Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One Year! (Warning: Discussion of Icky Girl Stuff!)

Holy Walnuts Batman! It has been a full year since my surgery.  What a freaking crazy year too!  I don't think I had posted about my "girl" problems in the past.  But, when I first started to lose weight, about 5 years ago, I also started having bleeding problems.  I had a procedure called an ablation in 2007 that was supposed to help with the problem... It did, but only for about 2 years.  Then, I started getting a "period" again.  Not like a normal girl, 'cause, well, I'm just not normal!  Aunt Flo would stop by whenever she felt like it. It would last anywhere from 1 day to 10 days, and be just, well, weird.   Then is the spring of 2010, when I began the process of getting my WLS, and began losing weight again, I began to have heavier, more painful bleeding.  Still whenever my body felt like it.  But, just days after having my surgery, when my post-op weight loss began in earnest, I started what I like to call "my run on sentence". ('Cause, a period comes at the end...of...a sentence.... Get it?)  I had 10 months of daily bleeding.  Now, it wasn't always horrible, but still.  Ugh!  Just when I thought there was an end in sight, BAM, just enough to ruin my whole day. There were a total of about 8 days in that time that I did not have any bleeding at all.

My OB/GYN made the decision to wait until I had the "maximum benefit" from my WLS to give me an hysterectomy. Or, maybe,  he was just trying to drive me crazy(er).   Finally, in the beginning of December, I got my point across, and was scheduled for surgery on January 4th.  All went well, but, during recovery, I had a problem with pain control. One of the things about my WLS is, it is no longer a viable option for me to have NSAID's, (Ibuprofen, Aleve, Celebrex...) But in the hospital the doc wanted me to take Motrin.  I was in such pain at first, I did as I was told, but felt really uncomfortable about doing it.  I called my Surgeon's office in Burlington and asked for advice.  It was confirmed that I should not take it.  When I left the hospital, I was given a narcotic pain reliever.  I took it the whole first week, but was still in a great amount of pain headed into the second week.  I called the OB/GYN's office and left a message. (Because talking to an actually live person is a ridiculous thought!)  They called me back a few hours later.  I explained the problem to them, told them I am not allowed to take the Motrin.  The nurse told me she would talk to the doc and get back to me.  Well, about 6 hours late, she did indeed call me back.  She told me that they don't like to give more narcotic pain relievers out, and I should just go ahead and take the Motrin, because it would not do any harm in the week or so I would need to take it.... SERIOUSLY???? What part of "I can't take that" did they not understand?  I stated once again, that I could not take it.  She sighed and said that she would see what she could do.  A bit later, she called me back and told me that she had called in a prescription for me for a lighter narcotic, but should take it with the Motrin for better pain relief... Um... Really... WTF?? I took the new med for 4 days without the NSAID.  I felt no relief from the pain at all.  On the following Monday I called my primary care doctors office, because I knew I could get a live person there.  I just wanted someone to hear what I was saying.  To find out if there was a way to help the pain, but still follow the directions of my bariatric doctor, and protect my stomach.  They were more than helpful there, and tried their best to figure out a way to help relieve some of my pain.  Unfortunately, the solution was not a viable one either.  So, for the following 3 weeks I just bore the pain, and did as little as possible to disturb my body.  Which is quite a task, considering all the kids I have... When I went back for my 1 month check-up, I explained everything to my doctor, and how upset I was that I couldn't get any help.  His response was to say that there was no such thing as "total pain relief" (which I wasn't looking for anyway..) and that I should have just taken the Motrin, because he was sure that in the short(!) month of time I would have been taking it, not problems would have occurred.  Wow, he must be a psychic or something to know that!  I told both my bariatric surgeon and PC doc what was said.  It is now going in my medical record that I am "allergic" to NSAID's.  My bariatric doc commented on how sad it was that it had to be called an allergy to be recognized as something I could not have instead of taking the time to understand why a person who has undergone WLS should not have NSAID's.  So true!

Wow, that was quite a ramble... Sorry about that! But, the point of that whole ramble is that, the problems I was having held me back a bit from "being all I could be" in terms of exercising and really living my life.  Now that the problem is solved, I can't wait to get moving again, and shed the last 60 lbs that are holding me down.   I have more energy, more interest, more expectations for myself than I have ever had.  I am (for the most part) feeling a sense of pride and happiness that I don't remember feeling before.  That being said, I still have my fair share of the crazies, and have some really awful days that make me want to bang my head on a wall, but maybe that is more normal than I ever realized!   I am still the same Amy I always was, just a healthier, more alive, 2.0 revamped version of her!  There are still a million and one things I would change about my life and things in it.  But, I have an easier time dealing with the things that make me so crazy... All because I discovered that by using the tool I have, in the right way, I can accomplish things I set my mind to.

Wow, so this is what pride in ones self feels like....

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I've been screwing up lately.  Eating things that I shouldn't be, drinking some alcohol, not getting enough protein, or water, and generally not taking good enough care of the gift I have been given.
Life is so complicated right now, and I have been using that as an excuse.  Well, enough of that crap!  I have a ton of excuses, many of them really good ones too, but I need to get my head on straight and fix me.  Time to pull myself up by my bootstraps (not that I even have boots, let alone boots with straps).  I've got to get this show on the road and really set some goals for myself and make them happen.  I'm going to think on this one for a little bit, and get back on here and set them for the world to see... I am open to suggestions.

Ugh, so much on my tiny mind, it's no wonder I am like a gold fish all the time.... Oooh, something shiny.... umm,  where was I?  Humm, can't remember, but I will, and then, I'll Be Back....Ohhhh, something shiny....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4 Month Surg-aversary

Well, I was going to post yesterday, but it was a crazy day.  Shane-O had doctors appointments in Rutland and at Dartmouth.  Then when we got back, I took some mommy time and went to Bingo.  Yes, I went to Bingo.  Go ahead, bring on the old lady comments, I can take 'em! 

Anywho, yesterday was my 4 month surg-aversary.  Four months since I took the walk off the deep-end into my new life.  At the beginning of my journey I was 333 pounds.  Yesterday I weighed in at 237, for a total loss of 96 pounds, and a four month total of 53 pounds!  That breaks down to 13.25 pounds a month.  I think that is pretty good!  Even if I break that down into the 15 months I have been on this crazy journey, it comes out to 6.4 pounds a month!  Still good!  Not to mention, I am just over half way done with my total weight loss.  Only 90 lbs left to go!  YAY ME!

All that being said, I am still struggling with many of the changes I have had to make in my life to make this work for the long run.  I am going to really meditate on things and write about them later.  'Cause for right now, I am going to celebrate my half way victory, and just be happy.....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Just another day.

I'll admit it.  I am the least organized person you will ever meet.  My house is a disaster most of the time.  I keep coming up with these ideas about how to arrange and rearrange the house so it will be easier to find things and use things.  But, unfortunately, the problem is internal.  I am just genetically unable to make logistical heads or tails of an organizational system, no matter what I do.  I am very afraid I have passed this condition on to my poor unsuspecting children.  I am working on breaking that chain, so my kids learn the skills they need to live a somewhat well-ordered life.

It is the same way with my weight.  I mean, I know what I am supposed to do, what I should do.  But, actually putting that plan into motion is harder to do than I always imagine it will be.  Some days I just feel like I really screwed up and want to eat the world.  I am worried I have passed this problem on to my kiddos too.  Food and beverage are such comforting, embracing, non-judging things.  It is hard to pass them up.  But I am learning, slowly, but surely, that I can do it.  I just have to keep reminding myself of this every day, sometimes every hour.  Yeah, I still make mistakes, ALL THE TIME.  But, now I am much better at understanding why, and not "punishing" myself for the slips.  I am also working on teaching my kids the healthy eating habits that will lead them to long, healthy, fit lives.

Sheesh, being a mom is a hard job sometimes....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Genius who is Eggface....

Since my surgery I have been looking for a place that has recipes and ideas for someone who has had WLS.  Just two weeks or so ago I discovered this incredible site to help me in just that area!  The World According to Eggface is the name of it.  I have already tried many recipes and enjoy reading her entries and gaining insight on how her journey has gone. It is comforting to follow along with someone who has been in a similar situation, and I am hoping to have a journey as successful as hers!

Right now Eggface AKA Michelle is having a 5 year anniversary give away on her blog.  You should check it out! I do every day!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

WOW! Over a year!

It has been over a year since I posted anything!  In a way, I can't believe it.  But, in another, I totally can.  A lot has happened in this last year.  Right around the time I last posted, I started a quest to have Weight Loss Surgery, also known as WLS.  There are many types of WLS, but the types I had in front of me to consider were the Lap Band, the Full Gastric Bypass and the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  The Lap Band put a little expandable tube around your stomach to restrict the amount that can be eaten, but I felt that was not restrictive enough for me.  I was thinking about a Gastric Bypass, which I wanted laparoscopically.  But, I found out, that due to my four c-sections, the bypass would have to be an open procedure.  This is because I have a lot of adhesions (things sticking together inside me) from all my babies.  

So, it turns out that the best fit for me was to have a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG).  This is a procedure that totally removes about 85% of a persons stomach.  The doctors leave a small four ounce "pouch" for consuming foods.  It could be done laparoscopically, and didn't have to bypass my intestines. Now, before you think I just dove into this head first, without any consideration, let me relieve your mind!  The process from start to finish, took about 11 months. Where I went, there is a LONG list of things that need to be accomplished before a person can have this surgery.  

First, you will get to make an appointment to go to an informational meeting, where you get all sorts of info about the different surgeries, then you have to fill out a complete health questionaire, and a three day food diary.  You send  this all back to the office, then attend the meeting.  At this meeting you get to make an appointment with the doctor, and choose which surgery you are interested in.  Based on that they give you a pass for an online tutorial about the surgery you have chosen.  The tutorial goes step by step thru your procedure, stopping to let you type in questions you may want to ask your provider.  It was an awesome tool to help me really get an idea of what I was going to be doing to my body.  

At the first actual visit you meet the surgeon, the dietitian, the nursing staff, and the PA, who you will see for most of the rest of the visits.  There will be a pre-surgery weightloss goal set up for the patient, usually they want a person to lose about 10% of their body weight before surgery.  There are also exercise goals, a food diary expectations and tests and procedures to do.  A person is expected to have at least 6 consecutive monthly visits before surgery.  But every insurance company varies.  The other expectations my doctors office had were:
Attend a support group meeting, have a psych evaluation, attend a behavioral skills class, bring in food diaries to each appointment, attend a Post-Op Diet Class, do home work assignments (such as trial liquid diet and post-op menu planning). 

Finally, after all of that is done, if insurance approves, you are scheduled for surgery.  Then ten days before surgery, a full liquid diet is started.  This consists of consuming only full and clear liquids (strained cream soups, yogurt, protein shakes...) for the full 10 days prior to surgery.  This is to help shrink and condition your liver, which makes the whole surgery easier.  

Sooooo, on December 30, 2010, I got my approval from the insurance company, then on February 21, 2011, I underwent the VSG at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vermont. I won't say it was the most pleasant thing I have ever done.  As a matter of fact, for the first couple of months I wondered on a daily basis what in the hell I had done to myself, and WHY?!! 
But, let me put some stats up here:  My start weight (my highest ever) was 333.  So, to even be able to qualify to have the surgery I had to lose 33 pounds.  That alone took me about eight months.  By the beginning of December, I was down to 300 pounds. I maintained that weight until my 10 day liquid fast when I then lost about another 10 lbs, (down to 290 on the day before surgery!) 

About two weeks after my surgery, I has some complications, that put me in the hospital for a week.  I can't remember my exact weights at the different appointments I went to after surgey,  But, today, at almost 4 months out from surgery, I have lost another 49 lbs since surgery.  For a total weight loss of 92 pounds!  As of this morning I weighed 241 lbs.  I know that this is still a really high weight.  But I am very proud of myself and feel so good!  I have about another 90 pounds that I want to lose, and hope to lose it over the next 10 months to one year.  There are still a ton of things that I have to learn, and a ton of things that I have to correct in my life to get this right, but I am on the road to there.  

It takes a lot of support from everyone to make this journey surviveable... I would not have made it if my husband, children and my wonderful best friends (TEAM AMY!!!) had not supported me, cheered me on, talked me down from many a ledge, and been there all the way for me.  I am truly blessed to have so many awesome people in my life.

I AM going to try to post more often, and get all the things I am going thru, and finding out about myself and my new world down in writing.  Balance has never been more important than it is now, and I want to share every morsel of it that I can.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eight Months...Really?

Okay, so, as it has been pointed out to me, (thank-you Heidi!) I need a new post. :) True, so true! I can not believe it has been so long since I have written anything here. Somehow, I got lost in my life. A full eight months, so packed full of stuff that I can barely remember what went on. Here is just a small example: Football, Basketball, Dance, Swine Flu, Subbing, Doctors, Doctors, and more Doctors, and Ear Surgery for my oldest "baby".
I have not been walking the walk AT ALL lately, or finding any balance to my life. It has me really messed up too. I need to go back and re-examine what I have already posted, I think it will help me start to make sense of my crazy. (Stop snickering...I can hear you!) There are tons of things in the works with my life and family, so maybe this is a good place to to spew...figuratively, of course!
I am full of random thoughts right now, I need a file cabinet for my brain, seriously.

Just got a call from the school, gotta go remove a tick from my kid, then go to work! The fun never stops!