Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The worst part of bariatric surgery - supplements/vitamins

So they tell you over and over that you'll have to take bariatric vitamins/supplements everyday for the rest of your life. Not a big deal. I've always taken vitamins and received B12 shots every month. You need the vitamins because you will eat like 2-3 oz per meal and it is usually animal and soy based proteins. If you don't eat proteins you'll get sick and lose lots of hair.

Before my surgery I ordered some vitamins from a popular and reputable bariatric supplement company. I'm sure that if you google bariatric vitamins that this company would pop up in the first three listings in and below the paid ads. I ordered the cherry flavored. The problem is that they smell like cherry and taste like poop. Seriously, I gag every time I take them.

I highly recommend these
But, I did some more research because I was sure there was something better out there. I found out that almost everybody on the review for my vitamin and many others hated their taste. But, I did find one vitamin that got solid reviews and everyone said they tasted great and they were cheaper than the ones I ordered. They were, of all places, at the Walgreens right down the street. They were nearly half the price and they do taste great. Kind of like a vitamin C orange flavor with no after taste. They are from a company called "Optisource" for $25.00 for 120 tablets. If you've had the lapband you should chew up three to four a day.

Just to back up this story; my wife tried to eat one of the old ones and immediately spit them into the toilet and rinsed her mouth out and brushed her teeth frantically. I had to laugh. Then she ate one of these Optisource chewable tablets and she didn't throw up. Rather, she agreed with me and the other reviewers. These vitamins are as powerful as the others and they taste fine.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The roller coaster of emotions- My father-in-law's deterioration

It has been a difficult two weeks. On Monday the 12th of September, my father-in-law, Jerry, had a massive stroke. We drove from Colorado to Little Rock Arkansas that afternoon and arrived the next morning. It is nearly a 1,000 mile trek and I had to abuse my manic tendencies to drive the distance so my wife would be rested when we got to the hospital.

After five days he wasn't responding, but he seemed stable so we came home so Cheri could go to work on Monday. On Monday morning I called to check in with my mother-in-law and she told me he was having strokes on the other side of his body. I freaked. I thought that this was it so we drove back down to Arkansas because we didn't want her mom to be alone during this crisis. The week wore on and one moment he seemed to know that we were there and then he would not respond at all, but he remained stable so we came home last Saturday. I haven't called in to see how he's doing today. At this point our next trip will be for his funeral.

All of this driving for 14 hours straight and eating truck stop crap along with hospital food and fast food and just plain crappy food coupled with the fact that I had intentionally threw myself into hypo-mania four times plus having recently come off of a bad bipolar episode not only exhausted me, but it also changed the weight loss trend from down to stagnant to up.

Frankly, I didn't have the emotional will power to stay on my diet, plus I really don't feel the lapband yet. I need a few more adjustments so I can actually feel it and so I am truly restricted in food intake. Right now I think I could pretty much eat anything I want so losing weight is pure will power.

While I stopped losing weight, thus solidifying the truth that the lapband is a tool not a solution, I didn't gain all that much and I should be back down to pre-Jerry levels by the end of the week. At this point I will be happy to have lost 70 pounds by the time I go to NYC Thanksgiving week. Today I am at 43 pounds lost and I will be back to 50 pounds lost quickly... unless I have to run to Arkansas soon.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Family emergency

I'm sorry I have been absent, but my father-in-law had a stroke two weeks ago and we drove down to Little Rock Arkansas for a week and he seemed to stabilize so we we returned home just to hear that he was having strokes on the other side. Hence, we packed back up and returned to Arkansas. Miraculously, he is still holding on. I wouldn't call him stable, but I would call him critical.

One advantage to being bipolar is that I can intentionally throw myself into a hypo-manic state and drive for 15 hours at a shot. Little Rock Arkansas is just under 1,000 miles for our house. I believe that translates to around 1,600 kilometers. Anyway, I have now done that three times and after coming off a horrible bipolar episode I think my body is getting tired.

My diet has been horrible as well. When your on the road and stressed out it's very hard to say no to food, however, I am disappointed in my apparent weight gain so I am putting myself onto a liquid diet for about four days or so to get myself back into the groove.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bipolar low side

Last week I could tell I was being hypo-manic and what goes up must come down. Hypo- manic is a state in which I don't really feel like sleeping and I gain an ever growing sense of euphoria and grandiosity. My mood could be characterized as persistent and irritable. I can also tell when the mania is at full swing because I have little hallucinations. More like a slight of eye. Mostly I get a hair trigger against anyone who gets into my way. This manic state was somewhat mitigated by the fact that I had an out-of -town guest so I was trying to be on my best behavior.   

However, I could feel myself headed to the edge. Once Robert left I didn't have anything to hold me back and I fell into a deep depression. You go way up and then way down. Hence, bipolar disorder. Right no I'm feeling pretty down, but I don't have any reason to be. Robert helped my move my book in the right direction. Thanks Rob. And this morning we will go on our Saturday hike up at Elk Meadows and then a Colorado Rockies game this afternoon AND football is in full swing tomorrow and I have a real strong fantasy football team. See? Everything is great and I feel like crawling into a hole.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quick report- New Measurements

Photo of me with one of my paintings
I wanted to drop a quick report in before I go to bed. I am very tired because we did the Elk Meadow hike again and I need to be awake for tomorrow's hike. Sleep has been hard to come by so I am happy that I am tired tonight. 

The following posts are taken directly from my bariatric progress log on I've only copied the initial measurement entry and today's entry and then a bit on what they mean. 

August 2, 2011- Day before surgery: Measurements from pre-op at Dr. Tillquist's office on July 29, 2011: weight ~ 413 pounds; neck 21"; waist 62"; bicep 21"; thigh 30" BMI = 60.98. Feeling pretty good. More excited than scared. On a pre-surgical liquid diet. I hope I'll be able to sleep tonight. I need to be at the hospital by 5am for a 7:30 surgery. I should be home by mid afternoon. 

September 3, 2011 - One month. New measurements- neck 21"(no change), waist 54"(-8), bicep 21"(nc), thigh 30"(nc), BMI 53.3(-7.68) HS 361.4

If you adjust the initial weight for summer clothing then my first weigh in was actually 410 pounds, so today's weigh in at 361.4 represents a loss of almost 50 pounds. I continue to lose about a pound a day. In addition, the resulting weight loss has moved me from a Body Mass Index of 60.98 to 53.3 which is far more than I could have reasonably hoped for. 

While most of my measurements remained the same, my waist has been reduced by 8 inches IN ONE MONTH! Yes, this amazing weight loss could not have been possible without the surgery, but my commitment to the volume of food and my extremely, almost excessive, exercise routine has sped things up. My loss is not necessarily normal, but it is obviously possible if the patient works their ass off... literally. That's it. I'm too tired to continue. Thanks for visiting.