Tag Archives: Gastric Sleeve

Less Than One Week

I felt much better today than I did last night, and I’m thankful for that. I’m still hungry, and I spent a big part of the day dreaming about the ounce or two of chicken that I’ll be able to eat about 7 weeks from now. Instead of chicken I forced myself to drink protein and water. I’m more tired than usual too, but I’m down over 14 pounds from last week. That’s encouraging.

It’s hard to think about anything else at this point, and I suppose that’s okay. I’m tired of talking and thinking about it, but it’s one of themes important things I’ve ever done. My surgery is less than one week away, and I’m just ready to get through it. I’m not looking forward to being in the hospital, but I am looking forward to returning home to start the healing process.

sakroots

In an attempt to take my mind off of my hunger I spent some time looking for black boots online, but I didn’t find any that I wanted. I’ll just need to look for them locally because it’s too hard to know what will fit well.

I did find a pair of rain boots, and they’ve been on my wish list for quite a while. I ordered them because I already know the size and fit, and I’m looking forward to a rainy day in October when I can wear them.

While online shopping I paused to watch the series premier of Designated Survivor. I had high hopes for it because I adore Kiefer Sutherland, and it didn’t disappoint. The first episode was great, so now I have two fall TV favorites.

I’m worn out, but I’m okay.I’m resting well at night, but it doesn’t take much to wear me out. I ordered the vitamins that I’ll need, so I’m looking forward to having more energy soon. Until then I’ll just continue to take it day by day and look forward to next week, when what seems to be the hardest part, will be over. I hope I’m right about that.

 

 

I Want To Cry…and Eat Food…

I’m a week into the liquids phase. I’m down 13 pounds so far, but today wasn’t easy. I went into the office and chatted with my boss, who is also a dear friend, and I left after less than an hour. I just didn’t want to be there today, so I left.

A big part of my job requires talking to people, which is my favorite thing about it. I just had trouble finding my smile this morning. Thankfully, my amazing support system extends to work, and I was able leave without issue.

When I left I met Michael at the movies to see “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” then we watched “Snowden.” I don’t think I’ve ever watched two movies in the same day at a theater, but tickets are dirt cheap on Tuesdays. It was a great way to zone out and to take a break from thinking about the lack of food and my upcoming surgery. Surprisingly, I wasn’t bothered by the smell of popcorn, but as we were leaving the theater I was hungry even though I brought protein shakes with me.

When I came home Michael joined me here too, and we had a great evening. I’m so thankful for that man. He’s the kind of man I’ve always dreamed of spending my life with, and it’s even more amazing than I hoped it would be. He’s my strong arm, and he knows what I need before I say it.

Tonight I needed to curl up and relax, and he knew it. I’m much sleepier right now than I usually am, and I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about it. I’m just going to rest as much as possible and remind myself that I’m halfway through this first phase.

When Michael left I cried for a few minutes. I can’t explain exactly why, but the tears have come and gone a few times today. It probably doesn’t help that it’s almost that time in a girl’s life. (Ladies, you know what I mean.)

Right now I’m hungry, but I’m going to go to sleep feeling victorious once again. I’m just hoping that tomorrow will be better than today.

 

My Surgery Date is Set

There’s so much to share on my blog this week, but right now my focus is on my surgery. The date is set, and it’s happening before the end of the month. On one hand I feel excited, anxious and ready to get this show on the road, and on the other it still doesn’t feel real.

I have the best support system a person could hope to have, and I feel more at peace in every area of my life than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve gained more knowledge on the subject – what it will be like before and after, etc., and I believe that I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

As confident as I feel about the surgery I also feel unsure about a lot of things. What it will be like to live with a smaller stomach?  What level of pain I can expect to experience after surgery? How will I feel throughout the two-week liquid diet prior to surgery? Won’t that be harder than the liquid diet post-surgery? Will I still like my favorite protein shake by the time my food restrictions have been lifted?

The weekend was filled with fun and challenging things that I’ll write about later, but I also addressed the fears I have pertaining to the surgery itself. Michael and I were talking about what it will be like when I get home from the hospital.

I’ll be off work for a couple of weeks, which is okay with me. I love my job, but I also love the idea that I’ll be forced to take some time to relax. I’ll have an excuse to stay at home long enough to catch up on this season of Suits. (Thank you, DVR.) I’ll also watch new shows like Designated Survivor and This is Us.

I should be able to walk before I return home too, and thankfully, I live in a neighborhood that has all kinds of things to see and experience. I’ll also play more Pokemon Go since I already love that pointless game. I also have lots of yarn, painting supplies and books, which will provide hours of entertainment.

I’m as prepared as I can be, and I’ve spent the last few weeks wrapping my head around how differently I’ll treat food. I’m not a binge-eater, but I’ll have to readjust to eating at home more often when I get to the point where I can actually consume food again.

Right now I’m taking it one step at a time. I feel fine one moment and overwhelmed at other moments. When I get overwhelmed I remind myself that I don’t have to face it all today, and I refocus on what matters at that moment.

I firmly believe that God opened this door for me, and I think the timing is brilliant because my heart and mind needed to heal first. Now it’s time to heal my body.

I’m nervous about the discomfort I may feel after the surgery, but honestly, I’m not comfortable in my body at this size now. I mean, I’m used to it, but so many things would be easier if my body lived at a healthier weight. The little pain that I may or may not feel will be worth it.

 

Gastric Sleeve Update: Two Weeks Prior To Surgery

Last night I dreamed about having weight-loss surgery, more specifically, I dreamed about the recovery stage. I woke up immediately remembering that it’s going to be a reality soon, then I quickly wondered what level of pain or discomfort I’ll feel when I return home.

I woke up earlier than I needed to this morning, but I laid in bed for nearly an hour contemplating the future, as in, the rest of this month. I’ve already begun praying for God’s strength because it only seems doable by His grace, and when I got up I started making little plans to make it as palatable as possible.

I started by measuring out a week (or more) of the protein powder that I’ll be drinking prior to surgery. I’ll be drinking the same stuff after the clear liquids phase, post surgery, but right now I’m more concerned with everything leading up to the surgery date. (One step at a time, you know?)

Two weeks prior to surgery I will have to drink protein shakes and clear liquids. Two weeks seems intense, but I also know I can do it. I’ll just deal with the hunger and/or frustration if it occurs. I’m not going to assume anything right now because I just don’t know.

The goal at the liquids stage will be to drink 3-4 protein shakes per day, and clear liquids. (More on the latter in a moment.)

Teras Whey

Each container contains two scoops of my favorite protein powder, Tera’s Whey. This stuff is magnificent! I drink it everyday, and I’m not tired of it yet. I’m just going to assume that I can make it through two weeks of only these drinks and clear liquids without despising them by the end. The kicker here is that I’ll be drinking them with water instead of  unsweetened almond milk. They taste okay with water, but the almost milk makes them almost decadent.

I’m also allowed to have clear liquids. The list, which is short, includes:

  • Thin broths or bouillon and bases (no veggies or meat chunks)
  • Sugar-free Jello
  • Sugar-free “diet” juice, fitness waters, Crystal Light, Powerade Zero (They were very adamant that I should stay away from Gatorade.)
  • Sugar-free popsicles (When I saw these at the grocery store last week they looked much more appealing than I thought they would.)
  • Decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal or flavored sugar-free tea, hot or cold (One cup of regular coffee per day is allowed after Week 5, post-op.)
  • Artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Stevia or Equal)

Almost everything on the list above seems like a chemical storm to me, but I’m following their rules throughout this process. I can definitely appreciate the herbal tea, and I think I’ll allow myself to eat the Jello and popsicles, etc.

The day before surgery I’ll have only clear liquids. I’m thinking that I’ll lose a significant amount of weight prior to surgery just from doing this two-week thing.

As intimidating as this feels in certain moments I’m ready to get started. It’s not quite time yet, and in some ways, I think it’s harder to wait than to just do it.

I’ve decided to give myself a reward when I complete the liquids phase before and after surgery.   I’ve never been a fan of rewarding myself with food (thankfully, since I won’t be able to.) I do enjoy rewarding myself though, so I’m going to buy this laptop backpack by The North Face when I reach my first goal. It will be useful everyday, but I’m looking forward to using it on our trip to Colorado for Christmas.My boyfriend and I are also talking about heading to Costa Rica to in January.

I’m guessing the two weeks prior will be the hardest part, but what do I know? I do know that many people were able to do this, and I believe I will too.

Now I’m going to do my best to stop thinking about the days ahead, and I’m going to enjoy this stormy Monday with friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Update #2

The last 30 hours have been overwhelming in some ways, and I feel so grateful for the support I have in my life. Seriously, God knew exactly what He was doing when He put Michael in my life.

I spoke to the surgeon’s office on Tuesday, and when she heard my story (the weight portion) she encouraged me to complete all of the necessary testing and to see my doctor again sooner than I had planned. She was happy to hear that I’m already a Weight Watchers member and suggested that I speak to my doctor about my food and exercise journey.

cardiologistAfter that conversation, which was encouraging and productive, I made an appointment with a cardiologist and saw her yesterday. My heart is healthy, so my cardiologist ran a few necessary tests and cleared me for the surgery. I still have a couple of remaining steps, and the next big one is coming up on Tuesday of next week.

Tuesday night I experienced a little fear and anxiety over the surgery itself and the aftermath. Everyone tells me it’s the best decision they’ve ever made; they also tell me that it changes everything.

The truth is I definitely want and need to lose weight, but I don’t want it to change everything. I love my life, my family, my boyfriend, my church, my job, my friends, etc. I’m happier than I’ve ever been before, and while I recognize that surgery will make me healthier, I momentarily panicked when I considered the words of people who’ve already experienced it.

Ultimately, I realize that everyone’s journey is different. Maybe their lives needed to change. The fact is that mine started changing drastically about four years ago, and I’m happier and more settled than I ever imagined I would be.

Life is good. It’s not always perfect or easy, but it’s good. I’m so thankful for that, and as I reflected on how many positive changes have happened over the last several years my fear was replaced by faith. My boyfriend, who hugged me and quietly prayed for me, reminded me that God has a plan for  my life, and He’s always faithful.

Now I can rest easily, once again, knowing that I only have to take one step at a time, and I’m thankful for that too.

 

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Day One

The process to be approved for weight-loss surgery is not short, but if the end result leads me to incredible health benefits it’ll be worth it. It’s slightly less overwhelming now that I’ve spoken to my doctor about everything I need to do in preparation, but it’s going to be a long road.

The surgeon sent me a checklist that must be completed before I can be approved, and the process has begun:

  • Clearance from Cardiologist with a recent EKG – I had an EKG a few weeks ago, and it came back normal. Whew! I still have to see a cardiologist though, which means I have to find one soon.
  • Psychological Evaluation – I’m in the healthiest place I’ve ever been in my heart and mind, so that doesn’t seem like a big deal. I just need to schedule an appointment.
  • Pulmonology Evaluation – I have to have a pulmonary function test and an arterial blood gas. I really have no idea what this means, but it sounds like it might hurt. Yikes!
  • Blood work with a TSH within the last 12 months – I did this a few weeks ago too, but if they need more blood I’ll let them poke me again. I think we’re good are though.
  • Physician supervised weight loss and exercise program for 6 months – My insurance pays for Weight Watchers meetings, which counts. I’m already doing pretty well there, so I’m going to keep it up. Today was my first of 6 appointments that will be specific to my weight-loss progress. I’ll see my doctor again a month from now, and I hope to be 8 to 10 pounds lighter.
  • Dietician Evaluation – This seems pretty straight forward, and I think I could benefit greatly from it. I’ll do that on the same day as my surgical visit.

I’ve been doing well with Weight Watchers lately, and I’m finally starting to feel well after a few weeks of pain due to skin issues. I haven’t exercised in over two weeks, but I think I’m well enough to start again. Unfortunately, there’s no prescription or remedy to completely fix the problem, so even though it hurts again I have to deal with it.

sleep studyTonight I’m doing a sleep study, which should be interesting. Thankfully, they sent me home with the equipment, so I’m not required to spend the night anywhere else. It seems invasive, but it won’t be nearly as uncomfortable as sleeping in a hospital or another strange place.

I typically sleep through the night and wake up feeling rested, so I’m guessing I’m okay. I’m just going to do every test they suggest with the hope that it will lead me to a healthier place overall.

This process feels overwhelming to me, but I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about how life would be different. I already love my life! I have a loving family, a great job, a group of good friends, a boyfriend who is thoughtful, encouraging and understanding, a comfortable home and a bright future. I don’t want any of that to change; I just want my health to improve long-term, so I  can enjoy the life I’m already living. It would be cool to be able to buy jeans again too, but I think I’m pretty close to that right now.

 

 

 

 

 

My Initial Thoughts On Having Bariatric Surgery

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to weight-loss surgery over the last week, and here’s what I know so far:

  • The surgeon I was referred to accepts my insurance, which makes it possible to consider.
  • If I have surgery, which I hope to do, I will choose the gastric sleeve.
  • Losing weight feels good, and that part will be awesome.
  • I know I’ll have to work at it.
  • The first month will be the hardest. It may or may not be miserable (mainly because I’ll wish I could chew food.)
  • People in my personal life who have had the sleeve have experienced great success with it.
  • I’ll have to spend the night in the hospital, which is not something I look forward to.
  • I’m honestly scared to think about having surgery.
  • I’m hopeful that it will eventually be among the best health decisions I’ve ever made.
  • I’ll get to drink the protein shakes that I love now. (Shout out to Tera’s Whey! That stuff is awesome!)
  • My family will be super supportive.
  • I’ll have to take some time off work.
  • My boyfriend will be my strong arm, and he’ll help Mom while she helps me.
  • I’ll take more selfies. (Okay, I’m kidding. I already take enough selfies.)

The thing is…I already love my life and the people in it. I have a loving and supportive family, a job that I enjoy, an awesome circle of friends, a relationship with a intelligent, loyal guy (whom I now talk about online) and a church family who loves me too. My life is already good, and I want to be around as long as possible to enjoy it.

I haven’t been to the consultation yet, but I’ll make the appointment this week. It’s not a quick process, but I’m relieved that it’s starting. I’m doing a sleep apnea test at home next week, which should be interesting. I don’t snore, typically sleep through the night and wake up feeling rested. I don’t think I suffer from sleep apnea, but I’m going to go through every test I need to take.