December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009
Me, after losing 53 pounds in 2.5 months.

June 3, 2010 (8 months after surgery)

June 3, 2010 (8 months after surgery)
Me, after losing 102 pounds.

January 2011, Zoë's 5th Birthday

January 2011, Zoë's 5th Birthday
Zoë's 5th Birthday, January 2011, 130 pounds lighter and feeling good!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Minus 31 and counting!

I saw the doctor on Friday and learned that I had lost 31 pounds!  I am still feeling sick, so today, my doctor ran a battery of tests on me.  He's going to call with the results tomorrow, and I may have to go back for more tests.  Needless to say, I did not get back to work this week.  The doctor told me that if this continues I may not be able to return to work until after Thanksgiving.  My boss/Pastor has been wonderful and supportive.  But Christmas is coming, and there's lots to do!  I really need to get back to work!

At this moment, I am very tired from a long afternoon at the hospital.  I'm gonna go watch America's Next Top Model and sip on some diluted juice.

Until next time,
Nancy (Scrappyknees)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Everday a Baby Step

I have been surprised by how sick I've been following my surgery.  My doc had me thinking I'd be feeling great and able to function at 2 weeks out.  Well, it's 2 weeks out and I feel like I have the flu.  Everything is making me feel nauseated.  On Saturday, I found my self wondering if I had made a mistake having the surgery.  My mom and Karen helped me get over that hump by allowing me to cry it out and brood for a while.

I have to get my act together soon, because I need to return to work on Oct. 28.  My goal is to feel better by this weekend.  Not sure how to accomplish that, but it's a good goal.

Soups seem to feel good when I drink them.  Last night Bob brought me my favorite french onion soup (minus croutons) from Panera.  We had to put it in the blender to break down the onions and the cheese.  Boy, was that good.  The other things that seem to go down easy are sugar free popsicles.  They feel good as they melt in my mouth and head south, and they quench my thirst, too.

Right now, I'm sipping on some tomato soup.  I REALLY want some water, but it doesn't seem to agree with me at the moment.  It's so weird how things have changed as far as eating and drinking goes.  Things taste different, more intense.  I still crave my favorites like pizza, but I could not eat that right now, no matter how much I want to.

Well, I'm getting sleepy.  Bob has taken Zoë to the zoo, so I have the house to myself.   Gonna go and rest a bit.

Until next time,
Nancy (Scrappyknees)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hungry and Sleepy

I am so hungry, even though I am "eating."  Actually, I'm drinking, and I don't think it is dense enough.  I am pretty sure I need to up my caloric in take, but I don't know how to do it.  Luckily, I get to add more foods like yogurt, etc. to my diet starting on Sunday.  This should help a lot.  My average intake right now is about 650 calories a day.  I'm supposed to shoot for 1000 calories.  No wonder I'm hungry.  Tomorrow, I will add a third protein shake and see if that helps.

This surgery really kicked my butt.  When I'm not taking meds or trying to get in calories, I am asleep.  I've been so fortunate to have help with Zoë this week.  Between Bob, his mom, and my parents she's been well cared for everyday.  I miss being an active part of her life, so this has to change, somehow.  But I just feel so darn weak and tired, I can barely function.  I haven't even taken any phone calls, because it is too hard to talk when I'm this tired.

The good news is the pain is much less and I managed to ditch the pain pills.  Surely this will help me perk up a bit? 

Well, I'm getting sleepy after all this typing.

Until next time,
Nancy (Scrappyknees)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Surgery Update

I am home, recovering from my surgery.  Writing this entry is a challenge because I have Demerol chorusing through my veins.  Yes, I am in pain and breathing deeply is a big challenge.  In order to do the surgery laproscopically, the doctor filled my chest and stomach cavity up with gas.  This excess gas has to pass thru my system at it's own pace.  I walk every hour that I am awake to assist the movement of the gas, and to ensure I don't develop any blood clots.

The hospital stay was okay.  Most of the nurses were very nice and helpful.  There was one nurse who didn't like me very much. She took an attitude with me when I asked her for assistance with walking.  I had to use a crutch, and walk with another person to be safe.  This was because I was so unsteady with my knee problems.  The other nurses kindly assisted me.  This one, however, gave me grief before agreeing to help me.  She didn't "understand why I needed special assistance."  She also gave me grief over several other things I need assistance with.  I was glad when her shift was over.   Like I said, the rest of the staff was wonderful and kind.

My diet is liquid for ten days following surgery.  Today for breakfast I had 12 very soupy micro bites of coco  wheats (hot cereal like cream of wheat), and 4 oz. light cranberry juice.  Sipped on water, took a nap.  After I finish writing here, I'll have some chicken broth, then probably another nap.

The worst thing so far is having to ingest crushed medicines.  Oh, they taste so bad, and after I take them I can't gulp down water to flush out the taste.  I can sip little sips, only.  After 6 weeks, I'll be able to take whole pills again.  Can't wait for that day!

That's about all my sleepy head can think of right now.  Until next time...

Nancy (Scrappyknees)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Intitiate Transformation

In 5 days, I begin a new life. This Wednesday, October 7, 2009, I will have bariatric surgery;a gastric bypass, to help me loose weight once and for all. Today someone asked me if I was excited about the surgery? "No, not excited...calm. And ready," was my reply. Yes, I am ready to take this huge step toward rediscovering who I believe I am truly meant to be. In my heart, I am a young 40 something, strong, and lean. I hope to be that person in mind and body, soon.

Why such a drastic step, you may ask? Easy. I have tried EVERYTHING to loose weight. I have not always been overweight. Those of you reading this who knew me as a child, teenager, and in my early twenties would be shocked to learn that since that time, I have gained 200 pounds. 200 pounds. It's so frightfully difficult to admit, especially since I carry my weight well. Most people think I am approx. 100-125 pounds overweight. Ha! Got you fooled. At my thinnest, which was pretty thin, I weighed 165. It must be my height, and my solid Slavic/Italian construction that helps me hide it so well.

I blame my demise on two things: Steroids and a love of food. In 1990, I became very ill. (Many of you know that I have had chronic asthma since age 5.) I was prescribed Prednisone, a steroid which is wonderful at helping you overcome inflammation. Mine happened to be in the lungs. The other thing the drug did well was increase my appetite tremendously. I was on Prednisone for a solid 10 years. It was not uncommon for me to pack on 20 pounds in one week. At first, I didn't know what was going on. I just kept gaining and gaining at an alarmingly rapid pace. In 1994, the year I married, I learned how to stop gaining and hold steady. I changed my diet radically, and exercised like crazy. I held steady at 150 pounds gained, but could not loose to save my life.

Then came the diet quest. Weight Watcher's, Jenny Craig, Weight Watcher's, Diet Center, Weight Watcher's, Slim Fast, Weight Watcher's, Physician's Weight Loss, Weight Watcher's, Atkins, Weight Watcher's, Weight Watcher's, Weight Watcher's. Between 1995-2008, I tried all of those diets, some more than once, as you see. All I managed to do was loose 20 pounds over a painfully long, slow period of time, then gain 25. In the end, I gained another 50. This whole time I was on and off of Prednisone.

In March of 2008, my husband and I attended a free seminar about bariatric surgery. We both left feeling like there was no way I was going to do THAT to my body. I felt like a big looser for even needing to look at the surgery as an option. Besides, we wanted another baby and I was already 40. With bariatric surgery you must wait 18-24 months before having a child, so as to ensure the health of the child and mother. Funny, I spent the next year with a little nag in the back of my head. I didn't get pregnant, and I wasn't loosing weight. And I was extremely unhappy with myself, physically.

On Ash Wednesday of 2009, I sat in my director's chair at Rockport United Methodist Church behind the alter, as Pastor Dan Bryant preached about changing ourselves for the better. That little nag started to pound away in my head. Pastor Dan had us write down something we wanted to change for the glory of God during this Lenten Season. I don't remember my exact words, but I wrote that I wanted to change my body into the Holy Temple it was meant to be. We then walked up to a flaming pot and burned our concerns in front of our fellow believers. At that moment, a peaceful feeling entered my soul and I knew that I should have the surgery.

My husband, though very concerned, was also very supportive. We made an appointment with the surgeon. We learned the risks and benefits, what to expect, and that the process would be long. Over the next 6 months I had numerous appointments. Every time I thought, "That's it. I should be able to get my surgery date now," I was told I needed to schedule another appointment. I saw my physician, my pulmonologist, my allergist, a dietician, a psychiatrist, and many others. Finally, in September of 2009 I was given a surgery date of October 7, 2009.

I had originally hoped to have my surgery during the summer. I had the summer off from my church job, so my surgery would be more private. See, in my mind, I felt like my need to have the surgery was admitting a failure of some kind. So I wanted to keep it private. But God once again began to work in my heart. "Tell the world and the world will support you!"  is the message I heard over and over again in my dreams. Slowly, I did begin to tell people. To my surprise, they were excited for me!!! So now , here I am, blogging about the experience. Now I realize that there may be someone out there who needs to hear from me. My journey may help someone else with their journey, I hope and pray.

I am still too embarrassed to tell you my actual weight, (though you can probably guess in the correct vacinity) except to say that my goal is to loose 200 pounds. And you know what? I want you to journey with me, so I will do my best to keep up with this blog. I thank you in advance for your love, support, prayers, and good thoughts. I thank God for all of you as I take this giant leap of faith.

Until next time,

Nancy (Scrappyknees)