Sunday, April 12, 2015

End of my week off

Hi everyone.  This past week has been pretty awesome.  I got to have Spring Break from both my job and grad school, so it was truly a vacation.  I spent a week having lunch with friends, doing things around the county, and just getting in some sleep. Speaking of sleep, I got the results of my sleep study in earlier during the week.  If you'll recall, I participated in another sleep study at the end of last week to determine if I still have sleep apnea after having the gastric bypass. I just was struggling with sleeping on the CPAP and I always have so my sleep doctor recommended that we do another study.  I am beyond thrilled to let you all know that the results of the sleep study showed, drumroll please, I NO LONGER HAVE SLEEP APNEA!  You read that right, it's gone.  Sorry for the shouty capital letters but I think it was appropriate. The only way possible to reverse sleep apnea, and this doesn't happen all the time, is by weight loss.  I went from being classified as having severe sleep apnea to no obstruction at all.  Talk about wanting to do a jig after I found out. 

Sometimes I really do struggle emotionally with my feelings after having had weight loss surgery. Difficult emotions rise up and you're forced to deal with them otherwise you return to old patterns. I didn't sacrifice everything I did to have this life-altering surgery just to throw it down the drain.  So I have to walk through tough feelings, like not being able to eat most meat without wanting to throw up, some hair loss (although not nearly as bad as others) or the excess skin that is here with all of the weight loss.  However, I have an amazing support system in my life that lets me know I'm not alone and that I'm very much loved. That means so much to me.  I'm continuing to do good things for myself, like having great workouts at the gym.  The surgery was a tool but I still have work to do.  I wish I could explain that in a way people can truly understand.  It's not the easy way out.  Honestly, it's much more difficult.  My anatomy is different now and it always will be.  I'm not complaining, just expressing this wasn't an easy decision but one that has literally saved my life.  I'm really grateful.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

End of a quarter, sleep study and finding my size

Hi everyone. I've had a lot going on since my last post.  I finished another quarter of grad school, which was a horrible bear at the end.  I had five papers and a PowerPoint presentation that I had to submit, all within a few days of each other.  There's a point, when you're writing so many papers, that you just can't think any more.  I wondered how good my work really was going to be after it was all said and done.  I haven't gotten grades back from one of my classes yet, but I ended up getting an A in my other class.  Woo hoo!  I've got a 4.0 GPA since I started grad school and I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for that.  Nine week sessions go by so fast, especially when it's advanced work and I'm driving a long distance each time to make it happen.  I love my program, though.  It feels exactly like what I should be doing.  I'm now on Spring Break from that and then start my next round of classes a week from Monday.  I'm also off of work at the same time for our Spring Break at school, so I get to truly relax.  I have a lot of get-togethers planned with friends and not thinking about working or studying.

A couple of days ago, I participated in another sleep study.  This one is to determine if the sleep apnea I have been diagnosed with is now gone since I've lost so much weight since the gastric bypass was done.  I dreaded doing the sleep study because I could not sleep to save my life with all the things they have you hooked up to.  Just imagine what I had to sleep with ... you have a lanyard you're supposed to put over your neck and then tighten.  Attached to it is a device about the length of an iPhone 6+ or Galaxy and the width is probably about five inches or so.  That lays on the middle of your chest plate.  Attached to it are five chords.  Two get hooked in to a belt you have strapped across your chest, two get hooked in to a belt strapped around your waist and the last one leads to a device you have to insert into your nostrils.  For that part of it, you have to take four Band-Aids and stick them to the chord and your face so it doesn't move around in the middle of the night.  Then you also have another chord that leads to a device that straps around one of your fingers.  The machine then tells you if everything is hooked up correctly.  If it is, you may go to sleep and have a restful night of dreaming.  Oh, and if you're a tummy sleeper like me, you have to slide everything around to your back without unhooking any of the chords or belts.  Sure, restful night of sleep my ass!!  I'll find out next week what the verdict is.  I cannot sleep with the CPAP machine ever since I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, so I really pray I no longer have it.

The other day, after I went to the Sleep Clinic to get the device for the sleep study, I went over to Lane Bryant in hopes of getting some t-shirts that I can work out in.  Everything I wear to the gym is just way too big on me.  I'm forever exposing my sports bra because my shirts keep sliding off my shoulder. So when I went in there, I grabbed some shirts and went to try them on.  When I had my gastric bypass, I was wearing a 30/32 size.  I know I'm smaller now, but my head still is not in the game.  The pants I fit into now are an 18/20 but I still choose to wear the 22/24's.  On the top, I'm bigger.  So, when I went into the dressing room, I grabbed 26/28's, figuring that is smaller than I used to be.  When I tried them on, they were waaaay too big.  I'm down more than 100 pounds since the surgery ... of course they're going to be too big!  So I ended up buying 22/24's.  Honestly, those are still too big because when I put the tops on at home, I was still swimming in them.  This surgery is more than just losing the weight, there's an emotional component to it as well.  The surgeon didn't fit what's going on inside my head around all of this.  That part is going to take just as much work to conquer as workouts do at the gym.  I know I'll get there but there are growing pains along the way.  The flip side of this, though, is I'd rather have the problem of dealing with a shrinking body than a growing one.