Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pre surgery, Day 1

Well yesterday was my pre-op, dietary, clinical appointments. Holy crap that's a lot of information to digest in one sitting... thank goodness they write everything down for you and make it much simpler... For the next two weeks I am on a high protein, liquid diet. Three meals a day, two of which will be high protein shakes, the third meal being soup. It doesn't matter what kind of soup, just soup. The two days prior to my surgery are clear liquid ONLY...

I already bought the Baby Bullet, as I mentioned before, because they are going to make up 2 ounce meals at a time. That way I can control the amount of flavor in each meal... Luckily there is a unflavored protein powder that I can add to the meals to make it easier. It is made by Unjury and comes highly recommended from other post surgery patients.

Protein is the staple of my diet for the rest of my life. 60-80 mg of protein a day, for the rest of my life. That's ok though. Protein is what keeps you feeling full and keeps you from losing muscle mass. Luckily the liquid/protein diet is only for the two weeks prior to the surgery and the two weeks immediately after. Then I get to go to the pureed, mushy meals. Eventually I will be able to go back to "normal" food, just a lot less of it.

Calcium supplements will also be another staple along with a high value, chewable, multi vitamin, designed specifically for gastric surgery patients. Unjury also makes a Lemon Chewable, Calcate brand chewable which is actually good. They also make the multi-berry, chewable, multi vitamin.. I actually ordered all of it online last night so that it would be here and ready by the time I come home from the hospital... They will also be calling in my list of medications that I will be taking immediately following my surgery. I will pick those up next week... Taramadol for pain as I am allergic to Codeine. Phenergan for the nausea that follows the surgery. Keflex for 5 days, as a just in case. Of course all of this is in liquid form, so that's nice.

I am having my last cup of GOOD coffee as we speak lol... but I think in the long run, I will be able to live without it. I had given up sodas a long time ago. Portion control is the base of life from here on out. I can do this.. If you're still reading at this point, I hope I haven't bored you with the details...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Change is on the way....

Back in June, I lost my long time job. At first I thought that it was going to be HORRIBLE. Turns out, it was probably what I needed. I had fallen into a rut and didn't even realize it. The economy tanked in 2007 and the field of sales that I was in was closely tied to the economy (I sell motorcycle parts). I took a huge pay hit and along with excessive repairs needed, I ended up losing my house, 4 years to the day after I purchased it. I wound up moving in with my long term boyfriend. The boyfriend and I happened to work together and now we were living together. 24/7 together.. Yeah, not good. I was also sitting behind a desk more than 8 hours a day, celebratory lunches, and the kids are now grown which means less activity when not at work.

I found work at a former competing company, no surprise there. Except, now I get to work from home.. Every ones dream job, right? Sure, unless you were already overweight and tipping the scales well over 200 lbs. WHO??? ME? Yep... I now officially outweigh my little brother who is 6'4" tall... This is NOT ACCEPTABLE... When I started my adult life, I weighed 105 lbs dripping wet and I am 5'6" tall. Even after three kids, I weighed 115 lbs. I could eat pretty much anything , whenever I wanted and it never showed... Those days are over.

Obesity runs in the family. Both aunts, on my fathers side,  died well in excess of 250 lbs and well under 5'5" tall.. They passed years ago, with and from a whole host of health issues and I do not intend to repeat their mistakes. Information on my mothers side isn't available due to adoption. I will cover that another time.

I have the most beautiful, happy, loving grandson in all of the world. I will refer to him as monkey butt (that's a story for another time) and I intend to grow old, watching and participating in his life. Right now, I already have trouble participating and I refuse to allow this to continue.

This is the start of my journey through weight loss through surgery. Some people will complain I am taking the "easy" way out.. Let me give you a little history.

1. I am flat footed. Now that might not sound like anything special but that actually keeps me from participating in a lot of exercise routines due to extreme pain. Of course it is also part of the problem as long distance walking or extended periods on my feet caused me pain even when I didn't tip the scales over 200 lbs. But back then, it was manageable. Now, not so much.

2. Years prior, junior high to be exact, I had my right knee cap broken. As a result, my knee cap likes to move around more than yours and it limits my mobility due to the excess weight.

3. Headaches... I was not aware that they can be tied to excess weight. I spend more time with a low grade headache, than not.

4. My thyroid is normal. What is normal? Normal for you might not be normal for me? Even the Dr. admitted that, but with no baseline to work with, obviously they cannot treat it. So it turns out that I am Vitamin D deficient. How deficient you ask? The average, Caucasian, middle aged woman should be as close to 100 as possible. As the Dr. told me, if I was a teenager, I would have Rickets. My level was 11... Hmmm... that's not good.

5. Post menopausal. Medically necessary, hysterectomy at age 24 without sufficient hormone therapy due to a family history of breast cancer.

6. Horrible eating habits. Processed foods due to convenience. A meat and potatoes diet when not eating out. Not to mention a weakness for bread... Not big on sugar. I don't drink sodas. Once up of coffee a day. Water the rest of the day... just not near enough of it..

So as you can see, I had my share of reasons (and excuses) for my excess weight. They are also the reasons why you won't find me running around the block. Especially since I live in a locale where 5 months out of the year we are in excess of 100 degree temps. Join a gym? Well, we will cover the self esteem, convenience, cost issues in another entry.

Funny thing is, even though I am 35.5 BMI I am actually healthy as a horse.. No high blood pressure. No pre-diabetes. No hernias (which are apparently common to excess weight). No sleep apnea. The only thing I do have was high cholesterol, controlled by medication and diet.. Or at least it was. So even if I had insurance right now, they wouldn't cover it. So when I lost my job, I pulled my entire 401k out and am using it to pay for my gastric sleeve surgery. That way I can write it off to Uncle Sam, next tax time.

Today I have my pre-surgery appointments with the dietitian and others. I have been reading everything I can find on the surgery and post op. One very helpful website is The Gastric Sleeve. I have purchased a Baby Bullet blender system which also comes with food containers that are exactly the size I will need for food portions after surgery. I am now researching the protein drinks/powders that will be the basis of my diet. If anyone has any suggestions, please comment with information..

I will continue to update the blog during this journey. You will probably learn more about me than you ever wanted to know. I will do my best to answer any questions..