Friday, December 21, 2012

Very good article!

So I happened upon this story through a friend of mine. It is a way that someone with Lupus tried to describe how daily life was for her, to a friend of her's that was healthy. For me, just replace the Lupus, with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Pain, and this story fits like a glove! Please give it a read!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

4.5 month post up video update!

Hello folks!

Just wanted to link to the new video post I made regarding my surgery and how things have been going. It can be found here:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Second guessing and increased pain

Hello everyone...

Well, I'm a few days over 4 months post op now, and boy what a crazy past month and a half or so it has been. This is probably going to be a quite lengthy blog entry, but I have a lot to share, so prepare yourself.

I guess to start off, I should tell you what chain of events happened starting back in the beginning of September. This is when I found out that I was going to become homeless if I staying in Las Vegas, NV. I won't go into detail about the hows and the whys of this, but lets just say it should not have happened. Regardless though, it did happen. This started a downward spiral of sorts into not eating so healthy. Since I was out of work, stopped getting my unemployment a couple of month prior to this time, and my husband was unable to help out as much as he would have liked to, this led to me really only eating what was available to eat that was in the house already. Things like chips, Ramen noodles, and canned spaghetti-o's, to name a few of the unhealthy things that I was putting into my body. Needless to say, I was NOT meeting my daily protein requirement, nor was I getting in most of my other essential vitamins/minerals, although, this is also in part, as well, due to the fact that I ran out of my supply of supplements too.

Skip forward a few weeks to near the end of September, when I made the trek back out to Virginia to take up residence with my husband again. I should have jumped back on the bandwagon here, with my eating habits and such, and did a half assed job, but still was falling short. The husband and myself, started resorting back to some old habits of eating out on most nights, and while this in and of itself is a problem, my entree choices were also an issue, as I wasn't picking the best items from the menu either.

On top of all the stress I've been dealing with the last month and a half or so, I have discovered that losing the 50+ lbs since surgery, that I've been experiencing more and more days of increasing intensity pain, pains in new areas and of different character than my norms, and a few new symptoms to boot. To make matters worse, all the stress and lack of nutrition, have really worn my body out. All the doctors, expect my surgeon, were very enthusiastic about the idea of me losing the weight and were 100% positive that by losing the weight, that it would resolve my pain problems. Boy were they wrong on that one.

Now I know a lot of you will say that the reason for all these new aches and pains is my lack of nutrition, etc. Well, let me stop you there by addressing the fact that the new pains and symptoms started appearing before the beginning of September, when I added a million and one to my stress levels and began eating poorly again. I will vindicate you some by agreeing that the lack of nutrition, stress, etc., is certainly not helping the situation any, however, I am positive that this did not cause it to appear.

As for present timing, I'm pretty well settled back here in Virginia again, and beginning my hunt for a doctor(s) that will be able to help me find out what is going on with my body and help me deal with this pain and my other symptoms. I started with my primary care doctor out here, who decided to try me on Butrans, and while I am willing to try anything to curb this pain and try to have as normal a life as possible, this stuff just doesn't cut the mustard. I gave it a full week, which it says relief may take up to a full 3 days to take effect, and I have gotten nothing good out of this medication. Not only has it not helped at all with my pain levels, it also has brought on intermittent severe nausea and an itchy, red rash where I placed the patch. Now, the rash could be due to the adhesive or the medication, and it's hard to tell which, since I'm not entirely sure. So, I'm waiting for a call back from their office today to find out what they are going to do, plus they are also supposed to be referring me out to a pain management specialist, as well.

I also wanted to address the issue of regret, as recently, I've been getting asked quite a bit if I regret having has the weight loss surgery done. I also watched an interesting documentary recently that addresses the issue of weight loss and it's effect on the perception of a healthy weight in this country. If you have Netflix, I would recommend giving it a watch. It can be found here:

So back to the issue of regret. I wouldn't say I regret it, exactly, but if I had to go back and make the choice again, I can't say with 100% certainty that I would.

1) I can still eat just about anything I want to, just not in the amounts I used to be able to. This can pose a problem in itself, as in if you don't have the willpower to, most of the time, stay away from the types of foods that put you at an unhealthy weight in the first place, getting the surgery will be for not, as it isn't foolproof, and you can regain the weight you lose just by continuing to eat the same types of foods that made you unhealthy in the first place.

2) I've off and on have problems with nausea and vomiting. (way more than I was warned about and/or expected to have) I particularly had a bad time with vomiting throughout the month of September, when my stress levels were higher than they had been in a long time. Pretty much anything I tried to eat, almost immediately was vomited back up. Since I was on some antibiotics for a sinus infection, extremely stressed out and not eating properly, it's hard to tell which of these were to blame for the almost constant vomiting, or if it might have been a combination of things. Since I'm starting to get my eating back on track, and my stress levels are back down, mostly, I haven't had nearly as many problems with the vomiting. One of the other things that kind of goes into this category is when I drink water. My drinking water has to be cold, or there is a good chance I will vomit it back up, and especially true if I drink room temperature water too fast and/or too much at one time. There are times when I just want to sit and gulp water and I can't do that anymore.

3) If I had known before my surgery, that losing the weight would cause me to have more pain from my chronic conditions, in addition to new pains in new areas that are of a new character than my then current normal pain(s), I can certainly tell you that I might have not done this. I had this surgery done to become healthier, and reduce my pain, not cause it to get worse.

So in conclusion for this blog entry, life has been quite crazy the last month and a half or so, and I've had a wide array of emotional "trips" throughout this time as well. Right now, as far as the surgery goes, I'm loving the smaller body I have, I feel more sexy and attractive at times, than I did before I lost the weight. I however regret having it done a bit, only because I was not prepared for, nor did I want to have to deal with more pain than I was in prior to surgery. The other concerns I listed in this blog are up in the air items. They do not influence me to as notable a degree when thinking about if I would go through surgery all over again.

So Anywho... I think that's enough for now. Til next time....

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It's been a while...

Yes, it has been a while since I have made a post. Sorry about that. Many, many things have been going on. A lot of them personal, and things I'm not quite comfortable going into detail about here on a public blog.

However, I thought I would check in and let you know how I've been holding up.

As of yesterday, approximately 12 weeks out from surgery, the scale said I was 191 lbs. Since I started my journey of weight loss surgery on my pre-op diet, and starting off at a weight of roughly 244 lbs. I have officially lost 53 lbs. People are starting to notice the weight loss, and the other night my mother even said I was getting "tiny." I recently got a new driver's license and compared pictures between my old and new, and you can definitely tell a difference in my face. I have also lost inches off my body and my clothes are starting to get baggy.

For me though, I still feel as big as I was when I went in for surgery. This is a personal struggle that I'll have to work through. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, its still the same fat person looking back at me. I still have about 70 lbs to lose, and I'm sure as time continues on, I will lose that, but the bigger issue for me, is working through this distorted self image I have of myself in my head.

I have also had some problems along the way as well. If I drink lukewarm water too fast, I will vomit. I have problems on and off with different foods, such as cheese and milk, where one day it will sit well in my stomach, and then the next day it won't. I have "cheated" a bit and had some foods like chips and small amounts of soda, that I know I shouldn't eat. Overall though, I have kept to my diet pretty well. I do need to kick up my exercise, and actually keep to a regular schedule of exercise. It's just really hard to do when you don't have a buddy to do it with. I know that isn't a good enough excuse, but it explains a bit.

Overall, I think the surgery is working well for me, but I do still have some concerns about long term success. I knew when I had this surgery that there were really no long term studies done, because Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy hadn't been done long enough as a standalone procedure to have this kind of data available. It is because of this, that I have been considering a revision to either the Duodenal Switch or Roux-en-Y. We'll see about this, as I haven't quite decided which I would do, let alone if I will do it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

1 month post-op update

Well, as of today, I am one month post op! Total weight lost so far has been 31 lbs, and 20 of those have been since surgery!

It has definitely been a roller coaster ride! I've had my fair share of things not sitting well in my new stomach and have eaten too much and vomited as a result, as well. I'm still trying to learn how much is too much and learning how to slow down when eating. I also still struggle with getting in the 90-100g of protein that my surgeon recommends and my 8 glasses of water a day. I can usually get in about 50-60g of protein a day and about 4-5 glasses of water. It's still a work in progress.

Also, here's a side by photo of pre-op and 1 month post op!

Monday, June 25, 2012

2 Weeks Post-op today!

Today marks 2 weeks since surgery on June 11, 2012! And might I add, I feel good!

Starting weight when I first saw the surgeon was 244 lbs.
Day of surgery i weighed in at 232.9 lbs.
Today, 2 weeks post-op, I weigh in at 219.4!

This makes for a weight loss since surgery of 13.5 lbs and a total loss of 24.6 lbs!

I think this is pretty darn amazing and I never in a million years thought I could do this! I'm so astounded by the results.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

about 24 hours post-op

So here I sit at about 330am EST, quite sore from the incisions and in a bit more pain than I'd like to be from the gas they put inside me to be able to do the surgery. I've been trying to walk the gas out, but its just not coming out as fast as I'd like it to be. The gas has moved into my back, chest and shoulders now, so it's super uncomfy.

I've been doing my best to follow surgeons orders and just sip, sip, sip on liquids all day long. I actually was able to drink a little bit of a protein shake last night, all of about 1 oz, lol. However, this filled my tummy and I didn't have room for a pain pill last night, so I went to bed shortly thereafter and woke up in some killer pain this morning. Hopefully that'll be the last time I make that mistake.

Besides all that, things are progressing nicely so far. I'm really glad I did this.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Night before surgery!

Hello again.

Tonight is the night before surgery and I'm getting quite excited! I think the only thing I'm nervous about is the fact that I know there will be discomfort and pain after waking up from the surgery.

I've been on a liquid diet mostly for the last 2 weeks, with only 1 small real meal a day, and today having been only allowed liquids. Today has been super hard! I've just wanted to go down to a burger joint and get a juicy cheeseburger and shovel it down my throat! I think the only reason I really want to do this, is because I know I cannot. I've been strong, but it's been rough. I've also been exercising a bit too in the last 2 weeks. Nothing really all that impressive right now, but just small walks around the block.

So yeah, bring it on. I'm so ready for this.

Hello and Welcome!

Welcome to my journey!

This blog is a reinvention of a blog I started last month on a different site, which sort of drove me crazy, due to me not liking the way it was setup. I think I'm going to be a lot happier blogging here on

Thursday, May 17, 2012


So I just got back from the surgeon’s office and after a conversation with him about my habits, my history, etc. I have decided to proceed with the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. I also, much to my surprise, got to schedule my surgery date today!!!! I feel so fortunate that the only requirement is that I have a psych eval done, which again, lucky me, will happen in just over an hour and a half from now, since they had a cancellation for today.

So I’m sure you all want to know when that surgery date is, right?

Well, drum roll please…………………….

***JUNE 11, 2012!!!!***

That’s right, just over 3 weeks from now! I can hardly contain my excitement! I’m excited to start on this journey, make the changes I need to make and have a real shot at being able to live! Live a life without horrible pain, as losing the weight will likely reduce my pain to a point where I will no longer need the pain medicine! Not to mention, save me from the ills of diabetes and heart disease! To top it off, not having to shop in the plus size section anymore!

As I progress through this journey, I make this promise to both you and myself, I will not sugar coat things. I will do my best to keep things as real as possible about my successes as well as my failures. The good, the bad and the ugly will all be showcased here and possibly with some video blogs as well.
With all that being said, I need to run for now, as I have a psych eval to attend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Deciding on the type of surgery

As my meeting with a bariatric surgeon draws near, I have been doing a lot of research on the types of Weight Loss Surgery that are available. I’ve been devouring everything I can about the good, the bad and the ugly regarding each type of surgery. So that naturally bakes the question of which one have I decided would be best for me, right?

After tons of research, and some really sore eyes, I am leaning more towards the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), or the sleeve. There are several reasons I have chosen this surgery over the LapBand and the Roux-N-Y operations.

First, the risks of complications with the VSG are comparable to the relatively low risks associated with the LapBand, and much less than the RNY.

Second, the VSG can be done fully laprascopicly. This means a faster recovery time and the ability to have this procedure done as an outpatient.( ie – go into the hospital in the morning and back home the same night.)

Third, the risks of malnutrition and deficiencies are very, very low, since this procedure does not bypass any part of the intestine.

Fourth, if I do not lose enough weight with just the VSG done, it can be revised to either a RNY or a duodenal switch procedure in the future.

Of course this, as with any surgery, carries some risks. For me, the risks of staying obese outweigh that I would endure by going under the knife. Also, while I may have settled on the type of operation  I would like to have done, I’m going to leave the ultimate final decision til after I speak with the surgeon on Thursday morning and get his opinion on what would be best for me, both now and long term.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The start of the journey to a new me!

I have decided to make some BIG life changes. The biggest of them being the choice to have Weight Loss Surgery. After years and years, try over 20, of battling my weight, I finally decided that I need something permanent to help me get control of this.

I’ve tried almost every diet, lifestyle change, exercise program, gadget, and pill out there. I have given this serious thought and have scheduled myself to see a surgeon for the final OK on May 17, 2012.
On top of this, I also struggle with the condition known as Fibromyalgia. Over the years, the pain and other symptoms have gotten to the point where I’m pretty close to housebound a great majority of the time. After some extensive research, one of the benefits I stand to gain from getting the Weight Loss Surgery is the very real possibility of being able to eliminate my need for pain medications. This excites me very much.

I decided to start a blog on my journey through this process, really more for me to document the things that I have gone through, and will go through on this. I’m sure I’ll have ups and downs and everywhere in between. I’m really excited about this journey and hope you’ll follow me through this and be a source of encouragement.