Monday, April 28, 2014

Exhaustion

Man oh Man I'm tired.

Remember a few weeks ago when I had my blood tests done?
Everything came back just awesome and perfect with the exception of ONE THING.....

My Iron. 

My level was 8... The normal range was 28-56.  Yeah.  WAY LOW.

And I've known that for over a week and have yet to get any Fe tabs.  I need to do that.  Because I'm just pure exhaustion lately.

I had a fantastic weekend of shoe modeling and shopping at what I basically consider a high class flea market-- the Southern Women's Show.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

TBT TenThingsThursday

1. Tuesday night, the little sleep I did get, I dreamed about having pain in my port, only to wake up to actual bruises on my stomach, in a fairly straight line, across the area where my port would be under the skin dependent upon which way I'm laying. Not sure how that happened as this is the first time, but it's uncomfortable.

2. Speaking of dreams, I had a strange dream about Mr. Banker's best friend's wife last night-someone that I have never met, only heard of by the way. This after Mr. Banker hit rock bottom for me last night, leading me to the point that I swore to him on my life that he will never hear from me or see me again, at least not on purpose. I do not make empty promises.

3. I also had a dream about Max last night. I wish I hadn't, because I don't think of him that often anymore but this dream left me longing for the happiness he once made me feel.

4. I'm guessing you've figured out by now that I dream A LOT.

5. The new job is going well. I still like it a lot, although I'm very busy. But busy is good and I'm happy. I miss having work friends, I don't have that here. I think everyone is too busy to make friends at work.

6. BUT! I love my blogger friend Donna that I get to see on a more regular basis due to my new work location. She is just the most positive person and so funny.

7. There is a serious design flaw with this building though. I drink about 120 oz of water during my work day, which leaves me making frequent trips to the little ladies' room... but I have to remember my key fob to get to the bathroom and back to my desk! What a pain in the @$$!

8. I have been feeling really blessed lately.  For my amazing friends and family.  I couldn't ask for more amazing people in my life.

9. My favorite #THROWBACKTHURSDAY song:

You're welcome



10.  This will likely be my last TTT post as a 25 year old.  How crazy.  I'm closer to 30 than to 20.  I'm excited for my birthday.  Regardless of some really negative stuff going on around me lately, there is nothing better than a good birthday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tired of hearing about revision yet?

Almost at the finish line.



I've done everything for the insurance approval.  The last thing left that my doctor wants to do is my EGD on May 5.  It isn't a requirement but if they find anything wrong (dialated esophagus, erosion, slip) then it would definitely help to get insurance approval to say my band is "malfunctioning".  He will not be saying my band is 'leaking' because he doesn't believe it to be the case.  My PA and I both know that saline is going SOMEWHERE though.

My psychology evaluation Monday was interesting.  I was really annoyed I had to do it.  I had 2 computer tests and then 3 paper evaluations.  All of those in addition to the LONG questionnaire I filled out prior to my visit.  I hate those computer tests because the statements are true/false statements that are very black and white and I live in a world of grey.

For example, one statment that kept coming up was something like:

"Most people will cheat to get ahead."
My first inclination is 'true', but then I think well... a lot of people, not most.  And that is all dependent on the risk of getting caught too. 

"Most people will cheat on their spouse in the right circumstances."
Again, first inclination is 'true' unfortunately.  But then I think "well, about 50% of people... so I don't know if that's MOST".  But you're supposed to go with your first thought.

There was also a vocabulary test and a test where I had to complete some abstract patterns.

The tests showed I'm 'normal', whatever that means.  Even though I have a psychology degree, I don't put much stock in tests like that.

So then comes the in-person evaluation.  That was the part I was least looking forward to.  But it surprised me.  It provided some insight into who I am and why I am the way I am.  Most of which I'm not comfortable sharing here.

One thing we uncovered is that I find it difficult to ask for help when I need it.  She asked me if that is what was expected of me as a child, and I don't really think so.  She asked if I knew where that comes from in my life, and I really don't.  Something to think about I guess.  Maybe I'm just too prideful. 

I do think I will be making an appointment to see her again soon, even though it is not a revision requirement.  She was just really good at understanding me and helping me to work through some things I have never in my life said to anyone.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A year...

I'm trying so hard not to feel sad, but here I am unable to sleep because of my thoughts. Last year tonight I was unable to sleep for the butterflies in my stomach from the cute and funny guy I'd met earlier that evening. The man that you all came to know as Mr. Banker.

I never imagined a year could bring so much hurt. But I guess no one imagines that something will end badly in the beginning. And why? All because he couldn't commit. We both made mistakes, I'm not perfect. But I blame him. He just refused to make what we had real. I put deadlines on it in my head. Six months. But six months came and I was even more smitten with him. Then I said "the holidays" but thanksgiving came and I began planning his "25 birthday gifts of Christmas" and we decorated a tree together and he met some of my family. All I wanted for Christmas was a relationship. Yeah I'm a cheap date ha. I was sure we'd be official soon, things seemed to be going so well.

I even had some crazy idea that maybe if he got a job closer to me we could possibly consider living together. He starts the job we were working toward together on Monday next week. I'm happy for him.

I guess it's funny that I had given a holiday deadline and December 23  something happened between us that changed our dynamic completely. At first I thought it was going to help him realize what was important in life, that I really mattered to him. Wrong.

So here we are after quite a rollercoaster of a year. He still doesn't want me, but doesn't want anyone else to have me either. That's the topic of most of our arguing these days. I wish everything was different. I wish he didn't have this commitment issue. There was once a time I actually believed he loved me and didn't know it yet. I don't believe that anymore.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Comparison

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a fabulous Easter (Passover) weekend and I want to send a special GOOD LUCK to Luka Beth on her first day at her new job :)

My weekend was great.  Friday I went to Kohl's to pick up a wedding present for my cousin and found this lovely cobalt blue maxi dress that I just had to have.  They didn't have an XL in the dress I wanted so I picked up the Large and decided to buy without trying on.  I didn't expect it to fit just yet, but I'd save it for a while until it did.  It was only $20 and I loved it enough to wait until it fit.  But guess what?

 
I had to give you all a comparison because I love it :) 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

WLS approval is so much work!

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I look back on my first approval process for Lap Band in 2012, it seems so easy now.

July 4, 2012 the idea of having a band popped into my mind.
My first appointment was July 20, 2012.
I was approved August 16, 2012.

It flew by.

So yesterday I went to get my EKG.  Took 10 minutes, no big deal.
I called my surgeon's office to ask if I could go for my blood work since I was only 5 minutes away.  Sure thing.  When I arrive, they inform me the bloodwork is done back at the hospital where I had the EKG.  Oh, and I need a chest Xray too.  So I got the EKG, Lab work, and chest Xray all done yesterday.

I'm excited to see how the lab results compare to 2012.  I still have those numbers.

Nutritionist tomorrow.
Psychologist (a 4 hour appointment!!!) on Monday.
And EGD on May 5.

I just really don't remember it being this much work and stress before.  But maybe 6 months from now, when I've had my approval and surgery (fingers crossed), this distant memory won't seem so bad either.
 
 
In other news, I got to meet an online WLS friend!
 
Cindy and I started following each other in Instagram in the winter and didn't realize we were both in NC for several months- only to find out we share the same surgeon.
 
Cindy is 8 months post-op with VSG and 90 pounds down.  She is so cute and funny.  It was great finally getting to meet her!
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Revision... The next steps

So what's next?

Tomorrow I am having an EKG done for 'pre-surgery requirements'.

I have submitted the paperwork to the nutritionist/psychologist to set up the appointment but I don't know when that will be. 

I'm having an EGD (scope down my throat to explore what's going on in there) on May 5.  Yep, minor "surgery" the day after my birthday.  I only consider it surgery because they knock you out for it.  If they find anything 'wrong' during this, that's basic automatic approval so I guess we're "hoping" for erosion or band slip or esophagus dialation.  Who hopes for those things?  Sigh.

After those 3 things, I guess we will try our hand at a submission to the insurance company.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Winner Winner.....Protein Dinner!

Yeah, I'm goofy!

We have two winners.... are you excited?

Congrats to Luka Beth and Stacey!
I hope that you both will enjoy the protein shakes and maybe even give us a review of what you thought of them!

A huge thank you again to mybariatricpantry.com for providing the Syntrax Matrix Sample packs to give away!

Happy Monday everyone <3

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Bariatric Pantry Matrix GIVEAWAY!



Who doesn't love a giveaway?!  aaaaaaaand who doesn't love free stuff??

Here's the deal:

You all have been hearing me go on and on about how much I LOVE My Bariatric Pantry and their variety of affordable protein shakes for over a month now.  And because I love them SO much, and because they have such AWESOME customer service, the nice people over at mybariatricpantry.com are helping me to let TWO of you lucky readers try out my favorite brand of their shakes: Syntrax Matrix Sample pack (One serving of all 9 Matrix delicious flavors:  Bananas & Cream, Cookies & Cream, Milk Chocolate, Mint Cookie, Orange Cream, Peanut Butter Cookie, Perfect Chocolate, Simply Vanilla, and Strawberry Cream)!  Two names will be drawn as winners- the same person cannot win both.

If you want to win, here's what you need to do:

1) Like the My Bariatric Pantry Facebook Page
2) Come back here and leave a comment on this post with your email address so that I can let you know if you won

It's that easy!
BUT... if you want to increase your chances, you can get your name added again by doing one or more of the following:

a) Share this blog post on your facebook, and make sure you use the hashtag #winmybariatricpantrymatrix so that I can find you
b) Go find my instagram (holleealexandria) and share my post about the giveaway also with the hashtag #winmybariatricpantrymatrix
c) Share my blog/the giveaway on your blog.  If you choose this option, let me know you've done this in the comments section with your email address so that I'll remember to look.

Last thing, make sure you get your entries in by11:59pm Sunday, April 13th.  I will announce the winners on the next day, so that I can at least make two people have a very happy Monday :)

Thank you MyBariatricPantry.com!



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Something exciting....

You guys pumped?

I am!

And you all will be too!

Keep an eye out on the blog-something good is coming.  Okay, mine isn't quite as exciting as Miss Lorie's news yesterday, but you all will like it...

I better stop now before I *give it away* ((see what I did there haha))

Monday, April 7, 2014

April showers bring May flowers

Happy Monday Morning!

It's rainy here, but I can't even complain after a BEAUTIFUL weekend! 

Saturday I woke up and decided to go to the 8:30am bootcamp instead of 9:15 per my usual routine, but when I got there realized class actually started at 8am!  Fail!  So while I was "waiting on the next class" (which I didn't make it to), I went to home depot and decided my house needed some sprucing up!  I spent $14 and got 5 small plants to go around my mailbox, a bag of soil, and two hanging baskets of flowers!  Everything was on sale, they had signs up saying it was Springtime Black Friday.  Sweet.  Except it was Saturday, whatever.

I went home and planted flowers, weeded my flower bed...which hasn't started to look nice yet--hopefully that is soon to come, sweeped my front and back 'porch' areas.  Unfortunately, during all of this I was feeling quite dizzy.  I couldn't figure out what in the world was going on with me!  It wasn't until late afternoon that I realized I had forgotten 2 days in a row of my anti-depressant.  I was beginning to go through withdrawal.

During my dizzy spell I lost my balance and smashed my phone.  I had never done that before.  Off to Verizon for a new phone.

The rest of my Saturday consisted of lunch with my dear friend and her kids for her birthday and a cookout later with another friend.  I brought my sweet scared pup to the cookout because I didn't want to leave him home alone all day and he had the best time checking out her bunny!

Sunday I stayed home and rested, relaxed.  It was really nice.  I feel so rejuvenated today! 

A few weekend photos:

New flowers around the mailbox.  I'll get stones to go around it when I have a little extra money.
New bird bath.  Best part is that it's base is hollow, and it's covering an ugly sewer drain!
New hanging baskets!

I know, #foodporn.  or #candybarporn
I made my sweet friend a bouquet of chocolate because she's allergic to flowers.

Even my dog eats better than me!
A puppy cupcake <3

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More on Revision

I was so upset yesterday that I couldn't really form my post into a comprehensive blog, so you got the succinct ten points.  But I went home, wallowed in my misery, ate pizza, ice cream, and cried, and now I'm a little better.  At least better enough to explain what all happened at my appointment yesterday.

So my lovely PA, Erica comes in first to give me warning about what is about to happen with Dr. Y.  I guess I haven't made any secret about the fact that I prefer her presence to him anyday, on my blog, in the office, or otherwise.  I guess they thought hearing it from her first would soften the blow.

RNY

So Dr. Y comes in and right away begins telling me why he wants me to have RNY surgery (gastric bypass) instead of VSG (the sleeve).  He keeps going on and on about how we might as well knock it out of the park and get it right the second time around instead of needing a third surgery.  I couldn't take it anymore when he said "I just don't believe you will be any more successful with the sleeve than you have been with the band".

Excuse me?!

Was he insinuating I have not been successful with my band?!

So that's when I couldn't take anymore and chimed in.  I told him as much as I was trying to respect him and let him say his piece, I would rather keep my band than have RNY.  Please don't get me wrong, I am not against RNY.  This is a very personal choice, and each person has the right to make their own choice about which surgery, but RNY is NOT for me. 

I think I offended a WLS friend that I text with daily yesterday when talking about this.  It's just that as a medical researcher, I tend to look at things in terms of "overall outcome".  Basically that means, at the end of my life, how will this have effected me.  The answer here is "I don't know" because I intend, unless there are unforseen circumstances, to hopefully live another 50 years.  What would happen to my body after 50 years of malnourishment?  I don't know, and neither do the doctors.

Not to mention, there are much greater risks for a patient at a BMI of 35 having RNY as opposed to a patient with a BMI of 50.  That is when I said, and my BMI as of this morning was 34.8.  It just is not worth the added risk to me.  My outcome is not to do 'better' than I have with the band.  It is to do the same without the bimonthly adjustments.

I guess that's why Dr. Y "got it".

VSG

So... Now that I've gotten him on-board with VSG, we start to discuss that procedure, or should I say PROCEDURES.

Dr. Y then begins to explain that new research is showing that revision from LapBand to VSG is more risky than VSG to RNY or even straight up initial VSG because the band has caused scar tissue to form around the stomach.  When the band is removed, they also have to remove all of that scar tissue before performing the VSG surgery.  He prefers to do this in two steps.  First, remove band and scar tissue.  Let me heal for 3 months, then do the VSG.

An all in one procedure has greater risks of internal bleeding, sleeve leaks, and even death due to a longer operation (blood clots, etc.)  So he prefers the two procedure approach.

Nope.  Not happening.  This doctor probably hates me, because I let him know exactly how I feel about everything and why.  I told him I understand that the risks are greater, HOWEVER what happens if he removes my band now and 3 months later after I'm healed, the insurance denies my VSG request because my BMI isn't high enough.

Good, Dr. Y agrees.  My procedure will be an all-in-one.

But that brings up another issue.  The chances of getting approval at this point are kind of slim-to-none.  At a BMI of 35, insurance requires two co-morbidities.  What are my co-morbidities?  None.  Never had any.  I'm healthy as a (fat) horse.

Let's face it-- as Dr. Y put it, revision is for people who have not been successful with their first surgery.  How is he supposed to claim I've been unsuccessful when I'm consistently, even now, still dropping weight?  I mean, I weighed in yesterday 3 pounds less than when I saw them 2.5 weeks ago.  But he said he's going to put on his "Johnny Cochran hat" and do his best to get this to happen.

The other "hurdle" here is that BCBS is now requiring patients provide 6 months of weight history, and they have not had any luck using adjustment records for that, so I may have to START that 6 months now.  That is absolut horsecrap to me, considering they have 19+ months of weight history for me.

Overall, I went in with my research, notes, policy info so upbeat and sure it was all going to work out, and Dr. Y and his staff just really didn't seem hopeful.  I'm trying really hard not to lose hope and just giving it 'what is meant to be will be'.

All I can do now is just make sure I don't lose any weight between now and whenever they submit to insurance... whether that be next month or 6 months from now.  I have some small weights I'll stuff in my purse for the next weigh in though.  I think I can fit about 15 pounds in my purse.
--------------------------

Then after writing this post I kept thinking and I'm not even sure I want to go through all of this when I'm still losing weight.  They mentioned death due to the all-in-one type procedure so many times yesterday.  Maybe I will just have my port replaced to hopefully stop the leak.  I'm not sure anymore.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Fucking Tuesday

Man I am having a really freaking bad day.

Here's how my first revision appointment went.

1.  PA comes in and tells me I have to see Dr. Y (the surgeon) because he wants me to have RNY.

2.  Hell to the fucking no.

3.  Dr.  Y comes in and after 10 mins of him explaining why he wants me to have RNY (better results, faster, he wants me to lose 80 more pounds WTF!!!), I FINALLY interrupt him and tell him there's no way in hell at a BMI of 34.8 am I having RNY.

4.  Oh shit, he realizes my BMI is under 35.

5.  Ok, he's now on board with revision to Sleeve.

6.  However now that my BMI has gotten low, need to gain a few pounds.  Like at least 3.

7.  And oh damn, how are we going to get insurance approval?!

8.  I've probably been too successful to get approval.

9.  But what the hell, we're going to try anyway.

10.  Next steps:  Nutritionist, Psychologist, and Upper GI series appointments.

So glad my hard work and dedication are paying off...not.

I rewarding myself with a milkshake after my appointment....Doctor's orders.