Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I'm sitting in my living room and still experiencing a bit of mild after effects of anesthesia.  My endoscopy was today.  I was really worried about waking up during the procedure since that's what happened during my last ERCP and am happy to say that I didn't.  However, I wasn't quite out of it when it started so I still felt a lot of it and remember dry heaving.  It wasn't too long though that I was out like a light and woke up back in the recovery room, feeling like I just took a nice nap.  I have a bit of a sore throat.  Anyway, the findings were that I have a Schatzki Ring, Hiatal Hernia. Gastritis and GE Junction Erosions.  A biopsy was taken and the results should be in within 2 weeks.  In the meantime, I'm instructed to avoid Aspirin and NSAIDS.  I'm so glad that I already gave up caffeine, including my beloved Excedrin.  Before now, I'd freak out at the thought of not being able to have my Excedrin.  The truth is, though, I've had far less headaches since I've given up caffeine and just don't need it anymore.  Tylenol does the trick.

I also got a call on Monday from the surgeon's office saying they are moving my December 1 appointment to January 5.  This is because my psychological evaluation isn't scheduled until December 28 and my first Nutritionist appointment isn't until December 3.  I have to have psychological clearance and two visits with the nutritionist before my case can be submitted to insurance.  So they scheduled me for the January 5th pre-op group and will likely see the surgeon before that.  I'm starting to get a little anxious about this, I was hoping to have this done before classes start on January 18th.  It's also going to make it tough because the kids will be back in school, too.  I can get the boys on and off the bus, but I won't be able to drive my daughter to school (she is in pre-k) so she may miss a week or two.  This means I'll have to explain to her teachers that I am having surgery and I was kind of hoping to avoid that.  I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The 10 Commandments of Bariatric Eating

Yesterday at my weight loss support group, the nutritionist handed out a sheet with the 10 Commandments of Bariatric Eating.  There is a lot of good information, so I'd like to share it.

I. You Shall Include Protein At All Meals.  Protein rich foods keep you feeling full long after you've finished eating.  Good protein sources:  chicken, turkey, lean meat, fish, eggs, egg whites, nonfat/lowfat dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt), beans, tofu and protein shakes.

II.  You Shall Choose Solid Foods Over Soft, Mushy or Liquidy Foods.  Solid foods fill up your pouch and stay in your pouch longer than soft, mushy or liquidy foods do.  Solids:  poultry, fish, meat, beans, whole fruits and vegetables, etc.  Mushy:  ice cream, some soups, coffee drinks, milkshakes, etc.

III.  You Shall Not Eat and Drink at the Same Time.  Doing so makes your solid foods mushy!  Avoid drinking 15-30 minutes before and after meals.

IV.  You Shall Avoid Beverages that Contain Calories.  Liquids pass through your pouch quickly.  Translation:  lots of calories without ever feeling full.  Avoid soda, juice, milkshakes, coffee drinks and sugar sweetened beverages.

V.  You Shall Take Small Bites.  Take bites only as big as a pea, pencil eraser or a dime to lessen your chances of causing an obstruction and to slow you down.  Tip:  Use a baby spoon.

VI.  You Shall Chew Thoroughly.  Chew each bite 25-30 times or until the food in your mouth is unidentifiable.  This will lessen your chances of causing an obstruction.

VII.  You Shall Eat Slowly.  Allowing 20-30 minutes to eat a meal prevents you from overeating which can cause you to vomit and/or cause your pouch to stretch.  Try putting your fork or spoon down between bites.

VIII.  You Shall Stop Eating as Soon as You Feel Full.  Overeating can cause distress.  Persistent overeating can cause your pouch to stretch.  Tip:  Signs of fullness include pressure under ribcage, pressure in chest/shoulders and nausea.

IX.  You Shall Stay Hydrated.  Drink 6-8 cups of calorie free, non-carbonated, caffeine-free beverages every day.  Drinking adequate fluid prevents dehydration and constipation.  (Remember to drink between meals, not with meals.)  Tip:  Drink 2 ounces every 15 minutes.

X.  You Shall Take Your Daily Vitamins.  Nutrient deficiencies are possible whether due to a lower food intake, malabsorption caused by weight loss surgery or both.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm My Own Saboteur

I've been on this liquid protein diet for two weeks now.  Breakfast is no problem.  I'm actually liking my lattes and mochas.  Lunch is getting tricky, though.  I don't like having the shake for lunch.  I need some real food.  I get so hungry and it's just not cutting it.  I'm going to try some broth, and wishing I had some unflavored protein powder to put in it.  I'm worried that I'm going to continue hating the lunch time shakes and being so hungry, that I'm going to sabotage the whole thing.  It's so easy to just grab something and eat it when I'm hungry.  I don't think it's head hunger, my stomach is actually growling.  Between breakfast and lunch, I'm lucky to get in 300-400 calories.  I can't wait to see the nutritionist.  If I could forego the lunch time shake for a can of Progresso Soup, that would help so much.  I can't imagine doing this for another 2 months before surgery.  Two weeks, maybe.  If anyone has any suggestions, I am open to them! 

Here are the guidelines I was given:

Two options exist:

1.  You will be able to have four protein shakes/drinks per day, for approximately 1000 calories a day.  The rest of the day, you will take clear liquids only, aiming for 64-72 ounces total fluid daily.  Clear liquids include: beef, chicken or vegetable broth; coffee or tea with or without artificial sweetener (no cream or milk); Kool-Aid; Gatorade; Crystal Light; Propel; Popsicles; Jello and water.


2.  You will be able to have two protein shakes/drinks per day and one small to moderate meal consisting of a lean protein source and a salad or vegetable.  You must keep the total daily caloric value to 1000 kcal per day.  The rest of the day, you will take clear liquids, aiming for 64-72 ounces total fluid daily, as above.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Appointments Scheduled

I've been battling the stomach flu since Sunday.  This has not been much fun!  I did happen to weigh in on Monday, though, and I have lost 10 lbs.  So excited to see that!  I hope being sick doesn't mess up my weight loss.  I've kinda threw caution to the wind in the past couple days and ate things that weren't so great.  Plus, yesterday was my birthday so I sent my husband to get some Chinese takeout.  It did not sit well and I really regretted it last night.  I hope I'm feeling better by tomorrow so I can get back on track.  I've been slugging pepto and 7up like crazy.

My surgeon's office called this morning with some appointments.  I'll be having my endoscopy on 11/24, the day before Thanksgiving.  I will also have my bloodwork and chest x-ray on that day.  My psychological evaluation isn't scheduled until December 28th.  I was really disappointed to hear that it would be so far away, but I knew I probably wouldn't be having surgery until after January 1st anyway.  The only thing I have left to put on the schedule is the nutritionist, and she's supposed to be calling me tomorrow.

I started a twitter account to just post day to day unimportant stuff.  You can follow me at!/disappearingme2

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Second Sleep Study

I just got back from my second sleep study, and it was an awful experience.  I tried to go into it thinking positive thoughts.  They tried a mask on me and I sat for 5 minutes with it.  I immediately didn't like it but thought I'd go ahead and try.  I don't know how long I was asleep before I woke up feeling like I was having a panic attack.  I felt like I was suffocating, not because there wasn't enough air, but because there was too much.  I hyperventilated and even started to cry a bit.  The nurse came in several times to readjust because it was leaking.  I could not get comfortable at all and the strap on the back of my head was pulled so tight, it was very painful to my neck & shoulder muscles.  I slept even worse than I did for my first sleep study.

I did get the results from my first sleep study.  I had 2 obstructive apneas, 8 central apneas and 188 hypopneas.  Because of the hypopneas, my score was 31.  I'm so disappointed to hear this.  So, I'm a shallow breather.  I really wish they'd stop pushing this.  There is no way I can use that at home.  I guess I'm going to have to talk to my doctor and see if we can just wait on it because with it, I'm not getting any sleep.  I would think shallow breathing during sleep is better than no sleep at all.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ode to My Jeans

I currently have just 1 pair of jeans that fit me well.  I bought them at Wal-Mart probably at least 4 years ago.  They are Faded Glory Stretch size 26.  They have a slight flare on them and are so comfortable.  The problem is that I've worn them for so long that they have a small hole developing where my upper, inner thighs rub together.  I need a new pair.

I also have a pair that I got from Lane Bryant.  They are Venezia size 28.  They fit perfect when I first got them but now they are baggy and I constantly have to pull them up.  I want the exact same pair in a 26, or even a 24.  I also have a pair of Jeggings that I got from Cato, size 26, which are super comfortable.  They are a great fit around the waist, but they are too long so they bunch up.  I am a short 5 foot 2 1/2 inches.

I'm refusing to buy any new jeans until I absolutely have to.  I have a few pair of size 24 and 26 jeans in my dresser that are just a tad tight, and I'm hoping I'll be able to fit into them soon.  But, I'm going to miss those trusty old Walmart jeans.  Funny how I like their fit (and look) better than the more expensive ones from Lane Bryant.

I was talking to my dad the other day and he said something that caught me off guard, "Just don't loose too much weight, okay?"  Now, my dad has always been a bit critical about my weight, but in a loving way.  I knew that he hated my weight but he never made me feel bad because of it.  There was one time I had to go to the doctor when I was about 15 because I was having stomach & heartburn issues.  I remember him asking the doctor if he thought it was because of my weight.  That's the only time I really felt bad about it.  So, him asking me to not lose too much weight just came as a surprise.  I assured him that I will not be wasting away, and I'd probably lose about 75% of my excess weight.  My ideal weight is 130lbs, and I'll likely reach about 150 if I really stick with the program.  Weight loss surgery is not a cure-all, it's just a tool.  It's very possible to not lose much weight at all if I do not use the tool and stick with the plan.    There's no worry here, though, I will be using my tool the right way and I hope to reach my maximum potential.

Shake Recipes

Today, I tried two new shake recipes.  The first one was something my mom came up with.  We'll call it Irish Cream Latte.  She used regular coffee, but I used decaf and it was very yummy.  This recipe is a definite keeper and I'm already looking forward to one.  She found the Sugar Free Irish Creme Syrup at Gloria Jean's in the mall.  I didn't adjust the temperature or add ice, I just drank it slightly warm.  It was thick, too, which was a great added bonus, I prefer the shakes to be thicker.

Irish Cream Latte
4oz. Decaf Coffee
4oz. Skim Milk
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
Dash of Sugar Free Irish Creme Syrup

I also tried Pumpkin Pie in the Sky.  It's a recipe that I got from the weight loss surgery support group.  It was good, too, though not as good as the Irish Cream.  I may try it with milk instead of water next time to give it a little more body.  It had an excellent flavor, though.

Pumpkin Pie in the Sky
1 cup water
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

I will be posting recipes that I try under the new tab on top that says Shake Recipes.  I'll also rate them on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being awful and 5 being fabulous.  Each star represents each point.  I'm really regretting selling my Magic Bullet at a yard sale this summer.  It would have been perfect for making these single serving shakes, not to mention purees after surgery.  I may have to look into getting another one.

In other news, I took my twins to turn in their Book-it coupons at Pizza Hut yesterday.  I was a little bad in that I ordered a personal pan pepperoni pizza for myself.  I ate a salad first, though, and shared my personal pizza with my husband and still came in under 1000 calories for the day.

I go back this Friday night for my second sleep study.  They'll try the CPAP.  I'm getting very apprehensive about this.  I don't know why it freaks me out so much more than surgery.