Saturday, October 21, 2006

WLS Sisters Unite!

Just the title of this post makes me chuckle...mainly because I am NOT a "group" kinda person. Don't know why. Just never have been.
Maybe a side effect of being so HUGE all my life that I hated being in crowds, feeling like a "bull in a china shop". Maybe because I tend to talk too much. (those of you who know me will understand the UNDERSTATEMENT here...ok, ok, stop laughing! :D) So I would dominate the conversation in a group setting and would probably be asked to leave. As in...

"You GO girl...there's the door and don't let it hit you in the hiney on the way out."

Saw that one in a tattoo artist's shop yesterday in between painful grimaces.
I have my own "miniature" support group in my aunts and mother who have all had various forms of G.B. surgery. They are 10 years, 7 years and 18 months out. So when I wanna know if I can eat soup with corn in it or if I need encouragement to keep up my spirits...they are right there for me. Just a phone call away! (yes, you can eat corn IN SOUP if you run it through a food processor so there are no whole hulls. :D)

ANYWAY, I've been kinda cruising blog pages of others who have or are thinking of having Weight Loss Surgery (hereafter referred to as WLS...ooooo, don't I sound professional?!?)

I will make a few disclaimers here...confessions, so to speak.

1) I DID not TRY to lose weight before the surgery. It was not a requirement of my "program" although he recommended I "make an effort" and gave me a little plastic 2oz cup to stare at so I could get my brain around how much I would be able to eat post-procedure.
2) What happened was that my family underwent a HORRIBLE traumatice episode ONE MONTH before this surgery that I had battled the insurance for a YEAR to get approved. Because of this event, I was UNABLE to eat for about 3 weeks due to stress and grief. So at my pre-op appt. It looked like I had lost about 20 lb.s.
3) HOWEVER, about 2 weeks before the surgery, it occured to me that I was NEVER AGAIN (or at least for a very long time!) eat Pie, Cake, Ice Cream, Cookies, fruit, steak/meat, COFFEEEEE, soda pop, etc. So, I am ashamed to admit, I went into PIG OUT mode. The local all-you-can-eat buffet got to know me on a first name basis.
4) I am not following my surgeon's program like I should. I did the required visits and blood tests for the first year. I have a struggle remembering to take my vitamins, iron and calcium and I don't exercise like I should (not counting chasing four kids :D). But I'm working on it...and I'm trying to do better.
5) I DO eat chocolate every now and then. I have been known to nibble three bites of cheesecake. I drink coffee. And I have drunk a Pepsi(real-not diet, very carefully and only about 1/3 of a can. It was uncomfortable.)
6) I battled with myself over whether or not to proceed. NOT because I was frightened or because of the hordes of people who said "Oh, do you REALLY need to do something that DRASTIC? Can't you just stop eating?"

IF I COULD "just stop eating", DON'T YOU THINK I WOULD HAVE???? Do you think I ENJOY looking and feeling like this?

Great Gobs of Goose Grease. Here's your sign! Just wanna slap you upside your head! In my head, basically, they were saying, "You are lazy and you just haven't tried to lose weight. Now you're taking the easy way out."

**OK, excuse me here for a minute while I compose myself. Getting my oversized panties in a wad here!**

Oooooohmmmm, ooooooohmmmm, ooooooohmmmm.

The reason I even considered backing out of the surgery was because all of a sudden, I was the only adult responsible for four kids under the age of 11. What happens if, God forbid, anything went wrong? More realistically, how will I care for them by myself for the first rough 3 months?

After much prayer and wise counsel, the decision was made to proceed. I wanted to be around to see my kids to graduate from high school. I wanted to have the energy to run and play with them. I needed to be healthy to take care of them.

I found a girl who had just graduated from high school and she agreed to be my roomy for 4 months (over the summer) to help with the kids. And away I went...

July 29, 2005.

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass. Dr. Read. Corvallis, Oregon.

New life begins! Two days in the hospital. I remember thinking as I walked out those hospital doors, "You know what, I don't feel that much different!"

I was SO careful the first couple of weeks.

Then came the first "Oops" moment. Third week after surgery. I ate an ENTIRE egg.
I knew better! I'd only been able to eat about 3/4 of the egg before...but it tasted SO good after all that liquid stuff. So I pushed the limits.


Thought I was gonna DIE! OWie, owie, owie. For about an hour.

The next week after that, I tried some cottage cheese. Regular fat...not low fat. Spent most of the afternoon on the toilet. we won't do THAT again!

Don't remember the first time I threw up. Probably about the same time I started trying more solid foods.
Throwing up isn't the same post surg. Just a nice, little ladylike "urp". Not too bad really. Which is good...because while I was learning what I could eat and what I couldn't, I threw up several times a week. At first, my kids were really upset by it. Running, yelling, OH NO, OH NO, Mom's PUKING!!
They got used to it real quick. "Ah, no biggy. There she goes again."

I've had dumping syndrome a few times...mainly because I'm a choco-holic. I've found I can eat SOME, but not MUCH. If I eat an entire small bag of M&M's, for example, I'll have to go to bed for about 30 minutes with sweats, nausea, diarrhea (OK, I'm not in bed for THAT, but you know what I mean!).

What I've found is that negative reinforcement goes a LONG way. If I've tried it once and it caused can bet your sweet bippy I don't do it again!

My biggest challenges...
  • Drinking enough water. I've gotten myself dehydrated to the point of needing IV fluids. ONCE. Felt crappy! too weeeeaaaakkk...couldn't move. I have to constantly remind myself to do this. The flip side to this one is that I am SO STINKIN' grateful to be able to drink coffee again. I 'bout DIED for the six months they don't let you have any...and I am still naughty cuz I don't drink "decaf". Plus the caffeine sucks MORE fluid out of me. So anyway, YAH, hydration is my biggest challenge.
  • My new body image. Men LOOK at me! Gives me the willies sometimes to have people stare at me. But I must confess that I have actually USED it a couple of times, **Batting eyelashes** "but, I've never pumped my own gas! (blink blink) Could you help me?"

My Greatest JOYS I will post for my Thursday Thirteen. So come check back! :D

Leave me a comment so I can visit your page and we can share. Let's be friends! And WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT ever, I repeat EVER, eat chicken breast without major chewing and sufficient smothering in mashed potatoes and gravy. Those of you who have tried it know what I mean. It won't come up and it won't go just sits there and KILLS YOU!

That's my advice for the day. :D

P.S. here's a "before and after" picture...and I've lost 30 more since then. YaaaHOOOOO! Also some of my life history so you can "get to know me". Have an awesome day!!

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