Six Weeks Post Op Weight Loss Surgery – VSG

I’m so sorry for the delayed post, but as always, life gets busy and things slip through the crack.

Nonetheless, I have been posting weekly updates on my youtube channel https://youtu.be/NYNJTHZu1EM. Tomorrow I’ll be making an updated video and posting it. So stay tuned.

So it’s been 6 weeks since surgery. I have to say, this past week has been the most trying when it comes to the mental part of it all. Before surgery I read so many blogs, vlogs, etc and saw so many people dealing with this and arrogantly I thought that since I knew this was going to happen, that I would be prepared and not allow myself to fall for it too.

WRONG.

During week 5,  I “only” lost 2lbs instead of my usual 3lbs per week. So of course this week I was expecting something but unsure of what exactly. Well this week I lost only 1lb. UGH. Here’s the thing, I KNOW by reading through the many pages online, that this is normal, that it is to be expected, yet somehow I had this hope that I would be the exception and would continue to lose weight as before.

This morning I got on the scale and it said 246 and I just threw my hands in the air and said “ok I get it” and went on with my day.
I have been fitting better in many of my outfits and I know that there are differences, but even when I can see them, my darn mind questions it and doubts if it’s really there or if maybe I’m seeing things to make myself feel better.

I’m no expert but I’m sure I can’t be the only one that thinks that way. Not after the many years of trials and tribulations. Right?! Right!

Now, the one thing it has changed is my ability to swallow liquids. Up until 4wks it was all about sipping, now I can gulp and not worry too much with it coming right back up. I’m not saying chugging it, but taking a good gulp (especially when you’re thirsty).

Eating solids is still slow and steady. Yesterday I had some pork and mashed potatoes and it was still in my 1/4 cup and small bites, LOTS and LOTS of chewing and slow eating. Otherwise I’ll feel like I ate way too much and just not feel right.

Someone asked me what I eat, how, how much and when. Well, my regular day looks something like this. I wake up and make myself my “coffee”. It’s 1 cup of Fairlife milk which has 13grm of protein, then 1 scoop of protein powder (30grm of protein), 1cup of hot water, 1tsp of instant decaf coffee, 1TB of benefiber, 1TB of Collagen/Hair and 2Tb of sugar free vanilla syrup. (I know, it’s a lot but super easy and simple to put together).

This is my breakfast. I’ll be consuming 43grm of protein, 7 net carbs, 7grm sugar and 142 grm of Calories. WIN WIN WIN !!!

I’ll then have a snack of string cheese or something like that. For lunch today I had tuna package. Giving me another 18grm of protein.

My biggest challenge has been water intake. I have always sucked at drinking water and it’s not different now. I’m averaging 40-50oz of water a day and I KNOW I need more.
It’s evident on my skin and how dry it is. I’m trying guys, I just SUCK at it.

I won’t bore you anymore with my ranting. I’ll keep on working on what is best for my body and changing our life style accordingly. Always aiming to just be better.

If you’re just starting this journey, HANG IN THERE. You got this.

I’ll always ask any questions you guys may have for me, I’m not know for being shy at all. lol unnamed

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One Week Post VSG Surgery

As I write this it has been 10 days since my surgery day.

For the first week things have gone great. I still find myself trying to get rid of some gas but it isn’t too bad. As far as incision pain, I have to tell you, it isn’t that bad.

It’s not fair to say that, because everyone is different, but I have had the experience of having two c-sections and that is what I’m comparing it to.

So I had the surgery one Wednesday, and two days later, I was inside of an airplane heading home to my family.

On our way back we did not have a direct flight and although I was a little worried, the flight wasn’t too bad. Of course I felt a little uncomfortable with some gas pain, but overall it wasn’t the worst flight I have ever had.

Once home the kids were all over me to see the incisions and what the doctor had done to me. They know I had surgery (had to tell them otherwise they would be jumping all over me) but the little ones weren’t exactly sure what had happened. My 8yr old on the other hand knows this is for weight loss and he is amazing about it.

During the weekend we went to the store for some groceries and I have to tell you, it kicked my behind. I was exhausted but the end of it. On monday I returned to work. I feel like I did pretty well the first day, but on Tuesday by midday I was clearly running out of energy.

I am pretty open about this surgery with any and all people. Even at work. My son goes to a catholic school and folks know about it there too, and I can see people wanting to ask me about it and being shy; I tell them, ask away. If I have an answer, I will gladly share it with you.

So lets talk about stats. From all that I have seen online, they always talk about the heaviest weight, the surgery weight, the current weight and the goal weight.

Now, before we keep going, my doctor who clearly is a jokester, told me that my goal weight is 115lbs and to be safe we would add 20lbs making my goal weight 135lbs. Boy oh boy did we laugh when he said that. So for now, I’m going to set my goal weight to something I have not been in a very long time but not that crazy of a number.

Without any further delay, here are my stats.

HW (Heaviest Weight) = 280 – this was my weight before I start the pre-op diet
SW (Surgery Weight) = 272.6 – This was my weight on monday; 2 days prior to surgery
CW (Current Weight) = 258.8 – That’s my weight as of Thursday 03.28

There you go, not going to lie, it is very hard to post this for the world to see. But you know what, this is me.

Surgery Day! VSG here I come.

Today was surgery day y’all. Of course I was a little nervous and it showed when they were taking my blood pressure (not surprised there).

The process started at 9am, when their car service came to pick me up from my hotel. Once I arrived it didn’t take long to be called back. I was given another one of their T-shirt, some pants, compression stockings and non slippery socks.

I was taken to my bed and there I got to sign some more paperwork, answer a lot more questions (yes some were the same as yesterdays) and then get hooked up to a lot of wires. I was given this green color liquid Tylenol. Then I was given some antibiotics and some more meds that now I can not remember.

I got to talk to the surgeon himself and we got talking. Like always, I asked questions and even asked if I would be able to see pictures of the procedure, which he said Of course. He proceeded to show me some pics from yesterday’s Endoscopy and the nurses were fascinated that I was into it. lol We cracked some jokes and he told me I needed to hang a picture of my stomach in my living room. I’m telling you, Dr.Apel has a great sense of humor and great bedside manner.

Next was the anesthesiologist and the OR nurse. They explained again all that was going to happen and told me not to worry. I was informed that once surgery was over, they would let me sleep for about 15-30 minutes and once I was awake I would be walking and then the hubby would be called back to stay with me. And yep, that is exactly what happened.

By 12:45-1:00pm we were all done at the surgery center and our ride was there to pick me up. I was feeling a little nauseated but nothing bad. The second I got inside of the car I knew that I wouldn’t last long. No they were not driving like crazy, I just have terrible motion sickness and it shows. Yep, I “threw” up right then and there in the car.

Once there It was now about getting used to the gas pains and nausea. The nausea has been kicking my behind and the gas is pretty much stuck in the middle of my chest, but Tom has been trained on how to burp me. LOL

That’s it for now, I have to be up through the night every 2hrs to go for a walk and tomorrow morning I have an appointment at 11:45am for my IV infusion.

Thank you all for all the love and support through this. The journey has just begun. Can’t wait to see what the future brings.

 

Pre-Op VSG Day 2

Today was EGD Day. We got picked up bright and early at 6am.

The Surgery Center was wonderful. Didn’t take long at all for them to call me back. I was asked to go into the ladies room to remove my top/bra and change into their tshirt. I was also asked to provide a urine sample in order for them to verify that I’m not pregnant.

Once that was taken care of, I was taken into my “bed” and I was third in line. I met with the first nurse, she asked me about my medical history and provided me with some nice and warm blanket. There was a lot of asking the same questions over and over, which is to be expected.

Next, I met with the nurses in charge of placing the mid line. Well that was a first for me. I was taken into a room where a mini ultrasound was placed into my arm to look at my veins. I asked so many questions, those nurses were amazing by answering every single question. I have to say, I was worried, but once the lidocaine was injected I really didn’t feel anything. It was great watching it being placed through the ultrasound.

After that, I got to meet the OR Nurse. She came over to ask the same questions, “what am I having done” , name, DOB and other questions as well.

Once that was taken care of, I got to meet with anesthesiologist. He asked similar questions as well as past history on anesthesia and how I have reacted to it. What I have eaten and when as well as what to expect. He was very soft spoken yet very reassuring.

The last visitor was Dr.Umback himself. He came over to ask me if I had any questions and to make sure that everything was ok. We cracked some jokes and off he went to the next patients. There were a total of 5 people there today.

We sat there waiting, by that time they had already brought my husband back to sit with me (that took place after the midline was taken care of). Then it was my turn. They wheeled me in into the OR.

Once there, they hooked me up to the oxygen through my nose cannula, connected the leads that were attached to me, placed this round thing in my mouth and they instructed me to lay on my left side as if I’m going to sleep. They then added a wedge to by back and the anesthesiologist let me know he was going to hook me up and that in about 15 seconds I would be going to sleep.  

I laid there listening to the nurse read my chart and wondering “is this working” and as soon as I did, I realized that the images in front of me were a little fuzzy and then I was OUT.

I woke with the nurse saying “Wanessa it’s time to wake up dear”. I opened my eyes and voila, I was all done. She asked me some questions and had me lay on my back. She wrapped my midline so I could go home with it. Then she instructed me to stand up and make sure I wasn’t dizzy or anything like that. I was feeling fine. It was great.

They let me know that everything went well and that besides some gastroenteritis that nothing else was found and I was good to go. Their service came to pick us up and take us back to our hotel.

Hubby and I got to do a couple of things today and besides being a little tired towards the end of the day I’ve been feeling great. Here’s to tomorrow and getting through the surgery. Pray for me everyone. 

 

Pre-op prep Day 1

We have traveled to Las Vegas to embark in my weight loss journey. The flight went well but it was constant reminder of why I’m doing this. The narrow seat that dug deep into my sides for 3.5 hours was a painful reminder of where I am and where I want to be. By my side my super supportive hubby of course, there with me and for me all the way. 

Today was day one at Blossom’s, even though I have read and re-read everything that they sent me I still felt unprepared.

They sent a driver to pick me up right at my hotel. Once I arrived I was greeted by Dave who was very sweet and caring. He got me checked in and ready for the day ahead. Note to self, the square on the floor right in front of the front desk is a scale lol.

I had a total of 6 stops/visits scheduled for the day. First up I met with the medical assistant and she gathered all my vitals and medical information. As well as a “before” photo that I’ll get to re-look in six months.

Once that was completed, I got to meet with the Lab. There she drew my blood, did an EKG as well as this breathing test that was interesting. I guess it measured how much calories I burn or whatnot and that was then sent to the dietician to analyze.

After all this fun, I got to do the stress test. Now that was “fun”, I got to change into an open gown (no shirt and no bra) and lay on my side. Many many measurements were taken of my heart before leads were added and I got to step on the treadmill. The treadmill itself was interesting, starting with the fact that I was wearing that gown without any support. Once she gathered all of the data needed, we had 90 seconds to gather some more data of the heart after it had been stressed, it was interesting.

The next phase was meeting with the surgeon himself. I met with Dr.Apel and he was awesome. He made me feel very at ease and answered many of my questions. It was really a good meeting.
I got information on what to expect right after surgery, the first 2wks, the first 6 months and from 6-12months. I also received nausea medication, stool softener as well as pain medication.

Shortly after that meeting, I got to meet with my planner. The person who has been helping me with through all this before arriving. There I received information about what to expect for the next two days and how to handle possible problems if there were to arise.

My last stop was with the dietitian. There we talked about my caloric intake needed to lose and maintain weight and what to expect from each and every step of the phases to come after surgery. We honestly had an awesome meeting, it was very informative as well as very friendly.

That was my day. Although it was long, it really didn’t feel like it and it got me feeling even more pumped and ready for the next steps.

Tonight, I’ll be stopping any food/drinks after 8pm in preparation for tomorrow’s EGD testing. I’ll be picked up by 6am and be taken to the surgical center for the test. I’ll update more as each step happens.

Weight Loss Journey

It’s been a while. I know, I know.

Like many phases of my life, whenever I’m going through something big, I find myself coming right back to blogging. It is so very therapeutic to me, it helps me through whatever comes my way.

So what’s up now? Well, I’m turning 36yrs old this year and I have decided that I am done living my life struggling with how I feel about my weight. What does that mean? It means that I will be having weight loss surgery soon.

I am no stranger to judgment. I have lived my entire life with someone judging me, if not for my weight, then for how I chose to live my life or how I handled my infertility journey. I’m sure this time around will be no different.

I have to confess, just like the misconceptions I had about IVF, I too had many misconceptions over weight loss surgery. But guess what? I took my ignorant, uneducated self, researched, and have been trying to learn as much as I can about the entire process.

At this time, I have chosen to go with the sleeve surgery. I have searched over so many different sites, blogs, vlogs and I am amazed at how little I knew about all that goes into this procedure and weight loss journey.

I can get into many details here, but let me just make sure you know the most important one.
For someone to choose to undergo weight loss surgery, that individual has struggled with weight his or her entire lives. I can guarantee you that.

Weight loss surgery isn’t a quick fix, it is a tool. A TOOL I tell you.

I will have to work in order to lose weight and I am sure my PCOS isn’t going to make things any easier.

I grew up being told how overweight I was and that hasn’t changed much.

Fortunately for me, I married someone who loves me for me. For some unknown reason he doesn’t see what I see when I look in the mirror. He supports me and wants me to love myself.

So here I am, planning this process. I went to my primary doctor and told her my concerns. She sent me to a place where she believes would be best for me. I went to their seminar and they called up my insurance. Surprise surprise, my insurance doesn’t cover a single thing when it comes to weight loss. Not even a dietician. The place I was sent to quoted me 45k for my surgery. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of money.

I did some research and found a bariatric center out west that does procedures with a high rate of success for a much less fee. I’m sure they’ll use my insurance for all of the pre-op medical part of it and then I’ll be pay about 10k out of pocket.

Here we are still trying to figure out how we are going to come up with that money but we are going forward with it. Loan? Credit Card? Go Fund me ? Borrow from 401k? Who knows…..

This is all exciting and scary all at once. I can not wait to embark on this journey and take control back of my life and how I feel.

Weight loss Journey here I come. Count down 52 days.

A new World

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I’ve been debating if I should post about this or not. Let me be clear, it isn’t shame or fear it is simply weighing out the many advice I’ve been hearing from friends and family.
At the end of the day, it is our decision on how we tackle this and we are a family who is open about our lives, struggles and successes. We do it because it can help someone and it helps us process all of it as well.

This past August our girls started pre-school and they are loving it. I have had this gut feeling for a long time that something was special about our big girl Bella. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I had this nagging feeling. So I started writing things down and taking notes. One day while talking to one of the pre-school teachers I mentioned it to her and she asked me if I was thinking that she had Autism.

Me and my ignorant self, stopped to think about it and all that I could “see” as a comparison were the severe autistic examples. I simply was not (and still I’m not) educated enough to know about the other umbrellas that autism covers. So we talked about it and she mentioned Asperger’s. While reading through it, I saw it. So many pieces fit, so many of them. I just knew right then and there. But being a factual person I asked the school to monitor her and let me know if they too noticed anything. Within a month or so, they came back to me letting me know that yes they too were seeing things that simply weren’t clicking.

We then worked with the school district in getting her tested and they came back with Speech Delay and Developmental Delay. Even though she scored above the cut off on Autism, it was decided that after observing her in class that she didn’t fit that category.

Now, let me be clear. I’m not wishing my daughter to have Autism, I just needed to follow my gut as a mom. So I did what I had to do, I reached out to our family doctor who directed us to a child development specialist. The waiting to get this evaluation was 6-9months. That’s just brutal. But we waited.

This past Monday we did our assessment and my concerns were right. Our Bella is special and she’s in the spectrum, level 1 (High Functioning Autism). What does that mean for us? What does that change? What now?

Well, it doesn’t change anything really, Bella is still my sweet, loving and smart girl. She’s still the same. We just now know a little more about her and we will then work on getting the right tools and resources to help her get through some challenges.

As I mentioned before, I’m not well educated on this new world yet, but I’m working on that.

Miss Bella is still the same, there’s not need to change how we treat her or act around her. She will have tough days when her pants are too tight and the lights/sounds bother her and we will be there to help her get through those struggles every step of the way.

We have shared with some people about our new world and A LOT of them say to me “really, she doesn’t look it” and I try my very best to explain to them the very little that I know about it.

If you’re a parent and you have that little nagging feeling that something is different and you can’t put your finger on it, then I hope this helps you some.

Here are some of them things I took note of:

  • Speech Delay – avoids eye contact – over attachment to thing – twinkling of fingers – throws huge tantrums that requires long holding to calm down – hard time transitioning from one task to another – sound, light and smell sensitivity – likes being alone – lack of facial expressions – intrusive at social interactions – repeats every last option when asked a question – clumsiness – copies her sister/peers – Unaware of danger (this is a big one that really scares me)

I don’t mean that if your child has these things that he or she has autism, I am just describing our situation and circumstances.

I’m hoping to use this platform to learn all that I can about the world of autism, to maybe one-day help someone that will be in my shoes. Entering a new world without any prior knowledge and trying to navigate through it.

If you read my blog you will know that I am not afraid of speak up, to look for information and facts. That’s how I deal with things. Writing also helps me release my stress and anxiety a lot.

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