Relax, Easier Said Than Done

I am feeling better today than I have been, enough to take a 2.25 mile walk but now a few hours later I am exhausted and feel weak again. I have a feeling my poor health this week has been do to stress and poor sleep these past few weeks. I’m waking up entirely too early in the mornings and my sleep has been poor. Insomnia is nothing new to me. Even with a prescription for Ambien every night. I am still a poor sleeper. I just feel mentally and physically exhausted, it’s been a rough year! But it’s getting better.

I need to work on some stress reduction and relaxation techniques. I worry too much and always have. Having others tell me to relax or even tell myself to relax is easier said than done. But I am trying! I found an article on WebMD with 10 relaxation tips to get rid of stress fast. I am going to give there techniques a try and here are things I already do in the areas they suggested.

1. Meditate: this is something I have tried before bed and it does help me when I can calm down enough to get into it.

2. Breathe deeply: this goes with mediation for me. I have been in various in and out patient therapy groups during my life and have learned breathing techniques. I really need to apply them in my life right now!

3. Be present: don’t worry about the past and don’t focus too much on the future. I’ve gotten much better about this but still have a ways to go.

4. Reach out: I do this via social networking and by talking to my family and the few friends I have.

5. Tune in to your body: I can tell where my stress is right now, my head aches and my shoulders are very tense. I need to work on these areas and relax!

6. Decompress: a hot bath helps me and my peppermint oil that I rub on my head and temples for my headaches, both help relax me. Massages help too!

7. Laugh out loud: going to a comedy show or watching my favorite comedian on YouTube always helps me relax, one of the ways I overcame my depression was learning how to laugh again.

8. Crank up the tunes: I love listening to music, mainly in my car. Sometimes I’ll just hop in the car and drive with the radio up.

9. Get moving: exercise or a simple walk helps me. I’ve been slacking in this department this year due to my health problems but I have been slowly easing back into it.

10. Be grateful: they suggest journaling, this blog is my journal. Sharing my feelings and trying to work through them has helped me all these years.

Do you have any techniques that work for you? Share them with me! 

This kitten has the right idea!

This kitten has the right idea!

A Trip To The ER

I’m happy to report that my creatinine (tests kidney function) is the lowest it’s been all year and that my hemoglobin it’s the highest its been all year. I haven’t been feeling well the past few days, I’ve actually missed work Tuesday and yesterday. I was concerned that my kidneys were not functioning well again since I have having similar symptoms to the beginning of the year but a trip to the ER yesterday afternoon confirms that everything is functioning how it should be and better than it was at the end of March. All good news. There was no cause for concern in my blood tests. They think I might be just coming down with a minor illness or something. I still don’t feel that great today. It could be because I feel stressed to the max! I’m resting at home again today and was already off work tomorrow. So I will go back to work Saturday afternoon.

I tried to avoid the ER I hoped to resolve my fears of a relapse by calling the nephrologist’s office on Tuesday. I tried contacting my nephrologist twice, leaving messages that were never returned, usually I don’t have problems with that office. It turns out that the doctor never received her messages because he is out of town for the week, and the doctor available was never given my messages. I find this out on my way to the ER yesterday afternoon. At least by going to the ER I was able to resolve my fears that I was in kidney failure again.

I will take this time off to work on my presentation for WordCamp North Canton which is only two weeks away. I am speaking and I haven’t worked on my presentation yet. I better get moving.

“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” ~Theodore Vail

A Write Up About My Walking Campaign And Personal Journey

Here’s a write up about me and my walking campaign from Bari Life Bariatric Supplements!

View the original here: http://www.vitaminsforpostbariatricsurgery.blogspot.com/2014/02/500-miles-in-2014-walking-campaign.html 

 500 Miles in 2014 Walking Campaign

Bari Life Vitamins and Supplements

We are excited to sponsor the “500 Miles in 2014 Walking Campaign” this year! Every month we will be giving away prizes to the top mileage earners! Be sure to check out the Facebook pagefor the campaign!

Today we introduce, Jessica Dickey, the brains behind the campaign! Below, she shares with us her weight loss surgery journey. I hope that all of you will read and get as motivated and pumped as we are! She is an inspiration to us all! Thank you, Jessica!

My Weight Loss Surgery Journey- Jessica Dickey
My name is Jessica and Bariatric Beginnings is my blog and my therapy. The blog has been a lifesaver for me. My personal weight loss surgery journey started on July 12, 2010, when I underwent gastric sleeve weight loss surgery as the first step in a “staged” bariatric surgery process. I had my second step surgery, gastric bypass, on Jan. 14, 2013.

I was too heavy back in 2010. I had a BMI of over 65 and my surgeon also felt that I was on too many medications for my anxiety and depression, after being misdiagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2009, for the bypass to be safe.

I had type II diabetes and sleep apnea at age 27; something needed to be done. He said that one day I could have the bypass done if I ever got mentally better. I refused to believe that I had failed or been unsuccessful with my first surgery.

Most other bariatric people are not aware that the sleeve can often be the first step in a two-step process. Many are quick to tell me my sleeve failed since I had a second surgery. We did the first surgery, the sleeve, to get me to a better place physically and a better place mentally so that one day, when financially able, I could undergo the bypass surgery to help get the largest amount of weight off.

My sleeve helped me lose about 50 pounds and go off my diabetes medications. Mentally, I went from seven psychiatric medications to being medication-free. My sleeve did work, at least to me it did. My first surgery was also a difficult journey. I was hospitalized twice in the first 10 months for wanting to seriously hurt myself and used to have to take seven different medications to just barely function.

Somehow, I managed to lose about 50 pounds through all this and I have kept that off and am now living medication-free. I think that’s successful considering I could have been six feet under at this point. I’ve now lost more than 150 pounds total through the aid of both surgeries, and I am losing more each month. As of December 2013, I officially no longer have sleep apnea or diabetes with a normal A1c of 5.4!

I had the second surgery because I wanted to be healthier, accomplish things I couldn’t do before, to possibly start my own family someday and maybe be taken seriously by society. The people who matter most are by my side and don’t judge me. This is my journey and mine alone.

I came up with the campaign because walking has been one of the most useful tools in my journey. During the warmer months in Ohio, I try to walk 2-4 miles every day.  I love walking and walking is a great exercise to begin with if you aren’t yet very active. It’s free, peaceful, a great bonding experience with loved ones and something we all can do!

I created the campaign to inspire others to get out there and move.  Encouraging others on their journeys is something I truly enjoy. By giving them the whole year to complete the challenge, it makes the goal less scary and hopefully feel more reachable.

To your health!
The Bari Life Team
Bari Life is high quality bariatric vitamins that are clinically proven supplements to help in post bariatric surgery. Order Online Here: http://www.barilife.com

Re-Post: Staying Mentally Healthy After Bariatric Surgery

This is a re-post of one of my blog posts that I feel is very important to re-share. The information is also always available on the side of my page. 

After your weight loss surgery it is easy to get caught up in counting calories and protein grams, making sure you get all your vitamins and water in, and taking time to exercise.  Of course those things are important, but we easily forget an area that needs just as special care and attention, our mental health. It’s easy to become depressed or develop transfer addictions after surgery. Many of us gave up our drug of choice, compulsive overeating, when we underwent the knife. Making sure you care for yourself mentally right after surgery and for years to come is extremely important to your health and your success.  Below are tips on how to stay mentally healthy after weight loss surgery.

-          Attend an in-person bariatric support group so that you can connect with others who are going through the same major life change. Being able to develop and maintain strong relationships with others will enrich your life. If you don’t have one in your area, the world wide web offers several options for support before, during, and after bariatric surgery.

-          Take time to enjoy hobbies, interests, and activities. It is so easy to get caught up in the obsession of your surgery afterwards that you forget about things like reading a book or working a craft. Don’t let your surgery overtake the other areas of your life that you once enjoyed.

-          Take care of yourself, eating healthy and exercising just a little each day helps you stay mentally healthy. Physical and mental health go hand in hand!

-          Challenge yourself!  Learn a new skill or take on a project at work! Commit to a new fitness goal, revise your favorite recipe to make it bariatric friendly, even create your own recipe! All these things can give you a great sense of accomplishment.

-          Get plenty of sleep. Practicing good sleep habits and developing a regular sleep schedule are key to a happier you. Sleep helps the body and mind refresh itself.

-          Practice mindfulness; never lose sight of the here and now. Don’t get caught up in the past, it is done and over with and the future is yet to come. Focus on today!

-          And lastly, know when to ask for help. Remember to always seek immediate attention when things get really tough and you don’t feel like going on. Believe me it does happen, I’m living proof.

*If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org*

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Peanut Butter Banana Protein Ice Cream

1 cup of Light Vanilla Soy Milk

35 grams by weight of Banana (Or Vanilla) Flavored Protein Powder

1 Tbsp.  of Peanut Butter Sugar Free Flavored Syrup

2 Tbsp. of Creamy Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

1 Banana, Mashed

Mix ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Pour into your ice cream maker’s bowl and follow your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions.  Ice cream will look like soft serve when it is done in the ice cream maker. If you prefer a harder ice cream, place the mixture in a storage container and put in your freezer until it is at the hardness you like.

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Busy Busy

This past week was a whirlwind of activity. There was house hunting, the gym, and work. Thankfully the house hunting is over and we now can move forward with the one we made an offer on. We were very excited to have our offer accepted and are excited to be moving into our first home in less than two months.
These next few months are going to be busy. I need to start working on my presentation for WordCamp North Canton where I am going to be speaking. That’s in less than a month. I think I will devote this coming Friday which is my next day off to working on it. There is also things for the new house that have to be done and of course eventually packing. At least I will be busy and for me busy is good. I haven’t been able to get back into the gym as much as I would like mainly because of muscular problems that I’ve been having in my legs. They constantly feel like I’ve run a marathon without stretching and my left leg cramps quite a bit. I brought it up to my kidney doctor last time I was there and I will be having a blood test along with my others to check for something called myolysis. My kidney function and hemoglobin will also be checked next week. I go to 20 mgs of Prednisone on Tuesday. I was on 60 mg at one point and am stopping at 10 mg so I’m almost there. Other than the leg issue and constantly having to use the bathroom I feel okay. Hoping the blood work on the 22nd comes back okay.

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Big News!

My year finally seems to be turning around. I have awesome news to share!! Patrick and I will be homeowners come June! We made an offer on a house Friday evening and we just found this afternoon that offer was accepted!!! So freaking excited!!! 

I also wanted to let you know that I am an affiliate for CLICK Espresso Protein so if you are interested in ordering some CLICK Espresso Protein Drink use the link below and support me! Thanks!

 https://drinkclick.com/?aff=jessdickey

Promising a longer blog soon!

My Face Is Returning!

My face is returning to normal, lol! My face is finally thinning back out now that I am on a lower dose of Prednisone for my kidneys! I also have lost 5 lbs since going on a lower dose. Prednisone is the devil pill in my opinion, lol! I put on 15 lbs very easily on a high dose and now I am going back down with my dose being cut in half. I still have two weeks until I am at the dose that they will be keeping me on until sometime in May or longer. I am having blood tests done on the 22nd to check everything out. I’m hoping my kidneys are still okay so I don’t have to go back on a higher dose of the Prednisone. I also make a new side by side with my current picture. I’m pretty proud of myself for my transformation!

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“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ~Shel Silverstein

Patience Is Key

It hard to wait for anything in life. Some of us handle it better than others. I personally HATE to wait. But I know it is a part of life and try to deal with it. Right now my husband and I are playing the waiting game in our personal lives and it’s driving me crazy! Waiting is something that we deal with in our weight loss/weight loss surgery journeys and once and once again so people handle it better than others. I’ve seen many people go into surgery and I think they expect that two weeks later they are going to be 50 lbs lighter when usually it’s more like 25 lbs, if that. We all lose at different rates and during the first several weeks of recovery your body is swollen and healing. It’s honestly best to stay away from the scale! The journey is going to be slow at times and be full of ups and downs.

Patience is something that I believe will lead to success in your journey. Patience is key in permanent weight loss. This article from Fit Day explains it perfectly and I agree.

We need to learn to be patienant is every ascept of life, whether it be hearing about a new job, having your offer on a home excepted, or losing a huge amount of weight. All those things take time, patience, and waiting. I truly believe that good things come to those who wait and work hard!

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“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” ~Napoleon Hill

 

Why I Blog

It’s hard to believe that my blog will be having it’s 3rd birthday at the end of July. I see so many blogs out there that are started and quickly left to die after one or two posts. Sometimes I can’t believe I have stuck with it so long and kept it alive all this time. Then I think about why I started blogging in the first place and what it has done for me and my journey.

I think about all those people I have reached. I looked back at a blog I wrote two years ago called Blogging, The Best Form of Therapy. This post ended up getting Freshly Pressed and viewed by thousands of people. I shared my stats in this blog and couldn’t believe at the time how many people I had reached. Now I look at the numbers two years later and can see how much my blog has grown and that I am reaching far more people!

In March 2012 I had 24,360 views. I had posted 217 posts and had 50 blog followers. I have also had 343 comments left on my blog.

As of April 5, 2014 I have had 122,136 views. I have posted 560 (not counting this one) posts. I have 2,489 email followers and 384 WordPress followers. I also have 1,220 Facebook followers and 757 Twitter followers. I have also had 1,072 comments left on my blog.

What has blogging done for me? It has given me a way to tap into my feelings and release them. When I started my blog in July 2011 I was just starting to come out of the dark storm of severe depression, I seemed finally ready to tackle life by the horns. Sadly I was already one year post op from the gastric sleeve. But I was determined to be successful no matter what it took. I decided to start blogging and sharing it because I hoped that maybe what I was going through would help another person out there. Even if it was just a single person. I can look back at those original posts and really see how I have changed.

I also believe that blogging has held me a little bit accountable. I know that people are watching me and want to see me be successful and losing. But I also share when things aren’t going right. Right now I am stalled in my weight loss due to being on my Prednisone. At least I am not gaining anymore, I’ve been maintaining for the past two weeks since they decreased my dosage. Yes I did gain a little, I gained back what I had lost in the hospital being sick. Am I upset by this, a little, but it is not the end of the world. And getting my kidneys better is more important to me. I know that once all this is past I can continue on my way much easier. Guess what, life still happens after you have weight loss surgery! It is not a constant downhill thread in your weight. Please don’t go into surgery thinking it is either because you are going to be in for an upsetting time. Weight loss and life are a series of ups and downs! Anyway blogging about all the ups and downs holds me accountable and shows others that it’s not easy.

Blogging is also a way to provide support to others and receive it back. Sharing my journey can help others how might be going through a similar experience. But when I’m in a bad spot blogging about it allows me to receive support back when I need it. It’s also a wonderful way to share all your successes in this journey with the world.

I’ll close with a part of my blog from two years ago. “I highly suggest starting yourself a blog (private or public). Even if you aren’t ready to share your thoughts and feelings with the world, it is a good idea to share them with yourself. You will be amazing by what you will learn about yourself just by sitting down, letting your mind go free, and writing.”

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” ~Simone de Beauvoir