Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Three weeks since surgery, down 20lbs!

I still can't believe it.  I'm down 20lbs already! 

Went shopping the other day to kill time while my son was at a birthday party.  Decided to try on some clothes just for the heck of it.  I actually got a size 22W on, but they were tight so I didn't buy them (even though I know they'll fit soon enough.)  I did, however, find a pair of stretch knit pants on clearance in an 18W/20W that did fit and will fit for a while, so bought those.  I also bought a shirt in a 2X.  I started this journey out at a 26/28W pants and a 3-4X shirt depending on the cut!

Here are some progress pictures... the one with the tie dye shirt is from the summer of '08 right before convention.  This was at my highest weight of 330lbs.

And this is me 68.2 pounds lighter wearing the outfit I bought the other night.  Current weight is 260.2...

I am so happy with my Roux En Y!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Surgery update!

Ok, I want to go back and update on what all happened this past week, so let's rewind to Thursday morning, Sept. 10th... my "re-birthday"....

Mom picked me up at 6 to take me to the hospital.  Paul was just getting off work and met us there.  We checked in at ambulatory surgery at 6:50.  Of course you're never just rushed through anything, so we were in a holding room for a while.  My dad came in about 8:30 after getting my nephew on the bus.  About 15 minutes later, they came to get me.

They wheeled me down the hall and showed my husband and parents where they could wait. I said good-bye and told them I loved them.  I wasn't a bit nervous until that point.  What if I didn't wake up?  Was Paul ready to take over on his own?  Would he know what to do about Devan's medications and routine? What if.... what if.....

So the trip back to the OR was made in tears.  They put me in yet another holding room all by myself.  Soon the anesthesiologist and his tech came in to explain what they were doing and ask me some questions... typical, textbook stuff.  Anesthesiologist left me with the tech.... Poor kid knew I was scared, and kept walking to the door to see where the nurses were.  I could tell I was making HIM nervous, too. 

Finally one of the OR nurses comes in, and the tech makes a hasty departure.  Can't say as I blame him!  The nurse is looking at my chart and says... "Tina Jesse".... Well, I was a bit taken aback because I KNEW my chart had my married name on it, yet she had just used my maiden name... Low and behold I looked up to realize it was an old school friend I hadn't seen in over 20 years!  I was instantly put at ease.  She was going to be with me the entire surgery!  I had every confidence in my surgeon, but there is just something about feeling like you're going through this alone!  With Erin there, I felt SO much better!

The tech comes back with the anesthesiologist and off we go to the OR.  I remember getting into the room, and the gurney being pushed up to the table, but don't remember anything after that. 

Next thing I know, I'm waking up in the recovery room.  It's just after noon, and I was taken in around 9, so not too bad! 

The first 45 minutes were agony, but Jim, the recovery RN, was FABULOUS!  He talked to me the entire time, told me exactly what he was doing, swabbed my mouth before I even said I needed it... what a great nurse!  I was beginning to feel better, and the pain wasn't as bad as I expected.  I did end up down there for 3 hours, though, because the room they assigned me to was still occupied.  They needed to have it cleaned once the patient finally left.  I was fine where I was, Jim took great care of me.  My husband and parents were kept informed about my progress and the delay, so all was good.

Finally get up to my room and get settled.  I won't go into all the little details, but I will say that I was very impressed by the staff at Wilson Regional.  They were superb!  The first day was pretty rough, but that wonderful button every 15 minutes was great!  The first day all I could have were ice chips.  DO NOT eat ice chips post RNY.  I knew this ahead of time so I was prepared.  Let them melt in your mouth before swallowing, otherwise your new pouch will cramp. 

The morning of day 2, I was pretty much getting around very well.  I had already walked the unit, and positioning myself in bed was uncomfortable but not awful.  The radiologist came to get me for my swallow study to see if I had any leaks....

Well, if you've read my blog, you know the funny story about the first swallow study, so I wasn't too concerned about this one.  Let me tell you though, it's a whole 'nother ball game when you're post op.  First, that table is SO high and HARD.  Then they want you to drink a mouthful of that gross stuff (this was different than the barium from the pre-op tests).  Let me tell ya, after not being allowed anything but ice, and having a stomach the size of a golf ball, that was the worst experience I've ever had!  THEN they have you roll on your side and try to drink another mouthful.  First of all, you're not really supposed to drink more than an ounce every 15 minutes (think medicine cup size) so I was already feeling like my pouch would explode.  Second, I couldn't bend my left arm because of the IV, and the X-ray tech kept spilling the stuff down my face and neck instead of getting it in my mouth. 

Well, I finally get it all down and the pictures taken, and they move the bed again, making me sick to my stomach.  So I'm trying desperately to get out from under the machine so I can sit up.  I barely got upright and threw up.  Luckily I warned the tech and she had a basin ready for me.  I was so scared I was going to pop a stitch in my new pouch and have to go through the whole process again!

Once I got back to my room, I was fine.  Went in and got cleaned up.  Back in bed and snoozed.  When I woke up, the nurse told me everything looked fine, and they were advancing to clear liquids.  I called down to room service (isn't that cool??  You can order what you want, WHEN you want instead of waiting for the trays to come around.  What a great thing THAT was!).  Anyway, I ordered sugar free jello and chicken broth...  It took me an 8 hour shift to eat one ounce of jello!  I couldn't finish one ounce of water in 15 minutes.  The restriction is THAT good!

Spent a couple more days in the hospital just to make sure I was feeling up to being home.  Came home Sunday...

The past week has been pretty uneventful.  Had a crying spell on Tuesday, I just wanted to CHEW something.  Talked to some of my support buddies and they said to get sugar free Popsicle's and fudgesicles.  What a relief!  I was never fond of popsicles, but they've been a blessing!  AND they count in my fluid intake!

Tuesday I drove the kids to youth group.  I haven't been using Vicodin except at bedtime, so was ok to drive.  Went for a walk to visit my sister, and had to have a ride home.  After 2 blocks I was done in.

Wednesday I attended a support group meeting and saw some great friends.  Everyone was so helpful and encouraging.  I'm so happy I have such a wonderful support network!

Today, Friday, was my first post-op visit... I took the boys to school and went in to say hello.  Everyone was shocked to see me, and telling me how great I look.  It was so nice to hear! I do feel wonderful.  Very little discomfort, only when I drink something too cold or too fast.  I get very tired very easily, so have to watch it.

Off to the appointment... Dr. Tvetenstrand's nurse, Lin, calls me back and tells me how great I look.  We chatted for a bit, and she weighs me....

I'm down 11.5 lbs since surgery!!  That makes a total loss to date of 62.5lbs!

Dr. Tvetenstrand said everything looks great, can't believe how fast my incisions have healed, and wants to see me in another month.  I can start back at the fitness center next Friday!

Stopped to see my mom and share the good news, and her co-workers (my second family, I've known them my whole life) were all saying they could see the loss already, how great I look, etc.  I am just over the moon happy! 

I wish I had done this 10 years ago!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pre-op liquids day 3...

Well, so far so good, but I am HUNGRY today!

Last night we had our yearly fish fry at mom and dad's for the holiday. I was completely amazed at how much was on my plate after weighing it! Six ounces doesn't sound like a lot, but when you have fish fillets it is! It was delicious! Had 4oz fish and 2oz asparagus. Stayed away from the fries and hush puppies. For dessert I had sugar free jello and watermelon, both allowed in any quantity because it's considered a clear liquid.

Today I think I am hungry for two reasons.... this may be TMI, but my monthly visitor is here. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually relieved she's early! Now I won't have to deal with it immediately post-op.

Another reason is that I've been cleaning out my closet. I can't believe how many clothes I had. I have two huge garbage bags for Free Cycle. I also found many items that I'll still be able to wear for a bit post-op. Shouldn't have to buy much of anything for a couple months until I get below the plus sizes... being a hoarder finally paid off LOL! All of those "I'll fit back into this eventually" items will now be put to use!

Tomorrow is my last day at work. I'm really excited, but worried about my student. She cried all day Friday. She knows what is going on, and is more nervous than I am I think. I promised her that I would call her Thursday afternoon so she knows I'm ok. Luckily she has my sister 10th period at school so I can talk to her then.

Her mom is also a very good friend of mine, and has also had the RNY. I keep reminding her that her mommy had the surgery and did fine. That seems to help. Poor kid! I know she'll be fine once she gets into the new routine with my long-term sub. I still don't know who that is going to be yet.

I also applied for another position at the school. The health clerk position opened up, and that is what I originally wanted to do. It is what I did when I lived in Colorado, and I absolutely loved it. We'll see what happens. I stated in my letter of interest that I hoped they wouldn't disqualify me from the selection process based on my leave of absence. Since I have 2 years past experience and am already an employee, here's hoping they do the right thing... unfortunately we have a new administrator and sometimes his version of the right thing and ours doesn't always mesh.

Well, back to the sorting and cleaning. I haven't had the "nesting" instinct like this since my youngest was born 12 years ago!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pre-op liquids start tomorrow!

I saw my nutritionist yesterday for pre and post op instructions. Starting tomorrow I am supposed to have a protein shake for breakfast and lunch, and no more than 6 oz. of solid food for dinner for the 5 days before surgery.

Wow, is it really only 5 more days?? I can't believe it! Some days it feels like it will never get here, others it feels like the time is flying by.

I placed my first order with for some unflavored protein powder and vitamins that I couldn't find locally. I have to add protein powder to my liquids, purees and soft foods for the first 6 weeks at least, then can introduce more "natural" forms of protein. I know it's going to be rough the first few weeks, just hope I can at least reach the lower end of the requirement.

Well, I think I'm going to head to bed. Might be going to bed really early for the next 5 days to make the diet a bit easier LOL! Can't eat or even think about food when you're asleep!

Oh, forgot to mention that my parents gave us a very nice recliner the other day. It is an "overstuffed" chair, and OMG is it comfy. Will definitely be a Godsend right after the surgery for sleeping. They say it's much easier to sleep in a recliner for the first few days home until your incisions heal a bit. And as uncomfortable as our old box spring is, the recliner will definitely be where I will sleep. Paul's on 3rd shift now anyway so it's not like I'll be abandoning him at night!