Monthly Archives: August 2019

When I sat down to write my surgiversary update, I realized it had been over six months since my last post. I had planned at the first of the year to start posting updates at least weekly, if not more often. The best laid plans, and all that. Spoonie life makes it hard to juggle all the things you want to do. Energy reserves are limited, and even though sitting down and writing a few paragraphs doesn’t seem like it should take that much energy, even just remembering that you were going to do it, or getting up to get the keyboard for the iPad if you manage to remember, sometimes is too much.

I continue to love my job. I have been working on some exciting technology projects to expand healthcare interactions for patients into the digital space, which is super exciting. I also have an opportunity to move into an area of data governance which is actually a personal area of interest, so that will be exciting for me. Most people find it dull and tedious but I’m not most people. Working full-time means I have very little energy left for the rest of my life, and it’s hard reconciling that with my goals and aspirations. But it’s the reality for so many of us Spoonies. I keep reminding myself how lucky I am to be able to work full time and support my family because many Spoonies struggle with the basic necessities and access to healthcare because they can’t work or can’t work full-time.

As much as I wanted my focus word for the year to be “calm” it doesn't appear that is to be my fate for 2019. A few months ago, Hubby and I were vacationing with some very good friends and discussing challenges we’re facing, and it became ridiculously obvious that the answer to many of our challenges is to sell our house and move closer to friends, work, and other interests and rent at least for a few years. This means that we now are throwing ourselves into decluttering, packing, and house repairs so that we can get our house on the market and start looking for a rental in our target area. Not “calm” at all! Calm may be on the other side of this, but it sure isn’t here and now.

Health-wise, things seem to be settling down. (Superstitiously knocking on the nearest wood item available.) I have found a new rheumatologist, and I really like her. She’s young and isn’t blowing off my increased pain with the fibromyalgia. She repeated a lot of lab work that had been done several years ago and not repeated since, and has confirmed that the psoriatic arthritis is indeed still in remission. This is good news, because while I’m still in pain, it means that there’s likely no joint damage being done at this time. She’s given me some things to try to reduce the pain levels, and admonished me to stop avoiding the mild opioids I’ve been prescribed if I need them in order to do the mild exercising we both know I need in order to reduce the fibro pain.

So that's my life right now… working, recovering, working some more, and trying to get the house sorted, packed, and market ready when I can. Hoping to come up for air sometime soon.

Three years ago, I was in a hospital room recovering from gastric sleeve surgery. Recovery sucked, but then recovery from any surgery is hardly a walk in the park. The surgery continues to be hands down the best thing I ever did for my health and overall quality of life.

Three years out, I have maintained my weight within 10 lbs of my lowest weight after surgery, which puts me in the “successful” category. Many people by this point have regained much of the weight they lost from the surgery, for a number of reasons. The pictures in the collage show me at my heaviest, compared to now.

I credit therapy for my success at least as much as the surgery itself. Therapy allowed me to confront my unhealthy relationship with food and develop a healthier relationship with food. I firmly believe that anyone who needs to have weight loss surgery should enter therapy with a professional who has experience with food and body image issues for no less than a year. I had started therapy a good 6 months before my surgery, and still see my therapist once a month. I’m finding that some of the food issues I thought I’d resolved, started popping up months and now even years afterwards, in response to stresses and life changes. It’s always good to have a professional to help work these things out when they pop up.

The other reason I think I’ve done as well as I have is that I established habits that allowed the tool of surgery to do its job. The surgeon creates a small cylindrical stomach with the operation, and it typically doesn’t have much stretch left, but one can condition themselves to tolerate more and more food in the sleeve over time, as well as develop eating patterns that extend meals and get in more food overall. While my food choices have not always been the best, I have continued to try and get plenty of protein in my meals and eat that protein first to fill up the sleeve, pay close attention to my fullness signals, and stop eating when full. I have maintained clear meal times and kept from grazing. This has kept my overall caloric intake low enough to keep my weight fairly stable. I do weigh every couple of weeks, and if my weight starts creeping up, I start paying closer attention to my food choices and pull it back down.

While my overall health is still impacted by my chronic conditions, I don’t have the added stress of the extra 100 lbs I was carrying around, and I know my health is better because of it. I could stand to lose another 10 or 15 lbs, but with the chronic fatigue, I don’t have the energy to diet or exercise so I’m happy with maintaining where I’m at.

Here’s to 3 years with my sleeve, and many more.