5 weeks post-op

So today I am officially 5 weeks post-op from having a full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and I’m super happy with the results.  My surgery date got moved from December 21, 2016 up to November 30, 2016 due to the surgeon not being available through Christmas.

The first few days were very rough.  All my core muscles were screaming so any movement I made was just awful.  Then the gas hit.  About the second or third day I ended up with gas pains, and eventually being constipated.  It was excruciating until I had an enema and things got back to working again.  I also ended up with a yeast infection from the antibiotics I was on.  I ended up being on antibiotics for 2 weeks, as at my 1 week follow-up my incision was still quite red.

This is me the day I had my drains removed, 1 week post-op.2017-01-04-11-01-32

I went in the day of surgery weighing 162 lbs and today I’m 155 – Dr. Bengezi removed 7 lbs of tumor and excess skin, sewed my abdominal muscles together and moved my belly button.

I started this weight loss journey when I was 320 lbs.  I was diagnosed with diabetes and was depressed and just generally unhealthy.

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May 21, 2014 I went in for Gastric Bypass Surgery performed by Dr. Gmora in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  I had lost some weight and was 277 lbs.

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2 years after my gastric bypass I went to a plastic surgeon to see about having what I thought was an unfortunate amount/placement of extra skin that had started growing when I was 15 years old.

Dr. Bengezi of Welland took a look at me and said it wasn’t all extra skin; what I always called my “bump” was actually a form of a tumor, called a lipoma.  He had never seen one so big before and he took a lot of pictures.  He then sent in a request to OHIP (our provincial health care plan) to see if they would cover the cost of a panniculectomy to remove the bump.  I got a call back about 5 months after they sent the request that I had been approved.

The morning of surgery I get to the hospital and the nursing staff is great.  They tell me how much they love and respect Dr. Bengezi and how nice he is and what great work he does so I was more than comfortable and not nervous at all.  When I finally get to the OR I’m chatting with the nurses and staff and they all love Dr. Bengezi too.  When he comes into the room he almost brags to the nurses how big my “bump” is that he’s going to remove and how I lost 160 lbs and basically my story.  But then he says something I didn’t know… OHIP only covered a panniculectomy, which is basically just removing the bump and nothing else but Dr. Bengezi didn’t want me to look bad so he upgraded me to a full tummy tuck with muscle repair at no cost to me!  I had no idea.

Post-op I had only one complication – a seroma, which is a fluid build up.  Dr. Bengezi got me in right away and drained 170 cc of fluid. I went back the following week and he took out 120 cc.  The next time I went I had 40 cc removed and this most recent time none at all.  There’s still a tiny bit of fluid left but nothing to worry about and he says my body will absorb it by itself as the lymphatic system repairs.

So, now, at 5 weeks out I am ready to show my “after” pictures.  I’m still swollen and numb, and there are still some spots on the incision that are scabbed, but otherwise everything is great.  I am super happy with the results and cannot wait to get this binder off (essentially a large elastic band that compresses my tummy) and wear real pants, like jeans.  Ooh.. and a bathing suit.  I haven’t worn one in years because none covered my belly properly.

Here are my stats, before I show the pictures:

Highest Weight – 320 lbs (April, 2013)

Highest Waist Measurement – 58 inches

Highest Hips Measurement – 59 inches

Bypass Surgery Weight – 277 lbs (May, 2014)

Current Weight – 155 lbs

Current Waist Measurement – 35 inches

Current Hips Measurement – 39 inches

 

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July 21st – 2 month surg-a-versary day!

Today I went to the gym and did my first work out. It went better than I expected. I was sweating, but not profusely like I would have been had I went last year at 320lbs. I also invested in 7 hour-long personal training sessions and I really like my trainer, Brenda. She’s probably 10 years my junior but is super friendly and motivating.

I had been feeling nauseous whenever I eat since about July 1st. Went for my scope last week and no findings – everything looks good. I have no ulcers and no strictures – basically no reason why I should be getting sick. I moved to Guelph last weekend and was feeling quite sick. When I think back, I think it might be stress related because I seem to feel I’ll whenever I’m stressed out. Like today, I went to drop off a couple resumes and I was feeling nauseous.

Treatment is gravol every 4 hours, but I haven’t been taking it because I can handle it. I haven’t actually thrown up in over a week.

Guelph is going well. I’m really enjoying being with Sean and we’re spending a lot of time together. I just wish I could find a job here!

My clothes are beginning to really not fit. I mean they’re hanging off me! Which should be a good feeling, but with money being tight it’s a pain. I found a couple shirts at value village today so that’s good.

Here are my numbers:
Starting weight: 320 lbs
Surgery date weight: 277 lbs
Today’s weight: 244 lbs

July 8th, 246 lbs!

Hello all! I haven’t blogged in a while for a few reasons. First, not much has been happening to me personally. I’ve been hanging out with my aunt and boyfriend and getting ready to move. My boyfriend and I have a friend whose husband had a heart attack (he’s doing better) and my daughter and I have been hanging out. The only thing of weight loss related importance that’s been happening is that I’ve been feeling very ill this past 8 days. Every time I eat, I feel like I’m going to be sick – no matter what or how fast/slow I eat. I also randomly get nauseous and/or throw up. I’ve called the clinic and am waiting for a call back. I don’t feel sick like with the flu or anything… in fact other than yesterday, with a blinding headache, I feel fine right up until I get that watery mouth/throw up feeling.

I’m down to 246 lbs though, so that makes me happy and made me want to blog. I’m under 250!! woot! I still don’t think I’m losing as fast as other people, but I know (I know!) I’m not supposed to compare myself to them. I am losing all over too, I can’t complain about the weight loss part. My hair is coming out a bit, but not as much as other people and with feeling sick all the time I’ve been having an impossible time getting (keeping) all my vitamins and protein in. I’m still trying though, I haven’t given up.

I’m back to work full time… well, I’m supposed to be, anyway. I’ve missed 2 days (Friday and Monday) because I’ve been so sick. Yesterday I couldn’t move my head without getting nauseous and I slept most of the day away. I threw up twice for no reason – just out of the blue I got sick. And since Tylenol is all I’m allowed to take for pain (which has never worked for me) I suffered a LOT. But I’m a bit better today. Headache is gone but still feeling ill when I eat.

I move to Guelph on Saturday! I’m so excited and overwhelmed. There is so much to do in the next few days and I feel like I just don’t have enough time to do it all. THANK GOD for Sean. He’s able to help me and I value it so much because he knows what I should bring and what he already has so its easy to purge. We might be going to the drive in today if it isn’t storming. We’re going to see a horror movie! I love horror movies lol.

Well, my headache’s gone – pain wise – but I still feel dizzy a bit so I’m going to go. Here are my stats:

Starting weight: 320 as of September, 2013
Weight on day of surgery: 277 (May 21, 2014)
Todays weight: 246

Total weight lost: 74 lbs
Weight lost since surgery: 31 lbs

June 26, 2014 – 259 lbs

So I have THREE major non-scale victories to share tonight. The first one happened when I was running late for a doctors appointment. I didn’t feel like waiting for the elevator so I decided to take the flight of stairs up to the office. So I took the stairs in a rush and wasn’t out of breath! Usually I’d be loudly huffing and puffing and would find it hard to speak to the receptionist for a few minutes. Not only could I talk, but my blood pressure was in the perfect range!

The second NSV happened when I went to the hair dresser. You know how some of them put that little tissue paper around your neck before they put the gown on? Well today, for the first time since I can remember, it actually fit all the way around and even overlapped a bit!

The third NSV happened when I went to Red Lobster for dinner. I actually got a little emotional and teared up a bit. I sat down and actually FIT in the booth with inches to spare between my belly and the table! 6 months ago when I went my tummy was right up against the table and even over it a bit. It was very uncomfortable. I ordered the stuffed talapia with broccoli and rice. I literally ate two bites of rice, a couple florets of broccoli and half the fish. I ate a few bites of salad and about 1/2 of a biscuit. So I ate quite a lot and was a bit uncomfortable but I didn’t get sick or anything.

Yesterday was a bad day. My boyfriend and I were fighting and it was our first real fight. I got scared and reverted to old habits where I started retreating and took my stuff out of his house and left. We didn’t talk much as I felt he had put up walls and I got very defensive. After a day of fighting I swallowed my pride and told him I missed him and that I love him. And we started working things out. I’m going back tomorrow to see him and confirm that I love him and want to be with him.

I think it shows growth on my part that I was able to come to him in a vulnerable position and tell him honestly how I felt. I was terrified of being rejected but I love him so much I just had to let him know and take the chance. And thank God I did. I’d be so upset with myself if I had let my pride stand in the way.

FINALLY most of the hassle with my disability is over. I got paid! So I’m caught up on my rent and bills. It’s a good feeling. I’ve also got my doctor’s notes telling that I can go back to work and start exercising. I can’t do core workouts for a other month but at least I can start somewhere.

So other than the blip that was our major first fight the last couple days have been great. I haven’t lost much weight since the last post but the NSV’s were amazing!

Total weight lost: 61 lbs
Weight lost since surgery: 18

Went toy one month follow up and they say I’m doing great!

June 23rd, 2014 260.0 lbs

Well it looks like the scale is finally starting to move in the right direction!  I’ve lost 8 lbs in the last 8 days and while I don’t really notice a difference other people are starting to.  Which is nice.  I went and babysat my niece on Saturday and both my sister and her husband commented that they could tell I’m losing.  Which really feels good.  I know, I know.  I’m doing this for me – blah blah blah but to be 100% honest I WANT people to notice.  I want to be an acceptable size and for people to find me attractive along with me feeling more confident and healthier etc.  I have Sean and I know he loves me but when you’ve gone so long feeling like the most unattractive piece of poo because most people won’t look at you twice or if they do its with a sneer on their face it’s nice to think someone might eventually look on me favourably.

I’ve been having a really hard time with getting my water and vitamins in lately.  I have an app on my phone that tracks my water intake (well, I have to input the numbers but it lets me see what I’ve drank and how much is left to go for the day) and an app that tells me when its time to take my vitamins.  The last couple days I’ve been feeling down and just haven’t been getting enough in.  Hopefully when I go to the doctor tomorrow there won’t be any concerns as a result.  I’m still trying – I haven’t given up like some people.  I’m hoping I’ll be cleared for exercise too when I go.  Not that I’ll actually start exercising until the 14th when I get my gym membership started, but it’ll be good to know I can.  I’m also going to ask about clearance to go back to work.  NOT that I want to go – but I have to.  I have no reason to stay home anymore.  I’m physically healed and can tolerate most foods and know what I’ll  need to pack each day. 

The one MAJOR problem I see with going back to work is that I still haven’t been paid a full paycheque since March 3rd and no money AT ALL since June 4th.  And I’m broke.  I mean,  absolutely FLAT BROKE.  How am I supposed to pay for gas and parking when I have no money to spend and no one to loan me any (as I’ve already exhausted all my borrowing options)?  I’ve talked with disability and they’re going to approve my claim for part time from March 3rd to May 20th but they still need documentation from May 21st till June 30th when I’m thinking of going back.  I don’t understand what they’re missing – the doctors note says I’m having surgery and I’ll be off for 4 – 6 weeks.  They said they need to understand if I’d have been able to go back had I not had the surgery… what?  What difference does that make?   Either way they’d be paying me to be off for depression if I couldn’t or off for surgery because I WAS off.  I don’t get it but hopefully they’ll have an answer as to WHEN I’ll get paid and to how MUCH I’ll get paid.  My landlords are really REALLY mad that I still haven’t paid them for June and the month is practically over.  Not to mention all the bills that are piling up and my car payment that has bounced twice now (2 out of 2 times it’s tried to come out…)

Mood-wise I’ve been pretty low.  Yesterday was an exceptionally bad day.  I stayed in bed for most of it, even though Zoey was here.   It was ok because she wasn’t feeling well and spent most of her time sleeping on the couch.  I miss Sean a lot and am getting pretty anxious as to wanting to live with him NOW.  Every time I leave him hurts worse than the last time.  Plus I just want to get a new job and get on with starting my new life.  I acknowledge the job I have now is really good and pays extremely well and I’ll never get a similar job with my lack of knowledge and experience, but I still just plain don’t like it.  I was happier when I was making $14 at a call centre – where I had friends, and people talked to me.  And where I had to THINK.  I know they gave me this job to do because it was less stressful because it had few time constraints and not a lot of thinking but I am a smart girl and I like to think.  I like to be challenged.  It is so hard to go to a job you hate every day.  But I have a lead on a job that I think I might want – they called Thursday afternoon and I was unable to get to the phone, as well my stupid answering service only took 3 messages at a time so they weren’t able to leave one.  But I google’d their # and it was from a place I applied to.  I called back on Friday but no one answered, so I’m going to call again today.  I also have a job interview on Wednesday but it doesn’t really pay enough so I don’t know if I’ll accept it. 

Oh well… I’m done for now.  Here are my stats:

Highest Weight: 320

Weight day of surgery: 277

Weight 2 days after surgery: 285

Weight now: 260

Total weight lost: 60

Weight lost since surgery day:  17

June 15 – 268 lbs

You know, I really don’t want to be a whiny baby… but that’s precicely what I’m turning into.  Whiny and miserable.  I can say I’m lucky because I haven’t had any really bad side effects and aside from the maybe (but not) blood clot I haven’t had any reason to go to an emergency room after surgery but I’m so miserable I don’t see that when I’m looking at my “journey”.  All I see are farts and restrictions.  And no desire to actually eat anything.  I mean I get head hungry and bored hungry but when I get up to eat there’s nothing I can have that I want. When it comes to eating meals, I’m just not interested.  I don’t get the feeling of being hungry in my tummy and more often than not the idea of eating something makes me feel sick. 

Not only that, but the act of eating is excrutiating.  I have to go slow which, contrary to popular belief, does NOT make me enjoy my food more.  In fact, going slow is work.  I have to think about each bite and I get no enjoyment out of eating.  I guess that’s partly the point of surgery but it makes me not want to do it.  I’m getting all my protein in (forcefully) and I’m usually getting more than my required water amounts in so I’m still doing what I’m supposed to, but right now I’m doing it out of fear.  Fear because I’ve read some real horror stories about people not doing what they’re supposed to and how badly things can get really quick.  So I do what I’m supposed to so I’m not one of them. 

It doesn’t help that financially I’m completely screwed still.  Yes, disability FINALLY has all my paperwork but they have till the 23rd to finish it and make a decision on it.  Even if the decision is they need more information – which would be the crappiest decision EVER since I’ve been waiting since March 3rd for my money.  Even if they do approve me I won’t see money before EVERYTHING is due again.  It definitely makes it that I don’t want to go back since I’m being screwed first by my boss, then by HR and now I have to wait for disability.  I’m trying to get a job in Guelph still, but no one wants me.  Which BLOWS because all I want is a customer service position hopefully in a call centre, and I KNOW I am qualified for one of those, seeing as how I’ve been doing them for the last 16 years – and well, I might add. 

I guess I should try to look at the bright side of things.  My local support group (for only people who had surgery at my clinic) says this weight stall is completely normal, my emotions running wild are completely normal and my having no desire to eat anything is completely normal… I made a new online friend who also had surgery who works at my work.  My friend, Basel, is looking at my resume and last I checked she worked in an HR position.  Sean loves me.  Zoey loves me.  I just wish I could feel the love as opposed to simply knowing it was there.

Oftentimes I’m wondering why I did this.  I haven’t lost any weight in weeks and it’s uncomfortable to drink water.  I mean, if I sip it slowly I can drink it but I don’t want to sip it slowly.  I want to take big gulps and I can’t.  There’s so much that I want that I’m just feeling deprived.  I know, whiny baby.  I’m sure no one wants to read this because its just whining but I have no good news to share right now.  I feel badly, this was supposed to be a forum to share my journey and to be informative for what to expect for people who are starting their own journeys.  Everyone says I’m doing well, and that they notice a difference but to spell it out, I’ve lost approximately 10 lbs since the day I went in for surgery.  10.  I probably could have done that on my own if I followed the same restrictions I have in place now (calories, protein, fat, etc.) I realize I’ve lost 52 lbs all together, but 42 of those were lost before surgery and if I could do it then, why the heck did I get the surgery in the first place?

My diabetes is gone.  Although they say it never leaves – you’ll always be a diabetic – it is now strictly diet controlled.  So I guess that’s another good thing.  But does it make the rest of it worth it?  I don’t know.  I think I’m not going to update as often as I have been, seeing as there’s nothing to update but complaints.  Maybe when things start going well I’ll come back more often.

June 5th – Weight unknown, NSV to report

Good evening!

I just finished dinner and it looks as though I’m able to tolerate pasta! I know why they don’t want us having it – because it’s just carbs and our bodies don’t tolerate carbs well – but I figure if I have a good protein as a main and then the pasta as a small side I should be fine to have it once in a while.

Today I have an NSV (non-scale victory) to report. I needed some new pants because mine were too big. Now, I have been a little downhearted lately because the scale hasn’t been moving. I know it’s normal at this stage but it still feels crappy. Anyway, my pants are too big and so Zoey and I went to Value Village (a second hand store) to look for clothes for cheap. Well I only found 1 pair of pants that I liked and 1 shirt. BUT the NSV part is that I’m down 2 full sizes! I’ve gone from a size 24 pants and 4x shirt to a size 20 pants and 2x shirt. I’m so excited! So maybe I’m not seeing pounds coming off yet but inches are. I also got a hair cut to make me feel a little better.

Yesterday we went to the grocery store and I got REALLY bummed out. I wanted something good to eat, but everything was either not good for me, not yet on my approved list, or just plain old not appetizing. So I bought strawberry Tic Tacs so I could feel like I was eating candy but not do too much damage. It worked a bit, but boy are those suckers small!

Not much else to report. I haven’t taken my weight today because I’m always heavier in the evening and was in Guelph and therefore without a scale this morning. Plus I was more excited to relay my inches lost than another post about no weight being lost.

I’m doing really well tolerating mushy foods. Haven’t thrown up yet but I came very close at lunch time. I was having canned turkey (don’t judge but I love that stuff!) with calorie wise mayo, mustard and relish and some Melba toast (which is all on my approved foods list). Well, about half way through I got this awful feeling like I had swallowed a lump that just got stuck at the bottom of my esophagus. I knew nothing was stuck because I was chewing everything really well but this feeling wouldn’t pass. I gave the rest of my meal to Zoey and got up. I thought I was going to be sick and stood in the doorway of the bathroom for a good 5 minutes before the feeling passed. Tonight at dinner I decided to try the toast again but this time I went slower and only had one piece… And I started to get the same feeling. So it’s definitely the toast that’s not sitting well.

Oh well so far that’s the only food that has done that so I’m going to wait a week before trying it again.

So that’s it for today. I’m attaching my NSV picture for you all to enjoy. I was so happy – haven’t been in clothes that small in a few years.

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