Friday, November 30, 2012

One Year - Almost There

I've been thinking about what I would post on my one-year surgical anniversary for a week or so now - it's a big milestone, so it seems like it should be something profound. But honestly? I don't have anything that momentous to say.

I'm squarely in my surgeon's goal range for me; they said 166-190, and I'm at 178. I want to get down to about 150, so I still have a little ways to go. I'm getting close to where I wanted to be in clothing (single digit sizes), I'm in a 14 for pants/dresses, and a ladies large or medium for tops. The 14 for pants is primarily about the belly hang - I'm a bit baggy in the butt, so without it I'd be in at least a 12 if not a 10.

I'll definitely need the plastic surgery to be super comfortable about how I look - the arm droop is crazy, and the belly has to go. I'll probably have my thighs done, and definitely need the boobs put back into place. If I haven't gone broke after all of that, I'll probably get my chin done, and maybe the eyes (I have a slight bag underneath). Saying all that feels very vain, but the excess is very telling that I used to be fat, and honestly isn't attractive. The Man and I did discuss this pre-op, so we have been prepared to make the expense.

I haven't taken my standard monthly photos yet, but I do have some to share. The Man and I flew to New Orleans on Thanksgiving day and spent 5 nights there - a trip just for the two of us. We had an amazing time, ate some incredible meals, and did miles and miles of walking.

It was our first flight post-op, and I giggled like a schoolgirl every time we took our seats, because I no longer needed a seatbelt extender, and the tray table would come down and slide all the way toward me with room to spare - even on the regional jet!

Finally, I bought a pair of boots recently - still needed wide calf, I'm not sure I'll ever escape that - I built them up when I was younger, and they're still nice and defined. I bought a sweater dress to wear with them, and felt pretty darned confident in it. You can see the belly hang a bit, but I don't think it was super prominent. (Ignore the shirt on the floor in the hotel room picture).

I wore that to Emeril's, and we walked there and back from our hotel. A great evening!

There's been a lot that's happened this year, but the fact that I've lost an average sized person in the 160lb I no longer carry still rather boggles my mind. The never ending ass fistula has been a bummer, but I can't say it was directly caused by my WLS experience (a post later this weekend will give an update on that situation). I've definitely gained confidence, I feel far sexier, and it's starting to sink in that I'm the same size or smaller than a lot of other people out there in the world - not anywhere near being the biggest woman in the room any more, and that's still a brain boggle!

All said and done - this was the best thing I've done for myself, and I wish I'd done it 10 years ago or more. It's never too late to change, and the positive impact it's had will benefit me for the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Oh, the indignity

This morning was fun. No, really, very fun. After waiting for two weeks to hear from my surgeon about what kind of scans or xrays he wanted to do (and finally hearing back only after nagging his nurse via voice ail), I was scheduled for a fistulogram bright and early at 8:30am. I arrive on time despite horrible signage for the radiology department, which had you go in through the cancer center - yeah, not an image that was fun. When they finally call me back to get me registered, the clerk starts frowning quite a bit - they can't find the orders from my doctor. Really? I was supposed to be in and out, and back in my home office before 11am when I had a meeting scheduled, plus my team in India would be monitoring a mainframe delete package.

Finally, the manage to get my surgeon's office on the phone and get the orders faxed over - I don't get called back until about 10:15, far later than my scheduled 9am procedure time. So a fistulogram is this: they take a tiny tube and insert it into the external opening of the fistula, shoot contrast solution into it, and then take xrays. The only mildly interesting part of this was that the radiologist looked at things on a monitor I could see before he took the xray snapshots. I have a very interesting pelvic bone.

Anyway - I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of pain of that going into the fistula - which was still there in all its glory, though the bit that actually connected to the rectum is currently nearly microscopic in size. The radiologist then decided he wanted to put more contrast directly into my rectum to make sure I didn't have additional tracts anywhere. So basically I got a contrast enema. That was as fun as it sounded. Nothing extra visible, I get sent to the restroom and then they take one final film after I got rid of much of that contrast, and then I was able to head home - unfortunately now bleeding from the renewed larger opening. Of course I picked today to wear my pretty new undies too. Oxyclean, please work.

So, waiting now for the radiologist report to make it's way to my surgeon, and then hear back from them. I'm pretty sure I'm going to seek a second opinion from Wake Forest before doing any additional surgery - I want whatever is done next to be the LAST on this. Good grief, been dealing with this for 7 months now.

Tonight is my WLS support group meeting, but I'm oozy enough and my back hurts that I just don't wanna go. I'm curled up in the recliner now, and hoping to feel better soon. The Man is going to go get dinner later so I won't have to cook. He's a keeper.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Belated 11-month post-op stats and pics

October was a rough month. Third surgery on the fistula of doom, confirmation that the third surgery really had done nothing for it, and a promise of an MRI or other scan of the radiologist's choice to see what the fuck else is going on in there, because honestly - any future surgery on this needs to be the last.

I've been annoyed that I can't exercise during this period - doing so irritates the fistula opening making everything worse - loss this month was minimal. I know I'm getting down to my last 20-30 pounds before plastics and that it will be slower, but I think I'm rightly annoyed that so much of the last 6 months has been in the shadows of this stupid ass problem (sigh).

But, I did have the Man take some 11-month photos, since we missed the 10-month ones. I go back and forth between thinking these are awesome (look! Pretty flat below the boobs!) to horrible (oh god, look at that belly hang shoved into the front of my jeans). Blergh.


Current Loss Total Loss

And can't forget the weight totals:
Beginning weight338
Weight at surgery304
Current weight183.2
Total loss155

I need to watch my consumption carefully as I wait for final word on what we're doing next to the fistula of doom, but also the Man and I are flying to New Orleans for Thanksgiving (just the 2 of us). We have reservations at some pretty awesome dining spots, and so far at least in email the chefs/managers have been very accommodating to the idea of a small portion for me. We'll see how it works out.