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November 2001 - March 2002
Jamie's Journey
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Pre Op Journal
Surgery Journal
Post Op Journal Entries
Before and After Pics
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LA Trip
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Shiloh's Picture Page
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November 28, 2001

Today is my first day home and I am exausted. I am sure that it is from the long trip yesterday. I am also sore, which I am sure is also due to the trip. I find myself not hungry in the least and it is a major chore for me to eat. It is very weird because I am so used to my parents saying things like are you sure you need to be eating that and now they are like EAT EAT EAT. I know that to stay healthy and to get well I have to eat my protein meals, but it is really hard because I am never hungry.

My mom has been great. She helps me put my shoes on and she goes for all of my walks with me. She is really my main motivator and although I may get aggrevated I really am thankful to have her on my side. I love her so much and I am so grateful that she is still around to love! She is such a miracle. Thank you Lord for protecting her!

November 29, 2001

Today I am better than I was yesterday. I am still not interested in food, but I am eating. I got the best news today!! Remember the job I was talking about in my Pre-op journal?? Well, they called today and offered me the position!! Hallelujah!!! I am so excited. Tiffany was the one that called and they want to start on Monday. I told her that there was no way because I still have my stomach tube in and I am going to the dr on Tuesday. Of course I left out the stomach tube part when I talked to her, but you get the picture. They want me right away. We agreed that I would talk to my doc on Tuesday and then I would let her know. I can't believe I am employed again!! I wonder if I can handle it?? You know, I know I can because I have God on my side!!

December 4, 2001

Today dad and I went to Ft. Lauderdale for my 10 day follow up appointment. We had to leave around 6am to get there on time. I wish there were frequent driving miles because we sure have racked them up going back and forth to Ft. Lauderdale. I will say it is worth it to have such a great doctor. Anyway we got to Dr. Marema's office and we waited and waited. Finally I went in to get weighed and measured and I lost 25.8 pounds! I just about fell out of the chair when they told me! I can't believe that I have lost 25 pounds in 10 days!! I am absolutely amazed! After the weigh in I went in to see the doctor and my favorite nurse came in and she was going to take my stomach tube out. You have no idea how nervous I was about having that thing taken out. I had heard horror stories from other patients and I was scared. I told the nurse that and she reassured me that it wasn't that bad. Yeah easy for her to say!! Anyway she told me to take and deep breath and she would count to 3 and then pull. Well somewhere between 1 and 3 she did pull it out and it wasn't that bad at all. I got a little muscle cramp in my side, but that was it. It was much more of a relief to have that thing out. The dr came in after that, it wasn't Dr. Marema and I can't remember his name, but he was nice. He looked at my stomach and told me it would be at least 3 weeks before all the swelling was gone and he also told me that I could start working half days at my new job tomorrow. After the visit with the doc I had to wait to see one of the psych people. This is a total waste. They just go over all the same things that everyone else talks to you about. I just think they are there to make a buck and that's it. I don't think I am going to see them again. They aren't very helpful. Finally dad and I started on our journey home and I slept most of the way. Ain't life grand!!

December 13, 2001

I am sorry that I have been slacking on updating this page. For about the past week I have been really under the weather. I have been really nauseas and have had episodes of dry heaves every day since last Friday. On Monday we called to talk to an office nurse and she said to drink warm fluids before I eat and to make sure that I am getting enough liquids. Well, I tried that and it seemed to get worse. Today I called again and found out that I have thrush. It is causing me to be sick to my stomach and get very qweesy when I eat. The nurse finally called in a prescription to help clear it up. I hope that this will make me feel better.

I also haven't worked at my new job since last Thursday. I feel really guilty about missing so much work at the beginning of my career there. I have been keeping in touch with them and they are semi-understanding about it. I guess it's hard to really understand everything that I am going through because they have never gone through this. I am trying really hard not to have the "what did I do to myself" pity party, but some days it is hard. I just want this part of my recovery to be over!!

January 7, 2002

Ok, Ok I know that I have been the worst at keeping up with this journal, but I have been so sick. This thrush stuff is kicking my butt! I have been sick for about the last 3 weeks and I was finally readmitted to the hospital in Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday the 30th for dehydration. I have not been able to drink or eat enough due to the thrush. I was in the hospital for 3 days and I came home on January 2nd. Since the hospital stay I have been MUCH better! I am able to eat and drink without a lot of problems. I am still on antibiotics for thrush and I have to finish them to make sure that it goes away completely. The last thing I want to do is get that crap again. I am so thankful for my mom because even with all that she has been through she has been right here with me every step of the way. Thanks Mom!!

On the lighter side I am doing better and I am starting to notice a difference in some of my clothes. My pants are getting looser and my shirts are fitting more comfortably. It's weird. I kind of feel like I am shrinking. I guess I am, but it's still weird. So far (as of my last dr. appointment) I have lost over 46 pounds and 6 inches of my waist!! YIPPEE!! It has been just over 6 weeks since my surgery. I am hoping to continue to lose in this same fashion!! I know I won't always lose this fast, but I am amazed so far! I am still on a protien only diet and I will be until I reach 75% of my weight loss. Right now I am just over 25%. Also, due to my being sick I lost that job in Sarasota that I had just started. So now I am back to square one. I am trying to decide what to do with my life and if I want to go back to school full time or what. I am not sure what I want to do. I am 25 and I have no plan. I feel like I am chasing my tail, but I will figure it out one day.

Anyway, I am doing good and I promise that I will update this site more often and I will put some new pics up soon. I have some really cute ones of Shiloh at Christmas!! Keep me in your prayers!!

January 8, 2002

Today I went and pampered myself with a manicure and pedicure (Jodi gave me a gift certificate for Christmas). It was so nice! I haven't really done anything like that in a while, so it was a nice treat. I am going to start doing that more often!! I like to be pampered!! :o)

I also went to visit my Papa this afternoon. He has been so good to come and visit me while I was sick, so it was my turn to go for a visit. It is so nice to be able to be out and about again!! Anyway, while I was there I weighed myself (something I still try to avoid!) and I weighed 280. Do you know what that means???? I have lost 63 pounds! 63 pounds can you believe it??!? I had to ask Papa if his scale was off or something because I was shocked! It has been 6 1/2 weeks since surgery and I have already lost 63 pounds. I know I am repeating myself, but I can hardly believe it's true! I just hope to keep it up. My mom took some pictures of me but they turned out too dark so I am going to have to take some more and then I promise to put them up.

I am doing so much better. It seems like I have this thrush thing pretty much beat, but I am still taking my antibiotics just to be sure. I need to buy a new toothbrush so I am certain not to get it again. I will keep you updated!!

January 15, 2002

Wow! It is great to be back to normal! I can't even begin to tell you what a relief it is to be able to go to Kmart and not have to worry if I am going to throw up in the aisle! I have been so busy over the past couple of days it is GREAT! I have been out to restaurants, the movies, to the mall and to church and I am doing fantastic!! Every day I seem to get stronger and I am able to do more. Thank you Lord!!

Guess what!?!? I have good news! My mom found out that one of the the best intestinal surgeons in town is going to start doing the Gastric Bypass procedure at the hospital where she works! This is great for several reasons...I can move my records from Dr. Marema's office to his office and then I don't have to drive for 4 hours to see the doctor. Secondly, Christina is looking into having the surgery and this way she can be close to home when she has it. I wish I could have been closer! And last but not least there might be a job in it for me. I would love to be the person that coordinates the information sessions and helps potential patients. My mom actually called this doctor's office today to find out all about their program and she just happened to mention that I was interested in a job and they said that it was a really good idea to have someone in the office that has had the surgery so that they could relate to the patients that were coming in the office. I just hope that someone can be me. When I went to the meetings and classes that Dr. Marema's office offered I kept thinking I could do that and now I might get the chance!!

I am also starting to be able to wear clothes that have been hanging in my closet for a long time. It is neat to be able to button shirts that I wasn't able to button before surgery. I even put on a pair of jeans that I couldn't even think about wearing before surgery. I am not sure if I have lost any more weight because I am having a hard time buying a scale. I know it sounds weird, but I guess it's always been a mental thing that I would never have a scale in my house. I never wanted to know exactly how much I weighed. Now I need one and it's like I still don't want to know. Am I nuts or what!?!?

January 17, 2002

Ok I did it. I actually did it! I bought a scale! I had no idea how expensive scales were. There were some that were like $75! I couldn't believe it! The one that I bought was $20 and I thought that was too much. I guess when you really don't want something you're not willing to spend any money on it! Now that I have it I am not sure how I am going to stay off of it. I told myself that I wouldn't weigh myself last night, but what did I do?? I weighed myself and about fell over because it showed that I had gained 10 pounds! I almost freaked! But I didn't and I weighed myself this morning (like I am supposed to) and I have lost 3 more pounds! I was suprized that I had lost any more weight because I have been eating more than I was during the last month when I was so sick. I know that I would have lost more if I would only exercise. That is my next hurdle. If I can conquer the scale buying hurdle, nothing is going to stop me now!! :o)

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February 8, 2002 (11 week anniversary)

I'm BAAAACK!!! I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to update this site. I was having technical difficulties with the server. Anyway..I have lost a total of 78 pounds!! I am totally amazed! Right now I am averaging about 4 pounds a week and I am not exercising. I know, I know I need to, but I have no desire to exercise. I'll get over myself eventually, but for now I guess I will start walking again. Hey at least that's something. I can't begin to tell you how great I have been feeling. I have been out and about shopping and going to dinner, etc. There really isn't anything that I can't do right now. On a sour note, I have thrush again. Luckily we caught it early enough that I haven't been as sick as I was. I have been on medication for about a week and I am doing great.

I have so much to tell you I can't even begin to get it all in. I have seen some great movies like The Count of Monte Cristo, I Am Sam, and Blackhawk Down. I have been shopping and I bought a size 24 jean skirt and I know that before surgery I wouldn't have even been able to wear a 28. I also bought a 22/24 shirt. I think that it is amazing that I am able to wear those sizes and it's like I have a whole new wardrobe because I can actually wear some of the smaller things in my closet.

My immediate goal is to make it to 100 pounds. My original goal date was February 19 because that's when I go back to the doctor for my 3 month check up. I thought it would be so cool to have lost 100 pounds in 3 months. As of right now I am not sure that I will make it by the 19th, but as my mom says, if I'll start excercising I might suprise myself. I know she is right, but...

I am still looking for a job and I am not sure what I am looking for. I don't know what I want to do. I guess I'll figure it out eventually! :o)

I promise to get some new pictures up this week and as long as the server holds I will update as often as I can!

Take care!

February 15, 2002

Happy Day after Valentine's Day!!! I hope everyone had a good time. I on the other hand wore black in protest since I don't have a valentine this year!! :o) Poor pitiful me, right!! HA! I did have a good day though. My mom and I went shopping and I hung out at Christina's house and we ordered in Chinese and watched the Olympics. Romantic, huh?? HA! As of yesterday I have officially lost 84 pounds!! YIPPEE! I can actually get the sense that this is going to happen and I am going to make my goal! Up to this point I knew I was losing weight, but it didn't seem real. I don't know how to explain it, but I am happy and I am almost to the 100 pound mark.

Ok, I need to vent for a minute...I am not sure if any of you have experienced this, but it irritates me. Lately, when I go out to a restaraunt and I don't finish my meal (which is every time) the wait staff automatically assume that I didn't like it. And every time I explain that I did like it and I need a box. This hasn't been a very big deal until yesterday mom and I went to Peaches for brunch and I didn't eat my entire omelet. The waitress commented that I must not have liked it and the hostess kept on and on about how I couldn't have like it because I didn't eat very much, etc. I kept trying to explain that it was fine I just wasn't very hungry, but this woman just wouldn't let it go. She made me feel bad, but the more I thought about it the more upset I was. There is not a law that says you have to eat an entire ham and cheese omelet to like it. Ok, enough venting....

Guess what!?!?! I am going to LA!! Actually my family and I are going to Manhattan Beach, CA for Aaron's Junior National Championship weightlifting meet in March. But Manhattan Beach is very close to Beverly Hills. Rodeo Drive here I come!!! I am so excited! It is neat that my whole family is going because we haven't had very many family vacations and this is a good enough excuse to go on one! If anyone out there is from LA or knows that area send me an email with some ideas of things we have to do while we are out there.

I am still working on getting some updated pictures of me on the Before and After page...but I did add a new feature to that page, a weight loss tracking chart. Check it out! You will see pictures of my man!! HA!

February 19, 2002
 
Today my mom and I went to Ft. Lauderdale for my 3 month check up.  Everything went well, but I got in trouble from the dr because I haven't been on an exercise program and I have been a little slacking on taking my vitamins.  I know, I know I HAVE to take my vitamins and I have been very good lately.  I am finally rid of thrush and I am praying that I NEVER get that junk again!  All in all my dr visit was good, he told me that I was looking good and I am about half way to my goal.  I am totally amazed by that fact.  I have almost lost 100 pounds in just 3 short months.  If I keep this up I will be at my goal by 9 months post-op.  WOW! 
 
Well, I made a discovery about my surgery and I am not sure if it's good or bad....I don't have any trouble with sugar.  Now I haven't eaten Fruity Pebbles or anything, but I have had 1 green M & M, a Hershey Kiss, and about a quarter of a cookie without incident.  I am partially glad that I don't dump because I don't have to worry about hidden sugar when I go out to dinner or something, but I have to make sure I don't go over board on the sugar thing.  I have pretty much solved that issue with sugar free popsicles.  They only have 3 carbs and it satisfies my sweet tooth with out the actual sugar.  Thank God for Nutrasweet!  :o)

February 28, 2002
 
I weighed myself today and I have lost another 2 pounds.  Now I am down 86 pounds!!  WOO-HOO!!  I can't wait to reach 100 pounds!!  I am just getting impatient because I know I still have a lot to lose.  On the brighter side, I bought a dress the other day that was a size 18/20 and it actually fits!  I can't believe that in 3 months I have gone from barely squeezing into a size 28 to wearing a size 18/20 dress.  I also bought a size 20 skort.  It's a little snug, but I should be able to wear it comfortably very soon.
 
ONE WEEK FROM TODAY....and I wil be in LA!  I can't wait!  I am trying to decide what to wear to Rodeo Dr and where to make reservations for lunch or dinner the day we are going to Beverly Hills.  Ok, I have a confession to make...Pretty Woman is one of my most favorite movies EVER and I thought wouldn't it be nice to see if we could stay just one night at the Regeant Beverly Wilshire Hotel (in the penthouse of course!  It's the best!) but there weren't any rooms available the night we wanted to stay.  Darn!  Oh well, I guess I'll just have to settle for singing "Wild Women Do" while strolling down Rodeo Dr!!  I am just hoping that I don't get thrown out of any of the shops while we're there!!  I am going to take lots of pictures and have a whole page dedicated to my trip!
 
One more thing.  I would like to say thank you to my friends and family for all the support that you have shown me during this time.  I love you and I couldn't have done it without you.  I would like to say a special thank you to my caring, wonderful, graceful, talented, charming, witty, and most especially my BEST friend Christina.  You are so special to me and I am thankful every day that you are a part of my life.  Your encouragement and support mean the world to me!!  Love ya!!

March 3, 2002
 
What a day today!  We went to my old church and I wore my new black wrap around dress (size 18/20) and everyone was like "WOW"!!  It's so neat to see people that I haven't seen in a while and how happy they are for you.  I am going to add a picture of me in my new dress on the Before and After page so you can see it!! At church this morning I ran in to this guy that I graduated with and he is super cute, I am going to have to keep in touch with him.  I can say that I was a little shocked to see him there because of the way he was in High School.  I know that you can't judge a person, but I was still a little suprised.  I think it's great!! 
 
I have had a very busy weekend so far.  Friday night my sister, Christina and I went to go see 40 Days and 40 Nights with Josh Hartnett.  It was funny, but very unappropriate.  I was shocked by the content and that's all I'll say.  Yesterday I went to Shiloh's baseball game (she plays pitching machine) and about got blown right out of the stands it was SOOO windy!  She looked so cute in her little green uniform and she actually hit the ball!!  She is scared of the pitching machine because she thinks that the ball is going to hit her.  After she hit it she told Jodi that she believed in herself and that's why she hit the ball...I think that is so cute!! The truth is that she closed her eyes and stuck the bat out and luckily they connected.  She has another game on Wednesday and I am going to bring my camera and I will post some pictures of her in her little uniform.  I am thinking about making an entire page for just Shiloh.  I have so many picures of her that I really should dedicate a whole page to my little cutie!!  Last night a group from my church got together and went bowling.  I did HORRIBLE!!  I am definately not a bowler.  Usually we go with Shiloh and have bumpers on the lanes and that works out just fine for me because then I can't ever get a gutter ball!!  That's my kind of bowling!!  Afterwards the singles group went to Lonestar for dinner and let me just say that this is one meal that is going to take me a while to get over!  We had the worst service and we had to wait forever for our table, for our food and we barely saw our server.  We took it all in good stride and had a blast!  I am not sure that I have ever laughed that hard!  I know for sure that I didn't gain a single calerie from the meal because I laughed the entire time.  Oh by the way...I wore a size 20 skort last night.  I just bought it the other day and it was too tight and last night it fit.  YIPPEEE!!
 
One last thing...5 days 'till LA!!!!

March 7, 2002
 
Today we woke up at 4:30AM to leave by 5:30 for the airport and I actually got up on time.  I am so NOT a morning person.  We finally loaded up the truck and went to Denny's to meet our "adopted" brother Derrick.  We are taking care of him this weekend.  We ate a little something and were on our way to the airport.  The ride seemed to take forever...the anticipation!!  Ok, I have to say that the last time I flew was prior to 9/11 so I was prepared for heightened security, but I never thought that I would be searched!  Ok, I was not actually searched, but I set off the metal detector and I had to be closely searched with one of those hand wands.  It turns out that the metal clasps on my bra set the thing off.  I felt so stupid because everyone was looking at me like I was in the Taliban.  I am glad they are careful, but geez!  Ok, now we are boarding and I am not look forward to squeezing my big behind in one of those airplane seats.  The last time I flew I could barely get the seat belt fastened and I had to get a seat belt extender when I was on a smaller plane.  I couldn't have been more embarassed!! So, as I sat down and fastened my seat belt and it fit, not only did it fit, I had to TIGHTEN it!!  I can't remember the last time I could fasten the belt and tighten it!  I was so excited!  I know it may sound stupid to get excited about something like that, but I was!!  So, after an uneventful flight to Atlanta we disembark on gate B ang had to hike 400,000 miles to gate T.  By the time we got there they were already boarding.  We sat down and I got to sit next to a really cute guy...Anyway, it was a long flight and I did get to sleep for a little while.  When we finally got to our hotel (Marriott) we were told that would have to wait 2 hours for our rooms...it was a mess!! 
Finally, Jodi and I decided instead of renting a car and driving around LA ourselves we are going to go on a tour of LA that includes the Chinese Theatre, Rodeo Dr, Santa Monica, the Hollywood sign, etc.  We thought it would be nicer than driving ourselves and we ge to see more stuff.  Shiloh told me that she wants me to bring her 2 t-shirts, so we;ll see what I can find.

March 8, 2002
 
What a day!! What a day!!  What a day!!!  We had the BEST tine!!  We were picked up at our hotel at 8am by a really nice man in a nice little bus.  He then took us to Santa Monica where we had to pay for our tour.  Our little driver took us to this pawn shop looking jewelry store and we paid this really nice lady and she told us to go back to where we were dropped off and wait for our tour guide, John.  This whole time Jodi, Mom, and I were hoping for a great guide...well, we got what we asked for and then some!!  He was funny and he even learned all our names.  We were with a group of tourists from South Africa, Singapore, Italy, Switzerland, and Indiana.  I felt very plain just being from America.  The first thing we did was drive by a bunch a star's homes.  We saw Richard Gere's, Aaron Spelling's, Sandra Bullock's, the Playboy Mansion and I can't remember all of them.  But Aaron Spelling's house was enormous!!  It has 125 rooms and 30 bathrooms, what do you do with all that space, geez!!  I bet they haven't used all the rooms in the house and they probably never will.  Anyway, our first actual stop for the day was to Rodeo Drive, baby!!  We only had half an hour, but man was it worth it!!  Our first stop was to the Regeant Beverly Wilshire hotel!  I was just going to look in the windows, but the doorman let us go in and look around the lobby.  I almost fell over!!  I was actually in the Beverly Wilshire hotel!!  It's not like in the movie Pretty Woman, but I guess that was all filmed at a studio.  After we were done drooling in the hotel we strolled down Rodeo Dr window shopping at Tiffany's, Gucci, Prada, Hugo Boss, etc.  The whole time I was looking for Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but I never saw them.  Darn them for standing me up!!  They said they would meet me in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire, but oh well.  I guess Jennifer wouldn't let Brad out of the house...she is just so jealous of me!!  HA!  Next we drove down Sunset Blvd and saw the Vipor Room, The House of Blues and so much more.  We then went to Mann's Chinese Theatre and we saw all the stars on the sidewalk and we were offered free tickets to see The Weakest Link, but we couldn't.  I bought Shiloh a Hollywood tshirt and Christina a Best Friend Oscar, I thought it was really cute.  While we were there we also saw the place where the Oscars are going to be held, the Kodak Theatre.  Then we went to get a closer look at the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Bowl and a great view of the city.  For lunch we stopped at Universal City Walk and we went to The Hard Rock Cafe.  I have been to Hard Rock Cafes before, but this one had a chandelier made out of saxaphones, it was neat.  Our final stop was to Santa Monica.  We went to the pier and saw the beaches where Baywatch was filmed.  We wanted to ride the rides on the pier but they didn't open until later.  We went shopping on the Promenade and hung out until our bus driver came and picked us up to take us back to the hotel.  It was a whirl wind of a day, but we saw a ton of stuff that we would have never seen if we had tried to drive ourselves.  Thanks for a great day John!! We will never forget it!!
 
PS I am doing fairly well at keeping to my protien only diet, but I am allowing myself a few slips.  I have had a bite of a begal and a few veggies.  I can't believe that I get so excited over veggies!!  But I guess when you haven't had them for a while it tastes good.  Tomorrow Jodi and I are renting a car...we'll see if we will be ok!!

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