Sunday, January 30, 2011

Warning: Info you may not wanna know. :)

Dear Friends,

I feel like I should write this letter so that you can be fully aware of what "may" happen in this stage of recovery. Yes, it is graphic and not so pretty, but it can happen.  Mr. and Mrs. Brown do not want to go swimming in the porcelain pool.  Yup.  I didn't think it would happen to me because when I had my hysterectomy I did not have this terrible affliction.  I thought it only belonged to the weak.  Yet, day 5 has produced this phenomena.  I will have to turn to the mighty red pill to "relax" the Brown's in hopes that they will be happy to swim among friends. 

I have enjoyed eating real food.  Even though my dear daughter referred to last nights dinner as "barf".  And she even did a gagging noise like it was going to make her mercy puke on the spot.  I do have to admit it did not look pretty, but I guess that is what it looks like in it's final destination anyway. I am just helping it along.  It was mac and cheese...nothing green or anything.  When I was released from the prison of clear liquids, my creative juices got flowing. My first "meal" was pureed baked potato soup. Delish by all accounts.  This morning I noshed on grits.  Cooked, not instant, and they were fabulous with lots of salt and butter.  MMMM...If you ware wondering how much I can eat at a time. Well, really there is no restriction and I just start to get "burpy".  That's when I think the tank is getting full and I stop. It is about 1/2 cup of whatever I am eating.  That meal will last approximately 2-3 hours and then the tummy starts to rumble again.  I imagine when I start eating "even more real" food, I should be able to go longer in between.  Like today's menu looks like this. 

8:00AM - 1/2 cup cooked grits
11:00AM - 1 cup apple juice
12:00PM - 1 cup milk
12:30PM - 1/2 cup Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
 3:00PM - Sugar Free Fat Free Banana Pudding
5:00PM - 1/2 cup cran-grape juice
6:30PM-1 cup milk
7:00PM- 1/2 cup pureed lasagna with meat sauce  

I am trying to eat at least 800 calories a day and want to be up to at least 1200 so I will not be in starvation mode and will be getting the nutrients I need to successfully lose weight and not lose my hair and skin tone due to lack of nutrients.

Pain wise I would say it is much easier...did not take any pain meds (over the counter or otherwise) today.  I am starting to get "itchy" because my incisions are healing.  I wanna scratch them. I feel more "pain" in the morning. I understand what they say about feeling tight. I actually can feel the port.  It's like it gets kind of stuck in a position (like you sleep on it wrong) and then it works it's way back into position when you get up and moving.  I can pretty much bend over now and put my own socks and shoes on. Yup, you read that right. No pain. whoo hooo!  I still get winded so I have to take it easy when getting ready.  But even that is much better.

Overall, things are moving along. I still have not lost any weight post surgery. Which is a bummer but I truly believe that things slow down when there is no fuel to process.  I heard another bander say that they did not start losing again until they were eating real food again. 

Take care everyone,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Want some ReAL food NOW!

Ok. Here is the skinny. I am still on this liquid phase of the "after surgery diet". I did eat some Cream of Chicken soup (strained) and liquified with milk. It was sooo good. It tasted real. I do not like chicken broth and I know that is what I am supposed to be eating but broth is not tasty.  It went down fine and I ate about a half a cup full. I have had 2 juices today along with 2 protein shakes. I jazzed one of the shakes up with Strawberry extract flavoring.  It was pretty good.  

I woke up a bit congested and that had me worried. So I have started taking Mucinex (children's liquid formula). I think it is breaking stuff up.  Which is good. Don't want any infection or pnemonia. Yuck.  Also started taking Vitamin C (chewable) with a Flintstone chewable vitamin and Citracel Calcium. They are a bit large, so I used a pill cutter to make them easier to swallow. I think I am going to use Bariatric Advantage chewable calcium in the future to keep from having to take that chunky pill.

I have be looking at for information and ideas.  Some people are so positive and seem to have lost a lot of weight and some are so negative. Seems like the bread issue is not universal and it probably depends on the tightness of your band.  There was a huge discussion on Subway sandwiches.  To eat or not to eat. My guess is not to eat. Why have this surgery if you are just going to try to eat the things that made you fat in the first place? I know it is also portion size but bread really is the enemy. You can get carbs from other sources. Maybe I will think differently as time goes on. Right now I am focused on soft foods. I can already taste the baked potato soup I want (pureed of course) and maybe some mac and cheese (pureed). There are some really good healthy recipes that will make them calorie friendly.  Yummy.

No pain meds at all today. I feel quite good about that.  It still hurts to take big breaths in and move around in the bed but for the most part it is better.  I get so winded doing so little tho. I HATE that. I did get the house picked up today and moved around some more.  I plan on moving more tomorrow. Perhaps taking a short shopping trip just to get out of the house and get moving more. I want to be able to walk 30 minutes in 2 weeks.  Which sounds pathetic I know but when you are winded just walking around the house, that seems like quite a milestone. I have the big picture in mind when I think about the 1/2 Marathon I am supposed to be running.  Running is out of the question but I think walking is very do-able. If, and only if, I stay on track.  

I think everything is moving as it is supposed to be.  Wondering if eating solid food will be hard? I can feel the liquid move through me and sometimes it does seem to stand in the chest for a bit before gurgling down. That is going to take some getting used too.  
But I don't feel the band or the port at all.  

Here's counting the days to soft foods and less hunger.


"The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends."
— Unknown     
So True!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Day After

Slept pretty good.  Very tender to turn in bed but I don't like staying in one position.  I just used Dear Hubby as a tree to grab onto.  He didn't say much but he must have loved me tugging on him throughout the night.  I only took the pain meds when I went to bed and then I took some in the morning before I took a shower and got up and around.  I was pretty stiff.  It is much more painful today than yesterday.  Not like terrible pain but it feels like I have been in a fight with Rocky Balboa.  I took a shower and that made me feel a thousand times better.  

For food, I drank one of my protein shakes. It was delish. I drank it slow so it would not cause too much gas or bloating.  After eating, I took Maalox.  aka: liquid chalk.  I tried my hand at crocheting again and have decided I am much to old to learn this new trick.  

As for activity, I got up and around and unloaded the dishwasher and straightened up the living room. I do get a bit winded but I guess any activity is gonna be a little different than before.

Tonight I got out and about and went to dear daughters volleyball practice. It was nice seeing everyone. I hate being cooped up all day.  Drank another protein shake for dinner/lunch and I'm drinking a cran-apple juice before bed with some water.  I want to 
stay hydrated.  I can't wait till I can eat soft food on Sunday..will take some of this food boredom away.

Hope this helps everyone to know what to expect. I know everyone is different.  


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SuRGerY DaY!!!

The run down of what happened today.  I woke up at 5AM to get ready for the big event.  We left at 5:45AM to make it to New Hope Bariatric by 6:30AM.  I got there and saw some familiar nurse faces.  They were so nice.  Pat, from New Jersey, was my nurse.  She was so nice.  They try to keep you from being nervous as a cat but for me that was an impossible job. The worse part in the beginning was the shot they give you to keep from getting blood clots.  It is so painful. I did actually kind of sound like a pig squealing when she injected me.  OUCH.  But it goes away after awhile. Then they get the IV's going.  They don't give you the happy meds to calm you until you go back to surgery. Then I went nighty, nighty.  When I woke up my chest hurt so bad. It hurt to breathe.  The gas is killer.  It causes the most pain.  But I also had a hernia that I was not aware of that needed to be repaired so that causes the other extreme chest pain.  So sit up as soon as you can!  That really helps.  Before I was released they made me go potty and they do this cool barium test.  You get to see the fluid move through your band.  I wish I would have had my video.  Oh and the liquid pain meds they give you are awful.  I had them add grape to hopefully make it taste better. I also took Maalox as soon as I got home to help with the gas pain and it really helps so invest in that too.  I have been drinking pretty steady.  Small amounts but it keeps the hunger at bay and keeps me hydrated.  I am loving the cranberry-apple juice.  Refreshing and delish.  

I was listening to my ipod and taking pics by 11:00AM and up walking around. My incisions are little and they are able to use one of the other sites to repair the hernia.  I was in my own bed at home by 3PM updating Facebook and watching Pretty Little Liars. My guilty pleasure.

I feel so blessed by all the prayers and friends supporting me in my journey. One day I will get the nerve to share that I have a blog.  

Hugs to all....  


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Night Before...and it isn't Christmas.

Ok folks, I am having some serious doubts. Like what in the heck am I thinking? This is too real.  I know I have had several doctors (3 to be exact) that have recommended this surgery. I guess 4 if you count the first fat doctor I went too.  So that is 4...and I don't think they would have recommended it if a) they didn't think I would benefit from it. b) if they felt the risks outweighed the positive result. c) that I am a good candidate for the surgery.  Right?  It's not like I just asked 1 doctor. I asked 3 +1 more but the 1 more kind of had a reason to say yes since he was going to be the one performing the surgery. Wait, actually there were 5 doctors that said yes.  I know it sounds a bit like overkill but I just could not help it.  It's a compulsion.

Anyway, the clear liquid diet the day before is not that bad.  Again, amazingly enough, I do not have a migraine. Crazy. My stomach really has not growled much or given me much fits. I did not succumb to my Sprite addiction even though I knew it was allowed and would the last time Sprite crossed my lips. I felt like if I drank it, it would be like having to start all over again going off of it.  And that was too much for me to put my brain around.  My diet today consisted of 1 apple juice, 2 diet gatorades and 1 water...crazy where is that headache and that grouchy feeling I used to get.  Like now, my tummy is making it's growling noises but it is like I am used to it now that it really does not bother me.  

I have some fabulous friends that are going to take care of meals for my dear hubby and dear daughter during the next few weeks so I don't have to try to feed them when I am not able to eat food.  How wonderful is that? I have prepared a bit by getting social suppers in the freezer for when hubby and daughter are on their own for dinner.  I planned for that awhile back. I love 
Social Suppers.  

Getting up at 5AM is a bit of a stretch for me...I'm not a working gal and the thought of getting up that early seems a bit insane. My dear daughter did ask me to please "do my hair" so that I don't look so bad when she gets home from school.  I told her that I would not be wearing any make-up.  She said that was fine. She will put it on me when she gets home.  Gotta love her!

I just need to go to sleep and relax..although, I am finding that hard to do at this point.  So much on my food.  

No more biscuits & gravy, pancakes and sausage, home-made monkey bread, yummy thanksgiving yeast rolls that melt in your mouth...I can do this.  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I know I will be saying that a thousand times tomorrow.

Tootles to all and I will update if I can tomorrow after Lilly the Lapband is part of our family.  My friend has dedicated an old Spinners song on my behalf...Rubberband Man.  Love it!


Sunday, January 23, 2011 shrink or not to shrink?

I guess it is no secret what I am doing. Although, I guess in a sense it is a secret. At least this blog thing is. I have tried to keep this surgery kind of under wraps. I guess because I have failed so many times in the past. It's like 'oh another diet'. I don't really think of this as a diet tho. Because it isn't like you can fudge your points, or bank points, or not eat a frozen food entree, or eat that whole entire large bag of super buttery popcorn at the movies. No, this is more real. If you eat the wrong foods, you vomit or it gets stuck. eeek!  I guess the band is kind of like a game. You know the rules and if you don't follow them, you lose.  Which would totally stink because this game costs a lot of money...even if insurance is paying the bulk of it. You still have your DEDUCTIBLE and it isn't a small sum of money. Nope, the insurance company wants to make sure you wanna max that baby out.  And I will.  Scary as that sounds.  I guess the good news is that once it is maxed out...the rest of my year is "covered".  That is lame. No one wants to max the deductible. 

The other thing I was discussing with my dear daughter is the fact that this "fat doctor" is gonna see me naked..yup...fat and all.  It isn't pretty.  With the stretch marks that look like a map of Kansas City (thanks to dear daughter and pregnancy) and the 8 inch scar from my hysterectomy..and a couple other scars that I do not wish to discuss..things are not gonna be pretty.  Will he gasp when he sees them.  Laugh? Crack a joke? Oh my..visions from the 6th grade are surfacing. It makes me wanna eat a donut. But I can't. 

And then there is the whole liver shrinking thing. What if that stupid liver didn't shrink? What if it is a rebel like the rest of my body has been for my entire life? I have lost 18 lbs on this part of my diet but was that the liver shrinking or my thighs? What if it was some part of my body that did not need to shrink and the liver is gloating at the fact that it refused to shrink. Like it stands guard over my stomach, refusing to let anyone in.  

Or what if the spleen decides to be mean too?  I don't think the spleen has to shrink or anything but he can get in the way.  Or worse, have to removed. I have not looked up what a spleen does. I know it gets inflamed when you get mono and you can't play sports. Not sure how necessary the organ is.  

We (dear daughter and I) decided to name my lap band.  We decided on a cute name. Lilly. Lilly the Lap Band.  And the port is like a lilly pad to add water to the pond. We threw out names like Katie and Emma.  We liked Lilly the best. 

On a more positive note, I did try to learn how to knit today. It said in "the manual" that I needed to find a hobby to do with my hands. I thought knitting would be a good choice. Other than I suck at it.  I am afraid the prayer shawls I make will be quite ugly.  They better give mine to someone blind. I'll be praying over it alright,  I'll be asking for forgiveness every time I curse while making it.  It was better than some of the other projects they were working on.  Some of which did not sound appealing and may require a pattern of some sort. I was a little awestruck at the "pillowcase" dresses.  Say what?  When they pulled those out, I do have to admit, I wanted to giggle.  Yup, you read that right. Someone decided to make dresses out of pillowcases.  

I know I have been tardy with the posts and I will do better in the future. Let's just say I survived the last two weeks with NO MIGRAINE. I don't know how that happened.  Praise God.  I was expecting it with the lack of food.  Tomorrow will be another story because you get NO FOOD the day before. 

Happy hugs my friends,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CHANGES..some good, some bad

If blonds have more fun, do they know it??

I did something wild and crazy yesterday. I dyed my hair mocha brown. Supposedly that is my "natural color". Not so sure I am on the band wagon with the stylist. I think she may have fudged a bit. (No pun intended) I know I have colored my hair for the last 25 years and that I really don't know what my natural color is, but I don't think this is it.  Let's just say when my dear husband returned home he asked me, "Is that a wig?"With which I replied, "No." Not believing me he comes over and tugs on my hair.  Yes, you read that right. He pulled my hair in disbelief.  Not the happy camper. He asks me why in the world did I do that? He loved my blond locks. I said I wanted something different.  I got "different" alright. I have to admit I look a little bit like a Dolly Pardon or Ava Gabor wig catalog. I am not sure why. It is just hair. I know plenty of brown hair beauties and their hair does not look like a wig.  Why does mine?  I can't figure it out. So I did like any other gal would do and I washed it..not once, but 5 times.  To see if the "wiggyness" would go away. Nope, it looks like chocolate has been dumped on my hair.  Like I made a trip to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory and an Ompa had his way with me.

I have made it almost 3 days into the diet. The headache came today. I was expecting it. Heck, lack of food and Sprite finally caught up with me. I am soooo hungry. I am learning to not gag on the protein shakes and bought several different brands and I have to say the Costco Premier brand is the best by far. EAS is NASTY.  Muscle Milk Lean is too sweet.  Arbonne 8 is the WORST of them all. So I vote for the Costco brand and it is easy because you don't need a blender.  Unless you are adding fruit..which I am not.

I also got a BODY MEDIA armband to monitor my exercise intake and food intake. It is pretty groovy and so far I am a fan. Is it totally accurate? Probably not, but it is a cool and fun gadget. Love all the pretty graphs.  And I can buy customized skins for it to make it sassy. Like me.

Tomorrow I go to the pre-op meeting with the dear husband to hear about what we can expect during and after surgery. In the past, I am sure we would have gone out for dinner and talked about it but that will not happen tomorrow.  I will get to choose a delish Lean Cuisine to dine on. And who knew that Lean Cuisine could taste so good?

And to answer the first question...I always knew I was having a good fact, I was the life of the party. Party on blond girls!


Monday, January 10, 2011

The beginning..hopefully not the end.

You would think at 42 and married for 17 years that I would just settle for being fat and happy. But I am fat and not very happy.  Where does one begin to talk about a journey so scary that they can't believe they are packing their bags and jumping on the bus? Especially at my age.  

That is where I am today.  The day BEFORE the big day.  Which is tomorrow.  Tomorrow brings anxiety and panic.  It is the day I begin the first phase of my transformation.  From bus size to sports car size.  Yes, I am as big as a bus.  The biggest bus I have ever been.  I have always been a bit of a van size.  Sometimes going down to the size of a nice sedan and at one point I was the sexy sports car.  I will be getting "banded" in two short weeks.  My family seems excited.  They keep referring to all the good things that are going to happen. I am not so sure yet.  I don't know if I can choke down those protein shakes. Due to a substantial hearing loss,  my sense of smell is the big kahuna now.  I'm not sure what kind of joke is being played on me, but there are some pretty foul things to smell in this world.  Protein Shakes being one of them. And to think that I am going to have to drink those for the next 4-6 weeks. 

I do hope that I will get to go out for my "last supper" where I will devour buttery yeast rolls.  It is so hard to imagine that they will never cross my lips ever again.  Mother nature is not cooperating and has given us snow...lots of snow.  I guess the snow will keep me from hitting a drive-thru the next few days. I have been advised to find a new hobby. I got a Wii and tried the "easy" workout.  I could barely walk the next day.  It sits abandoned in the basement.  Maybe Sweatin' to the Oldies is my speed.  Richard really does work those shorts.  Maybe I am a bit jealous of his full head of hair and leggings. So my goal for today is to find that elusive hobby to keep me busy and a sense of humor for what lies ahead.

Motto for the day:

Alabama state motto:  At least we're not Mississippi