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.