26 Year Old - 1 Child - Need a Healthier New Look at Life - Long Island, NY

My name is Dawn and I am 26 years old. I have 1...

My name is Dawn and I am 26 years old. I have 1 daughter who will be 2 in April. I am 5'6 tall and weight 285 pounds.

A little quick history about my self:

I wasn't always overweight - I was a cheerleader throughout middle school and also in my first year of high school. I was dating someone who was overweight for 7 years and really just got super comfortable. We would eat out a lot and it just became a routine.

Fast forward: New relationship however I was still overweight at this point and so was my new/current boyfriend. When we met he was in the 500's and he is 6'3 tall. In 2012 my boyfriend and mother in law both went in to have the gastric bypass surgery together on the same date. This would be life changing for the both of them as they both had health related issues steaming from being overweight. Currently my boyfriend is now down over 180lbs (not so sure on the stats for my mother in law but they both honestly look great, and feel great and their weight related health issues like diabetes type 2 and sleep apnea are all cured)

In 2012 I became pregnant with our first child - entire pregnancy went well until the end my blood pressure was getting high so finally they sent me to the hospital to induce my labor ... none of that worked I was in the hospital for nearly a week when finally they decided they would do an emergency c-section. When I was finally released from the hospital I took a shower and noticed blood dripping on the floor - so I returned back to the hospital to have my c-section incision checked turns out it had opened up and my intestines were sticking out of it !!! They immediately rushed me in to have another emergency c-section operation to repair the damage that was done. (what a nightmare & i was in so much pain) That was honestly the worst experience I have EVER gone through in my life. Had me feeling like i would NEVER EVER have another child in my entire LIFE!

I recently decided to go ahead and have bariatric surgery because lately I haven't felt like my self - like who I really am. And i feel much of it is because of all of this weight. I want to be healthy, I want to be active, I want to be happy! My daughter will be 2 and as she keeps growing she is going to want to do activities that I may not be able to do with her at this weight! I am also considering possible having another child in the future but I know for sure I can not be this heavy! At my last doctors appointment before I went to the hospital to give birth I was 300 POUNDS !!! I couldn't believe it i knew I was carrying a child but 300 POUNDS OMG! I am young and I have my whole entire life ahead of me and really want to be on the right track for a bright and prosperous future with my family!

I called the office of Dr. Arif Ahmad (surgeon who did my boyfriend, mother in law and my grandmothers surgeries) and they require you to come to a live in person seminar to learn about all of the different types of surgeries and the risks and benefits. You have to attend the seminar before they will give you a consultation appointment. They do offer it online as a video to watch but the in person is far more in depth and you get to meet actual people who have had these procures done.

Next, after I saw the seminar then then called me to verify my insurance. Once they verified my insurance they gave me a consultation appointment.

My consultation appointment was on 11/25. They gave me a short quiz with true or false questions to see if I payed attention to the information in the seminar - I was then called in the back to be weighed, then the took my height and I was sat in the conference room to wait for Sema (she is Dr. Ahmad's wife she is the coordinator of the barbaric program at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson NY on long island) She is a VERY nice woman and seems to genuinely care about the patients and their health. She asked me a lot of questions about my eating habits and so on and so forth. I was first interested in the gastric bypass surgery because that was what I was most familiar with since 3 of my family members had ad that surgery. Sema gave me a few reasons why I should go with the sleeve instead of the bypass - she said the bypass is really for much heavier people and older people who it would be hard to them to exercise. She also told me that when my boyfriend, mother in law, and grandmother had their surgery sleeve procedure was fairly new and most insurances weren't covering it at the time. So after doing further research I decided the sleeve was right for me especially if I decide to have another child.

My insurance did not require me to have a weight history or loose a specific amount of weight prior to the surgery. I do have a series of pre-op appointments which luckily the doctor I am using offers 5 of those pre op appointments in 1 day !!!

On December 17th I will go to the doctor for pulmonary, ultra sound, psychiatrist, lab work, & nutritionist.

I will most likely be there ALL day but to me it is so worth it to kill most of these birds with 1 stone ! and only take off 2 day from work.

My first appointment is at 11:00am - and the last of the 5 is at 3:00pm ...

Only thing I have to do outside of the doctors office on my own is find a cardiologist and make a pre-op appointment with them.

My endoscopy is scheduled for 1/9. & My final follow up with the doctor before surgery is 1/25.

I am very happy I came across this website and I love to read everyones stories about their journeys it is very encouraging.

I'll put some pictures up later of me in high school, and them me as the years went on and then me now ...

I am excited, anxious, nervous, scared .... all at the same time!

Recent photos of me now & A High School photo which is my MOTIVATION !!!!

I just wanted to add some recent photos of me in the recent months and also a photo from my senior year in High School which this photo will be my motivation !!!

Waiting is very hard .....

Just playing the waiting game.

It seems like December 17th (day of my 5 appointments in 1 shot) is SOOOOOOO far away. & February 2 (day of the surgery) seems even farther.

I am SO ready to begin this new healthy life.

Waiting is tough though.

I know before I know it it will be surgery day and Ill be crying my eyes out out of being nervous. But I know this is the best thing for me.

And the wait continues ........

"pre-surgical testing .... The journey begins

Today I had my "pre-surgical" appointments in 1 day all held at the bariatric surgeons office ... First at 11 am I was taken in for blood work which went well and was very quick (glad because needles are not my thing). Second at 11:30 I was called back to do an ultrasound of the abdomen this also went well. Only bad part (which I found the same when I was pregnant) they have to push hard to get a good picture & sometimes that hurts! Not a big deal though. Third I met with a nurse and did a breathing test after I finished the breathing test I met with the pulmonary doctor he asked me a series of questions then listened to my breathing ... He also asked if I had sleep apnea (i dont) so he said I passed the breathing test and my lungs sound clear so he's going to clear me for surgery.

My next 2 appointments with the nutritionist and psychologist where at 2 & 3 pm and I finished the first 3 by noon so since I had to fast for the blood work and ultra sound I was hungry so I left and had lunch.

The meeting with the nutritionist was very informational and shed light on everything I've been doing wrong. She save me sample meal plans as well as sample protein powers to try from the "bariatric advantage" which is a brand of bariatric products they sell optional for people to purchase after surgery ... She gave me a date to begin my pre op diet which I was surprised didn't consist of all liquid as I have been reading a lot of people having to do.

I still have my endoscopy scheduled for 1/9

I finally found a cardiologist close by and made an appointment with them for 1/22 (this was the only outside appointment I had to make that the surgeons office did not offer)

And my final follow up with the doctor before surgery is 1/15

Getting excited I feel like now that I have had some of this testing done it is really beginning to feel like this is really going to happen. I can't wait to see what my future holds !!

Lab Results ...

I went for my lab work on 12/17 - The surgeons office called me Friday to give me the results. My vitamin D is low they said I need to take 5000 units daily, my B-12 is low they said I need to take 1000 units daily sub-lingual (under the tongue) & (I already knew this one but ...) they said my iron was also low and told me to get Vitron C. Anemia runs in my family and we all are or have been on iron supplements in the past so that was no shock to me.

Yesterday I got another phone call asking if I had made and appointment with a cardiologist and my PCP. I gave the woman on the phone my appointment date with the cardiologist and she also requested their phone number. My Cardiologist appointment is on 1/22. I wasn't told I needed to see my PCP until yesterday she said to make an appointment with them 1 week prior to surgery for medical clearance (my PCP makes me sick lol so I am dreading going there but I need to get all my ducks in a row so there is no issues when it comes time for surgery!) I actually just called them to make the appointment - got no answer then called back and the receptionist told me to call back Friday to speak to another receptionist because she doesn't want to screw my appointment up !! AHHH I need a new PCP ASAP !!!

My endoscopy is next week on 1/9 - I haven't gotten a time yet they said they'd call me before hand.
I will just wait.

For now I will start on my vitamins and take it from there.

Preparing for the endoscopy

On Tuesday 12/30 the admitting department at the Hospital called me to register me for the endoscopy procedure with the surgeon - I had it wrong I thought it was on 1/9 but its on the 12th they are going to call me on 1/9 to tell me the time to be there on Monday. I wish the receptionist who wrote all my dates down was more clear on that - but oh well!

That screwed me up because I had a ride lined up and the person took off work the 9th and its really the 12th and now they cant get the 12th off.

I finally got a hold of my PCP to make my medical clearance appt 1 week before surgery and they told me I was discharged and am no longer a patient of theirs !!! Usually doctors offices discharge you after you miss a cretin number of appointment with out calling to cancel or if you owe them money etc. They discharged me for not re-scheduling an appointment I called a day ahead and canceled back in November 2013!!!! I have been a patient there since i was BORN !!!!!!!!!!! I couldnt believe them - My baby picture is still on the wall there !!!

So now I am on a hunt to find a PCP - my cousin works at a Doctors office and she said before I can make a medical clearance appt. I need to establish care first at a new DR. my time is ticking how can I establish care in less then a month !!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I knew this all wouldn't be easy but I didn't think it would be this hard !!

I will NOT give up!

Will keep you all posted - Liquid diet starts 1/12.

Upper Endoscopy

Today was my endoscopy procedure. I had to be at the hospital at 6:45 am and the procedure was scheduled at 7:45 am. My boyfriend took me and stayed with me up until I went into the actual procedure room - everyone there was nice and accommodating. The nurse that did my IV was excellent because I am not a needle person and I swear I didn't feel it at all. The anesthesiologist was also a nice guy he was pretty funny ... The surgeon who will be doing my surgery is the dr who did the endoscopy.

I have to be honest I was nervous about this procedure a little leery about having things down my throat but once they put the anesthesia in the IV dont remember anything. Once I was in the recovery room the dr came by and said everything went well I think (not sure because I was drugged) but the dr said I have a hiatal hernia and he will repair it during surgery.

My 3 week pre-op diet was supposed to start today however due to this procedure I wasn't able to eat (drink) my protein shake and piece of fruit this morning so I will start tomorrow ... I will also be at work tomorrow so that will help get the routein down for the next 3 weeks.

My boyfriend and I stocked up on the premier protein ready made shakes ... My god mother got me a box of 80 packets & last night I got a blender cup with the ball inside. I did mention in my first poet that my boyfriend had the bypass surgery 2 years ago ... He is going to be doing this pre-op diet with me to make things a little easier and to help us both get on the right track.

Tomorrow I have an appt with my new PcP for a physical to establish care so that I can then make a medical clearance appointment with them since they are my new doctor.

Thursday I have an appt with the neutritionist and the surgeon.

I will keep you all posted !

Another step down a few more to go!

Day 1 Pre-op diet ...

I am not going to call my pre-op diet a liquid diet because it does not consist of all liquid. My diet is 3 weeks long! I am thinking it is a week longer then most peoples I have been reading about because it isn't all liquid.

What my pre-op diet consists of:

Breakfast: 1 protein shake

Snack: 1 piece of fruit (apple, orange, or pear)

Lunch: is a salad with other non-starchy vegetables (cucumbers, spinach, tomato, onion etc.) w. 6oz of protein (chicken, steak, fish, or shrimp) and 2 table spoons of oil and vinegar or sugar free dressing.

Snack: 1 piece of fruit (apple, orange, or pear)

Dinner: Protein shake

Snack: Protein shake (only if needed and still hungry)

Reminders: get full water intake of 64oz daily

The nutritionist did say if I'd rather have the salad at dinner time instead of lunch time I can switch to a protein shake for lunch and the salad for dinner.

I am actually doing that because I'd rather sit at the table with my family for dinner instead of having the salad for lunch I'll have a protein shake.

I am about half way through my first ever protein shake and it isn't terrible but it isn't good either - I actually cant wait to drink some water to help get the after taste out of my mouth !! I actually don't like chocolate - I dont eat chocolate ice cream, candy bars, nothing chocolate really and all BJ's had yesterday was chocolate protein shakes !!! Just my luck but they arent that bad its kind of tastes like chocolate milk which I also do not like. But I am going to make the very best of this !!

I have a Dr. appt this evening after work - and after that I am going to walk on the treadmill for about 45 min - and hour.

I am going to try to do this every week night while on this pre-op diet to get the most from it!

Thanks for listening!

Day 7 Pre-op diet & Dr appts

Today is Sunday and it is Day 7 pre op diet.

It for the most part has been going well.

I generally have a premier protein shake for breakfast and for lunch,

Then when I get home since I'd rather sit at the table for dinner to eat my salad instead of for lunch I wait until my boyfriend gets home to have "dinner" (salad) so from the time I get home from work until he gets home is about 4-5 hours between so I'll usually have another shake to hold me over till Salad time.

I am ok so far maybe because I generally like salad and I dress it the hell up ! Tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers ...etc. So it's tasty and having the grilled chicken is also helpful.

This week on Thursday I had an appointment at the surgeons office and also met with the nutritionist. I then was scheduled for 2 more appointments and then I am finally done with all of the appointments ...

They scheduled me a pre-surgical testing appointment at the hospital where they will do more lab work and an EKG and maybe some other stuff too - The appointment is at 6:30 AM and they told me not to fast - This way I can just go to work after the appointment is over. Then the same day after work I have to go back and sign all of my consent paperwork I assume at this time I will be given all of the prep stuff like the stuff I heard you have to drink to clear your system out - I heard it makes you go to the bathroom non stop lol. Oh well a good cleansing couldn't hurt!

I have some numbers ... I know it isnt much but I was a little surprised at my self ....

11/25 - Consultation appointment - 285
12/17 - Psych, Nutritionist, Pulmonary, Ultrasound, lab work day - 277
1/12 - Endoscopy - 275
1/15 - Nutritionist and surgeon appt - 273

So that's 12 pounds - I'm pretty happy about that.

When I met with the nutritionist on Thursday she gave me calcium chews 4 flavors to try to see which best I liked... so I took them home and happened to be out shopping with my mom, cousin and a friend from work - I passed them all out and told them it was candy and they all ate it ... So when they were done I said it was a calcium chew !! They were so mad lol I said you thought it was candy and now that you know it was a vitamin now you dont like it! I told them it was good for them! I liked mine !! It was raspberry!

Yesterday after work I went to pick my daughter up from my aunts house - and they were all eating Chinese food ! Which is my weakness ! I always loved me some Chinese ! I think it did a pretty damn good job just sitting there and not even thinking about the food while I drank some water !

Go me !

Ok, Next weeks is the cardiologist ... Ill be back after that appointment to let you know how that goes !

Cardiologist Appointment - day 12 pre-op diet

Yesterday I went to the cardiologist for clearance.

This was the only appointment that I had to make on my own finding my own cardiologist as the surgeons office doesn't have one.

I went on their website and there was a new patient history printable form and a new patient registration form - so I printed them at work and filled them out and gave them when I got there.

My appointment was at 1:45 I arrived at 1:30 and was called into a room by 2:15 the MA did an EKG which takes all of 2 minutes - she printed it and said the doctor would be in shortly - the doctor didn't come in the room until 2:45 ... felt like I was waiting forever !!

He asked me some questions (same questions everyone asks about your history your family history)
he listened with the stethoscope felt my ankles for any swelling - and then said he doesn't see any thing bad and my EKG was normal and he said hes officially clearing me for the surgery and said the other good news is I wont have to see a cardiologist for the next 70 years lol!!

They did weigh me when I was there ... today is day 12 of the pre-op diet.

I lost another 5 pounds from last Thursdays Dr appt!!

11/25 - Consultation appointment - 285
12/17 - Psych, Nutritionist, Pulmonary, Ultrasound, lab work day - 277
1/12 - Endoscopy - 275
1/15 - Nutritionist and surgeon appt - 273
1/22 - Cardiologist appt - 268

Total 17 pounds !! Cant believe it! Never lost this much on my own.

Ok - 3 more appointments and 1 more full week until I am sleeved !!!

I have medical clearance appt with my PCP on Monday 1/26
& I have per-surgical testing at the hospital on 1/29 in the early morning
& after work the same day 1/29 I have a consent appointment to sign all paperwork!

I actually got a phone call a few minutes ago - It was a nurse from the surgeons office she said she was working on my insurance approval for my upcoming surgery (which I was under the impression it was already approved as of 11/25) she said my insurance approved the surgery and she said to keep any upcoming appointments. So yay!

I think I also mentioned I have a $500 deductible to pay for the insurance - and they surgeons office splits that up into 2 payments for you. $250 before your surgery and $250 after surgery. I paid the $250 last week so I should have NO bumps in the road !!!

I'm so excited for this journey and so looking forward to a new happier healthier me!!!!

Cant wait !!!!!!!!

Just an update ...

I live on Long Island NY on the east end and as you may all know we were hit pretty bad Monday night and Tuesday with about 30" of snow!

My medical clearance appointment was for Monday and got canceled because the doctors office closed early because of the weather. And the office was also close on Tuesday.

I was re-scheduled for Wednesday (today) However my PCP calls me today and informs me that they can not clear me until after my pre-surgical testing (which isn't until tomorrow) The said they thought they told me that. But the thing is the Hospital called me once day and told me to make a medical clearance appointment with my PCP 1 week prior to surgery - and whats what I did. At that time I didnt even have a pre-surgical testing appointment.

So basically I am going to the doctor after work for medical clearance but they cant clear me until they get the results of my pre-surgical testing from the hospital faxed to them tomorrow.

I feel like I am cutting it a little close! But I don't feel like its my fault I was misinformed! The VERY last thing I was is them to say ... we have to re-schedule your surgery ... I would be SO UPSET! I put in so much hard work, missed so much work going to all these appointments, done everything they've asked of me, took time off of work for recovery, lined up a sitter for my 1 yr old.

So keeping my fingers crossed !

Tomorrow is going to be a LONG day for me. I have pre-surgical testing at the hospital at 6:30 am. The hospital is about 30 minutes (45 in traffic) - from my home and about 45 minutes to an hour from my job. After work I have to go back to the hospital to sign my consent forms!

What a day !

5 days until I am sleeved !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully !!

Pre-surgical testing at the Hospital this morning...

I don't think I mentioned yesterday that do to the frigid temperatures my car would not start yesterday morning - I had to give it a jump then I was good to go.

Yesterday I went to my PCP - the medical clearance appointment was by far quick and easy .. they asked me a few questions like all of the questions I've been asked over this entire process. Listened to my breathing with the stethoscope and that was it.

The Dr. said once my lab work comes in from the per-surgical testing he can review it and then clear me and send a fax to the surgeons office.

Luckily my cousin works at the PCP office and she text me this afternoon that they got my results and she just faxed over my clearance !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning I wake up at the crack of dawn to make sure I am on time to get to the hospital for the per-surgical testing and of course my car wouldn't start! So I took my boyfriends car however that messed me up because after I left the hospital I was headed straight to work (late) but instead I had to go all the way back home return his car - jump mine - then head to work (even later then expected)

Anyhow ...

I got to the hospital met a really nice nurse she took me into a room asked me A BUNCH of health related questions, history etc. for about 30 minutes. She also ran down what to expect - what medications to stop taking if I am taking any (I already stopped my birth control 1 month before surgery and they ask u not take it again until one month after surgery also) I am currently only taking iron, b12, and vitamin D she said that's ok - day before surgery and morning of don't take anything. She also said if I have any pain or a headache from not till surgery only take tylenol - NO motrin, asprin, ibprofen, midol ... etc. She told me no jewelery or body piercings day of surgery and no nail polish. She also gave me a number to call so that anesthesia can be billed to my insurance. So I will call them tonight to give them my insurance information.....

Then she brought me into a room with 2 other nurses where I got an EKG and they did lab work.

They also collected a urine sample.

Then a handsome doctor came to take me upstairs to do a chest x-ray ... once that was over he took me back down stairs and I was free to go.

I have my consent appointment this afternoon after work at the same place (surgeons office is behind the hospital) ... I will be back and let you know how that goes.

I was looking though some old photos and found some more motivation photos of my self! Its so sad when I look at them - like how could I let me self go ?!? THIS FAR?!?

It really doesnt matter at this point all that matters is I am changing this bad cycle NOW before it could have gotten worse! I will have a healthier and brighter future !

4 days until I am sleeved !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I am so excited now but I bet after I am done and in recovery I am going to be like WHY DID I DO THIS TO MY SELF ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!)

The night before surgery ....

Friday at work when it was time to go all of my co workers were wishing me well as it was my last day at work for a little while. One of them asked me what time was my procedure. I said they are going to call me between the hours of 2-6 ... Work ends at 3:45 just as we were leaving my phone rang... It was the hospital. (My heart sank) she said she was calling with my surgery time. I have to be at the hospital at 3:15p and the procedure is set for 5:15p ... I thought I'd have and early like 6:30a surgery so I didn't have all day to let my mind run!

This has already been a long journey and today the day before so many things run through my mind! Some second thoughts ... Some or really every emotion you could imagine.

I didn't even realize today was super bowl Sunday ... Everyone's out partying, drinking etc. & although it sucks and it's so hard to do ... I choose to stay home. I didn't want to be around all of the party foods and drinks etc. while keeping in my mind that I'm doing this for me and it will all be worth it in the end. I have faith and trust in God that all will go well.

I know my daughter will he in good hands at home with my grandmother and Her dad when he's not with me at the hospital.

Well everyone .... When I'm back I'll be sleeved.

From the hospital bed ...

I have been sleeved!!

I keep dozing in and out so it is hard for me to write.

Just wanted to stop in and say I am ok and everything went well.

I will be back with more details when I am less drugged!

5 days post op ...

I was sleeved on Monday 2/2/15 at 5:15 pm at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson NY by Dr, Arif Ahmad.

In the pre op room where they go over all your paperwork and you meet the nurses and the dr and the anesthesiologist they also give you your IV then. I had such bad experiences during child birth then the could not get any of my veins for and IV or blood work. I have 1 good "go to" vein in my right forearm and I asked the IV be out there. They said they don't like it there because it's where the arm bends and etc. so of course they didn't listen to me and tried to put it in my hand and it did not work! So another nurse goes to try somewhere different in like my mid forearm but I told her I need s minute because my hand is now in pain. So in the meantime I signed some paperwork ... Then I told her to go ahead ... She could see how upset I was and decided not to try the new area and put the IV where I had asked. The other nurse told us that during surgery they may remove that IV and put another one in a different place. I told them that's fine because I'd be sleep and wouldn't feel it. Then after all the IV drama the nurse gives me this look like .... I have another needle lol (but I already knew about it as I already have relatives who have had bariatric surgery) it was the heparin shot which is a blood thinner and they give it to you anywhere in your belly and it doesn't hurt at all (trust me I'm a big needle baby)

I waited a few minutes and then I was walked to the operating room kissed my boyfriend told each other we love eachother and then I was off....

The surgery went well like most people say once your in the operating room and you fall asleep everything from that point on is a blur. I remember walking into the operating room and getting on the table and being hooked to all the monitors and such and I remember the anesthesiologist saying she gave me the first dose of medication to help me relax and then next thing you know I was in the recovery room. Supposedly I was in there for 2 hours but to me it felt like 10 minutes lol. But I do remember in the recovery room some one kept sticking me with needles trying to get my blood it was also all a blur but I was like damn I'm fresh out surgery and they already want my blood !! Ahhhh I was so out of it thought I just let the lady stick me :(

I wasn't in a great deal of pain I was just groggy and out of it and looking for my boyfriend... I was moved to a room on their bariatric unit and then my boyfriend was there in the room when I got there. My stomach was twitching a little like my ab muscles were jumping it's wasn't painful but was a little uncomfortable.

I think I was in my room my 8:30 pm and by 8:45 pm the nurses were like "are you ready to walk?" I asked then if I could wait 20 minutes and I was all confused and I felt like everything was going so fast! I have a 1 yr old at home so my boyfriend couldn't stay long as he needed to go home and get the baby ready for bed. So went he left I got up to walk around the unit. They asked me to at least do 1 lap around the unit (which was a oval shape). When I got up I wasn't in a lot of pain either it was more like a "gravity" type pain like when I stood up my stomach just dropped and the inscisions were soar so that hurt s bit. So I walked 2 laps around the unit and then got back into the bed. The nurse would come in and give me pain meds and anti nausea meds and also that Helprin blood thinner shot in my belly evey couple hours ! Before I went to bed they asked that I'd walk again and try and do one more lap then I had done the first time ... So I got up and walked around the unit for like 15 minutes I think I must have done 13 laps or so. I was passing the other patients in the hall 2 and 3 times ... I was proud of my self.

I went to sleep (whatever sleep I could get) hospital beds hurt my back! Once 5am hit here came someone to take my blood yet AGAIN !! Once 8am hit they prepared us to go down to X-ray to do the swallow test to make sure there was no leaks in our new stomachs ... I had no leaks thank god! So that means I was cleared to be on stage 1 liquid diet as I hadn't had anything to drink since Sunday midnight and it was now Tuesday around noon. They do give u ice chips to help keep your mouth at least somewhat moist.

Food tray came with stage 1 liquids which was Italian ice, diluted Apple juice, jello, chicken broth, decaf tea, and a protein drink that looked like Gatorade... If your able to take down a certin amount of liquids with out being sick or throwing up then you can go home. They told me I looked great and was doing great and by 2:30 pm I was discharged .... I wasn't even in the hospital for 24 hours!

I was so glad to be out of there and at home !! They asked me to make an appt for Thursday (yesterday) I had a 9am appt and they looked at my inscisions said they looked good took all the bandaids and steri strips off and said to come back in 1-2 weeks.

I met with the neutritionist before I saw the dr and she upped me to stage 2 liquid diet ... Sugar free pudding, yogurt, strained cream soups ....

They also weighed me I weighed 261 ... So that's a total of a 20 pound weight loss from my consultation appointment on 11/25 till now.

I should be at the point drinking 2 protein shakes At least 2 bottles of water and a yogurt or creamed soup a day by now but I'm honestly struggling with that! Because I am taking small sips of the water and shake over the corse of some time but I don't want to over do it cuz I don't know my limit. I by any means am not trying to throw up at all. So I am working on taking in more so I don't become dehydrated or lack any vitamins etc.

Thanks for listening I'll be back with an update in about a week or so. Next dr appt is 2/17.

1 week & 1 day post ...

I think I am healing pretty well only one of my inscisions is giving me grief and it's not even the "biggest" one where the took the stomach out from.

I say "biggest" because they are all rather small. I'd say deff less then an inch. And the one where they took the stomach out from is probably an inch long.

I like to sleep on my stomach and since I can't now the side is my next option ... Because sleeping on my back hurts my back so mad! I don't want to have any back problems! So when I lay on my side I put a pillow under my stomach so it can rest on the pillow rather then letting gravity take over lol cuz it's a little uncomfortable.

As far as eating & drinking ...

I find it extremely hard to get the required about of liquids as well as the vitamins, the Omeprazole (script they give u to help ur stomach from making acids) ... I'm not AT all hungry by any means! But like taking sips ALL day long is a part time job ! And I feel like with even doing that I'm full really quickly or I have so much other things to be doing that it makes sipping all day nearly impossible! Your mind really has to think! I haven't chewed any food since 1/31 which was my last salad from my pre-op diet. I don't feel the desire to eat at all ... So I have to like push my self to drink and have some yogurt, jello, strained creamed soups etc. but even still with that it's so hard!

I go back to work tomorrow I have been out since 2/2 day of surgery. I work a mainly desk job and I feel ok to go back .. I'm getting tired of sitting at home it's getting boring I feel that once I'm back to work and have a routein drinking my shakes water vitsmins etc will all fall into place.

Tonight I am going to make a time schedule for work to keep track of my intake and to make sure I am on schedule with everything I feel like a times schedule is the only thing that can help me be on track! I don't want to become malnourished or dehydrated!

I finally got out of the house on Sunday and went to my mother in laws as I usually do every Sunday but haven't in the past 2 Sunday's .... I took a "selfie" and posted it on Facebook yesterday. A friend of mine text me and asked me if that picture was recent ... I said yes it's from yesterday ... She said girl you look great you can tell in your face! I said I don't see nothing because I see myself everyday ! So she sent me a side by side of my picture from Sunday and my picture on 2/3 in the hospital ... I posted it below ...

I'll come back and update over the weekend let you know how work went and how my schedule worked out!

I just want to be completely healed so I can exercise and get in the gym and take this on 100%!

2 week & 1 day Post-Op

I am feeling much more like my normal self these days!

We have a king bed and I usually sleep in the middle and my daughter on the inside and my bf on the outside - Since coming home from surgery I have took the outside spot so its easier for me to move around, try and get comfortable & get in and out the bed easier with minimal movements.

Last night I got my old spot back lol - I feel well enough to move around like I used to sleep on my stomach toss and turn with out any grief! I was happy about that.

I actually purchased some different vitamins then the bariatric ones I am supposed to take that dissolve in the mouth - they are disgusting and take about a half hour to dissolve and I need to take 2 of the multi ones and 1 of the calcium ones - I couldn't do it. So instead of not taking those at all I got some new ones I can tolerate! (but no gummies) The hospital also gave me a pill crusher so I can crush the vitamins if I can not swallow the pills.

I am getting so bored with this diet stage I am on. Yogurt, Jello, pudding, broth, creamed soups ... I am by no means hungry ever but I know I have to eat and those are the things I am allowed right now. I really CAN NOT wait until I am able to try regular foods figure out what I like and what works best for me.

I did however try 2 things from the next stage of foods I will be on as of 2/23 ... I tried Tuna w/ a small amount of mayo - I was only able to eat a 1/2 of can in one sitting and I also tried oatmeal which I also could only eat 1/2 packet in one sitting. Those 2 things worked out well and I didn't have any issues eating them.

I finally gave in an purchased a scale!! - Here's my numbers ...

11/25 - Consultation appointment - 285
12/17 - Psych, Nutritionist, Pulmonary, Ultrasound, lab work day - 277
1/12 - Endoscopy - 275
1/15 - Nutritionist and surgeon appt - 273
1/22 - Cardiologist appt - 268
1/26 - Medical Clearance - 268
2/2 - Day of surgery - 261
2/5 - 3 day post-op appointment - 261
2/15 - Purchased a scale - 242

So from the date of surgery till now I have lost 19 pounds w/ no exercise (I haven't been cleared to exercise yet! But I assume the results with the diet and exercise can be endless!!)

Total lost from the beginning of this journey 43 pounds !!

My aunt was over the other day and she said "Dawn! Your dropping weight you don't feel it?"

I said no not really ! So we went and brought a scale - when it said 242 I nearly cried! I never lost any weight before really maybe the most on my own was about 7 ponds! I am so proud!

This weekend I was supposed to go to Delaware to spend some time with my in-laws and I told my bf I didn't want to go and be around all the food and I am sure there would have been drinking and they would have ended up going to a restaurant one of the days & I just didn't want to go and feel uncomfortable / left out and then have to explain to everyone why I wasn't eating. So he decided we wouldn't go so I don't feel uncomfortable. Which was nice of him however, I know I am in the very beginning of this journey but hope that this doesn't hold me back from going places and doing things. I know this is all still fresh and new but I just hope that I will adapt new ways to deal with things of this nature. Because if you think about it mostly all social settings, work parties, social events, family gatherings, parties are all revolving around food.

I know God by no means brought me this far not to see me through! So I have faith in that and will continue to take this day by day!

I still cant believe I lost 43 pounds !! Im in shock! So excited to see what the summer has in store for me. My bf said all my summer clothes I will have to give away as they wont fit me any more! I am excited to try them on in the summer to see the fit difference. People keeps asking me do I notice a difference in the fit of my clothes with the weight loss - I really don't - Since I have always been heavy I never wore jeans - they were always uncomfortable for me - I always stuck to stretchy pants, sweat pants, leggings, yoga pants and hoodies or loose fitting shirts unless I went out I'd wear a dress and have a nasty pouch no gurdle could hide! So I haven't noticed anything in my clothes as of yet except for 1 thing. I have 2 identical pair of support underwear that I've had for YEARS they are my go to sucker-uppers and I wore them yesterday and they did NOTHING for me - they were way too loose and the butt part was very saggy! I now have to part with them and let them go :(

Today is day 4 back at work - this morning a few co-workers stopped me and say I am melting away lol It so nice to hear since I cant see for my self!

I think I have a Dr. appt tomorrow.

Ill update within the week!

3 weeks & 2 days post-op

Good Morning everyone,

I wanted to write an update & let you all know how I am doing.

I am doing well - so far no issues no vomiting or anything crazy out of the ordinary. I feel great! Seems after the weekend and its time to come back to work on Monday all of my co-workers tell me I must shrink over the weekend. Everyone keeps telling me how good I am looking. I actually have a few co-workers who say I am their inspiration and they have started diets and one of them had begun their journey to have a sleeve done by the same surgeon who did mine. I recommended him and her surgery date is 4/30 - so excited for her!

I can honestly say I haven't noticed any changes within my self as far as the weight loss until last night. I was really looking at my self in the mirror like - omg ... this is really happening! I feel like I am starting to look a lot better, happier, & even healthier. Like I have more life in me. It's so weird!
Another thing that blew my mind was I got on the scale and I am 239 ... so that's a 46 pound loss so far! My ultimate goal is to loose 100 pounds. I am pretty much half way there ALREADY and I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT! I cant even fathom what I'd look like at 100 pounds less or even fathom loosing another 50! It always seemed impossible and now it is like within arms reach which to me is so exciting.

I mentioned before my boyfriend did the pre-op diet with me to help him loose the 40 pounds he gained back since he had the bypass 2 1/2 years ago. He actually decided to continue with the diet and now he doesnt even buy lunch out when hes at work. I pack him lunch with a salad with some grilled chicken, a sandwich on whole grain bread, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, a piece of fruit, a protein shake or bar or 2 ... he works 2 jobs back to back most days so I send him with a selection so he has something for the whole day.

I thought it was pretty cool of him to stick to the diet even after I am not it any more. Last night he was telling me how he went to the gym and he ate good ... I said all I ate was jello so far today ... he said "I need to catch up to you - your getting skinny" lol so I guess I am keeping him motivated as well.

We even switched up the things we buy to cook for dinner - I picked up some good things with protein and we didn't get any pasta, potatoes, rice etc like we always did.

Yesterday I progressed to stage 3 of the post-op diet which is stage 1, stage 2, and tuna with light mayo, chicken salad with light mayo, ricotta cheese, skim milk ... I dont recall the rest though not much.

Anyhow I have actually been trying things at dinner time - like canned baked beans (they are really soft taste good and are high in fiber and protein!) I tried a piece of grilled chicken, I tried cold cut turkey & american cheese roll up, a piece of fish, some tuna ... SMALL amounts of all of these and then I am FULL !! I didn't have trouble with any of the above except I took a bite of an hard boiled egg and I felt sick for the rest of the day! The paper says eat a poached egg or soft cooked but I do NOT like runny eggs so this is why I tried the hard boiled - which didnt work out so well. I have since tried like a fried egg and that went well and also tried a breakfast sausage. A little bit of advice I's say is take small bites and chew VERY well!

On 3/2 I am cleared to go to regular diet and begin to start to try new things which I kind have done already OOPS!

I attached a body shot photo I took this past Sunday. And I also put it side by side with a photo from September also with a face shot from Sunday as well.

My next appointment at the doctor is 3/10.

I will update by then !

Work selfie yesterday 2/24

Month-a-versary !!

Happy 1 month post op to me!

I made it through a month of this roller coaster ride of a new life I now have! Hooray for me!

Nothing is really new with me - Although I am getting a lot of texts or Facebook messages with people asking me what did I do to loose weight - even though I dont really post full body shots just head shots - I guess they can tell in my face.

I am on the last stage of the staged post-op diet - I am on this for 1 week and then I am free to start to try new things gradually at my tolerance!! I feel like I've been shackled up! And I am soon to be free lol

We got about 6 inches of snow here last night so when I got home from work I shoveled the driveway for some exercise. I felt good & was so sweaty!

I did get sick for the first time last week - which its no ones fault but my own. I made baked chicken parm for dinner and wanted to try a piece - I had a piece like the size of a dollar bill folded in half and I didn't even finish the whole piece - My body was like NO WAY !!! I honestly felt like I coudlnt breathe I guess because it felt stuck in like my throat ... I felt like the food was suffocating me (mind you I was breathing fine!) since I knew it was stuck or whatever I didn't even want to swallow my own saliva I didn't want NOTHING extra going into my stomach ... I was taking deep breaths hoping it would pass and after 5 minutes I was like I need to go to the bathroom! I went in the bathroom and immediately threw up the chicken parm and 2 minutes later I was back to normal and felt much better - I knew I DID NOT EVER want to feel like that again so I told my self I am not trying anything else new until its time! That was terrible!

This morning I put on my only pair of jeans I've held on to that are comfortable on me and they look like sweat pants! I don't care though because it is a visual for me to see how far I've come because its hard to notice yourself because you see your self everyday! I don't plan on buying new clothes till the weather gets nicer maybe in the early spring not so sure - so the loose baggy ones will have to due for now.

I attached a picture of me from this Saturday & a picture of my jeans from today.

I have my next appointment on 3/10 ... I'll update by then.

The infamous STALL :(

Hello everyone,

I have reached my first "STALL" I have not lost any weight in the past 9 days. I have been the same weight to the point 237.6 ... I know this is normal and nothing to worry about so I am not worried.

I am just so happy to be finally trying new things! And actually chewing food now instead of all the liquid stuff.

Today at work for breakfast I had a hard boiled egg, then about 2 hours later I had a few cheese cubes (got them from BJ's they are by sargento and it comes with 3 types of cheese cubes Monterrey jack, colby jack, and mild cheddar) Then around lunch time I had some vanilla yogurt with 1/2 cup of protein granola (every 1/2 cup is 10g of protein!!!) Then about 2 hours later I went back to some cheese cubes and its just about time to go home.

All went down well today with no issues - I am most excited about the egg because earlier on I didn't have a good experience with the hard boiled egg!

Other then that nothing much new really happening with me.

I hope to get cleared to go to the gym at the doctor tomorrow! We will see!

Just about 2 months post - op

Hello all.

I see I havent written an update in a while.

I am doing good feeling back to normal - well the "new normal" I should say.

I'm eating pretty much anything minus the pasta, rice, & bread. Nothing really gives me grief except ground beef (well I think that's what it is) We had tacos for dinner one night and I tried a taco (soft tortilla, ground beef, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese) as soon as I was done eating I had to throw up! What a terrible feeling! As soon as I was done I felt 100% better. Another time I tried a taco with a piece of lettuce instead of the tortilla thinking the tortilla gave me grief - I had the same issue! So I now pinned it on the ground beef. Because I've tried sour cream, cheese, and tomato before so I am thinking my body just isnt ready for ground beef yet.

Found these cute little protein snack packs sort of like a lunchable .. they vary from 12-14g of protein. It has small pieces of diced cheese (comes in 3 different kinds) some peanuts (cashews or regular ones) and small pieces of diced meat (chicken breast, ham or turkey) they are AWESOME when your on the go or if you need a snack!! Its called P3 by Oscar Meyer.

I have a favorite plus size store where I always wore a 3x but to me their clothes run small so the 3x was always tight on me so I ordered a 3x dress recently because I figured now that I lost some weight the 3x should fit me comfortably now. Well, I tried the dress on fully clothes and it was like a night gown on me! I've never had that problem! So needless to say I have to return it because it is not flattering lol.

The last time I posted on 3/9 I weighed 237 (I was stalled there for a while) the stall has broken and today I weight 232. So total from my start weight of 285 I am down 53 pounds so far. I still feel like the same old me but people tell me everyday I am melting away. My father in law actually said something to me this week as well. He said " you know... your really starting to look good my son better watch out!" It so nice to hear from others as you really cant tell because you see your self every day!

Any how - I am doing well! I am so looking forward to being in ONDERLAND (199lbs.) by like ... Mid-June. I would LOVE that !!

2 months post op !!!

Whooooo hooooo !!!

Doing great ????

Here's a picture from this Easter Sunday which also happened to be my daughters 2nd birthday ...

Today's weight: 227

I feel wonderful ...

A photo I thought I'd share.

Picture of me last year Easter 2014 and this years Easter 2015 .

Just about 3 months post

Hello Everyone.

It's been a while. I am doing well - all is great I have no complaints.

I've been trying on things from last year that were too tight on me and seeing how they fit and comparing them. (pictures attached)

Eating is going well I haven't gotten sick from anything or thrown up.

I can say I am getting used to this new way of life - food no longer consumes my brain and isn't the first thing I think of anymore.

Starting weight: 285
Current weight: 219 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

20 pounds till my goal of 199 - SUMMER HERE I COME WATCH OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!

Small update ...

Not really much to say here - I go to the surgeons office this evening for a follow -up.

Almost 4 months post (6/2 - I'll be 4 months post)

I remember setting my first goal ... which was to be in onderland (199 lbs) by June. I could remember thinking how far fetched it seemed. Then I recall when I got to 50 pounds down and I thought well I'm almost there!

Today I weight 209 !!!!!!!!!!! 10 pounds to go till 199 - I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT & I coudln't be anymore happier! I couldnt imagine what it would feel like to be out of the 200's !! But I cant wait!

I've been shopping ladies!!! I used to wear 3X (in some / most cases it was too tight) and jeans or pants size 22.

I think in my mind I still hate jeans but I should give them a try so I really dont shop for them but have brought 1 paid size 18 - sweat pants size juniors XL, Tops 1X or XL ... My cousin even gave me a victoria secret shirt that she got that was too big for her size L and it fit me !!

Heres 2 recent photos.

Any questions please fee free to ask - If I had a choice to do this all over again - I WOULD WITH NO DOUBTS!

4 months Post-op

Nothing much really to say here.

I am doing great! Weighing in this week at 198.8 !!!!!

I've reached ONEderland!!! & couldn't be any happier!!!

My next goal - will be my ultimate goal - which is to lose 100 lbs & to weigh 185.

13 pounds till I'm there - NO TURNING BACK.

Only complaint I have thus far is my boobs ---- they're gone. Gone gone gone.
I would have loved to keep them but they have already left and didn't even say good bye :(

It's so weird because I still "feel" overweight I guess because the weight fell off so quickly - I didn't have time to catch my self up with it.

I am wearing size L and XL in the junior section! Can't believe it.

Shopping is much harder now because I don't know my size. Before I would just grab my size and go ... now it requires some thought.

I put some pictures so you can see how I am doing now.

Any questions - please feel free to ask !!

Photos ...

Trying to upload the photos again ....

Keeping my fingers crossed lol.

Recent photos ...

Pictures from this weekend ...

I've reached my goal !!!!

Today I weight 185 !!!

When I began this journey on 11/24/14 at my consultation appointment I weighted 285 pounds!

I couldn't be any happier or anymore pound of my self then I am right now!

I would recommend this to anyone - and I would do it all over again if I had to!

I'm wearing a L in juniors tops. L in bottoms as well and I never wore jeans before when I was heavy only legging but I brought a pair of jeans the other day size 15 also juniors.

I used to wear 3X 4X in tops & 22/24 in bottoms!

Photo

10/4/15

Tomorrow is my birthday !!!!!

I just wanted to share a side by side of my bday last year and my b day this year (I went out last night lol)

113.4 pounds down - 9 months post.op

My size Medium dress !!!!

Unexpected emergency surgery

Saturday December 12th I began my day as usual dropped my daughter off at my Inlaws I work part time in a hair salon but had a house call before I went into the salon.

I started feeling this pain in my stomach while at the house call once I was finished I noticed the pain was A LOT worse! So I couldn't decide weather I should go to the salon as planned or go home (home was about 30 minutes from where I was) once I packed my stuff up and got in my car I started crying because the pain was now that bad !! It was so bad it was making my back hurt at the same time. I couldn't drive all the way home with the amount of pain I was in so I decided to go back to my Inlaws which was about 10 minutes from where I was.

When I got to my Inlaws I went straight to the bathroom thinking maybe I needed to use the bathroom and the pain would go away ... No one knew I was there because I went directly to the bathroom ... I called my BF telling him I wasn't feeling well and seemed like he didn't believe it was serious because he had just saw me in the morning and I was fine ... He told me to call his mom ... So I call my mother in law from the bathroom (she was upstairs) she came down and asked about my pain and where it was (she's a RN) so she asked if I wanted to go to the ER ... I said yes! She gets her coat and keys and is ready to go ... I couldn't get off the toilet, like I couldn't walk the pain was so bad and it was in my stomach and back soooo bad almost like a contraction that doesn't go away!!

I could only lay on the floor .. I couldn't stand so my mother in law called the ambulance - very extremely long story short ... I got a cat scan and it showed scar tissue from my C section (almost 3 years ago) grew and wrapped around my intestine and caused a blockage and nothing could pass through anymore so I needed to have emergency surgery to have the scar tissue released from around my intestine - at first I was told I would have an open operation where they'd cut straight down my stomach and I'd have to have a colostomy bag for 6 months and then have surgery to remove it. I'm 27 years old ... I couldn't imagine having a colostomy bag ... I was so upset thinking what is happening to me right now - I was fine yesterday!!! You know ?!

Thank god for my mother in law who happens to be an RN at this particular hospital she asked for a second opinion and changed my doctor - this new doctor was able to do my surgery almost laparoscopically with out a colostomy bag and was able to save my intestine and didn't have to remove any of it. He said part of it lost color due to the loss of circulation but they hooked it to a machine and it started to get it color back.

When I woke up from surgery I had an NG tube. Which came out of my nose. The NG tube goes down your nose down your throat into your stomach and sucks stuff out so you don't become nauseaous and throw up which will put too much pressure on your inscisions and intestine that were just operated on. The tube was the worst!!! I couldn't talk .. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything ... Not even ice chips ! I was in the hospital for 8 days !!

I was happy to be discharged before Christmas! But really can't believe how you just never know what could happen to you!! Going to the hospital I knew something was wrong because the amount of pain I was in but never expected to be admitted nor had emergency surgery!! My inscisions are UGLY :( but I'm happy to be ok and have my health!

What the most crazy to me is all those days in the hospital and not eating ... I gained 10 pounds :( ... I know it's probably a combination of swelling, weather retention, and not being active at all just laying in a bed for over a week did the trick smh ... Once I heal and get better (I can't lift anything for 3 months) I gotta get on a mission and get rid of these 10 pounds at least !! I was 165 now I'm 175. (285 starting)

I forgot to mention ...

Despite all I went through I'm ok now! No pain. My inscisions are still soar but I'm ok. :)

A small update.

A little over a month out from the scar tissue removal surgery from around my intestine.

I feel much better and my inscisions are mostly all healed up very very little soarness and the swelling seems to me down from my stomach now. Also the water retention in my ankles is gone as well.

Weighed my self last night ... 168.2 (4 more pounds to get rid of to be back where I was before I ended up in the hospital!)

I have a busy rest of the month ahead of me I'm moving !! So may not update for a while - hopefully I can shake these 4 pounds while packing and stuff!!

Thanks everyone for all of your support!!

1 year & 1 day post-op !!!!

Hello All,
I really don't have any new news ... I didn't have time to post yesterday but I honestly can't believe I'm 1 whole year post-op!!!

Time really flys when your dropping pounds lol

To date: I've lost 121 pounds & feel great !!

Started at 285 lbs - down to 164

4/28/16

Just adding some recent photos.

I'm thinking I've reached the end of my weight loss ... Well big weight loss I mean. People keep telling me don't loose anymore weight and in reality I haven't lost or gained any weight in almost 2 months. They say I keep getting smaller and smaller ... I think they need glasses because the scale doesn't lie lol.

Totally fine if this in the end - so happy with how far I've come. My goal weight was 150 but now that I think about it ... That may be too skinny for me!

Wish I could win the lottery to get some after weight loss surgery :( ... Either way ... Still totally fine and would do this all over again if I had to!

Current weight: 164
Starting weight: 285

:-)

A recent photo ... June 2016

Long Island Bariatric Surgeon

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