Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, from our home to yours.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Want to win a $250 GC to Chef's Catalog....

You know you do!  I love to cook, and one of my favorite cooking blogs is giving away a $250 gc to Chef's Catalog (another one of my favorite sites).  Go enter, and good luck!!

Let Jane know I sent ya!

$250 GC to Chef's Catalog

Stephanie

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving week....??

Last week was Thanksgiving week.  The week consisted of two days of school for my girls...

Then on Wednesday we drove up to Dallas, to my Mom's house (i.e. The Farm)

then we went to a Disney on Ice performance with Meemaw...
 Lion King
 The Little Mermaid

 Lilo and Stitch
 Minnie and Mickey
 Tinkerbell

 Peter Pan

came back to her house, spent the night, drove back down to our house, got ready to go, and headed over to a dear friends house for Thanksgiving dinner, of which she made the whole thing.  It was nice not having to cook for once, lol.  So after dinner, we went Black Friday shopping.  I've gone with other friends two other times, but none compare to what we did.  There is just something about the thrill of waiting in line to get the good deals, and making new friends along the way.  It was a lot of fun.  We were out shopping and saving for 12 hours straight.  I finished our Christmas shopping for the girls (who are being really spoiled this year for some reason), and I was able to get a few things for the house...waffle maker anyone?  Between all of the busy times of this season, I've been slacking in my blog.
I am still losing weight at a steady rate.  Down to 195.  My husband is coming home for R&R in the near future, and I couldn't be more excited to see him.  So as the time goes on, I will still be on hiatus for a while.  We have Sierra's 7th birthday just around the corner, Christmas, our 10th anniversary, him coming home for R&R, and then our small vacation, and sending him on his way.  Plus, I'm taking my Mom to a rodeo in Dallas for her Christmas present this year.  I can't wait.  Its going to be a lot of fun, and much needed fun at that.

What are you up to this holiday season?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Losing slowly, but steadily...

Down to 202.2 as of this morning.  Woohoo!  Yup, that means in 3 1/2 months I've gone down 59 lbs!  Fantastic.  I have yet to consistently work out, but its getting better.  I'm feeling better, I believe that the blood clot is slowly going away.  I have been struggling with figuring out my food.  I'm getting it little by little, but I do sometimes get complacent and eat things I shouldn't.  Overall, things are getting easier by day, and I'm very grateful for that.
I am hoping to lose another 5-10 lbs in the next month or so.  I have yet to buy any new clothes, I have clothes all the way down to 8-10's, so I'll be good for a while.  I am really excited to see where this journey takes me.  Its taken a while, and its been a bit of a struggle, but its getting easier every single day.
That's my little update!  =)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Turkey Sausage patties


 Turkey Sausage Patties

2 lbs lean ground turkey
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sage
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, mix well.  Shape into 2 1/2 inch patties.
Cook over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes on each side in large skillet.

(makes about 16 patties) per 2 patties: 85 calories, 5g fat, 10 g protein




 Delicious!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Army life....

I am proud all at the same time.  A few days ago, my husband re-enlisted his final time.  He is going INDEF.
We have at least another 7 years in this Army life.  I'm proud of him, because we both came to the conclusion that this would be best for our family.  The economy, some of our medical issues, and security all played a role in this decision, and it wasn't a decision we made lightly.  I haven't even told my family, and we haven't told his family just yet.  I'm not sure who to tell right now, or when I want to tell them.  For now, I've told my best friend, and that's it.  Its a major thing, and some people might think its a stupid decision because he will be deployed 3-4 years of the at least 7 that are left.  But it was still a decision that we felt was right for our family.  We have financial security right now, my blood clot issues, Autumn's ADHD issues, and neither of us are getting any younger, we also have to take into account the security that the Army provides, not only financially, but also the fact that I don't have to worry whether we will have a roof over our heads or food on our table.  The Army does in fact, take care of its own.  We may not be rich, we may not have everything we want, he may not be home everyday, but its still a good system with the Army, and so our decision was made.

So all in all, my husband is now a "Lifer."  I'm still dealing with the actual reality of this whole thing.  The fact that its actually done, is really kind of weird to me.  I'm haven't come to terms with it quite yet, but its the life I know, and nothing in that sense is going to change.

7 more years...sigh.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ultimate Roasted Garlic Chicken....

Ultimate Roasted Garlic Chicken
Pampered Chef Recipe

3 heads garlic, unpeeled
2 tbs olive oil
1 lemon
1/4 cup butter
2 tbs Greek Rub (I used the Pampered Chef version)
1/2 tsp each of salt, and pepper
1 whole chicken (innard things thrown away please)
1 onion, quartered

Preheat to 400.  Cut 1/4 in off the pointed top of garlic heads.  Put garlic in a bowl cut side up, drizzle with 1 tbs oil.  Microwave for 3 min, or until soft, let cool completely (otherwise your hands will not be happy later!!)



Zest 1 tsp of the lemon rind, gently squeeze the garlic out into the bowl, discard the skins.  Add zest, butter, 1 tbs of rub, salt and pepper....mash up really well.  (My garlic was a little hard still, so I had to microwave some more, then it became easier to mash, it also might work, just to throw it all in a small food processor.
Trim fat from chicken, lift wing tips up toward neck, then tuck under back of chicken.  Loosen skin from breast to thigh portions.  Spread garlic mixture evenly under skin of chicken.  Put the lemon and onion into chicken cavity, tie ends of legs together, and place the chicken breast side up in a baker.  (I used a deep covered baker...also from Pampered chef, this sounds like a commercial, lol)


Combine remaining oil, and rub, and brush over chicken.  Roast, covered for 65-70 minutes or until thermometer reads 140 F in thickest part of breast.  Remove lid, and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until thermometer reads 160 F.  Let stand, covered for 10 minutes before serving.  Remove and discard lemon and onion before serving.  Deliciousness!

 The girls' plates!

 
My plate, in comparison to the bowl...I couldn't even eat half of this.  =/

All on a salad plate.  I ate most of the chicken, a small 1/4 tsp bite of the potatoes, and two corn kernals...lol.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The State Fair of Texas...

My girls heading into the fair.
 At the animal area, its basically a petting zoo.

 Sierra, getting ready for her Pee Wee Stampede!

 Doing her "barrel racing"

 She won a trophy for being the best barrel racer!

 Just a "taste" of the fried items they offer

 Layla bug (my niece) loving the bubbles.

 She's having a blast in the science museum!

 Dallas Skyline!

The Texas Star Ferris Wheel...

Frustrations...

I eat so little.  You would think that the weight would be just FALLING off of my body right now.  While it is coming off, its starting to come off very slowly.  =(

I didn't make the goal I'd set out for myself.  I was hoping to hit the 45 lb loss mark by my 2 month surgiversary.  Instead, I made it to 44.2 lbs lost instead.  I didn't eat all that well last night though, the combination of me being tired, and either having allergies or getting a cold (the jury is still out on that one), caused me to eat whenever and whatever.  Willpower was gone yesterday.  I didn't eat horribly, but I was grazing all day, and I somehow managed to eat a whole fiber one bar.

Sometimes, I wonder if the surgery really did cut out 85% of my stomach, or if my pouch is stretching out already.  I hear of people who are a year out that can only eat 2 ounces of food at a time.  While I still can't eat a LOT at a time, I can certainly eat every few hours, and usually its about 2 oz at a time.  Probably not a good thing.  I think I need to incorporate my acid reducer again, and I also need to start integrating more working out into my life.  I feel much better than I have been recently.  To the point where I'm not needing my pain medications as much, my INR levels are evening out, slowly but surely, and by this time, I am mostly completely healed from the surgery.  I still have some issues with bending down a lot, my incisions on the inside ache at times, but overall, I'm feeling so much better!

Its just about time to kick it into high gear.  The weight loss has slowed down so much that its really annoying, especially when I'm eating well, and I'm eating so little.  However, earlier in the week, I did have issues with chocolate or sugars, and I knew I would pay for it on the scale.  My 1.8 lb loss this week, is proof, that I am now paying for it.  Most people would be grateful for a 1.8 lb loss in a week.  I am not most people though.  I've also had this surgery, and while I'll probably be plateauing out again soon (its a cycle), I should be losing more weight than I am.  I just have to get back on, and start rocking my sleeve.

Between last month and this month, I've lost about 9 lbs.  Its still a great loss, but considering this is my second month, and I've done better than that on my own by just working out and eating well, I'm unhappy with that number.  I feel good though, so tomorrow, I'm getting right back up, dusting myself off, and pulling up my big girl panties (and believe me they are still BIG...you don't wanna know).  Today, I am still recovering from my exhausting weekend (we went to the Texas State Fair), I am going to work on re-hydrating my body (its so easy to get dehydrated these days), and also work on getting my protein in.  I also want to see if this cold gets any better or worse, I figured it was just allergies, but now I'm beginning to wonder if this is a cold as my oldest woke up with sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.  We are off to the dr. later to make sure it isn't strep or anything too serious.  Still, the weigh in and out cycles are frustrating.  Especially when I do eat so much smaller portions that I ever did before.  I've lost 44.2 lbs in TWO months though.  That is an average of 22.1 lbs a month, and really isn't too upsetting when I look at it that way.  When I think about it the other way...I lost 36 the first month and 9 the second month...its a little upsetting, lol.  So I'm going to look at it the way it makes me feel better.  Plus, I may have a fantastic month this month and the weight will just come off, here's hoping!  =)


~It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get up.
Vince Lombardi

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It has certainly been a week...

Sigh...
I've been only doing okay.  I was at 42.8  lbs lost today, which means a grand total of 2.8 lbs in a week.  Its good, its a little more disappointing than the whole 30 some odd pounds in a month, but I need to stop thinking like that.  My weight isn't coming off as quickly as other people's right now, because I'm not able to workout like I want.
I have a problem.  I like to go big or go home.  I start walking on the treadmill, and then end up running 3 miles off and on.  Even if I just walk, half the time, I end up walking 3-6 miles at a time.  I just start feeling soooo good, and start busting it.  I am physically unable to do that right now.  It will literally exhaust me.  I have trouble right now...if I do a lot ONE day, the very next day (and sometimes even for two days after).  Its really bothersome.  I know and realize that a big part of it, is that I'm still healing in some ways...I'm also still dealing with a blood clot.  It can take 3-6 months for this thing to go away.  I'm still in pain a lot of times, it really sucks.  My INR levels aren't where they are supposed to be, so that may have something to do with it.  I truly have no clue.  I will see my hematologist (at least I think that's what he does) on Friday, and I will bring it up and ask about it.  Maybe things need to be checked out again.  I will also ask my surgeon, but my next appointment with him isn't until a few weeks from now.  I'll definitely need to speak to him about my pain meds though, I don't have nearly enough to last me the next two weeks.  =/


This whole entire process has been so much harder than it seems.  I'm still struggling with how to eat, what to eat, how much to eat, how much not to eat.  A lot of it, is really tiring.




Yesterday, I had a long day, I woke up early to wake up my girls, and stepped in two puddles of PEE.  At some point when I was hospitalized, one or both of my dogs peed in my hallway that leads to my kids rooms.  I've been doing everything in my power to get that smell up.  I've used a carpet deodorizer, I've used baking soda, water, my carpet cleaner 3x, I've even tried febreeze.  Nothing was working.  The ammonia/dog pee/kennel smell hits me like a ton of bricks.  Then I woke up to step in it again, yesterday morning.  Of course, the dogs are just marking their territory, or smelling where they peed before and what not.  But I was NOT a happy camper.  Not in the least.  I scrubbed, I blotted, I mixed ingredients to try to get more of it up.  I read soaking the spot in water will help dilute it, so I soaked, I blotted more, I went through two towels.  Then I showered, and got ready for my WLS support group at the hospital.  I haven't been since having surgery, and now that I do feel quite a bit better than I did right after the surgery, I decided to go.  I was late because it took me an extra 20 minutes to follow someone to a parking spot...then I think I accidentally stole it out from under someone...oops!  I didn't mean to, and normally, I would have pulled out once I realized what I did, but I was already 10 minutes late, and I really wanted to attend the meeting.  Luckily, I got there, and barely had a seat, but I got one, and was of course, the last one to enter in there.  It was a good meeting though, and it really helped me to talk to other people going through similar situations.  The camaraderie is fantastic.  Plus, I am now one of those people that can help answer the Pre-Op's questions.  I need to make sure I'm still going to these meetings.  It really felt good to chat with other women that are going or have gone through all of this.  It also helped to answer questions to help out others.
Afterwards, I went to our commissary.  Its a military grocery store for my civilian friends.  I got my bill up to a whopping 200 bucks, before watching that number inch its way back down to 166ish.  I love coupons.  Still, I realized I need to go through my coupons again, I've been really slacking on my couponisms with how I feel and everything.  I spend so much time, organizing, cutting, sorting, and re-organizing, and I like to put it off at times.  Either way, I saved 34 dollars on my bill, and to be honest, its not nearly as good as I could do usually, but my grocery bills are changing.  I am buying organic eggs (they have more vitamins, which I need), I'm buying more expensive, leaner cuts of meat, organic turkey, or all WHITE breast turkey meat (not all turkey is created equal, just sayin'), chicken sausage, and cheeses.  I focus on protein more than anything.  I'm not supposed to eat very much greens, even though I do still eat some...I can't help it.  I love vegetables/fruits, and when I have to stay away from them, it stinks.  Plus I feel better when I eat them.  Still, I stick with protein first, then I go for the other small portions on my plate.  So my bill is going up.  My kids are going to be eating much better because of this as well.  I bought some flax, oatmeal, dark chocolate cookies, that have less carbs than your average cookie, and more protein, but it wasn't cheap.  I refuse to let my kids eat white bread anymore.  Wheat and I mean WHOLE wheat bread is so much better for the kids.  I WAS buying white for the girls, only because its cheaper, but I will start home-making my own bread if I have to...I am not going to be keeping foods that aren't good for us.  I will keep foods that may not be the best thing out there, but still are healthier alternatives to your average cookie, or chip.  For instance...the oatmeal, flax, dark chocolate cookie...I wasn't a huge fan, so I gave them to my girls, guess what...they LOVE them.  I can find something similar to home make for them, now that I know that they will like it.  Anyway, I'm veering off course....
After the grocery excursion, I was already exhausted.  I came home to clean my house as much as possible before my FIL arrived.  He was just passing through, so he took us out to The Olive Garden.  Let me just tell you...there really aren't a lot of healthy choices at restaurants in general.  You can ALWAYS find something that is a good alternative though.  I ordered Apricot grilled chicken with veggies, asparagus, broccoli and tomatoes.  I also got either a salad or a soup...I chose my absolute favorite soup (Zuppa Tuscana anyone?), I ended up eating the broth...it doesn't taste the same as it used to anymore.  =(  I should have gone with the Minestrone, but I wanted to indulge a little.  I did NOT have any bread, and that was an accomplishment worth mentioning.  So I got my meal, ate a half piece of chicken (they give you two smaller grilled flattened chicken breasts), I also ate most of my tomatoes, and I tip of an asparagus.  It was delicious, and I was STUFFED to the gills.  We came home, the girls kept grandpa up for a while longer, and finally we all went to bed.
This morning, after waking the girls up, I went into the kitchen and made some italian seasoned eggs.  I broke 3 eggs, 4 egg whites, added salt and pepper, and some garlic herb seasoning, then added mozzarella cheese.  They turned out well.  The girls loved them...I only had a bite, as I wasn't very hungry.  The girls and Grandpa had the eggs, and a banana, and then they went to school.  Grandpa was on his way, and I was just plain POOPED.
So I've sat in my recliner all day today, catching up on TV shows, and just feeling plain tired, worn out, exhausted, whatever you want to call it.  I've been craving sugar like crazy today, hence the cookie....then I was craving pasta (I haven't craved pasta, at all, since surgery...today was the first day), craving all things bad for me.  Probably due to me being tired, could also be my meds acting up, who knows.  Whatever the reason, I have been grazing all day, and that is a HUGE no-no.  I'm going to have to figure this out still.  I had another bite of my eggs this morning, and didn't feel that they sat well in my stomach, so I threw away the leftovers (eggs don't keep well), so I started the cravings for sugar.  I ate a Kashi bar...it didn't help that craving go away, as a matter of fact, it probably just made it worse, still I had to wait a lot longer to eat something else.  Ate some string cheese, again it didn't help, some buffalo flavored grilled chicken strips.  It helped me feel full, but the craving was horrendous.  So what did I do?  I got a POPTART.  WTF!!!!???
I took off the sides, and ate part of the middle, and threw the rest away.  My sugar craving was definitely satisfied, and surprisingly I didn't feel completely awful after eating it.  Maybe...maybe...maybe.....my body needed more sugar.  I have no clue, but I did briefly feel better, before the sugar high wore off, and then I just felt even more tired than before.  Note to self:  FRUIT can work, lol.
So I slipped today, it was a rather big slip, and I will pay for it, but I feel better now....=/
So after that, I had more grilled chicken, more cheese, some cheese its (about 8), oh and whole grain cheese its btw, lol.  I thought maybe my body was wanting carbs for whatever reason, usually if you can't kick a craving, its your bodies way of trying to TELL you something.  I will NOT be indulging again, especially in poptarts...I don't even really like them.  But sugar was calling and it was the first thing I saw...another note to self: make kids eat them, and never buy them again, lol.  I also drank some crystal light protein drinks, water, lots of water...I peed a lot today (that's good).
I did not weigh myself today.  The day before, I was at 218.4.  Tomorrow, I will weigh myself, then I will come to my blog, and tell you my weight.  I'm going to be paying for the extra carbs and the extra sugar today, so my hopes aren't too high for another loss.  I feel like I'm almost sabotaging myself.  By my 2 month surgiversary, I want to hit the 45 lbs lost mark.  I'm only about 2.6 lbs away from that, however, I won't be able to weigh myself that day, and I'll have to go with the next day's weigh in.
This weekend, I'm taking my kids to a fair.  We will be doing a lot of walking.  They have food...lots of fried foods, and they also have smoked turkey legs.  My plan is to munch on that turkey leg for lunch, and I'm going to bring a zip lock bag and pull it off, and snack on it the rest of the day if I have to.  Yes, I'm going to be THAT person, lol.  There is NO way, I can eat a whole leg, so zip lock will just have to come to the rescue.  Mostly, I'm going to shop, to check out the neat things they have, and to maybe ride on the rides, and take some awesome pictures of my kids, and family.  Overall, I'm hoping for a good weekend.  I'm bringing my taco soup, my Mom will be making some taco's and as long as I stick with the meat and the cheese, I'll be good to go.




So now that I've written a book, thank you for getting so far, and actually reading this...I probably should have broken into more than one post.  Instead, I rambled, and I must say, my blog helps me get things out, and I'm extremely happy for that.  It really helps me to deal with my emotions, whether or not anyone reads this, I know that I'm getting things out, and that is an amazing thing.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Success, and a Fail

Officially...on Tuesday, I was exactly 221.2.  A grand total of:






 
GONE!  Poof!
I am now 7 weeks post op...on my way to 8.
Then I got hungry....and lately been feeling more hungry.  Maybe I'm having my TOM issues (I wouldn't know because I haven't had THAT happen for the last 7 weeks, surgery messes with your cycles).  Maybe...I was just hungry.  Either way, I had not one, but TWO Fiber One mini brownies...FAIL!
That isn't a good thing.  Although I will say that they are really yummy and are a great alternative for the real world people, they aren't a great alternative for me right now.  Right now, its all about the protein.  I have had three protein crystal light drinks today, string cheese, sandwich meat, about a 1/2 can of soup, some turkey sausage, and a small slice of sausage from a bbq place nearby.  I had the two small brownies, and have really wanted to carb load today.  I haven't really had much of an issue with carb loading lately, so it all comes at once.  Still, I like to think I did okay.  But I can't be surprised if the scales is quietly cursing me tomorrow morning either.  I need to see the damage.  I also can't celebrate if I've lost.  I need to get back on that pony!

People who have surgeries aren't your average joe people for the most part.  I know I wasn't.  Not in my eating habits at least.  I was and am addicted to food.  Its an addiction that is extremely hard to get out of.  I ate for comfort, out of boredom, I ate when I was feeling lonely, or sad.  It was my go-to comfort.  I have to be very mindful about what I put in my mouth nowadays, and even when I want the comfort.  I had no issues eating those little brownies, I ate them a little at a time.  They do have a lot of fiber in them, and they are much better for me than the average brownie, however, I can't make the excuses I made before I had the surgery.  It isn't okay, especially being only 7 weeks out, to have one or even the TWO that I had.  The food has to be conquered before anything else can be done.  Perhaps its my bodies way of telling me that I need to change something, or my bodies way of telling me that I'm not getting in enough calories.  Whatever the reason, its going to have to stop.  Now.

I really don't want to be that person that fails at this.  I don't want to be the person that is talked about..."oh she had weight loss surgery...its too bad she's gained it all back."  Its my BIGGEST fear.  Like I've said before, I've lost the weight in the past....then I've gained it all back, and most recently, MORE SO.  I'm not going through this *last ditch effort*, so that I can gain this weight back.  I'm ALSO not going through all of this pain (from the blood clots, or whatever else), so that I can have the weight stay on my frame.

I want to be healthy, I want to be happy, I want to play with my kids, and run 5k's again.  Lately, I've been getting more pain, and I'm unsure why.  Maybe the Coumadin isn't at the correct level, I will know more tomorrow about that.  Whatever the case may be, I've been feeling the pain creeping back up, it usually hits me right around 4 or 5 in the evening, and before I go to bed.  I've been taking two percocet pills to get by.  My dr. prescribed me enough for me to taper off to one.  I was able to do one for 2 days.  I thought it was getting better, and unfortunately, I've been feeling a little worse off.  I'm still getting in plenty of protein, and my vitamins to make sure it isn't that.  The only thing I can think is that maybe the Coumadin is failing, or perhaps I ate too much Vitamin K that day....sigh.  The blood clot ordeal isn't over yet, and I still have a long way to go.

Still~medical issues or not, I want to ROCK this sleeve.  I want to start working out, and I find myself getting more tired lately, and feeling the creepings up of the pain.  I don't want to over-do it either.  I don't want the pain, not even a little.  Its all still a learning game for me.  Between my new pouch, my blood clot, my foods, my drinks, and the excessive amount of protein I need every day, I'm still learning, and figuring this whole thing out.

Sometimes, I ask myself if this is all worth it.  Maybe I should just go ahead and EAT that Cinnabon... (lol, KIDDING), but seriously, is this all worth it?  Will it be in the end?  When will I EVER get to goal?  When will I get into ONEderland?  Can I start working out without having pain?  When can I run again?  Ugh...

It can definitely be frustrating.  It gets lonely too.  If I'm lucky, I get to talk to my husband for about an hour a week, and while I'm used to that aspect of my life, my new medical issues just make me want to talk to him more.  I still have a lot of wonderful friends to go to, I still have family to talk to, it isn't the same though.  He knows me better than just about anyone else.  He's the one I want to talk to, and now we are also discussing his impending re-enlistment for indef.  (meaning until he retires for all you civvies out there), we are also discussing what is going to happen when he comes home from his deployment right now.  He will no longer have a job in this company he's apart of, and will have to moved somewhere else on Fort Hood.  This also means that 6 months after he is home...hell, even 3 months after he is home, he could potentially be deployed again for another year.  I can prepare myself for this to happen.  I don't want it to by any means, but its one of those things that sometimes military wives have to be prepared for.  We can only go where the wind takes us, and we were lucky the last two years he was home before this deployment...he was HOME for 2 whole YEARS!!  Since we've been married, we've been LUCKY to have him home for a full year.  Usually he's only been home about 6 months with all of the field times, and schools he has to attend before being deployed again.  So I almost feel like we OWE the Army.  Plus, it will just be us going back to the norm, with the exception that he'll be deployed instead of in school or in the field.  So I have a lot weighing on my mind right now.  I think that is why I turned to the comfort food, and that is why I ate two....and its probably why I'm feeling really hungry right this second as well.  The military life is definitely a stressful life sometimes....

Still, I need to learn to deal with the stress in other ways.  My body will no longer allow me to binge eat (I will literally get sick), but I can still eat things I really shouldn't be eating.  While in the "losing" stages, I need to be extremely mindful of how I'm eating, and what I'm eating.  It is one of the reasons I've started buying organic foods when available (did you know organic eggs, and chickens have more vitamins in them?), I am buying more whole foods when I can (still, the processed brownie was pretty yummy, lol), and I'm also learning to live my life in a totally different way.  I avoid breads, tortilla's (oh how I miss my white flour tortillas), chips, crackers...white starches....I am learning to mend my kids minds to eating nothing but whole wheats, and more vegetables and fruits.  I've always loved fruits and veggies, but its always been way too expensive to buy fresh rather than canned or frozen.  Things are slowly changing.  I find myself LOOKING for high protein, low carb recipes more often.   I even found a protein cookie place...not sure the carbs on it, but it sounds interesting.  I've ordered books upon books to try out new things, but the one thing that is killing me right now, is not having as much fruit and vegetables as I did before.  Like I said, I love my fruit, and I love my veggies.  I'm told to stay away, or eat the exact amount every single day to keep my Coumadin from moving all over the place.  I want to add spinach, and mushrooms, and even salsa to my eggs in the morning...salsa works, mushrooms would work, spinach is really high in vitamin k, and I should probably stay away from that.  I can't have my coffee in the morning, mostly because I love to dump a crap top of sugary fatty creamer into it.  Still...I'm learning.  Small changes can make a world of difference, and I'm slowly coming around.  I hope my scale is still moving in the right direction.  If it isn't, well then, its time to re-evaluate my diet again, and figure out what is working and what isn't!

Monday, September 19, 2011

So close...

I started this journey at a whopping 261.2 lbs.  Its crazy to even remotely SAY that awful number.  Its hideous, and I cringe just thinking about it.  261.2.  Ugh.  How in the world, did I let myself get so heavy?  I had never been so heavy before in my lifetime.  I think the combination of moving, not having as many friends as I did in Germany, or as many good friends as I did in Germany, and then being back in the states took a HUGE toll on me.  I believe when I left Germany, I was barely 200 lbs...one year later and 61.2 lbs heavier.  ICK.

Today, after having gone through complications, then a two week stall on my weight, the numbers are headed back down.  According to my own scale (since its the one I weight most on, its the one I go off of), this morning I was down to 222.2 lbs.  Still not great, but certainly NOT 261.2...what a scary number.  I was over 250...WOW.  I am a month and a half out.  My official weigh in days are Tuesdays (since I had surgery on a Tuesday), so tomorrow that number is null and void if it isn't the same.  Still, I have one lbs to go until I've officially lost 40 lbs on my own scale.  40 lbs in a month and a half is no sorry feat.  The blood clot aided me in this loss.  However, sometimes I feel like I'm not losing fast enough.  Even though when I tell people, sometimes their eyes bulge out of their heads, and they look at me as if I'm crazy.  I've seen others who have had this surgery who lose 80-100 lbs in four months.  WOW, in that sense, I'm way far behind, and need to get moving, lol.  Others, I've seen 2 1/2 months out, and only have lost 20 lbs.  Every single BODY is different.  I just want to be in the group that loses a lot, but who doesn't, right?

I'm still figuring out my new diet and exercise plans.  Yesterday, I went a little crazy and decided to hand scrub every tile and the grout in my dining room.  Its not a small room, I had my oldest daughter following me wiping up my leftover water and soap, and my youngest one tackled the baseboards...yes, I make our Sunday cleanings a family affair.  Still, my dining room looked so freaking awesome afterwards...that is until my youngest got some cranberry juice and apparently spilled it on the floor...I would have LOVED for my hard work to last longer than a few hours, but hey, I have kids, and this just comes with the territory.  Still, for a brief hour or two, it looked AWESOME.  =)
I also washed my couches, vacuumed, did laundry, cut coupons, and somehow managed to watch three movies, all before 11:45 last night.  I get energy later in the day, I've noticed.  Then I go a little nuts with the cleaning and everything.  I think its my bodies way of saying, "Hey...you can work out at ANY time now."  But I confess, I'm scared.

Why am I scared?  Well, because, I've noticed that my incisions are hurting a little.  I'm 6 weeks out from surgery, and this is totally and completely normal.  It usually only happens when I'm exerting myself.  My incisions are almost completely healed inside (they've been healed outside for quite sometime).  So when I exert myself a bit, they do ache a little.  Its normal, and natural.  I mean they did pull out a big portion of my tummy out through one of my incisions.  I really only have issues with two out of the six incisions.  Just the bigger ones.  The smaller once, I hardly even notice.  I have one incision scar that is soooo tiny, I have no clue what they used it for, and it heals more everyday.  I also worry that I'll put myself in pain again.  People have to understand that I was in a LOT of pain the first month after my surgery.  I was regretting EVERYTHING.  I was white knuckled on the ER table, morphine and percocet hardly touched my pain, it was really bad.  So I'm scared to take that next step, because I really don't want anymore pain if I can avoid it.  The incision pain is nothing compared to the pain I felt before.  Still, its like a hot burner...once you get burned, you don't ever want to go back....

Now I am going to share with you some pictures.  Don't mind my undies, and what not.  =P

This was me, about two weeks out from surgery, I was in pain, and not feeling well, but I still took a picture of myself for my hubby.  =)


When I was admitted to the hospital the second time, this is what they classified as food for me.  I believe the orange stuff are carrots, and I think the other is cream of wheat.  Luckily, I was a month out, and was able to request a different food, this is more for just after surgeries...I was seriously just not going to eat, lol.


 Don't mind my undies, or the stretch marks.  You can see my incisions, or some of them, you can also see the horrible bruising from my lovenox shots...can you believe that my bruising actually got much worse after this pic was taken.  I was very colorful, and it took up half of my stomach.  The bruises are completely going away, and have faded to a dark yellow color, but you can kind of see the incisions and how they are healing.  I joked after my surgery that it looked like I'd been stabbed multiple times.  My stomach is also still very swollen from the shots, as well as the surgery.  It takes about 6-8 weeks to heal completely from this surgery, and that includes the swelling.  I noticed recently that the swelling was going down when my pants were falling off, lol!


  Pre-surgery, my cute toes and feet.  These shoes are actually too big for me now, and you can clearly tell in this picture that they weren't too big before surgery.  I'll have to take pics of my feet and toes again.  My cat was so nice to have puked in these sandals that I ended up having to throw them out, and it was just as well, since they were having issues staying on my feet, I'll see if I can find some similar to post though, so you can see the difference in just my feet.  I am a strong believer that my initial 35 lbs was all water, lol.  (That isn't true though, probably the first 10-15 lbs were water weight though)

 The Lovenox shots...I was taking a picture of the size of the needle, and if you look closely, you can even see my facebook, lol!  That needle was not small, and I had to stick myself in the stomach, insert medication, then throw away the needle.  I hope to never have to do that again in my lifetime, but only time will tell.

I am almost at the 40 lbs lost mark, but I lose inches every single day.  I can feel it in my pants.  Other than the swelling after surgery, and the shot swelling, I've already gone down about two sizes, was wearing a 22, and am now in a 18, but even that can be a little bit.  I'm already having to go through my clothes.  A lot of things are either too big, or too small, with this in between stage.


Stephanie

Friday, September 16, 2011

Its been a CRAZY month...

I apologize for my absence.

I started having some weird pains about a week after my surgery.  At first I couldn't breath very well, and ended up going to the ER 3 different times.  I was in pain for about a month.  And I'm talking white knuckle pain, I was taking 2 percocet every 4-6 hours, and even that wasn't cutting it at times.  Each time at the ER I was given morphine, saline, and a battery of tests were run on me.  Each time, they couldn't figure out what was wrong...

I was stumped, thinking, wow, I'm weak, or that I wasn't handling this surgery well at all.  Getting mad at myself because I literally couldn't do anything on my own.  I went to the grocery store at one point, and was in there about 20 minutes, and felt like I was going to pass out.  I was shivering in 110 degree weather, and felt overall awful.  I also wasn't able to EAT, or drink much of anything.  I was eating probably 3 tbl max per day of any given foods, and drinking probably only 48 oz a day.  I'm supposed to be eating probably an ounce each meal, and drinking 64 oz of water at least per day.  Getting in enough protein was very difficult.  After my excursion to the grocery store, I could no longer deal with the pain.  I went in to see my surgeon.

I waited in his office for two hours (I waited because I didn't want to go to the ER again, and be turned away because nobody could figure out what was wrong with me), it just so happened to be my dr.'s surgery day, so I had to wait.  Finally, after waiting in agonizing pain, and not being able to sleep at all the past few nights all caught up with me when I was in his office.  I burst out sobbing, I told him I couldn't do normal things, I didn't know what was wrong, the pain was virtually all over my abdomen, and radiated towards my back.
He thought it was my gallbladder, so had me admitted to the hospital again.  Thank goodness for good friends, a friend watched my kids for me since Paul is deployed, and all last minute too.
I headed up to the surgery rooms, and waited until tests could be run.  First I had an ultrasound...it turned up with nothing, my gallbladder was healthy.  Again, we were all stumped.  My dr. thought maybe I was severely constipated, and told me they were going to do a hospital enema, but before that they were going to run a CT.  After my CT scan, I was waiting for my enema...not that I was even remotely looking forward to THAT, but hey, if it made the pain go away, I was all for it.  All of the sudden, one of my surgeons assistants came into the room, and told me we were going downstairs.  I figured oh boy, here we go with the enema, this is going to be SOOO pleasant.  =/
We get downstairs, and I get taken into the ultrasound room again.  This time, someone else does the ultrasound DIGGING into my ribs.  That was so not fun, but probably better than the enema I was prepared for, so I figured something was suspicious on the CT, and they were looking for something else.  Ultrasound again looked good, and I vaguely heard in passing something about thrombosis, and clots, but didn't think anything of it because they didn't see anything.  I was wheeled back up to my room to wait..yet again, for what I thought was my enema.
A nurse came to come get me, and so here we go again, down to the enema station.  We get downstairs, and the hallway was really crowded, people were looking all over the place, the nurse and I were like WHAT is going on?  Luckily, it was just a normal end of day lowering of the flag, but the way that it was all congested, the nurse almost told me to ditch the wheelchair and run (you just never know in an Army hospital these days), so that was my little funny.  Then we get to a room, and MRI is plastered all over the place, magnets, and warnings.  So I went into an MRI room.
They outfitted me with an IV, and set me all up on this itty bitty narrow bed that goes into this tube.  I was told to hold my breath multiple times, and then let it out, I was moved up and down in this contraption while it was hammering away.  Just your typical MRI.
Afterwards, I was waiting for my nurse, and literally saw my MRI...I don't think that the MRI tech was supposed to let me see, or maybe he didn't realize I was looking, because when I mentioned it, he looked sheepish.  I clearly saw something that looked weird to me on the scan, but I'm also not a dr., so I just let it go.
That night was night number 2 in the hospital.  Still, not knowing what was going on, not having my enema (yay, I escaped it), and wondering when my pain was going to get better.  The next day, I got an early visit from my surgeon, he explained that I had a deep deep vein thrombosis.  Near my liver.  Its really rare to get a blood clot near your liver, but for some reason, I did.  Its just a peculiar place to get one I guess.  It was probably causing my pain, and everything else that was going on with me.  I immediately started getting Lovenox shots in my tummy, and had to take a Coumadin pill every day.  They released me later that evening, and I finally got to come home.
I am SO grateful that my dr. listened to me, and admitted me.  I'm so glad that they found out what was wrong.  I took the Lovenox shots (that I had to give to myself), for about a week, and then started on Coumadin pills.  We are still trying to find my right levels, and the correct dose of Coumadin for my body.  I am to stay away from green leafy veggies, and honestly, its not hard because most of my intake of food at this point is focusing on proteins.  I occasionally can fit in A green bean, or A small bite of fruit, but usually, the best thing is to focus on my proteins instead.
That first week, I started getting my appetite.  I started being able to eat...and learning my way around my new pouch.  I'm going much more slowly than others who have had this surgery because of my health issues.  When I was admitted into the hospital, I had lost 40 lbs in a little less than a month.  After I was discharged, I was on a stall for the last two weeks, and my weight loss is beginning to make its journey back down to where it needs to go.  Because of my stall, I had to focus more on my diet, and figure out what I was doing or not doing that I could change.
Obesity help has been a fantastic tool.  There are many people on that website that have helped me along the way.  Right now, since I can only have so much food, my main focus is on protein, so I have to get in between 60-70g of protein, and only 30 g carbs.  It took me a week or two to figure this out and now I'm learning.  I've learned so much in just a short time, and am learning more every day about my new tummy.

I still have pain, its managed with percocet.  I have to take more Coumadin than the initial dose, as my INR levels are lower than they should be, but we are working on it.  I have an appointment about once a week to see this dr., I see my surgeon about once a month, my nutritionist about once a month, and finally I haven't seen my primary care manager in a very long time, lol, but I need to go see him about my anti-depressants.  They no longer sit well with me.  Then again, I may not need them much anymore either.

There is my not so short update.  I am learning my new stomach, figuring out how it works, what works well for me, what doesn't, and how my new life is going to affect me.

Just a few important facts about having a gastric sleeve surgery:
They removed 85% of my stomach, but did not bypass any intestines, so I still absorb important nutrients.
My surgery was done laproscopically, which means that my scars on my stomach, will be much smaller than having an open stomach surgery.
People who say that this is the "easy" way out, are very uneducated.  I was one of those people a long time ago, until I started doing the research.  This has actually been one of the hardest things I've done, in my life.  Of course, I have had complications along the way, but what people don't realize, is that there is a LOT of emotions that come along with this ride.  I've mourned certain foods more than once, I've gotten sad that I can't binge eat, and drown my emotions in food anymore.  Its for the best though.  My issue has never been about LOSING the weight.  I've lost the weight multiple times.  My issue has ALWAYS been about maintaining.  I had this surgery so that I can have help with maintenance later on.

Overall, I will keep you posted on my weight loss, on my recipes, and many other things.  I am feeling so much better these days, so I should be around much more!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Days 2 and 3...

I am literally sitting at my computer right now, trying to recall days two and three of my post op.  Its crazy because it all kind of just blurs together.  I remember waking up early in the morning on the second day, excited to go home, not excited about the "swallow" test that I've been hearing awful things about.  I am also still very very tired.
I doze off and on for a lot of the morning until they ask me if I can walk down to the xray room...ummm..that's a negative, I don't think I could stand there the whole time.  I'm really glad I didn't either, there were two other people that had also had surgery, both were also in their wheelchairs.  I was still dozing off in my wheelchair, and I was the last one to go in for my swallow test.  The first girl came out.  She was miserable, she told me how awful the stuff tasted that you have swallow.  She honestly seems happy, and excited, and almost bubbly to me.  I was just tired, and wanted to crawl back into my hospital bed and go back to sleep.  I just wanted to get this test over with, and move on with my life.  She seemed way too happy to have just had surgery on her tummy, lol.  The next girl went in.  She was literally miserable looking.  I was seeing two ends of the spectrum here.  I wondered where I fell.  Poor thing, looked like she was in horrendous pain, she was pale, didn't say a word, and seemed like she was in a complete daze.
Finally, the second girl was wheeled out and I thought it was my turn.  Little did I know, that I would have to wait.  Thank goodness, for this wheelchair.  Not sure I could have stood for this long, otherwise.  After waiting for what seemed like forever, but was probably only 10 minutes.  I went into this dark room, it had xray machines, buzzing noises, and people going in and out.  It was a little overwhelming to say the least.  Someone came by to tell me they were waiting on another person.  I didn't really care, I just really wanted to get this stuff over with.  So I waited some more.  I would guesstimate another 5-10 minutes.  Finally, this shorter man comes into the room, tells me that I have to drink something called Barium Sulfate, and stand at their stand up xray machine.  They give me this cup of what looks like milk, and by this time I am so thirsty from not drinking anything, I want to drink it all, but am very apprehensive...I've heard the stories.  The cup they gave me had a straw.  In all of the literature, after having any type of surgery on your stomach, it tells you NOT to drink out of a straw, so in my drugged state, I was extremely worried about this.  I half mumbled that I cannot drink out of a straw, and that these people should know this.  The three people that were in the room, assured me that it was okay for this ONE time.  Okay, I think, you are the dr.'s.  So, I take a huge gulp of air...and this foreign material, and immediately, the first sensation is pain.  I can feel the air in my stomach, and it doesn't feel good at all.  Apparently, everything looks good on my xray though, because they don't say anything.  The taste is pretty awful.  Probably not the worst thing I've ever had, but you'd think that they would find a way to make something like this taste just a little bit better, right?!  In my foggy mind, I keep telling myself that its better than nothing, I just want some water, already!  It also crossed my mind, that its not nearly as bad as that drink they made me drink when I was pregnant with the girls and getting tested for gestational diabetes.  That was pretty awful too, although tasted much more appetizing than this.  There really is nothing I can use to describe it, as I've blocked the actual taste out of my mind, but it isn't pleasant.
I sat there, while they were using their xray machine to look all throughout my tummy.  I could see the screen which was kind of neat.  I saw my spine, and black patches that I assumed, and assumed correctly were just air bubbles from the surgery.  I could really not see anything more than that though.  I didn't understand exactly what they were looking for, or what they could see.  I probably would have asked questions, had I not been in the state that I was in.  Finally, they let me sit back in my wheel chair.  I requested some water to rinse my mouth out.  The lady made sure I just rinsed and didn't swallow, but that was all I wanted.  To get that taste out of my mouth, and finally have a little water coating my parched tongue.
Afterwards, I was wheeled back out to the waiting area, which in all actuality was just a hallway.  By this point, I was so drained from everything going on, that I could hardly focus on anything.  The time went quickly, someone came to get me, and took me back up to my room.  I crawled into bed, and slept.
The next time I woke up, I saw my surgeon coming into the room.  He's decked out in his blue scrubs, and asking me how I'm feeling.  He proceeds to tell me that my swallow test looked great, I'm healing very well, my surgery went off without a hitch, and did I have any questions.  Of course, I asked about the drain sticking out of me, and whether it was supposed to hurt so much.  He wrote it off, said that I would get used to it.  So I just figured I was being a baby, and yes, I would get used to it.  Then lunch came, and I was able to finally get some water.  The water was not filtered, so I could taste what seems like dirt particles, I really didn't care though, I was finally getting some water.  I sipped and sipped, then was told by my nurse that I needed to try to eat something.  They had brought me some jello, grits, cranberry juice, and vegetable broth.  I tried the grits.  It didn't work for me.  I could taste the butter and sugar that they had put into them.  My teensy bite, was maybe 1/4 tsp.  I put the lid back on, and went on to the next thing.  I tried the vegetable broth.  Now here was something I could actually drink/eat.  It felt great going down, the warmth, and the taste was good too.  I didn't know it at the time, but I wasn't supposed to actually be eating anything.  They had brought me this lunch, and I was supposed to keep drinking my water instead.  OOPS.  I drank maybe a 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth, then continued with my water.  I was completely sated.  My nurse came in, realized that I had eaten, and wasn't happy.  She wanted to finish what they called the "water challenge."  The gist of the water challenge is that you need to drink 3 oz of water in a 20 minute time period.  You are supposed to do this for 2 hours straight...then you can eat.  I believe I was told this, but in my fogged up mind, I didn't know.  I thought I was done with this challenge when they brought me food items.  I didn't think they would bring me anything unless I was finished.  Either way, it wasn't a huge deal.  I took a break from my "eating," and continued with the water challenge.  Finished that, and proceeded to try the rest of the items on my tray.  The vegetable broth, by this time, had gotten cold, so I didn't want that anymore.  I moved onto the jello, took a small bite, and it just seemed too sweet to me.  It was still sugar free, but it didn't sit well.  I was feeling a little shaky though.  So I thought, well maybe I just need some sugar.  I opened the cranberry juice, took a very small sip, and immediately felt ill.  I was one hour from discharge.  I didn't want to hinder my situation and not be able to go home.  My friend was on her way to come pick me up, and then BAM...nausea, acompanied with dry heaving, and then throwing up what little I had in my stomach at the time.  I immediately pressed the nurse button, somehow managed to say I'm sick in between the heeves.  My nurse comes in, and quickly administers some anti nauseating meds to me.  It was extremely painful to throw up.  It felt like someone was ripping my stomach, it burned, oh and I peed on myself.  Lovely, huh?
I cleaned myself off, felt a bit better, and also got some more pain meds for the pain that had occurred, although I wasn't feeling much pain anymore, I thought it was better to have more pain meds, just in case something like that happened again.  All of the medications, knocked me out for another half hour or so.  My friend arrived to come get me.  My nurse came back in with discharge paperwork, and I thought I was in the clear.  Unfortunately, someone tattled.  My surgeon decided that it would be best to keep me in the hospital overnight for observation, so they cancelled my discharge paperwork.  I was already dressed, and ready to go.  I had the original discharge paperwork, we were about to walk out of the door, when the dr. came in to tell me my news.
I accepted my fate, asked my friend to watch my girls one more night, and apologized profusely.  I was very disappointed, but also a little relieved, I wanted to be safe, and not sorry, what if I had literally ripped open my stomach.  Its better to be in the hospital in case complications arose than be in my own home, where I have nobody to take care of me, or to take me to the hospital.  So I put my gown back on, asked the nurse if they wanted to put the IV back in me, and slipped into my dreamland state again.  This time, since I wasn't IV'ed anymore, I was about to try the pain meds orally for the first time.  What a joy....
Soon, after my friend left, another nurse came into the room, and told me I needed to take my pain medications.  He had two little packets that looked more like butter packets than medication, and opened one, and put it into a medicine cup.  He opened the other and poured about half into the other medicine cup.  He told me to drink it down, kind of like a shot.  Ohhhhhhh...I can do this, I thought.  Shots are easy, HA!
Lortab isn't fun to take as a shot.  You don't want to gather around a table and take shots of this one.  Its a mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminaphen.  Its a strong medication, so it does help, it just doesn't taste great when taken orally.  I gagged, and immediate feared that I was going to get sick again, so I swallowed it down more, and pressed on.  Immediately, I felt this burning sensation seemingly coating my tiny little stomach, and heat went into my extremities.  I asked about this, the nurse told me that it was normal.  Phew!  Don't want anymore things going wrong.  It knocked me out, and the rest of the night I slept, with the occasional person coming into my room, to either put a cuff around my arm, or give me another bout of meds.  Overall, I wasn't too phased.  Although, I did get a neighbor that day.  From what I gathered, she was having either gallstones or kidney stones, and had to have emergency surgery.  Other than the enormous amount of people checking on her, and me, my sleep was fairly uninterrupted.  I awoke the next morning to the nurse asking me how I was feeling and if I could please go to the restroom because they didn't like it when patients went 8 hours without peeing...umm...hello...I was SLEEPING!
I peed for them.  They gave me a standing ovation, and I crawled back in bed, waiting to see what today had in store for me.  My surgeon came up to visit with me, assured me that I would finally be released this morning if I wanted to, and he would start working on that right now.  It was 8 am.  I texted my friend, and let her know that I could finally go home.  She was sleeping though, and I really didn't want to wake her up, until I knew when exactly I was going home.  About a half hour later, the nurse comes in with my discharge paperwork, and tells me that my friend can pick up my meds downstairs with my ID.  I nodded off, waiting for a text from my friend.  Finally, around 9:30, the nurse comes in to give me another Heparin shot.  At this point, I called my friend, I really didn't want to wake her up, but I also didn't want anymore medications or anything happening.  Luckily she answered and was on her way.  I got myself dressed, realized that I didn't have tshirt, so called my friend to request a tshirt from my overnight bag, that I had given her the day before when I thought I was going home, and a hair band.
My friend arrived with our kids, and we all waited while she went down to the pharmacy to pick up my new medications.  The surgeon said that if I really didn't like the Lortab, he could give me tylenol 3, and it would taste better.  I was all for the tasting better part.  After waiting for what seemed forever, we finally got the medications, and let me tell you, the pharmacy in that hospital should work on their efficiency of that process.
The nurse asked me, if I needed to be wheel chaired out.  I said maybe...so she decided to bring me a wheelchair.  My friend went to get my car, and drove it around.  I got into my lovely clean van, and we drove back to my house.  I entered, and basically melted into my recliner.  Much more comfortable than the hospital bed, and my van.  My friend and I chatted while we waited for her friend to come get her, and then I requested peace and quiet from my kids and dozed off and on for the rest of the night/day.  Finally, I was home.  Finally, I felt like I was making a huge step towards my healing process.  I could relax, and figure this out.  I wouldn't have to be interrupted by nurses, or techs, I could just be.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Surgery day...

Ugh...someone turn that alarm OFF!  I roll over and realize that its my phone, so I turn it off...lay there awake, then it hits me.  Today is the day.  Wow.  Do I really want to do this?  Yes, yes, I do, I've thought about it.  I've mulled it over.  This is a good choice I'm making for myself...right?  No time right now, I have to get in the shower.
The pre-op nurse gave me some surgical soap to rub all over my belly, and it doesn't smell like roses that's for sure.  So I wash myself as best as I can, this will be the last time that I see my belly like it is.  I'm not sad though, it has other "battle wounds" from having kids, or just other things in my life.  Honestly, whats another scar or two?
I have to remember, no lotions (my skin is so dry), no perfumes, no deodorant...(really, do they want me to smell???), no jewelry, and no makeup.  Eh...who is going to see me that I really care whether I'm wearing makeup or not?  Its okay.  I don't know whether I should brush my teeth.  I'm not supposed to have anything from midnight the night before.  No water, no food, nada.  So I pack up my bag, making sure my toothbrush and toothpaste are packed right along with it.  I really don't feel like offending someone with my smells, but this is what they told me to do, and this is what I'm doing.
Finally, I wake up my kids, and we head over to a dear friends house, who is going to be watching my girls, and my van for the next day and a half.  She drives to me the hospital, I grab my overnight bag, and head up to the third floor surgical processing.  I'm super early.  I'm not even supposed to check in until 10:30, but it is what it is, and I arrive around 9 instead.  I check in with one of the nurses, who really doesn't seem surprised that I'm there so early, and then I go to the waiting room.  I didn't want to get there super early, but my friend has plans, I didn't...other than sleeping, but it doesn't matter.  She's doing me a HUGE favor, so the least I can do is not interrupt her plans.
The waiting room is stuffy.  Filled with typical hospital chairs.  Not terribly comfortable.  Definitely not the worst chairs either.  I sit down with my overnight bag over my stomach.  I feel like the people around me are probably wondering why I'm in the waiting room.  I really don't want a whole bunch of people to know.   So I get out my book and start reading.  I also start dozing off.  Apparently, two nights with hardly any sleep will do that to a person.  I'm reading off and on.  Wondering if I'm doing the right thing...I can still back out right?  Dozing off here and there.  Finally, my phone rings.  Its my best friend in Arizona.  She helps take my mind off of everything, and in the midst of our conversation, I hear a "Mrs. Hirsch," being called.  I tell my friend that I have to go they are calling me back...now the nerves really kick in.  Wow!
I go with her to a small room where they have a bed with a purple blanket.  I am loving that its purple and not some horrendous puke green or something.  Purple is soothing.  I get led to a bathroom where I'm told to take off everything I have on, put on some sexy hospital undies, and a humongo hospital pad (as I had started my period two days prior), and this awful tan brown gown with designs that maybe were supposed to be some sort of country western theme?!  After doing all of this, going to the restroom, and realizing that I have NO time to call anyone to tell them I'm going in, I go onto my phone and voice it on facebook.  Everyone can see it that asked me to call them, so that's where I'm going.  All I say, is that I'm going in, see ya on the other side.  Still really positive.  Still very apprehensive in my head.
I crawl into the bed, and get wheeled down the elevator into another room.  They are trying to get an IV in me.  The first one hurts like heck, so they take it out and do another one..ahhh that's so much better.  I get a gorgeous silver hat to wear, but I must say, its not the worst thing I've worn today, so I'm okay with it.  I have a multitude of dr.'s, nurses, and trainee's coming in and out of my little section, telling me things, asking me questions, and trying to talk to me.  At this point, I am a nervous wreck.  I haven't had food, or water.  I'm super thirsty, I just want to get this over with, or maybe I just want to run out of the hospital and go home and never think about this again.  NO, I tell myself, I've been wanting this, this was MY decision.  I will be able to be healthier and be around longer.  It may be drastic, but I don't want to leave my kids, or my husband too early, and right now I'm on my way....
They give me a shot of an anti anxiety drug.  It totally chills me, I'm just going with the flow now, dude!  This is awesome.  I can definitely do this.  They ask me move from one bed to another.  Cool-io...I got this.  So I move.  The second bed isn't all that comfortable, but I don't really care.  Whatever drug they gave me, its fantastic.  They are telling me to do things, I'm following orders, then nothingness.  I seem to remember them strapping me down.  I remember trying to fight off wonderland.  Its a useless fight.  Sleep, and deep sleep comes.  I don't even remember them giving me the drug or telling me that they were going to.

I wake up, and there is a pretty girl asking me questions, my name and date of birth.  Really?  You want me to remember this right now.  I'm sure I just mumbled something hardly incomprehensible, but she took it and rolled with it.  I don't remember much else she said to me, I just remember her sitting at a computer asking me questions while I was trying really hard to keep my eyes open.  Its a futile attempt, but I manage somehow.  I remember saying that it hurt to breath.  I felt like a rubber band was wrapped all the way around my lungs, and ribcage, and I wanted to get in a deep breath, and couldn't.  My stomach muscles felt like I'd done a bunch of sit-ups, but otherwise were still in tact.  I even wondered briefly if they were able to do the surgery.
Next thing I know, I'm being wheeled to my room, where another nurse is asking me questions, and giving me drugs.  Telling me that I need to press a button for pain.  I hardly pressed that button for the first few hours.  I was knocked out basically the whole entire first night.  I don't know what time I was done.  I don't know when I was able to finally call someone and tell them that I was indeed okay.  I tried to text people and it doesn't come out right...it looks more like gibberish.  I really have to focus on things.  My throat is extremely dry from a tube going down it.  I sound like a frog right now.  I'm exhausted and just want the rest.  I manage to write something else on my facebook and konk out once more.
I am woken up multiple times, for blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate.  I wake up when my nurse changes shifts and introduces me to the new person.  I have to wake up when the respiratory person comes to put something on my finger to figure out how much oxygen I'm getting.  I also have to wake up to get more doses of heparin.  Finally, I feel a little better, and not so exhausted.  I tell the nurse that I want to get walking.  They've been telling me all of this time that the walking will help get the gas out of my stomach, that they had to use to inflate my stomach.  I can feel the gas bubbles gurgling in my belly.  I feel incredibly bloated, and the fast I can bounce back, the better.
I go for my first walk, burping, and hiccuping the whole time, and for my first, its actually quite impressive.  I walk down and back, and down another hallway and back.  My nurse is happy for me.  I'm not extremely exhausted and just want to go to bed.  So after getting my IV back in place, my leg "braces" back on, my catheter back on the side of my bed, and a sheet on me, I'm out.  I do get woken up a few more times for things here and there.  I get to talk to my nurse about how he likes his job.  I'm groggy, but still polite.  He seems like a nice guy, and he's having to deal with some majorly gross stuff of mine, so why not be polite, right?  I walked once more that night, just to knock me out.  The only thing that hurts is where my drain is.  I have a drain coming out of my belly right now.  Its a long clear tube that is attached to something that looks like a very soft clear grenade.  Its supposed to help with drainage, and I'm sure it does.  Its kind of gross looking, but its supposed to be helping me.  I have a sharp stabbing pain when I move a certain way, that's when another hit of the medicine button happens.  My back is cramping from being on it all day.  I so desperately want to move a certain way, and relieve some of the pain.  I would love to lay on my side right now, but its quite painful because of the drain right now.  So I just bear through it, and make it to the next day....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I have a date...

Its very very soon!  I'm nervous, and scared all at the same time.  I am on a liquids only diet right now.  It definitely isn't easy.  I hope I can do this for a few more days!!  =)

Wow, what a giveaway!

Go visit: 
Energizer Bunnies' Mommy Report
right now, for your chance to win a fantastic vacay!  =)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Why I can't lose weight....

I've mulled it over, I've fought myself..I've worked myself to the bone.  I've starved, I've eaten, I've restricted.  I feel like I've done it all.  I've lost weight, gained it back, lost again, gained even more...its been a cycle that I'm sick of.
Mostly it started when I got married/pregnant.  I wasn't ready to get married.  Paul and I had known each other for 3 months.  We hardly knew each other...we hardly knew who WE were as individuals.  We got married because we thought we loved each other, we got married so that while he was in Korea, I would be taken care of.  We have actually made it relationship wise, but it took a toll on me.  Not only was I very active when I met him, but I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted because of it.  I got a lot of attention, I enjoyed having fun.  I was scared to DEATH of commitment.  I wasn't the committing type back then.
Now we are nearing our 10th anniversary.  September 1st, will actually be our 10th anniversary of dating, December 10th, is our wedding anniversary.  I think I've finally figured out what my biggest issue is.  I get lonely.  Who doesn't, especially in the military life?  Instead of taking my frustrations and loneliness and insecurities out on more healthy things.  I get down, and eat, eating is a "comfort" of sorts for me.

Since, I've struggled so very much though.  I've been mulling over options for me.  I could start all over again and workout for hours a day and eat less, and go back on a diet, but the motivation is gone.  I've done it twice.  I feel like there is no point because I'm going to gain it back when my husband gets home.  And while NOTHING can guarantee that I won't gain weight again, there are things I can do, and measures I can take to help me in my future.

So after months of going back and forth, I've decided to get a surgery.  There are three types that you can get these days.  Bypass, Lapband, and Sleeve.  For me, I think that the bypass is a little too much for me to handle, I realize that it is a great choice for many people, but I'm afraid to do something that drastic, I guess.  It just worries me.  Lapband has the highest risk of failure, a friend of mine had it done, and wishes she hadn't.  She would rather have had the bypass, because after many issues with it, she ended up having to have bypass anyways.  So I've decided that the Sleeve is the best option for me.  I've done everything that needs to be done to get the surgery.  And I'm happy to say that I am number 9 on a list of 11 women waiting to get the surgery.  The first half, already have surgery dates, so I'm thinking I'll be getting a call within the next two weeks informing me of a surgery date.

This is a little nerve racking for me.  I'm nervous saying this on a public blog.  I'm nervous, just saying it out loud.  That is another reason that I've failed in the past, is that I haven't had the support.  At least not for any length of time.  I had a lot of support in Germany, and some great support in Colorado, and while I know I would have great support here as well.  I am doing something that I HOPE will help me to be healthier and remain that way for the rest of my life.

I understand how hard this will be.  I understand that it won't be easy by any means.  I do feel that it will help me in the long run though.  I understand that this will be a lifestyle change and no matter how much I'll want to, I won't be able to go back to the way I was, at least that is my hope.  I understand that things happen, and there is a danger of me gaining weight again.  I understand everything, I've done my research.

I feel that this will be right for me.  Right now it hurts to walk, it hurts to do day to day things, and while it will hurt to get this surgery.  It won't hurt so much to walk later, and I want to walk again, I want to run again, I want to be active again.  I love being active.  It really sucks to feel like I can't be active because of my weight.  So...here is a photo of me the day my husband left.  I normally wouldn't post a photo like this, just because I'm embarrassed.  But now, I really feel like I should, so here it goes:




I will keep you updated on my progress.  It depresses me to show these pictures.  But there it is.  My starting weight is 260 lbs.  =(

Please wish me luck on my journey to a new and better me...for a very long time!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Missing him...

One of the worst things about being a military wife, are the LONG absences from your spouse.  Its been a little over a week now, and I just find myself missing him more often than not.  I've been away from the house for the most part, keeping myself busy, so this week has flown by.  I've enjoyed hanging out with so many of my friends.  I still miss him though...

Friday, June 10, 2011

See ya later...

Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you
Until we meet again!
~Author Unknown


I <3 my beautiful family!


My girls make everything worth it.


This is the day he actually left...the other photos are from a different day that he was "supposed" to leave.


I didn't even know I had my sunglasses on.  =S


We are going to miss you, Daddy!


Mommy with her girls!


See ya later!
Stay Safe!
And we LOVE you!
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