Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Upper GI test was today

I was very surprised that my Upper GI was in radiology, today.  I'm used to the kind where they put a camera down your throat.  I was actually happy that they use barium and take X-rays, instead!  The staff was exceptional!  They went above and beyond their duties, to make me feel comfortable.  First, I informed them that I would not be able to stand for the first half of the procedure.  They were going to put me up on the table and tilt it at a 45 degree angle.  I asked if it would support me, as they put a foot piece on the bottom.  They decided it wouldn't, so one of the techs asked the doctor about putting me on a different table, where the X-ray machine could rotate around me, all the while supporting me.  I had to wait an extra half-hour, but it was worth it!  It was funny, as the one tech asked if I preferred to have the barium through a straw or a syringe.  As I was lying on the table, I knew it would be difficult for me to drink through a straw and asked for the syringe!  The thing was huge!  It was the size of a tube of caulk and I had to have four of them!  LOL!  Anyway, they did a great job and I even sent off an email to the head of Radiology to let them know they did, too!  The results were fine, my stomach is normal and where it should be.  There's a couple of small hiatal hernias, though, which I knew of one.  Not sure if the surgeon will feel it's necessary to fix them, but he just might as he said he would originally.  My friend suggested we use the valet parking at the hospital for only $3, so we did.  It was great!  I didn't have to walk a million miles with my bad knees and bad back through the parking garage to the radiology department.  Hubby even pushed me in a wheel chair, rather than me using my walker.  The only thing that bothered me, was having to sit in my gown and robe in the waiting area, with guys in there!  It was just a few, that were waiting for their mates, but it was weird considering there were changing rooms in there, too!  They had a men's room, so I don't know why.  Only good thing about it, was hubby was able to help me get undressed and dressed, and keep me company, as we got there an hour early!  Well, enough rambling for now.  At least it's over and I can say I survived it!  LOL!

Today's MFP Stats

Made a few bad choices, but I was below my calorie limit!

Down four pounds!

32 more to go!

Monday, October 29, 2012

MFP Stats 10-29-2012

So, it would be covered if...

...for some reason the surgeon needed to open me up.  I just talked to one of his nurses and she said it would be a rare instance that it would happen, though.  Now just to pray that it'll still be a covered procedure after the new year. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

One more thing.

From what I've read, Medicare will only cover the Sleeve Gastrectomy if it's done laproscopically.  So, if he has to open me up, they may not pay for it.  I hope this isn't true and that he doesn't have to open me up.  He made it sound like there was a possibility.  I'm going to have to call tomorrow and make sure.  I have to call and correct my insurance information, anyway.

No more PB2 for me! :-(

Sad, because it tastes so good.  It just doesn't agree with me, though.

Besides my tummy hurting from that, I've been blah.  No motivation for anything.  I see my Psychiatrist on Wednesday, so I'm going to ask her about upping my Paxil back to 40 mg.  Ever since she lowered it, I've noticed my mood and motivation lowered.

Not much to say.  Tuesday is my upper GI.  Wish me luck!

Today's MFP Stats

Went over a bit and made a few bad choices, but I'm okay with it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Fitness Pal Stats

If you can stomach it, this is the VGS procedure

Start of my weight loss board

I wanted to start one of these, but didn't have the motivation to.  Until my friend, Deb, sent me a chart on what conditions are improved with weight loss.  Thanks, Deb!  Then I added my before pic and the Bariatric Center's business card.  I'll probably add more as I find things or just progress pics.  Who knows.

Weird dream

Had a dream that I was in surgery, but wasn't fully under.  I could feel them putting the ports in for laproscopic surgery.  Right as I bent over in pain in the dream, I woke up having to use the bathroom.  :-/


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Now to wait...

Okay, maybe not so much waiting, as I'll be working on losing weight.  It just feels like I've lost some of my excitement about this surgery.  Maybe it's because it's now going to be a sleeve gastrectomy rather than the gastric bypass?!?  Maybe it's because I was so frustrated after trying to make ALL of my needed appointments in one day?!?  I think it's a bit of both.  I was really counting on having the gastric bypass (roux-en-y).  It just seems like there is more weight loss with it, even though they say the weight loss is comparable with the sleeve.  The nurse did say I just have to take advantage of the 12 - 18 month window of opportunity of weight loss because after that it's just dieting, basically.  I know no matter what surgery that I have, it will not be an easy journey!  I will have to work my way through it!  I don't know.

Then, it took forever for me to be able to schedule my upper GI and my sleep study, because the orders weren't done.  So, I had to wait for the surgeon to get done with a surgery, for them to find out where my chart was and submit the orders.  Finally got that done and it took forever to get a hold of the sleep study lab.  Ugh!  The doctor thinks I have sleep apnea, because I scored an 11 on some form they gave us.  Anything above a ten, results in an automatic sleep study.  But the sleep lab had it marked down for CPAP, as if I had one or needed one.  I sure hope I don't, but if I do I hope I get it soon, because I have to use it for thirty days before I can have my surgery.  My sleep study is November 10th, so at least it's sooner than later!  *sigh*

At least all of my appointments are scheduled.  I even scheduled a fourth month with my PCP for my medically supervised weight loss, just in case!  I sure hope that I can cancel that appointment, though!  ;-)

PB2 and more

So, I tried the chocolate PB2 in a cup of milk.  Added only the one serving of 2 Tablespoons.  It didn't taste bad.  Much better than plain soy milk, that's for sure!  If you can't find it, locally, it's cheaper on Amazon.com than it is on the PB2 website! 

Trying to learn more about the VSG and other's experience with it.  I found a few YouTubers who have had it done.  Will have to watch their videos, as I was too busy to last night.  Now I'm not tired and hubby is snoring away, so it's the perfect time to watch vlogs.

I did get a chance to make an appointment with the dietician from the bariatric center.  I won't see her until December 4th, though.  Still have more appointments to make, too!  I'm procrastinating, but I really do have to wait until hubby wakes up to see when I can make the others because he drives.


"Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is an irreversible restrictive weight-loss procedure where the majority of the stomach (75%-85%) is removed following the major curve. The new stomach is about the size of a small banana."


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Surgeon visit went well, but change of plans...

The consult went well, but there's a slight change of plans.  Actually, there will be a different surgery performed.  The surgeon doesn't feel comfortable doing a Roux-en-Y on me unless I were to get down to 350 lbs., which he admits is near impossible at my current weight (432 lbs...lost 4 since last Tuesday).  So he is doing the Sleeve Gastrectomy, after I get down under 400 lbs.  I am hoping this will only take three, maybe four months at the most.  If I lose it within three months, I could possibly have the surgery in four months time!  

There are lots of appointments to be made, though.  One with their dietician, another for a psych evaluation, an upper GI, and a sleep study.  *sigh*  That's a lot!  Good news is, I only have to see my primary care physician for the medically supervised diet and not a nutritionist, also.  Oh and the surgeon's physician assistant said it would be okay for me to use the PB2!  I just got my delivery, today, but I still have to try it!  :)

Tonight, I hope to go grocery shopping with my husband.  If not, he'll end up going on his own after work Friday morning.  I do have some things I want to look for.  Like a mayo that's low fat and low sugar!  I also might want to try some Greek yogurt.

Today's the day I see my surgeon for the first time!

I see the surgeon for the first time, today!  I'm nervous!  What if he wants me to lose a lot of weight before the surgery?  The only time I could lose weight was while following Atkins.  I'm trying really hard to do calorie-counting, this time.  I don't know what my calorie limits should be, though.  The nutritionist from down here finally called me back, but she confused me.  She was more worried about payment, as my primary insurance won't pay and supposedly Medicare won't pay for a nutritionist unless it's for diabetes management.  She then told me I should talk to my surgeon, but she made an appointment with me, just in case.  I know I need to see her for three months, as that is what the surgical team said in the orientation and over the phone.  It seemed as if the nutritionist hadn't done this before and I know she has, as I was referred to her by a few friends that had the surgery.  :-/

I found this awesome product called PB2 that I am going to try in my soy milk, as I'm lactose intolerant and can't stand the taste of plain soy milk.  Lactaid makes me sick, too, so that's out.  Anyway, PB2 is low in fat, sugars, and calories and has protein!  It comes in chocolate peanut butter, too!  Oh yea, it's a powdered form of Peanut Butter, hence the name PB2.  You can see some of the other products here:  http://www.bellplantation.com/.  PSST...I found a two-pack of both flavors of PB2 for a little over $10 on Amazon with free prime shipping!  I would try the PB Thins, but I'm sure I'd just graze on them, anyway.  I'm going to ask the surgeon's dietician if it'd be okay to use the PB2 after surgery, even though we aren't supposed to have protein shakes on this plan.  The paper I have says we can supplement the protein content of our required two cups a milk a day with powdered milk, so I don't see how this would be different.  It would still be below 10 grams of fat and 10 grams of sugar, along with the soy milk, so I shouldn't dump.  Shouldn't being the big word.  Hopefully, she'll give me the okay, or I'll just use it before surgery. 

Not much more to say.  My alarm's not set to go off for another two hours, so if I can, I'll take a nap.  If not, wish me luck that I can stay awake all day.  I see him at 11 am, but have to be there at 10:45 am to check-in.  The drive is a long one, an hour and a half.  Luckily, I have my hubby to drive for me, and he's snoozing away!  At least he'll get some sleep!  LOL!

Monday, October 22, 2012


I don't know why, but I keep doing it.  Once again, I've had the chicken salad from the Walmart Deli.  It's good, but the fat and calories are very high.  If I was doing Atkins it'd be fine, but I'm not.  I'm calorie-counting.  

I think I'm nervous about my appointment with the surgeon on Wednesday.  I'm sure it'll go well, but what if he wants me to lose a LOT of weight before he considers doing the surgery.  Maybe I'll be one of his biggest patients, as my BMI is pretty high.  I think it's in the 80's, if I'm correct.  :-/

As for the nutritionist not calling back, I left a message for my doctor about it.  I'm sure she'll call me back at the end of her shift, as usual.  I wish they'd give me the number to the NUT, so I could bug them!  LOL!  Hopefully, I will hear from them soon!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Feeling a bit down, today!

I'm feeling a bit down, today.  Not sure why.  I'm really worried that the surgeon will want me to lose a significant amount of weight before I can have the gastric bypass.  I know I shouldn't worry about it until it happens, though, but I am.

Had some frozen Greek yogurt today.  Very high in sugar, so I won't be having that again!  It was the banana peanut butter flavor by Ben and Jerry's and it was very good!  It put me over my calories for the day, but tomorrow is a new day!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Orientation was today!

So my weight loss surgery orientation was today!  I found out that my visit with my primary care doctor, yesterday, counted as one visit for the supervised weight loss requirement, so I only have two more to go!  So far, I'm just calorie-counting and I'm supposed to start some chair exercises.  I need to find my hand weights!  I could use them in bed or while sitting in the dining room.  I have a chair aerobics DVD, but my chair has wheels on it and therefore it wouldn't be safe to use for aerobics.  Once I'm able to afford a chair, I will do so.

Anyway, I totally forgot everything what was presented to us at orientation when I heard that I only had to have two more visits with my primary care physician.  I thought maybe I could have the surgery in January, but my friend reminded me that it does take time to go through insurance.  They don't submit the paperwork to insurance until after you've fulfilled all the requirements.  Then, I have some more classes and meetings to do!  I have the binder they gave us and I will be reading it and taking notes ASAP.  Right now, I can't read it because I have no book light and I don't want to wake hubby up from his sleep.  The light bothers him. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Appointments this month.

So my appointment with my primary care physician is tomorrow afternoon.  I must remember to take my paperwork, ask for some refills, and to ask for a referral to a nutritionist.  Wednesday night is the weight loss surgery orientation.  My husband and brother will be going with me.  I'm glad to have their support, along with many online friends!

Next week I have an appointment with my rheumatologist.  He will be happy to know that I am pursuing WLS, as losing weight will help my knees.  Then, Wednesday morning is my first appointment with my bariatric surgeon.  I'm nervous and don't know what to expect. 

The morning of Halloween, I see my Psychiatrist.  I'm also excited to tell her about the surgery and what her reaction will be.

So, this month is full and each month after is probably going to seem busy until at least after my surgery.  Wish me the physical strength to handle all of this!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Short but sweet Insurance post

I just found, out earlier this week, that my primary insurance will be changing from Blue Cross Blue Shield to United Health Care after the first of the year.  Nothing is going to change, though, as they still won't cover the surgery.  At least I have Medicare as secondary insurance to cover the surgery!

Paperwork arrived

So the paperwork did arrive, today.  I filled out as much as I could.  I have to wait until I see my primary care physician to help fill out the rest.  Not much left, though.  I'm nervous and excited at the same time.  Nervous because this is going to require me getting out of the house more often.  I haven't really been out of the house since before I fell out of bed onto my knees about a month ago.  I've had trouble walking even around the house, so I gave up.  This might be a big challenge.  Hopefully, everything is close to the door when I go to these appointments for the WLS.

I cheated and drank some Diet Coke.  I also had some Coke Zero of my brothers.  This is hard, because I'm getting headaches from the caffeine withdrawals.  I am having hubby buy some Crystal Light Iced Tea packets that I'll be able to mix with my water.  We'll see how that goes. Otherwise, I'm sweating to death, here, and have a headache as I have no caffeine until hubby gets home from work with groceries!  Guess it's time to lie down! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm really anxious, today.

I drank my last Diet Coke, earlier.  I am hoping to quit cold-turkey!  It's probably part of the reason that I'm anxious -- no caffeine!  

Another reason, is that the paperwork that I need to fill out before next week's orientation isn't here yet.  Maybe it'll be here tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Excitement is overwhelming me!

Originally written:  10-08-2012.

I am so excited about the possibility of having this surgery!  It'll be a new lease on life for me!  I need it!  So far, everyone in my life has been positive about it for me!  Which I need, as I refuse to hear anything negative about the surgery!  The worst that could happen is that I'd die.  To be honest, I'd rather die than not have this surgery!  It is very hard living at the height/weight I am.  I am over 420 pounds and only 5' tall(that's with shoes on, too...lol)!  I won't know for sure what my exact weight is until I see my primary care doctor on the 16th!  Anyway, life is very difficult for me and I don't want to live like this any longer than I have to!

I've been in frequent contact with one of my friends who had the surgery done around 10 months ago.  She is doing spectacular!  She went to the same bariatric center that I will be going to, as she referred it to me!  We'll have different surgeons, though, which doesn't bother me at all.  I have yet to meet Dr. Gould.  He is from UW-Madison's bariatric center and I trust that Froedtert wouldn't hire a bad surgeon.  My friend said Froedtert is like a five-star dealership(or something similar) when it comes to bariatric centers. 

I honestly can't stop thinking about having this surgery.  I am hoping that I only have to do the three months of supervised diet plan that Medicare requires before surgery.  That would mean I could have the surgery as soon as February, if I get in to see the nutritionist ASAP!  When I see my primary care physician on the 16th, I will have her refer me to one!  I really wish I'd have jumped on the band wagon sooner, as I could've had the surgery closer to my birthday, in January.  It'll have to be a belated birthday present to myself!  LOL!

Appointments that I've made so far and my insurance.

Originally written:  10-06-2012.

I have an appointment for my orientation on the 17th of this month and then I will meet with my surgeon, Dr. Gould, the following Wednesday.  These are at Froedtert, in Milwaukee, WI, which a friend recommended to me.  I've seen the results of her surgery and she is doing great!  I believe her surgeon was Dr. Wallace. 

I have paperwork to fill out and my doctor down here in Beloit, Dr. Tecarro, is going to help me fill it out on the 16th, as I've made an appointment with her already.  I'll probably have her refer me to a nutritionist as my friend said that she needed to see one for six months before the surgeon approved her surgery.  The nurse I talked to said at least three, for Medicare. 

My primary insurance is BlueCross BlueShield through Walmart and they won't cover it(they won't cover anything obesity-related), but Medicare is my secondary and they said they will cover it.

Anyway, I am very excited for all of this to happen!