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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Delayed Gratification

Those of you who follow me on Facebook already know but I'm not having surgery this week.  There was some concern by the hospital vascular department and anesthesiologist assigned to my case.  They felt at my weight and with my history it wouldn't be safe.  They are the experts so I understand, I'm not even mad.
Today the surgeon got approval to do it once I'm under 600 pounds and I think I have about 40 pounds to go.  I will have my official weigh-in tomorrow morning and I'm setting a goal for myself, no matter the number, to be under 600 pounds by 8/31.  I'm going to bust ass to get this done, cause I don't want it taken away from me again.  I don't think I took it serious the last couple of weeks, it felt too easy, like this was too good to be true.  I should have know.  Everything works out as designed, and once the weight is off, not only will I have a head-start on my new life, it will make the surgery easier for them so yah, I might live!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Only one week away (or is it?)

So last night I posted on FB that I have to have an IVC filter because I am a high risk patient.  High risk because I have had clots in the past and my current weight is above the normal guidelines for surgery.  An IVC filter is a small metal filter implanted into a vein (artery?, ventricle?) that will prevent clots from travelling into the heart.  Great news.

Here's the bad news:  No one will FRICKIN TELL ME WHEN AND WHERE TO HAVE THIS AND IF I NEED TO STOP MY COUMADIN FIRST?  These doctors seems to think that I'm not sitting at work, freaking out about this.  And it's just a simple outpatient procedure, I know, but the timing can jeopardize this whole thing!

So now on to other things.  I was asked on one of the forum sites I visit "how did you let yourself get that big?"  And it's honestly a question that made me think.  How did I do this to myself?  When I was no longer able to find clothes in the Big and Tall store and had to start shopping online, wasn't that a clue?  When I stopped being able to go to public events because I couldn't fit in the seat, shouldn't I have noticed?

I guess it's just not something that was important to me at the time, I had other things that were a priority to me but all that's about to change.  Anyway, below is the reply I gave them, about my history, some of it you may know, some of it, you may have lived but either way, it's my story and I'm not proud of what I've let happen to my body but I'm proud of who I am.

I come from a single parent household where meals were the only times we were able to get together and "YOU BETTER CLEAN YOUR PLATE, THERE ARE STARVING KIDS IN AFRICA" reined supreme. My mother is quite obese herself and unfortunately for my brother and sisters and I, her bad habits were passed down. She worked as a waitress in a diner, and would frequently bring home hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, etc. I was basically trained to fry it long and hard then eat everything in sight.Growing up was tough but we lived in a very small town, there were only 30 kids in my grade all thru school so we all knew each other, and everyone knew everyone's parents; I wasn't picked on much until middle school. Then it got bad. Remember those desks that are attached to the seat? Yeah, I couldn't fit in one of those starting in the 7th grade and my school made a big production out of putting a "special" table in the back with a folding chair for me. Yeah, that didn't help.I tried losing weight then, the school nurse recommended it, the doctor I saw every five years did as well but when you're 12 years old, you don't really control what Mom buys for dinner, do you? Eventually I stopped caring what people thought and started reading books. I found reading to be my escape; I could get lost in make-believe and no one in my imagination knew I was fat.High School was a blur, I graduated at over 350 pounds and my most distinct memories are of having to wear two belts buckled together on my football pants and getting laughed at when I asked out my secret crush to the junior prom (I didn't go and didn't ask anyone to go to the senior one either).After high school I discovered alcohol and finally found something that made me fit in: if I bought enough of it and drank enough of it, people stopped caring what I looked like. I went to work for the state as a corrections officer at the prison and had to have a custom uniform made for me. The first one was two different colors so that was awesome.After a few years, making no progress I finally moved away from everyone I knew and went to work for a call center. Fast forward 12 years and I'm a director now, making almost six figures, got married in 2003, and just gradually ballooned to where I am now.As mentioned above, I tried to lose weight, I "know" all about diet and exercise, I'm very smart, I just lack either the willpower or mental tenacity to fix it for good. This surgery is only a tool, and one that I've come to welcome. I physically need something to stop me from eating (I have fantasized about committing a bank robbery so I would go to jail and lose weight on prison food).After surgery, I will not be done, it only gets harder after as I have to focus on specific diet constraints, getting enough exercise, and not screwing this. I want to do things I never have before: ride a horse, ride a go-kart, go skydiving, swim with my shirt off, have someone hit on me, buy clothes "off the rack", LIVE.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Still Alive

Well I didn't think it was possible but I've lasted the first five days on a liquid diet.  First, and foremost, I have cheated. I ate a can of beef stew thinned with water on Thursday because if I didn't I was going to order a pizza (I felt like I was starving).  I immediately felt awful and was in the bathroom all night.  I keep thinking about how this is going to work after the surgery and that I won't be hungry, I'm excited and I think that is helping me.  The need to eat is subsiding, in fact, yesterday I only had two shakes all day so yeah, I'm awesome.

Since Thursday I've been very good, and this morning I weighed in at 641 pounds.  For those of you keeping score at home, that's 25 pounds since Monday.

I had someone ask me if losing weight this fast was healthy and to them I say "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR".  I'm not losing weight, I'm dropping water weight, from the drastically decreased sodium intake of eating out three times a day with fast food every day that the "Murica'n" diet consists of these days.

As an example, here's a "normal" day last month, where I would typically east in excess of 5,000 calories a day.  WHERE WERE YOU THEN?  WHY DIDN'T YOU ASK ME THEN IF THIS WAS HEALTHY?  WHY DO YOU FEEL EMPOWERED TO COMPLAIN NOW WHEN I'M TRYING TO SAVE MY LIFE AND KEPT QUIET WHILE I KILLED MYSELF?

Ok, rant over.  Here's the good news:  I feel good.  I can tell my back feels better when I wake up in the morning.  Other than some stomach cramps yesterday this is the best week of my life.  I'm so thrilled with the decision this time around.  Last year I felt the same but in the back of my mind, I knew I could slip.  Now I know there is no choice.  If I eat like I did before I will literally kill myself because my new stomach won't handle it.

Also, I have discovered "Country Rap" music.  How did I not know this existed?   I have long been a fan of rap music, I love the beat and rhythm, maybe not the artists or content.  For the past two days I have been rocking Big Smo, The Lacs, Eric Church, and Bottleneck all day and am so happy.  These guys rap about things I can relate to: dirt roads, trucks, moonshine instead of bitches and hoes.  LOL  Here's my favorite so far, I think you will all enjoy it:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

12 days Pre-Op

So a lot has happened since my last post.  I have been approved for gastric bypass surgery and I'm going thru with it on July 23.  I am embarrassed to admit it, cause I feel guilty that I can not do this on my own.

Last year I began a journey that took me from 670 pounds, smoking a pack a day, drinking like crazy to a "svelte" 610 pounds, no smoking, walking everyday, going to church, no drinking new "me" in just a few months.

Then it happened, life.  It came back with a vengeance and reminded me I had problems.  I gained every pound back, I stopped exercising, I stopped going to church as often, began drinking more, ALMOST STARTED SMOKING again but thank God I never did (I know my sisters are glad to hear that).

Gastric Bypass is not a cure-all.  It will not "fix" me.  It isn't going to keep me from dealing with life or going thru struggles.  What it will do is force me to use food as fuel.  It won't let me eat a whole can of Pringles or a 16 oz steak whenever I feel like it. This surgery is going to save my life, I can feel it already beginning to change it.

On Monday, July 8, I began the pre-op liquid diet, replacing all of my meals with protein shakes and can have things like Jello, broth, sugar-free Popsicles.  Also I have to stop all caffeine so that means no more tea and coffee.  So far the hardest thing to deal with is the withdrawal from caffeine and carbs.  I've had a constant headache, and I feel worn down all the time.  I can barely keep my eyes open at work and am distracted, irritable, and impatient with everyone.  I hope this doesn't continue.

For the win, I'm down 15 pounds since Monday, back to 651 and would really like to be 625 or under for the surgery; every pound I lose now is one I don't have to lose later, plus I understand it makes the surgery safer.  I still need to get my blood thinners taken care of before surgery, will probably stop them a few days before but if my doctor doesn't call me then I dunno.

I will be out of work the week of surgery, they plan to keep me in ICU for 24 hours, just to make sure everything is OK then in a regular room for a day or two, SOP for the "morbidly obese".  The doc thinks I will be out of work for two weeks but ain't nobody got time for that, I'm sure I'll be back on the Monday after, besides all I do is sit at a desk.

I promised someone close to me that I would keep this up, and do better about making more updates.  We'll see how that goes, if I have something specific to share or whatever I will provide an update.