Hair, there and everywhere

Sleevie faked me out! From what I’ve read, most people experience major hair loss around the 4-month mark. Since I really didn’t register a lot of fallout at that point, I thought I’d somehow managed to escape that side effect. Nope! My hair loss picked up about a month ago and is now going full force. Sucks. It’s difficult to know if the loss is due to weight loss or Stew. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t really matter. I’m just taking my vitamins daily and hoping it runs its course sooner rather than later.

Wow, I can’t believe the 21st is my 1-year surgiversary! I’m making an all-out effort to get as close to 205/-100 lbs post-op as I can. I keep saying that I don’t want to care so much for the scale number but I really still do and I want to wring as much out of the honeymoon period as possible.

Whatever the 21st brings, you couldn’t pay me to weigh at the moment. Lovely trip to San Antonio for my nephew’s Air Force graduation last weekend. But two flights and an 8-hour roadtrip, a lurking Tide, and wheat-cheating has me so bloated and out of sorts. I feel like a water balloon!


In bloom


Truth is, my sleeve may technically be only about the size of a hot dog, but it’s actually much, much bigger than that…

I bought myself flowers! Before now, I never hesitated to gift them to someone else but came up with a million reasons why it was wasteful and indulgent to do it for my own enjoyment and appreciation. That’s not OK. So I’m not doing it anymore.

I deserve beauty and brightness in my life and these flowers have brought plenty of both in the past few days. If smiles made money, these blooms have already paid for themselves several times over.

Just another way I’m nurturing a good relationship with myself, working to grow even as I shrink. 

#wellbeing #relationshipgoals #ilovemyself

Ba de ya de ya de ya (September: WERQ Day)

It’s the the 21st night of September!

Exactly 11 months post-op and time for monthly progress pics. I weighed in at 214.6 lbs today, not much of a loss from this time last month but enough to continue to thwart the dreaded stall. (And since I was 3 lbs lower before the weekend began, I know that I can say that with confidence!)

Here’s a comparison pic of me in September 2013 and today. I had lost 28 lbs on Optifast at that point and was down a total of 47 lbs from my highest weight. By this time last year, I had  gained every single one of those 28 lbs back.

I look a little different...around the eyes, maybe?

Here are the 2015 monthly collages:

Front collage September

WERQ collage side

Back collage September


11-month post-op weigh-in: 214.6 lbs (-90.4 lbs post-op; -115.4 lbs total)

Surgery: 305.0 lbs (10/21/2014)

1 month:   280.6 lbs (-24.4 lbs post-op)
2 months: 266.2 lbs (-38.8 lbs post-op)
3 months: 254.0 lbs (-51.0 lbs post-op)
4 months: 243.0 lbs (-62.0 lbs post-op)
5 months: 234.4 lbs (-70.6 lbs post-op)
6 months: 228.0 lbs (-77.0 lbs post-op)
7 months: 224.6 lbs (-80.4 lbs post-op)
8 months: 220.4 lbs (-84.6 lbs post-op)
9 months: 219.8 lbs (-85.2 lbs post-op)
10 months: 215.0 lbs  (-90.0 lbs post-op)
11 months: 214.6 lbs (-90.4 lbs post-op)

10/21-11/21: -24.4 lbs
11/21-12/21: -14.4 lbs
12/21-1/21: -12.2 lbs
1/21-2/21: -11.0 lbs
2/21-3/21: -8.6 lbs
3/21-4/19: -6.4 lbs
4/19-5/25: -3.4 lbs
5/25-6/21: -4.2 lbs
6/21-7/21: -0.6 lbs
7/21-8/21: -4.8 lbs
8/21-9/21: -0.4 lbs

Average monthly post-op loss: 8.22 lbs

Today was an official weigh-in day, so of course I went up 3 lbs over the weekend. But I’m OK with it because I know why; so, I also know that it’ll drop off in a few days. Had I not had the u-turn, I would have had a really good monthly drop! I’m back to regular cardio and though I hate cardio, my body does not. Sleevie gives up the goods whenever I get in at least 4 hours a week. That should help September to wrap up pretty well.

Today’s weigh-in puts me only 0.1 away from my next mini-goal of 214.5 lbs/70% lost. My scale weighs in 0.2 lb increments, thought, so I actually have to get to 214.4 lbs to tick that one off the list. After that, I’m zeroing in on 209.0 lbs, which will usher me into the “overweight” BMI category. (Yes, I know the BMI is a garbage gauge; no, I don’t really care because I like setting goals!) Then it’s 205.0 lbs, or -100 lbs from surgery…I wanted so badly to reach that by my 1-year check-up on October 23rd. Not looking like it’s going to happen, but I bet I can get pretty close. Ultimately, though, I know it takes as long as it takes. I’ll get there!


Pleural Possessive

Saw my rheumatologist Thursday and he says I have pleurisy, not pericarditis (which was what my PCP said). Chronic pleurisy, to be exact, because now that I know what to look for, we realize that I’ve actually had several stints of it. It was just so bad this time that it scared me and made me do something about it. Of course, it’s all Stew’s fault.

He’s used to me being super stubborn about medication, so didn’t push too hard when I steadfastly refused to do a course of prednisone. Oral steroids are the devil, as far as I’m concerned. Hangry times 1,000. Like Turbo PMS. I’ll take the pleurisy, thanks.

What’s weird, though, is that he acted like he’d never heard of those side effects before. He seemed legitimately surprised that I’d experienced mood changes and intense hunger, and that surprises me. Worried that I was imagining thngs, I googled it after I left his office and it’s common knowledge–listed on every drug/medical info site I visited. Someone on a forum describes themselves on prednisone as a “crabby little hungerball”, which is as perfect a description as I’ve ever seen.

This is one of the most annoying parts of dealing with the medical community so much, the disconnect between what they know and what you know. Sometimes you have to trust that you know something they might not, which can be difficult because we’re conditioned to defer to their authority. Lived experience shouldn’t be discounted, though.

Great example in this case: When I described my symptoms to my friend, I said it was my lung. When the pain got bad enough that I decided to see the doctor, I told my PCP’s office it felt like my lung. At the appointment, I said it was my lung. When I left the appointment with a diagnosis of pericarditis, I spoke with a friend as I drove home, still insisting it was my lung. (She’s had pleurisy, btw, and called it from jump.) By the next morning, though, I’d begun to convince myself that my PCP was right, that it must be pericarditis, because she said so. And what was it in the end? My lung. Rheumatologist saw no signs of pericarditis, it is textbook pleurisy.

I have had so many similar experiences both before my autoimmune diagnosis and since. So no steroids. I’m trusting what I know about my body. I’ll save those for when shit gets really real. I took them for my bout with gout (ha), and if you’ve ever had a ride on that pony, you understand exactly why I did. That’s the bar I’ve set.


High ‘n’ tight


As of this morning, my size 8 jeans have a new home on my shower curtain rod. I hung them there as a gentle (read: glaring) reminder that I still have plenty of work to do. I can pull them up, but buttoning and zipping them is a good 15 lbs away.

It’ll be a great motivational boost to literally have my goal in sight each day. I need it, because this stage of the journey is a different experience from the early days. It’s kinda boring, frankly. And that’s a good thing. Means that my routine has become, well, routine. My new lifestyle is a lifestyle. Not only do I not miss the old one, I barely remember it!

I’m happy as a clam over my progress and fully expect to reach my goal; I’m still on my grind. But that’s just how life works. Human beings can get used to pretty much anything. So no matter how mindblowing a experience is at first, the rush eventually begins to wear off and you settle into your new normal.

Truth is, the days of huge daily and weekly losses are gone for good–the changes are still happening, but they’re much more subtle. In many ways, this phase is nice because I have some time to catch my breath. Losing a massive amount of weight in a short time period is awesome but it can also be somewhat overwhelming. For example,  I morphed so quickly that my brain and eyes sometimes struggled to keep up with my butt. I’m able to make that adjustment now. With the slowdown, I can actually recognize myself in the mirror from week to week!

It’s weird, I used to feel so much more internal pressure to reach my goal by year’s end. But now I’m finding it easier to let myself be OK with knowing that’s not going to happen. I’ll see 165, but it may be next spring or even the summer when I do. That doesn’t feel as awful to contemplate as it once did. Not like I have much of a choice; my body is clearly planning to do this at its own pace. Like I thought I’d for sure be under 200 by now, but although I continue to lose something every month, each pound I drop damn near has to be pried off with a crowbar. Of course, it’s a whole lot easier to be more patient while wearing size 10 jeans than size 18 maternity ones. I ain’t exactly mad.

Gonna keep plugging along until those 8s are added to the ladder and the 6s replace them on the shower curtain rod o’ aspiration.

See the 8s, be the 8s…