Saturday, July 29, 2017

This week, I'm back to life. Mostly.

I'm noticing changes in my body that the scale is not reflecting. It's as if my body is taking a little breather from losing weight the last week. I'm trying not to stress about it. I've found lots of stuff about how the weight loss is really fast at first, then stalls, then picks up, then stalls. But my clothes are continuing to get more loose, even though the pounds are not showing.

My energy is picking up, which is nice. I'm not having the nausea after I eat as much. I'm getting used to the smaller portions and eating slowly. I'm sure that's helping alot with the nausea thing.

I'm also getting more fluids down, and I've only forgotten my vitamins twice this week. Lol… I know I have to get better about that. I'm still trying to figure out the timing of them during the day. There are certain vitamins that you have to space apart from each other or they cancel out each other, and then there are vitamins that will make your thyroid pill ineffective. So it's not as simple as it sounds. Then there's also the fact that the vitamins make me nauseated, so that means it matters when I take them in relation to meals.

This is the new normal. I'm still not hungry at all. Now that I'm not so nauseated, I don't dread eating, so that's a plus. And I'm getting to try foods to see how they agree with me and not just eating blender slop.

I ruined my blender that I bought right before my surgery. I cross threaded the blade cap onto one of the cups and can't get it off. I'm debating beating the cup with a hammer to see if I can save the blade cap. The whole blender is pretty useless without that. I haven't used the blender as much as I thought I would, because I can't drink the protein shakes. They taste so awful to me now. I'm trying to eat enough protein that I can get by with one or two of the Clear Protein drinks I've been drinking since surgery. I'm really getting tired of them, though.

Zeke was pretty sad that I went back to work, but we are temporarily caring for an older pup named Bridget. She's my father in law's dog, and he's currently in the hospital and needing to find a new home for them to live. So, I may have her for a few weeks or so.

Bridget is old and fat, and she barely tolerates Zeke and his high energy levels. He wants to play 24/7, and she's in retirement mode.

Zeke is thrilled, though. He loves all dogs more than people. I've been feeling a little set aside and jealous. He's pretty territorial over me and his toys and his pillow, but he loves having another dog to annoy.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Today has been rough so far. I'm feeling generally crappy, and my stomach is so queasy. I ate a little bit of apple and banana with peanut butter, which normally is pretty safe. It's churning and threatening to come up.

Yesterday, I tried to eat scrambled eggs, and I will not be doing that again any time soon.

I may be sorry I came to work today. I think today might be the day I vomit at work for the first time. I haven't been doing much of that. I did the first few days on soft foods, and sometime last week when I got the hiccups while eating and didn't know how to cure them other than to drink fluids during a meal. No bueno.

Friday, Jul 21, 2017

Puppy blog:
Well, sadly, Mommie went back to work yesterday. I was really hoping that she could stay home and play and cuddle forever, but I guess not. I’m not gonna lie, I cried loud in protest and tried not to go in my cage when she left. Today, I walked right in when Mommie asked me to go, and I’m waiting for Daddy to come home for lunch. Back to normal, I guess. 
Mommie was really tired last night and went to bed early when Daddy did, so I woke up super early ready to play at 4am. Daddy was up getting ready for work, so I thought it would be great if everyone was up. So I did everything I could think of. I jumped on Mommie, bit her hand, licked her face excessively, and danced with abandon around her head and ears. Such a party pooper. 
I was pretty worn out from all that, so I didn’t want to get up when Mommie was ready to get up. I was so comfy sleeping on top of her, all snuggly and warm. 
So, I’m back to work, guarding the house. I’ve been practicing my ferocious bark and growl at mealtimes with Mommie and Daddy. They are not fans, but I’ve got to build my skills.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Today was my first day back to work from my medical leave. Three and a half weeks off work. I really enjoyed my break. It was just starting to get fun, which means time to get back to work. 

I have felt like my weight loss wasn’t showing very much. Over the weekend, I saw several people that I care about that told me I was looking good, but for some reason, I always think people are being nice when they give me complements. Like they are just trying to make me feel better, because they love me. A counselor will probably have alot of fun with that someday. 

But today at work, a few people I don’t know said stuff to me about it. It was weird, and nice. I guess I thought that they weren’t obligated to say anything at all, and they noticed. So it must be true, since I don’t know them. 

First day back at work was nice. I got to see co-workers, which appeals to my sanguine personality. I can get a little emo if I don’t interact with humans enough. I don’t really like my job, but I work with good and interesting people who are very supportive. And that’s nice. 

I’m super tired from my day. I found it easier to get my fluids in at work. Maybe the structure and being much more aware of time? I don’t know, but I gained some real ground on my fluid intake today. 

So, back to reality. Back to the grind. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

I feel like I’m in the angry stage of a break-up. Except it’s with food. I’m not gonna lie, last week was rough. Almost everything I ate made me either vomit or pray that I would. It didn’t seem to matter how well I followed the rules or how careful I was. It made me sick. 

But it’s been two days since I’ve been sick. I had issues Saturday when I went to my support brunch, but didn’t actually vomit. I kept a doggie waste bag in my hand for about an hour after I ate half a meatball. (I highly recommend keeping some in your purse or bag after surgery, just in case.) 

I think I’ve figured out that I have to eat things with sauce or broth or basically really wet stuff, and I HAVE TO not drink before, during, or after meals for a bit. So far that’s the hardest thing for me. I drink automatically while I’m eating. Who knew that I did that without even thinking? It makes sense, because I always need refills at restaurants. 

I went to a birthday party last night, and they served fajitas. I really wanted some, but I didn’t even want to try anything because I didn’t want to be sick the rest of the party. 

I don’t even want to eat when it’s time. I dread it. But two days without being sick makes me have hope that last week was just an adjustment. 

I finally reached 55 pounds lost yesterday, which is a fourth of my goal. I rewarded myself and went and bought myself really nice makeup today. We’re probably going to count it as my birthday present, too, but I have decided this will be a good self care reward. 

Bye-bye food. Hello, makeup and cosmetics. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The soft foods are harder than I anticipated. So far, I’ve vomited every day since I graduated. Yay, me. 

I’m excited today, because in a little bit, one of my BRAVE sisters is coming to get me and take me to our monthly infertility support brunch. I’m still trying to decide if I’m gonna try to order something off the menu and risk vomiting or just sit there and watch everyone else eat. I’m leaning toward not eating. But maybe they have a soup that would be safe. Decisions, decisions. 

We’ll also find out if riding in the car still makes me sick, which is a thing now. 

I’m so looking forward to seeing my BRAVE sisters today. I’ve been so lonely at home just me and Zeke while hubby works. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reached the 50 lbs down milestone this week from when I started this process February 27. 

I compared my pictures from February to these, and not a whole lot of change for 50 pounds. I mean, I can certainly tell a difference, but it’s not as much as I was hoping for. 

Here are the ones from February…

I can tell a difference for sure in how my clothes fit. I knew not to take my picture at 30 pounds, because it probably wouldn’t show at all. 

I graduated from liquids yesterday. If I’m being honest, and I am, I gave up on the liquids over the weekend. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had no issues till yesterday. 

I will say that my first legal non liquid meal was a stretch for the soft puree diet. I was late for lunch due to my doctor’s appointment, and I knew even though I have zero appetite whatsoever, I needed to eat. 

So, I thought to myself what i could pick up that would be soft. Taco Casa Chilada… Yum! I knew I would probably only eat a third of it at most. If you have never had the pleasure of a Taco Casa chilada, it’s basically a bean and ground beef burrito smothered in chili and cheese and topped with black olives. 

I knew to take small bites. So, I took ten tiny bites that would have been two to three normal bites prior to surgery.

I knew within a few minutes that it might not have been the best idea. It started with pressure like I had a big burp that was trapped. I beat on my chest and flapped my arms like a deranged bird to try to release it. 

And up it came. 

Now, I don’t want to get too graphic, but it was the first time I’d vomited since surgery. It wasn’t what I’d expected. I was afraid of it, honestly. 

Normally, when I vomit, it’s because of food poisoning or a tummy bug. And it’s violent and painful, sweaty, and awful. This wasn’t. This was like over feeding a baby and they urp it back up. So, something to avoid, but not something to fear. 

Then, I went back to normal. 

I’ll try to refrain from being too graphic about my bodily functions, but I thought it might help someone else who reads this who is afraid of the consequences of eating the wrong thing. 

Needless to say, hubby ate the rest of the chilada with his dinner. 

July 5, 2017

So, I’m 9 days post op, and my recovery has been so much easier than I anticipated. I have not needed any pain meds or nausea meds in 5 days. The biggest negative I’ve had is crazy levels of fatigue. It’s understandable, since I’m only taking in about 600 calories per day and whether I am in pain or not, this was major, major surgery. Incisions are healing great so far. Just started itching a few days ago, and the glue is starting to peel.

So here’s the real crazy part of all this. I gained 13 pounds in one day in the hospital due to IV fluids. Yes, I weighed when I got home. I watched them put bag after bag of fluid into my arms, and I didn’t want to be upset when I weighed in a week and it showed nothing lost. I needn’t have worried about that. The weight loss is crazy town. 

I’m down 27 pounds in a week and a half. So minus that 13 pounds of fluid, that’s still 14 in just over one week. I’m losing about 3 pounds per day. 

3 pounds per day. 

Nuts. Totally unfathomable. I jokingly told my sister that I would reach my goal weight in roughly a month and a half. (I’m pretty sure it will slow down. Haha)

Anyway, I’ve not thrown up even one time. No pain, till tonight, since last Thursday. Very tired. I can handle tired. 

Now, tonight, I had my first outing. We went to Walmart got some groceries. It’s hard to imagine being on a liquid diet if you’ve never been on one. It’s full liquids, which is better than clear liquids. 

My thoughts before being on this diet were to get a case of cream of chicken and a case of tomato soup, and I’m good to go. The only problem with that is that I have zero appetite, and those aren’t worth it. They were at first, but after a few days, it wasn’t anymore. I’ll pass. 

I’ve been living on these… 

So, that’s my biggest tip to anyone considering bariatric surgery. 

Get. Some. 

Go to Sam’s. Buy some cases. Drink them. You got your fluid and your protein. Get it done. Everything else is just for fun. 

And get some interesting soups that are either already a blended soup, or get some soups that sound reasonably good after a spin in the blender. 

The quantities I’m able to eat are increasing, I suppose due to swelling decreasing in my actual organs. 

Basically, it’s like feeding a newborn. You feed a few ounces. Burp. Feed a few more and don’t get in a hurry. Then see if it stays down or causes an upset stomach.

I feel very lucky. I feel like other people have had it much worse. I’m not tempted to eat things I shouldn’t have, because I’m not tempted to eat. I did ask my husband for a piece of sausage last night just to taste meat. He refused. It was mean. I just wanted something with texture and flavor. It was time to get groceries. Hehe

I learned that riding in the car is kind of painful when your organs have been rearranged. It was a really weird feeling. I’m still hurting a little bit, and I’m in no hurry to get in a car again any time soon. It was weird to hurt again after no pain for five days. I’m hoping not to have to take pain meds, but we’ll see. 

I haven’t felt much like writing, but I feel like this time in my recovery is really important to chronicle, not just for my memories but for others who want to know what recovery is actually like. 

It’s been a great recovery. Truly awesome. 

I’ve heard the fatigue is about a month or six weeks, so I’ll just ride that out.

In the meantime, bottoms up! 

Monday, June 26

I'm posting this after date for obvious reasons. It was my surgery date. I'm going to try to recall what I remember from that date for others who may want to know what to expect. 

My report time was 5:30am. We left the house at 3:45am. It was a somber trip, and we both cried a little on the way. When we pulled into the hospital drive, I panicked. I've never been as scared as I think I was about this surgery. Being my first surgery, and the fact that I was turned away for IVF based on how dangerous anesthesia would be for me, I think I felt like I was taking the ultimate gamble with my life, and I was worried that I would not win. My fear was real and reached to the core of who I was. I knew I might not wake up from this. I knew  that I might be leaving a mess for others to clean up. So fear. Big fear. 

We went and checked in at the desk. I'd already come in and done my paperwork and made my deposit payment, so I was told to go straight to the surgery waiting room. I got my bracelet that would know my name and birthday if I didn't and had a barcode that would give anyone who scanned it my info. 

We waited for a very short time and watched my patient number on a tv screen that would tell my family what part of the process I was in. My parents were on their way but not there yet. My sister was resting after being up with me all night because I was afraid to sleep. (Honestly, I kept thinking that if I died, I didn't want to spend my last hours sleeping. I wanted it to count, even if it was just spending time with her.) 

They called my name and I went back to the prep area. They weighed me, and I gave a urine sample. I took off all my clothes and put on their gown and slipper socks. I walked back to the stretcher and laid down while they hooked up an IV in my right arm. My husband was visibly shaken. He was pacing and sweating and clearly as scared as I was. He was making me nervous, and I felt like I clung to whoever came in, even though they were strangers. They were calm. I needed calm. I couldn't fault him for being scared. He heard exactly what I heard in that fertility clinic. "High risk", "too dangerous", etc, regarding the anesthesia. 

Finally, my parents got there, and there was my mama. Smiling and calm. The hand that held mine in childhood illness and fear. The mother that taught me that "God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) And taught me to say that scripture over and over to myself when I was afraid, so I would know where fear comes from. Hers was the hand I wanted to hold. The one that I associated with comfort and all the things a mother's hands are. Doorway Man came back and forth nervously, but mama prayed and held my hand the way she did when I was a child, screaming in terror from a bad dream. 

When it was time to go to the OR, and I'd met the nurses and anesthesiologists and my surgeon and assistant surgeon, and they had everything ready to go, they wheeled me back. I don't believe I was there but a few minutes before the next thing I knew, I was waking up.

I couldn't breathe. I was gasping for air. I couldn't make my lungs work. People were talking to me, shuffling around me. I believe they had just pulled out my breathing tube. I was alive. It was over, someone said. It went well. It was all over. My lungs still hurt so bad, and…. Ouch. My belly hurt. I had surgery. And it was over. 

Then things calmed down. I was talking to a blonde headed nurse. I told her I hurt, and she moved quickly to give me meds. She asked if I was nauseated. Yes. Again, fast. She was on it. Seemed like she was always putting something in my IV. People would come near me, she would speak, and they would move. She's in charge, and I'm her only job. I don't know who she was, but she was called to do this. When she left even for a moment, she had someone else ready to watch me, as if I was her mother or daughter or sister. She spoke with authority  and I had the feeling that people do what she says, possibly even fear her. When she got back, her eyes never left me. Her focus was absolutely true. I knew I was safe with her, and she would do whatever was necessary to help me. She was what every nurse should be. 

It's stuffy in recovery. I still am struggling to breathe. Then things get easier.

Things became consistent and peaceful, and my husband came back. I could see the stress and worry on his face. He smiled, and I knew that he was relieved. I didn't look like I was dying, even if I looked like I'd had a rough day. 

Then my mother came. And she had the look that all mamas have when they have been greatly worried and the storm is over. She held my hand for a little while, and this time was different. This time it was a prayer of thankfulness. Not just that the storm was over today, but that the fear that she's had for a long time of outliving me because of obesity may soon be gone as well. I saw it in that moment. I saw thankfulness for the possibility that I might be saved from early death. She told me my dad was in the waiting room, and that she wasn't gonna send him back. His nerves are shot, and she wasn't sure he could handle seeing me hurt. 

My dad. So tenderhearted. So aware of what he sees as weakness, but those that know him see as strength. That's okay. I know he loves me. I love him, too.

A little bit later, the blond headed nurse, is laughing with another. She's not quite so serious now. She's still watching, and still someone others respect, but she's morphed back into Clark Kent, a normal person. Laid back. Laughing. Smiling. 

She calls for transport to radiology. They come get me. The room is cold, not stuffy and heavy air like the recovery room. It's loud. The people are moving me as if I'm an office chair. I tell them I'm in pain and just had surgery, like they didn't know. Everyone is moving fast, and I'm overwhelmed. Then there's one guy that talks to me. He knows I'm a person, so he's talking to me. The others leave. He tells me to drink slowly. It tastes bitter. It feels weird. I taste vomit, I think. No, that's the aftertaste. My tongue is dry. My throat is dry. My lips are dry. My arms are immobile from the IVs. I have two now. 

He tells me my bed is going to blow up around me. A younger blond says it's to transfer me from the bed to the Xray. It blows up. They count and transfer me. My feet are so cold. The transfer didn't hurt. Good. 

The guy comes up to me and pats my arm, the one that knew I was a person who was hurting and scared. He told me he was going to move the table and it was going to feel like I was standing up. I tell him I can't stand up. He says I won't fall. I believe him. He says it might hurt, but it will be fast. I also believe that. 

I go up. I'm dizzy. He pats my arm and tells me I won't fall. I believe him again. It hurts. He walks away and comes back. He's smiling. I am swallowing normally. The fluid went down where it was supposed to go. He pats my arm, and lays me back down. The bed blows up. They transfer me back. Several people come in. I think it was the ones from before. I hurt. I'm nauseated. My mouth is dry. My throat is dry. My lips hurt. 

This time the trip is not so rough. But I am hurting from standing up. 

They take me to my room. I see my husband and my sister. They both look relieved. 

I'm so thirsty, I have to tell myself my IV won't let me die of thirst. The nurses give me a drink and tell me I can't drink but the tiniest speck of liquid. Slower. Slower. Slower than that. 

They put more morphine in my arm. More nausea meds. I'm drowsy. I'm glad it's over. 

Sleep comes again. 

June 18, 2017

Yesterday, I woke up with swelling and redness in my throat and the feeling that I was swallowing sandpaper. My first thought was that I was coming down with strep and how this could affect my surgery in just over a week. I called and talked with my surgeon’s answering service, and they advised me to go to a walk in clinic and call the office on Monday with an update. 

So I called around to different walk in clinics to see which ones administer antibiotic shots, because my friend who is a nurse practitioner said that would be the fastest acting option for getting well before my surgery. 

I drove 30 minutes to the clinic, and the strep test was negative. They think I’m just having a bad allergy attack. So hopefully, we won’t have to reschedule my surgery. 

I’m so ready to get past this surgery, so that I can get on with my life.