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Day Nine

Well, this was a much better weight loss today.  Now weigh 136.9kg, for a total loss of 8.8kg.  At this rate, I am smashing the surgeon’s request to lose 5-7kg before the surgery next week.  Mind you, as I lose weight, Hamish is getting bigger.  I put a bowl on the kitchen scales & put him in the bowl.  He’s around 2.5kg now.  He turns 20 weeks next week! He is definitely going to be a big boy.  Especially compared to Breagha.  She was never any bigger than 3.5kg her whole life.  I always knew she was on the smaller size for a Ragdoll, but he’s going to be at least double her size, I think.  If not even bigger.

Really starting to look forward to eating food, rather than just drinking it.  Have had a couple of occasions where I could have mrdered for a hamburger or even a slice of pizza.  Pork crackling.  Mmmmmmmm.  But totally off the menu at this stage, and possibly forever.  Just have to push theough this point.  Less than a week to go & I don’t want to sabotage it now. Monday will be a busy day.  Early appointment with the pre admission clinic for my blood tests.  Then off to Bondi to get a hair cut (not a short haircut, but a significant amount off) so I can deal with it a bit better during hospital.  Plus, I will go to Spotlight to look for nicer buttons for the baby gift, if I can find them.  As well as getting my nails done.  Either infill or total removal.  It will depend on what the hospital says.  Some patients with this surgery have been told they have to remove their nails so that they are better able to monitor their vitals.  Others haven’t been given this instruction at all & everything was fine.  So, we’ll see what I need to do on Monday.

Report more tomorrow.  Not that much longer now.

Day Eight

I will be here in a week.

I will be here in a week.

Well, the weight loss is better today.  138.4kg, total lost 7.3kg.  I was a little concerned when I lost so little yesterday, only 200gms.  But things seem to be back on track today.

I got my letter from the surgeon outlining my medical history, current weight, BMI, etc.  In it he talks about what procedure he plans to do.  He also talks about the goal weight he is setting for me.  He has set a goal of 100kg.  Well, that’s not enough for me.  I want to lose more & be under 100kg. A weight of 100kg would still make me Morbidly Obese, instead of the current Super Morbidly Obese.  I would like to get into the overweight range, if not the normal weight range.  I guess a target of 100kg is a start.

We are now a week in to the process, preparing for the surgery.  Not sure of the exact time for the surgery, but a week from now, I will be on the other side & on what some call, ‘The Loser’s Bench’.   It’s all getting very real.

Reports more tomorrow,

Day Seven

Well, the weather is much cooler today.  The heat was insane yesterday.  Even though I was wearing a hat, by the time I walked dowm Market St, my face was a delightful shade of red & stayed that way for a couple of hours.  It was so hot, I had to powder my hands while I was knitting & even then, my hands were still feeling sweaty.  I had to stop knitting at onestage because I couldn’t concentrate it was just too hot.

I have a nice temporary filling now. After I recover from the surgery & can travel into the city (with the horrible transport we now have), I will schedule some appointments to get things dealt with.

I weighed myself this morning & I only lost another 200gm today.  139.1kg, total 6.6kg.  I’m not going to be depressed about it.  It might be all the water I drank yesterday because of the heat.  So not panicing.

I saw the cardiologist today.  He said there are no signs of heart disease & he’s given me a clearance for the surgery next week.  He also said that the blood pressure medication I take (currently) could be triggering my cough.   Apparently it is a side effect.  Didn’t know that.  Most of the cough has now gone.  Just the occasional tickle & cough.  Nowhere near as bad as the last two weeks.  I have wanted to eat something today.  But I am hanging in there.  Only another week to go.  I can do this.  Or at least I keep telling myself that.

Hamish is being quite clingy today.  He’s currently asleep, resting between me & the arm of the recliner.   Finally finished the back of the dress today & started casting on the stitches for the front.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel getting closer.  The cooler weather makes knitting much easier too.

Report more tomorrow.

Day Six

So.  How much does a tooth face weigh? Why? I hear you ask.  Well, this morning I was having a eucalyptus & honey lozenge, because my throat is still a little tickley, and the face of a tooth just came off! The irony is that other than these lozenges, I haven’t really had anything solid (steamed veggies don’t really count) for almost a week! I’ve managed to get an appointment at the HCF Dental Clinic for this afternoon.  They will be able to at least do a repair job.   9 days until surgery.

i weighed myself this morning.  The result: 139.3kg.  Total loss so far is 6.4kg.  I have the appointment with the cardiologist tomorrow afternoon for the final clearance.  When I have my pre admission clinic at the hospital on Monday to have my blood tests re-done & information on what time to arrive on the 15th etc.  it’s coming quickly.  I alsoneed to aks them about my acrylic nails.  I belong to a support group on Facebook for peoplewhohave had, or are contemplating bariatric surgery.  Some people had been toldthey had to remove their acrylic nails, and some were told nothing & kept them on for the surgery.  So I will ask on Monday.  That way I can either get themtaken off, or infilled after the clinic appointment, seeing as the appointment is at 9am.

Had a big knitting spurt last night.  Got quite a lot done.  But now I am worried I won’t have enough to complete the last piece.  So, I will go into the city early this afternoon & go to Lindcraft before I go to the dentist.  The Lindcraft store is almost next door, so it won’t be a problem.  The only real problem will be getting back home, now that my buses no longer go any further north than Central Station.  Oh well, the travel in, the waiting for the dentist & the travel back will give me more time to knit.  I’ll pick up the ribbon & buttons I will need at Lindcraft while I’m there too.  This gift is getting there.

According to the support group, I can expect to gain weight when I leave hospital.  That will be due to the gas they use to inflate the stomach, and the IV fluids they pump into you.  They say that after a while, not only will that gained weight disappear, but the weight I will have lost since the surgery will also become apparent (the gas & fluid hide it for a while).  So the first week or so after the surgery, I may not post my weight.  It won’t be because the surgery has not been a success.  It will just be because the scales won’t be telling the true story.

Well, better get showered & dressed, ready to go out.  More tomorrow.

Day Five

Why is it so hot in the season.  We still have 6 weeks until Summer, and it is already 34.9C here today.  In fact, it was 18C at 3 am this morning.  Thsi will explain why I had such problems sleeping last night.

Last night was not a great night for me.  For the first time since I started the Optifast, I really wanted to eat something, other than just steamed veggies, last night.  I looked at my fridge.  There isn’t much in there at the moment.  I emptied most of it out on Wednesday.  Just as well.  I think I would have made a peanut butter & honey sandwich if I had had the bread in the fridge! I left some cheese in the fridge for some time after the surgery.  I really thought about just grabbing a slice to eat, but I thought…. better not.  The whole point of the Optifast & veggies for two weeks is to kick start the weight loss, amd to also shrink the liver.  When they do the surgery, having the liver smaller, makes it easy to move it out of the way to access the stomach.

I really don’t want to sabotage this whole thing.  I know that eating a single slice of cheese won’t be a total disaster & won’t completely derail the process, but I have committed to having this surgery because I can’t lose the weight by myself.  I need to prove to myself that I can do it.  I need to prove to myself that I will do this long term.  If I can’t do this for just two weeks, how will I do it for the rest of my life? I know I won’t be perfect all the time (like possibly on the trip next year), but I need to be perfect for at least these two weeks.

I weighed in this morning.  I weigh 140.9kg.  So, since I started the Optifast I have lost a total of 4.8kg.  I started with a BMI of 54.8.  That is known as Super Morbidly Obese.  There I said it out loud, and in print.  When people who know me, see me, probably don’t realise just how heavy I am.  Well, here it is.  I am heavier than most people think.  In 5 days I have managed to bring my BMI down to 53.  It’s a start.   Not the end of the journey, just the start.

Hamish is not happy with the heat.  He hs bee laying in the hallways, trying to catch any breeze that he can find.  He has even tried attacking something under the security door.  There was nothing there, but he really wanted to get it.

More tomorrow.  If I don’t melt first.
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Day Four

Even though it is still early now, I have been up since 3am.  Why? It is the first weekend in October & my Church has its Semi Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.  So I got up early in order to watch the Saturday Morning session.  Had problems with the internet this morning, so I missed almost 30 minutes of the session before I could get it to work.  It was really good.  Talking about how to be ‘in the world, but not of the world’.  How better to get a balance in your life.

Currently watching the Saturday Afternoon session.  We had three new Apostles called into the Quorum of the Twelve today.  There had been three deaths within the Quorum since the April Conference.  The last time we called three Apostles at once was in 1906!  They are the 98th, 99th & 100th Apostles of this dispensation.  It is a wonderful thing to see how God’s Church operates, simply & without rancour.  It is from the Quorum & the two Councillors to the President that the Prophet (President) is called following the death of the Prophet.  It is always the most senior Apostle who is called to the position.  When I say ‘senior’, I don’t necessarily mean the oldest.  Seniority is determined by the order in which they are ordained to the position of Apostle.  If more than one man is called on the same day (like today), then the order in which the ordination takes place will determine their seniority.  When the current Prophet dies, there willbe no politicing.  No voting.  There will just be a meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve, with the two councillors taking their places according to their seniority, they will pray about it & will sustain the most senior among them to the position.  He will then choose his two councillors. If someone wants to become Prophet, they would have to outlive everyone who is more seniorto them.  So unless they kill people, which would disqualify them for the position, they will only attain thenposition if God wants them to do so.

Well, I didn’t get out of the house yesterday.  Instead, I ordered the things I needed online to be delivered instead.  I weighed myself this morning.  142.2kg today.  That’s 3.5kg gone.  I think at this stage it is good that I didn’t go to the supermarket.  It was bad enough on Friday as I came home from the surgeon, to pass the cafė at the end of my street on the way home from the bus stop.  I was thinking…. I really would love a nice hot chocolate now.  But I didn’t stop. I kept walking back to the house without stopping.  The smell as I passed was terribly tempting, but I resisted.

Have to take Hamish for his checkup today.  Things are improving.  Except he managed to get poop stuck on his fur last night & managed to get it on things where poop should not be.  If you think I was not happy about it, you are right.  I saw a post from a Ragdoll breeder that I follow on Facebook today.  One of her clients has to relinquish her two male Ragdolls, Han Solo (his twin died soon after birth which left him as the only kitten in his litter) & Chewbaka because she is not permitted to keep them any longer.  If I was working & had a car, I would take them in a heartbeat to add to Hamish.  But I don’t, so I can’t.

More tomorrow.  Still not struggling with the Optifast.  Not bored with it yet, but I expect I will be the closer it gets to the surgery date.

Day Three

Well, here I am again.  Reporting in as promised.  This is the longest continuous strech of posts since I started this blog years ago.

So, the weight this morning was 143.1kg.  That is a total loss of 2.6kg since I started.  So, I think I am well on my way to my surgeon’s target of 5-7kg before the surgery.  I need to go shopping to get some more steam veggies for the freezer, as well as getting some chewable vitamins & Berocca for after the surgery.  I also need to get some more Vicks Vaporub & eucalyptus lozenges.  The cough is getting better.  Not much coughing today, which is good.  If this isn’t gone before the surgery date, it will be postponed & I will have to go through the pre op diet all over again.  As much as I am, so far, finding the Optifast easy to tolerate I am not looking forward to having to do it all over again if I can avoid it.

Just sitting here, about to have my lunch & then do some knitting, while I watch the BYU – UCONN game.  Why does it have to take 3 hours to play just 1 hour of actual game? Soooo slow.  At the moment BYU is leading, so that’s good.

Looking forward to General Conference tomorrow.  The Saturday Morning Session will be about 3am due to us starting Daylight Saving during the night.  I’ve made sure my TV internet has BYUtv saved as a favourite, so it will be quicker to be able to watch.  With the TV now wired directly into the internet, I am hoping there isn’t too much buffering.  It is really annoying to try to watch it when it stops & starts.  Guess I will need to go to bed early tonight so I can get up & watch.  It is possible we may have three new Apostles announced tomorrow.  The last time they announced three at once like this was in 1906.

Talk again tomorrow.  I promised I will report daily.

Day Two

As promised here is my report on Day Two in my journey towards what some refer to as ‘The Loser’s Bench’.

The first day of the Optifast diet went surprisingly well.  I mentioned to the surgeon at today’s appointment that I had tried Optifast when it first came onto the market here years ago, but that I couldn’t stand it.  Especially as it is being made with just water, not any form of milk.  I wondered if maybe they had changed the formula in the intervening years.  He responded that it is probably that I am finally in the right mindset to see this through this time.  I bought 4 boxes of Optifast last week to see me through the entire two weeks.  One each of four different flavours: Vanilla, Chocolate, Caramel & Banana.  They are all nice tasting.  I have one of these three times a day.  Usually breakfast, lunch & a late snack.  For dinner I have a packet of steam vegetables.  Quick, easy & satisfies the diet requirement.

I weighed in this morning.  I was 145.3kg today.  That is a loss of 400gm.  The surgeon wants me to lose between 5-7kg before the surgery.  On this diet, I think that is doable.

I dropped off the papers for the hospital.  I will be admitted to the hospital on the morning of my surgery.  The surgeon expects me to be in hospital 2-3 nights.  I see the cardiologist fr the final clearance on Wednesday of next week & have my pre-admittance clinic, where they will test my bloodwork again to make sure the Optifast hasn’t done something funny to it, on the Monday before the surgery.  I will book Hamish in for boarding from the night before my admittance.  Not having a car or anyone to drive me to the hospital, and I’m not sure what time I have to be there yet, I don’t think it will be practical to try to drop him off on the way to the hospital.

Things have gone so quickly, from when I started this process to when I am scheduled for surgery.  It just confirms to me that I am making the right decision.  More tomorrow.

Day One

Well, the journey has begun in earnest today.  Wasn’t sure whether to title this post Day One or Day 15.  It would depend if I was counting down to the Surgery day or counting up to it.  Looks like I have decided to count up.

My weight today is 145.7kg.  In the last couple of weeks or so, I have been eating things that I won’t be able to have any longer.  Sweets, chocolate, breads, bacon (Mmmmmm,,,,,, Bacon!) etc.  So, what’s happening?  Well, about 4 weeks ago I saw my Doctor and admitted that I cannot do this myself.  I have tried to lose the weight and it just hasn’t happened.  I have tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Gloria Marshall, Lite and Easy, Biggest Loser Club and just changing my diet.  I do alright for a couple of weeks and can get down to maybe 138kg and then it all falls apart.  My Doctor had talked to me a couple of years ago about taking the surgical option.  At the time I was determined to do this myself.  I thought taking the surgical route was cheating or being lazy in some way.  I have now come to understand that sometimes it is the only way to do this.  It isn’t cheating or lazy at all.

I cleaned out my fridge last night.  What food I wasn’t able to consume was thrown out last night.  Luckily it was the night for the rubbish bin to go out. So now my fridge looks like I am poor (which I am at the moment).  There are some things in there for later, my water filter and bottles of water (from the filter, not bought in shops).  That’s it.  Most of the shelves are completely empty.  The only raw food really that is in the fridge is the chicken breast for the kitten.  Hamish (the new kitten, well, not really ‘new’.  He’s been with me for just over two months now) appears to have some sort of irritable bowel syndrome.  He doesn’t like any form of packaged cat food, and I have tried lots of different ones.  He likes chicken breast (raw or cooked) and BBQ chicken.  I would buy the chicken and then strip the carcass and put it into a container and feed some to him at meal times, as well as have some myself.  I noticed his tummy seemed to be very round.  Almost pot bellied.  He had developed a habit of pooping under the settee in the lounge room.  Not only was it messy, but it was very smelly and not very poop like at all.  The vet has instructed that he only be fed 20gm of fresh chicken breast three times a day, with Slippery Elm powder sprinkled over it.  Plus he has 1/3 cup of a prescription dry food once a day.  I tried to give him some chicken liver (between 10-15gm) with the chicken breast, as per the Vet’s instruction, to give him more vitamins.  The first couple of times was fine.  But after that, Hamish would either leave the liver in the bowl or he would dump it on the floor!  After the first week of trying every meal, I gave up on the livers.  Hamish is still gaining weight, even with the very restrictive amounts.  Although, Hamish doesn’t like the small amounts at all.  He often meows at me wanting me to feed him more.  I remain resolved and haven’t done so.  I have an additional litter tray in the lounge room now, and he poops in there.  He won’t poop in the original litter tray for some reason I have yet to understand.  His poop is becoming more poop like and the smell is getting better.  Hopefully, I will eventually be able to move the litter tray out of the lounge room (It’s in a corner, not on prominent display, thankfully) and maybe into the bathroom.  Will have to see later.


Hamish, sharing the recliner with me.

So, two weeks from today I will undergo a Gastric Sleeve procedure.  I know it is drastic, but with a BMI of over 54, drastic is what is needed.  I have trouble walking up and down stairs.  I get puffed walking up even moderate inclines.  I’m not getting any younger and I need to do something about this.  Remarkably, I am NOT pre-diabetic.  That amazes me, every time I think about it when I consider what I would eat.  The amounts of sweets and chocolate.  I am at risk of stroke at this weight.  I already have high blood pressure.  By losing weight, I can reduce my risks, and possibly eliminate them altogether.  I will try to document my journey each day.

Today has been the start of the Optifast only diet in preparation for the surgery.  This diet not only should shed some weight before the surgery, but it will also shrink my liver.  This means it is easier for the surgeon to move the liver out of the way in order to perform the procedure on my stomach.

This whole procedure has happened very quickly.  As I said, I spoke with my Doctor only about 4 weeks ago.  I saw the assessment team on 9 September, and the surgeon two days later.  I saw the dietician about 10 days ago and will see the cardiologist for the final clearance next Wednesday.  The surgeon just wants to be sure there won’t be any issues with my heart due to my age.

I have been exempted from having to look for work at the moment.  It made no sense for me to be applying for jobs when I am not in a position to accept a job offer because of the surgery.  The good thing is it is giving me time to do some knitting.  A friend is having her first baby some time this month.  I have been dawdling with getting this finished.  Now I have to push myself to get it all done.  My own fault.  Time to get back to the knitting.  Talk again tomorrow.

What’s the Point?

Seriously. What’s the point in even trying any longer? I am getting sick and tired of applying for positions that will never employ me.

I had an interview last week for my ideal job. Admin assistant for the music department in a prestigious school. I have been in tears since I found out yesterday that I didn’t get it. I am so tired of trying and not getting anywhere.

It has been 14 months of trying. With my skills and abilities and experience, I should have been employed by now. And yet…. I sit here, still having to go through the charade of applying for jobs every week. Most employers don’t even bother to get in touch with you at all.

I am sick of being told that I ‘impressed’ them. Clearly not enough. I am sick of being told that I am ‘over qualified’ because we all know that is rubbish. What they really mean is I am too old, but they can’t actually say that because if they did I would be able to sue them for age discrimination. I’ve done everything I can. Completed courses, fasted, prayed, applied for job. All for nothing.

I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to go out. I just want this to stop.