Holy Hell, Where Has The Time Gone?

On Thursday, it will be my two year surgiversary.

Two years.

And where am I?

Well, I still hover at 183 pounds.  My body likes it here.  My doctor’s happy.  I’m happy.  And life is good.

Which is probably why I haven’t posted here much. 

Not that my journey is over in any way, shape, or form, but I feel that my weightloss journey has come to an end, and my maintenance journey has begun.  It’s time to get to the business of me being me without constantly nagging myself as to what goes in my mouth and analyzing every little bit of it.

That’s just the thing.  I don’t analyze anymore.  I’ve come to the point where I don’t have to think about every action, because now it is part of who I am.  I still have to watch what I eat, and be ever mindful of how easily I can still fail at this, but as for now, I consider myself a success.  And that makes me happy.

Two years in and of itself means a lot of changes in a person.  When you throw in a massive weightloss on top of that, and a life altering surgery, well, you become a different person all together.  For the first year, it was all about the weightloss, and the surgery, and what it was doing to my body. 

I learned that in the second year, it was more about learning to be happy with the person I was, with the person I had become, and with the person I am going to be.  And I have finally learned to be happy with who I am without thinking about the weight, or the physicality, or the mental aspects of spending my life morbidly obese.  I am me.  Bea.  And Bea is a pretty awesome person.  No matter what she weighs.

So with that, my dear readers, I have made the decision to put this blog to rest.  I’ll leave it up, and may post occasionally, but to dwell on the weightloss anymore at this point, it’s counter productive to me.  It’s time to deal with life. 

In fact, I’ve taken a bit of a blog break all around.  But I do plan on returning to regular blogging soon.  And if you still enjoy who I am, then I more than encourage you to visit me at my other blog.  I fully intend on just getting to the business of be me.

Thank you, my dear readers, for going on this journey with me.  Your encouragement has meant the world, and I hope you have learned from my journey.  If you are considering bariatric surgery, then I fully encourage you to learn about your surgery, and yourself.  And start a blog.  It’s amazing to go back and read my entries and my own transformation.

Thanks for reading, my friends.  Thanks.

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Knee Surgery Update

I saw my ortho yesterday, and I finally got out of the immobilizer.  It is a bit of a mixed blessing.  I really wanted to be out of the immobilizer because it was clunky and uncomfortable, but now that I’m out of it (and in a hinged knee brace) and my knee is not stablized nearly as much, I want to be back in the immobilizer.  I spent nearly five weeks with my knee not moving, and now that I do have permission to bend it (update on that in a minute) I realize exactly how weak my knee is.

As for bending the knee, the doctor bent it for the first time yesterday.  I had a really good ROM (range of motion) prior to surgery.  Yesterday, he bent it approximately 30 degrees and it hurt.  He bent it a second time at about 45 degrees and it really hurt.  Dr. Prodoehl, however, is thrilled with this.  I am now doing CPM (continual motion), which is essentially bending and straightening the leg for 15 minutes a day.  By the time I start physical therapy again on the 29th, he expects me to have all of my ROM back.  I’m thinking probably not.

He’s also ordered a muscle stimulator for me.  This will help rebuilt the muscles and tendons around my knee.  I’m still non-weight bearing until the 29th and then I can begin putting light weight on it.  Prior to getting out of the immobilizer, I was able to use my right leg with toe weight and get around without crutches.  Now not at all.  Even if I could put weight on my leg, it won’t hold me.  That should come with PT. 

As for PT, I called to set up my appointments and got Ken.  Now, I like Ken.  A lot.  Don’t get me wrong.  Ken is cool.  But he also has a tendancy to dig and dig at the knee and it hurts.  For this, I am worried.  I’m sure at first they’ll keep me to table exercises so as not to mess with the new cartalidge growing inside me.  I’m still not looking forward to it.

On the weight loss front, I learned yesterday that my pouch still works.  I ate something I shouldn’t have (too much grease) and immediately got sick.  Yay for a working pouch.

We’re going on vacation next week.  I’m excited!

Still Here – Never Fear!

Just haven’t had much to post about on the weight loss front.  Or on the regular front either, since I haven’t posted to any of my blogs lately.

I started back to work last week, and will be working from home until I’m able to drive again.  Who knows when that will be.  I’m still in the immobilizer and on crutches.  Still not allowed to bend my leg or put weight on it.  Still going stir crazy.  The incision has healed up nicely, but the skin under the ace bandage (which is under the immobilizer) is really dry and flakey and itches like all get out.  I’ve been unwrapping it twice a day to slather it up with gold bond medicated lotion, which seems to help.  The knee cap is still swollen and sore to the touch, but the joint itself is feeling pretty good.  Weak, but good.  Not looking forward to starting PT or actually bending the leg.  I imagine that it’s going to be quite painful.

As for food, meh.  I’ve finally gotten my system back on track.  I’ve been eating a lot of fruit and trying to limit my carbs, but I haven’t exactly paid attention to my portion sizes (ok, the pouch tells me when to stop, but still, lots of snacking going on).  I need to start doing that.  And my period is due next week, and I’m craving things like crazy.  UGH.  I miss exercise.  I can’t even just go out for a walk.  On the plus side, though, anyone who has used crutches for any period of time knows that it is an awesome upper body and ab workout.  I haven’t been able to accurately weigh myself – but I’m not gaining. 

I’m looking forward to getting my life back to normal.  For three weeks after surgery, EVERY time I ate I got horrible pains in my lower abdomen.  Of course, once I made an appointment with my doctor, those pains went away (so I cancelled the appointment).  I think it has a lot do to with the fact that I’m finally off the prescription pain killers and I’ve got out a lot of the carbs I was eating.  I’m trying to move around a bit more as well.

You know, one thing I didn’t anticipate was problems with my insurance covering my surgery.  I anticipated issues with gastric bypass, but figured knee surgery would be a no brainer.  Of course, I did understand that the procedure I had was relatively new, but didn’t think about it too hard.  So I got my explanation of benefits this week, and was surprised to see that there were two claims for the surgery.  One for the de novo graft (for $1,000) and one for the arthroscopy (for $1,400).  Don’t you know, they said that they wouldn’t pay for my arthroscopy.  Sigh.  The explanation was there was no proof the surgery was requried.  Which made me laugh because they had no issues paying for all the PT I had, or the MRIs and X-rays, and the ortho appointments.  Or the de novo graft itself.  I guess they figured the doctor was going to have to go through my throat to get to my knee, or glue it to the outside.  *shake my head*  So, I phone Blue Cross.  And spoke to a lovely lady.  And she told me that they said I had a similar surgery in the past three years, and didn’t see why I needed it again.

o.O

I calmly explained to her that yes, I did have an arthroscopy three years ago.  On my LEFT knee.  This one was my RIGHT knee.  Because, you know, I have TWO knees.

“Oh,” she says.

And then she put me on hold for 10 minutes, in which I’m sure she had to ask her supervisor what to do.  Needless to say, they resubmitted the claim for payment.

Sigh.

So that’s what’s going on around here.  I did manage to get out and see a movie (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – AWESOME) and will be getting out next weekend with my Mom to go see The Help.  It wasn’t too bad at the theater, but my knee did ache after two hours of it hanging down.  Hopefully it will be  a little better by next weekend.  I have my one month follow up with my surgeon this week so hopefully we’ll see some progress.

Knee surgery is no joke y’all.  No joke at all.

An Update

I’m a week out from knee surgery.  The specific surgery was a placement of the de novo graft (a juvenile donor cartilage) and arthroscopy.  The surgery was both arthroscopic and open – he did the initial scope arthroscopically, so he could see the extent of the damage, and then opened it up with a larger incision, took out the knee cap, cleaned out the arthritis, and then glued the graft between the bones and to the back of the knee cap.  I can’t be 100% sure, but I also think he did a lateral release on the knee cap as it was being pulled to the right side.

This is an extremely painful surgery.  Now that I’m a week out, I’m still in considerable pain.  The knee cap is swollen.  My leg is in an immobilizer, and I am only allowed to put a bit of weight on the to to steady myself.  Otherwise, no weight on it at all – and I’m on crutches.  I took a peek yesterday at the incision (just a small peek) and I have a lot of little staples (ew).  The knee cap is padded in a ton of gauze, and then the leg is wrapped in an ace bandage, and then the immobilizer is on top of that.  I’m not to remove the immobilizer (although I have unstrapped it to take care of a slight itch I had on my shin) except to tighten it as the swelling goes down.

The big downfall of this surgery has been the fact that I’m not in charge of my diet.  Which means my husband is.  And although he tries (the portion sizes are good), between the left over nauseau from the surgery and the excessive amount of carbs he has been feeding me, I’ve not been eating right.  Top that off with pain killers and not enough fluid (my fault), I ended up with an obstruction.  Yesterday I really thought I was going to die.  My lower abdomen was killing me, and no matter how much I tried to go, I couldn’t.  I called my bariatric surgeon and talked to Chris (the nurse) and explained the situation.  She told me to call my ortho to see what his plan was but prescribed laxitives, lots of fiber and lots of water.  I called my ortho, and he switched my pain killers (which I’m only taking at night now) from percoset to tylenol with codeine.  UGH. 

So this morning, I am feeling better.  I still haven’t “gone” but the pain in my tummy is better.  I”m sticking to yogurt and fresh blueberries for breakfast and lunch will be some type of protien and some veggies.  Keeping food semi-soft and light today.  And lots and lots of fluids.  I’ve had a protien shake.  I’m having water.  I’m having some decaf coffee too (in hopes it may get things going).  Keep your fingers crossed.

Some of the perils of surgery for a post op bariatric patient.

So, I get the staples out in a week and see my ortho for my post op.  I’m off work until at least 8/2.  And my butt is soooo asleep.  Sigh.

Surgery Tomorrow

Will probably be blogging a lot more after tomorrow since I’ll be bed ridden for a while.  No weight bearing on the knee for six weeks.

Lord help my husband.

Send some good Ts & Ps my way!

Ugh…ugh ugh ugh

Stress and not being able to work out have taken a toll on my psyche.  Plus, I was in a lot of pain today.  A. Lot. Of. Pain.  And I’m eating crap as a result. 

I’m so scared I”m going to gain weight through this whole process.  Ugh.  I need to reign this stress eating in.  I hate not being able to work out.  And of course, I won’t be able to get a decent workout in for months.   You just don’t get a good workout in when you can only work out the upper body.

And I need to vent.

Sigh.

A Mish Mash Update of Sorts

I haven’t posted here much (although I have made a post over at Casa de Pollo) but work has been crazy and I have physical therapy three nights a week now.  UGH.

So – we are getting ready to go to Colorado.  We leave next Wednesday (at 6am…gah) and we’ll be there until June 8th.  I’m so excited!  We’ll be all over the place as usual.  We will be in the Greeley/Ault/Pierce area from Wednesday to Saturday.  Saturday we’ll head over to Sterling, Julesburg, Osh Kosh, and we’ll be there until Monday.  Then Loveland/Estes Park/Colorado Springs through that Thursday the 2nd.  We’ll go back to Pierce for a couple of nights, over to Ft. Morgan for the weekend, back to Greeley, then Denver until we leave.  Holy Cow.  Plus, we’re supposed to meet the lovely Christie while we are out there and hopefully have lunch!  Lots of activities are planned, and we’re generally lucky enough to plan our food.  I do plan on having some mexican food while I’m there (um, homemade mexican food is a no brainer) and an order of Rocky Mountain oysters, but for the most part, we stock up at Walmart and carry our own food with us.  VACATION YAY!!

But of course, because of this vacation, I’m swamped at work trying to get everything done in time.  Sadly, I have meetings out the wazoo and have been desparately trying to find time to get it all done!  Plus I have two baby blankets to finish crocheting before I go.  One is done, and I have one more to go.  The good news is, I’m too busy to eat!

So, an update on the knees.  I went to the ortho, and I have bone spurs in my right knee (the good one) and apparently the knee cap is over to the right instead of being in the center.  These are the exact same issues I had three years ago with my left knee.  I’ve been doing PT three nights a week, and the therapist has essentially told me not much can be done for the pain, but they can get my knee ready for the surgery.  Yay.  More surgery.  Hopefully I can schedule it later this summer.  The knee has really affected my ability to do a strong cardio workout and I don’t currently have access to a pool.  I’m not supposed to do anything that will aggrevate the knee (so that the bone on bone doesn’t make things worse), so the weight loss is once again STALLED OUT.  Sigh.

On a funny note, my therapist is also a bariatric patient.  She had RNY about four months after me.  We had the exact same starting weight and we have lost exactly the same amount.  Our surgeries were also done by the same practice.  LOL  We were comparing war stories Monday night.  She happened to be my therapist three years ago on my left knee.  Ah…living in a small town.

So, that’s the latest…what’s new with all of you?

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