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The DS is FM!

Ok, so we all now know I suck at blogging. I have good intentions but the time/energy factor must be the mortar holding those brimstone bound paving stones together. Time – I waste a lot. Well, maybe not waste, but time management isn’t my strong suit. Energy – I haven’t much, which pisses me off no end.

The bloody damned thyroid issue is dragging on and on and on and not getting better. I’m angry and frustrated. The endocrinologist keeps ordering labs and raising my dose of Levothyroxine. I’m now taking 400mcg daily, which is “quite a bit more than most patients take” per the doc. The most recent labs had my TSH at 35, up (UP?!?) from 33 the time before. This is the number that should be between 0.4 & 4.4, or 0.5 & 3.3, depending on which lab ones uses and what studies one reads. More recent studies show the latter is preferable and some show that even when the labs are within ‘normal’ results, a point or two can make the difference in feeling ok and feeling like hammered shit. The free T4 is 0.83 (normal range: 0.78-2.19), which the doc says he wants at 1.0. I have an appointment in about 5 weeks. I hope this increased dose works. I’m sick & tired of feeling sick & tired. I didn’t lose 120 lbs to mope about and sit on my ass all the time.

I’m considering joining a gym. The thought makes me a bit queasy, but I believe it’s time to begin to do that E thing. And the crowd roars in disbelief. I know, me too! There’s a $10 a month, 24/7 access gym right behind my office. By the time all the fees and taxes add up, it’s more like $16/month, but that’s still half or less of any other gym in town AND it’s the only 24/7 one. Not that I plan to go pump iron at 3am, but the other gyms have strange hours, particularly on weekends. Proximity to the office is also a plus. What I’m considering is going during my lunch break. I’ve developed a bad habit of just eating sporadically at my desk and not taking an actual break from work. Eating sporadically is fine. I have a fridge & microwave in my office, which is damned handy, so I can keep protein-laden food handy and not depend on drive-thru crap for lunch. But not taking a break is becoming a Very. Bad. Thing. It’s mentally draining and hard on my tailbone as well. Other DSer’s have noted this butt pain as well, so I’m pretty sure it’s a function of weight loss/fat redistribution rather than sitting. The sitting & the chair were the same when I weighed way more.

In other news, I LOVE MY DS! It does magic things with weight & body size & numbers on the scale. I have bounced up & down within the same 10 pounds for the past month. However, the pants I bought 4-6 weeks ago are way bigger on me than they were when I bought them. They were quite snug in the waist and fit well through the hips. Now, they are very loose in the waist and have the droopy butt. I put them on last week and was dumbfounded. I don’t know if they are a whole size too big, but they sure don’t fit anymore. And the scale keeps showing I weigh somewhere in that same 10 pound range. I’m not complaining!! I just find that bizarre beyond words. Where the hell does it go? Everything else is shrinking, so it isn’t like squeezing a water balloon. You know, when you squeeze the bottom, the water expands the top. Why doesn’t the scale reflect this loss? Because the DS is like the radio: FM – Fucking Magic!

STALLED! :(

I hate the scale. It is NOT my friend! The blasted thing hasn’t moved in 4 solid weeks. I know I’m losing inches – I can tell it in the way my clothes fit, or rather the way they don’t. But daaaaaaaammit, I do NOT like this! I feel like a total DS fail.

Today’s wow

The boy and I went to the Maul this evening. He needed shoes and I needed a laptop bag of some sort (new laptop won’t fit in old bag). We started at Dillard’s and got no love in the shoe department, so headed for whatever sports shoe stores are in the mall. We arrived, he tried, he bought. Then we walked to Best Buy. I thought about asking him to go get the car and fetch me at the Best Buy entrance when I realized

ZOMGWTFBBQ I’m walking halfway down the mall and breathing like a normal person and my freaking back isn’t killing me!!!1!!!

Not only that, but I walked back to the car and Never. Broke. A. Sweat. Well, until I got outside, whereupon I condensed. ugh.

I don’t remember the last time I could walk remotely that far without huffing, puffing and hurting. Wow. Just…wow.

Wait… Who are you?

I’ve been thinking about self-image a lot lately. You know, the mental picture of yourself you carry around in your head. For years, when I would look at photographs of myself, it would be so jarring because it conflicted so with my mental self-image. I’ve lost about 50 pounds since surgery. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see anything different than what I see in the pre-op pictures. I know my clothes are too big – I have some I can’t even wear anymore. I know what the numbers on the scale tell me – they keep getting smaller and smaller. But I look in the mirror and see that same fat woman as in those pictures.

The other day, someone asked what my mental self-image looked like; how did I see myself. I didn’t have an answer. My self-image is vague, faceless and somewhat amorphous. Now how squirrelly is that?!? I started thinking more about this and realized I don’t remember having a completely formed self-image. Ever. Without getting all psychoanalytic and maudlin, this is based on a number of events and experiences, I think, from childhood on. And a mindfuck too. How the hell can I not have a picture of myself in my head?!?

So for my next trick, I will develop an shiny new self-image to carry about in my head. Any suggestions?

The latest

What a ride! I’m losing weight like mad and fast running out of decent pants for work. I feel pretty good. I’d feel a damn sight better if this nasty wee devil in my arse would go away. Yep, I’m still plagued by the ‘rhoid. My doc prescribed an antibiotic last go around and it helped within hours. I was fine for almost 2 weeks, then WHAM! I’m back on antibiotics, which isn’t helping quite as much as last time and I have a surgical consult tomorrow afternoon. Bugger. 😦

My 3 months follow up is in about 10 days. We’re not spending the night this time, but driving to Nashville & back in 1 day. Not deadly but close. My only plan other than seeing the doc is stocking up on some lovely meats at Trader Joe’s.  They’re prices are very close to what I pay in Jonesboro for regular old hormone-riddled meat.

Update re: Surgical consult

He’s pretty sure it’s not a ‘rhoid but a fissure. 😦    He did a very tiny exam for about a nanosecond. I flinched. I couldn’t help it. He said he wouldn’t examine me further because it would only torture me. He asked a lot of questions and said he did not recommend surgery as I seemed to be on the mend. He agreed to try the nitro cream protocol if I was either worse or had not improved greatly in another couple of weeks and told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing (Lidocaine, Prep H, sitz bath 3-4+ x day, adding fiber for a soft but formed stool) as it seemed to be working – and if my PCP wouldn’t prescribe more pain meds to let him know. “No way you can manage without drugs.” I’m taking half a hydrocodone 5mg about every 4 hours. The script is for 1-2 every 6 but I can’t take that much and function. It takes the edge off and gets me through the day without my tearing into anyone for stupidity. Apparently pain seriously lowers my idiot threshold.

Interesting thing about this doc – I took a diagram of the DS and a list of all my vites & meds, just like I do with every new doc since surgery. He talked to me for at least 15 minutes just about the DS. He was fascinated. Said he’d heard of it, but never met anyone who had it. He said Jonesboro is about to ramp up their bariatric program (currently RnY & Lapband only). I encouraged him to get trained or find a doc who already does it and get someone in this state who does the DS. How freaking awesome would that be?!? His nurse asked how I learned about it, so I talked about OH and the infamous surgery wars. I quoted dsfacts.com stats and she was scribbling down websites – said she was thinking about the lapband but that she had heard it was on its way out to be replaced by the sleeve. I told her not to think about getting the lapband until she had done a lot of research on long-term results and read at least dsfacts.com, duodenalswitch.com, and the DS & revision forums on OH. The doc said, “Are you writing these sites down? And scan that diagram for me and put one in her chart. That’s so cool!” My first Pay It Forward! 🙂

Food so far

I said I was going to talk about food and I haven’t much. This is a bit of a summary of what I’ve been eating since day 1.

My surgeon wanted me on clear liquids & ‘clear’ protein for 2 weeks, then RTD Myoplex protein + clear liquids for another 2 weeks. The Myoplex tasted like metallic gorgon anus and I rebelled. I was drinking a LOT of broth & diluted Crystal Light, getting in 80-100oz/day. At 2 weeks I added cottage cheese, blendered Cream of Mushroom soup, hard boiled egg yolks fork-mashed to a very smooth consistency with mayo & dill pickle juice and Mama made strawberry jello replacing half the water with heavy cream (soooo decadent!). More substance, but still no ‘pieces’ so to speak. I also ate refried beans & mashed potatoes with a lot of cheese & butter or sour cream. I’ve backed off that now – too many carbs for more than a bite or two.

Protein drinks – I fell in love with Isopure zero carb cremy vanilla & mix 1 scoop with 4 oz cream and a splash of water or coffee if I want more volume. I pour it over crushed ice. It tastes good and isn’t too sweet. Later on, I can add frozen fruit in the blender for a protein smoothie.

I tried chicken (boiled chicken thighs minced fine) at week 3 and it was a no go. That’s been the only time I *almost* threw up. The piece did go on down but it was way uncomfortable and I’ve given chicken a wide berth since.

Since week 4, I’ve eaten smoked turkey – plain or roll ups with seasoned cream cheese, tuna salad – chunk lite, not albacore, with mayo & dill pickle chopped to a pulp, medium rare steak – I like mine still mooing – more done and it’s too dry to eat, baked, grilled & pan fried fish, eggs & cheese and yesterday… BACON! We worked through lunch and everyone wanted Heavenly Ham. I got the Paradise Club with mayo & tomato only. It comes on a croissant, the bottom half of which I used as a plate. Smoked turkey, ham, muenster cheese & peppered bacon. OMG it was so freakin good! I had to dust off most of the pepper as it was a bit much but it was cooked just right and tasted divine. I managed the insides of 1 half, then had the rest about 2 hours later. Didn’t eat the tomato, but it added good flavor to the mayo.

Veggies – I’ve been eating a few greens the past couple of weeks just because I miss them. Can’t pass up fresh asparagus so I usually have 2-3 spears after all the protein is in. Has to be cooked tho – not to mush, but not crunchy either. I’ve had a bit of sauteed spinach, sorrel, kale & green beans. Oh and shitaki mushrooms. I’ve had those well-sauteed too. We get a weekly CSA with fresh, organic, local YUM veg. Can’t wait for the REAL tomatoes to arrive. I’ll wait til a weekend to go there. No telling what might happen!

What a pain in the ass!

I have died and gone to hell. I’m having muscle spasms in my sphincter. Yes, THAT sphincter. Like seriously unfunny, nearly passed out last time I passed gas mortal agony kind of spasms. Not occasionally, not just when I go potty, but ALL THE FUCKING TIME. I’m seeing the doc first thing in the morning and hope to find out this is not a fissure but merely (ha. ha.) a dangling ‘rhoid. I developed said ‘rhoid last September, thanks to Cymbalta (constipation), and it got worse thanks to Metformin (diarrhea). This episode began when I drove for 11+ hours over 2 days last week going to Nashville for my 6 week post op with my surgeon. By the time I got home, I was miserable but thought it would go away once I could lie down and give my ass a rest. Oh, but no. It’s become progressively worse. I almost went to the ER but the medical treatment involves a nitroglycerin cream that has to be compounded and in this burg, that’s a M-F, 9-5 event. If I can’t get the clinic doc to prescribe what I need, I may go postal. Fucking surgery didn’t hurt this badly.

In other, more pleasant news, I’ve lost 37 pounds. I love my DS!

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/rex_doc_aides_were_unlicensed_8EqmZvAao6oji69MyrUBSJ

This is why you always check out your potential new surgeon. Ask on the OH DS board. Read the surgeon lists on dsfacts.com and duodenalswitch.com. Don’t just believe their PR. They could be of the bait and DON’T switch variety or fraudulent, lying rat bastards like this NYC practice. If you want the DS, you will more than likely have to travel for a legit surgeon. EDUCATE YOURSELF! Stupid people should not have WLS of any kind and they seriously shouldn’t have the DS. They’ll make our stats look bad.

And I almost missed it. Thanks to my OH buddy Becky for pointing it out to me. 😉 Boy, what a ride! I’m eating a bit of real food now, which is soooo much nicer than all liquids all the time. I’ve had mashed potatoes with cheese, butter & sour cream, refried beans with cheese & sour cream, the insides of a Meximelt (frequently mixed with refried beans, cheese & sour cream), deviled eggs, scrambled eggs and salmon. I tried chicken thighs and tuna salad. The chicken is too – I don’t know – dense? It didn’t want to go down and I swear, I thought it was going to rocket itself out of my mouth. I had the whole mouth filling with saliva about to throw up thing going on, but no, it finally went. *shudder* The tuna was albacore and was like sawdust. I didn’t even try to swallow it after the chicken experience.

I’m still doing 2-3 protein shakes a day. I found one I really like: Isopure Zero Carb Creamy Vanilla. Not too sweet and is a good vanilla flavor. There’s no way I can eat enough food in a day to get as much protein as I need. I’m doing well to get half my supplements in. Not too shabby on the liquids, although I do need to drink more. Don’t know where I’ll put it! OMG I get so full so fast and one more pill or capsule is not going to fit.

All that aside, I am wearing shirts I haven’t worn in 2 years and my pants are all flappy in the butt & thighs. They still fit in the waist because my poor innards are still traumatized from the slice & dice – sore and swollen. I’m dying to sleep in my bed again but it’s just going to have to wait. I can’t sleep flat on my back and anything else is too uncomfortable. Oh well. Lunesta is my new bestest friend. Speaking of, I’d better have it now or I’ll never wake up in the morning. G’night!

I went back to work today and it damn near killed me. LOL It wasn’t that bad, but I was sure tired when I got home. I arrived at 8:30 and discovered about 8:57 I was scheduled to do an hour Q&A session with new therapists at 9. Weeeeeeee! Fortunately, I’ve been doing this long enough, I didn’t need any prep time. Training is always tiring because of being ‘on’ for hours. Well, one hour and I was pooped. Then at 10:25, the HR director came in and said, “Can you work with them some more? My 10-12 presenter had to leave early.” oof. I almost went home afterward but had some food and felt better. I stayed til 4 and fell in a heap when I got home. No training tomorrow but some on Wednesday. At least I know about Wednesday! And today, I’m back in the saddle again.