7 Years Post VSG

I had my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy on December 15, 2009.  That puts me at just over 7 years post op.  I recently had a follow up appointment at my surgeons office.  I hadn’t been there in four years.  They finally called me to get lab work done and made an appointment.  I got the lab work done and went for my appointment on the 14th of February.  I weighed 312 lbs. My highest weight was 403.  My lowest weight I got to was 253.  I have had some regain.  I blame the gain on the mental health issues that have surfaced.

In December of 2013, I was hospitalized for the first time for manic depression and anxiety.  I had my first panic attack. It was not fun.  That’s when all the meds started.  Over the past few years, I was hospitalized five different times.  The diagnosis I was given is Schizo-Affective Disorder Bipolar.  At first I was scared of the diagnosis.  I also dealt with depression and anxiety.  I began to emotionally eat again at times.  I focused on my mental health and my weight inched back up.  In December of 2016 I was hospitalized again.  I was on at least six meds.  They took me off all of them and started me on Seroquel.  I began taking two capsules at bed time.  It was nice to not be on so many meds.  They also recommended I start seeing a new therapist. They thought the change would be good for me.  It was weird seeing someone new.  I’m grateful she is nice and easy to talk to.

I had lab work done and found out I am deficient in Iron and Vitamin D.  So the weight loss surgeon’s office suggest I start taking Iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin D as well as a multi vitamin.  I will get labs again in three months.  My A1C level was also slightly up so my Psych doctor started me on Metformin.  I take two at night before bed.  My psych doctor said that the Seroquel is to blame for the recent weight gain and increase in A1C.  My regular doctor reassured me that I am not diabetic.    She said they put me on the Metformin to counteract the Seroquel.  I will say that since I’ve been on Seroquel, I have had night time food cravings and I have given in to them.   I’m glad to say that I’m doing a lot better mentally now and I’m back to work full time.

I work from home now.  It’s made my job a lot more tolerable.  I’m not so miserable now.  I really like it.  I don’t have to go anywhere in the morning.  And I can wear comfy clothes. Shoot I can wear my PJ’s if I want to.  It’s been a couple weeks now since I started at home.  I hope I can work from home permanently.  Right now though it’s a 2 month pilot.  Stress is not bad at all and I haven’t had any anxiety issues either.  Working from home has been a good change.

As for my weight, I’m back to working on it again.  I joined a gym two weeks ago and have started to go three times a week for now.  Right now, the focus is on cardio so all I’m doing is biking.  The first week was 20 minutes a session.  The second week, I upped it to 30 minutes.  I rode 4.5 miles in that 30 minutes so that’s not too bad.  I’m also recording my food again.  I use MyFitnessPal and my username is dottiemay71.  Feel free to friend me if you’re on there also.  My struggle is drinking enough water.  I wasn’t getting any water in at all.  I always drank pop or tea or juice.  Water was not part of my diet at all.  I’m trying to make it a part now; even if it’s flavored water.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  Thanks for reading all of this.  I’m going to try to get back on here and blog more often.

Peace – Love – Smiles

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Midlife Work

It’s Monday after a nice 4-day weekend. It was really tough coming into work today. I almost didn’t. I know that I should be grateful for a job and I am. However, my heart is no longer in this job.  I can honestly say I don’t like it anymore.  That makes for a tough morning every day (except for weekends).  I don’t like time to fly and yet I find myself looking forward to the weekend every week.

I don’t know why I feel this way about my job. Perhaps it’s the longevity. I’ve been here since I graduated high school. In May, it’ll be 27 years. The reason I haven’t left this place is because I have 6 weeks of vacation.  I love my vacation time.  If I were to go to something different, I certainly wouldn’t have that much vacation.

I need to dig in my heart and ask myself, what is it I want to do. You know what I’d love?  If my husband could realize his dream of owning his own business.  Then, I could work with him. That would be something different and working with my husband is a dream for me.  Get me out of this corporate world.  Being unhappy about it every day I come here can’t be good.  One person can only take it for so long.  I have been searching job openings though just in case something pops out at me.

If I can’t work with my husband, the next thing I’d like is to be a life/health coach. That, however, requires schooling and I’m not going to try that again. I’m already buried in school loans for the other couple times I tried.  This last time I tried, I ended up having my first anxiety and panic attacks and eventually ended up hospitalized.  I stayed at the hospital 5 different times now. I am praying that there’s no more.  After my last stay at the hospital, my daughter said that the job was why I was having this difficulties and I should consider applying for disability.  I was off so long at one point I did have to apply for social security. I was denied of course.  Honestly, I too think work is a part of it.

Perhaps this is a midlife crisis. I want to do something different. I want to explore. I like photography, perhaps I can do something with that. Perhaps my husband and I could get to working on Body by Vi (Visalus). One of the guys that I know was able to quit his corporate job he did so well with it.  He’s still doing well.

I’m sick of this cubicle.

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Christmas is Next Week!

Can you believe it?  Christmas is next week already.  And, so far no snow.  I’m looking forward to some time off work. I will be off starting the 24th and don’t have to return until January 4.

I’m still struggling with being at work. Some friends have suggested that I get a different job.  In all honesty, the vacation is what keeps me working here.  I have been here 26 years now and I have 6 weeks of vacation to use in a year’s time.  I wouldn’t be able to find a new job that would give me that kind of vacation right away.  I can’t see me going back to only one or two weeks.  My job is also not terribly far from home.  So what’s my problem!?  What I keep telling myself each morning is that it could be worse.  I could be back in that hospital again. Lord knows I don’t want to go back there again.

On to another subject, tomorrow is my 6 year weight loss surgery anniversary.  I had the gastric sleeve done 12/15/09.  I continue to struggle with my weight.  I had gotten to a low of 253. Now I’m up to 310. Yes, I had some regain, actually quite a lot.  My health insurance pays for my husband and me to go to Weight Watchers so that’s good.  We weigh in on Saturday mornings.  My last weigh in, I had gained 1 lb.   I didn’t get upset about it. Prior to that I had been slowly losing each week.  I rarely feel hungry. I eat because I know I need the nutrition.

So back to Christmas, I imagine many already have their shopping done.  Not us! I have no idea what to get my two adult kids. It was so much easier when they were young.  Some days I miss them as young kids.  But there are other times that I’m glad their adults. Like when I was hospitalized. There’s times when my husband and I will go shopping or get invited somewhere and we witness some other couples young kids and how loud and obnoxious they are.  And I think, boy I’m glad our kids are adults.  I hope to have grandkids someday.  My oldest is still going to school and she isn’t married yet, but she does have a nice man in her life. It is my hope that they’ll have kids someday.  My youngest has voiced she doesn’t want kids.

For newbies to my blog, I have been hospitalized more than once for mental issues.  They finally found the right med combination so I have been doing well. I still get to feeling down or I get some anxiety. But nothing compared to how it was during hospitalization.  I take Cymbalta, Haldol, Benztoprine to help with some side effects I was having with the Haldol, and lastly Trazodone for sleep. I used to hate taking any kind of meds, but now I’m more than willing because I don’t want to be like I was.  I was far from myself.

With that, I’ll bring this blog post to a close.

Peace – Love – Smiles

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Work – Depression

I wish I could explain the feelings I have toward work. I’m like ho-hum. Perhaps it’s some mild depression kicking in? Every morning, I struggle to get my butt moving. I’ve been like this since I returned to work at the end of September. You’d think I’d be over it by now, but I’m not.  I can’t really complain about my job. I don’t hate it.  Sometimes I don’t like it. That could happen anywhere.  I’ve been with the company for 26.5 years.  That’s a long time.  Am I just tired of it?

One of my depression/anxiety triggers was one of my coworkers. But he chose to leave the company.

I’ve been thinking of my mom and dad lately (more so my mom). I’m sure it’s because of the holidays.

I’m so grateful and blessed to have my family and friends that care about me. I’m the type that doesn’t really like to ask anything. I usually try to figure things out myself.  But this depression…it’s beyond me. I’ve broken down and asked for prayers or positive thoughts. One thing I don’t want to do is end up back in the mental hospital. They’re no fun and I did NOT like being there.  Sure I can look back and say, I needed at the time and it helped. But now, I don’t need the hospital.  I know that I’m strong. With the Lords help I can do anything I put my mind to.

I just thought of something! In the morning, I should remember I could be in the hospital or in their partial program. Work is a preference over either of those things.

Wishing you peace, love and happiness

Dottie

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Update 11.10.2015

Today is day 2 of my return to full time work. I do struggle in the morning getting up. I’m definitely not a morning person.  What makes it even more difficult to come to work is having nothing to do.  That’s right, nothing to do.  So right now, most of my time is spent on PluralSight or W3schools learning HTML and CSS and eventually JavaScript.  I guess it’s good that I can learn things in my down time.

Guess what? My depression is in remission.  There is no way I want to go back to the hospital during the holidays or ever.  I’ve been there at least four times. My first visit was December of 2013.  I still go to counseling and lately I’ve been watching a DVD of Robert Sapolsky.  How depression can affect your body. What I’ve seen so far is pretty fascinating.  Robert Sapolsky is a Neuroendocrinologist as well as professor of Biology, neuroscience and neurosurgery at Stanford University.

Today has been 4 years since my dad passed away. Every now and then I think about it and just can’t believe it’s already been 4 years.  Time flies.  I’ve had both my mom and dad show up in my dreams. That’s cool.

Sadly, last night my uncle passed away. He was in his 80’s. He was an awesome man. He always could bring a smile to my face.  The relationship he and my aunt had was great. Both he and my aunt have a great sense of humor.

I haven’t blogged much. I think it’s because I don’t know what to blog about. Feel free to give some ideas.  Writing is therapeutic for me, but not if I can’t think of anything to write about.

My weight has been coming off slowly. I missed weigh in this week. In the weeks prior to this, I’ve been losing an average of 1.5 each week.

I’m still taking meds for my depression, anxiety, schizo-effective disorder. I take Cymbalta, Haldol, Benztropine (take for side effects of the Haldol) and Trazodone for sleep.

Ok I think I’ll end my random blog here.

Peace, Love and Smiles,

Dottie

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Where Have I Been?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged anything. So, where have I been? Well, in July, I was readmitted to the mental hospital. It was July 7 just after the 4th. I had such a great weekend on the 4th. I was laughing and having fun. But my sister in law said I was talking to her like I didn’t know her. Between her, my husband and my family doctor, they decided I needed to go in again. Of course, I didn’t want to be there again. So, I threw a bit of a fit when we got there. Because I wouldn’t sign myself in, I was petitioned by my sister in law to go in.

I was in inpatient care for a little over 2 weeks and then I did their partial program for 3 weeks. My meds were adjusted a little while I was there. Those meds include Cymbalta, Benztropine, Haldol and then Trazodone for sleep. I take Benztropine for the side effects I was having with Haldol. I hope and pray that I don’t need to go there again. I will manage the stress. They figure that what caused this incident was driving over to the other side of state by myself for a training class. I got there and couldn’t find the building I was supposed to go to. I texted my boss for direction. Turns out, he didn’t go. So I was lost. Never did find the building. I ended up stopping at the store and getting a pop and a candy bar. I called my husband and told him I was coming back home. The situation stressed me out more than normal. If I’m asked to go across state or somewhere far from home, I’m asking for someone else to drive or take my husband or something. I don’t want to place myself in that situation again!

I started back to work last week. I’m working 3 six hour days per week right now. Tomorrow, I have a Psychiatrist appointment. We will talk about what the next step is. Back to full time or maybe work four days. I’m not sure. These three short days have been going fine. I went through all the emails in two days. I asked one of my coworkers if he had anything I could do. He’s the senior architect. And he said the forms project is just about done and right now there isn’t anything. So here I am today, blogging. I had another coworker ask for help on his project so that’ll give me something to do. I just have to wait until we load the necessary software that I need.

My weight: I’m currently at 315. That’s a little over 10 lbs. that I’ve lost in the last couple months. I’m just eating smaller portions of things I like. Everything in moderation. I walk for exercise, but not very often.

That’s all there is for now.

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Update

Where do I begin? It’s been two months since I’ve lasted added an entry to this blog. I have been hospitalized a total of four times in the last 10 months. I really don’t remember a lot of the day that I was admitted for each visit, except for this last one, which was back the end of July to early August. What I remember is something else I’ll say. I behaved in ways I never would. I remember going outside the morning I was to be admitted, laid down in the grass in the shape of a cross and was yelling at the sky. I was yelling “I’m a believer”. The uncomfortable part was that I chose to lay down in the neighbor’s yard. I went back in the house and my husband said you’re going back to the hospital. So we went. On the way there, I was somehow reading nearly every sign we passed and I would yell “I’m trying to use my coping skills”. When we got to the hospital, I was sitting in a room and I couldn’t sit still and I was singing and yelling. I was admitted and there I stayed until early August.

Now I’m not saying that I loved the place because I didn’t. I missed seeing my family so much. But I will say, it helped. I got under control with the help of medication. I was always one who hated medications. I didn’t like pill taking at all. BUT, in this case, I was okay with the meds. I certainly don’t want to go through what I went through again. I did what I needed to while hospitalized. I participated in the group therapy sessions and classes. I don’t think I missed any of them unless I was tired and preferred taking a nap. Thankfully, my husband had open visitation so he did come by now and then. I loved the visits. My daughter also came too on most visits. After two weeks I was discharged to the partial program. Partial was group therapy that ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week. At least with partial, I got to go home each day. I completed 4 days of partial and then was discharged fully. I was so happy to be done with it. Even happier that I felt stabilized and in much better moods.

My diagnoses ranged from Severe Depressions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Schizoaffective. Yes, my hospitalizations were at a Mental Hospital.

I’ve made great progress so far because I’m now back to work. Of course, I’m taking it slow. I work 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. three days a week. I get re-evaluated by my Psychiatrist on Monday the 13th. I think I could handle some more hours. I just don’t want to get overwhelmed or stressed right away. I don’t want to have any more episodes that could land me in the hospital again.

I could keep going, but I’ll stop here.

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