Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I few weeks ago I informed you that I was told that per surgeons orders, I had to go off my arthritis medication....forever. I started by cutting out one of my two daily doses and replacing it with Arthritis Strength Tylenol.

At first it was agony and I became quite depressed, not only from the pain, but also depressed to think that the rest of my life I will have to endure this much pain. Then a strange thing happened. I forced myself to go to the pool, and found that even though I was in pain, I was happy. When I was happy I dealt with the pain better.

Once I realized this, I called my doctor and explained to her what I was experiencing. We decided together that my Lexapro (which I take for anxiety, but it is also an antidepressant) should be increased. She doubled my dose from 10 mg per day to 20 mg per day and I have been able to handle the increased pain levels much better.

Actually, as of this past Sunday, I am completely off my arthritis medication, only taking 3 doses of Arthritis Strength Tylenol per day for my pain. It isn't comfortable, but it is manageable. This means that I have succeeded in conquering yet another hurdle in getting my weight loss surgery!!!! Nothing is going to stop me now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Have a Date For Surgery!

Finally, I have a date for surgery! I knew it was coming yesterday, because while I was at the pool, Ray took a message from the surgeons office for me to call them back. Unfortunately, when I called back, the scheduler had gone home sick, so I had to wait for her to call back today. You can imagine how antsy I have been with anticipation! I didn't dare tell anyone that I might be getting my surgery date today, in case she was still sick today.

This morning I was awoken by the phone ringing. It was better than caffeine for giving me instant alertness. I was told that my surgery would be scheduled for November 16th. I asked if there was a cancellation list and if I can be on it. She said there is, and she will add me to it. This means if anyone cancels before that date, I could be contacted to have my surgery even earlier. Since I am not working, I don't have to be concerned with requesting in advance for time off. I can be ready anytime!

Now I will wait for the packet to arrive from their office with my pre-op instructions and a lab request for blood work to be completed approximately one month before the surgery. I will also start acquiring the protein shakes and other accoutrement that will be needed for the 2 weeks of pre-op prep and post-op lifestyle.

I am so excited. It all feels so real now. It's not just a dream anymore. My life is about to change in such a drastic way. I just want to be healthy and regain my independence. I have had drastic changes before, but they were out of my hands. This time, I am orchestrating the change in my life. I am taking charge.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pain and Stiffness

When I saw the surgeon one of the things that she wanted me to do before I have surgery was to stop taking the nsaids that I take for arthritis pain and stiffness. I knew that she was going to ask me to do this. It was part of the education materials.

So, in anticipation of this request, I had brought this up with my PCP a few months ago and she told me to discuss it with the surgeon instead of her. When the surgeon brought it up, I asked her what I should take in place of the nsaids and she told me to discuss it with my PCP.

Where does this leave me? Very frustrated. I am not going to let this keep me from having surgery, so this weekend I took it upon myself to start the process of weaning myself off the Etodolac. I normally take 2 doses per day. As of Friday, I have only been taking the morning dose and I have added in 2 doses of acetaminophen. One is at dinner time and the other is at bed time.

So far, this has left me aching all over and very stiff. I had expected that my hips, knees and back would give my grief. However, I was very surprised by how badly my hands have begun to ache and throb. I have noticed that the higher my pain level gets, the more depressed I am getting. I think I will have to request a higher dose of Lexapro from my PCP.

I am hoping that by next Friday, I will be able to stop the remaining dose of Etodolac and substitute 2 more doses of acetaminophen in its place. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Great news!

I had my first meeting with the surgeon today and she has given me the go ahead for the surgery! She wants me to continue to lose weight prior to surgery and to work with my PCP to get off my etodolac and find a different class of medication to control my arthritis stiffness and pain. The etodolac can cause a lot of problems with the new stomach pouch and the rerouted intestines.

Also, I lost another 2 pounds so I am now down 43 pounds!

I asked how long I would have to weight for the surgery and was told that they are currently scheduling in November, so I could possibly have the surgery before the end of the year. I am so excited, that my mother could hardly keep me from bouncing off the walls of her vehicle on the ride home. I should be getting a call from the doctor's staff on Tuesday to start the insurance approval process, but they said that they don't foresee any problem with Medicare approval.

As always, I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


My favorite blog to read every day, even when I don't have time to read any others, has become The World According To Eggface. She is a food genius, IMHO. She provides the most incredible recipes that are wls friendly, nutritious, and they taste fabulous!

On her blogs August 31, 2009 blog post, she announced a give away. Scoot on over to sign up for a chance to win a giant 5 lb. tub of Max Protein Powder. This supplement can become an important part of anyone's post-op diet and Eggface features it in many of her recipes. If you don't want to wait to see if you are the lucky winner, you can go to their website and order it for yourself: https://www.seipharmaceuticals.com/products/Max-Protein.html

Good luck!

Links: http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/