Only One Concern Sunday, Jul 29 2012 

My main incision is still oozing to the point where I’m changing dressing twice a day. Tomorrow is my two week appointment so they will look at it then. There is no infection but I can’t figure out why it is still draining.

I am down 17 lbs and feeling great. Can’t wait to transition to soft solid foods on Tuesday. I love cottage cheese and yogurt but I’m getting tired of them.

Suddenly I Feel Like… Wednesday, Jul 25 2012 

Dancing!

The past two days have been filled with pretty intense burning in my abs. I truly believe it was the pre-existing scar tissue that was giving me trouble. But I was determined today and it wasn’t going to keep me home. I needed to get out an move around a bit.

My dear friend picked me up and we ran several errands that included walking around three stores. We didn’t overdo it at all. When I would first get out of the car, I had some burning pain but after I had been moving a few minutes, it would subside. I walked at a nice, even pace, not too fast at all. We had a great time.

We went back to her house until hubby came to pick me up at 7 when he got off of work. After he arrived, I stood up out of the chair and noticed I didn’t have any pain. We all left to go out for dinner (my first restaurant experience!) and I drove there. Again, when I stood up, no pain. It’s suddenly just gone. I really feel as if I could go dancing right now.

The restaurant experience was interesting. It was dollar taco night so everyone else ordered tacos. I ordered a cup of tortilla and chicken soup and ate the delicious broth. I was a happy camper. The only thing I forgot was I ordered water to drink with my meal. Big no, no! I drank a bit before the soup got there and I caught myself taking a big ol’ drink of water. My eyes got real big and I shoved the water to hubby. LOL I’m really going to have to concentrate on not having anything to drink with meals. It’s going to be tough.

Such a fun day. Such a nice thing to be pain free.

Pain And Such Wednesday, Jul 25 2012 

I’ve added a widget to the side just to show my weightloss track. As of today, I’ve lost 43.5 lbs since May 8th. I am down 13.5 lbs since surgery.

My recovery continues to go pretty well. I had an issue with drainage from the main incision over the past couple of days, but that seems to have stopped. It is all very normal and there is no infection involved.

Two nights ago I sneezed twice and my abs to the left of the main incision felt as if I had torn them. I sneezed again last night and the pain was excruciating. I would not have been surprised to see my whole inside come bursting out. That didn’t happen and I was happy about that. I spoke to my dear friend who happens to be a nurse and she tells me that it sounds like the old scar tissue from the previous abdominal surgery is starting to come into play. The pain is not constant and, while getting moving is painful, once I am moving it is tolerable and even goes away. I’m just going to have to power through this. I know it will go away. I have an appointment with the surgeon on Monday and I’ll talk to him about this if things haven’t changed by then.

Today I have plans to get out of this house finally. My friend is coming to pick me up and we are going to run a couple of light errands then we will hang out while hubby is at work. Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my PCP and Friday I am driving to Baton Rouge to meet my bestie for a while. It feels good to know I’m going to be moving about. I’ve been in this house too long.

Home And Learning How To Live Day By Day Sunday, Jul 22 2012 

Surgery was on Tuesday but much later than expected.  The doc had a new scope he used for the first time on an earlier patient and it took him much longer to complete the procedure.  They wound up taking me back about 6 pm.  Thanks to some earlier abdominal scar tissue, it took him twice as long on my procedure and he had to make a slightly bigger main incision.  All went well.  When I woke up in recovery, I had a lot of pain and nausea so they kept me an extra hour.  I didn’t get up to my room until almost midnight.  It made for a very long day for my family.

The hospital stay was pretty uneventful.  I got up the next day after they removed the catheter and was able to walk around the room.  I slept most of that first day.  My dear mom had spent the night with me so hubby could go home and take care of the dogs.  Day two went well but I didn’t think I’d ever get released. The nurses did say I was doing exceptionally well compared to other by-pass patients, who apparently do a lot of crying due to pain.  I didn’t shed a tear the entire time as I didn’t feel the pain was that bad.  By the time they got the paperwork processed and my drain removed (ouch!), it was 4:30 pm and the rain was horrible.  What should have been an hour ride home became two hours but getting home was worth it.  My dogs were just as happy to see me as I was then, especially the bigger one, who had whined for me the entire three days.

I was able to begin drinking my proteins that evening and the zero carb Isopure drinks are pretty good.  It took me 24 hours to finish the first one and I’m still working on the second.  Yesterday, I was able to begin my “full liquids”, which are milk-based.  I started the day with some low fat cottage cheese.  Hubby fussed at me for just bringing the entire container with me and a spoon rather than putting some in a bowl.  He was afraid I would overeat.  Ha!  I nibbled about a teaspoon and a half and was done.

Yogurt is my favorite thus far.  I have some Danon Light & Fit, which is very low in sugars (2g).  That was my second adventure into food yesterday.  The containers are 4 oz and I ate on it for over an hour.  I have both vanilla and strawberry but have only had the vanilla.

Last night I got out a can of low fat cream of mushroom soup and mixed it with an equal amount of skim milk.  It really took care of the savory craving I was having.  I ate about 3 oz over about 30 minutes twice yesterday.  So yummy!

I am finding it very easy to know that I am full.  It is that typical full feeling that I suppose everyone has.  It comes on very quickly. I really have to space my sips or bites and take things slowly.

I’m having to hold off taking actual showers due to the drain hole in my stomach.  Sponge bathing is not fun and doesn’t give the same results.  Hubby is going to wash my hair in the kitchen sink today because I can sit and lean back there.  I might even put on some real clothes and go walk outside a bit after that.  My incision look good.  The main incision has some redness and drainage but all is well within the normal range and I am keeping a good eye on it.

Today I have the feeling of being a bit lighter.  I hadn’t weighed since about two weeks pre-op and I probably put on a couple of pounds in that last week.  I had weighed 332 that day and just now weighed 323.6.  I am down right at 8 1/2 lbs and I am thrilled.  I am feeling good as well.  This is becoming less scary and seeming much more doable.

When I began the study, I weighed 362.  Between the liquid diet and my voluntarily changing my eating habits, I lost 30 lbs pre-op.  I’m coming up on 40.  I am not on any medication at the moment.  The only questionable one will be my high blood pressure meds.  My BP ran in the 150’s over 80’s while in the hospital and the doc wasn’t concerned at all.  I am to followup with my local doc next week.  She will be so proud of me.

I’m Hungry Monday, Jul 16 2012 

Nothing but clear liquids today. That means nothing but water and broth since early this morning. I just made up a batch of sugar free jello but it won’t set for a while. Hope I can enjoy it before I have to stop drinking/eating completely at midnight.

I probably shouldn’t have gone to work today. Being hungry has made me pretty grouchy. But it would have been harder not to eat if I had been here at home. I guarantee that I will be going to sleep early tonight. Anything to keep my mind off being hungry.

I do know that when I wake up in recovery tomorrow afternoon I will not be thinking about food. Don’t know when I’ll truly feel hungry again. This is a very good thing.

What a whirlwind week! Friday, Jul 13 2012 

Wednesday was pre-op and pre-admit day at the hospital. I had an upper GI first and found out that I have a hiatal hyernia but the doc will fix that during the surgery. I met with a surgical nurse and the nutritionist. That’s the day things finally got real for me. I’m one who tends to always be waiting for the other shoe to drop so I hadn’t let myself feel the reality of the situation. I finally allowed myself to feel it and it felt great.

Yesterday I had a bit of a hiccup with my leave getting approved but that was all worked out today. Everything is a go for Tuesday.

I received a folder outlining the entire path, including diet, from the nutritionist and there is a lot to plan and think about. I will have to take B12 and multivitamins every day for the rest of my life. Protein, of course, will be the key. Today I headed out to GNC and Wal Mart to pick up all of the supplies and food I will need for the first two weeks. I ended up spending much more than I had expected. Just the clear protein drinks are $5.39 each. I needed enough for two days so that was over $20 right there. Then I had to get whey protein for shakes, vitamins, a blender, and broth, soup, jello, cottage cheese, yogurt, and such. It was enough to make my head spin. But I am ready for the next two weeks anyway.

My plan is to have a good weekend and get three good nights of sleep so I will be rested on Tuesday. Surgery isn’t until the afternoon so I won’t have to get up super early. I’ll be able to pack leisurely before we head out.

This is real, y’all. Wow.

Bad Day Saturday, Jul 7 2012 

Today is full of doubts.  What if I can’t completely change the way I eat and the way food affects me?   I am a lazy eater when I’m at home.  I’ll just eat anything convenient.  Today at lunchtime it was mashed potatoes.  My lunch was all starch, no protein, no nutrition.  I can’t do that after surgery.  I feel so weak-willed.  For the first time since I started this process I am having tons of doubts.  I’m scared – not of the surgery itself but of my ability to beat this.  

I’m off to find a local support group.  I know I need help.

Time Is Ticking Friday, Jul 6 2012 

Only twelve days left until surgery.  I go for my pre-op at the hospital on Wednesday.  

I must admit that I have eaten nothing but crap for the past three days.  We had hot dogs and chips and pie and cookies at work on Tuesday and it carried over into yesterday and today.  On the 4th we went over to have barbecue at the home of friends and I ate cake.  I know this is my last hurrah but eating crap makes me feel like crap.

I have discovered a new artificial sweetener called Swerve that is really good.  It isn’t bitter and measures cup for cup with sugar.  I don’t want to get hooked on any sweeteners but I do need them in my coffee and tea.  I’m going to pick some up at the local grocery and start using it when I need it.

On Schedule Tuesday, Jun 26 2012 

Surgical consult went quite well today. Pre-op at the hospital on the 11th then surgery on the 17th.

This is all still so surreal to me. I guess it won’t truly hit me until they wheel me into surgery. Found out I won’t have to be on a liquid diet again except for 24 hours before surgery. Also found out I’ve lost another pound. Yay me!

Moving Right Along Thursday, Jun 21 2012 

Consult Tuesday am. Pre-op the next week. Surgery on July 17th. I am officially 2 1/2 weeks out. Wow.

In other good news, I’ve been afraid to approach the scale since I finished the liquid diet. I got brave this morning and found that I’ve lost another five pounds. That is 20 lbs all together. Whoohoo!

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