....so you can't say I didn't warn you.
I have one major issue with having had WLS and it shall be called "Iron". Iron is one of the things I have to take because I am a female who still menstruates (and despite skipping the month after surgery, I am right back on schedule now) and in case you didn't know, iron tends to bind one up a bit, or in my case, a lot. In a nutshell, I have pooping issues unlike any I have ever had before.
Pooping has always been of the utmost importance to me. My mother had a bout with colon cancer about twenty or so years ago and the same disease took my father's life nine years ago. Because of these two things, I always am concerned about my nether region and what is coming out of it, is it on schedule and all sorts of other particulars I will not gross you out about. I had a roomie once, during the time my father was ill, who used to get completely pissed off if he had to poop more than once a day and my thoughts were "Buddy, at least you're pooping."
During the time my father was sick, I was diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which causes hard stools at times and loose at other times (Aren't ya'll glad you know all this about me now??) and though mine tended to be the latter more often, the few times they were hard have caused me to have hemroids. They flare up here and there but it was no big deal, until Iron was introduced.
Now, going to the bathroom feels more like having a baby and there are times I am trying to have said baby that apparently I am simply not dilated enough to complete the job. It leaves me tired and sore and feeling like I have done battle. When I am finally able to give birth to this baby turd, there is blood involved from the hemroids and sitting is not pleasant for a few hours. At 41, this is so not a problem I wish to be having.
Colace was not helping, so today, after a particularly long and painful episode, I purchased some Miralax and some Senokot-S, per the recommendation of a message board. I need to find something that works and works well before the mission trip, because that week, I will simply not have time for twenty-five minute stubborn turd babies.
I have come to the conclusion that iron is simply a pain in the ass.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Okay, I am trying for a real blog post tonight as everything has finally settled down. The Brit is home and continues to do better each day. He was awake more than he was asleep today, which is very good four days post op.
My To Do list for around the house is growing now that warmer weather is finally here. Tomorrow, I want to refinish my rocking chairs on the back porch and spray paint my wicker front porch furniture, as it is in dire need of a fresh coat of paint. My walk-in closet needs a really good and thoughtful cleanout, meaning "what will I never ever wear again?" and "what is worth eBaying and what should just go to the church yard sale?" Also, while The Brit is home, his clothing needs to be gone through to get rid of anything that is stained to death as he tends to use them as grunge or work shirts. But as he will be dropping weight, I see no need to keep them.
I also need to make a pact with myself to really start exercising. Yes, I am relatively active physically, but it is not the same thing as deliberate exercise. I have a lovely park across the street that to walk around it is a mile and I need to get on that after this weekend. This weekend is Blues Fest and the park will be packed, so there will be lots of traffic.
Exercise is the one thing I have been really putting off, though I do a good bit of walking just in my daily activities. My days have been so full with work, learning how to eat, and getting ready for The Brit's surgery. I started out well. The two weeks following surgery, I was walking a lot, but then Hibernation Syndrome hit me and then we went to Florida (though I did lots of walking there!). But with some things coming up this summer that are going to require me to have lots of energy (a mission trip in four weeks. Can I say again how happy I am to be going??) I need to work on building up my resistance and taking total advantage of this surgery. Gonna do it. Gonna get there.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
So yes, The Brit is home and other than being tired, all is well with him.
I'm trying to get organized once more with all the meds and crap that comes home from the hospital, but it all takes time and you know what? I'm really tired tonight. Can't believe The Brit drove back and forth to Baltimore five days and here I am complaining about three days, but man, I am whipped!
Better post tomorrow, I promise! Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Wasn't that what they asked the insurance to approve when they denied it? Did you guys get that settled with them?
I'll continue to pray for you guys... is the Brit okay with the way the things went? I don't know much about the gastric sleeve... how does that compare with the RNY? Meaning what's the difference I guess? Is the recovery any different?
I spoke to Theresa yesterday, insurance person extraordinaire for our surgeon. I called her from the waiting room (we had spoken many times on the phone through the whole getting The Brit approved fiasco) and she said, "Isn't your husband having surgery now?"
"So if you are here at the hospital, why are you calling me?"
"Because I have no idea where you are."
"Where are you?" I told her and she said, "I'll be right there."
Theresa had RNY ten months ago and is down 86 pounds. She showed up and it is always so nice to meet the folks I spend so much time talking to. I explained to her about the sleeve and how was that going to work with insurance as they had denied it to begin with. She explained that they were going to try to work with them as Dr. S had done what was best for the patient and that RNY was still the plan but it would have to be done in two stages. She was hoping to not have any problems and said that Dr. S would have very detailed dictation explaining why he did what he did. Then we chatted about the surgery and about the dreaded protein and she gave me some ideas, which I'll share later.
Now, anyone who wants to know more about the gastric sleeve, can read here. Basically, his post op diet is the same as mine, but they want him to eat less meals as his stomach is slightly bigger than mine. Other than that, all the same rules apply.
The Brit was doing better tonight though tired as the first night in the hospital they wake you up almost hourly for vitals, etc. They are working on regulating his blood sugar with his insulin dosage as that is all changing already. We walked the halls a few times together and he did well. He is still scheduled to be released tomorrow and my father-in-law and I plan to head out tomorrow morning around 10:00.
Another long day, so I am bed bound. I promise to get caught up on my blog reading soon, so please bear with me!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
...because I am exhausted.
Well, things did not go exactly as planned, but we knew this could be an option. The Brit did not have RNY today. He had a gastric sleeve instead. Basically, the surgeon made his stomach smaller, but could not do the bypass part of the surgery yet, simply due to not having the room to work inside without doing his surgery as open (one large incision). Because The Brit is diabetic, open would not be a good thing due to risk of infection, etc. So, with the sleeve, he will lose weight and once he loses about 100lbs, they can go back in and do a revision for the bypass part.
They put him in the ICU for the night just to monitor his breathing and I just called and he is doing fine and yes, they had him up and walking.
Today was very long as we were up at 5:30am and didn't leave Baltimore until about 7:10 this evening. From there it is nearly an hour and a half drive home and then I had to run to the grocery store for some things and hand my leg over to the gas station to put fuel in my tank to go to Baltimore tomorrow. I'm going to work for a bit in the morning and then we'll head up after rush hour.
I'll keep ya'll informed and keep those prayers coming!
Monday, May 26, 2008
There are such vast differences between men and women.
The night before my surgery, The Brit knew every waking thought I was having. The night before his surgery, he is quietly watching television with his father.
I was packed three days in advance. He has yet to pack.
I was a bundle of nerves and could not sit still for the better part of a week. He has had a very restful week.
Anyway, to the best of my mind reading knowledge, he is all set and ready to go. Kirk will be here at 6:30 to see the kids off to school and Kelly will intercept them after they get out of school. I am getting up at 5:30 to get showered and ready to go. My mother has to get up at 3:00 to take a water pill and let it work before we leave, so I have no reason to complain about 5:30!
I'll let you all know how it all goes!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
They say I have ADHD, but they just don't understand....look! A kitty!
This is how I feel tonight! I don't have ADHD, before ya'll start recommending meds or that I stay away from certain food dyes, but my mind is just all over the place! I've been trying to blog for the past forty minutes but kept getting sidetracked. By like, air mattresses and bras.
The air mattress I had last year for the mission trip was the pits! It lost air every single night and I may as well have been sleeping on the floor, so I googled tonight and found some that are even a bit tall! Some of the on-line prices are good until I add shipping and handling to it, then not so good, so I'll need to make a trip to Dick's Sporting Goods or something before the mission trip.
Then it has come to my attention that I need new bras. The ones I have been wearing are old and apparently, I have already done a little shrinking in the bust department. I have two really good Enell Sports Bras that I got off eBay as new but slightly imperfect and I like them, but they really plaster the girls in there good and sometimes I don't want something quite that confining. So now I'm looking to see if they make my new size in normal stores and it appears that they do! YAY!
We did a laying on of hands today after church for The Brit and it was so neat. Can't believe his surgery is the day after tomorrow already! I have so much stuff I want to get done tomorrow and we're grilling. I have to clear out my little tree around out back to plant some flowers I bought today and I should throw in some laundry because the next two days will be spent at the hospital. The house needs a little tidy up in the morning as my mom is coming over and probaby Robyn too. No wonder my mind is all over the place!
I hope you all have a wonderful and especially SAFE Memorial Day!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
One would not think that one car wash would kick my butt quite so badly, but man-o-day I am tired! I have not washed cars as a fund raiser since high school and I had forgotten just how much WORK it was! We had a constant stream of cars from 10:45 until we quit at 2:00, but our goal was $500 and we made that goal (the secret is always do car washes "By donation". We had some folks who gave us $6 but others who gave us $20.). Add to that one special donation by a church member and our grand total for the day was $1003.00. We are also getting two matching contributions of $500 each, so that brings our total up to two grand today, which means that none of the kids have to pay their own way on the trip and our gasoline is also covered!
My in laws arrived from Florida today,so we all went out for hibachi tonight. They let me order off the kid's menu and I got scallops. Didn't eat any of my rice or veggies (protein first) though I would have loved some of the veggies, but I was just too full. It was delicious though and it went down easily.
Tomorrow is church and Pastor L's last Sunday with us as our new pastor starts next week. I'll miss her but am looking forward to permanence for a change.
Friday, May 23, 2008
So I'm really having an issue being interested in food at all right now. Other than that bit of grilled chicken fajita on Wednesday, I have had next to no interest in anything other than fruit. And though fruit is not at all a bad thing, it isn't so big on the protein. I'm having a lot of problems with meat in general all of a sudden. It doesn't seem to go down all that well and it just doesn't taste good to me at the moment. Ugh. I'm going to have to mix up a bloody protein drink in the morning. Ugh.
On a more positive note, I am starting to like my face. For years, my face and neck were sort of one entity and though I still need to lose a bit more neck, you can definately see a separation now. My face looks smaller and there are even moments where I think I look a little bit pretty. I've never really seen myself that way before, because it was hard to see past the weight.
On another awesome note, one of the kids dropped out from going on the mission trip and as we are locked in to the number of people going, guess who can now go? Woot! I am so excited!
The Brit has to be at the hospital at 8:50 on Tuesday for surgery; not as early as we'd been led to believe, so we don't need to get a hotel in Baltimore at the end of a holiday weekend thankfully.
Tomorrow is the youth car wash and my inlaws arrive from Florida, so all in all, a busy day. I think I'll get some sleep.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
As a major fan of contemporary Christian music, this news I heard first thing this morning was devastating.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The 5-year-old daughter of Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.
The girl, Maria Sue, was hit in the driveway of the family's home Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The brother, whose name and exact age weren't available, apparently did not see the girl, McPherson said. No charges are expected.
"It looks like a tragic accident," she said.
Several family members witnessed the accident, which happened in Williamson County just south of Nashville. The girl died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said.
In a statement, Velvet Kelm, a publicist for Chapman, said Maria was the Chapmans' youngest daughter.
Chapman, who is originally from Paducah, Ky., and his wife have promoted international adoption and have three daughters from China, including Maria. They also have three biological children.
The singer's Web site says the couple was persuaded by their oldest daughter to adopt a girl from China. The experience led the family to adopt two more children and create Shaohannah's Hope, a foundation and ministry to financially assist thousands of couples in adoption.
The Chapmans did missionary work at Chinese orphanages in 2006 and 2007, according to the Web site.
"After our first trip to China, my wife and I knew our lives were changing — our eyes and hearts were opening to how big God really is, and we have wanted to experience more of that," Chapman says on the Web site.
"We've really wondered whether or not we should just go to China and stay there. But I don't think so. I believe God is saying, 'I want you to go, get your heart broken, your eyes opened, and then take this story back to the church in America and around the world.'"
The 45-year-old singer also has released a book about being a father titled "Cinderella: The Love of Daddy and his Princess." He has won five Grammy awards and 54 Dove awards from the Gospel Music Association, according to Kelm.
I hope you add your prayers to mine for this family. I pray that now, more than ever, that they remember just "how big God really is."
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
It's been a good day to be my blog!
Nina and Robyn have both shot me protein option emails. Shelley has gotten me some Herbalife to try along with a shaker and even more importantly, she is loving the Contemporary Christian music that plays on my blog! So, I added some new songs for her perusal.
We ate out tonight at Wild Wings and I had 1/4 of a grilled chicken fajita that was delightful and one of the best things I've tasted in awhile. I brought home what was left (though it is for someone else to eat as I am off leftovers for awhile) along with my iced tea and as soon as the DVR gets a little ahead, I'm going to go watch David Archuleta win AI. Either David could win and I would be happy and I think they will both do well in the future regardless of who wins.
The Brit's surgery is coming up now in a matter of days and we are starting to get his Advanced Directive filled out and there has been talk of purchasing slippers. We'll know Friday what time he has to be there and if it is the 5:30am we fear (due to his being diabetic) we'll be finding a hotel and staying the night as opposed to driving to Baltimore at 3:00 in the bloody morning.
I'll be really glad once everything completely settles down around here. It has been an insanely busy year and there is still VBS coming up along with a possible mission trip for me. Almost immediately after we return from the mission trip, the following weekend is Women of Faith, which though I am looking forward to it, is more going, though in a good way. Actually, it's all in a good way, but still adds up to being very busy. The good news is that there will be less of me which should give me more energy!
Edited to add that I stand corrected! David Cook won and the best part was that his brother made it to the finale! I loved how David brought the top 12 out with him at the end and I told The Brit "This has been a really different group of kids this year." After all, they sang "Shout to the Lord"!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I'm really tired today because I have an absurd addiction.
It started when I was a kid and my mom was putting away groceries in the fridge. I opened the freezer to put something away as my mom was putting something in the fridge. When she stood up, she banged her head on the open fridge door and as we tend to do when someone accidently hurts us, we yell.
I ran back to my room in tears and not long after that, my older brother came back to try to cheer me up, but I did not want to be consoled. Then he said, "My leg is peeling." And that started it. If someone is sunburned and the skin finally starts itching and peeling, I'm your girl.
So The Brit got sunburned in Florida and I have been having a party on his back each night before bed, which results in my being up way past my bedtime. It's a sick thing, but once I get going, I just can't seem to stop. Tonight, I'm not even going to look. I need some sleep.
Monday, May 19, 2008
As of today: 28 pounds lost.
I realized today that I could take off my jeans without unbuttoning or unzipping them and they used to be tight. Yes, I am easily amused but I think they will be heading to eBay soon.
I am still struggling with protein because I just don't eat enough yet. I did buy some single protein bars at The Walmart today and so far, I have tried a Slimfast one that I liked, but it has the least amount of protein of the ones I purchased at 15 grams. I'll grab another one in the morning and see how it goes. I did manage most of a salad tonight with 2% cheese, turkey and ham (for the protein) and it was really good. I had been craving a salad for the last few weeks.
The problem is I want to eat snacky stuff more than meals because my appetite right now is so small. My menu for the day consisted of:
1 Special K bar for one gram of protein
1 pack oatmeal for 4 grams of protein
2 slices reduced fat string cheese for 12 grams
1 protein bar for 15 grams
1 slice turkey and one slice ham for 8 grams
Total of 40 grams of protein, which isn't as far off as I thought. I should be taking in 60-80 grams, so I'm only 20 grams away from the low end of the protein scale. If I can hit something with more protein for breakfast, I'll be in much better shape, but I just don't have time to do any cooking in the morning during the week. Maybe I should go buy some steak and cut it into three ounce portions as that would give me 21 grams per serving. Tuna is another possibility I'll have to try tomorrow to boost things up a bit. What about peanut butter? Can I try it yet?
Fluid-wise, I am doing okay. Not too far off the 64 ounces but still not quite there. Not drinking with meals is really hard, but I'm doing it, though I will occasionally take one teeny tiny sip with a meal if my mouth gets dry.
Learning the rules is easy but applying them takes a bit more effort.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
So we're home and as expected it's cold, but we did call our new pastor today, which is good news!
I resized the best of the pics for your viewing pleasure and tomorrow I'll get back to normal posting once I am back in the swing of life again.
From Busch Gardens:
JJ was pouting as he didn't want his photo taken at that moment.
Flower shots for my own amusement
JJ in a better mood on grandma's scooter
Riding the rapids
I think they were having fun....
Anyone want a couple of wet kids?
The next few are especially for Robyn:
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I have nothing to say but I look for it to be late by the time we get home tonight and I don't want to have to blog late with church tomorrow morning. Our flight is at 6:00 which gets us to DC at 8:00 then we have to shuttle from the airport to our hotel where the car is parked and from there drive home.
Kim had asked about a picture and yes, Meg was smart enough to bring her camera and we had the bartender take a photo of us. She'll either post it or email it to me, or both so you'll get to see it.
My nose is peeling.
I miss my cats.
See you in Maryland.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Tonight, I finally tried a tall, skinny, cinammon dolce latte from Starbucks and OMG! Yum!
The whole experience came at the right time. I have had a delightful week for the most part. I have been warm (we won't discuss the weather I am going home to) and I am tanned and relaxed. I have also been constantly around people all week. So after a not so good dinner experience (apparently meat and lobster warmed up in the microwave the next day leaves it very dry and I get it stuck. Once a piece is stuck, I am over eating it, even once the wayward bite goes down.) I decided it was time to try Lacy's hot beverage of choice, especially since at lunch yesterday, Megs also gave it an excellent review. So, I got in the rental, the Kia which I love, turned off the AC in the car, rolled down the window, found my kind of radio station and cruised down the 192 as happy as a clam to Starbucks. The whole experience was simply a perfect end to vacation.
Still cannot believe the week is over already. One more week until The Brit's surgery. I just realized tonight what a stressful year this has really been with insurance requirements and surgeries and learning to eat and worrying about The Brit's transition. I think once he is recovered, I'll be ready for another vacation!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Can't really believe that tomorrow is our last full day in Florida. I'm warm, I'm happy, I'm hoping my sunburn turns to tan with the help of Vitamin E and today I met Meg for lunch!
She is sweet and charming and looks freakin' fabulous! She brought me two protein shakes to try and some protein bars to try with the warning of "I thought they tasted like tree bark, but you might like them." I'm so glad we were able to meet for that hour today as it is so rare to be able to meet our internet buddies because we come from all over. Meg, I'll see you next May!
We took the kids to Wonderworks today and we all had a lot of fun. We bought the laser tag package for them but poor JJ was unable to wear the vest due to the sun blisters on this shoulders. So Aaron got to play two games and we gave JJ some extra money for the arcade.
Again, pictures forthcoming but I'm not going to download anymore until I get home. I am so not a fan of typing and working on a laptop, so if it weren't for Blog 365, you wouldn't be getting blogging this week!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
So today I am a little bit crispy as I enjoyed the sun so much today that it enjoyed me right back. I don't think I'm so badly sunburned that it won't be way better by morning however.
So, yesterday was Busch Gardens and I haven't downloaded the photos yet, so you'll have to wait. We didn't get home until after midnight, so it was a very long day. Today was relaxation day as I didn't even get out of my pjs until after noon and then it was just to switch to a bathing suit and head down to the pool. We did a chinese buffet for dinner and I had a little crab, shrimp and scallop and a few bites of fruit. The highlight of my day was Downtown Disney and the cup of coffee I finally found!
There are stories to tell but I'm going to wait to get the pictures download and resized, blah, blah, blah. Hopefully tomorrow, I can meet up with Meg depending on her schedule and then on Friday, at some point, we're heading to the flea market. Can't believe the week is nearly over, though it has been delightfully relaxing and wonderfully warm. I'm really hoping all the rain that Maryland has been having is over by Saturday or it will be a horrible wake up call!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Okay, so it was a little on the expensive side, but well worth the money for the hour ride.
I had just said yesterday that I had not seen an armadillo since we were first here in 1998 and we all wondered where they had gone. We used to see them walking along the side of the road. But today, while waiting for our airboat, JJ found these little guys.
Three of them total under the deck and what blew me away was how friendly they were! I'm thinking they were pretty young, though we didn't see a mama.
Of course, I was freaking out, afraid one might attack him, but I was vetoed by the rest of the world.
We did see some gators:
And some birds:
And a mama Moor Hen with babies:
As well as some beautiful scenery:
A good time was had by all:
There are more photos and I'll get them up on Flickr when I get home, but I thought I'd give you all a taste of beautiful goodness of today!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Okay, so I really didn't spend much time in the sun today. Of all things I started the day in The Walmart because The Brit forgot to pack my sneakers and I was not about to be doing any amount of walking in my sandals. I'm generally a Rebok girl but as I recently bought a new pair, we went with Wally World shoes for this week. I also needed to pick up a couple of tops as a few of the ones I bought at Goodwill, were a smaller size than I normally wear and I guess I was feeling a wee bit optimistic. I brought them with me without trying them on and they are a bit snug. So, I did get two on sale today and bought another Disney shirt at a gift store.
I shopped a bit with the inlaws this afternoon and then tonight we went out in seach of a Tony Romas, but it closed and if there is another one, we couldn't find it. So we opted for a steak house and I was really nervous about not ordering a meal. It just doesn't pay when your stomach is the size of an egg to order my own dinner. But the waiter asked no questions when The Brit told him we would be sharing a steak and a sweet potato. I managed about 8 or 10 small bites of the steak and one tiny bite of the potato. The Brit saved some the steak for me to bring back to use for another meal and I had to do the same with the potato as the bite I had was yummy. I tolerated it fine (unlike the chicken I had for lunch where I got a bite of it stuck. Ouch.).
I also tried Meg's EAS protein drinks and they just taste awful to me, though the carmel flavor I could not find. Maybe it tastes better than the chocolate fudge which just tasted like every other chocolate protein drink to me. It is currently freezing in a cup, because I am under the delusioin that maybe the taste will change if it is frozen.
Tomorow morning we head to the pool for a bit, then to Boggy Creek for an air boat ride, then to Disney Village in the evening. Tuesday, we are planning on driving to the coast so I can see the ocean as it has been so long for me.
Meg, I think we are looking at getting together more towards the end of the week if that works for me. Oh and we aren't really in Kissimme but closer to Winter Gardens. We're near the end of the 192 going west, near the junction for US27. I'm thinking there may be a place in the middle we can meet for lunch or whatever works for you!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
So we are here in delightfully sunny and warm Orlando. It is so nice to be warm for a change, even though The Brit is less than pleased by the warm temps. It takes me forever to get winter out of my bones each year and it hasn't gotten warm enough yet in Maryland to rid me of the chill. This week should do it for me.
We stayed in DC last night and took the kids sightseeing after dark, which left us not getting back to the hotel until about 11:00pm. Then, The Brit and I were sharing a double bed which was tight quarters, so I wound up actually moving to the floor to sleep as I could not get comfortable. It wasn't the best night's sleep I'd ever had, but I figure it was at least somewhat better for both of us to have some room. Needless to say, today I am exhausted and we are still waiting for the inlaws to arrive.
We didn't do much today other than fly, lunch, swim and grocery shop. Eating has been interesting for me but seems to be going okay. I ordered a chicken parmesean sandwich for lunch today after confirming that the chicken was not fried. I didn't eat the bread of course, and managed to eat about 1/4 of it and brought the rest home. I did buy my healthy foods once we hit the grocery store, but again, I know I am not getting in enough protein and am not sure of how to rectify the situation as I hate the protein drinks. I can eat such tiny amounts that I'm sure I am nowhere near 60 grams of protein a day. The choices I do make, I try to make sure are fairly high in protein, but still I know I am not nearing the numbers. How did you post-ops handle this? Were you getting it all in this early in the game? Should I be concerned?
Okay, there is your update for today as I'm sleepy. Robyn, hope all my critters are doing well and give my Micah-Moo some special loving for me!
Friday, May 9, 2008
So we've decided that we are going to drive to DC tonight to stay in a hotel close to the airport for two reasons. One is that our flight is at 8:55am and to leave from home would mean getting up at around 5:00am. The other reason is that our hotel will allow us to leave the car parked there all week and they will shuttle us to and from the airport. Works for me.
As of this morning I am down 22 pounds, though I really need to stay away from that scale everyday! Thankfully, this week I will get a scale vacation too as I don't want to weigh in on any other scale besides mine, so it will be interesting to see how much I lose on vacation! Usually folks gain on vacation so this will be my first losing trip! I haven't decided yet when to do before and after pics. Two months? Three? I just don't think one month is going to SHOW that big a difference and to show Afters, I have to show you the dreaded Before shots and the thought of that makes me cringe!
Meg and I are planning to meet up at some point in Florida and that should be exciting. I'll be sure to take pics!
Many of you know that I am a fan of Karen Kingsbury's books, especially the Baxter Family Series. In her book "Summer" the topic of the death of an infant due to anencephaly was dealt with. Anecephaly is a neural tube defect that is always fatal and at best, the infant may have a few days before being called Home to Heaven. I read that chapter in the book with tears streaming down my face and trying to hide behind the book itself as the Brit kept kept giving me odd glances.
Anyway, I was poking around Karen's site today to see when the last book in the series was being released and I read one of her journal entries about her reader's reactions to the anencephaly storyline. It touched the hearts of many women who had lost babies, but my favorite was this YouTube video. Though sad and you will probably cry, it is such a celebration of life, no matter how short that life is. That was what touched my heart; the way this family chose to celebrate the life of their son. It's truly beautiful and reminds me that all life is God given and all life is a gift.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Ya'll know that I love me some American Idol and this season has been fabulous, IMHO. I have been a big fan of Jason Castro's from the beginning, though I never thought he should win. But I loved his style of music and Brooke White's as well, and I was a huge fan of the dreds, the sweet smile and those blue eyes.
But the last few weeks, since about the time Carly went home, I have seen a huge change in him. He hasn't seemed as well prepared and he didn't look like he was putting his heart into it. I longed for the days of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Another Hallelujah" as the likes of those performances blew me away. I had mentioned to The Brit, Paula and Kirk that I really felt like he wanted to go home. I thought that he knew the teeny bopper girls were keeping him there while someone of Carly's calibir was sent home before her time. Each week, he seemed to get a little bit worse and this week, in his final performance before being eliminated, he forgot the words to his song, which he has never done before.
When Ryan Seacrest was giving out Jason's numbers, Jason mouthed something to the camera, which at the time, I paid little attention to, until Ellen Degeneres pointed it out today on her show. It appears Jason mouthed the words "Don't vote".
Now some say he mouthed "Vote, vote" but I disagree after watching this video a couple of times. AI fans, what do you think the former contestant is requesting??
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
So I went out to the mall tonight in seach of a new purse/bag/whatever you call them in your corner of the world. I walked the whole mall, just taking advantage of the time alone to window shop and poke around in a few clothing stores.
In one store, I ran into an old friend who is now about 1/4 of her size when I last saw her several years ago. Turns out, she had RNY in 2005 and lost about 160 pounds. We chatted and she knew about my surgery as we know mutual people even though she and I had not seen each other in a long time. I asked her if she was glad she had done it and she was very much, hands down, absolutely. She did tell me that before surgery she was someone who "loved to eat" and that now, overeating, made her feel so bad that she no longer felt that way, but that she wouldn't trade the way she feels physically now for any amount or kind of food in the world. This surgery obviously changes the way you look at a lot of things.
I left Mindy and popped into American Eagle, a store I love and have never been able to shop in because I am just too big to fit into their clothes. I found a delightful bag in there and bought it and for some reason was just giddy with happiness at being able to buy something in that store. I'm guessing that part of it was the knowledge that one day soon I will be able to buy much more than a purse in AE and knowing that makes me smile.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Let me set the scene:
I had not been able to figure out why I had been so tired, until Kim reminded me about Hibernation Syndrome. The definition:
Two to four weeks after surgery, your body reacts to the smaller amount of food. You feel tired, lethargic and often depressed. Your body wants to slow down until the old food supply returns.
The best way to deal with this is to recognize the symptoms and know they are normal. Start to exercise so your body gets used to using body fat as a source of energy.
When your body adjusts, the hibernation syndrome will end. This may take six to eight weeks.
I am so there right now.
The church "Volunteer" came in today for no apparent reason other than to annoy me. Seriously. I had told her yesterday that we were going away next week and she didn't seem to have any qualms about it. But today she comes in all in a tizzy about needing to get to me by Friday who the altar flowers are for for May 18th. See, nobody fills in for me when I am away. The work has to be done early and that is generally not a big deal, unless you are The Volunteer (ie, sixty something year old pessamistic woman who hates change). She then goes on to say that when SHE did the bulletin (she is still bitter that the bulletin was taken away from her and given to me, the actual secretary of the church. She used to do it on her typewriter, which was fine, until computers were invented.) she never had to do one early because she never had SURGERY (a direct knock to me) that caused her to miss time and that when she and her late husband would go on vacation, she would always be back by Friday to do the bulletin for Sunday because SHE felt the bulletin was a committment. Translation: I can apparently never have a whole week off by her standards, despite the fact that I have three weeks vacation time. She then said, "Well, you don't even seem worried about it!" I explained that I wasn't worried about it because I already had the bulletins for the 11th and the 18th finished and if there were any additional announcements, someone could give them verbally. She still went onto to blather about how the 18th was such an important Sunday (the day we vote on a new pastor) and it wouldn't be fair to make the retired pastor who was officiating the service give announcements (Hello? Retired pastor! I'm betting he's done last minute announcements before). I elected not to say anything lest I say something I might regret later.
I had been dreading telling my mother about Florida for two reasons. One, we would be gone for Mother's Day and two, my brother and sister in law had called to tell my mom they were coming to visit next week. The Brit and I had two possible weeks to chose from to go to Florida when his parents were there. One is next week and the other would have been the following week. Going the following week meant both of us being gone from work all week and then getting back and two days later, The Brit had his surgery. It gave neither of us time to catch up at work after already being off for a week and it would mean he would miss three consecutive weeks of work. The first week was a total no-brainer. We haven't been to Florida in about four years and with Hibernation Syndrome going on for me, I am desperate for a break to just relax and sleep in a bit and try to nurse my body through this part of the process. It was just appealing the whole way around for me.
So, I finally call mom and tell her that I can be her Show and Tell for her TOPS group Friday night and then I said, "And now I'm going to piss you off and I'm sorry." I told her about going away and she told me she was not pissed off at all. I was pleasantly surprised and we made plans to meet after I got off work to go to the thrift store and to The Walmart. We met up and went second hand shopping and I found about 6 shirts to the tune of $20 which I thought was awesome. We left there and got back in the car and out of nowhere, she says "I can't believe you picked next week to go away with your brother coming and it being Mother's Day."
So, I re-explained all I just explained to all of you about why we are going next week. I actually felt a bit better going next week BECAUSE my brother will be here to spend time with her while I'm away. I adore my brother and my sister-in-law and am sorry we are going to miss them, but we were deliberating which week to go to Florida when we found out they were coming. I am very sad we will miss their visit, but on the same token, my body needs the break of getting away right now. It needs to not be up at 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning to get kids off to school and it needs to not be at work where The Volunteer can try my patience at a very trying time at the moment. I need to get over this hump and I know that once I do, this is all going to become so GOOD. So my going away is not about visiting siblings, or missing Mother's Day (and she will get her gift before we go). It's about me right now needing to feel better and The Brit getting to spend time with his parents and to have some fun before his surgery. That's all it's about. I didn't do it to offend or piss off anyone. It was an opportunity and I took it. As simple as that.
And with that being said, I still think I should have just stayed in bed this morning.
Monday, May 5, 2008
So, we have milk delivered. Really. It is delivered in bottles even and it comes on Monday. Now my youngest son has this trick of when the chocolate syrup is about empty, he will pour some of the milk into the Hershey bottle to use up the last of the chocolate and to give himself a bit of chocolate milk. Today, he elected to do this and he carried the milk out back where his friend Lilah was and he asked Lilah to pour some milk into the Hershey container. Well, Lilah got confused and instead poured the Hersheys into the new bottle of milk. That will go over well for cereal in the morning.
Anyway, we are leaving for Florida on Saturday...early Saturday. Like flight leaves at 8:55am Saturday. Not sure yet what that means in terms of waking up time, but let's not think about that yet. We'll be coming back the following Saturday, in time to hear our perspective pastor preach, which I did not want to miss. This leaves me with a bit of a clothing dilemna. I usually buy some spring clothes but did not this year due to the whole weight falling off me at the moment thing. But, I lack in decent summer shirts right now, so I think I may make a trip to the second hand store to see what they have. I can't bring myself to buy anything new in my current size as it would just be silly. At nearly twenty pounds gone forever, I haven't yet dropped a size though things are getting looser.
Then there will be the whole eating thing while on vacation. I've kind of sworn off pureed foods for the moment, opting instead to go with soft foods and "pureeing them in my mouth" as in chewing really, really good. I'm going to make egg salad tonight and figure I can make that in Florida too. So far, I am tolerating everything, aka, no dumping. As soon as the pouch tells me it's full, I stop. I'm not arguing with it.
But all in all, I am looking forward to week of relaxation before we delve into the Brit's surgery. Though I may need a separate suitcase to pack all my pills!
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Today was a good day.
I did however, give up on the protein shakes after mixing up one this morning with the "non-flavored" (yeah right) powder and like half a bag of frozen peaches to have the stupid thing taste and smell like "non-flavored" protein powder. I mixed up a Carnation Instant Breakfast and hit the road.
Sunday is the day to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool (MDSW) because this morning it was not crowded at all. We have always gone on Saturday before and it is packed from the word "Go" but this morning was great! We got through the busiest building before the church crowd hit which left us with only the smaller buildings to go through once the place was busier. I bought a show sweatshirt and a tshirt, both in sizes too small for me now, but I'm thinking by the time it is cool enough to wear that sweatshirt... Woot! Bought myself a vest pattern and the yarn to go with it, again smaller size but as I am the slowest knitter ever, wearing it when it is finished will not be a problem!
But had a great day with Kelly and Shelley and we even ran into Lisa who was on her way back from a wedding in New Jersey. The weather was perfect; not hot and a lovely breeze blowing. A perfect day.
Eating wise, it wasn't too bad. Some vanilla egg custard and some chicken salad that I took to the festival. Then when I got home, the Brit had taken the kids out for sushi and had brought some home, so I ate the middle out of three pieces of Philidelphia roll. OMG, that was wonderful, even without the rice and the seaweed. Then I had a bit more of my eggdrop soup and am now sipping on some light orange juice. I've decided I can handle the Carnation and it does have a fair amount of protein in it, but the shakes, I need to back off of for a bit as they are doing my head in. Whoever thought that how good of a day you had depended on if you could stomach a stupid protein shake! I just need to alleviate some of the pressure while still following what I'm supposed to be doing as closely as possible.
This is such a day to day thing and today was a good day.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
So today started out much the way yesterday ended; no desire to grind up food and even a new protein shake grossed me out. I spent the morning on the verge of tears, not too sure of what to do to get through the next two weeks in a semi-healthy way. As you know, my goal has been to be a success, and I was feeling anything but successful. Add to that the fact that I was bored out of my mind and being bored makes me mentally want to eat and well, it was not pretty here today.
But this afternoon, I headed out and brought some plain protein powder; no flavor. Then a trip to the grocery store where I searched and managed to come up with some alternatives:
Canned chicken: grind it up a little, heat it up, add some cheese.
Sugar free jam sweetened with Splenda: to add to my cottage cheese to mix it up a little.
More turkey chilli: The one thing that has been tasting good.
Sugar free ice cream: Screw the protein drinks; I'm making a protein milkshake.
Riccotta cheese and spaghetti sauce: not exactly a pizza, but carries the essence of one.
Frozen peaches, strawberries and mixed berries, again,for the shakes
So, I'm hoping these things will help with the next two weeks. Now I just have to decide what to pack to go with me to Sheep and Wool tomorrow and I'll be all set.
This has definately been the hardest part so far. The first two weeks post-op seemed really easy. The first week being liquids and I just wasn't hungry or in the mood to eat, but the stuff was easy and mindless to eat. The first week of pureed-must-be-the-consistancy-of-applesauce wasn't too bad, but by the end of this week, it was just old, boring, and a lot of work; both to figure out what to have and to fix it. But I know I just have to tuck in and git 'er done.
I've looking forward to the festival tomorrow. I need a change of venue.
Friday, May 2, 2008
I'm having a really off day today.
I'm fairly certain it is PMS related, however, there is no other safe place to throw a mini-tantrum other than here, so my apologies but it must happen. Today, I am absolutely sick and bloody tired of protein shakes and food that looks like Fancy Feast. I can't seem to make a protein shake taste good anymore and when you aren't even hungry who wants to grind up normal looking food to make it look like porridge? I don't have any kind of urge to eat anything BAD for me; I just have an urge to have something that looks freakin' normal! No, I don't regret the surgery and I'm not even sure I'm really mourning food; I think I'm just mourning a lack of choices. It's no longer a "What am I hungry for?" it's a "What can I grind up and make tolerable?"
I am pleased as punch with my surgery outcome so far. I am happy to be down 17 pounds. I am thrilled to be feeling as good as I am. It's a case of not being hungry, knowing I have to eat, but nothing looks even remotely good kind of thing. I'm quite happy drinking my water, thank you very much. I fixed crab and shrimp mush for dinner and couldn't even eat it. So, I managed a couple of bites of cottage cheese instead. At least I didn't have to puree it. That has been the joy of oatmeal the last two mornings; I can have it the way it is supposed to look! I'll bet if all the restaurants showed their commercials with their exact same menu, other pureed, this country would not have a weight problem! Cuz nobody'd want to eat dat shit.
Tomorrow has to be better, right? Maybe tonight, I'll surf for WLS recipes and try to find something tolerable. I still have two more weeks of this stuff!
Oh and Meg, I think we are Orlando bound the week of the 12th! Can we meet up at some point??
I leave you with this video. I discovered Godtube today. A lot like Youtube but Christian and I was surfing it and found this. Make sure your volume is up!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
16 days post op and I'm down 17 pounds. I'm a wee bit amazed as it feels as if I'm not even trying. But then again, I guess that is what makes this whole thing so successful. I'm almost afraid to say this, but...it almost feels too easy. I'm not really hungry other than a little bit in the morning until I eat. My food has been going down easily. My energy level is slowly getting back to normal. If I have to taste one more banana in a protein shake, I'm going to hurl, so I bought strawberries today to change things up a bit. I had some turkey chili for dinner with a little bit of 2% cheddar on it and it was yummy. It's so weird, because I am eating these little amounts and I have to eat it really slowly and it is amazing how aware I am of how good it tastes. I stop eating the second my new pouch tells me it is full as I have no desire to experience dumping again.
My cold is getting better now as I have felt much better today thankfully. Still a little coughing and some occasional sneezing, but yesterday was just what I needed; a nice little rest.
Send some love over to Kim, who was laid off today and oh how I remember that feeling from being downsized in 2001. God is opening doors for her, of that I am certain! But still, when you don't see it coming, it can leave you in shock, but I have no doubt that for Kim blessings will soon abound!