Memorial marathon 5K today

I did the 5K for the 2nd year. It was easier, mainly because I knew what to expect and because of the weather. It was gray and cool, good weather for being outside.

I woke up at 4, lay there then made myself get up. I was up until 11pm watching the Thunder game  They beat Dallas in the very last second and right after that I fell asleep.  I made some turkey bacon and had a small bowl of generic Cheerios and left short after 5.

Downtown was crowded. when there are 25,000-27,000 people there for a race it gets a little hectic and our little downtown can’t really handle that kind of traffic. Most of the streets were closed, not for the race but for construction. I marveled at the sheer masses of people I saw walking or running in the dark downtown. I saw a group of runners/walkers come out of a hotel and get assimilated into the crowd. I drove slowly, yielding to pedestrians and inching along until I found a parking garage that was, to my amazement, both open and unattended. Free parking! And not too far from the race! Woo-hoo!

I people watched, lots of families, lots of babies and kids, lots of corporate or organizational groups there. I took a couple of pictures, one of the finish line in the dark, one of the start when I passed through and one of a truck that had “Honk if you love Harry Potter” painted on its back window.

The race was not hard, which surprised me a little. Managing to walk with the crowd and pass people without being a jerk was the biggest challenge. There was a dude in front of me who told his wife he wasn’t looking forward to Holy Shit Hill, or the Walnut Street bridge. It is steep and slows everybody down, at least temporarily. I made it past the first water station and port-a-potties and then HSH/the bridge. I passed a few people and admit it gave me a little thrill each time I did it. I saw a woman with two prosthetic legs walking and a woman with one, who was relying on a crutch to help her along. It almost made me embarrassed that I am so slow with two regular (if chubby) legs.  I jogged a little, about a block and half overall, but managed to keep a brisk pace or what is brisk for me. I also knocked 2 minutes off my time from last year’s Red Earth race, finishing in 52 minutes.

My sister and her friends were doing the relay and I didn’t see them. They let the wheelchair racers go first, then the marathon runners, half marathon and relay runners go then at the end the 5k runners/walkers. I didn’t see my pal Kelli, who encouraged me to do the race last year and I had walked with in the rain and cold.

I told my sister that I’m doing the half marathon, 13 miles, next year. Right after I said it I wondered if I was writing a check my butt couldn’t cash.  Yet the funny thing is, I think I can. When I finished today I felt good and a little sweaty but it wasn’t that much of a challenge.  So if I actually work at it and train, increase my endurance and maybe speed or acquire speed, I can. The idea blows me away.

Remembering the Earlywine race, I did everything listed except for wearing sunglasses. My cheapo Wal-Mart pair fell apart in my purse but I didn’t need them anyway. It helped.

People, most of them volunteers,stood along the route and cheered us on. I admit it helped.  At the end I trotted across the finish line with a couple of other people. There were volunteers standing there with medals for us, for finishing. An older ndn man was among them and he handed me one and said “Good.”  I felt good too.

I wandered on and got a little bottle of water and an orange. I enjoyed feeling the wind blowing around me and the cool air kept me comfortable. I made my way to the parking garage and after about 10 minutes of driving around downtown trying to get out, I drove home.

an unusual question for the dietitian

I met  with the dietitian today, I brought Jerry and my list of questions. I asked if I could have certain foods later and the answer to most of these was “yes’ and “maybe” which was encouraging. I also asked the personal question I couldn’t find in books or online–Will I be able to swallow during marital relations?

She didn’t blink. This woman has seen and heard it all. Her answer- yes, if I take it like little sips and wait at least an hour after drinking water. No gulping. I think I can manage that, I think. Otherwise just spit into a kleenex.

I asked about the Food Funeral. There are 5 things I’ll have to give up and will miss. She said as long as I didn’t overindulge and spread it out over 2 days or so I should be OK. I told her I’m not in mourning for these things and trying to see it as what I’ll be able to do rather than what I won’t be able to eat. I’m trading diabetes and any future health complications for diet cherry limeades, Diet Dr. Pepper, Chex Mix, frybread and Hot Tamales candies. I’m OK with that. Although she added that I might be able to tolerate small amounts of Chex Mix some time down the road, if I chew it slowly and to liquid form.

I made an appointment with the Sleep Center people for an evaluation. I don’t predict much trouble, I sleep like the dead and do not have sleep apnea. It’s a standard test, just a precaution. Tomorrow I get my toenails painted and the day after I see my doctor. This thing is moving quickly and I told Jerry with every appointment it seems to become more real. Before I felt it was like an experiment, a simulation. I admit I am excited, a little nervous but mostly excited.

I told my sisters and dad on Saturday. They were supportive although my youngest sister was skeptical and grilled me like a steak. I was ready for this and answered everything she asked. She still didn’t think I needed the surgery and I told her the bottom line is my mortality. I’m 12 yrs away from the age our mom was when she passed and I saw how she suffered. I don’t want that. She understood even though she doesn’t agree with it. That’s OK, the psychiatrist said some people will feel this way, just deal with it and move on. So I am.

Weight loss/bypass update

I had a round of tests today and a chest x-ray. Jerry came along for the ride and most of it went down before he had to go to Wound Care in another part of the hospital.

I was on time and everything was going great until I couldn’t find my debit card and had to tell the radiology folks”hang on.” I looked in my purse, then went to check the car and when that turned up nothing I ended up going home and banging on the front door to wake up Bear. Found the card in the pocket of my jeans, even though I swore I put it back in my wallet. Got my x-ray with no trouble, only had to take off my bra but kept on my t-shirt.

The psych evaluation worried me a little but was very laid back. The psychiatrist asked why I’m doing this and I mentioned the 95% diabetes remission rate. We chatted about what to expect and how to deal with it. He recommended I take a Zumba class, then told me I wasn’t crazy (always good to hear and from a professional too) and let me go.  The stress test was more stressful. I had to take off my t-shirt so she could put the leads on me. I sat in a cold exam room in my bra and breathed into a tube with a clip on my nose then did the same thing on an exercise bike. Strangely enough I was somewhat encouraged by this, the tech had to increase the resistance on the bike to get my heart rate higher. I went from a 30 up to 135, not sure what these numbers mean but it was funny to see her looking at the screen and at me and having to keep adjusting it  She’s part of the reason my tests took longer. We got there at 8am as scheduled but the office was dark and empty so I went to have my x-ray downstairs and then came back later. The tech said she was there but when I mentioned it was dark and I didn’t see anyone there she chirped “Oh, I guess I turned on the wrong light.” Yeah, you did. I told the receptionist and she didn’t look too surprised when I told her about it.

I had my first setback yesterday. I went to the ndn clinic to see about getting an approval letter from my doctor only to find out they changed my doctor. I went there last month and I asked if they could use the results from that exam for the letter but the new doctor said through her nurse she wanted to see me instead. I called this morning and explained it again to the nurse and begged for an appt. soon as possible.  She scheduled me for next Thursday at 8:30 and I thanked her.

So I have appts. 3 days next week,. to make it four I  made an appt. for a pedicure. It’s my first time to have a professional pedicure and since I’m doing all this other life-changing stuff I might as well do this too.

The only thing I”m apprehensive about, pre-surgery, is telling people. So far I’ve told my husband and son, one friend and one co-worker, all in person. I also mentioned it on another blog but that has a whole 5-6 readers. I’m apprehensive because I don’t know how my sisters and other family and friends will react. I think most of them will be supportive and a little curious but there will be a couple who will not approve or try to discourage me. I’ve got one blog friend who is worried for my health and thinks it’s a mistake. She has a sister who had the surgery 20 yrs ago and it did not go well. So I’m preparing to have others say the same. The psychiatrist said to tell them “you don’t have to understand, you don’t have to agree” and let it go. That these relationships may change but most of the time it’s OK, after awhile. That’s what I’m hoping for.

Now I have to get ready for work and put in my contacts.

a potential life-changing decision

I’ve slacked off on posting because 1) my new job and volunteering have taken up much of my time,; 2)I’ve slacked off exercising and 3) not a lot has happened worth mentioning.

Except for one.

I’m going to have a gastric bypass.

It’s something I never seriously considered before since the operation is generally for the morbidly obese and it is dangerous. Some of this has changed over the years. Morbidly obese people aren’t the only candidates any more. Studies have shown that diabetics who have the surgery go into remission, up to 95% of all diabetics can toss their meds and maintain regular blood sugars without them, they do not have to worry about their kidneys, eyesight or losing their feet or legs to neuropathy any longer. There’s no data on how long the remission lasts but it looks good, that by maintaining a healthy weight most diabetics can live longer and be healthy overall. Other weight-related illnesses decrease or just go away, stuff like hypertension, heart disease (unless there’s already damage there), joint pain including arthritis and sleep apnea.

I looked into these claims, mostly because they sounded too good to be true and I knew there had to be a catch. There is, the price of the surgery hovers around the $30,000 mark and insurance may not cover it or only pay part of it. I am fortunate enough to have the resources needed for this and after attending a seminar I made an appt.with the surgeon’s office. I did my bloodwork today and attended a support group meeting tonight. I’ve set up my appts. for tests, a psych evaluation, consult with the dietitian and the surgeon. I may have my surgery in about 3 weeks.

I’ve tried to lose weight over the years. Diets, exercise, programs like Weight Watchers, the usual stuff everybody else has tried and they worked, up to a point. I’ve been exercising and  eating healthy, I’ve cut out fried food (well, mostly), red meat and watch my portions. This has helped my cholesterol, resting heart rate and blood pressure but I’ve not lost weight and this pisses me off.  This is the act of a angry and somewhat desperate woman. Diabetes does not get better, not any other way I know of and I am not doing insulin or dialysis or any of that other crap. Not if I can help it.

So far I’ve only told a few people. My husband is supportive and went to the seminar and dr.’s office with me. I told my son last night and announced my intentions on my other blog. I accidentally told one of my co-workers and told a friend last night after she shared some of her own health concerns. I have not told my boss or the staff at the library yet. I haven’t told my sisters or my dad or mother-in-law. I also haven’t told my best friend.

I know some of these people may not respond in a positive way and I’m preparing myself for it. I think I’ll still have a job and my volunteer gig but it also means I’ll have a lot of questions to answer. I’m not sure what to expect from my dad or sisters, especially my youngest sister, whom I love but is a bit of a drama queen and is opinionated about  everything. She’ll be all for it or against it. My mother-in-law tells everybody our business and adds her own (usually inaccurate) spin on things. The one I dread telling is my best friend, she’s been my friend since college and we’ve endured a lot together both good and bad, One thing we’ve always had in common was our weight, trying to lose and usually failing. She’s a wonderful person, sweet, smart, emotionally tough without being hard and physically one of the most beautiful women I know. She’s also overweight and I worry that she will feel I’ve betrayed her by having this operation. She will probably be supportive but I worry she will also be hurt.

At the same time I’m excited about losing weight, keeping it off  but mostly getting rid of my diabetic meds for good. No more testing my blood sugar, no more finger sticks, no more fear of having to go on insulin.Ironically the trade-off is I will have to take nutritional supplements for the rest of my life but I can live with that. The smaller portions and not being able to eat certain foods (like frybread) any longer are acceptable if it means I’ can live longer and kick diabetes a**.