Breaking 30, back to work and spider bites!

Well, after hovering 4 oz short of losing 30 lbs, I RAISED my caloric intake and the scales moved! YAY! I am now down 30.8 lbs. I know it sounds crazy, but I was not getting ENOUGH calories. I did the math and realized that I was sometimes only getting 400-600 calories a day. That is not good for the metabolism. It goes into starvation mode and everything slows down.

I went back to work on March 12th. It was uneventful except I am SO FREAKIN TIRED EACH AND EVERY DAY. I feel like Harry Potter has taken a energy wand and is saying something like “Energy leava mosis”. Ugh. I hope sometime soon I will feel like there is more to life than work and sleep¬† ūüôĀ¬†¬† Work came rushing back to me like a flood. I was worried I would ‘forget my job’. It is not the easiest job in the world; lots of things to remember…. especially codes. I am glad about that.

¬†The biggest YIKES! , tho is the spider bite I received last week. Paul and I fell asleep on the couch and woke up around 1 am. We got up to go to bed and there was this huge red thing on my neck. The next morning it blistered up into a water blister and I poked on it and it POPPED! We don’t know what kind of spider it was except it had to be poisonous on some level because the next few days I was so sick on my stomach. They put me¬† on HEAVY DUTY nausea drugs…. the kind they give really sick people.

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Life is never dull, is it???????

¬†Here is my latest pic at the ‘hovering’ stage….. right at the 30 lb ish mark

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26 lbs even, the black suit, a hernia and a partridge in a pear tree! :-)

Well first things first. As of this morning I am down 26 lbs from my surgery dead even (to the ounce). That is 35 lbs from my first weigh in nearly a year ago when I had my consultation and 43 lbs from my known heaviest ever.

I find myself a little ‘disappointed’ although I was told 20-25 lbs is normal for the first month so I am on the high end of normal.

I need to start walking. I wish it would warm up. I am about ready to start doing laps in my basement. Ha! That is my #1 goal this week is to start walking. If it is too cold outside, I will find somewhere else… even if it is laps in the basement!¬†

I did have a super doooooooper moment yesterday!  I got into my black power suit I have not gotten into since 1999 (good thing it is one of those that does not go out of style!)  See pic:

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I am very proud!

¬†On the ugh side, I am 99% sure I have a hernia ūüôĀ¬† It is not a bad one, I don’t think. It does hurt though. So…..this means….. somewhere in the future, another surgery¬† ūüôĀ¬† On my Gastric Bypass board most people say their surgeons wait a year or nearly a year so all the ‘trauma’ you have experienced can heal. I am not afraid of another surgery especially if I am in the hands of Dr. Lucktong. I just hate the hospital and the hassle of it. Oh well, if that is my only hiccup I guess I don’t have anything to complain about.

New foods I can now tolerate: those little ready-made chicken salad packets that come with crackers (perfect for my lunch; just the right size), Low sugar and fat spagetti sauce. There is one I get that is 60 cals. I tried a protein bar yesterday and it stayed down fine, but I found it too ‘heavy’ so I am just going to drink my protein for now.

I tried a stuffed portebello mushroom (with ricotta cheese) recipe last night. You cover it with canelli beans, spagetti sauce and mozerella cheese. Paul loved it! We are having the left overs tonight! I ate (nearly) one last night. I tolerated it fine! Paul finished what I could not, but it was lovely and very healthy. I got the recipe from my GB support site.

The only thing I have had trouble with is peanut butter. The majority think it was too much too soon so I will wait a while and then try it again about 2 months out.

I return to work in a week.  I think I have everything under control! But alas, I am still nervous about leaving the security of my house!  God will take care of me! That I know!

23.4

As of yesterday, 3 weeks post op, I am down 23.4 lbs. Woooo Hoooo!!!!!!!!

I am able to get into clothes that have been just a smidgen to small for years and years. Luckily they have stayed in style (jeans, skirts, etc). I will likely be returning to work in these clothes in just under 2 weeks. I cannot believe the time is going by so fast!

I am doing well with recovery. My belly is still a bit tender but I think that is mostly from ‘re-routing the plumbing’ rather than¬† the incisions which are nearly healed! I am getting there tho! And it is just tender, not ‘ouch hurt’.

I made a wonderful ‘noodless-meatless’ ‘lasagna’ last night. I got the recipe from obesityhelp which is a support site for WLS vets and those considering. It was so good! Paul made him some pasta and dug right in along with me!¬† It was a nice change from grits, mashed potato’s and egg beaters.

I am strong enough now to start taking short walks. I wish it would warm up, though.¬† ūüôĀ I am sick of this cold weather. In any event, I will find a way to walk 4-5 times a week and build back up to power walking.

 All is going well and I have no regrets! Nothing tastes as good as this 23.4 (so far!) feels!

Post Op and all going well!

I had my first post op visist yesterday and all is going well. I am feeling ‘human’ again and ready to start the little things like a 10 minute walk (I will work back up to 30 mins), Bible study on Tues nights, church, etc. The little things that only take you out for a couple hours but don’t tax you to your wits end.

I have dropped 16 1/2 lbs. so far in less than 2 weeks! I am, however, going to start weighing only weekly starting this Monday. Weight loss slows down and I don’t want to get disappointed. It is suggested even by my WLS support group that we weigh only once a week.

I am slowly working food into my diet, and enjoying it!¬† The main things are to watch my portion sizes. My nurse practitioner told me to just eat ‘a little of this and a little of that’.

Most people think this surgery is all about looks. That can be hurtful at times. It isn’t . Actually, my insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery. This was about health and wanting to live a long, vibrant life.

Some of those who dwell on the look part smoke a pack or more of cigarettes a day and I have never smoked a day in my life. Do you know that to be considered for this surgery you cannot have smoked in the last 3 years?  The reason: Why get healthy weight wise only to ruin what you have accomplished with tabacco.

But I guess those who have been hurtful don’t realize they are being so. I try not to let it get to me, but still…..

In any event, the looks part is a nice fringe benenfit of what is a win win win situation. I am a life long NON smoker, in relatively good health now. I started as a relative ‘light weight’ for a gastric bypass patient so it will only take me a few months to get healthy as can be. I am going to do more, walk, optimize with the healthiest foods, etc.

NO regrets. As I filled my childrens Valentines bowls with their dove, lindors and reeses, I did not even want a bite!

I am looking forward to the one month part…….I get to add toast, crackers, meat, etc. Then I can eat like a more normal person.

It is Done!!!!!!!!!!

Last weekend was good. I wanted Mexican food Saturday night as a new chain recently opened in the area. My children, who had already eaten there, were happy to inform me it was as ‘close to California Mexican food as they had tasted’ ¬†since we were drug to the snowy east in 1996. *Drifting thought….. somewhere is So. Cal. right now, it is well over 70 degreees and we are still, as my Brit/N. Ire. husband would say, freezing our arses off here*

Anyway, it was good. My wee little N. Irish husband who is short and though a bit stocky, is definatley not ‘fat’ ate the hugest meal they offered. I ordered the Laredo which was a taco and two enchiladas. The kids ordered something very similar. ¬†Life is not fair. He ate all his and some of mine and….. well, life if not fair. Then his overseas¬†family, while they are¬†lovely to me and love me very much, ¬†view me as someone who certainly must do nothing but ‘eat’. If they new the truth was Paul eats 3 times what I do. If they only really knew. ¬†As I¬†said, life is not fair.

The dinner was WONDERFUL, perfect. Sunday we had Subway for dinner because while I could and was encouraged to eat the day before surgery, I was told to eat on the lite side. BTW, I had a 6 inch Paul had a 12 inch. That has been my story for years.

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Monday morning 3:30 AM and alarm goes off (we live 45 mins to an hour from the hospital). We have to be there betweeen 5 15 am and 5 30 am. There was a small snafoo with the insurance which worked out. Paul got on the phone as soon as I was in surgey and all was sorted.

I am anything but a morning person, but I was promptly up, showered very well and ready to go. This hospital is massive. It is the second largest hospital in VA behind UVA.¬† It is nearly as big as the Royal Queens (or whatever it is called…. I¬†always forget)¬†hospital in Belfast which is th largest hospital in Europe. However, we knew right where to go. After a brief wait we were called to the first area. For the first time of at least 4 or 5 times I would be asked what procedure I was having done. “LAPROSCOPIC GASTRIC BYPASS” I said surely with a bit smile. The worst part; My monthly, ‘Aunt Flo’ was at the end of her once a month visit . I won’t go into the embarassment caused by that. HOWEVER, I would be told over the course of the next three days it happens so often.

Well, at least I know I am not the only one subjected to the ultimate human embarassment.

After kissing my husband goodbye I was wheeled to pre surgery. Paul looked worried. I think he thought he was somehow hiding it from me, but I could see it. You see, the thing is, I wasn’t. I just wanted to get the show on the road.

The nurses were sweet. I asked two seperate nurses at seperate times if I was the biggest person to ever have gastric bypass and got identical answers “OH, LORD NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”¬† Probably one of the ‘smallest’ actually. I am one of the lucky ones. Squeezed in by ridiculous and unrealistic weight charts. That was the one time I was thankful the weight charts that obviously need some updated are ridiculous to imagine for the average person. LOLOLOL!!!!!!! The same weight chart states Paul should weigh 140 lbs. Ok, in which ulterior universe?¬† He weighs¬† WAY more than¬†140 lbs. but is still ‘small’. Hey, wait a minute! I am 1/2 Irish (decent; county Cork).¬† Why don’t I have a metabolism like that?¬† Do Italians have slow metabs.?¬† I know that other 1/4 of me…. the Dutch don’t. Oy vey…….¬†

I was then wheeled into my OR. Ok, that is when I started getting a bit nervous. I had already talked to the Doctor that would be holding my life in his hands….. the sleep juice doc. Same conversation; I do well under anesthia, I am scared to death of the mask (childhood experience with my tonsils) can I hold mask?¬† Yes…..

We were fine with Dr. Sleep juice.

I had two interns scrub in. It is a teaching hospital. I asked if Dr. McDreamy was around and while everyone laughed, I would be disappointed.

Yep, just like Grey’s anatomy TWO LUCKY INTERNS GOT TO SCRUB IN .¬† Dang, one looked like a young Keanu Reeves.¬† Ok, so the fat lady on the period who is baring all is going to be seen in ‘all her glory’ by Dr. McKeanu.

I got in the OR and was introduced to another Kelli (Kelly) who not only lives a few houses up from me on the same road, but is also named Kelli (Kelly) and has lost 150 lbs after gastric bypass surgery; hey, exactly what I want to lose!

I was asked one last time (I think this was the 4th time) what I was having done. Hmmmmmmm….. I wonder what they would have done if I had said “An appendectomy”¬† ¬†¬† No, bad thought….. “Laproscopic Gastric Bypass”.

Dr. Sleepjuice gave me happy juice. I started rambling about how I had wanted to be a nurse, but fibromyalgia drop-kicked that dream out of my life. Then I rambled about being a banker and how I like my job as a data processor for a bank….and how the world needs bankers too.

Dr. Sleepjuice said hold the mask closer and that my IV might start burning. I knew I was going to be asleep in seconds and I was……………………………………………………………………………..

In keeping with my tradition, I woke up in the OR. Anesthia if funny. It is just like you see on TV or the movies. It is dark (eyes closed) and you hear voices first but they somehow know you are waking up because they start talking to you. I had a oxygen mask. But after they told me they were “all done” and I did “really really well” and they had “Talked to my husband a couple times from OR to update him, and then to let him know they were closing and Dr Lucktong would be there soon to speak to him, the first then I asked (Because open incision is a possibility), Was I able to have lapro?¬† Yes….

I was wisked to recovery and a nose oxy thing replaced my mask. In keeping with my recovery tradition the nurse said, “We are not going to have you here long, you are nice and awake”. It wasn’t 10 mins before I was taken to my room and my husband was soon there.

“I have a new tummy!”¬† I said.

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I hate staying in the hospital. My one bright spot was getting flowers from work, and my children coming to see me. My husband picked then up Tues after he got off work. The only thing; it was snowing. Now my husband is a excellent snow driver. Besides being from Ireland, he has spent a lot of time in Sweden working.
Nontheless, my oldest (of the youngest two) wanted to leave no sooner than she got there because she hates driving in the snow. That means I not only did not see my kids for long, but only had less than an hour with my hubby      After being alone all day that sucked.

I would not hear of him driving back to me in the snow, however.

In the hospital, as soon as they had done whatever they have done to me the first thing I want to do is GET OUT. And in keeping with that tradition, I was out Wed. Afternoon just over 48 hours post op. A day sooner than most. However, I was doing ‘VERY well’ and was a model patient.

I have been recovering at home. My couch has so many pillows and blankets it looks like a nest.

Biggest suprise?  I was much more sore in my belly than I anticipated.

I am able to keep down everything so far including some grits 

But I am not hungry most of the time. I am having  alot of gurgling in my tummy and these weird episodes of going flushed in the face.

Nice thing tho, as of yesterday, I had already dropped 8 1/2 lbs!

I am just at the beginning, but that is my experience of my first week. Oh, there is more, but I don’t want to ramble…….Besides. I have been sitting in this chair too long!¬†

3 Days until surgery! And thanking the “One” that matters most!

Well, here I am. I left work today and set my ‘out of office’ e mail up. On Monday morning I will be on the table of a wonderful sugeon. I am elated, not quite thinking it is ‘real’ but most of all, I have to thank the “One” that matters…… God.¬† 10 months ago I started out on this journey. This quest. It was like a thirst I could not quinch. Several people at work who were once overweight were suddenly ‘getting thin’ and more of my friends were getting the surgery. At first I did not think I could make the commitments it requires….. no more holiday ‘pig outs’, no more sugar (refined, not fruit), no more eating as much as I wanted, when I wanted. However something in me stirred and I prayed on it. God gave me the courage to go in for a consult. I knew after that, this surgery was what I needed to change my life and get healty. However, my insurance required that 6 month ‘weight loss attempt’. So I started. And I did well. I walked, ate healthy, splurged very rarely and took supplements from the health food store that was supposed to help my metabolism. After my 6 months I dropped 30 lbs from my first weigh in. It was a token gesture, however it did get me in the right mind frame for the changes I will have to make. Now, a more commited person you will not find. My catch phrase is “And that is OK” which is also my response when negative people say, “no more ice cream, cake, pigging out, etc etc”. That is OK!

I am a free-spirited woman. However, that does not mean I am not deeply devoted to God. Without Him and His blessings, none of this would be possible.

Oh, the places I shall go.

Surgery is a’ coming and faster than I thought!!!!!!!

I had my pre-op on January 25th at 8: 45 AM as scheduled. All went very well. My surgeon was impressed  with the fact that I was 15 lbs lighter than when he saw me 10 months ago. I had lost more, but as I explained in my first blog (knee injury *ladies, never try and help move a piano; unless it says Little Tykes on it*, foot injury from thrusting back into power walking with wild abandon after my water on the knee incident from moving the piano, severe asthma flair up = prednisone taper =10 lbs and then of course the holidays).  I was very very good on the holidays spluring only on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve and New Years. However on me if I so much as breathe in an extra calorie it comes at me like a stampede of angry elephants.

So, the surgery WAS going to be sceduled on Feb. 14th. What could be more romantic on Valentines Day, then sitting next to the love of your life after being ‘cutted and gutted’, high as a kite on morphine, tubes and monitors coming out of you and nurses coming to take readings every 2 mins (or it seems that way, anyway). I opted to take it. However, my surgeon, being the wonderful surgeon he is, promptly let me and his nurse know that he would be out of town that following weekend and did not feel comfortable doing such a big surgery and then being out of town. I was actually quite impressed.

The next day they gave me was the 26th of Feb, so I took it. I was hoping for a sooner date, but knowing how fast a month goes I was happy enough.

Yesterday, on Friday the 27th, I returned a message I had from another nurse in the office. The message simply stated she wanted to ‘ask me a question’. I simply thought it was something that got overlooked, etc at the pre op (easy enough). I was not prepared for what the question was, however. ¬† She said they had a cancellation and asked if I wanted to take it and have my surgery sooner. The date: Feb 5th!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep! So in 9 days I will be having my laproscopic gastric bypass surgery. I was bouncing off the walls. I was not feeling well (I am now sworn off for life from the salad bar at work; enough said), but even not feeling well, I felt like I had hit the lottery.

So, I am now just over a week away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am a little nervous. I think there would be something wrong with me if I weren’t. However, all in all, I am ecstatic. This starts a new chapter in my life and one I know will change everything for the better!

A pic from Christmas 2006 (this would be about my heaviest at this point; not all time; I have been 20+ heavier in 2002; but at Christmas I ate well and gained some weight):

¬†Since I was not much for pictures, this is the only ‘before’ pic I will share for now. I will share as I slide down though! kellbeforechristmas06.jpg

8 days and counting……

OK, I walked the halls at work, had a baby salad and fresh pinapple for lunch and RESISTED the monthly chocholate birthday cake that our department puts out for all the birthdays each month. It is ok, I was so piled with work, I did not have time to venture over ¬†That is what I get for adding an extra day to my 3 day weekend. Anyhoo…….. the cake was 10 feet away from me all day and I resisted. The girl across from me had the same bariatric doctor and he did not make her lose weight for the surgery ¬† Well, my surgeon is very nice. I am sure if I explain the arthritis, asthma and prednisone episode, tendinitis, etc (all backed by doctors records), he will cut me a break.

I am sooooooooooooo excited though. In just over a week, I will have a surgery date for my healthy life changing event!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gastric Bypass, here we go!!!!!!!!

After 10 months of ‘hoop jumping’ with my insurance, I am 9 days away from my pre-op appt. for the most exciting exprerience (except for the birth of my children and my marriage to Paul) of my life. GASTRIC BYPASS! YAY!!!!!!!!! ¬†I have fought my weight since I was 10 years old and after finding out my thyroid is shot (found out in 2004), I knew I would never lose the weight on my own. My ‘thermostat’ aka my thyroid only functions at 10%. Even with synthroid, it just does not ‘get the job done’. I consulted with the¬†best bariatric surgeon in the area nearly a year ago but had to go through a ‘6 month waiting period’ to appease my insurance. Then I had to prove I had been overweight for at least 3 years. Give me a freakin break, I was nearly overweight as a zygote. So I went hunting through stacks of medical records (I refused to weigh a lot). Thank goodness I had my gallbladder out in ’02 and ‘had’ to weigh. And thank goodness for my yearly ‘female exam’ where I weighed¬† backwards. Then after getting approved I had to do a treadmill. It nearly killed me. Why do they think someone opting for gastric bypass can keep her heart rate at 150 for 2 mins is beyond me. But I DID IT. GO ME!!!!!!

Well as with about 30% it flagged a false positive so off to the cardiologist I went for oodles and oodles more test. Good thing is, going into this, my heart is in good condition. But now I am panicking over the bit of weignt I gained back (after a 26 lb weight loss) over the holidays, a predisone taper for my asthma (always slams 10 lbs right on; lets see, breathe or gain weight? Hmmmm…… rough choice), arthritis flair in the knees from power walking myself to near death and then tendinitis in my left foot after all the power walking from the weight gain from the holidays and the predisone taper from the horrible asthma flair. I am frightened ¬† I don’t even know if all that makes sense. All I know is I have been STARVING myself and now my fibromyalgia is like to kill me from walking myself as I starve myself so I can impress my surgeon. Lets see, we have to lose weight to get a surgery to help us lose weight. Hoy vey. All I know is I KNOW this is the surest choice I have ever made and I cannot wait for my surgery. More to follow………