Hello Everyone! My name is Ebony and I am...
Hello Everyone! My name is Ebony and I am embarking on a long but well worth it journey. After much research (years) I have decided to get the gastric sleeve. I am 28 years old and I weigh 382 lbs.
Honestly up until recently I really didn't think of myself as being that big until I actually saw a few pictures of myself and I was like Damn! What happened? How could you let yourself get to this point? Then I answered those questions, I know exactly what happened laziness, eating all the wrong foods, and just not caring about myself enough to make a change.
So in 2011 I gave birth to my first child, his name is Riley and I never knew that I could love someone as much as I love him. Let's fast forward well Riley is a very active 2 year old and I can barely keep up with, sometimes it brings tears to my eyes knowing that I can't be as active as I'd like with my son. This past February I had my gallbladder removed, and then I just found out that my hemoglobin A1C is elevated and I have an increased chance of getting diabetes, my knees hurt and I'm easily out of breath. I know having surgery isn't a quick fix and that it's only meant to assist you in your weight loss/healthy goal. That's why I am dedicated t o do what it takes to get healthy and get my weight back under control. I would love to walk into any store and be able to shop and not be limited on my selections, I would love to go on a run and possibly a marathon, I would love to be able to fit in a seat on the airplane and not have to ask for an extender or have the person in the next seat side eye me because my body fat is spilling over into their space, I would love to climb a flight of stairs and not feel like I'm about to die because I can barely breath, and most importantly I would love to run and play with my side without any restrictions and be able to keep up with him.
The time is now and I AM READY! With hard work and dedication I know I have this, I just have to strong even when I feel defeated.
So my consultation appoint is this upcoming Thursday with Peachtree Surgical Associates and I'm excited, this is the first step and the beginning of a journey and new outlook on life.
I will be uploading pictures and post of my progress and journey and I am excited to share my experience with the world.
I don't know how much this procedure is yet and will find out Thursday when I go for my consultation. Also I know my insurance pays 80% and I also have a secondary insurance which should pick up the additional cost so we'll see.
This is me on July 4th, 2013. I never take full body shots because I don't want to see myself so I did a half of body shot lol.
Shopping...Not so much!
Shopping for clothes really sucks because I can barely find clothes that I look nice in so I end up not buying anything at all. :-(
Gastric Sleeve Consultation
So this past Thursday September 12, 2013 I had my Gastric Sleeve consultation. It was pretty quick all they did was weighed me in and took my measurements and then I spoke with the Nurse Practioner and she explained the procedure and gave me the information packet as well as a check off list of everything I needed to have done. I do not have to have a supervised weight loss per my insurance. I have already scheduled my EKG, Nutritional Assessment, and PFT for September 27, my psych eval is this upcoming Friday September 20, and October 4 is my sleep study consult. I still have to actually have the sleep study, stress test, and EGD done. Also my insurance requires an essay of my weight loss efforts. Oh I've alreadt had all the required bloodwork so that's done. So I'll keep you guys updated on everything :-)
Disney World :-( Pictures
So I took my son to Disney World this past weekend and we took tons of pictures and I look horrible. I am just disgusted at how big I am but I am going to use this as motivation to compare when we go the next time after I've had surgery and lost all of my desired weight. Here's some pics..
So I went for my psych eval on Friday and it was cool nothing like I expected. Just a few questions and she wants to see me again. However after this second visit I'm not going back because I don't think it's necessary so I'm going to call my surgeons office and talk to them about it.
Update on requirement process!
So I called my Patient Care Coordinator and asked did I have to see the psychologist for a second visit and she said no, to have her give her a call and she'd send her some paper work to fill out, my insurance company also verified it as well they said all I need was a claim on file stating that I went.
So here's a run-down of everything I have coming up.
Pulmonary Function Test (PFT)-10/4/2013
Sleep Study Consult-10/4/2013
Things I have to do after that: My actual sleep study in which I won't know when it's scheduled until after the sleep consult. Personal Essay in which I'll be writing today or sometime this week before Friday, and lastly EGD in which they informed me that would be done prior to surgery so don't worry about it.
I definitely feel as though I am progressing which is awesome! Hopefully I can get this surgery done before the end of the year especially since I have met my deductible. So my fingers are crossed.
Another thing, this blogging is awesome! Hopefully, by me doing this it can help others no what to expect and look forward to although all situations are different they are still similar in many ways. I will definitely continue to update my profile because when I do finally have the surgery I can look back at this and say WOW that was me then and this is me now.
EKG and Nutrition Consult -DONE!!!
So this past Friday I had my appointment for my EKG and Nutrition Consult and those are done and good to go. This upcoming Friday, October 4th I will have my PFT (Pulmonary Function Test and Stress Done at the surgeons office and then after that I will be zooming over to the sleep study practice to have my consult for that, so this should be very interesting and BUSY! My EKG looked good and the nutrition consult gave me some great advice and tips as well as heads-up on things so I will keep you guys posted.
So I get a call from my bariatriac coordinator and she tells me that I need to schedule my stress test somewhere else because she forgot to tell me that the machine they use has a weight limit REALLY!!! I have been waiting on this appointment for over a month if you'd told me, I would have gone somewhere a long time ago. Now I have to see a cardiologist before I get my stress test done. I can't stand when people don't do their job. That was critical information that she shouldn't have forgotten. So now I go and see the cardiologist on October 11. Just when I thought things were going smoothly here comes a bump in the road! Then the psychologist that I'd seen for my psych eval acts like she's dumb as a box of rocks because I told her she needed to send her evaluation to my surgeons office and she's like I don't know what to put in it, can you see if they can give me an outline of what they want WTH! You said you had done this dozens of times and now you don't know what to do. She's already creepy as hell and she's getting on my last nerve. UGH! Dummy!
So I called my PCP and she sent a referral to the cardiologist so I would now have to have a consult and I would just have to have the stress test done only on October 11, 2013 super excited!
Officially Done...So I Hope :-!
So this past Friday October 4, I went for my PFT and come to find out I could do my stress test as well. I was happy and annoyed because I had my scrubs on and I couldn't move like I wanted to but I got through it and it only took 6 minutes and all I did was pedal on a bike, with the EKG leads hooked up to me and a pulse ox on my finger. Depending on your age and weight that's how they determine your stress test where I'll be having my surgery. So after those test were done I zoomed wayyy across Atlanta to my sleep study consult and ended up getting my take home equipment that day because my insurance doesn't pay for me to do it at the onsite facility which is great because I didn't want to do it there anyway. So they explained to me what to do and I took it home. Later that night I got prepared, took a nice relaxing bath, fresh sheets, and got super comfy, oh and I stopped drinking fluids early. So I got all hooked up and went to bed, it wasn't bad the equipment wasn't uncomfortable at all and I slept great. I did get up once to use the bathroom but went right back to sleep. So Monday I have to bring it back so they can look at it. Hopefully everything is good with the tests and the psychologist get her evaluation submitted so my coordinator can get the packet together and submit it to insurance. My hopes and prayers is that I can have it done before the end of the year. Fingers Crossed!!!
Psych Eval Submitted
So I finally have my psych eval she emailed it to us yesterday however she had my date of birth incorrect but I corrected it and re-sent it to my coordinator. Now I'm going to fax it to her and the office just to cover all areas. I like to be safe than sorry.
Prepping and getting mentally prepared....
So I went to Sams Club and bought done protein shakes and bars. The protein shakes I bought are Premier Protein they had awesome reviews and are being consumed by tons of weight loss surgery patients. I like this brand because it has 30 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar and I bought the chocolate and vanilla along with the bars basically to get myself in the habit of eating better so I'll have one shack for breakfast, one bar for snack, another shake for lunch and another bar for snack and eat a regular meal for dinner. Or I'll switch it up and rotate so it won't get boring.
Submitting to Insurance for Pre-Approval!
So yesterday I called my bariatric coordinator because I like to stay on top of them and make sure they're doing everything they are suppose to be doing. So I wanted to go over everything that she has for me and see if she had all of my results in and the only thing they didn't have in was my sleep study results and they hadn't uploaded the PFT and Stress test which was done in the bariatric office. Well while doing so she informed me that I had all of the insurance company requirements complete and that she would go ahead and submit it for pre-authorization. While on one hand I'm happy and another I'm nervous as heck! Because you never know what may happen so I am praying, praying and maintaining my faith that it's approved because I really need this surgery!
So I called the sleep study facility for my results and they told me I had sever sleep apnea. I don't have no damn sleep apnea and said before she could clear me I would have to where a APAP machine for a week and then I have to wait 9 days for my insurance to approve it. If it's not one thing it's another, honestly at this point I want to just say forget it. I'm trying to have this surgery before the 1st of the years because my deductible is already paid but it does'nt look like that's going to happen. So I go to pick up the machine on Nov. 4th and they said they would remotely get the results from it instead of me bringing it in. Talking about I need to show compliance. IM DONE!
My Loves and My Motivation
This is my husband and son.
So they have submitted the pre-verification for the APAP machine and said it should take 9 days and on November 4th I go to pick up the machine.
So here's a picture of me.
Glory to God!!! Woot Woot!!!
Guess who got APPROVED for surgery by the insurance company....this girl right here!!!! Super excited I could cry, I remained positive and maintained my faith and it work out in my favor thank you JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So I went to pick up my APAP machine yesterday and used it for the first time last night and it wasn't too bad at all. I slept really good and it didn't bother me at all. I thought it would be a struggle to get use to but it wasn't. Thank goodness! My family was joking around saying I had a trunk like an elephant after I put the head gear on to show them, they think they're comedians but they're NOT!!
The waiting game....
So I used my APAP machine for the week to show compliance and I emailed them to make sure the received the data properly and they did, I then got a call saying that the doctor wrote my clearance letter. I immediately called my bariatric coordinator to let her know and she received the fax so now she has to submit it for review and that's all I'm waiting for. Hopefully they'll call me with a surgery date!! Fingers Crossed!!!
So I thought I'd write a quick update, I'm still waiting to hear back from my bariatric coordinator. Last Monday the 11th she submitted my folder which included all of my test results and clearances to the Nurse Practioner for review so I think today I'm going to call her and follow-up I really need this surgery done before the year is up. I'm praying and keeping my faith that it's possible. I haven't heard anything from them at all. It's like COME ON ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so anxious right now.
So i just got the call from my bariatric coordinator and she said hat the bariatric board has signed off on my chart. Now she said some lady would be calling me with my EGD date, Surgery date and pre-op instructions. I'm guessing I won't be hearing from her until probably next week since today is Friday but then again hopefully I hear from her next week before the holidays. I'm praying for it!
So here it is Tuesday 11/26/2013 and I still have yet to hear anything from Myra whom schedules all the patients for the bariatric surgery. UGH!!! I really need for them to CHOP CHOP!!!! I am so impatient especially with this because I really need for my surgery to be performed this year....I'm praying and remaining faithful I don't think I'll get the call this week especially with the holiday and next week is December. :-(
I GOT MY SURGERY DATE!
Just got the call my surgery is December 11, 2013! I'm so excited I'm shaking right now. My pre-op is December 6 and my EGD is December 9. So, so excited! Just after I wrote the previous post I got the call, God was teaching me a lesson of being patient. lol
Although I know many of you can't eat or can't eat the foods you use to I want to say have a Happy Thanksgiving. The most important thing is to be thankful for the things you have and family and friends.
High Protein Diet
So yesterday I started my Pre-op Lean and Green liver shrinking diet. I drink protein shakes and eat foods high in protein and veggies.
Hey! To anyone on Facebook I want to invite you to join the Gastric Sleeve Support Group we are 5,000+ members strong and very informational. Feel free to ask questions, share your experience, give advice, get recipe tips and a host of other things. I absolutely love this group it's very active and I think you'll enjoy it also.
Pre- OP Class, EGD, and Liquid Diet Day 2
So this is day two of my liquid diet, I only have to do two days my surgery is TOMORROW!!!!! and it is a bit difficult because I am really hungry and I have dry mouth but I'm still pushing through!
Okay so o Friday December 6, 2013 I had my pre-op class and all we did is fill out a bunch of paper work, meet with the doc, get blood work, and weight and they talked to us about what to expect, diet, excercise etc. Okay so this past weekend I made sure I ate any and everything I wanted because I knew I wouldn't be able to do that anymore. So yesterday December 9 I had my EGD done and they started an IV to give me fluids, took me back and sedated me, and when I woke up I was back in recovery the EGD only took about 3-5 minutes, however they really hurt my freakin mouth, they almost took a chunk of skin out idiots! The doctor said everything looked good so just waiting on tomorrow. I'm nervous, and anxious slightly. I wanted to update my post just incase I don't get a chance to tomorrow.
Well it's Official....
My surgery is tomorrow at 8:30 AM (12/11/2013) they just called I'm super nervous and excited! I'll try to update as soon as I'm feeling up to it, hopefully I remember but I know they'll be a lot going on so I don't know!
And off I go....
11 Dec 2013
Day of treatment
Well everyone the day has arrived and I'm off tothe surgery center, I will try to update later on today depending on how I feel, I want to thank everyone for they're encouraging words. Please keep me in your prayers.
11 Dec 2013
Day of treatment
Just a couple of .pics
I made it!!
So everything hasn't been peaches and cream. I honestly don't remember anything about the surgery because they knocked me out as soon as I got in there. I woke up in recovery and could barely keep my eyes open. I was super tired and weak! It was freezing in there and I was ready to go home! Ready to be in my warm and cozy housr. Last night was rough, a lot of nausea and vomitting. The pain is under control though. I've been popping gas strips like there's no tomorrow. My family had taking very good care of me. I'm just now feeling a little better. I'd say about 30%, somethings better than nothing. Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging words, I appreciate it! I'm about to take my antibiotic and take a nap. I'm exhausted.
Friday was my two day post op appointment and they just removed my bandages and left the steri strips. I took a shower on Saturday and felt a little better. But this exhaustion is kicking my butt! I'm no longer taking pain medicine or the gas strips. I'm drinking my water and apple juice only since surgery and I'm going to try and incorporate some other things today. I'm walking not as much as I thought I would because I'm a little weak of course. I had a bm post op day two. Its been tough I'm not going to lie. I find myself thinking what did I do? was it worth it? But only time will tell. I sleep so much its ridiculous, I never slept this much when I was pregnant :-) I'm going to stay strong and keep my eye on the prize. Thank you all for checking on me, I appreciate it more than you know. I'll keep you posted.
So honestly, I've been regretting my decision of getting the sleeve only because I can't eat what I want lol. I know it won't last long but I seriously want a bacon cheeseburger, some Chinese, a whopper something. So this past week has had it's ups and downs, sometimes I'll stand up and get really light headed, ears ringing, especially when I shower. Next I've been suffering from insomnia, like I can only sleep for a few hours never in my life have I been like that. Another thing and this might be a tmi but I'm here to tell you like it is my urine has always been clear like water because I drink tons of water after surgery it's been nasty looking yuck! I have not weighed myself since surgery. Other than that I've been getting fluids in well, I've also had chicken noodle soup, and today I'll be making some chicken chili, I've also had a little tilapia and mashed potatoes and when I say a tiny a mean just that. I've been walking and that's about it. I'll update as soon as I weigh myself. Have a great day.
I know it's been a while since I've updated but honestly I have been just enjoying my time off of work, spending time with family and adjusting to my new lifestyle. So let me give you guys a quick update so as of today I am 350 pounds, my start weight was 382 pounds I had surgery on December 11th. I took a month off of work and I returned to work yesterday, I'm a nurse so I see patients all day in which I was nervous that I might get tired and I have to say I didn't I did get sleepy after lunch but that's because I'd gotten use to taking a nap around 1PM lol and since I was at work I couldn't do that.
So let me give you guys a little insight to how I'm feeling. Well I feel great, I feel as if I'm back to normal especially since I'm back to work now. I walk everyday, I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with snacks in between. Now as far as the protein shakes they make me sick so I have been trying to get my protein in through food, in which my doctor said that's fine. I am almost 4 weeks out and I am on regular foods.
So I joined MyFitnessPal to keep track of my calories and weight. So this morning I woke up and immediately started drinking my water, I ate one piece of bacon, 8 almonds, 5 red seedless grapes and that was over a 2 hr. period as well as drunk water and that was 111 calories, my daily calorie intake is 500 since I am unable to exercise and I'm just walking I want to make sure I'm not consuming to many calories. Week 6 I'll be cleared to really exercise, work on my core muscles and just tighten up this skin as well as water aerobics. For lunch today I'm not sure what I'll have but I'm definitely going to keep it light! So maybe some soup or a chicken breast or we may have a catered lunch at work who knows! I'll definitely keep you guys posted on what I'm eating.
I'm trying to think of anything else I need to tell you guys.......Tick Tock Tick Tock lol!
Important I drink water all day and I'm going to post a picture of how much water I consume, now this is only at work not including what I consume at home, I'm going to post a before picture and after picture after I've drunk them all lol. I don't drink any sugary drinks at all, no high fat foods, and honestly this morning when I ate breakfast even though it was spread out over 2 hours that little bit of food was actually too much for me. I could fill it after I ate that last grape lol.
So that is it for right now...Oh the grapes and almonds that I had for breakfast I will be using those as my snacks throughout the day. Have a great day guys! I'm going to try and get better at posting and updating you guys on my progress. So I just checked my family doctors website and the weight they had for me prior to surgery was 383.6 today my weight is 350.0 which equals a total weightloss of 33.6 lbs.
So I weight myself every Monday and since last Monday the 6th I have lost 9 lbs.which gives me a total weight loss of 42.6 lbs since surgery on December 11th! I'd been stalled for a little over a week and then BAM! 9lbs. down!
Face before surgery and face last week.
I am happy to report that my Hemoglobin A1c went from a 6.3 borderline diabetic stage to a 5.7 within a months time. I'm pretty sure here in the next few months or less it'll be completely normal.
Before and After
This is what a 50 lb. Weight loss looks like. Woot Woot!!!!
Good Morning! Weekly Weigh-IN
So here's a quick update. I just did my Monday weekly weigh-in and I now weigh 341.3 lbs. my starting weight was 387 lbs. surgery was December 11, 2013.
Okay so I had been extremely exhausted and tired so I had a co-worker draw my blood and I found that my iron was critically low and my Vitamin D was 8 also I had a really bad UTI. So I went to my family physician and she put me on 50, 000 units of Vitamin D 1x weekly for 4 weeks and then we'll check it again and let me tell you after just one dose I feel better. She also prescribed me an antibiotic for my UTI and I switched my multivitamin to prenatal pills because they have everything in them that I need and I don't have to take several medications a day (Womens One A Day). So besides that I'm doing well. Sometimes I have to remind myself to eat because I don't really feel hungry. I also found that I don't enjoy eating as I once did and honestly I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing after about 2 bites I'm done.
I'm really trying to keep up with this blogging/updating thing because I don't want to be one of those ones who start out reviewing prior to surgery and after surgery they no longer update. That's the whole point of doing this so you can help others out and try and let them know what they may expect and of course we're all different but it'll definitely help someone out. So I'm going to continue to update and post pictures as much as I can.
Right now I'm on regular foods, I had a spicy chicken wrap from Wendy's minus the tortilla and it was really good I at the entire half chicken breast with nothing else and I was full and satisfied. I pretty much only eat chicken breast. I made some ground turkey tacos and ate them with the multi grain wheat scoops and that was really good. I've eaten tilapia that I bake season with old bay and pepper add some onions and that was delicious. I've had shrimp (spicy) that was really good. I only get ,my protein in through food I don't drink protein shakes because they make me sick and I'm not about to continue to waste money on them and then I can't drink them not happening.
Snacks for Work
Grapes, water, apple slices, peanut butter oat meal bat.
Fingers getting smaller
Ring adjuster needed
Surprise For Hubby....
My husband has been so supportive of me through everything, from day one so I wanted to do something for him. Romantic evening and I hired a personal chef. I just want him to know that I appreciate him.
So yesterday was my weekly weigh-in and I only lost 2 lbs. last week but I totally know why. I kind of had a slip up and ate a few chips and a couple of cookies last week also I wasn't getting my water in as I should have. However I am not going to beat myself up about this is a new week and new day and I'm jumping back on the band wagon. 2 lbs. is more than I would've lost had I not had surgery and also I look at it like I would have normally eaten the entire bag of chips or had 5 cookies and a glass of whole milk but I didn't. So hopefully this week I have a little bit more weight loss maybe 5 lbs. I'm hoping.
I'll also be updating you guys on the protein drinks and smoothies I make myself no store bought for me because I can't tolerate them at all and it's better knowing what I'm putting in my body.
Protein Smoothies and Snacks..
So yesterday I bought new scrubs I am now a 2X before surgery I was wearing a 4X. I'm super excited! My goal is to be an Extra Large by summer.
17 Feb 2014
2 months post
All is going well I'm still learning and adjusting to my new lifestyle and still maintaining a steady weight loss of an average 3-4lbs per week. I'm pretty happy with that.
So I know it has been a little bit since I last updated. However I will say this things are going GREAT!!! so my last update I let you guys know I was losing between 3-4 lbs. a week so since then it has been between 5-7lbs. these past few weeks have been great I have cut back on my eating a little and increased my water intake. I have to say I was honestly snacking on chips y'all (I know, I know) bad girl. But I needed something different than and I actually enjoyed those chips too. But now that it's out of my system I'm back to eating my protein bars, fruit, and eating my lean and green meals in which I never stopped doing that I just incorporated the chips with it. So this week 3/3/2014 I plan on losing another 5-7 lbs. which means I will be very strict with my eating and going hard with working out. I really need to increase my strength training to tighten my skin. Honestly despite the fact that I can't eat certain foods or drinks as I use too, this was the best decision I have made yet. I feel so much better being over 70 lbs. lighter in less than 3 months. My knees aren't hurting anymore my clothes are so much looser, I have to buy smaller clothes, I no longer have to by wide shoes, I'm not as out of breath as I normally would be, my hair has grown from the increased water and vitamins and just eating healthy, my skin has a beautiful glow, I no longer crave or want fried foods or fast food. It's an overall great feeling. My doctor said that I am exceeding his expectations. My short term goal is to get under 300 lbs. which I am almost there and to lose 100 lbs. by summer.
So my starting weight was 387 lbs. today I am officially 316.6 lbs that equals a total weight loss of 70.4 lbs. My surgery was December 11th 2013. I am 16.6 lbs away from being out of the 300's I haven't seen that in 10 plus years y'all my goal is to be under 300 lbs. by April 1st. I am about to go hard in the gym and eat 100 % right in order to achieve this small goal. After that small goal is completed my next small goal is to be down 100 lbs. by summer and 150 lbs. by fall. Y'all don't know how happy I am.
Weighed myself yesterday for my nutritionist and I was 314 lbs. That's 73 lbs. Down since December 11th..299 here I come. I think I'm going to cry when I make it out of the 3's. My goal size is a 10 and I think I'll be good with that. I don't want to be too skinny honestly. I love my curves but I also don't want to be obese anymore.
Just weighed myself and I am 311 lbs. I am 11 pounds from being under 300.