Thursday, July 28, 2011

21 days to go.

     Well i just did the math and there are only 21 days until i check into the hospital. As i said i was quite nervous when i first was given the date and last some of my fears were put rest. Its not so much the surgery I am concerned about I am I will be sleeping during that who cares ! However Hospital stays suck ! Usually I am way to heavy for the bed support and i wind up feeling the metal bed underneath. Which of course makes for a real peaceful nights sleep!! Then of course there is the question of will I have a roommate? Will that roommate be perky and chatty? If so, please just give me a staph infection and move me to my own room.  I have learned that the doctors I am seeing our actually the Directors of bariatric surgery at Overlook Hospital and evidently, patients of directors get spoiled and treated very very well. So bring it on sunshine !!
     I learned all of this from a consent class we had last night at the doctors office. I had to bring a friend of family so Gus came with me and we got their a little before 5. I was weighed in and lost another 5 pounds on my own. Bringing my post op-surgery loss to 40 pounds. Lets hear it for the treadmill. Most of the information they told us I had already learned about like the 2 weeks before the surgery most patients have to restrict their diet. Well I have been doing that for over a month now so I am way ahead. I was also given the phone number of one last doctor I need to see to get all my tests and procedures done. This one makes me very nervous too.
     This doctor will be performing an IVC filter implant. This is so I won't throw a clot to my lungs and die. OK, I get that. Its important! However I don't like the idea of them entering my body through a vein in my groin and shoving a catheter all the way to my chest. Especially since I do not think I will be under anesthesia. Someone told me its just some drugs to make you dopey well I am already dopey so what if they don't work. I want a board certified anesthesiologist please !! Some nice Jewish doctor, I hear they are the best. At least I am pretty sure that's what Archie told Edith.
     All of things will be happening very quickly in the next 21 days. I have an appointment on Monday to see the cardiologist to hopefully clear me for surgery without ordering any more procedures. Then Tuesday I am taking George to take his driving test. Thursday Toby has a vet appointment and then the following Monday, the 8th I have the IVC procedure. So not only do I have to have this procedure but the doctors office they referred me too has doctors on vacation all month so I have to go all the way to Clifton to get this done. For you non-Jersey people that's like 45 mins to an hour away from me. My nerves are already happening. All I hope with me going through all this is that there is someone out there going to have the surgery as well that this is helping. Let me get all the nervousness out of the way for you so you can see everything is going to be OK.
     I know deep down that everything is going to be great. I can start seeing my future self now and the things that I will do. I will in a roller coaster next year at some point dammit. I have not been able to fit in one for many many years. I can remember when it happened. I was at Great Adventure with my friend Christine. We waited online for a very long time to get on the very first Batman roller coaster they had so you can imagine it was sometime ago. We got up to the front of the line I sat down and an realized nope  they could not close the safety harness. I was asked to get out and wait over on the side. I cant even tell you how embarrassing, no humiliating it was in front of dozens of people not to mention one of my best friends. I have not been to an amusement park since. Not even to go with others as company. I always had an excuse why I couldn't go. Things are going to change and I am doing more stuff already and taking pictures to prove it. I have had a lot of people comment on the picture below I took at 4th of July. They say red is definitely my color. What do you think? Let me know

Friday, July 22, 2011

A picture says a thousand words, 2 pictures are priceless.

     Yesterday I was playing around with my mac and the photo booth app. When I happened to see a picture on there from June when i was wearing the exact same shirt. Well i wanted to see if i could see a difference in myself. I know I lost 35 pounds but when you are as big as me that's a drop in the proverbial bucket. Its a BIG bucket. So I do not necessarily see my changes. I aligned myself up about the same as I was in the previous picture even opened the closet door as was in the other picture(excuse the mess) to make it look as close as possible to the original.The top picture was taken 06/24/11 the second was on 07/21/11.

     Now I know its not a jaw dropping reality weight loss TV show different but it was enough to help validate what I am doing. This also helped me wake up early this morning and head to the gym with Gus. To my readers who hate heading to the gym or think they cant do it or its just too hard. I HEAR YA!! However i do have to say that if you can get through a few days of it and go home load up on over the counter pain relief it starts to get easier. Just this morning we left the cardio room and i was literally almost running out about ready to dance. That is until I got outside (we are having a terrible heat wave in NJ, 100 degree temps UGH). Then I felt my energy get sapped. The point is, they are right! You know who they are the annoyingly peppy workout people who live in the gym and are constantly smiling praising the benefits of working out. Well one thing is very true, you really do (eventually) leave there with more energy then you when you got there. So if your struggling with the exercise portion, you can do it. Just go slow, that's what I had to do and now I am up to 25 minutes on the treadmill and its only been a week or so. Just try it for a couple of times. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Count Down Begins

     Well the date has been set and the count down can now begin. Tuesday I had another doctors appointment and I was given my surgery date. The big day will be August 17th. Now I almost said no to this date because as some of you may know about me family is very important to me and there is a family party on August 20th at my cousin Susan's house. It is always so much fun, she lives right on the lake and we re surrounded by woods couldn't be more beautiful. Come on, tell me this isn't paradise.

However I know that I have to have this done but i have a plan. If i get out of the hospital at that Thursday, I will still go and just sit in a nice comfy chair and heal in nature :-) .
     The next month is not going to be all that quiet either. I still have some hoops to jump through as well as continue to work on my weight loss. Since starting the journey I have lost a total of 35 pounds. 30 of them in the last month. I have started a walking regimen and every day I am at the gym with either George or Gus and sometimes both. I am hoping that will kick the weight loss into a higher gear. It is definitely a change getting up early again to hit the gym but I do not mind it at all. So what else do I have to do you say ?
     As some may remember from my last blog, I am too fat to get a stress test done, so I have to get clearance from a cardiologist. I have an appointment with the group in a couple of weeks. I have to make sure the oncologists fax's my clearance letter from him to the office since they never got it from a couple of months ago (Remember the concert scare?). Plus I have to return to the surgeons office next week with Gus so we can have a class on after care, that should be interesting LOL. I have to then go back one more time for consent signing, so I can't sue them if I die. I also have to go get more blood work done for pre admission testing. I feel like a pin cushion already, geez. I also have to go out and start getting vitamins and supplements. Turns out from my last blood work that i have low iron and vitamin A levels and i need to build them up before surgery. I say if they just would let me eat some red meat I would be OK. Burger anyone? Plus I have to be on vitamin b12 and a multi-vitamin. So after all this is done a new chapter of my Weightloss Diary of a Fat Man will begin.
      I have to sat that once I got the date i became both excited but more so nervous. I mean it is surgery and there are risks but there is more. This is nt like joining Weight Watchers again and saying this time it will be a lifestyle change. This is a permanent surgery and they are removing a large part of my stomach. I have to make sure I follow the plan. I guess I am asking myself can i do this for the rest of my life. Give up the comfort of foods I ran to my entire life. I spoke with one my surgeons about my cravings and he told me that although it is very difficult that some people say if you can resist long enough the cravings go away. But how long is long enough? Thankfully I have a great support system. Everyone has been very supportive, right down to getting me to update the blog. If its been to long my nephew Jonathan is on the phone asking me where the next chapter is? Here it is Jonny, OK get off my back!! LOL. And my friend Kendall called me yesterday asking me why my surgery date wasn't updated on my blog. All the well wishes and support I get from everyone who reads this helps me keep going and to for that I say thank you. Look out for more but for now I have to go walk the dog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Highs and The Lows

      It amazes me sometimes how we can be so happy with our accomplishments in life then all of a sudden out of the blue something happens to remind us of how far we have yet to go. That happened to me this week. As you may remember i lost 20 lbs in the first week of my super restrictive diet. That was amazing however what was more amazing was how I felt and what I could do now. A month ago I was winded from showering or from getting of the couch or walking up my stairs. The thought of going out and doing anything was daunting. I couldn't walk very far or stand very long without having to sit and rest my back. However the on 4th of July weekend Gus and I decided to go to the aquarium in Camden and I was the one actually pushing to go. The parking lot was a little bit of walk from the entrance and I felt old anxieties but i walked on and you know what? I COULD DO IT!! I walked all the way to the entrance around the corner from the lot and proceeded to go through the entire exhibit with just a couple of few minute breaks. I was having a great time out in the real world for the first time in a long long time. That evening we even went back out to watch the fireworks it was truly and Independence day for me.
      A couple of days after that after that I went to weigh in again now I was not expecting anywhere near my 20 lbs weight loss again but I was hoping for at least 5 lbs. To my surprise I was down 8 more pounds. I just knew that my surgery was going to be scheduled soon with the progress I was having. I figured on July 19th, I would go to the office having completed my last test(the stress test) on the Wednesday before, that they would scheduled it for me hopefully in August. Things were looking great. We even adopted a 4 month old saint bernard puppy named Toby. That would keep me busy and active for the next few weeks that's for sure.
      So now all i had to do was complete the stress test. Now not to be ironic however I was having serious stress over the stress test. I have never had it done before and although my mom was an old pro at them and told me it was no big deal, I still don't like unknown hospital tests. I get to the hospital this morning to take the test, I fasted and didn't have any caffeine (no big deal I an not allowed it on my diet anyway). A very nice nurse or tech comes and gets the lady before me and things seem ok. Then i see a very pensive looking odd guy come in with some paperwork and wouldn't you just know it, he was for me! "Mr. Walters ?" No i want the pleasant friendly woman please I thought to myself. Well off I went anyway and my fears are starting to come true. He stops at this locked door that has a key pad access and on it are warning signs all over saying radioactive material, hazardous!! That's it i am on the first thing moving out of here!! Be brave I tell myself i can do this. He stops in the middle of the doorway looking at my paperwork. This is your weight he says? Really?? Am i getting slack from this guy who looks like he was passed over on the part of Igor in Young Frankenstein. Yes that's correct. Well I am sorry we may not be able to do the test he says to me. there is a weight limit. He goes and checks but before he does he asks me if I can fit in the chair they draw blood in next to the door. Are you serious ??? Yes I can sit in your stupid chair! I hope the legs are strong i think to myself sarcastically. I wouldn't want to fall and go all the way through to China. Well low and be hold it turns out I can not take the test. I am TOO FAT for their machine! Are you kidding me ?? This is the main hospital for the bariatric centers surgery's. They send all there patients here to get the testing done, how could they possibly not have the right equipment. So, what I just leave I asked? yes and he pointed me out. Well thanks for nothing. I left with a half a feeling of relieve and the other half was frustration.
      Now what do I do. This is going to ruin everything. I will not have all my tests done and I am afraid they will not schedule the surgery. I called my dr.'s office right away and they are going to call around and get back to me. Now i am thinking will this affect my date to return to work, will my disability not be extended long enough, how long will this drag on for? I made the appointment for this test over a month ago. Will I have to wait this long again? All these questions and more will be answered on the next episode of SOAP. Sorry rambling and that probably didn't make any sense to my younger readers.  It was a TV show, Google it!
       So I know all journeys have their highs and lows and this is no different. It just that when you are riding really high, when the lows come they are that much more difficult to deal with. Stay Tuned.