Saturday, December 27, 2008

Things I look forward to...

Okay, so as of tomorrow *as opposed to starting Jan 1st* I am cutting out the sweets. I figure I might as well get use to the way I will be eating after surgery.
I can't really explain it, but I'm just ready to get on with life again.
I started walking again, only did a few days this week but it's a start.

I really have a lot of things I look forward to doing again such as:

-Sitting down in a chair *or anywhere* and not take up the whole space in the seat.
-Being able to bend over and tie my shoes without being out of breath
-Wearing my smaller clothes *sizes under 24*
-Going out in public without being embarrassed
-Working a 12 hour shift and my feet not feel as though they will fall off
-Sitting on the floor and getting up without a fight between my midsection and gravity
-Buckling my seat belt and it not being tight
-Walking a mile without stopping for a breather

These are just a few things I look forward to...also they are reasons I want to start this right away. I have not been living...I've been getting by...and I'm tired of just getting by. I want a life again and I am ready to start claiming it back!

Monday, December 22, 2008


So....I finished my last GBS requirement on Saturday and it was a great group. Mom came along as my support person. We had a speaker that spoke about her good and bad experiences with surgery. If you want to read her story click on the address below:

After the group I talked with the insurance coordinator for the surgeon's office I'm with. I told her that this was my last requirement and asked what I needed to do next. She told me to make a final appointment *which I already did for Jan. 7th* and after that appointment they would send off my information to the insurance company. She then told me to estimate my surgery time around March due to the fact that my surgeon is booked up until then. The time estimate is a little later than I was hoping...but God knows better than I do.
Mom jokingly said, "happy b-day to you" , as my birthday is in March.

I do feel overwhelmed right now.

1.) School is out *which is great* but I almost don't know what to do with myself! I mean I am thankful beyond words for school to be over, but I'm so use to not having a life that I seriously don't know where to begin.
2.) Of course being overweight makes me not want to leave the house due to embarassment of my physical girth. I want to go out and do things, but my confidence level is not very high at the moment.
3.) Also, I received a letter from my primary care physician's office saying that they will be closing their office Jan. 29th due to economic problems. I LOVE my doctor. She actually listens, is very helpful and encouraging.

Shew...anyone ever feel like this besides me??

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Finding out more

I'm a member of the online support group for the surgeon's office I'm with and just read a post asking when to make the 'final appointment'. Apparently it is suppose to be right after the last insurance requirment, in which mine is this saturday.

They are booked up the 3rd week in December and my doctor is on vacation the last week of Dec. Sooooo, I made my FINAL APPOINTMENT for Jan 7th!!

I'm calling their office on monday to talk with the lady in charge of sending papers to the insurance office, to make sure she has all of my paperwork to send off.

If she gets to send it off on Monday-Tuesday, I will have 2 weeks needed for the insurance people to hopefully approve me for surgery!

Anyhow, whenever we get to schedule the surgery *hopefully the last 2 weeks in Jan* I will be on a special eating regimen for the 10 days leading up to surgery. *with the last day drinking gatorade and laxative *yay..* lol

Anyhow, that's what I've got so far. If I find out anything else I will let you all know.

I love you all!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Minor Road Block I'm not finished with my GBS requirements yet.

Today was suppose to be my last post-op support group meeting, however the facility I was suppose to have it at posted the schedule wrong on it's website.
SO...I will have this last requirement finished next Saturday! (WOOO HOOO!)

At first I was upset, but God knows...and that's all that matters. :-)

On another note, I officially have my Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from ETSU!

NOW I can focus on getting healthy completely and work of course...

I have done absolutely nothing physically active this week with the exception of all the running around at work and pulling/lifting patients.

I've been thinking about some goals for the next week that would be cool to attain:

-Have one serving of fruit and veggies each day

-Do weight bearing exercises 3 days this week *not including work*

I am still trying to get a hold of my doctor *has been over 2 weeks* to get a refill for my Wellbutrin. I have been without my SSRI for 6 days now and I'm starting to feel the effects.

Anyhow, I'm going to get off of here and hop in the shower. I finally got to color my hair! (hot mama red of course).

I love you all!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I still need to attend my last support group meeting next saturday and then the surgeon's office will send off my paperwork to the insurance company.

I'm trying to get as prepared for this surgery as I possibly can. I'm putting together a kit of things I will need while in the hospital.

My kit contains: chapstick; because my lips will be dry after having been intubated during the procedure, a pillow from home; to hold against my stomach when I cough and get out of bed to ambulate, books / magazines just incase I am awake and bored; bath robe to cover up my 'ass-ets' while ambulating in the halls and non-slip house shoes.

I've been making a little time each day to do some type of exercise. I've been using the resistance bands for toning up my muscles wherever I go. I'm also stretching my muscles to get more and more flexible as well as walking around the house and on the treadmill.

By the grace of God, I've stopped smoking completely.

I haven't had a cigarette in over a month and I feel a lot better.
Dealing with stress differently is something I am working on as well. Praying, listening to music and journaling are some of the ways in which I am channeling my energy from stress rather than smoking or eating.
I'm not successful everyday but I keep trying everyday.

Hope everyone is doing great!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Wow...I think I have some loved ones in denial of my surgery.
After telling them numerous times that I plan on having GB surgery, not to mention blogging on here *and emailing them new posts* they STILL don't get it.
No joke, one of my family members sent me a new fad diet book in the mail last week.

I got a phone call from them on T-giving day from them asking, "hey, did you get the diet book we sent?" Amy said, "ummm yeah...but why did you send it?" "well, we knew you were tossing around the idea of surgery and wanted to make sure you had tried ALL other options." Amy said, "I appreciate the thought, but I've told you before that I am going through with the surgery."
***Long uncomfortable pause on the phone***

I've read in my GB books that this is a normal thing for family members to do when they are scared or unsure about the procedure. I know my select few family members mean well, but what else can I do to convince them that I'm ACTUALLY doing this?!!?

I'll continue praying for peace for them, but that's about all I can do.

Anyhow, on a lighter note, I just joined a local WLS group on yahoo and it is fabulous!
I've found great websites for protein shakes, vitamins etc on it, not to mention awesome before and after pictures from some of the members. There is something reassuring about meeting and seeing people you live near that have gad the surgery and great results.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sorry for not posting's been awhile since I've posted anything.
I do, however, have an excuse. Since last Tuesday (the 17th) I've been either at work or clinical. So, collectively I have worked/had clinical for a total of 84 a row.
So yeah...working that much will make anyone's body tired....but my 100+ lb on my 5'4" frame has been absolutely horrible. My feet and ankles have still not recouperated from being stood on for 13+ hrs /day.
Talk about inspiration to exercise more...

Anyhow, Mom and I have decided that after tomorrow *Thanksgiving* that we will start eating the type of foods I will be eating after my surgery. ie: high protein, non-starchy foods.
I've just had enough junk food...and I'm tired of feeling as though I am carrying around 2 people on my body.

Anyhow, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I am truly thankful for each and every one of you. You are a part of what keeps me going day to day. God bless

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Almost there!

I had my pre & postop support group meetings this past Friday & Saturday.

The preop was a little boring but we got to watch a discovery health video of 4 different people before/during/after gastric bypass. *Amy got a little teary-eyed listening & commiserating with the people*

The postop meeting was my absolute favorite! There were at least 40-50 people there and around 15 people were 6 months to 1 year postop and they shared their success' with us. One lady around age 50 said that 4 days after surgery she was COMPLETELY off her diabetic and blood pressure medications!!

I cannot begin to explain how very much I needed to be at the support group meeting. I felt as though I had people around me that understood to a 'T' what I have gone through my whole life.

I only have one more post op meeting to attend and then I can send off my paper work to my insurance company for approval.

Well everyone, I am off to study and head to bed.

I love you all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I have officially hit 'rock bottom'. For the past 4 months I have absolutely stopped caring about my body. I have not exercised, I have eaten junk, I have been smoking *after not touching a cigarette in 5 years* and not sleeping well.
The result: I weigh an all time high of 285 lb, I have stretch marks all over my body, I am constantly short of breath, my seatbelt barely buckles around my waist, my feet are in agony after a 12 hour shift and I am always tired.
Why have I let myself go? Hopelessness...laziness...not wanting to deal with stressful situations...
WOW...can we say 'eye opener'??

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thank God for Inspiring buddies!

Okay, so after having a massive 'pity party' *in which I am now finished with*

I started looking at my blogger buds that have succeeded with their new way of life. All I have to say is PRAISE GOD for my inspiring buddies! Take a look!

Shrinking Susy
She is my blogger bud from Oregon

Barbara, my bud from California

Amber, my bud from Missouri almost 2 years post op

My bud Carrie from Indiana

Jenn from Seattle Washington

Friday, October 31, 2008

EGD a Success!

Today was my EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy) *try saying that 3 times fast!*

Anyhow, mom and I went to the Outpatient Surgery Center in J.C. around 730 this morning.

I think I waited all of 5 minutes and was taken back to the holding area where I put on a hospital gown and relaxed in a ginormously squishy easy chair. I had a sweet Nurse named Chris, who by the way has had the gastric banding done. So far he has lost 100 pounds! To look at the guy he looks as though he's never been big a day in his life!

Chris started an IV on me *I am a WAAY hard stick* and to my surprise he numbed me with a tiny shot of lidocaine before he stuck in the IV. Let me just say that it was the BEST IV I have ever had! No pain, and I didn't even bruise after the fact!

I basically sat back in the holding area for a little over an hour and took a nap until they took me back to my room where they did the procedure. The room was fairly small but comfy. I was put on a stretcher and hooked up to an automatic BP machine and heart monitor. I waited around 25 minutes (when the doctor arrived) then was given some nasty thick lidocaine gel that I gargled with and had to swallow. Needless to say Amy gagged a little...

I then was given 2 sprays of even more powerful lidocaine spray that burned a little going down my throat. Not even 15 seconds went by and I had absolutely no feeling in my throat!

The surgical tech and Nurse layed me on my left side and that's when Dr. Hodge came in the room and said, "Hey Amy! How are you doing??" I said, "Fabulous! Dr. Hodge!" I remember the nurse saying something like, "Now you'll start feeling a little funny in a second"

Dr. Hodge asked why I was so fabulous and all I got out was, "Because I've only got 5 weeks left of nursing schoo.."

The next thing I knew I woke up in the post op area where an awesome nurse took out my IV and told me I would feel a little groggy for a few minutes. To be quite honest I felt like I just woke up from a nice deep good night sleep.

Apparently right after the procedure, Dr. Hodge called out and talked to mom on the phone and said I was okay for the surgery!

I got changed back into my clothes and was taken out to mom's car parked out front. Mom asked how the procedure went and I was like, "It was awesome!" Mom said, "Apparently...because the staff said you were quite hilarious." Hmmmm I guess Versed and Fentanyl makes me an unconscious comedian???

Now all I have to do is attend one Preop and three Postop support group meetings and I will have all of my requirements finished for surgery! I will have these finished by December 12th and then I wait on insurance approval.

God is soooooo good!! I am so excited about this surgery!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Abscent minded much??

Okay, so this last semester of Nursing school has been somewhat busy...okay very busy. So busy in fact that I apparently wrote down my required GB support group meeting on the wrong saturday and I missed it.

Anyhow, I will have to attend the ones in November and one in december..THEN I can schedule my surgery.

I go for my EGD on the 31st and then all I have left for insurance requirements are the support group meetings. 1 preop and 3 postop.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I absolutely LOVE this time of year. I feel as though my soul comes alive with the vibrant colors of crimson and gold leaves painted across the mountains.

I feel as though my life is finally coming together in many ways.

The Lord has been with me every step of the way and I cannot thank Him enough.
In approximately 8 weeks I will be a graduate of ETSU college of Nursing!

A wonderful sidenote is that I get to graduate with my twin brother. He and I have shared so many things over the past 24 years and I am honored to accept my diploma with him.

The gastric bypass surgery is really going to happen and I couldn't be more peaceful about it. I never would've thought that I would even consider having this surgery, but as life unfolded and God intervened it made so much sense. I have clinical tomorrow from 6:30a-7:00p at the hospital I work at. I also have my gallbladder ultrasound in which I must register at the front desk by 7am. This will interfere with the beginning of my shift for clinical but an ultrasound does not take long to do. It does help that I am the first one in line in the morning....

My last day working on the psych unit is saturday. I will be sad to leave my wonderful and amazing co-workers, but I need to move on. The Lord has blessed me with a new job in which I will only have to work 2 days/week until school ends, which will give me a lot more time to focus on school.

Anyhow, I am going to get off of here and get ready for work. I haven't been able to work the past few days because of my awful bronchitis and sinusitis. So I am glad to be going back today.

Everyone have a great week!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm Getting Closer!

Okay, so as of Tuesday I officially have the following finished for my Gastric Bypass requirments:

-Psych evaluation (passed with flying colors!)
-Personal letter to doctor's office stating my reasons for surgery and promise of compliance.
-Letter from my primary care physician stating need for the surgery.
-Dietary class
-Chart records from doctor's office

All I have left to do now are:

-Gall bladder ultrasound (scheduled for monday)
-Support group meetings (scheduled for Oct. and Nov)
-EGD (scheduled for later this month)

Basically as soon as the rest of these things are completed I can submit all of my information to the insurance company and pray to be accepted for the surgery the first try!
*again prayers please for this!*

Shew...God is good! He has allowed EVERYTHING to fall into place for me.