Monday, June 27, 2011

OAC Action Alert

If you read this blog I'm guessing you or someone you love is affected by obesity. The Obesity Action Coalition is asking for our help in championing for them, for us. I just joined for $20 for a year so why don't you join?

Please urge your legislators to sign the Towns letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Obesity Action Coalition has drafted a sample letter and a way to do this with just a few clicks.

United States Representative Ed Towns (D-NY) has asked his colleagues in the House of Representatives to join him in sending a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging her to "better standardize access to obesity treatment services through HHS establishing a comprehensive definition of "preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management" services within the essential health benefits package under the new health care reform law to include the full continuum of medically necessary interventions, including behavioral, nutritional, pharmaceutical, psychosocial and surgical, to treat those affected by obesity."

So much is said in the news about prevention of obesity which is awesome and needed but rarely is treatment of obesity mentioned even though 34% of Americans are currently obese and 1 out of every 8 deaths in America is caused by an illness directly related to obesity. This could help change those numbers and ensure live saving treatments for those we love. Please use this link to send a letter in support.

P.S. Are you a member of the Obesity Action Coalition yet? Here's how you can join. The OAC is a national non profit organization dedicated to giving a voice to those affected by obesity through education, support & advocacy.

Trying to get into a routine

I am learning so much on my journey. The last few days have been interesting as I've woke up the last 2 days weak and dizzy and feeling like I am going to pass out. I figured I wasn't getting in enough liquid or protein so I increased that and I felt a little bit better today. I see my surgeon on Wednesday but I did decide to go ahead and call their office and talked with my surgeons nurse. She said I should now increase my liquids to get in as much as I can at least 60 ounces and I don't need to have a minimum per hour (as long as I don't get naseous). I also need to make sure one of my meals is a protein shake. So now I really have to be diligent and make sure I am continuosly drinking (still sipping because I can't take in a lot of water at a time). I am so happy I decided to take a 3rd week off work because honestly this routine is much harder than I thought. I still don't have it down. I am trying to prepare to go back to work next week and will hopefully find something to make it easier on myself so I don't get caught up in working and forget to take my sips.
This truly is like starting over but the difference is I have preprogrammed actions already, if only I had a delete button. I've had some interesting thoughts which I've read and are completely normal. Like "what did I do to myself". I don't regret the surgery at all but just sort of like wow this is a permanent change and it is a huge change. It is hard and I didn't think it was going to be easy by any means but it is much harder than I suspected. So I guess things aren't as I thought. I thought I'd have more pain and take longer to recover physically and that didn't turn out to be true. I didn't think the drinking would be easy but I thought I had a good system but that turned out to be false. So what do I know? I do know I need to listen to my body. I do know I need to increase water and protein so I don't get dehyrated. That is all I know at this point.

Free Samples of QUEST Low Carb Protein Bars

Get 2 Free Samples of QUEST Low Carb Protein Bars

Go to QUEST's Facebook Page
Click the FREE SAMPLE link.
You must LIKE the page and fill out the form (enter my name under "referred by") and they will mail you 2 free samples of the original flavors (FYI: no sugar or sugar alcohols)

They are drier bars/no coating so they hold up well tossed around in purses and carry-on bags when traveling.

Please note I have not tried these myself so there are no guarantees but it is free so worth a try (no shipping charges). If they run out of samples today, try again tomorrow. I heard that they are limiting how many are given out each day.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The good and the bad

I woke up yesterday (Monday) feeling great. The real soreness was gone and I just felt good. I was excited that today I would get to have food. When I woke up this morning I had eggs on the brain (one of the 3 foods I can have). I was so excited but yet oddly enough I was scared to eat. I think the fears were just from having only fluids for the last 7 days and just being unsure.

So I will go with the bad first. P.S. Some of you may want to bypass this part because it is pretty gross and TMI (too much information) for some people. This morning I took my egg (2 ounces) and covered them with a little salt and pepper and started eating. Oh my they tasted heavenly. I was feeling so good and woke up today feeling even better prepared to be able to eat and sip for the day. It took about 45 minutes to eat the 2 ounces of eggs because I wanted to make sure I was chewing well enough and took time to eat them. Well about 20 minutes later I got nauseous, then I was getting chills, then I was sweating, then my heart was racing, then I just felt like I was going to die and then next thing you know I threw up the eggs. It hurt so much! I thought I was all better but then shortly thereafter I felt nauseous and felt that way for about 4 hours. I realized that I couldn’t lay back at all I had to sit straight up or sit slightly forward in order to feel less nauseous. About 4 hours later I got up got a bowl, sat at the dining room table and again got the chills, sweats, heart racing and the rest of them came up. I was freaked because I had been drinking fruit punch crystal light so when it came up it was red and at first I thought it was blood until I realized what it really was. It took about 2 hours until I felt ok again. I decided to try yogurt thinking it may settle better and it definitely has. It is unflavored Fage Greek Yogurt and I added one pump of sugar-free strawberry torani syrup and it was yummy! I tried only a few bites at first to make sure it was going to settle ok and it actually made me feel better. So I have just under 2 ounces right now sitting next to me that I am slowly eating. So far so good. We have lots of different flavors of the sugar free torani syrup so I will be trying them out.

Alright I leave the good news for last. The good news is the numbers. I don’t like to always focus on the numbers but they are a way to measure my progress right now and the numbers are shocking. So I got weighed in on Monday and then again the morning of surgery and was down 2 pounds. I stepped on the scale Saturday and had gained a pound. I knew it would happen from talking and reading from others but was still disappointed. It is from your body not sure what is going on and holding on to it plus the swelling as well. So I stepped on the scale yesterday and had lost 13 pounds! Then I stepped on the scale today and lost an additional 4 pounds since yesterday. So that is a total of 19 pounds lost since the day before surgery. So right now I am at a total of 96 pounds lost. I can’t believe I’m already so close to 100 pounds of weight loss. That is such a good start. I still have a long ways to go but I am not trying to focus on the big picture just focusing on 10 pounds at a time. I know this tool I have will definitely help me get to my goal.  I’m excited.

I’ve been doing some soul searching and just trying to figure out this whole thing for awhile now. So far one of the greatest rewards of my transformation is a deeper understanding of me. This goes from post-op until now. When the false ideas of addiction are stripped away, we’re left with something very honest and real. It is definitely like meeting someone again, for the first time. I have experienced this quite a bit actually in the last year or so. Especially in the last week when I no longer had food as an option to go to. I wasn’t hungry and had no desire for food but there were times where I started feeling a certain emotion and I wanted food. It was definitely the head hunger as it is called. Right now I am learning there is my head and my body which are somewhat separate at times and I need to listen to my body more often than I listen to my head. My head is what really gets me in trouble whereas my body is telling me how it feels and what to do. Especially with this surgery I will need to pay very close attention to my body to signal when it is full. When I was eating the eggs this morning my head was thinking it wasn’t enough food (only 2 ounces doesn’t seem like enough when you visually look at it and your brain processes it) but honestly my body was signaling something quite different and probably should have stopped at 1 ounce. It is all a learning process. Unfortunately my first “meal” since surgery wasn’t a pleasant one but fortunately I did learn that I need to listen to my body more often.

This part of my journey as just begun so I know there are many things I will need to learn. I also know that there may be other foods that don’t agree with me and I just have to take it in stride and put it on the list of foods I can’t have or at least try again in maybe a year. Right now it is so early out that I am not totally giving up on eggs but you definitely won’t catch me eating them any time soon. I do know my head is in the right spot which is part of the battle the other part is to listen to my body.

Thank you for your support it is appreciated!


Saturday, June 18, 2011


So I made it to the losers bench. I survived my surgery. I was able to go home yesterday (Friday) and today I am feeling sore but it is bearable pain. Last night I must have moved wrong because I was in pain and hubby had to get up and get my pain medication. Otherwise I haven’t taken any pain medication today.

It is so amazing all the things that have changed already. I have no desire to eat food. It is really odd. River made some ground turkey Mexican style and the smell of it made me nauseous. This used to be one of my favorite foods. My other favorite is fruit punch flavored crystal light. I had some when I got home and it tasted different. I like it but it isn’t as good to me as it was prior to my surgery. It is so weird that your taste buds do change.

So right now I am trying to get in 30 ounces of fluid (water, crystal light, broth) plus 5 ounces of my protein shake. It doesn’t seem like a whole lot but really it is so hard to get in that fluid. I’m getting in 3 ounces a hour but then don’t get anything when I take my naps so it sort of puts me back. I’m not supposed to have any more than 3 ounces per hour. I am literally using one of those 1 ounce medicine cups to measure and then have a piece of paper to chart how much I’m drinking per hour. As of right now I’ve had 28 ounces of liquid I’m almost at my goal. J I also have to fit in a chewable multi-vitamin (twice a day) plus an anti-acid pill daily.

On Tuesday I move on to what is called “slider foods” which are foods that you really don’t have to chew a whole lot and just slide right down. So I will get 3 meals a day and will only get 2 ounces of yogurt, eggs (1/2 egg either hard boiled or scrambled) or cottage cheese. Luckily I really do love all 3 of those items so I will probably have eggs for breakfast and then coordinate cottage cheese and yogurt for lunch and dinner. On Monday I will be making an appointment to see my surgeon which I will see the following week. I will also continue to sip 3 ounces of fluids the other hours.

As far as the pain goes as I mentioned it is bearable. When I woke up from the anesthesia I was in a lot of pain. But it turns out it was not only surgery pain but I had the triple whammy. I also had really bad cramps and gas. Ugghhhh it hurt. The gas comes and goes. Right now I am fine but when I sip I guess I get some air bubbles and seem to cause a slight disturbance. At least I’m able to pass the gas now. The day of surgery I wasn’t able to at all and the day after I was passing by burping a lot. Oh I had the hiccups a few times too and that definitely hurt! I’ve been taking my walks but I am so weak and exhausted that I feel like I am sleeping a lot. I just listen to my body and do whatever it says. If it is tired then it must need sleep to heal so I take naps. Lots of little naps and a few big naps. J

Visitors are welcomed I just ask you let me know when you are going to be here so I can be sure I am not asleep when you show up. J If you don’t have my address just email me.

I want to thank you for your emails, text messages, facebook messages, prayers and positive vibes. They really brought a smile to my face to see all of the love and support I had after surgery. It means so much to me. It is so hard to believe I am now post-op. I really did it. I really did something for myself without letting fear rule. I have goose bumps right now as this is such a huge step for me. Not to mention I wasn’t even nervous. Day of surgery I was totally calm. I’m convinced this is something that God wanted as a part of my journey. He knows best. I am so grateful for the prayers as well as I know God was hugging me during my surgery. It was a great experience considering. Plus I had wonderful nurses at the hospital. Although they were constantly checking on me I know they were doing their job. I even got a card from them when I left the hospital, it was a nice touch.

Alright, I need to go sip and may even go to bed early. But just wanted to send out this as I said I would. All is well. Let the new journey begin…

P.S. Happy Father’s Day to all you Dad’s!


Monday, June 13, 2011

The day has arrived...less than 24 hours from now!

Wow, it is hard to believe that the day I’ve been researching for the last 3 years is almost here. In fact in less than 24 hours I will be in surgery and in fact in less than 24 hours I should be done with surgery. I went to the hospital today and my surgery is scheduled for 7:30am tomorrow which means I have to be at the hospital at 5:00am. No fun for a girl who is not a morning person but honestly I was hoping for the very first appointment for many reasons. The main reason is because thinking about it all day would just kill me mentally. Of course it doesn’t hurt that my surgeon will be nice and fresh and ready to go. Let’s hope he gets a good night sleep and that he is a morning person. J

This is really odd for me but I’m not all that nervous. I am definitely not a mess like I thought I would be. I have been praying and think God has finally given me the sign. I have asked for a sign this entire process whether this surgery is something I should do or not. Well I have this gut feeling that God took away the fear from me as a sign so that I would go through with it. I mean I know myself and this is not normal for me to be ok to go into a big surgery tomorrow. I’m actually very excited and so happy that I am not a total and complete mess. It feels like this is my path I am supposed to take and boy is it a good feeling. (I just got goose bumps thinking about it).

I am feeling really good. A little hungry because I can’t eat today… just liquids and I have to have 120 ounces of liquids. I’ve had about 40 ounces so far. I had some vegetable broth which was delicious and will probably be having some jello soon. Of course lots of water as well which I’ve been drinking. I also have to practice on the incentive spirometer 10 times every hour. I’ve already improved already and can tell my lungs are adapting and getting stronger.

I am going to cut this short because I still need to pack for my 4 day stay at the hospital as well as getting some other things done here around the house. Plus I am going to have to go to bed early as I will need to be up around 3am!

All prayers and positive vibes are welcomed. Not sure if I will be nervous tomorrow or not but everything is appreciated. Thank you all for coming along with me on this incredible journey. I will post once I am home from the hospital and feeling better.

Hugs to one and all.