Saturday, June 16, 2018

Where we are now

We have just said goodbye to our little niece after another day/night of babysitting. She is 17 months old, a bundle of energy, cuteness (and stubbornness!!) and is the light of our lives. We babysat her overnight while my sister and her husband went into the city for the night. Now that she is gone, I feel a bit empty. I feel like while she is here I have a purpose, things are fun and busy and noisy, and I miss her terribly when she goes back home again.
I'm lucky that I get to spend so much time with her, taking care of her and doing things like playing with our dogs, going for walks or even running errands. I watch her once a fortnight on my day off. She gets dropped off and I get an entire day to feel a bit of what it might be like to be a mother. It's a very bittersweet feeling. That day always seems to go so much faster than the other 13 in the fortnight.

I started this blog at a positive time. When I had hope that sometime in the near future, I would most likely be living my dreams. I had no real reason why I shouldn't. It all came down to how hard I worked at it.
Well, over two years later and those dreams are still not realised. I'm not a mum yet, and the possibility that I will be seems a lot lower than it was back then.

Not that long after my last post, I had an appointment with the hospital, and so began the tests. Oh, the tests! Painful, uncomfortable, undignified and just horrible. I had a fluid test of my tubes (possibly the most excruciating thing I've ever had done, where they inserted a balloon through my cervix to try and find out if my tubes are blocked. Worse than the pain was that they couldn't get a clear view so the results were inconclusive there). We got the bad news that my fibroid is huge and must be surgically removed. That I would likely not be able to sustain a pregnancy if I were to fall pregnant with it there still. Unfortunately, I was still too heavy to do the surgery laparoscopically and so would need to continue to lose weight and do the removal closer to the time when we are ready to start IVF. They did a hysteroscopy and D&C to try and hold off some of the more severe fibroid symptoms (like extremely heavy bleeding and pain). Unfortunately, I've found no difference since the procedure.

Then we found out that my husband has a low sperm count, with low motility. The chances of us falling pregnant naturally are extremely unlikely. So we will need IVF, surgical sperm retrieval (which probably will only work once) and likely a procedure called ICSI (where the 'good' sperm is selected and injected directly into an egg to fertilise it). Oh, and hubby has been doing really well. He's a normal weight now for his height and has officially lost over 1/2 of his body weight. I'm so proud of him (just frustrated that I'm not there yet myself)!

It was right around the time we finished the fertility tests that I started to have more issues with my lap band. I was throwing up regularly, with reflux that was making me cough and splutter through the night, and pain while eating. A gastroscopy found that I had a pouch formed above the band, where the oesophagus had stretched out. The surgeon told me it was most likely from the band being too tight and still trying to eat. I felt really ashamed; like it was my fault that it had gone 'wrong' and now I would need the lap band removed. The surgeon gave me the option of either having another lap band placed, or I could try gastric sleeve instead.
Given all the issues my husband had after his gastric sleeve surgery (and that even at this point in time, he is still recovering in some ways), it made for an agonising decision. I didn't want the same issues to come up with another lap band...the constant adjustments of fluid, the rules and restrictions in eating, and how sensitive it was to my stress and hormone levels. In the end, I thought that gastric sleeve would be the best solution for me long term. It had a higher chance of getting to the weight that I needed to be for IVF and less day to day issues it seemed.

So here I am, more than two years later and 6 months after having the gastric sleeve. I've been through some really rough times. I got very depressed after my lap band came out. I put on nearly all the weight that I had lost and have had to lose it all over again. I've lost almost 40kg now and am at around 114kg at the moment. Things have slowed down some. Initially, the weight loss was very quick.
I have also developed a hernia at the incision site of my previous surgery that requires another surgery to repair it. That's been booked for next month. I've been restricted on how much I can lift until it's fixed (and then for about 8 weeks afterwards), so no gym for the moment. Once I can go back, I hope that I can start shifting the weight a bit faster again.
I'm still about 25kg away from being able to have the fibroid removal surgery and hopefully start IVF soon after that, but I'm feeling more positive about it all. I will get there eventually. I only hope that once we do get there, and have been through multiple surgeries and all this pain and time, that we will eventually see our dreams realised.

I saw a quote this morning... Hope changes everything. I think that is definitely true.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


I wish I could say things got better after my last post. The last few months have been a crazy rollercoaster of emotions. Hubby came home Sep 28th only to go back to hospital a few days later. The leak had not resolved itself. After another 2 weeks in hospital he returned home again, only to again head back after a few days. The leak had returned and he'd got an infection as well.
Finally, there was no option but for him to have gastric bypass surgery in early November, removing his whole stomach and rerouting the esophagus to the intestine. The recovery time has been long, windy and horrible for him, as well as myself. He's still not back to normal, getting weak and dizzy often and not able to walk very far right now. He's back at work 4 days a week though, so that shows his progress.
In the five and a half months since his initial surgery, he's lost 45kg.

My progress

As for my progress, the stress took it's toll greatly. I was diagnosed with depression and suspected anxiety. I've been getting treatment, both medication and counselling, and I think it's helping. My weight loss stalled for a while. The band had become too tight again due to the stress and anxiety and I had to have even more fluid removed after Christmas. I then gave into my cravings and comforted myself with a lot of naughty 'slider' foods. I managed to put on 4 or so kilos in the month after Christmas.

Last week I went back to the doctor and had some fluid put back in. I think I'd rather try to deal with the stress using the mindfulness techniques the counsellor gave me and be a bit tight at times, rather than being loose, hungry all the time and feeling out of control. In the past week I've lost almost 3.5kg and am down to 118.5kg. Darn water-retaining carbs!

Last Saturday was my 1 year anniversary since the day I had my band placed. So far I've lost about 35kg. Considering everything that's happened this past year, I'm pretty happy with that. Onward and downward!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Things Are Happening

A lot has happened since I last posted. Hubby went in for gastric sleeve surgery on September 1st. We arrived bright and early, excited and nervous... he finally left hospital on September 28th. Yes, 4 weeks later.
Unfortunately, he was one of the unlucky 1 percent of patients who develop a post-operative leak. For the gastric sleeve operation, about two thirds of the stomach is removed and what is left is stitched together. With all that stitching, there was always a risk of a small hole forming. So they moved him back to nil by mouth to let it heal and put a drain in to get rid of any fluid that builds up. Even though he's home now, he has a nurse visit every day to hook him up to IV antibiotics and empty his drain (yuck!!).
Those 4 weeks were pretty horrible. Not knowing what was happening day to day, visiting him each day after work, being worried out of my mind but having to carry on. I'm so glad he's home now. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's not quite here yet.

Too Tight!

All this stress had another impact on me, my band tightened up and I could hardly get any good foods down. I lived on sliders a little too much. Easy to eat casseroles, soups, yoghurts, ice cream and, I'm ashamed to say, chocolate. I didn't really put on any weight (only 1.5kg), but it stopped me from losing for those weeks.
Last week I managed to get in to see my doctor and got the last bit (0.2ml) removed again. And it made all the difference! I can eat salad. grilled or roast chicken, mince, vegetables and all sorts of things. I've already lost 1kg and I'm sure when I get back to the gym I will catch back up again.

Baby Stuff

On the baby front, I am still (!!) waiting to hear about an appointment with the local public hospital, so that I can get what my GP called a 'clean out'. Since my ultrasound a while back (March, I think) showed that I have uterine polyps and fibroids, he thinks that these may be preventing implantation and that getting a small procedure done to clean everything out could help.

We also had a bit of trouble with hubby's semen analysis. The first sample got lost and wasn't tested. (How on earth does this happen, anyway??) So he had to give another.
Now that hubby is out of hospital, we went to get the results yesterday. The count was a lot lower than normal, but hubby's GP does not believe it's so low that we can't get pregnant. But that coupled with my issues, could definitely explain why it hasn't happened for us yet. So we've been told to keep trying, get my procedure done and then if it hasn't happened in a while after that, we may have to start looking at IVF.

The mere thought of doing IVF has me in tears. We'd been told for so long that the problem would just be our weight, that we didn't really think about the fact that it could be something else. Because when you walk into a GP office at our size and say you can't get pregnant, let's face it. Your weight IS the obvious answer.
But we have to stay positive. I know that one day, no matter what, we will be parents. So for now we must focus on getting healthier for our future children.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The down side

So I've got back on track... I almost wrote 'gotten' but heard my mother's voice telling me "Gotten's not a word". I remember being pretty adamant that it was at the time, but of course I was only about 14.


Another appointment at the surgeon's office and another fill of 0.2ml. I didn't think I'd felt much change in restriction over the weekend but then had a couple of bites of pasta on Monday for lunch (which I've been fine with in the past as long as there was enough sauce) and of course it gets stuck. A half hour before a meeting at work. Damn it! I spent the next 20 or so minutes vomiting in the ladies room as discretely as possible, the whole half hour meeting feeling sore and sick, then the rest of the afternoon so nauseated I was afraid to talk to anyone. I ended up having to leave a little early so that I could go rest somewhere quietly until being picked up by hubby.
In the past it's usually only been a few hours or so and then I would be feeling better but I'm on day 3 now and still only able to get liquids down. So this is the down side of having the band. I was so sick yesterday I couldn't even get liquids down until after lunch.
It is days like that when I wonder if it's worth it...and then I hop on the scales in the morning and they have moved and I know it is. The bad days fade into the background when you have lots of good days too.


As of today, I've lost 27.8kg and am over half way to my first major goal (double digits!!). I'm very proud as it's taken a lot of hard work to get here. I haven't been perfect. I don't always choose the right foods, I don't always exercise, but I always get back on the horse and try to do better the next day. The weight isn't going to come off as easily as it does for some lap banders, but I've accepted that now. I'm going to have to work hard and it will come off slowly and I will eventually reach my goals. One day at a time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Being sick sucks

Can't believe it's been more than 3 weeks since I last posted. I've managed to put on 1.4kg since my last post. In that time, I've been sick with a virus for a few weeks, been diagnosed with pretty low iron and this week managed to put out my back. The physio says I've probably got a bit of a bulging disc.
Needless to say, it's painful, annoying, and I haven't been to the gym lately. It's got me a bit down and I haven't made the best food choices. I'm hoping that since bad things come in threes, that's me for a while.

As of today though, I've had another fill. 0.2ml in again. I can't feel any difference yet but I'm on liquids for the next couple of days. Hopefully after that it will help curb my hunger. Then of course it's up to me to manage my head hunger.
I've seen a psychologist to get some help on that front, she has gone through some tactics like distraction, mindfullness and talking through issues.
They are all going to take some work. But as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. I didn't put on this weight quickly and I'm not going to lose it quickly. I have already lost more weight than I ever have before. I just have to stay on track and keep a view to the ultimate goal.

Surgery Twins

Hubby has got his date for surgery - September 1!!! He found out a few days before he needed to start the pre-op diet. He's been on it for about a week and a half, so nearly half way there! He's doing amazingly well. I think back to my pre-op diet and I'm pretty sure I complained the entire time. He just takes it in his stride and I'm so proud of him. It's super hard, I know, but he'll make it and do so well.

On the baby front

So, the pathology lost hubby's sample for testing and I'm really pissed off. To give a semen sample is not a simple task it seems, it needs to be timed - you can't just drop it off any time of the day because they are not tested on site. He needs to um, 'prepare' the sample at home, take it to the centre within 10 minutes (or something like that) and drop it off within a half hour of the time they get picked up. It essentially means he needs to do it on a day off (during the week). Not easy.

So crossing fingers for getting another sample to them during our week off soon!


We've booked in a holiday in November. We're crossing off a bucket list item and doing a road trip across to another state. So we're going from Melbourne to Adelaide, stopping off at a few places on the way. We'll take 3 days to get there and 2 days to get home, with about 10 days spent in Adelaide.
I'm so looking forward to it. I've set a mini goal for myself, to lose another 9kgs and get under my pre-wedding weight by then.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Life moves on

It's been a few months since I last posted. I've been stuck into living life and things have been really busy. I think I need to make a time to regularly blog or else it just doesn't get done.


In the last few months, lots has been happening the family. My grandmother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, from what I understand, it's something like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. She is still in the hospital while they sort out a medication that helps her. At the moment she swings from having very good days to very bad days.
My grandfather (her husband) has also had a hip replacement in this time. He's always been impatient, but somehow he went from being told his hospital stay would be for 3 weeks and then he would be in rehab for at least 3 weeks, to being back home one week and one day after his operation. It's good for him as he's getting his exercise and doing things for himself mostly. He'll do much better with that than he ever would in hospital for all that time.

Hubby has been to the Alfred a few times, going through the pre-op process as he will be getting Gastric Sleeve surgery. He's been given an estimate of between August and November, so we're happy that it will be so soon. He's keen to get started on his weight loss journey.


Speaking of weight loss, mine is still going rather slowly but I've now accepted that. I don't really deprive myself when I am craving something (except if I physically can't eat it, of course). My weight this week was 127.5, so I've lost 25.7kg in total so far. I'm pretty proud of that. I've gone down a few sizes and I'm about 1/3 of the way to my new goal of 75kg lost. I haven't lost enough yet that I get many comments, but I'm already so much more comfortable with myself that I am excited for how I may feel when I've reached goal.

I had another fill of 0.2ml and that made a big difference. I now am rarely hungry in the morning, so I usually eat two meals a day plus a snack. I have things that I can no longer eat though. I have trouble with red meat unless it's minced or roasted medium and cut against the grain. I sometimes have trouble with chicken or dry fish and I can't eat potato unless it's mashed with extra milk (and I definitely can't eat chips!!). I have trouble with most bread and cake, so I just stay away from them now - although that's probably not a bad thing!


One good thing was that once I got past my 20kg loss, hubby and I signed up at our local gym. It's actually been great so far. We got some personal training sessions free with joining, so we've used those now to get started. Last week I went to my first group class - Body Pump! It was pretty awesome. I've also been walking a lot during my lunch breaks, plus walking our fur baby.
I never thought I would be this active, but now one of my goals is to get fit, not just skinny.

Things on the Baby Making Front

On the baby front, I've been put on a wait list to go to a local Women's Clinic to get a procedure done. My GP found from my ultrasound that I have a thickened wall, cysts (but not enough for a polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosis), and uterine polyps. He's hoping that since I am ovulating, these things could just be preventing implantation and so a 'clean out' procedure may help with this. Crossing fingers I get to go in soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Hello all. It's been a while. Life has been busy, I've been sick (throat infection) and feeling like crap, so hadn't been doing so well on the whole weight loss front.
However, I think I've had a bit of an a-ha moment of late. It's come to me that I'm not going to lose this weight by diet alone. I simply have to move more.
Some might say 'duh', but others would know that for some people with a lap band, those first 20-40kg may come off quite quickly. Not for me, it seems.
I am 15 weeks (today) since surgery and in that time, I've lost 8.4kg (so not counting the weight I lost pre-surgery on Optifast) which is just over 500g per week. I've been pretty down with that, as I thought the weight would come off much faster.
However my doc has reminded me that some people lose weight fast, others only start to really lose it after finding the 'sweet spot' (a.k.a the green zone), where the band is working at it's optimal level. This basically means that when I wake up I don't get hungry until 2-4hrs later, I eat (very) small meals that take about 20 minutes to eat and they satisfy for around 3hrs.


So this week, I started moving more. It was partly because I knew I had an appointment at my clinic where they would work out if I needed more fill, partly because I was sick of my own excuses.

I've got my Fitbit Charge HR (love!) and have been putting in a decent effort to get to my step goal each day. It's currently set to 7000 steps, which I'll gradually increase to 10,000 in time. Baby steps!
I work from home some days, which makes it harder to get those incidental steps in. Especially when I'm busy! But this week I tried out using my butcher's block trolley from my kitchen as a standing desk. So I wasn't sitting all day - I was standing and free to walk on the spot and stretch. It was awesome.
We've dragged the treadmill out too, so I've been using it when I have 10-15 minutes free. It's good as a warm up, when you really want to snuggle on the couch under a blanket on cold mornings!
And of course, our fur-baby has benefited by getting some extra walks (not on the treadmill, it scares her, lol).

Movement at the Station!

My weight had been fluctuating around 136-137kg for a couple of weeks, but with my extra diligence this week this morning I weighed in at 133.2. Exactly 20kg less than my highest weight! Yay!
I'm so happy. This is as much weight as I lost for my wedding. I know I still have so much to go, but I'm feeling better that this is the right thing for me and my future.

Now to keep going! Next mini-goal is to be under 120kg (my weight when I got married).