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Updates – week 1

Tomorrow marks one week since I had surgery and I wanted to give an update on how things have been going.  Its not all bad or good, but some combination of both.    Its in no order – ramblings of a tired mind at this point.

  • I apparently woke up from surgery and asked my mom why she didn’t talk me out of this.
  • J was able to come each night and visit after work.  It was nice to have him there as I was winding down for the day.
  • They had me up and walking each day – including day 1.  I am to still take a walk to two each day – eventually moving up to 30 minutes a day.  My knees have not been hurting me thanks to the meds, but I imagine it will start again – a bridge I will need to cross eventually.
  • I am supposed to be having 2 protein shakes a day.  So far, I have yet to be able to stomach even a part of 1.  I called the Dietician and she told me to try something new.  I have them delivering on Friday.  Let’s hope this works.
  • I have to give myself 2 shots everyday.  That is not fun but it is only temporary.
  • I am not really sleeping at night.  Part is finding a position where things are not hurting, part is trying to learn to adapt to a CPAP machine, and part is waking up to take meds.  I need to get back into the habit of sleeping at night – hopefully soon.
  • I am weaning myself off the pain meds.  Went from every 4 hours to every 6.  Hoping to be off of it entirely by Monday/Tuesday if possible.  We will see.
  • The pain meds in the hospital were the good ones.  I was lightheaded once it was put into my IV.  You don’t hurt, but I didn’t really like the feeling that much.
  • I can’t put shoes and socks on by myself yet.  I get closer and closer.
  • My mom left this evening after being with me since I came home.  J will be here tomorrow.  Then I am on my own.  Sort of – so many people have offered to come and help.  I just can’t get over people’s generosity.
  • Thank you everyone for the cards and well wishes and flowers.

Love you all.

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What This Is All About

Tomorrow I embark on Phase 2 of my weight loss journey.  It would be so easy to believe that this is all about the cosmetic for me.  A lifetime of being the “fat girl” and I have a chance to make some changes – drastic ones – that could change that.  But in truth, this surgery will not make me skinny.  It will not solve issues for me.  It will only force me to face the things I have avoided that led me here in the first place.

This surgery is really about wanting to feel better.  Wanting to live a life that is not just a series of “I can’ts” but instead getting back to a place of “let’s try”.  A life of saying Yes instead of No.

I read once that when you get bigger, your world gets smaller.  You go less places, you do less things, you get invisible to other people.  I have gotten to a point where my circle is largely just the people I have known a long time (with a few exceptions), my activities have reduced down to a bare minimum and there are days on end where I don’t even leave the house because it is easier and safer to just be at home but myself.

I don’t do the things I love.   I can’t do the things that I used to do.  I miss me.  I miss my energy and my ability to be strong and capable.  I will have that again.   And this surgery is going to help start this process.

Thank you for your support to everyone who has commented on Facebook and sent well wishes.   Mostly thank you for listening to me as I complained and whined and still cheered me on.  Love you all.

 

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Tomorrow = T minus 3 weeks

Tomorrow starts the first day of a 3 week “liquid” diet.  Its not 100% liquid and there are more options than I anticipated.  Each day I have to have 4 protein shakes, 2 protein bars, 64 ounces of water and 1 cup of skim milk.  I am then allowed to have 3 servings of sugar-free jell and 3 sugar free popsicles if I choose.

I have so many feelings about this right now.   I know that by day 3 I will be craving something – anything – other than a protein shake or jello.  I know that as someone who is generally speaking a rule follower – and as someone who does not want to mess this up – I will follow the rules and I will do as I am told.  But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

There has been so much to this process.  I have come so far.  I have said during this process “the next step is the hardest” – no matter what the step was.  First it was to decide on the surgery.  Then which surgery to have.  Then to start making changes.  Then to start therapy.  And now to give up food – for a while.

I don’t feel any fear at this point.  As it gets closer, I am sure I will.  But for now, I just feel ready.  Today I am prepping.  Tomorrow I start the next phase.

 

 

 

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Less than one month to go…

Today I attended a seminar on what food is going to look like once I start the liquid diet and then what it looks like after the surgery is over.   I was expecting it to be worse….there were more options than I had anticipated.  However, talk to me once I have been on it for a week and I will tell you that there are no options and I am dying (most likely I am just HANGRY…my new word of the month).

My schedule, in the meantime, is filling up:

  • Dr visit – Blood work tomorrow
  • In the office for a client meeting next week
  • Dr visit – Results of blood work, EKG and pre-op clearance
  • Dr visit – Results of sleep test I did
  • In the office for a vendor meeting
  • Dr visit – last time with surgeon before surgery and with dietician to get results of what vitamins I will need after and to go over food
  • Last day of work
  • Surgery

In addition to the above I have a list of things I need to doing/looking for/getting for the time after the surgery.

  • Fine strainer
  • Pill cutter
  • Cleaning out the rest of the kitchen
  • Cleaning in the apt so mom has a place to sleep for a couple of nights
  • Going through clothes and separating them by size
  • Protein drinks for after the surgery
  • List of vitamins I will need to get and take for the rest of my life
  • Cleaning up work for when I am out

I have a lot ahead of me.  Today should have scared me.  Instead it made me ready.  I can do this.

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Updates and My Current State of Mind

This post is rambling about a bit – but it is very indicative of my mind right now.  So welcome to my mind people – it is all over the place.

Yesterday marked the 19th anniversary of my dad’s passing.  There are years when I don’t realize the day until later in the afternoon.  And there are years when I see the date early and a little part of me watches the date on the calendar throughout the day.  Yesterday, was different.  Yesterday, I felt it.  As the wedding approaches, I feel it more and more.  I wish he was here.  I wish he could meet J and the kids.  I wish more and more that we had not lost him so early.  And I wish more and more that I didn’t have to make the decision to walk the aisle alone or not.  I don’t write this to upset people, but just to say, I miss him everyday.  Whether I talk about it or not, and now especially.

I met with my surgeon yesterday – I have to start the liquid diet a week earlier than expected – so by Oct 26, I will no longer be eating food – just protein shakes.  I am not sure I am ready, but here it comes.

Work is busy but not overwhelming and that is a good thing.  I like that balance right now.  My biggest obstacle is my own mind but I have to find a way to find more time for myself to take care of myself.  Not in a – I need more free time kind of way – but in a I make more time for work than to do anything else in my life and I need more balance.  I will not get better without it.

My mind has been distracting itself from worrying about the surgery by worrying about the wedding.  Not big stuff – all stupid little things – but my mind is working overtime.  I need to channel that worry into energy as there is a lot to get done between now and then.

Thank you for listening.  I am sure there will be more later.  (However I do apologize for anything I saw while HANGRY and only on liquids).

 

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Winding Down/Revving Up

Now that the surgery date has been set, Nov 16 if I have not told you yet, I am working on winding down, cleaning out and trying to get ready for the big day.  I am devoting October to trying to get some things done around the apartment, working on how to transition work for the short time I am out, and setting myself up for success when it comes to having to rest for a few weeks and for people to come and stay with me while I do that.  So, just in case you were ever interested, here are the immediate plans for October.

Work – this one is pretty straight forward.

  • I need to discuss with my boss who will run the 1 small job I will have that I can’t do all the way through.  Not a big deal, but it needs to be done…and soon in case I need to prep someone to take this one on.
  • I would also like to:
    • finish up the filing I have in the house still.
    • file away and purge samples
    • clear up my desk area in the office
    • visit the physical office one more time for face to face meetings
    • clean out my inbox
    • set up the vendors and client to be ready for me to be out.

It sounds like a lot, but really, most of these are things I do on a regular basis already.

Apartment – again, fairly straight forward.

  • I want to try and get some of the major cleaning things done
  • I need to decide if a Christmas tree/decorations are going up this year as it will have to be before the surgery
  • Make sure I have blankets/pillows/places for people to sleep
  • My couch (a sleeper sofa) is sinking – I need to find a way to prop up the cushions better
  • I need to clean out the kitchen cabinets, and purge/use food in the house.  This one is pretty important.  I don’t have a LOT, but I need to use up what I can or donate it somewhere.
  • I need to sort through some clothes and separate them by sizing.  I know I have a few things I can wear as I lose weight, but I am going to run out of clothes rather quickly.  And I would like to purge out anything that is in any way damaged while I do this.  I may also go ahead and get rid of anything I hate at this point as well.
  • I have a pile of things that need to go to Goodwill.
  • I have a HUGE pile of books I need to take to the used book store.

Getting ready for success

This one is a little more complex as I am not 100% sure how this is all going to go.  But here are the things I would like to do before I go into the surgery:

  • My goal for October is no eating out.  I need to move to less processed, less fattening foods.  I am currently fixing up soup for the freezer for this month.  And last week I put a few containers of turkey taco meat in the freezer.  As I go through the cabinet, I am pulling things I know I can still eat/add to recipes and getting rid of the rest.  This will not be an overnight thing – but by the end of the month, I really need to be off processed and out of the eating out habit.   It may be the most challenging thing I face.
  • I have been setting aside a small stack of things to do when I am recovering.  A few books, 2 bible studies, crafting projects, and movie marathons are all on the list.  My hope is to have a small box or bag that has everything in it and it can just be near me at all times.  The one thing I want to try and stay away from is my computer.  I may log on to check emails, pay bills and post here, but I need a break from the constant.
  • I also need to find a way to NOT read my work emails while I am out.  I may need to see if my work can turn off my access to it for a while.
  • Speaking of work, I have some paperwork to fill out JUST IN CASE I ever needed to go on short-term disability.  No one is expecting this, but I would like to have it all done just in case.
  • I have been trying all of the flavors of the bariatric diet shakes and protein bars to see which ones I like.  Need to finish that and pick my flavors.  I have to get my supplies this month.

Finally, I have a bunch of doctors appointments still to come.  I have sign off on the surgery from my general practitioner, my gastroenterologist, and my therapist.  I meet with the surgeon in October.  I also have meetings with a nutritionist and a dietician.  And then one final meeting with the surgeon.  Then it is go time.

It seems like an action packed month…and it is.  Focus will be key.  I was asked if I was nervous about the surgery.  Not really – I am more nervous about AFTER the surgery.  Life is changing BIG TIME.  Ready or not.  This list above is just the precursor.  Let’s go.

Weight Loss

The countdown has begun

Yesterday came the news I have been waiting for.  The insurance company approved my request for Gastric Bypass and we have an official date on the calendar.   The coming weeks will be filled with dr visits, work commitments – both to complete and to hand off, cleaning at my apartment in an effort to make sure it is presentable if someone were to drop by, and no small amount of worry.

The truth is I am excited now but I know that soon the worry will start to set in.  I am honestly not that scared of the surgery…I fear what happens next.  My surgery is scheduled a week before Thanksgiving, almost exactly a month before my birthday and just 6 weeks before Christmas.  This will be a different kind of holiday than I have ever had and that scares me a bit.

But it also means that I get to start 2018 in a new way.   I get to start with a new focus, a new perspective, a new way of being.   After years of promising that next year will be different – this time it really will be.

My intention is to share more often about this process.  Be prepared to hear about dr visits, clothes that don’t fit, food I can or can not eat and possibly a lot of complaining about how some people…Keith Walker…can’t stop posting about his daily donut habit or the huge plate of nachos he got to have that I will never be able to eat again.

I also hope to tell you what it is like to recover from morbid obesity.    And to do that I will be launching a new blog name to go with the new me.  So tell me what it should be called – give me your best suggestions and be clever.  Like Patti LaBelle sang…”I got a new attitude!”