Sunday, June 24, 2012


Do you remember the movie Stand By Me, where the guy ate too much pie and got sick on stage, then all the other people watching him throw up started doing the same and it became a barfarama. Well last night I had some left over hamburger that we had made in a special sauce the other night. I had it then but last night we put it in the microwave and heated it up. The first attempt at that the meat was not completely done inside so Jackie put it in a little while longer. The result was the the meat got dried out. I ate about ¾ of it, and suddenly I felt very full. I put the rest in the refrigerator and planned on eating it later as I thought I was just full for now. But then the pain started. I knew for sure that my pouch was now clogged and I knew the only way I was going to get the pain away, was to barf. So that is what I did. It was not a pretty sight in the bathroom. I upchucked about 4 times, the last one being a slimy gooie foam. I then felt much better but the next time I eat any meat, I am going to make damn sure it is not dried out like that was. Today I had my normal breakfast and everything stayed down, thank heavens.   

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wind Beneath My Wings

Forty nine years ago on the 21st, this beautiful gal pictured here became my wife. Like the old song says..”If you want to see what true love looks like, look at us”. We met when we were just kids. I was in my first year of college and she was a senior in high school. When we met I had been going with other girls, but it was like a shot in the head when I saw her. I loved her even before I talked to her. She says the same about me. Our eyes met and we just knew we loved each other. Yes love at first sight does happen. Two years after that, we were married and have been in love with each other every day of our lives.

She supports me and has my back in everything I have done in my life. We started off very poor, living in an old chicken coop. Money and things did not matter we had each other and were, and are still very happy.

I read about some people here who seem to have bad relationships and for that I am very sorry. In our day there was no trial period, no learners permit (living with each other), I loved her enough to commit my life to her unquantified. She did the same to me. I could never leave her anymore than cut my right arm off. Everyone who knows us, knows we are joined at the hip. We seldom go anywhere without each other. We are both happiest when we are together.

Now one last thing I want to say to you my friends. We have been married a long time. Next year will be 50 years. We very seldom have a fight or even a serious argument, but if we do this is what I think people should do. Go over to your mate, ask to hold them in your arms even if they are mad and you are mad. Look them in the eye and say. “Honey I love you and I am so sorry”. It does not hurt, and you can do it as many times as you want.     The wind beneath my wings

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Support Group Meeting

Went to my support group meeting last night. It seems that there are a lot of people in the program and many new people who are in the pre-op state, just checking off things they have to do. There were at least 50 people there. The class was about eating at family gatherings, picnics, and such. Things you can do, so that you can eat, not feel deprived and still enjoy yourself. As I am going to a family function in early July, I am sure I can use some of the things our instructor talked about. One thing for sure is that I am going to take my scale with me and if we go to a restaurant, I am going to weigh what I put in my mouth and take a doggy bag for the rest. I hope my NUT takes me off the soft food diet on the 25th, so I will have more choices. We will see.   

Friday, June 8, 2012

Great support from WLS team

Can you believe this in this day and age? I had a problem with my insulin level the other morning. I made a mistake and did not have enough protein in the morning, took my insulin shot and in about an hour as I was getting ready to go swimming my blood count went down to 52 and I nearly passed out. I had some orange juice and recovered. Because I was worried about having low blood sugars and my counts in the morning and evening were in the low 90s I felt I had better send an email to my WLS team to get their ideas. Well can you believe this, late last night I got a call from Dr. Bock. He spent at least a half hour on the phone with me talking about what happened and making corrections to my treatment. He coordinated communications with my PCP and sent me a follow up message. Now I call that support. I did not contact him directly just sent a message to the hospital where I had surgery. My surgeon Dr. Landers was not in so Dr. Bock took it upon himself to help me. Makes me feel more confident in the care I am getting. They could not have done a better job for me.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lesson Learned

I have got to be more careful and pay more attention to what I eat. I am now on the soft food stage. I wanted to try some new things from some of my cookbooks. I decided this morning to try a cereal made out of shredded wheat and pumpkin spice. It was fine but not that filling. I was getting ready to go swimming and all of a sudden I got the somewhat familiar feeling that I was going to pass out. Called my wife, took my blood level and it was 52. I was going hypoglycemic. I got some juice down and ate some cottage cheese. Slowly my blood went back up to where it should be. I still feel like someone kicked the crap out of me, but I am getting better. Have to remember that I must have protein each meal. Without that the little bit of insulin I take will drive my blood way to low and I will have a problem. Lesson learned the hard way. 

Meeting with my NUT

Had another meeting with my NUT yesterday. She is pleased with my food choices and feels I am ready to go to the next stage. I thought it was going to be regular food, but no it is soft food. No it is not Puree food as I am having now but other foods that are easier on my new, still healing pouch. I was kind of disappointed, but there are a lot of good things I can have and I will be able to chew some for a change. I have several cookbooks and am looking forward to trying some of the recipes in them.

We talked about my constipation problem and she feels I need to cut back on my calcium a little. I was taking 2000 mg a day and she thinks I should not take more than 1500. She also wants me to get and use some probiotics that will help me. I am still to stay in the 500 to 600 calorie range with 4 ounces at each meal.

I had been having troubles at night when I put on my APAP machine. Before the surgery I loved it and it gave me a better sleep. From the surgery on first I did not use it because of the UTI had me up ever few minutes going to the bathroom and when that was over, every night when I tried to use it, I got a little sick to my stomach and thaought it was causing the problem somehow. I found that it was not the APAP but the medications I was taking just before sleep that caused the nausea. So I changed the time I take the medications and all is well. I have a meeting with Pulmonary doctor tomorrow and we will talk about that for sure.

Things are still going along quite well, but today I have developed a pain in my lower right area and it kind of feels like a kidney pain, but maybe something else. I will keep and eye on it.

Made Mini-Goal

on May 28, 2012 7:05 am 

Well I made a mini goal this morning on my normal Monday morning weigh in. I was under 250 lbs for the first time in a long long time. I lost 4.6 lbs this past week. I am kind of feeling constipated a little and have been taking the stool softeners they gave me, but still only have a good BM ever other day of so. I am only a week and a half from normal food and it can not come to fast. It is not that the puree does not taste so good it is just that it looks so bad. I also want something to chew. All in all a good week, but I think I over did it on the treadmill. I am sore from that and because of my two knee operations last year, I think I am going to have to concentrate on my swimming and maybe now that the weather is better going for a walk instead of the treadmill. It is harder on my knees and back.  

Non Scale Victory

on May 24, 2012 9:33 am 

I had a wonderful surprise this morning while I was getting dressed. I will start swimming again tomorrow for my normal exercise. I just wondered how my bathing suit would fit and when I put it on it was obvious that no matter how much I pulled the draw strings it was going to fall off while I swim, not good. So I fished an older suit out and put it on and it fit but was big. So I am going to have to look for a smaller one.

Then I started to think, I wonder if any of my old suits would fit me. So I went to my closet and sure enough two of my older suits fit just great. I have not been able to get them on for at least 6 years. I only wear suites when I go to church, but it will be nice to not look like I am in a uniform as I have been wearing just one, the same one each week. Can you see the big smile on my face?

How I Counted My Weight Loss

on May 21, 2012 3:38 pm 

For those who wonder how I count my weight loss. Well a friend of mine who got me interested in WLS and has done a wonderful job. He has lost over 100lbs from Nov 2011 and is still going strong. Anyway he went on a pre-op diet and lost over 30 pounds. I did the same. We both counted our weight loss from the time we were approved for surgery. In my case I weighed in the doctors office at 307 lbs with my cloths on including my shoes. So that is where I and he started our program. We are giving ourselves credit for the hard dieting we did just before the surgery. Some folks just count from the day of surgery. When I weigh myself, I do it on my WII game council that has a scale on it. I find it more accurate then any other scale I have. But I am in my shorts with nothing else on. I do the weigh in every Monday morning between 5AM and 6. So from now on it will be consistent. So I have lost quite a bit of weight so far but not all of it is because of the surgery but all of it is weight off my gigantic butt.  

First Weigh at home after surgery 5/21/2012

on May 21, 2012 5:34 am

Today was the first time sense surgery that I weighed myself on my WII scale. I did it last the Monday before surgery. From that time until now I have lost 15.4 lbs. That is just wonderful and I hope it continues. I know it can't continue that fast, but it is sure nice to see my weight getting down to a still obese weight but almost respectable level. Next goal will be to be under 250 I think I can do that. I only weigh once a week.  

Post OP Review with Dr.

on May 17, 2012 4:16 pm

Went for meeting with William Young PA for Dr. Landers today. All looks well, lost almost 7 lbs first week, that is not bad. Will weigh again Monday as that is my normal weigh in day. He changed my insulin dosage just a little so do not have to do mid day adjustments. He has said that anyone who has been a diabetic for as long as I have there is no guarantee that I will ever be free of the disease. However when I am at goal he feels there is a great chance that I will be. Set me up for another follow up in 3 months, took out the staples, but told me I could not swim or be in water for any long period of time for one more week. He things I am doing great and my blood work shows it as well.  

Execution Completed

on May 13, 2012 11:40 am 

Well as planned they(my wife Jackie), came for me at 2:30 am on Wednesday the 9th.
I was driven to the facilities in Bellevue Washington where the execution was to be carried out. There were many buildings on the campus and after circling the block many times the West Parking garage was found and we went down one floor, crossed and alley way and met the admitting personal. They were all very nice, accommodating and helpful. Why shouldn’t they be, it wasn't their day of execution.
I was then taken to a holding cell where they in fact took my cloths away and weighed my carcase. After the admitting person who was also very nice pulled up all my records, I was left in the holding cell to contemplate the many times I had eaten an extra helping of mashed potatoes and gravy. The many times I had over eaten so many things in my life. The many times I swore I would never gain back my weight after loosing 100 pounds or more over the years. Now here I was facing the music for a life of over indulgence. I had nobody to blame for my predicament but myself. I was sorry and repentant.

After a short period of time a very officious looking lady came into the room with a mask at the ready and many instruments hanging around her neck. She said she was my anesthesiologist. She asked several questions that I had previously been asked and then explained that I would be transported very soon into the main operating room where the procedure would be done. She asked if I had any questions or last requests, and I said will it be lights our or will I kind of drift away? She said what did I want. I said light out as soon as possible.
They put a tube in my wrist and started putting liquids in my arm. I was talking to Jackie when all of a sudden someone was saying wake up Mr. Wassmann you are in recovery. Gee what a let down. I didn't get to enjoy any theatrics or drama. Just wake up???? How anticlimactic is that?
I was taken to a completely different part of the hospital and like a miracle all my belongings and my wife where the waiting for me. The rest of that day was very foggy. My wife like the good gal she is, stayed with me over night sleeping on a little couch they had there in the room.
I had asked the nurses to give me oxygen to help me breath better. They did not think I needed it and they of course where right, I was wrong. The oxygen gave me nasal congestion and I could not breath well through my noise. 

When they put the humidifier in my APAP machine they disconnected the unit in some way and it would not work in the hospital. I found the problem and it is working now. I really don't think I have that bad a case of apnea anyway. Now for the worst part of the procedure.
They had put a catheter in my little pee pee while I was asleep. The second day they took it out. No big deal. But I was not peeing much on my own. One evening one of the female nurses came into the room with what looked like a lap top computer and a funny looking track ball on the end. They rubbed it on my bladder area and determined that my bladder was full and they would have to put the catheter back in. Now this nurse may have had a bad spat with her boyfriend or husband, I do not know, but she proceeded to put a garden hose up my pee pee. YAAAAAAWWWWWEEEE that hurt like hell. I was not even pleased with the male nurse in the room as he was kind of egging her on and smiling a lot. They took it out after a few hours but talked about putting it back in if I could not pee more on my own. I would have taken water into the bathroom and put it in the little top hat thing they had in the can rather then go through that again. The nurse said my bladder would burst if I didn't have it drained. I would rather have that, then another rubber hose insertion.

But seriously the staff, of nurses was just great. They saw to every need I may have. They really had my comfort at their goal. I don't think I could have had better care in my mothers arms. The surgeons came in and talked to me several times and told me how well the operation went and even said something that made me feel great. They said that internally I had absolutely no fat, and that was a good thing. All the internals they could see looked to be in great shape and much younger appearing than my physical age. 

I was let go on Friday and have spent the past couple of days just sitting around watching TV and sipping and trying to find something I like to eat. I do have some challenges and particulars with my procedure and I will ask you all questions and gather your thoughts as to what they mean and what I can do about them. This post was intended to let you know they let the nut out amongst the normal people, so keep the women and children inside.

Execution Tomorrow 5/9/2012

on May 8, 2012 1:27 pm 

They will come for me, (the Pillsbury Dough Boy), tomorrow morning. I will be transported to the institution where I will be received by the staff. After making me remove my cloths they will put me on a gurney and roll me into a room where everyone has their faces masked. I guess to keep them unidentified and safe from retaliation by dinner and cinnamon roll fanatics. They will place tubes into my arms and other instruments on other parts of my body. My poor pee pee. After the fluids in the tubes do their job the head man in the room will cut into my flesh and remove parts of me and then rearrange other parts. The masked persons in the room may be those damn Ghost Busters who gave me so much trouble years ago. After that they will take what is left of me to another room where my wife can view the body. She plans on taking what is left of me home. Putting me in my favorite easy chair and watch me fade away over the next few months until I am just a shadow of myself. I hope I don't stink too bad.  

Note: In the photo here I had already lost 32 lbs before the surgery. Taken just before we left for the hospital. 

A Nice Saturday Morning

on May 5, 2012 8:23 am 

Well here I am at my computer on a nice Saturday morning. Just had a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs (egg beaters), water packed pears (one cup), low fat cottage cheese (½ cup), and one cup of canned green beans. Total calories was about 255. This will be my last Saturday for quite awhile that I can have that much to eat. I think I can have all those things but in limited amounts for awhile.
 I still have a lot of questions about how much I can eat in ounces. I also need to find out if I drink a protein shake, does that count as the food or liquid or both? Other than that, I think I am ready. I have all the foods I think I will need for the next 4 weeks of cat food eating. Well it is not really cat food but pureed food sometimes looks like that.
 Feeling nervous and excited. I know the surgeons and staff at the hospital do this every day or most days and they know what they are doing, I know they said they have NEVER lost anyone on the table and they told me to put that out of my head it will not happen. But in the back of my head, and I bet everyone's head, they think as I do, that I could break their perfect record. Oh well if I do, I have faith and know I will be in a great place waiting for my beloved wife to be with me again.
 I have so much to do in the next 4 days that I will be kept busy. Unfortunately I ran my BMW up on the curb and messed up the lower side panel and two wheels. I have to take it in on the 8th to have it worked on. What a stupid 2K$ thing to do. Thank God I have insurance and a low deductible. I have to pack my bag and double check everything. We have two dogs and have to make arrangements to have them taken to the kennel. They need to have their shots updated before they go. I will go to my last aerobic swimming class on Monday for probably 3 or 4 weeks. I know I can not go again until after my post op check up. I plan on walking on my treadmill and walking the dogs until I can swim again.
 The Obesity Help web page has been a blessing to me, but in some ways it scars me. I am involved in other activities in electronics and cars and I know that many of the folks who check in and ask questions are having problems. Sometimes because of the surgery was not correct but in many times I feel the person has misunderstood something or just plain disregarded what they were told to do. Many people who had the surgery and are getting along just fine never post anything, so you can get a distorted view that there is so many problems with the surgery. I know I have a friend Bob who had the surgery, he is a little younger than me but he is doing great and looks fantastic and feels great. He never posts so folks like him are not accounted for.
I will post one more time on Tuesday the day before my surgery 5/9/2012

Pre-Op Diet

Published on April 25, 2012 7:13 pm 

I am trying real hard to lose as much weight before surgery as I can. But I have been cutting down what I eat to less than 800 calories and hope to do that until 5/9. But my gall bladder has been raising hell with me. This always seems to happen when I am really restricting my calorie intake. They are going to take my gall bladder out when they do the RNY but I am afraid I am going to have a major attack and end up in the hospital having it taken out before the RNY and that would really mess up my surgery. I am adding a little more food to my diet in between meals. Nothing bad just some vegetables and an apple or apple sauce. That keeps the pain down. I can knock the pain down with Tylenol but that makes my neuropathy in my feet and hands worse and I can not sleep so I would rather do it by adding a little more food. I have already lost 28 pounds but would like to lose some more. By this time 2 weeks from now the operation will be over and I will be on the way to a new me. YYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Change of Diet

Published on April 22, 2012 10:19 am 

Well it is 2 weeks before the surgery date in Bellevue. I have been on a pretty normal reduction diet, 1440 cal max, for the past couple of months and tomorrow morning I will see how much totally I have lost on that diet. Then I am going to go on a more restrictive diet preparatory to the surgery. It will be a protein shake in the morning, a weight watchers or some other prepackaged low cal lunch, then a protein shake for dinner and maybe a SF Popsicle for snack in the evenings. I would really like to be at or around 275lbs when I have the surgery.
Jackie is getting very scared about me having the surgery. She just worries that if I were to die she would be in a pretty bad fix. I really hope she has nothing to worry about. I am more worried about living a quality life after the surgery without a lot of new problems. Others are doing well and I pray that I will be amongst those folks.  

Meeting with Dr. Landers

Published on April 12, 2012 4:39 pm

Got up this morning at 5AM along with my devoted wife and got ready to go to Bellevue Washington for my pre-op with Dr. Landers, my gastric bypass surgeon. It was at the Group Health hospital there in his office. Under normal conditions it would only take about an hour and a half to drive from my home to the hospital, but if you have ever drove in the Seattle metropolitan traffic, you had better plan on doubling the travel time.
 His nurse came in and did the normal examination things, weight, BP, temp. etc. She then asked me several questions about my tests and gave me several handout about the procedure, like what would be expected of me 30 days, 7 days and 1 day before the surgery. She gave me several emergency numbers to call if I have questions and told us the Dr. Landers had an unexpected emergency call as he was “on call” but would be with us as soon as he could.
 As Jackie and I were very tired because of leaving quite early and not sleeping that well, we both fell asleep in the office while we waited. After sleeping for what seemed to be just a minute or so, which was really over an hour, Dr. Landers came into the examining room. He examined me, listened to my heart and lungs and then called up all my records on the computer and asked me some questions about past operations and medical problems I had through the years. He said all tests came back just fine and it looked like I was ready to go. He made sure I felt confident about the surgery. I asked several questions about how the surgery would be done. He went into great detail to tell me the sequence of events in the operating room and how the surgery would progress and the responsibility of each surgery member. He said they would be going down my throat with a small camera to look at my gal bladder to see what it's condition was before they took it out. They are going to take it out but wanted to know it's condition before doing so. I don't really understand this but he knows more about it than me, that is for sure.
 He was very jovial and nice, cracking some jokes and engaging me in conversation. He has gained my respect and confidence. He made it a point to remind me that this is a tool, and that it will be up to me to use it. I told him and will tell anyone that at my age, I know I have made my share of commitments and guarantees and sometimes have not lived up to them. But, in this case, I told him that I have known that this gastric bypass is the answer to my problems as I do not eat sweets, I am not a frequent consumer of fast food places. I am not a binge eater, I don't hide food or eat between meals. I simply eat too much for ME. I live on 1400 calories today. That is not much for a man. But for me it is way to much and I can gain weight. This tool will allow me to cut that down and maintain my weight. I was a problem drinker and a 3 pack a day man. I overcame those problems a long time ago. Over eating is my latest dragon to slay.  

You got to be Assertive

on April 6, 2012 5:19 pm 

My NUT has me on a diet getting ready for my RNY on May 9th. As I started to lose weight, 24lbs so far, I got a familiar pain under my right shoulder blade. I went to my PCP and told her from what I know I suspect that I may be having gal bladder problems. She said no based on my blood tests my gal bladder was find and they would not want to take out a good bladder. I said well I damn well wanted to know for sure as I would be mad as hell if I have the RNY and find out my gall bladder is bad then have to have another operation. I demanded that they give me an ultrasound scan to make sure. Guess what......She just called as sure enough I have gall stones. They are going to send the results to my surgeon and I suspect that they will take it out at the same time. So in the current health care environment you got to look out for yourself. I am not ragging on my PCP she is very good, but I have been in my body longer than her and I am primarily responsible for my health.

The Beginning

March 31, 2012
I have always felt this type of surgery will work for me. I am not one who eats candy, pastries, chips or a lot of junk food on a regular basis. It is usually cake and ice cream on birthdays and such a couple times a year. But I eat like I am feeding an army on what would be considered good foods. Even too much of a good thing can cause big problems.
This was me at about 293
just before I started my
diet. I will post an after
photo when I am at goal.
I had asked my doctors and insurance company many times about having the surgery but years ago it was risky and the insurance company would not pay for it either so I pretty much just forgot about it. That is until a friend who I worked out with me told me he was scheduled for the surgery and that Medicare would now pay for it, if you had the right qualifying conditions that were not under control by medical management. I had more than one and and to make a long process story sort. I was approve took all the test, attended the classes and support groups and am currently waiting for my Pre-OP meeting with my surgeon Dr. Landers. The surgery is scheduled for May 9th 2012. I will blog more after that meeting.


Well it has been a long journey so far. I am 70 years old. Born in Tacoma, Washington and lived in the Puget Sound area all my life other than some times I went to college. 
I am married to a wonderful wife, for 49 years this summer. We have 3 daughters and 11 grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter tells me we are going to have our first great grandson in May.
I lived next to a school as a child and played outside almost every day. In those days a kid could stay outside playing with friends until dark or a mother in the neighborhood called us all in for the evening. I played most sports and was very athletic all the way through college. I played football all the way to sophomore year in college. I played baseball though high school and then in a city league for years. I then participated in golf for quite a few years. I say participated because describing how I play you would not say I played, because that would assume I was in some way competent, but I wasn't but I had fun and did a lot of walking. I used to go to a local swimming pool and swim for about 1 hour each day. I worked my way up to 100 laps in an Olympic size pool. I recently as about 15 years ago I used to run up to 6 miles a day and was very active doing mountain biking. 
BUT, BUT.... all during this time from the time I got out of college I worked in an office and was very inactive. I started to gain weight and most of the athletic things I did during all these years was an attempt to lose weight along with formal programs. I have lost and gained over the years. I have been on all the popular weight-loss programs from Weight Watchers, Ginny Craig, even things like hypnosis. I have no problem losing weight and it is really easy for me. I am always the star of any weight loss class I am in, and lose many many pounds per week. But I always gain it back and I don't really know how or when I started gaining back. I weigh very often but all of a sudden I start going up and I reevaluate my plan and try to go back but it seems like no matter what I do it is a study march back to the weight I was. 
I worked in a Law Enforcement environment most of my working life. I was working on a project at a police academy and the dietitians there knew I had life long weight problems and asked me if I would participate in a two week project. I agreed as I could not leave the academy not even on weekends for that time. Another law enforcement person of normal wight and I were stationed together and fed the exact same food each day. There was no way I could get anymore food unless someone smuggled me some, which did not happen. We both had the same physical activity which included a little basketball and pool. To make the story short, the other fellow lost some weight and I gained 8 pounds. The dietitians just shook their heads. This is typical. 
For me to loose weight I have to live a Spartan life with much heavy exerciser, and eating almost starvation portions. For instance, when I was on Ginny Craig, I lost weight but soon could not loose weight after the first few weeks, even being very strict and exercising each day very hard, like I said up to 6 miles a day running. What I did was divide each meal with my wife and then I did loose wight. I did reach my goal which was almost 200 pounds and paid 5K for a tummy tuck but now I am back to over 300 pounds. 
Now I have diabetes, very bad and am on Insulin and heart meds, and cholesterol , and HB meds. I am slowly dying and can not live a life that I am really enjoying. This surgery is to me a little extreme and I know I am taking a risk and may end up having a worse life than I do now as my primary doctor was not very supportive using gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. She says she has many patents who have had it and are now heavier than they were before the surgery. But reluctantly she approved it and the insurance company will pay for it. 
Many of the things I read about people seeming to have problems and the difficulty of barfing and having things get stuck. Having to eat 4 ounces without water and then having a very restrictive diet seems to be quite a thing to commit ones self to for the rest of my life. Remember I am 70. How many more quality years will this give me. I guess I am still in a quandary but until the strap me on the gurney I guess I can change my mind, but as of now I am planning on going through with the surgery. I will keep you posted in my Blog. Thanks for reading this.