What A Life Changing Year It’s Been

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A year ago today was one of the scariest days of my life. After 4 days of extreme dizziness, fatigue, and falling over I finally went to the ER. I was admitted and spent a total of 13 days there.  I was severely anemic with a hemoglobin level of 5.4, normal ranges from 11-13. I ended up receiving 11 blood transfusions. It was also determined that I was having acute renal failure. After days of blood tests and a kidney biopsy, it was determined that I was having an allergic reaction to one of my medications, Topamax which I was taking for migraines. I was given high dose Prednisone and spent 5 months on it. I gained a huge chunk of weight back after only being 40 lbs away from my WLS goal. The trauma also caused me to develop fibromyalgia which became my diagnosis after testing for other possible autoimmune disorders. My life has changed a lot since last year. This day is also my 2 year anniversary since gastric bypass. This year I’m working hard to get some of the regain from the Prednisone off.

Bariatric Beginnings 2K Appreciation Giveaway

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I hit over 2,000 likes on the Bariatric Beginning’s Facebook page, so that means I’m holding another appreciation giveaway for my followers!  I’m giving away 1 full size canister of Caramel Click Espresso Protein Drink and 5 Quest Bars! The giveaway runs until 12 am (EST) on 1/17/15. You can enter at http://is.gd/lvNymo (Rafflecopter app.)

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Hydr-8 Water Bottles

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Check out this cool product! It’s a time-marked water bottle that can help post-surgery patients make sure they get enough water for the day!

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The Hydr-8 mug provides a convenient way of tracking your daily water intake. It displays short term goals for you to reach in order to achieve your daily total of 8 cups of water. By dividing your day into 2 hour increments, it’s easy!

You can order one for yourself at http://hydr-8.com/ and use the code BARIATRICBEGINNINGS (must be in all caps) to get 10% off your whole order through February 2015!

The Year Of Me

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2014 was one of the worst years of my life. It started off bad from the beginning. Half way through January I had the worst health scare of my life. I was admitted to hospital with severe anemia and acute kidney failure. My migraine medication, Topamax, was trying to kill me. I spent 13 days in the hospital, had 11 blood transfusions, and spent 5 months on a high dose of the steroid medication Prednisone. Much of the weight I lost the previous year was back. I lost my cat of over 10 years in Feburary. The one plus side to my very disheartening year was buying our first house. Then in the summer I was diagnosed with the chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia. Brought on by the severe trauma I had experienced in January. Depression overcome me in September, I returned to a place I vowed to never go again, the psych ward. But I feared that I might take my own life and I knew I couldn’t let that happen, so I returned to a place I knew I could the proper help from. I write to you on this last day of December a much different person than I began the year with, I have been forever changed.

Tomorrow is a clean slate, a new beginning, a new year, and I welcome it with open arms. This is the year were I need to reclaim my life. I vow to make 2015 the year of me.

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This coming year I want to try to reclaim my life and be happy again. I need to move on from the roadblock I hit this year. I’m not setting any clear cut goals for the year. I will take each day, one day at a time and make it mine. If weight is lost, physical strength is gained, mental health is stronger then those are bonuses. This is the year to regain an important thing, me.

A New Resource From UPMC

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I am honored that I was asked to be a part of this awesome project by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. You can search through and find recipes by me and other awesome bariatric bloggers. It includes foods for all stages of the bariatric food plan. Great resource for bariatric patients both recent post-op and old timers. Check it out!

http://bariatricdiet.azurewebsites.net/

A Ramble From Me

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This is just a ramble of words I need to get off my chest, bear with me. I know my blog has been pretty quiet this year. My whole life got knocked off track in January and I have been struggling to get back to where I was and I don’t even mean physically. Right now my main goal is to get my head back on straight. I do so much better in the physical health department when I have my head clear. I’m sitting here trying to think of something to write about but my heart and head are just not into it. I don’t know what to say. Anything I have to say is depressing and that’s not the message that I want my blog to convey. I wanted to post something to let you know that I am still alive and kicking. I have finally gone back to working after taking a few months off for my health. I have started a new job with a new company, I am going to be working a much easier job for my fibromyalgia and less hours than I had previously at the suggestion of my rheumatologist. I had my first day last Friday and it was so much easier that what I was doing before and did not exhaust me. Mentally I am slowly getting better from where I was in September when my depression was so bad that it landed me in the hospital. I’m still struggling with depression but it slowly gets better with each passing week. My weight loss has been at a stand still, I’ve attempted to lose so weight this Fall but was unsuccessful. Tons of medications make this task hard too. Also I am reading that fibromyalgia screws with your hormones and can slow your metabolism way down and people with fibromyalgia sometimes have a harder time losing weight. Come January I will try again. But in the end if I love myself and keep from gaining anymore that I already have this year then I will be content. The journey has been a wild one for sure, I just can’t seem to ever catch a break. Last Fall I was on top of the world, losing weight, happy, able to do my job and then boom one day it’s all gone and you are happy to even still be alive. You spend months trying to get your kidneys better and you do but the trauma of everything leaves you will a incurable chronic pain condition that has effected your life more then the acute kidney failure, because the fibromyalgia will never go away and there’s only treatments that sort of help. It changes you and not for the better. Now you can see why it so hard for me to think of positive things to write. This ended up being depressing but I’m sharing because I know that there are people out there that can relate and I want them to know they’re not alone. Just hang tight with me, I will try my hardest to get this blog back on track and sharing information and happy stories. Thank you to those of you who have followed me through all the ups and downs that last three and a half years. I promise an up soon.

Survey Alert!

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Survey Alert!

Erin is working on her doctorate at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and needs our input. Her dissertation research is about the relationship between stress and eating behaviors among bariatric patients. She is seeking participants to complete her survey, so let’s help her out!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bariatricwls

Unstoppable

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Most of you know I came close to almost dying at the beginning of the year due to acute kidney failure and severe anemia due to an allergic reaction to a medication. If I had waited much longer to do to the hospital I might not have made it they told. I spent 5 months on steroids to get my kidneys back to normal. Over this time period I stopped losing weight and gained about 25-30 lbs back, I go back and forth between the two…Prednisone is an jerk!. Anyway I’m starting a goal to lose that 25 lbs if not a little more by January 14, which is exactly a year from the nightmare that almost did me in and interestingly 2 years since my bypass surgery. So I’ll be sharing about my progress on Facebook and here…if anyone wants to do the challenge with me that would be awesome!

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Mental Illness Awareness Week

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This week is mental illness awareness week, running from October 5-October 11. Mental health will always be important to me. Depression been a struggle in my life for about 14 years now and I had anxiety attacks since I was a child. In my mid-20s I was misdiagnosed and received the wrong treatment, that had a huge effect on my life. Getting the proper help and the right medication saved my life. Mental health counseling has also saved my life. I’ve had the same psychologist for 4+ years now and I couldn’t image myself where I am now without her. But there are plenty of people out there lacking the treatment they so desperately need. There is a huge stigma attached to mental health. We need to break that barrier down. The stigma can keep those who need help away from getting that help.

 

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Today is specifically National Depression Screening day, please take some time to complete an online and anonymous self-assessment or pass it on to others. It’s time to help yourself and help others. http://helpyourselfhelpothers.org/

Take time to properly educate yourself and others on mental health/illness. Sometimes the life you save might be your own.