Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1 year post op of weight loss surgery

Hey hey hey!  
I cannot believe it has been one entire year since my Rny (gastric bypass weight loss surgery)  Woo Hoo!  What a ride it has been.  Ups and downs, and spins and twists.  Talk about roller coaster.  But all is good.  Actually all is great!

I have attached a before surgery pic that I took at my first meeting with the Dr. and one that was about 1 month ago.  Then I have a full update of my wild and crazy year journey.

My year in review at 1 yr surgiversary of Rny surgery.

Today, February 3, 2015 is a huge day for me and my journey and battle against "My Monster". 

As of today, it is my 1 year anniversary of one of the biggest, most significant decisions I have ever made.  It was my choice to take back MY LIFE and MY HEALTH! 

One year ago today, I arrived at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock to have a surgery that is referred to as Roux-en-y (RNY) for short.

It is a robotic version of a gastric bypass surgery to re-route my stomach, small intestine to help me to gain control of my weight, diabetes, high blood pressure and many other smaller issues that were contributing to my declining health.

I did NOT enter into this decision to merely "loose weight".  I went into this venture, to gain a tool that I could fight a better battle, more equipped to take on and succeed in the battle of my life.  I though long and hard about this decision. 

Just over a year ago, I was trying to do all I knew I should do with the help of Dr's and many friends, and wonderful husband and daughter and grand-daughter, to try to get this declining health under control, but was desperately losing the battle, slowly but surely as each day passed, becoming more and more, against all the odds of time being on my side. 

I had not long ago, turned 54, and now in my hand at the crucial moment of my truth and awakening, my very first insulin shot.  Yikes!!!

One of my worst fears in my own life, besides the ultimate being cancer, was to face the truth that I had failed, and failed miserably. 

At that crucial moment of truth and awakening, I sat in the dark, alone, as everyone had gone to bed, and held the syringe in my shaking hand, it was like you see in many movies.  The syringe grew larger and my hand shaking, trying to get up the nerve to stick myself in the stomach, knowing it wouldn't be long and it wouldn't be just once a day type of shot.  It would increase in volume, and frequency with time.

I totally lost it!  I totally broke down.  Tears rolling down my cheeks, gasping for air, syringe still in my shaking hand.

I did quite a bit of crying, cursing, and if you know much about me - a laugh in there too.

Along with all of this - quite a bit of praying too. 

What was I going to do.  I had to have an answer and quick.  Sure I have tried and succeeded before in losing the weight, but I had to have something NOW to get this under control NOW.   I truly felt as though I had no time to waste.

WHATEVER it took.  I was to the point, I would have cut off my hand that was holding the insulin syringe if necessary to get a grip on my life.

What???  What was I going to do???

Once again, as I referred to, as in the movies,  an answer suddenly and very clearly popped into my head.  I knew instantly that was it! 

God had taken my shaking hand.  It was a feeling as if it was being held onto and patted.

I could finally take a reasonable breath again, and suddenly my desperate question was answered.

Weight loss surgery! 

I remembered that my sister in law, had recently had a surgery called gastric sleeve, and was doing great with it.  Losing weight which was helping her gain control of her health and life also.

That was it.  My answer and without any single doubt in my mind from that second on, I knew with all of my heart, and without any fear from that moment on, I never once felt nervous or scared to go through with it.  I truly felt I was lead to this decision by my Lord and once again Savior of my life, not just my spirit.

Instantly, my faith was renewed in all aspects of my life.  I would do whatever it took and no matter how long or painful or complicated this may be, I KNEW it was the right thing.

I was able to, without another negative, or nervous though, took my insulin shot, no pain, not anything, just peace of mind that I would NOT take ONE more of those shots than
ABSOLUTELY necessary to get me to the next step of this journey.

I think that was about the longest night I had been through in a while.  I had already written online to my sis in law, all sorts of questions about what steps to take and who to contact.

The next morning, while spending a few minutes with Larry before he would head out to work, I highlighted my adventure, we will call it, from the night before, to Larry.  Not knowing what he would think, I guess in a way I did already know in my heart.

He instantly patted me and said, lets check this out.  And that he would take off whenever and whatever necessary to get me to Little Rock (as I hate driving there) to do whatever necessary to get this started.

Before his first couple of hours had passed at work, he had an email with all sorts of names and links on it to contact the correct people to get the ball rolling.

As phone calls and meetings, insurance approvals, progressed through all the steps of a not so easy process to reach the surgery day, I actually felt so much better and stronger that there WAS actually a light at the end of the tunnel of desperation I was in.

I was counting down the days on my calendar until the day was finally here.  The day to take back MY life! 

I had two weeks prior of surgery to go on a liquid only diet plan.  I had a tough spell a couple of times.  A bit of panic but not over the surgery that seemed to have slowed time, but the withdraw from chewing I guess you could say.  But with only 2 weeks until that would take care of itself by my stomach being - rearranged, it was only a limited time to have to go through. 

Sure I was very much aware that after surgery would not be a piece of "cake" (funny term for "after" weight loss surgery).  But I still had such a strong un-wavering determination, as I have not had in quite some time that THIS was my path, my destiny to follow and that all would be fine.  Whatever happened would happen.  But the alternative was NOT going to happen.

I was in NO way going to back down from this. 

I remember clearly as Larry and I was sliding to Little Rock to check in on an icy road most of the way, he asked if I was nervous and ready to head home yet.
I just said "Nope!  Lets do this"!!! 

Then as I sat all dressed in the lovely hospital gown and cap, I was all giggles.  I was so ready for this to begin.  They got to me really quickly, but seemed to be forever.

Next thing I knew was waking up and being so very dry mouthed, that I couldn't speak.

And sure, without a doubt there was some discomfort.  But still NOTHING as I would have expected and had planned for.  I was thinking it would be much worse. 

My back gave me more trouble from having to lay pretty flat for the first several hours and being dry mouthed.  For the first few hours, absolutely not even any ice chips to suck on.  Which sucked. 

But before long, I got those awesome ice chips, then few hours later, sip of water, hours later,  broth.  Woo Hoo!  Broth.  hehe!

Wasn't really that long until I was up and pacing the halls with a couple of other fabulous gals that had the same surgery by the same group of  three doctors who worked together on all three of us.

We had become "Pouch Peeps" together.  By the next day, we were roaming the halls together to get in our exercise and to work off the swelling from the air and gas they pump you with for surgery.  The nurses definitely got a kick out of us.

On the third day we all were allowed to head home.  Thank goodness for a good dose of pain medication before heading home.  I still barely remember climbing into a four-wheel drive truck and the ride home.  Hmmm.  Good meds.  hehe!

Home sweet home.  It always does look even more awesome when you are away a couple of days.  The faces of my girls, Ashley and Haylee, meeting us at the door was absolutely priceless. 

My dear hubby, and girls took such good care of me.  It was so nice to become a bit spoiled.  Although, it never fails, when you aren't really able to "do" something, is when you want to the most.  Wipe the counter, laundry etc.  
You know all those dreaded daily things.  You suddenly need to do. 

I am still amazed that, in spite of many times of having to lay down a bit here and there pretty often, and having to have someone help me to get flat into the bed, it was all tolerable. 

I definitely say it was not an easy journey.  But worth it - DEFINTELY!
I have grown to know so much about health, diet, good and not so good foods in disguise, and so on.  I have learned thorough trial and error, that "one more bite" WILL make you pay with only a small "egg" size stomach.

Also, have learned the hard way - to make sure you sip ALL the time to get those liquids down. 

And like all the others who followed this path, the dreaded part of about 4 months after, hair starts coming out like crazy.  LOTS of it.  There were days that I would just stare at the hair in my hand instead of my head, and then panic a few times, but it's hair. 

Is it worth losing a lot of hair to gain a lot of control of your life.  YES!
And thank God, it's not the type of hair loss associated with any type of cancer and its treatments.  So this is a minor detail process to go through.

I did finally give in and have it all cut short.  Shorter than I have ever had it in my life.

And no bangs!  OMG no bangs!  Ugh.  That part got me a couple of times, but it was still way better than the dry stringy scrunchy mess left behind to deal with . 
All of this short hair-do is all new, so much more healthy hair.  And it's so amazing how all of my life, I have pretty much fought with my hair, needing it to be so-so and most of the time it not working as I wished it would. 
So through the process of chopping off all the length, and not having it to fuss over has actually become quite liberating.  

What's the silly saying, No muss - No fuss.

I might actually keep it short for a while.  Although bangs will be nice at some future point in time.  They are growing, just extremely slowly.

As for my health, one year later you might ask?  I have lost over 80 pounds since surgery and even more than that from my highest weight, which I have a pic or two of but not actual weight as I wouldn't get on the scales for months to try to avoid reality of it all.

My health - well, I would say - never been better.  I am probably more healthy in so many ways than I have ever been. 

I traded all my prescriptions for high blood pressure, out of control diabetes and all sorts of meds to counter act all the other meds - for a handful of daily vitamins.  And  . . . .my blood work looks amazing. 

I am so full of enlightenment, blessings, excitement and graciousness of all of my special people that have helped me to and through this journey.

To each of you - you hold a very special place in my heart and may God bless you.

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