Christmas

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas.

I had chex mix and so far it’s been OK. I haven’t eaten the nuts, just the cereal, chewed it good and I’ve felt all right. It’s stayed down, no stomach problems and I feel fine. I didn’t feel confident enough to have a tamale or the takeout  Chinese food we ordered earlier. I had egg drop soup.

We had an ice storm and stayed home Christmas Eve, didn’t go to midnight mass or to my sister’s today. I even called into work tomorrow to tell them my car is frozen over and I won’t be there. The roads are slick and it’s supposed to be worse tomorrow. But other than that we’ve had a good Christmas. I watched the midnight mass from St. Peter’s, we opened gifts this morning and ate. I watched a couple hours of netflix and will probably read before going to bed. I was prudent enough to stock up on EAS shakes at least, so  I can resist the leftovers.

My son brought me a llama from Peru. His name is Marc Antonio and he’s the same size as our cat.

marcantonio

Woo-hoo!

I bought a pair of pants in the next smaller size today and tried them on when I got home. They fit! One size smaller, I didn’t think I’d see this size for another 10 pounds and before my surgery never thought I’d see this size period. So I stood there a moment, letting the realization hit me and even looked at myself in the mirror to confirm that yes. I really was wearing these pants. Granted there is a bit of spandex in the fabric but it didn’t matter very much, I got them on and buttoned up without any tugging or having to lie down to zip them up, as I’ve done in the past. I’m still stunned.

It was a good day overall. I bought this bag on the Vera Bradley website last week and it arrived today. It’s my Christmas present to myself,  they were half price. I love it,  this is one huge bag. I was able to fit my protein shakes, water bottles, Byetta, a box of protein bars for my co-worker and the rest of the stuff I usually carry into it. It’s like the mother of all tote bags.

vera

Why you should pay attention to doctor’s orders and labels

I made Chex Mix for work and they fell on it like rabid wolves, one girl ate nearly all the Goldfish out of the bowl. I didn’t crave it though I love the smell. Progress, change at the least.

As for those regular BMs, don’t take them for granted. I neglected to drink all 4 bottles of Crystal Light/water one night and the next day I had one of the bad old BMs. the painful kind that feels like giving birth. I was on my moon and that didn’t help either. So since then I make sure to finish my 60 oz. a day, 64 oz. if I can manage it.  Even if it means staying up later to down those bottles and drinking before bed, I get them down.  Fluid is important.

I’m taking in more protein now, my old goal was 50 gm a day. I shoot for 55-60 a day and I feel better, have more energy and I am still losing. I’ve been working longer shifts at work and we’ve been busy but I haven’t been dragging like I thought I would be. Even some of the young girls are getting worn out but I’m still on my feet, even if said feet are a little tired. The extra protein also means I won’t lose my hair, one of my big fears.

I’m on Replesta now, for a vitamin D deficiency. I opened the box and started taking one a day. Big mistake. I didn’t pay attention to the box and only today I noticed it says one a WEEK. So I worried I was going to OD on vitamin D and went to the doctor’s office. The nurse assured me I’d be OK, just don’t take another dose for 2 weeks then just one a week.  I also bought some protein bars and chips. The chips are the best thing ever, it feels good to bite into something that crunches and they taste like “real” chips. I bought all three flavors–barbeque, pizza and dill pickle.  I ate a bag of pizza chips this afternoon, they only have 10 gm of protein while the bars have 14-15.

All but one pair of my jeans are too big now. Woo-Hoo! I need to buy some new ones but want to wait til I am a smaller size. I’m about 10 pounds away from the next size down. Lost 3 pounds this week,  this makes the total 33 pounds so far.

I haven’t had been tempted by a lot of Christmas food, I’m not big on sweets, crunchy and carbs are my thing but even those don’t look as good now. My tastes are changing and I don’t really crave any particular thing.  Food still looks good and smells good but I don’t miss it. It is strange. Speaking of Christmas, here’s this. One of my bookclub friends hates this song, loathes it. I like it. Merry Christmas.

Two months later

I went to see my doctor on Tuesday. I got good news and bad news but fortunately the bad wasn’t that bad, more like disappointing news. The good news is I’ve lost 29 pounds so far. I’m off some of my meds. But Byetta isn’t one of them, my A1C was 6.6, not bad compared to the 9 I once had but not low enough to go off the stuff. So another 2 months of shooting myself with a needle twice a day;. I’d make a lousy junkie, I don’t like needles.

I hoped he would say that I could eat meat, anything I felt like having. I mentioned I had sampled Chex mix and he asked if I kept it down. I did and was told  I need to avoid bread and crackers since they bunch up in my pouch. I can’t have solids yet, I’m on to pureed to soft foods, mashed potatoes, soups and baby food. If I have anything with noodles to mash em up first then chew, no meats, fresh veg or fruit or anything not easily chewed. I was bummed I couldn’t leave his office and go have Chinese food but instead stocked up on protein bars and (sigh) later on EAS protein shakes.  I dd have some vegetarian vegetable soup half an hour ago and it was wonderful. It took me awhile to finish, I spent some time chewing the potatoes until they were pieces of slivers. The rest was easily chewed and mashed, even the corn. The doctor said I could have corn if  I mashed it or creamed it first and I was glad.  I even bought three jars of baby food but I’m waiting on those.

Except for the bowl of vegetable beef soup  I had the other night I’ve been vegetarian, non-meat eating. I haven’t had any taste for chicken or beef broth, no cravings for meat except as chicken chow mein. I’ve wanted Mexican food but when i really thought about what I wanted what I really wanted was chips and salsa and nachos. As I’ve been a lifelong carnivore this s odd but I read that my tastes will change and those things I used to want may not seem so good to me now.

EDIT: OK,  I tried the baby food. It’s not that bad if you dump a lot of salt on it, a little pepper helps too. I got some on myself too, first time that’s happened in twenty years. Also, don’t look too closely at it, it looks disgusting.

The other development I’ve had at the two month mark is my BMs are normal again. Yay! I had one after five days and it was normal, not traumatic, I didn’t feel like I was about to give birth. Since then I’ve had them every other day and they have been consistently ordinary and like the BMs I had before surgery, simple and short. It’s as if a switch in my bowels was turned back to “regular.” Other people may notice this change earlier than I did but if I knew it was coming it would have made the previous month more bearable knowing relief was coming.

I also joined a gym nearby. Ironically I haven’t had time to go yet because of work but they are open weekends so I plan to go Saturday when the rest of the world is at the mall. I’m also ditching yoga tonight because I need to take a nap. I’m going to the midnight premiere of The Hobbit and need to stay awake. I need to sleep but I’m excited so this may be difficult.

Confession and clothes

I ate real food. Yesterday I had 3 pieces of Chex cereal when I was making Chex mix. I took one bite of a pretzel, more of a nibble. On Saturday I  took four small bites at different times of fried Spam. And I don’t like Spam but dang this was good.

So far so good, no physical repercussions. I kept it down, had no stomach issues and even though I haven’t had a BM since Friday I’m not worried, much.

Tomorrow is 2 months since my gastric bypass and I also have an appt with my doctor.  I’m hoping the results of my labs are good and tells me I can finally have solid food. Especially since I’ve started eating already. I’m hoping he tells me I can toss the Carafate, the Omeprazole, my high blood pressure and cholesterol meds and the Byetta. Especially the Byetta, I’d be glad to not have to shoot myself in the stomach anymore.

I also sold a dress of mine on ebay and sent it off to its new home, somewhere in PA. I hope the new owner enjoys it. It was good feeling, I made a few bucks but I also remember when I had to wear Spanx just to get into it and how uncomfortable it felt. I’m now 2 sizes smaller and look forward to no longer having to shop at Lane Bryant and being restricted to a small section of a department store or even a small section in some of the better organized thrifts. One reason  I liked shopping at thrifts, besides being cheap they rarely segregate their clothes by size. I still have to wade through racks of size 0 and size 2 pants but somewhere in there is something that I can fit my flat Indian butt into. Same thing with shirts and sweaters, all sizes welcome. Though I still look at the El Grande sections in those thrifts that have them. I learned tags are not the best indicator of how big or small a garment is, nearly every brand has it’s own idea of what a Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large or XXL means. Old Navy is my friend in pants, not always in tops. Cheaper brands like Faded Glory tend to be smaller. Yesterday I wore a L Dana Buchman skirt (it had an elastic waist) and today I’m wearing a pair of XL sweat pants by some no-name maker. Best thing is to hold it up to yourself and see if t covers the front half of your body. One good thing about thrifted clothes is they don’t usually shrink since they’ve been washed before.

I had a BM today!

This is exciting because I haven’t had a BM since Sunday. This is Friday and I was a little worried, fearful, in fact. Every day I  expected one to arrive and when it didn’t I felt a mix of relief and dread. Relief because my BMs have been hard and painful, they’re difficult and sometimes it takes more than one try to seal the deal. Dread because, well, they are hard, painful and difficult  and the longer I went without I figured would be even worse, that it would be huge.

I even called my doctor about this.  A nurse called back today and said to buy a Fleet enema and something else, my husband took the call and couldn’t read his notes. But it turned out all right, as I was leaving work tonight I stopped in the bathroom and voila, it happened. I was a little nervous when I realized what was going on but remembered the words of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Don’t Panic. I did not and nature took its course. Nature, God Himself took it easy on me tonight. It was short, not painful and amazingly easy. I had no pain, no bloody stools and could tell afterward that this was indeed all of it. I’m also grateful I didn’t need the enema and whatever my husband couldn’t remember.

I used to look after my great-aunt who drank a cup of prune juice every night before bed. I admit I used to roll my eyes and smirk to myself about her ritual but to be fair the woman was in her 80’s and years later the cause of her death was bowel related. So much for my smugness. When I started to have trouble with my BMs I immediately regretted all the snide thoughts I had regarding prune juice and at one point considered taking it myself. I think my aunt is somewhere above now probably smirking at me.

I got compliments on my winter jacket today, it’s a Columbia I got at a thrift. It’s finally cold enough to wear it. I’ve never found a coat, big-ass or otherwise, for 99 cents but I’m not saying it’s not possible. I love the vintage dress and collar the girl in this video is wearing, another thing I never found, cool vintage in plus sizes, just lots of ugly polyester stretch pants. I saw this a few weeks ago and they were on NPR this week. I love this song, if I had a theme song this might be it. Heck,  I even looked a lot like the little girl at the end. In honor of all the clothes I’ve donated to and bought from thrift stores. May there be many more, all in smaller sizes.