Friday, November 30, 2007
Anyway, the economic situation in WA, and the fact that every man and his dog is working in the mining industry, means that it's a candidate's market - I've literally been inundated with job prospects, which is weird! I'm not used to being able to pick and choose... To cut a long story short, I accepted a job today at a law firm in the CBD, doing secretarial/project/database work. FINALLY am moving away from customer service roles, which I've done for 20 years and am heartily sick of!! No more phone calls, making coffee and delivering the mail! Yippee! It's also a bit more money, which is always good. One of the funny things is the company has a monthly get-together with pizza -- in the old (pre-T4) days that would have been the most exciting news ever lol. I will still enjoy my pizza, but probably only one or two pieces instead of one or two whole pizzas!!
This year has been one of huge change and a lot of challenges, but I know that it's all leading to my new, fulfilling life, a life where I am not always hungry and tired and empty. It's been such a long time since I felt this positive about the future, and since I wanted to find a niche for myself in the employment world. For years I thought I wouldn't be able to return to full-time work, suffering from fibromyalgia and depression and god knows what else. But gradually I've made it through that tunnel and am strong enough to give a proper full-time job a try. Wow. It's amazing how good that feels and sounds! Small victories, my friends, that's what it's about.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Some of the key points for November include:
- Things I have thrown up: hot chips, watermelon juice, orange juice, crispy chicken wrap (McDonalds, what was I thinking??)
- Things I can usually eat easily (tho with the T4 nothing is certain lol): toast, bread, cheese, salad (except carrot, haven't tried that yet), beans, tuna, mince of any kind, most cooked vegies, banana, eggs
- Things I simply can't tolerate: fizzy drinks (waaaaaaaaaaaaah, jeepers I miss Coke Zero). Tried lemonade, fanta, lift - Can't even drink them when they've gone flat, they kind of "stick" in my chest, even though they are liquid, which is weird...The only thing that is semi-tolerable is Solo, which according to my husband (who watches way too much TV ha ha) "is light on the fizz so it goes down fast"!!!!!!!!
- Danger foods (easy and naughty): iced coffee, choc milk, full-fat dairy (esp ice cream and cheese), white bread
- Lessons I'm learning: EAT SLOWER!! I am eating at about a quarter of my pace prior to surgery and it's still way too fast! I am suffering indigestion because I don't concentrate on slowing down and chewing mega-slowly. I'm talking one mouthful per minute, max - that's all I can hack!
- What I miss most (apart from Coke Zero - waaaaaaaah): Taking a big bite or mouthful of something, ANYTHING!! And also skulling a huge mouthful of water or juice or ANYTHING!! The sipping is driving me nuts ha ha! Esp when it gets hot and I let myself get thirsty...
I'm sure I will think of a million more things to share with everybody, will post this on the Yahoo message boards too so everyone knows what I'm up to. I took a sneak-peek at the scales this morning (my weigh-in is due Saturday) and it looks like I might be shifting a kilo or two this week, so maybe my plateau is over??!!
I live in hope! Love and luck to all,
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
That's such a weird thing to ask. It's the most common question I get!! I really wanted my surgeon Gorgeous Jon to give me my extra stomach part in a jar of formaldehyde, so I could keep it as a souvenir the way people keep dead animals (gross, who me?!). But what do people expect me to say...there really isn't much you can do with 90% of a stomach, not once it's been cut out and dragged through a tiny port.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Me: "It's not fair, I decided to have the sleeve instead of the band so I could have things like bread"
Him: "I do not remember reading or hearing that the sleeve would let you eat bread five times a day, just three weeks after surgery"
As I was saying! I have had pizza a couple of times, made with a small pitta with mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, onion, olives - all of which is fine, until you factor in the fetta cheese AND the cheddar. Doh. No wonder I am a resident of Plateau City, population one. When I was on Dr Phil's Weight Loss Challenge (and lost 30+ kg) I had pizza all the time, but only had a few spoonfuls of low fat ricotta on it, which I'm intending to start doing again. I am so much in love with cheese it's pathetic. I must have been a mouse in a former life. Or maybe mould, cause I like all them stinky cheeses too.
Anyway. I need to reign in my eating. The T4 is not a foolproof system, but it's gonna work for this fool, let me tell ya. I need to eat less bread, esp. white bread, and I need to stop eating full-fat dairy (esp cheese). I'm planning to start having salad again, maybe avoid raw carrot and other sharp and crunchy things ha ha! This is a new chapter in my journey, and I KNOW I can get there. I'm checking out of the Cheese Addict Motel and heading down the Vegie Highway towards Skinnyville.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Chocolate is something I've had a couple of times in the last week or two - only small amounts, but it's not a good choice. It just goes down so well...no pain, doesn't stick...and then there's that positive endorphin effect! Even though the amount of chocolate I have these days is miniscule compared to the entire family block I regularly ate before, I'm still annoyed with myself.
Still suffering from tiredness, which my GP says is normal after surgery, and I constantly have to remind myself that it's not even a month since I had the operation. I am so impatient. Driving myself crazy ha ha. I think that it was easier to deal with the sleeve while I was losing weight - now I'm just over it, but of course there's nothing I can do about it, even if I wanted to! That's the perfect thing about the VSG, unlike any diet there's no "breaking" it or falling off the wagon. Man, it messes with my head sometimes!! But I am doing well, feeling lighter and fitter even though I'm tired and cranky.
If the plateau lasts more than another week or so I'm going back to the dietician at Mercy to show her what I'm eating, see if she has any advice. Most days I have Up & Go or boiled egg and a piece of toast for breakfast; then a small bowl of pasta or a tuna sandwich or ham & cheese rollups for lunch; then dinner is a small version of what the family has (quiche, pasta, lebanese bread pizza). I try to have pureed fruit or a banana or melon as well during the day. Actually, looking at that list it does seem like there are too many carbs in it. It sucks to not be able to have proper salad yet, and barbecued meat - I think I'll be ready for that next month.
In other news, I quit my job last week and am due to finish up there on 21 Dec. Have already had a couple of interviews, there are SO MANY jobs in WA at the moment cause everyone has gone to work in the mining industry! I am hoping to find something more interesting, and closer to home.
Monday, November 19, 2007
OF COURSE, I realise that the gastric sleeve is only a weight loss tool, not the entire solution. But really, I hoped that willpower was a thing of the past (cause I patently DON'T HAVE ANY).
Now I am trying really really hard to stick to 3 meals a day, with a light and healthy morning and afternoon snack if I can't manage without one. Jeez, it is HARD, now I know that I can leave the rest of my meal for half an hour and then come back and finish it. Especially when it's something nice. If I over eat, I end up feeling bloated and pathetic, just like I did before the T4, except it's worse now because I also feel guilty for how much money the surgery cost, and upset that I am punishing my stomach (which has already been through so much).
Definitely need psychiatric help lol. I've been feeling like my depression medication isn't working very well, too - maybe my metabolism and hormone levels are changing or something?! I'm not suicidal or anything, truly, but I am so damn impatient, I have to remember that I only had the surgery THREE WEEKS AGO and that OF COURSE this is a long-term process and a massive lifestyle adjustment.
To add insult to injury ha ha, I weighed in on Saturday and hadn't lost a gram!!!! If that doesn't serve me right lol.
The main points I am taking away from last week are as follows:
- Stick to a meal plan, and immediately throw away any leftovers when I am full (the 1st time ha ha)
- Eat only at the table, not in front of TV
- I may take a while to get back to full strength, and won't pressure myself to go back to the gym or exercise if I am exhausted
- White bread is the debbil
- I didn't get to 170kg in a matter of weeks or months, so I won't get down from there quickly.
- The 20-something kilos I've lost are never coming back
Hope everyone's journey is going smoothly - rest assured I am back on track, and determined to have a better and brighter week.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Most of my recovery is emotional and mental, still. My body healed quickly but I still struggle with taking tiny bites, chewing super-slowly, not drinking during meals, and not being able to reach for food when I am bored, stressed, emotional, hormonal...
But I will get there - I AM getting there.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I know, I'm losing the plot!! I wish I was back in hospital - truly, I love hospital, always have, since I was small and had a few lengthy stays in hospital. I feel safe there, as if I'll be okay if anything happens cause there are professionals on site 24/7! And while there I didn't feel like a freak show curiosity, which is kind of how I feel sometimes out here in the world. I feel like everyone is ALWAYS WATCHING ME (paranoid much ha ha), and every time I burp or hiccup or frown someone says "Are you all right??!!" Then there's the way people freak out at the miniscule bowl I eat from, with my tiny teaspoon, and how I pause for 1 or 2 minutes between mouthfuls... A couple of times I've got the distinct impression that people think I am doing it for effect!! As if I am playacting only being able to eat half a cup of food at a time!
To me, this process can be incredibly solitary and isolating - thank heaven for the other sleevers and bandits on the internet who are going through the same stuff as I am, which reassures me I am not crazy. Well...no more crazy than I was BEFORE the sleeve ha ha!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
On a more serious note, I have set some rewards and challenges for each milestone I reach. Thought I may as well record them here. These are the rewards for each major loss:
- 20kg loss -- buy a new blender (DONE last week - yippee!)
- 30kg loss -- family trip to Rottnest Island
- 40kg loss -- buy new running shoes in Jan/Feb sales
- 50kg loss -- Easter 2008 trip to Exmouth
- 60kg loss -- Buy a bicycle
- 70kg loss -- November 2008 trip around the world
- Anything extra to get me under 100kg is a bonus, I want to get a scooter but hubby says too dangerous!
Then I have set myself some challenges for once I reach each milestone:
- 20kg loss - practise bending over and pedicure my toenails lol
- 30kg loss - ride a bike on our trip to Rottnest
- 40kg loss - start jogging/shuffling during my walks
- 50kg loss - swim/dive with whale sharks and manta rays at Exmouth
- 60kg loss - join a dance class
- 70kg loss - sit in my economy class plane seat and be relatively comfortable, without a seatbelt extender!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Then for lunch I thought I would try pasta, which I have been missing over the last two and a half months...boiled up about 20 beef ravioli and then stirred in some pasta sauce and grated some parmesan over it. Awesome. So so yummy, and had not trouble eating it. Hooray! I am feeling like I'm returning to a kind of normality with my eating after being "out-of-the-loop" for so long. I think that doing 8 weeks Optifast before the procedure was over-ambitious, even though it kick started my weightloss and made sure my liver was less fatty for the operation. It also meant the liquid phase wasn't so terrible, as I was used to shakes, etc. But really, 10 weeks without an ordinary meal, and without chewing anything except salad, is TOO LONG. My surgeon told me it would be ha ha! Hate it when they are right lol.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
For many years I have had a tradition of going solo to the movies, then buying a magazine and pigging out at the local foodhall. I never really noticed this tradition until today, when I analysed the circumstances leading up to my horrifying public puke... Even when I was a poor student I would go into town on Austudy payday and have nachos, or McDonalds (or both...cringe) and happily read my gossip mag. I can't do that anymore, not in the same unthinking way. I've come to realise that nothing will be so unplanned and unconscious in my life, not for a long time, maybe never. And that's okay.
I really got teary today thinking about this massive part of my life, sad though it sounds, being gone forever. I know, I know, I can do the movie and the shops and even catch a tiny bite to eat, but you and I both know it's not the same. So MANY things are not the same. And it justs makes me a little melancholy. I've prayed and wished for such a long time to be free of my addictive behaviour towards food, and you know what they say "Be careful what you wish for?!"
I still think this operation is the best thing I ever did, even as I drink yet another Up & Go and struggle with a general lack of protein. Today my throat is killing me, I'm exhausted and a tad bereft, but I guarantee you my relationship with hot chips has changed permanently and for the better lol.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Note to self: Hot chips from Nandos are NOT the same as watered down mushy mashed potatoes.
Exactly six chips later I felt an alarming agony in my chest region and knew the gig was up. Scarpered from Nandos, leaving the rest of my lovely chips, and started heading for the bus stop. Walk a few steps groaning, vomit. Walk a few steps burping, vomit. Walk a few steps saying "This is NOT a $%#^ joke, you are a $%#& idiot", smile apologetically at the nice man skirting my latest pile o' bile. Managed to get on the bus and travel without throwing up (thank you Lord), once off the bus I totally lost what was left in my stomach, in the process taking off a layer of my throat inside. Then had to walk 1.5km home. Slowly. Still burping and cursing but otherwise okay.
I am so annoyed with myself for getting complacent, second-guessing the experiences of other sleevers and banders, and thinking that the worst was over. For crying out loud, Lil - get with the program. This is a tool, not a solution. This is a weight loss surgery not a body re-invention.
My new mantra - slow and mushy wins the race.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Let that be a lesson to me!! Do not be greedy, do not attempt too much too soon, and do not eat anything that hasn't been put in front of me!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
It goes to show that the main struggle in this journey, as we all know too darn well, is with the stuff we have in our head, NOT the stuff we put in our tummies. But the main benefit to this surgery is that I can focus my energy on the junk food swimming around my head now I am not consumed with forcing junk food down my gob!! I remember saying to Gorgeous Jon at the beginning that I wanted to know for sure, 100%, that my body was NOT HUNGRY, that it was my heart, my mind, my soul, my spirit that needed the nourishment. It makes everything clearer.
I had a chai tea and a mashed banana for breakfast and then made myself a mango lassi for lunch. Lassi is just a fancy showy-offy world traveller way to say smoothy ha ha!! In India, of course, the Lassis come with hmmm, shall we say herbal enhancements??!! Definitely none of that in mine, I have enough problems dealing with reality thank you very much!
Went to the markets and bought some red emperor fish for everyone for dinner, which I think we will do on the barbecue. I have some mashed vegies left from yesterday so I'm planning to mash up some of the fish and have it with the vegies for my dinner. Man, I am craving savouries something chronic...I have always been more of a savoury eater, not a chocoholic or sweet freak. Give me pizza, burgers, chips... I have to say, I'm thrilled to have a healthier style of eating but one of these days I will order a teeny tiny cheeseburger meal and put it happily into my teeny tiny tummy tube! Well...half of it anyway!!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Did my measurements today for calorieking.com.au and thought I would record them here also.
Neck - Oct 4 / 39cm ----Nov 3 / 37cm (loss of 2cm)
Bust - Oct 4 / 145cm----Nov 3 / 144cm (loss of 1cm)
Waist - Oct 4 / 132cm ----Nov 3 / 130cm (loss of 2cm)
Hip - Oct 4 / 161cm ---- Nov 4 / 159cm (loss of 2cm)
Thigh - Oct 4 / 84cm ---Nov 4 / 84cm (same)
Calf - Oct 4 / 64cm -----Nov 4 / 62.5cm (loss of 1.5cm)
Thursday, November 1, 2007
After GJ left my fave nurse Emma came in and brought thin chicken broth and lemonade - oh my god, manna from Heaven...the saltiness of the soup was divine. After that Emma supervised a student nurse Lisa to take out my drips and the drainage tube from my abdomen. I ain't gonna lie to ya - taking that long tube out HURT. I felt SO SORRY for the student nurse, cause the tube was stubborn and resisting her gentle pulling, and I could tell she thought a rush of blood and guts was imminent he he. Once that was gone I had a shower, changed, laid down and went to sleep for two hours - hooray. The simple joy of being able to turn on my side to sleep instead of my back, and to be able to move without tubes and bottles.
Once I got rid of the drip I was on oral Panadol and only took two tablets the whole of Wednesday and none so far today. I really have no pain at all, except when I bend down or otherwise irritate the tummy area which makes me twinge a bit. I had jelly for dinner Wednesday and green tea, as well as my sips of water, and then had a fruit smoothie (yummo) and tea for breakfast as well as an apple juice. Now, I am HOME! And it's awesome, although I was terrified to leave the hospital at first. Not that I said anything to anyone (: But inside I was worrying "what if I get a leakage, an infection, what if I throw up..." Really, I am just taking it easy testing out my new teeny tiny tummy tube. Had soup when I got home (about 150ml) and then a few spoonfuls of icecream just cause I could! It was actually on the nourishing fluids menu at the hospital so I didn't feel too guilty.
There were a lot of things I noticed about the ways in which surgeons do the procedure and the post-op. I shared the SNU with a Gorgeous Jon sleever and then shared a room with a Dr Cohen sleever, and there were a few differences in the way things are done. When I'm more up to it I will write about these differences, cause it showed me that I was really really happy with my choice of surgeon, even though Dr Cohen trained GJ and is massively successful doing both bands and sleeves.
Anyway - THANK YOU to everyone who emailed, posted, sent flowers, cards, texts. The support makes all the difference, even though in the end we have to face up to our fears and go into the surgery all alone, knowing people are caring about you makes the journey to the other side so much easier. Love from Lil and the Teeny Tiny Tummy Tube xxxx
Before I left SNU I got one of my three drips taken out (the one under my wrist which I think was for monitoring blood pressure and administering pain relief through the PCA button). After that I had some Panadol in my drip every five hours or so, which was plenty to take the edge off. I had some shoulder tip pain, which improved when I started walking around and sitting up - and BURPING ha ha! Tuesday arvo I briefly met my room-mate Jenny, who was just about to go in for a lap sleeve. She went into surgery and then the SNU so I was on my own until lunchtime Wednesday.
Had a few visitors Tuesday afternoon/evening and started a bit of cross-stitching, read a little. I was starting to feel more alert and able to understand how amazing and exciting this thing is that I have done!! Until then, I really hadn't looked at the potential weight loss - not for a long time. I'd been too preoccupied with getting the money through to pay for the surgery, and doing the Optifast, and hoping that the surgery wouldn't be impossible due to my scarring. Gorgeous Jon said another inch lower and it would have been NO GO, most of my scar tissue is around the lower bowel area.
Anyway...onto Day Three
DAY ONE - Monday 29 Oct
Arrived at hospital 11am, got taken to my room around 11.30am - though I had asked for an paid extra for a private, they don't guarantee it apparently, and Mercy is VERY busy right now. The other bed was unoccupied for about the half the time I was there anyway. No biggie. Room has a lovely view over leafy Mt Lawley, staff all awesome. Had my shower with antibacterial soap and got into my gown and stockings by 1:30. Nurse Jerry came in and put Bactoban ointment up my nostrils (antiseptic, for the tubes?), injected me with Heparin (blood thinner)took all my vitals, asked the usual questions (name, DOB, operation). Eventually I went down to the pre-op room, where I laid for about 5 mins and then two more nurses separately asked me the name, DOB, operation type questions. Theatre nurse took me into theatre, where my anaesthetist came in and chatted, and Gorgeous Jon also stopped by. Dr Swan the anaesthetist said "Now, I'm going to put something in your arm to..." and that was all I knew for the FOUR HOUR PROCEDURE. Yikes. Now usually, it doesn't take more than an hour and a half, but I had extensive scar tissue from a previous surgery so it took longer. Meanwhile, my family were freaking out a bit, but I was happily snoozing away.
Out of surgery, I came to briefly in the recovery room, where some nurse hassled me about my face being red and was that because I had hives??!!! Tried to give her a smart alecky answer but the oxygen mask and general wooziness cramped my style! Next time I woke up it was 7:45pm and I was in the Special Nursing Unit (SNU) and my hubby and mum were there. Apparently I looked dreadful (thanks guys) and felt like my throat was gonna crack. I remember saying "I can't breathe, I can't breathe", as I sucked on oxygen, and Nurse Emma (who became my favourite nurse at Mercy) was saying "Your oxygen's fine love, just relax". The first night was a long one, just with dozing on and off, and having my obs (pulse, BP, O2 levels) taken every hour.