My Sleeve Gastrectomy Journey : Day 4

115Hello Everyone!

 

I woke up on the morning of June 19th early.  We had to be at the Brigham and Womens Faulkner hospital for 8 am . We left the house at 6:30 am since Boston traffic is so great in the morning – ugh.  We got in and checked into registration. At this point it was about 8 am and my mouth was sooooo dry , I just wanted to have some water, unfortunately not allowed.  But I was okay since surgery was scheduled for 10:05am , so I could deal.

After registration it was off to surgery check in.  I checked in and shortly fter they brought me to start getting ready.  Hubs had to wait while I got setteled. So all the usual jazz is done,changing , making sure all my info is correct, makng sure I am all ready for surgery.  At some point a very nice nurse came in and said ” Hi . I will be helping Sue with your IV.  ” Then it hit me, the nice nurse hat had been with me was named Sue.

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Now I had a chat with my mom before all this , and this was by far , her sending me a sign.  Then more doctors and nurses came in to introduce themselves.  Wouldn’t you know it – another nurse named Sue and a doctor named Frances.  Now, If thats not a sign -I do not know what else is.

At that point – I was fully convinced that my Mom was right there with me and everything would be ok.

I did go into surgery after 10:05 , I think it was more like 10:20 ish, but I really don’t remember.  I remember waking up super sore and out of it.  My hubs was there and my dad arrived after with some beautiful flowers.

All I wanted to do was drink some water.  But it this surgery – its got to be sips.  I seriously wanted nothing more than to chug the pitcher of water and chew on the hospital ice.  You know what I mean, hospital ice , is like the best ice ever.  You know….

I had some great nurses taking care of me through my first night.  Jess and Gabe were awesome.  I had all sorts of meds and I had to keep getting Heprine shots every so may hours.  They stung and bruised .  First challenge was actually going to the bathroom.  I was told if I could not go on my own by 10 pm, then it was the catheder .  Now, i know a catherder is not something anyone likes, but when I had my daughter , I was severly traumatized.  They put it in wrong and the worst pain of my life endured.  I still remember the feeling. So I did all I could to make sure I went . And I did… 🙂  I know, pee is super exciting, but the night got worse.  So I was in and out of it, one time when I woke up I was super sick, kept thinking I was going to puke, but there was nothing to puke. In addition to , I had horrible gas pains, like awful, kill me now, gas pains.  At some point I am sure someone told me how they pump you full of gas during the surgery . Welp, I do not remember anyone telling me that gas could get caught and cause awful pain.  So, imagin pain like heartburn times 100 burning in the middle of your chest.  It sucked. I was about to grab a scapel and slice a hole in my own chest to let some gas out.

So the moral of the story is – night 1, sucked.  And I cannot say enough about my team of doctors and nurses, they were so great.  Thankfully I woke up the next day and felt so much better. I got some walks in and was able to start shakes.

The thing that I am honestly struggling the most with is my sips.  It doesn’t sound like something that one would struggle with but it is way harder than I expected.  I am supposed to have at least 64oz a day of fluid and 60-70grams of protein.  Definitely have not reached that yet, but each day it gets better.  Its weird constantly sipping, but I need to make sure I keep it up. I do not want to get dehydrated.

And shakes – I have got to get some recipes to mix it up.  Really, I would love to just have some potatoe soup.  I am a ways off of that.

So here I am , ending day 4, looking forward to Day 5.  Its definitly a journey .

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Stopping the Stigma – Let’s Talk Depression

This past week the world lost 2 visionaries.  Their creative sparks burned out at their own hand.  I feel like we are seeing this more and more .  People have committed suicide since time began, but It seems to be an epidemic as of late.

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I have battled depression since I was a teenager.  I often refer to it as my darkness or my demon.  Honestly , what started my depression was just usual teenage bullshit.  I hated the way I looked and I always thought I was ugly.  I wasn’t the one that boys went after.  I always felt second best.  I never did anything amazing or Incredible.  I liked to write my morbid poetry , which I still like to do.

When I was 14 , I decided I had had enough.  What motivated  me in that moment, honestly, I don’t know.  But I woke up for school and decided to swallow somewhere around 50 asprins.  After I did it I immediately regretted it and woke my mother up to tell her I did something stupid.  Parent freak out ensued as it should have.  They rushed me to the hospital where I got my stomach pumped.  If you have never had it done before, it is not a process I recommend.  Its sucks .  Interestingly, the room I was in when I was in the hospital as a double room.  My roommate was a very large girl who was restrained at her wrists and ankles.  Now, I have no idea what she was there for, but her guardian with her kept saying ” you should not of done that to your sister with a wire hanger”.

I wanted out of there.  But since I was a dumbass and tried to kill myself , it doesn’t work like that .  They wanted to send me in an ambulance to a mental hospital.  I fought my parents about the ambulance and they ended up being able to drive me.

I was sent to McLean Hospital in Belmont MA.  The admissions building was beautiful.  It took forever.  Once I was checked in , I was taken to the unit I would be staying at .  Now remember how I just said that the admissions building was beautiful? Well the unit – not so much.  It was a run down building with a mix of troubled teens to kids with severe issues. I clearly remember walking down the hall to go to the bathroom and there were several rooms with doors open and all you could see was a kid and a mattress on the floor.  It got better – I get to my room and my room mate is very vocal about Not wanting a room mate.   It was at that my point my knight in shining armor saved me.  My dad , he told them I am not staying there and that place as not for me.  My parents had to sign all sorts of paperwork since I was leaving against doctor orders, but man am I glad they did.  I was grounded for a while, actually confined to the porch, but I was so glad not to be there.

I had to go to , well, I was already in therapy.  Once a week on Saturdays I had to go . My mother would bring me, then on the way home we would stop at Sanborns candies .  We used to joke that going there and getting truffles was my reward for being fucked up.

When my oldest baby was born, I was still a baby.  I got pregnant at 17 and when he was born I was 18.  Instant adult.  It was not easy and I had many dark days.  My husband and I had our ups and downs and I am not going to lie, there was definitely moments where I thought it would just be easier if I was not around.  I wanted to give my child the best life possible.  And here I am , mom of 3 amazing creatures , still feeling as though , I have not done a good job.

I used to think about killing myself all the time, to be honest.  Something dramatic.  But even after I did try and take my life, I felt like a failure, couldn’t even kill myself right.   I feel like my life has not been stress free but I suppose everyone out there could say the same.  As much as I would fantasize about ending it all, once I had kids, there was just no way I could ever do it.  When I got sick and as the days, weeks, month, now years went by and I was in constant pain and at the mercy of this nameless disease, I really had some dark days.

Now , more than ever, I try looking on the bright side.  My mother was such a positive force , she went through hell and back , and despite all of it, she was a always a positive beacon.  My biggest cheerleader was always my mom.  When I lost her, I feel like a piece of me went along with her.

I struggle with my demon every day.  Some days she stays asleep inside and some days she is a raging psycho bitch.  I try to find the balance.  Despite being almost 38 years old, I feel like the demon will always be a part of me and who I am . The good, the bad and the demon, I guess that is me.

It is frustrating .  I feel like lately I do need some professional help.  I called numerous doctors that my insurance approved and said were taking new patients, but for the life of me, I cannot get anyone to call me back.  This is the start of where the system for mental health in this country is amiss.  Most people do not even recognize that they need help.  And when we do reach out, there is no assistance.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America. Each year over 44,000 people in America take their own life.  Its incredible to me that this number is so large. Being depressed needs treatment, instead there is this stigma that being depressed is bad.   We need to accept that these demons exist within most of us and we need to seek help when they start to emerge.  Its not easy , but there is a better way .

For a list of Suicide statistics, click here

We need to stop this stigma and speak up when we see someone in need.  Be the positive change in this world.

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out:

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Remember , through every darkness the light is fighting its way though on the other side.

ont stop bel

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Onward and Upward

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Well its been quite the week. Starting off on Sunday, my daughter and I took a walk out in the woods with my Dad lookin for birds.  She has become quite the little birder.  My dad set her up with her own binoculars, a field guide and a journal to keep track of all the new birds she sees.  I need to start walking .  Its just pretty painful with my arthritic knee.  In any case, I did he walk. I was dying .  By the end I was saying ” Just Keep Swimming” “Just Keep swimming”  It was a whopping mile walk.  I know I know -sad.

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I know its not much, but it was a struggle which in itself was eve more motivating.  I know this surgery is going to be a big boost for me if I do it right and follow the plan.   I did get a couple of pics of a butterfly we saw on our walk.

On Tuesday I started my Pre Op diet and had my preop testing .  I stocked up on Protein shakes, bars and greek yougurt.  I as stressing about it, but now on day 5 – I am feeling pretty good about it.  Its crazy but I actually felt good walking out of the hospital this week.

Looking forward to the next week ahead.

Hows your week looking ?

 

Don’t forget to head over to Facebook and give me  like.

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Continuing the Journey

Hello World,

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How goes it?

Well, I have been continuing the weight loss surgery journey.  Latest steps were the Upper GI, which I thought was an endoscopy, so on the day of the procedure, I went to the endoscopy unit.  They looked at me like I had 2 heads, they told me I had to go back down to the ultrasound area.  I went there – that was wrong too. Ugh. Turns out it was an Upper GI and I had to go to this tiny room right next to ultrasound.

They call me in and I have to get into a gown and then they tell me I have to drink ” the stuff”.  Now, I had nothing to eat or drink prior to this, an it was later in the afternoon.  “The Stuff” is nasty.  I mean like heavy liquid chalk. It is technically called Barium something or other.  So they have me stand up against this table thing and drink, on command. I get shivers just thinking about it.  Then they tell me they are going to lay me back so I literally get to the point where I am laying down in this machine.

What better time to have me roll around ? Seriously.  Roll over, like I am a damn dog. A big huge, fatty mcbutter dog.  SO I roll over a few times , then I get to lay on my stomach and drink a different nasty drink  – with a straw ….. ooohhhh ahhhhhh.  Still gross.

Its over and the doctor tells me it looks like I do have a hiatal hernia.  My doctor had told me that this was common so I wasn’t too worried when they told me what they suspected.  Later that week, my doctor called me and told me that I do have the hernia and I also have a Schatzki Ring in my esophagus.  Never heard of that before, guessing most of you have not heard of it either.

A Schatzki ring, also known as a Schatzki-Gary ring, is a narrowing of the lower part of the esophagus — a muscular tube through which food passes to the stomach.

Now, I very rarely get heart burn or acid reflux.  I am not on any medication for them other than the occasional Tums.  But based on the Upper GI – I have to have an Endoscopy.  Like the real one this time.  I wasn’t too nervous – the nurse I had was very nice.  It’s weird, I had ” mild sedation” they said but all I remember is them putting the thing in my mouth so I wouldn’t bite the scope, then I woke up.  Nothing too exciting .

Because I am a crazy person, I am constantly checking my doctors patient gateway to see test results.  My endoscopy comes in and it confirms the ring , but then it starts in with some medical mumbo jumbo and I have no clue what it means. Even googling ( which is THE WORST thing you could ever do when it comes to medical crap ) and even then, I am still confused. So, I emailed the doc, then called, yeah, I am a pain in the ass.  He called me back tonight ( which I think is cool, that he called me tonight ) an told me that my endoscopy showed inflammation of my esophagus but it it not a deal breaker! I can still have the surgery !

Hooray !

I was really worried that it was something serious, but I am so happy I can keep on the path.

Next up the pre op diet – starting on 6/5.  2 weeks of the pre op diet to shrink the liver down .

Bring it on !

Whats new in your world?

Have a great week everyone!

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Pieces of Her

Good night world and all who inhabit it,

I am gearing up for my weight loss surgery. It will be taking place mid June. Some of you may know that there is a process to this weight loss surgery, the process isn’t bad.  It is interesting .  I have done my first 2 nutrition appointments and met with the surgeon.  Next week I have , nutrition, psychiatrist and endoscopy.  Since I started , I have been trying to make changes so that once I have the surgery its not so bad adjusting.

First up -no bubbles.  Not supposed to have carbonated beverages so I cut out soda.  I was drinking sparkling water to get the bubbles thinking it would help me, but  I had to cut it.  I have been drinking my 64 oz of water each day .

Protein – I am going to start getting some protein shakes since day 2- day 9 after surgery will be all shakes.

Anyways, I have been trying to get moving more and this week I have been really thinking about my Mum. Probably the impending Mother’s Day holiday.

I was driving along this weekend and I started squeezing my butt to the beat .  I can hear my Mum now, her proudly proclaiming how she would do her butt squeezes to the beat of what ever song was on… Maybe if I keep it up, I will have ” Buns of Steel” lol.

I was cooking dinner the other night dancing around the kitchen, and all I could do was think of  Mum.  Dancing around to One Direction, no less.  Ridiculous I know, but have you listened to them? So damn catchy! Current obsession is ” Steal my Girl” and “Perfect” .  I ain’t too proud to admit I am a grown ass woman dancing around to a boy band that’s not NKOTB or Backstreet Boys. ( for the record, saw NKOTBSB in concert at Fenway Park – UNBELIEVABLE Show!)

Its these little things that I feel Mum shines through.    I know I am probably searching for signs and finding them in places, but its comforting to an extent, like there are pieces of her here with us .

Like tonight, I was taking a ride to go see her, her headstone is in.  I needed to see it in person. So I am driving along and ” Beast of Burden”  by the Rolling Stones comes on .   I don’t remember downloading it, could of been the hubs or maybe the kids, but in any case, there it was blaring out.  My mother and I had this running joke – I was forever singing ” I’ll never be your BIG SUBURBAN ….” instead of Beast of Burden.  So there I was crying my eyes out on the way to my mothers grave singing at the top of my lungs

” I’LL NEVER BE YOUR BIG SUBURBAN !!!”

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I know she is always here with me, I just like when she reminds me in funny ways.

 

Back to my weight loss stuff – I am currently down 5 lbs! I am looking forward to the surgery . I know I have the best Guardian Angel on my side 🙂

 

Don’t Stop Believing !!!

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Long Days and Long Thoughts

Oh hello there world, I know its been a bit since my last post.  Honestly, I have thoughts and ideas every day that I want to share, but I don’t have the easiest time getting them out of my head.

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Here is my latest health update , for those keeping score, we are at a total of 10 doctors and yet I still do not have an actual diagnosis.  However, the current medication I am on, the Actemra injections 1x a week , seem to be actually working (knock on wood).  The Saxenda injections on the other hand, not working. All It seems to be doing is giving me bruises.  My left knee is still giving me problems, it sucks.  I have been waiting so long to feel good and its like , hang on a sec, we can’t possibly allow you to FULLY feel good. Ugh. Double ugh with cheese.  Mayor of Ugh City.

On a positive note, next Wednesday I start my journey with weight loss surgery.  To be honest, I feel like this is a last resort, but I also feel like a complete and utter failure.  I failed myself with bad decisions and bad choices. The sad part is, I really just realized this.  I wasted years of my life and I just hope its not too late to get my life back.  Then again, its been so long, I don’t even know what that would mean. I don’t even know what this life I long for is.

How terrible is that? Spending years wanting something and never making it materialize.  Story of my life.  When you break it down , I just want to be happy.  I have spent my entire life in search of happiness.  Pure happiness.  They did not call me Morbid Megan when I was a teenager for nothing .  Now I am Morbidly Obese Megan.

I want to be happy and content. Instead I am restless and depressed.  In the past three years, My life has become my illness.  Some days are not so bad, and some days are unbearable, and most days, I just deal with the pain.  Stairs though – motherfucking stairs are the devil.  My knee and stairs do not mix, never mind the fact that I am a Fatty McButterpants.

I hate the way I am . I hate the fact that my twisted sense of self brought me to this.  I hate the fact that my body is failing me and it needs help, medically and mentally.

Now I know my mother had so much more shit to deal with  and I cannot even come close to the turmoil that she had to endure on a daily basis, but I do know that I need to do everything in my power to be as healthy as I can so that I will be here past 61years old.   I truly do not know how she did it, but I am so grateful she did what she could to be with us as long as she was.

My story is far from over.  I need to live my best life possible ,  I say ” Just Keep Swimming ” to you all, but I am barely staying afloat myself.

Since my mothers passing, I have been searching for a way to honor her.  I have a clearer mindset as of late and I think Mum would just want me to keep being me, despite the obstacles and shit that gets tossed my way on the daily.

My mother took on every day with joy in her heart.  She faced every shot of medical bullshit dealt to her and made joke about it.  She found joy everywhere.

That’s what I need to do and Christ, it is harder than it seems.

I make jokes about my weight as a coping mechanism, but Mum, she made jokes about her situation for us I think more than her self.  And it helped, a lot.  She kept believing for us.  I used to think it was for her own sake, and maybe at the end it was, but it was a completely selfless act to help us cope I think.  From her “luxurious suite “at the Brigham and Womens hospital, to her crazy impressions, or just the excitement over a ham sandwich made by my dad instead of hospital food, she found the light through the dark.

That is my  mission. Find the light and be happy.  Doesn’t seem so hard, but will probably be the fight of my life.

Don’t stop believing and Just Keep Swimming Everyone!

I would love to read how you find the good within the bad and the light through the darkness, please share with us!

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