Category Archives: Pre-Surgery

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!


The Scale Says What!?! – 90 Days and Counting

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How does one prepare to change their lifestyle and more importantly their behavioral lifestyle?  One day at a time…one meal at a time…one moment at a time…and one sip at a time – in other words…ONE (insert topic) at a time. That is the first thing that hit me when I started having meetings with the dietician and exercise physiologist (who knew there was a career in such a field).  That I would not be able to “eat” the entire elephant at once nor would I run a 5K the first day on the track and most importantly, I wouldn’t instantly learn new habits overnight.

WHAT!?! To my shock and horror – LOL – that is what I had been doing wrong all these years?   As you know, I am a person who takes the “bull by the horns” and goes with it.  Most of the time succeeding pretty well.  For the first time, I faced my biggest fear in the mirror by realizing that I have not been succeeding in taking care of me.

Give me a meeting, a client, a trade show, exhibitors, vendors and I will lay my life down to make sure everything is in order -executed to perfection and with the utmost professionalism. Get a call from a friend who needs something and I will drop everything to make sure they are taken care of them – make sure they have food, a bed to sleep in, money to take care of their bills and the list goes on – don’t misunderstand me, I would do it again today if I got a call from a friend – but with some thought of where I am in the picture – does it have to be right now, is there a resource that can help them get what they need that I can connect them to or better yet – is what they really need is a listening ear and no real “fix it” action from me?

Hmmmm…had I really put myself second or third or fourth for all these years?  To what sacrifice and consequences?  Yep…high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high BMI, degeneration in my spine, constant pain from pressure on my sciatic nerve (ever try to spend 12 hours on your feet with a pain shooting down your leg? – not the best thing to do to have a successful career in meetings and trade shows)

As I sit here today, having two tablespoons of tuna salad, two tablespoons of fruit and no beverage for lunch and not thinking beyond these 30 minutes, I am amazed how far I have come and yet how far I have to go. I am getting ahead of myself….back to my timeline.

In September, I met Jennifer McKinley on Facebook.  She friended me because of my Mary Kay business and she is a direct marketer and herbnologist – creating natural oils, soaps, etc. – from Mississippi.  Through a course of conversations, she introduced me to Body by Visalus protein shakes.  Since I needed to lose up to 20 pounds before surgery, the worst I thought was if I don’t like it, I can try something else – besides, I had an entire history of diets to go back to – and much to my surprise, I loved the shakes.  They come in one flavor and I can create all kinds of flavors myself.

In classes with Blue Point, I was learning that I would need to drink protein shakes on a regular basis to get in 50 grams of protein everyday.  So I knew I would need to find a way to do that and be happy with it.  I started with one shake a day combined with healthy meals. I then stepped it up to two shakes a day.  I started noticing changes in how my clothes were fitting and how I was feeling.  The doctor was impressed as well.

Watch for the next post…