The Big 100!

I am currently 3 months post op, almost to the day. I can happily stop taking the Carafate, Protonix and Pepcid. I have considered continuing the Protonix, because I was taking it prior to surgery, and still have some, but I’m happy I can stop the Carafate. That stuff is pretty rancid, and I hate the aftertaste it leaves. Ick.

I feel good. The nausea is still a problem, and as are my stubborn bowels, but all in all I’m feeling pretty good. I have very little knee pain now unless I overdo, compared to constant pain even at rest back when all this started. I’m holding off on going back to the orthopedic surgeon. The more weight I lose, the easier rehab will be. And if it isn’t bothering me as much now, and I’m able to postpone, I will!

Mariah’s best friend, and lover of all things Avett, John from Alabama, has been visiting the last few days.  He’s a really sweet kid, and it’s been fun getting to know him. We talk a lot when Mariah is at work, and he’s gotten a real education about the history of our part of the country. He’s leaving for his return trip home tomorrow, so we took him to the Casino at Salamanca, NY last night. He was like a kid in a candy store. It was fun to watch.

I let Mariah do my make up and we took selfies before we left.

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Smoky eye – En point!

Oh yeah, and as of this morning, I’m down 100.2 pounds.  That’s right;

I’VE LOST 100 FRICKIN’ POUNDS!!!

I think I’m still waiting for the reality and gravity of it to hit me. I mean, yeah, I read the number, but it still hasn’t really sunk in yet.

100 pounds. 100. The guy in the cage at the casino last night did a double take when he looked at my license, and congratulated me on my weight loss.  Total victory! And that license picture was taken in December!

I need to get my sorry butt out of bed – I hate daylight savings time – and get motivated. I hope everyone enjoys their day.

Be good to each other.
Linda ❤

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6 Week Post Op- Good News and Bad News

So, I had my appointment on Thursday with Jackie the PA at UPMC Bariatrics. The weather was kind of shitty, so I was fortunate that they had some cancellations and I was able to go up early, and was back in Warren by 4, before the real snow started in earnest.

It was the first time I had driven myself to one of my appointments. Usually Victoria would take me, or once in a while Mariah or my Mom would go, but this time, I went alone. It was nice to sing as loud as I wanted to the radio, or talk to myself on the drive. It helped calm my nerves.

I’m not sure why I was so nervous. Yes, I do. I’ve been in a stall almost since I hit 400. I’ve been hovering in the same 7 or 8 pound span for two weeks. I was nervous that I wasn’t on track with my weight loss because of it.

When Fely, the nurse who does the workups at Dr. Ali’s office, saw me, she threw her hands in the air and said “you’re disappearing!” She’s a sweetheart, and I figure she probably says that to all the post-op patients, but it still made me laugh out loud.

She took me back to the workup room. I took off my boots, and stepped on the scales. Now the good news; I had lost 21.5 pounds since my previous appointment, and over 50 since surgery. Frankly, I was a little disappointed, but she told me I had done great. She took hold of my dress and said “No more wearing these!” I was wearing one of the thin dresses I always wear (regardless of the weather) to my doctor’s appointments. They weigh next to nothing, and that’s why I wear them, I told her. She told me that she could see how much weight I’d lost and said I need to treat myself to some new things. I explained that I had bought myself a couple of pairs of jeans smaller than my old ones, but there was no way in hell I was wearing them to get weighed in! We both laughed, and continued bullshitting while she got my blood pressure and heart rate. We were laughing so hard, it took four tries to get a pressure!

Next, I went to the exam room and waited for Jackie. I only waited a minute before I heard her knock. The first thing she did was congratulate me on my weight loss. I thanked her, and relayed my concerns about the stall, and told her it was hard for me to gauge how I was progressing. She said I was doing amazing! I explained that I was doing well with my fluid intake, but had a tough time getting my calories in because of my nausea. It hasn’t really gotten any better since the last time I was there. In fact, sometimes it’s a lot worse. So it was decided she would send a script for Phenergan to my pharmacy. I can take it in between doses of Zofran when I need it. She then broke the bad news to me; this could last up to six months! To say I was discouraged is an understatement. She told me not to get too down about it; some patients have a tougher time with nausea than others, but to remember that eventually it WILL go away. My fingers are crossed that it’ll be sooner rather than later. She did tell me that I need to try to get 800 calories a day in whenever possible. It takes 800 calories for day to day function of your body, so I will continue to try.

We talked about my meds, and she told me that I can stop the Protonix, Carafate and Pepcid at 3 months post op. That’s two weeks from now! However, I do need to continue the gall bladder medicine for three months after that, and the vitamins indefinitely, so that I will keep on doing.

One last thing she told me before I left was that I have been dieting my entire adult life, and even before adulthood, and need to make sure I don’t allow the stalls to get into my head. She reminded me that I will see in my losses in the way my clothes fit before I do on the scale, so I shouldn’t let it get me down. She gave me an order for bloodwork to have done prior to my next visit, and I don’t need to come back until the end of May! I’ll be just around a year from the start of my weight loss journey then, so I’m excited to see where I’m at then. All in all, a pretty damn good report, I think.

In other news, I ordered tickets for myself and Mariah for The Avett Brothers show at the Chautauqua Institution on July 8th. Her birthday is the 10th, so for her gift, I bought a pair of preferred seating tickets for the show, which is only about an hour or so away from where we live! I think for my first Avett Show ever, and my first concert in almost 20 years!

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All in all, it’s been a pretty good couple of weeks since my last post. Oh, except about the boy with whom I’d been talking. We met, and had a great time. Two days later, I found out he has a girlfriend. He’s been living with. For five fucking years. Needless to say, he’s toast. So, we soldier on…

For the most part, a good couple of weeks. I had a dinner/movie date with Mariah last week (Deadpool is a great movie), with Tori on Thursday (new Chicken Power Bowl at Bob Evans was wonderful!) and I introduced Joie to “Downton Abbey” (“Mom, that Mary is a bitch!”) last night.  I continue to stay as positive as I can, which isn’t the stuggle it once was. I’m very fortunate to have family (and even ex-in laws) who love me very much, good friends that pick me up when I am fading, and some amazing coworkers I am fortunate to call my friends.

Finally, for those keeping track at home, I’ve lost 92 pounds so far!

Take care of yourself and love each other,

Linda ❤

 

 

So long, 400!

Wednesday, I stepped on the scales, and for the first time since 2012, I was under 400 lbs. I still think I’m in shock. It doesn’t seem real yet. Regardless, my oldest daughter, Mariah, has been hounding me about taking photos to document my weight loss journey, and I haven’t  done it. I told her I would when I was under 400. Consequently, she took it upon herself to take a picture a couple nights ago. She then posted it side by side with a picture that was taken the day we decided to submit to Highmark for approval.

 

I am so lucky to have such a great kid. Her support and encouragement has been amazing, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Honestly, in the pictures, I don’t see much difference, but feeling how my clothes fit now, I KNOW there’s a difference. My clothes are MUCH MUCH looser; I’ve gotten to the point where some of my shirts are too big to wear. So I broke down and bought myself a few new things in smaller sizes.

That was difficult for me. For one, I’m not a big fan of buying clothes anyway; never have been. I’m sure it’s because fat clothes cost more to buy than “normal” clothes, but also because I always hated how I looked in them. I’m feeling much better about that now. I’m no size 5, but I’m becoming more comfortable. I ordered the new clothes online (I’m still too big to buy most things at a brick and mortar store), and most all of them fit. I bought two pairs of jeans a size smaller than the last jeans I bought (which were so tight, I couldn’t wear them for six months, starting back prior to surgery), a size 4x henley (the purple one from the photo above), and a black and white striped button up shirt in size 4x which I wore to work yesterday. I also bought a size 24 bathing suit which with any luck will fit me once the weather warms up, and another 4x button up that is still a little tight around my upper arms/armpits. I know it won’t take long to get to a point where it fits, so all in all, I feel really good about my purchases. On top of that, everything I bought was on sale. Yay me!

The nausea is still hanging around, unfortunately. It’s not quite as bad as before, but it still lasts several hours a day. I burp, and get hiccups all the time, which is extremely frustrating, but it’s getting a little easier to eat. So that’s something…

Oh, and I’ve been talking to a boy. We’re seeing each other tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day. Cross your fingers for me. 🙂

Til next time –

Linda ❤

 

 

A Non-Chipper Post

So, Mariah tells me that I post too many shiny, happy blogs, so here’s one that’s not so shiny and happy.

I AM SICK OF BEING NAUSEOUS.

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How I’ve felt since I went off liquids.

Seriously. When is this shit going to stop? I can’t even raise my head off the pillow in the morning without feeling like I’m going to hurl. I’m eating Zofran like candy. (Not really, but I am taking them 3 times a day.) Until about 6 or 7 everyday, I feel like I can’t keep anything down. And when I do eat, most of the time it feels like it’s making the express trip back up. Most times it doesn’t, but occasionally, I get to see dinner a second time.

On top of everything, I got some sort of viral stomach bug that hit me Thursday night, so I spent Thursday night and Friday down for the count. And by down for the count, I mean REALLY sick. At least it seems to have passed. I am still feeling weak, but I felt weak before the flu hit.

I know this is all just temporary, and will pass in time. But for right now, this is really no fun at all.

Rant over. Continue on with your day.

 

Linda ❤

#SleeveLife:The First Five Weeks

To say it’s been interesting would be a HUGE understatement. And I’d like to thank everyone who has been so insanely supportive of me over the last few weeks. You’ve been a godsend!

First, the good news. As of this morning, I was 410.0 pounds. That’s down 76 pounds since I started this long strange trip back in early summer. 76 POUNDS! I lost a 4th grader!  I did experience a couple of brief stalls, which scared the shit out of me, but for the most part it’s been fairly smooth sailing, weight-loss wise.

The unending nausea is another story COMPLETELY! I was pregnant three times and never had nausea that TOUCHED what I’ve had the last three weeks. If it weren’t for Zofran, I don’t know that I would’ve gotten through the last few weeks.

I had my first surgical post op appointment on Tuesday. Fely, the nurse who weighs us in and works us up, told me she was proud of me. When Jackie, the PA, came into the exam room to see me, she had a huge smile on her face and said my weight loss was amazing! I thought I was doing a good job, but to hear it from the both of them was extremely gratifying for me! Jackie said my labs looked good, and she asked me how I was doing. I told her that since I started introducing real food (not liquids), that I’d been nauseous almost all the time. She told me that I am on a Rapid Fat Burn, and that will often change the way things smell and taste, causing nausea. She suggested I take the Zofran like a pregnant woman with morning sickness, and hopefully in a few weeks it will pass. I have to say, it really sucks. But I’m hopeful the end is near.

I’m currently on soft foods, although I must admit, because of the nausea, soup has been my friend.  As long as I feel like I’m going to barf all the time, it’s probably going to be a diet of protein shakes and tomato soup for the time being.

I feel pretty good, aside from the aforementioned barfiness. Knee is a little sore some days, mostly corresponding with either super cold temps or very rainy days. However, it’s NOTHING like the last few years. I haven’t needed the cane for months.  I don’t wake up in pain everyday anymore. It’s such a great feeling.

So, that’s what’s going on for now. I know I say this every time, but I’ll try to be better about updates.  PROMISE!

Stay safe and warm and love one another!

Linda ❤

One more wake up….

Tomorrow is the big day. I feel like I have so much to say, but I don’t even know where to start. This may be a little rambling at times; sorry.

I can’t believe it’s been seven months since I started this blog. Since I started the journey. And now here I am, on the eve of the day that will certainly change my life forever.  I’m overwhelmed with so many emotions right now that it’s hard to get them all out, but I’ll try.

To my girls – I love you. You three are far and away the very best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done and everything you are. I’m proud of each of you.

To my Mom – Thanks for coming up today. I know you would like to be there tomorrow, but I’d rather you stayed home and took care of yourself. You made enough trips to Erie over the years; I don’t want you to make it again. I love you for wanting to come, though.

To my brother and sister – I love you both, even if I don’t say it so much. I know we’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but I’m glad we’re okay now, and that if anything ever happens to me, I know my girls have someone to look out for them.

To my friends, coworkers, and fellow bloggers – Thank you all so much for unwavering support, encouragement and guidance. Before I started all this, I never knew how many people I had in my corner. I’m truly overwhelmed. I love you guys.

One last thing, and I’ll get to packing my hospital bag. There is one person who isn’t here who I know would be very proud of me. My dad. He worried about my weight for years, and I know he would be so excited that I’m having this surgery. When my Mom came to visit me today, she said that my brother had sent something for me for good luck. It was Dad’s badge, from when he was the Police Chief of Lawrence Township. My dad helped build it from two part time officers to a full time police force, and that’s always been one of the many things Dad did that made me proud of him. Carl, thank you so much.Badge.jpg

So, I guess I will see you all on the flip side.  Here’s to seeing less of me very soon.

Linda ❤

We’re almost there…

Let me preface this by saying I’ve been a terrible blogger, and for that, I apologize. With that said…

Today is a big day for two reasons. First, we are moving! When my daughter Mariah told me she was going to start graduate school, she asked me if she could move in with me once her lease was up (the plan all along was for her roommate to move out after a year), saying that it would be financially difficult to have an apartment by herself, and more importantly, because she thought she would need my emotional support to work the hours she works plus get her schoolwork done. With Tori living with me now, and her boyfriend essentially doing the same, there wasn’t room where we are now. Since Mariah’s apartment is three bedrooms, it made sense to move in there. So back in late September, we talked to the super who gave us the OK. Yes, it’s the second floor, but I reckon the stairs will be good exercise for me. At least I keep telling myself that.  Fortunately, we have a LOT of help moving today, so I think we can handle it.

Secondly, today is Day 1 of my pre-op liquid diet! From today on, I’ll be on a liquid diet until the day before Christmas! Tuesday, I meet with Anesthesia at Hamot, and sign my consents at Bariatrics. I went last Saturday to have my pre-op bloodwork and UA, which showed that I had a UTI (UGHHHHH) and low potassium. I’ve been amazing compliant with my meds, so I’m not sure why my K is low, but oh well. Jackie told me at my last appointment to stop all my meds except the Protonix and Ibuprofen (which I’m supposed to take as sparingly as I can manage), however my PCP doesn’t like the idea of me being off my blood pressure meds for almost two weeks, then having surgery, so I’ll continue all meds until I meet with the doctors on Tuesday, and I’ll do whatever is decided then.

In addition to everything else, I have to finish our security risk analysis before the end of the year, in addition to getting all my work done prior to surgery. Looks like I’ll be doing lots of work while I’m off work recuperating! I’m a little stressed over it. No, I’m a lot stressed. But when am I not ?

So, I’m getting ready for my first shot of protein for the day, and getting back to packing!

Wish me luck!!

Linda 🙂