An anxious heart weighs a woman down, but a kind word cheers her up. Proverbs 12:25

Monday, December 30, 2013

Becoming a Healthier Me - My Weight Loss Journey

I still struggle with seeing myself as the person on the left.  I struggle with the 25 plus lbs the doctor says I have right now that is excess skin.  Especially what I call my over-hang abdominal/hip area.  The weight loss has become slower the past few months - but it is still coming off - which is good - I know. 

I truly appreciate your encouragement and prayers.  Keep them coming!  I can loose all this excess weight! 

I am Becoming a Healthier Me!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Weight Loss Update

I cannot believe it has been a month since I have last given an update on “Becoming A Healthier Me”. 
Have you ever had one of those months where you seem to be going in different directions and just cannot get your mind to concentrate on one thing for longer than 10 minutes?  Well that seems to be me on a regular basis!  That’s what happens when you have adult ADD….

The weight loss for 2 months since the gastric bypass surgery is 40 lbs.  Total weight loss since January 2013 is 90 lbs.  I am now on my permanent daily diet where I can eat not just protein but also some veggies, fruit and some starch/grains.  It’s still difficult trying to get my entire daily food intake, but I’m okay.  I take my children’s Flintstone’s Multi Vitamins with Iron 2 x a day, and Calcium Citrate, and Vitamin D every day.  Every two months I get a B-12 shot as well.  

I was hoping to begin Water Aerobics this week at our local High School’s indoor pool, but the instructor quit and now the school district has to find another instructor.  So pray they find one quick so I can get into the water and exercise.  I love the water! It is so forgiving on the joints. 

With the weight loss I am walking/standing more around the house.  But a catch 22 – since my knee is damaged (from 3 years ago) and needs surgery (when weight is off) I am in more pain because I am not supposed to bear weight on my knee.  So this is a bit discouraging because I know that walking is one of the best exercises I could do but I cannot due to my damaged knee.  I have been cleared to do abdominal exercises so hopefully I can firm up all this loose skin – With so much weight to loose and my age I suppose I will one day be a “skinny” saggy skin old lady!  HAHA!  

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia and arthritis is no respecter of persons so they continue to cause me difficulty as well.  But my stamina is better with the weight loss so that is good too.  

The average weight loss with gastric bypass is 20 lbs a month, so I am right on target – not bad for someone who cannot walk for exercise, but I know it will slow down if I do not increase my activity so please pray the school district will hire a new instructor for water aerobics.  The have a good group of people who participate twice a week so there is a need (each person pays $3.00 each class, so it would pay for the instructor).  

Of course I could not succeed without your continued prayers.  They are truly heartfelt and I appreciate each of my prayer warriors.  God Bless You All!  

Click chart below to view full photo chart

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Insights Regarding My RNY Gastric Bypass and After Care

There are some things I have learned in regards to my: pre-gastric bypass; surgery and hospital stay; and post-surgery care in a nursing facility.  I would like to share my insights:

1)      Pre-surgery:  If you are considering weight loss surgery, you need to check out the various programs that are covered through your insurance company.  Not all hospitals have the same weight loss surgery programs.  Investigate the surgeons who perform the surgery, the hospital, the pre-weight loss program, and if they provide post-surgery support.  Read everything you can concern the different weight loss surgeries.  The internet is a great resource.  

2)      Something else I should have done prior to surgery:  Knowing ahead of time that I was going to go straight from the hospital to a nursing facility, I should have investigated various facilities prior to my surgery.  Just because a facility says it takes bariatric patients does not mean they know how to provide sufficient care for post-surgery gastric bypass patients.    A bariatric patient is just one who is of a certain weight that needs a special bed and other items for proper care.  Do not assume the insurance company and hospital has researched these facilities as well.  I suggest that you interview the facilities whether by phone or physically.  When you find one that claims they can care for post-gastric bypass patients, ask questions as to what they provide – especially the diet/food you will need while in their care.  If you find a facility, go visit the facility personally so you are not shocked like I was when I arrived at the care facility. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Becoming a Healthier Me Post Gastric Bypass – Part 4 - There's No Place Like Home

I sounded like Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz on the drive home I kept saying to myself, “There’s no place like home!  There’s no place like home!”  If I could have clicked my shoes to get home faster I would have done it right in the car. 

When I entered our house I said, “I’m home!”  Of course there was no one there to greet me (our dog was still at our daughter’s home – and the cats – well they’re cats!  Lol), but it was so good to say, “I’m HOME!” 

Jim made sure I was settled and had everything I needed before he had to go back to work.  I encouraged him to go to work because all I wanted to do was rest and sleep.   I laid back on my recliner but it’s not the same as my own bed; but could I lie down and then get out of bed by myself?  After all, this is not a hospital bed, but I was determined – and that was enough!  I slowly sat down on the side of the bed, then I leaned my body on my left elbow, then I lifted my legs onto the bed and lowered myself onto my pillow laying on my side.  I fell fast asleep and woke up on the same side 3 hours later.  Oh, it felt so good to be in my own bed – so good to be home!

For the first time since my surgery I had finally slept through the night – and each night thereafter.  Each day I continue to grow stronger, though I still have trouble at times getting in all the protein and liquids I am supposed to consume each day.   Each of my doctors are amazed as to how well I am doing – and so am I! 

Considering I have been living with multiple chronic health conditions for over 30 years, my decision to have gastric bypass surgery was one of some risks and at the same time could help me to become a healthier me.  For ten years I have felt that the risks would be worth having the surgery in order to possibly become a healthier me – but I had to get others on board with my decision – family, doctors and finally insurance company.  For those who are considering the surgery but one or the entire aforementioned are not on board with your decision, I say – PERSEVERE!  If it is Go’s will – keep praying –it will happen- All in His time. 

Yes, there’s no place like home to recuperate.  I am so appreciative of all the prayers, cards and words of encouragement from family, friends, and online friends; I know that it is because of all the above that I am healing so well.   You are all part of my becoming a healthier me. 

Stay tune for my next entry:  My Insights Regarding My Care

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Becoming a Healthier Me Post Gastric Bypass Part 3 – Post Surgery Care

After the surgery on Monday, June17th I was transferred via ambulance on Wednesday, June 19th to a nursing/rehab facility to continue my recuperation closer to home.  Needless to say the 1 hour and 30 min. drive was extremely bumpy!  Why don’t they make ambulances with better shocks?  I truly believe parts of me drop off on the road!

To say that my stay in the care facility was not the best would be an understatement.   The moment I stepped foot into the facility I cried and wanted to go home.  First my room was in the nursing home unit; then the next day they transferred me to the rehab unit (a little better).  Then I found out that I was their first post-surgery gastric bypass patient.  They had NO idea how to care for me nor could they provide the nutrition I needed; all making me more determined to get strong enough to go home as soon as possible.  Jim had to daily bring my nourishment and place it in the small ice cooler chest we provided so that I could receive my nourishment every hour to 2 hours as needed now that I have a stomach the size of a small chicken egg. 

I also had to be alert regarding my medications.  All meds had to be either crushed or in liquid form, then placed in either half ounce of water or my protein drink.  Physical therapy was also interesting as well.  I had to educate them as to what I can and cannot do per surgeon’s instructions.  They wanted to work on my “other” chronic conditions that I have had for decades.  I told them that I was not in there for my chronic health conditions and those things can be taken care of as an outpatient. 

It did not take me long to realize that the facility wanted me to stay my full insurance approved 30 days.  I agreed to stay until my post-surgery follow-up with my surgeon the following Wednesday.  If the surgeon said I could go home, then I would go home the next day.  The surgeon was pleased with my progress and healing and gave permission for me to go home to continue my healing process.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic!  As I returned to the care facility I happily gave them the note/ discharge papers from my surgeon.  The next morning the facility still wanted me to stay, but I stood my ground and I left late morning, Thursday, June 27th. 

Oh, it is so good to be home! 
Stay tuned for more updates:  There’s No Place Like Home; Insights Regarding My Care

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Becoming A Healthier Me - My Gastric Bypass Part 2

 “Happy Birthday!”  I looked up in puzzlement and replied, “What?”  The nurse repeated, “Happy Birthday!”  I said,  “It’s not my Birthday.”  She replied, “Yes, it is – it’s the first day of your new life.  Your life will never be the same again!”  I just looked at her and tried to smile as I winced in pain.    It took a few days to fully understand what this well-meaning nurse meant.  First, I thought maybe she meant that my “plumbing” has been reconstructed to accommodate my now egg size stomach. (I won’t get into the details of the surgery but if you would like more information regarding gastric bypass please visit the following website:  ) .  After all,  my food now travels differently as before and my weight loss will increase  more than through the “conventional” dieting.

Then I thought, no I don’t think that is what she meant.   My life will change beyond the obvious weight loss.  I am looking forward to the multiple changes – both physically and mentally, that will come my way over the coming months and years.  Carrying around so much weight for years has prevented me from participating in so many activities over the years. My obesity has changed the way I viewed life itself.  Yes,  I am indeed looking forward to seeing - no, living through these multiple changes, challenges and positive experiences that will come my way.   One day at a time – one step at a time - my life will never be the same again!

Yes, I truly am looking forward to Becoming a Healthier ME!

Stay tune for more glimpses into my gastric bypass experience:  Post Surgery- Nursing Care/ Rehabilitation; Insights Regarding My Care;  HOME – There’s No Place Like Home. 
An anxious heart weighs a woman down, but a kind word cheers her up. Proverbs 12:25