Monday, May 26, 2014

Let's go on a mind trip...

That's how I feel about every day with this pregnancy. Don't get me wrong- I can not express how happy and how lucky I feel that I am pregnant. I can't not wait to meet this sweet little one. It's just a complete mind trip from someone who use to be overweight, then wasn't so much, and now you are suppose to gain weight and suppose to get bigger.

Has anyone else felt this way? My husband laughs at me daily when I get frustrated when something doesn't fit anymore. He lovingly reminds me that things aren't suppose to fit but somehow my mind won't wrap around that concept. It also doesn't help when I feel like I can eat more and more these days which then what it adds up to (in my mind) is not fitting in my clothes... not this growing baby.

And the scale... the dreaded scale. I've been really good about not getting on it at home but the OB appointments are the worse. It gives me a post-traumatic memory of my Weight Watchers days when you know you gained weight and then step on the scale to realize the horror of how much you gained. My doctor is a wonderful wonderful lady who keeps reminding me that I'm exactly where I should be. I just don't mentally get it. Maybe I never will?

Other than this frequent mind trap I'm in about weight, pregnancy is going wonderfully. Baby is growing and is healthy. I have no real pregnancy complaints other than normal aches and pains on some days. The biggest issue I deal with daily (other than my "fat mind trip") is my anxiety. I'm a pre-pregnancy anxiety medication taker so being off everything cold turkey sometimes is more hard than others can imagine. It has definitely made me regress to using my anxiety coping techniques but sometimes a good cry is the only thing that works. There is so much to worry about as a First Time mom. I can't imagine not having the support that I do from my husband, family, and friends. It's good to know that they are always these to listen to my ramblings :)

I thought I would end things with an updated bump picture. The first in the trio is me about 7 weeks along. Then 17 weeks. And last week... week 24 :)

Until next time!! Happy Memorial Day!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why, hello!

You know you haven't blogged in awhile when you have to re-read your last post you wrote from SEPTEMBER to see what you actually said. So much has completely changed since that point.

Revision surgery made life so much easier. I was happily no longer popping pain pills to control the ulcer pain and I've been ulcer free since surgery. I did experience a slight weight loss (lowest about 176) but I also relearned how to eat without getting sick so I really fluctuated at 179-180.

Now that the pain was gone and I had lost the majority of the weight it was time to really focus on one of my main goals for the RNY and the journey to a healthier/more fit life to begin... having a baby.   We had started to try to conceive in January 2013 but with the ulcer pain then ultimate revision surgery things weren't happening like we thought and hoped they would. I had no idea the science and pure madness it can create trying to conceive. It didn't help with everyone saying "You've lost so much weight, you are going to get pregnant on your first try!" After awhile, I became more and more discouraged and then our OB/GYN spelled it out for us... we need fertility doctor help.

What a blow to the self-esteem. I had done so much work getting my body ready for the miracle of pregnancy and life that it all just seemed so wasted. The very act of even TRYING to get pregnant was destroyed between by husband and I. We felt so much pressure to make even baby making session "count" and be "the one" that I believe we forgot what it was like to just enjoy each other. So when our doctor told us in November that fertility doctors was our next best step we both took a couple of days to decide we needed a break from the stress of fertility woes and decided after the holidays we would make our appointments and re-begin the journey.

Needless to say... we didn't get that far :) I am so very blessed and happy to report that I am currently 19 weeks pregnant! We are due in September and it is by far the greatest feeling and experience I have ever had. No fertility doctor or meds, just prayer and faith got us our beautiful little peanut that is happily moving around as I type.

It was definitely a much different 3 year RNY anniversary this year to say the least... March 17, 2014 marked the big 3 year date for me and I didn't celebrate it by getting on the scale to see my weigh loss for the first time. We celebrated by baby shopping :)

I hope to be able to update much more about pregnancy and how my WLS life will be combined. When I first found out I searched the internet hoping to find a blog to meet my needs about that and couldn't. So... here you go. I'll just start my own :)

So instead of my normal happy scale pictures or skinnier side shots of my body I'll leave you with my growing bump...

Baby at 10 weeks

Bump comparison from about 8 weeks to 17 weeks :)

Happy Easter, friends!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Thoughts on Ulcers...

When you've had 15+ endoscopies in 2 years after RNY I would say that I can self-admit to having an ulcer problem. I go through check lists in my head time after time about why this is happening and I don't get answers. I don't smoke, I don't drink, I'm allergic to Iburofen... Those are the main targets of ulcers according to my doctor. I was guilty of a Diet Pepsi every once in awhile or even a margarita 1-2x a year. I admit that but I have nothing to explain why 2 PPIs (Dexilant for me) a day at the highest strength and Carafate 3x a day shouldn't take care of ulcers.

They've tested me for the diseases associated with ulcers. Nope. They've gone to great lengths to try to figure out why the ulcers kept recurring and they come up blank. Have you, friends, had this problem? Any luck finding out why?

I can say now, a week past my revision/ulcer removal surgery, I'm feeling much better. The daily pain is gone and now I just have surgery discomfort pain. Revision surgery was MUCH worse than the original surgery (still not as bad as my septic gall bladder disaster a few months after the RNY) but still much worse than RNY recovery itself. The problem is that I have felt so bad for so long that this surgery discomfort gives me a fake sense that I can do everything. Then I end up overdoing it and being in actual pain and it wipes me out. Also, I felt like I was much worse in the hospital with pain than the RNY. I actually had to stay in the hospital longer too.

So what does it look like from here on out for me? Luckily I narrowly avoided a gtube this surgery and although my doctor has threatened TPN before I think I will avoid that as well. Right now my plan is to stick with my diet restrictions (I'm on a full liquid/mush diet right now) and start reworking real food maybe in another week. I see my doctor on the 24th and I hope to see the dietician as well. That might help me gauge when I can reintroduce real food. I'm in no hurry though. I want to heal and be 100% healthy. I also promise myself not to drink soda. It's not worth it- even if it was only 1-2 drinks once in a while. It's like that ex-boyfriend that you still want to Facebook stalk/text... he's so not worth it if it is only going to hurt me in the long run :)

One thing this has done is jump kick my weight loss so I thought I would update you with a scale photo and one of me recovering with my "nurse" Gizmo. :)

That's a 152.4 pound difference since the morning of surgery 2 1/2 years ago :)

Again, I hope to have my normal update pictures at some point now that I have made the commitment to be back in the blogging world but jeans aren't coming near my belly yet. Soon friends, soon :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

So much has changed... and yet... it hasn't...

I've been a bad blogger friend. I'm completely left you all in the dark in my progress and journey for quite some time. I really hope I can jump back into this and make this blog something great for me as an outlet and for information sharing to all my WLS friends.

I guess we should talk plastics first- I love my new arms. There is a place that he has to restitch because the scar went crazy on us but it didn't stop my new arms from enjoying- tank tops, tube tops, short sleeves, you name it- this summer! Here's a photo with a tank top on with my husband from our annual vacation to Florida.

The only times my scars bother me is the place that needs fixing and when I know they are major-time showing... but then I just remind myself that I could be NOT wearing a cute top and be wearing some hot long sleeved top in the middle of summer and then I get over it. :) If I feel up to it (you will understand if you continue reading), I will post some new photos for anyone interested to see post-6 month brachioplasty scars.

So, now to the meat of the post- what has happened over the past 6 months. Weight- stayed the same. I balanced between 182-180 for the past 6 months. I know all the things I can do to recharge my weight loss but I've been really good about where I am. It would also help if I lost some extra skin in the belly area but you already know that won't be happening for some time.

One thing that did emerge in January was a constant belly pain. It was a sharp, sometimes excruciating, pain in my left abdominal section. We did an endoscopy with my RNY doctor in January which showed ulcers. Gave meds. Rescoped in February- gone. She sent me to a GI specialist to look at possibly colon issues (sometimes pain and bathroom issued correlated) because pain was still there even though ulcers were gone. Specialist #1 did an upper scope and colonoscopy in April- showed ulcers again in pouch area (where my pouch meets the roux limb) and nothing in the colon. Another scope by specialist #1 in May showed ulcers again. They raised my Dexilant to 2 times a day. Throughout the time of scopes I am having major pain. Daily pain which was controlled by pain pills and then pain where I am rushed to the ER to help monitor the pain by IV meds. Then brings us to August. The pain sends me to the ER, ER runs a CT scan, and they show fluid in my absent stomach. They have no idea why it's like that. I get sent to the RNY doctor the following day and I get sent by my RNY doc to another GI specialist (#2) to talk about a double balloon endoscopy to determine where this fluid is coming from. From what the GI specialist says- the double balloon surgery is risky- too risky- for where I am as a RNY patient. So... back to the drawing board with my RNY doctor who decides we need to do surgery.
So on Monday this week I had a revision to my RNY- they removed the bottom half of my pouch where the ulcers were and recreated it, took out part of the roux limb that had ulcers, and biopsied my stomach. Luckily whatever fluid was once there is gone now which saved me from having a gtube. The hospital stay took me back 2 1/2 years ago when I had my RNY except the pain was much worse than what I remembered. I stayed in the hospital for 2 nights and got to go home on the 3rd day which brings me to wanting to update. Basically I'm back to square one which a full liquid diet and protein shakes.
Isn't this where we all want to be though? Back at the glory days of losing weight and going back to full liquids? I can't count the times I read on boards (both OH and Facebook) where we are all asking about the 5 day pouch test, how to lose the last 20 pounds, etc. While this wasn't my ultimate goal I'm glad I'm hitting back to the basics because I believe the basics are going to give me my best chance at a pain free life. I didn't do anything to cause the ulcers or the pain, I know that, but I also probably wasn't helpful to healing them. So it's back to the grind of protein shakes and full liquids for at least a week. It's amazing how hard getting 2 oz. of oatmeal down right now can be.
I hope to update you all with some new before/during pictures. It's been a minute. I can't even believe I didn't blog a 2 year post!
I'm back RNY'ers, WLS'ers, and friends :)

Friday, December 7, 2012


Hello friends!

Well, I've gone and done it. I had my brachioplasty about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Day of surgery everything went well. I had no problems in surgery, woke up fine, and pain was pretty tolerable... at first. It never got "kill me" bad... but it got bad at times. One of the worst pains was when the swelling became extreme. I've definitely have been able to compile my "do and don't" list for my WLS friends out there that are thinking of this surgery...


  • Keep ice on hand. I used ice almost every night for a couple of hours to help the swelling go down.
  • STAY ON TOP OF YOUR PAIN MEDS!! I took 1 Norco every 3 hours 24/7 for the first 3 days. There were times I had to bump up to two the first day or so but I truly believe my pain would have been so much worse if I didn't keep on schedule with the pain meds. HOWEVER, I am a sissy.... and do not tolerate pain well. It could just be me :)
  • Wear your compression garments/ace bandages and often as you can tolerate them. I wore mine during the day and let my arms "air out" at night.
  • Keep your arms elevated. I carried (and still do at times) a pillow around with me so I could keep my arms "higher than my heart" to help the swelling.
  • Invest in a good sports bra or the "ahh bra". A normal bra won't work. It is painful. Believe me. I tried many times :( 

  • Try to go back to work as quick as I did. I had surgery on Monday and went back to work on Thursday. BAAAAAAD idea. That first day I was miserable. I would take about 5 days off for this procedure- not necessarily because of the pain but because of the swelling.
  • Try to do everything you would normally do- we had a super busy weekend after surgery and I ended up making myself swell to a point where I thought I may have needed to go to the hospital because my arms were so swollen. I kept myself way to busy and didn't rest enough or elevate enough. 

That's all off the top of my head... now for the exciting part! Pictures! Keep in mind I am still very much swollen (these were taken after work the other day). Also, ignore the sports bra (see above) and the disheveled appearance. Using hair styling products and doing anything more than bushing my hair has seemed daunting these days :)


Yeah, I'm pretty excited. I can't wait to see what they continue to look like as they heal. I did go out and buy a blazer today for work/going out activities. It was super excited to fit into shirts without going up into larger sizes. :) I'm so very glad I went ahead with plastics!! It was worth all the pain and money! Here's my new blazer below... 

Well, I'm off to my post-op appointment with my doctor. Wish me luck!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

'Twas the night before PLASTIC surgery :) :) :)

I know, way to update you all on everything right?

After my last post I spent a lot of time talking to my husband, friends, family, doctors and decided I needed to hold off on the tummy tuck. It was time for me to think about what my #1 was which is definitely the arms. I do not have much of a tummy- it was really more of a cosmetic need than an actual need. My arms is an actual need. It affects me every day- buying bigger shirts to fit my arms, stretching out shirts I have to fit my arms, NEVER wearing short sleeves- much less tank tops, etc.

So... here it goes. Tomorrow is the day for my brachioplasty. I'm so nervous! I can't believe the day is here and I can't wait for 3-4 weeks from now when I can really look back and enjoy what I'm doing to myself tomorrow. I'm worried about the pain but I'm determined to stay "in front" of my pain with pain medications and relaxation. Have any of you friends had this surgery? Any tips?

And, because I promised myself this would be a full disclosure blog from the beginning... Here are the before pictures. Is it horrible that I am more embarrassed to show these than my first photos before surgery? (Ignore the hair and lack of makeup... it's been a long day!)

Wow... I can't wait to see the afters!

Good night friends! Send good thoughts my way for tomorrow!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Plastic Surgery TIme?

If you are on the Facebook WLS page you know that I recently went to get my plastic consult this past week. If you are as far out as I am it is a very interesting process.

I went ahead and decided to do a consult who did an awesome job on a tummy tuck of someone I know. I couldn't have asked for a better consult. The doctor (Dr. Christopher Jones for my Indy friends) spent over an hour with me and my husband explaining the ups and downs to the procedures I was interested in. Overall, he made me feel not only excited but ready to take on this next adventure. 

I decided on a brachiolasty (arm lift) and a tummy tuck. I spent a lot of time talking to my doctor about a tummy tuck vs. a panniculectomy. I do not have much tummy skin to get rid of. I've been blessed in that area so I originally thought that the panniculectomy would be my best option. However, Dr. Jones really walked me through about what I wanted and it turns out the tummy tuck will be the best option for me. 

Then came the price. $12,000 for both surgeries. I knew it was going to be a lot. I don't know why I got my hopes up so high. My husband and I have been talking about going to Mexico this January and I started having dreams of what those photos might look like with no arm hang or belly hang. And I just got my hopes up. I don't have $12,000- I actually don't have anything close to that price. 

How do you deal with disappointment? I will tell you- my first instinct was to come home and eat. Eating is how I made myself forget about the disappointment before surgery. I would be able to eat so much, talk a nap, and then a week later when I didn't fit into clothes it made me forget about the original disappointment. But, that's not me anymore and I'm having a really hard time facing this disappointment. 

Where do we go from here? I'm looking into several financing options but let me tell you--- it's hard to give someone $12,000 for a medical loan. I'm running into walls right now hoping that some nice company will lend me the money. Until then? I've decided I'm going to work out this disappointment in the gym, in the kitchen when I am cooking foods that are good and healthy for my body, and keeping those Mexico pictures in the back of my mind when I think about going back to the way I use to handle disappointment. 

I will keep you all updated.... cross your fingers for me!