Heart Echogram

I had a heart appointment today and my ejection fraction is about 47% that is up from last test. I was hoping for higher at least in the 50% range. Trying to not be discouraged about that result but tough.  I know I should be grateful that I still have my original heart and not taking 50 different medications.  My cardiologist said if my ejection fraction was above 50% we could talk about taking my defibrillator out.  I will keep you informed as I get more information thank you for reading.

Defibrillator check up

Good afternoon all:

Had my defibrillator checked just a little bit ago. They said everything looked good and had no issues. They saw one spot where the unit went into monitor mode. It did not go off (luckily) so they were not to worried about it.  The technician can not believer my progress after weight loss surgery.

I don’t have to get the device checked but every 6 months. So now I have my heart doctor and defibrillator check up at the same time which makes it nice. Have a great day everyone and watch out for the heat.

1 Year Since Heart Transplant Scare

WOW, can you believe today is the one year anniversary of me going to California Pacific Medical Center and starting my scare ordeal of potentially getting a heart transplant.  Just can’t believe it has been one year already.  Don’t get me wrong I am happy to put distance between me and that situation.  I saw my cardiologist heart doctor today ironically one year from when I first met him.

I lost over 140 pounds due to weight loss surgery and now have an ejection fraction of 44%. That is amazing considering a year ago I weighed in at 359 pounds and had an ejection fraction of 10% looking at a heart transplant.  Needless to say today is a good day because I don’t have a scar from my chin to my belly from a heart transplant.

Weight Loss Surgery and Echogram

I had an echogram done recently and it appears my ejection fraction is up to 40 percent. I had an ejection fraction of 10% May 2005 and 20% November 2005. This is good news and I am hoping to get off some medication in May.

My weight loss is over 140 pounds down since being sick in May.  I am now 214 and hanging in there. I have had good success with my Vertical Gastrectomy. I am very pleased and blessed I was able to get weight loss surgery.

Weight Loss Surgery Update for 2006-Jan-27

Forgot to give my daily weight update.  As of January 23, 2006 I am 239.6 that is 85.9 pounds since weight loss surgery (8-30-2005) and that is 119.9 since being worked up for a heart transplant May/June 2005. Overall doing good I am walking either 30 min a day or 1 mile.  I sometimes change it out a little. I was able to run for 5 minutes the other day which is amazing for me.  I try not to get my heart rate above 140 for any length of time.  I lift some weights not a lot and not heavy.  Just building up after all the fun I have been through (NOT).  Work is good been real busy.  So the workout really helps me unwind and makes me forget about the job.  I still need to get more motivated to be consistent with working out.

Weight Loss Surgery Update for End of 2005

Good afternoon;

Well here we are at the end of another year. Can’t hardly believe 2005 has come and gone that quickly.  If you have read some of my past post 2005 was not the greatest year for me and my family.  Of course some would say it was a great year.  Meaning that I did not die back in May.

Christmas turned out nice. The kids are happy and had a good Christmas considering.  I sit here at work reminiscing about 2005 and other years.  I catching myself thinking how lucky I really am, I have a beautiful wife and wonderful kids.  Everyone is healthy and we all love each other.  I have seen my oldest daughter Kelsey and hope to stay in touch with her after all these years.

I hope 2006 is a good year and I hope the family and myself stay healthy and out of the hospital.  I am currently down to 248 pounds from 359 in May before my weight loss surgery.  I really need to get to the gym and start working out and stay at the gym.  Need to be consistent and try to not wavering one week to another.

I find myself thinking about Mom a lot lately (passed away a few years ago). I sure miss her and wish she was with us today to be with the kids.  She sure loved Brandon and I bet would have just fallen all over Adriana.  If your out there Mom, I love you and miss you.

I guess I better go and look at the rain. It is pouring lakes out there it is amazing.

Happy New Year everyone be safe.

Thanksgiving Thoughts and Weight Loss Surgery Update

As of last Tuesday I weighted in at 266 pounds.  When I hit 259 I will have lost 100 pounds since my heart problems in May.  That will be quite an accomplishment.  I still do 20 minutes on the treadmill and then work out my chest and stomach.  I get an aqua message that caps the workout rather nicely.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I am not looking forward to it at all.  I hope it will all be about the friendship and not about my weight loss surgery.  This will be the first year I will not eat two or more full plates of food.  I will be lucky to get down a small plate.

Had an echocardiogram done and my ejection fraction is approx 25-28% that is doubled what it was May 2005. Not out of the woodwork yet but doing better.

Long over due Weight Loss update

Sorry it has been over a month since blogging.  I have been busy getting back to work after my surgery.  I am doing good as of 11-1-2005 I am weighing in at 271.6 which is down 53.9 pounds since bariatric surgery on 8-30-2005.  I have been working out, doing cardiovascular exercise and lifting weights.  I am starting slow and light and working my way up.  I still have heart issues that I have to pay attention to.

I hope to get an echocardiogram done within the next couple of months to see if the weight loss is helping.  I sure hope it is helping otherwise I may have to get on the heart transplant list and I DO NOT want to do that.

I need to try and eat my 4-5 bites of protein for lunch.

Before and After Weight Loss Surgery

Before and after weight loss surgery updates: I have had a very successful weight loss surgery up to this point.  I had vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VG) surgery on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 0900.  Had to check myself in on Monday for heart precautions.  I admitted myself at 0800 and had a right heart catheter put in at 1030 by my cardiologist took 30 minutes. That went extremely well considering the last one I had it took them 2 hours and 4 doctors. Then I went to CCU (coronary care unit) for the rest of the day.  Bowel prep started at 1640 and boy oh boy by 1830 I was sitting all night. I consider myself lucky because they thought they were going to putting a balloon pump in and that would have meant I lay there for bowel prep would not have been good.

I then went into weight loss surgery at 0715 on Tuesday and Dr. John Rabkin performed surgery at 0900 (so I was told) and out of surgery at 0959.  All early detections were that it was a success.  In my wife’s mind when I got up to ICU (intensive care unit) and said something to her she was happy.  Quit frankly, I do not remember a damn thing from surgery until the next day. Due to my heart condition I did not get out of bed that night.  I remember seeing some key people on Tuesday. My WIFE, Dr. John Rabkin, and Barbara Metcalf.  I was told I held conversations with these people, sorry but do not recall talking.  Let’s be honest here about the pain.  I was not in much pain on Tuesday, mainly because I do not remember much of it.  Now Wednesday, started off okay.  Then I played macho man and did not use my PCA (patient-controlled analgesia) nearly enough. The pain at one point was pretty severe. They asked me on a scale of 1-10 how much?  My wife looked at the chart that California Pacific Medical Center provided that showed pain levels.  She said well it is obvious he is a 10 he is crying.  So they doped me up and provided extra pain medication. That did the trick, my pain was tolerable, and of course the side effect is that I slept most of the day, but that was okay with me.  Wednesday night, actually I think it was Thursday early morning.  I told my nurse I wanted my follie out.  So we took care of that and with in an hour I also got up and went to the bathroom the nurses were thrilled about that.  Thursday was a catch up day for me on what happened the two days before. I also had my first meal, well if you call a Popsicle a meal then yes my first meal.

I was released Friday and finally made it home.  I have some pain don’t get me wrong however it is not bad at all.  I think the biopsy they did on my liver hurts more than my wounds.  Speaking of wounds, I have 4 lap holes and one 2 inch incision on my belly button.  Eating is so different, my mind is going crazy. My 9 month old daughter eats more than me.  As a matter of fact I am using her baby spoon to eat.  So it feels like I am eating more instead of 2 bites from a teaspoon. I get approx 5-6 baby spoon bites. Fluids, well fluids have been interesting. I take my sips, sips, sips (like you said Barb). After 1 to 2 sips I have to stop and wait. Then within a minute or two I have this throw up sensation, but all it is, is a little air bubble.

Take what I write here as just another example of the way people take weight loss surgeries.  Remember I had extra precautionary measures being taken due to my heart condition. I look forward to keeping everyone updated as the days and weeks go by.

Life before the Weight Loss Surgery

I thought I had better write about my issues prior to having Vertical Gasrectomy weight loss surgery.  In 2003 I was at my heaviest of 392 pounds. I normally don’t have a problem with my weight, but I started to grow concerned. I decided to diet, I had never wanted to diet but decided I better. I went on the Atkins low/no carb diet.  Over the course of 8 months I lost 71 pounds.  I was feeling better than 392 but still not right. Then I had an opportunity to move with the company and moved to Redding, CA.  I could never get back on track, I would say over the next 3-5 months I gained 30ish pounds back. Then July of 2004 I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy/congestive heart failure (CHF).  I went on special care and medications.  Did okay under care but never again did I feel 100%.  I was fatigued a lot and my back and knees were killing me.  Joints hurting was nothing compared to cardiomyopothy and congestive heart failure. Then May 2005 I had a serious heart problem. Wound up in the hospital for 5 weeks. See August 7, 2005 blog entry for more details.

Lets list problems associated to weight.

Joints hurting and deteriorating
Major Heart issues – Cardiomyopothy and Congestive Heart Failure
Sleep Apnea
Always Fatigued
Kids embarrassed with size of Dad
Had to buy special clothes (5XL in shirts, 50+ in pants)
Well that is life before weight loss surgery. We will see what happens over the next few months.