Saturday, November 27, 2010

14 weeks post-op and 25kg down

Wohoo - 25kg gone for good and now looking forward to loosing the next 25 :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

13 weeks post-op

Today I am one day short of my three month surgervisary :)
Although I had no loss at 12 weeks I did manage a decent number this week.  Yay me LOL

Loss to date = 23.5kg (51.8 lbs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 95.5kg [210.5 lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 38.7

Did some good workouts at the gym last week with my hubby and am looking forward to another good week of doing weights and some cardio to get the heart pumping.......

Saturday, November 13, 2010

12 weeks post-op

No loss this week but not really upset as I have started working hard on the weights and that may be part of the reason.  Hopefully the scale will move next week and it will make up for the no loss this past week. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11 weeks post-op (no longer morbidly obese)

Loss to date = 20.5kg (45.1 lbs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 98.5kg [217.1 lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 39

Wohooo - I am finally classified as only obese rather than morbidly obese.

Have been doing well so far on this journey.  Have only really had problems with my bowels working but it seems from reading on the internet that it is quite a common thing to have happen.

Will be going for my next doctor's visit within the next week or so and hopefully he will confirm all is ok.  Have to first have a batch of  blood tests done to check that my vitamin regime is good but I am confident that they will be fine as I have been very good at taking all the required vitamins :)

As exercise I am walking and some days doing some weight training and my stamina is slowly improving.  I was in the beginning doing swimming but as the temperature is dropping I have put that to one side for now.  Hopefully in the new year and with warmer temps I can restart.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

10 weeks gone......................

Loss to date = 19.5kg (42.9bs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 99.5kg [219.3lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 40

Saturday, October 23, 2010

9 weeks post-op

Loss to date = 18.5kg (40.7bs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 100.5kg [221.5lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 40

Saturday, October 16, 2010

8 weeks post-op

Loss to date = 17.5kg (38bs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 101.5kg [223lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 41

Saturday, October 9, 2010

7 weeks post-op

Loss to date = 16.5kg (36bs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 102.5kg [226lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 41

Saturday, October 2, 2010

6 weeks post-op

Loss to date = 14.5kg (32lbs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 104.5kg [230lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 42

Saturday, September 25, 2010

5 weeks post-op

Loss to date = 13.5kg (29lbs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 105.5kg [232lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 42

Saturday, September 18, 2010

4 weeks post-op

Another week gone past and weight loss still very very slow :(
It's amazing how it takes us months or years to put on the weight but we expect it to come off in hours or days.............

Loss to date = 11kg (24lbs)
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 108kg [238lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 43

Food for the last week has been all mushie type food but trying to concentrate of eating mostly protein as I go.  Can't wait to start trying normal types of food and will slowly start introducing it in the next week.

Am still feeling tired alot of the time and find that I have to nap at least once during the day.  Hopefully I will continue to get more energy with each week :)

I have been getting a bit depressed about not seeing the scales move much over the last 3 weeks but I try to make myself see that I have already lost about 20% of my excess weight.  Fingers and toes crossed that my size will keep going down and that the weight will start coming down as well.

I took some more photos today and if you compare these to the ones I posted from the surgery date you should be able to notice a difference. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

3 weeks post-op

Wow 3 weeks gone already and 10.5kg (23lbs) gone as well :).
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 108.5kg [239lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 44

Weight loss in the last 2 weeks has been slow but it is coming off.  I also find that my shape is changing more rapidly than the actual scales show.  I wish I had taken measurements before I started the journey but have to rely on my clothes to tell me if I am loosing size. 

Today I started the pureed part of the diet.  I can finally eat something rather than just drink liquids.  For lunch today I dry fried 6 prawns and then blitzed them in the food processor and that was my lunch.  It was great to have something to sort of chew on rather than just sip.  The diet  has also changed now in that I cannot drink for 30 minutes before and after a meal.  It's quite a challenge considering I have been sipping nonstop for the last 3 weeks.  The reason for not drinking immediately before and after a meal is so that the food actually remains in the pouch for a period of time.  If you drink the food simply gets washed away into the intestines and will not give me the full fealing.  Talking about feeling full - I have yet to feel any hunger or even feel full.  From what I have read on different sites the reason for this is that the nerves that were damaged during the operation are still recovering and normally you start getting the sensations back at about 6 weeks post-op.  For now I am supposed to continue eating about 1 cup worth of food per meal and concentrate on taking in mostly protein.  I need to eat 5 to 6 times a day but generally manage 4 or 5 meals a day.

I am still very tired all the time but hopefully that will start improving with time.

Monday, August 30, 2010

1st post-op appointment with surgeon

This morning I woke up with a swollen neck and not feeling quite myself.  The area under my chin had 2 hard lumps and the areas around were red and swollen.  The right side of my neck also had a rash down the side and on the left side I had a rash down from my shoulder to my chest.  No actual pain as such but just not feeling good.

Appointment with the surgeon was this afternoon.  He checked my incisions after removing the tape that was left and was happy with the healing.  Says that the irritation from the plasters will fade so not to worry.
Went through what I had been eating and drinking and I was told that I should be eating more and can start trying new things like fish and red meat.  Just need to keep everything sort of cream consistency.  Also need to up my liquid intake especially by drinking more fruit juices to get the fibre intake up.
Medication wise I now have to start taking calcium and iron supplements and continue taking one of the medications that will protect my pouch and intestines whilst they are still healing.  My 3 other meds for my blood pressure and cholestrol also still continue.  I have never liked taking medication and now I am taking 9 tablets a day.

Well tomorrow is another day and hopefully my neck will be better and I will soon have more energy to start doing some walking / exercise.

Goodnight all................................................


Saturday, August 28, 2010

1 week post-op

Wow 1 week gone already and 6kg (13lbs) gone as well :).
Starting weight 119kg [262lbs] now 113kg [249lbs]
Starting BMI 48 - now 45

Have been doing reasonably well considering what my body has gone through.  Have bouts of feeling extremely tired so tend to have to nap during the day.  Pain is now about 98% gone and only get occasional uncomfortable feeling on my left side.  It's a internal pain that I can't really explain but it's not bad and I have not had to take any pain medication for a couple of days now.

Although the pain has been very very little I did get a reaction to the plasters over the cuts on my stomach and that has been driving me crazy.  I had to remove the main plasters and you will see from the photos below some of what the plasters did to me (a lot of the irritation has now gone down).  The small tape directly over the wounds is also causing irritation and I have had to trim some that have lifted because of blisters forming  under them.   The wound that has no tape on it is where the pain is located.  It's not the actual wound that is sore it is an internal pain / discomfort.  This was the area where I had the tube for draining whilst I was in hospital.  I was amazed at how small it is and how well it has healed.  Amazing what one's body can do to repair itself.

I am on the full liquids part of the diet and am mainly living on low fat yoghurt and homemade cream soups.  This morning I made some oats for breakfast and just made sure it was the consistency of a cream soup and then added a splash of milk.  Went down very well and was a nice change.  I also drink loads of water and have 1 cup of fresh orange juice (diluted) and then at night have a cup of green tea.  Am using Splenda as a sugar substitute as I would rather not have any sugar at this stage.

Eating requirements given by my dietician were that I should have a protein shake a day and at least 4 cups of food a day (ie. 2 cups yoghurt and 2 cups soup).  I need to break down the meals to 5 or 6 a day.  Unfortunately the protein shake I was given is disgusting and I have been unable to drink it.  As protein is a very important part of my new life I took a chicken breast and added it to the pumpkin soup I made.  I just made sure to blend everything so that it was very fine and able to go through a strainer.
I have no feeling of hunger at all but do get the feeling of being full (just an uncomfortable feeling).  I haven't been eating as much as I am supposed to but think that I am not too far off the mark.  The foods at this stage are all what they call "sliders" and they do not stay in my new pouch for long, they just slide through.  

I have my first post-op appointment with the doctor tomorrow so will see what he says.  I think and hope all is going according to plan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back home

Wohoooooooooooo finally back home.   Was actually discharged yesterday but to be honest I just didn't have the energy to even update the blog.

The operation went well and the doctor was happy with the whole procedure which is fantastic as far as I am concerned.  Doc says they made the pouch as small as they could which I hope will be small enough LOL.  I forgot to ask how much intestines they bypassed but will try and find out when I go for my first post-op check up on Monday.

I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to hospitals and operations so really thought I would be majorly worried and stressed just before the op.  Fortunately it was all so different and I was as relaxed as I could possibly be.  All I remember about the surgery is going to pre-op, having a chat to the anethetist who gave me hell for smoking before the op and then getting wheeled into surgery, transferring over to the operating bed, opening my arms to the side and then it was ............................................ The beauty of whatever it is they give you - sweet oblivion.

I don't recall getting woken in recovery and the first I remember is being back in my bed in the ward and being in pain trying to move.  Hubby and a friend were there to welcome me back and what a hoot to listen to them telling me how vocal I was when I woke up (guess I become a bit of a baby after an operation).

Surgery was originally scheduled for 9am but because of an emergency it was then shifted to 11am.  Was back in the ward by 3pm so a fair amount of time for the surgery.  I would think it probably took 3 and a bit hours for the surgery.  Don't know what the normal time is for surgery so nothing to compare to unfortunately.

I was out of it for a bit when I got back to the ward but  later that day I was out of bed and walking.  Also had my first visit to the toilet to pass water which I was soooooooo happy happened so fast.  Doc was talking about putting in a catheter which I was not overly keen on.  I had nothing to drink at all that day - only IV fluids allowed and one thing I noticed was how very dry my mouth and especially my tongue was.  Hubby kept dipping his finger in water and moistoning my tongue as it felt like I had a wad of sandpaper in my mouth.  Not a nice feeling.

Days in hospital after surgery went well.  First post op day had IV fluids in the morning and by lunch time started clear fluid diet.  Yum NOT lol
Pain was bearable but I'm sure all the pain meds they kept putting into my IV helped. Once I started on the liquid diet I just had to make sure to sip sip sip, walk walk walk and do breathing exercises regularly.  The walking definitely helps with easing the pain as a lot of it is due to gas in your system from the op.  On the 2nd day after surgery I was changed over to full liquid diet and that is definitely more bearable than the clear liquid diet.  I also had my drain removed that day and all I can say is OUCH, bloody OUCH.  I asked the doc if it would hurt and he said no (what a liar).  The tube was long and every bit they took out felt like they were pulling part of my insides out.  It was horrible.  I can only think the pain is caused by some type of suction in your system but whatever causes it all I can say is that it is definitely not a pleasent experience.  On the 3rd day after surgery I was seen by the docs early morning and approved for discharge.  Was on my way home by lunchtime which was a great feeling that everything had run smoothly with the operation and my recovery in hospital.

Today is my second day home and I am definitely starting to feel so much better.  Pain is mostly minimal - a bit uncomfortable when walking for an extended period or when I move around in bed.  The pain is definitely all on the left side of the stomach.  It's around the area of the main incision where they put in the big moving equipment but it's not the incision itself.

Eating is going well I think.  I am living on mainly low fat plain youghurt and cream of chicken soup and also lots and lots of water.  In total today I have eaten about 3 cups of food so good going I think.  I have just had my first cup of green tea tonight and it was oh so nice.  Before surgery I was a big (and I mean big) coffee drinker but I had a sip of hubby's cup tonight and it just didn't taste good.

Well this is it for today - I will try and give some more info tomorrow as I am sure I missed some in this post.  Brain is dead and body is shutting down (need to rest) so signing off for now.

PS - feel free to post comments or questions and I will try and answer as I can

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photos taken pre-op on 20 August 2010

This one was taken a couple of months ago - Just added it to show how much clothes can actually hide

The day before

It's Friday evening and only a couple of hours before I have to go into hospital.

Surgery is set for 9am tomorrow morning. I am really hoping it will be at that time as the wait is killing me.

Had a bit of a breakdown about an hour ago with the anxiety but feeling a bit more relaxed now. Have tried to remain positive and not think too much about the surgery but am finding it really difficult. Husband has been heaven sent support and I can only say that he is definitely my rock :)

Not sure if I will have internet access at the hospital but husband is under strict instructions to find out and to take my laptop to me as soon as I am awake.

Will try and update as soon as I can.

KEEP SMILING - life is short so enjoy every minute

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One day closer

Today was a relaxing day. Although it is Thursday, today is the equivalent of Saturday in the western world.

Spent the day at home relaxing with the hubby and daughter and then went out in the evening for a meal with some good friends. Also took the opportunity to stop and buy the first batch of vitamins that I will need to start taking every day once the operation is done.

The only dedicated vitamin and supplement store that I know of where we live is GNC so that is where I went to buy what I need. What I bought today was WOMEN'S ULTRA MEG; DAILY CALCIUM SUPPORT and BIOTIN 10MG.

Tomorrow is the day before the operation and the start of my new life. Still very anxious and nervous but can't wait to start living again :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Date has been set

Just back from the surgeon. Date is set and I will have the op on Saturday morning. Yes, that's right this Saturday.

Very anxious and nervous but will try to relax - I know that this is the right thing to do for me and it will all work out.

My rebirth is on Saturday - one day short of my 23rd wedding anniversary. What a gift my hubby is giving me :) - The chance to have a new healthier and skinny life. Love you forever babes and thanks for being there for me through the good and the bad.

Wish me luck - I'm now definitely on my way to a thinner and healthier life.

All clear from cardiologist

Had my final tests this afternoon for the cardiologist and now have the all clear from that side as well. What a great feeling to know that my ticker is actually doing ok................

Will be seeing the bariatric surgeon later this evening and really hoping he will be able to set the date for the operation. The longer I wait the more nervous I get so it will be better to just get it all over and done with.

Will check in later and update with what has been decided.

Cardiovascular stress test with treadmill - SR700 (Australian $208 - American $187 - South African R1,354)
Doppler Echocardiography - SR300 (Australian $89 - American $80 - South African R581)

Feeling very anxious and nervous

Have the appointment for further heart function tests at 1.30 this afternoon.

Am feeling very anxious and nervous about this test and have a major headache from stressing about it.

Can't wait to get this last set of tests over and done with................

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spirometry test for lung function

Today was the day I had the Spirometry test. Took about an hour for the testing and then went and had appointment with the pulmonologist so that he could review the results and give me his findings.

The test itself is not difficult. It is a bit tiring because of the effort in breating but otherwise not bad. Testing is normally done in a booth (like a telephone box) whilst you are seated but because of being large I had to do it outside of the box whilst standing.

Have been given the all clear by the pulmonologist. He says that from the testing there seems to be no narrowing of the main breathing tubes and there should be no problems (lung wise) with me having the operation.

I am sooooooooooooo happy to get the all clear on this one. Smoking way too many cigs for way too many years made me rather anxious to find out whether I had completely damaged my lungs.

Tomorrow is the follow up testing with the cardiologist and then another appointment with the bariatric surgeon when I will hopefully get to set the date.

I am feeling anxious about tomorrow's tests on my heart and have everything crossed that it will all be good and that I will be given the all clear.

Spirometry - SR350 (Australian $104 - American $94 - South African R680)
Pulmonologist - SR200 (Australian $60 - American $54 - South African R388)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Appointment with cardiologist

Just got back from the hospital and my first appointment with the cardiologist (Dr. Amal Akkash).
Did ECG and then had consultation which went well. ECG results were fine but doctor wants to do further tests before approving me for surgery. This is what happens when you suffer from high bloody pressure, smoke way too much, are heavily overweight and have a family history of heart problems.

Have an appointment for Wednesday to do a Cardiovascualar stress test using tradmill and then an Echocardiography Doppler test. The cardiologist will be with me during the tests and will make her final decision after that.

It's crazy how stressful going through all of this is. The bariatric surgeon asked me to try and loose some weight before surgery but I find I am actually eating more because I am so stressed....... Husband keeps telling me not to worry and that it will all be fine but everything just keeps going round and round in my head.

Oh well tomorrow is another day and some more tests.

Cardiologist - SR200 (Australian $60, American $54, South African R389)
ECG - SR125 (Australian $38, American $34, South African R243)

Mind is in overdrive

Been home all day and my mind is going crazy with all the "what if's" possible. Am feeling very anxious and nervous about this whole adventure but am hoping and praying that it will all be for the best.

Have an appointment with the cardiologist later tonight so will update after that if I can.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some more appointments

Went to the hospital today as had appointments for my chest x-rays, the ultrasound of my abdomen, appointment with the pulmonologist and one with the bariatric surgeon (Dr Helal) for a follow-up.

Chest X-ray and ultrasound were done first thing in the morning and no hassle with those apart from the long waits........

Saw Dr Tamimi (pulmonologist) who took my history and did a bit of a physical to check lungs. Also had a look at my X-Rays and then discussed my lung function. Says they don't seem to be too bad but that he would like me to do a 1 hour test (Spirometry) to check the lung function properly before surgery. Explained that I could be a higher risk patient post-op because of my smoking (some 30 years) but that he does not anticipate anything major that cannot be dealt with. Dr Tamimi also asked that I see a cardiologist for a check and ECG.

Arrange the tests for Tuesday morning and a follow up with Dr Tamimi straight after.

Next and last appointment of the day was with Dr Helal who went through all the test results so far and through Dr Tamimi's report. Gave me a recommendation for the cardiologist and arranged appointment for follow up after I see the cardiologist so that we can set a date for the operation.

Left Dr Helal and went and arranged appointment for cardiologist and ECG tomorrow night and follow up with Dr Helal on Wednesday.

X-Ray SR125 (Australian $38, American $34, South African R243)
Ultrasound SR750 (Australian $224, American $200, South African R1,459)
Pulmonologist SR200 (Australian $60, American $54, South African R389)
Bariatric Surgeon S125 (Australian $38, American $34, South African R243)

Monday, August 9, 2010

First appointment

Went to Saad Specialist Hospital in Al-Khobar and consulted with Dr Essam Helal who is one of the bariatric specialists.

Dr went through my history asking untold questions and then discussed available options. Recommended the Roux en Y (which is the one I was considering anyway) and discussed and explained how the procedure is done and what to expect after.

Chief consultant for the department joined the consultation and went through some of the steps for the procedure and confirmed recommendation for the Roux en Y.

Have been asked to go for some blood tests, urine and stool tests, chest x-ray and see a pulmonologist (I smoke loads), abdominal scan and to come and see him again once all tests are done.

Costs for the procedure are normally (Saudi Riyals) SR40,000 but there is currently a special going for Ramadan where there will be a 20% discount. Costs do not include specialist consultations and other tests for the specialists but hopefully those will not be too high. I will try and update the blog as I go with the costs incurred and give some exchange prices.

Before leaving went and did the blood tests so those are out of the way. Will phone tomorrow to arrange appointments for the scan and x-ray and the pulmonologist.

Bariatric Specialist - SR125 (Australian $38, American $34, South African R243)

Various Blood tests - SR995 (Australian $297, American $266, South African R1,935)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The adventure begins

Have spent the last couple of months thinking and mulling about the idea of having bariatric surgery to help me with weight loss.

I am a 42 year old female who has battled with her weight since she was a child. I am currently at my biggest ever weighing in at just over 119 kg at a height of only 1.58m. This puts my BMI at somewhere like 48. I need to loose about 1/2 of my body weight so this will not be an easy or quick journey but will hopefully be worthwhile.

Over the years I have struggled constantly with my weight. My last big loss was 20kg about 3 years ago and then a gain of around 25kg. I have been large as far back as I can remember and I need to get my weight under control before my health totally and completely spirals out of control........

I suffer with high blood pressure and high cholestrol levels and am going through the menopause. I think I also suffer from mild depression and hardly ever leave home. None of these things should be an issue in my life at this age but they are and I need to reverse those that can be reversed.

I have done loads of reading on the Roux en Y gastric bypass and have a friend that went through the procedure late last year so have had lots of info off her to help me make the decision to go ahead with the procedure.

I am hoping to document my journey / adventure from start to finish and will add photos of me now before the op and then update these at least once a month.

I hope this blog will help others that are thinking of going through the procedure in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the world and that it will entice others that have already gone through this to share their experiences with me and the people that ultimately read these pages.

I have my first appointment with the specialist tomorrow so will post after with info.