Monday, May 30, 2011

Update on my surgery

Dear Friends and Family,

As you know my surgery is in 2 weeks (June 14th). I am getting very scared but also very excited at getting the surgery part done and over with and starting my new life. This is what us fellow weight loss surgery people call our surgiversary or our re-birthday. A 2nd chance in order to live and be healthy. As with any surgery it is scary. I’ve been through anesthesia 3 times before but this time seems scarier.  I suppose because the previous 3 times I didn’t have time to think about it. In any event I am thinking positive and I know I will get through it just fine. I am also thinking positively about having an easy experience as many people have.

I am struggling with getting well. That is to say as I posted on my blog the other day (not all of you are subscribed to it) I started to get a sore throat Thursday and by Saturday morning when I woke up I had kicked it out of my system. I was feeling great that my body was strong and able to kick it out without actually getting sick (sore throat is always a precursor to a cold or something else for me usually). In the past it was inevitable I was going to get sick once I got a sore throat but not this time. Then I woke up this morning and my throat was sore and laughing at me(well not literally). Sore throat and lots of dryness and ickyness (yes, I make up words). So back to kick this in the butt again so wish me luck. Lots of rest today. Tried going to sleep earlier but can’t sleep.

In any event I wanted to let you all know that I am going to request no visitors at the hospital (with exception to people I’ve already talked to about coming to visit me –which is immediate family). The reason I am requesting this is mainly for your benefit. I am going to be so busy in the hospital (from what I hear) between having to constantly “sip” and walking and then taking some classes (I believe a exercise class) there is not going to be much time for visitors. I rather have visitors come to my house where I am in my own environment and hopefully feeling better. Then I can actually take time to visit as well. Plus I will need the support once I am home recovering. Either I will or I will have my husband update everyone. I’m thinking the best place is facebook for an update. It is just too time consuming to put everyone in an email from my phone (which is will be using). So if you aren’t already a friend on facebook click on the facebook logo facebook.bmp  or ( to add me as a friend.  Of course family and friends can always call my husband or my Mom. If you don’t have their phone numbers please email me and I will give you their phone numbers. My husband text messages my Mom doesn’t (FYI). They will both be waiting at the hospital. Again there will be no complications but I know how it is just waiting to hear. Please let me know when I’m ok too. J

I will be at the hospital 3-4 days approximately. So this means I will be home by Friday is my hope. The sooner I can be at home the happier I will be (nothing like sleeping in hospital rooms and hospital beds, yuck). My surgery will be at Scripps Mercy Hospital which is in Hillcrest area for you locals that know the area. I don’t have a time and am told I won’t know until my pre-op appointment which is the day before at 11:00.

I am so ready for this and right now these 2 weeks is more like torture just waiting for it to come. UGGGHHH!!!! But I could use all the prayers, positive vibes, good juju, whatever it is you have to send my way. Not only for the day of surgery but these next two weeks. I’m already getting nervous which means butterflies in my stomach and feeling nauseous. When I get nervous I hold it in my stomach. So help me release that stomach jitters!

THANK YOU for your support. Your love. Your prayers. Everything that you have given me while on my journey. It’s been quite a journey. Many of you have been along since you watched me lose 115 pounds all the way to my highest point where I weighed 579 pounds. Yes, I haven’t posted that weight EVER. I’ve been ashamed of it. How did I gain back almost 200 pounds after losing 115? It happens. But this is it. My body can no longer hold that weight. It is finally feeling stronger because as of Thursday I am out of the 500’s! Woo hoo! I am down to 499 as of Thursday. I haven’t been able to properly celebrate due to my shame. But I have moved on from my shame and celebrate all victories no matter what. I am trying not to compare myself, a work in progress. My surgeon wanted me under 500 so I made it. Now feels like the best time to give the numbers. It is a huge reflection of where I have been and gone. Can you believe I have lost 80 pounds in the last year and am just back to where I started when I did medifast as my tool for the last time. It has been so much hard work and determination to get down only to my highest weight 5 years ago (or so). I must say that I have learned a lot and what is a journey without learning some things. I do know things happen for a reason and this is the path I had to take to realize I am not invincible. I can’t continue to weigh as much as I did and do the things many take for granted such as walking. I do not take walking for granted any longer because it was almost taken from me. Even now I can’t walk long distances but I can feel I am getting a lot stronger mainly due to water aerobics. Life is precious that is for sure.

I guess I had more on my mind than I thought. That is why I love doing blogs/emails. Things come out when they are meant to come out. Timing is everything. With that said I must end it at some point. Plus I need to get myself to sleep and wake up for a “Monday + Tuesday” at work tomorrow.

You are not taken for granted. I am grateful for YOU!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beating the sickness, 3D video of Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass Surgery

So for the first time in my life I was able to beat getting sick. It started Thursday around 11:00am with a sore throat. It got progressively worse throughout the day. I found some airborne in my drawer and took some. Then my boss swears by cold-eze so I sucked on those. I went to my water aerobics work out and worked myself out really hard. After the workout my husband went to the store and got me some throat lozenges some berry flavored airborne (yummy) and some other stuff I didn't end up using. I took more airborne for dinner along with my vitamins. I went to bed at a reasonable time and got some sleep. I woke up at 2:00am and my throat was hurting very bad and I had that it got the best of me. Then when I woke up Friday to get ready for work my throat hurt but not as bad. I went to work and took airborne 3 times (breakfast, lunch and dinner). I continued with the cold-eze as well as cleaning my desk with Lysol wipes. I "cheated" and had a little bit of chicken noodle soup in addition to my protein shake for lunch but only ate the broth and chicken and left the noodles in the bowl. I didn't eat 1 noodle (proud of myself). I told my husband to let me sleep in on Saturday morning because I know I needed the sleep to beat this. I woke up this morning around 11 with no sore throat and feeling perfectly fine! As a precaution I'm still doing my airborne 3 times today and making sure I get some rest (just took a 3 hour nap). I can tell my body is resilient now between doing my workouts, eating healthy, and taking my vitamins. That is what they wanted for surgery they want me to be able to beat infections and such and I am that more confident about this. I am still in absolute shock that I only have 2 weeks and 3 days. It is coming really fast and wow am I getting nervous. But at the same token I am getting VERY excited. A co-worker of mine who had the surgery 9 years ago, came in my office the other day and we were talking about the thing he looked forward to and I started thinking about the things I look forward to. We had a lot of similar things in our list and he said he can do most of the thing she looked forward to.

Additionally, I weighed myself yesterday and I am where my surgeon wants me to be (and I'm out of the 500's into the 400's). I did weigh naked BUT makes me feel better knowing I still have 2 weeks to lose a few more pounds. Trust me when I go step on that scale I am going to wear very light clothes!

So I've meant to upload this video I found on youtube that really gives you an idea of what is involved with the surgery as far as the re-routing goes. It is not graphic and is a 3D video of what is going to happen on June 14th for me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"The Awakening"

This is the best thing I’ve read in a  long time and really explains what I am going through and what some of you are going through! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I am feeling anxious (aka scared and excited) about my upcoming surgery. J
"The Awakening"
A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out… ENOUGH! Enough fighting, crying, blaming, and struggling to hold on. Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears, and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change. Or, for happiness, safety, and security to appear over the next horizon as if by magic.

You realize that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you. And, in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect, and that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are, and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself, and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

Your stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you, or didn’t do for you. You learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don’t always say what they mean, or mean what they say. That not everyone will always be there for you, and everything isn’t always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own. You learn to take care of yourself, and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers. You begin to accept people as they are. To overlook their shortcomings and human frailties, and in the process peace and contentment are born of forgiveness.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing. You begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.

You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing. You stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for you next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything. It’s not your job to save the world, and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are, not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO.

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over, and ignoring your needs.

You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drinking more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty, so you take more time to rest. You learn that just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So, you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for. That wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance. You learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into, and through your fears because you know that whatever may happen, you can handle it. You learn that to give in to fear is to give away your right to live life on your own terms.

You learn to fight for your life. Not to squander it by living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn’t always fair. You don’t always get what you think you deserve. That sometimes, bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. You learn not to always take it personally.

You learn that nobody’s punishing you, and everything isn’t always somebody’s fault. It’s just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong, and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy, and resentment must be understood and redirected. If not, they will suffocate the life out of you. They will poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to be thankful, and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted. The things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself. You make yourself a promise to never betray yourself. To never ever settle for less than your heart’s desire.

You make it a point to keep smiling. To keep trusting. To stay open to every wonderful possibility.

You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand. You take a deep breath. You begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
--Author Unknown

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Am I really changing?

So today was a good day. The first thing was I worked out for 3 hours. Yes, that is three hours straight in the pool. That is an exhausting workout. The first hour was water yoga which is very good for balance, breathing, stretching and connect the mind, breath and the soul. I love it. Then the next 2 hours was water aerobics. I’d say I did about 90 minutes of cardio and about 30 minutes of weights and minor cardio. What I did do is after the workout I sat on a noodle and then moved my legs like I was riding a bike. I did that about 6 times across the pool. I must say my knee feels amazing right now. I don’t have any pain in it (knock on wood). I can feel some soreness but I can tell I really loosened it up which I think is what I really need. So I will definitely be doing that every time I get in the water.

So I decided to work out so much in order to burn some calories I knew I was going to eat. I used today as my “last supper”. The day where I ate things I won’t be able to eat ever again. Lunch was Del Taco. It used to be one of my favorites and since we don’t have one nearby we rarely eat there. I ordered some of my favorite food and realized nothing tasted good, except their French fries. I remember how I used to just love their food. I ate it waiting for me to feel that “oh this is so good and comforting” but I never got to that point. The French fries were the only exception and I wasn’t THAT in love with them. Then I went to cinnabon. Yes that is my weakness of all weaknesses. Again I don’t live near one so I don’t have them often (thank goodness) but I can say it was something that I did cherish all the way to the very last bite. Then I felt sick. I realized that my body is not used to eating this way anymore and I got physically sick from eating that crap. Just like I will after my surgery. It is definitely a deterrent and not something I want to experience ever again.

It made me feel good that my mind and even my stomach have changed. It no longer recognizes “junk” food as good for me and even gives me physical feedback saying that my body doesn’t like the decision I made. It definitely makes me feel more confident in my decision with the gastric bypass surgery.

Only 4 more weeks and I am getting so anxious. I almost wish I could just get it done and over with because I am so anxious with anticipation. But alas I know it will be here before know it.

I am healthy Shanda!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Excited, scared, anxious!

I didn't think it was possible to feel as many different emotions as I am right now. To feel so many different emotions at once can be a bit overwhelming. There are moments where I will just get scared or just get excited but usually I'm feeling many different things at the same time. I know no one died from feeling but it is new to me. I'm trying hard as I can from just diving into my old habits of eating to help me through the emotions. Instead I am just dealing with them and boy it is hard. Now... it is only hard because it is new to me. I'm sure with time it will get easier. I'm trying to keep my head in a positive place. I know if I let it I can totally drive myself nuts and end up in a mental ward. I know I could scare myself out of having the surgery. But I am thinking about the positive outcome, envisioning my new life and I am keeping myself centered. Also, a lot of meditation helps as well. Something new I am doing to keep me centered and also gives me a chance to search within my soul and then do some praying as well. All good stuff.

I'm working on the balance thing as well. I feel as if things are a little crazy right now. I feel so busy, busier than my usual busy. I know it is probably a blessing as I'm sure if I wasn't busy I would drive myself crazy. So I guess it is good. I just need to find a good balance. I love my water aerobics but they take a lot out of me. Not only energy but time. It is time consuming. From the time I leave work until I get home from the gym it is about 3 hours which is a lot of time! I'm trying to shorten that time, if possible. Again it is just finding that balance. It feels good and I do need the exercise so I am not going to stop doing it but just gotta figure other things out. Sometimes work does just get in the way. Who knows maybe I will become independently wealthy and be able to help others and be a personal trainer. Me? Hmmm... kind of a wild dream but I do know many people that have become something they never dreamed possible. So I don't say never... you know the saying never say never.

Alrighty, I needed to ramble. I have workouts Tuesday - Thursday so probably won't be around again until after that. Hugs to you all!