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- Pets - We have a wonderful cat named Penny that was rescued from a shelter.
- Dogs - I am a dog lover, but living in an apartment, we have a cat, but a good one!
- Museums & Art Galleries - I love art and enjoy most aspects of it
- Theater - Movie theater's are all I really know, live theater is on my list!
- Writing - I love to write and I love to read inspirational stories and motivational themes
- Meeting People - I enjoy meeting people and making new relationships
- Music - I enjoy all types of musicI
- Support Groups - I am interdependent, together great things can be accomplished!
- Fishing Boats - I don't have a boat, but I enjoy fishing and boating with those that have.
- Dating - Hmmmm, dating would be a nice concept!
Egg On One's Face on July 6, 2009 8:21 pm
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I have been working on a new article and it is finally up and running ...
My confession ... see "Egg On One's Face"
Oh The Pain on December 22, 2007 3:13 pm
Upon returning home from your surgeries, I often get that question, "Joie, how did you manage the pain or discomfort when you returned home?" I will just post here a reply made recently to a friend when asked how I managed the pain, stating that she is not able to get up and around as well as she thought she would, once she returned home.
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Well my friend, perhaps it be best you just count your blessings that you can get up! I may not be the best one to ask in regards to pain. I lived in chronic pain for so many years, I mean pain! It continued to get worse and worse, getting up at all, was getting to the point of not being an option, because of the pain. I had thought the pain mainly stemmed from my weight tugging on my back.
When I went for my WLS and was coming out of the anesthesia, my doctor was there, standing over me, I smiled and he said, "Joie, I am sorry but we were not able to do the weight loss surgery because we found some abnormal tissue on your liver, therefore we backed out. We do not want to do surgery if there are going to be other issues you need to tend to first. My heart fell to my feet. Once I was able to get out of the bed, they sent me home.
My Mom picked me up but the pain was so incredible, I thought I was going to literally die! I had to hold back from screaming all the way home, and sometimes the screams still slipped out. The pain meds I was sent home with barely touched it and I was only given enough to last a week. The pain I was experiencing was so bad, I had to go to my doctor and ask for something and something much stronger. The pain did last for over two weeks, thats over two weeks of horrible misery. My Mom had to stay with me during this time, I could not get up or around at all with out the aide of my Mom. We were even contemplating on calling my doctor to see if I could get home nursing assistance. It was really, that bad!
So ... after everything went to pathology and my liver tested fine, I was rescheduled for surgery approximately 4 weeks later. Honestly, I almost canceled the surgery because I was not sure I would be able to endure that kind of pain again. I was scared to death, not of dying, but of that pain, I think I would prefer death. But I did not cancel, that long battle just to get this surgery, had just been too long and too frustrating not to follow through.
When I came out of anesthesia this time, no doctor was present, I quickly checked my stomach to see if I could see any evidence that it actually happened. Then I was reassured by a nurse that yes it happened and I was doing well. Soon after I was sent to my room and my Mom was waiting for me.
My Mom told me that when the doctor came out of my surgery, he was tired. He said that the surgery took him much longer than it should have, not because of the bypass, but because of my gall bladder. My gall bladder was also removed at the time. He informed my Mom, that he had never ever seen a gall bladder that infected before, that it was a wonder that I was able to survive at all with it for so long, not only because of the pain, but because of the actual infection. It could not even be removed as a solid organ, it tore apart into tiny little pieces, which is why it took so long.
After I came out of anesthesia, I was pain free! Or it seemed to me I was pain free! The pain that I experienced was so minor in comparison to what I feared, to what I had lived with for such a long time, that to me, it was nothing! I immediately got up out of bed, went for long walks in the hallways, even went outside! I visited other patients and the nurses, they were all applauding me in amazement of how well I was doing. I just wanted to dance for JOY!
The pain that I had experienced and had expected from my first failed experience, was pain caused by my gall bladder being disturbed, it had nothing to do with WLS. So, my friend, I guess my best advise to share with you is .. enjoy your pain, count your blessings, as the saying goes, it could always be worse!
Prayer Request for Janet on December 22, 2007 6:38 am
Just receiving word from Janet's daughter, Jenna. Janet's recent WLS has not gone so well, she is currently in ICU. Please pray for Janet, Jenna and her family, asking our Lord for healing. I have asked her daughter to keep us updated on Janet's progress.
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Janet's Profile Link
O' God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: merciful accept our prayers and grant to your servant Janet, the help of your power, that her struggles now, will be turned into health and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Just A Few Things That Change on December 18, 2007 4:05 am
Listening to the excitement of many of you that are now facing your big surgery dates or have just started the journey on the other side, it caused me to reflect upon some of those big new moments in my life. I will share a few of those with you.
I pulled into a gas station, got out to pump and a man also pumping gas started looking at me really weird. My thoughts were, "What? Do I look funny or something?" This was not the typical stare I was use to! Feeling very uncomfortable, not sure why he was staring at me in such a way. Duh, it then finally hit me, he was working very hard at giving me that eye, the big flirt! This was the first big flirt and it blew my mind!
Driving down the road with my Parents, I was in the back seat. We were on our way to Lake Tahoe, stopped in the usual Placerville traffic, and a very young man in a white pick up continued to pull a long side of us. He was smiling and waving at me each time he passed. My Mom said, looks like you have an admirer! I said, "Yep, and he is really cute! I need to roll down my window and ask him if he has a single Dad!"
The White Chair
My Mom has a couple of those white plastic patio chairs on her front porch. I never being able to sit in them, would often stand while talking with her. One day she said to me, "Joie, why don't you have a seat?" I replied, "Mom, you know I can't fit into them!" She said, "Joie, that was 100 pounds ago!" I said, "Oh yeah!" So I sat down and lo and behold, I did fit and with lots of room to spare! That was a trip because sometimes we are so use to our lives being what they are, we forget that it has changed.
I still forget that I can enjoy the luxury of a nice bubble bath. I can now lay down in the tub and let the water completely cover my body! It feels so wonderful, so make sure you enjoy this luxury once in awhile. Treat yourself to some really nice products, light a few candles and pamper yourself, you deserve it!
The Automatic Doors
Before losing the weight, even though I was very ill and at that time, could really use a helping hand of kindness, when I would approach a door at any store or establishment, I was ignored, the doors were shut in my face.
Since the weight loss, man or woman, especially men, if they are near the door, it is always held open for me. I have even had men back track just to open the door for me, including kids! Yes I do very much appreciate it as I so remember how I was treated before. However, it still saddens me that we as a people have such a lack of respect for those who are living at large. I could have used a bit of that respect before surgery. I just make it a point to never forget where I came from, because that is who I am. Treat all people with love and respect!
Remembering Who Your Friends Are
There were people at work that while I was living in an obese body, never could even muster up a smile or hello in passing. After the weight loss, some of the very same people suddenly wanted to be my best friend. I being who I am, was kind in return. However, I had their number, of who they really were in regards to their character. Those that loved me prior, accepted me prior, those are the best, the keepers for life! They took the time to know me, Joie.
Wow! It feels incredible to jump out of bed instead of slowly crawling out of bed!
The Best For Last
Many many things have changed, but the best things that have changed is my quality time with my daughter.
The first time she became so excited because she could hug me and actually wrap her arms all the way around me! Pretty Cool!
Taking my daughter to our first trip together at an amusement park, riding all of the rides with her! Not that I liked those rides, but being able to share this experience was incredible!
Going on the hiking trails with my daughter and actually getting to the top and still having my breath!
Buying us both bikes and riding the trails along the river!
Getting into a bathing suit and swimming with my daughter!
The list is endless.
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New Article Published on December 8, 2007 7:43 am
"Remodeling This House"
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author: Joie Lehman
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Stories is something that I never seem to run out of. That can only mean ... that I am here, I am alive! No doubt in my mind what so ever, if it were not for me having weight loss surgery, I would not be here now telling any stories. Yes I had a great doctor, incredible medical staff at Sutter Roseville, and the best support system ever, my Mom and my Daughter.
Yes I had just about every illness you can name that is associated with obesity and yes now those illness are gone and have been for years. I never had very many issues that many have described during my weight loss process. The only thing I can think of really is that I just never wanted to eat, afraid I would get fat again.
After much convincing from my Daughter and my Mother, I finally saw in the mirror what they saw, a much too skinny woman. If it were not for the extra hanging skin, I was not much more than bone. I was down to a size 10, and you do have to take into consideration that a good deal of the extra size was in extra skin, not fat. I did start forcing myself to eat a bit more and guess what? I did gain some weight and now I am just like most people who do not want to gain weight. I do have to be careful and watch what I eat.
The greatest change that occurred in my life, happened to me pre-op. A good month or so before my actual surgery.
My doctor had put me on a medical leave from work because I was shutting down, not only physically, but mentally as well. The long process that it was taking me to get surgery approved was unbearable. I was in so much pain, could barely walk and I knew my time was running out, I knew I would not be able to hold on much longer before I ended up completely unemployed, no insurance, living on disability, not able to provide for myself and my daughter. Stress is not even the word!
Coming down with a severe case of Shingles, my face swollen the size of a basketball and in a great deal of pain, I spent a good couple of weeks in bed, suffering major depression. I just did not understand, what is the point of my life? Having spent most of it always feeling unworthy, not good enough, ugly. I knew I was greatly loved by my Mom and my Daughter and friends, but why?
Why am I loved so much? I have nothing to offer anyone. I felt like a completely horrible Mom and Daughter, not able to do the things I should be doing for them, especially my little girl!
The only reason I could think of for not ending my life at that point was fear of how it would hurt my daughter and my Mom. Otherwise, there was no good reason to keep going. Pondering over those thoughts, I came to the conclusion that, perhaps they both would be better off, even with the pain, because they would not have to deal with my pain anymore.
Suddenly my attention was shifted from my thoughts to the television that was also on in my room. A story was being shared about a woman who had been in a severe auto accident, and her life turned upside down. Prior to the accident she was a beautiful woman, happily married with small children and also had a beautiful singing voice and often toured in a singing ministry. The story was about how through her determination and faith, despite what the doctors told her, she did work hard and was able to walk again and sing again. This was just one story after another, despite me changing the channels, for what ever reason, every channel I changed to, was one inspirational story after another, all people over coming their obstacles and the odds, all by their faith.
Hmmmm, okay, so I felt that the Lord was trying to get a message to me. I said to the Lord, "I know that many people are praying for me, but I just feel that those prayers are not reaching you." I then heard a little whisper. "Those prayers are reaching me, but I am waiting for yours."
Needless to say, I broke down in tears and in prayer. Asking the Lord, "Why? I don't understand the reason I am even here. I don't even understand why I am loved, by my family or why I am even loved by you. I am ugly, I am worthless, I have no gifts or talents, no special abilities to offer anyone, I have no purpose. I feel as if my life here has been useless, I don't get it! Please help me Lord to understand, WHY?"
He answered my questions with questions.
"Child, think about it. Out of all of the things I have created in this world. The stars and moon at night. The sun and sky at light. The grass, the trees, the flowers, the streams, the rivers, the oceans, the animals, even the smallest of creatures, all things, different from each other, all unique in their own way, do you think my work is ugly?"
My reply, "Oh No, everything you have created is beautiful!"
His reply, "And I have created you! You are beautiful, as I created you out of love. I do not create ugly, people create ugly."
All I could do is, "WOW!" I know he was right!
"You think you are worthless? How much do you think your life is worth? $1, $1000, $10,000, $1,000,000,000?"
"Child, you are my child, there is no earthy value that can be paid to show you or the world just how worthy you are to me, such is why, I gave the world my Son. What more can I pay, than the price of His life, for yours, to get you to understand, the world to understand, how valuable you each are to me? How much I love you, how worthy you are to me. You are priceless!"
All I could do is, "WOW!" I knew this, but yet I never until that very moment, truly understood. Again I sobbed, big time. But instead of tears of despair, they were tears of joyfulness. For the first time ever in my life, I was beautiful! My face still the size of a basketball, still 360 lbs, but regardless, I was beautiful!
That day changed my life forever, not surgery. I became beautiful prior to the world recognizing me as beautiful.
As soon as I realized that I was already beautiful, my surgery was approved and I had a date with handsome Dr. Waldrep. Yes I did agonize over that a bit as well, but God said, "Who's hands do you think guides the hands of Dr. Waldrep? Regardless, you are in my hands."
God and I have had many conversations since that day and he has blessed me in ways that I had never imagined possible. I am still learning and taking each day as a great blessing and gift.
He also reminded me of the many gifts and talents that he had given me, only I had neglected them, forgotten about them, because I had spent so much of my life thinking that I needed to be like everyone else. He has helped me to understand that I am beautiful because I am me.
My purpose ... you are reading it. To share with the world His love for you and in hopes that you will embrace your own beauty.
To know more about me, visit my web site and visit my blogs.
Many Blessings to all of you Beautiful people!