Friday, October 31, 2014

One week post-op! Day-to-day and weekly weigh-in

I am exactly one week post-op today.  It's 11:50am and I have already had 40 grams of protein, 20 fluid ounces, and completed a mile walk today.  I must say that the key to feeling better faster is to get moving and make sure you get 60+ grams of protein so you can heal. I definitely could tell the difference yesterday (six days post-op), when I could sit up on my own in bed. I also drove for the first time yesterday and attended a class for 2.5 hours.  I had to forego all my prescribed pain medication for the day so I could drive and I didn't have simple Tylenol at home.  Needless to say, I was in a lot of pain by 8:30pm when I walked in the door.  I stopped and picked up some Tylenol and Tylenol PM so I can sleep better.

I slept through the night starting at four days post-op.  However, I was still not able to get myself out of bed, so I had to move to a chair at 4am when my husband left for work. Now I sleep through the night but am still uncomfortable of having to sleep only on my back.  My next big move is to sleep on my right side.

The pain is minimal and I am sore in my drainage areas and where I was poked.  I still have a G-Tube in for feeding and getting liquids, but I never use it since I am doing so well on my own. The G-Tube is probably the most painful and I am supposed to have it through December 2.  I am going to see if they can take it out next week or any time sooner.

I have already replaced the gauze for one drain with a big band-aid.  I have six holes in my tummy. They went through my belly button (which was man-created anyways), then I two holes slightly above my belly button, one to the left and one to the right. Then I have one small hole straight above my belly button, under my breasts. The last two holes are the G-Tube and where the JP drain was.  I am only worried about scarring where the G-Tube is and in the hole to the right of my belly button. I will put bio oil on these once healed.

So what does my diet look like?

I finished clear liquids on Monday but I mainly drank water, broth and had jello on those days.  Starting Tuesday some of my meals looked like this:

Breakfast -
Premier Protein Drink (30 grams of protein)

Sipped on Blue Raspberry water by Proti, it is a pack of blue liquid you add to water. (15 grams of protein) I would try to have the 10-12 ounces done by lunch time.

Lunch -
1/2 cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese mixed with spices(10 grams of protein) OR home made protein shake.
I have used pumpkin pie filling my mom made (without the sugar) and mixed it with a scoop of protein powder, milk and ice (30 grams of protein). I have also made a hazelnut shake with sugar free hazelnut creamer and protein powder and milk (30 grams of protein)

Continue to sip on water, maybe have apple sauce or jello for a snack.

Dinner -
1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese mixed with spices (9 grams of protein) OR 10-12 ounces of water mixed with Unjury's Chicken flavored protein powder (20 grams of protein).

Snack -
1/2 cup of low-fat milk (4.5 grams of protein) or the Ricotta cheese

I always make sure to get 70+ grams of protein a day. I would like to introduce something savory like mashed black beans with low fat cheese or sour cream in to my diet next week.

Let's talk exercise - 
My goal was to walk a mile in one walk by one week post-op.  I did just that today!  I walk 2-3 times a day, depending on other physical activities I have going on that day.  I started walking the day after I got home from the hospital.  Starting next week, I will introduce minimal weigh training for my arms at home.  I am hoping to be back in the gym by Thanksgiving, if not sooner just to get some cardio. I keep track of everything on my S5 phone which has an app for fitness. I think I will be ready for work on Monday...3 days away!

Finally, weigh-in results - 
Weight at pre-op appointment, Oct 14 - 246lbs
Weight morning of surgery, Oct 24 - 239lbs
One week post-op, Oct 31 - 231.8lbs

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Before, During, and After Surgery...Made it through!

The pre-op diet and I meshed pretty well.  It was very hard, fighting the temptation to eat just one last meal with lots of fried food and carbs.  My weight fluctuated during the last week due to having to stop my blood pressure meds and starting my monthly cycle.  I went in to surgery weighing about 7-8 ponds lighter than I had two weeks prior.

The day before surgery was clear liquids.  I cheated on this day because I added protein powder to my clears.  I didn't know I wasn't supposed to, but when I mentioned it to my doctor, he said it was fine. I'm glad I got those extra grams of protein!!

I did sleep the night before. Being that I was so nervous, I was surprised I did.  I woke and did the usual wash with the medicated hand rub they give you. Mom and Dad were on time, 5:15, and I was off to ORMC!

The drill was the same in pre-surgery prep. I had to brush my teeth, gums, and tongue with the medicated liquid and then they clean my tummy very well. My doctor came by, as well as the anesthesiologist, head nurse, and a few other people I had no idea what their purpose was. The nurse put two IVs in me and started the happy juice.  The best thing about happy juice, is that you feel it right away!  What a great feeling! 

Once I go to the operating room, the only thing I really remember was having conversation with the people in there.  The nurse put oxygen over my mouth and within seconds I was out.  I didn't even count down from ten....sneaky people. 

I don't remember recovery, but I do remember when they said I can go to my room.  I don't remember going to my room, but I remember waking up and being there.  The pain was minimal at the time, but I was very nauseous.  They knew all patients generally were so they put a patch behind my ear and placed a reletext bracelet on me which sent mirco pulses (felt like I was being shocked) up my hand. Every time I walked I felt nauseous, so they treated me for that.

I was in and out of sleep the whole day.  Melissa, Rick, and Ry came to visit and I barely remember that.  Herb got off work and stayed the night :) 

The second post-op day I had less nausea and more pain.  I had to drink the blue dye to make sure my new stomach did not have leaks in it.  I passed the test and began drinking and eat clear liquids.  I didn't want much, I wasn't hungry. I didn't manage to drink some chicken broth and eat some jello.  It is vital that I take in 64 oz of liquid a day to keep hydrated.  I have a G-tube that also helps with this.  I have to drain it three times a day, but I also can put liquids in it to get my nutrition.

I was released from the hospital on day two and made it home.  I am currently on clear liquids until Tuesday, then I can have my protein drinks and other liquid protein supplements. I can't wait!  I don't feel like I am getting enough nutrition. 

Being at home is much better than in the hospital, even though I am here alone.  I can move well, but the pain kicks in when I use my stomach muscles. I am doing more and more clear liquids so my tummy is making weird noises. However, I haven't had any nausea..knock on wood!  For now, I am laid up in a plush red chair in the library.  I can not get in bed or lay on the couch because it hurts too much to get up. Other than walking around the house, I know I have to go for longer walks.  I am waiting for Herb to get home to monitor me, in case I fall. 

Things are good though.  I can't complain. Day by day...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Nutrition Appointment...moving right along. 15 days and counting

I met with the nutritionist this past Tuesday, which is a prerequisite for surgery.  I had to fill out a form about my current diet and exercise habits.  She met with me individually to weigh me and figure out how many calories I need to consume to lose weight.  We settled on about 1200.  I also voiced my concern about my iron levels and the best way to keep them up.  She discussed a supplement with me. 

Next, she met with a small group of us and went over the paperwork below.  We tried vitamin samples, looked at food samples she recommended, and she spoke about what our diet would look like from two weeks before surgery as well as after surgery.  She told us about the best protein powders to buy and how much protein we needed to get each day.

We concluded the session with what to do when issues come up such as dumping, constipation, and so forth.  It was very informative!!

My next steps are my blood work tomorrow morning and my gallbladder ultrasound tomorrow morning.  My pre-op appointment is Tuesday, the 14th and all that stuff has to be done prior. They have emailed me my pre-op paperwork of dos and don'ts.  I may post that next  blog! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

First Bariatric Visit....and more bucket list items

This past Tuesday I had my initial bariatric appointment. Mom, Dad, and Herb went with me…more so because we were going to Epcot’s food and wine afterwards. LOL 

So I arrived right before 11:30, they took the $250 payment, did my vitals and went over my new patient paperwork.  My blood pressure was 170/100, which of course set a red flag off right away.  I weighed in at 242, which I already knew.  My weight has been pretty steady since last December. Soon after the vitals check, mom and I joined four other ladies in a small classroom with some charts and a white board.  They doctor entered soon after.  The doctor did his spiel, explained each option of weight loss surgery, and answered any general questions. We were in the classroom for about 45 minutes.

Each patient was then ushered in to an examination room.  The doctor then visited us individually.  We spoke about the surgery that I would like done, the risks, my cancer, and the next steps.  He suggested the gastric sleeve, simply because I was a self-pay patient and there is a higher risk and more need surgery could be possible in the future, say for a bowel blockage. I let him know I wasn’t too concerned because I felt my insurance was heading in the right direction with eventually covering weight loss procedure….also, I take risks! It’s what I do.  I did voice my main concern of becoming anemic and he agreed, I just asked for the best supplement I could get.  The doctor also mentioned he could take my gallbladder out and it would be covered.  One of the worse things, is getting gall stones…problem solved.

He approved me for surgery and my last step was to see the scheduler and get the ball rolling.  The scheduler gave me the price break down (totaling approx. $20,500), a script for blood work, and a script for an ultrasound of my gallbladder.  In order to schedule the surgery, the surgeon fee had to be paid, approx. $6,700.  Some may think this is a lot for a surgery.  I see it as a car payment ($400 a month). I know I would rather have a life changing surgery to use as a tool for the rest of my life, to help me become healthy. I rather be thin than drive off in a new car at this moment. 

The surgery is scheduled for Oct 24th but I have numerous appointments leading up to it.  However, I do not have to see a psychologist because I am a self-pay patient.  My timeline is below.  The entire balance for surgery has to be paid by day of.

Sept 29th – Initial appointment
Oct 7th – Nutritionist appointment
Oct 10th – Blood work appointment (free) Ultrasound for gallbladder (insurance covers)
Oct 14th – Pre-op appointment
Oct 24th – Surgery

I am very excited… to say the least. 


#21 - Let's just say better over all hygiene. I look forward to not have as many rolls and crevasses. Plus, I will be able to reach more places to shave ;)  hahaha, TMI I know.

#22 - I want to be able to do 10 pull-ups! 

#23 - I have always wanted to become a certified Scuba Diver.  Part of me is scared and the other part knows I need to be in better shape.  This is something I will definitely do!

#24 - To weight less than I did in High School!  My senior year, I probably weighed about 170. I thought I was soooo fat at the time. geezzz.. 

#25 - I would like to take up yoga and increase my flexibility.  I am hoping this will also enhance my sexual performance in the bedroom....and other places I will be able to fit with my new, slimmer body ;)