Now – Poetry of the sleepless

Recently I have started a journal to do the hard mental work coming with my Weight Loss Surgery progress. It’s a rough part with a lot of dark corners, fears, voices of the past, you name it. Being pre-OP waiting for my date, I have been dealing with frustration and impatience. One of the things I am trying to work on.

Last night, after another soul searching journaling day, words came to me that I just had to write down. Being a writer, it’s not surprising that it turned out to be poetry. I want them to share with you.

“Now”

Now

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5 things I never thought would happen Pre-OP

When you’re a fat person there might be things that you just can’t ever imagine to happen. Your whole life turns around food, size, and weight. Am I too big to fit in this? Will this collapse under my weight? Will I ever be able to wear something that doesn’t look like someone slaughtered grandma’s sofa? Will I ever feel not hungry? Will people ever stop to stare at me? (I keep reading of other fat people feeling invisible, I have no idea how that feels. I am being stared at everywhere. I wish I was invisible.)

Well, there are a bunch of things that I had never thought possible before I had lost some weight through the bypass surgery. So I want to tell you about them.

1. Feeling full
One of my problems leading to overeating was that I have never experienced what it felt to be full. I was always hungry, it was a constant no matter if I ate or not. Like I had a huge dinner, licked the plate clean and was hungry, so if my bf had left-overs I ‘sacrificed’ myself to make sure it won’t rain tomorrow (Anyone else grew up with that thing about if you don’t eat everything on your plate it’ll rain?) Since I started to eat slowly, I have actually felt a difference between before and after meals. Feeling full is a whole new sensation to me. Like right now I am stuffed from one bell pepper filled with minced meat and some feta. Two months ago I would have had a huge portion of rice or potatoes with that, but not now. I am seriously amazed.

2. Lower blood sugar
I’m diabetic and two months ago, no matter what I did, despite injecting enough insulin and doing everything right my blood sugar was erratic, fluctuating all over the place and rarely going under 250 mg/dL. In the last two months in which I have eaten as little carbs and sugar as possible. I basically eat the amount of carbs I had in a day before, spread throughout a week or two. My sugar levels have been at 205 mg/dL once, every other time I measured it was between 100 and 180. It is still not a nondiabetic level, but duh. I am diabetic after all. But that is another amazing thing to me.

3. Emotional eating
I am an emotional eater. Be it sad, lonely, stressed, happy… whatever I eat. Or I should say ate. With my aching hip I felt pretty bad – still do because it’s still not pain-free, getting better though – and useless. I felt like a bother to my boyfriend who had to do everything for me, taking valuable time out of his busy work day (he works from home), which made me feel guilty and like crap. I cried so many times because of that. But not once I thought of raiding the fridge. That literally never happened before. It was my go to to make me feel better. But now it feels like I’m celebrating a victory over emotional eating. Well okay, it’s for now. I can’t predict the future and if it’ll creep back in, or tries to. But right now it makes me feel pretty darn good.

4. I want to move
I would have never thought I’d say this but I want to move. I am lazy af, seriously. Let alone that walking hurts, not only now, but also before because I do carry around over 200kg, try doing that for a day or even half an hour – I can’t. Well, now that my hip is acting up and I can basically either sit or lie in bed I have the strangest urges to move around. I have not done much in that regard anyway, but that bit of mobility I had left, I miss that tremendously. To me, that is a good sign of what will happen once I lose enough weight to be able to walk with not as much pain as now.

5. I am happier
I have been suffering from depression and anxiety as long as I can remember. And with every kilogram, I gained in the last decade it seemed to have become worse and worse. I have no doubt that part of my mental issues at least are weight related. The combined efforts of body and mind for having no energy, no drive, feeling down, hopeless and and and. Ever since I had made the conscious decision to do the surgery, I have started to feel better, happier. It is hard to describe. I think the closest would be that I am finally able to take control over my life and health. I tried many times before but always failed after a while. I have an outlook to a healthier life, to a longer life. The constant dread of ‘What if I die next year?’ has not popped up constantly anymore. Sure sometimes it still comes up, but by far not as much as only two months ago. I have not even lost 10 kilos so far, but alone having that outlook, being so close to getting there has changed something in my mind and I am amazed and grateful for that.

 

These are just a few things that I have noticed lately. This journey brings so many surprises and I want to write them down, to look at later to see where I came from, how it all started. A reminder why I wanted to do this in times when things get hard. And of course, I also wanted to share with you. 🙂

A trip to the ER

his post technically has nothing to do with my weight or the WLS coming up, but I’m posting it anyway, some thoughts I had had to do with weight, but even if it hadn’t, my blog my stuff I wanna tell. 😉

So two days ago I woke up with horrid pain in my right leg, mostly the upper thigh and especially when trying to walk. After that, it got worse. It started to hurt always when sitting, laying, certain leg positions, and only hours later other leg positions and walking became pretty much impossible. I broke down crying of pain and after telling friends about it they suggested it could be a blood clot (especially since the thigh was also warmer than the rest of the leg) and I should have it checked out. Well, blood clot or deteriorating bones are pretty much my nightmares. So my boyfriend supported me and brought me downstairs to the taxi we called, made sure I can safely get in and out and off I went.

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I was lucky and didn’t have to wait for long, well in the beginning until I was called in to sit on a lounger – these things are bloody hard. This hospital didn’t have the capacity to do my gastroscopy because their loungers couldn’t carry my weight. So I was pretty worried about being on one. Let me tell you it made strange creaky noises whenever I moved, but it did not collapse. Luckily.

My bp was so high they needed to check me through an EKG. But it was just the exhaustion from hobbling through the hospital plus my weight being a factor too. EKG showed my heart is fine and that my BP went down to normal after a while of rest. The nurse took my blood and that was when the actual wait began.

The internist came in maybe 1.5 hours later, telling me that from what he can see there is no sign of blood clots in my bloodwork, so that was a huge relief. There were signs of an inflammation in my body. He wanted to wait for the rest of the blood work. Another hour later he came back with a new blood kit telling me that if my results are right, I would be lying unconsciously on the floor, so something went wrong. He took blood from a different spot on my other arm and went off again. Since they had to start anew it would take a while.

2 hours later he returned, everything was okay. Awesome, so why the pain. He then checked out my leg, pressing here and there and when I howled in pain he said that this was the hip bone. Oh the joy, now he would tell me that my weight is causing it to break apart. But no he didn’t. Instead, he told me he’d call the orthopedist to check on me and left me alone again.

By that time I was in so much pain, not only from my leg but also from that ‘bed’ which was hard and uncomfortable. I also have this bit of ass that gets squeezed together into a roll when I sit or lie and that hurt like a mofo. So I got up or tried, it was hard. And painful. That squeezed roll got stretched and blood shot through it and the pain was incredible. Then standing hurt my leg but I couldn’t sit. At some point I had to sit again and mind you this continued (sitting, standing, bending halfway over the bed, laying down, standing again etc) until I left to go home! That was the most painful part of the whole thing.

So a while later a really friendly looking Orthopedist came to me and told me they are going to do an x-ray. It only took a few minutes until the nice orderly came by to push my ‘bed’ through the hospital. Once there I had to get up to stand for the pretty picture. The woman doing the x-ray tried to be friendly but was very obviously low key judging me by making comments about my weight. I just ignored her and after the pics were done I was rolled back to the ER.

Well, here even more fun followed. By then it was midnight, meaning that I was in the ER for 6 hours. I have seen people come and go, some were committed to staying others were driven home by an ambulance. And then I sat and waited… and waited… and waited.

Around 3 am the night internist – a lovely Turkish doctor – came by to apologize for the delay. She had wondered why I was there waiting and sitting for hours and checked in for me. The Orthopedist had surprisingly being called into surgery. So that explained it. It was half-past 3 when he finally arrived. X-Rays were clear and didn’t explain why I had the pain.

He then said based on that and the bloodwork, he assumes that the inflammation they spotted is in my hip joint. He gave me pain meds and suggested an anti-flammatory pain gel to spread all over my hip and thigh, hoping that’ll help. I hope so too. If it doesn’t get better in a few days I am to check with a local orthopedist. HA! Funny. I can’t even walk to the loo without supporting myself on everything I can get my hands on.

So when I came back home, 11 hours had passed. Longest ER visit of my life tbh. And most painful. My ass still hurts. But compared to other folks I have seen that night I was lucky. They were much worse, to begin with. I am relieved though it wasn’t a blood clot since those are freaking dangerous.

Right now I am still in a lot of pain. No matter in which position I am in I am in pain. Last night I slept only 4 hours because no position I found was good enough to stay in and sleep without pain and discomfort. I had to take a break several times while writing this because sitting hurts too. I’m feeling very much a burden on my boyfriend who has to do all kinds of things now that I usually did. He has to work and I keep him from that by asking for water or something to eat or helping me to stand up. I feel absolutely useless and hate that feeling. I couldn’t do much, to begin with but now it’s even less.

I hope the gel will help and that it won’t last too long until I can at least sleep without much pain and get my own drink and food. So cross your fingers.

 

Butt Hymns, over the moon and the wait begins

ah, you’ve read that right. My butt is singing hymns right now. I got a new chair.

While I was on the old and hard chair without backrest for not even a full week, my back and ass hurt so much I thought I will never be able to sit any more. But the wait is over. I didn’t want to risk another part breaking right after a repair so I ordered a new chair and it arrived today. Hooray. I had a full upper body workout while I put that thing together, but it was worth it 😀

But wait there is more! Tuesday was my second nutrition class and I had to hand in my nutrition and exercise records. After reminding the lovely nutritionist that I don’t have to wait the 6 months and that it is the last thing I need for my paperwork, she was kind enough to stay for a bit longer and went through it with me. In her words, I am doing very well and got a gold star. It’s all marked as good and she is handing it in at the adipositas center for me.

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We did a couple of Thera-band exercises this time and it was hard for me. I went slower and with less repetitions but I did my best to do something. Hell, yeah!

Also, we had a weigh-in, as every month to our nutrition class and I have lost 5 kilos during the last 30 days. I am quite over the moon. Since my first consultation on December 22nd, I have lost 8 kilos (17.6 lbs) through changing my diet and getting up from my chair a few more times (since I can’t do real exercise yet). I’m incredibly happy and proud of myself.

I’ve been asked what my changes in diet consist of. Basically, I decreased my carb intake drastically and if I eat them it’s like whole grain and such. I substituted potatoes, rice, and noodles with vegetable alternatives like cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli etc. I’m focussing on protein like meat, fish and such. I always loved veggies, I’m eating even more of that now. When I want snacks it’s veggies or cheese, or an egg – Haven’t eaten potato chips for over a month. Stuff like that. So basically Protein first, veggies second, carbs as little as possible. And then of course 2.5 – 5 litre of water a day. Every now and then I am drinking a protein shake instead of a meal, usually when I am too lazy to make a meal lol

Another change was that I keep up with the whole mindful eating. I eat slower, chew while counting to 25, wait between bites and the most important change is that I made the portions smaller after I realized that slow eating made me full faster.

It sounds easy but it did cost some willpower. I hope to get as close to 200kg before surgery as I can. Right now I am at 206.9. Depending on how much time I have, it should be doable. No idea if you notice it, but the outlook for surgery and the life change coming with it alone is doing wonders for my mood and depression. I’m bloody excited! 🙂

In other news, my paperwork is now on the way to the Adipositas Centre of the clinic where I’ll have my surgery. They’ll put everything together and send it off to the insurance. So all I can do now is wait!

There are one two things I want to talk about while I wait for my letter from the insurance. So keep your eyes peeled for another blog post soon! Until then, stay awesome!

Another one bites the dust

Some of you may remember that a bit more than half a year ago, I got a new chair that I could finally lean back in. Last night while playing some Overwatch I leaned back and it kept leaning and leaning until I was halfway on the floor. It took all my strength and willpower to get out of the chair without rolling all the way down onto the ground. I’d never have gotten up from there on my own again!

So I am back on my old, hard, backrest less chair. I checked out the damage on the other chair. It looks like I found a weak spot, it is like a clean cut.

I’m going to contact the merchant and see if they have the parts of the chair independently so I won’t have to buy a whole new chair. But if not, then that’s what I’ll have to do. I can’t stay on this hard thing for long. It’s only been one day and my back is screaming.

So when that happend I was super depressed. And usually I would have gone to the kitchen and raided the fridge for the next few hours. That is what I did the last few times my chairs collapsed. This time I put the chair away, got the old one, sat down and killed more enemies in Overwatch. Not a single bit of food has been eaten after that happened. And I went to bed hours later still without binging or even thinking about food. That’s what surprised me both. I did not think about food AT ALL.

So in that little dark moment, I had a little big victory of my own and I’m super proud of that.

Also today I got mail from my parents who bought me some pants and T-Shirts that are only a little bit too small right now but will be perfect once I’m out of surgery for a little while. So I’m exicted to have clothing ready after losig some weight 🙂

One step closer

Yesterday I got another step further in my journey to WLS. I had my gastroscopy to check if everything is okay with my stomach and intestines. I thought that I could post a bit of a more detailed account of that, for me and maybe for someone else who is curious. If you just want to know about the result, scroll to the second to last paragraph! 🙂

If you know me, you are aware that I’m a nightowl, sleeping at day, getting active at night. So having to get up at 5:30 am was horrid, but I managed. It was the first time in ages that I went out and still could see the moon outside.

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In my effort not to come too late, I was actually almost an hour early. It gave me enough time to read the paperwork they gave me properly and make sure I didn’t miss anything. I was the envy of the other patients, because in contrast to the hard stretchers they got, I had a cozy and soft hospital bed, because I’m too heavy for the stretchers. It was so comfortable that I almost fell asleep on the spot. It was really early for me after all.

Then the fun began. I was asked where my doctor usually gets my blood drawn. So I told them, right back of the hand. The nurse didn’t like that and wanted to try the ‘regular’ spots first. Told her that my veins are shy and even if she thinks she has one nobody has been able to actually get something from them. Apparently she didn’t believe me and after attempts on 3 different locations she finally went to my left hand and surprise – not – she got blood right away. So she cannulated my hand, for the drugs to make me sleep.

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I went back to waiting, because there was another patient inside the gastroscopy room before me. I got a really cute hospital gown though, and I was super duper thrilled that they actually had one in my size. I never get anything in my size. I’m a EU size 68  (I think it’s like 38 US, not sure) so that was really special. It even had some more room in it. Look at these cute little smileys (it’s the logo of the Hospital).

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Either way after some waiting I was wheeled into the room and prepared with the same questions I had gotten several times already in the last hour. Made me wonder why I fill out the paperwork if they ask me anyway, but I didn’t mind to keep my mind from wandering. We joked around for a while, which was nice too and I had the exciting moment of hearing that my blood pressure was ‘perfect’.

The big moment came with the doctor entering, showing me the tooks he’d be using and explaining the procedure. I remember the nurse pushing the drug into my hand (didn’t feel that hooray) and she told me that I’d feel weird in my head. I did only a second later and because I already had the mouth piece in and couldn’t talk I did a lasso with my hand as a sign that I’m getting dizzy.

I expected to have time and that I would notice to feel more tired. But one moment I was there wide awake, laughing at the nurse’s jokes, watching the doctor to pull the tube out of its plastic wrap… and the next moment I wake up and saw I had been out for an hour.

Other than a bit of dizziness in the start I didn’t have any problems of after/side effects. And according to the nurses I was surprisingly quick to get back on my feet. Only 10 minutes after waking up initially I was out in the waiting room to get my results.

Back at home I eventually started to feel tired so I napped away several hours but I felt really well, still do. And my stomach seems to be great, nothing should be in the way of surgery based on my stomach at least. I’m glad to know that.

Next week I have to hand in my nutrition diary for the last two weeks and hand in the paperwork I collected. It’s so close. Cross your fingers that thing will progress quickly from then on 🙂

 

Progress is being made

I am here! And as the title says I am making progress towards my Weight Loss Surgery and it’s in same parts exciting and overwhelming.

I had my first nutrition class, which was great. We are a group of only 5 women, all pre-OP, and a lovely nutritionist who patiently answered all questions and listened to concerns.

If you went through the surgery you know there are about a million things that will change in your life, and that can be overwhelming. It’s not only eating habits, it’s emotional, hormonal, your body has to get used to less weight, new balancing, and not to forget your head will still believe you can eat all the things. And then you need to eat differently healthy than other people, add on exercise you never thought you will be able to do, deal with stuff like possible jealousy that other people can eat normal, the feeling of loss of the food you love and and and – all while you get a new chance at life and being able to do things.

Phew that’s a handful. And sometimes you get the weird thought in your head that you are alone in this, even if you are definitely not. And to see the other women having the exact same reactions that you try to limit to your head to not look like an idiot is just wonderful.

Don’t get me wrong. I am excited about the surgery and about the following weight loss, being able to do new things, living longer, even the shopping for new clothes because the old one don’t fit any more (I hate shopping, so being excited about that is weird but great). BUT I am very aware of how hard it’ll be. I go in with open eyes but ready for the good parts, so I’m willing to go through the parts my fat self would describe as bad.

So the class is started, my blood tests have been made, my doctor wrote his supporting letter, and I have my gastroscopy in two weeks. I only have to write my personal letter, and hand in my exercise and food protocols at the next nutrition class mid February. Then I’m done. Thats everything I’ll need to hand in the request at the insurance and that’s something the Adipositas Center does for me.

I am waiting for the obstacles being thrown in my way. Well I had one, no internist could take me on for the gastroscopy, because their examination tables have a weight limit that is too low for me. After I had almost given up and asked the Adipositas Center and the Clinic where I’ll have my surgery for help, I received an email from another Clinic with an Adipositas Center who were willing and able to do the procedure in only 2 weeks. So that little obstacle is out of my way. I never had a tube down my throat ever, so I am a bit nervous about it, but it’ll be fine.

Food wise I still am forming my new habits, sometimes slipping but mostly doing well with the whole chewing and eating slowly. I am still limiting my carbs and sugar intake. I compared my diabetes diary. Before I started I easily ate up to 20 Bread Units (240gr carbs) a day. With the changes I have made the highest day was 5BU (60 gr carbs) and that was once, usually it is between 0 and 3.5 BU (0-42gr carbs). For someone who just LOVES pizza, potatoes, noodles and rice that is impressive. I am proud of myself for that.

So much for this right now. I’ll write another post soon and keep you up to date.

Is there anything you are curious about or want to know from me? Feel free to drop a comment below and let’s talk. 🙂