Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Week 6

Today being my 6 week anniversary, or as it has been cleverly labeled as “surgiversary”, (which was clever the first 20 times I heard it said or written), I thought I would blog a bit about my progress so far, feelings, general health and where I am in my head.

To start with, I weighed in this morning at 216.2.  I believe that is a loss of 1.2 pounds from last week.  I stopped taking a prescription water pill about a week or so ago and immediately found my weight fluctuating all over the place…mostly up!  It was very discouraging to me, but I knew that there wasn’t anything I was doing wrong as far as diet goes, and I have started to exercise more now that I am this far out from surgery.  And I was right, the weight started to come down each day by small increments until I achieved this number this morning.  I will take it!  Do I wish that it was 3 pounds or 5 pounds?  YES!  But, I am hopeful I will still have some weeks like that too in the future.  Mostly, I don’t want to have to log a gain.

My general health has improved a lot.  I went on a walk at my break today and needed to tie my shoes.  I was able to just bend over and tie them.  No huffing and puffing, no blood rushing to my face because of lack of oxygen and no awkward squatting to try and find a way to balance my body without it tipping over.  It’s funny the things others might take for granted, but as for me, this was one of those NSV’s I guess.  My blood sugar has taken a dramatic jump to normal results in the past week.  When I saw my PCP last week, she recommended I take Metformin again, so I do that in the morning.  She also said I could take the lantus insulin in the evening, but only 5 units.  With the numbers being normal every time I check them, I haven’t used the insulin in the evening, because I am afraid it would go too low.  I think I will monitor them for a few more days and send her the information.  Hopefully, she will agree with me on just taking the metformin for now.  In 3 months, she will take my A1C again and I believe it’s going to be low enough to stop taking metformin.  I could be wrong, she may want me to continue it, but I guess we will see.

I am still experiencing some head hunger, which really makes me crazy!  It occurs primarily in the evenings, even after I have had my dinner.  I am not in the least hungry.  I don’t necessarily do anything about it, but I find myself looking in the fridge or the pantry as are my old habits and feeling frustrated because there genuinely is nothing there for me to eat (that I would even want to eat) and it’s just bad addictive habits.  I think this will be a demon that will stick with me for the rest of my life…

I went back to work yesterday.  It’s quite a different experience after being home for 6 weeks during recovery.  It’s not too bad.  I am having a difficult time gauging how much food to bring with me.  On Tuesday, it didn’t feel like I brought quite enough and so at the end of my shift at 6PM, I had to make up a whopping 30 grams of protein.  I used my old standby, which is shrimp, but I can’t eat that every day or I will get tired of it.  Then today, I decided to pack a couple extra small snacks and here I am at the end of my shift with a lot of extra food in my lunch box that isn’t going to get eaten today.  I just get so busy that I don’t have time or just plain forget to eat.  And obviously the absence of the ghrelin hormone means I am not feeling the hunger pangs like I used to before surgery.  I know that work and my stress levels are going to impact my progress (based off my work environment) but I will do my best to adjust.

Right now my 2 biggest obstacles are drinking enough fluids and making time for exercise.  I REALLY want to get on that treadmill.  (we have about a foot of snow outside, so no walking on those slippery sidewalks for me.  Plus it is so cold!) The nutritionist wants me to workout for 45-60 minutes a day.  If I could break that up into 2, 30 minutes workouts, I might be able to work it in, but I think they really want it to be one long workout for the full benefit.  I keep telling myself that I have put myself through a lot to get to this surgery, have the surgery and reach my goals, so making excuses isn’t really the thinking I want to have.  But, it certainly is hard to imagine finding another hour in the day without more sacrifice.  I think though, I am going to have to make it a higher priority than some quiet down time after work.  I am trying to figure this one out still.

So, that’s my progress after 6 weeks.  I am down 30.8 lbs.  It’s a good start!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  Yesterday we had a lovely family event for Christmas Eve.  Everyone that lived in the area was able to come over and celebrate with us. Of course, my sons, Jordan and Trey were not able to be there because Jordan is in Hawaii now and Trey in the mission training center.

I did get some very nice photos though, and thought I would share on this post.

Here is my husband and I
We woke up to a snowy morning.  It actually started the day before so we accumulated a lot before Christmas Eve,
My two oldest sons.  Brandon on the left and Jeremy on the right.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that my face and overall body appeared better in the photographs.  I was concerned about that to be honest.  Since I have to go back to work on Tuesday, I feel a little bit of anxiety that I will be gone for 6 weeks and have nothing to show for it.  I know that I have some body dysmorphia and probably always will, but these pictures made me feel good about my progress.

The past week has  been a bit hard on me.  Mainly because Trey is gone for 2 years and  this big house seems very empty without him.  I tried to stay busy though and focus on getting ready for Christmas.  I also had 3 doctors appointments.  First of all, I saw Rachel, the surgeon's PA concerning my progress. She was pleased and said I was doing well. She doesn't want to see me again until February 1st.  After that, I met with the nutritionist, and she laid out the plan for the next 3 months.  Basically, I can eat most things except for pasta, bread, starchy vegetables and crackers.  I expected that to be the case and I understand why.  These kind of carbs are my trouble foods anyway, so it would be best I avoid them until I can get my weight where I need it to be.

I also visited with my primary care physician on Friday.  She is pleased with my progress too.  In only 1 month my blood sugar went from an A1C score of 10.2 to 7.8.  I am hoping to get below 7 or even a 6 at my next appointment in March.  My blood sugars have been very low in the past week.  And when I say low, I mean NORMAL!  Sometimes under 100 and normally, all under 110.  I can't even believe it.  I am taking Metformin again once a day and a quarter of the dose I used to take.  I am not giving myself any insulin injections now because I would be too worried about low blood sugar because that can be something rather difficult  to manage.  Especially since I am going back to work this week.

I guess I haven't talked about weight loss.  Especially since week 5 officially occurred 5 days ago.  My weight has been a strange thing.  I am tracking my food everyday and know that the protein is where it should be, as well as calories (although I am not really tracking calories), and my weight actually went up.  Its my own fault for weighing myself every day, but I also know I am not likely to quit that habit.  At least one day in the week, I was down to 117.4 lbs.  That's nearly 30 pounds lost since surgery!  It will be interesting to see where I end up this week because it seems like the weight isn't changing much.  I know its all to be expected from time to time.

My husband got me a new Fitbit Charge 2 for Christmas and I am rededicating myself to getting on the treadmill while its snowy and icy outside and then I will hit the pathways and roads in the spring when the weather improves.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

An emotional Week

I didn't get my one month results in for week 4 this week, but I will weigh myself tomorrow to make that official.  With our trip to Salt Lake City this week, I wasn't home to weigh myself and to be honest, have been a little depressed since then.  It's to be expected, I said goodbye to my youngest son for 2 years.  I am proud of him, but do feel very emotional at this point.

Anyway, the week has been difficult as far as weight loss goes.  I suppose it's adjusting to eating soft foods and salt in the food and how I retain water.  I am not really sure.  I know there is something about the 3 week stall, and I suppose that I could have done the 4 week stall instead.  But, I can't seriously have supposed that I continue losing at the same rate I was previously.  I imagine that wouldn't be very safe.  It sure was exciting though!!

Tonight was the first time since my surgery that I vomited after eating.  I made myself a lovely piece of cod and some asparagus.  I am not quite sure what happened but about 1/2 way through I started to feel so very full.  I did get up and put the remainder away and just felt the worst sensation of being so full that it was painful.  I knew I needed to try and take the "top" off of what was seeming to feel like it was sitting at the top of my sleeve or the opening to my sleeve, and before I knew it, the entire contents of my sleeve was up and out.  It was pretty bad too.  I discovered that there was no bile, which is a good thing and part of the worst when having to vomit, but I also felt like I was going to choke before I could get through the process.  Ugh...awful moment.

I am still having a very difficult time with my liquids.  I am hard pressed to get in 64 oz a day, let alone 1/2 that amount.  Tomorrow, I am going to make a concentrated effort to get it accomplished.

This past week I decided to make some traditional Christmas cookies.  Of course, since I am not tempted by sweets, I didn't have much difficulty avoiding just eating one.  They were really fun to make though.  All eaten up now too, since we offered them as part of my son's open house refreshments. 

 One thing I have enjoyed this week are homemade soups.  This is a white bean soup that I made in my crock pot.  It was quite delicious  I will add the recipe to my collection to share.  I froze a bunch of small portions of it so I can eat it later on too.  

While in Salt Lake City, my son wanted to eat in a special restaurant that overlooked temple square.  It was a lovely restaurant, but a bit overpriced.  I knew that whatever I ate, it would only be a small portion...and I was correct!  But, I did have the /salmon.  There were mashed potatoes and a balsamic/cranberry sauce at the bottom that I avoided for the most part, but the fish and asparagus were tasty.  I ate about 1/2 of that.  It was sort of a waste of money, but the occasion was special, so I am going with that.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Week 3 Results

I am happy to report that I lost another 5 pounds this week, bringing me to a total loss of 26 pounds since my surgery.  Yay!

The past 3 weeks have been sort of like an eternity and yet really fast.  I am not sure if that makes any sense, but now that I can eat soft foods, I think things will start to normalize.

This morning I made a poached egg and had 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce with 1 T unflavored protein powder.  The first bite of the egg was delicious, but then as it progressed, it made me feel a little queasy.  I am not sure if that was due to the vsg or if it was just me.  In the past, eggs have, at times, made me feel a little nauseated after eating them.  The applesauce's texture wasn't right after adding the protein powder.  It did give me an additional 10 grams of protein, however.

For a mid morning snack, I wrapped a string cheese in 1 oz of ham.  This really went down more like a meal.  But it also added another 12 grams of protein, so that's good!  I think next time, however, I want to heat it up so the cheese is more gooey, or soft.

I am not sure what I am going to do for lunch today, but tonight I plan on making the Ricotta bake I found at this link.  I have not enjoyed too much ricotta in the past, but am hopeful that if I don't care for it, my son will love it and finish it off.  It sounds like it would be a noodle-free lasagna,

Making Changes

I decided for a change of plan.  I still had today left of the full liquid diet and decided that I am ready to move to the soft diet.  I need to eat food!  The trick will now be making sure I eat enough protein and drink enough water.  And that will be a trick!  But, I am determined.

I started the day out with:
1 egg
.5 oz cheese
.5 oz ham
I made an omelet with it.  It came to only 10-11 grams of protein.  Considering I need to get in 60-80 grams a day, I have a long ways to go.
Plates are about 5-6" 

Sugar free jello Pudding cup
2T unflavored protein powder
This came to 10 grams of protein and it puts me at 21 so far for the day.

So far, I have drank about 24 ounces of water.  I better get on it!  I will check back in later.

I finished the day out pretty good.  For lunch I had 2 oz Tuna fish and 2 oz cottage cheese.  The tuna was a bit dry even though I added some mayonnaise into it.

I couldn't quite finish it all...

I had an afternoon snack which went down really well!  I made a deviled egg and was able to eat all of it.

Dinner was 2 oz of tilapia and 1/2 small zucchini.  I foil wrapped it and baked it all together in the oven.  The zucchini was my favorite part, although the protein is what I needed more of,  The fish seemed really dry to me and so I tried to make a simple sauce using some butter, lemon juice and garlic,  It helped.  I am sure that butter isn't something I should be eating too much of, but in the big scheme of calorie and overall fat content is pretty low, so I don't think it was a bad thing.

Overall, it went pretty good as far as first day eating goes.  There were moments of queasy, but they went away fairly fast.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Keeping hydrated

Getting enough fluids in each day is the bane of my existence right now.  I seem to be able to drink about 8 ounces in a sitting if I focus on it, but I sure do get tired of water.  I have even been adding some flavored additives to make it interesting, but I am so tired of sweet things.  I don't intend to sound like I am complaining...but drinking enough in a day is concerning.

I am only talking about 64 ounces here.  You would think I could manage this, but I barely make it by bedtime, and sometimes I don't.  I have to set a goal now that I WILL drink enough and get up and move more, because I am really starting to see the problems with my BM's and the way I feel in general.  I also need more exercise.  I am sure that would make a big difference in the way I feel and my body chooses to respond.

In the evenings I have been craving a dill pickle.  I haven't broken down and actually eaten one as of yet, but I have taken some sips of pickle juice.  I think that's pretty strange.  I think I am craving the salt, to be honest.  I do get in my cup of chicken broth every day.  It's really been the highlight of my day so far.  Once again, salt....

Today, I am trying to drink a full premier protein shake in one sitting.  They are 11 ounces.  I am tired of remembering to drink 1/2 four times a day.  Evening creeps up and I don't get that last ounces in.  Not good.  My son and I have a lot going on today though, and I don't want the worry of whether I got enough protein or  drank enough water while I am busy.  He leaves for his mission next week, and we still need to pick up a few items to pack.  Plus, we have been wanting to see a movie together today sometime.  Snow is in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, and I'd really like to stay home where it's warm and dry tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Awaiting soft food stage

The days keep rolling by and I am waiting with anticipation to start eating some normalish foods again. On Wednesday I get to start my soft diet plan. It will be nice to get to chew and roll flavors around in my mouth again!

Only one more week before Trey leaves for the MTC and his mission far away in Virginia. It will be strange here alone in this big house. We have reserved a hotel in Salt Lake City for the 2 nights preceding our taking him to Provo to say goodbye. Jim will have to work some of the time, so Trey and I will go on some walking adventures downtown. There are many historical sites to see. It should be nice, especially at Christmas time. I am going to miss him...

I have very little pain now and find for the most part am getting around fairly well. I am struggling again in getting my fluids in as I should. I am not thirsty! I know how necessary it is that I do though, so am trying. Also, protein shakes are starting to be something I want to avoid all together. I am trying there too, though, as I know I need that protein to stay healthy. If I count calories, however, I am only taking in around 300 a day. I hope that's normal?  I think my body is eating itself!