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Old 10-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #1
TheTXTaylors5
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"A Whole New World" ... 1st F&W trip since gastric surgery - 10/13/13

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" . . .


Let me start by saying, "I'm a foodie!" That may be in part why I needed gastric surgery. LOL! But, even with the surgery, I still enjoy "good" food. Just in smaller portions now.

My husband (Bill) and I were at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival last year for a last hoorah per se before our gastric surgery. (We both had Gastric Sleeve surgery) Bill had his a week after Thanksgiving 2012 and I had my surgery on 12/13/12. That date will forever be etched into my brain and I'm not good at remembering dates.


Bill and I at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
October 2012 (pre-surgery)


I have an unhealthy obsession with ďanythingĒ Disney. LOL! Luckily, I have a husband who shares my Disney obsession. So, visiting Walt Disney World two . . . three . . . four times a year, in spite of us living in Texas, has become the ďnormĒ for us. However, our upcoming trip will be a first for us.

Let me go back a little.
(Bear with me! Iíll get to the Pre-Trip Report! LOL!) . . .
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-06-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
TheTXTaylors5
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My long road to Gastric Sleeve surgery . . .

I have been overweight most of my adult life. The only time I remember being normal, not even skinny, was after the birth of our second child. I breastfed her until she was one and stuck to a strict Atkins diet (no sugar/low carbs). It actually worked for two years. Then, I got pregnant with our third child and I never got back my pre-baby figure.

I will admit, we're foodies and I am not a gym-type person (even to this day). I slipped back into old habits and the weight slowly trickled back on. The summer of 2011 was an awakening for me. I went for my annual check-up including blood work. When I went back in for the blood work results, I was in for a shock of my life . . . I am a diabetic. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Not only that, I have high cholesterol, hypothyroidism and low iron. Pretty much, Im a mess! I walked out of the doctors office in a haze with a glucose testing kit in my purse and three prescriptions (Metformin for diabetes, Lovastin for High Cholesterol and Synthroid for Hypothyrodism). Later, I picked up some B12 over-the-counter . I will confide in you, I sat in my car for a good thirty minutes crying and wondering how I could have let myself get to this point. It was a hard message to receive and on my 39th birthday. Happy Birthday to Me! Yea! (Yes, sarcasm!)

My doctor never gave me a diet plan to follow. But, she told me to limit my carbs (which turn into sugars), processed foods and obviously sugar. Also, fried foods were now a No! No!. What I was left to eat was a lot of protein and vegetables. I tried to follow variations of an Atkins and South Beach diet. I was pretty diligent making healthier food choices and my husband even bought me an elliptical machine. I begrudgingly tested my blood sugar four times a day. Did I mentioned that I HATE needles? At first, I would flinch when I pressed the button to prick my finger. Thinking back, I have to laugh about the first time I did it on my own. I went through four test strips because the machine kept giving me an error. I put blood on the wrong end of the strip. Duh! Eventually, testing my glucose level became second-nature and with the help of a healthy diet and Metformin, I actually had normal glucose levels after six months. But . . . my weight stayed pretty much the same and I was only normal on paper in regards to my diabetes. If I stopped taking the medication, my levels would be through the roof. My body was fighting me and would not let go of this extra weight. I could probably starve myself for a month and still be fat. Do you know how frustrating that is?!?!?!

For years, I have seen gastric surgery advertisements on tv and there are huge billboards all over town from various doctors. At times, I thought they were mocking me! Theres one right across the street from my favorite McDonalds. That one I think was placed there on purpose! What really got me to make a consultation appointment is when my husband came home from his annual physical and his doctor strongly suggested that he have gastric surgery. Looking at him and then back at myself, I thought to myself, I NEED it more than him! I went along with him for his consultation appointment and listened to the different surgeries and how and who they could help. It was explained that the body needed to be reprogrammed. I could yo-yo with my weight for the rest of my life and would still be on my medications. A small percentage of people can and do lose the excess weight on their own. But, keeping it off FOREVER has a very low percentage rate. With three kids and on the verge of middle life, if I was going to make any major changes, now is the time! Tick tock! Tick tock! Every day I have this extra weight on me, theres a chance I could honestly drop dead of a heart attack. That is such a scary thought!
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)


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Old 10-06-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
TheTXTaylors5
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With little hesitation, I signed up to have gastric sleeve surgery. (85% of the stomach is removed and you are left with a little pouch of a stomach = sleeve) My husband also signed up to have the surgery. It made sense. We both need it and would be more successful doing it together. Itís either true love or misery likes company. Either way, we were on the road to gastric surgery. Due to our insurance, this was not going to be a quick process. We have many hoops to jump through before we can step foot (or rather rolled) into the operating room. We got a preliminary approval prior to the initial appointment. But, we have many requirements in order to get the final surgery approval from the insurance company. We need to attend six months of classes (nutrition, pre-surgery informational, post-surgery informational, etc . . .) at the bariatric center, psychological evaluation, multiple blood tests, stress test, sleep study, an EKG and EGD. Phew! Iím tired typing all that and remembering the long journey it took to surgery. But, Iím getting ahead of myself.

One of the requirements was a sleep study. I had never done one before. Itís where you go to a facility and they hook you up to all these machines and they monitor you sleep. If it sounds creepy, can you imagine how it felt? Yes, it was creepy! I am a night person and have a bad habit of watching tv late at night and in turn munching late at night. I had previously been diagnosed with insomnia and took Ambien CR years ago to help me sleep. For the past two years, Iíve tried to fall asleep on my own. However, most nightís unsuccessfully and Iíve been known to not sleep for 24 hours. It was a very bad habit to get into. After hours of tossing and turning, I finally fell asleep at the sleep study facility. What I learned in the morning, I have sleep apnea. Add that to my list of ailments. I was sent home with a CPAP machine. Fun! Fun! My husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea too. So, we had His and Hers CPAP machines on our nightstands. How romantic . . . Not!

I passed the psych exam and stress test with flying colors. However, that stress test almost killed me! I had it two months after knee surgery (Another ailment caused by my weight. If I donít lose weight, I have to have both knees replaced next year. I have almost zero cartilage in my knees.) The blood tests told them what we already knew, I was diabetic and had high cholesterol and low thyroid. All of which made me an ideal candidate for this surgery.
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-06-2013, 04:55 PM   #4
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In September 2012, I completed all my requirements for surgery. All the data was compiled and sent to the insurance company for final approval. We were told 2-3 weeks and we should hear something.

Good thing we had a Disney cruise and Walt Disney World trip to take our minds off the waiting. My husband and I try to take one adult-only trip away from the kids each year. Iím a SAHM and honestly need the break. Last year, we decided to go on a Disney cruise with some friends and attend the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. (This year, we went to Vegas last month with friends and are now squeezing in this upcoming trip while at a wedding in Alabama. Shhhh! The kids don't know we're going to WDW without them. We honestly looked on a map of where the wedding was and thought, "We can do it!" Yes, we have a "problem"!!! LOL!!!)

Last year, we just happened to luck out and be on the ďCruise from HellĒ. Yes, we were on The Fantasy bobbing up and down through Hurricane Sandy. It was an experience, I NEVER want to repeat again! I was sooooooo glad the kids were not with us. They might never want to cruise again. I will admit. The cruise was great up until the last day and night. (I can now say Iíve seen Cuba. We hugged the shoreline that closely heading back to Port Canaveral.) After our cruise, we finished up our vacation at Disneyís Boardwalk Villas resort. (Itís a short walk to Epcot for Food and Wine!!!)

While unpacking, I got a phone call from the bariatric center . . . ďCongratulations! You have been approved for surgery!!!Ē I got the most amazing news at ďThe Place Where Dreams Come True.Ē Itís very fitting if you ask me. We both got final approval for the surgery! Very ironic timing though, I was about to head out the door to be gluttonous at the Food and Wine Festival. Life is strange like that!
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2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-06-2013, 04:57 PM   #5
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We wanted to buffer our surgeries. So, we could help each other recovery. We have three children after all and someone will need to care for them too. My husband wanted to go first. So, his surgery was scheduled for the first available date, the week after Thanksgiving 2012. My surgery was scheduled for December 13, 2012. I will forever remember that date, because 13 seemed to be such an ďunluckyĒ number and I almost out of superstition changed it. But, then I thought to turn something that seems so unlucky into a positive and kept the date!

I had the wonderful experience of going through the motions of the surgery with my husband. It was very cruel having to see what soon awaits me. He was in pain and looked miserable. Oh joy! This is what I have to look forward to. What have I gotten myself into?!?!
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-06-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
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One week prior to my surgery, I was required to start a liquid-only protein drink diet. It was a nasty drink and I had to hold my nose to swallow it. I still had my full stomach. So, I was STARVING this week. It was cruel to say the least! I guess they want to clean-out your system to get a clear view of the stomach and intestines. So, if you “cheated”, they would be able to tell. You’d be surprised how many people try and cheat the system. They send you home to come back another day if you haven’t been following the liquid diet, the nurse told me.

The night before I started my liquid diet was supposed to be my "last meal" type of event. You would have thought I'd go to a buffet or load-up on sugary and fatty foods that I'd be depriving myself of for the rest of my life. But, I honestly wasn't craving anything or wanted to gorge myself with food. I had been doing that for the past 40 years! I went into my pantry and would you believe my "last meal" was . . . Chicken-Flavored Ramen Noodles and baby carrots. I knew at this point, I was ready for this surgery.
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-06-2013, 05:06 PM   #7
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I had never dreaded and been excited for a day in my life. I woke up the morning of my surgery before the alarm even went off. Then again, I’m not sure I ever got into a deep sleep. They really need to give you Valium or something before heading to the hospital. I was a big ball of anxiety. Of course every bad scenario goes through my
mind . . . am I going to be that small percentage who have complications or worse . . . You just never know until you come out on the other side of anesthesia.

Bill stayed with me in the pre-op room until I got the “happy juice” in my IV. Then, I saw them whisk him away while I was in a haze. Anyone that’s had surgery knows . . . everything seems “surreal” and as if you’re in a movie or something. Also, everything happens so fast. One minute you’re making jokes with the anesthesiologist, the next moment an angry nurse is shaking you to wake-up and tells you it’s over.
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-06-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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I have to be honest and admit, I used to think people that took the gastric route, took the "easy" road. I am here to state, "There is no easy road!"

I woke up from my surgery MISERABLE. I was cold, nauseous, sore, in pain, dizzy, etc . . . I was a mess!!! I had a few exterior incisions that were closed up with staples. Inside, my stomach has very teeny tiny staples that I honestly donít know how those go away. I guess they dissolve over time. After being stabilized, I was moved to a hospital room. I could barely sit up and had to take small sips of liquids. Even being weak, they forced me to move around to get circulation going to avoid blood clots. This was in between me vomiting.

After one sleepless night in the hospital, which included being poked, prodded and I even had my first dose of insulin (My levels were too high even having NOTHING in my system!!! They were worried I was going to stroke.) a doctor popped in to ďcheckĒ on me. She actually wanted me to spend one more night in the hospital. Earlier in the day, I passed a swallow test and my stomach didnít leak. So, I wanted out of there! At least, Iíd be miserable in the comforts of my own bed and no one is going to poke me with a needle at 3 am!!!

I was finally checked out of the hospital at 8 PM the day after my surgery. I honestly think they were stalling in hopes Iíd fall asleep and spend one more night. The ride home was sooooo painful! I felt every bump and jolt even though Bill tried his best to make the ride smooth. I never realized how bumpy the roads near our house were and how many railroad tracks there are. Ouch!
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-07-2013, 07:21 PM   #9
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My recovery from the surgery was slower than I anticipated. As with any surgery, everyone is different in their recovery. Luckily, I had the kidsí winter vacation coming up and didnít have to carpool for three weeks. Christmas was quickly approaching. The only person we told about our surgeries was my mother. She helped care for the kids while in the hospital.

We normally spend Christmas Eve with Billís family and Christmas Day with my family. I am not allowed at Christmas Eve without my homemade lasagna. Itís a running joke with Billís family. One problem, I am still on a 100% liquid diet for another two weeks!!! Remember, none of them know about the surgery and I honestly donít want to cause attention to myself. So, what do I do? Yep! I stick to tradition and made the lasagna with homemade sauce. The house smelled soooooo yummy. I couldnít take a bite. I couldnít even taste the sauce because I was still on clear liquids. I pretty much lived on Isopure for three weeks!!! While most people gained weight during the holidays, I lost 20 lbs. Itís a start. But, I still had a ways to go . . .
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-07-2013, 07:47 PM   #10
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First time "home" after gastric surgery . . .

Fast-forward to April 2013 . . . We are Disney Vacation Club Members. We had points that we banked and now needed to use or lose them! We have some ďDisney FriendsĒ that weíd been in talks with to meet up at Walt Disney World and even had grand plans to participate in the Expedition Everest Challenge. The planning started back in January 2013.

This would be our first visit to Walt Disney World since gastric surgery. Also, this would be my first time on a plane since the surgery. I used to dread plane travel because I didn't want to be "that person" asking for a seat extender. Especially on Southwest, where they make you buy an extra seat or you can't sit in the exit row if you have a seat extender. I was "that big" where I barely fit the regular seat belt. But, I stubbornly never asked for a seat-belt extender.

I had trained for four months for the Expedition Everest Challenge. Bill and I were a team. Our name was "Slow and Steady". He's a foot taller than me. So, you can imagine who was "slow" and who was "steady". LOL!!!
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
TheTXTaylors5
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By this time, I had lost 80 lbs. (still not done!) During this trip, I realized why I cherished our WDW vacations. I was never made to feel fat or out-of-place. WDW is very accommodating to overweight guests for which looking back made me very appreciative. Someone never overweight might say Disney "enables" overweight guests. But, I could enjoy my family vacation without limitations that I had encountered at local amusement parks where the ride seats are smaller than at WDW. My kids have some great memories where the WHOLE family could participate. That is priceless! Thank you Disney!

Normally, when planning a Walt Disney World trip, our itinerary is ADR heavy. (Yes, I am one of ďthose peopleĒ that creates an Excel spreadsheet and itinerary. Planning is part of the fun for me!) I love the challenge of getting some of the highly desirable ADRs. Maybe, itís the gambler in me! However, that trip was different. Bill & I canít physically eat as much as we used to and itís honestly not as important. In our 15+ visits to Walt Disney World, I had never left property without eating my beloved Mickey Bar. My tradition was to eat one at the Magic Kingdom. I went the whole week-long trip and didn't eat a Mickey Bar. I sometimes don't recognize myself or new habits. I didn't "want" one. It actually made me a tad bit sad though. Visiting Walt Disney World has taken on a whole new dynamic now.
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-07-2013, 07:56 PM   #12
TheTXTaylors5
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We "survived" the Expedition Everest Challenge which I can't say I would have been able to finish last year. Boy what a difference a year (and gastric surgery) can make!

You will notice that I haven't posted any "current" pictures yet. It always intrigued me to see people's BEFORE and AFTER weight loss pictures. I will post one soon . . .

For now, I will "officially" start my Pre-Trip Report. You now have some back-story on why this upcoming trip is so different from all our other past trips.

I hope you will follow along . . .
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-08-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
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Cast of Travelers:

November 2012 (pre-surgery)


140 lbs lighter!
Bill
DH 44- Hard working IT Manager. Our WDW trips are his "escape" from the fast-paced high stress environment of work.
Favorite WDW ride/attraction: Expedition Everest (DAK)
Favorite Disney Character: Mickey Mouse

&


100 lbs lighter!
Jennifer
Me 41- SAHM and self-proclaimed Disney nut.
Favorite WDW ride/attraction: Rock 'n' Rollercoaster (DHS) (In the name of all that rocks. Hit it dude! - Stacy)
Favorite Disney Character: Snow White

(The above pictures were taken two weeks ago at Red Rock Canyon.)
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)


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Old 10-09-2013, 09:40 AM   #14
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We weren't supposed to be going to Walt Disney World this weekend. We have a family Disneyland trip planned this December. So, my focus has been on planning that trip. But, when you have a Walt Disney World Annual Pass burning a whole in your pocket and a husband who doesn't need too much coaxing for a "Disney Fix", this is what happens.

We got an invitation in the mail a few months ago from some High School classmates who after 20+ years are getting married! This is a momentous occasion. So, we "have" to attend. The wedding is in Huntsville, Alabama. Initially, we were going to fly into Alabama and just attend the wedding. Then, fly back home. But . . .

I casually asked Bill how far is it from the wedding location to Orlando. It was an innocent question. We've driven through Alabama on our road trips to WDW from Texas. So, I figured it was closer than Texas. Looking at a map, it is 10 hours from the wedding location to WDW property. To some, that may seem too far. Did I mention that we're "Disney Nuts"?!?!
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)

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Old 10-09-2013, 10:06 AM   #15
TheTXTaylors5
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Our Plans:


We decided to fly into Tampa, FL (A) this Friday and rent a car. Then, drive to the wedding from there. (B) (approx. 10 hrs) We plan to drive 5 hours on Friday (find a hotel along the way) and 5 hours on Saturday. Luckily, the wedding isn't until 4 PM on Saturday. So, we don't have to rush. You're probably wondering why we're flying all the way to Florida and not just to Alabama and rent a car from there. Simply . . . money. It is cheaper to rent a car and return it within the same state than us renting one in AL and then returning it in FL.

After the wedding on Saturday, we'll drive a few hours and find a hotel to crash. Then, get up bright and early on Sunday and continue the drive to . . . Walt Disney World! (C) I'm NOT a morning person. But, when I know WDW awaits me, I'll be up before the alarm clock. WDW just has that effect on me. Like the commercial, "I'm too excited to sleep!" We'll drop off the rental car at MCO (Orlando) and take Magical Express to Pop Century on Sunday.

LODGING:

We are Disney Vacation Club Members. But, we're out of points this year (and next year!). We're booked at Disneyland Hotel in December with DVC points. So, we're paying OOP for this room. This really is an unplanned/expected trip. I'm trying to make this a budget-friendly trip too. Since, December is going to be $$$$!!! I'm excited to stay at Pop. We've never stayed there.

Any tips on what decade we should request???
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Jennifer DH (DisneyTaylors) DS13 DD11 DS8 DIScat (Minnie) DISdog (Pluto)
2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR Trip Report ,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH (DLR) Trip Report, POR Trip Report , SSR Trip Report, BWV Trip Report , POFQ ~ DAP; 2010:BWV(2xs), ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) Trip Report ~ Napa Rose Review, AKV ~ DCL(Wonder) Trip Report; 2011:BCV(2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ F&W, MNSSHP, MVMCP, 1st 5K Race! ~ DCL(Dream);2012: AKV, BWV, BLT ~ F&W, MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy) ~ CC5K;2013: 04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ EEC & F&G, 10/Pop ~ F&W, 12/DLH (DLR), 12/PPH (DLR); 2014: 06/DCL ~ Wonder (Alaska), 08/DLH (DLR), 10/DCL - Magic (Southern Caribbean); 11/AKV;2015: 01/AKV ~ WDW Marathon Weekend, 04/ABD - CA/GCH(DLR)


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