Onmywaytobeauty's Blog

Challenges…

May 17, 2011
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Well, it’s been a *long* while since I’ve updated here.  Sorry about that, my few readers.  Since my last post, I’ve had a few challenges.

Let me tell you something that I don’t think many people know.  I certainly didn’t know it… Anyway, when you’re sick, like head cold sick, sinus infection, whatever–your stomach lining gets inflamed!  Who know, right?  Well, back in January, I got a stomach bug and some sort of cold/flu thing.  Needless to say, I was puking my guts out (hard to do with the band, let me tell ya), plus coughing and having inflamed lungs, sinus pressure, etc.  And I couldn’t eat.  Every time I put something in my mouth and swallowed, it just got stuck, and I had to throw up.  Fun times.  So, I called up my bariatric surgeon’s office and made an appointment.  He took out 1cc of saline from my band, and I quit looking like one of the Olson twins.  A few weeks later, I went back and he put it back in.  I got down to 140 pounds!  Woo hoo!!!  I’d been fluctuating between 138 and 140 for several months and was starting to think that I was finally going to be be able to maintain my weight.  5 pounds below my goal.  Awesome!

About a month and a half ago, I started coughing at night.  A dry, hacking, take-my-breath-away cough.  I took over the counter medications, used a humidifier/vaporizer… nothing helped.  It kept me up all night.  But it was just a cough.  A few weeks ago, I started coughing during the day.  Still not a big deal.  Just a cough.  Around that time, I started to just not be hungry anymore.  I was still maintaining my weight.  I just wasn’t hungry.  Then, I started to not be able to eat.  We’d sit down to dinner, I’d fix my plate with about 1/4 cup of food, and take a bite or two, then have to go throw up.  What the heck?  The coughing got worse, the food consumed got less.  About a week and a half ago, I couldn’t keep down liquids.   I finally broke down and went to the doctor, which was a hard choice, since we don’t currently have health insurance.  He gave me an inhaler, some antibiotics (which helped a ton with my sinus infection), and some cough meds.  Nothing stopped the coughing, and over the weekend I really got sick.  The meds made me lose what little appetite I had, and I started throwing up even more.  I went back on Monday.  He said I had a stomach bug and gave me a shot for nausea and the same medicine in pill form.  Well, let me tell you, that shot knocked me on my butt.  In about 30 seconds.  The receptionist had to get me a wheel chair and my mom had to push me out to the car.  Good thing she was with me, because I never would have made it home.  Oh, I forgot to mention that between my appointment on Thursday afternoon and the one on Monday morning, I lost 5 pounds.  I still couldn’t eat or drink anything.  Tuesday afternoon, my sister dragged my butt to the ER.  I called my surgeon’s office (Dr. Monash) from Tucson, AZ (I really miss that office), and told them what was going on, and my surgeon called me himself.  When I told him what was going on, he told me to have them take all of the saline out of my band.  Apparently, when you have a stomach bug and a sinus infection, your stomach really gets inflamed!  So, they admit me to the ER, I go and get a gown on and sit on the bed, waiting.  The doc comes in, I tell him what I need, and he tells me the ER isn’t equipped to do that!!!  WHAT?  I told you what was wrong and what I needed when I checked in, again when I went to Triage, and you admitted me, knowing there was nothing you could do?  Remember, my friends, I have no insurance.  I was mad, and I was scared.  By this time, it’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve had any real sustenance.  The ER doc told me to call and make an appointment… gee, thanks.  Because I can wait another week to eat.  So, near tears, I told him that I couldn’t wait that long, and don’t they have a bariatric surgeon in the hospital?  Of course, they did.  He went and made a call, and my darling hubby came and sat next to me and just prayed that, somehow, I could get the help I needed.  About 10 minutes later, the doc came back into the room and told me that the doctors up in the bariatric ward were getting ready to leave, but they would wait for me.  I was discharged and wheeled up to the 6th floor on the other side of the hospital.  Filled out some paperwork.  Oh, I forgot to tell you that my sister went to Sonic and got me a shake.  I drank it, most of it, but it took me over an hour, and I felt so stuffed.  This is a couple hours later, and I still have that stuffed turkey feeling… So, anyway, I’m laying on the exam table, the doc took out 1cc of saline and had me sit up to drink some water.  Danny pipes in that my surgeon from Tucson (whom I miss!!!) said to have them take it all out.  He has me lay back down and pulls the rest of the saline out of my band.  11cc’s.  As he does this, I feel that shake, and probably the rest of the water and fluids I’d tried to consume throughout the day, go gushing into my stomach!  It was the strangest feeling!  Like a dam had burst.  It was crazy.  So, I was sitting there while he filled out some stuff on the computer, and there was a poster on the wall about symptoms of the band being too loose, just right, and too tight–one of the symptoms of it being too tight: night cough.   The doc told me that most people who have all the saline taken out will gain 10-15 pounds in about 2 weeks.  My mentality, at the time, was I could use 10-15 pounds… I was skin and bones.  Seriously.  Not well.  Now, a week later, I’m up 10 pounds.  Trying to not freak out.  It was necessary.  And I look healthy.  I don’t think it would kill me to lose a few more pounds and tighten/tone my muscles (which will probably make me drop another pant size or two–woohoo!), but not by starvation.  I *like* food!  lol  So, I’m going to give it a couple of weeks and see how I do on my own before making an appointment to get a fill.  We’ll see.  I’ll be posting pictures soon.


Could my life be more frustrating?

July 21, 2010
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(Think Chandler Bing from Friends when reading my title!)

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  What can I say?  I’m a busy part-time working/stay at home wife/mother… I don’t have time.  🙂  BUT I’m taking a moment now to let you know how I’m doing–my weight loss success or failure, and what all is going on in my life right now–believe me, it’s a lot!

As of this morning, I FINALLY got past the 190’s.  Not by much, but finally.  I got on the scale at 189 even this morning (my scale is digital and gives me the closest tenth of a pound).  I’ve been fighting with the low 190’s for weeks.  Finally, I’ve had a breakthrough, and I’m relieved and satisfied.  Weight loss to date: 68 pounds!  That’s since Christmas.  58 since my surgery on January 27th.

Now, as for the rest of my life… it’s been crazy.  My husband is getting medically retired from the Air Force.  We’re moving from Tucson, AZ, to Dayton, OH, and don’t know much of what we’re doing.  Probably will be staying with my parents for a while until we get settled.  My hubby’s going to be taking a principal/teaching job at a very small school that can’t afford to pay him enough for us to live on.  Therefore, I’ve been spending the last several months looking for a job for myself.  I’ve found a prospective house, but chances are we wont be able to get a loan, because we wont be able to pay for it…  I’m heading out next weekend with my kids and the dog to try to find myself a job.  If I have a job, we’ll have the money we need for a mortgage payment.  Hopefully.  Trying to pack and clean and organize my life while looking online for jobs half-way across the country and trying to not get scammed by all those evil people out there… more often than not, the responses I’ve gotten from prospective jobs have been scams.  It’s frustrating and discouraging!  How’s anyone supposed to find a REAL job, when the only responses are from scammers looking to steal what little money you have??  Anyway.

It’s a 3-day drive to family.  Glad I don’t have to do it by myself.  Having my big ol’ Copper with me will probably be a bother at times, but he’ll definitely make me feel safer.  Ain’t nobody gonna mess with us when we’ve got my monster.  🙂


The Search for Protein

April 20, 2010
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When I first got the gastric band, I was told that I need to consume 60-80 grams of protein per day.  I asked my surgeon if he had any that he recommended, and he told me to try Protein Shots from Walmart.  I did, and I about puked in my van…  Sure, it had 28 grams of protein in one little vial, but if I couldn’t keep it down, what was the point of drinking it?  It was disgusting.  The thought of it makes me gag a little…  So, I kept searching.  I was supposed to have only 5 grams of both sugar and carbs per serving of food in the beginning, which is NOT an easy thing to accomplish!  And most of the protein shakes out there are chock full of carbohydrates and sugars.  So, I did a little research and found something awesome.  Syntrax Nectars.  Zero sugar, zero carbs, only 90 calories per serving and at least 20 grams of protein per serving, depending on which flavor you get.  And here’s the best part–THEY’RE GOOD!!!  20 grams of protein, but they don’t have that overwhelming protein smell and flavor.  There are a bunch of different flavors, too.  Plenty to chose from, so there’s something for everyone.  Man, I feel like a spokesperson for the company!  But they’re GOOD, so I don’t care!  🙂  My favorites are the cappuccino and Caribbean cooler flavors.  I mix the cappuccino with milk, but the rest I would use water with.  They mix completely with a spoon, so you don’t have to have a shaker or put them in the blender.  You can order samples of each of them for $1.99 at http://www.vitalady.com.  I haven’t been able to find them in stores yet, but I know you can order from vitalady or from Amazon.com.  I haven’t checked, but I’m sure there’s a website to the company, as well.  I’ve tried other protein drinks, and they’re either high in calories/carbohydrates/sugars, etc., or they just taste disgusting.  The GNC 100% Whey Protein shakes are bland, and they have sugar in them.  The Syntrax drinks are sugar free and so flavorful!  It’s amazing.  I don’t know how they do it.  I do suggest that you order samples and try them to see what you like before you go and spend $30 on a 2-pound container and risk not liking what you bought.  And, if you’ve had or are having bariatric surgery, keep in mind that your tastes change after surgery.  So don’t go and buy a ton of stuff before hand, because you may end up not liking it after you have surgery.

So, there’s my two cents on protein drinks.  If anyone else has found something that tastes good and is good for you, please let me know!  😀


And the Journey Continues…

April 2, 2010
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As of right now, I’m down 41 pounds!  59 to go before I see if I want to keep going.  Only 16 pounds away from being in the 100’s!  I’m wearing clothes I haven’t worn in ages.  I guess one good thing about never throwing anything away is that I have plenty to wear between now and my goal weight and wont have to waste money on the “in between” clothes.

My Emma just turned 4 at the end of March.  She amuses me.  When I first had my surgery, I wasn’t allowed to lift her or her sister for 4 weeks.  That was so hard for all of us.  Emma didn’t really understand and would get upset, and I decided to show her that I had “boo boos”.  She saw my incisions when they were still pretty fresh, and she understood that it hurt, and she had to be careful not to hurt me more.  Now, every once in a while when I lift her or squeeze her tightly against me, she’ll tell me to be careful not to hurt the boo boos on my belly.  She wants to see them to make sure that they’re all better, and when I show her the scars, she asks me if it hurts and if I’m going back to the doctor.  She’s such a sweet girl, very concerned about the plight of others.

For the record, I’m healing well.  Of course I have scars, but they’ll fade eventually.  I’m losing weight steadily.  Not as fast as I would like, but it’s coming off and staying off, and that’s really what matters.  I need to learn to have a little patience.  🙂

I still have a long road ahead of me, but I’m excited to see the progress I’ve made in just 2 months.  If I keep up this pace, I’ll accomplish my goal in another 3 or 4 months, which will be a miracle!


Update

February 7, 2010
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Hello, all! I just wanted to give you an update on my surgery and weight loss. As of yesterday, I have lost a total of 17 pounds since my surgery a week and a half ago. Since my appointment to submit my weight for approval to the insurance company on December 22, 2009, I have lost 26!!! Needless to say, I’m very excited and pleased with my progress!!! Incisions are healing well, and I’ll soon be able to start a vigorous workout regimine. As it is, I can really only walk right now, which isn’t all that exciting for me! I’m looking forward to doing some Turbo Jam! So far, I’ve had people tell me that my face looks thinner, and I’ve been able to fit into some clothes that I haven’t worn in a while. As for food… I’m currently eating “pureed” foods and drinking protein shakes. Scrambled eggs, ricatta cheese, unsweetened apple sauce. Stuff like that. I’ve also made some vegetable soup, put it in the blender and adding a teaspoon of unflavored protein powder. My mom gave me the recipe (minus the powder) from Weight Watchers, and it’s really good. Most foods I’ve been eating still don’t quite mask the taste/smell of the unflavored powder, but this is really savory and seems to do the trick, and it’s so easy to make!! It’s a can of diced tomatoes, a can of green beans, a can of corn, a can of old fashioned veggie soup from Campbell’s, a can of potatoes (drained–I use the already diced ones), a can of mixed veggies (like Veg-All), and 2 cans of Hormel chili–one with beans, and one without. You just dump them all together in the pot and heat them up. It’s so good! And even after it’s been through the blender, and it’s about the consistency of thick cream of wheat (I add some water) and the protein’s been added, it’s STILL good! It amazes me. I had it for dinner last night, lunch and dinner today…
Right now, I’m in the market for some good-tasting protein shakes. I’ve got the GNC brand of chocolate and unflavored, but the chocolate is getting REALLY old. I’ve decided to scoop out a serving of the unflavored stuff and put a little in everything I eat, because I’m afraid I’m not getting enough protein. Yesterday, my hair came out in gobs every time I ran my hands through it…
Any ideas for good-tasting protein drinks would be appreciated! I tried the one my surgeon recommended, and it about made me throw up. So gross!!! I need some variety or I’m going to go crazy…


The Big Day

January 27, 2010
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So, tomorrow is the big day.  I go in for my surgery at 6:30 in the morning, surgery is at 7:30, and I should be home by 9:30 in the morning.  My kids are spending the night at the pastor’s house.  His wife, Shelli, and their daughter are camping out on the living room floor with them.  I hope they’re able to get some sleep!  It’s weird not having the girls in the house, quiet.  I spent the majority of the evening trying to relax and mentally prepare myself for tomorrow. 

I’m a little nervous, but mostly I think it just hasn’t sunk in yet.  I spent a year trying to get approved and jumping through all the hoops to get to this point, fighting and trying and agonizing; then, I suddenly get approved and scheduled for surgery within a week.  It’s a bit shocking!  But I’m ready.  Ready to get rid of the weight and move on with my life; ready to start living and feeling comfortable in my own skin.  I went out and got all the food I’ll need for the first several days: protein shake mix and unflavored powder, protein drinks, “clear fluids”, eggs, jello, pudding mix, etc.  It’s not going to be easy, but I believe it will be so worth it!  So, here we go. 

Before pictures… I can’t believe I’m posting these on the internet for the world to see… 


Approval

January 22, 2010
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Yesterday, I received notice from my surgeon’s office that I got APPROVED for ajustable gastric banding surgery!!!  They scheduled me right then for my pre-op appointment AND my surgery.  Guess when they are??  Go ahead, guess.  Oh, forget it.  You wont guess right, anyway!  The pre-op appointment was TODAY, this morning, actually.  I got weighed and got a 3-ringed binder full of pertinent information.  I was also given scripts for blood work and a chest xray.  FUN!  Not… 

Being that today is the 3rd Thursday of the month, the medical clinic on base was closed.  So I had to find somewhere else to go and get all this stuff done.  Of course, I’m used to being spoiled by the convenience of having the majority of my medical needs met on base, so I had no idea where to go.  I called the surgeon’s office and they gave me two different places to go… took a while both to find them and to get things done.  The blood work–wow–I really felt like I’d gone to visit with Vampires.  Several vials of blood, one of which was huge.  Felt like I was giving a pint and not just vials for lab work! 

All things considered, I would say that it all went well.  Even if it did take all day.  But I had to get it all done today because my surgery is WEDNESDAY!!!  So excited!!!  I have to be at the surgery center at 6:30 in the morning, but the staff at the surgeon’s office worked it out so that it’s outpatient, and I’ll start surgery at 7:30 and should be heading home by 9:30.  I’ll be posting before pics sometime next week, and I’ll post progress reports as frequently as I can.  I doubt I’ll be on the computer at all for a few days after the surgery.  I’ll be posting pictures and maybe measurments once a month.


Getting Closer, Yet Farther Away

November 6, 2009
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I just wanted to make an update on my journey to weight loss…  My last weight-related post told you all that I had just gotten my wisdom teeth removed (all 4 at once) and was having problems gaining the weight I need to gain in order to get my surgery.  I was told, in the beginning, that I needed to gain 25 pounds, and I’ve gained 10 so far.  So, I’m closer to my “goal” weight, and yet much farther away from my ultimate goal…  I’m hoping that I will make it by the end of the month, so that I can get this over with.  My back is killing me, my stomach is not happy, and I’m certainly not learning any GOOD habbits!!!  But, like I said, 10 down, 15 to go.  Hopefully, it happens quickly, and I can get my surgery scheduled quickly so that I don’t have to go out and buy new clothes that I wont be wearing for very long!!  It’s all very frustrating.  I live in my sweats… ugh.  I’ve reached a higher weight higher than I’ve ever been, even when I was pregnant.  Ready to get rid of it, and I have to get some more on before I can get it off.