Thursday, December 31, 2009

With a New Year comes New Changes

With a net loss of 25 pounds, I have seen many changes already. I feel like I have more energy, my blood pressure is looking great. I also feel less pain and am eating better as well as wearing smaller pants. That last one is probably one of the most exciting thing for me. In the coming year, I look forward to more weight coming off and getting even smaller pants. I received some new sneakers from some dear friends in Ohio. They were desperately needed. I went for a walk yesterday in Elmhurst with my older brother Shawn. I feel so much better when I exercise. Happy New to you and thank you for your support this last year. I am so excited about what the Lord is going to do in my body and my overall health.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Slight Setback

I went to see Dr. Klem for my monthly check up. Unfortunately, I gained six pounds this past month. Dr. Klem said that that was normal and it wasn't really all that much considering I hadn't had a fill yet. He decided to give me a fill this time. It was like he was putting a needle in a cork. I will have a slight bruise at the injection sight and will be a on a liquid diet for the next day or two. I should be able to eat regular food on Christmas day. Please pray that I will be able to keep better control of my food intake and exercise daily. Don't worry about me being hard on myself. I will just pull myself by my bootstraps and try again. Tomorrow is a new day. Thank you for all your support.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My New Wheels

This past weekend, I went online a bought an exercise bike on It only cost $20. It was such a deal. With winter coming, I thought it would be a good idea to get something that I could use to exercise inside. I have also found that my pants are getting bigger and bigger. In fact, I have gone down 3 pant sizes. It makes very exciting. It does make wearing those pants more difficult. I am looking forward to Christmas and spending time with my family. I will be praying that I can continue to monitor my food choices and would ask you to pray for the same. I would also appreciate your prayers that I would get enough rest.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weigh In

I am very excited. Today I went to see my surgeon, Dr. Klem and weighed in. I have lost 14 pounds since my last appointment for a total of 30 pounds since this journey began for me. Since I have have been doing so well, Dr. Klem opted not to give me a "fill". A "fill" is where the surgeon fills my band with saline solution to make the band tighter. My clothes continue to become looser. I would appreciate your prayers for my back and knees. I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my knees and my lower back. With the holidays coming, I would appreciate your continued prayers for discipline in my eating. Thank you for all your support.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Subtle Changes

Weight loss isn't only measured on the scale. As the weather has gotten colder this week, I had to get out my winter coat. On Monday when I put on my coat, I was able to pull my coat over my behind. Now that may not seem like a big deal to most people but last year I wasn't able to do this. I am very excited that my pants are getting so big that I have go out and buy a belt. I am looking forward to the day that I have to buy smaller clothes. Please pray for my eating during holidays.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Changing Seasons

Can you believe that Halloween is over? I can't. I did pretty well. I didn't have hardly any candy. Since having this surgery and not having sweets, I have really noticed the difference when I do eat sweets. I would appreciate your prayers on two fronts. First of I please pray for my health. I started taking antibiotics yesterday for a sinus infection. A number of people have been out with the regular flu. Some of them have people in their household come down with the swine flu. Pray that the Lord would protect my body and my sinus infection does not develop into anything else. Also pray for a part time job for me. Finances are very tight. Pray that I would have faith in God's provision. It looks as though my volunteer work with the community theater will not develop into a part time job. I will likely have to leave it to try and find work after school and on the weekends. I am looking forward to the current play being over on Saturday and the Christmas Village a mission's fundraiser being over on November 21st. With work and these two volunteer things, I am finding my time very crunched and feeling exhausted.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Filling up part 2

I didn't end up getting a fill at the surgeon's office. I did not loose any weight according to the surgeon's scale since the last time I was there 4 weeks ago. The surgeon said it was very common that no weight is lost going from the liquid diet to the pureed diet. Since I was still have trouble noticing when my body was full; I had thrown up some so the surgeon decided not to do a fill. If I don't throw up in the next month after moving to regular food, he will probably do a fill when I go back. I continue to stay busy as the box office coordinator at The Bird and Baby Theater's production of "You Can't Take It with You". The play closes on Saturday, November 7th. I would ask you to prayer for additional opportunities to make money. Since I have been on the liquid diet and pureed diets, I have not had to buy much food, but that is changing. Most food pantry items tend to be high in fat, calories, and sodium everything that is not good for you. Also as the weight starts coming off my clothes will get bigger and I have follow ups with the surgeon every month for six months now as well as seeing the pulomonogist and allergist so I need to have a consistent second job. I am hoping that The Bird and Baby Theater" will make enough in the future so that they can hire me. Please pray for the success of this and all their future plays and musicals.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Going to fill up

No, I am not getting gas for my car. Getting a fill is what it is called when the surgeon injects saline solution into your port which tightens the band. Now, when I go to the surgeon's office I won't always get a "fill". The surgeon will determine by my weightloss since my last appointment whether or not he will give me a "fill". Now according to my pulmonologist on Friday; I am down 14 pounds. All scales are different so we will see tomorrow how much I have lost according to his scale. Please continue to pray for me to relearn how to eat and listen to my body as to when I am full. If I don't listen to my body and continue to eat after I am full I will throw up which is not very pleasant.

Friday, October 23, 2009

More than a gallon and a half of milk

Did you know a gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds? Today, I went to see my lung doctor because of my sleep apnea. Every time I go, the nurse weighs me. The doctor wanted to see me 6 weeks after my lap band surgery which is next Wednesday. Can you believe it? Well when the nurse weighed me, she said I had lost 14 pounds. I was so psyched when she told me that. That's an average of 2 pounds per week. I am right on target with what my bariatric surgeon wants and I don't see him till Tuesday Morning. Maybe, I will loose another 1/2 to 1 pound by them. I am sorry it's been almost two weeks. I am not the box office coordinator for a new community theater company in Dupage County call the Bird and Baby Theater. Right now we are putting on Hart's and Moss' You Can't Take It With You. It is a play about the Sycamore Family set in 1930's New York City about living the American dream. It's very funny. That is keeping me busy in addition to working and church activities. With all this moving around plus my daily walk (I am always looking for walking buddies--hint, hint)I am sure the pounds will continue to come off. Continue to pray for me in regard to my eating habits. I will move from pureed food to regular food on Wednesday next week. I am still having trouble getting used to how much less I can eat before I throw up a little. It is getting better but I think it's an area that I still need work in. Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caring Friends

Caring friends come in all sizes. Two of my kid friends, Elise and her brother Patrick (2 1/2 and 4 1/2) asked me how I was doing after my "tummy surgery". Elise asked me if I still had my bandages on my tummy and Patrick asked me how I was feeling and said he hoped I was feeling better. How blessed I am to have even my littlest friends care so much about me. I am very thankful for them both.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I am the Lord's servant

Yesterday, my church at a one day women's retreat at Loretto Convent in Wheaton. The theme of the retreat was Self Examination: Bring My Whole Self Before God. Most of the time was a silent before the Lord. It was sweet time with the Lord. On the grounds of the Convent, there was a labyrinth. A labyrinth is typically a maze (as in a garden) formed by paths separated by high hedges. This labyrinth did not have hedges but was a maze formed by mowing the lawn. As you know I have been walking almost everyday. In order to raise my heart rate up, I have been briskly walking so I started walking briskly in the labyrinth, but the Lord told me to slow down. It was more than slowing down in the moment, He was asking me to slow down in my life. Each turn I looked up and saw a statue of the Virgin Mary. I looked at Mary and asked the Lord to help me be more like Mary. It is so easy to get so busy in our lives that other things gt in the way of spending time with the Lord in our day to day life. Lord help me to make you the most important person in my life. During this walk, I also felt like the Lord telling me to wait on Him. The Lord has sent me on the journey of transformation after lap band surgery and I will see body will change over the next year as well. I also hope that I my body esteem will become more positive as I learn to eat right and take care of my body. I am so grateful for the way that the Lord has brought me through this surgery and the support I have received from family and friends. I am very excited about these changes, but I am also a little bit fearful about how I will handle these changes will effect me emotionally. Please pray that the Lord will protect my heart and give me wisdom in relating. Help me to wait patiently and give my the courage to obey what you ask of me.

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jelly Juice Shot #2

It's been a great week. I was able to walk every day except the days that I received the Jelly Juice shots. The Physician's Assistant said that I could not walk afterward. It has been really satisfying to walk every day and work up a sweat. I put on a pedometer today and took 6500 steps. My goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day which is 5 miles. If I am able to walk after school; I am sure I am able to make my 10,000 steps. This weekend, there is a one day women's retreat at Loretto Convent in Wheaton. The sisters have a beautiful campus. It will be a great place to commune with God and walk too. Continue to pray for the shots. I have one more next Wednesday. I am hoping this treatment will make walking easier for a while. Also, pray for my diet. I have 10 more days of the pureed diet before I move to a regular diet. Thank you for all your support. I would love some more walking partners. Email me if you want to walk.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jelly Juice

Tomorrow, I will receive injections in my knees. It is called Orthovisc or the slang term "Jelly Juice". It is synthetic cartilage. I will receive a shot once a week for three weeks. The effect of this "Jelly Juice" is that it provides a coushin in the knee cap. I currently have no cartilage in the medial part of both my knees. This treatment should be really helpful and allow me to walk farther. Right now I have to rest every quarter mile before I continue on because my knees hurt so much. Right now with rests between, I can walk a mile to a mile and a half. I hope to build up to 2-3 miles a day. I would appreciate your prayers for the effectiveness of this treatment.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Eight pounds and counting

Today was my first post op appointment at the Bariatric Center at CDH. I weighed in and I have lost 8 pounds. I am so excited. Walking every day has really helped. On Thursday, I start my pureed diet. Breakfast will consist of either oatmeal or a protein shake. Lunch and dinner will include one cube of protein, one or two cubes of vegatables and one of potatoes. The dietician said to concentrate on the protein(chicken, turkey, or fist) and if I am still hungry I can have veggies and potatoes. She said that I may not even be hungry for more than the protein. Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Walking my way to health and fitness

As soon as I was able to on the evening of the surgery the nurses had me walking around the floor. When I got to my friend Lori's house, I continued walking. Lori loves to go walking so for two days I had someone to go walking with. I have been able to gradually increase my distance. Every day after school, I have walked between one and two miles. It's been great. I feel so good. Who knows in a year or two I may be doing a 5K or 10k. If you like to walk, feel free to email me and find out where I am walking to that day. Thanks for all your encouragement and support. My first weigh in is Tuesday, I am hoping to have lost a few pounds during the last two weeks. I will let you know.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prayer request

Just a item for prayer. I have been feeling cold and clammy today but sweating too. I don't have a temp. Pray that this feeling goes away. I only have two more students today so I think I can last till I get home.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First day back at work

Today was my first day back at work. It was a very busy and was tired by the end of the day. I realize that it will take a few days or more to get back into the swing of things. I am really excited that I have been able to walk ever day since the surgery including the evening of the surgery. Exercise daily will be a crucial part of my weight loss journey. Please pray that I will be diligent and disciplined in walking every day. If you ever want a walking partner, email me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A New Prayer Request

I developed a low grade fever. Please pray that it goes down and I can rest well tonight. I will take the day off tomorrow.

And the little children prayed

Today was a good day. It was great to worship Jesus with my community. My friend Jenny and her two children, Patrick and Elise came to visit me. Elise had made me a card that said "Please let Auntie Clare's boo-boo get better" I was great to visit with them. At the end, Jenny said let's pray for Auntie Clare before we go. Patrick was so precious. He put his hand on my knee and said, "Jesus, make the boo-boo in Auntie Clare's belly not hurt any more. He then put oil on my forehead. I was so touched by Patrick's excitement about praying. Thank you for friends and children. I pray that we can all have a heart for prayer like Patrick and Elise.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Trekking along

Today has started off well. I had a good night sleep with little pain and felt rested. I went for a walk today. I went all the way around the block today. I feel a little tired but otherwise I am doing fine. I walked twice as far as I did yesterday. Yay! Thank you God for how my recovery is progressing. I have been doing well in regard to the liquid diet. Please pray that I would be able to increase my liquid intake. Besides the protein shakes at mealtime I am supposed to have 56 to 64 ounces of liquid a day (water, crystal lite, broth or popsicles). Please pray for a pain in my left shoulder. I don't know if it's pain from CO2 that may still be left in my body or if I hurt it moving from the gurney in pre-op to the operating table. The plan is to go back to work on Monday. If I get another good night's sleep and don't need to take a nap that will be a sign to me I am ready to go back to work. Thanks for all your support.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Day and the Day After

I was blessed to have four friends visit me yesterday. The hospital staff was so gracious and helpful. Please pray that tonight I can rest better than I did last night and that the pain subsides. I hope to go back to work on Monday,please pray that I will be well enough to do that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Surgery is set for tomorrow

I will arrive at CDH at 7:30 a.m. and my surgery is set for 9:30 a.m. The surgeon will do the hiatal hernia repair first and then do the lap band surgery. A hiatal hernia is when part of the stomach pushes through this opening at base of esophagus. After the hiatal hernia surgery is complete, the surgeon will then do the lap band surgery. The total time in surgery will be about a hour. I will then be in recovery for two hours. I will at some point have to have a barium cocktail and have an endoscopy to check that everything is in the place that they are supposed to be and that the opening that was created by the surgery. I will spend the night because I have sleep apnea and they want to observe me overnight. Pray for a good night's sleep tonight and that I wake up for my ride that is supposed to arrive at 7:15 a.m.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The day draws closer

Anxiety was way up today. I felt like the things I did today didn't go well. I felt over whelmed. I totally over ate yesterday. I felt alone in a crowd today. I know I am not supposed to but I beat myself up about over eating. I am stressing out about being able to follow the diet plan outlined for me. It seems counter intuitive but there is certain fear attached to being thinner. I feel like I need more strength. A part of me is dying. That part of me that used food to deal with stress and anxiety.
Tonight I was able to lean on Jesus feel his comfort. Thank you Lord that you are always there for me and thank you for never tiring of my need for reminders of your presence and love.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A New Chapter in the Journey Begins

This week I begin a new chapter in my weight loss journey. I will have lapband surgery on Wednesday morning at CDH. I have been overweight ever since I was a kid. Growing up in foster care and moving around as much as I did; I sought solace in food. I used it to fill the emptiness I felt inside. I have tried many times to loose weight on my own. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I didn't. I first started thinking about weight loss surgery about nine years ago. Lap band was still in its infancy and gastric bypass was more common but also had more complications. Because there were more complications as well as having more recovery time and I didn't have insurance; I did not have the surgery. In 2004, my doctor again brought up the subject of surgery. I don't think I was ready. The idea of having the surgery scared me too much. As I have continued to work through issues in the 4 1/2 years, I decided last summer that I was ready to have lap band surgery. I was blessed enough to have insurance that would pay for it. I hope to use this blog to document this chapter of my weight loss journey. I would appreciate your continue prayers as I begin this new chapter.