Monday, July 29, 2013

Surgery Day

So...I start a new blog to journal my experience living my life.... and then I drop off the face of the earthfor two weeks.

What is that?

That is me taking time to heal, learn some of my new limits and generally focus on taking care of myself 100%.

Guess what?  I'm  ready to share what's been up!


15 July
Surgery day

I was lucky to be my surgeon's first surgery of the day, and I guess my doc likes to sleep in because I didn't have to be at the hospital til 9:50a (ha ha ha).  That was kinda nice, because I was able to spend the morning with my husband and pups. 

After I arrived at the hospital, they took me immediately to the pre-op area-- no waiting around at all.  This is when I started to get nervous, like in tears nervous.  My mom had come back with me, and the only thing I really remember about those first few minutes is asking mom if she REALLY, REALLY thought I was doing the best thing for me.  I knew I wanted to do the surgery, but some how still wanted my mommy to tell me yes!  And she did.  The critical care nurse inside her was supportive and SURE this was the best move.

After a barrage of nurses, anesthesia, and Doctor's questions, as well as prodding, poking, needles and an I.V. filled with relaxing drugs, it was time to go in.  11:50 on the dot.  I kissed my husband, hugged my mom and dad, and squeezed my sister's hand.  They wheeled me away, I was asleep before we even entered the operating room.

I woke up in the PACU around 5:30, I thought, man it's late, I really slept, but had no real concept of time in the whole scheme of things.  I stayed there for about 2 hours, and got to my room at 8p.  My husband stayed late into the night, but before I had the surgery I told him I wanted him to go to work as usual, and then just take a half day the day I was released.  My mom and sister took turns staying at the hospital with me at night.

(The dogs needed to be loved on by him, although my sister took great care of them during the day, they needed to snuggle with daddy at night.  Plus he works about 5 miles from the hospital so he was able to come for about 2 hours at lunch every day, and right back after work.  Love that man.)

So I met my nurse, and slept till 11p.  That's when I took my first walk.  One circle around the floor, Amelia (my nurse) said that was great.  I felt okay, sore, but okay.  I slept till 230a and my mom and I took another stroll.  Not as far this time but at least I got going. I slept some more.  I was given pain meds. every two hours via I.V. so my pain was well controlled and I was able to relax a bit.

Okay, more tomorrow.

Friday, July 12, 2013

WLS Pre-op

Monday is the big day!

I was sick to my stomach this morning thinking about it, but after meeting with my surgeon one more time I'm feeling better.

He has done hundreds of these things.  Everything will be great.
I am getting prepared, packing an overnight bag with stuff I think I'll need, as well as a few things I wouldn't have thought of if it weren't for other folks in the WLS community.
  • PJ's
  • Slippers or flip-flops
  • Toiletries
  • Gas-X chewables (for the gas post-procedure everyone talks about from being pumped full of gas before the procedure)
  • Lip-balm
  • Laptop
  • A Chance in the World (The author just spoke at my graduation...AMAZE-BALLS.)
  • iPhone
  • Headphones
  • Baby wipes (cause I don't think I can shower exactly)
I can't think of anything else really...
OH!  MY pillow and CPAP machine.
Now I just need to finish "nesting" at home so everything is super easy when I get back.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Journey to Date | Part 4

So, here I sit.  Four days until surgery.  Monday, July 15, 2013.

A huge range of emotions are washing over me right about now.

  • Happy that my health will be improving.
  • Sad that I am in this situation to begin with.
  • Excited to do the things I used to do and love so much!
  • Nervous about recovery and learning my new "parts".
  • Anxious to get this thing going.
  • Worried that this a HUGE change to be going thru right before I start Grad School.
  • Hopeful this will be the tool that will lead to lifetime success.
  • Frightened I will be a statistic, the girl who couldn't loose with WLS.
  • Optimistic about the future, and that I am prepared for the journey ahead. 


You can Read the rest here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Journey to Date | Part 3

Okay, lets take a look at the minutia of this journey... you know, the facts.

I started thinking about WLS in late 2011, my weight had been getting out of hand, but I didn't feel like I was in a place to get WLS.  I would try ONE. MORE. TIME. to lose and keep off the weight.

I lost about 40 pounds....and gained about 60.  That was it.  I couldn't keep doing this.

My husband came home one day and said:   Did you listen to Howard Stern today?
Me:  No, why? (an aside...I love Howard, but that's for another day)
Him:  Oh, well Lisa Lampanelli ( love her or hate her, I LOVE her too) was on, and she had some sort of WLS, I think she said she lost like 80 pounds, it's crazy.
Me:  Whaaaaaa?  I need to see the pictures!

After Googling L.L.  I found some images and an article about her, and the procedure she had.  Lisa had the Vertical Sleeve surgery.  She looked amazing.  I mean, she was always adorable, but now she was beaming, happy, and even more vibrant than ever.

I listened to the segment, and after hearing her talk about the surgery, recovery, ups and downs, I decided to investigate this avenue. (Thank You Lisa.)

I contacted 3 doctors in the area, and after meeting with each I decided to jump in, Working with Dr.'s Halmi and Naim at Bluepoint Surgical group (Stafford, Woodbridge and Fairfax VA).  The entire process has been seamless.


My insurance requires
6 months supervised diet, exercise, and nutritional classes
A full blood work-up
& a Psych eval.

I thought in the beginning "Holy-Mary 6 months?! That's F.O.R.E.V.E.R.!"
Well that was a little more than 6 months ago, and here I am... Jan 2013-June2013, and I have a date.  July 15th.

It's on Y'all.
I just said y'all.  <--- there I go again.

You can Read the rest here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 

Monday, July 8, 2013

My Journey to Date | Part 2

Here is the thing.  I love life.  I love my life.  I love living.

I just want to be able to do it to a fuller extent.  The past couple of years I have been missing out on things I would LOVE to be doing, but have cloistered myself more than I would like.  The other big thing is I am not as able to do things with the confidence I previously had, I am worried I will hurt myself jogging around, break an ankle hiking instead of just twisting it, fall out of the canoe or kayak and not be able to get back many things.

Like I said to a friend recently when I was telling him I was going to have the surgery "While I realize my value as a person doesn't depend on my weight, my health does."  My health is the main reason for this.  But you know what?  As much as I'd like to say I'm as self-assured as ever, it's just not true.  I don't worry too much what people think of me, but I'd be lying if I said that I never think about it.  I do.  I think about it.  And really, I don't believe anyone out there really doesn't care in some way how others perceive them.

While it's not the end all be all of how I act or do things, it permeates my mind at times.  I still laugh out loud, dance, and act the fool (I don't think anything will ever stop that)!  But do you know what the worst time it gets me?  When I walk in a room.  I'm serious.  When I walk in a room with people I don't know, or some place as mundane as a grocery store...and don't even get me started on a restaurant (because obviously fat girls aren't supposed to eat. at. all.)

Oh, I put on the brave face, suck it up and take the looks in stride, I know the people who look at me in disgust are really just sad themselves...that is their problem, not mine.  What I CAN do is "control my 4 walls"  and by that I mean, I can't control anyone else's actions, but I CAN control my reaction.

You can Read the rest here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 

My Journey to Date | Part 1

Now, I'm not gonna go into all the reasons I am fat.  They are probably a combination of  things every.single. fat person has been thru, struggles with, and won't admit (me included).  What I am going to tell you is how I came to this MAJOR life changing decision.  (And it's not just 'cause I am fat)

It is all mainly hinged on my health.  I have been lucky enough to be fat but basically healthy--no cholesterol problems, great HDL numbers, no blood sugar problems, no diabetes, or other major health concerns (aside from mental health of course, ha ha that area is debatable, ask anyone!).

But last year, everything changed.  I started getting headaches...enter--->High blood pressure.  I was also having trouble staying awake during the day, sweating at night, headaches woke me every morning, I would wake up 5,6,7 times a night to pee...enter--->Sleep apnea.

Over the last year my weight climbed and climbed.  I had not been doing, eating or exercising any differently than in the past, but I reached my highest weight, and by weight I don't mean weight, I mean dress size, I don't weigh myself, and I refused the scale at the Doctors office until I really made the decision to change something.

Even now I don't look at the scale or my chart, I just ask how many pounds, if any have I lost?  (24 since January 4, 2013) That's just shy of a pound a week (go me).

You can Read the rest here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 

Friday, July 5, 2013

What Am I Gonna Do About It?

What am I gonna do about it?  Well, first-- what haven't I done about it, what haven't I tried to do about it, what haven't I thought about doing?

Really there isn't anything I haven't tried.  Except what I am about to embark on in 10 days.

I've tried every "diet" under the sun, I've tried every exercise routine, fasting, eating only nuts and berries, the grapefruit diet, the master cleanse, low-fat, high-fat, low-carb, high-carb, NO-carb, weight watchers, oh my word I could go on and on!

I have been unable to lose and maintain the loss.  I have lost HUNDREDS of pounds over, and over, and over again.  I have yet to LEARN how to maintain the loss.

The only thing I haven't done is bariatric surgery. 

That's not for me.
I could never do that.
I'm sure I can figure out some other way.
That can't be healthy.
That's disturbing.
That is too drastic.
I can do this on my own.
That would be the easy way out.

That's what I have told myself in the past.

Now, I have a different view, a different mind-set.

That just might be the tool I need.
I could do that.
I have tried every other way.
That might be the only way I CAN be healthy.
Is it disturbing to get a cast if your leg won't heal itself?
That is drastic, but not unheard of.
I need help.
Nothing about this is easy.

This is what I am gonna do about it.