Thursday, December 26, 2013

Weight Loss Update

I am down to 230#, officially!  That's 206# lost since 10-16-2012 and 153# since my surgery, 02-18-2013!  I am so happy!  :-)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

No customized knee brace for me.

First off, I am down to 247#.  I'm kinda in a stall with my weight loss, though.  My weight has been jumping up and down for about two weeks now.

I called about the brace, just to find out how much it would cost me.  $800 for just the trial brace and it's an immobilzer!?!  There's a chance that Medicare would pay for it, but I'd still have to pay $200 for something I would never wear?!?  NO!  I wouldn't be able to use my recumbant bicycle with it!  I need something that will keep my kneecap stable so I can ride it, not something that's going to make me bedbound again!  Oh well, I found something cheaper that might work.  It's a patella brace but it'll allow me to move.  

Nothing much else going on.  Things are pretty calm around here.  Having a hard time adjusting to day shift, though.  Usually, I am asleep at this time, but for some reason I stayed up.  The past two days I have slept all through the night, though.

I see my surgeon's assistant on Friday afternoon.  We'll see how that goes.  Thanks, everyone, for all of your support.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Knee brace and weight loss.

I need to call the Orthotist on Monday.  I got a letter of approval from my insurance company for the specialized brace.  I don't understand all the medical jargon and would like to clarify exactly what the brace will correct.  I hope it'll be for both the OA and patella.

I am down to 249#.  I had bought new underwear not even the week before and they are too big.  They aren't falling off, yet, so I'll wait to buy new!  I think the pants I am wearing are a size 2X.  They are ones I purchased second hand and they have no tag inside for me to see the size or brand.  I would suspect that I am in a 3X Just My Size.  They tend to run smaller than other brands, I have noticed.

Not much more to blog about.  I am transferring schools at the beginning of next year.  This school is still online, but I get a 15% discount through my husband's employer. They also have a degree specific for Paralegals.  Our local technical college has a similar program but it is not online.  I cannot afford a motorized wheelchair, as I am sure I wouldn't be able to walk the campus.  Also, online classes are much easier because I can do the work at night when everyone is gone and the house is quiet.  I can't drive, either, so online courses are much easier for me.

Monday, October 14, 2013

More issues to deal with!

So, I have lost the weight I regained and another pound (I was down to 252#, but went back up to 258#).  That brings me down to 251#.  I am practically starving myself to lose weight, though.  Anytime I go over 800 calories, I gain.  I am tired of this BS!  I want to be able to do more exercises!  My body is telling me I need to vary my routine and I can't because of my knee!  I called my surgeon, in hopes that he'd be compassionate and see that I am trying to lose weight.  When I first saw him, he gave me the hope that if I was able to lose just a little more weight, that he would replace my knee.  Well, he told his nurse that I would have to lose a CONSIDERABLE amount of weight, now!  I asked, what's a considerable amount?!?  I can't lose much more, as my body is telling me I need to do some different exercises!  I even asked her if I need to starve myself to death to get a knee replacement!  She said not to do that!  Looks like I have to, though.  She did say if I could find a surgeon at University of Wisconsin, Madison, that they'd refer me to them.  Well, my insurance won't cover anyone up there.  They are my only hope, as it's a training hospital.  I don't understand what's up with the orthopedic surgeon, though?!?  He said he's done knee replacements on patients that have weighed much more than 300#!

I only called because I have seen two different people about a knee brace and both gave me the impression that my issues cannot be fixed with a brace due to my excess skin.  Well, I called the last one I saw, an Orthotist, to see what she thought and if she knew of anyone.  She didn't know of anyone, but she did say she found a company that could make a brace to correct both my OA and my knee popping out of place.  The only thing is, the company wants me to try a patella brace for the kneecap, first.  If that corrects the kneecap issue, they will then go ahead and make a brace for both issues that I am having.  She said she sent in for approval of the patella brace, to my insurance company.  I just tried calling my insurance company to see if they would approve two braces, though.  The representative didn't understand my question.  I said I have TWO knee issues that need to be corrected with braces.  She said if that is the case then all they have to do is put in for approval of each brace and it should be covered.  So I guess if they don't approve a second brace, I am stuck with the patella one.  I guess that would be fine if it works to keep my kneecap from popping out, as that is the reason I cannot ride my recumbant bike!  It's all a waiting game, basically.  The Orthotist told me to hang in there and give the brace a chance.  I really do hope it all works out, as there is nothing else I can do, short of starvation, to lose this weight.  And we all know starvation doesn't really work for long.  All it did was kill my mother, and she wasn't trying to lose weight.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

NSV and Weight Loss!

I can finally see over my belly to see the numbers on my scale!  Sometimes it'll even talk to me!  Depends on how steady I am.  I tend to sway side-to-side, more so when I was heavier!  It's nice not to have to depend on my husband to read the numbers or weight until a doctor's appointment, anymore!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In 15 days, it'll have been one year since I've started this journey!

I didn't even realize it, until the nurse was taking my vitals and said it's been almost a year since I started my medically supervised diet.  Once it sank in and she left the room, I almost cried thinking of how far I have come in such a short time!  I am not a proud person, I am very humble, but today, I was proud of myself!

Well, one thing I never mentioned was that I had my PCP order a pregnancy test for me last week.  According to our bariatric center, we are to use two forms of birth control -- hormonal and barrier.  Our barrier method had failed a few weeks back and I got very paranoid.  Although I have been on the Depo-provera (with no problems) the past 18 years, I was still worried.  I have heard so many stories of women who had lost weight, rapidly, getting pregnant on whatever form of birth control they were using.  Tubes-tied, even (nothing is 100% effective, I have been told).  Well, I am happy to say that I am not pregnant!  I do not want children, nor have I ever.  Plus, I am not in a physical or mental place to care for a child.  Also, I do not want to deal with a teenager in my 60's!  I am perfectly content having furbabies.  I don't know what it is, but I have never felt my biological clock ticking, even when many of my friends started having children.  I do not feel that I would make a good mother, no matter what anyone says.  Anyway, I am very relieved to find that news out.

My TSH was 1.97, which is under 2 and perfect for me (I do better when it's between 1 and 2).  I had a feeling my TSH was high due to not taking my pills on a regular basis.  All is well, now, thankfully!  I got my anti-nausea pills prescribed and just need to pick them up Thursday when we are out and about, again (I have Zofran for now).  She also ordered an ultra sound of my stomach.  She wants to make sure it is not my gallbladder.  I doubt it is, as I believe it is my hiatal hernias acting up, again.  She felt the Prilosec should be taking care of it, but I had to remind her that I had the nausea problem prior to surgery.  So, I go in for my ultra sound on the 10th.  Hopefully it's not my gallbladder, as I really don't want to have to face that surgery, when I'd much rather have the knee replacement, if needed.

Speaking of my knee, I had my PCP check my orthopedic surgeon's notes and there was nothing about a prescription for a knee brace.  So, I called and left a message for my physical therapist, as she was the one that was going to talk to him about revising my diagnosis so that the brace would be covered by insurance.  I am waiting on her to return my call and update me.  I sure hope it works out, as I'd much rather use a brace than get surgery.  I did ask my PCP if she would handle my Arthrotec prescription for me, as I no longer see a point in going to a rheumatologist when I am seeing an orthopedic surgeon for my knees.  She agreed to do so.  So, that's one less doctor for me to see.  Thank goodness!

I got my flu-shot in one arm and my depo in the other and they are both kind of stiff, now!  Nice!  LOL!  Not really much more to update on.  If I think of anything, I'll just make a new post.  Take care and have a great week!

NSV's -- May be considered TMI!

So I've been thinking about some non-scale victories I have had since my weight loss has started.  Besides fitting into smaller clothes, wearing smaller rings, and smaller bracelets, there are others.  

I am able to stand up and take my clothes off before I get into the shower.  Prior to that I would sit on the toilet.  I still have to use my shower chair and don't trust myself getting out of the tub if I were to take a bath.  Someday, I will get there.  I am able to reach places I couldn't reach before.  I don't need my husband's help to wash myself.  I can wash my feet without using a bath brush, even!  I can dress myself and put on my shoes.  I can't always stand very long to find my clothes in the baskets in our closet (we don't always hang our clothes up), yet.  I can get up and stand long enough to slice up a cucumber when I want one.  I can get up to get a water out of the fridge.  I can't stand long enough to cook (a chair won't fit in our tiny kitchen), but I can get myself a tuna salad packet or some string cheese.  There may be more, but I can't think of any right now.  I try not to focus on what I cannot do -- like going up and down stairs and using my recumbant bicycle as I would like to (I am limited to chair exercises due to my knee).

I have a doctor's appointment, in the morning, and am going to inquire about having my anti-nausea medicine prescribed again.  I am also eager to see the results of my TSH test.  I am going to see if my PCP has access to my orthopedic surgeon's notes (I'm sure she does).  I would like to see if the knee brace has been prescribed.  If she's not able to tell me, I will call my physical therapist to find out what is going on, as she is the one that initiated the process of approval.  Oh and I can't forget to see if my PCP will prescribe my Arthortec, as I would like to stop seeing my rhuematologist.  The only thing he's done for me is prescribe that medication and give me cortizone injections on rare occassions, which do not work.  He never suggested the Gel-One injection in the 12 years I've been seeing him.  His only options for me were to lose weight and get a knee replacement.  How about seeing if the Gel-One injection would work, doc?!?  It may have worked prior to the bone spurs!  I don't see much of an improvement, as I am still in daily pain and my knee cap keeps moving on me, as I move.  Although, yesterday it wasn't knee pain, it was more neck and back pain.  Sitting up in my bed is hard on me since we got the new mattress.  It's comfortable to sleep in, though!  

I am down to 255# as of 09-30-2013.  I was thinking that I am only 20# more than what I weighed in high school (1985 - 1989).  Back then I thought I was huge!  I never envisioned myself gaining over 200#!  I always thought to myself that I would lose weight and show my bullies how "thin" I was at the class reunions.  To be honest, I don't even bother with class reunions, as I still keep in touch with those who matter the most.  Surprisingly, most of them aren't those I hung out with in high school.

Hope everyone is doing well and have a Happy October 1st!  This is my favorite month of the year, due to the leaves falling and Halloween!  :-)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Latest YouTube Blog

Video Description:  Not feeling too well, mentally and physically, so this isn't very long.  I've also been having problems editing videos in Movie Maker, so if the pics or text go by too fast, my apologies.

As of 09-29-13 I am down 180# since the start of my medically supervised diet,10-16-12 and 127# since VSG/WLS, 02-18-13.

SparkPeople: VSG_Tina
MyFitnessPal: Christina_Fisher

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pleasant Surprise

I first went to the clinic to have my bloodwork and urine sample taken.  I am hoping the urine sample is negative.  You, see, I am afraid that I might be pregnant due to having to use two metholds of birth control (surgeon's requirement after weight loss surgery) and the barrier method we used a few weeks back didn't work.  Although, I have been on the Depo-Provera for over 18 years, so I think I am okay.  I just wanted to rule it out due to the nausea and overall sickness I have been feeling.  I did take another home pregnancy test, which turned out negative.  I hope to find out the results later today.  I am in no condition physically and mentally to have a child.  I am already seriously depressed and if I were to be pregnant I would have to come off some, if not all of my medications.  Added:  I found my home pregnancy test and that came out negative, so I could just be having another UTI as I noticed the urine was pretty dark.  :-(

Then I had my counseling session, which went alright.  We discussed the stress I am under, which is a lot.  It didn't help that I saw my abusive ex-fiance's mother at the clinic, yesterday.  Luckily she is very sweet and didn't say anything about my ex, except that she doesn't see him much.  Afterwards, since we were in town, we went to pick up our protraits at Target's Portrait Studio.  The photographer was there and he pulled out an 11 x 16 canvas print that the company had sent along.  It was on special, over 75% off their usual price, so I talked my husband into letting me purchase it.  It is one of my favorite poses.

Otherwise, I am very behind in my school work.  At least the ADA department reaffirmed my special needs requirements and I am to be allowed two extra weeks to complete my assignments.  I just have to get off my duff and start working on the group project.  It is our final week, too.  I am scared that my instructor is going to try and deny me the incomplete request that I put in, because he sent me back an email to ask if I was participating in the group project.  I explained to him that I have been very sick, but would check it out ASAP.  After some sleep, today, I will do so.  I did check out the discussion board and it looks as if noone has started anything, but a lot of talk about not being able to work out a time for a class chat.  Which, we really don't need to do.  It's more important to start using the discussion board to go over the assignment!  Ugh!  I hate group projects!  If I were in a mental state to run the project, I would do so.  If I don't pass this class with an "A," I will probably be kicked out of school.  I wouldn't know what to do, financially, if that were to happen, as we would have to pay on the student loans within two months, as I took off a couple of months.

Well, hubby is finally ready for bed, so I must go.  I am very tired due to stress.  I hope to find the results of my urine test very soon!  Thanks for all of your support!  :-)

This is the portrait we received on canvas, BTW:

Tina & Steve, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sick and in pain.

I have been having nausea off and on for a long time now.  It's been worse, as of late.  I have a call in to my PCP about renewing a prescription that I used to take for it before my surgery.  Phenergan or something like that.  I used up all but one of my Zofran tablets that I had hoarded from when I had my UTI's.  I also asked my PCP to order labwork for possible hypoglycemia.  I have been having symptoms of that, too, for quite some time (I should get out my glucose meter and start checking, but I do remember what it feels like to have low blood sugar)!  I have to go in for a thyroid test, anyway, so why not get it all done at once.  At least I am hoping that she gets my message in time.  I have appointments tomorrow so it's hard to schedule the perfect time to go to the lab.  I never know when it'll be busy and I don't want to be late for counseling.  

Also, I am waiting on word about the knee brace.  My knee has been very bad the past few days and I haven't been very active as far as walking, etc.  So I don't know what is causing the horrific pain I have whenever I move my right knee.  I swear that I must be falling apart...LOL!  I don't talk about my chronic pain, much, as I would probably lose followers if all I did was whine about it.  I am very limited in the exercises I can do.  I can do anything that allows me to sit and not move my knees.  I do try to do the exercises that my physical therapist gave me, too. 

As of September 22, I was 256#!  Only 56# until I get to one of my major goals!  I am going to do this!  For now, I have to watch my calories very carefully.  At least until I am able to put weight on my knee and work out more.  I would love to be able to use the recumbant bicycle we have that is currently being used as a coat rack!  *sigh*

I signed up for SparkPeople as VSG_Tina.  I don't track my foods, there, as I love MyFitnessPal too much!  It's so much easier for me to navigate and the app is free!  LOL!  I am Christina_Fisher on MFP.  I also have an Instagram account as TinaF1971.  I am such a social media addict...LOL!  You can always find my Facebook page at  If you'd like to friend my personal Facebook page, just send me a quick email and I will give you the link.  I rarely talk about my weight loss on there, as I don't want to bore anyone, though.  I do post quite a few memes - many cat ones!  LOL!

Well, I am tired and need to get up early.  I have another test I'd like my doctor to order, but I am keeping that personal.  I really hope it turns out negative.  Thank you, everyone, for your support and encouragement!  :-)

PS - Here's another photo of hubby and I.  I really like this one!  We are picking up our prints tomorrow after my counseling appointment, as we'll be up that way, anyway!  :-)

Tina & Steve.  09-14-2013.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New Portraits of Husband and I, taken on 9-14-2013

This is a comparison pic of my engagement photo taken in January of 2006 and yesterday's on September 2013.
I thought it would be a neat idea to include our engagement photo in our photoshoot.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Knee Brace and More!

I am hoping to get a knee brace.  The Gel-One injection, alone, is not doing the job, as I cannot do any weight-bearing exercise.  My kneecap keeps wanting to move to the outside, and cracks quite a bit.  My physical therapist is having a representative from a company come look at me, next Thursday, to measure me for an OA brace.  I really hope that the brace, combined with the injection, will allow me to do the weight-bearing exercises that I need to do.  I would love to be able to get rid of my rollator and drive again!  I am not against having surgery, if needed, but would like to avoid it for as long as possible.  Mainly because I'd be laid up for quite a while.

My weight has went up, but I am not sure how much total.  I stopped stepping on the scale when I saw I was up to 270# again.  My lowest was 263# since surgery.  I am so disappointed in myself, as I am eating horribly!  I know that I need to stop, though!  Also, my body might be telling me that I need to start exercising, soon!  That is why I am hoping the knee brace will help!

My husband got me a new wedding ring set!  I am so happy!  I wasn't supposed to get it until I was at goal weight, but I am down to a ring size 7-1/2!  ;-)  I can't get a decent picture of it, though, but will try to upload a pic of it.  I bought him a new wedding band, engraved with our wedding date, so he has no excuse to forget our anniversary!  ;-)

It's a 1/2 karat heart-shaped diamond with a ring enhancer as the wedding band!    
This is hubby's ring.  Pretty unique, huh?  I think it's cool.  It' Titanium.

I also had this pendant made with my father and mother's birthstones as a memorial to them.  It is quite dainty, but I love it and am wearing it right now!  :-)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Gel-One Injection

I had my Gel-One injection, in my right knee, on Friday.  It was hard the first couple of days to put weight on it, but right now it is doing better.  We'll see how I do in physical therapy, tomorrow.  For those that don't know, Gel-One is much like the Synvisc-One injection.  

I am still waiting on the results of my urine culture so that I can get on some antibiotics for this UTI!  I suppose being it's the weekend, I might get a call tomorrow.  At least I hope so.

School isn't going well.  They are supposed to grant me an incomplete if I am unable to finish my course work.  This is due to having special needs.  I am allowed two extra weeks to complete my coursework.  For some reason this isn't being done and once again, I have an "F" in my last course.  The instructor processed my incomplete paperwork, but for some reason I am still unable to access the classroom to complete my work.  With it being a holiday weekend, the earliest anyone can look into it is tomorrow.  They better grant me an extra week to complete the work, or I'll be mad!  I am considered to be on academic probation until my grade is adjusted.  Financial aid is tied and can't do anything about that until I do complete the course.  We'll see how that goes, tomorrow.  

I am going to be so busy this "weekend."  My husband has Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.  I've got appointments Tuesday and Thursday for PT and Thursday for counseling.  Wednesday we are getting a new internet provider, which should be faster than what we have, and then that night we are taking my old computer to a friend's house and setting it up for her, as she is buying it.  I have a new all-in-one PC by Lenovo.  It has Windows 8 on it, but I am using it much like Windows 7, as I have the desktop setup with a start menu that I downloaded.  I really like this computer, but there are some things I need to get used to.

Not much more to update on.  I am finding programs to install on this new computer.  It has a built in webcam, which shows the mess in the background.  My computer stuff is so disorganized.  Wednesday, it'll be worse, as I'll have to make room for the new modem and router.  *sigh*

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!  :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

UTI and a NSV.

So, I do have a UTI, just have to wait on the culture results from my urine specimen to find out which antibiotic will kill the infection.  I have take Bactrim and Ciprofloxin and neither have worked.  I've probably had this for quite a while now, or maybe it's just reoccurring.  It sucks, as I get the chills even when my temp is only 99 degrees!  I should know the results by Thursday or Friday.  I canceled my physical therapy appointment for Thursday because I am feeling so crappy.  I didn't even feel like being there today, but it didn't hit me until Midnight last night, and I didn't want to be stuck paying for not calling 24 hours ahead of time.

Another NSV.  I had to order a new Medic Alert bracelet.  The new one will be 7-1/2 inches, as my wrist is only 7 inches and they say to get them 1/2 inch larger than your wrist.  I started out wearing a 9 inch one and my current one is 8-1/2 inches.  If I wanted to, I could slip it off my wrist without unhooking it!

Monday, August 26, 2013


This picture is very blurry, but it is a cute handmade necklace with butterflies.  I won it on eBay many years ago and found that it did not fit.  It finally does!  This is one of the of good things about saying goodbye to the fat.

Test results

My test results from my six month follow-up appointment showed that I have a low thyroid and high white blood cell count.  The low TSH makes sense and explains why I am tired and cold all the time.  The high white blood cells tell me that I am still fighting off a recurring UTI.  Another reason my body would be tired, I suppose.  I am going to call my PCP when her office opens.  I want to discuss being put on Westhroid (natural thyroid) and a stronger antibiotic.  I haven't taken an antibiotic in a month, or so, but the two they have given me obviously aren't working.  Most likely, I will have to go in for tests.  I need a culture done on my urine and all my thyroid levels checked, not just my TSH. 

I have been going through physical therapy for my knees.  I am getting my first Gel-One injection on Friday.  It is much like Synvisc One.  I am very nervous.  Whenever I would get cortisone injections they would hurt.  I could feel the cortisone pushing the fluid around in my joint.  It got so bad that my doctor would take fluid out before the injections.  This is a new doctor and I have voiced my concern about it to him.  Maybe that is why he is giving me the Gel-One over Synvisc One?  Gel-One is 3 ml, whereas Synvisc One is around 6 ml.  Either way, my husband better be prepared for me to squeeze his hand off!  ;)

Grieving for the fat

Considering the things that I am going through, mentally, I believe that I am handling things quite well.  There's been this sense of sadness, despite this.  I have been finding old jewelry that no longer fits, some even finally fitting me.  A few items I am sad to part with.  One is a very beautiful amethyst bracelet that I had custom made for myself many years ago.  It is too big now.  I am sure that I can go back to the jeweler and have them take some beads out and restring it, but it still saddens me.  It's like an end of an era for me.  It is, too.  I am finally saying goodbye to my fat.   That's a good thing, but terrifying at the same time.  Walls that I have built up are coming down.  I am exposing myself to the world, as if I am naked.  It is uncomfortable for me, but I must move forward.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Newbie Club

Newbie Club

Sign up to receive a free care package near your surgery date!  Thanks, Jessica, from Bariatric Beginnings.

Vote for BariWare

Vote for BariWare

Thanks, Jessica, from Bariatric Beginnings, for this!

New Car: 2012 Nissan Versa & Down 6#

I love my new car!  I fit behind the wheel and can even see over the steering wheel!  AND--NO MORE SEATBELT EXTENDERS!

Just to make this somewhat weight-loss related, I am down to 264#!  That's six pounds this past week!  :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Webcam on it's Way

I have a new webcam on it's way.  It's a Logitech HD Webcam 310.

This was the description:
  • Fluid 720p HD video recording and video calling in 16:9 widescreen
  • Vibrant 5 MP photos
  • One-click upload to Facebook and YouTube
  • Auto light correction for dim and harsh lighting, and built-in noise-cancelling mic
  • Works with Logitech VidTM HD, SkypeTM, Yahoo® Messenger, Microsoft LiveTM Messenger 
It should be here today!  I guess that means I'll have to start making more video updates!  LOL!


Was able to finally wear button-up Blue Jeans

This picture was originally taken on 07/23/2013.  We had a last minute appointment and I went to grab the first pair of pants in my closet.  They were these jeans.  They were a bit tight in the stomach, but they went on with no problems.  I couldn't change, as we didn't have much time, so I didn't take them off until we got home almost two hours later.  The snap was digging into my belly by that time.  They were baggy everywhere else.  The shirt is a 3X from  It looks baggy, but I don't think I would fit into a 2X just yet.  Also I need to get more buyers for the clothes I'm currently selling so I can buy some new ones that fit!  LOL!

I also have been swimming twice now.  Only a couple of problems getting in and out of the pool.  Hubby adjusted the ladder so I can scoot down it on my way out, though.  I can't seem to turn myself around when I'm at the top of the ladder.  I slid into the pool the second time, but at least it was into the water.  Sorry, no pics of me in the pool or my bathing suit.  It reveals too much.  LOL!

I won't be weighing in until after next Wednesday when I see my Psychiatrist's Assistant and the Orthopedic Surgeon!  Wish me luck, I'll need it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WLS Update 07-16-2013 & Various Other Topics

This is my most recent update. It's long, contains a few topics unrelated to WLS, and my lips don't match my voice for some reason.

Kudos to those of you who watch the full video!  Thanks for all of your support!

Nine Months After My Journey Began

Friday, May 24, 2013


I have finally gotten out of the 300's!  Tuesday morning, I weighed in at 299#!  Thank goodness! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

2.5 month VSG update. Sunday 05-05-13.

Rather than type out a blog post, I'll just upload my latest video from YouTube. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

If I could change one thing...

I have no regrets at all about having this surgery.  I am grateful that my friend recommended Froedtert's bariatric program in Milwaukee, WI and encouraged me to have the surgery.  I love the staff--they are very friendly and helpful!  My surgeon, Dr. Jon Gould, was awesome!  The surgery went very well, and he had a great bedside manner, which is important to me!  The hospital stay was great, as I had a private room!  Well, semi-private because they gave my husband a cot and let him stay with me.  Anyway, the pre-op diet was awesome, in that I could eat up until the night before surgery!  It was basically low sugar and low fat.

Only thing I would probably change about my experience, is the diet plan after surgery.  Immediately after I passed my leak test, I was given a pureed diet to follow.  Two ounces of protein, three times a day, along with two glasses of milk a day, and eight glasses of water.  I honestly wish I could've started on a liquid diet the first few weeks, then went on to the pureed diet!  My stomach is still healing, six weeks after the surgery.  I am barely able to get my protein in!  We're only allowed to eat three times a day, because they feel anymore would be considered snacking or grazing.  Besides, I can barely tolerate three meals a day.  Protein shakes are supposed to be prohibited except in special circumstances.  When I went to my one month post-op, I was very concerned about my protein intake and asked the nurse if I would be able to supplement my diet with them.  She saw how much protein that I was eating and said that I could drink them if I felt the need to.  She said the nutritionist usually recommends high protein Ensure, though, but I asked about another brand, IsoPure, that had twice the protein for just the same amount of calories.  She said I could have either of them.

I did try the Ensure.  It's really thick(milky) and hard on my stomach.  I usually am unable to finish the whole bottle.  It has 25 grams of protein per serving.  Today, after about two weeks, I tried a Creamy Vanilla IsoPure.  It wasn't too bad and because it was mixed with water, it wasn't very thick or hard on my stomach.  I use it as a supplement, usually, not a meal replacement.  Although I had ate very early this morning (around 1 am) and when my husband got home at 6 am, I was still hurting from the earlier meal.  I ate a bit this afternoon and soon, I will be eating dinner.  Anyway, I took my pills and vitamins, along with some water shortly after drinking the IsoPure this morning.  Not very long after, I got sick and threw up some.  Not much, but enough to feel the burning of the pills coming back up!  I think I took them too fast or something.  I really hope it wasn't the IsoPure!  Yes, I am still working on eating slower:-/

I was nauseous for a while and ended up going to the ER to make sure I wasn't dehydrated, because I could barely stomach food or drink.  I had also realized I had symptoms of a bladder infection, prior to going there.  So I asked them about both and they told me nausea is also a symptom of a bladder infection.  Something I've never experienced before, though.  The doctor said he could tell if I was dehydrated, but they only found a bladder infection.  He gave me prescriptions for an antibiotic and something for the nausea.  It's been almost a week and the nausea has finally gone away and for the most part, all the other symptoms.  Just need to finish up the antibiotics!

As for my progress, I have lost at least 55 pounds in the six weeks since surgery!  I am very happy with that progress, but it probably has a lot to do with not being able to stomach much and the fact that I weight quite a bit.  I've been told, by people on some forums, that the more you weigh the faster you're able to lose weight.  I don't know if that's true or not, though.  Just because someone said it, doesn't mean it's true, despite the Allstate commercial!  LOL!  Since October of last year, I have lost over 100 pounds!  So, I am quite satisfied with my progress!  I posted some new pics to my progress page.

I also had a non-scale victory, Easter Sunday.  I was invited to my aunt and uncle's for their Easter celebration.  My husband has been too tired during the day, after working hard on third shift, to do anything.  My brother also decided not to go, because he had hurt his elbow and he also works twelve hours to thirteen hours a night.  So, I wasn't going to go at first.  I even called my uncle up that morning to tell him we wouldn't make it.  At about 11 am, I couldn't sleep anymore.  It was warm out, our heat was on, therefore it got pretty warm in here.  I decided if I could shower and dress by myself, I was going to call my uncle to tell him that I was going to attempt to drive myself there.  Something I have NOT done in years!  He said if I didn't feel like I was able to, he would pick me up!  But I did it!  I got in that car, that I've never driven before, and drove to their house!  Good thing they don't live far away!  LOL!  So, I was very pleased with myself.  Luckily my husband was up and outside when I returned, because I was wore out!  He carried my stuff inside for me and was there in case I needed a boost up the last step into the house as I usually do!  I didn't need it yesterday, though!  

Well, I should end this.  My husband is done with his shower and I am going to eat dinner, soon.  I think he already ate his while I was composing this blog!  LOL!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Two Week Followup Appointment 3/6/13

I was 17 days out, yesterday, when I had my two week followup appt.  It went well.  I've lost 30# since surgery.  Not much bothering me but my knee pain, an irritated incision, and itching all over.  The surgeon's assistant did prescribe Arthrotec for my knees.  It has my Diclofenac in it, along with some stomach protectant in it.  Only problem is, it won't be in until after Friday at my pharmacy, but at least insurance will cover it and I will only have to pay my $4 copay.  Also was prescribed some more liquid Oxycodone HCL.  The assistant picked off some glue from my incisions.  They look better now!  I did forget to inquire about the itching.  I don't believe it's a allergic reaction to anything, as it's all I have.  It's just irritating.  I did mention that my skin seems drier and that I figured it was due to water intake, even though I am at 64 - 80 ounces.  I am going to call and see if it's okay to take some Benadryl for it!

I was also advanced to foods that are mashable with a fork!  I ate some cottage cheese for lunch and it went down well.  The tuna salad for dinner was another story.  I could only handle 1 oz. instead of 2, before I got full and my tummy started hurting.  One of these days, soon, hubby is going to fry some tilapia fish in an egg and I will try that.  I know that is quite soft and should go down easy.  I can't think of much more to try, especially since the tuna salad didn't go down so well.  Greek Yogurt is my staple!  

I have had some problems with BM's.  My first one after surgery was 3/2/13 and I haven't had one since.  Milk of Magnesia is too strong for me, so the assistant suggested Miralax.  She said to use one dose every day to get things moving.  If it was working too good, to decrease it to once every other day.  I was taking benefiber twice a day in my milk and colace tablets, which weren't working!  Speaking of tablets, I can swallow the pills I take that are no larger than a pencil eraser!  Otherwise, I am to still crush them.  I already have a chewable Centrum multivitamin and at my one month post-op appointment will be given any other needed supplements.  I am thinking maybe a calcium citrate and my biotin.  I was taking 1000mcg prior to surgery to get ready for potential hairloss, but was taken off it after surgery.  I want to find some prenatal vitamins or just the Biotin 5000mcg.

Next Wednesday, Hubby and I are going out on a date!  We are going to see Paleyfest The Big Bang Theory.  It's a live panel with clips from upcoming episodes and Q&A from the audience.  Although we won't be in Los Angelas audience, we will be in the theater.  We can ask questions, ourselves, but I think I will just sit back and enjoy it!  I am so looking forward to it!  I hope the arthrotec works some by then!  Hubby wants me to sneak a vicodin in my system, too, but I doubt I'll be able to take that big of a pill, yet!  He's so worried I won't be able to make it without my walker.  I doubt there will be no room to store it, so I will have to attempt to walk on my own!  Wish me luck!

Nothing much more to say, other than I made a new ticker that tracks just the weight I've lost post-op.  MyFitnessPal one has my total loss from 10-16-2012.  So I added the new tracker to my blog's front page.  I will probably go by the weigh-ins from the surgeon's office, because my scale is almost ten pounds less than theirs!  

Thanks for all of your support and encouragement!  Will try to get some pics in soon!  It's been too long!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Already a week has gone by!

A week ago, today, I had my sleeve gastrectomy.  I barely remember anything!  I remember checking in, being carted away to the recovery room to prep myself for anesthesia.  Then I was taken into the operating room.  All I remember is my surgeon greeting me and then I was out of it!  Apparently all went well, though.  He seemed to be quite happy with how things went.  I stayed overnight, as well as hubby, who was given a cot! The biggest complaint I had was the fluids I was given through my IV.  I had to get up every hour to go to the bathroom.  Which meant, calling a nurse or aide to help me walk to the bathroom (luckily I had my walker with me).  Apparently, the fluids they gave me that first day had dextrose in them, and it raised my blood sugar levels.  So I was getting shots of insulin, as well as blood thinner shots!  When I would get up, the pain would come on, it was like my tummy was pulling on me!  I did manage to go for a short walk on my first day!

Tuesday morning I had my leak test, and was allowed pureed foods and liquids as soon as lunch time rolled around.  I ordered some peach yogurt, pureed green beans, and apple sauce.  I could only get in the yogurt, though.  For dinner, I ordered pureed chicken, pureed turkey, and pureed eggs.  I wanted to see how they all tasted.  The chicken and turkey were alright, but I preferred the eggs!  Around 8 pm, my surgeon was doing his rounds and said I could be discharged that night if I wanted to.  He would've kept me in another day, because it was so late, and we had a long drive home (at least an hour and a half with clear roads and it had been snowing all day), but I opted to leave ASAP!  I  walked around twice that day.  Hubby had gotten my prescriptions from the hospital pharmacy before they closed!  So, we were all ready to go!

Fast forward seven days and the pain isn't bothering me as much.  The only pain I have is from sleeping on my arm wrong.  The pain originates from my elbow and I have been icing it and bandaging it.  Not much else I can do, as I'm not allowed NSAID's. I was taken off quite a few pills and have no clue when or if I'll be put back on them!  At least I am allowed my Bipolar II Meds, as long as they are crushed!  I have lost at least 11 pounds since my surgery, too!  My two week follow-up appointment is March 6th with the surgeon!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Surgery Date

I know, I've been neglecting this blog.  I haven't been feeling too well.  Trying to get over this sinus infection before my surgery!  


February 18th, 2013!