Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Scale Says What?!?…2 Month Anniversary!

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Healing is a journey.  Learning is a journey. Creating a new lifestyle is a journey. All of these journeys take time and do not happen overnight.  I am beginning to understand that more each day.

As I learn and create this new lifestyle that involves caring about myself, I find that I am healing so many other issues in my life.  Friends who read this blog will find some of what they read as surprising.

Fear of success has been an enemy of mine for a long time.  I would back down when it appeared that I was losing the discussion so as not to cause a confrontation. I would set aside my wants and needs to ensure that the needs of others were taken care of.  I hid behind my weight and allowed it to be my mask.  I made sure that I was always kind, caring and generous to a fault…why is the next logical question you are asking – I didn’t want the ‘fat’ girl to feel any more pain than she was already covering up.

Over the past six months, (remember my journey started in September with Dr. Moazzez), my journey has been about learning and healing.  The first big “A Ha” I had was that I have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Yes, I know the intellectual side of this but I am learning the emotional side for the first time.  It is okay to feel pretty, laugh and have fun without being judged. To care for others while caring for myself, to be kind to others while being kind to myself and to be generous while being generous to myself.  It is okay to be the center of attention when necessary while letting others be on center stage when appropriate. For my career, that means, I am learning to lead by letting others lead.  For my personal life, it means that I speak up and protect my “me” time.  It means that I put myself first when it comes to taking care of my health, well-being and energy.

For the past two months, I have learned that eating does not mean that I am hungry – it means that I need certain amounts of good nutrients to sustain my energy and muscles.  Making sure that I get 50 grams of protein and 64 ounces of water are my two main priorities every day.  I never thought I would see myself sitting at a meeting with Isopure instead of coffee and cookies. Or going to dinner and eating eight (8) tiny bites of meat over 20 minutes and thinking – wow! that was really good.  Then taking the rest home with me for two or three more meals.  (It sure helps with the grocery bill!) But most importantly, it is part of the journey that is giving me improved health, increased energy and a new attitude!

I celebrate the close this post with a total of 55 pounds and 27.5  inches gone and celebrating my success 2 months post surgery! And in clothes that do not have a W after the size!

Until next time…

The Scale Says What … Photo Comparison…

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I spent Labor Day weekend in Ohio and this photo was taken of my brother Kenny, sister Janell and me. Who is the person in pink? Who let her go out looking like this?

 

 

Gregg Dodd was in DC for the weekend and we went to The Front Page for brunch. A quick picture before we went our separate ways for the day.

 

Surgery Day - December 13 - ready for life changing action!

 

 

Jan 1 2012 - Just 3 weeks post surgery - FOUR sizes smaller for slacks and THREE sizes smaller for tops! Starting to enjoy the benefits.

 

 

The Scale Says What…Holy Cow…It Says What?! The first month…

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December 14…home from the hospital. Running a race was not on the list. Nor was eating. Nor was walking.  In fact there wasn’t much on the list for a couple of days after getting home except trying to get 64 ounces of liquid in my body so I wouldn’t dehydrate and 50 grams of protein (in liquid form).  It also meant starting to take some vitamins that I wasn’t crazy about taking.  Liquid ones that certainly didn’t taste like coffee, orange juice or vodka. Came home with a pain pump inserted directly into my surgery site that was in a little black bag and a drain.

December 15…Chris arrives from Ohio for 10 days and Christmas. I am not allowed to drive nor do I feel like being out and about.  However, I am finding that I have been able to manage my pain pretty well.  Only taking pain medication at night.  Christmas tree needs decorated but I can’t lift, do much reaching, etc.  So I implore with all my might to get Chris and Jerry to decorate the tree while I supervise.  I want to get on the scales so bad – but the hospital advised weighing for a week because typically you come home weighing more than when you went due to the fluids they put in you during surgery – so I resist.  But I can tell that things are changing and happening.

December 16 – Uncle Doug came down and took Chris out to lunch.  I was quite content to stay home and work on some projects.  Simply being quiet was a beautiful thing!  Bentley and me – was just fine.

December 18 – Early morning and off to Costco with Chris and Jerry in tow to do all the lifting, pushing, etc.  Since I needed to walk it was great exercise.  Funny thing – I wasn’t even tempted or interested in the samples as I walked by them.  By the time we got home I was pretty tired and slept most of the day.  But also felt really good.

Today was the day I got to take out my pain pump.  If you know me, you know I’m a wimp when it comes to these kind of things – as I was to take it out myself…well, Dr. Wright to the rescue.  Dr. W. lives in the neighborhood and had offered to help where needed.  So off to her house I went on Sunday afternoon to have it taken out – talk about feeling small – didn’t feel a thing when she did pull it out.

December 19 – Ventured into DC for a meeting with Bridge Conference Education co-chairs.  Chris drove me and that was an experience.  (I hope he figures out driving here  when he arrives). Then went to my first support group at INOVA.  Being just six days post surgery, I was excited to see how others were doing that had had surgery about the same time.  As they tell us – we will each have different experiences with the same surgery. That was very evident at support group.

December 20 – wiped out!  Oh yeah, I had just had major surgery  a week prior and rest was much needed after five hours of activity the day before.  I did some emails and rounded up friends for a fun, festive Christmas Day potluck.  Jane and I figured out who was cooking what…it was nice to have someone who understood my food dilemma while preparing for a fun dinner.

I did have my first month check up with Tiffany (PA) and Courtney (dietician).  I was down 20 lbs and was shocked!  I knew pants were getting bigger but I didn’t realize how quickly I was losing.  Needless to say they were very pleased.

Remember the “little black bag” I mentioned earlier?  Well, when Tiffany was removing my drain pump, she asked if I wanted to keep it for a souvenir.  My response – what would I do with it?  Be dazzle it and wear it with my new dress to the Kennedy Center?  No thanks.  The only souvenir I was planning on was a new wardrobe and new body shape.  So into the trash it went.

AND I was allowed to drive – thank goodness!

December 25 – Christmas Day – Friends arrived to celebrate the day.  Chris had given me a “Bentley’s Official Walker” t-shirt for Christmas that was already too big.  So I decided to show off my weight loss and take it off to have friend celebrate with me.  Yep, I took my clothes off (well – just the t-shirt and I had something on under it).  But it was fun to celebrate the season with Jane, Faye and Paul, Clancy, Jim and Michelle, Chris and Jerry.  I was able to eat a very small amount of turkey, some mashed potatoes and that was about it.

December 27 and 28 – went back to the office for a few hours each day.  It was tiring.  But felt good to be back to work.  I also started phase two of the healing process by introducing mushy foods.  Okay the first couple of days was not good ones – but eventually I started to get the hang of it.

December 29 – 31 – Went to PA with Jerry to see his family.  Interesting traveling and eating very little.  Learning how to speak up and say it is time to eat – even if it was two or three bites.  While in PA, went shopping and bought slacks that were 4 sizes smaller – YES, I said 4 sizes smaller than I was a month earlier!  I cried!  Here is a picture showing off a new top that is MUCH, MUCH smaller than a month ago.

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Jan 1 2012 - New size!

So I close this update with this thought…Believe and it is possible.  I am beginning to believe that I will be successful.

Happy New Year!  Here is to a wonderful year ahead and to dreams becoming realities!

Until next time….

The Scales Say What!?! The Preparation for the OR….

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Measure twice…cut once – a favorite saying of those in the construction world and one I learned from my Dad at an early age.  I’m sure you are scratching your head now and asking…’what does this have to do with her journey to a better health?’  Well…the analogy fits in well with surgery.  We want our surgeons to check twice and cut once – just think if they didn’t...

As part of the 90 days leading up to surgery, I endured a heart sonogram, EKG and endoscopy exams, gall bladder sonogram, lung x-ray, blood tests, blood pressure and weight checks AND losing 20 pounds to help clear my liver.  Darn it, had to slow down the drinking a bit to make that a reality!  OMG…I almost forgot my favorite – the psych exam – where I was told that I had traits of being narcissistic (HARDLY…that one made me laugh outloud) and being bi-polar ( really?) but the therapist said they would recommend me for surgery as long as I agreed to continuing therapy after surgery.  Well, we’ll see about that one…so they do really ‘measure twice, cut once’ to prepare you for surgery.

Then there were classes on what to expect on surgery day at the hospital … what a great class and how comforting to know that there was a team of bariatric certified individuals who would be there to take care of me once I walked through the doors of the hospital.  A nutrition class about how to get the proper nutrients given a smaller stomach and how to keep hydrated (64 ounces required every day).  More meetings with the dietician and then the BIG meeting with Dr. Moazzez who explained what to expect once I arrived at the hospital and the surgery process, the overnight stay and getting up and moving after surgery.  By this time, I was so ready…but not nervous or anxious.  I really trusted the team at Blue Point and INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital.

Thanksgiving came in the middle of all of these final preparations…off to Ohio and to have a wonderful dinner with my friends, Lee Kelly and Dickie Switz, husband Chris and friends of Lee and Dickie.  It was one of the best dinners I had and knowing that in just two short weeks, my life would change forever – I enjoyed it even more!

In addition to the medical team, I also had a wonderful support group of friends who were cheering me on to success and offering to be there on surgery day…I can’t thank my friend and roommate, Jerry, enough for trekking with me to appointments when I wasn’t allowed to drive afterwards. To my sister Janell, your daily prayers and encouragement were much appreciated.  Plus many others that have been there through this journey.  AND my biggest thanks has to go to Jane D. who took me on surgery day and stayed with me well into the evening after a 3 hour surgery!  What a trooper and friend…Thank you Jane!

P.S. My surgery was 3 hours because they found a hernia and repaired it while they were in there – nothing like getting two for one!  But am very thankful that it was discovered and repairable.

Surgery date…December 13 (2 days after turning 53)….here is the surgery day photo….already 20 lbs lighter….

Surgery Day December 13

Stay tune…I’ll do month one update shortly – writing it now!