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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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.

Barf

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 🙂

December 10th!!

I’ve spent the last two weeks, since my last post, freaking out. I’ve been convinced that Highmark was going to say “tough darts, Linda”, and not approve my surgery. The PA had gotten me totally pumped, saying that it usually only takes a couple of days for Highmark, there’s a spot on November 4th, etc. So I’ve been freaking out. I don’t think I’ve slept more than a couple of hours a night since my last trip to Erie. I had called three times over the last week, trying to find out SOMETHING, ANYTHING about my case. Jen, the scheduler, was awesome. I left a voicemail for her Friday, and was concerned that she didn’t get back to me. I called again Tuesday, and the receptionist sent me right back to her. She relayed to me that she’d called Highmark on Monday, and after being on hold for almost an hour, she was told that I was still in Medical Review. That’s the last step before “yeah” or “nay”. She said she would wait until Friday, and if she hadn’t heard anything she would call again, even if it meant waiting on hold for another hour.

I was at work this afternoon when I saw an 814-877 number calling my phone – I immediately recognized it as a “Hamot” number, and answered. It was Jen.
“I just got off the phone with Highmark, and knew I had to call you immediately. You’ve been approved, so now I can schedule you!”

I was so excited!! She said she was sorry she couldn’t do it sooner but the next available daVinci day is December 10th.  At first, it felt like it was months away, but it’s only six weeks!

Here is the timeline for the next six weeks:

November 5: I have another follow up with the sleep doctor, and I’m going to cancel. I’m tired of forking over $40 a month to be talked over and ignored.

November 9th: I have an appointment with my PCP, Dr. Popescu. I can’t wait to tell him I’ve been approved for surgery. He’s going to be so excited for me!

November 28: I start my 12 day liquid diet of protein shakes and water. This is to shrink my liver prior to surgery; it’s something that my bariatrics surgeon does for every pre op patient, for at least a few days.

December 1: I go to Erie for two appointments. At 2pm, I have to be at Hamot to meet with the anesthesiologist, and at 3pm, I have an appointment to sign my consents at bariatrics.

December 10: Surgery Day!!

Add into the mix that we’ll be moving across town to my daughter Mariah’s apartment, and you have one very busy few weeks!!

So, it’s nose to grindstone to make sure everything is good with work before I take off a week and a half.

Have a great one! I know I am!

Linda