Tag Archives: vertical sleeve gastrectomy

~11 weeks post ops and my first vomit

6 Mar

I really CANNOT believe I am posting about vomit, but this is the lengths I will go to in order to enlighten you, dear reader, into the life of being a post-op WLSer.  I have not had the “luck” of having a single episode of vomiting or nausea since surgery, but I learned tonight what happens if I push my sleeve too far.  yeah, well, I learned definitively that I cannot push my sleeve, because it will push right back.

We went out to dinner to a Japanese restaurant, and chose a Hibachi table for hubs, me and our two littlest, knowing they would enjoy the “show” of the hibachi cooking and knowing that since its basically pure protein and veggies, its the perfect WLS choice.  We split a dinner for two among the 4 of us, that included filet mignon, chicken, salmon, shrimp and scallops.  Even with 4 of us, it was a huge amount and we took a very large box full home.  I had 5 shrimp, 3 small cubes of filet mignon, and 3 scallops, and a few assorted pieces of veggies — zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms.  Ate everything slow and chewed well. Then the kids and hubs wanted to have dessert, so we ordered a fried banana and japanese fried ice cream. It did me in.  I ate a small portion and started to feel bad, crampy, like I needed to stand up or stretch out. I could feel stuff in my esophogus, I presume.

Paid for dinner, went out and got in the van, and was beyond thrilled that my overly puky/allergic 2 year old has caused me to store a supply of medical emesis ring/bag things in my glove box, because dessert came right back out.  ugh, and double ugh.  I now know why they call it “the slimes”.   Anyway, won’t do that again.  Shudder.

I am laying in bed, stretched out, typing this out while its still fresh.  What was curious is that I didn’t get my usual “tell” after the meat, which is hiccuping.  Usually as son as I am full, I get the hiccups, which is my clue to cut it out.  This time, I didn’t get the hiccups until after dessert, as we were walking out.

So my question to you — do you have a “tell” when you are full?  hiccups or sneezing?  Loved this episode of Bariatric TV that explains the hiccups and sneezing.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled update (well, painfully late update).  As time passes, everything settles into a new normal.  I’m about 11 weeks post op now, and I’ve lost close to 70 lbs.  I have about 60 lbs more to go. Its cool being on the “downhill” side, but there is still a loooong way to go.

In my accountability group via Tracy at mytinytank.net,(if you want to join the next accountability, group, which begins on 3/12, please contact Tracy via her website–I highly recommend it!)   I spent six weeks with a couple of great WLSers focused on my goal of getting more consistently active.  My goal was to be consistently averaging 6500 steps at least five days a week, tracking using my fitbit, by March 5th.  And I did it!  I have gradually moved into a place where exercise is now feeling more like part of my routine.  I have been able to do this at least once before, so part of me is still scared I’ll fall off the wagon, so its likely in the next six week curcuit for accountability I’ll still be focusing on exercise consistency and increase in some fashion again. Actually, by the last couple of weeks, I’ve been closer to 7-8k steps, which is still less than the 10k a day gold standard, but for someone who used to walk less than 2k a day most days, this is pretty good!

What benefits have i seen?  Definitely have more cardio endurance.  I’ve gone to zumba a few times in the last month, and enjoyed it, and could actually make it an hour each time without dying.  Sometimes I had to slow down and just march/move in place while sucking down water, but I always restarted again and got back to it.  I’ve traveled and been able to cruise through the airport without getting all sweaty and gross, and even decide to walk extra to get more steps in.  Crazy!

Overall I just feel better and like i have more pep in my step.  Some days, its hard to get myself going, but I always (always) feel better after I’ve done it.  I’ve made a habit of scheduling it into my day during weekdays, and planning for generally to be going to the YMCA and working out before i have to be there anyway to pick up my little ones who attend daycare at the Y, so its a good reason to combine the two.  That behavior is called “anchoring” in the behavior change world, I’d say, basically attaching a new behavior you want to do to something you already do regularly and have to do, so that it is easier to make the new behavior a habit.  i used to try to do things like try to get up early and exercise, and for me, that is complete and utter bullshit.  I hate the morning with a passion, and that just makes it worse.

So I do the opposite of what most people do, I go at the end of the work day, and its working out pretty good.  However, on the other hand, if I got in my exercise early in the day, I could get my step count even higher through the course of the day.  (because i would shoot to get 6-7k in via planned exercise, and then my normal steps would add on….as it is, I arrive at the Y at end of day, and tend to quit when I get to 6-7k, rather than do a planned 6-7k.

Anyway, change is happening.  You can see it in my face, which now sports a pointy chin with a cleft in it (who knew?).  I still hate what has happened to my nose, which I swear I attribute to CPAP.  my nose is way bigger than it used to be.  So rude. I used to have a cute nose.  Oh well.  i’m excited to have bought a top that was simply an “XL” and I fit into the first pair of Levis I have worn since I was a freshman in college.  So that is pretty crazy.  Granted, i think they make levis in larger sizes than they did when i was in college 🙂 🙂  So its not like I’m down THAT small yet.  Some day!!

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Post Op Day 3

24 Dec

 I really have had a pretty good first few days, relatively speaking. 

I had a NICE full night of sleep last night, waking up only to take my pain meds to keep ahead of the pain, and that was FABULOUS. I woke up feeling tons better. I know by night time I will not be feeling so great if my past experience with c-sections holds true, but I’ll take how i feel right now. This is great. In general, I have tolerated liquids great, not had any nausea, had lots of bloating and gas pain and referred pain through yesterday from the CO2, but all in all doable.

I walked 6200 steps yesterday with my small walks around the block with hubby or son. Which, ironically is more steps than I was getting in on average pre-op. LOL. Small walks add up if you do them regularly (lightbulb moment, duh)

I really don’t WANT anything to eat. but it is hard to see the commercials on TV for yummy things and to smell the foods other people are eating in the house. Hubby has felt bad and I told him, he needs to eat and he shouldn’t feel guilty about that!

My hubby has been GREAT. He always is. So helpful and uncomplaining, he is the best. He’s very supportive. He has a difficult time sleeping when I am not there, so although I would have preferred sleeping in the recliner, I slept in our bed so that he could get some good sleep. with the incline in my bed because of pre-op reflux and a stack of pillows, it worked out quite well. I slept great.

The only really bad thing that has happened was that my two year old was sitting on the lower part of the recliner I was sitting on last night, and although I had a pillow protecting my tummy, at one point he suddenly turned and wanted to lift himself up and of course somehow shoved his little hand UNDER the pillow, and shoved all his weight right on the most tender site to hoist himself….OMG. I cried. I couldn’t help it. That hurt.

One thing, I don’t know if its the meds, the wear off of anesthesia or what, but my sleep is heavy and my dreams are vivid and crazy. the last dream of the night I dreamed that I “accidentally” ate beef stroganoff and noodles during the post op clear liquid stage and was sitting there horrified wondering what was going to happen to me. It seemed SOOOO real, I woke up sure I had accidentally done that.

Also, although i was pumped full of liquids, I’ve been able to clear them adequately and I’m not really water bloated, and I would say that is confirmed by the fact that I’ve lost a few pounds since surgery when I weighed myself this AM. I was expecting to have gained some water weight.

Day 1 of Liquid Diet

14 Dec

I now officially feel like I am going into a pre-op tunnel, getting more and more focused on what is to come with this surgery, with this whole thing occupying a lot of my background processing at any given time. 

Today is day 1 of my pre-op liquid diet, and I am fully prepared for this to be a bitch.  I am currently sipping a Costco Premier Protein shake for breakfast.  I have guidelines for what I can have, but I don’t have a calorie guideline to shoot for.  I’m going to have to check into that today to see what other people have as calorie guidelines.  The only sample schedule that is included in my guidelines shows a 4 oz protein drink for breakfast, lunch, dinner, evening, with 1-2 oz of other full liquids at breakfast, lunch and dinner. That is a ridiculously small amount of calories for someone pre-op, isn’t it?  Is that really what I should be shooting for?  Craptacular. 

Today I have my pre-op education class at the hospital.  I’m not sure what to expect at this class, I think its pretty focused on the surgery/hospital experience and immediate post-op experience.  So it should be interesting.

Surgery in T-10; NSVs I am looking forward to

12 Dec

Surgery is on 12/21.  That is 10 days, OMG!  I was annoyed last night, we were having a joint family party for my two sons (for the extended family party, we do just one party….my oldest turned 13 on 12/5, and my youngest turns 2 on 12/15, so we split the difference with a party on 12/10.)  Anyway, i was mentioning that I was pleased that this week i was able to try on and successfully fit in clothes two sizes smaller.  That immediately caused my mom to launch into a “why don’t you cancel surgery and just keep doing what you are doing?”  I mean, I can’t say I haven’t had the same thought, but honestly, I know that I have not been able to ever sustain any kind of significant weight loss. How do you react to that.  Of course, it made me defensive. 

Tonight was my Christmas Eve dinner.  My liquid diet starts in 3 days, so I made my christmas cookies and had my two favorite christmas foods today.  I found it interesting that I didn’t really want a lot of it.  i gave myself permission for this to kind of being a final meal sort of weekend, but tallying up the damage, while it was more than I allot myself in myfitnesspal.com (about 1200-1500 cals a day right now), and today and yesterday were about 1800-2000 cals) but compared to how I used to eat…..still a whole lot less. 

What are your best tips for surviving the pre-op liquid diet?

I got a new toy yesterday that I am experimenting with, its an ‘Up” bracelet from Jawbone.  I already have a fitbit, so I am comparing between the two.  Whichever one I dont’ use, hubby will probably start using.  Anyone using “Up” yet?

On verticalsleevetalk, there was a great thread about what kind of things we are looking forward to….. here is my list of NSVs I am hoping are in my future:

1. I want to fit in an airplane seat comfortably without an extender.

2. I want to be able to not feel like i need to use the handicapped stall in the bathroom to have enough room.

3. I want hygiene to be easier. 

4. I want to chafe less if I’m really active. 

5. I want to be able to go skiing with my kids (we live 30 minutes from the slopes, haven’t skiied since I was a teenager)

6. I want to be confident I can fit on amusement park rides.

7. I don’t want to worry about whether a booth will be too tight.

8. I want to stop needing to use a CPAP, particularly not having to travel with one, as I travel  a fair amount for work.

9. I would like my diabetes to be gone, and get rid of all my assorted diabetes stuff.

10. I would like to not to have my primary criteria for shoes be ones that i can slip on.

11. I would like to be able to easily paint my toenails.

12. I want to have energy to play with all my kids.

13. I want to buy lingerie at victorias secret.

14.  i want my original wedding rings to fit again.

15. I would like to run a 5k.

16. I would like to join a dance class.

17. At church, I would like to be able to kneel properly without leaning back on the seat.

18. I would like my furniture and bed not to have sagging where I sit or lay.

Introspective or self-obsessed, find a good therapist, etc…

19 Nov

So my personality in general is an obsessive one.  I tend to dive into whatever I am interested in with the burning energy of a thousand suns.  So I guess, my current obsession with my upcoming #wls, at least, is an experience my DH is used to in terms of ‘losing me’ for a while.  He has his own things too.  I find myself worrying about this obsession more than usual though, wondering how long it will last and if there is a healthier way to deal with it.  I suspect its normal for most people contemplating a major life change to really be thinking about it a lot.  I’m not sure that my husband is worried about it, seeing as he is so used to watching me “obsession hop” my way through life.  But I do find myself wondering about that aspect of personality — what makes that so, and how do you rechannel that?  I suppose the answer to all these things is counseling and therapy and the like. 

I have not had good lucky with therapists.  The first one I tried, for original treatment of anxiety, past abuse issues, was ok, but I was young and didn’t stick with it, and frankly, I still feel the same about it, in that i want to work in therapy, not just talk.  I want someone to give me things to work on, not just chat about my past.  I’ve talked about my past to death.   Second therapist, was after a major loss in life, and she focused on something called TAT.  I was pleased that it was ‘doing’ something, but became majorly turned off when she told me my auras were blocked.  It felt like quackery from that moment forward, and I stopped going.  The third was one to really work on all the issues across the board, ADHD, emotional eating, you name it.  I walk into his office, and after a brief introduction, the first substantive thing he says, after I spend 10 minutes pouring out a summary of my life story, is “Let’s talk about your weight, you do realize that the image you send to the world, don’t you?”  I wish I had gotten right up in that moment and walked out, prick.  Really, the first introductory visit is the place for “tough love”?  Really? 

So, there it is, my hesitance to find a new therapist.  I’m kind of thinking about using one of the ones that that bariatric program has do pysch evals,because they must see enough people for emotional eating issues.  One of the guys comes to the bariatric support groups to do talks on specific issues, so I think I’m going to listen to him in some of those before deciding on him.  Ultimately, i would like to have a female therapist, but man, how do you find a needle in a haystack?  Maybe I’ll get some good recommendations when I begin going to the support group.

In more tactical things, I’m beginning to  accumulate what I need to be prepared for the pre-op liquid diet and the post-op phase.  I have my bariatric vitamins for the first month at least (OptiSource)  I have samples of several different protein powders from vitalady, click, unjury.  I have some basic chocolate protein powder, and I have unjury chicken soup in a full sized container, with a full sized container of unjury unflavored on the way.  I have lots of boxes of sugar free jello.  I have my teeny tiny dishes in the cupboard.  I have gas strips (LOL).  I need some slippers, and they better have adult sized stompeez, I tell you. Haha!    Although I think our new puppy would have a field day with those if I didn’t watch her like a hawk.

On that note, this pup is amazing.  We have done just rounds of fostering for the last couple of years since my perfect doggy of my whole marriage passed away.  but we picked up this little girl on october 30th, thinking we’d be fostering but I dunno, I think she is a keeper. She is a border collie/greyhound cross we are told.  Border collie is apparent, but I’m not sure i’m buying the greyhound.  There is nothing delicate limbed about her at all,which I am presuming I would see a bit of if there were greyhound in her.  But anyway, this dog is FREAKING smart.  She is 13 weeks old this weekend, and she can already sit, shake, lay down, roll over, play dead, and do hand targeting.  We are working on stay and release right now, which is so hard for puppies, never mind this young, but I can reliably get about 15 feet away from her and oh…say 30 seconds in duration at this point.  Its a good start.  She is so cute.

Approved!! Holy crap!

16 Nov

I know many have to wait much longer and jump through many more hoops, so I am very grateful.  My insurance approval for weight loss surgery came through quickly and without a hitch.   I had my last pre-op weight supervision appointment last Thursday, as well as a nutrition education session for post-op with a dietician (that was super depressing).  I got really cold feet about this whole thing after that appointment.  I wasn’t feeling too well that day, though, either, so I think that added to it. 

I found myself looking at the dieticians list of what I could eat after the initial post op period, and it was basically deli meat with eggs, deli meat with cheese, deli meat with deli meat….LOL.  I think I have to put it in perspective that they are trying to give some easy basic ideas, and that just because I am having wls, it doesn’t mean I can’t have interesting meals anymore.  @eggface, I must dig into your archives!  I also have  weight loss surgery cookbook for dummies on nook that I haven’t really looked into yet, hopefully good ideas there. 

I don’t have a scheduled date yet, because when I called her back, the scheduler had already left for the day and won’t be back until Thursday, so I have to wait until Thursday to get my date.  Unless the doc is going to extend his vacation, surgery on the 21st or 22nd of December looks like a good bet.  At my last appointment, she said that their sleeve patients are typically only in the hospital a day, 2 at most.  So even if i had it on the 22nd, I could be discharged and home on 23rd if things all go well, 24th if it were 2 days. 

The cold feet part of me is really struggling with the fact that I’ve lost 25 lbs in 3 months, and wondering if I could just continue doing what I am doing.  But the realist part of me says, I will not be able to keep it up without some additional tools to keep me on the straight and narrow, and that this will be a way to really keep me going the way I should. 

Also, I love my insurance.  My total for surgery, with my 5 pre-op doc visits and psych eval included, is $325, plus whatever I end up getting charged for the pre-op bloodwork and final tests, I suppose those will cost something too.  Wahoo!! not bad. 

 

 

 

 

QOTW=Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Weight Issues; Study on Sleeve shows it comparable to RNY

26 Sep

Well, first off, my research and topic exploration of the week for me is the use and role of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to assist in changing behavior around eating and exercise to help in achieving a normal weight.  I’m very familiar with the concepts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, due to some of my past projects at a past employer.  I have the intellectual concepts down pretty cold.  However, I have a hard time putting it into practice.  I’ll be looking at this week how therapists might be working with wls patients using cognitive behavioral therapy to learn new ways to respond to the typical negative tapes and stressors that come up in our lives, and seeing if there are any cool tools for CBT for weight loss out there.  To the crickets out there reading this, if you have great suggestions for resources, I’m all ears and will include your suggestions in my summary post at the end of the week.

For now, if you want to play along at home….*

Think of a typical situation that might make you feel bad about your weight loss efforts.  Take a moment to write out that situation right now. What happened to make you feel badly? What was your reaction?  What did you do?  How did it affect your weight loss progress?

Now, ask yourself whether your thoughts about the situation were completely true and accurate.  how else might you think about/frame what happened?

Finally, rescript the situation.  What could you have told yourself that would have been more supportive and accurate, when the bad situation occurred?  Try it now, how does this new response make you feel about your weight loss progress?

Ok, now a quick poll regarding head hunger and how you approach it.

Okay, topic #2.  I am very interested in this study that WLSHelp has on their site about a 3 year study comparing vertical sleeve gastrectomy with roux-n-y bypass.  I have been flopping back and forth on which procedure to choose, and have been lacking the evidence-based data my mind desires to spell out some of the outcomes.  What is still missing is long term outcomes.  As in, does something creepy happen 10 years out to sleeve patients that no one expected? How long have sleeves been done in other countries, and what are the outcomes there?  This is the knowledge my brain seeks.  Ultimately, I think I would like the sleeve first, in the hopes that I can reprogram myself in portion size and feelings about eating effectively, but still occasionally be able to have a tiny portion of something without worrying about dumping.  I know many feel dumping is overrated, but I think about the little things, being able to have a little tiny piece of cake at a birthday party.  I know its a slippery slope though, so that is where I wrestle.  Do i need the RNY to keep me honest?  Surgeon said I could always revise to RNY later, but I’d just as soon only have to do this once.  And I would like my life after the initial weight loss to have the opportunity to be normal relative to other normal people.  I also think the appeal of losing all the grehlin production is awesome to me. if it would long term eliminate hunger signals, how awesome is that?

* I am not a doctor nor do I play one on twitter.  Check with your therapist for the best interpretation of CBT.

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