Thursday, November 26, 2009

9 month mark

About time I updated this ... things have been busy here at the old homestead.

I had my 9 month check up last Thursday and they are quite happy with my results so far.

I'm not losing tremendously fast but that is probably for the best in the long run.

I am probably going to have to start Physical Therapy soon though. I have been having such pain in my left leg .. I thought it was Sciatic nerve issues. They are more convinced it's a nerve issue somewhere in my L5 region. My back is pretty out of whack with the major weight loss.

So I figure it can't hurt .. I'm just so tired of feeling like I have a charlie horse in my ass lol

They also want me to start the pouch flush before I eat.

I still have so many issues with being able to keep food down on a regular basis that now 1/2 hour before I eat they want me to down 12 oz of fluid to clean out any remnants that may be in my pouch. Then not to drink for an hour after I eat. I can't say as I have seen much improvement lol but then again I'm not doing so well downing the liquid either. I can't gulp down fluid like I used to be able too. I'll keep trying though and see if it helps.

always somethin' eh?

I couldn't believe a year has passed since I started this process. It was this time last year that I was about to take a long walk off a short Pier ... and now life is completely different ... I can hardly wait to see what life will be like a year from now

I go back in Feb for my year check up .... time is flying

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Version of French Onion Soup for One

This will make 3 servings.

*edit (I have been scolded lovingly from my British Chef Confidant that my soup isn't nearly dark enough ... which means I didn't cook the onions long enough to caramelize properly ... I'll get it right next time lol)

I didn't want to make a whole big batch of soup so I threw this together and it was mighty tasty.

2 med Onions or 1 really large one ... sliced thinly
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs flour
1 tsp sugar
3 beef bouillon cubes
3 cups boiling water

Saute Onions in oil until tender and opaque. Sprinkle with sugar half way through cooking to help caramelization

Add Bouillon cubes to boiling water to dissolve

add flour to onions and stir constantly for a few minutes .. to cook out the flour taste

pour in water/bouillon cube mix

Bring to a boil , turn down and let simmer for about 15 minutes to bring all the flavors together

I didn't add any salt. The salt content in the beef cubes was enough for me. I did add a little fresh ground pepper

I don't eat bread so I just shaved some cheese into the middle of the bowl and it was might good.

Red Kittie Kat

This makes a good 3 servings of one cup each for me. A great little lunch for the next few days.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sister comes for a visit

My middle sister lives out in Fort Plains and stopped by for a visit the other day. I managed to talk both sisters in to getting a "Sisters" Photo. I think they wanted to kill me.

I never used to want photos taken .. now I am always saying ... "Oooh take a picture!" lol

Red Kittie Kat

btw ... 176lbs gone forever :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Apple Picking

We all went Apple picking at Bowmans today. What a great Orchard! So many different kinds of apples. I got a bag of Shamrocks .. sort of like Granny Smith. They make awesome pies.

The kids had a blast.

I nearly had a heart attack when 5 bags of apples came to 60 bucks! I thought I was going to need smelling salts!

Red Kittie Kat

Red Kittie Kat

Red Kittie Kat

Red Kittie Kat

Our Desperate Housewives Pose

Red Kittie Kat

Red Kittie Kat

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Locks of Love

I received my card today.

Red Kittie Kat

Red Kittie Kat

My hair arrived safe and sound. I hope it brings joy to a special little one out there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Went to the Docs today for my check up after Surgery. Everything is looking good and I don't have to go back until November for my 6 month checkup from the Bypass Surgery.

Weight loss is good and blood levels are looking good. Vit D still really low but that's nothing new.

So not much to report for once. It was a good visit.

To date I have lost 168 pounds

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

5 Days Out

It's been 5 days since my Gall Bladder removal. I have to say this surgery was like a walk in the park compared to other surgeries I have had.

Other than being a bit tired and feeling a bit of pinching/burning at the puncture sites, it hasn't been too terribly bad.

I went out shopping yesterday to Target and felt ok ... I was tired when I got home but I did it.

My Doctor said the surgery went great. He did mention that I had built up all the scar tissue he cut out last surgery .. so he cut it all out again lol ... I do like to heal quickly.

Other than that he said things went smooth as silk and I only spent 2 hours in recovery and about one more hour just walking around and getting my feet back under me and then getting discharged.

I tried to lay on my side Saturday night ... that was a mistake .. owie! But, last night I was able to lay on my side fine.

Lets just hope this is it for a while..... the only thing I have left hanging over my head is having to have the thyroid biopsies redone ... but I am holding off on that for a little bit.

BTW speaking of that ... I saw one of the other Doctors I had seen a while back and he walked right by me didn't even recognize me until I said hello to him then he did a double take ... I've lost so much weight and with the short hair ... no one recognizes me anymore lol

Here is a pic I took of myself yesterday before going to Target .... who is this person with the skinny neck? Cause it sure isn't me lol!

Red Kittie Kat

I notice I am wearing a lot more Pink now too. I never used to wear pink. I always thought people would associate it with Pink Elephants ... Now I just wear it because I love the color. I don't even think about that anymore. It is amazing what the brain will retain and let go of when you start feeling better about yourself.

I still have a long way to go ... but as of today I am 172 pounds down and I am feeling stronger and have more stamina every single day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

23g of Protein In Instant Coffee???

Yep you heard it here folks lol ....

Well sort of ;)

I have a new concoction I made.

I love my new EAS chocolate protein mix. I decided to try some in a cup of coffee and wow .... It was pretty darn good. Tasted just like a cafe' mocha.

Each scoop of EAS has 23g or protein in it. So it's a win win for me ... I get my coffee and my protein ..... and of course my beloved chocolate lol :p

One word of advise ... mix up the EAS in cold water then heat it and add a spoon of instant coffee. I tried to add it to the hot coffee and I ended up with a cup of glue .... not good lol.

But live and learn eh?

~ Try it .. you will like it

Surgery is set

After seeing my Surgeon last Thursday - surgery has been set for September 3rd. I will be having my Gall Bladder removed and a general check up in there to see if there are any adhesion's causing trouble.

I can't say I am looking forward to more surgery. It's been a bit of a struggle coming to terms with it. I seem to just start feeling good and something else sets me back.

As they say I know this too shall pass ... but it sure is hard to stay positive at times.

But, remembering that pain from the flare up and blockage is more than enough to make me want the surgery more than not want it.

And regardless ... no matter what I have no regrets. I do feel SO much better and can do SO much more already.

I plan on having a rockin' summer next year ... being able to go and do all sorts of things :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hospital Update

I am just now getting around to update this. I am doing ok now ... but last Sunday was the day from hell.

I hadn't been feeling good all day it started about 4am. It felt like someone was standing on my chest.... I thought GREAT! I've been doing all this to get healthier and NOW I am going to have a heart attack!

... well after I calmed myself down and laid down for a while it felt better ... I figured I was having an issue called "dumping" that happens to bypass patients sometimes. It can mimic a heart attack but it's all in the digestive tract. The only flaw in that theory is it happens right after you have eaten something ... I hadn't eaten anything since dinner around 6pm the night before.

Well since the pain stopped I didn't give it much more thought. There are so many freaky things that pop up now and again from this surgery that I just chalked it up to one of those occurrences.

Noon came and went ... I ate a little lunch and everything seemed fine but I was just zonked out ... I felt so drained I laid down and fell asleep. I didn't wake up until nearly 7:30pm. I figured I should get something to eat because I have to eat a little something every 5 to 6 hours or I don't get enough nutrition in to me.

With in two teaspoons of food I had to run to the bathroom .... I was so sick :(

.. then the chest pain started again ... then I got hot, cold and sweaty/clammy all at the same time. I thought ... hmmm not good.

I wobbled myself back to my room and laid down ... as soon as I stretched out I felt a little better and I turned to my left side and just laid there but started to get a little uncomfortable. I then turned to my right side and WHAMMO!!! I felt like someone had just gutted me like a deer! The pain was so intense I couldn't breathe. I couldn't even speak for a minute... then I just screamed it hurt so Goddamn bad!

My sister and nieces came racing in and Jessy took one look at me and called 911 .. I loathe going to the hospital ER's but I was in no position to argue. I was nearly ready to pass out.

All I could think of was this had to be Gall Bladder related .. I can remember my Mom and Sister being in agony before theirs were removed.

Once they got me in the ambulance - my first time ever in one of those contraptions - they gave me some good drugs and everything calmed down.

I then got to the ER ... a brand new multi million dollar state of the art new addition they put on the Hospital. (this is useful information for later in my story)

So they all did their thing .. ran tests ... CT Scan ... blood tests ... pushing here ... prodding there ....

Conclusion was .... small intestinal blockage.

Ok fine .. "we are going to admit you for the night for observation"

So my sister and brother in law leave and I am laying there watching the lovely flat screen TV that the ER has as part of their new gorgeous roomy rooms.

They then said umm we don't seem to have any room at the inn ... all the rooms were filled to capacity ... but they "saved" me a place in the hall.

I found that rather funny that I now had to move from my gorgeous ER room to the hall for who knows how long ... someone is either going to have to die or go home for me to get a room

One of the Nurses commented that now we need a new hospital since they can take so many more people in the ER now.

(See why I told you how fancy it was?)

Ok back to me ...

around 9am I get visited by one of 3 Surgeons .... man I sound like a Christmas Tale here....

The Surgeon of Gall Bladder present ...

He is sure it's my Gall Bladder and has a plan ...

The Surgeon of Gall Bladder past ...

It could have been your Gall Bladder but it's moved the problem is your intestines ... He has a plan ...

The Surgeon of Gall Bladder Future ...

It's not your Gall Bladder it's your Liver ... She has a plan


By the time all was said and done I got into a room by 11am and they all got together and decided that ....

I had a small intestinal blockage caused by an inflamed, enlarged Gall Bladder which backed up into my Liver causing the infection and I was going any where until that started clearing up .... fast forward 4 days and the levels in the liver finally are nearly back to normal but the Gall Bladder really needs to come out.

So I am looking at yet another surgery probably with in the next month or so and on top of it the Endo's office called and wanted to redo the biopsies ... I said well ... you guys are gonna have to wait .. I can only handle so much once. My arms already look like I have been severely beaten. My neck just stopped looking severely beaten.

I'm trying not to let it all get to me ... it started to about mid wednesday ... I was really starting to lose the plot.

But now I am definitely home and brought some heavy duty antibiotics with me. I have to see both the Surgeon next week and have my 6 month bypass Eval with that Surgeon and get more blood tests to check on the liver progress on Monday and then on Thursday more blood tests for every other level ...

I should have taken out stock in the needle company :(

So tomorrow is the day ... I go see my bypass Surgeon for my 6 month check up and bloodwork and I will find out what the next step is.

One thing I must add ... the staff at the hospital was wonderful ... everyone was so nice and professional. They really made the stay a lot more tolerable ... I just wanted to go home so bad :(

I really liked one of my Doctors ... man he was cute .... I really looked forward to seeing him every day :p

Friday, July 31, 2009

The results are in ... sort of

I was called by the Doctor who did the procedure. One nodule is benign. The other 2 probably are but guess what? There was blood in the samples so they want to do the biopsies again. I haven't called to schedule it. I can't deal with the thought of going through that pain again. I am not good with confrontation and I am putting it off because I will be telling them She WON'T be doing it. Either they can find another Dr. or I will. I refuse to let that cold, angry little person touch me again.

I am so frustrated right now. I knew this was going to happen. She broke so many blood vessels it would have been impossible not to get some blood in the specimens.

I'm really angry too. I don't want to go through this again. I have to think about if I will or not.

On a very nice note though, as of yesterday I've lost 71 pounds since surgery and a grand total of 154 pounds since I started my new life.

So that still trumps all the nastiness I had to go through with this Thyroid garbage.

I refuse to let that ruin my good feelings.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I finally took the plunge!

Well I have finally done it!

I haven't had a haircut in nearly 20 years. My hair has been down to my butt since my early 20's. After my BIG hair days of the 80's I just let it keep growing.

So with all the changes going on in my life and my body my hair has been suffering. It was looking pretty bad and I have lost some due to my surgery. So I decided it was time for my hair to get healthy too.

People that know me will remember how long my hair was.

So Friday I took the plunge. It was time for another drastic change in my life.

Here I am 29 inches later .... Whaddya think? =0)

I love it. I never thought I could ever have a cute short hair doo! =o)

Red Kittie Kat

Here is the back. Sorry for the blurry .. hard to take myself lol

Red Kittie Kat

And here is the tail I had cut off for Locks of Love

that brought it to right above my shoulders. Six more inches were cut off as I got my new style.

Red Kittie Kat

So far everyone in my family looks at me with the OMG look .. then take a deep breath and tell me how cute it is :o)

And here is one I got a bit artsy with ... just a hint of color

Red Kittie Kat

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's Over ...

I'm back among the living. What a nightmare that was

I came home and just went to bed. I was so stressed out.

One thing I can say is if for whatever reason I have to have this done again .. that Doctor will never touch me again. She was rude, arrogant and worst of all cold and very rough.

She hurt me so badly I was tearing up ... I was trying so hard to keep it together and she says to me .. "Shall we cancel this procedure" I was just stunned ... you have no idea how badly I wanted to say yes lets! At that point I was only 1/3 of the way through the procedure.

She stuck me 18 times - six needles per nodule (I was told it was only going to be 3 aspirations per nodule) and once she was in there she jack hammered the needle until she found the right spot.

I've had this done before when the left side of my Thyroid was removed and it never hurt like this. My neck is so swollen and I can't turn my head. The only time she her tone was friendly with me was when another doctor came in to was some of the procedure.

As soon as I was done she said now you realize this may have to be done again if we don't get definite results. I said to myself ... I think not - at least not by you.

She even told me to stop breathing the way I was breathing and breathe right and to stop tearing up it was causing mucus in my throat.

Just how is one supposed to breath with needles being jack hammered into the base of ones throat and a scan wand being jammed into the side to show the nodules.

If anyone knows the answer let me know so I can be a "better" pin cushion next time

When I came out my sister came right over to me and said Jesus, what did they do to you.... and then I burst into tears.

It looks like there is a golf ball trapped under my skin and I am all bruised. I never had that happen before.

After I calmed down I guess it was my time to get someone like this. Up until now all of the Doctors I have seen have been excellent. Very kind and compassionate.

I'm really not a baby and I'm not looking for anyone to fall all over me. Do what you have to do and lets get it over .. but geez at least have a little empathy for your patient. She had to have known she was hurting me.

I was pretty much a wreck the rest of the afternoon. But, after a good nap I don't feel too bad .. just swollen and sore.

I managed to eat a little and I get some water in me so that's always a good sign

I should know sometime next week what the results are.

I have really felt blessed because everyone I have had to deal with for the last 6 months has been so professional and so nice so I guess odds were that I get a sour one eventually.

I will make it known I don't ever want her again and why. I really wasn't looking for coddling but if she had just said something kind and given me a minute to gather myself it would have been an entirely different experience ... instead she chose to treat me like a two year old and threaten to end the procedure if I couldn't control my emotions.

I guess I just need to figure out how to enjoy having my throat stabbed 18 times and show no emotion or feeling.

Here are a couple shots I took quick to show you the damage

at a distance:

Red Kittie Kat

Up close: You can see each needle stick and the horizontal bruising from her jack hammering the needle once in there.

Red Kittie Kat

You can see the swelling ... last night it was sticking out just as if a golf ball was in there.

I am just so glad it's over ... for now anyway

Friday, July 3, 2009

Getting Nervous

Tuesday I have the biopsies on my Thyroid done at 8am. I'm so nervous, but trying not to obsess.

9 needle sticks

I am so not looking forward to this :(

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Version Of Pizza

I have been craving Pizza a bit lately but have denied myself because of all that doughy starch

I decided to see if I could figure out a healthier recipe.

This is what I came up with. (preheat oven to 400)

1 Tbs Olive Oil wiped over cookie sheet
1 can of whole wheat pizza dough - pressed out into a 13 x 9 rectangle
2 Tbs of Parmesan Cheese - sprinkled over crust
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce - spread over pizza leaving a 1 inch border
1/2 cup low fat Ricotta cheese - dollop evenly around pizza
10 green olives - placed evenly around crust
1 tsp basil - sprinkled evenly
1 cup fresh Spinach - piled evenly over crust
1/2 medium white onion - sliced and spread over crust
4oz of low fat Mozzarella - sprinkled over crust

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. 12 for a softer crust / 15 for a crispier crust

I like a thin crispy crust. It's much easier for me to digest

Here is the finished product:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I cut the pizza into 6 portions. They were approximately 4 x 4 inches. I added up all the ingredients and nutritional values and it breaks down per slice to this:

Calories: 214.5 per slice
Fat: 9.19g
Cholesterol: 12mg
Sodium: 295mg
Carbs: 22g
Sugar: 3.1g
Fiber: 2.6g
Protein: 11.6g

Compared to a plain cheese slice from Pizza Hut:

Calories: 440
Fat: 14g
Cholesterol: 35mg
Sodium: 1,010mg
Carbs: 60g
Sugar: 7g
Fiber 4g
Protein: 19g

My version is nearly 1/2 the amount of the bad stuff - not too bad for my first attempt I think.

I'm sure I could have saved even more calories if I used cooking spray to prevent sticking .. but I was all out. I could always have left off the Olives and Parmesan cheese as well, but I was going for a nice punch of flavor.

I accomplished that ... it was completely delicious.

Blood Results

I received my blood work results ... everything is good except my Vitamin D

I have started a prescription mega dose of 50,000 units weekly for 8 weeks.

After I finish with my script I have to be re-tested.

Hopefully this will bring me back up to a semi normal rate.

Otherwise I fear I will be taking enormous amounts of Vitamin D the rest of my life. Not the worst thing in the world ... but a pain in the neck ..... literally lmao

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Adventures In Tofu!

Well I did it!

I keep forgetting to mention it there has been so much going on... But I am an official tofu eater now Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I tried my first tofu last week and it turned out pretty darn good.

I sauteed Mushrooms, Onions and Zucchini with diced firm Tofu added some salt, pepper, garlic and a swig of balsamic vinegar and my beloved Wortershetershirester sauce Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It tasted fantastic! Here is a pic!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have also since tried the soft tofu and made a shake with my protein powder and Nesquik, a splash of milk, 5 ice cubes and a tbs of honey.

It was pretty tasty as well with the consistency of a milkshake

I still haven't found Edamame yet though lol ... I think I'm going to order it online so I can try it

My Three Month Check Up

Thursday I saw Mike, my Surgeons PA. He checked me out head to toe and told me things look good. I haven't heard anything back on my blood tests. He said if I didn't hear anything back that my levels were doing ok and I don't have to see him again for 3 months! Woo hoo!! {=^;^=}Image and video hosting by TinyPic

He said my color is good and my hair looked great. I've not had any loss at all from what anyone of us can tell. I have lots of hair and have always had a tendency to shed but, I'm not finding clumps or hair anywhere or losing handfuls when I shower. I just have the normal strand here and there that I always have.

I attribute part of that to the kick as Bariatric Fusion Vitamins I take and trying to work protein into everything I eat.

I addressed the swelling I am having in my right leg. It's not nearly as bad as it has been over the years .. but enough that I am noticing it. So I am trying some lasix every other day for about a month to see if that helps .. I've been on it for 3 days now and it seems to be helping .. my leg is "loosening" up.

I also saw my Endocrinologist on Thursday as well. That appt. went so so. I went to get the results of my scan I had done before my surgery.

As expected I have growths on what's left of my Thyroid. After a momentary panic and mini meltdown I calmed down. My Mom died of Thyroid cancer at 61 years old. I've already had the left side removed from 2 golf ball sized growths 10 years ago. My Mom's side of the family has had many issues with Thyroid disease in general. My Grandmother, her other daughter and my cousin, her other Granddaughter suffer from issues. So with our family history they aren't messing about.

I have to go in for 9 needle biopsies (3 in each growth) at the beginning of July. If they come back negative then I will have a check up again in 3 months. If they come back inconclusive (as they did the first time I had to have Thyroid surgery) or positive the other half of the Thyroid will have to come out.

So worst case scenario is another throat surgery and I live on a tiny pill the rest of my life. The alternative is not a very pleasant thought, so I guess a pill isn't so bad.

Over all I feel great though! I have more energy than I have had in a very long time. My BMI has come down over 20 points ... and I walked all the way from the parking garage, into the hospital and up to my Doctors office with out sitting down half way. I've never been able to do that.

I can also wear my seat belt comfortably now and I bought a new outfit that is so cute and summery. It's 4 sizes smaller than what I have ever been able to buy before. I was sure it wasn't going to fit, but it did ... with room to spare!

Little daily victories ... every day brings something new and exciting .. and this is still really only the beginning.

Even something as simple as being able to stand and clean the stove tonight just made my day. Every day that I can do something I hadn't been able to do for a while brings me one step closer to being able to make that walk around the block I am just dying to do.Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Nutrition By Natalie - 10 Worst Drinks

I found Natalie on You Tube and I really like how she gives you information on different nutritional aspects of food.

Here is one video that really impresses me. I really don't think we take into account that what we drink effects us.

I haven't drank any soda or carbonated beverages since I started my new lifestyle. Every now and again I am guilty of having a diet Arizona iced tea or a cup of tea or coffee with Splenda. I haven't been able to get used to having them unsweetened. I don't drink them every day however.

95% of my liquid intake is water. I really started craving ice water after my surgery and it's stuck with me. I don't really miss other forms of liquid.

So watch this video. It gives you some really good info on how these types of drinks can deplete your vitamin B and dehydrate you among many other long term harmful effects.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I haven't been able to get weighed in the last 4 weeks because I haven't seen my Doctor and we didn't have scales here.

I was pretty sure I was stalled I wasn't feeling any different.

I ordered a nice pair of scales last week and they arrived today. I am down 35 more pounds!!

I know there will still be a bit of adjustment when I go to the docs ... house scales and clinical scales are NEVER the same lol ... but I know they are never 35 pounds off

So I feel pretty good right now.

I lost 83 lbs previous to surgery and now I have lost 60 lbs since surgery. I felt over the moon today.

Oh and it's a talking scale ... my sister refused to get on it.

She asked me what it says and before she could back an eye .. I made a coughing sound and said omg get off me .. yer killin' me!

She nearly spit out her coffee ROFL!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Black Bean Soup Venture

I have been on a crusade to make soups and stews lately. It seems to be the easiest thing for me to eat. I can eat a good cupful .. more than any other type of food. I think it's because everything is cooked so well and very easy to chew.

Anyway I saw a cooking show where a gal used black beans to make some Mexican dish with olives and raisins .. that didn't interest me much but I thought I've never made anything with black beans. So, yesterday when I was out shopping I got a bag of dried beans and today I made my version of Black bean soup!

OMG ... it turned out soooo good. I had to share a pic although it's not the best pic .. I snapped it quick with my cell

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

1lb of black beans (soaked them for 6 hours)

3 large country spare ribs

1 large Green and 1 large Red Bell peppers

1 Large Onion

1 Large potato

I peeled and diced the potato and put it in with the beans to boil so as it broke down it would act as a bit of a thickener. I used about 4 cups of water.

While that was boiling away I diced the Onion and Peppers.

As they sautéed I sliced the meat off the rib bones and then threw bones and meat into the pan and cooked it all until browned and starting to get sticky in the pan.

I deglazed the pan with balsamic vinegar ... probably about 2 tablespoons.

I then added about 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon each of black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika. 1 pinch of red pepper flakes. I added a few shakes of salt .. I don't ever add much salt .. just add what you like. I added 1 cup of water and let it simmer while the beans finished cooking. (remove bones at any time now and cut off whats still on them or give the dog a treat)

When the beans were done I poured in the pork/veg mixture and let that all brew on a low simmer for about an hour.

It made the most rich brown broth I have ever seen ... and it tastes wonderful. A little bit of mild zip to it from the spices without being painful

I'm already thinking of how wonderful it will taste tomorrow as a leftover for lunch! {=^;^=}

Friday, April 24, 2009


For those that don't know protein is something that is vital for WLS patients to get in daily. The guideline is 60 to 90grams. Sometimes this is easier said than done.

So we all search for ways to up our protein or sneak it in anywhere we can with out adding a ton of calories.

I have tried so many protein drinks and shakes and they are all gross. I don't care what anyone says - they are. But, I did buy a can of unflavored protein powder. I thought I could just add that to anything I was eating and I would be sure to get my protein requirement. Well guess what .. it has such a repulsive taste it ruined my food and I nearly gagged. Yes ... it's that bad.

Soooo today I just kept staring at this can ... being that it cost me nearly 15 bucks I was getting mad at myself for letting it just sit there. That and I can't stand waste .. especially money.

So I hauled my butt out into the kitchen and got out the blender. I grabbed the milk some ice and the vanilla.

I added 1 1/2 scoops of the powder to the blender, 8oz of milk, 1 tsp of Vanilla and 1 cup of ice. I let it pulse till chopped, then I just let it whirl for a good minute. I took a small taste and it was a little bland so I added 2 packets of splenda and that did the trick.

I felt so good about getting in a good dose of protein in one go.

Depending on what type milk you use it will be different calories but I used skim.

Altogether it comes to 110 cals and 25 grams of Protein.

The best part is it's tolerable! yay!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The things that keep me busy

I love drawing with my tablet and mouse. Here are a few images I created over the last couple months trying to keep my mind and hands busy.

If you want to see the fullsize versions of these just visit my site and click on the graphics button :o)

My 2 Month Anniversary

Well ... It's official ... I am 2 months Post Op.

I can't say it's been a breeze but, I wouldn't change it for anything.

After dealing with my stricture issue and not being able to eat for so long I am finally eating somewhat normally. My last EGD procedure was on the 15th and I have been able to eat nearly 3x a day now with a couple snacks (on a good day) I haven't experienced any dumping persay but I do still throw up within seconds of eating something that just doesn't want to sit too well.
The good part is after that happens, I can find something else to eat and I can usually keep it down.

Things that go down and stay down for me:

Pork cooked to the falling apart stage
Dairy (Milk, yogurt, cheese)
Beef cooked to the falling apart stage
Beans of any sort
boiled or mashed Potatoes
boiled carrots
Any type of canned tomato
Water and Tea
Shredded wheat and Cornflakes - I let them get somewhat soggy first

Things that don't go down well or won't stay down and I have been avoiding:

Tuna / Salmon (which is sad I love grilled salmon and tuna salad)
Peanut butter
coffee - which again is sad I loved my coffee lol ~ I only have a few sips of 1 cup a week now if that.

The one thing I have a little trouble with unless I poach them is eggs, so I have a poached egg on toast a couple times a week.

Today I tried some raw veggies for the first time:
I put a little lettuce and tomato on toast with a slice of bologna - so far so good

Officially I have lost 27 pounds since surgery. My last weigh in was 2 weeks ago. I don't have a scale. I am going to change that next week. I will be ordering one. I know I have either lost inches or weight because my clothes show it - but I would really like to know. I hate not being able to check lol.

My next appt. is May 14th ~ that is going to kill me to wait that long to know how much I've lost Ahhh!!!!

I have no pain from the surgery. My incisions are completely healed. I really don't ever experience any hunger pangs and I haven't had any pouch or chest pain. So, all in all I think I am doing pretty darn good ..... So that's my story so far. ;o)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Looking Back ...

I got to thinking about everything I have been through to get to this point today. Putting it all down on paper amazed me.

I really have been through quite a few things over the past few months. There were so many requirements in order to even qualify for this surgery.

It was quite a list:

~Oct 2, 2008 - Orientation
~ Nov 12, 2008 - 1st exam with Dr. Clarkes PA
~ Nov 14, 2008 - Surgery Date given 2/23/09
~ Dec 1, 2008 - Neuro consult
~ Dec 11, 2008 - Psych consult, started Medifast

~ Jan 2, 2009 - Cardiac consult
~ Jan 12, 2009 - Pre Op Testing at Ellis (EKG, X-rays, Blood gases)
~ Jan 12, 2009 - Nutrional consult
~ Jan 12, 2009 - Wellness center consult
~ Jan 14, 2009 - 1st Meeting with Dr. Clarke
~ Jan 20, 2009 - Pulmonary consult
~ Jan 22, 2009 - Endrochrin consult
~ Feb 4, 2009 - OBGYN consult
~ Feb 9, 2009 - Pre Admission at Ellis
~ Feb 11, 2009 - 2nd meeting with Dr. Clarke
~ Feb 16, 2009 - Mammogram
~ Feb 20, 2009 - IVC filter placement
~ Feb 23, 2009 - RNY Surgery
~ Mar 18, 2009 - IVC filter removal
~ April 1, 2009 - EGD dilation do to stricture
~ April 15, 2009 - 2nd and hopefully last EGD dilation

Whew! No wonder I'm tired lol... and bear in mind I was going down for weekly visits until the surgery after the Medifast started.

I think this is a good way to show everyone that it isn't the easy way out. It takes a lot of time, money, dedication and determination to go through all this.

But, you know something ... it's all worth it

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I feel like a new woman!

I am finally able to eat! I am so excited.

Granted I still have to be careful and follow the guidelines, but I can eat and not have to run to the bathroom to throw up. It's really quite a nice feeling. I am eating three times a day as directed now. I just couldn't do that before this last EGD procedure.

I am able to drink more water which is wonderful. I was so worried I was starting to get dehydrated.

I think I have eaten more protein in the last 4 days than I have in the last 2 months - what a great feeling.

I have been in the kitchen actually cooking for myself. I made split pea soup the other night and it was a big hit. It felt so nice to be able to actually sit and eat dinner with my family again.

Looks like things are getting back on track nicely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Everyone

... to all those who celebrate I wanted to wish a safe and Happy Easter.

Don't eat too much chocolate lol

Like my ears??

It's been 6 weeks...

Here I am 6 weeks after surgery and not too terribly worse for the wear. The surgery went fairly well. I was able to have it done laparoscopically which was of great relief to me. There was question as to if the Surgeon could get through my scar tissue formed from previous surgeries.

He managed to get through ok but it had to work for it which I so appreciated. What should have only taking 3 hours took 5. But to his credit he kept going versus cutting me wide open. The recovery time would have been so much longer.

I actually recovered so fast I was home 2 days later. I only spent one full day in the hospital. I went in Monday morning and was home Wednesday afternoon. I just looked as though I had been in a knife fight or something ... 5 little stab wounds.

That first week at home was a bit tender. Had to sit and lay down very gingerly. But, after that when I could finally get off my back and actually turn over it was wonderful. I am a side sleeper ... most definitely not a back sleeper.

As far as food goes I was on clear liquid for the first week then I started the pureed diet. That was to go for 4 weeks. The first week wasn't bad lots of jello, broth, mashed potatoes and soft cereals. But I couldn't get anything with protein down other than yogurt. If it had much of a texture even after being pureed just seemed to get stuck and I would lose everything. It just kept getting progressively worse after that. It was to the point I wasn't eating hardly anything at all .. just trying to drink protein drinks - which by the way are disgusting - and drinking lots of water. After seeing my Doctor he suspected I had what is called a stricture.

Now being one who never excelled at very much in my life ... I apparently excel in healing. So, what happened is since I healed so quickly the scar tissue formed too soon and too fast and was closing off my stomach opening. Which of course in turn wasn't allowing anything but very thin type fluids to pass. So it was back on clear liquids for me. I should have been able to eat soft foods by now. I was beginning to get pretty emotional. Everything I tried just kept coming back up. But, now that I had the answer that put my mind at ease and I just had to wait as to how this would be fixed. The only upside to all this is I feel no hunger and there is no pain. I found it ironic that I was now experiencing anorexic symptoms. I didn't eat hardly anything and when I did I would throw up.

That brings us to the beginning of April. On the 2nd I was back at the hospital for a procedure called an EGD. The Doc put a camera down my throat to see what was going on and sure enough it was just that .. a stricture. He then fed a tube down to my stomach and used a balloon type mechanism to expand the opening and break up the scar tissue. I was out at the time. When I woke up it felt like I had a good nap. But I was so thirsty. When I took that first drink of water it was wonderful. I could take a full mouthful. I had only been able to sip or I would get a lot of pressure due to it having trouble passing into my stomach.

My Doctor said it was pretty well sealed off and I was only getting a trickle of fluid through. He wants me to have it done again.

Since then I have been able to eat fairly normally ... in terms of how normal one can eat after bariatric surgery. It takes me nearly an hour to eat about a 1/2 cup of food - that breaks down to about one bite every 6 to 7 minutes. If I eat any faster than that everything will still come back up. I still don't do well with straight protein. It feels as though it just gets caught somewhere and doesn't want to go all the way down.

I am scheduled for the second EGD this coming Wednesday the 15th. The Doc thinks I will be good to go then. I sure hope so.

So at this point I am doing ok. My biggest issues are just getting enough water into me and then tackling the protein issue. My other issue is my energy level. I have next to none - Mostly due to lack of food lol

Since this all began back in December I have now lost 110 pounds. 83 prior to surgery and 27 more since the surgery.

I was a bit disappointed that I had only lost 27lbs since the surgery. Especially since there was 2 weeks of nothing but clear liquids. But, when I talked to my Doctor he said that is normal and I am right on track and not to let things discourage me. He said right now my body just doesn't know what to do. I have had the issues of not being able to eat .. then I can eat ... then I can't eat. He said my metabolism is way out of whack. He said as soon as I start being able to eat more regularly and my energy level starts picking back up things will start falling into place. In addition my abdominal area is still somewhat swollen from surgery and that could last a few more weeks before it goes down.

Are you still with me? I know this was a long one and I apologize for not updating sooner. I just haven't had the energy to sit here long enough and type.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has sent me well wishes too ... it was so appreciated.

I will try to update more regularly. I think that is about it for now *smile*

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2 Days To Go

It's been a hectic few weeks and I have been bad about posting. Just haven't had the energy to rehash it all.

Over the past few weeks I've had a few more checkups and a scan of my Thyroid and a Mammogram. There are issues with both so now I have to get them done again after surgery. I can't say I'm thrilled but whatever is going on will get taken care of.

The one thing I am happiest about is I am now 83lbs lighter. What a wonderful feeling it is. I can't wait to see what even more feels like after surgery.

Yesterday I had my IV filter put in. I did ok .. but had a momentary panic when they covered up my head to drape off all the areas except for my neck. The worst part of the whole thing was the Novocaine injections. It felt like my clavicle was being ripped out. Thank God it was only momentary and the effects of that and the drugs they were giving me through another IV kicked in about the same time and I went nite nite. The Docs called me a cheap date. Most people just get relaxed from the drugs and I fell off to la la land.

I have been pretty anxious about the up coming surgery but this procedure was a bit like a dry run. I have to say I am feeling a bit calmer about the whole thing. I know where I will be going and who I will be seeing. I have been told by many in the Hospital I am in good hands and that my surgeon has hand picked all his crew. I think he is wonderful and has fabulous credentials, so yes I put my life in his hands. I feel secure he will take good care of me.

Today is my last day of my shakes and a meal. Tomorrow is just clear fluids. Then clear fluids for a week after surgery and pureed foods for a month after that. I'm actually looking forward to it. I can have yogurt and cottage cheese again. I have been missing them. *wink*

This will be my last post for a while. I will be back after I am home and able to sit comfortably at the PC again.

Friday, January 23, 2009

4 Weeks and Closing

My visit with my Surgeon went ok other than I found out I now have to have a filter put in my neck 3 days before surgery. It's a precaution in case I should throw a blood clot in my legs after surgery.

The filter is a small catheter with a catch mechanism on the end that is inserted in my neck through my jugular vein. The will be fed down past my heart and lungs. It will then be a barrier if a blood clot shows up. If it starts to travel it will prevent it from getting to my heart or lungs which of course wouldn't be good.

Needless to say I'm nervous about it. But, the Doc said it will come out a month after surgery .. when I am out of the danger zone time period. I guess it's better than taking a chance with a clot. Just another thing to worry about I suppose.

Speaking of things to worry about, yesterday I had a visit with an Endocrinologist. After examining me he was concerned about my Thyroid ... or whats left of it. I had the left lobe removed 10 years ago and he said it's acting strange when I swallow. So, guess what ... more testing *sigh*

I have to go Monday for an ultra sound of the remaining Thyroid. Again, this is precautionary. Given my family history of Thyroid cancer he wants me to be checked. My Mom died from Thyroid cancer and my Grandmother had Thyroid issues all her life. My Mom's sister and her daughter suffer from issues. My cousin has sever Hyper Thyroidism. She is thin as a rail and looks like she will break in half any day now. My left lobe was removed due to two large growths which ended up being benign thank God. So now I have to worry if I am having issues again or if its just acting weird because there is only a portion left. I'll know after Monday.

As of today it's 4 weeks until my surgery. Time is flying and I'm so nervous and excited all at the same time.

I have a couple more preliminary Doc appts before the surgery and my weekly checkup and that's it.

Before you know it I will be on the way to my new life.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Day of pre-surgery testing is over .. Finally

What an ordeal. I was up, showered, dressed and out of the house by 7am and on my hour long journey to the hospital. Luckily my sister went with me. I don't know how I would have handled it had she not been with me. I really needed the moral support and the physical help. The hospital is so massive I needed a wheelchair to get from appt. to appt. she did all the driving.

The first order of business what a chest x-ray. That was the easy part. I then had an ultra sound of my Gall Bladder, Kidneys and Liver. Then it was on to an Upper GI series to make sure my swallowing and digestive tract was in good order. That was all fairly easy. But then it was the one I was dreading. The Blood Gases.

Until you have had a 3 inch needle inserted into your wrist to find your artery I can't fully explain and describe the excruciating pain this causes. After the poor techs 3rd attempt I was in tears and shaking. I did forewarn her I was not an easy stick. I had one of these about 6 years ago and it was just as unpleasant then. A specialist was called to get the goods. So sure as anything a specialist had to be called again. He was very sweet and made a joke that the tech did a nice job getting the first patient of the day crying. I was hyperventilating a bit because not only was I dealing with the pain but the anxiety of having to be stuck in the wrist again. He decided to go into my upper arm to find an artery. Veins are all over the place .. Arteries aren't so easy to find. He was able to get the needle in the right spot the first time thank goodness. After that episode I imagine surgery will be a breeze!

I got to tour the Wellness Center which offers pool therapy and a gym for after surgery. The pool looks amazing. I really am looking forward to being able to get in it's deep heated goodness.

I had a visit with the Nutritionist who gave me the run down on what I can have the first week after surgery and then what will happen for a month after that.

Clear liquids then Pureed food for a month. No ifs, ands or buts. After that I will gradually increase items into my diet and see how my system handles them. It's a little scary but I am still very positive feeling.

I am also pretty excited because I can now get into a pair of jeans I haven't been able to wear for over 3 years. I just about cried I was so happy. With in the next two weeks I expect to break the 50lbs lost mark. I feel so good about things and my body is already starting to feel better. I can't wait to see how I will feel when I have lost a substantial amount.

I have to go meet with my Surgeon tomorrow and get more shakes so I will have a new total after that visit. I'll report back with the results.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I made it through the holidays!

I stuck to my guns and didn't over indulge. I managed to lose 5 more pounds surrounded by goodies of every sort. So I am pretty proud of myself right now. This brings my grand total to 40 pounds gone forever just like 2008.

I had my first EKG today and I passed with flying colors. I have a good strong heart and was granted his approval for surgery. Only 2 more to go and February is coming up quick! I'm so nervous and excited all at the same time I can hardly stand it.

I made myself a treat tonight ... I don't usually spend much on groceries but I treated to myself to some portabellas and shrimp. It was so good and I savored every morsel. I think I deserve it since I did so well during one of the worst binging time of the year.

I was told I am actually a bit ahead of schedule of what the center thought I would have lost by now ... so everyone is really happy all the way around.

Here I come 2009 ..... so long 2008!