I was so thankful that I was able to get into my psychologist this afternoon. Mentally I’m starting to suffer which all that has been going on in my life right now and talking to her always helps, she’s who helped me through my bad dark storm years ago. I thought I was going to have to wait 2 weeks to see her and luckily someone canceled. Now I am going to be going back once a week for the next month and a half until I work through things. I’ve got to stay strong despite how upset all this is making me. And losing my cat this week just added to the whole mess. I think once we have an answer to WHY I have developed the condition I have I will feel much better.
Here’s what we know right now about my condition. I DO know what’s wrong with my kidneys, I have something called interstitial nephritis. The problem right now is trying to figure WHY I am having the condition. This condition is also the cause of my hemolytic anemia. When my creatinine (which measures kidney function) is normal, my hemoglobin goes up closer to normal. So as my kidney condition improves so should my hemolytic anemia. But right now we have no idea why I have developed the condition. The majority of IN cases (at least 70 %) may be attributed to bad reactions to drugs but so far we haven’t figured out what I am allergic to. We thought we had figured it out back in the hospital(that I was allergic to my migraine medication of Topamax) but the condition returned and we determined it wasn’t that. I’ve been pulled off everything I take including all my WLS supplements until we can figure out the cause. Other possible causes of interstitial nephritis are also autoimmune disorders and certain infections. I had 30-40+ blood tests last week checking for various autoimmune diseases that could be causing the condition. They aren’t even all back from the lab yet I had so many done! I have a doctor’s appointment Wednesday morning with my kidney doctor and wonder if we will be any closer to why.
I feel like each day that passes that I am closer to mentally losing it. I need to work on relaxing and doing calming activities but it’s been hard because I am someone who over thinks everything. I am typically of those “worst case scenario” people. I am trying not to go there but I find myself heading that way more and more lately. I really can not go back into that dark storm, I fought so hard to get out of that storm before. But at the same time I am getting tired of running from the clouds that I feel are following me right now. I wish I had some sort of machine that could just suck all those clouds up and then after I had them all I would blow up the machine to ensure those clouds were long gone and couldn’t come back. But if I do go through the storm, I know that I will come through stronger than ever before.
“That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
This post is for those who are registered and participating in my 500 Miles In 2014 Walking Campaign.
The mass email was sent this morning, I’m still getting a few emails spit back to me, so if you are registered and didn’t get my email this morning please email me or message on here and I’ll check to see what the issue is!
Here is the link to submit your February mileage! This is how mileage will be submitted each month for the remainder of the year. Each month I will email the link for you to submit for that month, so below is the link for the month of February only.
MILEAGE WILL SUBMITTED TO ME HERE: http://bariatricbeginnings.polldaddy.com/s/february-500-miles-in-2014-mileage-collection
Starting tomorrow (or today if you’re done) you can begin using the link to submit your mileage. You have until Monday, March 3 at 11:45pm (EST) to submit your mileage then the link will not except anymore responses.
And remember the prizes for the month of February are:
1. A canister of CLICK (winner chooses flavor), CLICK back-pack and a CLICK bling tumbler from CLICK Espresso Protein Drink
2. 1 Blender Bottle with 5 packets of Oh Yeah Total Protein System shake mix (various flavors) from OhYeah! Nutrition
3. 1 Variety Protein Soup Box from Bari Life Bariatric Supplements
4. 5 packets of Big Train Blended No Sugar Added Ice Coffee (vanilla and mocha) from Betterbariatric.net
Those who logged at least 40 miles (remember I prefer these to be extra exercised miles and not everyday activity!) are eligible for the prize drawing. I will announce the 4 winners on Tuesday, March 4.
Also remember if you are no longer interested in participating or can’t participate please email me at email@example.com so I can remove you from my database so you won’t receive anymore communications from the campaign. I understand life and injuries happen!
I love quinoa, tonight I decided to make quinoa stuffed tomatoes and other times I’ve stuffed peppers also. But tonight I was in the mood for the softness and sweetness of the tomato. I hollowed out the tomato (about a medium size) and stuffed it with a roasted red pepper and basil flavored quinoa, a sausage (I used 1 link for both tomatoes), and a sun-dried tomato and basil flavored feta cheese. I cooked the quinoa per the box instructions and cooked the sausage in a different pan. After both were done I mixed the two together and added the feta cheese to mix. I then stuffed them, added a little extra feta to the top, and then baked it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes on 425 or until the tomato started to crack and was soft. You can do this same thing with peppers if you prefer.
One tomato is about 285 calories and 12 grams of protein.
Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes (Serves 2)
2 medium tomatoes, hollowed out
1 link of sausage (I used Italian pork sausage)
1 cup of prepared quinoa (I used Near East brand, Roasted Red Pepper & Basi flavor)
1/2 cup of crumbed feta cheese (I used a Sun Dried Tomato and Basil flavor), set aside a bit for the top if you like
1. Wash and hollow out tomatoes, I used a melon baller to do so.
2. Cook quinoa to box instructions, set aside.
3. Cook sausage and then add to the finished quinoa.
4. Stir in feta cheese and then stuff a 1/2 cup of the mixture into the hollowed out tomato and set in a small baking dish.
5. Sprinkle feta cheese on the tomatoes if you desire.
6. Bake tomatoes in oven at 425 for about 15-20 minutes until the tomato start to crack and are soft.
I had my cat, Rowan, put to sleep yesterday morning. It was extremely difficult to do and it wasn’t easy to wake up to an empty apartment this morning since Patrick is at work. But I’m strangely holding it together better than I expected. I had a huge crying meltdown last night before bed and it helped get a lot of the sadness out. I also started making a “memory box” for my cat. That also helped even though originally I thought I might have a meltdown over that.
Above is the start to the box, I am going to stain the box and affix the R to the top. So far inside are his toys, his two favorites of his lobster and his caterpillar are on top next to his collar. I am wearing his tags on a necklace with a picture Patrick had made of him last year. Pictures of Rowan (I found one of him when he was only 7 months old) and some poems will also go inside. He loved to be brushed with his “love glove” so that’s in there. The leopard print blanket is the blanket he went to the vet swaddled in this morning and he passed away with his head on it. It was also one of his favorites. Eventually his ashes and locket of fur I am getting will go in there. I’m getting a copy of his paw print which will become a little tattoo on my wrist. This has been the start of a very comforting project for me so far. Patrick and I are holding up well, this is our first evening home without him and bedtime will be tough I think but so far we are doing okay because he know he did the right thing as tough as it was. I had my baby from the time he was 5 months old and he would have turned 11 years old in April, so this is certainly not easy. Patrick came into his time when he was about 8 months old so, that’s definitely his daddy. We’ve had other cats in our relationship and we still miss them and love them, but our other two both died suddenly and we didn’t have as many years with them as we did with Rowan.
It also still up in the air about what is wrong with me, tomorrow morning is my Hematologist appointment, I am hoping for some help with my anemia since I am not allowed iron supplements right now. I’m not allowed anything but my Prednisone at this point. I follow up with my Nephrologist (kidney doctor) next Wednesday. We will go over all these blood tests I had run last Thursday, they took so many that some are not even back yet! Craziness! I’m hoping we have some sort of answer for what is going on with me next week. Other than being tired and physically sore I am mentally holding it together despite the cat yesterday and the fact that I’ve been home and off work for 6 weeks now! I get stir crazy at times but at the same time I don’t have a lot of energy to do much or I poop out quickly.
I know this post has little to do with WLS, but my blog also is a personal journey to happiness and deals with all the ups and downs mentally in my life. I’ve had a lot depression and suicidal ideation in my past so I get a little nervous when events like my cat passing away and my current “unknown at this point” illness happen and I wonder how I am going to react to them. Will I have a massive nervous breakdown, will I spiral into depression again, will I want to kill myself again? All those thoughts have flashed through my head several times in the past 6 weeks and so far I am holding it together, very well actually. I haven’t even gone to a counseling appointment although I do need to go so I can start ironing things out and I do have one in two weeks. I am thankful for parents that love me and they have spent a lot of time with me these 6 weeks while Patrick works. My mom came over today and we watched a movie together and went to the store. Without their companionship I think I would have surely gone off the deep end by now and would be spiraling into depression. But I’m holding it together and hope it continues that way.
“True strength is keeping everything together when everyone expects you to fall apart.” ~Unknown
Well life isn’t going so grand again for me right now. I learned via some blood tests that were ran Monday morning that my kidneys are starting to fail again, my creatinine jumped quite a bit from last week (which was normal). My hemoglobin also is dropping due to the kidneys most likely. Hopefully everything will be able to be handled outpatient and I can stay out of the hospital. I went back to work Monday as planned and had to leave after 4 hours, I was incapable of finishing my whole shift. I am back on medical leave and short term disability for now until it is determined what is going on. Thursday I went to the kidney doctor, the same one I had in the hospital, and well my kidneys are still having an allergic reaction, also known as interstitial nephritis, but we aren’t sure to what though. Apparently it was not the Topamax as originally thought since I’ve been off of it and it’s well out of my system, but at the time of the hospitalization it seemed like the culprit. You can read more about my 13 day hospital stay by clicking here. We’re going to see if any of my two prescription medications and many vitamins and supplements (that I take because of weight loss surgery…he’s going to make my surgeon aware, they know each other well and he doesn’t think it shouldn’t be a big issue as it should only be a few weeks) are the culprit. So I’ve been pulled off everything for the time being. I’m back on Prednisone once a day since it helped me last time but that’s all I am allowed to take for now. He took 9 tubes of blood at my appointment to run a bunch of tests. I am seeing the hematologist on this coming Wednesday for my anemia.
It is with great difficulty that I share this news. Patrick and I will be having our beloved cat/baby Rowan put to sleep Monday morning. He has lost even more weight and isn’t absorbing anything he eats. Plus we know that he has cancer so we feel the time is right to let him go peacefully. I mentioned it a few posts back, you can click here to read it. I am thankful I have had this week at home with him and I know that we are making the right decision. He’s slowed down this week but has been happy and comfortable and I feel that is the best time to let him go. Tomorrow my husband and I will send all day at home with him just relaxing. Monday morning will be very hard for me as I have had Rowan since he was 5 months old and in April he would have been turning 11 years old. My husband has been in most of his life too as my husband and I have been together 10 years. It’s been hard this week for both of us, but I have come to terms with it and my husband slowly is too I believe.
But to end on a happy note, here is a brand new facial side by side, I am down -154 lbs from my heaviest. I’m sure the weight loss will be slow for awhile as I can’t exercise hardcore (walking for 30 minutes on the treadmill is all I am capable of right now, a far cry from what I normally do), take my vitamins and supplements, I’m not working my physical job and I am on a steroid pill. Eating well and my water is all I have right now.
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” ~Ann Landers
Thought I’d post another update on how I’m doing. If you missed what happened to me? Read here (it was NOT wls related): http://bariatricbeginnings.com/2014/01/30/an-explanation-for-my-long-absence. I was originally going to go back to work this coming Tuesday however I’ll be having one more week to recover at home. I talked to my nurse practitioner Friday afternoon and we decided to have me stay home and recover a little longer. So I’m not going back until February 17 now. I am thankful for it because physically I’m still getting very fatigued easily. I have a physically active job and am on my feet for 8 hours and if I were going back now I don’t think I could handle it yet. I’ve still been doing a lot of resting and sleeping. I have to go get blood work on Monday to see if my platelets and white blood cells have gone down yet. If not my nurse practitioner said I would have to meet with the hematologist. I saw one in the hospital so I guess I would go back to them. However while I was in the hospital they found that I have no blood disorders or cancers. But last week my levels were worse and my nurse practitioner said that would be the next step as this is out of her realm according to her. So we’ll see!
Mentally I’ve had a rough week, I found out that my cat, Rowan, most likely has lymphoma, his white blood count is indicative of it. He has also lost -13 ozs in 2 weeks. We had to take him to get an enema Thursday because on Monday at this yearly vet appointment they found a large stool mass stuck inside his stomach. After 4 doses of laxative my cat was unable to pass it on his own. He didn’t eat much or drink for those few days. So Thursday he got an enema and Rowan made it through. But they had to manually clear it for him. He wasn’t able to pass it on his own. He got another IV (he got one Monday also) and some B12. Patrick and I have decided against chemo pills for his treatment due to his age (almost 11 years old) and size (8 lbs). He has struggled to maintain his weight for a few years now but this is the first time that they have found anything abnormal with him. We are going to try some other things like more predisone for him (he already takes it) and some pepcid for hi stomach issues. In a few weeks we’ll take him in for a weight check and reassess. We are just going to try to make him happy and comfortable until we know his time is up. This cat is my child so all this has been hard on me this week. I am happy to report since coming home from his enema he has been eating and drink a ton and a very happy and active cat.
Been trying to slowly regain my normal life back but it’s been very hard when you still don’t feel like yourself. I tire so easily and have little energy. None of those things are me. Hoping to feel like myself again soon.
“It makes a big difference in your life when you stay positive.”~Ellen DeGeneres
I have a new before and current for you!I’m now 264 lbs. I am officially -152 lbs down from my heaviest weight of 416 lbs. I am only 34 lbs away from my surgeon’s goal. However I hope to blow his goal out of the water!
And a little update on my condition, I had a follow up doctor’s appointment Monday morning. My hemoglobin is almost back to a normal level, it is 11.8 (normal starts at 12.1 for women.) Back on 1/14 when I first enter the hospital it was 5.8 and I required all those transfusions (11.) Only bad thing is that my platelets and white blood cell count is higher now than when I left the hospital on 1/29. So we are retesting next Monday, since I’m still on the steroid through night and it could be the cause of the elevated numbers. So all in all not a terrible appointment. If you missed what happened to me? Read here (it was not wls related): http://bariatricbeginnings.com/2014/01/30/an-explanation-for-my-long-absence/
REMINDER FOR THOSE REGISTERED FOR THE 500 MILES IN 2014 WALKING CAMPAIGN!
You have through TOMORROW February 5 to submit your January mileage for the campaign! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org your total mileage for the month of January. Please send me a total, I do not want to have to add anything up as I have lots of people registered. Those who logged at least 40 miles during January will be entered for a chance to win 1 of 2 monthly prizes. The two monthly prizes for January are 1 Blender Bottle with 5 packets of Oh Yeah Total Protein System shake mix from OhYeah! Nutrition or 1 Box of Variety Protein Hot Chocolate from Bari Life Bariatric Supplements
Thought I would post and say I’m still doing good and on the mend. Check out my last post if you missed what was going on with me the month of January.
I’ve been recovering at home for the next week, I’m due back to work the week of February 10. I’m a little nervous about going back to my very physical job after being in the hospital for so long. I walked the hospital floors every day but it is not the same as going to the gym like I was and working eight hour shifts on my feet five days a week. Every evening after Patrick gets home from work we have been going out to stores to walk around as it is too cold and snowy here to go outside. This afternoon I also went out with my parents for shopping and walking. I do well but by the evening I’m very tired. I also feel like I’ve been eating a lot but I didn’t eat much for a part of those 13 days in the hospital. The last three days (hospitalization part II) that I was in the hospital I was on liquids only! I guess I’m gaining my strength back. I’m eating healthy but more than I’m used to or at least it feels that way.
Here’s a current picture of me, I can’t believe how skinny my face has gotten!
I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday and I will be weighed, I am very curious to see if it matches up with my home scale which had me at my lowest weight ever. I’m not going to announce the weight until I can confirm it on Monday, but it would make sense and if it’s true, I’m a happy woman. Certainly not the best way to lose weight but I’ll take it. I’m working towards my July 18-month appointment and hoping to see the plastic surgeon at that time as that is what my bariatric surgeon and I agreed upon. And one cool thing I did learn in the hospital is that this former type II diabetic has a completely normal A1c of 5.4!
I’m happy to see January over with. It was quite an experience for me. I was very nervous at times that I was going to be diagnosed with a serious issue. I was very nervous that something was wrong with my kidney(s) as my father is a kidney cancer survivor and it is always in the back of my mind that it puts me at higher risk. Each day as my creatinine level climbed I got scared because I was getting close to a level that someone might need dialysis for and that was scary. I am glad they caught the problem before that was necessary. When I left the hospital this past Wednesday my kidney function had completely returned to normal. I have always tried these past few years to enjoy and appericate every moment of my life. Now I plan to leave that more than ever before!
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!” ~Dr. Steve Maraboli
REMINDER FOR THOSE REGISTERED FOR THE 500 MILES IN 2014 WALKING CAMPAIGN!
You have through February 5 to submit your January mileage for the campaign! Please email me at email@example.com your total mileage for the month of January. Please send me a total, I do not want to have to add anything up as I have lots of people registered. Those who logged at least 40 miles during January will be entered for a chance to win 1 of 2 monthly prizes. The two monthly prizes for January are 1 Blender Bottle with 5 packets of Oh Yeah Total Protein System shake mix from OhYeah! Nutrition or 1 Box of Variety Protein Hot Chocolate from Bari Life Bariatric Supplements
I know that it has been several weeks since I last posted but I wanted to update you on my very long absence. I just spent 13 days in the hospital. I’m happy to report none of it was related to my weight loss surgeries so don’t be alarmed if you have an upcoming surgery. If you are a Bariatric Beginnings Facebook page follower you are already aware of my journey these past few weeks.
I had my one year gastric bypass follow up on Thursday January 9. Other than the low iron I had a great check up, I hit the lowest weight that I have been in a long time. However two days later my health started to take a turn for the worse, that Saturday I went to work but could only fulfill 6 of my 8 hour shift. I was extremely exhausted and could barely stand up. The next day I went to work like an idiot and lasted 45 minutes before having to go home. People said I looked pale and terrible. On Tuesday things hit rock bottom. I could not stand up without wanting to pass out. When I fell over at home due to this I called my parents to come take me to urgent care, Patrick was at work and couldn’t leave. We were at urgent care for less than hour before the nurse practitioner there said we needed to head to the ER. With my signs and symptoms it appeared that I might be bleeding internally. We headed straight for the ER of the hospital that my bariatric surgeon is at in case there was internal bleeding and that it was possibly related to my surgery.
From there I underwent a bunch of blood work, my hemoglobin level had dropped from a normal level of 13 (back on 12/30) to 5.8. My creatinine level was also elevated but the major concern was my hemoglobin. I was admitted on 1/14 (my one year gastric bypass date) and over the next 24 hours I had 6 blood transfusions. I had an endoscopy too but no ulcers or internal bleeding was found. Over the next few days my creatinine level continued to climb (signifying kidney failure) it raised concern among my doctors so we began to search for an answer. I also required 2 more blood transfusions to keep my hemoglobin up. I ended up undergoing a kidney biopsy and it was determined that my acute kidney failure was being caused by a severe allergic reaction to my headache/migraine medication called Topamax which I had been on for about two months. They started me on prednisone and my creatinine levels began to drop. My hemoglobin had remained stable so on 1/24 (a Friday), 10 days after my admission to hospital I got to go home. I was fine all day Friday and Saturday but when I went to use the restroom at 8:30am on Sunday morning the dizziness and lightheadness began again. I fell over twice and Patrick and I called my Dad, it was back to the ER for us. Once my Dad arrived, he and Patrick could not get me off the floor, I had to crawl on the floor just to get to the front of my place. We ended up calling the paramedics who got me out of the house and took me back to the ER. I was readmitted to the hospital Sunday evening and we began to search for an answer to the continued anemia. I had three more blood transfusions. Yesterday, Wednesday I also had a colonoscopy to make sure I had no internal bleeding the other direction. It wasn’t believed that I was internally bleeding but we checked to be sure. My colonoscopy was all clear, I came home again yesterday afternoon. As of Thursday afternoon as I type I’m feeling pretty good. I’m all bruised up from IVs and blood draws but my spirits are good and I am thankful for all the care I received and thankful for my family.
So in a nutshell, it was determined that all this happened due to my body going into acute kidney failure due to a severe allergic reaction in my kidneys to my migraine medicine, this has only happened in 9 out 20,000 (.04%) reported cases before according to my kidney doctors. All this caused me to go into hemolytic anemia and have a lot of blood loss. It’s been quite a month! I have a little over a week here at home to recovery before returning to work.
Please be a blood donor if you can! I had 11 blood transfusions during my 13 days of hospitalization. People’s kindness and donations help save my life!
“Never loose hope. Stay strong, you never know what tomorrow brings.” ~Magith Noohukhan
I had my one year gastric bypass blood work done last Monday since my follow up appointment is coming up on Thursday. I got the results yesterday. Everything was good except for low iron. So now I am on an iron supplement for the time being. Normally we are instructed to just make sure we take a multi-vitamin that includes iron which I have always done and have been fine until this time around. I’ve been having a lot of low iron symptoms so now every thing makes sense. I’m also very excited for my appointment.
I had a cool NSV yesterday, I can now wear my husband’s XL pajama pants very comfortably. He needs to be afraid because I like them a lot because they have skulls on them and I might steal them. We actually went to the store to find some today but they didn’t have them. So maybe I’ll just steal them!
Just wanted to share the final numbers for my 500 Miles In 2014 Walking Campaign!
I’m happy to announce that we had 518 people register!
72% were post-op bariatric surgery patients
6% were pre-op bariatric surgery patients
22% were non-bariatric surgery patients
We had 453 people register from the United States. 33 people register from Canada! 18 people register from the United Kingdom! 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from France, and 1 from Australia!
If you are someone who registered you are invited to join in a Facebook group that was set up to accompany the campaign for fun. Click here to join if you are interested.
I’ll try to write on Friday and let you know how my follow up appointment went with the surgeon, I greatly apologize for the lack of posts on my part. Working in the evenings really takes over your lifestyle!
“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.” ~Susan Gale