Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"After" Photos -- Nine Months

We have passed the nine-month mark since the bariatric surgeries (which happened back on March 23). It has been an amazing and wild ride to this point, and I don't think we really ever quite had a picture of where we would be at this point.

One of the things that has characterized our passage through this transition has been the sheer size of the physical change. Both Master and T have gone through many, many, many wardrobe changes as the pounds have fallen away. We've hauled bags and bags and bags and bags of discarded, too big clothing to our local Goodwill. Too, we've bought our share of "replacement" items from Goodwill. Master has laughingly remarked that He mostly just rents clothes from Goodwill -- keeping them for a few weeks and then returning them to rent others. Whatever we call it, that process has kept them both looking pretty decent, and has saved us a small fortune.

One bit of foresight on my part was that, as He began to shrink, I put away a pair of the largest size pants so that "someday" we could take one of those amazing "after" pictures that you sometimes see -- the skinny new body in the former fat pants. We also managed to hold onto the shirt jacket that He wore home from the hospital right after the surgery -- mostly because He just liked it so well that He was never quite willing to turn it loose. T manged to hang onto a couple of great big shirts (one of which was too small for her when she had her surgery), to help remind her of the size that was.

Today, we pulled out the camera and took some of those "after" photos. Perhaps as clearly as any other images, these photos give a clear impression of the radical change that has happened in our lives in 2009.

Here is Master --

And Here is T --

Saturday, December 5, 2009


The last 4 days, as I've been home from the hospital, I've lost weight steadily. I suspect this is my body's reflecting the weight loss I experienced during the six days I was NPO during my post surgical hospitalization. When I came home I was still swollen and had a good bit of edemous tissue. As those fluids have mobilized and been eliminated, my weight is dropping steadily. Ironically, these last few days at home, I am eating greater quantities of food with greater comfort than I have at any time since my gastric bypass last March. I am trying to be less restrictive in that my weight is down further.

At any rate, the weight of 165 pounds...the weight that sounded so ridiculously unattainable when my bariatric surgeon established it as my goal weight last spring....materialized when I stepped on my scale this morning. I would certainly not suggest the process I have undergone in losing this last six pounds or so for anyone, and certainly not for myself, but reality is that as of this morning my weight is 165 pounds. My next challenge I think is to work at stemming any further weight loss. You would never have convinced me a year ago that those words would ever describe a weight control objective for me.

So I am celebrating, somewhat with awe and somewhat with concern, having reached my original weight goal of 165 pounds.

I feel better and stronger each day as I rebound from my surgery. My pain is less and my strength and stamina are steadily increasing as I progress. I hope I will soon be back to feeling really healthy in time to enjoy the December holidays.

Thank you again to all of you who have traveled this journey with us and provided us such wonderful support and caring. You have made this outcome so much more attainable because of the gifts you shared with us here.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This was our first day at home. Our alarm clock went off first thing this morning, at 5:45, just as it does every single school day. That was an opportunity to "sleep in" actually since my usual get-up time while we were staying in the hospital was 4:30 AM.

Generally, here at home, I pile out of bed first and head off to shower and get dressed. Then I scramble out to the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch, and get us both ready to go. Of course, today and for the next bit of time, He doesn't need His lunch packed, and He isn't getting ready to "go" anywhere. So, this morning, as I was in the bathroom getting ready to go, He came in to pee and weigh and survey the damage. There were no full length mirrors in the hospital room -- just the one small mirror over the sink.
He is a "sight." He has a fairly long mid-line incision and 10 trocar incisions that were made to allow attachment of the mesh for the hernia repair. There are also two punctures where the surgical drains were installed in His abdomen. He has a pretty impressive hematoma on His belly, and enormous and ugly bruising on His hips that is the result of the heparin injections that they gave in the belly every day as a preventative for blood clotting. Standing there in the bathroom, checking it out, He said, "we ought to take some pictures of this."

So, bleary-eyed and sleepy-headed, I wandered off to find the camera and snap a few shots of the damage. They are not terrific -- I wasn't entirely awake yet, but perhaps they will give you some idea of what it is He's been through this last 8 days.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Transfusion Day

Today, our team of doctors is stymied. They simply cannot figure out what is going on with Him, and I suspect that they are having some fairly heated doctor conversations about what to do with Him -- some arguing more aggressive approaches, and others advocating for restraint and patience. It seems that the latest x-rays are still showing some distension of the small intestine, and that could indicate another obstruction -- although the CT scan didn't show anything to be concerned about in that way.

But He continues to have significant nausea, and while He is having bowel movements, they are very watery and, this morning, essentially clear. Without being able to get a fix on what is happening, our doctors are opting for keeping the nasal tube in place. None of us are anxious to have to have that re-inserted again, so there's no sense of urgency to get it out before it is really time.

Another concern is that His blood counts, both red cells and white cells are low, and they can't figure out why. There is no blood in His stools; no blood in His vomit; no obvious hematomas that are not accounted for and entirely expected as a result of the surgery. Still, the counts are low.

So, today, He is receiving two units of blood. So far, that is going well. We are aware of the risks of transfusion, but we just don't feel likf there are good options.


Friday, November 27, 2009


I remember that during my college years, we were fond of telling one another that "when you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult to remember that you were originally trying to drain the swamp."

That is kind of the way this is beginning to feel... A swamp full of alligators, and it is probably alligator mating season. The alligators (problems and challenges) are big and they are all over the place -- refusing to stay in their own separate little ponds.

This morning, after a very difficult and miserable night, "crazy" doctor Hamid came bursting into the room well before the sun was up. The good (but crazy) Dr. Hamid (who we think might be the head resident) seems to have a penchant for drama, and a lack of gentleness in terms of his approach. Looking at Master's chart, I guess he decided that he was, "worried." He ordered another CT scan with contrast, and stood in the middle of Master's hospital room talking about the potential for another yet more surgery. And then, he swept out of the room to go spread terror and chaos somewhere else. At least I am guessing that's where he was headed.

Master and I were shocked, frightened, left with a million questions. We huddled next to each other in the pre-dawn chill and darkness, and held each other's hands, barely daring to breathe.

The nurses came in and put the contrast solution through the NG tube, and they told us that the people from the radiology department would be up to get Him in about 20 minutes. An hour and forty-five minutes later, after battling for well over an hour to keep the contrast down in spite of severe nausea, they finally came to get Him. He was gone for a very long time it seemed.

We were told that "as soon as the doctors had a chance to review the results of the CT scan, they would be in to talk to us." It was over two hours when our nurse finally called someone to see what she could find out for us.

It turns out that the CT scan doesn't show anything alarming. Just the ileus that we already are dealing with. There is no additional blockage, and no internal bleeding. Blood work shows that His blood count is low, but is holding steady. We still have not seen a doctor as I write this at 2:20 in the afternoon.

Master is still struggling with nausea, although it may be some better this afternoon. He is feeling tired and stressed and frightened. He has been incredibly strong and very brave in the face of a major surgery, and some wickedly nasty procedures.

Right now, we are daring to hope that a couple of days will resolve the ileus and He'll start to feel better. I know and believe that we WILL be heading home together sometime in the next few days... if only we can stay out of the clutches of all the many alligators.



Today has been a very difficult day.
Yesterday, the naso-gastric tube to Master's stomach fell out. The doctors had contemplated taking it out anyway, but it came out entirely on its own. That seemed like a good thing at the time, and during the balance of the day, they removed the catheter. This morning, they discontinued the IV pain medication, and He was allowed to begin taking clear liquids by mouth. By mid-day, He was begining to belch, hiccup, and vomit up significant quantities of liquid. The nurses tried administering a couple of different nausea medications along with Nexium. Those medications helped for very short periods of time, but each time, the vomiting resumed within the hour.
Finally, at about 9:00 this evening, the night nurse decided to call in the doctors, and they ordered some x-rays. That showed an ileus. An ileus is a paralysis of the bowel -- without the normal peristalsis, nothing passes through the digestive tract and pressure builds up in the stomach. It seems that this is a fairly common aftermath of handling the bowel during abdominal surgery.
So. Tonight, they have reinserted the naso-gastric tube. Once it was in place, the pump immediately suctioned 700 cc's of fluid from His stomach. He is disappointed as this will surely keep Him in the hospital for another 2-4 days. On the upside, He is not vomiting anymore, and we didn't end up going home without anyone knowing about this issue -- a sure recipe for making another midnight run to the emergency room.
He's tired. I'm tired. Our spirits are a bit low. Hopefully, soon, we'll be able to settle down for the night and try and sleep. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a bit better.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I am home tonight. T is staying at the hospital with Master.
Today, He's made a bit of progress. His breathing seems less congested. He is in pain, of course, but that is kept tolerable with medication. He took two walks today; a short one in the morning, just before I hade to leave, and a much longer one this evening with T. He still has tubes sprouting everywhere: drains, catheters, naso-gastric tube, oxygen, IV... Moving Him or changing His position or bathing Him is a sincere challenge. But. Today. There. Was. A. Bit. Of. Progress.

And that is good. Tomorrow, maybe, some of those tubes may become unnecessary. Tomorrow, hopefully, He'll hurt less. Tomorrow, He'll be one day closer to being healed and well again.

I, and We, are so very grateful for all your good wishes. Thank you. All.

And now, I am off to try and get a night's sleep.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Your Thoughts, Friends

Today, November 23, is the eight month anniversary of Master and T's surgeries.

Last evening, about 9:00, Master began complaining that His stomach hurt. And then it hurt worse... and worse... and worse. Finally, we decided to head to the emergency room, arriving there at about 11:00 after a very harrowing drive (during which I had to pull off the road to allow Him to vomit at least three different times). They did two CT scans -- one at midnight, and a second one at 4:00 AM with contrast. At 5:00 this morning, they got Him situated in a room. And at about 7 AM, the doctors decided that He needed emergency surgery to correct an obstruction in His bowel. Apparently, this is another of those rare (less than 1% of cases) complications.

He is in surgery as I type. I've come home to shower, grab some clothes for both of us, and rescue my car out of the repair shop where I dropped it last evening so it could have an oil change. This is the very worst possible timing for such a horrible catastrophe to occur. There is the end of the year stuff with His agency, holidays are upon us, I have parent-teacher conferences for the next three days.

We'll all get through this somehow, but please hold us all (and especially Master) in your thoughts these next few days.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why Would A Doctor Be That Way?

In one week, we will mark the 8 month point post weight loss surgery. T has lost almost 80 pounds and Master has lost 130 pounds. It has been hard work, and it has sometimes been very scary. The success they have achieved at this point feels really good and they are justifiably proud of the accomplishment. It is amazing and wonderful.

There are a variety of challenges, for all of us, as we continue to work our way along the path to learning to live long term with the changes that have come about as a result of the surgery. We deal with the daily demand for paying close attention to what we eat, to making sure that they get enough hydration and the appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements. We count grams of protein, and we watch out for carbohydrates and fats. Master, especially, works hard to make the time for the very important exercise component of the new lifestyle we've adopted. We are very, very, very careful and serious about the health regimen this change has brought into our lives.

So, why is it, I wonder that we occasionally encounter healthcare professionals who seem hell-bent on raining on the parade? Take last night, for example... He had developed a skin irritation around His nose. It had started earlier in the week as some flakiness and dryness, and had steadily spread and grown more serious. By the time I got home late Friday afternoon, there was a half moon shaped area below His nose that was angry red, swollen, puffy, just on the verge of blistered. It was so much more extreme than it had been that morning, that I was alarmed. I had visions of it becoming even more widespread and inflamed as the night wore on -- and I was worried that He'd be miserable at 2 AM. So, I talked Him into going to a local urgent care facility to have it looked at.

We got there, got checked in, went through the preliminary workup with the nurse, and waited for the doctor. She eventually came into the examination room, and very tentattively looked over the irritation on His face. Deciding that it was likely some sort of contact allergic reaction, she suggested that she could prescribe some prednisone that would probably resolve the problem. One thing we have to be careful of since the surgery is the size of pills. His narrowed stomach opening cannot handle pills bigger than a small button -- so we asked her how big the pills would be. When she looked taken aback by the question, He explained about His gastric bypass surgery, and then described to her the kind of success He's had.

She got a sort of sour faced pouty look, and said, "I see lots of patients who have had that. After a year or two, they stretch their stomachs and gain it all back."


What is wrong with her? What is wrong with the segment of the medical profession that are so negative and pessimistic with us regarding this surgery and the aftermath? I know, and we know, that it is possible to undermine and defeat the impact of the surgery. We were thoroughly briefed on the risks and issues before we made the decision to move forward. WE KNOW!!!

What is the upside, from the standpoint of a physician, to negating and dismissing a patient's success in this endeavor? Why would a doctor do that? Why wouldn't a doctor look at a patient who has been very successful after weight loss surgery, and congratulate that person? Why wouldn't a doctor, celebrate the success, and offer good wishes for continued health and wellness? Why?

I think this tendency for doctors to act as nay sayers is very odd, and it is beginning to make me angry. I know that there may be some controversy about the longterm health benefits and risks associated with this surgery... but when you are looking at a patient who has ALREADY HAD THE SURGERY, it is too late to suggest that it might be a bad idea. It is a done deal! Get a clue, Doc! Where there is success, recognize it; acknowledge it; move on. Whatever the future might bring, no doctor can predict. Save your skepticism and negativity for some inconsequential, non-medical something or another in your personal life. Leave it out of the exam room.


Monday, November 2, 2009


I've not used my Bi-Pap machine since mid-September in that there was anticipation my weight loss had ended my sleep apnea, but there had to be a final definitive test to determine that. Last Tuesday night I had to stay at the Sleep Center for an over night sleep study. I really hate those, and am glad it is past.

Today I met with my sleep specialist and the news was wonderful! My sleep apnea no longer exists. I will not have to sleep with a Bi-Pap machine again so long as I remain as healthy as I am now.

The weight loss this surgery has enabled me to achieve has eliminated my sleep apnea. Anyone want to buy a used sleep apnea machine?

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

A Typical Day's Menu

Selkie asked what a typical day's menu might be like on this new regimen. Tom and Teresa eat somewhat differently due to the differences in their surgical procedures. However, since the part that is probably most "amazing" about this last seven months is Tom's 130 pound weight loss, here's His usual daily meal plan:

Milk shake (1 scoop of fat free, sugar free ice cream, 1/2 cup of skim milk, 2 scoops of chocolate flavored protein powder)
Coffee with chocolate protein powder
Crystal Lite Orange drink with Emergen-C vitamin supplement
Liquid Calcium supplement

High protein power bar (peanut butter and chocolate flavor)
CarbMaster (high protein) yogurt
Wheat Thins 5-grain crackers
Jello sugar free pudding cup

Some sort of protein source (meat is generally difficult, but fish works and so does a meat substitute product made by Quorn which is really very good)
Sometimes we supplement with a bit of fruit or some vegetables. Applesauce works well, winter squash is good, mashed potatoes go well... Other vegetables seem very problematic.
In the last couple of weeks, Tom has been able to add a small (very small) glass of wine sometimes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Next Milestone

Today, when I returned home from walking, I weighed 170.5 pounds. That means that I have lost over 130 pounds since we began all this. Additionally I have 5.5 pounds to go to reach my weight goal. I honestly had thought that perhaps I had "bottomed out" in terms of my total weight loss. Certainly my weight loss has slowed the last couple of weeks, and I certainly am not dissatisfied with where my present weight is, but today I am down an extra pound and a half suddenly. Thus, I have broken the 130 pound weight loss barrier.

Additionally earlier this week I purchased some new sport shirts. Thank god for Walmart and $9.00 polyester cotton blend plaid sport shirts. The news is the shirts I bought were size medium and they fit me great. I have gone from size 3X (and was approaching 4X), to size 2X, down to 1X/XL, then size Large, and now I am a size medium. I cannot even imagine how many decades ago it was that I could wear a size medium shirt (hell, a size medium anything:)

So this process continues and I am still progressing. I also received the results of blood work ordered by my endocrinologist in the last week. My Hemoglobin A1c was 5.1 (that's about as good as it gets for those of you not informed about diabetes) and all my other tests, i. e., cholesterol, vitamin D, etc. were equally perfect. Thank goodness not only for this surgery but for our dietary regimen and for our swan who sacrifices her own diet to eat right along with t and I in terms of our "gastrointestinally challenged" diet.

Thank you once again for all the support so many here have lent us.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Seven Month Anniversary Photos

Seven months ago, Master and T were still in the hospital, still recovering from the surgeries. Those were difficult and physically painful days, and it was very hard to keep sight of the hoped for benefits of what they had just gone through. Today, we stopped to take pictures -- seven months later. What an amazing journey.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This blog was intended to be (and has been) about our family's journey into and through weight loss surgery. We meant for it to chronicle the changes and the challenges of this major shift in our lives, and we wanted to capture moments as they happened so that we could look back when it was all over with and examine where we'd been...

Here, as at our other blogs, we track stats, and we have begun to notice an interesting phenomenon. It seems that roughly half of the hits that we experience at this site come from people interested in our experience with bariatric weight loss surgery. The other half, almost exactly 50%, are from people who are looking for cheese cake recipes!


It gives me pause. I wonder how significant cheesecake is in the workings of the world, that half of everyone out there is looking for the secret of the perfect cheese cake... Perhaps the answer to everything lies in this simple, delectable, unassuming dessert. Maybe we could win the hearts of the people of Afghanistan, convince the conservatives that there is really no issue at all with allowing marriage equality, find a way to provide everyone with health insurance, solve the financial crisis, and raise the test scores of every school child if we just created the perfect manufacturing and distribution system for cheese cake. Perhaps this is the work to which we ought to convert our entire military and industrial complex?

Half. Half of our readers want to know about just one thing...


Victory!! Final Goal Reached

Yesterday, without acclaim, swan adjusted her weight scale, above here on our Blog, to reflect a one pound weight loss she experienced yesterday morning. Now mind you, swan is the non-bartiatirc surgery patient member of our polyamorous triad intentional family, but the lifestyle changes that t's and my surgery have kicked off have effected every one of us in the household. I only wish it wasn't her curent bout of what we have humorously been calling the "Hiney Flu" (H1N1) that had precipitated this final weight loss.

Swan has now lost 25 pounds since we began all this last March. She is the first of us to reach the top end of her optimum weight range. While she did not begin this, thank goodness, with morbid obesity, she too is experiencing health benefits from her weight loss.

Our swan has reached the magic 25 BMI: the standard of health for us all.

We couldn't be more thrilled and proud for her.

Thank you for all you've done to support t and I through this transition, from endless nights sleeping in a recliner chair next to my hospital bed as I struggled with my post-operative infection, to forgoing eating what anyone would consider anything close to a "normal" diet along with your bariatric surgically challenged dining/family partners, to walking with me, to now, having the courage and discipline to achieve your health goal.

Thank you for doing all this to prolong the time you will be Mine Always and All Ways.

I love you so much.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One Year Later

A year ago, as our family dressed up to go to the major fund-raising dance for Master's agency, we took some photos...

Last night, we were, once again all dressed up, ready to go out for an evening of fund-raising. Himself was slated to be the Master of Ceremonies. Once again we took some photos before we left for the evening. They pretty well speak for themselves...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Milestone Reached October 7, 2009

Today I awakened and staggered off to the bathroom for the daily weigh-in. I was 176 pounds. My baseline weight last March 9 was 301 pounds. I have now reached 125 pounds weight loss in under seven months from my baseline weight. This represents another 1/4 of a hundred pounds lost, so I feel like it is noteworthy. Technically this means I have 11 more pounds to lose until I attain the original weight goal recommended by my bariatric surgeon of 165 pounds. He was quite pleased with me when he gave me my 6 month check last week. He said that rarely do patients do as well as I have in this time period, and he knew I was not done yet.

I will likely attain the goal he set at 165 pounds. I am probably going to push on past that. The more accepted weight/height charts suggest that for my 5 feet 8 inches my ideal weight is within a range of 139 pounds to 169 pounds. I have seen some of the more high end charts that have based their prescribed weights on those that maximize longevity. They suggest my ideal weight as 151 pounds. My Cardiologist has suggested I use that as an end weight. At 150.5 pounds I will have lost 50% of my weight. That seems like a goal worth pursuing and so I will. So to date I have lost 125 pounds and have 25 more to lose.

I haven't tracked us as a family for a while. As of now, between the three of us, we have lost 221.6 pounds. Damn, by the time I reach my new goal we will have, between the three of us, almost lost 246 ponds plus any further loss by t and swan:) We will have lost a good sized football player worth of human mass:)

It helps so much to have chronicled this journey here. Looking back on it is amazing for me. Much of what has empowered that dynamic has been the tremendous support readers here have provided us all.

Thank you all for your support.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hips Hips Hooray! They are smaller today!

I AM WEARING A SIZE 14 PANT TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have not been this small since I was 12 years old and involved in sports year-round. I pulled on the jeans I had been wearing and they looked plain silly. Handfuls of denim at the hips on each side. They were 18's.... I had skipped a size when I bought this style, thinking that I could wear them big for a bit and then the 14's would be tight for a while....but NOOOOOO!! These 14's are JUST RIGHT!

I have not been moving, weight-wise. Sorta depressing, but there is a bunch on the plate right now....but I must be shape-shifting or sumptin!

T, off to go do the walker-dance with Mom!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cheering Section

Our walks take us out and through and around our neighborhood. We walk six laps -- around and around and around. It isn't a big neighborhood, and we spend an hour and a half each day (or at least most days). We've been at it since April, and we've reached the status of a regular event with those who live around us.

The changes in that time are dramatic, as those who read here are aware, and it has reached the point where our walking is often interrupted by neighbors who drive by and roll down their car window and comment and cheer for the obvious progress. Just yesterday, one lady who lives up the street from us, commented on the weight loss, and when He reported his now 121 pound loss, she said, "WOW! I'm proud of You!"

That sort of response is so genuine and so heart felt, and it comes from people that we mostly know by sight but not by name. It is really amazing and a little bit stunning. It reminds us that people do see us and do pay attention, and that the change in our lives is one that has, in some small way, changed the world around us.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Pictures at Six Months

Here are the photos to mark the six-month anniversary of the surgeries:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Watch This Space!

I know that Master promised pictures. And it is true that our 6 month photos should be here, but our lives are just crazy this week. It may very well be the weekend before we can get us altogether in one spot with enough energy and time to take some pictures. So, be patient. We haven't forgotten. Honest.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Six Month Mark Reached

I took time out this morning to make one of my 5.12 mile walks. It struck me that when I returned home at 11:00 AM it was just about exactly 6 months to the minute since they wheeled me out of the surgery having performed my Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass March 23, 2009. I weighed myself upon my return from my walk today, and had reached 182 pounds for the first time. I have now lost 119 pounds since beginning this process and lost 18 inches off my waist.

I am sure we will post more tonight, and if t and I can get our schedules together with swan (our photographer), manage to get one of our traditional one month milestone pictures up here to document our progress as we pass through this, but I wanted to commemorate the one half year point with this comment.

As always the support of everyone who has read and commented her has been a huge help to t and I both. Thank you so much to all of you.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free of the Evil Bi-Pap....Free At Last!

Last night for the first time in about four years I slept without having the Bi-pap (breathing device used to keep throat open during sleep to negate sleep apnea) strapped to my fact and blowing air up my nose. I was told by my sleep specialist that I should jettison it at 180 pounds. I seem to be in one of my "holding patterns" I've encountered on the way down, bouncing between 186 and 188 pounds for the last few days. My facial contours have changed dramatically what with my 115 pounds weight loss and I am finding I can no longer get the Bi-pap to seal on my face, resulting in the darn thing blowing cold air noisily all night long. It has really bothered my sleep the last few nights. So last night we finally said the proverbial "screw it" and went off to bed without it. swan spent much of the night snuggled close to me and waking constantly to make sure I was breathing OK and not snoring (snoring is a sure sign of apnea.) I did fine and awakened much more well rested today.

I take a Zyrtec pill and spray Flonase nasal spray each night to enable me to deal with the nasal congestion the Bi-pap has created for me. I hope that as we proceed forward here over the next two weeks or so those too will be some of the further medications I will no longer require because of my weight loss.

Thank you again everyone for your interest and support as our evolution with all this continues.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you you've imagined.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I've Lost a Foot and a Half From My Waist!

This morning I acted on the fact that the 38 inch waist pants I've been wearing all week appeared to be getting "roomy" on me. I tried on a pair of 36 inch waist cargo pants swan picked up for me a week or two ago in anticipation of this time, and low and behold, they fit perfectly! It is not that I am able to stretch into them and somehow pull the waist together desperately and get them to fasten. They actually fit just as they should and look fine.

This is another milestone. I began with a 54 inch waist before my surgery. Thus I have now lost a foot and a half (18 inches total) off my waist since March, 2009 and the beginning of this journey. Even I am beginning to feel astounded and impressed with this.

I think the, "America's Biggest Loser" folks should hang their heads in shame. They are nothing but a bunch of pikers:) Well we are off for another walk to see if, what with this development, we can reach a new fastest lap time average.

Thank you all once again for your interest and support.

All the best,


P. S. I did expand my walk to 6 laps today and hit a new high average speed at 15 minutes and 48 seconds per lap. Too, I hit 187.5 pounds a new low weight having now lost 113.5 pounds. I have 22 .5 more pounds to lose to get to my ideal weight goal of 165 pounds, and 7.5 more pounds to lose before I get to quit using my evil bi-pap machine each night when I sleep.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Journey Update September 3, 2009

It has been a while since I wrote a summary of our progress in our weight loss journey. As of now I have lost 112. 5 pounds (weighing in at 188.5 pounds down from 301 pounds March 9, 2009.) My t is down 77 pounds at 193 pounds down from her original 270 pounds. sue, who underwent no bypass surgery, but whose lifestyle is hugely effected by t's and my dietary and exercise regimen, weighs in now at 185 pounds. sue's down 17 pounds from her original 202 pounds (and is by the way already within her ideal weight range as a result of this loss.) Thus our combined "family weight loss" to date is 206.5 pounds.

As for observable changes I now am wearing (and actually they are getting roomy) 38 inch waist pants. I began with a waist of 54 inches. I have lost 16 inches off my waist and suspect a 36 inch waist is not far off into my future. t shared last night that she now wears a women's size 14 to 16. She started at 24. While I don't know sue's actual size information she went off to school yesterday in a really cute dress she was able to wear for the first time. She bought it last year from a catalog but has never actually been able to get into it before.

Anecdotally, the three of us share two one car garages and drive ways. I let the both of them (who are generally off to work way ahead of me) park in the garages. Usually I am parked in the driveway behind swan each morning. When she heads off to school each morning (at an ungodly and uncivilized hour) I pull my car out of the driveway while she pulls out and then pull back into the garage after her. Usually as I do that I notice the newspaper that has been delivered in the driveway or lawn of t's and my condo next door. It used to be, before my surgery I used to pull into that driveway and lean out of the car to retrieve the newspaper. My arthritis pain, my ability to bend at my waist, and my general avoidance of walking was such that it was just easier to let the car do the work. I am still tempted to do that, but now I make a conscious decision to park the car in the garage and then walk out to the front yard next door and get the newspaper. I have to remind myself that no longer hurts, and whatever I do to further increase my physical activity. Even that little bit burns calories. It makes little sense to go out and power walk 4 to 5 miles a day only to go fetch the newspaper from out front in the car:)

It seems everything from major health conditions now gone, to little details of the physical activity of daily living have changed and improved greatly.

Thank you all again for your continued interest, and the huge support we gain from sharing with you all here. You have been, and are, such great friends.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Five Months and One Week

We didn't ever find time last weekend to take the five-month photos. Life was just too crazy. So, one week late, here is the latest set of photos of my very skinny spice :-) The before pictures are on the left.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Further Progress

I've not invested as much energy here the past week of so since T's Mom's surgery led to her strokes and subsequent serious debilitation but this process continues and as I look back on this record of how we passed through this in times to come, I'll be glad to see how things progressed during this period. And progressing we are:)

Last night we shifted swan's and my walking routine from summer vacation schedule to early school year schedule. We did our 4.26 mile "stroll" between 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM last evening relying on our new LCD headlight forehead bands for improved vision and safety. It was late enough to have missed the daytime heat. Our Cincinnati mid August weather is terribly hot and humid. We have previously been walking early to mid-morning as allowed by my professional schedule. To do that now that sue's schedule is ramping up would require us to get up at like 3:30 to 4:00 AM in order to get up eat then walk, shower, get ready for work and then have her there on time, so that is just not possible for us. We will have next Monday off, so we will be able to walk in the morning that day weather permitting. Then next Tuesday she will be in classes with kids. I have an evening workshop presentation (how to influence public policy regarding disability issues for family members and people with disabilities) Tuesday night, and a meeting of our Board Thursday night. How that week will work with our walking routine time will tell. Maybe I'll have to walk alone mornings and her at night. That would be sad. We've come to love our time together walking and sometimes have great talks as we walk. Sue has her beginning of the school year parent night that evening too though, so I don't know how that will work. We do have a treadmill and I'm sure that as time progresses and the weather changes we'll eventually have to resort to that option to keep the exercise routine going.

Anyway, after last night's walk I weighed 195.5 pounds, which is a new low. At 196 I have lost 105 pounds. This morning I weighed 196.5 pounds at get up. If I would split the difference between the two weights as an average, I'd be 196 pounds, so I guess I can accept that as a new weight. Thus I have hit the 105 pound weight loss level. That means I have 31 pounds to go to reach my optimal weight. As I type I weight 195 down from 301, it seems sort of like a surreal dream. Who would have imagined this could be my reality by mid August not quite five months yet our from my surgery.

T is pretty well right where she has been, (down 72 pounds in under 5 five months from surgery...no mean accomplishment) fluctuating up and down through a 1 and a half pound weight window. When you think about the stress she has been under with her Mom's illness, grabbing food in the hospital cafeteria, eating with her other family members some (the whole family other than her is way dedicated to high fat, sugar, and unhealthy eating and smoking) makes staying on her course extra challenging. Between her work and time with her Mom, she really has no time for exercise, other than maybe the trek from the hospital parking garage and the ICU to see her Mom. For her to have not regained is a huge accomplishment. Even as she continues this way she will be losing more soon. It is way slower and more gradual for her with her gastric sleeve bypass, than it is for me having been able to undergo the Rouen Y gastric bypass procedure.

So there it is. I'm down 105 pounds (perhaps even plus a half pound more were we to accept my 195.5 pound weight after my walk last night.)

Thank you all who have followed this journey with us and cheered us on. It would have been way more difficult to do this without the energy you have given us with your good wishes and encouragement.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We are becoming Vegetarians!......well, kinda, sorta….

Many years ago I was a casual Vegetarian. I stuck to a veggie diet pretty much, but when I craved a burger or steak, I didn’t deny myself. And that was about 2 times a year. I have always liked that style of eating, but have grown away from it as I have gotten older.

As everyone knows by now, we are primarily PROTEIN people. I have to have a minimum of 60 grams of protein and Tom has to have a minimum of 80 grams of protein daily.

Lately, Tom has been having problems eating meat. It upsets his stomach and often sends him to “driving the big white bus”. And I have become less enamored with meats as well.

Sue has been hunting high protein, vegetarian recipes. Last night we did a tofu recipe that was pretty tasty. And I have hit the web for other veggie options that have higher protein numbers.

Tom dislikes…see, I was polite….Beans. Any type of beans except for Green. :::SIGH::: Sue and I LOVE beans. I could live on baked, or black, or navy beans. Baked, refried, sautéed, soup, stew, you name it, I love it…..no beans for us…. We will have to do protein other ways. Not that I do not stick beans in my pantry and eat them when I feel like it, but then we are not eating as a family and that is the only meal we can eat together during the week.

So….all you vegetarians out there…..if you have a good veggie recipe, please email it to Sue or me. The higher the protein, the better…..and psst….no beans!


That was Then, This is Now

I am continually fascinated by the incredible changes that have come about as we've progressed through this process. Just the other day, Master had occasion to "dress up" for a photo shoot at His office. We got Him all gussied up and on His way, and as it turned out, the photo ended up being a really good one. Then we got to talking about the event that we attended last October -- another one of those "dress up" occasions. We took some photos then, too. Just in case you were wondering, this is a really good illustration of the benefits of bariatric weight loss surgery...

This was October, 2008:And this is August, 2009:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Protein Powder Recipes

I have a love/hate relationship with Protein Powder. I love how it works. It fills me up. It is thick and delicious LOOKING..... I HATE THE TASTE!!!! I have tried to love the UNJURY that Tom adores and the surgeon's dietitian recommends.... I HATE the smell of it when I open the container. The taste is thick and unpleasant. The strawberry is disgusting. The chicken soup is thin and if your water is too hot, it curdles, so you are lucky to get room temperature yellow stinky chicken water. The vanilla....well, let's put it politely....VOMIT IN A JUG.....ahem....but I digress....

I went out and found a protein drink by EAS that is thinner and chocolaty and doesn't make me sick to my stomach to drink. I also found a Kroger's store brand of Soy/Whey chocolate protein powder that doesn't reek.

Most weekends, I am on my own until noon-ish. Some days I am online. Some days I do the grocery shopping or laundry. Today I hunted down recipes that use protein powder. I found several that seem promising on paper, but as they say, the proof is in the puddin'. So I gathered my ingredients and put together a Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball and Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Cookies. The batters smelled good....a HUGE step for me. Nothing queasy about this....so let's taste....YUMMO! I modified the recipes a tad, to add natural sweetness without extra sugars or fats. But for a first foray into Protein Powder baking, I think these 2 items are excellent!

Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Cookies

2 1/2 cups Oats
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (or 3 egg whites)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
3 scoops of Chocolate Protein Powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup Agave Honey (or Diabetisweet Brown Sugar)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins or apricots)

Toss everything together and blend well. Spoonfuls of batter on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Don't overcook. This is a dense cookie after baking, but before baking it is a tad runny looking. Do NOT let this fool you into adding more oats or powder to stiffen the batter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Agave Honey
1 scoop Chocolate Protein powder
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Mix peanut butter, honey, Protein powder and oats until well blended. Roll into walnut-sized balls and roll into chopped nuts. Chill until firm. Store in a Ziploc bag in fridge.

These are both very tasty and the protein count is 5 grams per Cookie and 2 grams per Ball. One cookie was plenty at a time for me. And I made the Balls a bit smaller than the recipe called for so it was almost like a chocolate candy bite (Closer to 3 bites per). Very satisfying and probably the best use of protein powder so far!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Starting to Claim the Benefits

There have been so many amazing and wonderful improvements in terms of health, but also in terms of quality of life issues since the surgery. One thing that has started to come up in the last few days, however, just blows my mind...

We have a public official who is a great advocate for children's health. One way that he draws attention to the cause is an annual walk. Each spring, he and a group of supporters walk the 112 miles to our state capitol.

In the last few days, as we've walked our daily laps, Master has mused that, "maybe next spring...I'll walk with him."

Wow! The first time He said it, I thought it was an interesting idea, but as He has repeated it, I've started to hear it as an aspiration and a declaration of freedom and belief. Coming from someone who struggled to walk to the bathroom a year ago; who could barely stand up long enough to get dressed in the morning, that is a fabulous improvement in well-being on all levels.

Next spring! Let's all walk for kids' health!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Breaking the 200 pound barrier!

Much to my surprise, after my 4.32 mile walk today, I weighed 199.5 pounds. This is my first reading below 200 since sometime in late 1998. It is a surprise since I awakened to find a waking fasting weight of 202.5 pounds. I suspected that such a large overnight gain had to be water weight of some unknown cause. I would suspect that the 3 pound loss during our walk in the fairly warm August morning bright sunshine, bears that hypothesis out.

Whatever the explanation, I have not given a scale reason to weigh less than either 300 or 200 plus pounds in eleven years, and I will most certainly and joyously accept it.

Thank you again for everyone's interest and support.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Selkie asks.....

What food do you miss most?

T misses: Diet Mountain Dew, sugar-free chocolates, Pasta, Steak

Tom misses: Steak, Pasta, good crusty bread, Irish Whiskey

Both of us have been bemoaning steak this week. Sure it is a protein and if we did a nice lean piece it would work within our dietary restrictions.....but it is too dense. We both have problems with GROUND beef....steak scares both of us!

We tend to do better with lighter proteins. Fish, shrimp, crab, chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin, eggs, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese....things like that work well for us.


Answering Questions

Chloe asked:

*** How many calories are you eating in a day, and how do they break down in terms of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates?

We do not count calories. We need 60-80 grams of protein daily. We eat very low fat, very low carb, no sugar, no caffeine, no carbonation. We need 64 oz. of water daily.

*** Do you lean toward things like sprouted grains to optimize nutritional breakdowns in carbs?

We have always done whole grains, when we do any at all. Our tummies are so small that we mostly eat protein with a bite of veggies and carb.

*** Do you find yourself going for healthier options even when you don't "have" to, simply because you are more focused on your health now? (Aka, is some (admittedly VERY SMALL) part of your utterly amazing transformation perhaps due to a change in attitude/eating habits, perhaps precipitated by, but not mandated by, the surgeries?)

Before our surgeries, we were already eating low fat, whole grains, nothing fried, no sugar meals. The biggest hurdle has been learning what size portion keeps us nourished without tossing our cookies.

*** Do you take supplements now that you didn't used to take? (Like a vitamin B complex, or iron, or vitamin D? Or does a multi-vitamin do the trick?)

We do a multivitamin, we do calcium citrate, we do vitamin D, we do B-12. Tom does all chewables and I do some in pill form. The B-12 is a weekly nasal spritz.

*** Do you think you get enough fiber in your diets? (This is something I just wonder about since I feel like filling your now-much-smaller tummies with veggies wouldn't actually get THAT much in you, and if you went all veggies/fiber you'd miss out on protein and such...)

Sometimes, I would say "no" for me. I am not a fan of the Benefiber that Tom drinks everyday. If I notice that I am having problems, I will gag down the Benefiber. But since we do primarily proteins, we do not get many natural fibers.

(I have roughly a million more questions like this. I'm annoyingly curious when I am fascinated and awed by something.)

Ask away! We are happy to answer anything people ask. And as you can see by reading some of our posts, we are hardly shy. We are finding that when we go out into the public, there are many people we feel like we should pass our surgeon's business cards to. We figure a commission on each surgery would get us early retirement! OR the people receiving the cards might cause us early disability!!!


I'll Only Pass This Milestone Once:)

After our walk this morning I climbed on the scale and reached a weight I've been waiting for since this began. I weighed 201 pounds. When all this began March 9 with the two week pre-surgery liquid protein diet, I weighed 301 pounds. As of today I have officially lost 100 pounds!!

Only another 36 to go and I'll reach my ideal weight of 165. Who would have imagined I'd be here by August 3!

Thank you all of you for your support and of course mostly to my t and my swan.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I DID IT!!!!

I WEIGH 199.6 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have not been this small since college in 1976.

I got on the scale this morning, thinking that I "might" be down another pound.... I walked in the morning and at night yesterday. And was down 2 pounds!

I still only make 1 round of our walking path each time I walk, considerably less than Tom and Sue hoof, but the knee starts hurting about half way and I am trying not to wreck the knee Totally too soon. Today might be a pain pill day, the knee kept me up most of the night.

But still......

I WEIGH 199.6 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.......so the knee will live.

Tickled T

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Changes In Response to Kaya's Question

Kaya asked us to talk about changes we're experiencing as a result of our weight loss and the surgeries that precipitated it.

This question has had me listing quality of life improvements all day. I am walking...power walking.......four and a quarter miles each day. We were rained out for our walk last night and so today we walked this morning and we are going to go out tonight again after dark (as much as anything, because we want to try our new LED head lamps for night walking we just had delivered.) Thus we will walk 8 1/2 miles total today. Before the surgery I couldn't do one lap (.85 miles) without at least one, and sometimes as many as 3 stops, for a rest. Sue and I were talking while we walked this morning. She talked about how terrified she was throughout those walks that I might have a heart attack or a stroke because I was so struggling with the exertion of this simple walk. That is a huge change.

My hips, and particularly my knees, are terrifically arthritic. My left knee needs replacement when I get to it. The level of pain in those joints had diminished greatly.

I used to awaken in the middle of the night feeling that someone had doused my upper left leg in lighter fluid and ignited it. It was a lovely neurological condition called meuralgia peristhetica. It results from obesity. It is gone.

I used to drink most nights as a primary means of relaxation and recreation. Now I drink not at all. My primary recreations seem to be walking, surfing the net, spanking and fucking:)

I haven't taken a Viagra since my surgery and weight loss.

I take less than one fourth of the pills I used to take. My doctor's office called today and told me to discontinue taking, Zetia, my cholesterol medication. My cholesterol is now perfect without medication.

When I go to public meetings, receptions, etc., an important aspect of my job, I can stand up with everyone else without being in terrific pain and sweating profusely as was the case before my surgery and the subsequent weight loss (which is today BTW within one and a half pounds of reaching the 100 pound weight loss milestone.)

I no longer shop at big men's stores because it is the only place I can find clothes that fit. Now we shop for me at second hand stores, in that I pass through clothing sizes about every two to three weeks, so it doesn't make sense to buy new clothes which will be too large for me in 2 to 3 weeks.

OK now here are some very personal ones...which you might not want to read so be forewarned.

I used to not be able to wash between the cheeks of my ass. Now that is no problem.

If you've been reading over at The Heron Clan you know how very much swan and I have come to enjoy OTK spanking. I couldn't do that before. You can't take someone over your lap for a spanking when you have no lap.

I am on hormone replacement therapy for testosterone. The Testosterone is a gelatinous clear semi-liquid that I rub on my butt, well I do today that is, now that I can reach my butt.

My penis is now 4 or 5 times longer than it was, and, no, I have not purchased any product advertised by spammers to accomplish that. If you have a 50 foot tall rocket and you bury 49 feet and 9 inches of sand (or more like it, fat) around it, it will appear to be a three inch bump. Now I am not claiming to have 50 feet, but I think the analogy works. And my previously retarded ejaculation....well it ain't retarded no more! Swan keeps telling me I'm like doing a 16 year old in the backseat of a Chevy. I keep asking her how she knows:)

I will likely think now of a couple of dozen more things, but the improvements are many and varied as you can see.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.


Kaya asked what changes do we see since the weight loss.

First for me was I can cross my legs like a normal person. I have NEVER been able to cross them like a lady....it has always been the ankle over a knee. I was STUNNED that I can do this and find I do it all the time now.

There are bones in my butt! Geesh, how do skinny people sit without poking bones thru' their butt cheeks? I feel like I have to haul a pillow around with me to keep from marring furniture with my sharp bits. I also have found rib bones....where in the HELL did those come from??

Shaving legs is easier. Scrubbing the tub is easier. Scrubbing out the fridge is easier. Bathing is easier. Sitting in normal chairs is easier and way more comfy. Trimming toe nails is easier. Getting 3 in a bed is easier.

We went to Red Lobster and I sat in a REAL BOOTH for the first time in years. And there was plenty of room between me and the table.

Walking is easier. Yesterday my office went to a baseball game. I was parked away from the elevator that we usually use, and thought I had 1 flight of stairs to climb....it was FOUR! And I did it without breaking a sweat or getting short of breath! I was pretty tickled about that.

I shortened the seat distance in my car because I have more room between me and the wheel. Sometimes I drove with the tips of my shoes, because my tummy was on the wheel.

Shopping is easier. Walking doesn't kill the knee like it used to. Yesterday, I was shopping and forgot to get something on the other side of the store. In the past, I would have deliberated whether that item was REALLY necessary or could I get it on the next trip....yesterday I didn't even think about it, I just hauled my bony butt across the store and back again. No sweat!

Being in public is easier. We look better, feel better, move better. We are perceived differently in professional settings.

I am sure there are MANY more differences and Tom will probably note quite a few, as well.

They say "Change is good".....suddenly I am all for it!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pictues at Four Months.

It has been four months since the surgery. Here are pictures, taken today. On the left, are pictures that we took in the days just before the surgery -- for comparison with the newest photos on the right...