Tag Archives: surgery

Post-Op Life: Righting the Ship

This post is going to be fairly brief, as things around these parts are crazy busy these days.  But the crazy busy is in a good way.  So I’ll do a quick drive-by update with bullet points, because it’s about all I have time for right now.

  • Gallbladder surgery went well.  My recovery was smooth and uneventful.  I did learn at my follow-up appointment that my gallbladder had stopped ejecting bile properly, and as a result, cholesterol and bile had accumulated on the inside walls of the sac.  As my surgeon said, “It was definitely time for it to come out.”  So it’s good that I had the surgery when I did.
  • I also learned that I no longer have a fatty liver.  When I had my gallbladder removed, my surgeon did a liver biopsy, as the lab work I had done on my trip to the ER in June gave him cause to want to poke around there.  The path report revealed that I no longer had evidence of fatty liver disease.  This is huge, given that on the day of my sleeve surgery a little over 2 years ago, my liver had 60% fatty infiltration.  My surgeon was thrilled to learn that my fatty liver had been resolved by my WLS.
  • Looks like I’ll be having more surgery this year.  UGH.  My right knee has decided it’s had enough of being patched together with a neoprene brace.  I’m looking at getting it scoped over Christmas so that I can have 2 weeks off my feet, and more importantly, 2 weeks with someone around who can help me!  And depending on what happens with my shoulder, there may be yet another surgery in the cards for me this year.  My left shoulder has decided it’s had enough and can’t even.  So I will be heading BACK to the ortho to find out what the hell is going on with my shoulder once I get back from being out of town this week.
  • Regain is real, y’all.   So for those of you who are early on in the process of having WLS, or who have just had it, please don’t delude yourselves into thinking, “I’m going to lose this weight FOREVER!!!!” or say stuff like “That’s ______ pounds gone FOREVER!!!!”   Or at the very least, don’t say those things without realizing that while yes, losing the weight as a result of surgical intervention is fast and seemingly easy, keeping it off is much, much more difficult.  I’ll be real with y’all–I’ve gained back about 35 pounds this past year (scary, huh?).  I know exactly why and how, and I’ve decided to go back to a devil I know to lose it.  I’ll be starting Weight Watchers online next week in an attempt to get back down to the weight I was at this time last year.  I felt good, I looked good, I slept better, and I moved around better.  I need the structure that the WW program provides because clearly I can’t provide it for myself right now.  Also?  All I have ever tried to do in my life is lose weight.  I’ve never known how to maintain it.  Losing weight is something I am good at; maintenance is not.  I’m scared I’ll never learn how to maintain a weight I can live with.  So in the meantime, I’ll be back to weight loss mode so that I can at least have a shot at feeling good about how I look and feel again.

Well, that’s all I’ve got time for…work and meal prep are calling.

-200 and DX: Gallstones

First, this is me in the first goal dress I ever bought myself, when I was trying to get my weight down from nearly 440 pounds.

200 pounds later, I can wear this without any problems.  I’ll actually have to have the bodice taken in a little bit pretty soon.


-200 pounds later.

Today I had a 9-month follow-up appointment.

It’s a good thing, too.

As I was talking with the PA about how I’d been feeling, I was having the same abdominal pains I’d had earlier in the week:  dull, intermittent pain under my ribcage on my right side.

He said, “It’s good that you are here.  Let me go get the doctor.”

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Getting Antsy

I am nearly two weeks out from surgery and I’m starting to get antsy.

Daily, I fight the urge to step on the scale to see if it will move in the downward direction.  Before surgery, I promised myself I’d only weigh every Sunday.  I’ve already broken that promise to myself but I need to renew it.  There is simply too much fluctuation in your weight on a day to day basis to weigh and not drive yourself mad when the scale doesn’t look as you want it to.  But I know the scale has to be moving downward because when I look at my My Fitness Pal journal, I’m taking in just shy of 400 calories daily and expending way more than that.  And yes, I’m really trying to get in at least 600 right now, but when you are simply NOT hungry, it is hard to force yourself to drink ONE MORE PROTEIN DRINK, especially if you’ve hit your protein goal for the day.  Once I move to mushy foods, I’m setting my calorie goal slightly higher to account for the fact that I’ll be getting my calories and protein from food and not primarily protein drinks.

The Dermabond on my incisions is starting to peel off a little bit.  I need to call my doctor’s office tomorrow to see if this is normal.  I haven’t scratched at them or anything, but I noticed today after I got out of the shower that the Dermabond on a couple of the incisions is peeling up a little bit and I want to make sure this is supposed to happen, because some of the incisions are not quite fully closed up.  They’re itchy though, so this is good.  I just want the damn things to heal so I can go about the real business of exercising to accelerate this weight loss process a little bit.  That, and I want to build a routine before school starts so that it will already be in place.

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Sleeved at Last


We left for the hospital Monday morning around 7 am, since I had to be there at 7:30 for check-in and pre-op vital signs and such.  We arrived and went up to registration on the 2nd floor, where I checked in, paid my balance and began the longest waiting process of my young life.

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Six Weeks

Six weeks from now, I’ll be taking the most important step to prolonging my life.

Six weeks from now, I’ll be getting a tool that will help me accomplish something I’ve never been able to do:  lose and subsequently keep off my excess weight.

Six weeks from now, I’ll have a tool that will allow me to leverage what I know about healthy eating and exercise to my advantage.

Six weeks from this moment, I will be minus 80% of my stomach.

And I couldn’t be more excited.


I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.–Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist

I am less than two months away from surgery and the reality of what I am about to do to myself is rapidly sinking in.

I am about to ask a surgeon to remove 80 percent of my stomach.  On purpose.

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My insurance company has approved me for sleeve gastrectomy surgery!   My surgeon’s office submitted paperwork on the 19th, and I was approved for surgery YESTERDAY–just one week after they got my paperwork.  According to the customer service representative at my insurance company, this is nearly unheard of.  I joked with him that they probably approved me so quickly because in my current state, I am costing them a ton of cash and this surgery will be cheaper for THEM in the long run!  We both laughed and he congratulated me.  I thanked him for giving me the best news I’d gotten in a while.

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The Decision: Why I chose the sleeve

Unlike LeBron James, I’m not taking up an hour of primetime television to discuss why I made the choice I did with regard to which surgery I am going to have.  I am, however, going to take up a little bit of the blogosphere to explain why I chose the procedure I am going to have because several people have asked.

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all great changes are preceded by chaos, or how I decided to quit fighting and go under the knife.

The last post I made to this blog was in June of 2012.  This was the last time that I really invested time into taking care of myself.

Since then, I’ve backslid in the biggest of ways–not really paying attention to what I ate, how much I ate, or how much I moved.  As a result I’ve gained back over half the weight I lost when I set out upon the latest of weight loss journeys that my adult life has been consumed with.

In January, I had a 6-month checkup with my primary care physician.  Because I am diabetic, I must go in every 6 months and have my a1c, cholesterol, triglycerides and other things checked.  I knew before I went in to do the lab work that the results would be dismal; I was just waiting for her to say them to my face.

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