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ONE MONTH OUT - And then you're someone you are not . . . [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
And then you're someone you are not . . .

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ONE MONTH OUT [Oct. 20th, 2007|09:03 am]
And then you're someone you are not . . .


[mood |satisfiedsatisfied]
[music |Alphaville - Big In Japan]

I'm 28 days out from my surgery, which was on 9/24/07. I started my liquid diet on 9/21/07. Here are my stats:

START: 310 / BMI: 53.2
TODAY: 274 / BMI: 47
LOST: 36 pounds
GOAL: 130

Like, wow. Due to logistical reasons, I was unable to get in to see my surgeon for the usual three week post-op appt, so I decided yesterday that I would just drop by the office, thinking that they would surely let me just weigh myself. They of course did, so this is the first time I've weighed in since ten days post-op.

I'm one of those who has always suffered from body dysmorphia. When I weighed a quite normal 145, I felt as obese as I am now. I've always entertained fears and neurosises that even if I lost 100, 150, 180 pounds, that I would still be as big as I am now. I know this is not rational and I know it's psychological, but, man, it is so real for me (and for many of you all, too, I've read).

I wonder if this will ever go away? I've been me for 38 years -- it's hard to imagine that part of my self-perception changing. And it's not even a hateful self-perception; it's just wrong and skewed.

But, I feel fantastic. FANTASTIC. A few things: I shrunk out of my CPAP mask within two weeks of my surgery (it's a Respironics size Medium) -- I called Apria to get a replacement, which they were happy to accommodate. Problem was, I've only been on CPAP since 8/13/07, and my insurance (Aetna) won't pay for a new mask for three months. >.< No matter that the mask DOESN'T FIT, therefore the CPAP machine doesn't work properly. About two weeks out from surgery, I found myself waking repeatedly, feeling like my stomach had been pumped full of air and having to burp it out. I know this can sometimes happen with CPAP, but it never did before with me, so it was a new symptom. The mask was so loose around my nose, even though I had tightened the straps until I felt like I was wearing a tourniquet (who wants to go to work with strap marks indented into their face and on the bridge of the nose?!). Naturally, the out-of-pocket replacement for THE PIECE OF PLASTIC was $110.00, and I'll be damned if I'm paying $110 for A PIECE OF PLASTIC! So, I haven't been using my CPAP ... my apnea has definitely improved. My husband has reported only a few incidents of very light snoring, whereas I used to literally drive him from the bedroom with the cacophany of it all. I'm sleeping through the night without waking, am not having severe night sweats and have not been sleepy during the day. I have an appointment to see my Pulmonologist in early November, so I will be interested to see what his thoughts will be. Maybe a new mask and a lower level of pressure will be appropriate.

I think the first two weeks following the surgery were the hardest for me as far as emotional eating goes. Obviously, I couldn't do it, couldn't emotionally eat. So many people had said/posted that hunger disappears after bypass surgery, so I was surprised to find myself feeling constantly "hungry." It took a few days for me to figure out that I wasn't physically hungry, but rather was emotionally hungry and wanting to eat for comfort, as I have always done. Once I realized that it was emotional it became like 100x more torturous -- I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin it was so bad. I think it was the first time I was forced to face my addiction to food so starkly. Yeah, dieting kind of made me look at it, but I always knew in the back of my head that I could eat whatever I wanted, if I so chose.

Now, I can't do that. God, I just felt like climbing the walls. It was awful. I thought, Is this how it's going to be for the rest of my life? And then I full out freaked - FREAKED. It lasted about 10 days, in full-blown freak-out mode, which was very difficult for me to handle. I was unable to cook for my family because I couldn't face all the normal food in the kitchen -- thankfully, my husband stepped in and cooked for the kids during that time. I was extremely resentful of so many things, ranging from having to deal with obesity and compulsive overeating AT ALL, to a very profound fear that these feelings of desperation will never ever resolve.

I don't remember a time in my life where I was not obsessed with food and my weight. How can this possibly change?

Yet, after almost two weeks of mental distress, the feelings and fears and compulsions stopped. The last ten days have been quite peaceful, emotionally, and I'm grateful for this. I've never before had to force myself to wait out the cravings -- I could always just cheat. But, now I can't do that. It was at least insightful in that now I know that cravings do kind of come and go, and that perhaps over time I will learn to better handle my feelings when those compulsive feelings hit. Also? Yeah, I need some new comfort hobbies, srsly!

SmartForme Wafer Bars are pretty good and taste like a wafer cookie. They have 15g of protein and 13g of carbs per serving. Now, what I'm not sure of is if that for one half of the bar (they come in two sections per package) or for both halves. When I was at my post-op nutrition class on Wednesday, a SmartForme rep came and handed out free samples. Although the website has mocha and vanilla listed, they just developed strawberry and chocolate. I thought they were both good and because they are in wafer form they didn't make my jaw ache from trying to eat a protein bar with the consistency of a rubber eraser. Just an FYI.

If you read this far, thanks!

Pictures to follow as soon as I can get them taken.


[User Picture]From: countouttheday
2007-10-20 04:46 pm (UTC)
I just want to say that I'm so glad you've confronted those issues head on and are starting to come free of them. WLS strikes me as a lot more of an ordeal than I see it portrayed as in the media but it seems like both before and after, you're aware of that and aware of what it means for you personally. Which, to me as someone who knows about you and cares about you, is a great relief.

Some days I think that body dysmorphia isn't even a disorder - it's almost as if (at least for women, though I know men with those issues as well) NOT having body dysmorphia is what's rather rare.

You're not always going to be as big as you are now, of course. And as for confronting your issues, I've read about people who can't. But you're one of the strongest people I know and from what I read here, you WILL.

And other stress-relief hobbies are key. I've been trying to remove all emotional value from food lately - from guilt to comfort to "bad" foods and "good" foods - and I find it helps. It does make me the annoying dork who is constantly correcting people when they say they were bad and ate a cookie or something, though. You don't want my stress release hobbies, though. Except maybe the cleaning, but that one only hits when I'm one more anxiety shock away from the fetal-position-rocking-on-the-bed-in-tears stress release. which, um, kind of works...
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[User Picture]From: sofisticat
2007-10-20 05:03 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! You've done a great job with your weight loss and confronting your issues. I know what emotional hunger is. I'm currently on a restrictive diet, and I'm not physically hungry, but I do experience the emotional hunger. It will disappear.
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[User Picture]From: golden_d
2007-10-20 06:07 pm (UTC)
Soooo glad things are going well! :)

Re: comfort habits, I used to get out my sketchpad and draw (sometimes messily, sometimes actually pretty good things) when I was upset/emotional/etc. Now I eat ice cream, which...I should maybe put my sketchpad in a more prominent place.
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From: ishaunted
2007-10-20 07:34 pm (UTC)
I'm really happy for you! Not only for your weight loss, but for your courage in facing everything you are. You should be very proud of yourself.

Give your husband a hug for me - just a "thanks" for his support. This process can't be easy for anyone.
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[User Picture]From: aome
2007-10-20 07:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your challenges. While my circumstances are entirely different, I do understand a little bit the emotional challenges that come from not being able to eat 'normal food' like the rest of your household, or being able to cheat on certain cravings if they hit you, and I know how depressing and difficult it can be to face that. Especially since everyone around you has the freedom you don't. On the other hand, knowing you're doing something to increase your odds of survival helps to some degree, and I'm so pleased that physically you are already feeling so much better. Keep us posted! *hug*

PS: I saw this Halloween card at Hallmark the other day, and thought of you. It showed a small center square with a black cat arching its back, clearly pissed off, surrounded by little squares, each showing a happy pug dog. Inside it said "Pugs and hisses for Halloween". :D
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[User Picture]From: piperki
2007-10-21 01:21 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad you're okay, I've been waiting for an update. :*

MEGA YAY on the reduced apnea problems. What wonderful news! I'm sorry you have to be going crazy to get to this point but hey...I'm glad for you anyway.
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[User Picture]From: shivawitch
2007-11-16 01:53 pm (UTC)
Well it looks like the updates have slowed down, but I just wanted to say that I too had Roux en Y a month ago, and after some hard truths emotionally and physically, am now back to feeling almost normal again. I've also had the issue with finding another comfort activity, but I haven't been able to be really active until very recently. (Had some surgical complications, took a while to fully recover) Anyway, I just wanted to say Hi, and wish you good luck. Hope to hear an update soon.
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