Sunday, May 31, 2009

We are Ten Weeks Today!

Here are some photo "collages" that give a sense of where we are with this process. Today, Master and Teresa are ten weeks post-operative. These picture sets show them at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and 10 weeks.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yesterday's Endocrinologist Visit

Yesterday I had my first post-surgical visit with my "endo." The result is I am now off all diabetes medication and have ceased the small remaining does of diuretic I was on, and the requisite potassium dose I had to take along with the diuretic. That means three more prescription meds I was taking have been discontinued. When I take my morning and evening pills now, it is an experience that is laughably simple compared to two months ago. She hypothesized that my monthly drug expense is reduced well over $2000.00. This should quickly enable my insurer to make up the cost of the surgery and post-surgical care I had, and to have a large net savings over time.

She said that my blood sugar numbers are in a range that would be classified as "pre-diabetic": not even high enough to support a diabetes diagnosis:)

My weight is holding at the level I had last weekend. That is fine. I am confident it will go down as the week progresses.

Thank you for your interest and support.

All the best,


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

Monday, May 25, 2009

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

We are eight weeks post-operative and feeling better and better. Life is beginning to resemble what will, eventually become "normal" for our household, and we are making strides toward learning how to live this new life we've been given. Holidays, like today (Memorial Day) which used to be for big cookouts and serious feasting do present some emotional/intellectual challenges, but we are figuring it out. Today, we went to the Cincinnati Reds baseball game, and with a few appropriate snacks that we carried to the park with us, we had a very nice, very comfortable time... Life is good and getting better!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Living in the Closet

About three years ago, I spent a chunk of my summer vacation time sorting out all of the accumulated clothing that Master had accumulated as His weight fluctuated up and down ... shorts, shirts, pants, sweaters, and jackets ranging from size 38 to size 50. By the time I was done I had four gigantic Rubbermaid bins full to the very top. The bins are equipped with wheels which is a good thing because when the bins are full, they are too heavy for me to move.

As we've gone through the rapid weight loss of the last couple of months, I've begun to drag the giant bins back in from the garage, and start wading through them and restocking His closet with clothes that fit. From 52's to 50's to 48's to 46's, His pant size has steadily dropped. That has also been true with shirts as He's come down from 3X and 19-1/2 inch neck sizes to 2x and size 18 necks. This weekend, once again, I've been in the closet, pulling out all the things that are too big, and replacing them with things that do fit. I've removed every pair of pants larger than size 48, and all the shirts that are larger than an 18" neck. I have 13 trash bags full of items to haul to the local Goodwill donation center -- and there's more to do!

They never told us that we'd spend the first year after surgery living in the damn closet!


Memorial Day Weekend Update

As we begin the three day long Memorial day weekend here in the states, I thought I'd check in with the latest update.

My weigh in today featured me at 235 pounds meaning I have lost a total of 66 pounds since March 9. T is down 50 and Sue down 12 for a total now of 128 pounds lost between the three of us.

t is not happy her weight loss is slowing. This may well be our seeing the differential effects of the gastric sleeve procedure the surgeon was forced to choose for her mid- procedure because of her medical history, and my rouen Y gastric by-pass which is more invasive and "radical." She has undergone a procedure which significantly reduces her stomach capacity, where as I have undergone a procedure which not only reduces my stomach capacity (to even a greater extent than hers), but also the removal of 35% to 40% of my intestine creating malabsorption of nutrients I eat. Her results may be as great as mine, but they will likely be achieved more slowly than I will reach mine.

Our t is doing what she needs to do to take care of herself, and she needs to remember that we love her now just as we did before the surgery, and as we will when she loses oven more. This was never a competition, but a quest for better health for us both (and our swan).

So the saga goes on. We have decided to go to a Cincinnati Reds baseball game Monday afternoon so that we will not be sitting around here mourning the absence of our traditional Memorial Day cook out feast, which were we to prepare it, we could never eat.

Thank you again to all of you who have supported us through this process. We are well and well- along:)

All the best,


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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yet More Progress

I wrote yesterday that I had reached (barely) the 230's range for my weight. I talked about how I had been stuck in a weight loss plateau in the low 240's range. I awakened this morning to get on the scale thinking, OK I'll be glad if I simply haven't regained weight (my weight has been so labile lately). I stepped on the scale and low and behold, I weighed 237.5 pounds. I am down a whopping two pounds from yesterday, without my having done anything exceptional yesterday. Thus I am now down a whopping 63.5 pounds from my baseline. Interestingly my work schedule yesterday got in the way of my exercising, beyond my regular daily activities. I guess we can hypothesize that the weight loss plateau is past. It will be interesting to see if my weight loss continues in this accelerated fashion.

Thank you again everyone for your support.


Monday, May 18, 2009

One Further Minor Step Froward

This morning I weighed 239.5 lbs. Now this is only 1.5 pounds less than I weighed a couple days ago when I was touting that I was 60 pounds down from my starting weight, but it is a milestone. It is in the 230's (just barely) not the 240's! It seemed earlier on that the weight just flew off me, but this last 10 pounds has seemed to just drag on. I felt like I would never slog my way through the 240's, so this morning when a number with a "3" in the second digit place appeared, I gave a mild yahoo ( a very mild one...I'm neither very enthusiastic or vociferous at 5:45AM.)

Anyway I am down to the 230's and feeling way glad to have the 240 range in the rear view mirror of this experience.

All the best everyone and thanks for your support,


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Next Milestone

Today when we pried ourselves out of bed (not until 10:00 AM, God I love weekends:) I did my usual first thine morning weigh in. I was 241 pounds. This means that at long last I have finally reached the 60 pound weight loss milestone. My weight loss which had been so rapid at first, has now slowed so I am glad that I finally got here.

T is now down 53 pounds and swan down 12 pounds so we are at a family total of 165 pounds weight loss. This is starting to sound serious!

My eating is getting easier. I am finally learning to sense when I am reaching the capacity of my new stomach and realizing that that means STOP! Don't eat another bite! The consequences of continuing involve a serious stomach ache nausea and sometimes vomiting which may last as long as an hour. It is comforting to finally have accomplished this learning well enough that most of my "meals" don't result in my feeling like I have been hit in the stomach with a cinder block.

Also, when sue and I took one of our walks today, I managed to complete two laps of our complex (equivalent to two miles). While this is hardly a marathon, we accomplished this in less time than one mile required when we first began trying to walk, not long after I was released from the hospital. It too is only a beginning, but it is significant progress.

Thank again for all the support here that has meant so much to all three of us as we are progressing through this.

All the best,


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

Friday, May 15, 2009

Calcium Supplements

One of our ongoing concerns -- something that we will forevermore need to be attentive to, is calcium intake. The bypasses that were done to alter the digestive systems for Master and for T create a variety of malabsorption issues, and so it becomes necessary to carefully and routinely supplement certain vitamins and minerals.

There are a variety of options for the calcium citrate that is needed. Neither master nor T were very happy about the initially recommended chewable calcium tablets. They were gritty and simply not very easy to handle, AND they had to each manage to chomp through 6 everyday. It was just too much.

The first thing that we tried, as an alternative, was the Bluebonnet brand liquid calcium. Master likes this one OK, and it only requires two "shot glass" size servings a day to get Him what He needs.

T was not as taken with the liquid, and she's had far more extensive upset stomach problems than Himself. She has found that she does better with the Bariatric Advantage chewy calcium citrate bites in chocolate flavor. She has to take a bunch of them, but they are close enough to candy that it works for her.

So, at least for now, we've got that part of all of this handled.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Handsome Man!

T and I are finally convincing Himself that He really needs to keep transitioning into the smaller clothing sizes that FIT Him now. He's feeling better and better, and with the wound VAC gone, it is much easier to really dress for His professional role.
This morning, He had a "serious" meeting to attend, and so was up and dressed and looking wonderful as I was preparing to leave for school. I just couldn't resist snapping this picture of the handsome Man that is emerging in our world these days.
What a really nice image to have as we all head off to work!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A good day....

Today, for the first time in weeks, I ate food and was not sick to my stomach. Usually the smell or the look of something would make me queasy. But, not today.

I ate normal foods and nothing made my stomach ache. Nothing made me cough and wretch.

I had Instant Breakfast and OJ. I had about 1 tbsp of peanut butter for my snack. I had 1/4 cup of BBQ Beef at lunch. I had a string cheese for snack. And dinner was 1/2 of a small cheeseburger (no bun, just catsup) with a tbsp of cottage cheese and a few slices of fresh pear.

Tonight, Sue made homemade chocolate pudding and I am looking forward to that!

Maybe I have turned the bend. We shall see.


We Ate Burgers!

Well, OK.
These are not the burgers that we used to eat, and they are surely not the same as what you might buy at any fast food place, but for us, these little burgers were a real achievement.
The burgers I grilled tonight are smaller than what we used to make, and I found these wonderful, skinny little buns. Bread is such an issue for the new tummys that anytime we can find bread that is lighter and thinner than usual, it is a great plus. I toasted these, added some lowfat cheese, and then Master and T each ate about 1/3 of a burger.
Served up with some thin sliced tomatoes and lowfat cottage cheese and a few slices of fresh pear, and we had what felt like a feast! Just the approximation of real food is a huge step forward for this family, and we're loving it.
Oh yeah, and we did it up big with candles on the table.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Feeding the "new" tummys that we have in this place is a real challenge. At this point there is still some real sensitivity to spicy foods, and many meats are pretty challenging. We are really focused on getting enough protein everyday, and managing to make that happen between the limits to quantity and the limitations in what is "edible" at this stage is an interesting proposition. Too, what works one day might very well not be any good at all the next day. Arrrghhhh!

Anyway, both Master and T have been talking about pizza lately. And real pizza, the kind you order out for and have some nice kid deliver it to your door, is just not in the cards. So, I've been contemplating the problem of "pizza" in our new world.

Here's what I came up with -- bariatric pizza...

Suzie's Spelt Flat Breads with Italian Herbs
Olive Oil
Classico Sauce -- Tomato and Basil
Sliced Provolone Cheese (2 slices)
Shredded Lowfat Mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Lou's Famous Oven Roasted Chicken Sausage -- Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic
Wellshire Canadian Style Seasoned Uncured Turkey Bacon
Sliced Pepperoni

Preheat oven to 425. Thinnly slice the sausage and brown in a pan sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Set aside. Cut the Canadian Bacon into small dice and brown using Pam. Set aside.

Assemble the pizzas --

Lay flat breads on a cookie sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil. Spread a heaping spoonful of sauce on each flat bread. Top each "pizza" with toppings of choice (sausage, Canadian bacon, or pepperoni). Put provolone, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses on each pizza and place into preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Serve hot.

Bariatric portion -- 1 pizza.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

End of my First Week!

I am not as tired as I expected, but I am TIRED! As most of you know, I work 4, 10 hour days and am off Fri., Sat., & Sun. So when I started back to work, it was to a 10 hour day. Not a bad week....honestly.

I am in the process of cleaning out my closet tonight. Tomorrow I will run several bags of 3x, 4x, and 24-26 clothes to the local thrift store. Everything is in good condition, most in excellent condition, but I am not too sorry to see it all go!

I have a few items that I am not going to part with though. All of my BDSM/Poly Tees are staying. They are HUGE, but there is a story or an event behind each one. I might not be able to wear them, but I am thinking about making pillows or a wall hanging or something out of them. Stay tuned.

I am keeping my 2 work hoodies. They are beyond HUGE, fitting like dresses....but I love them. Nothing better to snuggle in on a cold night or when a migraine strikes.

I have a pair of pink fleece jammies that Sue got me several years ago. They used to fit perfectly and were ever so soooooft. Now they look silly, but I still love them, because they are from our Sue.

All that will be left will be about 3 pairs of pants, 1 pair of crop pants, and 7 tops. All of that in a walk-in master closet. I could rent it out for extra income! It fairly echoes in there.

Also: UPDATE! Tom is down 58 pounds and I am down 52 pounds. It sounds weird to say that out loud. But I can live with it!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We've Graduated

Yesterday, the visiting nurse saw Tom and formally and officially released Him from their care. She packed up the remaining supplies and the wound VAC, and prepared it to be shipped back to the company. It will be picked up today. She declared that the remaining wound seems clean and free of infection, so the latest antibiotic seems to be doing its job. There will be no more nurse visits. We need only to change the wound dressing each day until it heals, and that should be the end of that. Perhaps another 4-6 weeks. He will see the doctor tomorrow to have the infection looked at again.

Both are still coping with unsettled and unreliable tummys. Hopefully that will resolve with time, but we do seem to be stepping ever so gradually toward some sort of normal life again.

And the weight loss continues. I'll have to leave it to Tom and Teresa to report numbers -- I can't keep up!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Six Weeks

It is exactly 6 weeks since the surgery.

We've had a good weekend. Although, Teresa continues to struggle with upset stomach issues, we have managed to get out to see a local community theater production, and to have our first dinner party with Tom's extended family -- kids, kids' significant others, grandpa and his significant other. Teresa fixed ham and Honey Baked turkey breast, au gratin potatoes, and some broccoli slaw.

The kids had birthday gifts for Tom and a mother's day gift for Teresa.

We had some great conversation and lots of laughter. It was a nice evening.

Yesterday, we went through Tom's closet and sorted out 5 trash bags full of clothing that will be donated to the local Thrift. He is two pants sizes down, and the big issue right now is finding a belt that will work to keep those smaller pants up. Luckily, Tom is a "pack rat" and we have lots and lots and lots of clothes for Him, down through probably 8 or 10 sizes. It is just going to be a matter of finding time to unpack all the bins that I so painstakingly packed up a couple of summers ago. I am imagining that much of what is in there will need to be laundered and pressed before it is really wearable, but I am glad that it is all saved and organized.

Here are the latest photos of the two rapidly vanishing family members. I am not sure what's up with my camera, so they are darker than I like, but still show the changes we are seeing. As of today, Teresa has lost 50 pounds, Tom has lost 56 pounds, and I've lost 12-1/2 pounds.