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About this blog

A place to document my journey through insurance requirements and hopefully my transformation from fat to healthy!

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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

 

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

 

Soda, and some thoughts

Hi y'all! So today was my 2nd weigh in, starting my 2nd month on my supervised diet. I lost....1.5ish pounds. Not a lot, but the doctor's scale added an additional 5 pounds than the one I have at home. I'll average them out. A loss is a loss though. I'm gonna keep trucking. My blood pressure however, according to google (yes, I googled my blood pressure) is pre-hypertension...that's terrifying. One more thing to keep me motivated.   Anyway, before I moved here I was a soda *****. Seriously. Since I've moved I have largely replaced them with crystal light, tea or regular ice water. I do have one if we go out to eat or an occasional one from the store. But not the cups and cups I was having before. Here's my thing, and we're gonna be in woman territory. If you don't suffer from debilitating cramps because the little twit Eve decided to eat the damn fruit, move along. Or scroll down. Anyway, I have always had normal periods, a few cramps a couple of days before signaled that it would start soon. And then the first heavyish flow day I had I got BAD cramps. Like...."Excuse me while I knock back this bottle of freaking advil and curl up in a hot shower/bath in the fetal position wishing for death" bad. I know there are girls out there that had them bad enough to make them vomit to the point of having to go to the ER, and I'm thankful I've never had them THAT bad. Anyway, the red tidal wave started to cast a shadow over me, and I got a cramp, very mild, just enough to let me know it was about to crash down. Then the normal spotting, and finally the flow. And I was ready you guys, I preemptively took pain killers and prepared to be miserable. And then...NOTHING. Minor crampage here and there but really, nothing major. No crying, no wishing for death, no cursing Eve's stupid freaking face. The ONLY major change I've made was the SODA. So, I LOVE soda but you guys, this was the EASIEST month I'd had in like...ever! Screw you soda, SCREW YOU. I thought I'd share in case that little tidbit helps any other woman get out of soul crushing cramps.   I think I am going to move this blog over to my wordpress account, but I haven't come up with an appropriate name yet, when I do I'll post it. We haven't found a therapist yet to help me deal with my food addictions, it's a pain in the ass. But I have at minimum of 4 months left. We decided to get all the surgeon's requirements done and try to submit to insurance early, just to see if we could get around the whole diet. I doubt it will work, but the worst thing they could say is no right?   Finally found a dress for the wedding I get to go to in July, of course I have to fly from the east coast to the other side of the damn country, but I'm not complaining because it's my best friend, and I haven't seen her in over a year!   Until next time, or when I decide on a new blog name. One foot in front of the other and remember to breathe! Life is a journey, enjoy the scenery!

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Supervised Diet Plan and sugar >_<

Hello again! Not much to talk about besides the fact that I'm HUNGRY. Sigh. I need to work on portion control. Tomorrow is a new day, but I can't wait until I can't physically eat the amount of food I ate today. I took a lovely walk through the pasture with my dogs, probably 20 minutes or so. Ate dinner and then after my dad and stepmom called it a night I noshed on 3.5 muffins, a bagel with peanut butter, some marshmallows and a banana. WTF?! I have to get on a plane in maybe 6 weeks to go to my best friend's wedding, WTF stomach/brain!?! STOP IT! I CAN do this. Tomorrow begins my sugar detox, I am a sugar addict. I know this. It will be probably the worst 3 days of my life but it's something that must be done for the greater good. Once I I detox, I don't crave it, and don't eat as much overall (at least not in my opinion). I will have headaches, I will be angry, bitchy Amanda, but in a mere 72 hours I will should be much happier. Sugar is one of the things I've decided to not even touch post-op until I've maintained my goal weight for at least 6 months (however long that ends up being). I've cut out sodas almost completely getting my caffeine from green tea or crystal light (although Dollar General makes caffeine tabs with 200 mgs each and I may pick some up as backups). I've had an almost constant headache for the past 3 days, nothing close to a migraine but painful and irritating enough to pop a couple of tylenol at least once a day. I thought it was dehydration, I've sucked down 2-3 liters of water a day, and no help. I think it's probably allergies or something terrible. I'm gonna go with allergies, doesn't make it any less sucky. I have quit smoking too, I smoked a pack during the 2.5 days of driving from Wyoming to North Carolina, but since then (a week ago today since my last one) I haven't touched any. Of course it's easier to not smoke if you only smoked a pack after 3-4 months of not smoking and then quitting again. If that makes sense, which it probably doesn't.   So to recap, quitting sugar tomorrow. I will continue to use a little splenda in my tea (brewing green tea and mint tea together and icing it down is wonderful btw). I need to find a job because I am VERY prone to eating when I'm bored and trust me, there isn't a whole hell of a lot to do here. Not that that's a bad thing, I just need stuff to keep me busy....away from the kitchen. LOL   It is now officially bedtime, although I wish I had the motivation to work on my book some, I haven't really even touched it for several months now. Night y'all! Thanks for reading my ravings!

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Next steps..

Hi everyone! I am now settling into North Carolina life. This is the place I will come home to recover, the place where I'm sure many tears and deep thinking will happen. But I hope this will also be the place in which I become a better me. A stronger me. A healthier me. My stepmom has been a wonderful resource so far. While I have only been here 3 days (tonight is my third night) we have already talked candidly about weight loss surgery and she has been impressed with how much I've gleaned from the interwebz. Although a lot of my "insider" info she talked about I knew because of all you guys. My next steps will to find a job (probably a part time so that I have the time to get to therapy, doctor's appointments etc) and to go ahead and make my next weigh in/check in. I am incredibly excited to be on this journey and will continue to update y'all as time progresses.

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Nutritionist and other large things happening

Hi everyone! I first wanna thank those that take the time to comment on my blogs, I do not have wifi at the new house and a limited data plan on my phone. I am sitting at the library at the moment, so if you like what you read and would like to further interact with me, please send me a message or something. And seriously, thanks for the comments, I love knowing people on here are willing to give advice, once I get to NC I should be on here a LOT more.   That being said, NORTH CAROLINA! In a week...well, no. In like 10 days, I leave Wyoming in a week, but it'll take me 3 days to get to my dad's house. I am really excited about the road trip, 3 days of me, my dog, and the open road. While I can't stop to sightsee since I will be in a small time crunch, I won't have to drive but for 12-14 hours. And I probably will stop closer to 12 but I have this thing you see, since I was a child on any trip, my bladder can't control itself. My dad says I see the world through bathrooms. It's not that I have a medical issue, it's just a mental thing I think for me...and the fact I hate feeling like I'm going to pee myself...and I love to drink on the road, while soda is something I really enjoy I will be trying to get my caffeine from energy shots (5 hour energy), caffeine pills etc and NOT energy drinks or soda which go through me in like 20 minutes. I drove a 6 hour trip and seriously stopped every time I saw a rest stop because I had to go, that was roughly every 2 hours. I hope to go longer than that between bathroom breaks. LOL   Saw my nutritionist today. Very nice fellow, much more personable than the pcp had been. He gave me the Idaho Plate Method to follow and instructions to start walking. Not only do I have a plan (which he says should average out to about 1400 calories) but it's DOCUMENTED! HURRAY!! 1 visit down, 5 to go. I am HIGHLY motivated to lose 30 pounds before July though, I have to fly *shudder* from Raleigh to San Diego....east to west coast. I hate flying fat. I hate that my thighs infringe upon someone else's space. I hate it. But the seatbelt fits better when I weigh about 30 pounds lighter than I do now. I am officially at my highest...322 :'( 290 is my goal for the wedding....I've only flown once at that weight, and the seat belt was much more comfortable but I still touched the person next to me's leg...Maybe, hopefully though this will be the last round trip flight I will take obese.   I figure losing 30ish pounds or maybe 35 won't hurt my case much for wls, and if I lose it now that's just 30 less pounds I have to lose when I do get it. I am looking forward to also finding a therapist and tackling my emotional eating and addictions I have, and I want to start working with weights to help tone the muscles so that maybe the saggy skin won't be as catastrophic. I'll deal with it either way, I'm sure it beats being huge.   'Till next time my friends!

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Had my doctor's appointment today

Hi everyone! So I had what I was really thinking would be my first of six doctor's appointments for the supervised diet. I had to find a new pcp and get in so it took me a couple of weeks. I went today and I get the one that doesn't believe in bariatric surgery....at all. sigh. So instead of finding someone to really start my diet out strong I get someone who has "seen many bariatric patients of his that have complications that would, if given the chance, rethink their surgery"...which is completely contradictatory to all you guys, HOWEVER if there are people out there that hate the fact they got surgery and regret it terribly LET ME KNOW! I also got the "it's a lifestyle change" which I KNOW. It's just making those changes are incredibly difficult, which I know the surgery is but a tool but the counseling I will get and the whole 'learning how to eat again' REALLY appeals to me. I also love the idea of having my stomach help with portion control...I can eat and eat and eat and the gastric sleeve will hopefully help. I'm kind of frustrated. I did the math with all the weight I have lost since like...2003 and it's the amount I need to lose now. Any way, this dark, maddeningly frustrating cloud comes with a silver lining. While I didn't make a diet plan with the pcp he gave me orders to see the dietician for an intial consult. I made the appointment for a week before I head to NC, so it looks like I will have a concrete diet plan started which is good. I wish he knew what it was like growing up from 4th grade on as a morbidly obese female. Seriously. Ugh. But it's okay. Because I will do my 6 months, I will get the surgery, I will make it work with me and I will go skydiving with my brothers and run in all the fun 5ks that are out there. Thoughts guys? Anyone have to deal with a pcp who didn't see bariatric surgery as a tool to help with you weight?

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Ramblings and questions for the known universe

If you have the time, I'd love some of y'alls input on the bolded questions. See, I bolded it so you don't have to read my ramblings, you can just answer the questions.   So in an attempt to get on top of the whole insurance requirement list I decided to go ahead and schedule a doctor's appointment here in Wyoming so then I (should) only have 5 months of supervised diet in North Carolina. I decided to do this to 1)speed up the process and 2)if something happens and the insurance company denies me I will have that much more time to appeal. So my appointment is on the 28th, and I listed my reason for it as a physical and to lay out and talk about a diet since I was pursuing weight loss surgery. I have to go sign a release form before then so they can legally get my records from the last doctor. My dad said that since I had already tried the pills with no success to get a doctor sanctioned diet to attempt since those are more favorably looked upon than just me saying I've tried different diets-atkins, fasting, low calorie etc. So, what did you ask your doctor when you started your diet? Did you have them write down the specifics or just say “low calorie” or whatever plan you were on? In fact, what did you ask your doctor to document for you during this stage?   I do have some interesting thoughts about the emotions and ups and downs I've read about all of y'all going through and have a theory. I base it on what I've read about water fasting (no eating, just drinking water). All the good, non-pro ana sites tell you that if you are fasting for more than 3 days then to be supervised by a doctor. Especially when it comes to obese people, from what I understand (and this could be totally false, bear with me) is that fat cells join around the toxins we put into our bodies, sometimes that is why losing the last few pounds is hard, the body doesn't want to intentionally poison itself and if you water fast for longer than a few days you start to lose about a pound a day, this is rapid weight loss and the body can be over run with toxins it can't get rid of fast enough. While I have never detoxed for longer than a few days those that go a couple of weeks or so find they feel like they have the flu, they smell terrible as well as other things. So, if you have weight loss surgery you are losing at the same rate, maybe a little slower/faster than water fasting and all the toxins are being released into the blood stream, making the hormones all wonky and emotions all over the place. While I don't know if this is true, it does make sense to me. Thoughts?   Also, for those wondering, we moved. And it absolutely, without a doubt SUCKED BUTTHOLE. I HATE moving. My knees hurt, my back still hurts, my feet hurt and we aren't even done yet. This weekend was the only time we had the help of some friends so in a couple of horse trailer loads we got all the big stuff into the new house...in one day. Not fun. Okay? Not at all. But we are in our cozy log house, my room is just about the way I like it and while I am very excited about starting a journey towards weight loss surgery I am also very much looking forward to coming back and working the farm. That being said, have any of you had the gastric sleeve and do hard labor? When I come back in a couple of years or so we will have a garden to tend, horses/goats/pigs/possibly a cow to tend to and firewood to haul. I'm curious as to whether you had to up your protein amount, or if you were fine. But that's a long ways away, I'm getting ahead of myself.   Last thing, for those of you that are Christians out there and had the surgery, how was the decision? I am still a tad conflicted that I am telling God that He made a mistake when He made me, and as a result I have to fix His mistake. But I don't want to be a glutton anymore, and I want to have self-control! Sigh. I need answers or input or something.   'Till next time you guys!

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

Facebook, apprehension, goals and other ramblings

To those who have commented on my other blog, HI! I am in the process of moving with my mom and it's kinda crazy. So for awhile I will just post new blogs, and once we're settled in some I will get to know more people on here.   SO I talked to my insurance company and have to do a 6 month diet, have 5 years of morbid obesity and the usual bmi that everyone has. I also forgot to mention that I am only on my dad's fantastic insurance until I'm 26, which isn't a huge thing if I have a decent job lined up but it's been hectic and I haven't seriously looked here although NC has significantly more job opportunities than Wyoming. So I have really small time frame to do my diet and be approved, it's kind of stressful. My stepmom took 16 months to be approved. So to help with my anxiety I am hoping to see a pcp here and get a diet plan together and then have only 5 months and whatever the surgeon requires when I get to NC, and hopefully that helps.   Back to my topic, facebook. I realized I have a TERRIBLE grip on time, and how it relates to doctor's visits. I argued with my mom long and hard that one of my visit's was waaay further back than it was. I was off by like 2 years. Based on what I can find on my timeline I have the weights for I believe 2010-2013, not 5 years, but two of the visits found me getting phentermine, which is wonderful btw-not hungry, loads of energy until of course your body adjusts to it... I do have a bachelor's in Criminal Justice and I am hoping that with surgery career options that were never open to me before are suddenly available.   I have tried so hard in my life to be a normal/healthy person and for the most part I am, probably because I am so freaking stubborn. In fact I have been playing the "I should get it".... "no, I can lose the weight by myself" game for years. I will decide that I can lose the 160ish pounds on my own and I stop thinking about surgery until something happens like; I can barely fit in the airplane seat and I have to put a jacket over my stomach so the stewardesses can't see I can't buckle my seatbelt and I pray REAAALLY hard that the plane won't have turbulents, or clothes that used to fit don't anymore, or they barely fit or whatever else super embarrassing and eye opening things that happen to my fat @ss....sigh. I ramble. I have goals fo myself. I want to do the fun 5ks, the hard mud warrior run thing, I want to go jogging for the sake of jogging with my dog, I want my knees to not hurt and crackle like they do, I want to fit in a plane seat comfortably without infringing on someone else's personal space (I feel terrible when I fly), I want to cross my legs like a lady not a man and I wanna go skydiving!   I am a little apprehensive when it comes to a slimmer body though since I have NEVER dated for the exception of a 10 year old thing and a high school thing that ended in what could be called sexual assault. I digress. If anyone is/was in my boat-never dating (in the more mature years) would you give me advice. I know it's kinda early to ask, but I'd love to hear any input you could give me about anything on here.   Thanks for all the kind words!   PS it looks like I will be pursuing the surgery at Duke Regional if anyone else is going/has gone through them I'd love to chat.

ajb1029

ajb1029

 

The beginning

Hi everyone! I figured I would start a blog here, specifically about my journey. So let me introduce myself, my name is Amanda, I'm 24 and I have a bmi of right around 50. BUT no co-morbidities as of yet, thank goodness but I do have diabetes in my family so I may be playing with fire.) I have been overweight, or morbidly obese since I was in like....4th grade. I wasn't fat growing up-I played sports, but then my parents got divorced when I was in the 4th grade and there was an ugly custody battle and I started eating and stopped moving and I got fatter. I'm pretty sure (not 100%) that by 6th grade I could have been classified as morbidly obese or close to it, I was a whale! I didn't have a lot of friends, not until I joined JROTC in high school and learned I liked to run and sweat and have friends but my love affair with food was overwhelming for me. So I got fatter. Went to colelge, got into Zumba and ate a little better. Lost a few pounds but it came back. Transferred colleges, moved home.Got Phentermine the first time, lost quite a few pounds, got off meds gained it all back. Became a commuter student so I knew/know very few people from my several years there. Went to my pcp again to talk specifically about weight loss all I got was "try weight watchers and eat better and oh yea, here's another prescription for Phentermine (woohoo drugs that make me not hungry! ) Gained it all back when the meds were gone). I love to go hiking/swimming/adventuring and have no issues doing so by myself. Well, I take my dog(s) but food is still so freaking great. I've most recently tried Atkins (lost close to 20 pounds-gained it back after I started carbs again), ate the "broke college student"diet- this consisted of lots of water and cheap food, think-spaghettios, hot dogs, or nothing. I lost like 35 pounds and then I graduated and moved in with my mom and I gained it all back plus probably an extra 5-10 pounds. I've tried water fasting(super great for you, flushes it out toxins and fat) for a few days but all the weight I gained back I of course regained it all plus 5-10 because my body was like "YOU DIDN'T FEED ME FOR 3 DAYS, EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT!" Yea. Baaaad idea. Sadly, except a few pictures of a super young me all of the pictures ever taken of me I'm fat in. So, stay with me kids, here's when it gets a bit...convoluted. I went to a lap-band seminar when I was 17-they didn't do the surgery for people under 18 so I didn't really think about the possibility of weight loss surgery again until my step mom got the RnY and lost a crap ton of weight. I don't live with her so I only saw the after product, she's done a wonderful job at maintaining the loss. My dad brought it up a few years ago and I thought about it and did more research but I'm already anemic (it runs in the family, on the female side and it blows hard) and didn't want to deal with the malabsorption. When I moved in with my mom and did more soul searching and found the gastric sleeve and realized that it would probably be a good idea to into it more. I scheduled my surgical consult (I lived in Houston at the time), my insurance has a 6 month supervised diet so I was in the process of finding a new pcp to supervise me. And then we moved...to Wyoming. In the middle of nowhere Wyoming (this was in December). I did some more reading and found this forum, after lurking for a while I decided to join. Bear with me it's gonna get messy. My mom (who I moved with) found a new house to buy and so after we close (on Friday woohoo!) and move and do a few repairs I have decided to move to the Raleigh NC area to live with my dad and stepmom in order to go through the weight loss surgery process. I decided I wanted to go through the process with someone in the house that had 'been there, done that' and could help me especially post-op.   So there's my story. I hope in the coming months (I should be headed to NC in 2-3 weeks) I will be able to document the process of jumping through the hoops of the insurance company and finally starting my life for real...being able to go on the same 4 mile hike much easier and much longer, participating in the couch to 5k program, going backpacking, fitting in the plane seat embarrassment free etc...   PS the picture is me, hiking in one of Texas' state parks...fat. I could be so much more NOT fat!

ajb1029

ajb1029

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