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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by boringtessa

  1. boringtessa

    Face B+A.png

    From the album: VSG 10/03/17 Progress

    06/20/18 v 02/18/19
  2. boringtessa

    Side B+A.png

    From the album: VSG 10/03/17 Progress

    10/04/18 v 02/17/19
  3. boringtessa

    VSG 10/03/17 Progress

  4. boringtessa

    Too much, too soon.

    Changing HOW I eat is so hard. I mean, I knew it would be hard, but now I'm actually IN it. I should have been working on it earlier, this frantic eating. Whenever I have food in front of me, it's like I haven't eaten in days, I just frantically shovel food into my mouth. Now that I'm doing purees (and starting soft foods), the same thing is applying - I go into a frenzy when there's food around! It is taking almost everything in me to slow down. In fact, I have had two soft food meals so far in which I over-stuffed myself because I wasn't eating slowly enough. Ugh, that feeling, nauseated and uncomfortable, but also just so so "hungry". In fact, I am still feeling the effects over 24 hours later. I know that it's not real hunger, it's just an automatic reaction to having food around, but it feels so real and keeps me shoving food in my mouth even when I don't want to. I am hoping that I can improve in this area, that I can quiet my food desperation and appetite, but I know it's going to take work and willpower on my side - something I've always had trouble summoning on my behalf. I have not been doing well with hydration. My skin is dry and flaking and my mouth and eyes are dry. But it's hard to drink water because I feel nauseated and it still kinda hurts my stomach. Waiting 30 minutes before and after food is NOT working out for me - I just can't seem to get enough fluid in! I don't know what to do. Exercise is also something I'm failing at. I haven't done any form of exercise since I got back from the hospital. Like, what am I thinking? I know this is an important part of my new lifestyle, but I forget (because it wasn't a part of my previous lifestyle) or I just keep telling myself I'm healing and I'm too exhausted from not eating. Or my skating rink is closed, as if that's my only option for exercise. So many excuses. Other than these things, I do seem to be doing well. My incisions are healing nicely, I really haven't had any intolerances to anything. I'm just falling behind on things and being a bad bariatric patient. I'm working on it, I need to put more into my efforts.
  5. boringtessa

    Protein shakes??

    I'm a big fan of Unjury protein powder - they have a couple savory ones, which make a nice change from the sweet. I like their Chocolate Splendor, and their Unflavored is very useful. For the savory ones, I like to use the Southwest Chili flavored one in some beef broth for a nice savory (and a little spicy) hot drink - just make sure not to heat the protein powder over 140 degrees F (it changes the texture).
  6. boringtessa

    30 second elevator interview

    36, single (and loving it!), nerdy, PC gamer, board game collector, former musician, Christian... I traveled to Germany last year, and now I've got a mean case of the Wanderlust, too (@greentealael)!
  7. HEALTH LOOKS/ROMANCE - I've never had a serious relationship or any interest from "compatible" men... I'm a content-by-necessity single in my late 30s, so it is about dang time that I go out, turn heads, have a little fun, and make a few (safe) mistakes. MOBILITY LONGEVITY - Not something I usually worry about. FAMILY - I'm single with no kids, so this wasn't one of my reasons.
  8. boringtessa

    Too much, too soon.

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I haven't even thought of trying to get my fluids in any form other than plain water or at a temperature other than room temp, but I may have more success there, as you have. I'll give tea a try - thankfully I enjoy my tea unsweetened! You're probably right about the rollerskating - I don't normally fall, but it could definitely happen, especially since I haven't skated for a month. I just love it so much, I'm eager to get going, but it's more important to let my body heal. I could make a point of taking a short walk during my breaks at work. Have you started soft foods yet, or are you still doing full liquids/purees?
  9. I chose by BMI - my goal is the weight right at the border of "Healthy" and "Overweight". Also, 150 is a nice, round number, and it is almost exactly half of my starting (and highest) weight.
  10. boringtessa

    Saving money and kind friends.

    Boy, I did not realize how much money I was spending on food. Now that I've been on liquids for almost 3 weeks, I haven't spent basically anything. I mean, I was already stocked up on protein and vitamins before the surgery, and I will eventually need to spend money on that.... well, and I will need to start spending money on food this coming Wednesday when I move on to purees.... BUT STILL. I used to eat out every day (and not cheap fast food, but real restaurants), and it's no wonder I was kinda living paycheck to paycheck. But, boy, I did eat some delicious things. At any rate, that isn't the only thing I've noticed. Sitting around at home and at work, HUNGRY, I've been constantly thinking about food. My relationship with food, my future with food. Pre-surgery I was telling myself and others that eventually I'll be able to eat everything I want again, just smaller portions. Now I am realizing that that would be a complete mistake, that eating like that is why I'm so unhealthy in the first place, and I would be undoing the benefit of this "extreme measure" I took to get healthy. I love to bake, but I'm going to need to be careful now. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I will probably never eat sugar the same way again - I will need to be extremely careful and use low-calorie options whenever possible and avoid candy (which I used to binge-eat); I'm kinda okay with this... I've been addicted to sugar, but my true love is UMAMI (savory flavor). So it will be harder for me to avoid fats like butter and olive oil, gravies, fancy cheese, coconut milk (in its role in Indian food). I am a foodie, and I want big, rich, complicated flavors! Thankfully, there are tons of calorie-free spices and low calorie condiments, but I'm not a good cook yet - something I will now work on, since I have no choice. So, I am nearly 50 lbs down from my highest weight when I started this journey in June - 14 lbs down since surgery. The power is off in my town, so I went to the city to a spice shop and treated myself to some delicious, aromatic spices. A fancy taco seasoning for the refried beans I'm going to eat on Wednesday (when I start purees), some Garam Masala for when I want to make something that tastes like Indian food, and a couple little tasters of spice blends to experiment with. One of the first non-food rewards... though, maybe it kinda IS a food reward.... but anyways, it doesn't involve calories going into my mouth. Healing-wise, I'm doing very well. So far, I haven't had anything that disagreed with me, haven't accidentally over-stuffed myself, haven't caused myself much pain. The worst part right now is the itching and scabs at the incision sites, which I have a compulsion to pick at. Thankfully there are still steri-strips there as a physical block to my wandering itch-seeking fingers. I hope to start purees on Wednesday (my 2-week surgiversary), but I might try some very liquidy purees ahead of time. I'm antsy to get started on real food, but I need to make sure I don't injure my healing stomach. Some friends of mine have been very kind to me - they are elderly people (and very very thin), and they said that they don't know what I'm going through having never struggled with weight, but they care about me and understand that it is going to be a difficult process and wanted to offer me actual money for meeting my goals! I was floored. I told them that that wasn't necessary, but thanks for the thought, but I think they might actually do it, saying that it'll be for my upcoming trip to Germany so I can be healthy and active and ready for anything. What kind, kind friends. AND My pastor and his wife, those dear people, gave me an incredible, thoughtful gift - a weighted blanket! I've always wanted one, I find the weight so soothing and comforting both for my body and for my anxious/depressed brain. I have been shown so much kindness lately, it has brought me out of the self-pity and has reminded me to be thankful. And I am. I'm also thankful for quick healing and no complications.
  11. The thing I found the most useful was an extension cord - made it easy to put my phone and charger right where I needed them. Also, underwear. I also brought my headphones and loaded an audiobook onto my mp3 player - so useful, I could keep entertained without having to keep my eyes open! The hospital was great, they provided me with socks as well as a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and chapstick - boy, it felt so good to brush my teeth after hours of dozing in a hospital bed. I personally didn't need anything else I brought.
  12. boringtessa

    Drain Tube Woes

    Wow, that seems like a long time to have a drain, bleh. I'm sorry you had to live with it for so long. I just wanted to say how weird it feels when they take it out - so bizarre, like a snake moving around in there. And it was comically long, the doctor looked like a clown pulling a big line of handkerchiefs out. 😂
  13. boringtessa

    Going slow, getting bored.

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

    The other side.

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

    October 2018 Sleevers

    Alright, after surgery on the 3rd, I'm finally home from the hospital, safe and doing well! A little out of it, but feeling good, feeling like I've done the right thing!
  16. boringtessa

    Last Days and Second Thoughts.

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

    Last Days and Second Thoughts.

    I know, it is totally weird how different everyone's plan is. I'm sorry that you had to be on liquids for 7 days! It's going to totally be worth it! You're so lucky to not have a bowel prep - I don't really understand why I have to do it, but I am willing to jump through any hoops to get this done. I need to get some SF Jello, that is a good idea - something with a little "substance", haha. Were you eating SF stuff before, or did you just recently convert for the surgery? Were you able to get used to it fairly quickly? I'm not used to Sugar-Free, so I'm a little nervous about even going down that road. I hope your surgery and recovery go well, as well! I will definitely check in afterwards, and will look forward to seeing you check in, too. Some of my friends/family are nervous for me because it's kinda a serious surgery, but I've been acting like it's NBD. But it IS kinda serious - removing most of the stomach! So, in that light, I hope you don't have any complications and that you come out of it all safely. Good luck!
  18. boringtessa

    Food funerals and nerves.

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

    Food funerals and nerves.

    Congrats on your recent surgery! It is true what you say about still being able to have the foods you love, that's something I should remind myself of... instead of being super sad about never having good things again, I should remind myself that I may very well be able to eat those things again, just not the huge portions I've been used to. I am also looking forward to being satisfied faster - one piece of pizza, I can't imagine!
  20. boringtessa

    Roller Skating!

    Does anyone else here enjoy roller skating? I was just wondering how long you waited to skate after surgery? Also, as you lost weight, what changed about skating? I'd imagine that maybe you'd need to get stickier wheels at some point or even smaller skates... was there anything that changed about your skating when you got lighter? I have to say, I love love love roller skating... it has been a great low-impact form of exercise (as long as I don't fall, haha), and it makes me feel so free, gliding around instead of feeling like the slow and heavy person I am. And it burns so many calories and engages your "core". I'm so excited to get lighter on my skates as I lose weight and I look forward to being more agile.
  21. boringtessa

    Roller Skating!

    Roller derby is so awesome - the league closest to me offered a "Skate Camp" where they taught complete beginners how to skate. I've never met such a group of kind, inclusive, supportive people, and if I lived closer (I'm an hour away), I would have joined the league. If you have a league close by, I encourage you to give it a try!!
  22. boringtessa

    Pre-Op Appointment.

    I met with my surgeon today for my pre-op appointment where he showed me what he would be doing, how long it should take, the risks involved, and the diet to follow. He told me I had lost a total of 32 lbs so far and asked if I wanted to drop out and lose the weight on my own; when I told him I still believe I need the help, he told me he agreed with my decision, and so the countdown begins! There will be a 5-day liquid pre-op diet (no 2-week liver shrink diet like I feared, thank goodness), and then the regular diet progression of clear liquids - full liquids - purees - soft foods. I'll be "eating" only liquids for a total of almost 3 weeks, and that is what I am looking forward to the least. That seems like such a long time, and I know it's going to be hard. I'm going to be drinking a lot of broth and V8 to break up the sweetness of the protein shakes. I need a water bottle to help me meet my hydration requirement, but it's hard for me to find what I want. I want a stainless steel bottle, it would be nice to have a sippy straw or lid, but I don't want something that can get moldy, but it would be nice to have a filter bottle, otherwise I need something large because I get squeamish about drinking unfiltered water; It might also be nice to have a bottle that reminds you to drink water, but nothing too expensive. Obviously I can't have all of these in one bottle, so I just don't know. A silly thing to think so much about, haha, but drinking water is going to be my life for a while. Anyways, I'm getting totally pumped! Starting to tell a few more people about the surgery, making sure I have a good support base and people praying for me. So far, everyone has been supportive - I haven't gotten any back-talk from anyone, which is encouraging. At the moment, I don't care if they are secretly judging me in their hearts, as long as they don't plague me with their opinions. I know I'm doing the right thing, and I don't want to argue about it or have to justify myself to anyone. I'm a bit of a sensitive person, so, even though I won't be changing my mind, I get extremely anxious when there's conflict, and I don't need a hit to my morale at this time. I'm just trying to live my life. Wow, this was a long and boring entry, but writing this stuff out really does help me, I don't expect people to be as interested in it as I am.
  23. Hey, all you post-ops out there! What are your favorite items - things you cannot/couldn't do without since the surgery - and why? Do you have a particular water bottle you love? What kind is it? Are you way into your FitBit or other fitness device? Are there any item recommendations you would make to pre-ops or recent post-ops that you wish you knew about?
  24. Another October 3rd here! I can't wait! I'm slowly buying all the stuff I need - I even bought a Squatty Potty after reading on this forum about constipation and how much the SP helped. Trying to make sure I have enough protein shakes, stocking up on interesting spices to punch up bland food. I've got a food scale as well as a fancy new body scale that measures all sorts of things. I meet my surgeon again on September 11 and will find out if I go on a liver shrink diet or not and get all the last-minute instructions! I'm a little sad about the surgery because I love to bake, and I will probably have to give that up for a while (which I know will be worth it, I won't regret it), so for my birthday in a few days my mom and I are going to bake a bunch of things we've always wanted to try to make... one last fun experiment since I've been very good with my pre-op diet. Anyways, good luck everyone!
  25. boringtessa

    Favorite Stuff

    That looks like a fun gadget!

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