Friday, December 30, 2011

Cost of surgery

I thought you may appreciate to know what my hospital charged pre insurance payment. This was at the university of Michigan.

Broccoli, ham and Parmesan scrambled eggs

Here is a recipe for you folks!
Spray pan with pam or butter. Take 2 eggs and whisk them. Add in finely chopped ham. (I used store bought 95% fat free ham chunks and chopped them up) Take already cooked broccoli and chop it into small pieces. (I had one of those steamer bags which is already cooked) Add the broccoli to the eggs. Mix it all together and add a sprinkle of mrs. dash or your favorite cooking seasoning. Continue to stir to keep it scrambled. Near the end of cooking the eggs add in a shake or two of parmesan cheese (i used shredded parmesan) Once it is finished you can add a bit more cheese. 
Other add ins you can use: Add other veggies i had freeze dried red onion, and garlic that i added. You can use fresh veggies whatever you have on hand. Because i am in the puree phase i have to be careful what i use. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Whirlwind of the holidays

So its been about a week and a half since i last posted and i can honestly say i am so grateful that the liquid phase is over. I had a stall which started the second week post op and continued until today. Today i got on the scale and was missing 4 pounds! So as of this post i am at 214, my before liquid phase was 238. I went to a party yesterday and had a few things. I had 2 deviled eggs, and a mushroom with brie cheese. My stomach handled it masterfully. My incisions are healing up nicely and i believe that you will only see 1 of the scars. If you can, get your surgeon to use glue. I am no longer having itchiness at the sites. I am writing not to bore you all but to share a wonderful blog that i came across: EGGFACE
She has years of recipes. She got the RNY, whereas i got the vertical sleeve. I also wanted to mention that i have been posting on VERTICAL SLEEVE TALK My username on there is utopianaurora. I am also on SPARKPEOPLE as utopianaurora. I have no idea how to add people on sparkpeople but i have been using it for years. It is a great way to get motivation, and keep track of your protein, calories, exercise etc. Just wanted to share a few of these gems, and see how your holiday was? I have been invited to 2 new years parties not sure if i will go to either though. We will see. Any new years resolutions??

Mine so far:
1.)Learn to manage money better
2.)Work more substitute teaching until i graduate (in July)
3.)Make sure to tell the ones i love and care about that i appreciate them. A friend of mine who i met at red robin (he works there) told me and my husband "love you guys" he had never said anything like that before and it kind of knocked me back. (in a good way) I don't use the love word unless i mean it and i don't throw it around. Both of my parents say I love you all the time. While i know that they mean it it loses its value (?) having it be said so much. I know for my mom its just because her father has only said it a few times. Same with my dad plus we had a rough time in my teenage years and are finally getting to a good time where we are enjoying spending time together. Authough he has a boat load of kids now. (He has adopted 4 kids- ages 3, 6, 10 and 12) He also has the Sister of the older two living with him, i think they are going to adopt her too and i think she is 11.
4.) Exercise regularly
5.) Be mindful of what i am eating
6.) Be more mindful of others

Oh and i decided last night that i am going to apply for the PSY D. Program at my graduate school. If i get a good job in July i can always defer, but if i don't then i can continue on and maybe find part time work as a therapist? Who knows. At this point in my life i feel like there are endless possibilities.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today I cheated lol

Today my friend and I went to the mall because I was bored and wanted to get in the holiday spirit. Today's craving was chocolate chip cookies which I did not get. I did have a free cup of hot chocolate with 1/4 handmade marshmallow. I even went to godiva and bought my friend and my husband truffles but none for me. My other "cheat" was a strawberry peach smoothie from surf city squeeze sugar free. It was a nice time my besties almost 3 year old wanted to see Santa again (saw him yesterday) he was so sweet hugged Santa 3 times held his jacket and said "I love you Santa" it was so precious!! In other news my wounds are good and I finally had a BM. I did not get tired at the mall but I feel tired now after 3 hours at the mall with no purpose :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I had a dream last night which had a friends mother cooking this giant pizza sushi roll. In the dream I took a piece of pepperoni and started choking. I woke up from the dream and I was coughing. It really hurt, but somehow it hurts less to move. Today feels ilike a turning point. 5 days since surgery and I am feeling loads better! I have been drinking lots of sf koolaid, eating Popsicles and trying to get in protein where I can. I found that for shoulder gas pain an ice pack works the best. As of 12 pm I have no shoulder pain after one night. I can say that I am craving a piece of Hershey's chocolate so bad. It's all I can think about today. My in-laws still don't know that I had the surgery. My husband was over there yesterday. They were not supportive so why tell them? They will find out eventually but for now I want to heal among my supporters. The cuts are looking more skin colored. I am happy they have never been painful to touch. I am going to call the bariatric office on Monday to try and get scheduled at 1 day before two weeks rather than 3 weeks out which will be my 1st day back to class. I am having difficulties with my protein from gnc because I hate it so much. It tastes awful and I despise it. I tried mixing it with pudding but all I could taste was the protein. I don't want to not get enough protein in but unjury is $26 I just don't have right now. :/ I asked my mom for it for Christmas no idea if she will or not. So back to the chocolate do u post surgery folks think if I let it melt completely that it would hurt my healing pouch??
For sleeping I have a memory foam mattress topper (best $100 spent at sams club) and it was really hard to get up. I added a few mid sized couch pillows to the bed and now have little to no issues getting up.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Hey folks I am home. As stupid as it sounds I did not think it would hurt this much. I am on medication that dulls the pain, but the gas is the killer. I am on a full liquid diet but prior to surgery I realized that I can't do lactose. Before surgery it was just milk but now it seems to be yogurt too. I will obviously try again once my belly does not hurt so much. One issue that I had in the hospital was that I could not pee. Try as I might it would not come. Then came the cath nurses which hurt. I had to be cathed 3 times and they were going to send some supplies home with me plus a nurse would visit. Thankfully I was able to pee right before I left. Something that I was really happy about was the blood draw team. I had blood drawn 3 times on my left arm which once had to have medflight come to do it. At university of Michigan hospital their dedicated team got me on the first time. I could just cry of that small gift. Anyways I wanted to pop in and say hi I am alive. Folks who getting it make sure to walk and take it easy. Folks who have had it?? I have found that heat and pressure are nice. A nice hot shower does a world of good. Ttyl bye! Sorry for the picture just wanted to show

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Surgery tomorrow

So the big day is upon me in about 13 hours. I am scheduled for a 7:30 am surgery with a 5:15 arrival. I am not nervous just getting my ducks in a row. I read online that Chapstick is important to have. Any other suggestions??? See you guys on the other side!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I am at the doctors right now. Last months weigh in was 237.6 today's is 225.4! I lost 12.2 pounds! I made my husband guess he said 10, and I said 15 and it ended up in the middle.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Protein Reviews: A bit rough

1st of all note: Before this liquid diet I was drinking exclusively almond milk. (personal preference) But they told me to switch to soy or cows milk. So I tried both on these proteins. I have photos but they are not with me. I will add them probably in January when we get internet back. Unjury’s Chocolate Classic, and Bariatric Fusion’s Chocolate Mousse were similar in flavor. I did not get free samples of GNC but I have to add them to warn you guys. Also note that i am at a tim hortons finishing this so you can have it! My surgery is on Wednesday and i am really excited!! (i am hoping this feeling stays) I found out there is a blogger app for my iphone so i can update more often. Just may be shorter! I will update probably on Thursday from the hospital. 

<3 you guys thank you so much for your support!

Vanilla Latte
-On ice: First I filled up my shaker bottle to 12 oz.  Then I took the packet, which was 1 serving (2 scoops) Into my shaker bottle and shook for the 60 seconds. It still looked grainy so I shook for an addition 20 seconds. (this did not help) Then I poured over ice.
            -Flavor wise: I love lattes, and coffee with cream. This has an initial bitter taste when you first drink it. But has a vanilla coffee flavor after. I added ¼ cup milk to it and was pleased that the bitter flavor went away.
            What I was left with was a creamy drink, that reminded me a little of an iced cappuccino from Tim Hortons.
-down side: Pieces of the protein did not completely mix, and so chunks of protein slip into your mouth while you are drinking.

-Hot: The package says to pour 12-14 oz water into shaker, add 1 serving (2 scoops) of Click. Shake for 30-60 seconds. Microwave for 60 seconds. Remove and stir. Microwave for 45 seconds or to desired temperature.

I followed the directions, and what did I get???
-The flavor reminded me now a little like hot chocolate (this was still the vanilla latte) But then I was immediately greeted with that bitter taste again. I added a little milk again…. The milk made the flavor better, but my lips were met with pieces of protein that had not mixed even though I shook for 60 seconds, and stirred through out the microwave session.

Mocha Latte- Tried the same methods as before. This one also did not mix too well. The flavor to me seemed more bitter, with a chocolate undertone.
            *What did I learn from this 1st drink??? Experiment with your protein to find something you may like.

Pro’s- 15 grams of protein per serving, only 1.5 grams of fat. Has caffeine equal to a 12-14 oz cup of coffee.

Con’s- bitter flavor unless you add milk to your drink. (just like real coffee!)
Could not get protein to dissolve completely.

**please note that through different forums online, many people love this protein, and swear by it.**

Nutrition and ordering can be found at their website at:
You can also buy it from the vitamin shoppe, and a variety of retailers online.
**Please not that I received free samples, and was not paid for this review**

UNJURY- My Personal Winner (Downside you have to order online and you want to drink it so fast because they are amazing!!!)

Chocolate classic-
First taste with soy milk- blown away. No grit, smooth taste, tastes like hot chocolate cold. SO good.

Chocolate Classic mixed with chocolate pudding- FANTASTIC! Way better then regular pudding, tastes like a chocolate mousse. (Freeze individual Popsicle containers for pudding pops! (YUM!!)

Vanilla with milk- YUM! Tastes like a vanilla shake.

Strawberry Sorbet w/water- the package says to mix with water. Did not enjoy this flavor. It tasted like a flavored water but creamy. I tried it on ice, still did not like it. I also tried it with lemonade and still did not like it.To each their own though.

Chicken soup- Tastes like Mrs. Grasses soup. Great flavor, a nice change from all of the sweet things. 

Chocolate splendor- Similar to the chocolate classic but has a deeper chocolate flavor. No idea what to say it tastes like just that it is different then the classic.

Unflavored- as all “unflavored” proteins go they still have a flavor. In water mixed with a crystal light is good. I mixed it in jello, but a cloudiness sank to the bottom and had little bits in my jello kind of grossed me out. But I am weird like that.

They have a new cheese protein but they do not have it in sample size. It looks interesting.

Vitamins- They have a  good flavor but they seem harder then other chewable vitamins. Maybe I just have wimpy teeth.

Bariatric Choice- Tons of variety and protein rich foods that go beyond the liquid phase.

Caramel Pudding- reminded me more of a vanilla pudding with a hint of caramel.  Texture was fine, taste was very bland.
Chicken Bouillion- Nice flavor, has little green things floating so you feel like you are actually eating something and not just liquid.
Chocolate Cream- this you can make into a pudding or a shake. I did shake, and did not like it. I could not get it to mix and I ended up dumping it.

Bariatric Fusion- These took a close 2nd.
Strawberry Shortcake- Delicious. Tastes like a strawberry shake. Took awhile to mix.
Chocolate Mousse- Yum Yum. Very tasty. Chocolate shake like but SOOO good.
Vitamins- not bad. Very little “chalk” taste.

GNC (Chain of stores)-
I wanted to warn you guys of a few things. Don’t ask for help because they will A. try to upsell you on every item in the store even if you are just buying 1 thing. (seriously I had just enough to buy 1 bag, and they kept badgering me) I drove out of my way to another store, and they had no idea what anything tasted like. (multiple employees)
Flavors I tried: Chocolate: These don’t like to mix but can be heated no problem. Taste like cocoa powder barely sweetened.
Chocolate Caramel: It tastes better then the chocolate but pretty bland.
I will be ordering unjury I just have not had the money. They cost the same but you pay for shipping. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

5 days and no internet

Hi Everyone!! I have been thinking of this almost daily! I am almost through writing my protein review. Unjury is the winner for me for taste, texture, and great customer service. (you can return anything even if it is open)

Unfortunately we don't have internet right now which is why i have not been updating. I started my liquid diet on Thursday and it has been HELL for me. Its not so much that i feel hungry, it is just the holiday season, and the end of the semester which means FOOD! I did not realize what a strong relationship i had with food. The hardest day for me was on Tuesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my 12 hour days where i got to my practicum site, see clients and then go to school at night. Tuesday there were donut boxes all over my practicum site, which i could mostly avoid walking by. But the most difficult was at school. 1st i met for my last supervision which had little caesars pizza, breadsticks (my favorite), and wings. Then a classmates romanian mother made this filo dough esq with homemade pudding and homemade whipped cream. Everyone was oohing and aahing about how amazing it was. I suffered through that. Which of course the people in supervision kept asking if i wanted things to which i replied "no thank you i am undergoing a procedure that restricts my diet." Then the worst as if that was not bad enough. My class for children and family... the teacher brought specialty pizzas from plum market. 2 were vegetarian, another one had chicken. They smelled amazing. Then there was salad, an apple pie, and some other dishes. By that point i had eaten my supply of food that i brought and was ravenous. I don't know how i made it through Tuesday. Tuesday was the most difficult day thus far. Wednesday my friends had us over to their new house, and they ordered Chinese food. They had to order general tso's chicken (my favorite) so my husband and i left. As of today i have 5 days left until the BIG day and as time is progressing i am feeling ambivalent. I get waves of nerves where i am afraid to die, and wonder how can i give up my foodie friends? Then i question why am i doing this? My husband is supportive either ways, and keeps assuring me that he loves me how i am now. How will he feel after i change? I talked to my grandmother last night who made me feel a bit better. She got the RNY 20 years ago (i am getting the sleeve.) She said that she can still eat pizza occasionally but that instead of 4 slices she has one, and probably not the crust. She still eats pasta sometimes, and chinese. She said that i just have to get past my liquid phases and eventually i can eat my favorite foods again just not all the time. That made me feel better. We have a dry erase board in our kitchen. On it i wrote "This liquid diet is temporary. You will get to eat your favorite foods again (Just not all the time)." And somehow just hearing that made me feel better. As of today i am proudly marching towards Wednesday. The day when my life will change. When diabetes will no longer be knocking on my door. I can do this and so can you all. I can't find my scale and so as of today i have no idea how much weight i have loss in a week if any. I feel lighter and my wedding band fits again. So i just have to keep reminding myself of that.

A favor to you: Please tell me about your surgery, and why you got it and what gave you the strength to push on. What do you like and not like about yourselves after the fact? If you are going into this why?

December 14th, 2011 that is the day that Amber changes hopefully forever.

I will update when i can. As for now... I will be thinking of you guys.
P.S. Would you like me to video update??