Homer: It’s a miracle! …

Homer: It’s a miracle!
John: No, Ultrasuede is a miracle. This is just good timing

I spent the morning in my pajamas, the benefit of working later in the day. So far I’ve made a bank transfer, an appt. to have a laser peel after my surgery, followed up on a letter of recommendation and talked to someone at a thrift about donating my clothes. I’m re-charging my mp3 player and phone. I’ve also been fooling around on the internet. At some point I will take a shower and put on real clothes. Probably around noon.

I need to go to the grocery store, we’re out of cat food and some other essentials. I need to go walk at the lake because I haven’t been in over a week. I need to take several bags of clothes to Our Sisters Closet before I go to work.

Our Sisters Closet is a thrift/resale shop run by the YWCA benefiting battered women. I’d rather give my stuff to them than Goodwill, who gets a ton of crap everyday anyway. The donating is a big symbolic deal to me. I’m giving them my summer clothes, some of which are already too big (woo-hoo) and I didn’t wear. I’m also sending most of my winter clothes. I usually go through them about now and hang them up but this time I realized I won’t be able to fit them, they’ll be too big. So I took out a couple of tops and tossed the rest with the summer pile. There’s a few things still in the closet I need to bag up as well. It’s all in good condition and it is only fitting they go to a thrift since that’s where most of them came from. I will miss some of them, like the linen shirts. I love my big loose linen shirts but know I can find replacements. And I know I’m going to miss my fake ultrasuede skirt, which reminds me of my favorite Simpsons quote.

Homer: It’s a miracle!

John: No, Ultrasuede is a miracle. This is just good timing

I hope other people can use and benefit from my things. I like the idea of clearing some space too. But it’s the physical act of removing my old and comfortable clothes out of the house away from me that is the biggest indication things are going to change. There’s no going back. I’m excited about this and now I admit a little scared. I am anxious about the surgery even though I have a lot of confidence in the doctor I chose and the hospital. But things happen. I worry that if I come through I’ll be stuck there several days because of unforeseen complications. I worry that I won’t be able to keep anything down, I worry even after surgery I won’t lose weight.

I know these are normal fears and all highly unlikely. I will do all I can to get ready for the surgery and try to tell myself it’s going to be OK, repeat as needed, Then believe it. I’ll probably look at this entry in a few weeks and roll my eyes at what a drama queen I was.


Bypass news

Lake Hefner, near the feral kitties compound, and my thumb.

Yesterday was all about me. Jerry and I spent most of the day at the surgeon’s office, I had a pre-op class and appt.with my surgeon, the last one before my surgery. Pre-op class was just me and Jerry with the dietitian, which seemed a little awkward at first but we both had questions and she managed to answer all of them, she even brought up things I hadn’t considered and covered that too. Basically I’ll be drinking most of my meals and eating very soft or pureed foods for about 4 months, a bummer with the holidays coming up but I won’t feel like pigging out. She talked about depression, that food won’t be my comfort and best friend anymore, that my “friend” can make me sick. That my family, co-workers and friends may treat me differently and even resent me losing weight and getting healthier. She also gave us a coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond and recommended one of their blenders. We got out a little later than expected and went downstairs to have lunch before the appt. with my surgeon.

My surgeon looked over my charts and asked what questions I had. I really didn’t and he reviewed what a bypass is and how it works. He said the surgery takes between an hour and  half to two hours, that I’ll be in recovery and Jerry won’t see me til I’m in my room, which is a relief to me. If all goes well I should be going home the next day. He did say I should consider having a temporary  IVC filter to keep blood clots from forming. My surgeon doesn’t do this, a cardiologist does and it will come out 4 weeks later. It’s an outpatient procedure and is usually done a day or few days before surgery. I asked the nurse about getting the name of the cardiologist they recommend and she said it was a done deal, that the dr.’s office should be calling me in a few days. She has the same first name as me and said she’s having a bypass in November. I was stunned, she isn’t obese but she is a little chunky and takes meds. She said she’s getting married in Feb. and thinks she’s more excited about the surgery though she’s excited about both.

I start the 10 day diet on the 1st. My surgeon told me about what will sabotage this and not to do it. The main thing is to follow the diet, no exceptions but if I feel sick to call the office. I take my meds up til the last day and nothing after midnight on the 30th. To bring my meds to the hospital but that I probably won’t need them (which I hope). I asked if I could be shot in the face with a laser the next week and he said sure, but I probably won’t feel like it. I’m going to schedule that too, I figure I’m off for 2 weeks, might as well. I can drive soon as I’m off the narcotics and promise to not rob banks. I can walk soon as I feel like it, the next day is preferred but I may not be up to doing 4 miles. Yoga might take a little longer and he recommended I start weight training too.

We got home before 5. I ate a cheese stick and drank some Wal-Mart brand Crystal Light and went to yoga. I thought while I was in class that one year ago none of this would seem like my life. Somebody else, with more money and better insurance maybe, but  it is happening and I’m adjusting to these changes without fear or reluctance. I’m not afraid to try new things, I’ve been nervous before, mainly because I didn’t want to look stupid but now it’s no big deal. In yoga class we’re all beginners, several of the other women are my age or older, some are not as flexible as me, some are way more but nobody cares, nobody is watching or judging, it’s not a competition. Same with the surgery, there are people in the waiting rooms of all sizes, big as or bigger than me, some in wheelchairs. Some have had the surgery and others are waiting but no one stares at you or asks why you’re there.

I do plan to eat a few things while I still can. Diet Cherry Limeades (because carbonated beverages cause gas and you take in too much air drinking through a straw), bagels (some breads will bunch up and fill the pouch too quickly and be hard to digest) non-sugar-free cookies (regular cookies, like the Snickerdoodles at Someplace Else), beef jerky (needs no explanation) and gum. Gum causes you to take in air, can stimulate your appetite and if a bypass patient swallows it, you are in a world of hurt and misery.

re-posted from LiveJournal

checking my blood sugar (a pain I’m used to)

I’ve been checking my blood sugar and trying to keep it under 200. I’ve been watching my carbs, actually watching them this time and it seems to be working. I haven’t had the highs or lows and none of the lousy side effects. Except for some nausea but it’s nothing like the intense cramping I had before.  Gatorade is my new best friend too, I took some to work and I chug it whenever I walk and after yoga. Fruit punch id my favorite and I found a low cal version I bought today.

The biggest change is checking my blood sugar, I do it 2-3 times a day. Usually when I first wake up and after lunch or in the afternoon, I sometimes have energy lows then. I admit I dread sticking my fingers, I use a fresh lancet every time (well, almost every time) and press it into the soft pad of my finger before I push the button. It hurts and I wince a little then wait for the blood to come. I feel a sense of relief when I finally hear the beep of the monitor, letting me know I’ve shed enough blood to satisfy the little monster. Fortunately my monitor doesn’t demand much, I have a Freestyle Freedom Lite and a small smear usually does it. Still I sometimes wait before I push the lancet button, I try not think about what I’m about to do and when I do I prepare myself for that brief moment of pain. I am getting used to it and these moments are becoming more rare.

I walked 4 miles and a little further at the lake today. The wind was blowing against me and it took longer than usual, an hour and half, but I felt accomplished. It’s the first time in weeks I’ve done this distance and I felt the effort. I remind myself I’m supposed to do the half marathon at the Memorial marathon in April and I need to start training. Registration is now open. I’d hoped to do the Juke Joint Jog in Stillwater but it will be right after surgery. One of these years I’m going to make it there.

Juke Joint Jog


OKC Memorial Marathon


getting there

I had two setbacks, on Friday my blood sugar dropped and I nearly passed out.  Fortunately I was with a dear friend who got me some chocolate and who looked after me, making sure I got something to eat and waited until I was able to drive. This was my fault, I went too long without eating even though I knew better. On Saturday the opposite happened, my sugar went too high and my high blood pressure flared up too.  I nearly drove myself to hospital, spent 4 hours there only to learn I should give up cottage cheese and start taking my meds again, some of which had run out and had no refills left. But that has passed, I’m back on the drugs and I’m already feeling better. So far three nights in a row without getting sick (go me!).

Today I had an appt. with my surgeon and dreaded mentioning the episodes on Friday and Saturday, worried that it might affect my surgery. I was relieved that it didn’t. The surgeon wasn’t concerned about it, he only said to stay on my meds and eat regularly. According to my file I’ve gone through all the tests and met all the requirements, my surgery is a go. I have another appointment and the pre-op class in 2 weeks. The class will describe what to expect and how to prepare for the surgery. The appointment is the “scary” one where my surgeon tells me what all can go wrong and essentially tries to talk me out of it. It’s like a line drawn in the sand, I choose whether or not to cross it and once I do that’s it. My surgeon suggested I buy a copy of Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies as a primer and I went to BN and bought it. Most of it is stuff I’ve already read about and knew from websites and other books but there are some good recipes in it.

I’m also getting back into the habit of exercising, something I’ve blown off because of work and scheduling. I went to yoga tonight for the first time in 2 weeks and it felt good. I hope to start walking again and may drag my son along, he could use the exercise too.  I noticed my tight jeans actually fit when I put them on today but figured it was simply that I wasn’t bloated since my moon has passed.  When I went to my appointment they weighed me and I was surprised to find I lost 5 pounds. So being sick this weekend had at least one positive side effect.