Making it known…

I’ve thought a lot about sharing my journey more publicly. Right now, my husband, kids, parents, siblings and some friends know. I guess I mean up til now, that’s who knows. Also, I am not so good evading when asked a direct question. It’s becoming more obvious…and that will yield questions.

While there is still somewhat of a stigma, I’m not terribly concerned about my remaining friends and family knowing. I’m not even worried about others finding out. I hope that other bariatric patients stumble on this blog and it helps them and/or they feel comfortable to reach out.

I’ve been very lucky…the process to get to surgery was smooth. I was able to knock out the requirements quickly. I had a visit with a surgeon on July 6, 2018, for something unrelated. The surgeon brought up bariatric surgery and had the coordinator come in and talk to me. And I was off like a shot…I completed everything as quick as I could and met the actual surgeon who did my surgery on October 1. He was ready to schedule then…I had some plans that needed to be worked around…and I didn’t want to wait until January/February. He and I agreed on a timeframe after my business trip but still allowed for enough healing (ideally) before Disney.

November 5 was the day. The surgeon was schedule for the surgical robot that day too. As explained to me, it assist with laparoscopic surgeries…I’m not sure, the surgeon seemed pleased.

Surgery went well. Ultimately, I chose the RNY gastric bypass because of some possible side effects of the gastric sleeve and the bypass has been done much longer. I also had my gallbladder out…it was stoney and I wanted it out as long as he was in there.

I was lucky to have good nurses in the hospital. The first day was a little rough… it got better each day. I got to go home on Thursday.

Post-surgery has been pretty smooth. I’ve been lucky with minimal bad effects as I worked through adding foods back. The biggest struggle is getting the balance of protein, carbs and water.

There it is…I’ve put it out for family and friends. I’m not going to share every blog post to Facebook. Feel free to subscribe if you want to follow along.

Update and travel thoughts

Monday is 9 weeks. I’ve lost about 30 pounds since surgery and 50 or so over all. I’ve lost 15 inches.

It’s all going pretty well. I’m back to “regular” food and still finding the balance between protein and water. It’s a lot to get in and track in a day. I have no pain and I haven’t had any terrible effects…I have learned if something doesn’t sit well, it doesn’t take too long for that uneasy feeling to pass…

I took my first plane trip since surgery to go to Disney World for Christmas. My youngest was my seat mate and when I buckled, he said “Mom, you don’t need the extender!” Nope…and I was fine in the middle seat!

Rides were more comfortable. I had more energy. I wore sneakers instead of flip flops…used to be sneakers contributed to a different challenge.

Clothes were a challenge…right now I’m like my kids. I’m changing super fast…it’s hard to keep clothes that fit…

Food was a challenge. I hadn’t re-introduced a lot of food after surgery and didn’t want adverse reactions…but I did okay. I didn’t meat protein goals…I’m working harder on that now. Water is a challenge…I’ve discovered in the last week or so I can drink almost normally…multiple sips at a time. That helps get the water in.

It’s all a learning curve…and I’m getting there.

A week and a day…

It’s been a week and a day since the surgery. Ultimately, I chose gastric bypass and remove the Stoney gallbladder. That took some discussion with the dr…but he agreed. There was concern if they’d be able to complete the bypass due to scarring from previous c-sections. I had two…and they were not the most straight-forward… the concern was adhesions from those, as sometimes they can’t free the bowel to do the bypass. They would have converted to a sleeve at that point…

The morning of, my parents went to the hospital with me while my husband got our kids off to school then he joined them at the waiting room. I was first case so report time was 540am. I had a meltdown of fear and nerves in the shower, and then put on my game face and got ready.

At the hospital, I played on my phone until they called us back. Then it was an intermittent flurry of activity getting me ready. The anesthesiologist was wonderful…whatever drug they gave me to relax going into the OR…was amnesiac. I have zero recollection of anything until waking up in the ICU – not because I was in bad shape…the nurse patient/ratio is smaller so it’s better care. And they were awesome!

They kept waking me up to go to the bathroom or walk or something that first night. I was still tired and drugged. I was better the next day – my right side was super sore. There wasn’t much that helped it….except not moving. They convinced me to try sipping water that first morning. I thought it would hurt…but small sips…it was fine. The next two days were pretty uneventful. On Wednesday, we realized I had a lot of fluid going in…and not a lot coming out. We discovered my kidneys weren’t kicking in…a bonus night for me in the hospital. By the next morning with the new nurse, I was over it and ready to go home…so I did. (Kidneys kicked in at home)

Slow sipping. And trying to get comfortable…not so fun. The pain was nil until I had to move…then the right side felt like it was being shredded. Tylenol and narcotics didn’t help…so I quit taking them.

The first time on the scale was a horrible disappointment…I was 10 pounds heavier than when I went in. Everything I’d seen in groups and blogs talked about these wonderful weightlosses right out of the gate and I was heavier. It was the fluid I’m sure…by the one week mark, I’d started a small downturn. But that needs to be more talked about.

Balancing fluid and working in protein was a struggle. It is a struggle…too much protein drinks too fast…there is vomiting but nutrition wants you to get to 50 g of protein pretty quick to promote healing.

My insides don’t feel different. I can’t even tell I had anything done (except for the incisions and pain when I move…) well…until I sip too fast or too much. I’m excited to move up to actual foods…I’ve never looked more forward to eggs in my life.

I also look forward to the temperatures warming in my city so I can go take a quick walk. And the right side not to kill me with movement or bending or stretching…all in good time.

Thanks for taking this journey with me.

C

It’s almost time!

So…I started this journey in July.  I hit the ground running and knocked out all of the requirements as quickly as I could.  The testing, the appointments, the support groups.

I did a lot of research.  I found some sites that were helpful and started following those sites -getting more information.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the support group.  It turns out it will be as helpful as I let it…there is good info and bad…like anywhere.  But it was there, I heard more than one person explain why they chose the surgery they chose – sleeve or bypass.  Until that day, I was pretty sure I wanted the sleeve.  Research and the experiences of others have led me to aim for the bypass.  Because of c-sections, it may not happen, but that’s my goal.

Surgery is 5 November 2018.  I started the liver-shrinking diet on the 22nd.  I have one more pre-op appointment and then it’s show time.

Thanks for joining me on my journey.  Because I haven’t shared with many people, yet, I haven’t put the blog out too many places – but I will.

C

 

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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I guess this is as good a place as any to start.  The title is apt and I do thank you for joining me.

I’m a married mom of 2 boys. My husband retired from the Army in 2012.  I work – full time.

I’ve always felt like I was bigger than a lot of my friends.  It wasn’t always as big of a contrast as I thought – I’m tall.  Now – I’m sick of it.  Given my size, you’d think I’d have heard about it from doctors for years – I really haven’t.  Until about 3 weeks ago.  One doctor to whom I was sent to figure out a pain…asked a question and started a journey.

I’m embarking on Gastric Sleeve surgery.  I don’t have a date, yet.  I’m not ready to post any stats – I’ll get there.  I’ve completed most of the pre-op requirements.  I’ve worked on changing my eating (back…again…to more healthy).

I intend to update here.  Hopefully, I’m better at updating this than my other blogs…

Thanks for being here.