A DATE HAS BEEN SET!

JUNE 8, 2017


Holy fucking hell. At 8:42 this morning the scheduler from Dr. Toder’s office called and told me insurance had approved my surgery, and that June 8 was the first available date! To think, I just called two days ago and they said the insurance approval could take up to thirty days, and today I found out I will be having surgery in less than three weeks. Holy shit.

To say I was excited is an understatement — I got super emotional. My ‘work wife’ came in and congratulated me, and I cried. This has been such a long road. August 1, 2016 was when I went to the doctor’s for the pain and numbness in my leg, and it was that date that I started researching bariatric surgery again. I met with my PCP later that month to get a referral to the EMCC surgical weight loss program, and here we are!

My nan would be so happy right now, so proud of me. I wish she were here to see this. I just want to talk about the whole thing with her. I can’t wait to see where my life is a year from now…

And it goes a little somethin’ like this…

I met with my surgeon last Tuesday, and then promptly got so busy I didn’t have a chance to post an update! My surgeon is Dr. Michelle Toder, at Eastern Maine Medical Center. I like her — she’s very no-nonsense, no side-stepping the issues, very upfront. She told me that this isn’t about making me comfortable, this is about me getting to live a full life. She repeatedly called me a baby (her words, lol) and asserted that I had so much life left to live if I just get the weight off. I could see how that might offend some, but I think it was just what I wanted (needed?) to hear. I don’t want a lazy doctor — I want my stomach to be as small as possible, and I want my goal weight to be as low as realistically possible. I don’t want to go through all of this to still be considered obese, or even overweight. I would love to be in a normal weight range. I want to run, I want to hike, I want to jump on someone’s back and not be afraid of hurting them.

 

Ugh, tangents… so good at them, lol.

 

Anyways — as of that morning (05/09/2017) I was down 50.7lbs! Holy Hannah. That’s a huge milestone I didn’t think I’d hit til after surgery! Dr. Toder told me several times how hard she knew I’d worked to get there, and that she was really impressed. It was a short meeting but I feel really good about the whole process. We did lab work that day, and she said as soon as my insurance says a-okay, we’re a go to set the date! She said they’re usually at about four weeks out, so hopefully in the next six-ish weeks I’ll be posting about how the surgery went! Fingers, toes and eyeballs all crossed!

 

On a different note — I graduated from SNHU this Saturday. I FINALLY — after ten years, two associates degrees, a thousand twists and turns — have my bachelor’s degree! I’m not finished yet, so it’s not that exciting, but at least now I’ll be working towards an advanced degree (masters in Higher Education Administration) that might actually open some doors for me, career-wise. The ceremony was really nice and HUGE and totally a special event, and I’m so glad my mom convinced me to go. We stayed at a hotel and went swimming, and my suit bottoms were literally falling off! I have no butt anymore! Why is it that the weight goes from the place I least want it to go from? Lol… oh well. This weekend was also super celebratory, and my healthy eating pretty much went by the wayside. Back on track now though! Definitely do not want to screw up so close to surgery. Full steam ahead!

HOLY CRAPOLY.

Okay, it’s been a hot minute. Time for some updates!

I’ve been using the BiPAP for about a month now. My AHI is consistently under 1.0 (besides the few days I was sick with a cold), which is a drastic improvement from the 163.1 it was for my sleep study! Don’t even get me started on that… Such a joke of a procedure. ANYWAYS. All is going well with the machine and mask, no issues or complaints really. Just a weird new addition to my life.

 

A couple weeks ago, I got very frustrated with the process and called my program coordinator. I love her, let me just put that out there. If you are in the central Maine area and are thinking of Eastern Maine Medical Center for your surgery, do it. Lynn Bolduc is the greatest coordinator… she gets it. She empathizes with those in the program and understands how hard this whole process is, not just the physical weight loss piece. She is encouraging and uplifting and GOSHDARNIT I just can’t say enough good things about her! Goodness I’m good at tangents today… Back to why I called her. I lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel, and was worried about never actually getting to surgery. The nutritionist had told me I wouldn’t be able to see a surgeon until my BMI was at or below 60, a feat that seemed (still does!) impossible. I hadn’t stalled out, but my weight loss has definitely been slowing… I’ve been around a BMI of 65 for awhile. Lynn and I spoke about that and she said that if I got to 357 she would advocate for me to meet with the surgeon early. She said that if I met the goal at my next nutritionist appointment, my surgery would likely end up in early to mid June.

Well… I had my (SPOILER ALERT!) LAST appointment with my nutritionist today! I didn’t hit my goal… I was at 359.8lbs. I was feeling pretty dejected and made my appointment for one month from today to see her again. Ten minutes after I left, however, my phone rang and it was Lynn. She told me I continue to impress her, and she hadn’t expected I’d actually hit 357, she just wanted to motivate me to get there, and that I’d lost enough that she was totally comfortable referring me to the surgeon early! We talked dates and she told me my appointment would be anywhere between May 2-19, depending on scheduling issues. I heard from the surgeon’s scheduling lady a few hours ago, and I meet with Dr. Toder on May 9!! !!!

 

Assuming all goes well, my surgery isn’t far off. I’m only a little nervous… Mostly about my own issues with my body after losing weight, and not so much about the surgery itself. I’m sure as that draws closer I’ll fret about that too. But today I’m ecstatic… It was a good day. Thanks, Ice Cube.

 

Current home weight: 359.9lbs

Current office weight: 359.8lbs

Starting weight: 400.7lbs

Total weight lost: 40.9lbs

 

41

When it rains, it pours. Thank goodness it’s April…

It’s been a tough six weeks. I broke things off with my boyfriend of about a year and a half. I still love him dearly… I cry daily. But I had the realization that no matter how badly I wanted things between us to work out, they just never would. He would never ask me to marry him. He would never ask me to be a part of his family. Fuck, he never even asked me to consider moving closer to him when I had to move recently.

 

Speaking of which, I was essentially evicted from the apartment I’ve lived in for the past two-ish years. After my grandmother died, her husband allowed me to stay in the in-law apartment as I had been since May 2015. Fast-forward to the end of February, when I received a text message from him while at work, telling me I needed to find a new place ASAP. When I asked him to reconsider, to allow me to stay until after my surgery, he told me to be out in two weeks. So here I am, renting a $500 bedroom from a complete stranger.

 

Which brings us to Development #3: I’m moving to Pittsburgh. My best friend lives there, and already has a super cute little house. I’m hoping to transfer my job out there, since we have a ‘sister’ center just ten minutes from the house. The original plan was to move after surgery, but considering the fact that (Development #4) I’ve still got 30+ pounds to lose, isn’t happening fast enough. I can’t afford to stay here and pay out the nose for a room. I can’t mentally afford to stay in the same place, the same rut I’m in. I’m ready for my next adventure.

 

So now I’m working on essentially transferring my surgery out to Pittsburgh. There’s a great program really close to my future home, and I think that, so long as my insurance remains the same, I’ll be able to get my surgery much sooner than if I remained here in Maine.

 

Starting weight (~August 1, 2016): 400.7lbs

Goal weight (for BMI of 60.0): 333.5lbs

Current official weight (March 23, 2017): 365.9lbs

Current unofficial (home scale) weight: 362.0

Total weight lost: Between 34.8lbs and 38.7lbs

Left to lose: 32.4lbs to 28.5lbs

67e0f759216fc1cd1f86ef1bdc5a8b88

Momentary love

People talk about love as if it’s never-ending. Once you’re in love, you’ll always love that person to some degree. Love is a long-term investment in the eyes of many, if not most. I disagree.


I loved Amine for a weekend. I loved Zak for two weeks. I loved Neil for a year. I loved Velvet for a decade. I still love Nick.


Love is no less important, no less transforming, and certainly no less real whether it lasts forever or just a few days. In some of these cases I knew our time together was short, that we wouldn’t be together forever… but I gave my whole self over to the experience of loving another person for however long we had together.


I have a tattoo on my arm that says “Take my hand, take my whole life too” from an Elvis song. This is genuinely the way I love. I don’t half-ass it. I don’t hold back. I don’t reserve parts of myself for the ‘just in case this doesn’t work out’ scenario. If I love you, I give all of myself to you.


There is nothing wrong with loving someone momentarily. Life is made of moments. Certainly loving this way may open the door to some potential pain, but you can’t go through life being afraid of a broken heart. Give yourself to other people… I’ve learned that the more deeply I love others, the more I love myself.

Sleep studies should be called ‘lack-of-sleep studies’… oy vey.

I mean, really… Folks, how am I supposed to get any sleep at all with all THAT attached to my body? I’m also a stomach sleeper, so lying face-up and trying to sleep was awful. Second only to the goop they put all over you to keep the electrodes in place… I really ought to have taken a picture, I looked like a freakin’ animatronics project!

Overall it wasn’t awful though. The tech came in a few hours into my ‘sleep’ to put the CPAP on me, so I guess we can expect that in the near future. Not surprised, really, but I’m certainly not looking forward to it.

In other news, I’m finishing my move across town this weekend. I’m down on the scale, but I don’t like posting numbers from anything other than my nutritionist’s scale for continuity purposes. Overall I’m feeling really pleased. I find myself easily staying under my 1600cal/day goal most days, unless it’s a fun event or something. I’m really noticing some body changes, especially in my face and double chin. Hopefully this dang surgery is scheduled soon! 🙂

Nearly halfway there, hallelujah.

I was pretty disappointed by my last weigh-in at the nutritionist’s office, which I think was like 1.3 pounds. Today my friends… I am down 11.4 pounds in five weeks! I’m nearly halfway there! 27lbs down, 33 to go!


I also found out today that I’m going to have an overnight sleep study. I’m kind of annoyed by that, since we had to do the overnight oximeter at home four times! 🙄 But it’s all part of the process, smaller steps to get to the big finish, so I’ll do it with as little whining as I can muster… 😋
373.4lbs today. Down over 45 sticks of butter since my last weigh-in, and  down 108 sticks of butter total!

Swedish meatballs

I went to the dietitian again today, and in the month since I’ve been there, I’ve only lost 1.3 pounds. It’s fairly par for the course in my life… I have a decent run with weight loss, and then stall out. I’m trying not to be too critical, since in that month we’ve had Christmas, New Year’s, and I was on vacation, but it’s still pretty defeating since I’ve still been pretty decent when it comes to what I’ve put in my body. I need to get better and exercising… I have another appointment in one month, and I’ll be damned if I’m only down a little over a pound again. I just ordered a scale on Amazon, so I can keep better track of it myself instead of going a month between weigh-ins.

4.5 sticks of butter since last time. 64 sticks of butter total. Progress, however slow.

The start.

 

These photos have been saved as a draft on here for weeks. I found this card shortly before Christmas, and to be really real… I sobbed. I lost it. It still makes me cry as I sit here, weeks later, and think about the little girl who sat down with her mother (the drawings with words are mostly hers) and made this card. I must only be five or six in this photo. I wonder what I thought at the time. Was I proud? How long had the focus been on my body, my weight?

I know without a doubt in my heart that my mother’s intentions were good. I know that. But does it surprise anyone after seeing this card that I’ve struggled with my weight and food my entire life? Because I’m not surprised at all. And maybe that’s where my tears come from. Knowing, finally, where things went wrong. I don’t blame this on my mother, please don’t get me wrong… But I wonder how differently my life would be if the focus had been put somewhere other than my weight.

I think this is evidence of my first diet. Until my adult life, I cannot think of a time when I wasn’t on a diet. Christ, I’m still on a diet. My whole life has been about my weight. How sad is that?