Tuesday, March 22, 2011

5 Months Post-Op Updates & More...

Well, it's been a while since I've blogged. I've been pretty depressed and life has been really stressful lately. Ron's been out of work since the first of the year because of his migraines. For a while there he was having one just about every day. Now he's down to about 3 a week on average. He's seeing a specialist in Springfield and I think we are finally on the right track to getting the migraines under control. They are discussing BOTOX now. We've heard alot of good things about it and it's effect migraines so I am hoping it works out for him.

On to more exciting things... We've decided to take a leap of faith and move to Tennessee.  We've been talking about it for some time now. We're ready for new scenery and a fresh start. My best friend, Brenda, lives in Lynchburg and works for Jack Daniels which is where Ron and I are both hoping to work. We're heading down later this week to check things out, find a jobs to keep us going until we can get on with Jack, and hopefully a place to live. Most likely we will be staying with Brenda for a while though. Once we atleast have jobs we'll head back here to Missouri to get our stuff and tie up all of the loose ends. I'm excited, nervous, and scared. We'll have absolutely no family around and that will be the hardest part of it all. But along with many other things I learned from my mother when I was young...  I learned that sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith in order to survive, be happy, or whatever it may be. Soon our adventure will begin!

As far as my weight loss goes, things are going alright. I am down about 85 lbs since surgery... 225 lbs all together. Yep... I've got all the loose and saggy skin to show for it too! I currently weigh 240 and have about 100 lbs to go to meet my goal. I don't really feel that I am doing as well as I should be, and I take complete blame for that. With the depression and stress, I've let my self slip a bit as far as getting my protein down and exercising as I should. I did have my 3 month follow-up though with Missouri Bariatrics about a month ago and it went well. My doctor and the nurses were impressed with how well I was doing and how much I've lost. I think that once we get moved and back on our feet things will get easier and staying on track won't be so hard for me to do. I know that once we move life is going to completely change for Ron and I. We'll have a much more active lifestyle and we'll either be working or on the go the majority of the time. I'm totally looking forward to that!!! Since I became disabled, I've gotten pretty lazy and even though I've had my surgery and have gotten healthier I haven't really been able to snap out of my laziness mode. Brenda has already promised me she'd keep me on my feet and moving, and I know she will... She is constantly on the go! Anyway... I've had a lot of people asking for updated pictures... I'll try to get some taken and posted on Facebook soon.

Well... I really don't know what more to say. Once we get moved I'll blog with updates on how everything is going, and I'll try to keep you all updated through Facebook when I can.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Farewell To The First 200 & The Life Behind Me!!

The past 10 days, since my last post, have been pretty amazing! I've hit two more milestones and am feeling like I am on cloud 9 right now. I've reached the 200lbs lost mark since my heaviest and I am now in a size 22 (a size that I haven't seen since high school), and I have to admit it feels pretty darn good to be able to do that! I've lost 16 sizes- I was a 38 at my heaviest. I can't believe I was that size or even that I let myself get to that point! I've been going through some older pictures of me that I've hidden away from the world. And I don't even look very much like that person anymore... nor do I feel like her either! Just being at this point in the journey is so liberating. Food is no longer in control of my life and I have sight on all of the goals that I'm going to accomplish.

I went back to see my counselor today. Our session went well. Last time I saw him he was wanting to see me once a week for a while. However, with the new year came issues with my insurance and medicare that we had to figure out first. So, I wasn't able to get in to see him again until today, but I came out of there feeling even better than I did before I went in. And he's decided that he doesn't need to see me as much as he thought he was going to. He talked to me about communication because I am very passive and always have been. I let others have what they want just to keep peace in most situations. So he gave me homework and gave me two books to read. He also asked me about my life and what got me to the point that I'm at now. I told him and he was amazed at how mentally stable I've become. Those of you that have known me for a while know some or maybe even all of my story. But for those that don't I'll share it... My dad left when I was 4 and I was a major daddy's girl... he broke my heart. My mom said, that I wouldn't have anything to do with her and that I told her I hated her all the time. And that is when my weight problem began. I moved around a lot as a kid and watched my mom go through a few abusive relationships... one of which was to a man that was verbally and mentally abusive to my brother and I as well.  By the time I hit my mid teens I had a lot of issues bottled up inside of me from childhood that I really didn't know how to deal with. I hated who I was. So, I started trying to create a new person... someone I'd never really be... someone I thought people would like. This false identity was definitely not one any better than my own. I think deep down I hated "her" as much as I did me. I told a lot of lies and hurt a lot of people that I cared about.  I was blocking out reality and letting the the "new" me mask the pain, depression, and low self-worth. Before I graduated from high school I started drinking and hiding it from everyone. Eventually it and my lies caught up with me and that's when I realized how much I was hurting the ones I cared the most about. It killed me inside. I became very depressed and had thoughts of suicide. When I got to the point that I couldn't function and was doing nothing but laying in bed all day crying I realized I needed help. My mom admitted me into a mental hospital. I got help and started doing better and was released back into the real world. It helped for a little while... until I graduated from high school and shortly after that had my heart broken by someone I cared very much about. At that point I fell back into the depression and and I started drinking pretty heavy. My life rapidly spiraled downward from there, yet somehow I thought it was better than ever! Drinking and partying all the time without a care in the world. I ran a friend over because I chose to drink and drive... I spent a night in jail for that and spent a bit of time in court because of it too. Luckily, my friend came out of it ok and is still my friend today. I also lost a few friends that chose to drink and drive as well. But still I was oblivious to what the booze was doing to me, my friends, and my life. Still choosing the life I was leading, I got into a mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically abusive relationship... that completely destroyed any self-worth I did have at that point. I was already pretty heavy, but through out the year and a half that I was with him I gained over 150 lbs. Lots of food and booze is what got me through. Eventually my Mom realized how depressed I was after another of many arguments with him and convinced me to leave and move back in with her. The day after I left him I got news that I was diabetic, but I STILL continued to give in to the food and the booze. Until one morning I finally woke-up and realized what I had done to my life. I didn't want to live like that anymore and gave up the booze for good. I even tried to eat like a diabetic should, but never really had the proper education on diabetic eating and wasn't really doing so great at it. About a year later I met Ron... he was my "saving grace". Somehow, he made me forget about my past and look to the future. I knew the moment I met him that he was the one and ever since he's been my best friend and my rock. Shortly after we were married I found out I was pregnant when I had a miscarriage. At that point is when my health literally came crumbling down. I went from taking oral diabetic meds to insulin, developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol and a thyroid problem as well. My feet and legs began to swell to the extreme that my feet looked like bubbles with little stubs on the end of them. I had to wear shoes 4 sizes bigger than my normal size. I was unable to work and felt helpless. I began the fight for my disability and decided that once I got it I was going to do what I needed to to get healthy and get the weight off. Once I was approved I started seeing a endocrinologist and a diabetic educator. I was able to get my A1Cs down way past the goal they had set for me within 3 months. The weight at this point was coming off pretty quick but not quick enough for me. I'd thought about Gastric Bypass for the past 10 years, but never felt that I was ready to take on something that takes that much willpower and commitment. In May of last year I realized that I was ready. I went for it and started the process and here I am today! There's no looking back... I will never live a life like that again. I've got a bright future ahead of me and I intend to savor every bit of it.

Okay, so back to the last ten days and why I am on a high right now. As I said, I met some amazing milestones and am on cloud 9 because of that. But I have also made a few new friends this week as well that have had WLS or are in the process of having it. It always helps me to hear other peoples stories and how far they have come. Or to even share mine with the ones that are still working on getting it all in order. It keeps me focused and motivated to keep doing what I need to be. My new friends ROCK! And by the way... so do all of my old ones! ;) Happy Hump Day Everyone... I hope it was a good one!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

12 Weeks Post-Op & Feelin' Great!

First off I just want to thank everyone who has cheered me on through all of this and to those who have been a rock for me to lean on when I needed it. I wouldn't have done so well without you! I'm so blessed to have each and everyone of you in my life. Thank you!

Well, mentally I am doing much better than I was when I blogged 4 weeks ago. I was an emotional wreck then and I was so frustrated. Since then I've done a lot of soul searching and thinking about the "me" two years ago and the "me" now. Two years ago I was 465lbs and fighting for disability because I was no longer able to work due to the severe pain and swelling in my back, legs, and feet which was caused by the weight. I was on 4-5 shots of insulin a day, medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other weight related illnesses. I am now down to 272 and off of all of those medications and I have very little swelling in my feet and legs and hardly any pain at all. I can honestly say I feel amazing compared to how I felt back then. I'm not the same person and I don't ever want to be that person again! I have no regrets what so ever about the choices I have made in the past year and I am thankful that I didn't talk myself out of the surgery before going through with it. I've started seeing a counselor for the depression and the issues that I've been having and he's helped open my eyes as to what's important and what I need to be doing to stay on track and reach the goals I've set for myself. There were certain things I was doing and wanted to do, but I felt that by doing them the way I wanted to that I was being selfish. When I talked to the counselor about these things he felt that they were things that would be in my best interest to follow through on. He made me realize that right now I need to be selfish and worry about taking care of myself and getting healthy and nothing else that could keep me from accomplishing what I set out for in the first place. So, that's what I am doing... 2011 is going to be all about reaching my goals and becoming a fit, healthy, and happy being. I will no longer worry about how my personal decisions that pertain to any of that are going to make others feel. If they can't understand that I am doing what I feel is best for my success at this than I don't need them in my way bringing me down. I can't believe I can actually sit and read or watch a program on TV about people with the issues I had two years ago and say, "I was that person." I've lost nearly 200lbs... an entire person! I honestly can't believe how far I have come, but I can say that I feel amazing and I don't ever want to not feel this way again. Here's to 2011... Health and Happiness! Have a great one everyone! ♥ Ya!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

8 Weeks Post-Op:

Well it's been a while since I first posted, I figure it's time for another post. I know I should do them more frequently, but I'm always at a loss of what to say while blogging. I know, I know... Just let everything out. I'm not very good at putting my feelings in to words these days (verbally or written)... which is odd seeing as how I used to write a lot in my school days and loved doing it. Now I just tend to bottle most things up and that's not a good thing.

Anyway, my surgery was 8 weeks ago on October 18th. I've lost a total of 35 lbs since then. I seem to be doing alright as far as all the doctors and those around me are concerned but, I personally still have my doubts. I struggle daily with my issues with food and depression and it sucks! Most of you know that when I was 17 I was hospitalized for depression. It's been an issue in my life for as long as I can remember and food has always been my comfort when I was depressed... which is what got me to my heaviest weight of 465lbs along with all the different medications I was on for depression and all of my other health issues. So, not being able to turn to food while being depressed about not being able to eat has been a very tough struggle for me the last few weeks. Plus, I have a really hard time trying to stay motivated to do all the exercise and walking I need to be doing daily... I don't understand why it's so hard for me to just do it and feel good about it too. I really thought before I had the surgery that I was going to be able to handle this but it's a lot harder than I expected it to be. I keep reminding myself of all of the reasons I went through with the Gastric Bypass and I know that it's the best choice I have made for myself in a long time... but I'm having a hard time walking the walk. Does that even make sense? I hope so. Yesterday, I finally broke down and went in to see the Dr. that did my psych evaluation that I needed to have done in order to be approved for the surgery. I've got an appointment with him the 27th... and hopefully after that he won't think he made a mistake in giving the go ahead. I went to my primary care Dr. this morning to follow up on some issues I was having with dehydration about about a month ago. I'm doing better with that thank goodness! I'm down to 285 now and a BMI of 50 from 465 and a BMI of 82. I'm also off of all of my insulin and diabetic meds and the blood pressure meds as well. The Dr said he was totally amazed with how far I've come and that he was proud of me. It's not often you hear a Dr say that to you... at least it isn't for me.... so it felt pretty good I must admit. I told him about the depression and issues with food and motivation that I have been having. I asked him about putting me on Wellbutrin and he thought that was an excellent idea. Wellbutrin will not cause weight gain like most anti-depressants do and it also helps in fighting addictions... food is my addiction. Hopefully the new med will help me out some.

On top of everything I've been going through my poor hubby, Ron, has had to deal with migraines. He's had them since he was only 5 but, until about the last 6 months he hadn't had any major ones for several years. But now he is dealing with them on the average of one a week and sometimes they'll last as long as a cpl of weeks. He's had to go to the Dr and the hospital several times from pain shots that sometimes only help ease the pain for a few hours. He's had a cat scan and an MRI and they showed nothing. Yesterday, we finally got him into a neurologist and she added another preventative med to his list and wants him to try using oxygen at the onset of his migraines. He goes back to see her in a couple of months to see if they are any better by then. We're keeping our fingers crossed that they are.

Well I suppose I have rambled on for long enough... I will try to do better about blogging my progress more frequently.  Thanks for reading! =)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reality Is Kicking In!

So here I am with just less than a month to go until my surgery date. I wasn't really all that nervous until Amy from Missouri Bariatric Services in Columbia, Mo. called me last week to set the date. Now it's all starting to hit me that my life as I know it is about to change! It already has some what... over the last two years I have lost a total of 140 lbs. The last 60 have been on the partial liquid diet I have been on since the end of May. It's definitely been a tough road so far and I've learned that the choice I have made to go through with Gastric Bypass is not a choice for whimps by any means... and the partial liquid diet totally sucks! I'm kind of dreading when I go fully to clear liquids. A lot of people ask me if I can handle it and my answer is yes... once I have the surgery I won't have a choice... and I realize that. I've made this choice to save my life... that's what I intend to do! I can't wait for the day that I'll actually be able to step on the scale and say "I haven't weighed this much since the 4th grade!" or the day that because I've lost the weight and gotten healthier I'll be sitting in the delivery room holding my new born child in my arms. I've always dreamed of being a mommy and that is a dream I plan on making a reality along with many others. 

Anyway... at this point I am trying to get everything in order that I will need after my surgery... and I'm not completely sure what all I will need. So if any of you that have had a gastric bypass can give me a list or individual suggestions I would greatly appriciate it. Any other advice would be great too! I've done lots and lots of research online and have the book "Weight Loss Surgery For Dummies" which has been really helpful so far. I also want to thank my friends Erika, Cristal, and Lisa and several others too who have all had weight loss surgery and have been great about talking to me and giving me some awesome advice about it all! You guys ROCK!!!