Day 83

Several people have been asking how I have been feeling back in Bon Homme County …. so here’s the updates … I have been feeling really good after 83 days. I tend to get a wonky mild pain in the incision area and where my port/drain was and at the first attempt area where the surgeon originally tried to go in.

I have about 5 lbs left of edema in my legs too. I am still overly exhausted and feel like I have been getting enough sleep. However, I wake up every morning at 4:00AM wide awake for some dumb reason. I do try hard to go back to sleep but my alarm goes off at 5:45AM for work. But I have officially given up taking naps.

I am now on my third full week of working full-time. Things seem to be going well sitting at my pod. I still try to have my legs elevated majority of my work day but I do have to move around for part of my gig. And the weather has been weird outside — it’s officially winter — but it is either too wet out or just odd weather to just walk in our parking lot like I do in the warmer months.

I still have memory loss from October 22nd through November 17,Β  2018. Small tidbits have surfaced but that’s about it. I read somewhere the other day, that when your body goes through trauma like I did, your brain protects you and shuts down certain parts.

But here I am, day 83, alive.

And I started exercising three days ago on my recumbent bike. 13.1 miles on Saturday, 20.2 miles on Sunday and 10 miles today.

I bought two 5 lb hand weights too. I’m pretty much a wuss with arm strength so just going to try my best to get more strength in my upper arms — yet I was on varsity golf all through Junior High & High School (go figure).Β  … I can already feel improvement in my legs from the bike. Tonight I attempted Yoga for Beginners but decided right away, it’s not for me. I’ll have to figure out another way to relieve unwanted stress.

Goal wise, I decided I will do everything I can do between today, January 14th and end of June … to meet my goals for the week of July 4th when I’ll be in Springfield with childhood friends and family.

I would like to do the 5K with my family. I’ve never done it and always sit on the sidelines cheering in all the runners and walkers. On a side note: I think we all can recall last year’s 5K when I showed up late and three sheets to the wind from the previous night of drinking a Cranberry Vodka mixture at Norm’s. [insert laughter here].

Baby steps people. It’s all about one day at a time as hokey as that may be.

This guy I work with has been eating cherry tomatoes every day at his morning break. He said he buys 2 lbs of them at Sam’s Club and they last one week. On Sunday, I buzzed over to Sam’s and bought a tub for $5.98. They are the sweetest, most delicious cherry tomatoes ever. I took the time to divide the tomatoes out into separate Ziploc baggies for this week’s lunches and he was right, there’s enough for every day of the week.

My new stomach — all 15% of it, is healing nicely too. And I am faithfully following all the rules I was given. Eating 3/4 cup of food keeps me full at lunch which has lately been carrots with blue cheese dressing to dip it in or celery sticks and some sort of plant or meat protein …. my breakfasts usually include two oranges that I cut up and I may have a 1/2 cup of some sort of seeds like pumpkin seeds or sunflower kernels or peanuts for the protein.

For weekly dinners, I have been eating a lot of (non-breaded) shrimp. I fry it up in real butter and use a tiny bit of cocktail sauce to dip them in or just eat them with the butter and nothing else. They are filling and do the stomach justice.Β  I no longer snack or need snacks but to calm my anxiety at work, sometimes I eat sunflower seeds or just chew bubble gum.

I do carefully watch the portion control and I really just rely on my stomach to let me know when I am full, which is always right after I consume about 4 or 5 ounces at every meal.

Finally, I also am getting in enough water intake. Weirdly it’s taken a good 2 months to do that but my providers should be very proud of me.

Protein wise, I went from needing 80 grams back down to 60 grams as my dietitian stated. It’s nice knowing that I have easy access to all of my providers via the Avera Portal system. I can send any of them a private message in the portal and by the end of the day, they respond. This is way easier than calling, leaving a message and waiting sometimes a day or more for someone to respond — and then — play phone tag.

This past week, I also shifted my eating back to the Wheat Belly lifestyle. For awhile there, I got off of that path while I was healing but I feel I was ready to get back to my regular routine of foods and stay away from toxic poisons that are in today’s grains/wheat.

For the past year I have been talking about getting a year membership at Midco Aquatic Center here in Sioux Falls…. it costs $190.00 for one year in my age group. A bit costly for me considering that you do not get to go to any of the water aerobic classes with that membership fee. This past Saturday, I just decided to quit making excuses and jokes about my laziness and just get on my bike and go. Did the same thing on Sunday and actually planned out my night tonight doing it right after I got home from work. And my sleep has improved and my legs feel amazing. Oh and I am nixing the idea of the $190.00 Midco membership. I’ll just use what I have in my teeny tiny home and go from there.

Since Dec. 31st, I have been talking to Cherry Tomato Guy at work. Today I told him that he inspires me to be a better human of myself (health wise/exercise wise). Naturally, in my very awkward way, that I am with the opposite sex, it came out of my pie hole, like a 7th grade girl, telling him I had a crush on him. Welcome to my life as I know it. Awkward, wonky, weird.

I just have always dealt with people who say that they want to lose weight or start exercising or whatever but just end up complaining more and more about it instead of moving their bodies and just doing it. Because CTG (Cherry Tomato Guy) and I both agreed that you, yourself, your own human, has to be the one to make that decision to make that change for you and only you. Then just do it.

Have a fabulous week — stay positive — and continue to make good food choices.

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Sunday Funday

I just rode my recumbent bike for 20.3 miles!!!!!!Β πŸ€Έβ€β™€οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸ˜πŸ’™Β In the beginning, I did some arm weights then I just cycled watching American Ninja Warrior.

Earlier I did a massive overhaul of cleaning my entire apartment which included moving/rearranging furniture too.

And before that, I did grocery shopping at Aldi and Sam’s Club. Supper tonight is lettuce salad with sunflower kernels and 1/2 cup cottage cheese with pepper.

I am FINALLY feeling like the healing is almost done…. but I know that isn’t true. Let’s hope my body reacts in a positive manner when I wake up tomorrow morning at 5:45AM for work.

I am so ready to face this coming week too. Keep the faith my friends!

And Then This Happened…

I exercised.

Actually, I exercised on my recumbent bike that I have owned for a zillion years but has basically just sat collecting dust. I had it delivered to my teeny tiny home this past July, only to continue to collect more dust. I have also rearranged its position four times since July.

This afternoon, I found an extension cord to actually plug it in. And it worked.

I just got on and peddled 13.1 miles. Insane!

Stay’n Alive

My new ringtone STAY’N ALIVE, thought it was most appropriate for Day 66. 🎢🀣

My short-term disability ended today. Back to full-time on 12/31 with mandatory OT for the next 3 weeks.

I still have a lot of edema in my legs….so besides Lasix, I am also on Metolazone.πŸŽͺπŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈΒ Let the party begin.Β πŸŽ‰πŸ₯ƒπŸ€£πŸ€©

This weekend I plan on keeping my legs up, wearing my compression socks, drinking a ton of water and getting in several much-needed naps to gear up for my first 8+ hours of work since October 17th.

Here’s the Latest Happenings

With the end near of 2018, so many thoughts and memories come to mind. Despite not feeling well from Spring to October 18th, I really did have an awesome year. I started volunteering at an awesome bookstore. I even attempted to tutor but it didn’t work out. I met new friends and I joined a Murderino podcast/meet up group in February.

I also happened to drop 74 pounds in 2018. And got healthier and happier than I had been in years. I really did love my life in 2018.

In regards to my life-saving surgery on Oct. 23rd: Everything outwardly has closed up nicely. It appears that the healing has ended its course minus the edema is still in my legs (10 lbs left to shed). Between now through Feb. 12th, I am to allow my body on the inside to now heal and to not try to lose any weight until after 2/12/19. Mentally and emotionally, I have not processed ANY of this. My short-term memory is still splotchy and I was told, I may not ever recover anything from 2-months ago.

The photo on the right is from Friday, December 21st. As you can see, I still have fluid in my legs, making them a lot thicker than normal but overall, I was feeling good that day when the photo was taken.

I am still trying to figure out this new stomach of mine too. Unlike what I was trained to have — the lap band from 2012 to Oct. 23rd of this year … I knew what I could and could NOT eat. I thought I had a routine and I thought it was somewhat working for the best for me, especially since December 2017.

With only having 15% of my stomach now… I can surprisingly eat foods I couldn’t eat for the past 6 years. My new stomach also tells me extremely quickly when I need to stop eating and that I am full. I can eat up to 6 small meals per day. I always always always eat breakfast now. I never knew how important eating right away in the morning was until I had my surgery two months ago. I tend to eat my lunches not quite at my former times around 11:30AM… I tend to eat it later after the norm.

Also prior to this new stomach, eating oranges or any type of citrus fruits really upset my stomach. New stomach, I eat a lot of oranges. In fact, HyVee, here in Sioux Falls, currently has 4-pounds of oranges for a cheap price of $1.77 per bag this week. I bought three bags. And lately, I’ve been cutting up 4 oranges at a time and eat them as a healthy snack.

The photo to the left, is my healed up incision that is located below my breasts but above my belly button.

Today, December 27th, I have been alive 65 days.

My New Anthem Songs

Happy to be alive Day 58 😘 Found two songs that definitely define the new me: 🎢🎹 THIS IS ME by Kesha & FIGHT SONG by Rachel Platten. 🎸🎼❀

I am wearing a size LARGE dress from Old Navy for $2.88 on clearance with a LARGE cardigan I bought at the Bargain Shoppe in Tyndall (SD) for $3.00. The fleece-lined footless tights, also bought on clearance, 2 years ago (never worn or brave enough till today!!!!) for $9.00 from Lane Bryant.

Enjoy your Thursday my friends.

Update: Drain-Free

UPDATEΒ πŸ’™Great appointment at my surgeon’s office yesterday. They pulled the drain out. My Mom was right there, up close and personal watching. It was slippery and gross and ended up looking like an alien once it was all yanked out. We all commented on how nasty it was. 🀣 So I have a gaping hole there now that needs to heal and close on its own. I am to return on Feb. 12th for my 3-month post-operation appointment.

I will stay part-time at work through the 17th/December when I return for my regular Doctor appointment to check on my edema in my legs. Then my provider will decide whether or not I stay part-time or return full-time after December 17th. We both asked many questions and got them all answered.

I am to concentrate on losing the last 15 pounds of fluids and stay away from slippery foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, jello, soups, anything soft in texture from now on.

My Mom and I were extremely happy when we left. 🌹🌻 

THANK YOU ALL FOR THE PRAYERS.

Also… they don’t want to me lose any more weight right now with the exception of getting the 15 pounds of fluid off my body….because of the severity of my emergency surgery… She explained to us just how deathly ill I was when I came in on Oct. 23rd… my mom got tears in her eyes and I sat there dumbfounded, again having no memory. Between now and Feb. 12th they just want me to maintain where I was around 194 pounds and allow my body to heal all the way. So while they removed 85% of my stomach… I did NOT have the sleeve surgery like the average person getting it done, mine was made that way because that was the only thing left to do with the healthy part of my muscle tissues and the remainder of my stomach.

Some of my facebook friends wanted to know why I cannot eat slippery foods anymore…Β 

With any type of weight loss surgery (lap band, gastric bypass, the RY, and the sleeve… even the removal of the entire stomach….you go thru 4 stages of eating to “train” your new stomach how to re-eat, re-drink. Stage 1 is clear liquids like water and broth; Stage 2 is pudding and pureed foods (which includes pureed meat); Stage 3 is all soft foods (or slippery foods) and on November 20th I graduated to Stage 4 which is solid food or non-slippery foods like chicken, pork, beef, yams, veggies, fruits… high protein BUT absolutely nothing like cottage cheese, protein drinks, juices, Whey protein drinks, yogurt, jello, soups… from here on out.

For the very reason because OUR STOMACHS are different from yours, the slippery food holds no nutritional value for our new stomachs and they slide on through to the intestines without being properly digested — just like liquid calories: pop, coffee, fancy drinks…. THE SAME THING goes to snacking… .mindless unnecessary snacking…. it’s pointless.

As once we consume our 4-6 ounces of food per meal (we’re to eat six a day, not the normal three) … once we eat the small amount, we will literally be FULL and not to put pressure on my new “sleeve” — keeping in mind, mine is shaped like a banana now and quite small.

I love to help people be educated on my weight loss journey so please feel free to ask any question you so desire. I promise to answer truthfully.