Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bariatric surgery stream of consciousness

I didn't really know what to write about, but I keep having people tell me it's been too long since I've updated.  So I'm going with a stream of consciousness thing.  Let's try the "Good news, Bad news" thing.

Bad News (let's get it out of the way)
  • I've been off-program.  REALLY off-program.  I haven't been working out, and I've been grazing in the evenings instead of eating my meal and then stopping (this, by the way, is the surest way to failure after surgery).  I couldn't figure out what had changed until clumps of hair started falling out again.  Ta-DA!  My thyroid is extremely low (for me), which translates to weight gain and extreme tiredness (which then translates to skipping the gym and eating continually to keep your energy level up).  Now that we know what's going on and have adjusted my thyroid dose, I've started working out again, feeling better, and slowed down the grazing.  But I still have work to do on the eating thing.
  • My weight is not changing.  The doctor took out about 12lbs of fat, and I weigh the same now as before surgery.  Some of it is still swelling, I'm sure, but I also think my thyroid hiccup and the resulting changes is a big part of that.
  • My cravings have come back.  The doctor told me this would happen eventually.  I hate it when other people are more right than me.  I do know that if I can kick the carbs completely for about a week that the cravings will subside (although not disappear completely).  But it truly is a miserable thing to do.  Think about all the movies you've seen about people going cold-turkey off drugs.  That's what it feels like to quit carbs--it ain't fun.  But you do feel better afterwards, and you find that you don't have the same cravings, or that they are more manageable.
Good news:
  • Pilates (with a one-on-one trainer) has been an absolute god-send for me.  Not the mat-based pilates that you see at the gym or on workout videos.  That crap is HARD.  But the real thing, on the real machines (that look like torture devices), with a real instructor guiding you along so you don't hurt yourself.  See, when you do it on your own, with just a mat, you have to use your body weight for resistance.  On the machines, they take away some of that resistance so you can still do the same moves, but more easily (and less likely to hurt yourself).  I find I look taller and leaner, and I love the concentration it requires.  It's helped me rehab my knee and get my muscle tone back in my legs.  It's helped my feet and ankles, which has re-trained the way I walk.  If you can afford it, I highly recommend it.
  • I am still enormously lucky.  I have a supportive family who loves me, and who is willing to help me along every step of this process.  A big part of that is the financial assistance, which I don't know if I'd have been able to get the quality surgery that I had.  My insurance company, that starts with a K and means a German General, had approved me for surgery with a waiting list of 1 year.  They also were not designated a Center for Bariatric Excellence at the time (although they are now), and that was a big deal to me.  So I was able to go the self-pay route with the best doctor in the area because of the help from my family.  They also helped cover my other bills when I was off-work (with no salary) during recovery, and who is helping me with the surgical "business."  And, to boot, they are loving and supportive, and just generally good people with good humor.  Yes.  I am seriously the luckiest person I know, and I don't take it for granted.
Think of your own "good news bad news" list.  It helps me to get perspective, and might do the same for you.  


  1. Glad the lipo went well and that you are recovering nicely, and sorry about being "off" plan and battling the carb monster (THAT is NEVER a fun battle!) Speaking of support, I'm going to Mon. support group (crashing the bandsters again) b/c I don't know if our support will happen in Sept. since it falls on a holiday. Maybe I will see you there?

  2. I forgot about the holiday meaning we didn't have support group! I missed June because of the surgery, July because I forgot, and August because I went to my 20th high school class reunion. I never thought of going to the band group. Hmmm...

  3. Well, poop, I missed it anyway. I guess it was Aug. 22 (which doesn't make sense b/c band support is always the last Mon. of each month...go figure!) But Hilary *always* says, we are welcome at ANY support group and she means it! I've crashed Band many a times. LOL!

  4. Okay, got the scoop, band support is the 4th Mon. of every Month...wouldn't you know Aug. had 5 (very unusual)...anyhoo, OUR group is rescheduled to Wed. 9/7 due to the first Mon. being labor day...I will be there, hope to see you there too! One week from today!!!

  5. I think I can do 9/7! Is it still 7:00?