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Thursday, December 30, 2010

DAY 2 OUT OF SURGERY

guess i could start by reverting back to surgery day. i've been lazy the last few days and didn't wanna do much typing. i was still kinda loopy from all the pain meds, so it's probably a good thing i didn't try to type. prolly woulda put some crazy junk on here that didn't even make sense.

when we arrived at the hospital we had to admit ourselves and then go into the waiting room for a lil bit. then after like 30 mins, they took us into the pre-op room and we got a couples suite so we was together the whole time up until surgery time. but in the pre-op we had to strip down and get our gowns on and get cozy in our beds. they took blood pressure, started IV needle, gave shots of hepernan (don't know if i spelled that right) but it prevents blood clots. and we just kinda laid there in our beds talking for about an hour or so. nerves wasn't too bad - neither of us was freaking out. just kinda calmly awaiting them to come get me first, then him. i remember them giving me the medicine that puts you out in my IV right before they started wheeling me into the surgery room. i remember feeling really relaxed and groggy. i was semi-alert the whole time they pushed me from the pre-op area into surgery and when they moved me from the rolling bed to the surgery table. they then put the mask on me and i don't remember anything else from that point on until we was in our recovery rooms. when i woke up i was completely dry mouthed and wanted to guzzle some water super bad! my memories of the recovery room are sort of fuzzy - guess all the meds i was on once again...but i do remember using the bathroom for the first time after and it was really difficult. i had to really concentrate on peeing for it to come out. kinda weird! then i remember eating ice chips and lemon jello. the chicken broth wasn't tasteful at all, so i didn't eat it. kinda made me sickly feeling just the smell. smells have become wayyy more intense. mom came in our room with her mcdonald's breakfast and it was a breakfast burrito which i loved!, but just the smell of it was making me queezy.

i haven't had much gas - non at all in my shoulders *which is really common after this type of surgery, but super painful so i'm thankful i didn't have it* i've burped a little bit, but not much. been drinking lots of water, small sips of course, and eating jello cups, drinking my protein drink, and eating those luigi's italian ice cups.

i've had a few stomach contractions pretty often - don't know if it's a hunger pain or not. feels similar to what a hunger pain use to feel like, but last only like 2 seconds, then goes away. not too intense, but it is pretty often. when i drink it seems to slack up for a little while.

been blowing regular in my lung blower thingy. it helps to rebuild lung strength. shows how much capacity ur lungs are able to contain - and when we first went into recovery, our breathing was really shallow. it's helped us regain strength. we are suppose to blow up to the 1500 mark, and me and rick both are blowing well into 2500 range. :0)

all the nurses and staff at st. elizabeths was super nice & kind. could not have asked for anyone better. daniel and tyrone and leigh was our fave 3 nurses.

the ride home wasn't too bad - slept most of the way. got out at a mcdonald's in st. francisville where mom and traci got them a bite to eat - we walked around in the parking lot and stretched.

when we got home, we mainly just relaxed in our layzboys and about 9pm, walked upstairs with no problem and went to bed. slept pretty soundly also. woke up a few times to use the bathroom. walked around the room a few times and drank 4-6 sips of water then would go back to sleep. woke up at 9am this morning and felt pretty good. just been laying around mostly today. taking vitamins, and all the other meds we are required to take now. i'm sick of the house already tho. ready to go walk around and do something. i wanted to go back to work tomorrow and help cashier thru lunch at the restaurant, but mom and mawmaw said it prolly isn't a good idea with my immune system being down and all the germs up there and customers coughing all the time. don't wanna catch anything to make me get any worse.

right now the incisions aren't hurting too bad. my stomach just feels like i've been kicked in the ribs a few times and is internally sore, but overall bareable. trying not to take any pain meds here at home. i want to recoup on my own unless i just reall really really need some relief.

guess that's about it -- i'll try to update again tomorrow or the next day possibly. not feeling too spunky just wanna kinda rest and relax.

please keep ur prayers coming :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

'twas the night before surgery....

welp, tomorrow is the BIG day - of the rest of my SKINNY life! haha,...just kiddin'. i'll prolly never be skinny but it sounds good....just being smaller sounds good right now. so far my nerves aren't really getting to me. i'm not really as "scared" as i figured i would be. i am thinking a lot about what to expect tomorrow, but i feel like it will all go really smooth so i'm not worried. there's been lots of prayers go up for us concerning this surgery so i know it's in God's hands. :-) right now this liquid diet is kicking my butt pretty bad. not unbareable, but it's definately not easy. my stomach is growling non stop. usually the 2nd and 3rd days of a fast get easier and the 1st day is always rough but we only have to do this liquid diet 1 day which great, but day 1 is the hardest! ah well, it will all be over with soon. oh yeah, we can't drink anything after midnight tonight too - not even water!....can we say cotton mouth!?!?!? :-P
i'm planning on waking up at 2-2:30am to start getting dressing. take my shower, finish packing my last minute stuff and then get on the road by 5am to be at the hospital at 8am. the drive normally takes us about 2 1/2 hrs. my surgery is at 10am and rick's is 11am. i look for us to start freaking out more tomorrow upon arrival at st. elizabeth's. hopefully we stay calm and cool. rick acts like he's going to hyperventilate! haha

let's see...what else can i mention....OH! i went post-op grocery shopping - got lots of sugar free popcicles, sugar free jello, chicken broth, gatorade g2's, the protein drinks from GNC called isopure we have to have, lots of the crystal light water mix-ins for a boost of flavor in our water,...and my fave so far - luigi's sugar free italian ice cups (lemon & cherry)...ahhh! it's sooo good. feels like i'm actually "eating" something, even tho it's turning into liquid once it goes down. it's still great when u can't "eat" anything. and for my creamy liquids phase later on, i got cream of chicken and cream of broccoli soup, sugar free jello puddings, etc etc...it's 2 days of the clear liquids, then days 3-14 is creamy liquids, days 15-30 is soft foods like fruits (non citric), baked fish, boiled shrimp, shaved turkey, peanut butter, eggs, cottage cheese, soft cheeses, etc etc. then back to normal foods but stearing clear of fried foods, starches, fats as much as possible. rule of thumb for us is water first, then protein, then fruits/veggies

ok well i'm kinda weak at the moment, so i'm going to lay back in my recliner for a bit while rick & trae' watch the saints game.

please please please remember to pray for us! that's the best thing u can do at this point. :0)

my sister or mom is going to update my facebook all day tomorrow for me to let everyone know how we are doing - if you would like to check on us, please visit my facebook at www.facebook.com/nikkigillespie83

"nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

6 MORE DAYS TIL SURGERY!!!

WITH EACH PASSING DAY IT'S BECOMING MORE AND MORE REAL....IT'S REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN! MY EXCITEMENT LEVEL IS STILL EXTREMELY HIGH, WAYYY OUT WEIGHING MY FEARS AT THIS POINT. I'M NOT SAYING I'M TOTALLY FEARLESS CAUSE GOD KNOWS I'M NOT, BUT I THINK MY ANTICIPATION OF THE FUTURE AND THE RESULTS TO COME KEEP ME FOCUSED  ON THE POSITIVES MORE THAN THE NEGATIVES. MY MAIN CONCERN NOW IS PROBABLY RECOVERY GOING SMOOTHLY AND WITH AS LEAST AMOUNTS OF PAIN/DISCOMFORT AS POSSIBLE MORE SO THAN THE CHANGE IN LIFESTYLE AFTERWARDS TOO. I DO WORRY/THINK ABOUT HOW THE NEW LIFESTYLE IS GOING TO EFFECT ME MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW WEIRD AND DIFFERENT IT'S GOING TO BE GOING FROM EATING AS MUCH AS I DO AND HAVE DONE FOR YEARS TO JUST A FEW BITES AT A TIME AND NOT DRINKING WHILE I EAT. NOT BEING ABLE TO GUZZLE WATER LIKE I DO NOW. IT IS GOING TO BE A HUGE CHANGE. THAT IS WHAT MOST OF THE PRAYER I HAVE REQUESTED IS FOR....TO ACCEPT THE CHANGES AND THOUGH IT IS A DAILY BATTLE, MAY IT BE AS LIGHT AND EASY OF ONE AS POSSIBLE. I FEEL LIKE I AM READY - READY TO TAKE ON A NEW CHAPTER OF MY LIFE - READY TO HAVE A FRESH START - READY TO EAT TO LIVE AND NOT LIVE TO EAT ANY LONGER!!!!

ONCE AGAIN, PLEASE PRAY FOR US ON THIS JOURNEY - UR SUPPORT MEANS THE WORLD BUT THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR US IS PRAY. ME AND RICK LOVE AND APPRECIATE EACH ONE OF YOU SO MUCH! <3

TIL NEXT TIME....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pre-Op Appt Update 12/16/10

testing 1,2...testing 1,2....whew! tests, tests, and more tests! we was there from 9am til almost 4pm. we had the pre-op done at st. elizabeth's hospital which is on the grounds where dr. hargroder's office is. we started out and done blood work/labs first - then off to the e.k.g. - next was the upper g.i. - on to the pre-admit lady Linda (who i LOVED) to discuss all the cans and can'ts before surgery and on the day of surgery - then to see the nutrionists to talk about our 3 phase diet immediately following surgery until all is healed. it did take quite some time, but it was overall a pleasant experience. like i said previously, everyone there is so caring & understanding. they don't treat u like a number or just another patient...but really take time to get to know you and your wants & needs by answering any questions u may have.

but all of our testing was fine...everything checked out good - our general doctor there on site, Dr. Shawn Hall *it's a lady!* was super sweet and she gave the clearing for us to proceed with sugery as planned.

so now our next move is surgery!!!! yippeee!!! did i mention how excited i am! i just can NOT imagine myself being under a size 16. i have stayed at a size 22/24 for YEARS now...since like 7th grade. i just recently had to start buying 26/28's in some things...that's when i knew it was defiantely time to do something because that's the largest size in most any stores...even in the plus size stores!!! ugh! so awful.

it's going to be amazing to watch as clothes start to fit looser and correctly. right now everything seems so mis-shaped and frumpy. i'm not comfortable in anything anymore. i've gotten to where the only thing i feel ok in is my work clothes because it's a tshirt & elastic waist scrub pants. i don't hardly ever want to dress up anymore because all my 22/24 dressy outfits are getting tighter and makes me even more uncomfortable. i'm not saying this surgery is going to be a cure-all and make everything rainbows & clouds and butterflies....but it HAS to help in some ways! i'm sooooo ready to be happy with myself and be more confident in my skin. i've always hid behind big baggy clothes and full coverage items to keep from showing any flab or cellulite. now i don't mean i'm going to run around naked once i loose weight, but it would be nice to wear some nice shorts and a cap sleeve tee during the summer instead of a 3/4 sleeve shirt & long capris and not think about how huge my arm fat is! haha!

i guess most average sized people don't understand the mental and emotional stress and anguish that comes along with being obese...especially as a woman. but it's really hard. or it has been for me. i try not to show it as much as possible...but it's the in back of my mind 24/7 and i'm constantly reminded when i look in the mirror and almost always think to myself how much i would love to be smaller and more average sized. i never want to be rail thin...i honestly don't think i can be because i'm just a bigger built person - but being in like a 10-12 would be great for me i think. but that's why i'm doing this blog to basically vent and let others know where i'm at with my struggle because i often share it in person. and you probably wouldn't ever know because i hide it well behind laughter & personality. i will say this in closing....i do believe being bigger built my life has made me the person i am today. i do think it has kept me from making some bad choices in the past. granted i have been raised right & have an awesome family & support team - so if i would have veered off the road, it would not have been because i wasn't taught the right way. i have awesome parents/grandparents who showed me how to live by example --- but....again BUT!....at times growing up i did think about doing things i knew i shouldn't even WANT to do -- but i would momentarily...and because of my size, and my friends views of me, i just remained the quiet tall big girl and didn't really make any choice other than to sit there and stay the same. so like i said, i'm not saying i would have been a hell-cat by no means, but smaller built pretty girls tend to have more opportunities offered to them. some make the right choices, but most do not. and because of my size, lots of times i was never offered. point being!...i do feel like God had and has his hand on my life and i feel like i have been big the portion of my life that i needed to be to stay true to myself and my beliefs --- but now that i am older and happily married & can see more from the outside looking in, i know i can handle being more physically attractive & it not effect who i am. this may not make any sense at all to you, but it does to me and i'm doing this blog for myself as well. so if at time i post about something that seems pointless and boring, i don't mean to be - but i feel the need to document it for future reasons. :-)

thanks for reading once again! til next time.....

CONSULTATION & PRE-OP UPDATE

OK SO WE WENT TO THE CONSULTATION ON DEC. 6TH @ 1PM TO SEE DR. HARGRODER IN GONZALES, LA AND TALK TO HIM TO FINALIZED THE DECISION ON WHICH SURGERY WE WANTED TO DO...LIKE LAP-BAND, VSG, BYPASS, ETC....SO WE CHOSE THE VERTICAL SLEEVE. LOW-TO-NO COMPLICATIONS AND EASIER RECOVERY THAT OTHER OPTIONS WITH BETTER RESULTS THAN THE BAND FROM WHAT WE WERE TOLD. WE DISCUSSED FINANCIAL PLANS ALSO. EVERYONE WAS SOOO FRIENDLY AND NICE....ALL THE NURSES & STAFF & DR. HARGRODER WAS SUPER SWEET. VERY UNDERSTANDING AND CARING. VERY NICE FACILITY *UNLIKE ANY WE HAVE AROUND HERE!* BUT WE GOT THE DATES PINNED DOWN FOR THE PRE-OP - IT IS DEC. 16TH AT 9AM. THEN WE WILL GO FOR ALL THE TESTING ON THAT DAY TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS OK TO PROCEED WITH THE SURGERY ON THE 28TH. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S REALLY HAPPENING FOR ME/US! SEEMS UNREAL!! I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO A NEW ME IN 2011!! HOPE IT'S THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE :-)

decisions....decisions....

well this is my first post! yay! i guess i can start by telling about what made us (yes, me and my husband are both having the surgery on the same day!) decide to have WLS in the first place. ummm, obviously - we're overweight! lol...no but really we are at a really unhealthy place right now. granted, we are both still fairly young (i'm 27 & rick is 35) so youth is still on our side for the most part, but we both are very uncomfortable with our current size. clothes don't fit right, limited amounts on which clothes we can buy to begin with, aches & pains, lower back pain, have a hard time bending over for an extended period of time, feet hurt 24/7, get winded when walking for sometimes just a brief period....all in all we need to get healthier. surprisingly and thankfully me and him both have slim to no health issues besides all the discomforts listed above. no high blood, no diabetes, etc etc. but that i am 99.9% positive it will hit us all at one time if we continue to eat and gain weight. there is no way our bodies are equipped to handle this kind weight and pressure on a daily basis for years and years...eventually it will surrender & we will be left dealing with tons of doctor visit and standing in line to fill a sack full of prescriptions to aid with our ailments. this is not the way i nor him want to live. we want to feel better, look better, exercise more, enjoy life with no limitations. being overweight limits you in so many ways - and for smaller people, they don't understand i'm sure. i usually use humor to help myself cope with being big - but i'm just tired of that. i'm tired of having to make a joke out of it to make myself feel better. sometimes it's easier to laugh than cry. for those of you who don't know me or haven't known me since i was young....i have NEVER been small. i've always been the big tall blonde girl. i don't remember wearing a size smaller than an 18/20 since 5th or 6th grade up. and for someone who is only 12/13 yrs old, that's pretty big. i do tend to carry it better i'm sure than a shorter person would being as i'm 5'11 - but regardless of my height, it's too much weight! i currently weight 320lbs....YES 320! most people's jaw drops when i tell them this and they say they don't believe me (maybe they're just trying to be nice...haha) but it's true. i'm not proud to say that in the least bit. i'm actually saddened :( it's really sad i've let myself get to this point. i wish i had more self control but growing up in a southern family where food is put on a pedestal and it's what life revolves around,....it's hard to diet or cut back. i have tried and failed numerous times. each time it gets a little harder to swallow the defeat...thus my decision to have the VSG (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) done. i almost feel like i'm giving up or quitting the fight by having the surgery but when you hit the end of the road like i have with the struggles and ups and downs it almost seems like its your last chance. so i've or we, rather have chose to proceed with it. i am truly excited and can NOT wait to see where life takes me from here.

here's a little info about the surgery coming up. we are having it done december 28th, 2010 in gonzales, la at st. elizabeths hospital by dr. andrew hargroder. he's really great! awesome staff. it's scheduled for 10:00am for me & 11:00 am for Rick. the procedure takes about 45 mins to complete. it's laparscopic which means there aren't but about 4-6 small 1/2 inch size incisions. you can search VSG surgery on youtube.com and find a video i'm sure to see how its done exactly. anyways, we will be in the hospital for the night of the surgery and then we should be able to go home the next morning of the 29th once the doctor makes sure everything is fine. so it's not too bad of a deal. i'm sure the first few days are the hardest with pain, but usually from what we have heard from others, the pain is just about gone within a week or so. and i'm definatly not one for pain whatsoever....so that's kinda scary for me. this is our first surgeries EVER! yikes! but please be praying that all goes well and we recoup fast...because Lord knows we can't be down long with the restaurant running. i'll be ready to get back!! :-)  (and for my followers on here who don't know, me and my hubby own a local restaurant in town - grandparents started it in 1983 when i was 6 mths old...me & my hubby took it over in 2005.)

i wanted to make a brief list of some things that i hope to accomplish or achieve thru the weight loss. here a few and i'm sure it will continue to grow as i think of new things...here goes...

1. fit into normal ladies size clothing (preferably around a size 8-10)
2. fit into rides at the amusement park without having to wiggle to make my hips squeeze into them....this includes the movie theatre also! ;)
3. cross my legs completely, not just at the ankles
4. tie/put on my shoes without breaking a sweat & breathing heavy
5. run a mile and walk 5 miles without collapsing.
6. fit into victoria's secret undies ;)
7. not constantly worry about it my shirt is stuck in my jelly-roll
8. wear a swimsuit without having to put a tshirt & shorts on over it
9. sit in a seat/chair/stool/whatever without my hips and buttcheeks hanging over the sides.
10. GET PREGNANT!! :-)

welp, i guess i will end this post. thanks for reading...leave lots of comments or questions if you have any.....

OH! also, i am doing a video blog on youtube.com my user name is: nikkiglesp if you wanna look me up and subscribe!

CURRENT WEIGHT: 320
GOAL WEIGHT: 170