Well, the time has come. My surgery was approved and has been scheduled. Say whaaat?! I’m in a super-lazy panic about it. I just want to scream about how I’m not ready, but realize I will never be ready for this. I can’t think of a terribly valid reason to NOT do it, so I will be getting the Roux-en-Y laparoscopic gastric bypass November 26th, 2013. I’ll likely be released from the hospital Thanksgiving Day.
A month and a day until fear and pain and a liquid diet and my new life beginning. It’s the final countdown…
(I’ve got more to say, but I’m sleepy and can’t think and have The Final Countdown stuck in my head.)
I’m in the middle of attempting to shop for vitamins right now and I’m ready to punch a small child.* I’ve tried doing this multiple times and get too frustrated and give up. I’ve got my weight loss surgery binder on my lap right now, so I’m accurately able to list what is required from Swedish Weight Loss Services. This is what is recommended for the RNY. I’m paraphrasing in parts.
- Multivitamin – Bariatric specific multivitamin in liquid/chewable form for the first three months. If you opt to take a bariatric surgery specific multivitamin, choose a general adult multivitamin that contains 100% of daily value for at least 2/3 of nutrients and take double the dose.
- Calcium Citrate – 1500 mg daily
- Vitamin B12 – Sublingual or liquid drops. 1000 mcg daily
- Iron – I’m glad I’m reading this clearly now… I’m not positive exactly how much I need!
- Vitamin D3 – Unsure of this as well. There is recommended amounts, but both are dependent on labs. I was only told my labs looked good
- Prilosec/Protonix/Prevacid/Nexium – I’ve taken Prevacid for years. I have plenty
- B50/B50 Complex – Suggested. Depends on how much is in the multivitamin. Also dependent on labs
- Probiotics – Highly suggested
Okay, so this list doesn’t seem THAT hard, right? WRONG. Finding vegan vitamins on a fixed income is seriously not recommended. It will make you wanna jump off something tall. I am SO FRUSTRATED. I decided tonight to just power through and order stuff. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a vegan multivitamin that meets the requirements given AND that I can afford. I don’t freaking care anymore, so I got on the Baritatric Advantage page. I started searching for coupon links and stuff and came across Bariatric Advantage® RECOVER®. According to the site, you work with your surgeon to apply for assistance in getting vitamins. It appears they only help 500-1000 people per year, and considering it’s mid-October now, I’m not sure if I’ll have any luck. I’ll call Swedish first thing in the morning and see if it’s an option. At this point, I’d rather something I can afford and just do everything else as plant-based as possible. I can handle three months of vitamins with potentially non-vegan ingredients. I can play the “ignorance is bliss” card for 90 days, right? I HATE THIS.
I need to get the vitamin/supplement situation figured out ASAP. I called Swedish to check in on my status and it sounds like I may have been submitted for insurance already! WHAT?! When I go in for my final pre-op appointment (sounds like it’ll be 2-3 weeks before surgery) I need to have my vitamins and proteins with me for them to check. Craaaaaaap!
(Also, I forget if I said – I was given a new CPAP machine. I went to get the info downloaded off my first one and nothing showed! The settings were changed for the new one and I’m not sure if this one is working correctly either, but I go back to LinCare on Friday to check in on that. So sick of this machine, I’m wearing it right now.)
*Done Being Big does not condone punching small children. Don’t be a moron.
Just some quick updates… I see a cardiologist this morning. It’s not one of my surgery pre-reqs, but my regular doctor noticed that my heart rate is a bit too fast/uneven, so I got referred over just to be safe. I had a 24 monitor on but didn’t do it correctly, so we’ll see how that all goes.
I have a follow-up with Lincare this week to see if I’m complying with CPAP usage. I honestly don’t know how I’ll do with that… I think I have to prove compliance for like 30 of 90 days? I forget the rules. I still can’t sleep well with this mask on, so I have to sit on my ass and not move/eat/drink for at least four hours each day. Hopefully I’ll be done with this thing soon. Anyway, so I take the machine in so they can read the memory card inside to see if I’m compliant, and then I head to the sleep doctor to see how my titration study went. If I “passed” (I don’t know what counts for passing…), then I should be done with everything.
I haven’t gotten my vitamins yet. I’m struggling with finding a combo of vegan and affordable. I know how important the vitamins are and fully intend to take them, it’s just finding the exact right one. It’s frustrating.
Another thing I had mentioned in the shitty video I made is how FUCKING SICK I AM OF BEING FAT. I am so over this!!! I am so sick of never having clothes that fit, worrying every time I sit in a chair I don’t know, not having a normal relationship… and wearing this stupid CPAP mask! I should make a post of all the things I dislike about feeling this way and what I hope for the future.
I have my gym membership back this month, it’s been suspended for the past four months. I’m realizing that it’s a week into the month and I haven’t gone. The week has been crazy, but I should’ve been able to go. I’m just feeling down about myself.
Oh, I got a Blendtec. I haven’t used it yet, but am excited to do green smoothies and stuff.
I realize the images in this post don’t have a heck a lot to do with what I said. They do have to do with what I planned to say, so it totally counts. The next post will be better. I promise.
I really intended to post more updates on this stupid blog. Honestly, I’m just too lazy/frustrated. I recently purchased a domain for all this stuff, but don’t know what to do with it now. I don’t know how to get this blog to look/feel the way I want (you’ll notice I have a new layout or whatever), so I get angry and give up.
Two weeks ago, I went to Providence Hospital in Everett, WA for my titration sleep study. I paid to get my hair French braided, in hopes that I’d get less of the evil paste all over the place and be dealing with matted tangles and stuff. I got put in a room and waited. For an hour. No sleep tech arrived! Four people were getting studied and the tech assigned to me and another person never arrived. They sent us home! Fairly obnoxious since I don’t live anywhere near there, but I got to visit with a friend that lives with Seattle, so it wasn’t a total waste of evening/gas. I was told I would be called to reschedule.
A couple of days later, I went to Swedish for a follow-up appointment. I wasn’t positive what to expect, just knew I should be getting the results from my endoscopy and blood work. I had prepared a list of questions, since I have had difficulty getting answers by phone. I was weighed, had my blood pressure taken, and pulse/temperature checked. After that, I was seen by a nutritionist. She wanted to review a food log I was given months ago, but since I never heard back if it was supposed to be done, I didn’t do it. (I could have, but knew I hadn’t eaten well that week, the form was unclear, and I didn’t know if I was supposed to be listing what I’d normally be eating or on a pre-op diet sort of thing.) We discussed food concerns, went over goals I had set (and completely forgotten) at my first appointment, my diet and how to survive with the plant-based thing (this nutritionist was more supportive, but still pretty uneducated in that respect), and what vitamins I need to get. After that, I met with a nurse. She was kinda snippy. All she said was my lab work was perfect (I call bullshit on that, I know my B12 is crazy low and I haven’t been properly taking my supplements) and that the endoscopy found a hernia and gastritis, which I already knew. She answered my questions, rudely. I’ll be re-asking everything at my final pre-op appointment. Once I’m done with sleep medicine, I should be good to go. After that, it was over. The whole appointment was maybe fifteen minutes. Kinda sucks, considering the distance.
The lobby of Swedish Weight Loss Services has products they endorse. High-protein, low-carb foods (nothing vegan, appears very processed), protein powders, vitamins, and blender bottles. I looked through all of it, took pictures for reference, but didn’t really find anything terribly useful. It certainly would be easier to get by using that stuff… luckily I am used to taking the complicated route. I wandered around the hospital… found the picture I plan to replace with my “after” look (I’m determined to get on one of those damn posters) and had a really gross lunch in the cafeteria. I had pre-paid for three hours of parking and had to get my money’s worth, so I decided to return some calls. Called the sleep clinic back to reschedule and ended up being scheduled for a study that night!
I usually keep like, EVERYTHING in my car. I had JUST taken out the bag I had prepared for my sleep study, otherwise I could’ve just spent the day in Seattle. But nope, had to come back home since I didn’t have my CPAP mask. Between the slightly shitty appointment and Swedish and all the driving I had been doing that week, I was tired and crabby by the time I got home. I didn’t care, I took a damn nap. I didn’t figure I’d be sleeping at the study anyhow.
The sleep study went alright, I guess. I got lost on the way (Google maps suddenly changed directions) and the parking lot I was used to was blocked off for painting. Since I was annoyed, I decided it’d be funny if I drank before checking in. I had a bottle of Mike’s in the car (after I was parked and the car was off – don’t drink and drive, kids!) and headed up to my appointment. Even though I’m over 300 pounds, I’m a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. As I waited in the sleep study bedroom, I was cracking up watching Talladega Nights. I told the tech I had a drink and apparently it’s like REALLY common. This chick was hilarious and told me lots of funny stories. The study itself kinda sucked… every time I fell asleep and she adjusted the CPAP pressure and it’d wake me up. The paste crap got EVERYWHERE. My hair was a goddamn mess by the time I woke up! When I got back home, I covered my head in coconut oil and rinsed out with the highest temperature water that I could tolerate. Everything washed out except one chunk, and I just cut the stupid thing out.
I have pictures of all of this stuff, or used to, but misplaced them with the stupid iOS 7 update. I’ll edit them in later, if that is something that can be done.
There is more to say, but I’m tired of writing. Later, bitches!
Yesterday I headed down to Swedish for my lab work and endoscopy. Getting ready for it was more stressful than the day itself! With all the drugs they put you on for the actual procedure, you can’t be released without a driver. My friend had to pull out a couple of days beforehand, so it was a frantic rush to find a ride or cancel before they tacked on extra charges. Thankfully, I was able to find someone!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I did have a colonoscopy/endoscopy a few years ago, but don’t remember much. We got to Swedish and frantically tried to find the lab. The signage and info desk lady weren’t terribly helpful. Anyway, got checked in and was taken back to what they called a “mini-lab”. It was this tiny room with three ladies hard at work – only room for one patient at a time. I let them know I was a difficult person to get blood from and the tech was very sensitive to that. I wish I had gotten her name so I could give her props! They took 8 vials of blood, testing for iron and B-12 and that sort of thing. It sucked, but could’ve gone much worse. They wanted a urine sample, but after 12 hours of no food or drink, it simply wasn’t happening. I said I’d come back to the lab after the procedure and try again.
After the blood draw, my friend and I headed up to the endoscopy area. The same lady checked me in there, somehow! We were only in the waiting room for a couple of minutes before being called back. It was a really nice place! Very clean with state-of-the-art equipment. It’s gonna sound silly, but I felt more confident about the whole thing because my room number was the same as my parents’ address, haha. That and I only had to take my top off and switch to a hospital gown. I got to keep my bra and everything from the waist down on. I generally find it easier to relax when I have my pants on.
A nurse asked me a bunch of questions (confirming meds, making sure their records were correct – nothing major) while another got me set up with a blood pressure cuff, one of those finger monitor thingies, and an IV. Four different people told me I needn’t worry about about the actual procedure, because Dr. McMahon is heavy with the drugs. All of the staff was excellent, they kept me calm with lots of jokes. As I was getting wheeled into the room, I was cracking up. Things got hectic as they were preparing for the endoscopy, but assured me that they had done it five times earlier in the day with no complications at all. My surgeon greeted me and I was instantly comforted. I’m not positive why, I’ve only seen him twice before. Anyway, they got me hooked up to oxygen, had me turn on my left side, and Dr. McMahon started to give me Versed. Hoooooooooly SHIT. First of all – OW?! It burned in my veins. They assured me it was totally normal. I felt like my lungs were being squished and started coughing a bunch. Again, apparently totally normal. I started feeling super dizzy and said “Man, this stuff works quick!” and that’s all I remember. I remember like two flashes from after it was over, but really don’t remember anything until we were almost to my friend’s house.
I was worried that I wouldn’t remember any results they gave me – and I don’t. I know they planned to take biopsies in multiple areas and I’ll hear about that later on. I see from a paper that I still have a hiatal hernia (they’ll fix that during surgery) and gastritis. Hopefully the lab work and biopsy results are favorable… I’ll find all that out in two weeks. Aside from some mild bruising on my arm, I’m totally fine! I slept a ton, but my throat is fine and all that. Yay!
I need to stop being an asshole and figure out a way to sleep while wearing my CPAP (I brought it for the endoscopy but they didn’t use it!) so I can get my final sleep study and get the ball rolling. I started back in counseling the other day, that was another one of my requirements. I missed my counselor, he’s good people.
Anyway, still on track for surgery! I’m getting scared but excited!
As I’m typing this, I’m using my new CPAP. Boo. I got it today, as a condition of getting gastric bypass surgery. As previously mentioned, I did NOT want to do this. This was the main thing I was worried about. And honestly… so far, it isn’t that bad! I did start panicking and crying when first trying it on in the office, but it’s gotten better. I’m not ready to sleep with it on, but I have been using it while watching TV for a few hours now. Quite possibly longer than I used the last one altogether. In the interest of documenting as much as possible, here is the setup I’m working with.
I feel like I should be snorkeling. I got the stuff though Lincare. The chick that helped me was really nice, really patient and supportive. She had me try the nasal pillows (what was prescribed) and a newer version of the full mask (updated from what I had before). I appreciated getting to try both. I can see myself ending up with the full mask if I have to keep this up after surgery, but I feel pretty positive about using this thing for now.
Now that I have the CPAP and am using it, I can call Swedish Weight Loss Services and schedule the next few steps towards the surgery.
I meant to write a post about my sleep study sooner (it was a week ago) but my laptop was out of commission.
I had my study at Providence Sleep Health. I was really scared about it, because the one I had done two years ago at my local sleep center was not the best. I believe I mentioned in the previous blog why I wasn’t a fan. This time around, I was sure I wouldn’t want to sleep. I opted to do a study during the day this time, as I am a bit of a night owl and simply sleep better when it’s bright out. But since this place was an hour-ish away, I was worried I’d be too stressed from the drive and all that.
So I found the place oddly easily, thank goodness. I left my place a bit later than planned, so I arrived 5 minutes before my appointment. Get up to the clinic, and the secretary and sleep tech are running around all confused. I had requested a room with a hospital bed (back problems) and it hadnt been cleaned yet. They initially put me in the regular bed room. It wasnt bad, but I was hoping for the other room. I accidentally dropped something and it rolled under the bed and OMG it was FILTHY under there. I immediately hopped on Yelp to “report” it, because I’m a nerd like that. Finally ended up in the other room. It was super gross, but whatever. Had to power through. Got all the junk applied, went better than last time. They don’t do the nose wires anymore, it was a cannula or whatever those things are called. I didnt get a picture with the nose thing, but here is a comparison:
I truly almost wore the same shirt too haha. Anyway, I did sleep. This place was so much better. Not constantly waking me to keep me flat on my back or anything. The tech said I snored loudly. I don’t feel like I do and haven’t been told I do lately, but we shall see what the results say.
I hate the adhesive they put in your hair though. I didnt wash it out right away either time. I should have, but I’m lazy and the tangling pisses me the eff off. I just kept my hair up for a couple of days and when it it was time, I brushed out all I could, covered my head in coconut oil and then washed with castile body wash because I thought it might provide a better clean. Thankfully it did, it all washed out with one shower.
I go in on Tuesday for the sleep study results. Still terrified about having to get a CPAP. I hope after that appointment, I wont ever have to deal with sleep medicine ever again.
I’m getting ready for a sleep study.
I need to leave in like… three hours. (Crap – is that right? I really shouldn’t be writing right now. Eh, fat girl priorities...) I have a bunch to do, I’m not at all prepared.
I did a sleep study a few years ago and it sucked. Hard. (Wow, I just found a picture from it on Facebook – 7/21/11… this one is gonna be 7/22/13. Freaky!)
The room was too cold (They insisted it needed to be cold he help me sleep. Okay, except I sleep better when it’s warm.). I was covered in tape and wires and bands and goo. It was uncomfortable and itchy. I could continue listing things… but gotta keep the negativity away.
I’m really scared about this appointment. I haven’t been to the hospital where it’s all going down, it’s about 45 minutes away. What I am most concerned about is the CPAP. I got diagnosed with sleep apnea when I did the study a few years ago, even though I slept MAYBE ten minutes. I got the CPAP probably a year later. (I told them I would try this mouth guard thing first, but due to lack of money/laziness, I never did.) I have high anxiety and couldn’t get over feeling like I was drowning or something. You know when you’re walking outside and it’s too windy and you cant breathe for a second? It was like that. (DISCLAIMER: CPAPs can be incredibly useful. I am not knocking them, it just wasn’t right for me.) To be fair, I didn’t try it as much as I could’ve. I decided early that it wasn’t for me and returned the unit.
Anyway, point being, I hope to not be told I need to get that again.
I get the sleep study in a few hours, get the results next week, then next up should be the lab work and endoscopy and then everything gets submitted to insurance for the weight loss surgery!
I am just awful at this blogging thing. Sorry.
I’m really and truly going to try to be better about it. I got my own laptop, made a couple other accounts (a YouTube channel, a Facebook group page thing…) and am pondering others (Instagram and Pinterest, perhaps?) so I can throw myself into documenting my progress towards getting my RNY gastric bypass, gleaning information, and helping others the best I can. My problem is, I really don’t know how to get a proper start!
I guess I’ll attempt a bit more of a history about myself…
So, okay, I’m 30 now. I’ve been overweight for as long as I can recall. I seem to recall getting big around 8 years old or so? Can’t be sure. I don’t know how much I was at any age, really. In high school I was a member of NJROTC and had to wear men’s uniforms. I had to get the clothes altered to fit my girth. I didn’t get the most fancy uniform, simply because they didn’t run big enough.
I have other pics to share, but I assume I should spread it out. Okay… so what else? Oh, the plant-based diet.
Along with being heavy, I’ve been a vegetarian for as long as I can remember. Aside from my first grade teacher force feeding me a hot dog (while telling me I needed to send the dog to his house), I don’t know when or why I stopped eating meat. I know I used to go back and forth as a child. It was a giant source of stress with my family. I wasn’t raised to be meat-free and my parents still love a good burger. I personally don’t think I’ve intentionally had meat in a bit over 20 years. I remember a hamburger around 9 years old. No idea when I had fish or poultry last.
As for what I do still eat… I’ll have ice cream on occasion. If I’m buying my own, I’ll get a frozen dessert from So Delicious. If I go to a restaurant, its not the end of the world if I have butter or the occasional thing of ranch dressing. At home, I use Earth Balance buttery spread and make my own salad dressing. The worst thing I eat is eggs. I go back and forth on that one. I cant prepare them myself though. I have really bizarre logic when it comes to eggs, and I shouldn’t get into it.
I prefer to call myself almost-vegan. There are so many titles out there, its super confusing. I would prefer it if people in my world didn’t use leather, hunt, eat meat, and made more natural choices… but I’m not a PETA fanatic or anything. I am the last person to show you a video of how cows are treated or something. I don’t want to watch that shit!
Wow. Back to what I was talking about…
I don’t eat meat, yet I’m still morbidly obese. I make fairly healthy choices for the most part, but at times have problems with portion control. I live a very sedentary lifestyle. I am SO EXCITED to lose weight and become one of those weirdos that actually likes going to the gym.. I want to be a runner. I want to be a yogi. It’s not a matter of want, even… these things will be happening.
I’m guessing these next few posts will be more of a background about me, until my surgery stuff gets going more. Sometimes I’ll type, sometimes I’ll post videos on my YouTube channel. I’m seriously rambling now, so I’ll stop for the night.
*Edited to add – This is my 3rd attempt at posting this stupid thing. ARE YOU TOO GOOD TO POST, BLOG?!