Friday, September 11, 2009

Iron Update...

The bariatric doc called me back today and confirmed what I already knew (my hematocrit and hemoglobin numbers are in the "low" range and my ferritin is just 6.7). He wants me to do iron infusion therapy to get the numbers back up and start working on finding an iron supplement that will help keep it up once we get it there... They referred me to a hematologist and that office called me this afternoon to schedule that appointment. I will see them on 9/21 and may have the first iron infusion treatment on 9/22. Progress--finally!

Recipe: Spinach Artichoke Dip

This one looks SIMPLE and sounds yummy!

Recipe: Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 box frozen spinach, thawed, rinsed and drained
1 package cream cheese
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic salt
season with salt and pepper to taste

Mix cream cheese, mayo, parmesan and garlic salt until creamy. Blend well with spinach and artichoke hearts. Serve with tortilla chips, pita strips or bagel crisps (OR DIPPING ITEM OF YOUR CHOICE--whatever is on your program!). Refrigerate any leftovers promptly.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Confession is cleansing, right?

Starting weight for me was 410 pounds in 2006. These days, I range from 202 to 208 MOST days. That is a 200+ loss. My all-time low was 197. I know I will never see my goal of 185 without removal of LOTS of excess skin/tissue. But, I have also gone from a 36W or a 4X or 5X to a 14/16. I can also wear mediums in some stuff and larges in others. That is HUGE--being able to shop locally for all types of clothing! Trying stuff on in front of a mirror instead of shopping from a catalog... You all know what I mean!

I'm dealing with iron deficiency and will probably start iron infusion therapy soon. I'm getting my vitamin D up finally--51! I was down to 11 a year ago!

I have fallen off the calcium supplement wagon and only recently realized it. I hadn't taken a dose in almost two months! I had a routine before we moved from WV in June. I took them without fail, twice a day, EVERY day. Then, packing, moving, getting settled--my routine as broken, my supplements not located where they had been... Ugh! I just got them back in their place, took a dose and will start working to get back on track there.

I still battle DAILY with constipation.... How about you guys?? Had both knees scoped this past month and with the pain pills, that was even worse. Just getting back to normal (for me) now.

Eating....not sure I want to discuss that! LOL Confession time... I'm eating too many carbs (mostly complex, but still too many) and not really enough protein. I have changed my night-time snack from carbs (junk food) to nuts and or cheese, so hat is progress I suppose. But, still need to really get my eating back on track.

I moved from my home of the past 10 years, and my really strong WLS support group in June. I am back close to my immediate family, but they are not exactly the most wls friendly folks. Their eating habits are atrocious! And, they do NOT want to hear about it either. I have no support group here yet either. Heck, I only just found a new doctor Aug 27th! I'm still sort of stuck between home in WV and my interim home here. We are renting till we find/buy a house and go through another huge move. Everything seems sort of "in limbo" if you know what I mean. I think that is part of what has me so off track in everything.

Dr. Shieh, my new bariatric doc AND Labs results...UGH!

I saw Dr. Moses Shieh on 8/27. He seems to be a knowledgeable bariatric doc and even has a lab routine I can live with. I as impressed at his list of periodic labs as compared to what so many other docs request. He was happy with my surgery outcome and the fact that I've lost and kept off over 200 pounds. We talked about my iron concerns and he seems to agree that iron infusions are going to be necessary to get my numbers up again. He does want to start trying all iron supplement options again though and find one I can tolerate long term so that we can keep the numbers up once we get them there via infusions.

He ordered my labs and was going to do an EDG scope on 9/2 but had a family emergency and had to leave town, so the scope was cancelled for now. I had told him that I had reason to think my stoma may be enlarged and allowing food to pass more quickly than it did originally.

My lab results showed that my HCT and HGB were both low (lower than in Feb 09) and my Ferritin is at 6.7. It was 5.4 in February, so all the attempts at supplementation and the single dose of IV iron did practically nothing. Now that I have insurance again, I am hot to get that iron infusion therapy going. I am not going to take any chances on losing insurance again and not being able to pursue that option. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired! I feel SOOOOOOO tired all the time with my iron in the crapper!


Mine have hurt for YEARS! In 1984, I injured my right knee in a bicycle accident. I used it (my knee) to stop a bike which ended up having no brakes. I stopped at the bottom of the hill when I hit a car fender with my knee. OUCH!! I have had a water pocket on it ever since then--25 years. And, since then, I have favored that knee and put more weight and strain on my left knee. UNTIL 1999, October to be exact, when I fell down some steps and totally wrenched my left knee. I'm talking wrenched, literally...twisted that puppy round and went down. And, in October of 2000, repeat! I re-injured that same knee in a fall down a longer set of stairs. We don't know whether I blacked out for a sec or the knee just went out from under me, but the result was the same either way.

Fast forward all these years and factor in the loss of 200 pounds. For all those years, 25 of them, I was using injured knees. And, for all but the last 3 years, I was packing around all that extra weight. Both knees were arthritic and bone on bone when I had my RNY. I was having cortisone shots in both knees every 3 mos like clockwork. Then, I stopped that in March of 2007 when I had the last set of shots. I hadn't had much problem with either knee since then. I have exercised, walked in marathon relays and other walking events. I was walking 3.5 miles every day Monday through Friday in less than 50 minutes each day. Almost all of a sudden, I started having pain in my left knee on a daily basis. It ached so badly at night. I finally gave in and sought medical attention. After xrays and an MRI, it was decided that it was primarily torn meniscus that was at fault and that the best fix was arthroscopy and trimming up the tears to get rid of the ragged edges that were probably the cause of most of the pain. They put cortisone shots in both knees and scheduled the surgery.

I had the left knee scoped on 8/18. It went fairly well. It was painful, but I was able to put weight on it after a few days and get back to normal stuff with minimal pain after a week or so. It went well enough actually that when I went for my followup appointment on 8/28, I asked about doing the right knee as well as it had begun bothering me more since the surgery on the left knee and the favoring of that knee again. One doc said "let's do an MRI and some xrays and see what we are dealing with..." His partner, who scoped the left knee, said, "Nah, let's just get in there and clean it up. It is probably just about the same as the other was..."

I had the right knee scoped on 9/1. I was told afterwards that I had "lots of tears in the cartilage..." It has been MUCH more painful and was very stiff to begin with. Since then, it has begun this lovely popping/clicking noise with each and every step I take. My brother says it is "musical, like mine" as he has the same issue in one of his knees--the clicking. The doc says it is still very inflamed and needs anti-inflammatories (such as NSAIDs...) and ice and time. I'm not patient, so the time has been hard. I am not supposed to take NSAIDs as an RNY postop, so that hasn't been easy either. Ice...well, getting back to that lack of patience, you sort of have to sit around and be patient for ice to work, right? Not happening very much! So, to get the pain and stiffness and clicking taken care of, I am going to do a hopefully short round of anti-inflammatories and see what happens. If I don't notice any improvement in a few days, we'll see what the doc says on 9/11 when I go back for followup.
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