Monday, March 27, 2017

Almost April

Time for an update

The way I see it, I will be ending my fourth week post-op tomorrow.  Time for one of my boring updates.  Please bear with me.  This blogging is also meant to be a form of journal for me so if you don't feel like reading on, you are forgiven.

I did a lot of research on my own, unfortunately after surgery, on the weight loss outcomes for older
Bariatric patients.  By "older", the literature refers to all of us who are over age 60.  In fact, we're referred to as "elderly" by the researchers.  Blah, blah, blah.....outcomes are "different" with less success than in the younger patient groups.  We are expected to lose slower and one of the reasons is our "sedentary" lifestyles.

Okay, let me set this out will NEVER find me at a gym.  I think they are seed beds for bacteria and icky diseases.  From what my husband tells me, most of the people at his gym don't seem to have a clue about hygiene and he is meticulous, wiping every piece of equipment free of the sweat from the person before him.  He never wears clothing that would allow his skin to come into contact with anything at the gym.  He also tells me stories of the rude behavior and disgusting sights in the locker room.  So, nope, I'll take a pass.  Don't get me started on other things that happen at gyms.

So, I walk for exercise and I never sit still when at home.  I'm up the stairs and down the stairs and up the stairs.  For an "elderly" person, I'm fairly active and always looking for ways to get my butt in motion.  So, maybe the theory applies somewhat but.....

I have not lost one single ounce since March 19th. and it was slow up until that point, when you look at the low caloric intake and the activity.And yes, I drink the buckets of fluid every day and just yesterday, took a 2 mile, brisk walk at the beach.  Had to be brisk, it was cold and windy!

I put a call into the Bariatric Surgery group and await an answer.  For the time being, I'm just ready to consider myself a statistic again.  

Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Disillusionment Baby

As I drove to pick up my father for his weekly visit to the barbershop this morning, I passed a trio, waiting in the cold for the school bus.  There was a mom, a young boy and what I guessed, the little sister.  I'm assuming that the older child was the one who would soon be on the bus, leaving his baby sister behind, because she was pushing a doll in a stroller.  At once, a feeling of sadness came upon me in the split second that it took to recall memories from my own childhood.

Things were different back there in the fifties.  Our lives, as children, were filled with wonder and playing was our heart's desire.  I seriously think that we had imaginations that were so much more expansive than those of today's children.  I mean, we really thought that the things we played with had lives.  The boys were real cowboys, the girls were real mommies.  And, our parents made sure that we had all the best ways in which to create our dream worlds. Days were filled with the joys of becoming whatever or whomever we wished to become.  There were very few limits to our ability to transport ourselves into the roles of grown-up super people.  How many little boys suffered broken limbs from their leaps of "tall" buildings as Superman?  How many little girls had babies who never grew out of infancy?

My mother and father were two of the greatest parents a kid could have.  Christmas always earned them that high rating.  They outdid themselves each and every year.  I'm sure my brother had the best of toys a boy could have and I know for certain that I had the finest dolls and doll equipment.  My mom loved my love of dolls and must have gotten such joy watching me play.  I loved my dolls.  I never for one minute ever thought that they were not real babies.  I strolled them in strollers, dressed them, bathed them and even fed them.  Remember Tiny Tears?  She drank from a bottle and needed diaper changes.  Of course she was real.

So, why was I sad?

I guess it was my own stupid kid fault.  I thought it would never end.  I thought that my babies would be with me forever, need me forever.  I wonder if the thought has crossed the little sister's mind?  Does she talk to her babies?  I passed too quickly to see....was her baby holding a Smart Phone?

Monday, March 20, 2017



I listen to Broadway show tunes in Joe's car.  He has Sirius Radio.  I only have a three month trial on my new car and won't continue it at the end of this period.  Howard Stern is one of the owners of Sirius and no way will I give him my money.  But, I do enjoy this particular station, especially for the memories it digs up as I make my way to and from the to's and from's.

The other day, a perfect number popped up.  Do you remember Zero Mostel and his famous character, Tevye, from Fiddler on the Roof?  He opened the show with a song that set the pace for what was to come. The song...."Tradition".

The song stuck in my mind and it now replays over and over. Whenever I eat.  But instead of "Tradition", my brain is playing "Restriction'.  I'm funny that way.

When I bought my new stomach, little "Prada", I bought more than just an anatomy re-configure.  I bought a tool, a working, breathing tool for doing a job.  If it's weight you want to lose, what you need is something that will help you eat less.  I got one of those.  Mine is known as "restriction" and there is a very good reason for this.  When you eat, you might keep on going until either the plate is empty (my husband's method) or you get a sense of "fullness" and even though you may push on beyond this point, at the end of the meal you might realize that you actually have eaten more than your stomach had room for and you may feel uncomfortable or remorseful.  A few burps and you're on your way. I have a whole other way of dealing with the question of how much is enough.  Mine is called "restriction".  I eat slowly, small bites at a time that I chew to the consistency of applesauce and then, all of a sudden, a signal pops up.  Loud and clear.  Oh boy, does it ever.  I get a tightness in the tummy and I know that it is time to put down the fork and call it a meal.  I don't dare go beyond that point.

So, Zero, you are on my mind at breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day of my new life.  Restriction pays off.....perhaps slower than I, who always likes to see results, would want it to but it does work and that nasty scale proves it.

What I did not know before surgery, was that the weight loss was going to be slow.  No, I'm not resorting to Weight Watchers.  I am sticking with my program, eating slowly and waiting for restriction to announce itself.  I'm a Fiddler, sitting on a rooftop and this, my friends, is my new tradition.

Friday, March 17, 2017


I'm trying to see the humor in all of this but today's it's hard.  Today is my first real day of being discouraged.  Hey, I'm allowed!

I just tried to eat one whole scrambled egg and had to stop half way through. That's called "restriction" and it is what keeps people with sleeves from eating any more than a few morsels.  It is not a new feeling.  I've been experiencing it in varying degrees since Wednesday.  Eat more than that signal allows, and spend an hour burping and feeling generally uncomfortable so the learn-as-you-go method really does work.

My scale tells me that it is happy with the weight I am at. That my body does not want to weigh less, despite the lack of food and the tiny number of calories.  I can't do anything more to make that change.

I must remember what I learned in my preparation for surgery.  One of the big things that I did not want to, but did, hear is that there are no guarantees.  Some bodies just don't respond to this whole thing.  I've stopped reading blogs from people who had surgery on my same day.  They're cruising along, dropping pounds like flies.  It makes me sad and angry so I just don't do it any more.

God gives us tools for our lives.  He works in strange ways.  I've always been very tolerant of the needs of people with special diets and of course, with people who have distorted body images. I don't think I needed a lesson in how to acquire any new virtues therein.  But, maybe He has other plans for me.  Maybe He wants me to be even more aware of the hell my son goes through with his Celiac Disease.  Maybe he wants me to learn to accept my fate and to be there for someone else who finds the same thing in his or her life.  I honestly don't know.

For now, all I can do is wait for the message.  I gave it my best, absolute, best, try.  I really, really did.
I just don't want to be told to drink more water.  Please do not do that.  I drink so much and have no idea of where it goes.  Some things are just meant to be mysteries.  I'll accept that.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Egg Down

The long-anticipated scrambled egg.  I have to report, it went down without a glitch so far.  I'm kinda disappointed because I honestly thought that I was going to have to stop, halfway through, because I was already feeling full.  Not so.  I could eat a dozen.  Maybe that's head hunger?  I don't know but it is discouraging.

This new stomach, it's only a tool.  There are no guarantees that after all this, I will lose weight.

But, I gave it my best shot and I'm ready for the next health professional who suggests that I lose weight and resorts to scare tactics such as "you are going to die from heart disease".   Bring 'em on, I'm waiting.

I have come full-cycle now with using this blog as a way to keep everyone posted on my progress.
I'm fine.  I really am. I'm back in the groove, ready to get together with friends again, go to movies, take walks, entertain.  Thanks for checking in and caring.  This stuff can be boring. Trust me.  My own daughter gave up being interested within the first week.  My son asks once in a while.  My father thinks I had something done to my foot, for what reason I do not know, but he's deemed me all put-back together so he's moved on.

So, I'll update from time to time but from now on, I'm returning to writing about other stuff and other people and there will be times when I write about gratitude because that's the most important thing in the world.  I'm so grateful to my friends who showed their love and their concern.  About that, I could write an entire book.

We dodged a big bullet yesterday.  The Nor'easter that was headed our way with the promise of many inches of new snow, materialized in the form of an ocean's worth of rain and wind.  The sky is blue, the air crisp, and the sun is shining.  The promise of Spring has returned and with it, let's hope the patio contractor returns soon to complete the job.  I can't wait to have our new patio so that we can fill it with good times and our beautiful array of friends.

Gotta go.  I'm still hungry.  Remember.....I tried!!!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Week Two, Done.

Scrambled eggs on a plate.

Today marks a momentous occasion.  It is the official end to my two weeks of the famous post-surgery liquid diet and it means that two short weeks ago, I underwent surgery.  Now where did that time go?  I've healed and Joe's learned to cook.  Time well spent.

The past weeks have not been difficult.  I count my blessings for I know that not everyone who gets
"sleeved" has the same results.  Post-op complaints range from constant nausea to pain in the abdomen with each movement.  I've also been 100% compliant.  And, I know, that has a lot to do with my outcome.  For some reason, I think my surgeon wasn't too sure of my ability to get through all of this with flying colors.  He based a lot on my "age" and boy, was that a mistake on his part. I could have led a parade of people years younger than myself, at the hospital.

So, tomorrow, it's the real world.  Re-entry. Just like a baby, eating solid foods for the first time, I will be trying them on for size.  I get to add things like cottage cheese, eggs, soft cheeses, pureed fruits, overcooked vegetables and a small but welcomed list of other things.  I'm told that it would not be wise to scramble 2 eggs.  I've been consuming bowls, not just little cups, of creamed soups and broths, whole containers of Greek yogurt and gallons of drinks so it is hard to imagine that I won't be able to get one whole egg down at a sitting.  This should be very interesting.

So, I'm ready for a good night's sleep.  I feel like the kids do on Christmas Eve.  Let's get to bed, sleep and get the night over-with so that we can wake up to Christmas Morning.

I hope that Santa remembers that I have been a very, very good girl.  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Best Wishes

Greeting card. Flowers. Watercolor. Roses. Festive bouquet. Best wishes.
I have been drifting around on a Bariatric Forum.  I find it interesting to hear the stories of others, especially those who were "sleeved" on the same day as I. I already picked up a few tips from some of the contributors and hopefully, have helped a few with my own comments.  This is how I am going to roll. I am not going to attend support groups  Sorry, I'm just not a support group kinda gal. I am ready, willing, and able to give support to anyone who needs or wants it but I can't sit in a circle, sharing stories and what I know will be a catalog of "recipes", with a group of strangers.  That has never worked for me in the past and I doubt that it will do me much good in the future.  Were it such a great tool for success, I would have become a Weight Watcher leader by now.  I do my own thing, always have and always will.

My greatest support has come, and continues to come, from my friends. People who truly know me and people I truly know.  Most of them are thin, few of them even know what it's like to have a weight "problem".  But, they're there, all of them fresh and ready to cheer me on.  They have been there from the start.  I have encountered only one , shall I say "opponent". This, by the way, is the one person who professed to have known me "best" or at least, she, held that thought.  In the end, it became abundantly clear that she knew me the least and a long-lasting friendship came to a screeching halt.  It was this person who questioned my motives and boldly asked me why, "at my age" I would consider doing this.  Huh?  I'm not a hundred. And even if I were, I would still have been just as appalled.  Why? Why?  Why not????

On one of the forums, I came across a video done by a young man on the cusp of having his own surgery.  He answers the question, why?,  beautifully when he tells his YouTube audience that he has made his decision based upon some pure logic.  He's overweight, always has been.  He's tired of the fight but knows that this is not the easy way out by any means. But, he's 43 and knows that while he is healthy now, he won't be in ten years.  Like me, he does not have any real health issues.  Now.  Like me, he knows that surgery and big lifestyle changes become harder as we age.  So, like me, he made the decision to change what he can when he still has a choice and when he knows he will be able to pull it off.  Like me, he isn't in this for the "looks".  Like me, he isn't interested in appearing better, just feeling better.  Just changing what can be changed before it is too late. I like him.

I hope that my anonymous YouTube friend is as fortunate as I have been.  I know he's nervous about the surgery and very possibly, scared about the recovery.  He won't tell his Italian mother.  He doesn't want her to worry and knows she will.  Bless his soul.  I hope to find a follow-up video one day soon. I was nervous too.  I was sure that I wanted to be right there, at that time, in that pre-op room.  But surgery always presents a risk.  I had to sign a boat load of papers that testified to my understanding of those risks.  As I lay there, in between signing and getting poked and set for the procedure, the miracle of technology allowed me to check my email on my phone.  I received a note from a friend that lifted my spirits and carried me through the waiting time and the hardest moments of the recovery time.  It is a note that everyone should have in their in-box, at least once in a life time.
It was from my friend Patti.  God, I am so blessed.

All the things I love about you are unaffected by weight gain or loss. 
Best wishes   -   Patti