Sunday, March 28, 2010

My First Blog Award

A big Thank You to Drazil @ It's Just me, Drazil, and Sheniqua for my first ever Blog Award!

I'm passing it on to my very first commenters:

Thank all of you for being the first people to join me and offer words of wisdom!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Rules (according to my RN)

The Bariatric Nurse at my surgical clinic is very blunt and to the point. I think it's safe to say that by now the info she's given out has been drilled into my head.

But for reference sake, after surgery:

  • 24 hours clear liquids only
  • 2 weeks full liquid diet
  • 2 weeks of mushy/puree foods
  • slowly introduce regular foods
  • 1 multi-vitamin daily on empty stomach (still trying to find a non-pill I can tolerate)
  • 1 Calcium Citrate + D daily on empty stomach (still looking for this in non-pill form too)
  • plenty of water but stop drinking from 30 mins before a meal to 30 mins after
  • must consume a minimum of 80 grams of protein daily
  • must not exceed 5 grams of sugar in 20 minutes
  • consume foods in the following order: protein, vegetable, carb/starch
  • No carbonated beverages, no drinking with a straw, no alcohol, and don't get knocked up
  • Do not put anything in your mouth that is larger than a pencil eraser.
  • Eat carefully, things like whole nuts and gummy candies can create a blockage if accidentally swallowed whole.
After a fill: (to help reduce potential swelling)
  • 2 days full liquids
  • ease into regular diet

Out of all that, the points that I think I'll have the most trouble with are the no drinking straw thing and figuring how to stuff 80 grams of protein in. I guess I should put more effort into protein shake and bar shopping. Wouldn't it be great if the nutrition stores had little samples to try. You know, individually wrapped like the fun size candy bars. Of course, it might reduce overall sales. Cause it sucks forking out a pile of cash for something that tastes like fish and garden rocks. Of course you don't know that until you get home. Oh, and what's with the GIANT tubs of the protein powder mixes? I guess they're great if you love the stuff, but what I want is an individual sized packet to buy so I can find something I like.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed their breath smelling like a formula fed baby after taking in a protein powder drink. Today I mixed an unflavored protein powder into a SoBee Fuji Apple and Pear Lifewater. It wasn't bad tasting at first. I couldn't get through the whole bottle in one go. When I came back to it about an hour later, it had this aftertaste that was reminicent of infant formula. My breath smelled like that too until I could get home and take care of it. YUCK.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where I Am (in the process) #2

Today I went for my Psychological Evaluation. It went well and the Psychologist said there was no reason to disqualify me at this time. I guess they want to make sure you understand what is going to happen in addition to ensuring you don't have any eating disorders or are suffering from untreated issues. They also want to make sure you understand the level of compliance needed to make the surgery successful.

I have my follow up appointment to turn in my paperwork with the Surgical Clinic the first full week of April. Hopefully everything will be good and I will get a surgery date soon. For now, I just have to keep practicing taking my vitamins, drinking water, and ensuring that I don't gain any more weight. Giving up drinking straws is a hard thing for me to do, but I'm working on it.

Hopefully the next time I post I'll have a date!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where I Am (in the process)

At the beginning of February I went for an informational seminar on Gastric Weight Loss Surgery. They covered all the options available at our surgical clinic. I decided on the Lap Band. I know I need help to lose this weight. I know that this is the right choice for me at this point in my life. I feel confident that this will be the catalyst for positive change for me. Going to this meeting got me on the list and I was called within a couple of days and told to go have my blood-work and labs done.

Toward the end of February I went to a Lap Band Support Group Meeting. It was great to have people who have been there along with people who are in the planning stages. It was a great opportunity to have all sorts of questions answered and not just rely on the surgeons information.

Three days later I went in for my first surgical consult. Everything looks like it's good to go. All I need to do is fill out a ton of paperwork, have an Upper GI Barium Swallow, attend a four hour training class, and have a Psychological Evaluation done.

I was fortunate enough to get a class date during the first week of March. It was very informative and was basically them giving out all the worst case info so that you would be really prepared if you chose to continue the journey. I'm sticking with it.

Yesterday was my Upper GI at the Radiology Clinic. For those who have never been, well, I can't say it was fun, but it was over quick. The process took about 5 minutes. First you get topless and into a gown. Then you have to try and swallow this fizzing powder dry. You get one tiny shot of water to get it down with and then you are not allowed to burp. This is supposed to expand your esophagus. Next you get on the platform and take a big swallow of the thickest Barium solution whenever the Radiologist says swallow. About three big gulps. Next you lean back on the table while they lay the machine back. Then you roll over on your stomach partly and suck a thinner version of the Barium out of a straw. Inevitably, you get that white chalky stuff all over your face. There is no way to look cool while having this done.

I guess I forgot to mention you can't have food or water after midnight the previous night, so by the time you get in there you're ready to drink just about anything. Haha. Jokes on you, that stuff tastes horrible and is not thirst quenching. I wasn't too bad really. Mostly I'm glad it's done and all I have left is the Psych Eval.

By the way, the Barium is really thick and white. It goes in that way, and it comes out the same. So, don't be surprised and be sure to drink a ton of water afterward.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Who I Am

I am a 30-something mother of three. I've been happily married for almost a decade to a soldier. We lead a rather nomadic lifestyle. We've lived overseas and in random places from the east coast of the US to Colorado. Every place we were became home. I'm no social butterfly, I'm shy and one of those people who say YES too much. I volunteer for lots of things and take care of everyone. (but myself apparently)

I tend to be an everything or nothing type of person. I can gain or lose 20 pounds like most people lose or gain 2. I wasn't always a fat girl. I think it started happening for me when I was in my late teens. Hormones were going crazy and so was my mother. Of course, you can't fight mother or stand up for yourself, so you have to find another outlet. Some people play sports, some people run, some people turn to drugs or alcohol, others like me, eat and eat and eat and eat. I ate when I was angry, hurt, sad, bored, lonely, or any other negative emotion.

Strike that.

I am a fat girl because of the choices I made. The inspiration for those choices doesn't really matter. The reality of it is that even once I realized what I was doing to myself, I didn't choose to stop it for years. And even though I'm on my way to get this surgery done, I still make at least one bad choice a day.
My hope is that this surgery will help me by not allowing me to do myself in with that one bad choice. I think this will work for me because it's not so much what I eat as it is how much and when I eat it. You think that would be easy to change without getting a lap band, but I haven't been successful in doing so.
I guess what it boils down to is that I can't do it on my own yet. I need this weight to be gone, at least some of it. It's getting hard for me to do the things I need to do in a given day. Yes, I suppose I could try once again to do it without any help, but I once read that the definition of crazy was doing something repeatedly and expecting different results. I think the world has enough crazy in it without any addition from me.

This is me now/before:


55" chest 51" waist
56" hips 17" bicep
30" thigh 16.5" neck

I currently wear a 26/28 or 4x in clothing.

Well, here I go. You are welcome to join me on my journey. Someday I may get brave and announce who I am. Until then, you can call me L or Cheeseburger Girl.