An Unexpected Mid-Life Journey

Gastric Bypass

December 4, 2006

I am so excited today.  I weighed today at water exercise, and I have lost 16 pounds!!!!!  As of last week Tuesday, I have lost 11  1/2 pounds since I started LEARN class.  I am learning so much about nutrician, eating habits, eating triggers, etc.   I would strongly suggest everybody who is considering gastric bypass surgery go through this course. 

I am supposed to  have some blood tests done this month and send them to Mayo Clinic.  They also want a report from the teachers of LEARN.  After they review the results of both these items, they are going to decide whether I can have surgery.  I am feeling anxious and nervous about the decision.  I hate to get my hopes up again and be told that I am not healthy enough yet.  I have not been feeling very good the past two weeks, so I am going to hold off on getting the blood tests done until I feel better and stronger.

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December 4, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 2 Comments

November 20, 2006

I had the last of the three shots in my knee this past week.  I am so glad the shots are over.  It was much worse when he drained water off my knee than it was when he injected the gel into my knee.  I think the shots have helped some.  I have not fallen when my knee goes out since the shots.  I hope this lasts until I can have my surgery and drop some serious weight.

I did well in LEARN class again this past week.  I lost another pound.  This has brought my total loss since class started to 9 1/2 pounds.  I am proud of myself.  Of course I wish I could have lost more, however I will take all I can get. 

I am supposed to have some blood tests done in about two weeks and sent to Mayo Clinic.  I hope they come out well so I can schedule my surgery.  It gets very frustrating when I get the news I am still not healthy enough for surgery, but I know gastric bypass is a risky operation and Mayo has my best interest in mind.  It is scary to think other places would have done my operation two years ago when I first considered it.  This surgery means I will be able to undergo the surgeries that will allow me to walk normally again.  This makes me think a little irrationally sometimes when Mayo wants to postpone the operation.

I was thinking the other evening about what I will want to do first when I can walk well again.  I know this sounds funny to some people, but I want to take the dogs for a walk with my family.  This was one of the many things I took for granted for so many years.  It sounds like a simple thing, however it is an impossible dream for me right now.

November 21, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

November 12, 2006

Finally I get the chance to write in my blog.  I have been sick the past two days and have not been able to use the computer.  I am feeling better right now, so I wanted to make sure that I logged an entry. 

The reason I started this blog is for a college course.  It is Writing for the Web, and this is one of our ongoing assignments.  This class has been very challanging and educational for me.  I never thought I would blog or have a website.  I am very old school and am leary of posting things on the internet.  I have learned so much and have been able to develop a little higher comfort level with writing on the web.

Things went well with Learn class this week.  I lost two more pounds!!!  I am really pleased.  Of course I would like to lose weight faster, but losing something is great at this point.  I am supposed to have an evaluation over the phone with Mayo in a month.  I am really excited about this.  Hopefully, everything will be in order and I can schedule my surgery.

I got the second of three shots in my knee this week.  It did not hurt as bad this time, however, he drained more fluid off my knee this week than last week.  This is concerning the doctor some.  The shots are working.  I don’t have total relief, but I do have some.  My  knee seems to be more stable now.  I am better able to “catch” myself when it gives out.  This will hopefully prevent some of the falls I have taken lately. 

November 12, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 2 Comments

November 3, 2006

This has been a very difficult week.  One of my biggest food problems is sugar.  I have been having a very hard time with the Halloween candy.  I know I should not be eating it, but I love sugar.  One thing I am looking forward to after the gastric bypass is that sugar is supposed to cause a condition called dumping.   Knowing that sugar will make me that sick will help me stop eating it.

I had my first injection in my knee this week for osteoarthritis.  It was much more painful than I thought it would be.  First he drew fluid off my knee, and then he could inject the gel.  It has left quite a bruise on my knee.  I hope that next week’s shot is not so bad.

My class went well this week.  I was disappointed I did not lose any weight.  I was quickly reminded by the instructors however I did not gain any weight which is just as important.  I am getting a little tired of writing down everything I eat and all of my exercise.  It is so time consuming.  I understand though that I must really do well in this class in order to learn good eating habits now and in the future.  I also must do well so that I can be another step closer to my surgery.

November 4, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 4 Comments

October 27, 2006

I had a great weigh in at class this week.  I was really happy I lost more this week than last week.  I am learning so much.  It is really making class enjoyable.

I am having more trouble with my knee due to my weight and the osteoarthritis.  I am going to try a treatment that is new to me.  I am going to go for three consecutive weeks and have a gel solution injected into my knee.  I am really hoping it works.  The doctor said if it doesn’t work, it will not cause any harm.  This could be an effective way to relieve the pain until I drop my weight and get a new knee.

This has been a really stressful week.  There were some unexpected family issues that caused a great amount of stress and anxiety.  I am about to have some life changing events occur, and am worried about what they will do to my weight loss.  Due to the fact that stress is one of my food triggers, I have to be very careful not to reverse the progress I have made.

October 28, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 3 Comments

October 19, 2006

I am starting to understand why Mayo Clinic requires that each person take the LEARN class prior to gastric bypass surgery.  One of the major points that needs to be stressed to someone considering gastric bypass surgery is it is not a cure for obesity.  It is nothing more than a tool.

It is possible for someone who has surgery to gain all of their weight back if they do not change their eating habits and lifestyle.  This is the main focus of LEARN.  I just finished week 2 of 12 on Tuesday, and already am so impressed with the program.  My eyes have really been opened by having to log everything I eat and its calorie amount each day.  I am starting to look more at labels before making meal and snack choices. 

October 20, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 3 Comments

October 13, 2006

I think it is really interesting that we are having Friday the 13th in October.   I have always experienced good luck on Friday the 13th, and today is not any different.  There was not one thing that stands out from today as lucky, but this was a very good week.

I started my LEARN  class on Tuesday evening.  I think that I am really going to get so much out of this class.  It is going to force me to look at some ugly truths about my eating habits and food choices.  Even though I am nervous about some of the truths I will discover.  I am looking forward to facing those truths and learning how to change the habits that have led me to a lifetime of weight struggle. 

This was the first week of my new exercise plan.  I have to admit that there were a few times this week I wondered why I was excited for this to begin!  I was not able to do all of the exercise everyday this week.  It is much harder physically and mentally than I had expected.  I know that it will get easier each week. 

October 13, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 4 Comments

October 5, 2006

I have not been able to write for a while due to a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  For those of you who have not had the opportunity to see the Mayo Clinic, it is amazing.  I don’t wish for anyone to have to go there for medical reasons; however it is an amazing establishment.  They have some of the rarest pieces of art in the world, and  the entrance is all marble.  They utilize technology like no other business.  Their medical expertise is second to none.  

I received very disappointing news at Mayo this trip.  I am going to be unable to have my surgery in December.  My health is not good enough yet to have the surgery.  In July when I was at Mayo, it looked very good that I could have surgery mid December.  I had made all my plans around that date.

There are several things that have to change for the better before I can have my gastric bypass.  I must complete a special course  I am already signed up to start.  I have to lose some more weight, and my iron count must reach the normal level.  These are all goals I have been working very hard on for a long time.  The surgeon is afraid the my surgery can’t be done with a laser.  Due to a prior surgery, my bypass could be more difficult than normal.

I just need to set my new goals and continue to work hard.  I am excited to start my new class next Tues.  and starting my exercise.  Mayo has given me a new exercise plan, and some of my current medication has been changed.  My iron will be tested and a progress report from my class will be sent to Mayo in two months. 

October 5, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 6 Comments

September 19, 2006

Here is another “chapter” of my story.  After contracting the meningitis,  I continued to become sicker and sicker.  Finally I was to the point I had to go to the doctor.  After several tests, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  At this time (1990), I had never heard of this disease. 

I was told that there was good news and bad news about the disease.  It would not kill me was the good news.  It has no cure and I would have it the rest of my life was the bad news.  I was also told that since the virus was coming from my spinal fluid instead of my blood stream, the treatments normally used would not work for me. 

With some help of rest and medication, I began to feel better and stronger for about four months.  This was when the muscle pain and weakness were starting.  Two months later I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  This too is not deadly, but I will have the rest of my life.  It was at this time I decided I had two choices. I could either give up or fight.  I decided to fight. 

September 19, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 4 Comments

September 12, 2006

I have decided that I want to share some background information concerning my quest for bypass surgery.  I think this might help others who may be in my similar situation.  My journey has been a long and sometimes difficult one.  I will share this background in several postings so that none of us have to sit and read what seems to be a novel. 

I contracted Viral Meningitis from my infant daughter.  I had a very easy pregnancy, and worked until the day before she was born.  My daughter was 11 days early and arrived hour and 3 minutes after leaving my house.  Really, I promise this is true!!!  

She was a very healthy child when she was born, and the light of her father’s and my life.  Within the first two weeks our “picture perfect” new family came to a screeching halt.  Our daughter started becoming very sick.  We were very fortunate to live in a city with one of the nation’s leading childrens hospitals.  She was admitted five times in her first ten months of life.  One of those times she was admitted with Viral Meningitis.

My ex-husband and I were both exhausted by this point trying to work full time and take care of her.  It was my turn to stay with her and his turn to work when she was admitted with this illness.  The fabulous and most important news is she recovered adn is a happy healthy seventeen year old.   The other news is I contracted the illness from her. 

In 1990, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.  My life has never been the same since. Prior to 1989, I was a “type A” personality with lots of energy.  I worked two jobs and went to college with energy left over to maintain a social life.  Post 1990, I am exhausted and my muscles are painful.  My immune system is also comprimised.  Despite my health, I continued to work full time in a management position. 

September 12, 2006 Posted by | Gastric Bypass | 5 Comments