My Weighty Story: Week 5 and it was a doosy!

Week 5. OH week 5. Sigh.

Okay. So no more side pain, I’m able to exercise more and do more things. I don’t have to use my feet to get things off the floor anymore, I can help around the house again, and to my husband units delight, I can pick up the dog poop when we walk the dogs again.

Wednesday, I got on the scale to check to see if it lied to me on Tuesday, and as I mentioned in my last post, it does look like I’ve finally broken that stall.

It’s been a highly emotional week.

Friday the daughter unit graduated high school. I can’t believe it, but she fought and clawed her way through all the obstacles that life threw at her, and I can’t be more proud of the human being she has become. She is kind, compassionate, wants to help others, but all at the same time doesn’t let people walk all over her. She refuses to be a doormat. She is just a really good human being.

Then, if I wasn’t emotional enough because of that, the very next day, I turned 40 years old. I have not looked forward to it for a very long time. That being said, over the last two months it has not looked so ominous. Yes, I still didn’t want to talk about it, but I wasn’t having mild panic attacks over it anymore. Why? Because I’m on the upswing of my life. I’m taking strides to make my life better.

Now if all that wasn’t emotional enough for you I have a couple NSV’s (Non-Scale Victories) to share.

1. I have not been able to see my weight loss in the mirror at all really. I can see it a little bit in my hands, feet, and a little bit in my cheeks, but not otherwise. Now the girls at work have been great at telling me that they see it, and the husband unit is making a point at mentioning where he sees it coming off. I just haven’t been able to see it. Body Dismorphia at its best right? Well I did try to put jeans on, and only had one pair of long pants that might work for the next couple weeks. Donated all the rest there. Shorts, a little better situation as I’ve been hoarding the smaller sizes for years, but only had 1 pair that I could wear camping next weekend. When I started this process (through surgery) I wore a 22 /24 (or XXXL shirt). On Saturday (my birthday), I went and bought two new pairs of jeans and a few t-shirts. Here is the surprising thing. I bought one size 18 short and one size 16 short! The T-shirts? XL! They are a bit snug, but the XXL was just too big. I rather they be a little snug because they are going to only get looser over the next month.

I know right?! I was shocked too!

2. Sunday: We / I decided for my birthday outing I wanted to go to a movie. I ate lunch before I left, we got our tickets, husband unit and daughter unit went to the snack bar. They got popcorn, churro’s, an iccee, a soda, and what did I get? A water. I didn’t even have a second thought about the oh I want that. The churro sounded good in my head, but I didn’t feel the need to eat it, and then the smell of it actually entice me.

2. Part B: When we got into the theater, I sat down and realized I wasn’t squeezing my fat ass into the seat! There was even some room! I won’t lie, I cried.

Yea. So an emotional week, but all good things. So here is my take home statement. Believe others when they say there are changes, because it won’t be long before you will see it. Maybe not all in one week like I have, but it will start popping up.

So accountability time. Got on the scale this morning.

I couldn’t believe it! Almost to onederland!!! I got on the scale 4 times this morning to verify that weight. Was within a pound each time.

I’m hoping I’ll be 200 in the next two weeks!

My Weighty Story: 1 Month Out and POOP!

(Yes I know I’m late posting this. )

So week 4 was a rough week.

mental stress

 

I had really good days pain wise, then only to not sleep well and hurt the next.

I got on the scale on Thursday and I had gained 5 lbs since Tuesday’s weigh in. I know there are fluctuations, but in two weeks I did nothing but fluctuate between 215 and 222. 4 years ago I was at this weight and I couldn’t get it to budge. I would by lying if I didn’t say that I was freaking out a bit that my body is going to do the same thing.

When I spoke to the doctor at my 2 week appointment he wanted me to work on getting my protein up to 60-70g a day and up the water to 64oz a day. Basically get me going on what I will need to get to for the rest of my life. Let me tell you. IT IS HARD. I feel like I eat and eat and eat, and am full all the time, and I’m still only at just under 50g a day. Granted that is up from the average of 30 a day I was getting.

Well then Tuesday, June 5th came and it was weigh day. This was TECHNICALLY 4 weeks from the surgery date. I got on the scale and… it said I was down to 216.4.  I didn’t believe it. I still hurt in my side, and the scale had told me that before so I didn’t believe it. So off to work I went.

***Warning for those who don’t like poop talk, skip to the next paragraph***

I hadn’t been able to go to the bathroom in almost a week, my side still hurt, and I was tired. I had to work out of the office that day, and let’s just say that I finally got to the point that I had to make myself go. I held my side because I needed to push, and so I pushed on the area that hurt to help distract the muscle, etc. … [insert a whole lot of work here]. Suffice it to say it was one of the hardest times I have ever had going poop. But here is the interesting thing… after I was done… all my side pain went away. Yup. We think I was bound up. I haven’t hurt since. Sure I have a sore muscle, but life is otherwise back to “normal”.  So if you are reading this and still deciding or waiting to have surgery, please take your constipation meds. You don’t want to go through that.

So side pain now gone, I had a wonderful nights sleep, a great day, and because I didn’t believe my scale the day before, on Wednesday, I got back on and it said 213.4. So, I’m going to take that as breaking the stall.

Overall over the last month, I feel like I have more energy, and I’m starting to get my food more stable. I have my 6 weeks appointment in little over a week and I’m hoping to be released for full food and exercise. Since I don’t have the side pain anymore I have been getting on the elliptical 2-3 times a day, plus my daily walks to get my exercise in, which are bringing me to about 8-9000 steps a day. I know the Dr. will want me to be consistently getting 10K in, but even at the time of surgery I was only at 5,000 a day. I just wasn’t either able to or making myself get anymore than that.

So here is to another week toward a healthier me. Week 5 has been sort of amazing. I’ll have that scheduled for Tuesday release!

My Weighty Story: Week 3 and Things I Didn’t even realize I did

Before surgery, you practice eating slow, taking smaller bites, limiting the meals you have, and overall changing your habits in preparation for your new life.

No matter how prepared I thought I was,there are things that I’m finding that I do, that I didn’t even realize that I had done.

Just a few:

1. Wanting sugar while sitting and playing my video game. Frankly, I had realized how much I like to snack as I game, but I didn’t realize just how much I wanted SUGAR as that snack, let alone how mindless that snacking was.

2. Wanting Ice Cream each time I walk into the grocery store. I really don’t know if I felt this way each time I go to the grocery store before, but now, each time I go in for anything, milk, dinners for the family, more Vitamin Waters, laundry detergent. I. Want. Ice. Cream.

3. Opening the refrigerator just to see what I can snack on only to realize I’m not really hungry. I will stand there look at what are my options, I assess how hungry I am, and quickly realize, I’m not. In fact many times I’m feeling pretty full, and shouldn’t be thinking about putting in my mouth other than water at all.

4. How when everyone leaves the house there is a reflex to get up to the kitchen to look for comfort food. This one surprised the hell out of me one morning when I realized I had done it a few times.

5. This sort of ties into the mindless eating at the computer while gaming, but it also happens to be while watching TV. How much I will absently drink a beverage. While this is good for helping me get my water in each day, I’m not watching out to make sure that I’m not gulping, or taking too much in.

I’m sure there will be LOTS more in the future, and that is okay. These are things I have to work through.

Unfortunately I had a little set back toward the end of week 1.  I was doing really well up until then. The pain in the right side was getting better each day as well as my energy and then…..

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That sneeze hurt like a sonofabitch. I saw stars, my vision dimmed, and then I remembered I had to breathe. Breathing of course hurt, so thank goodness for birthing breathing techniques still in the back of that grey matter. Once I regained my senses, I took some pain meds, and went to bed.

I was laid up for quite a few days, then I remembered that I had my DoTerra stuff. I fully realize that a lot of people believe that essential oils are hokum, witches brew, hogwash, or a scam. That’s fine. I respect your opinion. That being said, I have used them for a few things and have found them to be very helpful. For instance, during allergy season, just a dab of peppermint on the tip of your nose helps clear you up. There are lots of other things you can use for various things, but that isn’t the point of this post. Anyways,  I started taking the Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex and started using the Copiba oil on my stomach about a week ago, and I wasn’t instantly cured, but I noticed a marked improvement, and have each day since. Why I hadn’t remembered this earlier, I don’t know, but damn I feel like an idiot for it. When I talked to my doctor about it on my 2 week follow up he said if it is still bothering me come the 6 week appointment, he’ll look into it more, but he things I pulled the compromised muscle when I sneezed.  Figures right. Leave it to me.

On the bright side … the doctor released me to go back to work today. Oh it was really nice to get back to normality. the girls greeted me so excitedly. It was really heartwarming. The day itself was pretty calm for me, and it was really nice to see my email not blown up. My boss did a great job of keeping up on it so I didn’t have a billion things to come back to. (THANKS GIRL!)

My energy level was really good, and I iced my stomach a bit as it was starting to get sore. I expected that, which is why I brought ice packs with me. I am still using them at home. Then 1:30pm hit, and it was like I walked into a brick wall and I couldn’t get comfortable in either my chair or standing.  So even though I didn’t make the whole day, I did end up working 3/4 of it, and tomorrow is another day.

This isn’t a easy ride, but I know in the long run it will be SO worth it.

Stats:

HW (Highest Weight): 289

PW (Process Weight ie: what I started at when I started talking to the dr about this): 265

SW (Surgery Weight) : 232

CW (Current Weight): 215

 

 

So what happened on surgery day?

I had my VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. diagram-VSG

For more information on VSG and RNY, click here to be forwarded to Kaiser’s Bariatric, Northern California Department website.

My surgery went great and I’m doing okay. Kaiser Fremont was amazing.

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The day of surgery really made me love Kaiser all the more. Everyone at the hospital was helpful, nice, and genuinely acted like they WANTED to help me. I arrived at 8:30am, checked in, and then headed to pre-op. Once I dropped off my paperwork, it wasn’t very long until they called me back.

After a quick wardrobe change, and a prego test (which obviously was negative), they set me up in a recliner to get the IV and first round of stuff started. Yes, you read that right. A recliner. No hospital beds for pre-op here. Unfortunately, I did have a bit of a problem with the IV. I got super light headed, and I almost passed out a couple of times. I am NOT blaming the nurse though because I’ve always had a problem with needles, and I wasn’t able to lay down for them to do it. Plus no food or much in the way of liquids for 12 hours before that, well, I guess in some ways it was expected.

Once they finished with all that they asked the same questions again and again. It’s pretty usual. They want to make sure you haven’t forgotten something or your stories change. What procedure are you having done today? Did you do the bowel prep? When was your last meal? When was the last time you had anything to drink? Any allergies? Do I have a Health Care Directive? (Which I have, but not on file with Kaiser, and the husband unit knows my wishes. If you don’t have one, you really should get one done. Never know what could happen.) Pretty typical questions.

Once they had me all settled, and gave me a blood thinner shot, they let the husband unit back to hang out with me until I walked into the operating room. The anesthesiologist came in when it was almost time (they were running a little head of schedule) and went over the same questions. I reminded him that I have had problems with anesthesia induced nausea multiple times, and he said that shouldn’t be a problem because they will put all kinds of anti-nausea meds in me during surgery.  He was hilarious by the way. Completely upbeat, and explained it by saying he was gonna start me off with a couple light weight margaritas, then he would then give me a super strong pina colada and next thing I would know I would be waking up in recovery.

After he left, Dr. Dutta, my surgeon came in and went over everything again and gave me a quick run down of what they were going to do. That basically consisted of me walking into the OR, laying on the table, and as he described it the hive swarming in. There would be nurses strapping me down so I wouldn’t fall off the table during surgery, nurses putting the pressure cuffs on my legs (to help prevent blood clots), the anesthesiologist would put an oxygen mask on, and various nurses running around the room. So lots going on, don’t worry, its all normal. Then he said he would see me in about 10 minutes.

10 minutes.

Yup. At this point it was like 10:20 or so, and I was originally scheduled for 11:00ish so my heart started to race in excitement. Kel and I finished getting all my stuff in one spot, and then they said the OR was ready for me. One more quick kiss and I love you to the hubs and I was off, walking out to start my new life!

The OR was pretty much as they had described it, but the room was bigger than I expected it to be.  I walked in and everyone shouted their hello’s, like it was a big party and I climbed up onto the table. From there it was the swarm, just as expected. Dr. Dutta came over and in a very jovial voice said, “Alright everyone ready for the breakdown?” or something like that. “Alright everyone we have Kimberly Ringer here for the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. You are Kimberly Ringer and that is the procedure you are here for right?” I confirmed and then the nurses rattled off a bunch of techno-gargon related to the surgery and the tools that were needed, confirmations around the room and then the bartender showed up.

The anesthesiologist put the mask over my nose and mouth and told me the margarita’s were coming in, verified after a moment I was feeling okay, said the Pina Colada was incoming, pressed down, and …………………………………….

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The rest of Tuesday, I pretty much slept until about that evening. I vaguely remember my husband coming into recovery and telling me I was sleeping the day away, and then later coming in and saying he was gonna head home so he could get the daughter unit to dance, since I was sleeping, and that I probably wouldn’t remember him telling me that, and to PLEASE not be too mad at him for leaving. Or something like that. Like I said. I VAGUELY remember all of that.

When I did come to and after I got up to go to the bathroom, they brought me some Crystal Light, some Jello, and some hot rose tea. The Crystal Light and Jello was not a problem. Once the hot water hit my stomach, it was a huge NOPE. It all came back up. Alright… new baby stomach did NOT like hot yet. Noted.

A while later they were able to get me into a room and I was wide awake by then, and feeling alright. Once they got me settled, they gave me some nausea meds, and some more morphine. Yup, threw that up pretty quick. In fact I threw up the pain meds all night long when they tried to give them to me.

So … when you are researching weight loss surgery, you often hear about people who have these moments of regretting having the surgery. Usually during the first month or so, sometimes after due to complications, but it was at 5:30 am on Wednesday, that I laid there, hurting thinking to myself that “Okay, now I can see why someone could regret going through this.” I wasn’t, and I still don’t, but I could see how someone COULD think that. I hadn’t been able to keep much down in the way of pain meds, and I wasn’t sleeping, because, well who sleeps in a hospital.

At 5:30 when the nurse came in, I asked her what medication they were giving me for pain, because I couldn’t remember, and when she told me morphine, I asked her if they could check with the doctor if we could switch it to something not as strong as I’ve had issues with some of the stronger pain medications in the past making me sick. That could be why I wasn’t able to keep it down and historically, I’ve not been able to keep much past Norco down before and she said she would check on it. She came back with Hycet, which is in the same family as Norco / Tylenol, and it worked.

I got to see Dr. Dutta a couple hours after that, and thanked him for changing the pain meds, because it had really helped. He also gave me a run down of the surgery and reassured me that everything was textbook, and no leaks were detected. He also gave me pictures of before and after, which are super cool. I am not going to post them because there are going to be some readers who may be a bit queezy. Dr. Dutta then went over his exceptions for my water and protein intake until I physically see him again at the 6 week mark (I have a phone appointment with him on Wednesday), that if I have any questions just to let him know, and then said I could go home and should be able to leave about 10:30.

c01ff-tada

Super excited. From there it was just a matter of getting my new medications, going over things with the nutritionist and having discharge paperwork done. When it was time to leave, I was ready. I would have walked out if they had let me.

The husband said he has never driven that highway home that slow before EVER. He was so concerned about me throwing up or shifting wrong in the car and being in pain, he drove super slow. Which was really nice, because that road he drives every day, and …. well I can’t stand it.

I was so incredibly happy with Kaiser’s staff. Every single person I interacted with were nice, helpful, and seemed like they really wanted to be there. I totally give Kaiser Fremont an A+ for my care and well-being.

Well now it’s been two weeks, and I feel great with one exception. The pain on the right side is sticking longer with me than it does for a lot of patients. For the most part my energy feels good, I’m walking as instructed (every few hours at minimum), and I’m getting about 30g of protein in a day and about 40oz of water in a day. It should be higher, but it is hard. I’m just not hungry, and I’m full on just 3oz of food. Eventually I’ll need to get the protein to about 70oz a day and the water to 64oz a day, but I’m only two weeks out.

Well, here is to the new me. Let’s rock it.

Wait, What the what?

5 Day

 

So only 5 more days until my surgery. I’m super excited and haven’t really been freaking out about the major change I’m making. I feel confident, I feel sure.

But here is the problem…. my damn subconscious. I have had dreams of everyone in my office screaming at me about how much they hate me, how worthless I am, how I’m horrible at my job, and so on and so forth.  Okay… maybe I’m a little insecure about leaving work for surgery and recovery. I can understand that.

I have had many dreams where I get back to 220lbs and then no matter what I still can’t lose the weight past that. Then I wake up crying because I’ve gone through this extreme to get the weight off and be healthier, and it doesn’t work. Not at all. Not going to lie. That is a REAL concern of mine.

Here is where it is stupid.

Dream 1: Okay Mrs. Ringer, you are free to go home. … 4 hours later may husband doesn’t show up to pick me up, and I call him and he totally forgot that he was supposed to do that.

Dream 2: Waking up in recovery with my daughter laughing hysterically at me pointing and crossing her legs to keep from peeing her self from laughter. Of course she won’t tell me why she’s laughing.

Dream 3: I lose the weight, I get to where I want to be and my husband says he is divorcing me because I’m thin now. No other reason. Just because I lost 100lbs.

Dream 4: I lose weight, get to goal weight, but then can’t stop losing weight. It’s right out of Stephen Kings’ book Thinner. I wither away to a skeleton and my husband just laughs at me.

Dream 5: A co-worker comes to the hospital to see me, but instead she takes one look at me and nopes right on out the door and gives whatever it was in her hands to the person in the next room.

Now put those 5 on a circulating loop. It’s all stupid irrational stuff. None of it makes any sense.

Other than that, I can’t wait. I went in for my pre-op last week, and there were NO nerves at all. None. Nada. I expected to have butterflies in my stomach or something, but nope. I walked in with my head held high and ready to conquer this.

Is it Tuesday morning yet?