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 ❤

 

 

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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 Week Post Op

I feel fantastic! I am completely shocked that I feel as good as I do today. No joke.  That’s not to say it’s been totally smooth sailing, because it hasn’t, but all in all, I’m feeling so good right now.

I was discharged on Saturday around 4:30ish with a fistful of prescriptions, and my sister and her friend brought me home to Warren (about a 2.5 hour car ride) on Saturday. We went through the CVS drive thru, and was told the scripts that had been sent in from the hospital were ready to be picked up; when did we want to pick up the two we were dropping off, as they closed in 20 minutes. My sister asid she would go inside and wait for them, so we parked, and I waited in the car while Donna and Jen went inside. Five minutes later, they come back outside and tell me they have the Lovenox there, but they don’t have any Hycet, my liquid Lortab for pain. I was already hurting, so of course, I started to get anxious. And I cried. My quick-thinking sister called Walmart to see if they had any, and they did. However, they were closing at 8 as well; that’s when I started to cry. The pharmacy tech told my sister that she would wait for us to bring up the Hycet script and would fill it right then so I wouldn’t have to go all night without any pain medicine, so we hauled ass to get it filled, and left Jen at CVS to pick up the other scripts. We got to Walmart 5 minutes later, and 10 minutes after that, Donna walked out with a ginormous bottle of Hycet. We went back to CVS and picked up Jen, and went to my apartment.

We got parked, and very slowly waddled across the street. I had a little trouble making it up over the curb, mostly because it was dark and I was afraid of falling. We got inside the apartment, and I eyed up the stairs. I had been freaking out over the IDEA of the stairs, but once I started, I made it right up the stairs without issue. Didn’t even have to stop! I legit impressed myself. I got myself settled in, and was in bed by 9:30.

I’ve only taken two doses of Hycet since I’ve been home. It burns SO BAD every time it hit my stomach, so it was easier for me to just power through the pain I had, and take my anti-nausea med, than suffer from the pain elixir.

Speaking of meds, I have LOTS of meds to take for the next several months. Pepcid (ulcer prevention), Protonix (ulcer prevention), Carafate (again, ulcer prevention), and Urisol (gallstone prevention). I was told to cease all my regular meds until after I met with my PCP this week, so at least I had a break from them. However, I’ve had to give myself Lovenox injections twice a day since discharge. I did that when I had my hysterectomy a few years ago, so I can do that in my sleep.

I’ve been concentrating on getting all my fluids in every day, and have more or less succeeded. The protein has been a real problem though. I haven’t been able to get more than a few ounces of shake down a day all week. I keep trying every day, which is all I can do. However, I did decide to get some unflavored protein powder so that I can start adding it to my purees next week if I still can’t get the shakes down.

I’ve been walking around the apartment every hour or so, and continue doing my leg pumps. The last thing I want or need is a blood clot, so I’ll leg pump til my ankles give out if it saves me from a PE.

Today was my big day out. I had an appointment with my PCP, bloodwork at the hospital, a trip to the DMV, and a brief visit at work.  The doctor’s appointment went very well. When he walked in the room, he high fived me, and congratulated me. We talked back and forth about things for about forty minutes, and decided that since my blood pressure was 160/82, that  I would go back on my Lisinopril, at half my former dose, and would continue to forgo the HCTZ and Lasix; if I do start getting edema again, I’m to call and let him know ASAP before I decide on my own to start Lasix again. I told him I was going back to work on Monday, and he said he would prefer that I start out working half days. He said his fear was that I felt great, and went back to work full force, and ended up wearing myself out, taking twice as long to recover. I told him I’d figure it. I then made an appointment to go back in about six weeks, and left to go to the hospital for bloodwork.

I was only at the hospital about fifteen minutes, and we were on our way back to Warren. We went to the DMV, and I got my new driver’s license (a picture I don’t HATE, for a change), then stopped at my work for a brief visit. It was SO nice to see everybody! Hugs, well-wishes, and lots of “you look amazing”, which was so sweet to hear. I am so tickled to have such supportive coworkers; it really is mindblowing. When I told them I was going back to work on Monday, most of them were shocked. I told them i was planning on working at least half days, but it will all depend on how I feel when I get back to work. I did offer to work on Christmas Eve, since we’re only open a half day, and I’ll be able to let the receptionist into the building. Most people say they don’t get anything done when we work half days, but I LOVE it. Those days are usually right before holidays, so we have few staff working, and I get a TON of stuff done because I’m not interrupted all the time!

So, now to the numbers. On Saturday, around 12:30 am, I weighed 451.8 lbs. I knew I was going to weigh heavy because of the incessant parade of IV bags I was receiving, so I didn’t freak out. This morning, when I got out of the shower, I weighed 435.0 lbs. I am officially down 51 pounds since I started this long strange trip back in May/June. I still can’t believe it.

I’m looking forward to starting purees next week (Merry Christmas to me!), and since I’ll be able to have real food, and my girls will have to work on Christmas, we decided to have a Christmas Eve dinner party of sorts for the family. Hors d’ouevres and such, so nobody has to get stuck making a big ass meal in our tiny ass kitchen. Dips and things of that ilk. I kind of can’t wait. I’m planning on roasting some summer veggies I have in the freezer, and pureeing a little chicken breast, and maybe having some hummus so I won’t feel deprived. I’m really looking forward to it.

This ended up being way longer than I had intended, but oh well. For those who don’t like reading long blog entries..

TL,DR- I’m doing fucking awesome!

Linda <3<3

 

 

 

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 🙂

It’s no wonder I’m tired all the damned time!!

I thought I’d post a quick update in regard to my “med mix up” and subsequent brain freakout this week, and had it all typed out, whether you wanted to read it or not. THEN I opened my mail, and my mind was BLOWN!

I mentioned earlier this week that I had called the Sleep Disorder Center, and they told me they’d sent a letter out, but since I was on the phone, and needed to schedule the secondary sleep study to get my CPAP reading taken care of, I just set it up then.

Here’s the body of the letter I got from them….

“7/27/2015

Dear Linda,

We are writing in regard to the sleep study that you had done with us on 7/20/2015. The study was positive for severe sleep apnea with a score of 68 episodes of apnea per hour.”

Let me stop right there. 68?!?!!? Seriously? Holy shit!

“The way the studies are scored is by the number of apneas per hour during the REM stage of sleep.”

The tech told me I had VERY brief periods of REM sleep during my study. I can attest to that, because I didn’t sleep well until the last two hours of the approximate seven hour study.

“0-4 is normal, 5-14 is mild, 15-29 is moderate and anything greater than 30 is severe.” 

Well ain’t that a kick in the pants?

“The next step is to come back for a second part of the study where Michelle puts the CPAP on you and adjusts the settings until she reaches the setting that is eliminating your apneas.”

Yay! Another night where I don’t sleep, then have to go to work all day! Can’t wait!

The rest goes on to tell me when they do the studies, and that I need to call and schedule, which I’ve already done.

Sigh. Well, hopefully, within the next few weeks, I’ll start getting a good night’s sleep. HOPEFULLY being the key word in that sentence.

In other news, I felt a billion times better today, now that the Lisinopril is back at the correct dosage. I didn’t use my cane today, only took one dose of Ibuprofen, and walked a few unnecessary trips up to the front of the surgery center I work at, just for the exercise. Let’s hope THAT trend continues!

So enjoy your weekend, and remember to be kind to each other!!

Linda <3<3