Not a moment to breathe!

I feel like I haven’t even gotten to sleep lately I’ve been so busy! But tonight, that’ll have to change. I’m doing a sleep study tonight. I have belts around my chest and stomach, a pulse oximeter on my finger, and something under my nose. There’s a little man on the monitor strapped to my chest who tells me if I come unplugged. Now, to try to sleep in this crazy getup!

Food Stuffs

Multivitamins and protein drinks are expensive! I guess they’re cheaper than food… but wow!

Here are some of the products I’m looking at:

Protein Drink

Chocolate and the cheapest for the volume: True Athelete – 22 servings for $20

Chocolate, lactose-free: Jay Robb – 11 servings for $23

More chocolate: Proventive – 11 servings for $28

Chocolate again! Healthy N Fit – 16 servings for $29


KAL: 60 for $12

TwinLab: 60 for $15

Chewy Bites: 60 for $13, but it comes in lots of flavors


TwinLab: 250 sublinguals


I’m thinking Flinstones… I’m having real trouble finding any adult ones without sucralose. Ick. Okay. Those are filled with Aspartame. You know what? This needs to happen another night. I made good progress, but I’m getting frustrated now.


Am I crazy? Short answer: no

Yesterday was my psych screening. It was at an office I’ve been to a bunch of times for therapy (not something I ever thought I’d do, but one of the best things I’ve ever done!), so that was nice and not so stressful. I did see someone new, though, and I kind of feel like she went onto of her way to make things more stressful than they had to be.

Basically, she had a questionnaire she had to fill out. Not that she told me this, but that ended up being the process. We were NOT there to share feelings, apparently.

So it started out friendly, if a little strange. I had to sit on a bench in her office – no comfy chairs for Ava this time! She also went over (and over) the policy regarding privacy and how she wasn’t a medical doctor… Okay. Got it. Then she asked me questions. The first one was “tell me about your weight history.” That’s all. No more detail. Um, okay. Starting in childhood? Starting when I decided to do something about it? So I just started talking. I told her that I’d been pretty okay until late high school, then gotten married, realized I couldn’t cook or adequately cope with…anything, found out we couldn’t have children, the one thing I’d wanted since I was 14, and gained a lot of weight. Then I started to tell her about the diets I’d tried. But she interrupted me. That was a later question & couldn’t answer it yet!


So she asked more questions, and I answered. At one point, she asked if my surgery had been scheduled yet and I told her it was the 8th. I think that upset her. She responded that I had to be cleared by her first and she didn’t clear everyone. It wasn’t rubber stamp. She might not clear me.

Um. Okay.

So after that, I tried to be really nice and give good answers, but I was still truthful. I mean, I’m not crazy. I am a good candidate for this surgery. I do have a spurt system and a good understanding of what to expect. I’ve done my homework. Back off the power-trip, lady!

The useful things that came out of this appointment (other than being cleared), were this. She asked me if I’d chosen a protein supplement yet, and we talked about my fake-sugar sensitivity. That really made me think and ultimately do research (more on that later). And she asked what I was going to do when I got stressed or upset and would normally reach for food. Good to think about. I need to research some more and make a plan for that, because I do think it could happen. I’m not a comfort eater as much as I’m a vindictive eater. Something pisses me off and I want to eat the worst thing possible. For example, I left that appointment a little flustered by her overall attitude and how it was different from what I was used to, so I went to Taco Bell and ate grease! Well, because of that and because I won’t be able to do it after next Thursday!

So, here is some great information if anyone else finds themselves wanting a protein drink but not being able to tolerate aspartame and sucralose. There are a TON of other options. I even found one powder that you could buy unsweetened. I guess you could add that to any kind of food. I can do the stevia, but not any of the other artificial sweeteners, so I found half a dozen options.

DC’s Protein Formula on
Harmonized Protein on
True Athlete from VitaminShoppe
Gold Standard has one
And there’s a Blue Bonnet isolate drink as well. I can’t find what that one is sweetened with.

So that’s a huge relief. I’m going to see if I can find some today so I can taste Them before surgery. That will be one thing I don’t have to worry about!

One more appointment to tell you about, but that’s for another post. And as I’m about to go to lunch and to who, it’ll have to be later.


Sleep study part one

Tuesday, I went to the first appointment with he pulmonologist for my sleep study. They were a little horrified that my surgery is so close. I think they usually have a much longer window to get things done. She wanted me to spend the night there, but that was not possible, for which I’m kind of glad. How would I ever sleep there?

Instead, they did a very thorough exam of my upper body, had me fill out a 30 page survey that took almost an hour, and scheduled an at-home sleep study for Monday. I guess I go Monday, get the equipment to track my sleep, learn how to put it all on, then come back Tuesday and return it so they can look at the data. She seems to think its likely that I have sleep apnea. I hadn’t ever thought about it, so either I’ve just been totally ignorant (kind of likely) or she just sees it everywhere.

I did learn some interesting things, though. The reason they’re so concerned is because of the risk of respiratory issues after surgery. Apparently people with sleep apnea are at higher risk. Then there’s the fact that they numb your diaphragm during surgery, which increases risk, and the issue of note breathing deeply because you hurt-just all kinds of breathing issues. Now, what they’ll do to counteract any of that in the ONE DAY between getting results and having surgery, I don’t know, but more power to ’em.

I also learned that my tonsils have almost completely grown back! Creepy!

So while that was my longest appointment so far, it wasn’t all that useful. But I am getting really good at surveys!

Pcp appointment

Okay, going back to Monday. I had my appointment with my pcp to get medical clearance for surgery. I don’t think he was thrilled I was having it, but he cleared me! He also changed some meds and started me on some new ones (boo!)

So, my blood pressure was high, and now I’m on hydrochlorothiazide and potassium. I’m not thrilled about this at all, but I’m hopeful that I’ll only be on it for a very, very short time. I also had to have my meteor in charged from the time released 750mg pills to something that could be crushed. So now I take 500mg tabs, break them in half and take 250mg 3 times a day.

According to the pharmacist, my citalopram is crushable already, so I guess that’s good.

Complete list of daily meds:
20mg citalopram for depression and anxiety (mostly so that if I spill something or forget to do something or burn dinner, I don’t burst into tears and have to crawl back in bed).
250mg metformin 3x/day for blood sugar
12.5mg hydrochlorothiazide for blood pressure
Potassium to replace the potassium I lose with the hydroblahblahblah
Soon to add a multivitamin, b12, iron, and calcium
And protein shakes

Other than new meds and a checkup, my doctor gave me the necessary referrals for my other checks, told me my lungs were clear, my stomach normal, my gallbladder healthy, and my liver, as expected, somewhat large. I see him again in three weeks.

Short and Sweet

I owe you a longer post. I actually have a few updates, but I’m on the way to a friend’s house shortly, so I don’t have the time. 

I’ve been to 2 more appointments since my last post – my primary doctor (where I got medical clearance for surgery) and the pulmonologist where they are working on scheduling a home sleep study. 

Today, I have my psych appointment. I’m not so nervous about this one, because it’s at a place I’ve gone before. 

Also, I finally slept (my cold is FINALLY going away), so I’m in a pretty good mood. 

Well, I’m off to draw horses and swim!



80% done with today’s appointments

Originally, I counted two appointments today: the hospital and my pcp. However, after the hospital visit, I’ve decided it was more like 4 appointments there. This morning, I had an ultrasound, an xray, a blood draw and an EKG. 4 different offices=4 different appointments.

Everything went very well. They drew 8 tubes of blood, and I have to go back on Tuesday of next week for the last two blood tests. The guy who drew my blood was great, though. I didn’t feel a thing at all. Better than testing my sugar! So that was a pleasant surprise.

Now I’m going to nap a little before my next appointment. I didn’t sleep at all last night because of the coughing. I finally have some more Mucinex, so ok hoping for a break in the hacking.

To Do List

Based on my reading, here’s some preparation for this coming week: questions I need to ask, tasks I need to complete, things I need to ponder…


  • Print adult intake forms and fill them out before Wednesday
  • Ask Dr. V (PCP) to change anti-depressant to something else. Non time-released and no negative sexual side-effects
  • Get Dr. V to call in referral for urgent care (not actually related, but I need to do it anyway)
  • Do I need a medical ID bracelet?
  • What kind of pain medicine will I be able to take? Tylenol and I don’t get along. I know nsaids are out, so what’s left?
  • Buy food.
  • Clean out baby food jars for lunches
  • Pack a bag for the hospital
  • Start low-carb diet (boo)
  • Ask about using stevia instead of other artificial sweeteners (it’s the only one that doesn’t make me sick)
  • For pureed foods, do you make them yourself? Is baby food ok? What “stage” of baby food is the right consistency?
  • Can the hospital finger sticks be done with my glucometer? I’m a baby about pricking my fingers.
  • When drinking water, does temperature affect anything at all?
  • Is Zyrtec ok?
  • Is soy or rice milk okay?
  • What kind of cheeses can I eat?
  • Can I put milk in my hot tea? I don’t drink either, but I’d like to learn to.
  • How am I going to measure all of this food? Is ounces weight or volume?
  • Will I always have to avoid drinking during a meal?
  • Will I ever eat sugar again?

Now all I have to do is put this list in my questions notebook. 

Last Appointment!

My last appointment was scheduled today. It’s Tuesday at 10. So that’s that. All 9 appointments scheduled. 

What to eat…

I found a cool site that has some sample menus. So, here’s what I can eat (after 8 weeks or so of mushy stuff). This all comes from this site


½ cup fat-free cottage cheese
8 oz. skim or 1% milk
Sip 16 oz. of water or non-caloric beverage throughout the morning
3oz. lentil soup or chili (slightly mashed)
Sip 16 oz. of water or non-caloric beverage throughout the afternoon
¼ cup scrambled egg (needs to be ‘runny’)
¼ cup Greek yogurt
8 oz. skim or 1% milk
Sip 16 oz. of water or non-caloric beverage throughout the evening
I like most of those things!
Let’s see what else there is…

¼ c. low-fat cottage cheese
¼ c. diced peaches

1-2 thin slices each lean deli turkey breast & 1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese, rolled (with 1 T. light mayonnaise if necessary)

¼ c. scrambled Eggbeaters® (moist)
2 oz. reduced-fat shredded cheddar
¼ c. diced pears

¼ c. canned chicken
(made with 2 tablespoon plain fat-free yogurt)

2 thin slices lean deli ham
2 thin slices reduced-fat cheese
1 T. mustard

½ c. chili w/ beans
2-3 whole grain crackers


2 slices turkey sausage

¼-½ c. oatmeal



½ c. hummus

¼ c. fresh dipping veggies (cherry tomatoes, celery, red peppers, cucumber, carrots, etc)



3 oz. shredded pot roast with low fat gravy

¼ c. cooked carrots



½ c. fat-free, artificially sweetened yogurt (any flavor)

¼ c. mixed fresh berries



¼-½ c. salad greens

2 oz. chicken strips

2 Tbsp. Italian dressing



2oz. tender pork loin

¼ baked sweet potato w/ 1 T. light margarine


The following foods may be difficult to eat, especially for the first few months:

  • Tough meats – dry, gristly meats may be difficult to digest. Meats (chicken, steak, burger, ham) should be moist and cut into very small pieces about the size of a pencil eraser. Go slowly.
  • Bread – fresh, doughy bread can form a ball and “gum up” the opening from the stomach
  • Pasta – pasta may form a paste and be more difficult to pass
  • Seeds and skins of fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, fibrous vegetables like corn, asparagus, and celery
  • Nuts and peanut butter

There are so many good resources on that site! Hopefully they’re accurate based on what they tell me next week. At least it gives me an idea of what I may be eating come a couple months from now. 

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avabyrd has gastric bypass

The amazing shrinking girl!


The amazing shrinking girl!

Bariatric Foodie

The amazing shrinking girl!