I’ve been absent, I know! I can’t really make any apologies for it, it’s a good thing for me. You see, I write when I’m in a bad place, so absence is a sign of positive things.
But I had to write today. Today marks one year since I made a change. A change that has hugely impacted my life, and the lives of my family.
One year ago today I had a Sleeve Gastrectomy. This involves my very awesome surgeon cutting away around 80% of my stomach. It is Bariatric surgery, performed on people who need some help to turn things around.
Sometimes I get told I took the easy way out. I didn’t. But you know what, even if it was the easy way out, does it actually matter? Bottom line is that I was once depressed, sluggish, riddled with health problems, and just floating through life, being a ‘bare minimum mum’. I am now excited, passionate, healthy, and full of life. So, does it actually matter?
The thing is, most people that say that either don’t understand it, or have witnessed someone post-surgery not treating their Sleeve with the respect it deserves. It is not a magic genie. It is not going to fix everything. You need to work with it, treat it gently, treat it with love – you’re in for the long haul together.
Anyway, without further ado, here are my before and after photos for the general public to see for the first time ever #terrified.
It’s the first day of Spring, the month of my birth, and it’s Thursday – which is only good because it’s nearly Friday.
I’m working on my environment. I have known for a long time that my environment impacts on my moods. If I wake up, get dressed, make the bed, and open the blinds I have a better day than I would if I stayed in my PJ’s, left the bed looking like a UFO crashsite, and kept the house dark and dingy like a Howarts dungeon (I’m the troll).
I’m not currently on my meds. I don’t know if I need to be or not. I can’t decide. I think I can keep off them as long as I work hard to keep myself balanced in other ways. Now that Spring is here the kids can go outside more! Yay! Other parents will understand the absolute joy that brings both the cabin-fever-kids and the pent-up-parents. The aim of the weekend is to have the backyard ready for lazy afternoons and cold drinks.
Sleeve life is treating me well. I can definitely feel the difference and I think people are finally able to see it too. Either way, the fact that it shows in the way my clothes fit is what matters to me. For example, I bought this AWESOME #mumlife t-shirt from Zeke Unique’s ”Equali-Tee’s’ range atleast two sizes smaller than I would have pre-surgery. Yes, that’s partly a plug. Zeke Unique is run by one of my very favourite mums in the whole world and she deserves many, many plugs.
The kids are good! Daniel is 8 months and crawling everywhere. Yesterday he even tried to stand up against a chair. Ugh. I am equal parts ready and not. I don’t want him running around the house all grown up any time soon, but it definitely does give me a little more freedom to get things done around the house, which inturn helps my mental state. It really is a good thing mostly.
Toby is…let’s face it, Toby is a terror! I swear sometimes he seems much older, then other times – like when he’s throwing every egg we own onto the floor, along with lettuce, yoghurt and maple syrup at 4am (check out the picture!). Or when he thinks his baby brother would make a great seat. Or even right now, when he’s chucking a tantrum because I won’t let him have another lolly!
Marky is a threenager through and through. He is so sassy. The other day he told me to get out of his room. Dude…really? Needless to say that didn’t go down so well. He has also started playing a lot of fighting games. Superheroes and ninjas are the ‘in’ thing. This is new to me. I have one younger sister. We played Barbies and sung along to Spice Girls.
Overall the two older boys are teaming up and driving me crazy. I love them like Donald Trump likes his hairpiece but I am really struggling with knowing how to parent them at the moment. I know they are doing normal things for kids their age, but it sure is exhausting. I need a night off!
One day at a time, one day at a time, one day at a time.
Anyway, I’d best go and check on the little ratbags because they are being far too quiet and we all know there is nothing scarier than a quiet toddler.
Well how slack am I? My poor little blog has been so neglected lately! I’ve spent most (all) of my time parenting and learning how to live with my sleeve. A lot has happened so I think I’ll go person by person here.
Mumma: So weightloss is happening. Slowly which is a little frustrating, but good in the sense that hopefully I won’t have too many issues with loose skin. I am currently on soft foods, which is very close to normal foods but not quite. I eat a lot of eggs, tuna and chicken. I did experience my first ‘oh no I’ve eaten far too fast, I have to get that out’ episode the other day. That was not fun.
PND is currently ok. I still have tough times but I’m starting to feel like they’re a normal level of tough and not an exaggerated one from PND.
I’m discovering that my sister and I have a completely different relationship now that she’s a mumma too. I’m absolutely loving it. We have a standing date to do food shopping together every fortnight and it is honestly one of my favourite days. Who would have thought that I’d enjoy doing the groceries?
All in all I’m doing well. Feeling healthier in body and mind. Have a beautiful old/new friendship. Life is not too shabby.
Marky: Marky is going well. He is starting to really like childcare and has told me he has made a friend. He is becoming such a little boy it is incredible to watch him.
I’ve just booked him in to see the physio and I’m a little worried about how much his ankles roll in. Hopefully all is well. He has a date to see the specialist Opthamologist in Sydney next year to discuss creating his tear duct. I hope the poor kid gets a break after all this.
According to measurements Marky is tall and skinny.
Toby: Toby is turning two in three days! I cannot believe it! He is such an adventurous little man with an incredible vocabulary.We had our first hospital trip with him yesterday after a big fall. He managed to rip the inside of his lip open and get a big cut in his gum. We have an appointment with the dentist in the morning just to get him checked out. He will be celebrating his birthday with a fat lip and some rather impressive marks around his mouth and nose.
According to measurements Toby is short and chunky.
Daniel: DJ is now seven months and his personality is just beautiful. He is almost always happy, you rarely see him without a smile on his face.He is extremely close to crawling and spends all of his time up on all fours, rocking back and forth. He says ‘Dad’, ‘Mum’ and ‘Bub’. He has a tooth on its way out. He’s not handling teething overly well, lots of drool and many, many tears, which is just so out of character for him.
According to measurements Daniel is tall and chunky.
I think we’re all caught up now. Life is just plodding along.
It has been a long few weeks of recovering from surgery, sick kids, and adjusting to my new life and as such I’ve been a bit hesitant to post.
Sometimes I just get too overwhelmed with anxiety to update. Which is silly because venting through my blog is an amazing stress reliever for me. It’s a mind game I play with myself.
So, an update. My surgery went great! I am officially on what my fellow weight loss surgery (WLS) patients call ‘The losers bench’! The first few days of recovery were tough. I was groggy for a crazy amount of time while coming out of the anesthetic. It was horrible. I faintly recall my family coming in to visit in between snoozes.
I remember opening my eyes and seeing my sister, then my parents, and finally my husband sitting next to me. I can’t explain how good it felt to see them. I squeezed hubbies hand so tightly. I didn’t want him to leave. Of course, he had to. He got to solo parent while I was in hospital for 3 days and he did an amazing job of it.
I continued to recover over those days. Starting with sucking on ice chips the first day and then progressing to water and clear liquids the next. On the day I left I got to have apple juice (which I have never liked, but now look forward to).
I had six incisions, which have all healed nicely. I still get some discomfort when I bend or twist in the wrong way, but overall I’m feeling good.
Eating is a very different experience. I don’t get hungry and I don’t find myself thinking about ‘my next fix’ anymore. I started pureed meals at the start of this week. That’s…interesting. It all looks disgusting (check out my deconstructed Shepherd’s pie) but it tastes like it normally would. Such a strange thing to adjust to.
I’ve lost about 11 kilograms so far. I don’t really see a difference, but I feel a difference in my clothes. Hubby has been doing the Optifast diet, which I what I had to do for two weeks leading up to surgery. He has been doing it for just over 4 weeks and has lost a mind-boggling 20 kilos. I so proud of him!
The kids are doing well, they are enjoying sharing all of my meals with me. Marky got accepted into Pre-school for next year! Toby is turning two next month and has just learnt how to open doors – it’s so super fun! (Insertnsert majorly thick sarcasm). Daniel has just turned six months old and is working on sitting and getting up on all fours.
Time really does go too fast. It’s devastating.
Hopefully now that I’m living a healthier lifestyle, I will be around longer. I want as much time with my family as I can get. Family really is the whole reason for everything I do.
Hopefully it won’t be as long between updates this time. The more my body recovers, the more my brain follows suit.
Things have been a little crazy! My surgery is TOMORROW! Insane.
I’ve been preparing like crazy (as much as I can) for the big day and I still feel unprepared. There is a lot to think of and I’m trying to remember it all, but I think my brain might explode it is working that hard!
I’ve been doing the pre-op Optifast diet for two weeks now and I have lost less than I’d wanted to…but I suppose this is the whole reason I need the surgery! Hubby has been doing it to support me (and for himself) and has lost around 12kgs. He’s pretty awesome.
My pre-op meal plan is as follows:
Breakfast – Vanilla Optifast shake with half a teaspoon of coffee. It tastes like an iced coffee and is actually delicious!
Lunch – Optifast Chocolate Bar. It kind of tastes like a space food stick. Not bad, not awesome either.
Dinner – At least 2 cups of approved non-starchy vegetables, cooked with a spoon of oil. My favourite has been Mushroom Stroganoff with either Slendier noodles (noodles made from vegetables) or cauliflower rice.
After Dinner -Optifast Shake or Bar. Usually a Chocolate shake.
If I feel like a snack I have diet jell, raw broccoli or carrot sticks.
I’m actually pleasantly surprised by how little I’ve struggled. I really thought I’d fail…but I didn’t! I made cupcakes and muffins with the boys and didn’t even lick the spoon! Willpower.
Hubby has been my rock. I definitely would have struggled without his support.
The boys are going well. DJ is rolling around the floor like crazy and Toby is getting his daily bump on the head from being too adventurous and hurting himself.
Marky’s surgery went really well for the most part. The Tonsillectomy went flawlessly. The Adenoidectomy went ok, they only did a partial removal as they found he has a short palate. They also discovered he has a Bifid Uvula – that dangly thing at the back of his throat is forked! Only 2% of the population have them and they are often signs of a partial cleft palate! So there you go! I honestly don’t know if it will cause any issues for him, I’ll be sure to ask at his follow up appointment. His hernia repair also went really well and he now has an ‘innie’, much to his disgust.
The only hiccup we had was with the tear duct clearance – the one I’d expected to be smooth. They weren’t able to clear the right tear duct and have referred us to a surgeon in Sydney to have another surgery done. They said something about putting a tube in for a few months to create a passage way. I haven’t had the appointment in Sydney yet so I really don’t know much about it. Hopefully it isn’t too major and things are finished for that little man for a while.
Anyway I’d best go and get packed for tomorrow. Big day. New life.
Wish me luck!
Today’s little wins:
Mumma: Stuck to my pre-op diet like a boss! No breaks!
Biggest-Little: Got through surgery like a champion. He fell asleep on me at one point in the hospital. I’ve missed that.
Middle-Little: Decided he wanted to spend some extra time with his mumma this morning and woke me up at 03:30am – silver linings, right?
Smallest-Little: Rolling here, there, and everywhere. He’s a happy goofy little man.