green stripes

A Week After Surgery


Sorry,  I didn't edit the post.I wrote and told myself to go back over it, but really I don't want to read about it again!!! So here goes, my apologies for the jumping around in it. I really just wanted to get something down before I was too far away from it. Collapse )
My Dragon Necklace

No Regrets


            The bones in my hands are small. I can see them now in a way I could never before. It amazes how much they have changed as the months have gone by.

            August 31st, 2007 I drank my first shake. I thought it wouldn’t be filling. In fact, I couldn’t imagine the idea of any type of liquid filling me to satiation. But it did. My stomach was so full and I realized on that first evening that I needed to use a little less milk.

            Time went on and I perfected the liquid diet. I had my syrups, my different milks, my different powders. I had a thousand ways to prepare meat and vegetable and on and on I went trying to do it right, but faltering here and there.

            Over time though I managed to transcend. I managed to learn why I eat, why I was fat and probably the greatest discovery was learning what it felt like to be full without stuffing my self to the point of discomfort. The next big lesson was learning that it’s okay to feel hungry.

            Feeling hungry is not the end of the world. I’m not going to die or pass out. I’m not going to find myself lost in some jungle without a bite to eat. All of the fear behind feeling hungry were constructs of a poor childhood, poor health and poor communication with my body.

            I have learned a great deal about my self and my body. I have come so far and have lost so much.

            I’ve lost a few pounds, close to 100 to be exact. I’ve lost a lot of my emotional reliance on food. I’ve lost my fear of hunger. I’ve lost my need to be armored to the hilt.

I’ve lost my inability to grow and most of all, I’ve lost the chains of my past.

           

            No, I didn’t do it perfectly and nor am I done. I have progressed a great deal, but I know I’m not finished. I know there is still a lot of road to travel. I know I’m doing it armed with knowledge I didn’t have before, an acceptance of self I didn’t realize I didn’t have, and a better understanding of mind and body. 

            I sit here three days before my surgery scared, excited, anxious, curious, and full of wonderment. I am on my way to something big. I am about to change my life. I am about to start the next phase of the journey.

 

            And that feels good in a way that I can barely express. It feels good in a way that makes me shudder when I think about it. I’ve spent this last day fighting off fear and worry and tears of the unknown, but I’ve forged through my day and I’m here near the close of my work day feeling closer to home than I ever have.

 

            My weekend will compromise of preparations, making sure I have my liquid meds, the right foods, the right comfy clothes, a clean house, and all my T’s and I’s crossed and dotted.

 

            And it will probably involve a lot of sex.

 

            J

 

            I don’t know exactly where my feet will take me in the coming days. I’m not sure how much physical pain I will experience. I’m not sure how soon I will learn to eat and drink without any trouble. I’m not even sure I will drop the weight at a pace that will make me happy. I’m really not sure of anything, but the fact that I will get through it. I will do my best to survive it and I will do my damndest to continue the beauty that is my existence.

 

            I am beautiful, even now. I will be more so later, the kind that people can see. I hope that I can see it, too. I hope that I can maintain the balance of body and mind, the physical and the psychological and be happy, stable and brave all around. 

 

            Before I go, I want to thank my friends. They have helped me through so much of this. You have been my support, my inspiration, my love, my kindness, and my strength. Everyone one of you has brought something to me, given it selflessly and have made me feel loved beyond my imagination. Through your kind souls I have learned to be kinder to myself. I give you my love and whatever may come, know that I have joy in you. 

 

            And whatever may come, know that I have no regrets.

 

           

 

 

My Dragon Necklace

Normal Ain't

 

            I had my appointment yesterday. I weighed in at 304, officially. I was thankful for that since I’ve been sick and eating next to nothing, meaning bread and crackers.  Starvation is not a diet.

            So, the Doc pulled, poked and generally moved my fat around in an attempt to conjure a game plan. She called in her assistant and they pulled, poked and generally moved my fat around and decided that they could do it. Or “ We have a good chance”.

            Yep, that’s what she said. I’m not surprised. If I were her I wouldn’t be making any promises either. She can’t assume I will handle another failed attempt well. I sure as hell don’t expect me to.

            And that’s exactly why I am not jumping out of my skin excited. I’m not rip roaring happier than happy that finally, finally the time has come.

            If anything, I’m loathing the idea. Is loathing the right word here? Hmmm, I can’t say I’m disgusted. Nor does the idea of the surgery seem repugnant. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s abhorrent either. Okay, I’m running out of synonyms, so I will cut to the chase or stop running from what I actually mean.

 

            I’m afraid.

 

            I’m sincerely afraid of going into surgery and it not working again. I’m sincerely afraid of waking up on the table, listening to the quiet shuffling of feet and hearing the deep sigh as the Doc finally hears me wake, finally sucks down the idea of my possible bad  reaction and comes to my side and tells me it didn’t happen.

 

            What will I do? How will I feel? How many surgeries can a person have in a single year? Fuck, not even a year in 9 months?

 

            I imagine I will implode. I imagine that the year I’ve spent struggling with my eating habits, turning the bend, making a difference, losing close to and what I hope will be over a 100 pounds by my surgery will have felt like NOTHING.  It will have felt like it was for nothing, that I am nothing and every single fucking cellulite god is after me for even fucking thinking that I was allowed to leave the fold.

 

            So yeah, I can’t imagine it going over too well. 

 

            Here’s where I insert the positive conjecture.

 

             “It will be okay.”

 

            “You’ll be fine.”

 

            “The surgery will work out.”

 

            “You’ll be on your way to a new you.”

 

            I wish that it were that simple. I wish that positive thinking will lead to positive outcomes. They don’t. Not always because I can gauran-fucking-tee that I was proof positive going into surgery on March 6th. I know that I was smiling. I know that I was joking. I know that I was sure that “everything was going to be okay.”

 

            So….

 

            So I’m not really in the mood for positive at the moment. I think I want a little bit of reality. I think I want to fully understand that it may not work it. It may be tragic. I may leave the hospital some September afternoon crying my eyes out. I don’t want to fly so high on the positive that I crash so god-damned hard.

 

            I could use a thousand “knock on woods” though. Maybe a few salt over shoulders. Does anyone know how to ward away the evil eye?

 

            I have to think of plan C. I have to know what I will do if the surgery doesn’t work out again. I have to decide if I want try again, if it’s even allowed. I have to find out how else I can lose the weight because I know that I’m not doing this liquid diet thing forever. I have to have a game plan for how I’m going to eat. Can I do it as if I didn’t have the surgery? Is that truly possible? What are my god-damned options? 

 

            If my decisions are already made. If I already understand what I need to do then finding out that it didn’t work out won’t be so bad. Right? I hope. 

 

            Anyway, I’m going in September 15th. And all that stuff I said about not needing positive? I do need it. I do need to work my way to it. I just need to take a different route there because normal ain’t cuttin’ it.

 

           

 

My Dragon Necklace

That's Fucking Cool!

 

            So I’ve been all over the boards trying to figure out what I can eat after the surgery. I do this every so often. (Remember my post that included the recommended foods for each stage?) But this time it wasn’t so much about what I’m supposed to eat during the healing process, but what I can eat after I’m healed and ready to go. 

 

            First things first,

 

             Dairy:

 

            Looks like dairy is not out unless it’s the thick, creamy kind. I’m cool with that since I already drink skim milk. The jury is out on ice cream, though. I see it’s a definite no no until after the healing time, but no one really talks about it. 

 

            Pasta:

 

            Pasta is actually on my recommended foods list and I can even eat it during my mushy stage, mushed up, but that won’t be hard to do. I’m not so sure about lasagna and all that jazz, but you know I can eat all the ingredients of it so why not?

 

            Rice:

 

            There are tons of rice eaters out there, who have lapbands I mean. Apparently there is no “allergy” or inability to down the stuff after healing from surgery.

 

            Bread:

 

            The consensus seems to be, you can but only if it’s toasted. Most people experience it sticking or they PB if it’s not toasted. I think the lightest case I’ve seen is just a very uncomfortable feeling.

 

            Nuts:

 

            I haven’t seen much on this, but some have mentioned that soft nuts like cashews are okay, but not almonds and the “harder nuts”. Hmmm, that sounds  a little perverse.

 

            Popcorn:

 

            It’s not really a huge craving, but it looks like I can have popcorn if I really wanna.

 

            Corn:

 

            Again, lots of people eat corn after WLS.

 

            Beverages:

 

            Caffeinated drinks are out. The caffeine sucks water from your body and Bandsters are already going to have to work to get there water in, so why make it harder?

 

            Carbonated drinks are out, too. They say it’s the bubbles and a lot of people agree, though some are fine with it. I already hate the bubbles. I used to love the bubblation of a can of Coke, but now….it’s painful.

 

            Acidic Juices are out for a lot of people. I’m good. I stopped drinking orange juice a long time ago because it’s all empty carbs. Not worth it on my eyes.

 

            Straws:

 

            Nope we’re not cows and no straws aren’t food, but Gastric Bypass patients are often told not to use straws because you can gulp down air that causes discomfort. The same goes for Bandsters, but it’s not an absolute.

 

 

            All in all though, Bandsters are not afflicted with many of the “food allergies” Bypass patients have. I think this is due to the fact that we’re not dramatically changing the anatomy. Some intolerances will occur and most will say that certain foods can be modify to suit the new tummy or you will just plain get used to not having all those things you once craved.

 

            Yeah, I get that because getting the band isn’t about food. I know we focus a lot on it because losing/gaining weight involves food for most of us. But really, this whole get the band and lose weight thing is about life changes. It’s about relearning your relationship with food.

            For many, the loss of a favorite food might seem like a bit much. For me it once was, but over time I’ve learned that I will live without many of the things I’ve thought I couldn’t.  Rice, pasta, bread,…I’m ready for it if I can’t have these things. (Some people can’t, even though a lot of people can.)

            What I am doing right now is understanding that my life shouldn’t revolve around food. Food is needed for health and sustenance of the body. My emotional self doesn’t need it, but it’s been the mover of my hands to the plate to my mouth.

           

            You know, it’s amazing. I have gone through so many physical and mental changes. I am doing something I thought I could never do. But I made the commitment not to the diet, not to the surgery, not to food, but to myself. 

 

            That’s fucking cool.

 

 

           

My Dragon Necklace

December 3rd Wiegh-In

 

So, I had my official weigh in yesterday. I weighed in at

 

 

341.4 pounds. 

 

1.4 pounds away from my minimum weight for surgery. 

 

I asked if that would keep my from being scheduled and they said….

 

NO. 

 

They sent the authorization request to my insurance company. I will know if a few days if I have been approved for the actual surgery. I shouldn’t worry about it. I doubt that they would deny me after all of this, but the possibility is still there. 

I found out that there is no way that I am getting the surgery in December. My next choice is January and I opted to wait until after L’s visit. I will be having the surgery in February, date unspecified.

This means I will be on my current diet for another 2 months at least. The Doc asked me if I was okay with this and I said yes. I am 341.4 at the moment. I am averaging 15 pounds of weight loss a month. If I stick to that, I will be 310 by surgery time and the thinner I am at surgery time, the easier it will be for everyone concerned and that means I have that much less to lose after surgery. 

After surgery the rate of loss will slow down.  If I work my ass off I can continue the 15 pounds a month after surgery, but the average is 7-10 pounds a month. 

 

So, my goal weight is 170lbs. ( The Docs is 200 and I will be happy with that, but 170 would put me at a good BMI.) My fantasy wieght loss timeline is thus:

 

February:         310 pre-op weight. 

                        -20 pounds the first month.

March:             290

April:               280

May:                270

June:                260

July:                 250

August:           240

September:      230

October:          220

November:      210

December:       200

January:           190

February:         180

March:             170

 

Okay, my real fantasy weight loss schedule is 15 pounds a month, but I am trying to be realistic, trying.  I figure I will lose tons of weight the first month because I will be on liquids for one to two weeks then on mushies for another one or two weeks. That is a whole month before I can even think about introducing regular food into my diet. But as soon as I do, then it is all up to what I eat and how much I exercise. I would think on my worst months I would lose 5 pounds, but I don’t want to have that kind of worst month.

 

Gosh, if I could do 15 pounds a month, I could hit 170 by October 2009. 

 

Ug, but there has to be a dose of reality in here. The actual weight loss per individual varies. The average weight loss is about 2.5 pounds a week. Some do more, some do less. The highest mentioned is 15 pounds. Yet, I have seen people stay at one weight for 3-4 months.

As far as I can tell the rate of loss depends on a few factors. I mentioned diet above and eating right is not suddenly being tossed out of the picture. I still have to watch what I eat and how much. I can waste the surgery if I really want to.

And there is exercise. I can lose the weight without the exercise, but not as much, not as quickly and not as healthily. I need muscles, strong bones and all that goody goo people desire from their bodies.

Then there is the unknown factor.  The restriction of the lap-band.  It can take a few times for me to actually feel full and there is a possibility that I won’t. I dread the thought of them having to cut into me to put in a different size of band. But if they have to, I will let them. I can’t keep doing this liquid diet forever and I sure as hell don’t want to go back to being fat as I was. 

The beauty of rapid weight loss is that you can feel the physical differences. Gradual loss doesn’t register as quickly, but this does. I am well aware that my body feels better, moves better and looks better. If we all had that, we’d all be skinny.

 

You know I am super jumbly this morning.  Let me just say Yay!!! for the next step towards the surgery!!!

 

Oh and L, we are fucking having sushi when you visit!!!!!!