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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!