman today and feel so confident in her! She was brilliant, walking me through what to expect from arrival to recovery room. She's been doing this surgery for many years and tells me that she has never had a leak yet, so I don't anticipate on being the first (though I suppose no one ever does). She told me that she will make 5 incisions and I'll have disolvable stitches. Because I live about 12 hours from the dr, she has asked me to remain on the Gold Coast for 10 days from the surgery. I'll only spend three nights in hospital (it's probably two nights but she added the third night just in case). Then I get a week's holiday on the beach before seeing her again and then going home.   Surgery date - so I know that my surgery now will be September 3 2012. I can't wait!!!! So excited to have a date confirmed and when I wanted it to happen! Seems like things are falling into place (touch wood)...just need to lodge my paperwork and get my approvals back (which have a two week timeframe) and I will be done!!   Can't wait to join the "sleeved" club!!

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

One Week To Go Until First Appointment!

Well, it's only one week now until I go for my first appointments with the surgeon, dietician and psychologist. Unfortunately, I was supposed to go on Monday but it was put back a few days. I was disappointed initially as the clinic is a 10 hour drive away and I'd already paid for accommodation and now I have to pay for further accommodation later in the week as well but I realised that I am actually complaining about having to spend five days on the beautiful Gold Coast (in Australia). How ridiculous!!   It's funny - I am a psychologist but I've never actually been to a psychologist, so I am not sure what to expect by seeing an exercise psychologist. LOL, I've been putting together my developmental history and looking at my relationship with food and the faulty cognitions that I have around eating and food It was then that I realised that it probably defeats the purpose to "prepare" for this and from a professional perspective, it gives me good insight into what it must be like for my clients on their first appointment! So I am perversely curious about seeing the psychologist now     I am so excited about seeing the surgeon and getting my date for surgery. At this stage, I was told by the staff it could be as soon as 3 September. Wow. I just can't' wait for this!! I am worried that something will occur that will make me ineligible for the surgery not that I know what that is but there is a lingering concern.   I am pretty big - about 366 pounds (hope I have that right) and I worry that means that I will be too big for surgery and that it will put my date back. It probably sounds silly (on reflection, I know it sounds silly) but there it is.   I had wanted to start my diet prep this week and as per my previous blog, started the shakes which were quite nice but for the past three days I've been sick with the flu. So I've had nothing but lemonade icy poles and watered down juice. I did manage to get down a little porridge this morning but that's been it. On the upside I think I've lost a little weight lol but it will come back as soon as I am well again - I know that from experience.   So the update is one week to go until first appointments. Hoping so hard that it will all be fine and I can get my surgery done soon. My birthday is in August and every year at this time I tell myself I'll be thinner and healthier by my birthday next year - this is the first time that I actually believe that it will happen

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

 

Optifast Shakes - Surprisingly Tasty :)

I am still a week out from my first appointments with the surgeon etc but the way that I understand it here in Australia is that you only need to meet with the surgeon, nutritionist and psychologist once, then get a surgery date.   On their website it can be as soon as two weeks after your appointment with the surgeon (assuming all is cleared) that you can have your surgery.   So to this end, I thought I would start on a modified version of the pre-op diet, gradually introducing meal replacement as I build up to the two weeks before surgery where I have to be so strict. I am hoping for a surgery date in early September at this point, so realistically it could be about 6 weeks until I get "sleeved".   I had the strawberry optifast shake today and discovered two things - first is that I need to add more water than recommended (around 250-275ML instead of 200) and the other is that it is 100 times nicer if it's really cold, so I added a few ice cubes.   I am trying to practice drinking really slowly as I know that I gulp drinks and it does make you really aware of what you are drinking and eating! I only substituted lunch today and it's been okay so far. I am a little bit hungry but it isn't too bad and I might try to have an earlier dinner tonight instead of snacking this afternoon.   So it's early days, but for anyone pre-op who is testing the waters and wanting to try the shakes, my advice is to thin it out and make it very cold

Lissa_S

Lissa_S

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