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Saturday, December 31, 2011

After Christmas Weigh-In

Well, I was afraid to get on the scales this morning as usually I gain weight over Christmas but ta-da! since my last weigh-in I've lost 6 more lbs for a total of 61 lbs.

It's been a crazy time for my body though, getting through Christmas.  I am off all my special diets and now on the Food For Life diet, which is basically a high protein diet with veg. coming second, eating 6 small meals a day.  This has been hard to do over Christmas what with the dinners, going to restaurants and get-togethers.  But on the other hand my body just won't let me over eat.  I'm now also gradually trying to ease the "problem' foods back in to see which ones my body can handle and so far so good except for one thing.  I added caffeine the first day I was allowed to, with a half of a cup of proper coffee.  Heaven!  No side affects or discomfort. So I'm back to a cup of coffee once or twice in the mornings, but not every day, unsweetened and using skim milk. 

Over Christmas I did cave, and I tried really hard not to, but I just couldn't stand it, and had a few sweets, but I was only capable of nibbling and taking teeny portions.

My big problem, and I ended up doing it three times before I learnt my lesson was pasta.  This is a troublesome food for many people because it expands once it reaches your stomach and oh man, was I in absolute pain!  The feeling is hard to describe but it feels like a cannonball sitting in your chest and feels like you are going to vomit.  The spit fills your mouth and you're nauseous and moaning and can't keep still because of the agony.  It lasted for hours each time.  So, obviously I can't handle pasta, and have learned my lesson now.   This has prevented me from trying bread yet, too.  Since it is a similar product as pasta.  Just looking at bread reminds me of the pain from pasta, so I'll hold off for a while before I try it.  I'm just happy I can have my coffee!

Oh, and I did have a few alcoholic drinks over the holidays too.  Just one per evening, nursing it all night.  Rye and flat ginger ale.  (I'm not allowed carbonated drinks) It didn't make me drunk or sick, so that was nice to know I don't have to become a teetotaller.  Another problem I ran into when I went to a restaurant was that I ordered water to drink and it was placed in front of me and without thing I started to sip it through the straw.  Then I remembered, I'm not allowed to use straws!  And my stomach started to rumble and I had gas (the burping kind) for about half an hour.  I'll get used to all this and now that life is settling back to normal it will be easier to remember my not alloweds!

On the exercise front, I have a walking partner!  Winter and cold weather have arrived so we won't be going out as much as often now but on nice days ... Plus for Christmas I got the exercise Wii games I wanted "Walk It Out" and "Just Dance 2".  I just saw the new dance one out is Abba, I so want that one!

Until next time!
Keep healthy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Before and Now Pictures

OK here goes!  The changes aren't huge in the photograph but if you study the two you'll see significant changes.  Mostly what one can see from the photos is that I now have better posture.  I can now stand up straight, my arms hang straight down to the sides, my butt doesn't stick out at the back. Look how my body was almost as wide as the door frame in the Before picture, while the Now pic. I'm considerably narrower.  Dh noticed the big change in the size of my arms.  In the Before picture I had to hold my head up so I didn't have a double chin, in the Now picture I can look straight ahead without a double chin showing up.  Next picture will come at 75lbs lost or thereabouts. I'm hoping for a bit of a waist by then :-)

              Before                                                                              Now

September 2011                                                                    53lbs lost - December 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Going Smoothly

Things are going good!  I've been back for my one month check-up and they are very happy with my recovery and results.  I'm all healed and have no issues.  At my appointment I saw the nurse and then the nutritionist and it took about 40mins. all together. 

Last week I switched to the "Pured Foods" diet which was actually a nightmare.  I didn't think it would be a problem but when I actually tried to eat baby foods it made me nauseous and gag.  Pureed chicken and veg., it just did not go over well with me at all!  I managed to make it 4 days; I was supposed to do it for a whole week, but I just couldn't so I skipped to the next diet which is "Minced Foods".  Oh, sooooo much better!  The nutritionist said this was ok, that a number of people have trouble with the pureed diet and they are in the midst of re-writing the programs diet stages.  They won't be eliminating pureed but they will be adjusting it.  So he said to make sure I stayed on minced until the appropriate time to go on the next diet.  So that means I'm on this one for just over a week.  On Wednesday, I will move on to the last one week diet "Soft Foods".

My favourite thing to eat right now is 5 pieces of cubed chicken, then cut up into tiny pieces and dipped into a tablespoon of "just peanuts" peanut butter. Yum!  And the nutritionist told me about Greek yogourt, which I'd never heard of before.  It is very high in protein, a cup of it is equal to a third of my days worth of protein!  It's a lot thicker than regular yogourt but I love it.  Just have to be careful of the calories.  But then one individual container is a meal for me!

If you visit the actual blog, you will have noticed that my weight loss ticker has been moving up even though I haven't posted for a few weeks.  I've now lost 53lbs. and feeling great about myself.  I don't have a lot of clothes that fit right now.  This seems to be a size I skipped right over on my journey of weight gain LOL.  But I have a small selection that I barely even remember wearing before. 

I know it's time to put up some pictures ... This is a big step for me.  I'm getting my hair trimmed today and then I'm going to take a photo and compare it to my before picture and if I'm pleased with the comparison I will post the Before and Now pics.  I think that posting pics at every 50lbs would be a good interval anyway.

Oh, and more good news.  Since my last post I went for my yearly with my gyn. and she was very pleased that I'd had the operation and with the results, the weight loss but also the new mobility.  I have a female condition that makes me a candidate for uterine cancer, so I have to take hormone pills to help keep me safe from that.  Of course, I'm checked every year, but she said that once I've lost 120lbs all together we'll try taking me off the pills.  I don't have the condition because I'm overweight, it's just that being overweight exacerbates it.  So I'm off the hypertension pills and have a perfectly normal bp now and the future sees me getting off another pill.  These are part of the health benefits that I first and foremost had the surgery for.

That's all for today.  If you are lurking out there, my stats say there are people out :-), and have any questions you'd like to ask me just leave a comment or email me and I can make your question a topic for a future post.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Time for a Diet Upgrade & Weigh-In

Wed. was the beginning of my new diet, "Full Fluids".  This one will, once again, last two weeks but it is the final 2week diet after this I will go through a series of 1 week diets as I adjust my body to accepting solid foods again.  This diet basically adds just a few new items to what I am already eating but they are big ticket items that make me feel like I'm actually "eating" again.

I can now have hot cereal such as oatmeal or cream of wheat, made very thin; low fat, artificial sweetened yogourt with no chunks in it; and low fat, cream soups made with skim (0%) milk, strained.  I can also have low fat artificial sweetened puddings if I want but I never used to eat them so I don't see the point in eating them now just for the sake of it.  I've also stopped eating the jello, too, now, since I don't like it.  I must continue with the three Boosts a day and of course, the vitamin supplements which are for life.  In case you've forgotten I'm taking Calcium +D, twice a day and a pre-natal supplement once a day (this is because they have twice as many nutrients than a regular one a day multi-vitamin.  Even men who've had the operation take the pre-natal for life.)

Of course, I'm in heaven with the new food!  I love cream of wheat and am glad to have real fibre back in my diet.  Yogourt is one of my favourite foods and the cream soups are a hot meal, finally!  Suitable ones I can eat are hard to find though.  Tomato soup is fine.  But others even when they say low fat often have the milk products already added, in the canned versions. So I can't have these since they are made with cream (not skim milk).  So far we've only found Knorr packaged soups which you add your own milk to and only in Cream of Broccoli.  But we'll keep looking around and try some health food stores too because this is definitely a food I want to eat for life.

Other good news!  I did a weigh in on Tuesday in preparation for the new diet and have now lost 43lbs but more important than the numbers I have also gone down 2 clothes sizes.  Clothes I was wearing before I started the Opti-Fast (Oct. 8) are all too big for me now!  I'm reaching to the back (well middle) of my closet and wearing clothes I haven't worn in years.  I'm losing it all in my abdomen and my friend says you can see it in my face.  I can see my toes when I look down!  That's a new sensation.  But even more importantly my mobility has improved exponentially.  I can bend over, touch the ground, tie my shoes, put on my pants, generally move around with so much ease now where before I started this program I had serious mobility issues that were just getting worse.  I feel healthier.

As far as surgery recuperation: all my incisions are now exposed and healing nicely.  Some have little scabs, a few are already healed.  I'm still tender on the outside and a somewhat sore on the inside.  Sleeping is still an issue but nowhere near as painful as before.  I can sleep on my side now, once I slowly get into position but still wake a few times a night.  But as I said it is nowhere near as bad so I'm just grateful it is improving and figure another week should do it.

Walking is going fine.  I'm back to going to Daily Mass, so I walk to church and back every morning plus I walk downtown whenever I need to.  I'm walking wherever I have to go, if possible and we are parking at the back of parking lots, trying to just make life naturally more active.  Plus several times a week, I'm going out for a walk around the neighbourhood going a little further when I feel I can.  I feel I'm doing fine at this stage.  I'm still slow because my insides are sore but I can walk, just not fast.

Be back again either in 2 weeks when the diet changes to "Pureed Foods" or after Dec. 6, my one month check up at the clinic, whichever comes first.  You do the math, too early in the morning for me and I have to go get ready for church.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

First Visit to the Clinic After Surgery

So today marks the one week point after I got out of the hospital and the day of my first follow up appointment at the Bariatric Clinic.  I saw a nurse and the appointment was about 20 mins. long.  Everything is going well.  My blood pressure is normal.  Yeah!  My sutures have healed nicely, some of the steri-strips have fallen off by themselves and she told me I could start working them off in the shower now as long as I wasn't tugging.  I'm still very tender on the inside but each day I feel better than before.  I'm finished with the injections, thankfully.  I really did not like giving them to myself but I did what I had to.  I have so much energy now, it is unbelievable, I just wish I felt 100%, but as the nurse said each day, I'll feel better and better.  I'm supposed to start a walking routine now, just small to start with and take it at an easy pace until I'm walking about 1/2 an hour 3-4 times a week.  So I went out to the corner and back today and felt great but very sore! 

I did a weigh-in today and have lost another 6 pounds (or the first 6 pounds post-op).  The nurse said this weigh-in isn't very correct though because we are pumped full of so much liquid during the operation that it will take the first month to fully pee it out and walk off the air also pumped into our system.  Though I am not having a bad time with gas.  She said the first month weigh-in will show us a more reliable figure and that's when my next appointment is, on Dec. 6. 

I have one more week to go on this current diet that I described in the last post, then I will get to add more items to my diet as I move onto the next diet called Full Liquids for another two weeks. I'll post about that when I start it but I'm really looking forward to adding cream soups!

Annoying things:  it's hard to sleep since I sleep on my side, it feels like everything is pulling on my stitches and I try to stay on my back but keep waking up every few hours as I toss and turn; my mouth always tastes yucky, as if I haven't brushed my teeth in a few days.  I think this is because of the lack of solid foods which help to naturally brush your teeth and keep them clean.  So I've started sucking mints since I'm already a bit OCD about brushing my teeth.  That's it really to the downside.  I'm not enjoying this diet much and really can't wait till next Wed. for the change.  The Boost's are not exactly the most delicious things in the world, either.

So all together now, since I've been apart of the program, just over 1 week after surgery, I am 40 lbs lighter than when I first went in to get weighed at the orientation meeting!  So far, so good!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Last Day In & Coming Home

Wed. was to be my last day scheduled in the hospital and they were ready to get me out of there, unless anything went majorly wrong.  They started off the day by changing my pain meds from morphine injections in the thigh to liquid Tylenol 3 with codeine.  This was not an equivalent exchange so I had to start dealing with the pain more.  Everyone started talking to me about possibly going home that day.  A resident, "David", who'd done most of the talking with me told me that I could go home if I managed to drink my three meals today.  Because today was also the start of the next eating phase!  Modified Fluids!  Yeah!  Now my diet includes drinking three Diabetic Boosts a day, I per meal, and to the liquids I already am drinking I have been allowed to add any artificially sweetened drink as long as it is not carbonated; (carbonated drinks will be a no-no for life) 1/2 cup real fruit juice a day and sweet, glorious milk, skim milk, but milk, oh how I've missed thee.

I also was given some new meds since I'd been in the hospital.  One being a tiny antacid to melt in my mouth each morning early before breakfast and second the anti-coagulant injections in the abdomen started right after the operation as well.  So this day went well, one thing that had not happened yet was that I had not had a bowel movement nor had I passed gas.  This was what they were waiting for.  When they operate on your abdomen laproscopically like this they fill your intestines full of air to assist with the surgery and, of course, afterwards, you must pass this gas out through the end.  The antacids are to stop you from getting acid reflux and burping, making the other end the only option.  I hadn't had so much as a toot or fluff but listening to my stomach they heard bowel sounds, "which was good".  By the afternoon, I was having gas pains and felt the rumbling and gurgling in my bowels as the gas moved around down there.  This is painful.  But still nothing happened. 

Results from that morning's blood tests came back and I was low on potassium so they had sent up two little packets for me to drink of pure potassium.  Vile, vile, wicked, horrible stuff!  Yuck!  I was officially told I could go home around 2pm and dh came and got me about 4pm.  We went down to the lobby where we got a scrip filled for the antacid, Tylenol3/codeine and 7 needles which I'd been taught to inject myself with.  My health care covered the Tylenol, so I had another bill for over $200 for meds.  Now the rumbling in my stomach was acute and while waiting for the meds I went to the bathroom where I first passed the gas.  I don't mean to be gross but there were two sonic booms that released a lot of pressure, I'll tell you!

Now I've been home recuperating since Wed. night.  I'm very sore, in pain at times, especially at night.  It is hard to sleep without moving as it really hurts when I roll onto my side. I had one very bad afternoon on Thurs. where I spent about 40mins. on the toilet and came out absolutely exhausted.  I started off walking like Tim Conway in those old man sketches on the Carol Burnett show but am now walking upright albeit still slowly and carefully.  I'm moving around the house now, going up and down stairs and getting more mobile each day, though the pain of sleepless nights is keeping me slow.

I get full very easy.  In fact I'm always full.  At this point my main focus is to make sure I keep myself hydrated.  I have a chart to fill out and must make sure I drink 2L of fluids a day.  I am managing to get by but it is taking all my effort as half a cup of apple juice while taking me regular morning pills plus vitamin (cut in half now because my stomach opening is too small for a whole vitamin to fit through) leaves me stuffed.  So breakfast takes me from 8-11 and lunch from 12-3/4 and so on.  I am always eating or drinking! 

So where does this leave me know?  I'm on the modified fluids diet for two weeks total, leaving just over a week to go, and I have a follow up in one week after discharge, meaning this Wed.  As you may have noticed I have not had a weigh-in yet since before my surgery.  I didn't want to weight myself while I was till full of the gas as I knew the number would probably go up a bit first so I decided to just wait for my first post-op dr. visit where I will get my first official weigh-in. 

See ya then!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Surgery and Two Days in Hospital

Time to start blogging again even though I"m not really feeling up to it it but if I don't get this last week recorded it will soon become ancient history instead of recent past!

I'll add pictures later.

Monday morning I arrived for my surgery 7 minutes late but that was ok because they were taking people by the number system and I got number 10 and they were up to number 2, so I figure they got a little late start as well.  Of course there is just drop-off parking at the Surgery Unit so dh went off to park the car, when he arrived back I had been admitted, waited and just had my name called to proceed through to surgery with three other people.  Dh couldn't come in until I was all bedded down, but everything went quickly.  I was asked the same questions over and over, poked, prodded, temp. taken, gowned, iv'd and bedded then dh came in and about ten minutes later the nurse came to say it was time.

Remember this is my first time having surgery of any kind as an adult, and certainly my first "major" surgery.  I wasn't nervous at all; I was excited and pushed through the corridors, seeing all the surgical scrub centres and thinking how cool this was, just like ER.  Then we entered my room, which was filled with my "team".  There were little tv sets all over the room and the wall in front of us was one big TV screen.  Everyone then came up to me and introduced themselves to me and proceeded to do something to me until I was on the table and being told to breathe in and out.  Next thing I knew I was groggily opening my eyes and I was in my room.  My dh appeared briefly.  I remember smiling at each other and saying "hey".  Then my next remembrance is pain and agony!

Brief time out here for some reflection.  After various conversations with nurses and relatives, I realise now that I had never actually contemplated the surgery part of this procedure.  Having never had major surgery before, I had no clue what to expect.  Yes, I was told it would take 4-6 weeks to recuperate but I thought that meant until I was like I'd never been, incisions fully healed etc.  I had literally thought I would be able to walk out of the hospital.  I guess I thought it would be like having a baby, yes you are tired and weak and sore but as soon as you get home you get back into living your life and taking the baby for walks and trips to the doc, right?  You take naps but you suck it up the soreness and get on with it.  Not so with surgery!  I soon found out.

Well, here I was in the hospital, awake, hurting and I couldn't move my stomach muscles!  I couldn't adjust myself in the bed without help.  I remember now, I woke up in the recovery room needing to pee and they would only let me have a bedpan, not allowed to get up in recovery.  Well I can't go on a bedpan, no matter how badly I have to go, so I ended up being a mess crying and wailing about having to go pee and would some get me to a toilet please!  So I was taken up to my room and they had to literally take me arm in arm to the toilet to do my business.  This is all very blurry but the relief of peeing was about as great as the pain of moving.  I guess this is when I fell back to sleep and remember the other wakening described above.

The surgery was a success.  Everything went according to order, smoothly and on time.  My sutures are neat and clean.  The surgery was done laproscopically so I have 5 small incisions with a couple of stitches each and covered with steri-strips which will eventually fall off.  A couple of post-op complications included some original troubles breathing.  I was only getting 80 on this machine that they said I should get at least a 95 on for them to be happy so I was hooked up to the nose oxygen things and that night my C-PAP machine (for sleep apnea) was set up so they could add the extra oxygen.  Also upon awakening I couldn't open my right eye at all.  It burned and stung and watered.  I eventually got it open a crack but couldn't see properly.  Things were blurry with black around the edges.  There was some crusting in the corners of the eye as well.  That night I asked for a saline wash and it felt really good but didn't really help it much.  Gradually over Tuesday, my eye opened, with blurred vision, and eventually got all better.  They say it was a reaction with the stuff they had taped my eyes closed with during the operation.  Nobody could tell me why they taped my eyes closed though and I had other stuff on my mind when the big-wig honcho dr. came around.  And lastly, I had a short bout of low blood pressure; it went down to 56 over something.  I basically slept through this so don't know what they did but when a dr. came to address this with me she found my bp had gone back up nicely and no further follow-up was needed.

The hospital I was at is a teaching hospital, so there was no shortage of staff.  There were nurses, student nurses, interns, residents, doctors, surgeons and specialists who all came to see me at one point or another.  Everyone was very nice and I was treated well.  You get the best care from those lowest on the ladder, though, which I think is always the case with these things.  My surgeon was the leader of the team himself, who I met once post-op and probably would not be able to recognise in a police line-up.  There were two student nurses who worked together, who took wonderful care of me and all the nurses were very nice, especially a young 23 yo male nurse who was fairly new to the job.

On the technical side of things, I was still on a clear fluid diet Mon and Tues which meant my meal trays consisted of appetising delights such as decaf tea with sweetener, apple juice and unsweet. jello.  Wed. was my last day in the hospital and will be the focus of my next post.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Am Still Alive!

Got home from hospital last night.  Surgery was successful, no complications.  Everythink OK.  But I am in agony.  This is my first ever surgery and I never really contemplated the surgery itself.  I'll post all the details about the surgery, hospital stay and recovery as soon as I don't hurt so much.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Last Pre-Op Update!

Well, it's been pretty hectic around here this week.  But I figure  better get down what's happened with the weight loss program before I go in for the surgery.  I got home on Tuesday and had my Pre-Op Assessment Appointment waiting for me on Wed. morning.  So we drove to the city and I was warned beforehand to be prepared to be there 3 hours.  I ended up being there 2 hours and 50 mins. but they had me moving from here to there all the time so it went very fast.

First, I sat in line to be registered, handed in my forms I had filled out at home, asked a bunch of questions, then was sent to an area where two chairs waited.  A nurse quickly came along and took me to a station where she weighed and measured me, then took my height.  Then I was sat back in a long line of chairs again but this time we just waited for our names to be called.  I was called, went in to see a nurse who asked me a bunch of questions, most of them the same as before and what was on the forms I'd filled out.  She mostly gave me instructions on what to do when I came to the hospital.  Then she took me to the seats again but quickly decided I'd go off for the ECG now instead of waiting there.

 So off I went to another room where I waited until called, changed into a gown and had an ECG done.  Got dressed and was sent back to where I'd come from.  I was now in line to see the pharmacist who simply asked for my meds, which I'd been asked to bring with me.  I handed him the gallon Ziploc baggy full of my meds and a few vitamins where he simply wrote down the list and asked me how I took each one.  (This list is in my records about a dozen times.  I can't understand why they keep re-writing the same info over and over again.)  Anyway, that was it for him.  I asked him a question and he said the anaesthetist would answer my questions; he was done with me. 

Back to the line of waiting chairs, waiting for my name to be called by the anaesthetist.  Here is where we finally got down to business.  He discussed my medical history with me.  Asked new and different questions.  Told me what pills I couldn't take the morning of the operation. (Just the blood pressure pill which they are taking me off, since I shouldn't need it anymore.  But of course will be monitored in the future).  All along the way I was given papers and pamphlets about my hospital stay and instructions on when to arrive, what to bring, what not to bring, etc. and when he was done with me he said I was finished and could go home.  *Whew*

Then on Friday I finished my liver shrinking diet and said goodbye to the opti-fast shakes I've been taking.  Boy, am I ever sick of vanilla!  Today, I took my second and last shot of liquid Vitamin K in a bit of orange juice and started Phase 2 which consists of 2 days of clear liquids.  This is going to be tough!!  But I'm trying to have something "special" at each mealtime so that it feels like I'm having meals.  I'm allowed to have apple or cranberry juice now.  So along with drinking my (at least ) 2L of water a day, today for breakfast I had decaf green tea with several spoons of artificial sweetener, for lunch I had a small glass of apple juice, for supper I am going to have beef broth (this is something I actually hate, I don't like broth soups of any kind really, but I'm hoping the taste sensation will be enough for me to enjoy it).  And before I go to bed I'm going to have a cup of Egyptian Licorice herbal tea that a friend gave me the other day, which is absolutely delish.

Tomorrow will be more of the same and then at midnight I'm on *nothing* to eat or drink and this includes even chewing gum.  Thank God I will be asleep during this period and my operation is first thing Monday morning so this will be no struggle.

I haven't weighed myself since I've been home but I will do so in the morning before I leave for the hospital.  One other thing I should mention is that I have followed my various diets strictly to a "T" but did let them know that since I'm Catholic I would be partaking in Communion and they said fine to that.  So I've had several communion wafers during this period but refrained from drinking the wine.

If the hospital has free wi-fi, I'll blog from there, otherwise I'll be in for 2-3 days and will be back around then with my next update.  Surgery here we come!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Just a quick update.  I'm leaving in the morning at the crack of dawn to head back home from this visit with my sister and her family.  A final weigh-in this morning brings my total weight loss while here to 13 pounds.  I'm feeling good.  Had a few more rough days but mostly I'm used to this liquid diet and it's filling me up.  I just have to keep myself entertained so I don't think about food.  I'm kind of wanting my husband to notice a difference when he sees me come off the plane, but in reality, I don't think he will since I don't really see it, even though I can feel it and clothes are getting looser and fitting better.  Today I also took my first shot of liquid Vitamin K.  This I had to mix with a bit of orange juice and I have another to take 2 days before surgery.  The K is to help improve blood clotting, so there won't be any unnecessary bleeding during the operation.  So one more week to go on this Liver Shrinking Diet and then it's time for the operation!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


So right after I wrote my last post, I had two hard days.  Wednesday and Thursday were really tough, I felt soooo hungry.  I had a rumbly-tumbly all day and was watching the clock for meal times.  I'm really glad I'm out here visiting with my sister because I don't think I would have had the will power at home to really stick to this.  Well, I hope I would have but I know being here is helping huge amounts. 

One nice little torture I never noticed before is how many food commercials there are on TV!  And if it's not even for food they still often feature food!  I'm dreaming about food now too.  I am naturally a vivid dreamer and most of my dreams are unsettling, not exactly nightmares (though I get plenty of those) but just uncomfortable.  I don't ever have pleasant dreams.  So I had a dream that a nurse showed up at the house and told me I could eat rice pudding now, even had some with her.  So I ate it, then I knew it wasn't true I shouldn't have had it and I went looking through my book which details all the various eating stages of this process and of course found out I was right and then I was all mad and anxious that I'd eaten the rice pudding.  I don't know why I even dreamt about rice pudding; I haven't eaten it for years!

Last night I dreamt about an overweight couple who were so large they hardly ever got out of bed.  They *could* get out but hardly did as it was so awkward to get out.  The wife was my friend and I was so distressed for her.  I wanted her to get up, go see a Dr. and get into some sort of program to loose the weight.  I don't know what I looked like in the dream but I was eating the whole time.  At least it was healthily; I vaguely remember toast, bananas, rice cakes ....

Anyway, yesterday was easier to get through.  The hunger pains went away, though I do wake up *really* ready for my breakfast shake.  Some good news is that my bras and underwear are all too big for me now; my wedding ring also slides easily off my finger now where before it was a little snug.  I'll have to start wearing the ring on a chain at some point until I'm stable enough to get it resized.  I'm not buying new underwear until I'm eating food again, same goes with the bras but I have a few old ones at the back of my drawer at home. 

Will report in again just before I leave to go back home on the 25th, unless any further developments arise that I need to vent.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Phase 1 Under Weigh!

and losing weight already!  On October 8th I started the Liver-Shrinking Diet.  Everyone in the program must go on this diet and we were told it would be from 2-4 weeks depending on the individual but most people go for 2 weeks.  Well, I was given 3 weeks by my surgeon and when I was in the waiting room one day, the largest man I've seen so far in the program, I overheard that he had been given 6 weeks.  So obviously this varies.  So what does the Liver-Shrinking Diet consist of?

Four packets of Optifast 900 meal replacement powdered drink.  Here in Ontario (maybe Canada?) this is available by prescription only and is a quick weight loss supplement.  Each packet is 250 calories, so my diet is a total of 1000 calories a day.  This comes in chocolate or vanilla, I chose vanilla so I can mix it with my flavoured waters and we are allowed to add Crystal Light to it also, though I haven't done so as I'm not fond of it but we'll see what happens as the 3 weeks progresses.  My drug plan does not cover this, so I had to pay out of pocket for the 6 cases which cost somewhere around $250 (my dh paid so I'm not sure of the exact).

Along with the 4 let's call them shakes, I must drink 2L of water, I am finding I am drinking about 3L, so no problem.  I'm also allowed sugar-free Popsicles, jell-o and decaf. coffee or tea with artificial sweetener (but without milk, yuck).  None of those things are appealing to me, in fact I hate jell-o and will never eat it.  Popsicles/freezies I would if it were summer but it's too cool now.  I like coffee with milk, no sug but I don't drink tea.

So how is it going?  Fabulous actually!!  Surprisingly way better than I thought.  The shakes are extremely filling.  I am hungry for my breakfast one but never feel any hunger pains all day long and actually feel stuffed after finishing one.  It's monotonous but I stay away from other people eating and especially mealtimes so I don't have to smell the food.  I'm drinking my water very easily.  2L of bottled water has been natural for me for years so not a problem and as I said above I'm drinking even more as I find the shakes make me thirsty.  The second evening of the diet I felt quite strange, as if I was drunk.  I felt wobbly, light-headed and was extremely talkative.  But felt myself again the next morning.  Yesterday I did a totally out of character thing, we went to Timmie's drive-through and I wasn't going to get anything of course but I thought why the heck not try some black tea with artificial sweeteners , de-caf of course with 4 packages of sweetener.  I thought if it was really sweet tasting I might be able to handle it and guess what, I loved it!  So I'm going to broaden my tea drinking experimentation's while on this journey.  This is just one of the things I had hoped to gain from this surgery, learning to like new & healthy foods.  Herbal tea, here I come!

So anyway, this morning I found my sister's scale.  (Oh btw, I flew to Edmonton to visit my sister and family on Saturday and am having a 2 week vacay to keep me occupied while I do this)  And I thought why not? I'll weight myself this one time, because I am not in the habit, nor am I going to get back into the habit of weighing myself all the time.  I got on the scales and am 7 lbs lighter than when the dr. weighed me a week before I came out here to write down all my beginning stats.  That blew me away!  I'll weigh myself again the day before I head back home.

One last thing, explaining why I'm undergoing this diet.  The main purpose is to shrink my liver.  All overweight people have enlarged livers and fatty deposits surrounding the liver.  This varies in degree from person to person.  Now because the surgeon will be operating on our stomach and the liver is right beside the stomach they want the liver as small as possible so that it is not getting in the way of the operation they are performing.  Also, this diet is obviously going to cause weight loss as well and the the less obese a person is the safer any surgery is going to be in any case. 

I'll be back later. probably as I reach the 2 week point of this diet to let you know if all is still going well.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

No More Solid Food!

Saturday is the big day that I start my liver shrinking diet, a completely liquid diet which is also a rapid weightloss diet.  (I'll give the full scoop once I start)  So in preparation for that I decided that today and tomorrow I would practice going no food and put myself on a Boost diet.  I'm not cutting my calories or anything, just tring to get used to not eating so Saturday doesn't hit me like a ton of bricks.  So I started off ok this am at 6 with a high Protein Boost, then had another about 10:30, then at 11:00 I needed FOOD to chew and caved eating a large bowl of cereal, unfortunately the only cereal in the house was Nestle Quik. So not exactly a healthy choice.

So I'm full and haven't had anything else to eat and I should make it to supper before I need another Boost. I am trying to also get my 2L of water in.   This is easy enough as I have been drinking strictly water for a few years now.  For the surgery we were supposed to cut out carbonated drinks 2 months prior to the surgery but I'd pretty much given them up entirely except carbonated water since I like to drink the flavoured waters, since I can't stand plain old water.  I'll buy any brand of water as long as it contains 0 calories but the easiest to get around here is Nestle Pure Life which comes in Cherry Berry Splash and Watermelon Splash.  I love the Watermelon!  Harder to find around here except in the middle of the summer are Raspberry Lime (my all-time fav!), Lemon (kinda yuck) and Orange.

Then we are supposed to stay away from carbonated beverages for life because they cause gas.  We will have tiny stomachs and don't want to fill them up with gas, this will make us feel full (while giving no nutrition) and many people have complained that it is just plain uncomfortable.  For the same reason we have to give up straws for life as well, as they create gas in the stomach.  We want our tiny timmy's to be filled with nutritious food not gas!  This is no biggie for me.  The only thing I'll miss is being able to have a mixed drink at the ocassional social get together since my drink of choice is rye & dt. coke. Will have to find a new low-cal, non gassy mixed drink.

Maybe I'll have one Friday night to say good-bye to the old way of life.  Who'll raise a glass with me?  Cheers!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Well, here we are my first post.  I've been planning to start this blog for some time now but wanted to wait until I received my surgery date before I did so.  I have finally been given the date of October 31, 2011.  That may be Hallowe'en to you but to me it's the Vigil of All Saints! 

So here's the story, back in November of 2010, I broached my dr. about weight loss surgery.  He thought it was a great idea and sent me for the whole kit and caboodle of blood tests plus an EKG and an ultrasound.  When my tests came back they showed my cholesterol was at a number which we wanted to watch very closely, I was also on my way to diabetes and had a 64% chance of having a stroke.  This was along with all my other problems caused by being overweight (extreme back pain, high blood pressure, etc.) plus I am at risk for colon cancer (family history) and uterine cancer (I have a condition.)  So I want to get healthy.  I am over 40 yrs old, tried every diet known to man, been told twice in my life by different dr.s that I'm a big girl and will just have to live with it, have had two kids and my body just will not loose weight and keep it off.  Oh I can loose 30 pounds easily enough if I set to it, but then I'd hit a wall for good and maintain that weight, but it gets depressing when you can't loose anymore weight, no matter what you do, and a year's gone by.  So the surgery is my final solution.  It's drastic, but I've reached the point for drastic measures.

Every province in Canada has its own public health care system.  Here in Ontario, where I live, the only weight loss surgery covered by government health care (OHIP=Ontario Health Insurance Plan) is gastric bypass surgery.  So that is the type of surgery I will be having.  The surgery, visits to dr's and hospital stay are all free but there are some prescriptions I have to pay for because they are not covered by my drug plan.  They may be covered by other's drug plans though.

So what have I been doing this whole year.  I was put into the nearest Bariatric Treatment Program, which is in a city about 45 mins drive from me.  It all started off with an orientation meeting, which was full of people, where the whole program, operation and rest of your life was explained to you.  From that point we were given a number to call if we were interested in continuing with the process.  This started off a series of tests and appointments which would be similar but not necessarily the same for  everyone.  I had separate appointments with a nurse, a nutritionist, a social worker, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an intern and finally the surgeon. 

The only problem I had was at the social worker, then psychiatrist level.  Here my autism came into question; I have Aspergers and am quite OCD, though I won't let my shrink officially diagnose me with it as I think it is just a part of my Aspergers rather than a separate diagnoses.  I accidentally said something stupid which was a joke but they took me seriously.  I realized this way too late and clammed up before I did worse damage.   Anyway there was concern that I was not mentally stable for the operation.

Hah!  I said to that.  Discrimination, is what I felt to that!  So I requested another appointment, they gave me the psychologist and I took my own social worker, who is an RN specialized in psychiatry, who has been visiting me twice a month for the last 4 years.  She came as my advocate and I sold myself to the psychologist telling her that my obsessions actually made me an ideal candidate for the surgery, I had changed my eating habits to the diet for life we were told we'd have to follow and had a food diary with me.  She was impressed and said there seemed to be no problem so I was back in the program.  I didn't need to take too many tests, another set of blood work, this time looking at my levels of individual vitamins and a gastroscopy.  I had already recently had both a colonoscopy and mammogram just prior to joining the program so didn't have to repeat those tests.  And anyway here I am today awaiting my surgery and 17 pounds lighter than I was this time last year just from changing my eating habits.

For 3 weeks before my surgery I have to go on a liver shrinking liquid diet and take two shots of liquid vitamin K.  So starting on Oct. 8, I will no longer be eating solid foods until about 6 weeks after the surgery.  But I'll post more about that in my next post.

I do intend to post progress pictures so you can see how I am doing and I have just taken a before picture.  But I do not plan on posting it until I have a decent after photo that shows some progress to go along with it as it will be very hard for me to show the world the "before" me.  I'm not sure if I'll reveal my actual weight at this point, but I do obviously need to loose over a hundred pounds or else I wouldn't be having the surgery, would I?

Welcome to my journey!  Let's pray it goes smoothly!