The Six Month Checkup

 Be warned, this post is one of those boring surgery-related updates, I’ll be back to my usual bullshit later this weekend when I share about the lord telling me exactly how the damn gays are ruining America…….I know, I was pretty shocked to hear it too.  And I’ve never heard the lord say “damn” before, so my guess is he was totally serious.

I just got back home from my six month checkup at the surgeon’s office.  In short, my blood work looks fantastic and I am down a total of 110 pounds.  He told me this is above average, and I was glad to hear it because I have no concept of what “normal” weight loss is anymore.  I was worried that the few times my weight loss has slowed down as I worked through the “things that stall progress” portions of the learning curve may have put me behind.  But, with the holidays jammed in there along with my laziness due to the weather when it comes to physical activity…..I’ll gladly take the 110.  I know many people will react to my attitude like I’m crazy or ungrateful because losing that amount of weight in six months is phenomenal, but to them I say…..it has still been a hell of a lot of work to get here, the surgery is just one tool in the constantly evolving arsenal. 

I guess everyone who has gastric bypass is paranoid about their vitamin intake, with all of the stories about people ending up in wheelchairs due to B12 deficiency.  With that in mind I grilled my surgeon pretty good to make sure all of my levels were okay.  All of the biggies were well within “normal” range, and even though I’m very conscious of getting them all in every day it was good to hear.  I had some worries about the efficacy of the sublingual B12, but that looked just fine.  Protein levels are great, and my blood pressure has been steady lately around 127 over 74.  My Vitamin D levels were a little low, which was kind of a suprise because I take an extra supplement every day for that.  The doctor wasn’t too worried about it and told me “as soon as you stop being such a gothic queer and get out in the sunshine when the weather improves that will change”.  He kept poking me in the chest as he told me that.  As I rained blows down upon him I thought to myself….”you know, I really do move around much easier now!”. 

Before I shit-hammered my doctor, we did have a good discussion about animal vs. vegetable proteins, satiety and worries about pouch-stretching.  I also told him that about once a week or so, for whatever reason, something just won’t begin digesting quickly enough and the pressure will build until I go to the bathroom and hack it up….then everything is fine.  He chalked it up to the learning curve, and I can’t say that I disagree because it is happening less and less frequently.  Sometimes my stomach is more sensitive than others I guess, and sometimes when I let myself get too hungry I either eat too fast or don’t chew enough.  Using vomiting as a release valve is just a disturbing thing to have to do….and I wouldn’t even call it vomiting, it’s more like deep coughing now.  As far as proteins go, one thing that is becoming extremely obvious is that when I eat animal proteins like eggs, beef, etc., I feel full quicker and I stay full longer.  Then when I eat a vegetarian meal (which I’ve been doing a LOT more lately) like that chickpea mixture or this 13 bean chili that I really like, I notice I can eat quite a bit more of it without getting full.  My concern was that I may be taking in too many calories, and of course the paranoia about stretching the pouch with too much volume was the biggest worry.  He assured me that vegetable proteins are going to digest a little quicker, meaning you can eat more without getting full as quickly, and that if the weight keeps going down then you’re not stretching the pouch.  I’ll monitor how much of the various vegetarian/bean dishes I consume, with his comment in mind that “if you’re eating too much at once you’ll know it”.  I DEFINITELY know what it feels like to eat too much now, this is all just such a big learning curve that I didn’t know if there were any big drawbacks to a more vegetarian lifestyle after surgery.  When I did my last stint with the KU weight loss research project, the protocol we followed was to eat 3 HMR meals per day along with all of the fruits and vegetables (minus potatoes and corn of course) we wanted to eat.  I did lose some weight doing that, even eating HUGE volumes of fruits and vegetables (8-16 servings), so it only stands to reason that using beans as a major protein source won’t hurt me.  Also, the concept of “a lot of” anything is so different now…..when I eat 3/4 of a bowl of vegetarian chili I think of that as “a lot”.   Speaking of that, I get a lot of my stuff from Whole Foods now that I can afford it due to the quantity I need, but most stores do carry “Bob’s Red Mill” items.  Their 13 bean soup mix is excellent, and I don’t have a label here in front of me but I believe it’s very high in protein….something like 12 or 14 grams per serving.  That stuff, plus the greatest product ever invented…New Whey liquid protein, guarantees that a veggie diet can include enough protein to keep you healthy.  Maybe I really am a gothic queer like the doctor said, because beans, tofu and seitan are my favorite things to eat now along with bloody cuts of beef and various entrails (my iron levels are a tiny bit low, so now I can really come out of the offal closet without shame).  No in between there…..I do love seafood a lot, but the hell with poultry….I’m all about vegetarian dishes (I have dreams about the Korean dish Soon Tofu, and the Indian chickpea miracle called Chana Masala) but I’m just as happy to eat straight-up gore foods like liver, tongue and sweetbreads.  Maybe it’s just a subconscious thing that won’t allow me to become too much like hippie scum and go vegan…..all I know is that pieces of animals that processed some type of fluid are magically delicious. 

I guess that’s about it for today.  In all, a great day.  The weather is decent, I’m making good progress with my health, and I don’t have a ton of crap to do for work before this weekend.  I am behind the eightball when it comes to homework, but when am I NOT?  And joy of joys, the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit opens at Union Station this weekend so I’ll be seeing that very soon without having to travel to a different city like I thought I would.  I wonder if the same religious protesters who used to picket in front of my store when I managed a Priscilla’s will be there to greet me…….it will be like old home week! 

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6 Comments

Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Blogroll, Christianity, culture, dating, Evangelical Christianity, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, religion, Tent Revival, Weight Loss, weight loss surgery

6 responses to “The Six Month Checkup

  1. Hey there! Just found you through another blog. I had fun reading — love your sense of humor and candor. You had me laughing with, ” The doctor wasn’t too worried about it and told me “as soon as you stop being such a gothic queer and get out in the sunshine when the weather improves that will change”.

    Gotta love a doctor who can dish it right back. 🙂

    Anyway, I’m post-op also. You’ve done awesome and I look forward to seeing your progress.

    Anyway, I’m going to red some of your older entries, but wanted to note you and say, “hi!”

    Donna

    PS: Priscilla’s as in “Priscilla’s of Boston”? That’s where where I bought my wedding gown. 🙂

  2. zeemanb

    Hi Donna! Thanks and best of luck with your progress!

    As far as Priscilla’s….no good way to say this other than the ones here in KC are more geared towards shopping for the wedding NIGHT rather than the wedding DRESS……lol

  3. Biker Tee

    Jerry, I just love your site, I take a look every now and again and you make me howl with laughter! I should go back and read all your old stuff as your op was about the same time as mine, I had mine here in England on 28 August last year, and just had my 6 month check up too. Haven’t done as good as you, have lost 58lb since the op and 87lb since my heaviest. But I’m chuffed, other than carrying this wrinkled sack of spare flesh hanging off my gut and draping my nether regions, I feel great! I can wash parts I was nigh on giving up on, and have seen my pubic hair for the first time in about 20 years. As for the gothic queer comment, hilarious! Mind, I am all pasty after a crappy winter over here, and sitting here while my green hair dye takes is perhaps a bit “unusual” also, so the gothy element is one to celebrate my dear! I wish you all the luck in the world, keep on tickling our fancies, and I’ll keep on taking a look. We’re doing this together my pet! Am off to Edinburgh for the weekend to prematurely celebrate St Paddy’s day (hence the green hair) so will have a dram or two for you while I’m there. And believe me, seeing as I get pissed after about 3 glasses of wine nowadays, it will not be many more than that! All the best x

  4. zeemanb

    Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Unsavedlovedones.com has its first European reply! (you can’t see them, but streamers and confetti are falling all over my desk….the mariachi band is annoyingly loud)

    Thanks very much! I never know how people will take some of what I write, and obviously that is intentional on my part, BUT at the heart of the matter I honestly do enjoy connecting with other bariatric patients in this madhouse. Yes, we are in this together…..I’m not “happy” that you needed surgery but it is comforting to know that this bond stretches across the pond. And you make an excellent point….EVERYTHING about toilet-activities is so much more rewarding these days!

    Best wishes to you and congratulations on your progress, I will do my best to keep up with whatever it is I’m doing here…..until I am black-bagged by some devout evangelicals here in the middle of America.

    Do have a proper glass of whisky for me…..can you believe they put ice in that stuff over here?

    Thanks again and warmest regards,
    Jerry

  5. Biker Tee

    Well hello again Jerry!
    It’s been a hectic few weeks and I’ve come on board again to catch up with your latest witticisms, to give me a giggle in this drab and dreary land of hail. And talking of hail, global warming?!?!? Is there anyone else out there who thinks this is all a load of shite or is it just me?? I thought the goddam planet was supposed to be melting or something, and we’d all be practising breast stroke in readiness for the melted icebergs and glaciers. Well, it’s not frigging warm here I can tell you. It’s now the bliddy middle of April, and for the last month or so we’ve had snow, rain, hail or sleet, along with frosts nearly every day. Each time the sun comes out, I get my trowel out and gamely try to turn over the frozen sods in my garden, hoping against hope that I may one day get all the little seedlings adorning every spare surface in my living room and kitchen out into the ground to thrive and provide healthy nourishment along with my protein shakes, but along comes another shower of snow or hail. I want to scream, so I’m off to Tunisia for a week of unadulterated sunshine and alcohol a week on Saturday, otherwise my putty-coloured skin will just disintegrate in all this wet. But you are a ray of sunshine in my life petal, I love coming on here every couple of weeks or so and catching up with what you’ve got up to. And yes, for a Brit I’m a good laugh and for a former fat Brit I’m actually not looking half bad nowadays, despite the Joey pouch. Edinburgh was a good laugh, I had plenty of wine and a dram for you too, the shopping was lovely – typical girly comment I’m afraid – and the scenery was stunning too. Then for Easter weekend I went to a motorbike rally near Leeds, see http://www.eastleedslions.co.uk/ and take a look at the 2008 Easter Rally for some really good pics, as you can see the weather was stunning, on the Sunday morning there were 6 inches of snow outside my tent! But it’s always warm in the pub, as you can see from the pictures, I’m on the 6th one along on the Saturday pictures, I’m the one in the black hat! Then was at a wedding the following week, I actually wore a girly frock and felt quite feminine for once, it was really nice! The weight loss has certainly helped my self confidence, do you feel the same? Not that you’d suit a girly frock I may add!
    So, off to do some paperwork, keep in touch hon, email me if you like sometime, and keep your chin up, as there’s only one now!!! TTFN x

  6. zeemanb

    Hello again! Good to see you are back and enjoying the latest updates! Pickings may be a little slim around here until next month when I do the wedding (no suit yet, I’m in that weird in-between sizes phase right now and don’t want to invest…am just going with a suede sportcoat and French cuff shirt so that I can show off my cool new Devil-Girl Pinup cufflinks)….I’m literally graduating grad school that morning, then doing the wedding that evening….about as blog-worthy as it gets. Then there will be the graduation parties, a bbq competition my team is doing, a mysterious trip back to the DC area…and of course my birthday is on the same day we shifted from being colonies to states (not trying to bring up any painful memories on that side of the pond…..oh the hell with it, we’ll ALL be Chinese colonies soon enough). So hang tough, more good stuff coming eventually……actually I think later this week I’ll write about how my weight loss has broken the hearts of many “Bears” here in KC who prayed for me to switch teams for so many years. Now that I’m wasting away I’m not eye candy for them anymore.

    The weather here is TERRIBLE! I don’t know what to think……literally snowing one day and then 70 degrees the next with hurricane force winds. The American midwest requires you to have an umbrella, a raincoat, a pair of shorts and a parka with you at all times. And last weekend I was thinking…”oh I should probably plant my herb garden soon”. Glad that didn’t happen.

    Happy to hear that Edinburgh was a hoot, and after looking at the crowd at the rally I realize…..well maybe I AM better suited for girly frocks! I think if I ever tried pulling off the biker look people would think the Village People had reunited. Not to mention that I’m WAY too comfortable with wearing makeup whenever I’m onstage for an opera or something.

    And much to the chagrin of my friends and family, the weight loss has helped my self confidence to an annoying degree……I was bad enough already.

    Thanks again for stopping in, I’ll try to keep posting MY own personal reality in the most irreverent ways possible…..

    Jerry

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