Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Misguided Search

On July 17 I made post entitled Adventures in Vomiting - gross - but what a relief! - I wrote about how this disgusting activity spells abatement to some of the early post-surgery problems.
Recently I was looking at the visitors lists, looking where people came ‘from’. One person from Germany used Google to find this blog. I looked up that keywords (s)he used was: “Relief from Vomiting”
Poor person, I probably nauseated her even more. I was going to say ‘sorry’ but I am sure that (s)he will never be back. 8^)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

3 Months

Yesterday passed 3 months since the surgery. I also had my 3-months checkup at the clinic. Good news! My high blood pressure was caused by a faulty automatic machine, and nothing else. At the office my BP was perfectly normal!
I am still a fraction under 230 lbs.
If someone would offer me a surgery to get rid of diabetes, with all the consequences like this surgery, I would take it in no time. If the weight loss would be a side effect - I would take it in no time.
The last 3 months were not easy and there are still many adjustments left, but my conviction that this was THE RIGHT decision is unshakable.
By strange coincident my surgery was moved ahead by 8 weeks. At first I did not like it, since it interfered with my summer class teaching. Now I'm extremely thankful that it was moved. I'm starting new school year in much better shape as compared to the state I was 8 weeks ago.
I did not like the nausea, pain, vomiting, tiredness, but in the final analysis, I feel blessed to have this surgery. This is a lease on new life, different life, new life full of the advantages to be harvested.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Under 230 lbs!

Today I went under 230 lbs. Writing this is one of the rewards 8^)
I also finished my shrimps/lime/cilantro - but this time carefully chewing and focused. No problem!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Yesterday I purchased cooked shrimp with cilantro. Shrimp (cooked) is a great source of protein, low fat, and something I could tolerate very well. After few shrimps I realized that I ignored warning about fully focusing on eating and the first 3 or 4 shrimps went down with only slight effort to chew. I knew I made a mistake right away, but was hoping that it will pass (or shrimp will pass). The opening between new pouch and attached intestine is very small and 'the chew, chew' recommendation is incredibly important. I ate them around 8 PM, and until 2:30 AM it was in constant agony. What a lesson to learn. Now I wonder if my previous experience with beef was really caused by beef or just inadequate chewing...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kawa Zbożowa

I stopped at the health food store, looking for coffee substitutions. I found few grain beverages from Switzerland and Poland. Ironically, when I was growing up in Poland, the grain based 'kawa zbożowa' was a symbol of the hated communism. It was a cheap substitute for real coffee that was either not available or too expensive. It was generally despised and ridiculed, usually in the same sentence. Interesting that I find it now, many years later, in USA, as a health food alternative, costing twice as much as coffee. No wonder we were so healthy growing up.
I had my first slice of pizza  and it was no problem. It is almost three months, and number of foods I tolerate is increasing. But the next day I had some roast-beef, that caused 5 hours of misery. I still cannot tolerate meat very well.
My weight dropped down again, and finally I was able to eat some fruits.
Another new development is higher than normal blood pressure. Average 160/88. Next week I'll have checkup and will consult about it. I used to drink mass quantity of coffee, tea, and I was adding food to my salt. Now - none of that, and pressure's up.
I still oscillate between being tired, sleepy, or full of pep. Higher blood pressure might have something to do with it. I sleep like a proverbial rock. I used to take melatonin - otherwise falling asleep was difficult and I needed only few hours of sleep. Now I sleep without melatonin, takes me 30 seconds to be in the vivid dream zone, from which I will not awake until 10-12 hours later...  What a waste of time!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Half-Way #1

Today I reached the half-way mark for my total weight loss. 69 lbs down, 69 to go. 51 lbs since the surgery. Piece of cake! (No, I can't have one...)
Since I had to 'prove' the weight loss to qualify for the procedure, I lost 18 lbs before the surgery. Therefore I'm only 9 lbs away from my next step - half-way goal since the surgery - at 225 lbs.

No More Zombie!

Just as the tiredness suddenly came over and grabbed me for more than one week, as unexpectedly it disappeared. Since the weekend I am in great shape, great mood, not tired, not sleepy, not a zombie.
I have no explanation, and no understanding. I just went with the flow. I feel the energy coming back, my mind could stay sharp for the whole day. Fabulous.
I signed up for a gym membership in the Downtown Athletic Club (to actually start next week). The lectures preparation is going great, and I am so upbeat about all of this.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I mentioned this before - but somehow this is another annoying aspect of recovery. Almost daily I go back home in the middle of the day - and sleep for couple of hours. Makes no difference if I walk, bike, drive, the mid-day tiredness comes up - and I sleep very, very hard. Like on sleeping pills. I checked my sugar to see if it is the cause, but the blood sugar levels are perfect - around 100. I feel great otherwise, great spirit, great mood, but at 2 PM I am a zombie. I don't like it... I am lucky, it is summer, no classes to teach, next year preparation on track (with the help of two VERY capable Teaching Assistants - thank you D. and J. - if you read this!).

Mixed Feelings

I definitely see the change happening. Not the weight or sugar, but changes in my reaction to food. Some of these changes are very surprising. First - I seem to be able to eat almost anything. But by saying that, I do not mean to say that I can eat almost all. I used to love fruits, now they taste like an acid. One plum, one grape, is all it takes to make me look the other way. Meat, my favorite, is no longer something I can stand. I prefer veggie-burger patty any time. I use to have some cravings for specific foods. I don't. No food is tempting, but also surprisingly, I am experiencing hunger more and more. This is another new experience to me, when I am hungry and no food looks appealing. Natural cottage cheese comes to my rescue. 4 oz, half a cup, that is all I need.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quiet Life

I was very quiet in the last few days. There was really nothing drastic to report. We had a long Labor Day weekend, the weather was lousy, and I ended up sleeping most of the time. The tiredness came back, but not in the annoying zombie form. The sleep was very rejuvenating and I feel relatively very good. The only concern is that now it seems like I am able to consume more and different foods and I feel like my hunger (or something similar) has returned. I am trying to evaluate it before I eat. Is it real? Is it emotional? Is it social? My caloric intake went up slightly, to around 900-1000 calories per day with 90-100 g. of protein. My weight dropped to a new low two days ago, and this morning was only .2 lb above.
People start to notice the change, I definitely feel it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Territory!

Today my weight went below 240 lbs! 
This is a place I have not been in over 20 years!
Feels great.
One common thread, while listening to other WLS patients, is their unpredictable experiences in the first few months. Same here...
BTW, my blood sugar level is fabulous - 97 today. This is the one war won, and for that reason alone the surgery was worth it. 
The ups and downs of the recovery are relatively small price to pay.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Drop, Again

Yesterday was a good day! What a yo-yo! The weight started dropping again, and today looks very good.