Emotional Fatigue

nicole rough dayIn the last 7 weeks since surgery, I’ve had lots of ups and downs, good days and bad days. My bad days are usually from physical symptoms, but today was a BAD emotional day.

I had some rough things happen at work, got very agitated emotionally. As a result, it affected me physically. I have a headache from crying. My body aches like I had a big workout at the gym. I was feeling fine, then suddenly I couldn’t make it at work anymore. I came home and took a long nap. Naps aren’t out of the ordinary since surgery, but I woke up feeling EXHAUSTED.

One thing that I haven’t talked about much on this blog is my long-time struggle with clinical depression. I started on my first anti-depressant at 15, have been in and out of therapists offices to deal with traumatic life events, and have even struggled with thoughts of suicide. It was very out of character for me, but I stopped taking my anti-depressants, cold turkey, after surgery. My main reason for stopping was that I was too lazy to make a doctors appointment to get a prescription for pills in a tablet form. I can’t take capsules right now because my pouch won’t tolerate them.

Surprisingly, the way I’ve felt emotionally since surgery has been much better than I expected. I haven’t really had the down days like I normally have. Today was tough, but it was more of a situational sadness. I’m not going to go into what happened today, but it was definitely the hardest emotional day since surgery. My friend Simply June wrote a post today to help with my bad day. Thanks, June!

I’m getting a little worried that I’m getting another stricture. In my Bariatric Bad Girls Club, we talk about getting “the foamies.” Right before vomiting, you start to get pressure in your chest/pouch area, food and mucusy saliva starts to regurgitate up, and it’s usually a sign that you’ll be vomiting in the next minute or two. I got “the foamies” a lot right before I had my dilation for my other stricture, and I’ve had the foamies a few times this week. I’m hoping that I won’t need another dilation…at this point I can still keep liquids down.

One Month Of Beauty And The Bypass

It’s crazy to think it’s been a month since I started my weight loss surgery blog. 5 weeks ago I publicly announced that I was having gastric bypass surgery. I’ve talked about what I’ve eaten, the surgery process, emotional struggles with my obesity, post-operative complications, and added pictures along the way. Already I’m feeling healthier and more confident.

It hasn’t always been easy to talk about what I’m going through, and I’ve tried to be as honest about the process as possible. It’s been incredible to see how many people have reached out to me – those who have had surgery, those who are thinking about surgery, and those who purely appreciate sharing my journey. I’ve had some haters, I’ve had some rude and insensitive comments, but overall…I’m SO glad I decided to document the process.

Since I started the blog, my BMI has gone from 53.5 to 49.2, meaning I’ve gone from “super obese” back down to “morbidly obese”. Next step, I’ll just be “obese”. I’m down a little over 30 pounds, and I’m shrinking all over my body. These are my current measurements, with a total of how much I’ve lost:

  • Neck 16 (-.75)
  • Bust 50.5 (-1.5)
  • Chest 44 (-2)
  • Waist 45.5 (-4.5)
  • Upper belly 49 (-4)
  • Hips/butt 59.5 (-2.5)
  • Thigh 31 (-3)
  • Calf 23 (-1.5)
  • Ankle 11.5 (-1)
  • Bicep 18.25 (-1.75)
  • Forearm 13 (-1.5)
  • Wrist 7.5 (-1.5)

Being back to work has been a challenge. I’ve struggled with some major fatigue, some days it’s hard to stay even 3 hours, and I always follow-up my work shift with a hefty nap. I’m not sure how I’ll feel through the next few weeks, but I’m trying to be patient with my recovery. I’m still dealing with a lot of nausea and vomiting, but I’m getting more comfortable with what I’m able to eat (and how much). I’m still craving things that I can’t have (like Easter candy), but there’s reassurance that avoiding those “bad” foods will help me avoid getting sick.

Today’s food diary:

  • Light yogurt
  • 1 TB peanut butter
  • 2 oz marinara sauce, mushrooms, and cheese
  • 2 oz shredded pork, enchilada sauce, and cheese
  • 3 oz Simply Apple juice
  • String cheese

Down 29 Pounds – 3 Weeks Post-Op

After a tough day yesterday, I promised myself I wouldn’t overdo it today. I had to wake up at 5 to pick my husband up from the airport, but I was already half awake when my alarm went off. After having Taylor home for 3 weeks, 4 days apart felt like a long time. Seeing him was worth the 5am wake up call.

I went in to work to work on a proposal that was due at 10, had a meeting, and was out of the office by 11:30. I was gone before I was exhausted, which was a nice change. It was hard to turn down urgent projects, but my body is much more important than my work at the moment.

I spent the better part of the afternoon in bed, took a two hour nap, and regained enough energy to leave the house for a few hours. With how many people ask me about my weight loss, it’s been frustrating to not have a scale at home (that goes high enough to track my weight). We did a little shopping, picked up a scale, and visited some friends.

I weighed in this evening, and I’m down another 7 pounds, which puts me at 344.2. This means I’ve lost a total of 29.1 pounds since 1/30/12. Today I also fit into another pair of smaller jeans. After so many years of weight loss failures, it’s exciting to see the progress to quickly!

A friend mentioned to me tonight, “You’re getting numbers like on The Biggest Loser.” Funny that I auditioned for The Biggest Loser, and didn’t get a callback. Although it would have been interesting to be on a TV show, I think that weight loss surgery was a much better long-term decision for me. It’s crazy to me that 3 weeks ago, I was laying in a hospital bed, only allowed to sip one ounce of water per hour.

Food diary:

  • String cheese
  • 2 oz light yogurt
  • 1 TB peanut butter
  • 2 oz chopped grilled chicken with sauce and cheese
  • 2 TB refried beans
  • 2 oz sliced roast beef with au jus  (part of a French dip minus the bread)
  • Jell-o pudding mousse

Some Days Are Harder Than Others

Some days I have a lot of energy. Some days I don’t.

While I was on FMLA, I had the luxury of resting, lounging, or sleeping as much as I needed to. Being back at work doesn’t allow me to follow my body’s cues when I’m needing to rest. If I push myself at work, that means I pay the consequences at home.

I got to work just after 8. By about 1pm, I was SO tired. I had eaten a light lunch of minced up deli turkey with some melted Laughing Cow cheese. I didn’t even finish half of it before I got shaky and nauseous. I ran to the restroom and lost my lunch. When I returned to my desk, I was dizzy and lightheaded. I figured my blood sugar was too low, so I had a few sips of juice and water. Five minutes later, I lost that too. I didn’t feel safe enough to drive home, so I sat back in my chair and tried to get my bearings. I left shortly after.

Because I wore myself out so much, I easily fell asleep and took a 3 hour nap. When I woke up to eat, I had a hard time keeping down soup. I had a hard time keeping down water. I felt too tired to do anything but lay in bed and be on my computer a little bit. As the night has dragged on, my body has broken out into hives. This is the 3rd time it’s happened since surgery, and all three times have been on days I’ve overdone it.

In an attempt to avoid reckless vomiting and widespread rashes, I REALLY need to listen to my body and stop before I’m too worn out. I’m trying to work myself (slowly) back to full time hours, but I really can’t handle more than 4-5 hours without rest. I have the option to work some hours from home, but by the time I get in bed to nap, my mind is gone for the night.

Food diary:

  • 2 oz Light yogurt
  • 3 oz Protein shake
  • Deli turkey and Laughing Cow wedge (lost it)
  • 1 oz Pomegranate Blueberry Trop50 (lost it)
  • 2 oz cream of vegetable soup
  • 2 oz marinara sauce, cooked mushrooms and melted cheese
  • 1 TB peanut butter

2nd Day Back To Work – Post-Op Day 15

Day 2 back to work was actually more exhausting than yesterday. I felt more tired and had a harder time concentrating. I planned to work a half day, but had a mandatory meeting at 1pm, so I stayed longer than I really had energy for. By the time I got home, I was totally tuckered out. A long nap was necessary.

jack daniels bbq chickenToday’s lunch was so yummy. One of my favorite items from Costco is the Jack Daniel’s pulled BBQ chicken in the refrigerated section. It’s nice and tender, and easy to eat post op. I melted some cheese on top, and it was a great meal. For dinner, my husband made chicken curry, which was also delicious. I had a tiny bit of rice with it, and didn’t have any problem tolerating it.

Food Diary:

  • Light yogurt
  • 1 TB peanut butter
  • 1 oz Creminelli Mocetta
  • 2 oz Simply Apple juice
  • Muscle Milk light shake
  • 2 oz pulled chicken and cheese
  • 2 oz chicken curry with rice
  • A few sips of hot chocolate

Back To Work Today

Nicole Bullock seo.com

Well folks, it’s been two weeks since surgery which means FMLA is over. I’ve been nervous about going back to work because my energy levels vary from day to day, and two weeks was on the short end of my doctor’s recommended time off. But since I’m not a benefits-eligible employee, the time off has been unpaid. Pre-surgery deposits to the doctor and hospital + 2 weeks off work = VERY BROKE Nicole.

Luckily, my work is computer-based, seated at a desk, so it’s not physically taxing. I work for an internet marketing firm, and my work is usually broken up in 15-60 minute sections, so it was good for my post-op attention span. Anyone who tells you that you think normally after two weeks of sitting around on drugs is lying to you.

I was able to work from 8:00 until about 12:20, and then gave in to my fatigue. I came home, had some lunch, and then took a 2 hour nap.  I took it easy the rest of the day. In the evening, my friend Esther came over to hang out and hear about my surgery. We watched some TV, chatted, and talked a lot about weight loss and the changes that are necessary for a successful weight loss surgery experience.

With all of the unsolicited advice I’ve been getting since I announced my surgery publicly, it was nice to talk to a friend where I don’t have to explain the choices I’m making, especially regarding food. I have had countless people tell me that what I’m eating is wrong, that eating so few calories will kill me, that they know more about my body than my doctor does, or to watch one food documentary or another. I appreciate that people are trying to be helpful, but when I get dozens of opinions a day, it gets really exhausting. I am mindful of the foods I’m eating, and my body is no longer “normal” for regular nutritional advice. I’m going to listen to my doctor and my nutritionist, thank you very much.

poor girls pina colada

Another thing that’s hard is trying to tame my wild sweet tooth. I used to eat a lot of candy and pastries, and I often want something sweet in my mouth. The taste of sugar-free Jell-o is wearing on me, so I’m always looking for ways to have a treat that’s compatible with my diet. My husband brought home some of this Silk Coconut Milk the other day. It was good, but not enough on it’s own. I pour about 3 ounces of coconut milk over ice, and add a splash or two of Torani sugar-free peach syrup. It’s delish!

I call it the coco-peach delight, he calls it the “poor girl’s pina colada. Either way, it’s tasty.

Food Diary

  • Half of a frozen yogurt creamie
  • About 1/2oz of deli meat
  • Heaping tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Chopped BBQ chicken with melted cheese
  • 2 TB of hummus
  • 2 oz of Trop 50 blueberry pomegranate juice
  • 1 oz of fresh fruit, chopped into little bites
  • Melted shredded cheese
  • Coco-peach delight