I know I’ve been the worlds worst blogger in the past few months. But I’m here to give an update
As most of you know, I had weight loss surgery 2 weeks ago today. There have been lots and lots of questions about it, so I thought I’d address most of them in this blog post. Get ready for a long one, ha!
I’ve talked on here before about my struggles with losing weight. I’ve put SO much money, time, and energy into my health starting in my teenage years. I wouldn’t have traded any of it. In some ways I feel like it prepared me for all this. It shaped me (pun intended ) into the person I am. When I realized early on that my weight would never be an easy subject, I was determined not to let that deter me from where I wanted to go, or do, or be in my life. I accepted that I may never be able to have kids. I accepted that I would get judgement from others. So I prayed more than I had ever before, and found overwhelming peace and contentment in who I was striving to make of myself.
After several years of doctors saying “we don’t know what else to do” and “we don’t know what’s wrong or what to tell you to do”. They finally sat me down and said “I really think you should start considering surgery”. It takes a lot to get me to cry, but I cried. And cried, and cried. Not because I was scared, but because of all the uncertainties. I knew my life would change dramatically, and I wasn’t doing it for attention or for confidence, but for my health. I’m sure it totally freaked out my doctor that I would burst into tears every time I saw him, but whatever, he knew it was a huge deal to me
So about a year after I last talked to him about the subject, a year after I sulked about it, a year after I researched it, and a year after I prayed about it; I went to him in May of 2012 and told him I was ready. He just looked at me with his eyebrows raised and his mouth hanging open and said “are you serious?!”. I said yes, without crying. He briefed me on different surgery options, and told me the one he would advise. There were 3 options; the Gastric Bypass, the Vertical Sleeve, and the Lap Band. But he wanted me to see a bariatric doctor to learn more about the options. Since I had done a lot of research, I knew which doctor was the most highly recommended, but I asked his opinion and he recommended the same doctor. So I was going for it.
The next biggest thing was to tell my family. As much as I did care what other people thought, my biggest concern was my family. So I talked to my parents first, and then each of my brothers and sisters. They were all super supportive. Words can’t explain how much it meant to me especially that my brothers responses were “we’re going to back you up, whatever you need to do”. So that’s when I decided to openly talk about my surgery with other people. Again, not because I wanted attention, but because I knew that once I started loosing weight, that people would ask my family how I did it, and I didn’t want to put them in awkward situations. Even though it KILLED my pride, I was more concerned with them feeling comfortable talking about it. And just to face the gossip head-on. When I started telling my close friends, I had no idea the amazing response I would get. After I told all the people close to me, I announced it on Facebook. I’ve been totally overwhelmed. Between emails and Facebook, literally hundreds of people of written me. I still can’t get over it.
I met with the bariatric doctor, and he talked about all of my options, and I decided to go with the Vertical Sleeve. It’s not as invasive as the Gastric Bypass, but had a higher success rate than the Lap Band. And then all the testing started; I took the picture below with my iPhone, it’s just a part of what all I had to do to prepare for the surgery.
I finished all of my testing in September, then they had to submit everything to insurance, once we got approval from insurance, then I had to wait on the doctors office to call and give me the surgery date. They called me in December and let me know that my surgery would be scheduled for January 7th. From what I’ve heard, every doctor has different protocols prior to surgery. Some doctors require you to loose 10lbs before the surgery, some doctors ask that you drink meal replacement shakes for breakfast and lunch, and then eat a salad and grilled chicken for supper; but my doctor requires a full liquid diet for 2 weeks prior to surgery; it consists of at least 60 grams of protein, and 1,000 calories or under per day.
So a liquid diet for 2 weeks prior to surgery, and then you continue the liquid diet for 2 weeks after the surgery. So 4 weeks total of all liquids. Then for the next 2 weeks I can have applesauce consistency food, and then 2 weeks after that I can have soft foods like chicken salad, and then I can finally start trying solid foods again. As of today, I’m 4 weeks down, 4 to go I’ve surprised myself at how well I’ve done. I haven’t had any withdrawals, or cravings. I just want something with texture.
Also with the surgery, I can no longer drink any type of carbonated drinks, no caffeine, and no straws. The carbonation is because obviously carbonation is a form of gas that expands, and when it gets into my artificially smaller stomach, it could expand it back out to it’s original size. The caffeine is because it’s an dehydrant, and since I already have a hard enough time getting all of my fluids in, it would defeat the purpose to drink caffeine. The straws because I can only take small sips, and straws allow you to drink much more quickly.
From the people I had talked to about the surgery, they would tell me it would be the best decision I had ever made for myself, but for the first week or two after surgery I was going to hate myself for it, and I would wonder what I had done to royally jack up my life. But thankfully, I didn’t.
The day of surgery I wasn’t scared, just anxious; ready to get it over with. The surgery was scheduled for 10 o’clock, but they were running about an hour late. The surgery lasted about an hour and then they took me into the recovery room. They woke me up while I was still in the surgical room, and I stayed awake for most of the time I was in recovery. I begged them to let me get up and walk, but they didn’t think that idea was such a great one About 4 o’clock they moved me to my regular room, where mom and dad were able to come see me. As soon as we got to my room I got up on my own, and was walking up and down the halls that day. I stayed overnight in the hospital which was normal. I was more sore the next day, but it wasn’t too bad. I started having an allergic reaction to the pain medicine they gave me, and they took me off that about 10 that morning, and I left about 3 and I still hadn’t had any pain medicine. So on the ride home, between the regular pain, and my jeans rubbing my incisions, and just the general movement of the car I was hurting enough that I was nauseous, but once I took medicine when I got home, I went to sleep and I was fine. For the next week I was sore, but I stopped taking medicine for pain on Wednesday (after my surgery on Monday), except for Tylenol, I would take at 5 every morning, for some reason that’s the only time I felt I needed it. I have 5 small 1/2-1″ incisions.
Overall, I don’t hate my life now haha, I feel very blessed that I haven’t been nearly as sick as most with the same surgery, and I’m stoked about eating something with texture. I’m so glad my family and friends have survived me, I love you, and I’m doing just fine y’all, I’m good