Thursday, June 16, 2011


The last three days have been a blur. Well, maybe not a total blur, but definitely fuzzy. I am still getting used to my medication (Cymbalta) and I am noticing a lot of little things that are different about me since I started taking it. Some good, some bad.

My appetite is completely gone. I never get hungry... but I am aware that I need to eat. Cymbalta is not meant to be used souly as an appetite suppresor, but it's one of the perks I guess. I have lost 6 lbs since Monday just by taking my medication. I have taken a break from my diet this week so as not to put too much stress on my body while I acclimate.

I am tossing and turning more than ever at night. One of my complaints was my lack of sleep (which I believe is directly to blame for a lot of my issues. Frank says he woke up several times last night and I was shifting or twitching. He said once or twice he put his arm around me to calm me down, and I had broken out into a cold sweat. I am having strange dreams and then waking up feeling disoriented. Hopefully that tapers off after a week or two.

I am yawning CONSTANTLY. I read some online reviews written by users of Cymbalta, and I found some comfort in reading that I was not the only one experiencing that. It's not just a yawn here and there, it's a yawn every minute or so, for 15-20 minutes at a time. It's strange. My breathing isn't labored or shallow, so I dont think it's my body trying to catch its breath or anything like that.

I still get angry or upset when the situation calls for it, but I notice that I handle things differently. I am less likely to feel the phsyical side effects of my emotions (if that makes sense.) I dont get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that feels like I am getting ready to head down the first big hill of a rollercoaster. I dont miss THAT feeling at all! I am not a zombie *by any means* but I am definitely more relaxed and less tense.

I am still not sure if this is going to be the right medication for me, but like I said in another blog, I am going to give it a few weeks and see how I take to it. After having said that, I have also read in some reviews that Cymbalta can be addicting and that you suffer withdraw type symptoms when you stop taking it. (That's the LAST thing I need.)

I still have not gotten a call from the Bariatric Surgeon yet to schedule the consultation. If I dont hear from one by tomorrow I am going to call my Physician back and see what is taking so long. I am rather impatient (but then again, who wouldn't be regarding something as huge as this?!?) I am just ready to know what is ahead of me. If I have to see a psychologist and attend a seminar I'd like to know who, when, where, etc. so I can get on the ball! I am ready to get this train moving!!! *toot toot*

Well, that's all for today.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Well, I have been taking my medication for two days.... and I am not quite sure if I like it. I have felt a bit fuzzy since last night, and I have noticed that I am much more tired. I have noticed a change in my anxiety level, but mostly because I am too tired to be anxious. I also noticed that the packaging included the warning "may cause dizziness and drowsiness. Do not operate machinery." Hmmmm. I am going to give it a try for a week and the see where I am at.

I have been processing the fact that I am going to be meeting with a bariatric surgeon soon. I have been weighing out the pros and cons of Gastric Bypass surgery... and I must admit that now that it's a very real possibility, I am finding myself to be a bit nervous and maybe even unsure about the entire thing. Here are a few pros and cons I have come up with (at least the important ones.)


Losing 70-80% of excess body weight in 12 months.I am tired of being fat. I have ALWAYS felt like I was larger than most people. I have been called names and ridiculed since I was young. I am ready to lose the weight and finally feel good about myself. Plus, I am carrying around 130+ extra pounds of weight!! I am ready to let that weight go.
Lower Blood Pressure (and other health benefits)
When you are as large as I am the heart has to pump harder to keep up. My blood pressure has been giving me fits for the last few years. Hell, even 8 years ago when I had Trey Bear I was struggling with my blood pressure. I am too young to have to worry about that. Losing weight would also address several other health issues I would face if I dont lose weight, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, sleep apnea, etc. I am ready to be healthy.

Alleviation of lower extremity muscle and joint pain.
My feet, ankles, knees, legs, and back hurt constantly. When I walk for too long or when I am on my feet for too long it becomes painful. When you are carrying around as much weight as I am, it's no wonder.

The ability to keep up with and play with my children.
I am going to be 30 years old in 2 years. I have three amazing kids who are full of life and ready to play! When we go to the park I get winded chasing after them. I find myself sitting on the bench just to catch my breath. I can't play soccer with Trey or run around the bases when we play baseball. I dont want to be the mother that dies young because she didnt take care of herself.

Improved physical relationship with my husband.
I have spent the majority of my marriage pregnant... and/or overweight. Needless to say, I have self-image and self-esteem issues that have created a lot of tension in regards to my physical relationship with my husband. I am ready to be proud of how I look and comfortable in my own skin. I deserve it. I am ready to let go of my self doubt.


Excess skin.
I think the thing I am the most afraid of is losing a bunch of weight and being left with tons of extra skin. Insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery, and I know that we dont have the money to pay for it out of pocket. I dont want to put one issue behind me only to take on an entirely new set of issues.

I am already self- conscious as it is. I wont even take my shirt off in front of my husband. I had two children very close together and it did crazy things to my body. I am already very hefty and I you can tell my skin has stretched over the years due to the weight gain and weight loss roller coaster I have been on since I was in high school. The idea of having POUNDS of loose skin hanging off of me scares me to death. Knowing I dont have the funds to have the skin removed and that I'd be trapped in my own skin (literally) scares me even more!!

I have done quite a bit of research, and from what I understand not everyone that has Gastric Bypass surgery ends up having loose/excess skin. There really is no way of telling how it would end up for me. When you lose weight very quickly it's hard for your skin to keep up. If you lose weight slowly and steadily, the skin has a better chance of adjusting. Even with Bypass surgery, people lose weight at different paces. It's hard to tell how quickly or how slowly I will lose weight. *shaking my head!*

Health Risks
Vomiting: After surgery, when you eat more than the stomach pouch can hold or if you dont chew up your food into mush... it comes right back up. Who wants to worry about vomiting every time they eat?
Dumping Syndrome: If the pyloric valve - which regulates how fast food exits the stomach - is bypassed, food may leave the stomach and enter the digestive tract too quickly, which leads to a release of adrenalin which typically causes nausea, palpitations, sweating and diarrhea.
Lack of Vitamins and Minerals: Mal absorptive bypass operations carry greater risk for nutritional deficiency. Patients must therefore take a variety of nutritional supplements.

Not only do I have to worry about THOSE things, I am at risk of
bleeding, infections, gastritis, the formation of gallstones, as well as weight regain in the period 3-5 years afterwards. It seems like an awful lot to worry about. -sigh- 

I have a long road ahead and many big decisions to make. I am sure that when I meet with the surgeon he will be able to answer and questions I have. I am sure that he will walk me through the pros and cons and make sure this is the right choice for me. I am almost positive that I want to have the surgery... and the more I think about it the more the positives (benefits) outweigh the negatives (risks.) I will continue to process it all and see what I come up with.

Monday, June 13, 2011


We made it to the Doctor today, and luckily Frank was able to come with me to help wrangle the kids. Had he not been there, my head would have exploded. Literally.

One of the things the Doctor said (after spending 5 minutes in a room with the 5 of us) is that it's no wonder I am struggling with losing weight, struggling with anxiety and depression, and struggling to hold it all together. It took that one sentence to feel the weight of the world lifted from my soldiers. I could have broken down then and there, but we had issues to discuss.

The girls are FINALLY over their allergies for the most part. Emery is going to start taking some allergy medication before bedtime to help with her runny nose. They both have very severe diaper rashes... but my mother claims that I always had bad diaper rash when I was young too. The Doc said that it can be genetic. We got a RX for them and hopefully it helps. All in all the girls are in good health :)

In regards to ME (yeah, ME)... I am just going to come out and say it. I have a consultation with a Bariatric Surgeon sometime in the next week or two. I am expecting a call in the next few days. After speaking with the Doctor, we both feel that looking into Gastric Bypass might be the way to go for me.

We discussed my diet and exercise, and the Doctor was rather impressed with my knowledge about food and fat-burning specific exercise. In fact, he told me that what I mentioned to him I have been trying for the last few months would be EXACTLY what he was going to suggest I try.

There was another treatment he suggested where I would be given a hormone injection every day for a month. It would be the same hormone that women produce when they are pregnant. Along with that hormone I would eat a 500 calorie specific diet, thus speeding up my metabolism. He said that in most cases it was successful, but there are a few cases in which it does not work. This method would NOT be covered by our insurance however (and honestly, the idea of injections freaks me out. I have NEVER been good with needles.)

Our insurance WILL cover GBS since my BMI is over 39. There is a slim chance they could require that I be under the care and observation of a Physician for 3 months to qualify for full insurance benefits. The Doctor and I discussed that today as well... and today marks day 1 of that 3 months (if required by my insurance.) I will find all of this information out when I meet with the Bariatric surgeon.

The Doctor also gave me a RX of Cymbalta to help with my anxiety/depression/ and trouble sleeping. He says that it's very obvious that I am struggling with some pretty intense emotional issues and he believes that taking a bit of medication might level me out a little bit. At this point, I am ready to try anything (as long as it doesn't turn me into a zombie.) 

So, it seems that in the next few weeks I am going to be experiencing some pretty big changes. If the insurance does NOT require that I wait 3 months, I could be scheduled for surgery before the end of the summer. If they do require 3 months, I would have the surgery before the end of the year. It is overwhelming to think of what that would mean for me. I am ready for whatever is ahead of me. Good things :)


Today I have an appointment with a Physician. I made the appointment specifically to address my difficulty in losing weight and to get the ball rolling in regards to being under a Physician supervised diet and exercise program.

Per request, the office mailed me all of the paperwork to fill out at home so I wouldn't have to fill it out while chasing the kids in the office. In filling out the paperwork I was made aware that, not only has it been years since I had a full workup with a physician, but I have been dealing with some serious issues that really add up when you see them all on paper.

Not only have I had joint pain (pain in general) in my knees and ankles, but I have had bouts of dizziness, frequent headaches, numbness/tingling in my fingers, blurred vision, and a few other things that I didnt think much of, until I was able to see them visually represented on a medical history form.

Also, this particular group of paperwork I received had a section regarding psychological issues. Its one of those charts that ask you to mark "on a scale from 1-10, how severe does this issue impact your life." Some of the issues listed were...

* Waking up multiple times at night
* Restlessness
* Indecisiveness
* Anxiousness
* Difficulty falling asleep
* Headaches
* Pessimism
* Nervousness

... just to name a few. As I am filling out the paperwork I start to realize that I have experienced / am experiencing EVERY ONE OF THE ISSUES LISTED. I am intelligent enough to realize (generally speaking) that CLINICALLY it would appear that I am struggling with depression or a number of other psychological issues.

I have a fear that they are going to perform a physical evaluation and a psychological evaluation and tell me that not only am I am in AWFUL shape physically, but mentally as well. I am not afraid in the sense that it's going to be a shock or it's going to shake the very foundation my entire world is built upon, but scared in the sense that I am going to have to face my demons and do something proactive to help myself.

I have noticed for the last year or two that something inside of me has changed. I dont know if it's because I had two children so close together and I dont make it out into the world very much, or if it's something that has always been there but buried beneath the surface. I sometimes become anxious in social situations or avoid them all together. Not situations where I am with people I already know and are comfortable with, but the opposite. In a sense, I have become immensely anti-confrontational. I didn't use to be this way. In fact, I was the exact opposite. I thrived on confrontation (not just the negative kind, either. Lol.) This is just ONE thing that I have noticed is wrong.

I know my self-image is very poor and my self-esteem is almost non-existent on some days. I struggle with feelings of worthlessness and failure, and I know I dont get enough sleep. I feel restless and bored, but overwhelmed and stretched too thin. I have convinced myself the last few months that it's just due to stress and that it's normal, but do I really believe that?

I work so hard every day to hold everything together and to do the best job I can at taking care of everyone. I feel that a lot of the symptoms I am experiencing are just due to stress and having children, but I am both nervous and excited to be able to speak with a Doctor about some of the things I have been experiencing lately. (Hell, I have already figured out *in filling out my forms* that I struggle with excitement and nervousness, so I shouldn't be surprised.)