I feel like this might be a rambling session today since my thoughts are all over the place, hence the mayhem reference in the title today.
Lots of things going on in my world. Yesterday was week 11 post op Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. It was also the day for my check-in with Dr. Bruce. I wasn’t scheduled to go until my actual 3 month post op visit on 6/3 but we scheduled some time last month for a weight check since his staff knew I was concerned about how slow I am losing. Since the visit lasts month, I only lost THREE pounds. Yep. Their scale yesterday showed only a 3 pound loss. I was heartbroken. Not surprised, but still heartbroken.
I am losing far slower than anyone could have guessed. Many VSG patients lose double digit numbers in a month. I try not to compare myself to others, but it is really hard not to do that when I’ve seen with my own eyes the good this surgery can do on an obese person. When Dr. Bruce talked with me yesterday, I jokingly said “Last month when I was here, you told me you had only 3 patients out of 900+ who were resistant to sleeve surgery. I think I may be your 4th.” He replied and said “It looks like you might be.”
And I felt as if each word went directly to my soul and stabbed me. Immediately, the tears started pouring. I recounted all the pre-op testing, the lifestyle changes I’ve made, the financial burden I’ve put on my family…and the tears just wouldn’t stop. And what’s worse, is that there is no rhyme or reason that a person is sleeve resistant. You’d think cutting away 2/3 of your stomach would make anyone lose weight, right? Not so much.
But even though it is POSSIBLE that I am resistant to it, it’s also possible I am not. Maybe I am just losing slowly and steadily. Maybe I am being impatient. Maybe I am doing something wrong with my diet. I have been very comfortable in this food stage. I’ve had no issues reintroducing new foods into my diet. Have never really gotten sick…have had no complications. I weigh my food. The only time I’ve colored outside of the lines is when I had a cocktail and that has only happened 3 times. I realize alcohol can slow down weight loss, but I don’t think 3 cocktails at different times is gonna halt it. I think I got carried away with how comfortable I was and though I log my food in MFP, perhaps I ate too many carbs too often. I don’t know. But I DO know I’d rather lose slowly than have complications and lose quickly. And losing slowly will also help prevent sagging skin and losing my hair. Those are 2 things commonly associated with rapid weight loss.
The doctor and I talked about next steps to jump start the loss again. I am going to try to do the protein shakes during the day with a lean/green meal for dinner, much like I did with the pre-op diet. I did that yesterday and am following it today. And I am HANGRY. That is another oddity in this journey. Most people who have VSG do not feel hunger. But I do, and I have since the surgery. I am really reeling in the carb situation. I thought I was doing really well since I often am under 50 carbs per day. But I am examining the types of carbs I eat and really trying to eat the good ones. We’re also trying something I said I’d never do again. I am back on Phentermine again for a few months to jump start the loss again. I had tremendous success with it a few years back when I lost 80 pounds. I gained it all back, though….because I didn’t wean myself off of it. I will follow the rules this time. It’s for the short term. I will have to go back each month for a check of my vitals and make sure my blood pressure doesn’t rise. Phentermine gives me a lot of energy, which I love. But it makes me quite thirsty, which isn’t a terrible thing since I am supposed to have a lot of water anyway:) I just never thought I’d have a NEED for it again, certainly not after a life-changing weight loss surgery. So, I’ll take my 3 pound loss and move forward. I was really very upset yesterday. For a lot of reasons, but that appointment was at 9am and set the mood for the entire rainy day. And I so want to dislike Dr. Bruce. But each time I am there, he makes a faith reference- almost as if he knows I am really digging deep and finding strength in my faith. I let him know that I’ve been chatting a lot with Jesus about this situation lately:)
There’s another situation at my house that the Big Man and I have been in talks about, too.
There are 2 topics I always talk about. Weight loss progress (me) and Type 1 Diabetes (my daughter). Haley’s 17 and has been a T1D for nearly four years now. May 29th is her Dx anniversary. So, we’re not new to T1D but we still learn something all the time.
At her checkup last month, her doctor asked us to try to be more vigilant about taking Metformin, which is actually a drug used in Type 2 Diabetes, but is really helpful for Haley, as it helps break down carb digestion and helps drive her blood sugar down. We’ve done as the doctor asked. Unfortunately, Metformin works a little TOO well. She prescribed 2 pills with food each day. When Haley takes 2 and also does insulin, her blood sugar plummets to unhealthy numbers. We have had a series of “lows” in the 40,s, 30’s and even once in the 20’s. I was with her a couple of years ago when she crashed into the 20’s and I never want to visit that again. I was losing her. Haley lost her ability to speak, her eyes were rolling back in her head…her vision was blurred. My girl was simply checking out on me. I never ever wanted her to feel that way again. But it happened again last night because she is still trying to find the balance with Metformin and her insulin pump dose.
When she is low, she starts to feel shaky. Haley says when she’s in the 40’s, she’s shaky and starts to sweat, and feels sick to her stomach. In the 30’s or below, she said it’s like a slow, easy, calm drift to sleep. She loses functionality. She checks out. During this time, we guzzle juice and wait for it to come back up. We have a glucagon kit, which is also nicknamed the “oh shit kit.” If we’re breaking out Glucagon, we’re past the need for juice, cake icing, etc. We’re in trouble and a Glucagon shot in her hip/behind area is intended as a last resort before calling 911.
Luckily, the juice (and a PB&J sammich!) did the job because in just a few minutes, she was laughing and joking with me again.
It is still amazing to me that she can come that close to danger and a few minutes later, she’s completely normal. It’s scary. Amazing. Exhausting. After a low like that, her body needs time to recover. She feels terrible for the day. Kind of like recovering from the flu. I asked if she’d like to lay down with me for a little while and just relax. Maybe take a nap. I expected her to say no, to go play video games or watch TV. Instead, she crawled up in my bed beside me and chatted with me for a few minutes (after she’d drank all the juice and her blood sugar was good) and then drifted to sleep. My five foot 9 inch , 17 year old “baby” was lying beside me in the guest room. I laid there with her and played with her hair while she slept. And a million memories instantly poured into my brain. My husband kept texting me, asking what our plans for dinner were going to be. I think I texted back and said we’re skipping it because I didn’t want to move from my cozy spot with my girl. The house would have had to be on fire for me to move. I wanted to breathe her in and the comfort having her beside me brought me. I am hoping that she, too, found comfort while she slept next to me. Sleeping is an issue for me and has since really elevated since her DX. It is my greatest fear that the “low” will not wake her from her sleep and I will come to find her gone. It is such a morbid thought, but any parent of a kid with a life threatening illness knows this fear. We’re trying to get a CGM for her)(Continuous Glucose Monitor) that will show trends in her sugars- whether they are going up or down…and alarms that will be sent to my phone when she’s too high or low. It’s a pretty penny, but it is needed and will help alleviate some stress in her life…and in mine. Later when I told her goodnight, Haley said “Hey mom, thanks for saving my life today.” I giggled a little bit and thought…whew…that was a close call today! All a little too overwhelming.
So you take her near-death experience yesterday, combined with the disappointing doctor’s appointment and very little sleep and that’s a yucky day. My old friend depression showed up yesterday for a little bit….but. To use the verse from Lamentations 3:23, “God’s mercy and grace are new every morning.”
And a new morning it was. I reached a new milestone today. My first in this journey! I weighed myself today and I am happily writing to you from “Onederland.” Don’t know what that is? If not, you must not have a weight issue LOL. ONEderland is where you find yourself when your weight begins with a ONE instead of anything else. That’s right…I just sorta put my weight out here on the crazy internet for all to see. it’s not like ya’ll were blind to the fact that I am a heavy girl. SOOO- since my pre-op phase in mid-February, I’ve dropped 31.4 pounds. It’s a little less than 3 pounds a week. I still call that a win. 31.4 down. 54 to go. Easy, right? Pffffffffftttt. No, it’s not easy. But I am doing it.
Thanks for reading and letting me get the emotions out. Whether 1 person reads or 100 read, it is nice to be able to document my journey and pour my feelings somewhere that people may be able to understand. Weight loss is super hard. If it were easy, we’d all be skinny!
I hope everyone has a great evening. Thank you again for spending your time with me today ❤