Sunday, May 29, 2011

Crying in the bathroom stall

We are at a four day tournament for softball and I am posting this from my phone.  I've never tried this, so I hope it works.  I didn't really want to whine or complain anymore, but I have been really emotional.  Finally at dinner tonight, I ended up crying in the bathroom stall.

Going away for the long weekend, staying in a hotel, surrounded by lots of friends means lots of food.  I didn't realize how much of life revolves around food. At these tournaments there is an enormous amount of "fair" food:  kettle corn, nachos, hamburgers, hot dogs, cheese fries, etc.  The smells and sounds and sights are all around.  Then when the games are over, everyone goes out to celebrate.  Tonight we are at a pizza place. I couldn't take it anymore and just had to sob in the stall.  It just came out.  I prepared myself for this weekend and brought protein shakes and lots of soft foods that were allowed.  So even though I am not hungry, I am still sad that I am not able to participate in all the festive eating.

I am not regretting this surgery because I know that when I am thin I will be estatic and so thankful.  But I am wondering if this sadness will go away.  I feel like I am in mourning over my past ways and eating all my big portions and junk food.  In front of me are slices of pizza, wings, and fried potatoes.  I am sipping decaf iced tea and had a piece of cheese before we came.  So when will this feeling end?  Have any of you ever been through this?  I am sure this soft food stage would be much easier if we were home and wasn't surrounded by sights and smells.

I am sure this post is disjointed, using blogger on my phone.  But I already feel better writing this out.  This blog is mainly therapy and to offer any advice and support, and to gain advice and support.  So thanks for reading and the support I feel when I see comments!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A scrambled egg never tasted so good!

Today was my one week post-op appointment with my surgeon and the "go ahead" to start the soft diet.  He said I am doing really well and losing weight at a good rate.  I feel fine, but am a little tired still.  They said to drink more and maybe add some iron to my vitamin regimen.  Here is the list of what I can have.  They said I cannot deviate from this list with any substitutions.
  • any kind of cheese-plain cottage cheese, avoid cream cheese
  • plain low fat yogurt-no fruit allowed
  • scrambled eggs only
  • baked or grilled fish, tuna/salmon with low fat mayo, no fried or breaded fish
  • mashed potatoes
  • cream of wheat
  • vegetarian refried beans
  • apple sauce
I need to eat 3-4 times a day and only two ounces at a time.  I need to take 50-60 grams of protein drink/day and drink fluids throughout the day.

I was so excited, that I came home and immediately scrambled up an egg and it tasted sooo good :).  I think I may have eaten it a little too fast, though.  I am feeling VERY tight right now and doubt I will eat anything else today.

Speaking of going too fast.  I was running late this morning and forgot to take my vitamins.  So I ran back inside and took them, and sipped water with my prilosec.  I think I might have gulped some.  Anyways, as I was backing out of our driveway I felt awful.  I stopped the car and got out fast enough to throw up all over my front lawn.  Out came my vitamins.  I cannot believe how fast that came on.  I need to slow it down and take my time...with everything.

I also went to the office today for a staff meeting.  My co-worker drove me there and back, but I don't want to take any more time off.  I was beat by 1:00 pm and am glad to be home resting.  I am glad I have a job that I can basically make my own hours and schedule to see clients when I need to.

So excited to eat this week!  I don't see the surgeon for another three weeks, so I will try these, one at a time each day to see if it settles and my new tummy likes them.  Yay!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blog open during construction

OK, seriously, this is my third blog design in a couple of weeks.  I hope I can stick with this one, lol!  I liked the last one, but I thought the font was too hard to read.  I saw this one and it was much cleaner, so here ya go :).

So, move on...nothing to see...

Dreaming of Food

This has been a hard week.  Not because of the surgery and the healing.  That has been super easy and fast.  I feel fine and barely remember I had surgery at all.  The hard part has been being on liquids.  Oh my... I am glad my surgeon did not require a liquid diet before surgery, because with a full-size tummy still there I would have been super hungry.  This week has been hard because of the head hunger and just wanting to "bite" something.

We have been super busy this weekend, as my daughter made the All-Star team for softball.  Actually every weekend until mid-July we are going to be busy.  Busy at the softball fields, where everyone is eating snack  bar food.  Hamburgers. Nachos. Pizza. Candy. Soda.  It is junk, and when I am actually putting solid food in my mouth, I am hoping that I will be glad that I am not eating it.  But this weekend, as I was sipping my liquids, I almost knocked out a few kids who were snacking on some cheesy nachos and a hot dog.

Today also just so happens to be one week since my surgery!!  This time last week I was getting ready to go to the hospital.  It seems like ages ago.  I have officially lost 14 lbs. since last Monday and 34 lbs. for the month of May.  Unbelievable!!!  I am so thrilled.  I see my surgeon tomorrow afternoon and will start the soft foods or "mushies" stage on Wednesday.  Hallelujah!!  I am so looking forward to that.  I am also in search of a protein drink that I actually like.  It is hard getting the protein in if I don't want to drink them.  I start them, but then don't finish them.  More samples to try today :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Birthday celebrations?!?

So what do you all do around celebrations and events?  Well, today is my oldest daughter's 13th birthday!  Yay!  And everyone came over to celebrate.  There was tons of food (Chinese take-out and some of my favorites) and cake and ice cream.  I was dying inside, but I could barely sip my 2 oz. of chicken stock.  I was telling her how proud I am of her and that it was okay with me.  I just have to remember the best present I can give to her is a healthy mom.  I am doing this for my loved ones, as well as myself.  I want to be more "present" in their lives and be more active.  I cannot do that when I am morbidly obese.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my precious girl!

Really helpful today

My mom is a godsend...and a really good cook.  She made me some chicken stock and it is really tasty.  This is the recipe she uses:


  • 3 (5-pound) roasting chickens (actually, she uses 3 carcasses from the chickens you buy at Costco)
  • 3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
  • 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
  • 4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half, optional
  • 20 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns


Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. Chill the stock overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat. Use immediately or pack in containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

She also froze them for me using silicone ice cube trays (which measure exactly one ounce each), like these:
and individually froze them, using a Seal-a-Meal vacuum sealer.  She did this so they wouldn't stick and they would be exactly one ounce each.    I just defrost them in the microwave and enjoy!

So very helpful!  and Yummy :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


So, so glad to be home!  I barely slept a wink at the hospital, with the vital checking and the uncomfortable bed and the noisy IV machine.

Ummm, surgery isn't for the faint of heart.  Wow, that was hard!  Of course, I can tell you now that it was no big deal.  My parents and husband will probably tell you a different story.  They tell me I was pretty miserable the first day.  I am glad I don't remember much.  Same thing with all of my childbirths...don't remember much of the details.

The hardest part for me was the gassy feeling and not sleeping.  My incisions have given me no problem at all and I have read that others have had a port, but I didn't have anything like that.  I did have a catheter, but that was no big deal, as I didn't really feel like getting up to go to the bathroom anyways.  I barely knew it was there.

We arrived at the hospital at 9:30 am for an 11:30 surgery.  It took about that long to get me to the pre-op room and get my gown and IV in.  Then the anesthesiologist came in and talked to me and gave me something to take the edge off.  Well, it was more than an edge because I don't remember anything after that at all.  I seriously don't remember anything until they were wheeling me into my room after the surgery.  That whole first day is a blur.  The second day was better, but I got a wicked headache that the pain medication they had me on did nothing for.  The doctor ended up letting me take something for migraines (with the insistence of  my good friend who was there and demanded that I get something else for my pain...and that worked).

I was so anxious today and "back to my feisty self" as my mom said.  I am still tired and am trying to get liquids in, but I can barely get the 1 oz. down at all.  Really...nothing seems to want to go down.  I am also getting hiccups like crazy, which hurt a great deal. I asked the doctor what size bougie he uses, and he said a tight 32.  Yikes!  Am I going to get anything down?  Orange crystal light and chicken broth work the best so far, but barely an ounce.

I just weighed myself and I saw 258 lbs.  I haven't seen the 250's in forever!  Yahooo!  I am looking forward to that number going down.

Monday, May 16, 2011


My bags are packed and I can hardly stand it!  I actually had a good night's sleep.  A good friend of mine, who had the VSG 3 years ago and has been a wealth of information, called me right before bed and prayed with me over the phone.  She was giddy and excited, too.  I hope I am as successful as she has been, because she has totally rocked the sleeve and has kept over 100 lbs. off and looks fantastic!

I just kissed my girls goodbye and sent them off to school.  I told them I would be home on Wednesday and that  it would go by fast.  My husband went to his classroom this morning to leave some last minute instructions for his substitute teacher and then will take the rest of the day off and take me to the hospital.  I now need to take a shower with some antiseptic soap that they gave me.  I leave in a little over an hour, but my surgery isn't for another four hours.  My last weigh-in before surgery was 262 lbs. this morning.  Officially 20 lbs. lost before surgery.  Woo hoo!  See ya on the other side...the LOSER'S side!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My biggest support group

I feel so grateful to have a family who loves me unconditionally and really desires the best for me.  They are as excited about tomorrow as I am.  As I was looking around for before pictures, I realized I don't really have any, as I hid from the camera for so many years.  This is so common for those who are overweight, unfortunately.  I have lots of pictures of our kids on our vacations and special events, but I made sure I was the one taking the pictures and did not have to be in them.  Well, during their Spring Break just a few weeks ago, we went to a San Diego Padre baseball game.  I made sure I was in least one picture, just to have a memory and I thought about "before" pics and wanted to have at least one candid.

My love and my rock...

I just love these people...
I am so blessed!

My hubby finally met with the surgeon, too, and will hopefully be getting sleeved some time this summer.  This is going to be a great year!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The dreaded BEFORE pics and last day of solids

I was totally dreading taking these pictures.  I tortured my 10-year-old daughter into following me around this weekend, trying to capture me a little bit.  I also hope to take the full body shots every month to capture the dramatic (hopefully) changes.

Chilling in the backyard on a beautiful Spring day, 
drinking my green tea.

Our dog, Sparky, decided to join me :)

Trying to get some more "before" pics

 Ugh!  I hate the "before" pics

 These are dreadful, but I need them to see the progress and keep motivated.  Today's weight: 264 lbs.

I really love looking at everyone else's before pics and the amazing transformation.  This surgery is such a gift!

Today is also the last day of solid food.  I am on a full liquid diet tomorrow, but it shouldn't be so bad.  I have protein drinks, soups, sugar free jello and popsicles and also lots to drink.  I just can't believe that it is so close!  I will try to write a quick entry on Monday morning, but no promises.  I wish I could turn off my mind. I can't stop thinking about this and did not sleep well last night.  I am just SO dang excited!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Check and check!

So my last two requirements were done today!  I had my pre-registration with the hospital earlier in the day (check!).  I had to get off work early, but it needed to be done.  I went in and filled out lots of paperwork and then I went down to the bariatric unit and met with the nurse there.   She was really nice and made sure I understood all the directions and also gave me some antiseptic skin cleanser to use the morning of surgery to prevent infections.  Then I had to go down to see respiratory unit to get my volumetric incentive spirometer that I will use after surgery.  I have heard that I need to make sure I use that, as it helps with the whole process, as stuff gets stuck in your lungs and makes post-op yucky.

After that appointment, I went over to see my surgeon (check!).  This was my last visit with him before the big day :)  He was very happy I had lost 10 lbs. since I last saw him and was assured my liver would be nice and small for Monday.  We discussed that I would need to purchase some magnesium citrate to take the night before surgery (so looking forward to that, lol!) and that I would be on full liquids on Sunday.

I plan on going shopping tomorrow for some last minute items, like the full liquids and things for the hospital.  Hope I don't forget anything...Also, I plan on gathering and taking some before pictures and taking my measurements this weekend.  I really do enjoy seeing the transformation of others and will be equally ecstatic about seeing mine, although I am sure they will be painful to see.  I will be very busy in the next few days, trying to do as many home visits with my foster kids and reports done this week so I don't get behind at work.  I am very fortunate that my boss is telling me to take my time to heal and isn't pressuring me to make a return date that is final.  I LOVE my job :)

I do have to say...I have had a HUGE smile on my face all afternoon since leaving the hospital and seeing the surgeon.  I cannot believe that this time next week I will be sleeved and getting ready to go home!  WOW!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Getting things ready

I could seriously spend days reading and reading and watching all there is out there about VSG.  From the message boards to the blogs and vlogs, the information is almost too much.  I am now concentrating on the pre-op diet and it is amazing how different doctors are when it comes to this area.  I have read that some are very strict with a liquid diet.  Some are on a high protein/low carb diet.  And then some don't have any kind of pre-op diet at all.  I have no idea what the benefits are, even though I have read the theories.  My doctor requires a two week high protein/low carb diet, with the last day before surgery is full liquids (creamed soups, bouillon, broth, protein shakes, sugar-free popsicles, pudding and jello).  Also, I was told this week to avoid red meat, lettuce and leafy vegetables.  Oh, and no more advil or ibuprofen or aspirin related products.  No more soda.  Also, I am on Prilosec and am taking mulit-vitamins and Vitamin C.

I am also reading alot on the success stories and the different experiences the first few days and weeks after surgery.  Some of it really excites me, and other stuff really terrifies me.  I know everybody's experience differs.  I am just excited to get through the next few weeks.

One thing I am thrilled with is that my surgeon and hospital are within 10 minutes of my home.  I don't have to drive far or worry about not seeing family and friends.  I have read about others driving and flying long distances for this life-changing (saving) procedure and that would just add to my fears and nervousness.

OK, back to the blogs for more reading, lol!  I have my pre-registration appointment with the hospital next week and my last visit with my surgeon on Tuesday.  Coincidently, Tuesday is also my husband's first visit with the surgeon!  He is also getting the VSG and is only a little bit behind me in the scheduling.  Once he sees the surgeon, it is submitted to insurance (that is if our primary doc office doesn't screw things up).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Finally a date for surgery!  I will be having my vertical sleeve gastrectomy on Monday, May 16th!  That is less than two weeks away.  Wow.

This has been such a long road.  I started a year ago with the six month weightloss classes.  Then it took about 4 months of tests.  Then I finally met with the surgeon in February and did the mandatory seminars.  It took 3 months then for my primary doctors office (did I mention I was changing doctors after all this?? lol!) to submit all the paperwork to insurance and get approved.  But now, it is so close.  I am so giddy :)  I go to the hospital next week and meet with the surgeon again and get some labwork done.  And life changes forever.  Yahoo!