The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


After checking the scale 3 times this morning, just to be sure, the number read 299.8. Yeah!! So I achieved 2 goals in one week. Guess I will be scheduling that Hot Stone Massage for next weekend.

My next goal is another 10%, so 272.7. I'd love to do that by 12/1 but that might be a bit of a stretch, so I would be happy to see that on 12/5 which would be my 2 month surgery anniversary. I think that joining the gym will help. I don't want to join until I get clearance from the nurse on 11/9 just in case she says to stick with walking for another month. I'm also going to work harder on walking. I've been doing some at work but I know I need 20 minutes on the treadmill per day to really get it going.

I am getting better at drinking my water. When I'm watching TV, I've been sipping everytime the show goes into commercial break. When I'm reading, I drink at the end of every chapter. I am so tired of feeling thirsty. Plus you need to eliminate at least 1/2 liter of urine every day just to clear out the waste and toxins and I don't think I've been doing that. My doctor would prefer if I had an "output" of 1+ liters. Now, I don't plan on getting out a measuring cup, but when I'm only peeing 2-3 times a day I can tell it's not enough. So this week is Operation Water. I need to get in 48 ounces per day, period.

It's cool and overcast here today. I don't mind - it feels like hibernation weather. I went to the grocery store already and just need to finish putting the groceries away and carve two pumpkins. That should be fun. I did get the kitchen cleaned yesterday, so I'm going to tackle the dining room next. Not too much to do there but at least I can cross it off my list.

Other than that, I have some reading to do and getting my meals ready for next week. And maybe a little celebration dance...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Within Reach

For the first time since I started this blog almost 2 years ago, the number 299 is within reach. I should hit it by Monday morning, if not tomorrow. Once again I am thankful for this surgery and the possibilities it's opening up to me. I can't wait to see my PCP and have her reevaluate my current meds. I am hoping to be off all blood pressure meds by the end of the year. I haven't taken Priolsec since the day before surgery. I don't know if I can ever get off the thyroid med but I can hope. Of course, I will need to take a multi-vitamin, calcium, B-12 and iron but supplements don't seem as bad as prescription meds for some reason.

My boss told the group of leaders I support about my promotion yesterday. It was a mixed reaction - they were all happy for me, especially because I would still be supporting them, although in a different capacity; but sad that they were going to have to be supported by two different admins - one who is pretty new to her job and one who is old-school. I think it illustrated how I really crave taking on more responsibility while my two counterparts only want to do what is in their job descriptions. Since they are both out on leave, they don't know about me so it will be interesting to see their reactions.

Don is on his was to Charlotte for the Vikings' game tomorrow. We got up early and went to Let's Dish where we made 12 meals in about 45 minutes. These are all pretty much for Don since I won't be able to have any - at least not yet. We did things like crabcakes, chicken tortilla soup, pork mole, chipolte short ribs, steaks with sundried-tomato butter. It comes to about $3.75 per serving (they claim 6 servings, but it's closer to 4 adult servings). Don can get two dinners and two lunches out of each prepared meal so 48 meals for the month. A pretty decent deal, especially since I'm not in the mood to cook like I used to.

Still not hungry. Even making the meals today, nothing tickled my fancy. It's almost getting a little depressing. I guess I should be grateful that I'm not battling head hunger, but I wish I had a taste for something. I'm still cramping when I drink water so when I see the nurse I'll have to bring that up since it means I am struggling to get my minimum of 48 onces of water in. It's funny how I used to have to try and control my eating because I was getting too many calories/fat/carbs and now I have to force myself to eat because I'm not getting enough food. Ah, the irony.

No big plans for the weekend. My first full week of work tired me out and I came home last night and slept for two hours, got up and watched three hours of "I Love the 80s" and then went back to sleep. The house needs some general cleaning, which shouldn't take too much energy. I'll go to the grocery store tomorrow as well as carve some pumpkins.

Off to at least tackle the kitchen. That shouldn't take too long and then I can tackle the stack of new mags that just came.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What Goes Down, Must Come Up

When I moved to Minneapolis, I had to take a job one level down and take a significant paycut. I opted to do this to stay with the same company, keep my seniority and benefits and some stability in my chaotic life. The salary cut was a bit of an ego blow, and I've been getting a little antsy to move into something more challenging and therefore higher paying.

I interviewed for a position a few weeks ago but it was pulled since it was adding a headcount and it was too near the end of the budget year to add more expense. I was bummed but figured that it just wasn't the right time.

There have been some shuffling in that department and a position opened up today. I assumed that they would cover it until after the first of the year and then put up a job posting. Not only am I doing the job of 3 admins, I volunteered earlier in the week to help in this department so I could get some training and be better prepared for the job posting in January.

Today I was approached by the two leaders of this department. They asked to speak to me and I thought it was to inquire about my capacity to help them. Instead it was to offer me a job as a Business Call Center Analyst, my ideal job. It will be back up to the same level as I was in LA. More importantly there should be a decent bump in pay - still less than what I was making but enough to make it worth my while.

I will be scheduling my current group of phone agents (80 on shore, 40 off shore), forecasting call volume and call patterns, analying Telephone Service Factors and Average Handle Time, etc. It's going to be a lot of numbers, which scares me, but a lot of analytical work which I am going to love. The best part is that I will continue to work with my current boss and group of Team Leaders. This is a great challenge for me and I definitly won't be mailing it in like I have been in my current job.

I won't start until mid-December when the two admins come back from leave. In the meantime I will continue to do my job, work at learning the ropes in my new job and cover for the two who are out. That deserves a little raise, don't you think?

A Brief Pause

After a brief pause on the scale yesterday, I woke up this morning to see my first goal - down 10% from my highest weight. I was a little worried that my body was going to fight me on this, like it typically does when I get close to a goal. My next goal is to lose 3 pounds in 5 days, which has been doable at my average of .88 pounds per day. I would love to get up on Tuesday morning and see the number on the scale start with a 2.

I went to another support meeting last night. One group has one weekly and the other group has one every other week. Instead of doubling up, I think I'll just alternate between the two. They usually have great information, especially when it's open discussion. It's inspirational to see people who are 2+ years out from surgery and maintaining their 100+ pound loss. And it's nice to know that some of the issues I'm having are familiar to a good portion of the group.

There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to who does feel hungry and who doesn't feel hungry post-op. The majority of the people seem to be consistently fighting head hunger, food cravings, eating too fast or too much, not chewing, throwing up, etc. I haven't had any of that. I really have to force myself to even remember to eat. For a full confession, I didn't eat between 12:00 PM on Tuesday and 8:00 PM Wednesday night. I only had water and a medium coffee. I am only meeting my 47 grams of protein about 4 days a week. Maybe it's because the pureed foods just don't inspire me to eat. I'm on them until 11/7 and then I go to exciting mashed foods and then hopefully I'll be able to have a little more variety.

I am seeing some good things. My clothes are fitting better. My wedding ring is getting too big and it spins on my finger as I type. I don't want to get it resized yet but I also don't want to take it off. A few of the guys at work have said they can see the weight loss in my face. I do seem to have more energy, although it's not sustained. My knees haven't been sore in the morning, although my back is. This apparently is common since the back is trying to adjust to the constant weight loss and rebalancing. Guess I better go see my chiropractor next week and get that taken care of.

I do want to answer a few questions I've gotten in the comments and realized I haven't addressed them:

Why can't you drink 30 minutes before, during or 30 minutes after a meal? The rational is that the fluid can flush the food quickly through the new pouch, leaving you feeling hungry or not sated. This has been a tough one for me since eating makes me thirsty and I'm having a hard enough time getting all my fluids in. I don't drink during my meals, but I don’t always wait the full 30 minutes before drinking some water.

Do you worry about saggy skin? Are you going to do anything about it? I do worry about saggy skin – arms, thighs, tummy and breasts. I'm hoping that by joining a gym, some of that will be alleviated. When I lost about 150 pounds before, I was in my mid-20s and my skin snapped back. I think because my skin has been stretched out once before, my age and the rapid weight loss, I will have to consider plastic surgery if it's really bad. I mean, I know the impetus for this surgery was my health, but I want to look good, too. If I have 10+ pounds of excess skin hanging around, I'm not going to feel that I look good and enjoy the benefits of that feeling - confidence, sexiness, etc. Of course, if it does tone up just by exercising I will be very, very happy since most WLS patients who go through plastic surgery all say the plastic surgery is much worse than the WLS.

Any intestinal problems? Leave it to Danelle to ask this...None so far. It seems a lot of people do experience gas, but I have not to this point. I mean, the average person passes gas 15 - 20 times a day (this always gets a good laugh at the meetings) and I don't think I'm out of that range. My intestines go gurgle a bit from time to time. Of course, eating less than 1 cup of food throughout the day doesn't leave a lot of waste, so it can be several days between poops (I know, TMI for some, but she asked!). That can be a little disconcerting since I used to be pretty regular.

Are you taking pictures? I took the ones that are posted here two nights before my surgery. I figure I will take the same three views every month.

Any regrets? None, so far. In listening to some people at group, they seem to be having so many more issues than I do and I think some have mild regrets. They mourn for food, which I haven't felt the need to. They are making themselves sick by eating too much, too fast or the wrong foods. Again, not an issue for me. In fact, my life hasn't really changed all that much, other than I'm not hungry and what I eat. The two issues I've had to deal with is that I cramp when I drink water - probably because I'm drinking too fast and gulping in air - and my mouth is constantly dry because I'm not producing saliva. Those are two pretty minor inconveniences when I compare them with others. I think the biggest moment of longing for me was last Friday night when I went to dinner with Don. He had a beer and I ordered iced tea, but I really liked the idea of having a glass of wine. Not so much for the alcohol or the taste, but more because of the ritual of having a glass of wine with dinner.

Finally, this article does nothing to increase my appetite.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On The Verge

I am 3.2 pounds away from being under 300 for the first time in I don't know how many years. I am also .2 pounds away from losing 10% of my starting weight of 336.6. I'm down 18.6 pounds since surgery and should hit the 19 pound mark by tomorrow morning which is my 3 week anniversary.

Sunday was spent in the closet - literally. I had already gone through a lot of my hanging clothes when my Mom and Deb were here but I went through again and added another two large paper bags of items, including shoes. Yes, I am losing weight in my feet. And my fingers - exactly where I don't need to lose weight. I did discover some outfits that I have been shying away from because they were too tight. They now fit, so I have a few things to tide me over. The one thing I didn't get to was my pants supply. I'll have to work on that this weekend. I also came to the sad conclusion that I was going to have to iron again. See, when your fat, clothes don't appear as wrinkled since the fat stretches the material out. Now that they actually fit properly, I had to iron, and iron and iron - sweaters, t-shirts, work shirts, jumpers. It is nice to go into the closet and have a plethora of options, however.

On the food front, I'm still not hungry. When I do eat, I rarely eat to physically feeling full. I enjoy the taste of food, but it does nothing for me right now. Some WLS patients say this eventually reverts back to being able to feel hunger around the 6 month mark. My biggest concern is that when I get busy, I actually forget to eat. There's no signal to my brain that my body needs food. I need to make sure I am getting in my 47 grams of protein - some days it happens, some days it doesn't. I can get my 40+ ounces of water in pretty easily, so I'm staying hydrated at least.

I guess the best news about not feeling any hunger is that I am not craving things I can't have. I can watch Food TV, commercials, read food magazines, etc. and not want any of it. It looks good and I'm sure it tastes good, I just have no desire to have it. My mouth doesn't water at the smell of food.

Speaking of food, I really do need to get something for breakfast. Looks like a 1/4 cup of cream of wheat is on the menu this morning...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Speed Post

I am trying to limit my time on the computer today so I can actually get things done around the house - like cleaning my closet and dressers. They are in a sorry state and I'm sure my dear husband it a little tired of the pile of clothes on the floor. Plus I had him strip the bed in anticipation of putting on my flannels so I better do that before 9 PM otherwise I'll be sleeping on a bare mattress.

It's cold and blustery outside today. We did get rain overnight and it looks like it could rain later this afternoon. Fine by me - I'll flip on the fireplace, put on my slippers and heat up some tea. The weather seems to put the dogs into a mellow mood as well, so that make things a little easier.

I did my errands early so in case it did rain I didn't have to go out in it. It's weird to go to the grocery store and walk out with one bag. I'm still not very hungry so I have to buy things one at a time, otherwise they will just go to waste. Weight is down to 305.8, so that is 30.8 since 9/1 and 16 pounds since surgery, which is holding steady at .88 per day. I am 2.8 pounds from losing 10% of my starting weight and 5.8 pounds from being 300. I should reach the 10% mark by mid-week and the under 300 mark by next weekend. To me, that is just amazing. I still don't see the weight loss, except on the scale and in the way my clothes fit. I know it's going to take me awhile to see it in the mirror and I just have to be patient.

On the exercise front, I will be looking into joining a gym. I do have a treadmill here at home but I am going to need weight training to help tone and hopefully avoid really saggy skin. That will be a big step for me, but one I think I need to make for my overall health. I used to love to work out and I'm hoping that the consistent movement of the scale in the right direction will help motivate me. I used to get really down when I would go to the gym, eat right and the scale didn't move.

Anyway, my 15 minutes of computer time are up. Off to tackle the closet!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Feeling A Lot Like Fall

Finally, after suffering through 78 degree days we are beginning to feel like fall. Seriously - 78 degrees on Tuesday and 54 degrees today. I can break out the sweaters! It was sprinkling a little bit ago - enough to get the crazy dogs wet as they romped. I know they are predicting rain on Saturday and Sunday, which would be OK with me. That is total nesting weather - flannel PJs, slippers, a fire and hot apple cider. Just the idea makes me happy...

Made it through the work week OK. I am a little worried about next week as how can I possibly get my mid-afternoon nap in? I've kind of become a little reliant on those. It's going to be a busy couple of weeks. The one admin who has been holding down the fort is off to have her second knee replaced and will be out 6 weeks. The other admin who is supposed to be back on 11/1 after her hysterectomy had her appendix burst and is back in the hospital until at least next week and possibly longer. So it will just be me (again - went through this same scene earlier in the year...). The scary part is that I had so much OT and I don't know if I'm really up for a string of 10 hour days. I do have the option of working from home, and that will help a little, but it's not a wireless connection so no laying on the couch.

On the weight front, down to 307 and still doing well. Tonight we are going out to dinner but I already know what's legit on their menu - soup and their meatloaf if I'm not too afraid to mash it with my fork (ha! hardly...). Again, I'm not hungry so the soup would be a much safer bet and get Don to order the meatloaf so I can have one bite. Regardless, I can still only handle 1/4 cup (3 tablespoons or 3 ounces) of food at a time so it won't be much of a bite.

Tomorrow we are supposed to be going to some huge party for work. It's at the convention center and sounds like quite the bash, but the idea of mingling with 6000 people isn't very appealing since I don't think there will be anything I can eat there (the FAQ we got on it said "street fair food" which in my experience means fried). We'll see. We need to get out more but I do much better in smaller social settings than a mass of 6000.

Both Don and two women I hadn't seen since before surgery said they could see the weight loss in my face. I, of course, still see the same fattie in the mirror but that's a good omen for my one month photo I'll be posting in 10 days (remember, the camera adds 10 pounds!!). I guess I'm seeing some results. Clothes that didn't fit do now, and I was able to get rid of some that were already too big. I had a hard time parting with them because they were "safe" clothes - clothes I knew I could hide in. I did wear a pair of khakis today that have been in my closet over a year because they were a little tight. They fit now, but I still wore my big denim shirt. At some point I will feel a little more confident in wearing fitted clothes, but for now it's all about baggy and oversized.

Better go get changed for dinner. Too bad I can't go out in my pj bottoms...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Jager Earns Her Name

Jager means "hunter" in German. We actually had the name picked out before we adopted her. See, Don and I met at the Baja Cantina and I was drinking Jaegermeister. Up until now, she acted like a hunter - chasing birds, squirrels, the occassional blimp. On Sunday, she actually caught something - a baby mouse. Of course, it was 9:00 PM, Don was in Chicago and I had to deal with it. I picked it up, and it was still breathing so I placed it in the front yard. It wasn't bleeding, and I didn't want to kill it in case it was just in shock. When I went to check on it about an hour later, it was dead.

I guess it was inevitable that one of the dogs would catch something with all the wildlife in this area. Hopefully she will keep her hunting to bugs in the future.

On the weight loss front, it's two weeks since surgery. I'm down 12.4 pounds since 10/5 and 27.2 since 9/1. Since surgery, I am averaging about a .88 pound per day weight loss. If I can continue on this pace I will be under 300 pounds by the end of the month. That is amazing. Even with TTOM starting this morning, I was down.

I'm still not showing any signs of hunger. I eat because I have to. I mean, food tastes good when I do eat, but I have no hunger pangs, no cravings, my mouth doesn't water at the sight or smell of food. I guess that's all good, but it's weird to never feel hunger. At least I'm not like some people who have had surgery who do feel hungry. Some puree pizza toppings or, once allowed to eat chicken, opt for KFC. There is even one lady who, 4 weeks post-op, tried a Diet Pepsi (carbonated beverages aren't recommended until 4+ months out). That's not changing behavior. They may be trying to modify their behavior - letting the fizz out of the Pepsi; removing the skin from the KFC - but to be successful with this tool, you have to be willing to make the right choices when it comes to food.

Anyway, I'm still on a part-time work schedule for the rest of the week. I can really get used to the whole 7a - 11a thing. I'm going to get my nails done today and finished gathering clothes I can no longer wear. Either tomorrow or Friday I need to take my car in for a tune up. It's turned cool here today - the high is supposed to be 57 compared to yesterday's 78! To be honest, I hope there aren't too many more 78 degree days because I've given away all of my spring clothes since I knew I wouldn't fit into them come next spring and all I have in my closet are fall/winter items!

Better go see what the dogs are barking their ever livin' heads off at - probably some poor squirrel in the front yard...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Photo Sunday

New "before" photos and current eating plan here.

In My Neighborhood

Stolen from here:

Fall in My Neighborhood

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Picture Perfect

Another picture perfect day here in Minnesota. Clear, cool, crisp. Please remind me of this day when I'm moaning in March...

I took Mom and Deb into St. Paul for the Pulitzer Prize winning photo exhibition. It was great - very powerful. They had the photos divided by decades starting with the 1940s to the present. I had seen many, but a lot were new to me. It's amazing how many of them were of death, destruction, war and misery. I guess that's why they call it human drama and not human comedy...

The one that hit me the hardest was of a starving African girl kneeled over with a big vulture in the background. The photographer actually got hate mail as to why he didn't rescue her, and eventually commited suicide. It was a very powerful photo, and with the tragedy surrounding it, it was even more so.

We then did the same loop that we did with my dad - down Summit Avenue and up Grand. It was such a pretty drive. We got home in plenty of time for the USC/Notre Dame kickoff (late first quarter, USC 14, ND 7). Deb will be making her famous potato soup, which will be OK for me since it's pureed - but hold the crackers.

Still no issues with food. I was able to get all my protein in and all of my water in yesterday. I'm on track to do the same today, although I'm lagging a bit in the water area. My concoction I made up yesterday was baby shrimp pureed with low-sugar cocktail sauce. Very high in protein, and not too bad tasting. I did pick up some canned chicken which I will try with FF gravy tomorrow. Cottage cheese also stayed down. It's a weird sensation not being hungry when I start to eat and not feeling full when I finish. The not feeling full thing doesn't really bother me, mostly because I'm not hungry to start with. I am thirsty a lot, mostly because I can't gulp my water like I'm used to. Ahhh, well. Baby steps...

I did hop on the scale (yes, again) and it was down to 313.4, so I must be doing something right. I am trying to wean myself off of daily weigh-ins, but I like to see what the previous day's diet does to the scale. Hey, as long as it continues to go down, that's all I care about right now.

Go, Trojans!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

What a gorgeous day - clear, 52 degrees (should be close to 70 this afternoon), slight breeze. Not sure what the plan is with Mom and Deb, but hopefully something outside to enjoy the waning days of fall. Tomorrow we will go to the Minnesota Historical Center to see the exhibition of Pulitzer Prize Photographs, and then come home to watch the USC/Notre Dame game (Go, Trojans!).

Allan had an interesting comment on my last post. He said to stop thinking about food. I have to disagree. I have to constantly think about food - I have to be able to make sure I get 47 grams of protein per day, which means I have to weigh whether or not to eat yogurt or cream of wheat for breakfast. If I think I can get enough protein the rest of the day, I can have the COF. If I want to be safe, I have the yogurt (hey, 1/4 cup has 3.5 grams!). I also have to constantly think about when I'm eating. I cannot drink 30 minutes before or after I eat, but I have to get 64 oz. of water in per day. So, my morning so far has been:

8:30 - Carnation Instant Breakfast w/8 oz. milk
9:00 - 1/4 c. yogurt (sugar-free, low carb)
9:30 - 10 oz. coffee
10:15 - 8 oz. water

My day totally has to be planned around what and when I eat and drink. Skipping meals, not getting in my minimum protein, not drinking my water are all big, huge no-nos.

Luckily, I haven't had any big food cravings. I sat at the dinner table last night with some soup (pureed corn chowder) while the others ate the horseradish burgers stuffed with smoked gouda, coleslaw and garlic mashed potatoes. I had no desire to have any of it. It looked good, it smelled good and I knew if I had any I would get sick. In fact, as I was heating the potatoes, I stirred them to make sure they were getting hot and unconciously licked the spoon. Even though it was just a taste - less than a teaspoon - it got stuck in my mouth. They were too dry, too rich and too solid. Even when I made pasta for Don the other night, I had to bite into the pasta to see if it was done and spit it out. I think that's the weirdest for me right now is cooking and not being able to taste for seasonings.

I haven't felt any real hunger since the operation, not even "head hunger." It will be a much different game once that kicks in. I was excited to move from liquids only to pureed - one, because of the variety of foods/tastes and two, because I could finally have a different mouth feel. Some people miss chewing, and I haven't had that issue yet. With pureed food, I get things like cottage cheese, refried beans (fat free), baby food (stage 2), liverwurst, hummus. I can puree my own meat - tuna with low fat mayo, chicken/turkey with FF gravy and broth, ground hamburger/turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy. Not sure how I feel about pureed meat...but the cottage cheese sounds good....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mmmmm, Food....

I had my 1 week post-op check up yesterday, which went well. They weren't concerned at all that my weight hadn't plummeted since surgery. The nurse told me that most people average 5-8 pounds a week in the first few months and unless it's significantly below that I shouldn't worry.

I also had my first "food" in 18 days, and it didn't sit well with me. I will try yogurt and cream of wheat today and see where that gets me. I also made my first mistake post-op - I didn't take a bottle of water with me when I went to run errands. I think that was part of the problem with digesting the food was that I was dehydrated. I've already downed 8 ounces of water this morning and will be eating here shortly (I have to have 30 minutes between my last sip and my first bite).

My exercise is coming in spurts - short walks or activity of about 10 minutes a few times a day. That seems to work for me right now, since I still tire easily. I might even try the treadmill today since it's wet out and I don't have any errands to run.

What I do have to accomplish today before 2:05 PM today (when my mom's flight gets in) is:

Change sheets in guest room 1
Make bed in guest room 2
Launder guest bath towels (in the dryer)
Make my own bed
Clean master bath
Sweep hardwood floors downstairs
Vacuum family room
Clean kitchen
Fold, put laundry away

That should tire me out....(Hopefully Don won't read this before I get these things done because he will make me promise NOT to do these things....).

While my dad was here, I told him about the blog and sent him and Dean the link. Not sure how often they will check in, but a warm welcome to them. I will share this site with my mom and Deb over the weekend.

Well, my first load of laundry is done and I should pull the sheets out of the dryer and get started on my day. Plus I have exciting cream of wheat waiting for me!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Scale Moved!

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And, no, not from inched down 1.8 pounds from the morning of surgery. I'm not going to record anything until tomorrow at my official 1 week post-op mark.

I went to my weekly support group meeting which was really interesting. In a few weeks I am going to have my lean body mass and my basal metabolic rate measured. That will give me a much better idea of what an realistic ideal weight is and what my caloric intake should be once I'm out more than a year or so. Most people fall between 1100 and 1700 calories, although some are as low as 700 and as high as 1900. That should be interesting.

The JP tube comes out tomorrow - very happy about that. It's more of a hassle than anything, but I'm hoping it helps with some of the gas pressure in my abdomen. Ugh. Once the tube is out, I get to switch to full liquids, so cream of wheat and yogurt here I come!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Still Waiting for the Journey to Start

Even though I think I have pretty realistic expectations, it's a true bummer to step on the scale 5 days after surgery and see the scale read 4 pounds above what I weighed the morning of surgery. Of course, that's better than two days post-op and I was up 9 pounds. My brain knows that they pumped me full of gas and fluid during surgery; my body is currently in a state of shock; I am still in recovery. Everyone I've spoken to who has had surgery said do not weigh until at least 1 week out. Most people gained 10 - 20 pounds after surgery because of the drugs, fluid and gas, so it's really unrealistic to even think I'm going to wake up with a loss. It still goes to show me that the scale is a huge part of my life right now, and I don't know when or if that will change (OK, Don, if you just read this, please don't go through with your threat to hide the scale....please....).

I am actually feeling pretty damn good. My dad came in on Saturday afternoon and we had a quiet night in. Yesterday we took the dogs for a 1 mile walk, and I didn't feel too badly after that. We then all went in to Don's office in St. Paul so he could file some expense reports. We then drove around St. Paul, checking out the capitol, St. Paul's Cathedral, historic Summit Avenue and the shopping on Grand Avenue. I was a little tired after all that, but not too much. I've been sleeping well, usually going to bed at 10:00 and up at 7:00, getting up just once or twice during the night. I'm down to taking my pain meds twice a day - once before bed (the strong stuff) and once mid-day (children's ibuprofen).

The liquids are going well. I'm pretty much getting in my 64 ounces a day without a problem. Water, Propel, coffee all seem to be going down well. I have had broth, SF Jell-o and SF popcicles, all which agreed with me, but I'm craving water more. Taking pills, even quartered ones, are still a bit of a challenge. Despite how much I am drinking, I'm not peeing a lot, so I know that is contributing to the bloating. The funny thing is that things that didn't fit pre-op are fitting now, so things are changing.

I will be doing some work from home today - nothing too major, just some time cards and e-mails. Once that is done, I think I will take my dad on a drive around Lake Minnetonka to see the fall colors. Not sure what we are going to do tomorrow - maybe drive out to Stillwater or go to a museum. I get my drain tube out on Wednesday morning on the way to take my dad to the airport. My mom and Deb arrive on Thursday, so more tourist stuff, which is actually good since I haven't really played tourist here yet.

Hopefully I'll have brighter news on the scale front come Wednesday morning...

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Lowdow

So, I'm sure everyone wants to hear about the skinny on the WLS...

I actually slept pretty well the night before. We got up at 4:30 and got everything together. We had a huge rainstorm the night before and I was worried that some of the roads would still be flooded. We got to the hospital a few minutes after 5:30. They checked me in and took me in to a large room with a bunch of other surgical patients. Instead of beds, there were lounge chairs in each patient bay. This is where they took my vitals, blood, weight, etc. I changed and they reviewed the procedure. Don came back and sat with me for about 15 minutes while the nurse charted all my info. I got a little teary-eyed but Don held my hand and told me that everything was going to be OK.

A nurse's aid came to walk me down to the pre-op area. This is where I said good-bye to Don. He was told to go downstairs and check in at the family waiting room. He would be given a pager and when it went off he was to come upstairs and meet with the surgeon.

I was taken into another large room, this one with beds. I got comfy in bed and a tech came over to put in my IV. It took her 4 tries to finally get it in. Guess my veins were shy after pretty much dehydrating myself. Anyway, they also gave me some Atavan to take the edge off and away we went into the surgical suite. There was a lot going on, and things were kind of fuzzy. I remember being moved onto the operating table and putting my arms out on these slats and being strapped down. I also remember getting an oxygyen mask. The next thing I remember is my name being called and told that we were moving into the recovery room.

In the recovery room, I remember trying to open my eyes and wake up. Even the nurse commented on how quickly I was coming out of it. I guess I was in there from 9:30 to 10:30. I remember being wheeled up and seeing Don outside of my room waiting for me. They got me settled and Don came in. I slept on and off for a few hours, finally getting out of bed for the first time about 2:00. I only got as far as the bathroom, but that was OK. I tried to quickly wean myself off the morphine drip, moving the pumps from every 10 minutes to every hour.

I did my first hall walk at 4:00. That went well - I was feeling strong and just a little sore. I moved to liquid Percoset at about 6:00 and did another, longer hall walk. The only thing that was bothering me was how dry my mouth was and how it seemed I couldn't get enough water. Of course I could only do ice chips until about 6:00. My mouth still tastes a little funny no matter how much I brush my teeth.

My first night was only OK. Someone was getting me up every few hours - poking and prodding me. I was feeling really bloated, like uncomfortably so. They tried a few drugs and that helped a bit. At about 4:00 they gave me some more Percoset which I immediately threw up. Finally I was able to go back to sleep and rest a little longer.

Don came over around 9:30 or so and I had already taken a few short walks. I kind of napped, walked, napped and walked some more. Finally at about 2:30 or so they started getting me ready to check out. It seemed like it took forever but for the most part it was quick. All the nurses were impressed with how quickly I was walking around, drinking my liquids and peeing (nurses are always curious about your input and output). I got home around 4:00 and slept for about 3 hours - probably the longest I've been able to sleep in two days. I got up, took a shower, emptied my drain, changed my dressing and went back to sleep.

I've been pretty good with the pain meds - 4:00 this morning and 10:00 so far today. My liquids are going down well - water, apple juice, grape juice and coffee. I may even try some broth soon. I showered again and did the whole drain thing. The only pain is a little around the stomach area - it's more muscular; like I've tried to do too many situps. I haven't had any naseua since the last dose of percoset, so the switch to a different pain med seems to be the answer.

I can make it up and down stairs pretty easily, although Don is always with me. He even insisted on walking down to the mailbox with me since we have a somewhat steep driveway and a pretty big step from the porch to the walk. I am feeling good, not too tired or sore. I'm about to try and get some beef broth in and once I'm done with that and another cup of water I'll have gotten in 47.5 ounces so far today, which means only 20.5 ounces more for today. I'd be totally jazzed to get my 68 ounces in only the second day out.

On the weight front, even though I was told not to even get near a scale for at least a few days, I did get on and I'm actually up 8 pounds since I weighed in on surgery day. Obviously that's from the liquids, gas and anethesia. One of my friends who had the surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago is down 18 pounds, so I have that to look forward to.

Anyway, I know this has been a scattered post but the logical thoughts aren't all there yet...hopefully I'll be more cognizent tomorrow...

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Just a short one...I'm home. In a little discomfort but I just took a shower and will hit the bed early tonight. Will post all the gory details tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Hello, all. Guest blogger Don here.

Just wanted to let all Shannin's friends out there know that she's out of surgery and resting comfortably in her room. A little tired and sore but otherwise fine.

The doctors want her up on her feet in a few hours and walking around by tonight. Depending on how she feels, she could go home tomorrow or Friday.

In addition to being bright and really cute, my wife is a strong woman, but we'll play it safe on this one.

Thanks to all of you out there who have taken the time to follow her journey and express your support.

I'll try to post another update tomorrow if Shannin isn't up to doing it herself.

Thanks again.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Liquid Diet, Day Ten

One of the best things about the end of this liquid diet is that I will be able to create far better titles!!

Seriously, things are going along just fine. I had a wonderful detoxifying bath and lymphatic drainage massage (figured it was a good time to get the toxins out), ran some errands, did some chores. I actually feel a lot better about this today than I did yesterday. I still have my moments, but for the most part I am feeling very supported and steadfast in this decision. I'm not even worried about "missing" foods or not "living" normally. This surgery is going to open up so much for me.

Anyway, I'm 12 hours away from surgery. I spoke to the admissions people at Methodist Hospital and am pretty well registered. That one of the cool things about this whole clinic (not just the WLS part) but all the clinics and hospitals are linked via computer. There are no paper records - it's all computerized. Anyway, everything I told my doctor yesterday was recorded so when the admissions person called she just verified the information. Looks like check in should be a breeze.

I did do the wonderful magnesium citrate (the sparkling laxative), and it actually hasn't been too bad. I mean, after 10 days on a liquid diet, how much could be in there? The taste wasn't as bad as I thought - kind of like a very strong lemonade. As long as it does the job.

We took the dogs to the Hound Dog Pet Hotel & Spa for a few days. We figured it would be easier since Don wouldn't have to be running between the hospital and home to let the out or feed them. The great thing is they love it there and it really poops them out, so they'll be tired for a day or two after they come home. It's like a 48 hour trip to the dog park for them! (Oh, and Beth, I would sneak drinks into the DP with you!)

I would like to thank everyone for their great support, prayers and love. Even though I've only met a few of you, you have all become such strong threads in my life.

I can't wait to see you all on the losing side!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Liquid Diet, Day Nine

I'm feeling very shell-shocked right now. It still doesn't feel real. It's starting to hit me a little as I realize that my life is going to majorly change in just 36 hours.

Believe it or not, I didn't weigh myself this morning. Gasp! I did get weighed at the doctor office this afternoon and came in at 324 which should be just about 321 or so on my scale in the morning. My appointment went well - my doctor reassured me that I was making the best choice to vastly improve my health. I still have to be honest that I have had more than one second thought.

So, my IKEA excursion was successful. In the end, I opted not to get the bed since it's 61 pounds and the width of the box wouldn't have fit into my car flat. I will either wait until I have Mr. Muscle with me or order it on-line and pay the $49 delivery fee. I should have the two guest rooms put together by tomorrow and will try and get pictures up. I didn't make it through my clothes but I figure that's something I can work on while I'm off. I am fitting into a pair of khakis that I haven't worn in awhile. I'm hoping I'll find a whole new wardrobe within my current one!

I will be posting tomorrow and maybe even Wednesday before I leave for the hospital. My guess is that I will not be sleeping very much Tuesday night. I have given Don my log-in and password to Blogger so he can post an update on Wednesday night.

Off to try and relax. I'm in a bit of a funk right now and I just need to work some things out in my mind first...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Liquid Diet, Day Eight

Finally off the plateau - down to 322.4, so down 14.2 pounds since the beginning of the month and 8 since the start of the liquid diet a week ago. It looks like I can reach my goal of 320 by surgery day and maybe even lower.

I did have a rough night last night. Around 8:00 or so I felt really bloated and gassy - it felt like my intestines were in knots. I tried drinking water, going to the bathroom and nothing made me feel better. I did sleep OK, but got up at 4:30 AM and pooped which made things feel a lot better. Hey, y'all wanted to know the details of this journey.

When I took the dogs out this morning at 6:45, I noticed the tree in our back yard has a lot more yellow then it did even yesterday. One small one in the front is all red on the top 1/3 of its leaves. Yep, fall is in the air. It's during these "shoulder" seasons - between winter & spring and between summer & fall I see the most interesting clothing combinations - shorts with a leather coat, one woman in sandals and one in boots. I try to keep it pretty middle of the road, but I do love wearing sweaters so I can hardly wait until there is a sustained drop in the temps.

I got most of what I wanted to do done yesterday. I was planning to go to IKEA to get this,
but I think I may opt for two of these instead so I don't have to try and load the big box into my car. I really want a bed frame for my second guest room, but I know Don will kick my butt if he finds out I was building a queen size bed by myself. We'll see. I really want to get the bedroom put together before I go in for surgery. Photos to come once I'm finished.

The best news of the weekend is that I was able to get my work laptop hooked up so I can work from home. It's not wireless, which means I will have to work in the upstairs office, but at least I can check e-mail and do timecards while I'm out. That will make my return to work much easier.

So, less than 72 hours from now I will be in surgery. Still doesn't feel real...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Liquid Diet, Day Seven

So, I am still hung up on this "plateau," if you can call it that. I'm down to 324.4, which is down 6.2 pounds since Sunday and a pretty good one week total. I would have figured I'd be down more after hiking all over the hospital yesterday and keeping my calories to about 1000. I'm under 500 so far today and I did a 1.5 mile walk with the dogs and Don this morning. The true pre-op number will be revealed on Wednesday morning after I do the sparkling laxative on Tuesday. That should be a treat. I'm sure WLS patients don't call it Ass Reamer for nothing.

I've been going through my books since we are having a book drive next week. I have such a hard time parting with books, even ones I didn't like or I know I will never read again. Heck, I probably have easily 20 books on my shelves that I haven't even started to read. I'd like to say no more new books until I have exhausted my current inventory, but I'm too busy trying to figure out where I can put more bookshelves! I did cull about 6 cookbooks. I'm not sure why I'm hanging on to two entire shelves of cookbooks seeing how, 1) I won't be whipping up any fab dinners in the near future, and 2) I can cook almost anything as it is. I may have to take a harder look at that area and see if there are more that I can get rid of.

I did get my hair done, and even had Don take some Before and After photos but I don't like the After ones so I may wait to post them until I get some better ones. I do like my new color - it's kind of a coppery cinnamon with blone highlights. It's much darker than what I had been doing but I think it looks good on me. I do love my new hair stylist. I still miss my one from LA, but she's been great. She gets excited about doing new things to my hair. I told her that I may look to cut it all off in March or April, which should be just about the time I could start losing my hair. WLS patients experience a temporary loss of hair because of the radical change in diet. I have so much hair, I don't know if I'll even notice, but shorter hair has always looked good on my thinner face.

The weather has pulled another Minnesota on us. It was 34 degrees a few mornings ago on my way in to work. It's now 80. At least there is a breeze and no humidity, so it's not uncomfortable. I can still work up a good sweat by just doing things around the house. I have at least two or three loads to drag upstairs and a ton of stuff to do up there - clean the two guest rooms, move two shelving units and a table, bring up a new shelving unit, clean out my closets and drawers, dust, vacuum. Ugh. The one thing I miss about my old house in LA is that it was all on one level and moving things from one room to the next wasn't a big deal. Now we have two levels plus a basement. Guess I shouldn't complain about forced exercise.

Still no major cravings. I've been able to avoid drooling when people eat in front of me or rationalize that one burger/sandwich/piece of cake won't hurt my surgery. There was a woman in our support group who had a doctor who didn't require a liquid diet pre-op. She ate right up until the day before surgery. What should have been a 2 hour laprascopic surgery turned into a 9 hour open one because the surgeon had problems with her liver. I don't even want to go there.

I can't believe where the day has gone! Better get going on my chores so I can rest a little tomorrow.