Cait's thread

Discussion in 'Sharing My Journey' started by CaitlynR, Oct 14, 2017.

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    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    Inspired by duckman, instead of a blog I will include my thoughts, challenges, and progress here. I have found that posting has been a type of journaling and is helpful. This is mostly for me but I do enjoy feedback! I am very, very, long winded when not specifically trying to rein it in.

    Today I would like to talk about....the Newborn.

    I am about 3 weeks postop. I have come to think about my surgically altered guts much like I think about a newborn human. In a way, the surgery killed my old system and in its place is a newborn as fragile and illogical as any baby.

    For example, babies are often described as getting their days and nights mixed up. The Newborn (NB for convenience) is only hungry at night and in the morning. Now, I can ignore the hunger pangs that I feel in the middle of the night, but actual hunger hurts. This also acutely demonstrates the difference between hunger and desire to eat, because I am literally arguing with NB out of annoyance. I am learning that having a protein shake right before bed can help deter it from complaining until morning.

    Speaking of morning. Let's talk about poop. I have never been good at it. Constipation is a way of life for me, since early childhood. When the surgeon warned me of increased poops after surgery, I expressed my hope that it would somehow help me balance out to normal poops. It may still be a function of not eating much, but I still only go every 3-4 days. However, these poops are like, normal! However, NB decides to time them like at 5 am, heralded by uncomfortable cramps. Not cool, NB. While we are on this topic, farts. My 8 year old son and my husband fart all the time. My old system hardly ever farted, so I had joked that after DS I would have my revenge. Not that I actually want to fart copiously, I have to say I am somewhat disappointed as I haven't even gotten to the fart level as my other family members yet.

    Fortunately for me, NB is pretty chill when it comes to handling actual food. Everything I've introduced has gone well, with one notable exemption. I am following Vitalady's recommendations. It means a lot of pills, along with my blood pressure and psych meds. NB is displeased. I have to take them so slowly, and there are so many, that a good portion of the day is choking down pills. Even taking them slowly my stomach feels...not right...a little painful and a little queasy when I take the pills. It doesn't seem to be correlated to a specific pill but the quantity, although I may revise this hypothesis with more data points.

    Finally. I am still recovering from the rebirth. Reading about other DS vets about immediate post op, it is not unusual. I do have to say that having group post op appointments with a group of people who had the sleeve (most) and a couple with GB, and only one other with the DS, just made me feel worse. I had to internally groan when a couple (sleevers) were saying they felt like they didn't even have surgery. Gah. I am doing better, but I am still sore on one side. I still take a nap during the day, and get tired from mild activity or even doing something cognitively stimulating. It is getting better now that I am on foods, and I hope in a week I will feel up to returning to work (plan on half time for 2 weeks). I hate how the DS is lumped in with other surgeries and pretty much every source said that recovery is 2-3 weeks off work. Yeah right. I think calling it 6 weeks would be much more accurate and help people not feel like a complaining wimp for there being no way in the world on returning to work at 2, 3, even 4 weeks out.
     
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    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    The three week stall. I have been staying around 255 (give or take 1 lb) for 2 weeks now. I feel like it might be breaking, as I had a couple hungry days and the scale is going down a bit. Time will tell. I am not discouraged, as this was anticipated. I’m still excited every time I weigh, which is a new experience for me.

    Prior to weight loss surgery, I didn’t even own a scale and haven’t for several years. Even when I was losing weight, it was met with a cynical and realistic view that the small amount didn’t matter, and wouldn’t last anyway. My philosophy was to not focus on a number, and instead on health. You can be out of shape and feeling sickly or in shape and feeling great, at the same weight. I have seen too often in my family and my therapy clients the destructive nature of focusing on the number on the scale. That’s not to say it didn’t matter at all. I am weighed every time I go see a doctor. I cringe and am ashamed when it increases, and have minor relief and almost a sense of irritation when it decreases. The irritation comes partly from the inevitable praise from the nurse and the sense of futility.

    I do not like people commenting on my weight unelicited. It almost always happens with weight loss, and the praise implies that it was completely my efforts (which I often felt weight loss and gain were influenced by my choices but certainly not controlled by them) with the subtle implication that people notice weight gain too, see it as my failing, and keep quiet about it.

    I am a person of ideas. I like concepts, experiences, stories, memories, emotions, debates, analysis, and so on. I am not naturally connected to the here and now. I try to balance this with mindfulness work and over preparing (so most things that need to get done are on auto pilot). I don’t wear makeup, my clothes are acceptable, fit my body and are clean, but are not ironed, not much variety, and are not super high quality. My looks are an afterthought. I am uncomfortable when people pay attention to something I consider less important.

    Anyway, the scale. The lowest adult weight for me is 235. I reached this largely through getting on metformin for PCOS and synthroid for hypothyroidism. I reduced carbs and did mild excersize, sure, but I’ve done that most of the time (when I wasn’t in a f it ill eat and be physically lazy period). Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the weight came back, and fairly quickly, and then stayed there, although at 10-20 lb below my maximum. My max was about 290. I stayed 270-290 for the past several years.

    Today I am 253. I am excited to think of reaching and surpassing 235. It’s just a number, sure. It does represent, however, something that actually means change in my life and not something temporary.

    I look forward to being cleared for weight lifting. I feel energized (but still tire way more quickly). I always enjoyed lifting weights way more than aerobics. I think I have to be over three months out, so it will be a little while.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  3.  
    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    Current reactions to the DS, 4.5 weeks post op:

    Positives/successes:
    • Modest weight loss, about 18 lbs
    • Hope for the future of my weight and health.
    • Can tolerate almost all foods I have tried, in small amounts.
    • No loose movements (well just once a few days after surgery so I don’t really count it) or excessive gas.
    • I am pain free, no nausea or vomiting
    • Back to sleeping well at night and wake up refreshed and energized
    • Overall my mood is great.
    Negatives/challenges:
    • Still have poor endurance, feel tired easily, mostly by physical activity but also am tired by mental activity.
    • More acid reflux. It is mild enough to respond to tums but is very frequent. I am scared to go on a ppi so am just having tums and hoping it will improve
    • Surgery sucked so bad. The immediate recovery (first two days) was worse than I thought and the pain lasted longer (over two weeks with pain with most movements). I am very motivated to not have any more major surgeries for as long as I can avoid it.
    • Short but fairly frequent (every couple days or so) periods (a few hours) of irritability or sadness for no reason I can identify.
    • Expected but frustrating difficulty getting down full amount of supplements.
    • Hitting protein goals is harder than in anticipated. This may be from expecting too much from myself trying to get to 90 grams. I easily make my 30 by 30 and most days make my 60 by 60 or close to it, but have never even gotten close to 90.
    • Feel like I should have lost more by this point. So many stories of losing huge amounts in the first month to three months. Is it something I am doing? Is it the Seroquel my surgeon’s team and psychiatrist really want me to continue but I know can interfere with weight loss? I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others. I know it is a marathon not a sprint, everyone’s journey is different, and so on. I still worry that this just won’t work for me well.
    • The restriction is part of why this works, but it is more annoying than I thought it was going to be. I usually didn’t eat large portions and always ate slowly (both my childhood family and current one teased me about this all the time how slow I eat meals), so I thought it wouldn’t be too much of an adjustment. I may have “only” eaten a small chicken breast and a cup of veggies for dinner (for example) but now I feel it is really pushing myself to eat half of a small chicken breast and two bites of veggies. I feel like I am eating all. Day. Just to get even close to what the protein and calories are supposed to look like. Food has become an annoying necessity. It feels so strange.
    • I feel right at the edge of dehydration almost 100% of the time. This probably more than anything else is frustrating. I just want to drink. I could never preop drink a large glass in one go like my husband can, but I could get three large gulps, wait just a couple minutes, and take some more. Sometimes I get a gulp or two in and feel that very specific uncomfortable and painful feeling. If I talk several sentences, my mouth gets dry and I need to take a sip, something that didn’t happen to me before. My eyes feel dry. I also was super upset and certainly felt like I was crying when my dog was attacked, but I had no tears. I try, though. I always liked more room temperature to slightly cool beverages preop. Now I like a huge amount of ice and as cold as I can get it. When at home I try to hold the glass often as I take more sips if I do that. I feel like I am doing everything I can to get hydrated but not doing great at it.
    So...it is kind of imbalanced right now. That’s ok, because I know the situation right now is not what will be the long term. I wouldn’t feel it was worth it if I stayed at this weight and still had blood pressure issues. I have hope to lose much more weight and improve bp. So I don’t regret anything. I try to not complain to anyone in my life about this so I am putting this all here. I also hope that others that may be in a similar place will know they are not alone.
     
  4.  
    southernlady

    southernlady Administrator Staff Member

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    One of our members had a system that worked well. She made up 8 bottles of 8 oz each of various fluids she could tolerate and stuck them in the fridge. She had to finish all 8 bottles before going to bed. But 8 oz doesn't look like much by itself and that was only one bottle every 2 hours for a 16 hour stretch of awake.
    Skip the tums, try Zantac if you don't want a PPI. Tums can easily lead to stones.
     
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    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    Ok, thanks for the suggestions!
     
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    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    I am now less than a hundred pounds from (the surgeon’s calculated) goal weight! The goal is 155. I’m also very close to being below a BMI of 40. 20 lbsdown, 5 weeks out. I still haven’t gotten updated measurements but I plan to do so this week. I feel like my stomach and breasts are smaller and my husband thinks my face is thinner. I am still in the same clothes, but I wear things loose so that helps.

    I had my first bad reaction to a food last Friday. My son finished a major project and I thought we would celebrate with frozen yogurt. While I knew this wouldn’t be healthiest for me, I thought a small amount as a treat wouldn’t hurt from a calorie perspective. I thought I did good, put a small amount in the cup and stopped eating when I felt full.

    I felt fine at first. By the time we got home 20 or 30 min later, I felt overly full. That feeling grew over the next 15 min, feeling super full and the nauseous and like I wanted to throw up. I hate throwing up and haven’t had nausea so far. I was able to avoid it. I took some anti nausea medication the hospital had prescribed and rested. I felt better in an hour or so.

    I am not sure what that was. I do know, though, that since then I give anything with sugar an accusatory scowl. I am certainly not tempted by any sugary thing right now.
     
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    Duckman

    Duckman Well-Known Member

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    I had a very similar reaction to the frosted lemonade at Chic-Fil-A - I wanted to vomit after a couple of strawfuls, it was awful
     
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    galaxygrrl

    galaxygrrl Well-Known Member

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    I did not have that reaction at all, but some people are lactose intolerant after surgery. Maybe it was the latose.
     
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    bearmom

    bearmom Well-Known Member

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    For me, staying hydrated was, and possibly still is (although for different reasons at over 9 years out) the hardest thing. I had concrete pellet poop only several times a weeks pre-op, and the DS has normalised me UNLESS I'm not getting enough fluid. With your tiny new stomach, you have to make it a conscious things for a while now.
     
  10.  
    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    There is so much I’m behind sharing, which I hope to remedy soon. For now, I wanted to share the picture representation of my weight loss to date. I love the visual as it shows the uneven nature, including the temporary increases, the stalls, and the rapid drops. I started at 270 the day before surgery and am currently 219. I can share other views if anyone is interested. This is using the Fitbit app which pulls data from the Weight Gurus app (and I use a Bluetooth scale that loads info into that app). 9E5301B3-F0A2-45FA-9CE6-3F75374E080C.jpeg
     
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    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    I’m currently around 207, experiencing a bit of a stall here, been here a little over a week. This is not concerning, although being under 200 sounds exciting.

    I feel I look so incredibly different that before surgery. I have a hourglass shape! I bought jeans that showed my shape and wearing shirts that are not tents and I am feeling (perhaps for the first time) that I can find clothes that actually look good on me.

    Depending on how you define the start weight, I am at about 55-65% EWL. My “ideal weight” is calculated at 155.

    Yet....

    I am feeling very close to where I am happy at my weight loss. This feels in contrast to what I read from most people here. I’m starting to feel there is no reason to get to 155 (but it wouldn’t be a bad thing if I did). I have met the goals I set out, which were to dramatically reduce my chance of type 2 diabetes, reduce or eliminate need for blood pressure medication, be able to fit in all seats, improve ability and amount of exercise for overall health, and feel better about my body shape. I am still not happy with my legs, which have always been very large, but that feels relatively trivial in light of everything else. Even though by BMI I am still obese, I feel like I “pass” as just a regular fat person, instead of a person with morbid obesity. I am in good company being fat in the US.

    I kind of want to move my personal goal to 180, away from 155, with an eye to 170 for some wiggle room. I feel like it would be best to lose more weight than I have (and am pretty sure that will happen whether it is a goal or not), but given how I feel at 207, I think 180 would be a weight my body can be healthy and I can feel good about it.

    In other news...

    I am slacking on my vitamins. I know! I am super aware of their importance. I need to figure out a better system. I still take them but am inconsistent. I am great at projects and deep diving on things and not so great at upkeep.
     
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    southernlady

    southernlady Administrator Staff Member

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    CaitlynRCaitlynR you will see Onederland before you know it. Great NSV’s.

    Don’t actively stop your weight loss...as long as your labs are in great shape, just ride it down. You may not get to the 150’s, it may stop on it’s own before that. But don’t stop it either.
     
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    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    Yeah, I am not actively stopping, but I am allowing a bit more of treat kind of foods. For example, I went out to eat for breakfast, and after eating egg and sausage, I allowed myself a piece of French toast (omg so delicious since I don’t have much sugar). I am also allowing yogurt, not carb free but finding ones that have fat and lower carbs, try to keep carbs on the low end like 15g or less per meal except for occasional treats like once a week or something then maybe can splurge a little but not go nuts, so like once a week have something with 35 carbs. I found Siggis triple cream yogurt which was heaven! It has 8g or so of sugar but only 10 or so carbs, I haven’t been allowing myself sugar, but feel like maybe I can have some things like that. Maybe occasional pieces of fruit.

    I guess....more moderation. Now if a month goes by and I don’t lose at all, I’ll need to change this. But I hope I can tolerate these changes which allow more choices. I don’t like denying myself stuff unless it is really necessary but am all about balance and moderation.
     
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    southernlady

    southernlady Administrator Staff Member

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    We didn't get this surgery to deny ourselves forever. But for the first year or so we are also teaching ourselves new habits, while denying ourselves the really bad for us stuff. But normal people allow themselves treats, they just don't go overboard. Normal (thin) people understand moderation. I don't know about you but my issue was portion size not actually WHAT I ate. Example, a serving of rice is a normal portion and for normal people it's perfectly acceptable but I would eat closer to 3 servings and having a metabolic disorder (diabetes), rice wasn't a good option for me even at one serving.
     
  15.  
    CaitlynR

    CaitlynR Aspiring Wizard

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    My problem has never been serving size so much. More emotional eating (ie I’m stressed out so I “need” a piece of chocolate cake) and eating for entertainment (both for boredom and baking interesting things). So, for large parts of my life, I would have a dessert most days, such as a piece of pie or pudding or cake. Also many of the meals were convenience, not so much fast food but frozen pizzas and such. I would enjoy celebrating the weekend with high cal stuff like wine and appetizers. So I guess it was overall selection but not quantity. Thinner people may eat two doughnuts to my one, but I’ll also have a couple cookies later and tortilla chips with queso with a beer with my Friday movie. Those calories add up. And honestly, I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t compulsive or mindless, it was fun. However that time has passed and I am fine with that. That doesn’t mean I don’t want some of the “fun” stuff in a much more limited form.

    Eating smaller amounts, and eating slowly, were things I was doing already (of course to a greater extent now). What my diet consists of has changed dramatically, even from the healthier diet I tried to follow much of the time. The lack of variety gets to me and I am not very creative with food like some people are. I know sugar is something that can be enjoyable and also can be a danger, because if I have too much I start to want it more. I figure part of the process is to see what foods I can eat in moderation and what foods are dangerous for triggering cravings.
     

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