Saturday, December 10, 2016

It was Ugly but the Swan is Coming

I tried and failed, tried and fell, pretended to try but really just wanted an easier, softer way. . .  In the end, I had to give up some things and some attitudes but in return, I received more than I could imagine. 

My regain reached 277 lbs this August. Exactly half of the 224 pounds I had lost were back on and my body was 10 years older. Those pounds did not find a hospitable home in my body. I was often in pain, unable to walk comfortably and basically felt like a slug with limbs. My recovery program teaches me I have to have a firm base before I can recover and that firm base starts with honestly hitting bottom. I was about as low as I could imagine: physically, emotionally and physically. 

I am not blessed with a writing talent that can convey the amazing feelings that came when I accepted and let go. Rapture sounds a bit over the top but honestly, that about sums it up. No one should judge the feelings of someone else. You will just have to believe it or not believe it. It is up to you. 

All I can tell you that as of August 19th I have not consumed food or beverages with added sugars (or any type), milk fat, artificial sweeteners, fried potatoes (or any type) or wheat. I weigh and measure my food. I keep track in writing. I have not had cravings. I have not had any struggle with food at all. It is an amazing difference. This food sobriety includes a vacation to the mountains, our anniversary, my birthday, Halloween, and a week-long cruise over Thanksgiving. In fact, I lost two pounds on the cruise even though I never exercised or did anything to break a sweat the whole week. 

I just weigh myself on Saturdays now. Last time I weighed I was down 40 lbs, to 237. That was November 26th. I could not weigh on December 3rd. 

On November 30th I was rushed to the ER with intense upper abdominal pain. What could cause that? I had my gallbladder out 32 years ago so it couldn't be stones, right? Wrong! Stones can form and block the common bile duct in the liver and block the liver (and I think pancreas). Back when I had the gall bladder the incision was 8 inches long. To get into my liver the surgeon went through my mouth, esophagus, stomach, bile duct and into the liver. No outside incision, no outside stitches. 

Do you know what can cause stones to form this long after gall bladder surgery? Weight regain. Oh, you know what else causes stones? Losing weight too quickly. Here's a pun: We are damned if we lose and damned if we gain. 

Keeping my food sobriety in the hospital was a challenge. I was on a clear liquid diet and they kept trying to get me to eat jello, sweetened juice, and ice pops. When I explained I didn't eat sugar you would have thought (from the looks I received) that I had two heads. When I said no to the artificially sweetened jello and ices they acted like I had three heads. "You have to eat!" said the doctor. "Then give me food I can eat! I can have chicken broth and unsweetened juice, please." Sugar is not medically necessary. When they moved me to full liquids they tried to tempt me with ice creams and puddings.   I realized I am the only one that can defend my food sobriety. Both were tossed in the garbage. I got skim milk, almond milk, and unsweetened apple sauce. I think I got well faster without the sugar and crap. That is my opinion. 

I have been home from the hospital for 6 days and today was back at work in the parks for a short event. I'll probably see a loss this week. 

That is the update. I am finally doing well and am still well despite a trip to the hospital. 

I decided recently that if I started blogging again I would bring different voice to this blog. I've learned more about myself these past few years. Where I can, I will liken that to keeping the pounds off. Let's see what happens. 



Vickie said...

Wow, I had no idea that stones could be an issue after gallbladder removal. Good to know. Yes, I agree, hospitals are terrible at food options. Terrible. I am very glad you have found your footing again. And glad to hear from you.

Norma said...

Hi Jane! Always glad to see an update from you but I do wish this post didn't have EMERGENCY SURGERY as part of it :( Hope you are feeling better every day. Keep on keepin' on, my friend. xo Norma

Karen said...

First off, I'm so happy you are back blogging and I want to know you were missed and I learned a ton from you when I entered food sober living back in 2011-2013.

Second of all, I'm glad you are okay post gall stone surgery. Those emergency surgeries in that can be dicey, so yay for coming out of it okay.

I had to be very direct about being a food addict in recovery to my surgical team for my routine colonoscopy and my caretaker. I didn't know how the twilight sleep would effect me so I had to tell them even if I beg, plead or cry, I can only have plain water or plain, gluten free broth, or coconut water. THAT's it. ( I have pinky swear with my kid and care taker to bring me food from my template to me and to help me talk to dietary if I need solids for long term in hospital care). I even had to get serious about my IV drip- Lactate Ringers only please, no glucose. Nobody blinked or laughed. All listened and took notes. Cool!!!

Third of all, I know too many people who have sudden weight gain and have to have their gall bladders removed. Infact, knowing this nugget of truth has kept me from lapsing before. Fortunately for me, many people in my LCHF/ Keto support group ( like an abstainer group- lots of us abstainers and recovery folks there) to support those who have had or have during weight loss their gall bladders removed. If I need support in my maintenance diet and need gallbladder work, I can get help.

Looking forward to your new voice and any wisdom you can share with us, Jane. Thank you for your return and kudos for your food sobriety. I under stand just how hard it is. 365/24/7. I'm there walking with you.

Karen P

Anne said...

Very glad to see you back, Jane, and happy that you're on your program and doing well. My experience is that nothing is static--you're on the way up, or on the way down, weightwise or emotion-wise. Good to see you in a good place. Welcome back!

Karla said...

I am so glad to hear you are home and recovering... wow that is a bummer about your gallbladder. I have heard that is a painful problem

seems like so many of us... bloggers that have been blogging for years and have experienced weight loss, then regain are on this food sobriety path now. I have been sugar free only a short time now but I have experience ZERO urges to binge which is my biggest hurdle

good luck and I am glad you are back to blogging

Karen said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Jane!!!

Jane Cartelli said...

Thank you everyone. I hope your holidays have been merry and bright.

E. Jane said...

I'm glad I checked in, Jane, as I haven't been blogging for some time. The gall stones are familiar to me. I had my gall bladder removed when I was 28, after a quick weight loss (old WW program)) of 70 pounds. My surgical scar is 9 inches (not trying to one-up just share), so times have changed. Once I began to go back to old eating habits I began having attacks. For those of us who struggles with weight, our path is fraught with obstacles and pitfalls. We really have to be vigilant.

Glad you're doing well, and I'll check in again. ...not sure if I will start blogging again.

E. Jane (janeisweighingin)