Saturday, September 12, 2009

First Foods

This morning I had the pleasure of eating an egg. Well I actually did not make it through the entire egg. Who would have ever thought that I could not eat one egg. Well I had some yogurt to go with it but that was the first food I have had since the 19th of August.

It was wonderful. I am eating again. yeah.....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

PCP Post Op Appointment

Well, sorry for not updating on Friday, by the time I got home I was bushed. My Primary Care Physician was so excited for my surgery. My official first weigh in was 274 lbs. She was so thrilled that I was able to show her my incisions.

After the appointment, my friend Kelly (who played my driver) took me on a run for some errands. By the time I got home, I was very tired and very sore. Thank God for pain medicine.

Well I have less than a week left of the liquid diet and am sooo looking forward to eating real food. I think my first meal will be an egg, scrambled. One promise I have made myself is to join the Y, and start to cook more. The more I cook, the more I can control my portions, and what I am eating.

My mom still cooks for 4 people, and we are constantly throwing food away because there is too much of it. So by learning to cook and starting to cook for both of us, will be better for both of us. I hope.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Recuperating Part 3

I was right, here come the visitors, Kelly was on the phone, and apparently, she was the one I dropped the phone on. Hey I thought the shelf moved, my bad. But it was Shelly that showed up at first. Then came Mom, and finally Kelly. They were all too cute. Watched me sleep, pee, and struggle to get in and out of bed. Food came during their visit. Food, glorious food. OMG, I was sooo ready to start drinking anything. Grape sugar free frozen Popsicle and water never tasted better. The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. Sleep, bathroom, walk, meds, sleep, bathroom, walk, meds. You get the drift.

Friday morning came with the rude wake up at 5:00 AM for blood work. Did they not see I was sleeping? Well, after the vampire left, I had to hit the bathroom and walk. OK, I am up. Well sort of, I spent this morning dosing with the TV on. Emily came in for a short visit. She was so proud of how I was moving. Yeah. While she was there, I was told I could shower. This was almost as wonderful as being able to eat yesterday.

Well, the best news of the morning was that I PASSED GAS!!!!! Ok, I know TMI, but with that I can go home and finish recuperating in my own home. Dr. Arreola's PA came in and started my discharge processes. I'm so excited. Kelly was going to help me into the apartment, and Mom was on her way, know all I have to do is wait for Dr. A to show up and release me.

Five hours later that happened. With a half dozen prescriptions, one last dose of pain killer, pajamas on, suitcase packed and wheelchair waiting, I was released from the hospital at 6:30 PM on Friday.

Now my only concern was how to sleep in my non-electrical, non-reclining bed. One bed rest and several pillows later, I was fast asleep.

The next couple days went by rather quickly. Getting used to a new liquid regime was fun. Broth, water, crystal light, sugar-free jello, strained cream soups, sugar-free frozen juice pops and, of course, protein shakes. Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Well I liked the strawberry at first, but can't stand it now. I am going to mix it in with the Jello just to get rid of it. The chocolate is not that bad, and the vanilla is still my favorite. Unflavored Unjury with Vanilla is very good. I am walking up and down the outside hallway almost every day. My neighbors think I am cute. (I can't climb stairs yet and live on the first floor of a split level apartment building.)

Sleeping has gotten easier also. I am finally sleeping normally, but still cannot roll over. I only have one area in my tummy that still gives my any pain, and that is when I am laying down. I have a ton of projects to keep me busy and the US Open in Tennis to keep me entertained.

The next step in this process is a follow-up with my PCP, which is today. From here on she will take care of my primary care. I see the surgeon again on Monday, the 14th, and after that will be allowed to drive. I have blood work on the 9th, and will be allowed to start eating pureered food next Friday.

I promise to enter an update of how my appointment went this afternoon along with my first real post-op weight.

Until then, Stay Safe

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Recuperating Part 2

Sorry it took so long, I have been trying to use my time very scheduled, but sometimes things don't go as planned.

Well after I returned to my room, I was able to relax for about 2 hours. The first time the nurse came to get me for my walk, getting up out of bed was the hardest thing. I had no problem walking, accept the Fooly bag (where my urine went) was dangling from between my legs. That was not coming out until after I was cleared to pass liquids.

Well I slept most of the first day. I was attached to my IV that had a magic button attached to it. PAIN KILLERS. I was allowed to push the magic button every eight minutes. For fear of getting addicted to pain killers, and the fact that I have a very high tolerance for pain, I really did not push the button every 8 minutes. When I knew my walk was coming, I loaded up on pain killers, but other than that, as long as I stayed still in bed, I really felt no pain.

After my first adventure, I learned a lesson, don't let the PCA dictate how you get in and out of bed. She got me out of bed the first time by lowering the bed and making me use my muscles and her. I found that by raising the bed all the way up, lowering the legs, I could get out of bed on my own. Lesson learned.

I did however, learn to push the call button on my remote, unlike my neighbor (who also had Gastric By-Pass). She spend the whole night calling out "nurse, nurse". I finally had them close my door, so I did not have to listen to her.

On my midnight walk, the nurse and I came to a realization, there was something wrong. I was nauseous and very, very dizzy. I could only walk half the distance as my first walk. So she notified the doctor, and the took my blood sugar level. 201. HOLY Sugar high Batman. I have never registered that high. Well here comes the Insulin. The Potassium Chloride I was on, made my sugar spike. So, every 4 hours I was walked, pee'ed, and poked. Then poked an hour after with insulin. What fun.

Thursday Morning, still very nauseous, and very dizzy, they came in to give me Antibody attached to my IV, and ended up pulling the IV out. That was painful, and the pain pump was attached to that IV. So since I had two IV's (one in each hand), it was just a matter of switching the IV. Right?

Wrong. The nurse was able to flush the line fine, but when she plugged me in, my hand started to swell. So before I could go for my ride to X-ray and my Swallow Test, they had to find a vein to replug me in. Good Luck Ladies. After a half hour, I was poked 2 more times and they finally had my hooked up to a new IV. Pain killer, here you come. I pushed the button before even moving for my taxi.

I did not wait long when I got down to the X-Ray area. Standing was hard, but I made it. Pushed button. Then the swallow test. If I were going to puke at anytime in the hospital, this would have been it. OMG, the liquid they had me swallow was the grossed thing I had ever tasted. I finally returned to my room, and before hooking me back up to the leg pumper (to keep the flow going), I went for a walk.

Crawled back into bed and slept until my phone rang. Here come the visitors.

Part 3 will be coming soon.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Well, It is Saturday night, and I am sitting in my own bed recuperating from my surgery. Let's go back. I had to be at the hospital at 6:00 AM on Wednesday. Did not get much time to relax. Checked in at information, then registered in the admission area. From there we (Mom and I) were sent to the second floor where the operating rooms were. We got comfortable in selected chairs, I emptied my bladder, and the next thing I know they are calling me to Pre-Op.

Got into Pre-Op, weight taken, vitals taken, and the questions started. When was the last time I ate or drank anything, what is my name, what is my birthday, what procedure am I having. Over and over and over again. I kind of got tired of answering the what is your birthday question. That one stayed with me through my surgery and after.

I got changed out of my clothes into a hospital gown, my vitals taken again. They put pressure wraps on my feet to keep my blood flowing there, and finally put in my first of several IVs. (yes I said several, [4 in all]). The pre-op nurse asked many questions. Most of them I could answer, but the "have you ever had a problem with anesthesia?" was a question I couldn't answer. She, along with everyone in earshot, found it amazing that I had never has surgery.

The anesthesiology assistant then came in to explain what was going to happen once I got in the OR. I met my anesthesiologist, and the OR nurse, and Dr. Arreola made a visit. Promised everything would go well.

It was time to wheel me into OR. I got in, and immediately there were like 20 people all around me. They started working on my Arterial line (my worst bruise). The last thing I remember hearing was the anesthesiologist tell me to take deeper breaths. The next thing I heard, was it all over and everything went well. I was in recover. I spend maybe 15 minutes (that I remember) in recovery, saw my mom, and was wheeled to my room.

My fan club was already there waiting for me. Shelly, Emily, Kelly, Mickey, and Mom. That was a room full. After a few minutes, they unpacked my luggage, and I shocked Shelly, because as out of it as I was, I still called off everything that was in my suitcase. Hahaha, drugged up to the gourd, I am still good.

Well I promise to finish this story later, but I need some sleep.

Until then, stay safe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Big Day

So tomorrow is the big day. I have lost approximately 12 lbs on the liquid diet. I must say I am a little nervous. Packing the suitcase, washing the clothes, and getting the final errands run. I have managed to drink 38 shakes with just water and coffee as the other things to pass my lips. I still have 4 shakes to go, but this was a challenge.

I never cheated though, and that is a miracle. I even had a dream where I was a giant burger (like those Whopper Jr commercials), and I was eating myself. But no food. That was the toughest thing I have had to do mentally. I am ready for this surgery. I am ready to be able to drink or eat more that just shakes.

After surgery, I am still on liquid for two weeks, but a little more options. Broth, jello, cream soups (strained), milk, water, protein drinks, and yes, coffee. More than just shakes. I am going to patiently wait for Sept. 10. That is the day that I can start eating. Pureed foods, but I can still eat.

Well, I promise that as soon as I am home from the hospital, I will let you all know what happened. So until then, stay safe.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 5 Liquid Diet

Day 5 liquid diet. I had a small headache yesterday after I got home from a birthday party for my great niece Maddie. I think the headache came more from looking at all the good food and knowing that I could not have a bite. It was fun though, she was so cute when she opened her gifts and got her own personal cake.

Well I am on day 5 of the liquid diet. two more days to go. This means I am only three days away from my surgery. I have lost approx. 5 lbs since starting. 5 pounds in 5 days. wow. I do recommend this for the quick lost to get into that tight dress, but not for a permanent diet. I miss food terribly. I have chewed a lot of gum (sugar free of course).

Approximately 72 hours until my surgery. I don't have a time yet, I will get that Tuesday afternoon. I promise to let you all know what time they are cutting me open.

Until then,
Stay safe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Liquid Diet Day 1

Today is the first day of my liquid diet. So far so good. I have found that chewing sugar free gum between my 6 shakes has helped curb my need for food.

So the liquid diet is 6 carnation instant breakfast sugar free shakes. They come in three flavors chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. So this is my schedule, shake at 6:30 AM, one cup of coffee at work, shake at 9:00 AM, water, shake at 11:30 AM, water, shake at 2:00 PM, water, shake at 5:00 PM, water, shake at 7:30 PM, water, and sugar free fruit pop at 8:30. I am mixing my water with crystal light sometime. It is a good mix up.

Last night my two best friends (Emily and Shelly) took pictures of me for my before picks, then we highlighted (frosted) Emily's hair, and went to dinner. They would not allow me to have my last meal before my surgery without them. I was planning on McDonald's, Wendy's or Arby's and we had Applebee's. It was wonderful. Not the food, but the company.

As part of my liquid diet, I am cleaning. It is a good way to keep my mind off the food. So, hopefully by the time my surgery rolls around next week, I will have the room completely cleaned.

7 days till surgery.

Till next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So, I am sitting here at work at 7:00 AM thinking and make a list of things that I have to do before my surgery.  Things like clean my apartment, purchase supplies for after, gas the car, make sure all the tire are at full capacity.  Get before pics and measurements.  Wow, I cannot believe it is only 2 weeks away.  Next Wednesday I will start my liquid diet, so I have only 7 days to get in those favorites that I will never be allowed to eat again because the contain too much sugar.  Things like funnel cakes, Milk shakes, peeps, and even cotton candy.  I bought a bag of those mini donuts with powdered sugar on them for breakfast this morning.  It will take me several days to eat them, but I had to have them.

I have started stock piling supplies also.  Carnation Instant Breakfast (sugar free) is my liquid diet, so I have 8 boxes of it (6 meal shakes a day), chewable vitamins, baby food (yes stage 2 baby food), pudding, jello, stock, and a couple ice cube trays (for freezing the stock).  The protein shakes have to wait until aftert the surgery.  I have been told by many people that my tastes will change drastically.

2 Weeks, 14 days, 336 hours, 20,160 minutes, 1,209,600 seconds until the day of my surgery.  WOW.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pre-OP testing

Well talk about pain.  I have a usually high tolerance of pain, but I had to have some blood draw this morning.  I don't have strong enough veins or findable veins in my arms, so I usually have the blood drawn from my wrists or tops of my hands.  The phlebotonist this morning was really clueless.  After poking my arms for 10 minutes, she decided I was not joking about the wrist/hand thing.  So she started with my right hand.  Well after rooting around for the vein, she gave up.  Then she went to my left wrist.  Again, she could not find the vein.  Had to root around.  Finally she asked for help.  Another girl came over and bang, vein found, blood flowing.  WOW.  I am haveing a hard time trying to figure how that one kept her job.

I sat there very patiently, but with the second try, the needle was a little closer to some nerves and I kept flinching.  One thing good came out of the experience, I sat there long enough that I was able to give them a very good urine sample.

Know I am nervous about the IV that I will have.  Will they be able to put in the top of my hand, or are they going to try and root around for a good vein in my arm.  

20 days and counting.  The excitement and nerves are beginning to grow.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Some realizations

As I was walking around the Erie Zoo yesterday on my daily walk, I was thinking, wow this process actually went quicker than I thought.  It seems just yesterday I was calling my doctor and asking for a referral to the surgeons office.  My friend Emily was so excited for me that she even bought me a book to read on the subject just days after my decision.  And now I am only 3 weeks away from the reality of it.

21 days.  I wonder if the animals at the zoo that have come to recognize me, we know who I am when I have lost all my weight.  I hope so, I have come very used to the llama and swans coming to greet me.  And I love that the giraffe sticks his tongue out at me everytime I stop to say hi.  Even a couple of the big cats know who I am.  Yes I spend that much time at the zoo.  Memberships are wonderful for that.

I have started to think about how much I will change and the entire new closet I will have to buy.  That will be fun.  As you can tell I am excited.

Testing tomorrow, I will let you know how that goes.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Consent signing

All the consent forms have been signed, and I am going to participate in a research program that they are doing. It is going to take 5 years of my progress, but I am really interested in how the post op progress goes.

I also have my pre-op instructions. Liquid diet starts on August 19. 6 carnation instant breakfasts a day (sugar free). Three for meals and three for snacks. The only thing I find wrong is that I have to use 1% milk. GROSS. I drink Skim. But with it being flavored, I can and will do it. No food can pass my lips during that time. WOW...writing that just hit me, no food. I will become very crafty during this time to keep my mind off food. I can also only drink one cup of coffee a day. Thank goodness I have cut out the caffeine.

Well I will let you know how the diet and pre-op stuff goes.

Till tomorrow, 23 days until my surgery

Sunday, August 2, 2009

All messaging check

The countdown begins

24 Days till my surgery.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to sign all my forms and get the pre-op directions. I have already started to stock up on the carnation sugar-free mix for the liquid diet. I will also start to grind my meds into powder for after my surgery.

My friends took me out last night to help me celebrate the good news. We hit the horse races and casino here in Erie. I ate like a pig, and it felt good. I also drank a fishbowl margarita. That is a margarita in a gold fish bowl. It was awesome. I am looking forward to many fun nights like that in the next couple weeks.

I am so looking forward to many nights after the surgery (minus the alcohol), that will be just as fun.

Friday, July 31, 2009

So it begins

Well, get ready for this blog to get very active. Yes you guessed it, my approval finally came through. My surgery has been scheduled for August 26th, and I have my signing and pre-op appointment on Monday.

I promise to let you know all the juicy details then. It is very late and I am very exhausted.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I am still waiting

Well, it has now been almost 8 weeks since my case was turned over to the insurance company, and I am still waiting on a decision. Does everyone who is employed by the company get to read my file? Do I have to wait for it to be translated to every language so everyone in the world can read it? What in GOD's name is taking so long?

To be honest, the girl at the Dr's office has no clue. Every time she calls, they tell her that the case is still in review.

They must be reviewing only one letter at a time. I will pass along the decision, as soon as I get it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just Checking In

Well yesterday, after playing phone tag for four day, finally talked to the insurance coordinator at the Dr's office. Yes, you guessed it, I am still waiting.

She said that my case was still in review, but that they got the needed weight history for the company. She promised to let me know as soon as she does, I think I can't take the wait.

I just want to know yes or no. That way I can start planning the next step: Surgery or Appeal.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Still waiting

Well it have been almost two weeks since I have heard from the Surgeons office. I will be calling tomorrow to see if they have heard anything. I really wish to get either a yea or a nea, so I can plan the next step.

I hate not being able to plan any summer activities.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Wait Continues

OK, I heard from the Doctor's office. Now I have to wait some more. Apparently, the insurance company wants a detailed weight history. I was afraid of this, but the girl at the office said that there idea of detailed and my idea of detailed are two different things.

I think detailed as my weight every year for five years. Their idea of detailed is what did I weigh five years ago. So I am semi-confident that my records from my old physician will be fine. That with a note from my pcp explaining that I just started seeing her last year.

Until then,

Stay safe.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Wait

Ok, I know it has been a while since I have posted and I have a lot to catch you up on. Right now, I am waiting for the Insurance Company to get back to the Dr's office with either my approval or an initial denial. I turned my case over for submission on May 15, so I am not going to call the Dr until Friday.

What has happened since the last time I wrote, well, a lot. On March 9th, I was poked, prodded and pictured. I had most of my testing done on that day. It started with my checking into the hospital for out-patient procedures. My first appointment was the lung test. I had to prove that my lungs were strong enough to handle all the ventilators.

Then the ABG test. Ouch. That is the Arterial Blood Gas test. The stuck a big needle into the artery on my left wrist. The actual taking of blood did not hurt, it was the pressure stopping the artery from bleeding out into my arm that hurt. I mean really hurt. I had a bruise there for over 2 weeks.

Then I had to wait for my turn with the X-rays. I had to have three chest x-rays. That was not painful at all, but the wait was well, you know. The final test of the day was a quick EKG. It took longer to set me up that to actually run the test.

I as in and out of the hospital in under 3 hours. And I took the day off of work for this? Well, I got to go walking, took myself out to lunch and then enjoyed a nice nap in the afternoon.

That ended almost all of my testing. I had blood work to do, and another lung test. Both were done at the ACL clinic in Erie. After all my testing and meetings and doctor appointments, I feel really good about this decision. Now it is a waiting game.

I have been trying to keep active in the process. I am walking almost every day. Either at our local zoo (I have a membership) or out at Presque Isle State Park. When I am at the zoo, I am doing about 35 minutes and around about 1.5 to 1.75 miles. The peninsula walk is 2.2 miles in 45 minutes. Thank goodness they track their paths.

Well as soon as I hear something, I will let you all know. I promise.

Till then, take care.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Psychological Evaluation

Another step completed. Most insurance companies and Surgeons require a psychologial evalulation of the patients before they ok the surgery and perform the surgery. I am no different. I had my appointment with they psychologist yesterday.

Well, the view from his office was amazing. It was the bay and Presque Isle. I bet it is spectacular during the summer. The bay is still slightly frozen, but that won't last long. He asked me several questions. Mostly background questions on my health and mental history. We did spend a good 10 minutes discussing my attempted suicide back in 1996. We discussed what I knew of the surgery, what I expected from it. I told him my ultimate goal was 150 lbs, but I would settle for anything under 200 lbs. I like the range between 180 and 150.

We also discussed my plans for exercizing. I am walking about 3 times a week right now for 30 minutes. I will be adding a day to that, I am also looking into purchasing an ellipical machine. He gave me great advice on that. A lot of the appointment was similar to sitting down and talking with my PCP for the first time. He was very relaxed and very nice.

When he was done interviewing me, I had to take a test to determine my Mental Acuity. 165 True or False "You crossed the Atlantic over 30 times last year" and "I am answering these questions in a way to make me look good."

Well after all 165 questions were done, my appointment was almost over. He explained that his report would be sent to my surgeon in about a week with his recommendation. I don't see there being a problem, I know what to expect from the surgery, have plenty of help and lots of support.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Nutritionist's Group Session

I really should have posted this last week. The appointment was actuall a week ago today. I was just a little under the weather and didn't really feel like it. All better now. My surgeon requires anyone have Bariatric surgery to have two meetings with a nutritionist. One is a group session, and one is one on one. My one on one is in three weeks.

Well there was four of us for this one hour meeting. Heidi, who is the nutritionist, went over several things that we will have to adjust to with our new bellies and our new diets. She advised us on what kinds of vitamins we would need to be taking following the surgery. Where to get them, and what additional supplements would need to be taken. Most of the vitamins taken immediately following surgery, along with all other medications, must either be chewable or ground up.

She suggested the we start a food journal, which I already have. I do, however, need to make a few adjustments to my journal. Which I will do, when I start my new book on March 11. Three months down already. She also suggested that we keep physical activity mentioned in the journal. Any exercise we do. That way we can easily keep track of that.

I have to give up Caffeine!!!!! God No!!!!...Ok, a little exaggeration, because I knew this step was coming. As of Sunday, March 1, I have cut my regular coffee with Decaf. Half and half for the next month. On April 1, I will cut it to 3 parts, 1 part caf, 2 parts non caf. Hopefully by May 1, I will be drinking Decaf. Decaf for the next year.

The only other major change I see happening is the "no drinking while eating" change. Because you can wash away needed nutrients, you should not drink while eating after this kind of surgery. This is something else that is going to take me a couple months to get used to. They call it the 30 rule. No drinking for 30 minutes before the meal, take up to 30 minutes to eat the meal, and no drinking for 30 minutes after the meal. 90 minutes without a drink. I think the only time I do that now is when I am sleeping.

The rest of the information was basically portion control, and common sense stuff. Stay hydrated, exercise, no sugar, test the foods. You may be able to eat stuff you could not eat before and there will be things you love eating now, but will not be able to tolerate afterwards.

I am really looking forward to my one on one with Heidi to see how far I have to go.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Bariatric Surgeon

Well, yesterday was my initial appointment with Dr. Arreola, my Bariatric surgeon. It started as a very windy morning. My straight shot the doctors office, turned into a winding road trip to the dock, where Emily was waiting patiently for me. At one point, sitting at the corner of State and the Bayfront, I thought my car was going to be flipped over by the wind.

Emily and I were the first ones to check in to the doctors office. There were only three of us in the group, so this was a really quick morning. First, there was the weigh-in. 295.5 at the doctors office, with a BMI of 45. They did some measurements, thank God I did not pay attention to that. But I will be taking measurements this weekend. This way I can track everything that is changing.

Well after we were all done with the measurements, we had to wait for the third person to come in. She and her husband got lost. They are from the Oil City area, and had a problem finding the Hamot Medical Center complex, which is where the office is located.

After they arrived, the insurance person came in and gave us our notebooks. There is a ton of information in them, including the post surgery diets. That I am not looking forward to. Most importantly, she went over the fact that we each need to do everything we possibly can to make sure we have all our information for her. She explained that insurance companies will do anything to deny this surgery, so if we cover all our bases, we are certain to get in. I have a food journal, and three of my six required PCP visits out of the way. WooHoo Halfway there.

When she was done, I got to sit and talk to the other two patients for a couple minutes. Dr. Arreola was affected by the wind storm also, and running late. There was one lap-band patient among us, and that was interesting to hear how that was done.

Dr. Arreola finally arrived and went right into explaining to us the procedures. He started with the Lap-Band and then the Gastric By-Pass. Even seeing the drawings on the white board, I think my stomach dropped when he explained the By-Pass procedure. He showed us the little tool that is used to staple and cut the pouch out. I don't know it I can do this after that. Wow I don't want that foreign thing in me. But then he said the magic numbers 60-80%. Most patients who have this surgery and follow the rules loose 60-80% of their excess weight. For me that is 90 - 120 lb. I am shooting for the 80% range. That would put me at a weight of around 175. Not bad for me.

We then had our personal consultations with him. I went first because I signed in first. He checked my heart and lungs. He guessed that used to be a smoker. I told him it had been almost 10 years since I quit and my 10 year anniversary was this year in August. He also asked about my heart murmur, and I told him that my Echo cardiogram came back negative for major defect. One less test for me now. Yeah.

We also talked about my snoring and my sleep study. I had a few questions for him about my blood work and the vitamins I took. Then he examined my belly button. I found that funny, until he told me that was there the major work was done from. When he was all done, he got which surgery I wanted and then order the rest of my tests.

I was finally done. Now I have three months to get all my tests and results to him. I would like to be able to call the office after my vacation in May and tell them I am ready. That would put my surgery in July. As long as I can take my mini-birthday vacation on the 10th, I will be fine.

I am now waiting for my packet from the office with the rest of my testing, so until then, keep warm, and dry and stay happy.

Happy St. Valentine's Day, btw. I forgot that is what today is (I started this on the 13th, but am actually posting on the 14th).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Third Appointment

OK, I am sitting here on Thursday morning, thinking about today. I have my initial appointment with my surgeon today. I realized that I failed to report on my third required PCP appointment. Well another 2.5 lbs lighter, my blood pressure is back to normal, and she thinks I am going to be very successful at this.

Dr. D told me she was so proud of the fact that I have started a food journal. I am tracking what I eat, not the measurements yet, but just what I eat. I also started to walk. On Saturday, after grocery shopping, it took me 45 minutes to bring the groceries into the apartment. By the time I was done, I felt like I had had a really good workout.

On Sunday, the weather was finally cooperating enough to take the Christmas Decoration back up to storage. That was another work out.

I have today off, so I am going to take a walk sometime this afternoon, probably in our mall, and that will be three days this week. On to next week.

At 8:00 AM, Emily and I will be sitting in the surgeons office getting the initial visit out of the way, and starting the main process. I will be scheduled for all sorts of tests, and will have three more PCP required visits to complete, then, hopefully by mid-May will be putting in for Insurance Company approval.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Conversation of Idiots

So last night was my first support group meeting for my Bariatric Surgery. It was not at all what I expected. For starters neither Drs Arreola or Ali were present. So they had one of their office staff cover for them. She did a great job considering she really wasn't expecting to do it.

Emily went with me, we actually had a very lovely dinner before, just the two of us. She was so funny. She warned me about the way some people act at these meetings. She was right. Some of the patients or patients-to-be were extremely rude. They were holding loud conversations while Jen (the staff member) was trying to talk about the surgery.

You know how every group has its know-it-all, well we did. What stunned me was it was not an Angel (someone who had had the surgery). This was a person that had not had the surgery yet. She was answering questions without give Jen a chance to answer. I wonder if she interrupts the doctors like that also. Emily kep getting more and more aggitated. This woman was answering everything.

I will admit there was a time I wanted to ask this woman to let someone else speak, but suprisingly she did answer some of my questions.

Jen did ask some of the Angels present to speak about their experiences. Another woman got up to speak, I think (but don't quote me on that) her name was Joyce. She told a really short story in a really long time. She could not stay of subject. She would mention one of her goals, then go off on a ten minute story about something to do with. I kept thinking "get on with the subject, I have already heard 10 times that you volunteer every where." Finally, Jen and I convinced Em to speak. And would you know it this Joyce interrupted her several times. Finally Emily just very politely said "excuse me," cut her off and went on with her advice.

The meeting ended early. Without the doctors there was almost a free for all. Hopefully one of them will be able to be at the next meeting. I understand that there is a very detailed presentation and a movie that is shown. I know that Dr. Arreola had a surgery, so that is why he was not there. I just hope that next months meeting is run a little smoother.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

6 more weeks of winter

So, tomorrow is my first support group meeting with the Dr's office and others who are going through this process. Emily and I are going to meet for dinner first, then head over. It is kind of scary. I mean up to now it has been the waiting game, but now, I actually have to start doing things. My third Drs appt is next Tuesday, then my initial appointment with the Surgeon to get all my tests set up and my insurance approval started. Wow, things are going to start moving really fast.

I promise to let everyone know how the support group meeting went.

Until then,

Lori Anna

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Appointment #2

Well today was my second appointment with my PCP for the mandatory 6 months of Physician supervised weight loss program. I dropped 5.5 lbs of just keeping a food journal and watching what I eat. My doctor did answer the most important question of all, yes, the A.H. I used to go to sent over all my records, so the medical history should not be a problem.

I am over relieved with this news. I promised to start walking more and eating better. My BP was still elevated, but my blood sugar level is just perfect. My pulse is good, and everything else seems to be good.

My next major appointment is my sonogram scheduled for January 30th. This will be the second one of these I have had. The first was very uncomfortable. Have you ever drank a liter of water and then had someone press down on your blatter for over a half hour. I could not wait to, well you know. I have to do that again in 2 1/2 weeks.

My food journal is one month old, and I have found that I really do eat junk food. The first week is nothing but junk. I mean I eat a good healthy breakfast, then junk for lunch, and an attempt at a balanced dinner. Candy and chocolate are my down fall. Addiction is a terrible thing, and I am addicted to chocolate. I feel like I have to have some every night.

That is a habit that will change. I will have to give up chocolate. I also have to give up gum, but that is another blog for another day.

Well it is 13 degrees here in Erie, with a wind chill factor of -1, so I am going to bundle up and check the forums, and try to get some sleep.

Good night all, and God bless.