Personal Update

I try to be transparent in my personal life as well as my “work” life. I feel like being relatable is a huge part of feeling comfortable on your wedding day. 

So with that being said…. I am eight days post op from a Bariatric Sleeve surgery. 

I have struggled with my weight pretty much my entire life, but it became so much worse after losing my babes, Caleb & Charlotte. I, like many people found comfort in food. I have tried all kinds of diets and weight loss programs, but with the end result of always regaining the weight back. After watching 6 ladies I personally know share their stories on social media with outstanding results, I decided to reach out to Wentworth Douglass Hospitals Center for Weight Management. I attended my first informational meeting in May of 2020. Since May, I have had to get my yearly physical, an updated pap, a barium swallow, 3 meetings with a nutritionist, 1 meeting with a psychiatrist, attend 3 nutritional meetings, have multiple blood draws, a COVID test (the one that tickles the brain- UGH.) meet with the APRN & the surgeon all before being cleared for surgery!  

In the process of preparing for surgery, after my blood draws I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Disease. The Mayo Clinic defines it as: “Hashimoto’s disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body’s functions.” 

While it sucks being diagnosed with an auto immune disorder at 33, I am happy to have some answers for some of the symptoms I was having. So I will be on supplemental hormones for the rest of my life – YAY. 

On December 10th I finally met with the surgeon, Dr. Cynthia Paciulli, she’s amazing by the way. The entire staff at WDH was incredible. I was finally on the books for January 11, 2021. What a perfect way to start the New Year! 

It was recommended to try to lose 12lbs before surgery, but in my head I knew I wouldnt be eating these yummy foods for much longer, so it was constantly like I was getting my last fix. I hadn’t lost the 12lbs before surgery so on December 27th I started a low calorie-keto like diet. It helps shrink the liver and make it easier for the doctor to move the liver during surgery. I lost 15lbs in two weeks-woohoo good to go! 

I was absolutely terrified of surgery & anesthesia. I was legitimately scared I wouldn’t wake up and leave my kids motherless. Shit. BUT, I knew I needed to make a big change so I could be there for my kids for a very long time. I want to be able to play with them and not feel like I am going to die (dramatization) from carrying all of this extra weight. Maybe jump on our trampoline without feeling like I am going to break it, swim in the pool without feeling like a whale? Y’know all of those you think, but don’t say aloud? It’s my number one reason for doing this surgery. My second is MY DAMN self, I’ve always been a bigger girl, so I really don’t care how I look to people, but I want to FEEL healthy. That is my end goal – health. Third, my business. Wedding Days are NO joke. We run around all day & it’s exhausting, never mind adding an extra 100 lbs to your back. I feel like the surgery will be beneficial to every aspect of my life and that’s why I made MY choice. 

Some people think its the easy way out, but LET ME tell you. Hahah

I went into surgery thinking I would wake up and be a-okay, similar to my wake up from a colonoscopy 10 years ago. Nope! I had some pain, so they gave me fentanyl. That shit is NO JOKE. I was still having pain a few hours later, so they gave me morphine. I went into surgery at 7:30am, I didn’t fully wake up until 10pm that evening. When I was awake before that, I felt so out of it, felt like I didn’t really have control of myself, which I did not enjoy. I was seriously questioning my choice at that point. 

Poor Paul, I wasn’t even texting him, because I couldn’t focus on my phone, I’d nod off. He said my communication was awful. I didnt even want to call the kids to say goodnight, because I looked awful and didnt want to freak them out.

The photo I sent to Paul.

Apparently, the only thing to help the pain I was experiencing was to walk. The pain was caused from the gas they put in to preform the robotic procedure. I was walking the halls all night long. I would take a sip of water, (because the biggest thing is staying hydrated) make a lap, and repeat. When I got home, Paul actually carried our treadmill upstairs from the exercise area in the basement so I could walk in the living room. It was a life saver those first few days. The gas pain was truly the worst part for me.

 

The day after. Clearly I was still regretting my choice.

I am basically relearning how to eat properly, and with a smaller stomach. I’ve been on 3 protein shakes a day + clear liquids for 8 days and will continue for another 6. From there I will switch to soft foods, eggs, mashed bananas etc..

I’m drinking decaf coffee….

and drinking at least 64oz of water a day. It certainly isn’t an easy journey, but I know it was the right one for me. Since surgery I am down 12.9 for a total of 27.9lbs since December 27th. Honestly, I already feel SO much better and have more energy and motivation. I’m sure my new thyroid medication is helping that as well. 

I hope by being public with my surgery choice helps anyone else debating the decision. Just like Rachel, Maria, Ashley, Grace, Jessie, and Sam did for me <3 I am an open book, if you have questions – I encourage you to reach out. Here’s to 2021!! 

A special thank you to my husband Paul, for being so supportive. Constantly fetching medicine for me or adjusting my pillow and chasing our crazy boys. Also, thank you to my lifelong cousin / best friend, Alicia for taking my boys overnight on Thursday, spoiling them with ice cream sundaes, puppy love, walks on the beach, and homemade waffles! I for the first time ever, was home with no kids for a full day and the rest was incredible.

  1. Laurie says:

    Always so proud of you in all you do. You have a huge heart and it shows in your willingness to share your journey with others that need to hear your story. Love you lady.😘

  2. Aleecia says:

    So proud of you!

  3. Paula Chamberlain says:

    Stephanie,
    Best of luck on your journey! I wish you a speedy recovery. So proud of you to taking your life back ❤
    Paula

  4. MariA Hibbert says:

    So proud of you!!! I made the decision the same way… for myself. So tired of being told big girl but pretty face. Any time you doubt yourself look at where you were when you made the decision to change your life and go from there. One day at a time sweetie and so happy that you looked to me as one of your inspirations. Any questions- I am here for you!!! Good luck and go slow with new food!!!

  5. Lynne says:

    I am so happy for you. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story. I too have been following friends journeys on these surgeries. I am on the fence , I am a foodie . I want to succeed but I am afraid of failure. I have always been the biggest (heaviest) person in my family. After loosing Jerry i spiraled with my mental health, eating was a comfort. I am going to make the call to the nutritionist my doctor gave me and start my journey too. I want to be able to play with the grandkids and not feel like I can’t get out of my own way. I want to live for a very long time without doing something that is not going to happen. So once again thank you for the encouragement, I am wishing you the best on this journey, I hope you keep sharing your story with us. Love you rest and drink your water and shakes ❤️❤️

  6. Alicia says:

    GIRL! I am so proud of you for choosing a life full of happiness & health for you and your family. It’s going to be a different journey for sure! BUT your family & friends are here for you all the way ❤️ You got this! One day at a time! I love you!!!

  7. Kevin says:

    Congratulations and so proud of you!!! You are such an open and honest person, I love you!!
    Hope recovery goes well!!!

  8. Xante says:

    So brave! I wish you a speedy recovery so you can feel healthier and get back to your beautiful family.

  9. Mary Barney says:

    Thank you for sharing this Steph. I have tried to talk with my son Bob about this and he is afraid
    My sister Fern had it done about 20 years ago and she has done so well. She lost 100+and had kept it off all the years. And the fact that she can do things that she would never have been able to. Plus the health benefit

    I am going to send your story to Bob and hopefully he will change his mind.
    Best of luck Steph. I know the journey will not be an easy one but anything worthwhile is not easy. Blessings. A Mary

  10. Lisa minion says:

    Hi. Welcome to the bariartic club!!! Love 💗 u. Mark had gastric lost over a hundred pounds he lost. I had lapband over ten years ago. We both had and have diebetes. Sleeve is newer. I understand what u are going thru. Laparoscopic? Ever need to talk let me know. I had 3 weeks liquids. Even going thru meetings people tolerate different foods. U will do great!! It gets easier.. I totally understand weight rollercoaster. Love 💗 u.

  11. Kate Coetzee says:

    So Amazing! You are such an incredible, caring person and deserve all the happiness in the world! So proud of you and good luck on this journey! Your boys are so blessed to have such an amazing mom(even though I know as moms, we are the blessed ones lol)! I love you and miss you so much!

  12. Auntie Karen says:

    Stephanie, you are such an inspiration! I am so proud of you for sharing your story. It shows the strength that you have. I wish lots of luck on your journey.
    Love you lots! Auntie Karen

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