Rockin' it Out!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Betty Crocker I am NOT!

I have never cooked so much in my life! This pureed diet really makes you think creatively about what you need to cook. You can't run out and get a whopper with cheese and throw that in the Magic Bullet! *Don't be a smart ass.. I know you CAN!* I've had to actually COOK my meals and think ahead to the next day. I find that I get hungry FAST and I need to have something on hand for when I am or I feel like I'm gonna pass out (diabetes).

I was given the link to this blog and it has given me TONS of ideas for during and after the pureed diet. She really is creative and does have amazing ideas. The pureed recipes I made today were the cheesy cauliflower and the baked ricotta. Along with all this, I made the old stand-by of mashed potatoes. Those are my fall back food when I'm starving. I mix it with cheese, some sort of meat or beans for some protein.

I'm getting tired of applesauce and mashed potatoes so I'm going to need to come up with some other ideas. The other day I made split-pea soup since I figured it's basically mush already and whizzing it in the Magic Bullet doesn't really do anything to the consistency. Well, guess what? I don't like split-pea soup! Oh!! But guess who does!? My daughter and husband, so it wasn't a complete waste of time or food.

Anyone got any other fabulous actual food ideas for purees? I'm soooo sick of whizzing crap in the Bullet. The cheesy cauliflower is probably fantastic as is but after I whizzed it up I could barely stand to look at it. I tasted a few bites and it really was good but I am SO SICK of purees I could have thrown it out the window. The baked ricotta was lovely because I could eat it as is. The cheese on top became rather crispy so I peeled that off (took a few nibbles first *sigh*) and ate the stuff underneath.

So that's my latest food dilemma -- not enough "real" food options for purees. No more baby food please! I'll make it six more days (HA, I AM counting!) but I am SO looking forward to eating soft foods! I'll get sick of that too I'm sure but my time will come to eat again, lol.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I have noticed that I've been avoiding things with weird smells. Protein for instance! NO GOOD! Then, tonight, I warmed some refried beans from a can and almost threw up. Hello someone's ASS!!?? Dear gawd, that was awful. Needless to say, I didn't eat any and the can will probably wind up a waste. It's horrid! :(

My nutritionist was finally reached this morning. I tried calling her yesterday and left a message but she didn't return my call. Today, she answered when I called and claimed there was no message from me. Sucktastic! She'll have to forgive me if I stalk her several times a day now when she doesn't return my call immediately. Anyways, she gave me some ideas for how to get protein down. Some I had heard before, some I hadn't. She suggested making it into a smoothie or something similar, mixing it into mashed potatoes, pudding, etc. I would want an unflavored for that, so we'll see if I can track a good unflavored powder down. The vanilla makes me wanna hurl.

She also reminded me why I'm on pureed foods. I was struggling with wanting to try bits of this and bits of that and needed to have my head brought back down from food heaven and reminded why I'm doing this. I need to train my new stomach. If I go too quickly I'm going to cause my band to slip and that means surgery and who wants that!? So, on the pureeds for another week and then I can move on to soft foods. She also recommends not jumping into soft foods in on day. Maybe have one new things per meal so you know what you're not tolerating. Having purees as the other portions will help narrow that down, obviously.

A co-worker told me that each of the doctors (my bosses) asked about me at work today. This sounds very sweet but the one doc apparently followed it up with, "I was wondering when she was going to come in and work on insurance." I have two weeks off of work people!! This one boss mentioned if I'm feeling up to it I can come in and work on the two insurances I manage. I told her sure but no promises... it would all depend on how I was feeling. Well, I'm not even a week out!!!! WTF!? How very considerate of her, eh? On the up side, the other doc called me at home today. I figured I wouldn't get out of the chair fast enough to answer it and it went to voicemail. She was VERY sweet and said no one had heard from me since Friday and she wanted to check on me and see if I was in good spirits. :) That made me smile anyways.

My hubby and I were taking Cadence to swim lessons tonight and I was in the passenger seat and talking to him. Well, he goes, "look at me again!" I did... and he said, "your face is thinner!" :) Ahhh... gotta love that he is noticing and he sees me every day!! :)

I think I'll end on that good note ;)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Port pain?

So I have no idea where my port is. I've felt around, gently, and haven't located it yet. I thought it would be closest to the largest incision (what I had heard), which is on the right side, but I really have no idea. Now, though, I feel pain (maybe not the best word... discomfort?) on my left side. Below my breast and above my hips/waist line. So I figured this was perhaps where my port is. It really just hurts when I move around at the waist. Getting up or bending over is when it hurts the most.

Can you help me quit panicking and tell me where your port is located? I wish I would have asked before I left so I'd know for sure.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Details about the big day!

I think I'm finally ready to write about my experience. For me, there's always that tiny bit of fear surrounding the experience and I can't write anything immediately after for some reason. The same thing happened with my c-section. Just didn't want to talk about that damn spinal. Anyways.. here it is!

We woke up at 4:30 am on Wednesday morning and sometime while Chris was in the shower Cadence woke up to go potty. I was SO happy to see her awake one more time. She climbed into my bed and we snuggled so nice until it was my turn to shower. Well, little stinker stayed up until after we left! I got dressed and did my thing and so did Chris. When it was time to go she was crying about us leaving :( :( :( saying how she just wanted Mommy! :( OMG tear a woman's heart out. I had the hardest time leaving ever! :( Finally, I told Chris we just needed to leave and she'd be fine with Grandpa. Turns out they slept until 10 am but she was still a grump-ass the rest of the day and saying she wanted me. The first time I talked to her after she asked if I was going to come get her! :) HAHA, poor kiddo.

So we arrived at the hospital on time at 6 am. They took us immediately to our little cubby in the wall (basically) to hang out until it was time. The nurse came in and asked a bunch of questions. Her name was Jubilee, btw, what a GREAT name! She was young and cute and very wonderful. I was gowned, blood sugar was checked, vitals all noted, etc. The admissions person came in to ask questions. The nurse was in and out a bunch of times until we saw anyone else of importance.

Finally the doctor came in. I sorta met him at the curtain (I was about to go use the restroom) and so I sat back down and we chatted. He asked what surgery we were doing that day and I replied "gastric banding, what do YOU think we're doing?" :) He has a great sense of humor and replied that he thought the same but wondered if I wanted anything else done while he was in there. I told him I'd like to go home with all my limbs this time. He sighed and said, "oh, ok!" :) Just love that guy. He sure knows how to make a nervous nelly relax a bit!

While he was still in there going over and signing paperwork, the anesthesiologist came in and introduced herself. I don't remember her name either but man was she wonderful too. She was very reassuring and comforting. All these people could surely tell I was about to pass out in fear. She went over all the risks because she has to but then she said, "you are going to be JUST fine! JUST FINE!" And those words made me breathe a little easier, I swear. What a wonderful lady. Can't say enough. Apparently this woman was the lead anesthesiologist and would be there when I went to sleep and be there when I woke up but would float around to other surgeries in between. Mike and a resident, Casey, would be in there the whole time.

Soon after Dr. G and the anes. left me Mike and Casey came in and inserted my I.V. Casey did it with Mike telling him what to do and suggesting things as he went along. They gave me a local and after that the insertion was FINE and, to be honest, there's hardly a mark on my hand where that thing was even. So kudos to them too!

They explained that they would be giving me something to help me relax in a little bit and that I might not remember anything after they gave me that. So once I was ready to roll I kissed Chris goodbye and started crying. Not sobbing, but BIG tears. They instantly said, "here's that stuff to help you relax, you might not remember anything from here on!" I turned the corner (on my bed) and brushed Chris' chest with my hand and said, "see you in a couple hours" with tears streaming down my face. He just nodded... if he had spoken he would have cried for sure. So down the hallway we go, we passed several people in scrubs waiting for other surgeries (maybe even my own, not a clue) along the hallway's edge. The put my bed right up alongside the operating table which I remember thinking wasn't AS skinny as I had been told it would be and thought "hmm maybe I'm not AS huge as some others having this surgery!"

Once I was up on this little table things started happening really fast. They positioned me in a strange, sitting-up position so they could get the breathing tube down easier and then put this mask over my face and told me it was just oxygen but I could taste something else in there and knew I would be asleep before I knew it. I sorta remember them asking me questions with that thing on my face. I remember the guy holding it had to take it off a bit so I could answer but he'd put it back immediately. After that I have no memory! I zipped off to sleep and woke up next in recovery.

While I was in recovery I heard some guy snoring first. I asked my nurse if I snored and she said no! :) There was also another guy in there who was asking someone a billion questions and I remember thinking that guy must be ready for his room and to get him out of there. He was there longer than I was however. I was in and out in recovery and for quite some time after. I heard my recovery nurse call someone and give them a report on me. They mentioned that I was sleepy but easy to rouse from sleep. They mentioned they had given me insulin (no memory) but that just two units made my blood sugar go lower than they expected so they were scared to give me any more. Might I mention how happy this made me to hear? Two units is NOTHING, almost not worth the injection!! ;) For it to do such things is awesome news.. I might kick this damn diabetes thing after all!!! :)

So from there I went to my own little room upstairs. Like I mentioned before I was in and out and not really up for anything for a little while. They were in and out of my room taking vitals every hour and checking on my pain level. I was fine with pain until 3pm, six hours after my surgery or so. My primary nurse told me I was her rockstar! By the way, her name was Erin and she was my absolute favorite. I saw the nurse after her and she was alright too but I just loved Erin. In my room, I basically just watched tv and kept up on pain meds. I got up after a while and walked the halls and used the bathroom but otherwise I just chilled in my room.

Around 8 pm I was discharged and left for home with my meds in hand. The ride home was terrible and I was nauseous the whole time. I had the A/C blasting on me and the window down and I felt horrible. Made it home and went straight to bed. Was up 4 hours later for more pain meds. Basically a horrible night.

The next day Chris wondered if we needed to go back to the hospital because I couldn't eat. Not that I was barfing or anything but I couldn't fathom eating anything. Just no appetite whatsoever. Made it through that day basically on meds all day as often as I could be. I slept after each dose. That night I lay awake most of the night too... that's what happens when you don't stay awake all damn day.

Yesterday was really good and today I feel great too. Yesterday I ate something like 4 times and drank in between. I haven't found a good protein drink yet so I'm not getting adequate protein in but I'll work on that. Might run out today, we'll see. Today, I slept til 10! When I woke up I had half a packet of oatmeal and was full. For the record, I used to be able to eat two packets for breakfast. This thing is already changing me :) It's empty right now but they say sometimes just the empty band will put some restriction on your stomach. I think I'm feeling that for now, or perhaps some swelling. I think I might also have some fear surrounding eating the wrong thing and throwing up. Throwing up would HURT!!

I have a confession to make too. I ate a potato chip/thingy. Chris made homemade "chips" but they were pretty thick. I had one last night. I just made sure to chew really really well. What's the difference between me chewing it really well or me pureeing it before I put it in my mouth? Did anyone else do anything like that too soon? I will be careful because I do not want to puke but man.. the thought of eating anything else already made into mush makes me wanna barf on it's own! Any pureed recipes that are delicious!? I've got to do this for another week and a half! :(

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm banded!

Well, I've done it. I came home around 8 pm on Wednesday, the day of my surgery. They told me that was a record for them so it would appear, from what I've read, that they are rather conservative about sending people home the same day.

I'll be the first to admit... recovery hasn't been as simple as I thought it would be. All the stories I had read I assumed I'd be starving and pain free by the time I came home. Ok, not exactly but something close! Yesterday was rough. I stayed on top of my pain meds which made me essentially asleep the entire day. Then in the middle of the night I'd be wide awake. The gas was horrible. I felt it in my neck and my stomach was bubbling like crazy and nothing was coming OUT! OUCH! I could only manage to get one meal in yesterday, breakfast. I tried a few different protein drinks too but nothing was palateable enough to me. I'm going to have to continue to shop for protein powders. I'm thinking something unflavored and basically something you don't notice. Something I can add to my food or just to my regular beverage and not have it be chalky or chunky. Am I dreaming? Any recommendations?

Today's going better. Gas is moving OUT finally and all systems are a go, if you know what I mean. I've had two meals now, breakfast & lunch, and keeping up with the water in between. I'm having a much easier time getting up and my husband is back at work today. I've not been naseous but for once today when I got overly hungry. Yesterday I felt like I was battling the urge to throw up almost all day.

Anyways, I'm alive :) I think the weekend will be just what I need to feel more like myself. Not sure when my kiddo is coming home but I can imagine she's gonna want to snuggle a bunch and it's going to be hard.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Two days!!!

Well, it's Monday night and I'm off to bed shortly here. Do ya'll know what that means!? I'm having surgery the day after tomorrow... good grief. How'd that liquid diet go so quickly??? Tomorrow I am allowed to have my "shakes" until noon and then I have to go on clear liquids until surgery. As much as I hate those dreaded shakes I think I'm going to try and get three down so I'm not quite as hungry for the day. I work until 8 and that could make for a LONG night on jello and water! I can have juice too but I'm going to maintain the 16 oz I've been drinking each day.

Tomorrow morning/early afternoon I should get a call from the hospital to hear what time I'm scheduled for and any last minute details they'll need to go over. I'm hoping I'm still home in the morning when they call so I don't have to worry about missing it while at work.

I'm pretty nervous but for the most part I'm trying to put the worry out of my mind and trust that these people know what they're doing. I'm not a guinea pig and they've done this SEVERAL hundred times. I will be fine.

I'm not sure I'll get a chance to post tomorrow since I work so late and then I'll have to get things squared off for my daughter and for myself, of course. Let the craziness ensue! I'll be back afterward to report on how I'm doing!!

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 5 today

So I have to admit.. this liquid diet thing isn't so terrible after all. I was REALLY scared of it! The first day was a real bitch but seriously, every day after that was NOT SO BAD! I would have to go out on a limb and say yesterday was even... EASY! The drinks actually disgust me now so I just down them quickly but they fill me up.

I saw the nutritionist this morning. I had to see her again to learn a few more things that I didn't get to learn before I started the liquid diet. It was hard to talk about food but exciting to know it is in my near future too, how lame is that!?

I dreamed of food last night. I dreamed that I was helping my daughter cut something on her plate or something and when I was finished I quick shoved some of her peas into my mouth from her plate, haha! What can I say? At least it was just peas!!

I only dropped .4 lbs since yesterday. I'm down 5.6 lbs total which is still incredible... but not such big numbers like I was losing before. But 5 lbs.. that's Biggest Loser weight loss right there! I'll take it!!

Oh and at my nutritionist appt I found out my A1c was 7.2. Not at goal quite yet but continuously lower from where I started last year in July when I decided to start this journey. At that point it was 9.6! I'm pretty proud of 7.2 considering where I came from. For those that aren't aware what an a1c is it's the measure of my blood sugars over the last 3 mos. I wasn't quite due for the test but I was going to have it at the end of this month so close enough. It made my day anyways.

My white blood cell count went up a bit more since last week... not sure what this means for my surgery date yet but I'm not going to get all wrapped up in crazy thoughts if they aren't going to do anything about it either. They thought maybe my body was just fighting a UTI (not that I was aware of) or a cold (always possible with a kid in daycare) so we'll see where it all goes.

That's about all for now. I need to get ready to head into work for the day. I have my performance review at work today... that's always a bit stressful and nerve wracking. Cross your fingers for a big fat pay increase, of course! ;)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 4

Today is day 4 of my liquid diet. 7 more days left. Next week Tuesday I'll have to do half a day of just clear liquids in preparation for surgery but that will be no sweat, I figure. I'm already pretty sick of those stupid shakes I drink. I'm almost looking forward to eliminating them for a day. Here's a bit of TMI but I'm a whole lot gassy from all the milk I'm drinking. They mentioned this might happen but it's annoying. I went to a support group last night and my stomach was SOO LOUD! I kept grabbing it (like that helps quiet the insides!) and hoping it would stop.

Did I mention the awesome weight loss!? Good grief. I've lost 5.2 lbs already and it's just been 3 days. Good grief, again. I can't get used to this though since I'll be losing 1-2 lbs a WEEK instead of in just one DAY after surgery, lol.

Yesterday was my pre-op appt. I met with a nurse to discuss the surgery day. She told me where to go, who would call me when, etc. Then I saw the nurse practitioner and she went over my labs from last week with me. My potassium was low but I'm on a med that can cause that so I am now off that. My Vitamin D was low but I live in Wisconsin, haha. I'm on a supplement until surgery for that. Then the complicated one.. my white blood cells were high. They asked me if I had a UTI or something last week (no) so they redrew on that yesterday to see if that's going down. The surgeon figures I had some cold or something and didn't even realize it. Told me not to go home and google weird things! :D He must have seen the look in my eyes!! I was totally looking for something to google when I asked him about it.

So that was the end of that excitement. I forgot to ask for a note for my bosses saying how long I needed off work so I have a call in for that. I'm hoping they call before I head in to work in about 30 minutes.

Easter was good. We woke up at home and Cadence found her basket in the guest room. Then we packed up and headed to my grandma's house where I was the head-chef and cooked a ham dinner for everyone. My brother and his family were there, my aunt, and my grandma, and of course my husband and Cadence. We colored eggs there and immediately demolished them for deviled eggs. I made mashed potatoes and resisted licking the beaters... ohhh man, that was rough!

Oh, the picture is from Easter of my nieces, nephew, and kiddo with some Easter gifts.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Scoop

So yesterday I had to work half a day. On my way home I checked my cell and had a voicemail from the hospital in Madison that I *wasn't* scheduled for surgery at. They said there was a complication with my form of payment and that they scheduled me at the wrong hospital. They in turn had two options for me... 1) wait until the next open date at that hospital - June or 2) they had gotten the surgeon to agree to come in on his day off and do my surgery only on April 22. Well, obviously I chose April 22 but not before I agonized over the fact that my boss was going to be pissed at me. I called her at home and explained the situation to her and she said we'd talk today about who would cover my time off, etc. So it was all a go.

The other small detail was that I was supposed to have started my liquid diet on Wednesday of this week for an April 22 surgery date! So, I started this morning. Yesterday I had NOTHING for the diet at home and was not prepared so I just started today. It's been a rough day but I'm still keepin' on. I get to have another drink in 20 minutes.. not that I'm counting. ;) Sugar-free jello is also brewing in the fridge... I can't wait to actually chew something even though it's not really chewable ;) haha, it was even exciting to chew my vitamins!!!

The upside to all this is that my surgery is 6 days sooner and they inadvertently cut 3 days off my liquid diet by doing this last minute switch. YAY to them both!

I'll probably be back tomorrow to update on the diet... I'm going to need some support on this one! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

My date got moved UP!

I got a call from the hospital and they moved my date up to April 22!! I will be back with more details later because I have to go grocery shopping since I should be on the liquid diet NOW!!!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

New, Old Hair

I got my hair done this evening! It's new for the moment but it's basically my natural hair color. There's a hint of red in there too which I enjoy.. it's all one color now, no highlights. It's new, fun, makes me feel sorta sassy for the time being.. almost! ;)

So anyways, that's me.. Tiffani!

Figured it was about time to post a bit more about myself....

I'm 26 years old. I'm married to Chris and we have a 4 year old daughter, Cadence. Chris and I have been together for 5 years and married for 3.5 years. We had our daughter in the VERY early stages of marriage and things haven't always been perfect but what relationship is. He's good to me and Cadence and that's what matters most. He's very supportive of the lap band and I, honestly, hope it helps him lose some weight too. With me cooking meals he'll be forced to eat what I cook or fend for himself. I know him.. he'll eat what I cook. ;)

Cadence is my princess. I don't want to sound corny but this girl adores me. The look she gets on her face when I smile at her would convince anyone. I adore her just as much (usually more with her 4 y/o attitude!) and she really lights up my life. She's a snuggler and would sit on my lap all night if I let that girl. I know the surgery will help her health in the long run too. We'll be able to teach her portion sizes and eating habits earlier in life.

I've never been thin... NEVER. If you want to count the time in my childhood.. like sayyyy 4/5 y/o, then yes.. I was thin.. but I don't think that counts. I'm not looking to be thin, of course. I'm in this for a few health problems I have. I have goal weights in my head but am sort of afraid to voice them because I have issues with failing. I'm planning to address those issues now and after surgery, don't you fret! ;)

As for me and what I do - I am an optometric assistant. I work for two doctors in a private practice. I help people pick out frames and help them choose what options they want and need on their lenses. I train new contact lens wearers and also am in charge of a couple large insurances -- making sure claims are filed properly and entering and reconciling checks from those insurances. I also answer the phones when needed to help make appts, order contacts, etc. I can basically do it all there... what can I say? I'm all kinds of awesome, I know.

;) The air is thick enough for the evening... I'll leave you with that!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Labs/ECG/Chest Xray/Nutrition Class

Whew, what a busy appt! I worked til 2 and then headed over the the clinic (about 20 minutes away). I was a bit early for the suggested 2:30 arrival time and they rocked it out and got me back super quick too.

I had my chest xray first. They had me change into a gown, open to the front - eep!, and then press my chest against this cold air hockey table-looking thing. Oh, let me not forget to mention the "nipple markers!" I had to put special tape thingies over each nipple so when they view the xrays they don't see my nipples as a tumor or something.. fascinating! After hugging the air hockey table I had to stand sideways while some cute young girl adjusted my hips properly and draped my arms over a bar with another gal showing me how to do it. I warned her that I might just flash her, accidentally of course! She reassured me that she sees these "types of things" every day. HAHA!

They looked at the images and determined that I didn't take a full deep breath on the first xray (I concurred - I felt that way when I heard the click). I retook the first image (hugging the air hockey table again!) and felt much better about things.

Then I gathered my clothes and things and walked down the back hallway to a recliner chair where she had me lay rather far back on. My gown was half open but I didn't really care at this point. She pulled up my pants legs and slapped stickers on each lower leg. Then she put one on each upper arm and then six surrounding my heart. The heart part meant she had to.. umm.. maneuver my left breast and that was a bit awkward to say the least.

She attached the wires to each sticker which meant more maneuvering (!!!!) and then she rubbed my arm and said to relax... which made me think "WTF!?" Then I tried to chill out and it was over. I was totally expecting something awful but I think she was just trying to get a read of my heart at some sort of relaxed state and she figured I was a bit up in arms... CORRECT!

So then I got dressed and they went and told the lab that I was ready again. The lab buzzer had gone off almost as soon as I was hugging the hockey table so they had to tell them why I was ignoring their call. The lab tech got my vein in one stab (go her!) and drew the blood she needed for all 20-some tests or so. I asked at the end how many vials there was and she said, "Seven!" She went on to explain that while it looked and sounded like a lot it was actually miniscule in comparison to what people give in blood donations - a pint is 100 vials of blood. That part actually made me feel a bit embarrassed!! I've never given blood and this solidifies that I probably shouldn't. ;)

So then I head upstairs and step off the elevator and greet a friend who happened to be waiting to go down. Had a good chat with her and her kiddos and then went and checked in for my visit.. 15 minutes early.

I got a binder full of information and learned all about the diet after band and then the LAST page of the info (note: ONE PAGE) was the info on the dreaded pre-op diet. I expected the entire session to be about that but it only took up about 5 minutes of the talk.

Essentially this is my diet starting Tuesday until after the surgery is over:

5 packets of Carnation Instant Breakfast mixed with 2% milk (1 cup) - so 5 cups each day
16 oz of fruit juice


3 regular slim fasts
2 low carb slim fasts
8 oz fruit juice

In addition to one of these diets each day (can alternate between the two but not mix the two) I can have 48-60 oz of liquids in all sorts of forms... 2 cups of broth, water, diet v8 splash, crystal light, sugar free jello (from a box), sugar free popsicles (1-2 a day), diet snapple and some others I'm probably forgetting.

So from what I've read I think I have a pretty strict diet to follow compared to some others' but I know I'll be so proud of myself if I finish (WHEN I finish) and the final product will be my goal - a band!

I have my pre-op/surgeon visit on Monday and another nutrition class on Wednesday that she wants me to keep so looks like she'll get to see me in full cranky glory on day 2 of liquid diet. She's aware and is expecting it though.

Back with more soon! :)