Febuary 2006 on February 28, 2006 12:00 am
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Still waiting. Put a call in to my nurse coordinator at UHC and left a message asking for an update so hopefully I will know more later on.
I seem to be doing what I swore I wouldn't - enjoying my "last suppers" at all my favorite places. :-) I guess that's not such a bad thing and I don't seem to be putting on any additional weight.
I have sent in a better photo - full length - hopefully it will get posted. For the time being, this is me at Christmas 2005 with my dear Shih Tzu Rosie. Couldn't live without her.
My co-worker Debbie told me today that she has decided to go for it! I am so pleased. Did not have a chance to talk because I was coming in to work and she was leaving, but I look forward to it. Last I talked to her she was very undecided and worried. I am hoping she found the peace she needed to make this decision.
I have found myself so out of sorts these last few days. My co-workers joke with me about it, and I am upfront with them that I am cranky and to leave me alone! (They of course say "what else is new?" I THINK they are joking...) I think Terry feels he is walking on eggshells right now. He is the nicest man I have ever known and I know he supports me. I think it is just that he is going through some of his own things right now - his brother has colon cancer, and Terry is unhappy with his work situation and I think feels stuck. So the fact that he doesn't really understand my frustration isn't really his fault. But when I moan and groan about getting the run-around, I want sympathy, not "that's how those insurance companies operate." When I say I feel ugly and bad, I want him to tell me I'm beautiful, not say "Nonsense." He is very matter of fact and I am not. It is a miracle we have stayed together for as long as we have! Seriously, he is a very good man, and I know he supports whatever decision I make for myself. I just need some hugging right now, not logic.
Goodnight all. I am sure I will feel better tomorrow...
I am now ten days away from the class I need to be in to have the surgery by the end of this month. I get told today by UHC that my psych eval was not enough, and that I need the full psych testing. In addition, that is something that I should have been informed of when I called January 3, but wasn't. So I have wasted an entire month thinking everything is done, we are now down to the wire and once again, UHC has done a "Ooops, we made a mistake." Frankly, I am so sick of this s*%^. How can communication be SO bad between divisions of a company and a client? I don't get it.
There is a God. I don't have the approval paper in my hand, but Mary from United Behavioral Services called me today with some very good news. She said that I DO have to have the psychological testing done, but she will approve me based on my psychologist's report. She does want me to go through the testing to have it in my file and then to have follow-up post-op with my psychologist. She has spoken with the care rep at UHC to give her OK, and Cathy at UHC said she was just waiting for that piece to be able to give approval for the surgery. This has been such a roller-coaster. I know there are people who have a much longer wait, but I look at this as if I have been waiting over two years, since the original insurance snafu. I think I am getting closer...
It is 2:54 AM and I just got home from work, but I needed to stop in and tell you all something very important. Yesterday at 1:58 PM I got THE call from Cathy at UHC telling me I am APPROVED!!!!!!! I burst into tears and then had to go to work. More tomorrow. I am physically and emotionally POOPED!
As I look back on the timeline, I have been one of the very lucky ones. Although I went through the emotional pain of being told I was covered two years ago and then finding out I was misinformed, this time was relatively painless. I go to a day long class next Thursday (2/16) and at that time I will be given my surgery date, which can be as soon as 2/22. Hard to believe I am almost there.
I am kind of numb. Trying not to think too much about it, but going through some preparations nonetheless. Stocking up on some Nectar protein drinks. I don't really like those thick protein shakes, and so I bought Fuzzy Navel, Roadside Lemonaide, and Tealicious. They are all very light and easy to get down. Bought some Biotin for the hair loss I am already going through due to some bad nutrition these last few months. I was taking some "designer" hair loss vitamins from the salon, but these have the same basic ingredients (vitamin B) and are much less expensive. I think they do help.
I am going to pay someone to really deep-clean my house before I go in. It's not too bad, but it will be nice to come home to a house that is in great shape and relax for awhile. My boyfriend does not live with me but stays here on the weekends (he works quite a distance from where I live, so he lives closer to where he works and then just stays here on the weekend.) He is going to spend the time while I am in the hospital out here with my dear dog Rosie so I don't have to farm her out.
We are going out for a nice meal on Valentine's Day, and he told me from here on out we need to go eat wherever I would like for my "last suppers". LOL I don't really feel a need to do that. I do wonder if I need to have my blood sugars under control before surgery, because they aren't right now and I need to get to work pretty quick if I do. Does anyone out there have any experience with a surgeon requiring that before surgery?
I know I don't sound too excited, but I truly am. It's just that it's very late and I am pretty tired, ready to turn in. I work the 3-11 PM shift at the casino, and it takes me a couple of hours to wind down when I get home. I got home tonight and Terry and my pup are both already upstairs in bed asleep so I have some quiet time. I get so much inspiration reading these profiles. I think I will go read a few before I hit the hay. Goodnight everyone! I am almost there!
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I called my boyfriend to wish him Happy Valentine's Day and his response was "Thank you." What the heck?!?!? We aren't celebrating until Thursday night because today was a busy day for both of us, but sheesh, at least he could have said Happy Valentine's Day! I might just mention to him that I got an e-card for Valentine's Day from old high school boyfriend...lol.
The new picture posted was taken 10/14/05 at a family reunion and I think I weighed about 215 at 5'6. I am about 220 now. I am not 100 lbs overweight but have some pretty serious comorbidities which is why I am having this surgery. I have looked at so many profiles (hundreds I am sure), and I see people who weigh upwards of 250 and I think I look just as big if not bigger. In fact I can't believe a lot of these folks weigh as much as they do - they must carry it very well. Is that my head seeing what isn't reality? I wish I knew. I am very top-heavy, my butt and legs have always been smaller (although I have gotten that pad of fat at the top of my thighs in the last 5-6 years or so. I finally had to get swimsuits with those little skirts). Funny, I have been fat all my life, so I have never had any problem going to the pool every summer and laying this big old body out for anybody to see. I figure if it disgusts anyone, they don't need to look. I always wore a suit that was modest, but I like to swim and I like the sun, so I figured I needed to enjoy it. This summer I will probably be most self-concious of my arm flab. I think that will be the area that will bother me the most. I can hide the other skin under my clothes. My boyfriend has seen me naked at 260 lbs. so I don't think the skin everywhere else will me so much of a problem (at least I hope). But my arms will be out there. Thank goodness 3/4 length sleeves are in style! lol. I don't scar well, so I don't think I will go for PS on them. My sister had WLS and had PS done on EVERYTHING (at age 65, and took out a mortgage on her house to do it - you go, girl!) But the scars on the arm go from pit to elbow and I just don't think they look too good. So, who knows.
Bought a couple of little appliances on Overstock.com that I think will be helpful. One is a snow cone maker to make shaved ice. I love eating ice and I think that will help me get the water down, at least at first. I can also freeze my Nectar protein drink and make a snowcone out of that. I also bought a juice blender - a little thing but works great. Really works the powder out of the protein drinks! Much smaller than a blender, blend and drink out of the same cup. I think I might take it to work or even order a second one to have one here and one at work. I think it was $19.99 with free shipping.
Went out to lunch to say goodbye to my friend Margaret who I taught with and who has been my neighbor for 16 years. She retired and bought a house in a town about an hour and a half away and is moving at the end of the week. We had a good visit and I plan to visit her while I am off work recuping from surgery.
Enough for now. Have a Happy Valentine's Day, and, if you don't have a Valentine, love yourself - you are your most important person!
I HAVE A DATE!!!!! My new life will begin on my brother's birthday, March 1. I will add more tonight after I take a nap! ZZZZZZZZZZZ
The day at Dr. de la Torre's office was not painful at all. There were some really neat people in the class and we actually had a lot of fun. Went through the whole nine yards - nutrition lecture, exercise talk, explanation of what will happen, the surgeon tried to scare us out of it - actually gave us all the risks involved, had some tests done, and then was given the surgery date - March 1. I cannot believe it is really happening! Two weeks. Two weeks. I will be having the surgery the same day as a neat lady I met - Tara S. - by the way, Tara, I can't find your profile.... My surgery is at 12:30 - first time I haven't had to be up at the crack of dawn for a surgery, but I will be his fourth one that day -- ooops - hope he isn't too worn out! LOL
Came out of the office and my car was destroyed by a hailstorm. At least my car is old. I felt really bad for the gal in my class who had I think a corvette...
Have to go to work. Having the house cleaned today. My celebration gift to myself! Have a great weekend everyone. Going to start shopping for the things on my post-op shopping list this weekend!
Happy Birthday to my dear sister Nancy! She is 60 today - isn't that the new 50? She is a wonderful woman who has done much to keep our family going when we have most needed it. I love her very much.
I read a post tonight, and I thought it was well worth sharing:
"There's noooooooooooooo crying in baseball.....!!!!!!"
That's the sentiment (scenario) that comes to mind sometimes when I hear some of the comments from people who've already had the surgery. In case you haven't made the connection, that's a line Tom Hanks made famous in the movie "A League Of Their Own." Resorting to tears or just giving up every time the going gets tough is NOT going to make you successful or keep you healthy. I see so much whining sometimes that it's hard to decipher the kids from the adults.
ENOUGH already, it's time to get "TOUGH" on YOURSELF!!!
First and foremost, you have to keep it POSITIVE. As with everything in life, if you think you can't - you WON'T! Simple enough?
I have to wonder when "we" (as adults) finally take ownership for our actions, our life and our health? We have been given a gift, a second chance to actually LIVE life again instead of merely existing in it. It's up to each of us to do that as healthy and productively as possible.
We're ALL statistics waiting to happen and the insurance companies are chomping at the bit. The bean counters are eager to drop Weight Loss Surgery ("WLS") from the policies; some already have. Don't you know that any negative feedback thrown into the mix only strengthens their cause? I may not be able to control every thing that happens to my body after WLS, but most things I can. I CHOOSE to take control and I will be a positive statistic when the numbers get counted.
We live in a spoiled society, expecting everything in life to come with a buncha really cool choices. Well, guess what? When it comes to your health, you're not always going to get a choice. You either DO IT and stay healthy, or you DON'T and your body pays the price.
The way I saw it, I had a 90 day healing and adjusting period after surgery. My 'super morbidly obese' body had more then enough stores to survive the learning curve. In turn, it gave me plenty of time to heal, adjust and learn. For those of you OVER 90 days Post-Op, the probation period is over - its time to get serious and LIVE what you've learned.
~*~ You say you can't get in enough liquids through out the day, don't like the taste of water, or just keep forgetting? -- TOUGH! It's not an option anymore. Find a way to do it, get suggestions and tips from others in support groups, message boards, etc. Read, learn and then JUST DO IT!! Why do you think there is a choice here?
~*~ You say you don't like the big horse pill type vitamins, or the tart chalky chewables? ...it's, just too many to bother with? Or maybe you just can't remember to take them? ...it's just too many to bother with? -- TOUGH! You gave up the option NOT to take vitamins when you agreed to have your insides rerouted. FIND a way to get them in; crushed, minced, chopped, liquified, in a shake, etc. No exceptions, your health depends on it.
~*~ Protein is a must. So you can't get it all in via foods and you don't like the way the shakes taste? -- TOUGH! Either get it through your meals (and there are a gazillion food choices out there) or supplement it with protein shakes and bars.
Trust me, I don't drink my protein shake every morning because I think it tastes like a chocolate blizzard from Dairy Queen. Ive tried many varieties over the last 2 years. I'd even venture to say 25 of the top sellers/flavors have crossed my lips. For the record? I've yet to find one that is as 'delicious' as boasted by the distributor. So what!!!! I still drink one every morning. My HEALTH dictates that I need "X" grams of protein per day. If I'm not getting enough from my meals then I supplement a shake. 'Nuff said!!!
I've actually walked the walk and reached my goal. Yep, I've stumbled a few times with my food choices and you know what? I'll trip a few more times. BUT, some things I will never fail at -- Vitamins, H20 and Protein. This surgery is a gift, I owe it to me and everyone else fighting the approval process, to do it right! I will continue to choke down my vitamins, my water and my protein every single day, for the REST OF MY LIFE. Some days will be easier then others, regardless, no days will be missed.
It's all about discipline. Create a routine, set a timer, develop a pattern, tie a string around your finger, glue a note to your forehead, whatever it takes.
You're an adult - take responsibility! If this surgery doesn't slap a back bone into you, not much will.
Well, I was trying to think if there was any food that I would specifically miss or wanted to eat before the surgery, and I came up with what I thought was good idea. We went to one of my favorite buffet places. I usually don't do well at buffets because I just can't eat as much at one sitting as I used to. But I took a little bit of everything I knew I might miss - steak, fried chicken, a crab rangoon, potato salad, just little bites of stuff - and then a whole dang piece of coconut cream pie! I washed it down with a nice glass of diet Pepsi! And, ya know, I think it took care of all my little cravings for my "last suppers"! And I am STUFFED!
I had my first "What the hell am I doing?" moment a couple of days ago. I have been so sure of myself and what I am embarking on. And then we were having this little discussion at work on how I am going to have to put my birthday candle in a thimble full of pureed peas this year. It hit me like a Mack truck. I have been a little unsettled ever since. I AM sure that this is the right thing, and I AM sure that it is what I want and need. But the enormity of it hit me smack dab in the face.
I CAN do this and I WILL be doing this in nine days. I can't wait to get to the "other side".
One of the wonderful ladies that was in my class last week died Sunday night in her sleep from asthma. She was one of four of us that really bonded and had so much fun all day. She was so close to having her life changed. Patsy from the office called today to tell me. She said that all her tests came back great and she was in fine shape for surgery. I am just stunned.
Just a few more days until surgery. I have got a terrible head and chest cold and I hope it gets better by Wednesday. I finally called the doctor to get an antibiotic because I am afraid it is turning into an upper respiratory infection and I want to beat it to the punch. Kathy at Dr.'s office said I should still be OK for surgery, but I can't imagine coughing my head off after surgery with the pain in my abdomen! I begin taking the blood thinner shots tomorrow. It is all kind of surreal, still. Terry has been acting kind of strange for a couple of weeks - distant and sometimes annoyed. He did get Wednesday off so we are all set. I take Rosie over to my friend's house on Tuesday night where she will stay til I get home. I will spend the next couple of days cleaning up the house, getting the laundry done, and giving the little Princess a bath. I am going to have Terry take a couple of before pictures tomorrow night and then take all my measurements. A patient at Dr. de la Torre's office made up a neat monthly chart that includes a place for weight, measurements and a picture, so I think that will be a good thing to keep up with to watch the progress. Kind of a scrapbooking project, if you will.
I wish I could say I weren't scared, but I am, a little. I think that is quite natural. I have had a number of surgeries, so I am not sure what I am scared of, exactly. Scared of losing my good friend, food. Scared of the pain following surgery. Of throwing up. Of being thin. Of not having any more excuses for not coming out of myself and enjoying life. Of not having health issues to talk about and fall back on. Of having to decide what it is I really want to DO with the rest of my life. Of what will happen to Terry and me. Of what I want to happen with Terry and me. These are the things that go around and around in my head at night when I try to sleep. I know that I want this - have wanted this for more than three years now. I know that it can change my life forever, if I work the tool. But isn't change what we fight against when we get to be 50 years old? (Yep - in a little more than a month!) Does it take more courage than I have to make those changes at this point in my life? I don't think so. If I didn't think I could do this I wouldn't be where I am right now. I wouldn't be embarking on the single most important thing I have done for myself in my entire life. I so wish my mom could be here to see me through this. She would be so happy for me. I am lucky to have a family that is so supportive.
Well, with my cold and all I had better get some rest. I am sure I will ramble on a little more in the next few days. I was thinking of the woman, Gabrelle, who was in my class who passed away before she could have the surgery. I believe in Heaven, and I believe when we go there we are made whole. By a few things she said, I believe she was a woman of faith. I think that Gabrelle is now on the REAL "other side", whole in health and perfect in body. I would want my family to know that, if anything should happen to me during this surgery, I hope to be on that real other side, and I will have achieved my goal without perhaps some pain and frustration that we will go through here on earth achieving that same goal. I think it is nice to think of Gabrelle in that way.
Well, folks, today is the last day of my obese life. Tomorrow I have surgery at 12:30 PM. I am a little nervous, but all in all I am ready to be at the other end of this whole process. I spent the day running errands, taking Rosie to the groomer, getting my own hair cut, and just doing general prep stuff. Luckily I do not have to be at the hospital at the crack of dawn so I intend to get some good sleep.
My cold is still bothering me, mostly the cough. Will finish the antibiotics in the morning. I hope I don't have much coughing afterwards because I can only imagine that will HURT!
Bit the bullet and bought a Magic Bullet today from eBay for my protein shakes and for making oh so many delicious pureed foods.
:-) It actually looks like it might be kind of fun. Got a good deal, I think, and I think I will really use it.
I may write more tonight before I try to sleep but I have to go pick up my dear pooch from the groomer.
I don't have much to add tonight. The phone has been ringing off the hook with friends and family wishing me the best. I am lucky to have so many friends and such a wonderful family. Another patient from Dr. de la Torre's office, Dina, sent me a wonderful e-card, and it really helped. Thanks, Dina!
Took Rosie to Sherry's and she was so pitiful. She senses so much going on in all the preparations and she didn't want me to leave her sight. Sherry called and said Rosie was actually crying some when they went to bed, which she never does. She has gotten me through so many things these last few years. As I have said, I know my mom looked down on me, knew I needed Rosie, and led me right to her. I even named her after my mom, whose name was Rosemary. There was a period of time when I was so depressed I know I never would've gotten out of bed in the morning if I hadn't had to care for her. She saved my sanity. Too bad she can't be there with me during the surgery - lying next to me like she does in bed, protecting me with all of her 10 lbs.!
Next time you hear from me, it will be from the other side. The journey has finally ended...and begun.
Goodnight, with love and gratitude for the wonderful folks on this site who have given me so much hope and inspiration.