The Day After

The morning after the day before! How are we all doing? I vividly remember how crappy I felt my first easter after WLS. I was nearly 9 months post op, my life on a personal level had fallen apart in a particular area, Steve had just been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, I had just started a new job and I right around that time I fell into the worst depression I have ever had. Looking back on that time I know that my body was a hormonal chemical factory. I was losing roughly 12 kilos a month at that point and between that and the stress that was going on behind the scenes I really had no time to think about how I was going to manage Easter. I sat staring at everyone else’s eggs and I wanted to cry. Carbs over 12 grams make me dump so most chocolate was out, artificial sweeteners made me dump back then so I was seriously limited even in the no sugar chocolate department. In addition to my unfun RNY limitations, I also have coeliac disease, so I couldn’t even enjoy a tiny piece of hot cross bun. I remember sitting down after plastering a fake smile across my face and smiling through the morning for the sake of my kids, and crying my eyes out in my bedroom. I avoided cooking that day, and I just generally was aware of everything that I felt like I was missing out on. This is me being honest about how I felt. I didn’t express these feelings to anyone – I just went on and felt like the most horrible person in the world because in my head I was angry and resentful that everyone else could have the things that I wanted to have and it felt really unfair that I couldn’t do that too. By contrast, yesterday was okay. I have done a lot of work to get past those unhealthy feelings that I had around food. Food is not the focus of my life anymore. It is a great and wonderful way to fuel my body but I don’t think about it day and night. I had two little noshu protein chocolates that I made myself throughout the day and just had my normal meals. I had a couple of drinks and I understand the implications of my food and drink choices these days. The heavens didn’t fall in and I didn’t end up crying in my room over food that I felt like I couldn’t eat so that is a big relief. I don’t use food as a treat anymore. I also don’t think of food as good or bad particularly. I have a certain macro profile that I want to hit each day – its that simple. I make my meals up around that and that has really helped me to have a better relationship with food because, in reality, I now have a better relationship with myself and I understand what food is and what it isn’t. I don’t want to hurt me anymore. I want my body to be as strong and well as it can be so I give it what it needs. I am also really glad that I have not woken up this morning feeling the need to eat every bit of chocolate in the house because I have had years like that too but usually that is because I didn’t let myself have anything on the day so I would then just binge like a mofo for weeks afterwards. There is so much to be said for being kind to yourself. For giving ourselves good and healthy boundaries and ways to navigate important holidays and celebrations. Talk to our teams to get hints and ideas. Talk to others that are journeying well and come up with a plan so that we aren’t blind sided at the time but you know what if you are feeling like you have stuffed up majorly over the weekend DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP. If you had some things you wouldn’t normally have, just start fresh from now. Weight loss surgery and the life that follows is a transformation process and processes take time. We don’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to feel ashamed, we can be proud just coz! You are all amazing. Love Tash

Smoothie Bowl made with @purebotanypurveyor raspberry powder ❤️

Endocrinologist

Friday feels like it is looming large for me. It is a big day in my family for a few reasons but for me personally it is endocrinologist day. I am nervous. Mostly because I don’t want there to be something happening with my health but there is. Tonight we filled out the extensive amount of paper work that has to be filled in ahead of the appointment and I noticed that a squirmy feeling has started in the pit of my stomach. I always have that gnawing, unsettled feeling when I am meeting new specialists. Thankfully this is a referral from a well respected surgeon and I have a great deal of faith in his choice. When attending specialists appointments as a big person I experienced a lot of judgement. All of the many comments about my weight hit home and were taken to heart to the point that I still feel nervous even now.

Obviously my weight is not the issue here – well it is and it isn’t. The remedy for the excess weight (my weight loss surgery) may have been the trigger for whatever it is that is happening in my body at the moment – although we won’t really know that until more information is gathered or it could be stress that has triggered this. Whatever it may be – I am over it all. I have been on the new medication for a week and I am having glimpses of feeling okay so I am hopeful that we are on the right track. I still feel pretty crappy most days, but half an hour here and there without terrible symptoms feels like a blessing to me.

I will update when I know more. Much love x

2020 – The Year That Keeps On Giving

We all know that none of us share everything online right? I always remind people that we all love to share our highlight reels with the masses but when it comes down to the muckity pluck – we may try to hold some of that back! Well I am no exception to that rule. There are swathes of my life that are only for me and mine – however I am facing a new situation that is a direct result of my weight loss surgery so I feel like it is something that I should share because it is going to have a massive impact upon how I do everything in the weeks, months and years ahead.

There are times when I have struggled to be open about what is going on in my post weight loss surgery body. I share because I hope that it can possibly help others in some small way. For the most part, things for me have been quite difficult and I think it would be completely fair to say that I have not had an easy time of it. Yes I have lost a LOT of weight. I needed to lose a lot of weight. In saying that I love, celebrate and embrace all shapes – but my body was becoming increasingly immobile and shut down prior to my surgery, that is why I needed to act. I don’t regret my surgery at all. But I am feeling a little overwhelmed today.

Lets take a quick trip down memory lane. May 2018 I had an infected cyst removed from my upper gum that resulted in massive facial swelling and a long recovery. June 2018 I had RNY – Gastric Bypass. July 2018 I had my Gallbladder removed and a longer than expected hospital stay while they tried to work out what was going on with my body (scary visits from the infectious disease specialist) December 2018 Hernia repair surgery. February 2019 my husband had his first flair up around his autoimmune disease. March – June 2019 MASSIVE weight loss (around 10 kilos a month) and malnutrition issues with scope and iron infusion. July 2019 Steve’s official diagnosis. September 2019 First skin removal surgery with complications, ICU stay, return to theatre prevent me from bleeding to death, repeat blood transfusions, ongoing blood protein issues, ongoing iron issues. March 2020 heart scare and hospital Stay. May 2020 Steve had surgery. February – September 2020 strange symptoms that were attributed to stress etc. When I read that and I know that it doesn’t show even an 1/8th of what has gone on in our lives, I know that it has been a really big few years.

It has not been all doom and gloom and actually life really is kind of wonderful in so many terrific ways. I remain steadfastly grateful for the wonderful people that continue to love and care for me and for mine. So, in the paragraph above I said that I have had weird symptoms for more than half a year. If I am honest, and really think about it, it was probably even earlier than this – perhaps late last year but I didn’t want to think about or acknowledge that anything else could possibly be going on in my body. I attributed everything to stress and at the advice of my doctors, I remove additional anxiety, I changed my field of work, I stopped giving my attention to situations that were not good for me and I simplified my life. From that perspective the pandemic was wonderful because it gave me a chance to reimagine and re-think my life but the symptoms persisted. The change in work meant that my weight loss became stable and that was truly a wonderful thing – but the other things persisted.

Last week I passed out for the 3rd time in as many days.This was becoming something of a regular event. A terrifying one and not one that I want to regularly put my children or husband through but it was turning into a somewhat regular thing. So it was time for another doctors visit and more blood tests were ordered, then another doctors visit and more blood tests were ordered and after those yet another lot of emergency bloods came back and I ended up with a referral back to my weight loss surgeon. I was referred back to my specialist because my GP suspected I had a condition that can result from gastrointestinal surgery. It’s rare (yeah so surprised by that 😒) But he felt it required the input of my gastrointestinal surgeon. I called the rooms and made and appointment for the 16th of October – his soonest available. But honestly that felt like a LONG TIME to wait when I keep collapsing. I live in the State of Australia with the most cases of Covid, and if I presented at Emergency I wouldn’t see my family again until I was released …….. so I decided to contact my surgeon directly via email. I told him exactly what has happened and as usual he acted swiftly and I had my appointment yesterday. I have often said he is amazing and he TRULY is. I start medication today. I see an endocrinologist really soon as I learn how to live with reactive hypoglycaemia. Doing my blood sugars regularly, making sure I am eating enough and trying to avoid hypos. Last night, 2 hours after dinner my blood sugar level was dangerously low.

This morning, I will be honest, I feel frightened to eat because I don’t want my BSL to drop and that is what reactive hypoglycaemia does. My body is producing too much insulin and it does that in spite of what I eat. It’s not a common condition and I will learn how to manage it – it will just take me a few days to wrap my head around it all. At least it has a name and thankfully the blood tests caught it! I am so thankful that my GP believed me enough to keep looking because he knew that something was wrong. I am thankful for the urgent blood tests and for the incredible care he always gives. I am also so thankful to my surgeon. He has seriously been incredible every single time I have contacted him. The medication he has prescribed for me had to be ordered in and will arrive today so I will be able to start that tonight. So that is what has been going on with me health wise. It’s a new situation and has been really scary for me and for my family to navigate. Times like these show me who and what is important.

People that love you – truly love you – They are important. It’s easy to love someone when everything is great but who is really there for you? I know who is really there for me! Our health and well being – well that is critically important. We only get so many chances with these things and once they are lost they are sometimes lost forever so I really want to explore you to take care of those you love and take care of you.

My summer clothes have started arriving! We hope to spend Christmas in Queensland with our immediate family – providing Covid restrictions have eased sufficiently by that time.

Barrier Breaker

I had a great big barrier in my mind about 95 kilos. When I was 144ish kilos – just 15 weeks ago – I couldn’t comprehend how it would feel to be 95 kilos again. It felt far too far away. Do you know what it is like to look at the same mountain day after day, after week, month and year? Hoping against hope that one day you find a way to get over the mountain? That was me! I was dreaming about a life where my size was not the deciding factor in EVERYTHING that I did. Gastric Bypass has been the game changer for me. Gastric bypass has enabled me to become a barrier breaker. The last time I remember being this small was not long after Justus was born. I was weighed the morning of my dear Aunties Funeral, as I was getting day leave from the hospital to attend. 

My weight did spiral from there. The trauma of Justus’ prematurity, my aunties death, marriage difficulties and a whole host of other things saw me turn to food in the biggest way that I ever had! I am not proud of it, but I can track my weight gain by turning point moments in our lives. I can tell you that June 17th, 2018 was a turning point moment in my life.

This morning when I stepped onto the scales I was in shock. 95.3 kilos. Lincoln has never known me to be this weight in his life time! I can hardly believe it. 49 kilos gone – 😁