Wednesday, December 24, 2008

55lbs down

12-24-08 Merry Christmas.

Alot of you have been after me to post a new picture. I am now 55lbs+ down and feeling wonderful. This picture is not the most flattering, but it will give you and idea. I have lost from a 22 to an 18 in pants and from a 22/24 in shirts to 14/16. The bra I have on is way too big and does nothing for me. Maybe Santa will bring me new bras. hehehehehe

I discovered something the other day that I haven't seen in a while. My kneecaps. Funny huh? I can also cross my legs when sitting down now too. That is something I haven't been able to do for a while.

This holiday season brings alot of joy to our household. After being lay-ed off from my job, I am starting a new career on Monday the 29th. I am going to work for MOSAIC Technologies at Ft. Gordon. I am so thankful for those of you who helped to forward my resume to my new company.

I wish all of you a wonderful Holiday Season.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Road Block

Friday had the be one of the worst days of my life.

I was extremely happy. I had just had a great check-up with the doctor on Tuesday. I am losing weight great. 35 lbs at that time. I thought nothing could be better.

I was right. I got the shock of my life at 2:15pm. I was layed-off from what I thought was the best job I have ever had. Needless to say happiness comes to an end very quickly.

Since the first time since my weight loss surgery I was so depressed that all I wanted to do was eat something I knew I couldn't have. Well as most of you may suspect, I couldn't. This just added to my depression.

I want to thank all my friends who have stepped up and given me words of encouragement. I know that God has a plan for everyone. When one door closes another one opens. I have to believe that everything happens for a reason.

Thank God, my depression is over. It only lasted for a few days. I spent the day looking at antiques with a very dear friend. It was very therapeutic.

I will keep my chin up and put my nose to the grind stone until I find something else. I know that there is something out there for me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trial and Error

It's been 5 weeks since surgery and I have lost 30lbs. I feel like a guinea pig sometimes when it comes to eating. I am trying new foods everyday. Some don't agree with me some do. It is all a big science experiment. The food your stomach digest easily might not necessarily digest well in the small intestine. I found this to be true with Sushi. I was extremely happy that I was able to eat 4 small pieces. I chewed very slowly and it tasted wonderful. But, within a couple of hours I was in the bathroom dumping. No stomach cramps or pain that would have come before with a bad case of diarrhea. It was just there. It didn't last long. I am sure it will be back as I experiment with what I can eat and what I can't.

I have found a new snack. Peanut butter. I ate a small peanut butter and honey sandwich on wheat bread for lunch today. I chewed very slowly and had no problems. I now know a few things I can tolerate and some I should wait awhile before I try them again. I look forward to this new experience. After all, weight loss surgery was one of the best decisions I have every made. I entend to make the most of this new life.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where's the DRAINO?

I just knew it. I knew things were going so great that I would hit a brick wall at some point. I did that today. While eating a scrambled egg, I swallowed a bit without chewing really well. Needless to say, it got stuck. I was immediately uncomfortable. The feeling is equal to swallowing too big a sip of cold milkshake. Your esophagus hurts. This feeling lasted for quite a while. Your body immediately goes on the defense and creates more saliva to help wash everything down. This is not good. My pouch was already full. I had to throw-up to get rid of the excess saliva. After about 30 min, the pain subsided. I waited for at least 1 hour before I tried to take a drink. If only there was a quicker fix. All I could think about was drainer or liquid plumber. My advise after this morning, CHEW, CHEW, CHEW.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to the grind stone

Today is October 13th. Two weeks post-op. I started back to work today. I didn't sleep a wink last night. The anxiety of knowing I had to get up kept me looking at the clock almost hourly.
The day was great. It was great seeing everyone again. With 20 lbs lost everyone could tell that I was losing already. They said you could see it in my face and neck.

I feel great. By 4:00pm I was ready to go home and rest. I enjoyed a nice dinner cooked by my husband. 3 Brussels Sprouts, A TBL of mashed potatoes, A 2in slice of Chicken and some gravy.
I had eaten or shall I say drank protein throughout the day and didn't realize the feeling I felt was hunger. I chewed the food very slowly and it hit the spot. I felt great. I realize we should take it easy and I promise not to eat too much of anything. I have to try different things. I will never know what I can tollerate if I don't take a bite.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

10 Days 17 lbs

OMG. I can't believe how great this has been working for me. I had a followup with the doctor today and I have lost 17 lbs. Today is 9 October. There have been 10 days go by since my surgery. I wore a shirt today that I wore in my family picture (photo in blog) and I don't have the spare tire around my middle anymore. The shirt fell loosely around my middle. I am now feeling the cabin fever. I couldn't wait for the doctor to tell me that I could drive today. I will venture out tomorrow for nails and pedicure. I will be returning to work on Monday.

The bloated feeling in my abdomen has gone. Left behind is just a little discomfort. I don't have an appetite. I don't really get hungry. I just know that ever 4 hours I should ingest something. The protein shakes are really good. Each has 20 grams of protein. I try to drink at least 2 of those a day. I am also doing Profect protein capsules. Each vile is 2 oz and has 25 grams of protein.

I started on more solid foods tonight. I had some tuna and crackers for dinner. For the first time since my surgery, I felt kind of full. I say kind of because I don't have my full stomach anymore. I guess you could say it feels like I have eaten a huge bowl of pasta, but divide that by 8. The feeling I mean. The discomfort is really small.

My experience thus far has been amazing. I will continue to fill you in on my progress weekly. Next time I will include a photo.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

5 days 8 lbs

It's been five days since my surgery. I went to the doctor today to have my drain tube removed. The dread I felt before hand was short lived with a quick pull of the tube. The whole procedure didn't last long enough to hurt. I only blurted out a quick, "Holy Cow:!

On lighter note, I am 8 lbs lighter than I was 5 days ago. Drinking the protein shakes and chicken broth has been extremely easy. I have had no appetite, so I am eating or drinking every 2 to 3 hours. I am drinking ice water throughout the day. The doctor told me to start on soft foods for the next week. I bought some oatmeal, yams, yogurt and etc.

I am still taking my pain medication. I am more relaxed and not feeling any discomfort allows me to get around alot easier. Why feel uncomfortable if I don't have too.

Getting around is easier now. I even went to Walmart shopping yesterday. I need to walk so pushing the buggy was rather easy. I did tire out quickly and came home for a nap.

I will call the doctors office on Monday for an appointment in a week. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How did I get here?

Day 1 of surgery.
I came out of surgery in a little no lot of pain. In recovery, I found it very heard to breath. The pain made me tense all muscles in my body and I couldn't relax. After being put on a drug drip and being given an additional injection later that evening, I began to relax and got some good sleep.
I have been told that during the afternoon and evening on Monday, I said some things that were off color and very drug induced. If I said anything to any of you that was out of sorts for me, I apologize.

Day 2 Post OP
Tuesday, I woke up feeling much better. The nurse took me off of my drug drip and I began to get up and walk around. I went to X-Ray for a swallow test. At this point, I had not had anything to drink since midnight Sunday night. The fluid was cool and wet, but was by far the worst thing I had ever swallowed. Needless to day, I came through it and couldn't wait until I got that first cup of ice. It was wonderful. I slowly began drinking. They brought me a tray for lunch and all seemed to go down very easily. I received 3 beautiful flower arrangements. My room smelled like a florest. I had to send two vases home. The lilies are beautiful, but my nose immediately closed up. I had some visitors. It was great to see my friends and surporters. Thank you all.

Day 3 Post Op
I woke up really refreshed. The doctor came in and gave me the best news. I can have a shower. I can't tell you how that felt. I felt like a new women. Dr. Mike also told me that I could go home. I was so looking forward to that. I was at a good point. I was drinking good and intacking alot of fluids. I arrived home at 5:30pm. I felt better just knowing I was at home.
At bed time, I turned to something I have hated for a while now, but this old Recliner in my living room has saved me. I slept like a baby last night. I tried to get to sleep in my bed, but couldn't lay flat. I slept great.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Steady Glow

It was 2pm and I was at my desk. My cell phone vibrated alerting me of a call. It was Dr. Mike's office telling me they had just learned that I needed a Cardiac Clearance before my surgery. Needless to say, My surgery at this point is less than 4 days away.

My emotions ran wild. I was so pissed off that I cried. You see, I was supposed to be leaving on Thursday evening to go to Charleston to Folly Beach to meet some girl friends for an annual retreat. This was my second year attending this and I was more than looking forward to the trip.

My first appointment was with the Cardiologist at 8:30 Friday morning. Needless to say I didn't see him until 10:00. I immediately ask him why I was there and he indicated that the blip on my EKG indicated I had had a prior heart attack. I was speechless. I began prepping for a stress test. I ask the doctor if I had to run on the tread mill, because if I could run, I wouldn't be having weight loss surgery.

The IV was the most painful I had ever had. First, the nurse couldn't find the vein, so he chose to put he IV almost on the side of my arm. I couldn't bend my arm. I knew I would be victim to a great bruise, but luckily I wasn't.

They injected me with a radioactive agent that would make my heart glow. They took photos. I walked uphill on the treadmill until my heart rate was raised until the doctor was satisfied. Then I was off for more pictures of my now glowing heart. I imagined I now looked something like a lightening bug with a steady glow. This of course was just under their camera.

After all the picture taking, I took an Echo Cardiogram. That was an ultrasound of my heart. That was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I have to rank it up there with the ultrasound of a baby.

Needless to say it is now 2:00pm. I almost a day late getting to the beach and I am now waiting on the doctor to give me my result.

I AM FINE. I did receive a note from Dr. Clark stating that I am cleared for surgery from a cardiac standpoint.

I am now 1 day preop. I am wondering what I would like to eat for dinner. I can't think of a thing I really want. Maybe a chocolate sundae.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I had my Pre-Op yesterday at the hospital. I found myself in great comfort. Everyone from the register to the nurse to the x-ray tech made me feel very well taken care of.
I met with Dr. Mike who explained that I will have 6 small incisions around my abdomen. The biggest of these will be about 1 ½ inches in length. That he said will be the sorest one while I am recovering. I will be in the hospital from Monday to Thursday. I really hope to be well enough to go home on Wednesday. I am sure I will get a lot better rest in my own bed. At least I will have that to took forward too. My next entry will be after my surgery when I return home. Talk to you then.

I have added the following for those of you who don’t know much about the bypass.
I have asked the doctor to record it for me and I plan to post that recording here.

How is gastric bypass surgery done?
In gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass) the surgeon creates a small pouch at the top of your stomach and adds a bypass around a segment of your stomach and small intestine.
The surgeon staples your stomach across the top, sealing it off from the rest of your stomach. The resulting pouch is about the size of a walnut and can hold only about an ounce of food. The pouch is physically separated from the rest of the stomach. Then, the surgeon cuts the small intestine and sews part of it directly onto the pouch.
This connection redirects the food, bypassing most of your stomach and the first section of your small intestine, the duodenum (doo-o-DEE-num). Food enters directly into the second section of your small intestine, the jejunum (jay-JOO-num), limiting your ability to absorb calories. Even though food never enters the lower part of your stomach, the stomach stays healthy and continues to secrete digestive juices to mix with food in your small intestine.
Some surgeons perform this operation by using a laparoscope — a small, tubular instrument with a camera attached — through short incisions in the abdomen (laparoscopic gastric bypass). The tiny camera on the tip of the scope allows the surgeon to see inside your abdomen.
Compared with traditional "open" gastric bypass, the laparoscopic technique usually shortens your hospital stay and leads to a quicker recovery. Fewer wound-related problems also occur. Not everyone is a candidate for laparoscopic gastric bypass, however. Talk to your doctor about whether this approach is appropriate for you.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ready to Go

I have finished the last of my appointments before my surgery.

My initial Drs. visit was great. I'll call him Dr. Mike. He is great. He listened with an open mind and a willingness to help. He explained that the hard work will start when I have the surgery. I look at this as my new catalytic converter to help me run my body the right way.

I met with the Psychologist. She helped me to realize why I eat. I have always eaten for comfort due to my strained relationship with my Mom. I have now accepted that no matter what I do or say, I will never be able to be the daughter she has always wanted. Don't take this the wrong way, I love my Mom, but we just have never gotten along. When I get hurt, I will find something to take my mind off if it rather than eat. The Psychologist also told me that I have to give up 4 of my 5 favorite foods. Grits, Pasta, Corn Bread and fried chicken. She explained that grits have no nutritional value. They sure are good though. The eating will be the hardest thing to overcome. I love to cook and I love to eat what I cook.

The Dietitian was great. She spoke with us not to determine what we eat wrong now, but to let us know about the life long changes we will have the make once we have our surgery. She was there to guide us through what we can expect and what to eat after surgery.

The Endoscopy. Having a tube stuck down my throat wasn't something I was looking forward too, but I turned out to be a piece of cake. I went to sleep and the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. From start to finish the whole appointment too about 2 hours. Most of the time was filling out paperwork. The procedure itself took only about 15 min. I thought I'd come home sleepy with a sore throat but I didn't.

I now anxiously await my surgery and my new life.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The biggest decision I have ever made

Hi, I am Tina. I am 43 years young and I weigh 279lbs. Wow, I can't believe I am letting that out there. That is worse than a women telling her age, which has never really bothered me.

My family and I recently had a new family portrait made and needless to say, I was very upset at my appearance in those pictures. You might say that was the straw that broke the camels back. Look at the spare tire around my middle. Sometimes you wish people would be brutally honest and tell exactly what you look like.
I have been heavy all my life. My weight gain started the summer after I had my tonsils taken out at age 7. I have yoyo'd up and down on every diet known to man. As a result my metabolism is at rock bottom. I even starved myself at age 19 and lost to my smallest size 10. I even taught aerobics at a fitness center for a while.
I have decided I need help. I need to again control of my life and get fit. I recently had a physical and all my blood and cholesterol levels are good. But, what will they be in a year?
I have decided to have a Gastric Bypass. Surgery is scheduled for 29 September. I know some of you out there say that this is the easy way out, but I have been there too. When you have over 100lbs to lose it is hard to do it on you own.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud the men and women out there who have lost weight on their own. I don't have it in me to do this by myself. I have a great support group who all stand behind my decision.
I have decided to share this as my way of keeping myself on track. Over next few months I will talk about my journey to a new life beyond all the excess weight and the happiness and sorrows I am sure I will experience. I can't wait to see the beautiful butterfly once it emerges from it's cacoon.