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*