9-month check-up

You know how I started out all determined to be the model bariatric patient? And how I’d follow every rule and do post-op care with my surgeon religiously?

The post-op care with surgeon part is going down in flames.

I actually went for my appointment last Monday and got yelled at for not updating my insurance information. They sent me home because they needed a week to verify my insurance information (what the crap?). But whatever. I asked for a copy of my labs and left.

It should have just ended there. My labs are good, except one of my liver enzymes is outside the “normal” range by one point.

But I did go back for my new appointment Monday of this week, and I was informed that I needed to pay $85. Now, I know my insurance like I know my own face. I know that I pay only 20% of the negotiated rate, even for specialists. But whatever, I just paid the $85 and figured I’d get a refund once the insurance claim was submitted. No big deal.

But when I met my physician, I realized I should have just stayed home. First of all, she’s not a doctor, but a nurse practitioner. Who has been working in the field of bariatric medicine for exactly two months.

Right. I know more about my surgery than she does.

But anyway, she proceeded to use the word “frickin'” at least ten times in our appointment. Now, I’m no stranger to questionable language, but in a doctor’s office? It came off incredibly unprofessional.

Not to mention the high praise. “Oh wooooow, I can’t believe how wonderfully you’re doing. You’re amazing. You’re incredible. You’re just…. wooooow.”

That is very helpful medical advice, thank you so very much. Actually, I’m way behind most people in terms of my rate of loss. But whatever.

“You’re at 62% of your excess weight lost already. Woooow. That’s frickin’ great.”

(Actually, I’m at 79% of excess weight lost when calculated from my highest weight and a goal of 145.)

She recommended:

  • No more protein bars. Just eat vegetables and fruit. (uhhh… I have no problem with fruits and veg’s, but don’t I need the protein?)
  • Forget the NuvaRing and use regular birth control pills. (Um, I’ll stick to what’s working for me and what’s recommended by my OB/GYN, thanks.)
  • I wondered if I should take more calcium. She said, and I quote, “not until you start getting horrible pain in your bones.” (Umm… that’s what I’m trying to avoid.)
  • She put the stethoscope to my heart and said, “Oh my God, has anybody ever told you about your heart? You have quite the murmor. But I’m sure you’ll be fine.” (HOLY CRAP, SERIOUSLY?! I’ve been worried about it all week.)
  • I also inquired about my goal weight on a printout they gave me. I said, “I think 126 would be a little low for me. I’m shooting for 145 instead.” She said, again I quote, “Nobody really makes it to the goal anyway, so whatever you’re comfortable with.” So inspirational.

I did learn, however, that my surgeon does do some plastic surgery procedures, including the brachioplasty which is my number one concern. So there’s that.

All in all, if this lady’s still around when my next appointment rolls around in 6 months, I’ll probably just start following up on labs with my PCP instead. I can’t really understand her, but at least she doesn’t say “frickin'” every other word.

Stating the Obvious

At age 15, I dieted (read:starved) my way down to a size 2. Which on me was 129 pounds.

I realized today that my hips–the actual bones–are much wider than they were when I was 15.

Duh, right?

But under all this fat, I haven’t been able to actually see how much my body has changed over the past decade! I could totally fit a baby through my new woman-sized gargantuan pelvis! 🙂

9 months

Today’s my 9 month “surgiversary” or whatever. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • This surgery works, but then again it doesn’t. I’ve lost weight, so obviously it works. But I also lost weight before I had surgery, and I certainly struggle to lose weight since I’ve had surgery. RNY makes sticking to a food plan easier than it was before: that’s it. No more, no less.
  • I love exercise. I feel good when I do it, I feel bad when I don’t. Cycling is my stress relief, my connection to the great outdoors, and my drive to keep pushing harder. I found my exercise. That said, I still struggle to make myself lift weights. And running? Running is out for now.
  • I may not dump. I can’t be sure because it’s not like I’ve feasted on oreos, but I’m not sure that I dump. I’ve eaten a muffin, an oatmeal cookie, a tiny slice of cheesecake, and literally tons of fruit. Nothing happened. Sugar alcohols are another story.
  • I can feel full! I’ve been saying for months that I can’t feel anything in my pouch and that I never feel full. Yesterday, I finally felt it. It was a Zesty Chicken Bowl from the fresco menu at Taco Bell (yes, I ate at Taco Bell). I could eat a little more than half of it and I was done. Problem is, my pouch empties very rapidly and I could eat again if I let myself.
  • I’m a normal human being. I can eat at any restaurant, at any party, anywhere. If it’s something off-plan, I just nibble on it. But I don’t have to carry food around with me or refuse food at parties. I’m just a normal person.
  • My schedule is my lifeline. Maybe it’s because I’m so busy, but I cannot survive without my schedule. I need a workout schedule, weekly meal plans, daily meal plans, etc. I cannot do any of this living well on the fly because I slip right back into old patterns. I have to plan ahead to live healthy.

And to summarize progress, I’m at 193. I’ve barely lost any weight this month, and it’s because I’ve failed to meal plan and I’ve been eating out almost every meal. I’m back on the wagon today. I’ve lost 171 pounds from my highest weight and 106 since surgery.

My next goal is 174.4 (overweight instead of obese!) by the end of the year, and I’m on track. I need to lose 19 more pounds in 10 weeks, which ought to be achievable.

Cheerio!

Coldstoned

Dear Coldstone Creamery,

I didn’t expect to be able to eat anything at your fine establishment so, first of all, thank you for creating your Sinless Sweet Cream confection. No, it wasn’t exactly mind-blowing, but I got to eat ice cream while my friends did too. Splenda-sweetened and non-fat? I thank you. Those might have been the yummiest 6 grams of protein I’ve ingested all year.

But 15 grams of sugar alcohols? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, Coldstone, you nearly killed me! And I missed a good 30 minutes of Max Payne staring at the back of the bathroom stall door, praying that Sweet Jesus would come and save me from my own “max pain.” MISERY, I tell you!

Splenda-sweetened and non-fat is an excellent start. But I’d suggest consulting with Eggface on the rest before you blow any more bowels into oblivion.

Faithfully yours,

MegaMeggs

It’s bad when…

You know you’re stressed when you lock yourself out of the house or car two days in a row.

Thankfully, my husband was home the first time and my mom rescued me this morning.

Here I am once again…

Professing my commitment to push, once again, toward weight loss. I got down to 192, and now I’m suddenly back at 196. It must be the popcorn, bites of dessert, and pancakes. Shame on me. Seriously. I’ve been living like I’m okay where I’m at, and it’s not okay to stay here.

Being in school again has me in a tailspin. I’m barely hanging on to 3 days in the gym when I was accustomed to 5 + a bike ride. I have got to get the schedule worked out so that I can take better care of my body again.

So I’ll be food logging for the next week or so (and you all know how much I hate that) to keep an eye on things. I’ll also be getting up before the sun in order to make it to the gym.

My interim goal is to weigh 174 by the end of 2008. For me, 174 means moving from “obese” to “overweight.” It’s the next big milestone.

And I have 11 weeks. 22 pounds and 11 weeks. It can be done.