Joe's Crab Shack

Last night my family and I went to Joe's Crab Shack. It was heavenly. I ordered so much food because I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat... I am so thankful my parents and husband are so supportive and let me spend $17 on a meal that I only took a few bites of!!! I ordered chicken tortilla soup and blackened tillapia. Damien ordered King Crab. I ate a few bites of my meal and some of Damien's- it was delicious.

More than anything it was so nice to feel like I was eating a normal meal... the other day when we went out to eat I just ordered soup and it didn't feel like I was really eating out. But when I got to order a full meal I just felt so normal!!! It was really nice.

I guess one good thing about ordering so much is that I have so much left to eat the next few days :)


Random update

I need to add exercise to my routine... stat. I'm still in somewhat of a stand still and I'm sick of it. So I'm thinking if I add exercise to my daily routine, it will help. So far I've just been doing walking- but I'm pretty sure I can handle more than that.

I'm still getting tired easily- but I'm thinking exercise might help with that too. I'm doing really well with foods and I'm starting to find out what my new tummy can and cannot handle. It's actually amazing to me how little I eat before I am stuffed- and it amazes me that my brain still has not caught on to this. Every single time I prepare a meal I make more than my allotted 4 Tablespoons... and every single time I can only stomach about 3 Tablespoons (sometimes 4). My current favorite is mashed potatoes mixed with cottage cheese (this was also a favorite pre-surgery).

I'm also starting to enjoy my protein drinks a bit more... this does not mean I *like* them, it just means I can handle them a lot better. Thank God!!! My favorite brand makes two different flavors- grape and orange (well, they also make fruit punch, but I hate fruit punch). What's really interesting to me is that my stomach can only handle the grape flavor. Every time I try the orange I get really sick! Weird.

I have my good and bad days. Our anniversary was a few days ago and I was miserable. We're trying to save money so we just went to a movie... but I so badly wanted to go to dinner and a movie. And when we got to the movie I was just depressed that I couldn't eat any popcorn. There are very few things to do in Sacramento on a Thursday night that don't cost money and don't involve food. I now feel bad that I was so grumpy- but I guess I feel that it was justified... this is all so new to me and adjusting to this type of new lifestyle during celebratory times (i.e. Christmas, anniversaries, etc...) is 10 times harder.

Anyways, overall, things are good. I go back to work in a week- I'll certainly miss all the naps and sleeping in!!!


Oh yeah...

I'm also semi-convinced that I might be addicted to my pain meds... the only way I get a good nights sleep is if I take half a dose of my pain med. Seriously- knocks me out and I sleep great. I started freaking out about it the other night so I lessened the dose- which was fine. And the next night I tried not to take it- and I could not sleep. I get anxious thinking about going to sleep without this drug.

I seriously have a phobia of becoming addicted to drugs... I've always been this way, so my fear is nothing new. But I just wanted to share.

A stall...

I know it's normal... I've read about it and heard about it since I started this journey. In fact, I thought to myself, "I won't mind stalling out... I know it's normal." Well, I was wrong. It's pissing me off. That first week was amazing loosing so much weight so fast, and even the second week was good... but I've stayed at the same weight now for DAYS. I know, I know, I shouldn't care- because my body is in a state of shock and I *know* this is normal.

But, I'm at this point where I'm sitting here thinking, "was it worth it for THIS?" I can hardly eat anything and I'm so bored with my food choices- it just seems like things would have been easier losing weight on a diet.

Anyways, I know it was worth it... I'm just being emotional. It's Christmas and I've not eaten a single Christmas cookie. Sometimes I wonder if I should have just waited until January- because it's been hard this month. Everyone enjoying nice big dinners and desserts. Yum. But then I think- I'll be so close to being able to eat normal again starting in January. So that gives me something to look forward to.

It's funny because a few weeks ago I thought, "I will NOT complain once I get eat something." LOL. Yeah, that was before I spent days eating only tuna, scrambled eggs and some other random stuff. I'm trying to get creative... but you can only go so far.

Anyways, life IS good. I am so blessed to have done so well with the surgery. I am a healthy person who is on a journey to get even more healthy. I am learning that life does NOT revolve around food- and I'm teaching my family the same in the process. I'm so proud of them- my mom and my husband have both been eating so healthy since my surgery. And honestly- that's the goal of this surgery- not getting skinny, getting healthy.

So I can put up with pureed foods for a little bit longer. Less than 2 weeks to go.


Life with pureed foods...

... is not that bad. However, I will say it's gotten old real quick. There are not too many foods that are good pureed. Plus, I will NOT puree meat. Period. I am not eating baby food meat either. My big problem is that pre-surgery my diet largely consisted of carbs- and I keep having the temptation to puree some spaghetti... which would be an awful choice. Anyways- I just need to really start getting creative because my food is really restrictive for another 2 1/2 weeks. Honestly though, it's not been too bad- I really like eggs, cottage cheese, and tuna salad... but I can tell these things will get old fast. Things I don't like as much, but need to add to the repertoire- peanut butter and oatmeal. I can also do mashed potatoes- but should do them sparingly based on the fact that it's a carb.

I'm almost 2 weeks out and feel great. The healing has been pretty easy, but I do get tired easily. I'm moving on to the next stage soon which is adding exercise. Right now I can get up and walk a bit, but I haven't been pushing myself. I figured 2 weeks out is a good time to start pushing- obviously not going crazy.

Well I'm going back to bed. The idiot neighbors who woke me up (and kept me up long enough to inspire me to do a blog entry) seem to have quieted down a bit. I need to start doing these blogs during the day when I'm a bit more coherent.


It's all public...

I made the decision tonight to make my blog public... and not private anymore.

I'm doing this so more friends can read the blog without needing to get my official permission and also so people don't have to sign in to read.

I don't know why this makes me kind of nervous, but it does. I guess because this isn't just another fun loving blog like my photoblog...

Anyways, we'll see how it goes.

Oh hindsight...

In hindsight...
- I should not have worried about the IV... even though I did have a few traumatic events surrounding the IV, it was rather unnoticeable MOST of the time.
- I should not have worried about the drain... sure, it was kinda gross, but I was way too drugged to care.
- I should have worried more about the catheter... that was awful.
- I should have never worried about gas pains... I had NONE. Who would have guessed?
- I should have worried more about protein... the shit is AWFUL. The only one I like is the Slim Fast, which doesn't have enough protein in a small amount. The stuff that I should be drinking makes me gag. Lovely.
- I should have gone on a low carb diet MONTHS ago, and then eliminated carbs completely a week or two before my surgery. Had I done this, my cravings would be a lot less. Thankfully they're going away.

Anyways, that's hindsight for ya! I'm doing really well and am SO excited about the next stage of my diet. I've been online looking up recipes that are good for the pureed stage of my diet and there are a TON. I thought I was going to be living off of scrambled eggs, string cheese and cottage cheese for the next few weeks. I was SO wrong. I am the most excited about chili and this cream of cauliflower soup I found. YUM. Sure, I can only have a few tablespoons, but when you've been only eating liquids for a week or so, you take what you can get!

Oh, and seriously, this protein SUCKS. I gag just thinking about it. Everything is SO thick and sweet- and not the good kind of sweet, gross sweet. My current method of consuming it, is fondly called the "hold your nose and chug" method.

My support group last night was really nice... it's run by the nurse practitioner/dietitian. It was a nice chance to get out, and I'm excited to do it once a month.


Doing well

I've had a pretty good weekend... I'm amazed at how well I've felt since the surgery. Sure, I'm craving carbs pretty bad, but other than that, I feel great. I was expecting to be bed ridden, and I'm really not. I think I've overdone it, however, because today I've been feeling less than stellar- dizzy, exhausted, etc... I blame this on Deacon being home this weekend. When he's home I want to play with him- and he doesn't really think it's fun to play while laying down in bed. Go figure.

I have my first support group meeting (hosted by my surgeons office) tomorrow night... I'm really excited and hope that it's good. I know that there are plenty of support groups out there that suck, so hopefully this one is helpful and fun. It'll just be nice to be in the company of those who "get it."

Anyways, I took some pain meds a while ago and I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog while drugged up and falling asleep- Thank God for spell check.

New addition to blog

If you look all the way down at the bottom of the page you can follow my weight loss progress. The starting weight is the day I went in for surgery.


Go figure...

I have felt like crap all day... so tonight I lay down when Deacon went to bed. Go figure- I felt better within 10 minutes of laying down. Then I realize I hadn't really rested all day. Sure, I took a nap in the middle of the day, but I should be laying down a lot more- not just sitting up.

Who would have thought a Slim Fast shake and laying down for an hour to watch Survivor would revitalize my spirit and make me feel a million times better.


I'm in heaven. I've had a hard day with food... it's all mental. I'm certainly not really hungry... in fact, I'm pretty full from all the liquids. My good friend told me about the Slim Fast Low Carb shakes- 20 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar... but I never went out and got them. I thought I would be fine without it- thought I would be fine just drinking water, jello, broth, etc... Well, needless to say, tonight, I sent Damien out to get me these shakes. I told him to go to every store in the Sacramento area until he found them. They weren't at the grocery store we normally go to, so I knew he would have to kind of search for them.

30 minutes after I sent him out, he came back home- SUCCESS!!! Unfortunately they weren't cold, so Damien put one in the freezer. Finally, a half hour later I got to try one. OH.MY.GOD. It was the best thing I have EVER tasted. Seriously amazing.

This is a REALLY good shake that has a ton of protein and very little sugar... if you're looking for a good protein drink, this is for you. The "high protein" version of slim fast doesn't have as much protein as the "low carb"- so watch out for that.

Maybe you won't want to take my advice since I am rather desperate for normal food... but for what it's worth, even Damien thought they were good.

"You feel better mommy?"

Deacon asked me this morning, tearfully, "You feel better mommy?" I said, "no honey, mommy still has some boo-boo's." He started crying really hard and saying, "I'm scared mommy." Oh my God my heart still hurts.

Him being in my room and moving all around the bed and kicking me was making me so sick- and despite my huge heartache from him telling me that he's scared, I asked if Damien could bribe him into going downstairs. Thankfully Deacon wasn't upset enough that Mickey couldn't make things all better.

Next time he asks me if I feel better I will say "yes" no matter what... I am not above lying to my child.



I was seriously hoping that I would be so turned off by food after my surgery... but I'm not. And, surprise surprise, food is everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. Every billboard on the way home, every street corner there's a restaurant, etc... Food food food!!! I'm NOT hungry- in fact, the thought of eating makes me nauseas. But mentally, I want FOOD. I don't want liquids, I want food.

I'm hoping this goes away soon... the worst part about this whole ordeal has been my psychological issues with food. It just goes to show that this surgery cannot fix someone who isn't trying to fix themselves. There is NO way I succeed after this surgery without seeking help for my psychological issues. I need to come to the realization that food is not life. I do not need food to have fun, or to stay entertained. Nor do I need food to feel ok.

This clear liquid diet only lasts until next Wednesday... and then I move to pureed foods (i.e. eggs, cottage cheese, applesauce, etc...). Until then I hope to keep myself busy and get plenty of sleep.

I'm back!- copy & pasted e-mail

We just got home a little bit ago... I'm doing fine- I'm really happy to be home. So here's my update:

On Monday I was terrified. I really thought that maybe I had made the wrong decision- I was laying in my pre-op bed asking Damien what he thought- he, of course, was supportive and said that I could do this. Anyways, the next thing I know, some nurse comes in and says she's here to take "Machado's patient" (me). Ugh. So she came over and asked what surgery I was having... I told her and she smiled and told me that she had the same surgery with the same doctor 8 months ago (she looked amazing, by the way). This calmed me down so much- she reassured me that my life would return to normal sooner than I expected. I was so happy to have met her... and feel like she was sent by God to help me cope with the surgery.

I woke up from the anesthesia quite differently than ever before- I typically wake up freezing cold and jittery. Well, when I woke up I felt like I was going to throw up and I had a high fever- I was also forgetting to breath... my nurse had me covered in washcloths and kept yelling at me to breath. LOL- thankfully I listened to her. I could not wake up for the life of me and I was so nauseas- thankfully they take that seriously and gave me a high dosage of Zofran. When the Zofran didn't work they went to Reglan (or maybe it was the other way around).

I was originally told I would be sharing a room, but they were so full that night that I got one of the only private rooms on the floor. That first night I was SO dazed and I could hardly keep up a conversation with anyone- I kept falling asleep mid-sentence. I was still sick feeling so they gave me a high dosage of another type of medicine that I had never heard of- which made me more sleepy.

That first night it wasn't so much that I was in pain, more than I was just really uncomfortable- my back was sore and my abs felt like I had worked through hundreds of crunches. I could not get comfortable- but that was to be expected I guess. Originally Damien had planned on going back home that first night to be with Deacon, but because I wasn't doing great and wasn't entirely coherent, he decided to stay with me the night.

Around 9:30pm, the nurse came in and asked if I wanted to get up and walk around... well, no, I didn't want to, but I knew I had to. So I took a walk to the end of the hallway. I ended up taking another walk around 11pm before I went to sleep for the night- I felt like the more I walked the better I would feel.

You know, the 3 things I was most concerned about (other than death) prior to the surgery were the drain, the IV and the catheter. Honestly I was the MOST concerned about the IV- but honestly I didn't care about it one bit at first. The catheter was obnoxious and was super uncomfortable and I couldn't even tell I had a drain in.

As I said, the IV didn't bother me at first... until about the middle of the night that first night. It started to really hurt and bother me- and I noticed that it was extremely swollen and hard. Great. So I called in my nurse who paged the "IV team"- they didn't answer, so my nurse decided she'd try to do my IV (despite knowing that I had awful veins). Needless to say she SUCKED. She pricked me 3-4 different times in different places!!!- and still didn't get it right. Finally the IV team came in and did it right the first try.

Anyways, I woke up on Tuesday feeling great. I took a walk right away when I woke up, and then went downstairs for my big test- this test was to determine whether or not the surgery was successful (making sure I had no leaks or holes in the wrong places). I got to go drink some awful tasting fluids while they x-rayed my tummy. All in all, it wasn't bad, especially since I passed- passing meant I got to start my clear liquid diet.

When I got back from this test my nurse took out my catheter- which HURT! I was thankful to drop that because walking with a catheter in is not comfortable.

Anyways, my nurse brought me my lunch- a clear liquid diet. I was given clear instructions on how I was to eat and how much. Since my stomach is so small now it's important that I don't eat too fast- so I can avoid getting sick.

I started feeling drowsy and icky on Tuesday afternoon and started having some weird cramps... nothing major, but certainly not comfortable. I was also pretty aware that I had overdone it that day because I had felt so good at first.

All in all, Tuesday was a pretty good day. I slept well that night and woke up on Wednesday feeling crappy again. I woke up with a bad headache, was dizzy and just felt pretty miserable. I was a little shocked to feel so bad today seeing as how I felt great yesterday. My nurse thinks that because I hadn't hit my morphine button a lot lately I could be going through mini-withdraw. Great! Anyways, they weaned me off the morphine and gave me something for my headache and I slept the morning away.

Around 2:30 I got my discharge papers and the ok to go home... And here I am, at home! It was so nice to take a shower and get some fresh air (my room was SO hot and stuffy). It's also nice to not have tons of cords all around me.

Now the hard part begins- I self regulate how much I'm eating and what I'm eating. I also don't have anyone pushing me to walk around more. Damien and my mom have been really helpful, but their priority is Deacon... then me.

Deacon is doing well and did great when I was gone. He knew I was in the hospital and when I got home asked to see my boo-boo's.


Surgery Status

Hello All,

Damien, the husband here.  Just wanted to post a message that Amanda is out of surgery and doing well.... though quite uncomfortable.  The procedure went off without a hitch and she'll be here in room 5424 in Mercy San Juan for the next few days.  I'm sure she'll be posting again as soon as she can.


Where you at?

I'll be at Mercy San Juan in Sacramento. My patient number is 7082- if you want to check up on me, you'll need that.

Now I'm going to bed.

Love you all

Updates... and some last minute thoughts

After my surgery tomorrow, Damien will be updating this blog, along with sending e-mails to a few people. I will get on here as soon as I can- but it probably won't happen until Tuesday sometime.

My surgery is tomorrow (wow) at approximately 10:30 am and should last about an hour or so. I have to be at the hospital by 8 am.

Please keep me in your prayers and positive thoughts. I know my blog has been somewhat negative over the past few months, but I am so excited about this journey I am about to take. My dream is to get healthy and to be able to live my life to the fullest- this surgery is a tool that will help me live that dream. Right now, all that matters is that I wake up from this surgery and take things one day at a time- at first it will probably be more like one minute at a time. I know this sounds so dramatic, but at this moment, my number one fear is not waking up from this surgery. I'll take the IV's, catheters, drains, protein shakes, gas pains, laxatives, etc... just let me wake up and see my baby and husband again.

Nothing in life is a given. Nothing. There is absolutely no guarantee that everything will be fine- so please do not tell me that "everything will be fine." I know that 99% of people will wake up and live full lives after this surgery, but I am still scared of that 1%.

The past few days have been surreal to me... and I've been reflecting on that a lot. Food has always been such a big part of my life- and starting tomorrow (really, today), food will no longer play a major role in my day to day life. Food will no longer be how I celebrate, mourn or cure boredom. Sure- I will be able to use food to do all these things someday, but not how I do now. Food to me is huge. Food is such a part of my life that I've honestly been sitting here wondering what I'm going to do with myself when I can't eat. There are so many other things to do in life other than eat... and I'm about to learn what these things are. I don't want my son to grow up thinking about food the way I do- and I hope this process starts us all off in the right direction.

This will be my last post prior to surgery... I can't wait to get back on here and update on how I'm doing. For now I'm going to go enjoy the rest of my day.


So happy...

My mom will be here when I wake up from surgery on Monday... I'm so happy. Please pray as hard as you can that the weather behaves in the midwest- I would be devastated if her flights were canceled or heavily delayed.

I would also like to add that I have amazing friends- instead of making my mom take a taxi/Super Shuttle, one of them is picking her up from the airport.

The last supper

Damien has been cooking all day for me- I requested his Grandma's spaghetti and meatballs with a salad (along with his aunts' salad dressing). He made it all by himself and did such a nice job. Originally we were thinking of going out to eat tonight, but I really wanted to include Deacon in my last big meal. It really was special. I didn't want to go overboard- I thought I would want to eat and eat and eat. But honestly I didn't even eat as much as I usually do- that's how I've been the past week or so... I've not been as hungry and haven't had as big of a desire to eat everything in site. I really thought that the week before surgery I would be eating like shit day and night- but I haven't. That's good.

Anyways, so last night Damien and I got a babysitter (Deacon's old teacher... Ms. Serena- who he loves) and went to the Melting Pot. I *love* this place. I think my two last big meals were perfect... fondue and spaghetti. Two of my favorites- and two things I won't be eating for quite some time.

Tonight I'm having some ice cream and tomorrow I go on all clear liquids. I have to stop eating and drinking at midnight tomorrow and surgery is Monday. On Monday I won't be able to eat or drink all day- even when I wake up. I'll be able to drink something on Tuesday. I'll be on a liquid diet (not just clear liquids) for a week... after that I graduate to pureed food (i.e. scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, etc...).