2 years, 3 months, 19 days… and 40lbs heavier since my last post…

It has been 2 years, 3 months and 19 days since my last confession… aka my last blog post. And a lot has happened in that time.

Where to start?

I guess with the Cliff Notes on my life for the past 2+ years:

In January 2013 I met a girl.
In February 2013 I had ACL Reconstruction on my right knee.
In March 2013 I moved to Florida to recover from my surgery.
In April 2013 said girl came to visit me in Florida.
In June 2013 I got engaged to said girl, whose name is Bonnie.
In July 2013 I moved in with Bonnie and moved back to California.
In August 2013 I returned to working full-time.
In July 2014 I got married.
In September 2014 we went on our dream honeymoon to Italy and France.
In November 2014 we were asked to be in a weight loss commercial for my gastric bypass surgery center.
In December 2014 me and Bonnie moved into a new place closer to our jobs.
In March 2015 I participated in my first 5K.

So what is it that has me returning to this blog again after 2 years?

Well, what I left out is that I am almost 40 pounds heavier that I was when I wrote my last blog post in December of 2012. In rereading that post, I was hovering between 260-265. Today I am hovering between 300-305. When I last posted I was wearing a size 42 pants and a 2xl shirt. Today I am a 44 pants and a 3xl shirt. And I feel extremely guilty about it.

I got off track. Plain and simple. I got off track. I stopped writing here. I stopped going to support groups, that I used to attend once a week, and I let myself get sidetracked. How could I let that happen? First I said, well, 270 is okay. Then 280. Then 290. THEN, okay I am NOT going over 300 NO MATTER WHAT. And guess what… of course I did. So what did I do about it? Nothing. Until now.

I joined a gym last week. And I am going to start writing this blog again. This blog was part of the checks and balances I put on myself. I had to keep up appearances here. I could not let myself fail. As long as I was writing this, I had to keep it positive and keep losing weight. When I stopped in December 2012, it started a slow progression to two years later and 40 more pounds. It is unacceptable. I know it is. I have made excuses until today about it, but the excuses will stop with this posting. They just have to. NO MORE WEIGHT GAIN. I have come too far to go any further towards my earlier 493lb life.

I have guilt. Let me tell you. I was once a guy that only drank water and diet iced tea and NOTHING carbonated. I was once a person that ate chicken breast and salad at every meal too. Fast forward to present day and 40 more pounds, and I am someone who drinks diet soda and eats fast food again. How does that happen? Well, it did. I am ashamed of that, but it is my truth.

The McDonald’s started with a grilled chicken snack wrap one day when I was hungry. I told myself that grilled chicken in a tortilla was healthy! Wasn’t it? Well, maybe for McDonald’s. But the snack wrap became a double cheeseburger one day. And the iced tea with no sugar became a diet coke. After all, how much could it hurt just one time? I imagine that’s just what an addict would say to themselves. It’s just one more time, it can’t hurt. And, that’s what I am… a food addict. And maybe I forgot that somewhere along the way. If I could show you all my McDonald’s receipts over the past two years it would make you sick. It makes me sick.

Don’t get me wrong here, a LOT of great things have happened in the past 2 years. Let’s start at #1… I met the love of my life. Her name is Bonnie, and she is my everything. The most beautiful, loving, compassionate person I have ever known. Anyone that can put up with me, truly, is special. As the cliché goes, she’s the best thing that ever happened to me, plain and simple. We were engaged within 6 months, because when you know, you just know. And we knew. I have gotten to spend the past 2 years and 3 months traveling the world, and experiencing life with her. Each day is a new adventure, and I could not be more lucky.

Number 2, I went back to work. Working is great. Making money isn’t the most important thing, BUT, it is important! Having a purpose is important too. After rehab from my ACL surgery was complete, I was able to go back to my job again. I started full-time again in August 2013, and that is another positive thing that has happened.

Number 3. And this one is the thing that has constantly been weighing heavily on my conscience. We were in a weight loss surgery commercial. Sometime last year, probably around September or October, I received a call from the weight loss center that I had my surgery at. We have a very good patient/doctor relationship. They asked me and Bonnie to come in so that they could speak to us about a commercial they were thinking of filming, and they wanted to see if we were interested in taking part in it. We went in for the meeting, and we told them yes we would do it, but my conscience was so guilty about participating in it. Here I was eating fast food and drinking diet soda, yet, I was going to be in a commercial for gastric bypass surgery. My deciding factor to do it was that hopefully someone will see the commercial and decide to have the surgery. And it will help someone. I know how I was when I was 493lbs, with no hope at all, just dying a slow death every day. I know I was still down almost 200lbs, but the guilt from eating wrong was there. I just told myself that the positives outweigh the negatives, and if you can help someone then you have to do it. The commercial was done very professionally and came out very nice. I am just overly critical of myself, and when I see it I feel guilty for the weight I put back on. It was a positive experience, because of the positive effect I hope it had on someone else, but the guilt is there and will probably always be for me when I see it.

Wow, how time flies, doesn’t it. Much like the past 2 years, this day has flown by and I need to get ready for work.

I hope anyone reading this is having success on their weight loss journey or whatever journey they happen to be on that has taken them to this page. As Rocky Balboa said so eloquently, “it’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up.” Yes, I just quoted Rocky(do not judge me haha)!!! Yes, I stumbled along the way, and here I am again putting it all out there. Here I am, back up, and ready to go forward again in this healthier life of mine.

Thanks for reading.
Keith

vesuvius

lockbridge

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I Guess It’s Been A While…

December 7th,2012

So I guess it’s been a while.

I wound up going to New York to see my family for Thanksgiving. Just got back to LA and thought I would update. Had nothing in particular to write about, so we will see what comes out of this.

I have been hovering around the same weight for a while now. 260-265lbs. Again, not doing enough to warrant me losing any weight, but not really going off track with my eating either.

I have recognized now that just eating right isn’t going to take off anymore pounds for me, so if I want to lose those next 20-30 pounds it is going to be hard. A lot harder than it has been for me so far on this journey.

I am wearing a XXL now in most things, and a size 42 jeans/pants. I think my feet even shrunk a little bit too. I used to wear wide shoes and wonder if now I can fit into regular. Next time I buy some shoes, I will have to check and see.

In the next month or so I will finally be having my ACL reconstruction surgery. I have mixed feelings about that. I absolutely need to have it, and want it done now, as I need to get back to work(and making salary again) but the 6 months recovery time is going to be pretty shitty. When I was in NY my knee really started hurting though, I guess from the colder weather. The sooner it gets done now the better though, and with my weight down significantly, the process should be a bit easier. It should be happening in January some time.

The mental stuff that comes with this surgery and your body changing is still there, but I am going to try not to dwell on it on here too much. It is one thing to lose all the weight, but another thing to get your head around the realization that you will always be imperfect. And imperfect is not very desirable. Don’t get me wrong, I know no one is perfect, but I just mean in this society of what is acceptable and what is not. With all the weight gone I am in much better health, and that is the important thing, BUT knowing what you still are and being okay with it is another. I know I have to be okay with it, so, yeah what else can be said about that. It is a constant reminder though every time you see yourself in the mirror. It just has to be something you pretty much have to get passed or get over. I am still in that process I’d say. It’s not the easiest thing. Losing the weight was much easier.

I feel like Doogie Howser writing this right now, I just thought I would say that. I keep waiting for Vinny Delpino to climb through a window in my house. I am sure that went over the heads of most reading this, oh well.

I am trying to focus more on accomplishing something I have always wanted to, and if I do that will be a personal victory. I have trouble concentrating or finding inspiration though. I think that is another mental thing. Living most of your life, when larger, you get accustomed to, or let yourself fall into feeling sorry for yourself I guess. I am not sure if it is a feeling sorry for yourself feeling or a feeling that overcomes you of not thinking you deserve happiness or anything good in your life. I need to overcome that loserish feeling and just go for it now. I had the weight to blame in the past, and now I do not have anymore excuses.

While in NY I went to see a Broadway play. I usually feel very inspired afterwards. This time I picked a real clunker though, and didn’t get that feeling. If I had the money I would have gone to another, but alas, maybe next time. I feel a real connection to the theatre for some reason. There are not many things in life more invigorating that seeing a great play. At least for me.

Well, it’s been a long and crazy year so far, and it is not over yet.

Til next time.

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Coming Up On 1 Year Since Surgery…

November 4, 2012

I am one week short of the one year anniversary of my gastric bypass surgery and so far have lost almost 228lbs.

My birthday was 2 days ago, and after the week I had, I felt it was necessary to get out and celebrate another year. So I did. I am not sure why, but my birthday is the one day a year I really make it a habit of being around some friends or family. Some people hate their birthday, but not me. And so a few friends of mine came out, and we all drank and had some fun catching up. It was a much-needed good time.

November 2, 2012

November 2, 2012

Not to harp on the negative, but a week ago I really didn’t know how this week would wind up. And today, the blood to the naked eye has finally stopped, and so has the pain I was having after the cystoscopy. Everything is positive and moving forward.

In a week, on November 10th, it will be exactly a year since my surgery. This week I happen to come upon a photo of a weigh in from my doctor’s office on November 3, 2012. This was at a time that I was at my highest weight ever. Last November 3rd I weighted almost 493lbs. And here is that photo…

November 3, 2011

And yesterday, the one year anniversary of the day that photo was taken, I weighed in again. And here is where I stand today…

November 3, 2012

That is almost 228 total pounds lost in less than a year. I am kind of upset that these past two month I did not lose what I wanted to. I was preoccupied with what was going on with my health, and didn’t so what I should have done to lose that weight. I still ate well, and didn’t gain anything, but now that my prognosis is good I am going to try to get 20 more pounds off.

I shot some hoops today with a friend and it was good to get some exercise in. This is going to be a great week leading up to my one year mark. I never go back and read anything I write here, but it would be interesting to see how far I’ve come from before surgery, when I was scared shit to go through with this. This is still the best thing I ever did for myself.

Football just came on so I am going to end this for now, and go watch some of the game. I really wanted to get that old photo up while I still remembered. I don’t know what the word is, but it is crazy to see that photo of the scale reading 492.4 and know that was me not even 1 year ago. It’s crazy to fathom that now, but at the same time pretty incredible the transformation that has happened with my mind and body. I am very happy and grateful to be healthier now. And to have all that weight off of me. It is almost unimaginable that I let that happen, but, no doubt I did. I got up to 493 friggin pounds! But the same person that let that weight accumulate was finally able to get some control and right the ship and get that weight off(with the help and miracle of gastric bypass surgery). And it feels good to know I did that for myself. That I finally did something positive for myself. For a change.

More to come this week. Thanks.

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THE GOOD NEWS!

Yesterday was one of those days in my life that I won’t soon forget. I received good news. The best news. I was told by my doctor that there were no tumors growing inside of me. And that’s a good day. And I guess that’s a good place to start, with how the day went for me.

I had to have a cystoscopy(as you may have read in earlier posts). I have had blood in my urine for over two months now, and had other tests done to rule out most other things. It was not an infection, nor was it kidney stones. To find out what was wrong with me they were going to have to go in and look around. One of the main things they would be looking for with this test was cancer in the bladder. I was told that at my age it was very unlikely, which to some degree was comforting, but I knew the truth being that people get cancer at 38. One of them being my mother, who had breast cancer when she was 38. So I was very nervous, to say the least.

I chose to be knocked out for the procedure, as there was nothing about this test I wanted to be awake for. A year ago I was petrified of anesthesia, and now here I am requesting it. The world works in strange ways.

The night before the test I couldn’t sleep at all. I stayed out a while pondering life and everything that could change with the news I would get Tuesday. I stared a lot into the sky and wondered a lot about what it all really meant. Then I came home and watched a lot of tv and went to bed somewhere around 5 or 6 in the morning. I got a couple of hours of sleep and then took a cab to the surgical center at 9am.

When I got there I was a bit nervous. I had been put out for an endoscopy at this place before, so I was comfortable on some level being there, but just nervous about what was going to happen and be found out. This was not a procedure anyone would want to have unless it was absolutely necessary.

I filled out and signed all that fun paperwork first. You know, the ones about the risk of you dying during the procedure and blah blah blah. The fun one’s. That is always a delight. I was then brought inside and shown to my bed/gurney and told to take everything off and to put the robe on. Which I did. I then laid back on the bed and the anesthesiologist came in to talk and try to put my IV in. I say try, because, as always with me, I am a tough stick. It took 3-4 times to finally get it in and a second arm. It wound up going in my hand this time. More joy. But he told me about what was going to happen and we agreed that we thought he was the one who administered my anesthesia last time I was there, so that was a bit comforting.

From there I met some of the nurses who explained what would be happening, and they told me the doctor was running a little behind schedule. That was no big deal, but the nervousness that comes with that waiting really sucks at the time. The anesthesiologist stayed to talk for a bit cause he could probably sense my nervousness(or he had nothing better to do). We talked about the gastric bypass and all the changes in my life the last year. And it did make me a little less nervous than just sitting there.

Then my doctor arrived. He came in to talk to me and asked me a series of about 20-30 questions about my urinary habits. More questions than I thought even possible on the subject. He then told me what he would be doing and looking for, and then all of a sudden we were ready to go.

Someone came to wheel me down the hall and into the room, but just as we left my space the anesthesiologist squirted something into my IV and said that it would take the edge off. Sounds good to me. As I was being wheeled in he kept asking if I was feeling any different yet. I wasn’t, or thought I wasn’t. We then got into the surgical room and they asked me to slide from the bed I was in, and onto another gurney. I then had a mask put over my face and remember looking at the ceiling and being told to take deep breaths. And next thing you know I am awake and being wheeled out of the room and it was all done.

I don’t know how long I was under, but it was probably 30-45 minutes if I had to guess. It was supposed to be quicker than that but the doctor wound up cauterizing some stuff in my prostate, where he found the bleeding was coming from. He said other than that everything looked good and I had NO tumors that he could see in the bladder. And just like that, in an instant, almost three months of mental agony was over. It is quite a feeling, quite a feeling to be told you do not have cancer. At times I was convinced I was going to be told the worst. Having all the same symptoms, and constantly seeing that blood when you urinate made me expect to or want to be prepared for it. It is horrible, and you just can’t help but think the worst is going on inside of you. It was only when the bleeding would stop for a few days that I would or could start to get positive again and let myself think it could be something else. Luckily that happened the past few days before the test yesterday, and I was feeling pretty good that I could be okay again. I started getting that positive outlook again. And luckily now, I have peace of mind, and know exactly what was happening. I could not be more relieved or happy.

The burning pain that I was told I would have after the cystoscopy during urination is actually worse than I could have imagined. The first day was almost intolerable, but, all things considered, I’ll take it. Today it hasn’t been as bad, and hopefully in a day or two it will painless. Also, the bleeding is a lot more now, due to the cauterizing that was done inside of me. It’s a bit unsettling, to be urinating that much blood, but I know the reason it is there and coming out of me now. The doctor said as it heals inside me, all the blood will stop, and everything will go back to normal.

These past two months have been a whirlwind of emotion for me. Now that it is over, I can hopefully look back on this experience and pull some positives from it.

I thought a lot about how I lived my life up until now, and all the positive and negative choices I have made along the way. I have done many good things, and many bad. I thought a lot about what I would do if I found out I was healthy again, and now I have to do those things. I have to do them for me. Get busy living or get busy dying, as the old saying goes. Plain and simple.

So now, 2 days away from my 39th Birthday and 10 days away from the 1 year anniversary of my surgery, I am smiling, happy, and feeling better again. When I think about how much weight I have lost, I laugh, because what else can I do. It’s 227lbs, and that is just silly. I am proud of myself for going through with the surgery, and for being able to get to a year out now with this much weight off. It is an accomplishment and something to be proud of. I know that.

This is an exciting time in my life. And I know it can and will be the best time in my life. I am looking forward to the future.

Hope you are all well…

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The Moment of Truth…

Well it is now the moment of truth. I am just under 5 hours away from my cystoscopy.

Since I have been back in LA the blood has stopped. I am trying not to get too excited, because last time this happened it just started up again. But not seeing the blood makes you feel like you are going to be okay. The same way that seeing it for over the last 2 months has convinced me that something really bad was wrong with me. Mentally this is just a whole big mind fuck. I know that until I wake up later today and get the results from the doctor, all this blood shit won’t matter.

I couldn’t sleep tonight. I walked around Hollywood for a while. I thought about drinking, but I knew it would be wrong and didn’t do it. I did go to food though. I ate more tonight than I probably have in a long time. 2 snack wraps, a slice of pizza, a cheese sandwich, a piece of cake, and apple, and some mushrooms. Oh, and french fries from McDonald’s for the first time in a year. I could only eat some of them, as I felt like they were making me sick. I wish I had not eaten them, but I did.

I wish I could eat more now but I cannot have anything to eat or drink after 2am.

I got a little weird thinking about how today I could get great news or not so great news. It is a weird weird feeling knowing that. It’s going to be either one of the best or worst days of my life today. If I had to guess now, I would go with best because the blood stopped and now I had this whole mental outlook change. Whatever it is going to be it’s going to be though. It will be good to know, one way or another.

I am going to try to get a couple of hours of sleep. I have to be there for the procedure by 10am. It is after 5 now.

I will try to update later once I get the results. Thanks.

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Back From NYC…

I am back from NYC and in LA now. Had a doctor’s appointment today about my impending ACL surgery. I let my orthopedic surgeon know that I was being tested for cancer, and that when I find out what is going on with it I will let him know(and we can schedule the knee surgery from there).

I made an appointment for my Cystoscopy for next week. Now I just count the days down and wait to have it done. I talked to the doctor that will be doing it and he said I should know the results as soon as I wake up. That’s a relief, either way.

A couple of days have gone by now without the blood, and when that happens I am usually in a better mood. I am not getting my hopes up, as it tends to come back just when I think it’s done happening. But, I have felt pretty positive these past few days. It’s nice not to see.

It sucked leaving New York. All of my family, the most important people in my life, and a lot of my good friends live there. While in town I got to visit with so many friends and family, it was really nice. My family knows what is going on, and now some friends do. Not many people really read this, so friends don’t really know what’s going on(and nor should they, because if it is nothing then why worry them). I didn’t plan on telling most friends about my situation, but it came out to some of them. It is weird when people ask how you are doing and you have to think about telling them the truth or not. Truth is that I feel really good, BUT, there’s this whole other thing going on. I went situation by situation as to whether I said anything or not. For the most part I didn’t. It is just weird.

I keep thinking how this can be nothing, but it can be something as well. I thought about that a lot while in NY, and pretty much decided I would do whatever I wanted while I was there. I went out a lot, drank a lot, ate what I wanted, and just had a good time. If life changes next week then so be it, I had a great time. And I will deal with it how it comes. What can you do after all, right. I didn’t get to have any Chinese food while I was there, but I did eat a lot of pizza. And I weighed in this morning and am within a pound of the weight I was when I left. So not bad. I didn’t do so bad, all in all. I walked a lot while I was there.

Most importantly I got to see my beautiful little nieces while I was there. They really make me happy, and nothing matter when I am with them. They are the cutest little bundles of joy. I wish I lived closer so I could see them more. Here are a couple of photos from my trip.

Me and my niece Isabella

Me with my nieces Emelia(4 months) and Juliana

So anyway, I am about to get kicked out of Starbucks now, so I guess it is time to end this. Not sure if I will update again before my procedure, but maybe. Tomorrow I am going to see one of my favorite bands, Rusted Root. I was a huge fan and followed them around in college(20 years ago now). They never got really big, but one of their songs did, so they can continue to tour now. Lucky for me. When I see them I always feel good, as their music is very upbeat. It will be a good couple of hours to forget about everything going on and just feel good and be happy! I am very much looking forward to the show tomorrow. Music is very good for the soul.

That’s it for now. Take care everyone. More to come soon…

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Latest Update From NYC…

I have not updated in a while, so on my bus ride from Queens into Manhattan right now, I will attempt to from my blackberry. Its been quite the past week and a half. I came to NY on Tuesday morning last week. The reason for my trip was my niece’s baptism which was this past Sunday. While here I have been able to see friends, family, and a couple of Yankees games. The best part has been forgetting temporarily about what has been going on health wise for a little bit, or trying to.

I received the results of my Fish test back last week and it was thankfully negative for malignant cells. There were some other cells found in the sample that would conclude that the test was contaminated, but my doctor is going with negative and saying that it does not preclude me from having cancer and that we have to move forward and schedule the other test now. I haven’t scheduled it yet, as I have been trying to get my head around wanting to have it done while I’m awake or asleep. I am leaning towards asleep, which would then mean I have to have some other tests done beforehand. Anesthesia scares the hell out of me, but so does the thought of being awake for this procedure. I will probably make plans to schedule it later today or tomorrow and go from there. When I get back to LA from New York it will pretty much be all business again with this then.  

While I have been gone I have been trying my best to not think about what’s going on. For a couple of days the blood stopped and I really started feeling good. I kind of let myself start to think maybe it was something else, and the issue stopped, but then I was forced back into the reality when it started re appearing again. I wish I could describe what kind of feeling it is when that happens, but the only way I can think of is to say it sucks. Its like you feel the positivity literally draining out of you at that exact moment. Seeing that blood is just a miserable thing. So inbetween trips to the bathroom the rest of this trip has been very nice. I mentioned I went to two Yankees games. The best way for me to describe my relationship with the Yankees is this way… Some people have religion, and I have the Yankees and Yankee Stadium. When I go watch the Yankees, its weird to say, but I feel like I am home. Its a very peaceful, good, relaxing(sometimes) feeling I get over me.  When I am at a Yankee game I forget everything in the outside world. Everything. For those three hours, nothing else matters. And it is really nice, for lack of a better word. Although I may yell, scream, and get angry while rooting on my team, it is just joy being there. I was happy I got to go to those games while I was home. I wish life could have stood still in one of those games, but that’s just not how it goes. Life, unfortunately, is not a game like baseball. Okay, I’ll stop with that… 

Sunday was my niece Emelia’s baptism and funny enough the pastor’s sermon had to do with the rising stats of people not believing in God. The pastor stated how he took it personally and didn’t understand how anyone could not believe or have faith. I wish I had an explanation for him, or an answer, but I don’t. I wish I did. I really wish I could believe deep inside of me that there was more, or was some supreme being or entity watching over us, but I don’t. I’ve tried. With everything going on with my health now, I wish I had something to turn to. I wish I believed that I could pray and “everything was going to be alright”. But to me it just isn’t true. And I think about those who put faith into this thing they could never prove, or see, and it must be satisfying. It must be nice to believe in something that you really feel to be true inside of you. For me, I am taking this as it comes and just hoping for the best.  

I am not looking forward to going home to California. When I get there it will be days until I have the test that will pretty much tell me if I have cancer or not. Its a weird feeling knowing you may or may not have some disease. Weird is not a good word, but that’s the one coming to mind. Its hard not to think about, as much as you try not to. This could all just be nothing, or it can really be this horrible thing growing inside of you. Not to be graphic, but today I saw the most blood I’ve ever seen since this started. I don’t know what that means, but I need to know what this is before it really makes me insane. I know that day is coming soon and as much as I dread it, I know I have to find out. Good or bad. No matter what I find out, my life has changed because of it. If its cancer, then I probably got it from smoking. When I read up the causes of this type of cancer, it said smoking over ninety percent. I had one cigarette left in that pack I bought, and I will never smoke it. I will never smoke again in my life. It is that simple. 

It is weird how all the warnings on cigarettes, commercials on tv, a friend dying of cancer… All of these things didn’t get through to me like this going on and reading it is more than likely caused by smoking. I’m done with it again, whether it is cancer or not.

I am now in a Starbucks in midtown Manhattan, and I’m about to meet up with an old friend to catch up and watch the Yankees. For those 3 hours tonight ill forget about everything else and just root on my team. And hopefully I won’t have to go to the bathroom until the game is over… Thanks for reading, and more to come later… Take care, Keith 

 

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