Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day #425 *Screaming* I'M NO LONGER OBESE!!!

I'm SO excited! I've been at a sort of stall for the last two weeks, "only" losing one pound a week. I stopped weighing myself every day and have only been weighing a couple times a week. Today I was feeling "skinny", so I got on the scale and weighed 194! This is a HUGE milestone for me! I'm no longer obese! I just want to run around screaming this like a crazy person. This milestone also marks a halfway point for me. 56 pounds down and 54 pounds more to go! It feels so good to be this far in my journey. I feel like such a stronger person than I did at 250 pounds and i'm so grateful for this surgery.

My insurance denied my prescriptions for nexium and protonix, which were the two PPI's my surgeon called in for me that are available in powder form. I got some nexium capsules from my primary md and had been opening them up into applesauce, but let me tell you, that is DISGUSTING! I decided last Tuesday to try and swallow the nexium capsule for the first time and it worked! I didn't get stuck. I've tried taking much bigger capsules since and haven't had any trouble. I have also tried taking small pills and same thing, no trouble. I hate my chewable bariatric vitamins and haven't been very good about taking them. If I had a tablet available for me to swallow I would be much more compliant.

Anyway, back to the whole PPI issue, when I ran out of nexium I decided to try Prevacid over the counter and it is AAAAAAAmazing! With the nexium I would start feeling the heartburn again by mid morning if I would forget to take it as soon as I would wake up. With the Prevacid I haven't had this happen. My surgeon said I would probably have to take this for about three months. Prevacid is also really affordable, it's less than $25 for a 30 day supply.

So what am I eating these days? A lot of what I would eat before but in much smaller portions. I'm also trying to eat lower carb and I never drink soda. I'm not supposed to use a straw but i've used one two or three times without any trouble. My favorite lunch to pack is cucumber slices, black forest ham, honey smoked turkey, and sharp cheddar cheese. I've identified a few foods that i'm "bottomless" on, as in, I can eat and eat and never feel restriction. These foods freak me out and I try to avoid them.

Since our trip out of town last weekend i've been having really bad muscle spasms in my low back. It has made work really hard. Actually, it's made everything hard. I can't even put on my own undies without wincing in pain. I decided to dedicate yesterday to spoiling myself. I had lunch with a friend of mine, then got a pedicure. I committed to not biting my nails yesterday and got a manicure with the gel nail polish that has to be removed with acetone. I got a pale pink color that looks like my natural nail color. Once my nails grow past my fingertips I want to get really awesome nail colors like neon purple!

After my mani/pedi I got an over three hour massage. It was amazing. I'm really sore today, but in a good way. My back is still hurting me, and i'm thinking maybe I should get some imaging done just to make sure it's not something more serious. I've never had muscle spasms that last a week before. I've tried everything, advil, heating pad, rest, muscle relaxants, massage...nothing makes it go away :-(.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day #411 ONEDERLAND!!!

Today I weighed 199.6! The 100's have eluded me for so long...always taunting me when I would get down to 202, 203 but never quite getting there.  In addition to feeling amazing about being in the 100's again, I've been feeling amazing in general. I forgot to write that on Wednesday I started taking nexium and have been feeling like a million bucks ever since. Before I couldn't even drink a sip of water without feeling like my chest was on fire, and now I can eat and drink without any problems. I haven't thrown up since.

Work has also been getting easier. I feel mentally stronger since i'm able to take in nutrition and fluids and physically i'm getting stronger. I worked two shifts in a row and my right upper back was the only thing hurting by the end of the day. I work the next four days in a row so we'll see how I feel on Wednesday night!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day #408 First Day Back at Work and Life in General

My first day back at work was miserable. I had horrible heartburn still, diarrhea three times, was severely dehydrated, and felt weak the whole day. By three my muscles were aching so bad from the lack of potassium and from moving so much. I cried when I got into my car and just felt like I was going to have to quit my job. I felt like I couldn't do it anymore.

Today I got to sleep in and took a nap in the afternoon. I haven't thrown up or had diarrhea today and i've been eating and drinking. I met with the nutritionist and he gave me some suggestions for getting protein in. I'm going to try them. I don't want to lose my hair! I'm kind of an emotional mess right now and cried a little bit with my nutritionist and with my surgeon. I'm just sick of the heartburn, vomiting, and feeling deprived. I know it's going to get better, and I don't regret my decision because I know I did it for the right reasons.

I'm feeling really good this afternoon and we're going to dinner to celebrate my uncle's birthday.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day #406 Back to Work :-/ & Possible Stall

I go back to work tomorrow! I'm really nervous. I still get tired really easily and have lost a lot of muscle strength. This is also our busiest time of year, and the patient population in general is also a lot sicker. Blah.

Yesterday was a good day. We were invited to a super bowl party so I had an excuse to get dressed up. I had this bag that I had been shoving clothes that didn't fit me anymore into because I was tired of seeing them in my closet. I dipped into that bag and put on a pair of jeans and a shirt my sister had given me almost two years ago. It felt good :-).

I think I might have hit my stall. I have weighed 202.8 since Friday. I've been eating a lot of salt, and I noticed my college ring was snug this morning when it had been spinning around the last few days. If I am at a stall, i'm ok with that. I had wanted to get under 200 before stalling, but such is life. Since the 19th i've lost 26 pounds! Most of my clothes fit the way they should, and some fit a little bit big. I think the reason why is that i've been stuffing myself into my current clothes instead of admitting I was bigger and buying bigger clothes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day #404 You're not painting a pretty picture here...

I wish that I could write that this experience has been a walk in the park and i'm getting amazing results without any negatives. I don't want future VSG'ers to read this blog and change their mind about surgery after reading about my experience. But at the same time I want to be honest about what it's really like to be me right now.

I was telling one of my best friends about my day on the phone, about how I can't eat and drink at the same time, how limited my food choices are right now, how few calories i'm able to eat, how I almost blacked out last night, how I threw up for the first time today....and he said, well, you're not painting a pretty picture here. He said that i'm his guinea pig and depending on how I do with the procedure he might follow suit...or, in his words, "if you're not dead in a few years then I might do it".

I tried explaining to him that my stomach is still swollen and my staple line is still healing and that at two months i'll be able to eat more foods and larger portions and that i'm really looking forward to it, but he only wanted to focus on how bad things are right now. Which is fine. I just know that I can't, or else i'll never get through this. Monday is my two week "surgiversary" and then it's just six weeks more after that. I'm just taking it one day at a time...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day #403 All Magic Comes With a Price

The last few days i've been struggling with dry skin and the itchiness that won't go away. The two areas that I can't stop scratching are my hands and the areas around my incisions. I've already scratched off all of the dermabond around my incisions because it was so freakin itchy! Also, by scratched, I mean rubbed off with my nubs (I bite my nails, gross, I know).

I've also been struggling with not being able to eat the foods that I crave and love to eat. Last night we decided to go to olive garden for dinner. I ordered the chicken and gnocchi soup, halfway into the soup I had to run the bathroom. It wasn't pretty. I'll just add that to my list of foods I can't tolerate that I love :-/.

One of my best friends (also a nurse) was supposed to have this surgery at the same time but was unable to lose weight to qualify for our insurance to pay for it. She calls me almost every day after work to see how i'm feeling and has been really supportive. She just started aggressively trying to lose weight because she wants to have surgery asap. I'm really excited for her but at the same time I felt like I should 'warn' her. Have you seen the show on ABC Once Upon a Time? Rumpelstiltskin always says "All magic comes with a price." That's kind of how I feel about this whole experience. It's magical how fast i'm losing weight, but it comes with a huge price.

Today I weighed 204! Sooo close to onderland :-)