Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Wow Moment

I forgot to tell you all that I had a wow moment on Thanksgiving day! It occurred as I got into my sisters SUV. I always have to lift up the arm rest because my butt needs extra room, so I lifted it out of the way. I got myself in and was putting on the seat belt when I realized that the arm rest was in the down position. I must have bumped it or something, but it was freaking in the down position....comfortably!!!!! Little things mean so much along this journey. I hope you take time to recognize the wow moments in your life.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Hope Everyone Had A Happy Thanksgiving

Should I go? I went. I didn't cry. It wasn't easy.

This morning, I was vacillating about going to my mother's home for Thanksgiving dinner, because I was feeling very unsure about my ability to watch everyone else eat it when I still can't have any of it. I decided that I was going to be depressed either way. If I go, I can't eat the meal and if I stay home, I would miss my family plus I would have the added guilt of Ray eating a Lean Cuisine for Thanksgiving dinner.

So, I grabbed a light yogurt from the fridge and went to mom's. I didn't sit at the table with all the food and family. I sat off to the side a bit with my yogurt. I dipped the tip of the spoon into the yogurt so that only a little would get on the spoon and tasted it. Good, but not what I wanted. I took one more tiny taste and thought, my pouch feels funny. I read the nutrition panel and this isn't light yogurt! 25 grams of sugar! I can't eat it.

Now, I was at a sumptuous feast and couldn't eat anything at all. Nada. I wanted to cry. I kept biting the inside of my lip. Once the meal was over and the kids ran off to play, I moved back up to the cleared tables to talk with everyone. I started to feel better. It didn't even bother me when a little later they started to pass out slices of pie. It was the dinner that was really my thing.

I am glad I went. I need the time with my family probably more than they do with me. I kept reminding myself that this will be the only Thanksgiving that will be like this and that is only because my surgery was so recent. Next year I will be able to eat reasonable choices of small amounts of what is always a wonderful meal.

Also, I learned a lesson about preparing better. It was my fault that I didn't check the yogurt label. I need to be more prepared for Christmas, because I don't know how far along I will be in this journey at that time. I will make sure that no matter what is served, I have brought something that I know that I can eat.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Week Post-Op

What a difference a week makes! I think that I am doing remarkably well. Now, that doesn't mean that everything is perfect, but better than I personally expected by this point based on my previous surgical experience.

I am practically pain free, as far as the surgery goes. I always have to add that qualifier on the end, because my arthritis never lets me be totally pain free. There are some tender spots on my belly, but since I make a point of not poking them, they don't bother me much. I stopped taking all pain medication on this past Friday.

I haven't experienced any nausea or difficulty eating/drinking so far, but I have been extremely mindful of not pushing it too far to fast. I do not want to have gone through all this in vain. I can consume approximately 2 oz. of protein rich liquid at a time and it takes me about 25 minutes to do that. I am sipping water almost continuously at all other times.

I have not been very adventurous in what I am consuming either. My current food list consists of Unjury, SF Carnation Instant Breakfast, fat free milk, strained cream soup, and Yoplait Light yogurt. Safe = yes. Boring = yes. Nutritious = I sure hope so.

I have not felt hungry at all. But the smell of Ray's meals cooking can still make me drool and a 30 second food commercial can be drool worthy too. Edict: The Food Network is off limits until further notice. Exception: Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel. Woohoo, the bad boy of gastronomy does something for me, and it ain't about the food.

I have been feeling too weak to do anything. Taking a shower has been exhausting. I can't help with the chores. I can't even craft or spend time online. I seem to just run out of steam and lose my breath, and it happens all of a sudden. I will feel that I am finally feeling normal and will attempt to do something, like fold clothes, then suddenly feel like I better find a place to sit down very quickly. This is slowly improving and I am sure I will gain more strength with time.

IBS-D warning: That stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea. I have suffered with it for years. When I told the surgeon and the support staff about this, they told me that this surgery may be able to change that since many people suffer with constipation afterward. Well, no luck here. So far, the surgery has just exacerbated my problem. I don't know if this is just because my intestines have been shortened and rerouted, so they need some time to heal or if it is just my usual anxiety based trigger, since surgery did have me feeling very anxious. Perhaps with time, this too will improve.

Well, that is it for now. If anyone has any questions, I would love to answer them. Just leave a comment for me. Take care everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Home!

Hello everyone. I actually came home yesterday, Thursday, 11/20/2009. I was supposed to have come home on Wednesday, but the doctor decided I was too lightheaded and dizzy to be safe to go home on Wednesday as I was supposed to. It turned out that I was getting too large a dose of percocet for my pain and it was causing my dizziness. Once the dosage was cut in half, I was much better and sent home on Thursday.

Today, I have been sleeping most of the day. About mid afternoon, I realized that I felt best when the percocet had mostly worn off, so I called my doctor. Her nurse called back and told me that I could stop taking the percocet and start taking liquid Tylenol for my pain. Now I feel so much better, like a fog has lifted. My pain is slightly increased, but I feel better. You know what I mean?

I have 5 little incisions in my big ole belly. They seem to be healing well, but the bruise on my belly is quite impressive. In all the post op shots I had seen before I had this surgery, I had never seen any as bruised as mine so I thought I would post a pic here for the brave of heart. It only shows one of the incisions under the tape. The yellow is not some dye or other substance, it is just part of the bruise. Don'tcha just love how my stretchmarks make little road maps in my bruise? LOL!Also, I got a delivery from today. It has the food scale and some other items for my future food program. I haven't quite felt up to examining the contents, but I will soon and I will blog about them if I think they may be of value to others. I will blog again soon. Thank you all for the wonderful comments that you leave!!! I just wish blogspot would let me send responses to each of you in thanks.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 14....Ta Da!

Tomorrow is D-day. I am ready...I think. I have edited my packing list a dozen times and I have briefly considered backing out of the surgery several times. I even had a dream of waking up in recovery only to discover that instead of gastric bypass, they amputated my right leg! Yeah, I am ready. Let's get this surgery over with!

I should be back home by Wednesday, and I will post as soon as I feel up to it. Thank you all for your kind well wishes, prayers, and support. I am blessed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 12

Wow, am I tired. I simply have no energy. I think that consuming between 500 - 600 calories per day is catching up with me. I will be adding an extra protein shake to my usual routine today.

I went to the pool at the YMCA this morning for the arthritic swim program and started feeling lightheaded by the end of the class. I had an Unjury shake as soon as I got home and that relieved the lightheaded feeling, but I still feel like I can't get out of my own way. Thank goodness the surgery is right around the corner. On the up side, the life guard at the pool came over to compliment me on how much weight I have lost. Go me!

I received a call last night from my surgeon to check on my progress and confirm that I am not chickening out. Then this morning I got a call from the hospital confirming the time of the surgery and how early I need to arrive for processing and to be prepped for surgery. My surgery is scheduled for 11 am and I am required to be there 2 hours early, so I have told my mother to pick my up at 7:30 am, to avoid being late. Is it time yet?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 7

It is near the end of Day 7 of my pre-op liquid diet and things are much better. I am not feeling hungry that often. I am tired of what is available for me to consume. Most of the protein shakes have a sickening sweet taste to them and that is just not my thing. I love savory flavors.

I am hanging in there. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do this without cheating, but I would only be cheating myself. I would be cheating myself out of the results that I desire. I would be risking my health and the possible outcome of the surgery. I remind myself of these things several times per day and it seems to be working.

Only one more week of this preparation and then I will have my surgery. It seems like it took forever to get a surgery date, but since I got the date, the time has been flying by. Before I know it I will have to pack my hospital bag. Of course it will have a few yarny projects in it too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 4

It is day 4 of the pre-op liquid diet and things seem to be going a little bit better today. I have felt very weak for the past 3 days and my brain has been in a complete fog.

This morning, I actually went out for a very short walk around the parking lot while the snow flurries drifted down to earth around me. It was refreshing and I didn't feel light headed afterward, so things are definitely improving.

I think the best tool I have found to use during this time has been the website, Calorie Count. It has enabled me to easily track what I am eating and calculates more than just calories. It keeps track of how much protein I am consuming, which is very important for weight loss surgery patients.

I am getting very excited as I count down each day to the surgery. November 16th is quickly approaching. Ta ta for now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pre-Op Liquid Diet

The final count down! It is finally here. I start the 2 week pre-op liquid diet today. Keep your fingers crossed for me.