Sunday Post with Berls | On the Mend

Posted August 12, 2017 by Berls in It's Monday! What Are You Reading? / 40 Comments


News at Home: On the Mend

So I had surgery on Tuesday… yes it was planned and I deliberately didn’t say anything. In fact, part of me never intended to say anything. But now that I’m on the mend, I realize that was coming from a place of fear that the surgery wouldn’t happen more than anything. Though fear of judgment did factor in and still does – though not really from this online community πŸ™‚

I had gastric bypass – hence the fear of judgment. We live in a world where being overweight is too often summed up as being lazy and unable to control your eating choices and so those of us who end up severely overweight – like myself – often get judged by those standards. And yet, anyone who really knows me, knows that I don’t fit into the description at all. I’m extremely active and – while I’ll admit to making some bad food choices, they are no worse than those I see skinny people making way more often than I do. That doesn’t change the fact that some people, the second they hear I had gastric bypass will look at me as too lazy to do it on my own or “taking the easy way out” (which, it SO ISN’T BTW). And it’s why I’m definitely still hesitant to share the information with everyone. I haven’t told work, for example. My team knows I had surgery, but not what I had done.

Anyway, the main reason I hadn’t told y’all was that I was afraid it wouldn’t happen. I’ve been struggling with my weight… well my whole life really, but severely struggling and considering this option for at least 12 years. Over those years I’ve had insurance deny my coverage more than once, because they either just only saw it as elective/cosmetic surgery or the hoops they had to jump through were un-achievable. Well this year I finally got on a plan that covers the surgery and had reasonable hoops. Now picking this plan meant my husband and I were virtually uncovered for everything else this year – 5000 deductible, 6650 out of pocket each – and since part of the hoops were a lot of tests, it meant spending a pretty decent chunk of change. And then the co-pay is $5k for the surgery. So yeah, all in all y’all this ended up costing me a little over $9k. But Monday night, I went to bed having spent this colossal amount of money, not certain surgery would actually happen the next morning. Because the surgeon’s office I worked with from October to July are apparently in the business of pushing people through approvals, taking monthly visit costs, but not actually doing the surgery. They then send us out to surgeon’s actually doing the surgery… and of course they don’t tell you that until the end of the process. So I found out in July that my surgeon was not the one in the office I’d been working with for months. And I didn’t get to meet my surgeon until Monday… yeah, the day before surgery.

Y’all it was terrifying and unsettling, but the best thing. I landed one of the best surgeon’s I think I could have hoped for. He’s old-school, meaning he has stricter requirements than some of the other surgeon’s out there now. He’s been doing the surgeries for 17 years and doesn’t play around. He kept me in the hospital two nights, while most only keep you one. I wanted to go home, but he did it because he doesn’t want to send you home until he’s SURE you’re ready and won’t hurt yourself. He standard keeps people two nights and ALMOST let me go home after one, but didn’t like the difficulty I was having getting down my 5oz every hour, so made me stay. I love his office staff- his nurse practitioner gave me her cell phone number so I could call or text anytime with questions or concerns – and she replies immediately. So it was a rough situation and I wish I’d been with his office from the start, but at least where it matters most – the surgery and after care – I have a really good doctor and staff.

Anyway – that’s been my entire week. I got home Thursday and really all I do is spend my time trying to follow all the rules to recovery! The hardest thing has been Buffy – first leaving her for two nights and then coming home and not being able to pick her up and hug her. She knows something’s up and she’s confused and hating being locked in my mom’s room at night instead of sleeping with me. Can’t wait to be healed so I can catch her up on all the loving! She’s still getting plenty of petting from me and cuddling from everyone else, but she’s MY girl, so its hard on her.

I go in on Monday to get staples removed and then Wednesday I actually go back to work for teacher in-service, so fingers crossed I keep mending quickly!

Blog News

Nothing much to report, except that I didn’t get quite as much blogging done during my recovery days as I thought I would. Recovery is more work than anticipated and taking more time that I thought – meaning less time for blogging.

#FitReaders Update

Well obviously this past week has been ALL about fitness πŸ™‚

My diet up until the surgery was liquids only – up to 1000 calories with a goal of 100 g of protein daily and I stayed within that just fine.

Post surgery the goal is to get in 48 oz of liquid every day and 40 g of protein – minimum. And I’m struggling to get that in. Tuesday was nothing – not even water – and I wanted water so badly because my mouth was dry. But then Wednesday I finally could have water and I literally was done after 1 ounce. Like, yeah, do I have to drink more? My esophagus was pretty swollen and basically only a trickle was going through at a time. It wasn’t until Thursday that I could actually drink 1 oz at a time – all day Wednesday I was sipping out of these little 1 oz cups. I’m still drinking out of them – the goal is to get at least 5 oz an hour, so I drink an ounce of water and wait like 10 minutes and then I have an ounce of protein drink. And then ten minutes later some water or skim milk. 1 oz at a time, all day. I can’t stomach more than that at a time right now and some hours I only get in a couple ounces. But I’m getting better at it – skim milk goes down best and it has protein, so it’s a win!

As far as exercise – I did my workouts Sunday and Monday this past week. Since surgery it’s been about getting up every couple hours to move around. This was actually easier in the hospital because there was a long hallway that they encouraged us to do laps on. So on Tuesday I did 1 lap out there, like 2 or 3 times. Wednesday I worked up to doing between 4 and 7 laps each time. On Thursday, it fell back down to 5 laps (which is a half mile according to my Fitbit) because they took me off my IV Wednesday evening. They took me off my IV because the surgeon wanted to force me to start getting my liquids on my own (lol!) but the side consequence was I lost that support of something to hold on to while I was walking. I meant I could move faster and less encumbered, but got tired after fewer laps.

Since being home I’m doing good about getting up – I’m doing every hour instead of every other hour – mainly because I don’t have the space to walk like that. And there’s only so many laps you can do of a tiny space before you lose your mind. But I’m sticking to it because it’s important to prevent blood clots. I’m giving myself shots to prevent blood clots, twice a day, but I don’t want to depend on them and have something bad happen.

Surprisingly, I haven’t lost a thing yet. But hopefully that will change once I’m done healing up a bit.

Last Week on the Blog

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Sunday Post with Berls | On the Mend

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

I just finished…

Nothing. My reading has been much slower than I thought it would be post surgery!

Reading Now…

I’m still reading F*ck Club: Con by Shiloh Walker. I’m enjoying it a lot, but it’s slow going because I fall asleep everytime I start to read lately.

And I’m still working on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I really thought I’d be finished by now, but again, I keep drifting off to sleep!

For my Miracle Morning self-improvement read I’m still working on Teaching with Love and Logic. I read only a few pages each morning, so I expected to still be reading this one.

Up Next…

Let’s see if I can just finish these huh?

How was your week? What are you Reading?

Berls had surgery and is on the mend! Read about her week in this week's Sunday Post with Berls. Share on X

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 2 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 22 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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40 responses to “Sunday Post with Berls | On the Mend

    • Thanks Terri! It’s definitely been tricky making myself not over do it – I usually am pretty non-stop. I cannot wait for recovery to be over!

  1. WOW! What big news! I bet it has been stressful: trying to get good doctors, making the decision, and knowing you have to go back to work next week. I hope recovery goes smoothly, and remdon’t try to get back to speed too quickly. I’m very excited for you! I’ve seen a lot of success for some who have had the surgery. I can imagine you are both excited and nervous. I look forward to hearing more on your journey. Please know I’m behind you 100% and support your decision!

    Jen Twimom recently posted: Review: The Happy Chip by Dennis Meredith
    • Thank you Jen! It was very stressful, the day before surgery I was sitting on the couch talking to my husband, crying, saying “am I doing the right thing?” but so much of that anxiety was because of the uncertainty and confusion, not whether the surgery was the right decision. Of course he was supportive but refused to give me an opinion. He’s like, “it your body, you’re the one who has to deal with the changes and recovery, I’m not touching this with a 12 ft stick.” I went back today and so far, so good. I feel good and once the staples came out, it made a big difference on how mobile I felt. I’m still taking it easy, but I think I’ll be just fine for the kids arrival on the 28th πŸ™‚ Thanks for your support! {{Hugs}}

  2. Wow, that’s big new, Berls! Kudos to you for taking such a proactive step for your health. As for some people saying surgery is the “easy way out”… as far as I can tell there is nothing easy about it! It takes a whole lot of commitment and work. I hope it was a good decision for you and that you get the results you want. Looking forward to hearing about your progress. So excited for you!

    • Thank you Tanya, I really appreciate it πŸ™‚ So far it feels like the right decision, time will tell. Have a great week!

  3. I can understand your hesitation with sharing this news and your fear it wasn’t going to happen. I’m bad about not saying anything about anything I want to happen because I’m afraid something will happen. I have a cousin who has struggled with her weight her whole life and the crap she’s had to go through is mind boggling. from childhood to adulthood. What’s hilarious is that I’m considered average weight while she’s in the obese category but her health is so much better than mine. Her blood pressure is way lower and she doesn’t have the joint issues I have but if people saw the 2 of us they’d immediately dismiss her as the one who is unhealthy. I’m glad you were able to make the surgery work and that you got such an amazing surgeon! He sounds like exactly who you needed. Good luck with your recovery!

    • Thanks so much Kathryn. Sounds like I’m a lot like your cousin – I’m very healthy in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. I have had some joint trouble, but that’s bound to happen after being overweight for so long – and it should be way worse than it is, based on expectations. But yeah I get that all the time. I’m doing well – got staples out yesterday and am already feeling a million times better without them πŸ™‚

  4. I’m glad you made a decision like that! You’re super brave. I know it must have been scary! Go you. And I totally agree about everyone’s bodies being different. My boyfriend eats god knows what, and he’s just so skinny. I’m similar too, although I watch what I eat. But just because I have a messed up stomach that always hurts. But even despite my own metabolism, I will always defend people who struggle with weight problems, because in my opinion they are always discounted as their fault undeservedly – there can be so many underlying reasons that you couldn’t even count them all. Even anxiety, not even starting with genetics or hormones.
    I hope it helps, anyway! You’re totally so brave, I would have been so scared! And I hope you can eat normal foods soon too, and hug your pet too (lol! It’s really important though!)

    Evelina recently posted: Sunday post #19
    • Yes! Hugging Buffy is at the top of my list! I got my staples out today so she can finally sleep with us again πŸ™‚ still can’t pick her up and hug her, but getting closer. Thanks so much, your words really do mean a lot. I won’t lie, it was/is scary, but feels like the right decision. Time will tell, right? Have a great week πŸ™‚

  5. You go girl! I am 100% behind you! I am like you, I have to eat next to nothing and exercise like a maniac to stay 20 pounds over normal weight. When I became pregnant and had to eat normally and not exercise myself into the ground, I gained 80 pounds and only lost 15 after my son’s birth. Then they said breastfeeding would take the weight off. Nope. I had to eat normally to make milk and I gained the 15 back plus 25 more. I ended up 105 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I have been up and down.The lowest was right after my divorce when I came within 50 pounds, but I am back to sitting on about 75 extra pounds right now. So, I agree, you did what you needed to do FOR YOU! Weight is more than looks, too, it’s no good for your health and that has become very apparent to me now in my aging years. You will be thankful you did this when you are 60, believe me. (((((((((((HUGS))))))))))

    La La in the Library recently posted: the SUNDAY SYNOPSIS #126
    • Thanks so much for the support πŸ™‚ I think weight is a constant battle for so many and its not as simple as health professionals would like to make us believe. The whole leas on more put equation doesn’t do the trick for too many of us. I think I will be very happy I did it too, thanks πŸ™‚ have a great week {{Hugs}}

  6. Glad to hear the surgery went well! Weight is always such a tricky topic and there are so many assumptions and judgments people make about it. I hope the recovery goes well and that this helps you feel better about your body, because I think that’s whats most important that you feel right about it and happy in your own body. That does sound nice you had a good doctor and assistants, as that can really make a difference with things like these. That’s too bad you can’t hug Buffy, but I am sure she understands something is up. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #243
    • Thanks Lola! Yeah weight is so mixed up in our ridiculous beauty standards that people forget it’s a part of health and comes with its own set of health challenges. I’m recovering well, I think, and staples come out today! Yay! Can’t wait to let Buffy sleep with us tonight πŸ™‚ Have a great week Lola!

  7. I’m glad that your surgery went well and that you had a good surgeon! πŸ™‚
    I really hate beauty standards and how they have changed and how people don’t get the why but instead they see you as lazy or whatever

    • Exactly Anastasia! I do think people, for the most part, are better about recognizing that weight isn’t so cut and dry as they used to think. But there are still plenty of people who don’t get it :/ thanks so much! Have a great week!

  8. Wow-you are so brave!! I know that gastric bypass isn’t the easy way out. I have had friends and family members who had to go that route and it is a real challenge! So, I’m so glad you are healing and that the surgery went well. I know some people are judgmental and rude, but I think there is a lot more understanding about the procedure than there was a few years ago.
    Good luck with your inservice! I have mine on Thursday.

    Samantha recently posted: Sunday Post: Best Weather!
    • Thanks Samantha! Yes, it’ll be quite some work, but at least I feel like my body is actually going to be predisposed to do what it’s supposed to, unlike before. I agree, there’s definitely a lot more understanding these days, but I’ve already encountered one really negative reaction from someone I thought would be happy for me and supportive πŸ™ So that’s made me a little gun-shy I guess. I do think I’ll be telling my team at school, as they’ve always seemed like good people and I’ve been there for them, so hopefully they will be there for me πŸ™‚
      It is that time! Good luck with your inservice as well!

    • That’s very kind of you, thanks Kathryn πŸ™‚ my fingers are definitely crossed that everything works as it’s supposed to. Have a great week!

  9. Berls, I think you’re very courageous and I’m glad you had a good surgeon. I wish you all the success in the world, both as you recover and beyond. I’m not surprised you haven’t lost anything yet; your body is dealing with trauma and let me tell you, those IV fluids can pack on the water pounds! It will come off. Take care of yourself and don’t overdo as you go back to school. (PS. I saw your Instagram photos and comments so I knew something was up. I’ve been keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.)

    Lark recently posted: Sunday Post – 8/13/2017
    • Thanks Lark πŸ™‚ I feel like I lucked out with the surgeon, especially considering the crap situation that brought me to him. Yeah, I wasn’t expecting much loss during recovery – though I wouldn’t mind lol πŸ˜‰ I’m surprising my family with how obedient I’m being about taking it easy – not really my style, but my surgeon really impressed upon me the danger of causing internal bleeding so I’m being a good girl. Going stir crazy, but being good. Thanks a bunch for the thoughts and prayers! Have a great week!

  10. I’m glad that you’re recovering well. I hope that it continues to go well. I know exactly what problems you face. Weight is something that I’ve struggled with my entire life. It has never been easy, but has gotten worse in the past 5+ years. I hope you continue to recover well. Be careful when you start back at work and don’t over do it. {{hugs}}

    • Thanks Melanie! I’m so proud of myself for following the rules so far and not overdoing it – it’s very hard to be as careful as expected, especially for someone like me who’s typically on the move non-stop. I’ll be careful to keep that up once I go back to work. Thankfully the kids don’t come until I should be healed.

  11. I had it in 2003 best decision I ever made. If you need to talk hit me up. The first year is a weird one. The ones after are more you make choices!!!!

    • I will, thanks! So far I’m doing OK – definitely weird being like, wow I got in 56oz all day today and I felt like I was constantly drinking. I’m most worried about my transition to working and taking care of my needs while running a classroom. But I think that’s always been a struggle and now there’s no getting out of it.

  12. I am excited for you. I think this is a great choice for helping you get healthy and comfortable. I still think you are beautiful just the way you are but I am excited to see the transformation. This is going to be an awesome journey for you! Miss you lots and lots! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Michelle! Thankfully I feel really comfortable in my own skin, so this is a decision motivated by health not appearance. I think that will help me be more successful with it. I hope πŸ™‚ miss you too!!! Xoxo

      • I didn’t mean in your skin. Just comfortable, like I’m heavy and just not comfortable. My appearance is fine but for health reasons I want to be more comfortable not out of breath or when I lay down, I never feel comfortable. πŸ™‚

  13. Oh girl… I’m so happy you shared your HUGE surgery with us!! I don’t judge you at all but I can totally see your reasons for keeping it to yourself. You are much braver than me. I know so many other people who struggle with weight problems and it ISN’T just exercise and/or eat less sometimes. My brother and my dad’s side of the family is living proof of that. I’m glad you took care of yourself!! How’s the liquid/food going down now?? I’ve heard that’s the worst part right now, holding it down. Hang in there *hugs*.

    • Thanks Kristen πŸ™‚ I think it’s more common than people realize that diet and exercise aren’t enough. It’s going better now – for the first couple days I was struggling to get down 4 oz an hour and until yesterday I was sipping out of a 1 oz cup. But today I moved to a 5 oz cup am getting it down every hour! Staples come out on Monday and I’m ready πŸ™‚ have a great week Kristin!

  14. Congrats and here’s hoping you heal quick! Glad you had a great surgeon, that matters so much. Hope you’re having a great weekend even though you probably can’t do much. πŸ™‚

    Greg recently posted: Sunday Post #207
    • Thanks Greg! I am, though I’m going a bit stir crazy πŸ™‚ cannot wait to get these staples out! Have a great week!

    • Yeah, that’s the healing time they’re giving me, though staples get to come out Monday and I am READY! Thanks πŸ™‚