I've been heavy, and climbing since the birth of...
I've been heavy, and climbing since the birth of my youngest son, 22 years ago now. Every year I would creep up 10-15 pounds, leaving me at 5'7' and 326 lbs.
Never having been an exerciser, I resigned myself to the fact that I would remain overweight.
I became diabetic, and then insulin dependent, then resistant.
My GP and endocrinologist referred me to a program in my province, that was doing a study on the long term health effects/benefits of weight loss surgery and those with diabetes.
After acceptance, I waited on the waiting list for 2 years before being invited to attend my first seminar describing the process.
They certainly laid out that there were going to be expectation placed on those who would eventually receive the surgery, and they were going to be life changing.
I was to begin exercising regularly and attend a series of seminars on healthier attitudes towards food, as well as working closely with my doctors leading up to my surgery.
I began to swim, the program required that I spend 30 minutes a day having some form of cardiovascular exercise. I also bought a recumbent stationary bike for my home; for times when I could not make it to my local pool.
I spent the first month convincing my body to cooperate, then, strangely enough, after all those years, it became a routine I was not hating. 30 minutes flew by, and about 6 weeks in, I was up to a full hour. Monday through Friday, every week.
I also changed how/when I ate. I was still using insulin, of course, but I was having smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, leaving me using less and less insulin, and no sugar spikes whatsoever.
Then my pre-op date came and my surgery was booked. September 29, 2015. The day that would invariably change my life.
That was last week.
Next day Post-op experience
It's done!!! 6 incisions all taped up, and I am home from hospital, one day post-op.
In terms of pain, I am more uncomfortable than in pain. Difficultly taking deep breaths, tenderness in my upper chest area (where they pull the liver out of the way of the procedure internally) and a couple of inexplicable bruises on my arms and shoulders that would seem to have no bearing on the surgery itself. (?)
No residual sore throat from the breathing tube used, and I am drinking and talking just fine.
I have not used insulin, per doctors orders, and my sugars are stable, if a touch high. Considering I was on a sugar water IV drip, not so unexpected, really.
Nurses were great, and my super supportive husband never left my side.
I have not needed any of the anti-nausea medication, nor have I taken/been administered anything for pain. Do not think I am being "brave" or a "hero"- I am a certified chicken- and if I needed the pain meds, I would have no qualms about taking them!
Moving a little slowly, there’s a strange “tugging” sensation inside, but nothing that isn’t to be expected.
I am able to drink enough to be going pee regularly, if not a little infrequently compared to usual. I am taking in about ½ cup an hour of water, and trying to get protein fortified liquids in as much as possible. (Coconut milk and protein powder usually).
Finding myself still groggy and uncoordinated from the anesthesia, and moving slowly.
Looking forward to my shower tomorrow!!
First week out
Well, we took off the bandages and I had a much anticipated shower!!! No bleeding from the port sites, all is healing very well.
The residual pain from my liver being held out of the way is receding rapidly, and coughing is not uncomfortable anymore. The strangest part was the liver being held out of the way by some medical tool, I hadn't given that any thought.
I am out of the fog, and feeling much more myself once more. I can do my walking and drinking without having to "rest" too much in between.
I am still on thick liquids, lots of protein powder in everything...
My sugars have normalized, and I could not be happier!
Other than all of this, I am moving about more readily and just feeling stronger. REALLY looking forward to having something more "chewable"; since I am waaaay over Boost and protein shakes!
Wish me luck!!
Healing so well
The port sites are nearly healed, and I am experiencing no pain whatsoever. Maybe I should correct myself- when I tried to eat some "dry" foods, I had a terrible"stuck" feeling in my chest/new stomach pouch. It took about 10 minutes to pass, and I was so surprised by the sensation, as I had never felt anything as odd before.
Other than learning what I can and cannot tolerate (some foods just don't "feel" right when I am eating them), more mouth feel than digestion difficulties though.
Started eating some solids, ground beef, eggs and tuna. They are all SO delicious after purees and protein powders.
I should also mention the very indelicate problem of constipation, and badly constipated at that. Not very ladylike I know, but I don't want anyone to be shocked by it like I was. I was told to take the laxatives if I needed the pain medication, but no other recommendation. YOU NEED IT! We are not taking in enough water to make things "move" so to speak. Please, take a stool softener, even if you don't feel like you need it, even for a short while; better to have more movements than not enough.
Still slowly coming down in numbers, the scale says between 30-31 pounds, depending on whatever guides the darn scale!
Three Months Out
30 Dec 2015
3 months post
So, I am happy to say that I am fully 60 pounds down from my pre-surgery weight!
I have been working to get my 1200 calories in, and most of the time I am successful. LOTS of water to drink, and it seems to have helped with the hair-raising constipation, which has eased somewhat.
My sites have healed completely, and there is no pain whatsoever. I can eat all foods, and as long as I eat slowly nothing hurts. (Some foods that are dry- no sauce or gravy- can be a little tough to swallow sometimes- I just avoid anything too dry)
I am swimming, doing yoga, and riding my recumbent bike, as well as working with chest flyes and light weights to firm up my chest- in anticipation of my new boobs!!! (Breast augmentation when my weight stabilizes is one of my biggest motivators!!)
Our first holiday season went well, I was able to sample most of the traditional foods, meatballs, potatoes, turkey, veggies and ham. Small bites of everything and no one got hurt. ( :) ) No desert though, no sense tempting fate.
All things considered, I am comfortable and happy. I still work on mouth hunger (wanting something crunchy, or creamy) but I work very hard at the mental health side of this surgery, reminding myself why I am doing all of this. So far so good!
SO, one year later...
I am a couple of days late with my post, but I made it to my one year, and I've lost 137 ugly lumpy pounds!
I won't say it was easy, but it is done.
I work out 7 days a week, swimming on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, then come home and do yoga, and on Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays ride the elliptical and do pilates, and on Sundays we take the day "off" and only do yoga...*lol*
I eat 5 times a day, and average about 1400-1700 calories, getting in about 120 grams of protein.
I find I look older than before, my skin hangs in weird places, and I am not loving that my boobs have deflated.
Onward to plastic surgery I go!! As soon as my surgeon gives me the go-ahead, I am planning on a full Mommy MakeOver; full TT with MR, BA and Lift, any lipo I might need, with a butt implant (I never ever had one, and now I have only yucky hanging skin where a butt should be!!) and thigh lift. Oh yeah, Brachioplasty as well, literally a whole new me!
I will be updating as I go, wish me luck!!
On to my next step!
Well, I have had my first appointment with my plastic surgeon, as recommended to me by my bariatric surgeon.
He is competent and compassionate and very informative so far. He has recommended a Fleur de Lis procedure over a regular abdominoplasty due to my excess skin on my upper abdomen. My husband and I knew this was a possibility so it did not come as a surprise.
In speaking with his receptionist, we booked OR time for me on the 31st of January 2017. In the event that there is any cancellation prior to the 31st, I will be on their short list. I am pleased that the province should be covering part of the costs, if only minimally. They cover the "panni" or the panniculectomy, removing the "apron" that hangs over my pubis.
I am to see my GP tomorrow then drop off my forms to the surgeons office, and away the process goes!
I was hoping for a quicker date, as I am not very good at waiting, the "hurry up and wait" could kill me!
I will be taking more before pics and posting them, although they're kind of afters from the bypass...
I'm so excited!!