Erin & I are saw Josh Groban LIVE in Chicago on February 24, 2007. It was AWESOME!!!!! :) I liked it so much that I've convinced my mother-in-law to go with me in August 2007 (and we're bringing my 7 year old daughter!)
Here are a few of my favorite songs from his album - some live performances from his concert.
You are Loved
Lullabye (my daughter's favorite)
Not While I'm Around (from Sweeney Todd) - my favorite non-album song of his!
I am a 30 year old woman, wife and mother (no wonder I'm always tired!!) living in Minneapolis with my husband of 5 years and our two girls, Bridget, age 4 1/2, and Molly Rose, age 20 months. They are the loves of my life. I started off my journey working in child support & enforcement, but am currently working in the Legal and Regulatory field, training legal professionals on legal research software. I was born and raised in Chicago, and relocated to Minneapolis with my wonderful husband in 2001. I have been overweight my entire life and am currently researching the possibility of weight loss surgery. I have tried many diets and have failed. I am looking in to weight loss surgery because I want to be around to enjoy my children, to play with my children, and to enjoy life. Right now I feel like I am trapped in my skin, and am very unhappy with my body image. I am aware of the risks associated with this surgery, but am willing to accept them with the hopes of living a more fulfilled life, and being able to do more with my daughters and my husband. My husband is a very active man, and my girls love to play outside. I would love to be more active and do more with my them, and not have them think I am "lazy".
July 13, 2004
I have a consult set up at Abbott Northwestern with Dr. Schwartz's staff on July 23, 2004 at 1pm. I have the full support of my husband and my in-laws. I have told my mother as well. She is supportive, but naturally apprehensive.
July 23, 2004
I went to the group session at Abbott Northwestern. The session was moderated by Judy, Dr. Schwartz's wife. The session was more for my husband than for me. I know what I am doing, and I have researched the bejezzus out of this operation and know it is the right thing for me. My husband got a lot out of it, and he is on board now. It may be up to a year before my surgery, though. I went out with my mother in law to see the show "Footloose" at the Burnsville High School. It was a lot of fun. Afterward we went out, and had a long chat. I was surprised to see that she is more fearful of this surgery than I thought. We talked about why I want to have the operation, etc. I told her my reasons, but she wanted to hear me say "I have an illness", which is, of course, in my head, but I didn't say those 4 words. It turned into a scene, and I started crying. I was so sad!! I know I have a disease, and I need help. I felt bad that she didn't think I had researched this surgery and that it has taken me a long time to admit that I want to do it, that I *need* to do this for my health.
July 28, 2004
A little roadblock - I got a new job!!! Wahoo!! I wasn't even really "looking", but I got one! I'm going to be working in the private sector, away from my County jobs I've had for as long as I can remember. This may or may not delay the surgery. I still have to find out. I am so happy to finally be using my law degree. My new job gives me the best of both worlds - I use my law degree and I train people on how to use a legal research product. There's much more to my job than that, but suffice it to say, I'm PSYCHED!!
August 2, 2004
I met with the sleep doctor today, and I have my sleep study set up for TONIGHT in Woodbury!! The doctor believes I have sleep apnea and I will need a CPAP. We'll see!!!
August 3, 2004
I had my sleep study done on August 2nd and 3rd. It was a long two days, that's for sure. Long story short, I have a mild case of sleep apnea, but not enough to require CPAP during the study. What I do have is a terrible case of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). I was getting woke up (not truly "open your eyes" waking up, but my brain was waking up) nearly 50 times an HOUR!!!! So I am taking medicine for the Restless Leg Syndrome and it is making a WORLD of difference! I already feel so much more alert!
August 17, 2004
APPROVED!!! I received my phone call this morning that I was APPROVED by Health Partners! Thank the Lord!!! With just starting a new job, I will not take up their offer of having surgery by Halloween. I think I would like to wait more than 2 days before I tell my new boss "hey, I need six weeks off, ok?" So, I'm looking at making this life altering change after the new year. 2005 is going to be ALL ABOUT ME!!
So it's been a long time since I updated. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to do this. Things have been hectic, new job, new insurance, etc. I had originally planned on having the surgery some time in 2005, never thinking that my new job would change their insurance provider or their short term disability coverage. Well, they did. With that happening the decision was made, after much discussion, to bump up my surgery and my appointment. I met with Dr. Chute, bless his soul, on October 13, 2004. The date was fitting because it was the anniversary of the date that we had my father's wake 4 years ago. He died on October 12, 2000. I think it fitting that the day we celebrated my dad's life that I chose to change my life forever. Dr. Chute was very "to the point" - told me I was morbidly obese, and a candidate for surgery. He wants me to stop my medicines for fear that they will complicate anesthesia. I'll be meeting with my PCP to talk about that task next week. I was given a date - DECEMBER 6, 2004!! I'm the 1st surgery of the day. I have told my family and friends who I want to tell at this time, and I am ready to make this change in my life.
I have started going to a support group, Renewal, at Abbott Northwestern. I have met a great group of friends through the Minnesota Board on OH.com, and am forever grateful for the support I have found here, and the support my husband and family have provided me. Without their support I don't know if I'd be able to go through this alone.
My work knows I will be taking time off for the surgery, and my boss has told me I have her 100% support. In fact, EVERYONE I work with has been supportive. I have had NO fear to tell them all I am going to have Gastric Bypass Surgery. I really work with an incredible bunch of people! I will get as much time after surgery as needed, but I hope to be back to work by the 1st of the year. We'll see! Until next time....
Here's a picture of me at my highest weight - sorry for the red-eye
November 3, 2004
I have completed all the pre-op testing necessary and am a go for surgery. I had a gallbladder ultrasound, and I am proud to report that my gallbladder will STAY with me. I will have to take Actigall for the rest of my life, but hey, I get to keep an organ, so who cares!! My chest x-ray was clear, and I had to have a thyroid ultrasound because my blood work showed altered thyroid levels. Luckily the ultrasound was clear. Phew!! According to my PCP, my thyroid levels are not elevated enough to warrant medication. Dr. Chute is on board with this decision.
I was honored to get an angel today!! Lara has graciously offered to be my angel. She is truly an inspiration to me, and if I can do HALF as well post-op as she has, I will be just fine!!
Here's Lara and me (and Bridget) at my Final Fattie Feast at the Olive Garden on November 19, 2004
I am also counting down to the dreaded liquid diet. Dr. Chute has required I do a 2 week liquid diet to shrink my liver and lose some weight before surgery. Imagine my LUCK that this falls during Thanksgiving. Luckily Dr. Chute has a heart, and I will have a "reprieve" for Thanksgiving. Phew!! I have to do a 2 week liquid diet (low calorie, low sugar, high protein), and then I have to drink Magnesium Citrate (the 'ass reaper') the day before surgery. I don't know why I have to subject myself to the ass reaper because I won't have anything solid in my belly, but I will do whatever Dr. Chute tells me to do!!!
Jason's going hunting this weekend, and I'll be home alone with the girls. I'm looking forward to spending some time with them alone. I know nothing will happen to me, but just in case, I'll get some alone time with them, some extra snuggle time in my bed, and lots of extra hugs and kisses while Daddy is gone.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about my surgery. I know it is the right thing to do, and I will forever be grateful to the friends I have made here at obesityhelp.com, specifically all my friends from the Minnesota Board. You have all brought me such joy, and given me such hope. I don't know how I would have done this without you all.
My mother in law went with me last night to my support group, Renewal, at Abbott Northwestern. She was able to meet a lot of my friends, and also got to meet Dr. Dan Carey from the University of St. Thomas, Department of Exercise Physiology. I am participating in a study he is doing on WLS patients to see how their basal metabolic rate, body mass index, etc., are affected by WLS. I am very proud to be in his study. I will be underwater weighed and have my metabolic rate measured, and find out what my true "goal weight" should be, and will be followed for one year. Pretty neat.
I had the fortune to spend the weekend alone with my girls. Jason went hunting up in Northern Minnesota and I stayed home with the girls. Initially I was not looking forward to it, as Bridget and Molly can tend to be quite a handful these days (at 4 1/2 and 1 1/2, they are little balls of energy), but as the weekend went on, I began to realize how truly blessed I am. They are such wonderful little girls. While I know the chances of me having a complication are small, in the back of my mind I wonder if I'm making the right decision, because what IF something happens. I don't want them to grow up without a mother. I heard the most touching song on the radio over the weekend, and it makes me cry happy tears every time I hear it. It's "In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride. Here are the lyrics. It puts into words how I feel about Bridget & Molly. I love them with my whole heart and soul. They are the true loves of my life.
In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes
In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes
And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about
It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes
Is there a "shoot me" button here??
Today my mother in law calls me at work at 8:30am to "confirm" that she is picking up the girls from daycare so I can go to Renewal. She spent the weekend in Duluth with my husband's uncle (her brother in law), my father in law, and uncle's wife. She calls me today, and we were talking, and I wanted to let her know how proud I was of Jason, because we had a huge "breakthrough" this morning. He has been a royal pain in my ass the past few weeks, picking on me, starting fights over NOTHING, etc. This morning he asks me why I won't "snuggle" with him anymore at night, and I told him because his behavior is making it very hard for me to like him right now, let alone show affection to him. He got upset, but long and short of it, I finally said to him "what are you afraid of?" about 10 times. He finally said "I'm afraid after the surgery you're going to leave me." I said to him "well, the way you're treating me now, it makes me WANT to leave you, because I don't deserve to be treated like this." It's like he had a lightbulb moment, kwim?
I acknowleged to him that it was ok for him to be scared, and at the same time, I wasn't going to leave him because of my surgery, but if he didn't start treating me right, I may leave him because of his behavior. We had a long talk, and all seems ok right now.
Anywho, flash forward to LATER this morning. My MIL says to me that my some family members are VERY AGAINST my having surgery, and said she had to spend all weekend explaining why I chose to have surgery so quickly, and why I'm doing it in the first place. I told her I was sorry that she had to do that, and in the future, she can direct those questions to me, because I'd be more than happy to answer them. She then went on to say that "many of her friends and family" are asking her to talk me out of surgery, because I might die. No SHIT!!!! I might die without the surgery, walking down the street, or I might die from a comorbidity if my weight continues to spiral out of control.
She had the nerve today to tell me that my children "don't get" what's going on, and that when I say goodbye to them on December 6th I may be saying goodbye forever. WTF?!?!?! Are you KIDDING me? What am I supposed to do? Sit Bridget down and say "sweetie, Mommy may die when she goes to the hospital, just thought you might want to know that?" JEESH!! I'm not going to freak her out at ALL. The poor kid has been in the hospital more times in her 4 1/2 years of life than I have EVER been, with her asthma, hypoglycemia, etc. I'm not going to freak the child out about the hospital. GRRRRR!
What the hell do I do? What the hell do I say!? This is NOT her problem to "worst case scenario." GRR. I know the risks. Either you support me, or stay the hell away from me! I thought she "had my back" with this surgery, but I can see now that she's still worst case scenario-ing everything, and must have it implanted in her head that I'm going to die during surgery. I REFUSE to live my life in fear anymore. I can't live like that. I want to be positive, to think long term, and to be the best person I can be. UGH!
I'm so mad right now I could punch someone!
***updated - all is well now. My mother in law and I had yet another talk, and I understand now what happened. She really does support me, and was just frustrated that the other family members were coming to HER with their fears instead of to me ***
Thanksgiving Day, 2004
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!! I hope everyone is doing well!! This is my last Thanksgiving before surgery, and I can't believe my surgery is a week from Monday! This process, while it seemed slow at first, has just gone by so fast!
Let's see, I haven't updated in a while. Things with MIL and family are getting better, back to normal. Jason (my husband) and I have been in therapy since 2002, working on a variety of issues, but lately we've been focusing on the change my surgery will bring to our relationship, to my self esteem, etc. I was shocked to hear that he was afraid I was going to leave him after I got "skinny." One of the wonderful women I met on this site from MN is in the process of going through a divorce, and she is post op. Jason made the leap to think that I would leave him too. That broke my heart for him. He's loved me when I was 290lbs, and I have no designs on leaving him ever. He's loved me for better for worse, for poorer (we haven't seen richer yet, but someday!!), in sickness and in health (haven't had much of that either). I love him with all of my heart, despite our bickering and the bullshit we nit-pick about.
I can't wait until after surgery when I lose this weight once and for all, to feel comfortable in my skin, to have energy, to be playful, spunky and sexy again! Right now I can't fathom why anyone would find me attractive because all I see is a large ball of lard!
I've been giving a lot of thought to the idea of "what if" something happens to me. I hope that only the positive things from my life will be remembered, how I love my daughters, how special they are to me, what a blessing they have been to me. I hope I will be remembered for my compassion, my dedication to my friends and family, and to my work (both now and my last job).
I sit here this Thanksgiving with so much to be thankful for. I have a husband who adores me and whom I adore with all of my heart, two BEAUTIFUL daughters, Bridget & Molly Rose, family and friends who support me, a career I adore, new friends from OH.com and Renewal who I would go to the ends of the earth for.
Jason and I were blessed to be able to find a great house that we are slowly turning in to our own, and fabulous parents (my in-laws) who helped make this fantasy our reality.
Moving to Minnesota in the fall of 2001 was a very scary move to make, but one I have yet to regret for one day. I loved the hustle and bustle of Chicago, but I love Minnesota more. It's almost like this is where God meant for me to be.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!
Today I get a short "reprieve" from my liquid diet. I started this journey at 291lbs, and today I weigh 285. Not much of a change, but a start in the right direction, and one I hope my surgeon will be happy with.
December 4, 2004
I sit here, nearly 48 hours away from my surgery, and I am at peace. I know I have done EVERYTHING I could posibly do to ensure the best outcome on this surgery. I have lost 10lbs in 2 weeks on the liquid diet, I've come down off of nearly ALL of my meds (this was fun). I've researched everything I can about the surgeon and his office. I attend Renewal every week. I have my support network in place.
I know that something COULD Happen to me during surgery, but the chances are slim. I need to think positive, not doom and gloom. I've discussed the "what if's" with my husband and my in-laws, and have made an advanced directive.
Now I sit and relax and pray.
I'm 48 hours from "the rest of my life.
Today has been a very busy day! I've been cleaning like a mad woman, almost like a I did when I was pregnant with Bridget - nesting almost. I'm trying to get things "in order", I guess. I don't want to come home to chaos. I want to start this journey fresh.
We took the girls today and got our Christmas tree. Our realtor gave us our tree as a "thank you" for buying our house. Nice!! Hopefully we'll get the house festive tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow I see Dr. Dan Carey for my underwater weighing and basal metabolism reading. That'll take the most of the morning.
I bought the new Kelly Clarkson CD today - "Breakaway" - it's great! I love the title song. I heard that song many times around the time I got my surgery date, it's almost "my surgery song" if that makes sense. Here are some of the lyrics:
Trying hard to reach out
But, when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I prayed I could break away
I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
Though it's not easy to tell you goodbye, gotta
Take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And break away
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But, I won't forget of the place I come from
I gotta take a risk, take a chance, make a change
And break away
I feel the song is very appropriate to my struggle with my weight, and how I've always felt about myself. I don't think I've reached my potential yet. I know there are so many more things I could do in my life - if I could onlyl muster the strength to believe in myself and not hold myself back.
I'm ready to fly, to get my wings, and be set free. Only 36 more hours!! I'm ready!
And all I can say is
MY BISCUITS ARE BURNING!!
MY BISCUITS ARE BURNING!!!
If this happened from a liquid diet, I don't even want to THINK of what happened to those of you who were able to eat solids right up until the eve of surgery.
I've taken my shower, I've got the alarm set for 3:45am.
I still can't believe it's already here, that I'm really going to do this!
But I am ready. I am at peace. I am resolved.
I know some of you are coming to Abbott tomorrow - only advice, make sure I've walked! Get my arse up out of that bed and get me moving!! I look forward to seeing you on the other side!!
Tatum - Jason's ready for the thumb war tomorrow!!
Tonight Bridget came up to me and said she hoped my owie in my tummy got better tomorrow, and that she was going to miss me. She made me pinky swear that I would be ok. I took her up on the pinky swear.
Saying goodnight to my children tonight was bittersweet. I hugged and kissed them until they were raw. I know this isn't goodbye, only "see you at 7pm" but there was some raw emotion going on there when I tucked their little bodies in. Perhaps it's because I wo'nt be able to hug them that tightly, let them snuggle on my belly for 6 weeks. it's going to be a long 42 days.
Watch out world....I'm ready!
Love you all!
December 7, 2004
Ok, just a quick post.
I was discharged by Dr. Chute at 2pm today. He said I need to take it very slow, but that my surgery went well, and that if I have ANY problems to call or go to the ER at Abbott. He said "don't wait until you're on a gurnee to call, just go in."
Anywho, things went much better than I thought they would. I didn't have much time to be nervous in the morning. Got there at 5:30am, and waited a short period of time before being called back. Got me my bariatric bed (um, HEAVEN!), I peed a few times, the reaper showed his face a few more times just for giggles, and then I was gowned, and had my IV running. Dr. Chute and his assistant Johnny came to see me, and I told them I hoped I made them proud. Dr. Chute was his normal, stoic self, quiet, reserved, serious. But I wanted him to be serious, he was, after all, about to go and have an intimate breakfast with my innards!!
They brought back Jason, Lara (who is the bestest angel in the whole world), and my MIL. I was able to give them their "gifts" before surgery (cards and snacking items), I kissed dmy pictures of the girls and my grandma, and then it felt like only seconds before the nurse anesthetist injected my liquid courage into my IV. I was wheeled back, put on the not-so-comfy table, took 3 puffs of my inhaler "just in case", and the anesthesiologist said he'd take good care of me. I joked with the team in the OR that the TVs were set up for "Megan-vision", and that's the last thing I remember.
I don't remember waking up right after surgery, I remember waking up in recovery. My right hand was numb. I was worried. Slowly I've gotten sensation back, it's been blamed on bad positioning in surgery. Hopefully it'l come back. I got up to my room around 1:30pm or so, and my nurse was very sweet. We worked on the incentive spiromiter, she checked my wounds, got me set in bed, and a round of Dilodid (sp?) on board, and I was able to see everyone. I wanted to walk. I wanted to get up. So we did. We took a small walk, halfway around the stations. Then we went back. I was DESPARATE for ice chips. I was parched, it was dry in the hospital. I remember taking another walk.
THe rest of the evening is kind of a blur, I was highly medicated. I remember Denice, Dana, and Tatum visiting, along with two of my co-workers, and my sweetie Bridget. But I was in and out of consciousness - I was sleepy! This morning Jason said he had QUITE the conversation with Tatum and Lara - I wish I could have been there. All he could do was giggle like school girl!!!
Last night my bladder decided to start working again. All of the fluids they pumped in to me started to come out in 2 hour incriments. Fun. But at least i was getting up.
This morning Jason came in, and my nurses assistant, Rita, suggested a shower. I took them both up on it. God love Jason, he stood on a chair in the shower room and held the shower head so I could get a good shower. Then he helped me blow-dry my hair. He was really nervous going in to the surgery, and now he's doing much better. Thank goodness!
I wish I could have gone to renewal tonight with you guys!! Dr. Chute says no driving for 3 weeks. Perhaps I could mooch a ride with one of you guys next week? I'd like that!!
Lara, you are amazing. Thank you for coming to the hospital at 5:30 in the morning, for being there for both me AND my family, and for being such a phenomenal cheerleader and angel. You are such a great friend, and I am honored to be your angelette!! I can only hope I can be half as successful as you have been!! Hugs!! I love you lady!
Tatum, Denice, Dana - thank you for coming to visit me, for encouraging me, and for letting me know I was doing well!! I love you guys!!
And everyone on the board - thank you for your thoughts, prayers, well wishes, jokes and hugs over the last 5 months. I am proud to be "on the other side" now. I join a very "elite" group of people, each as special as the next!!
OK, so much for being "short." I'm going back to the couch. I have jell-o and milk calling my name, but I'm just not hungry! Imagine that!!
And, my roommate was just fine! Her daughter has been contemplating the surgery for a while now, and I told her about Renewal. Hopefully she'll be coming soon. She was impressed I was up and walking so quickly after surgery.
I love you guys!!!!!
I'll post more later!! Hope Renewal was fun!
December 10, 2004
On Tuesday night I started feeling funny. Every time I ate I felt like I had ingested a large lead brick. Nothing helped. I changed the temp of the liquids, didn't matter. Tried different foods, nothing mattered. I assumed I had gas, so when I farted on Wednesday night, I thought I was doing great.
Wednesday still brought the same problems, pain in my belly, etc. Thursday morning I had my first poop. I was ecscatic. Big mistake. My enthusiasm over one bowel movement turned in to nearly 20 by noon, and my temperature rose to 101.5. Dr. Chute was paged in sugery and called me from the OR. He told me to come immediately to the ER. So I called MIL and off we went.
We waited FOREVER in triage. I continued to poop, my temp continued to climb. They finally got me back and didn't know what to do with me. I kept telling them to page Dr. Chute. They FINALLY started an IV, and a doc came in to see me, said they were going to run a lot of blood work, and that they'd run the IV wide open, and I'd get chest x-ray, and they'd need a urine and stool sample. No problem! Everything completed, 4 pokes later, I have an IV in me, a clear chest x-ray, relatively normal blood work (mildly dehydrated) but I continued to poop. They don't call it the runs for nothin'! I gave my stool sample, and Dr. Chute came in.
I was afraid he was going to say "leak" or "blood clot" or something like that. Turns out he said C.Diff. Never even THOUGHT of C.Diff. Molly had it last year, and it's a nasty little bug. Basically you have two types of bacteria in your body: good bacteria and bad bacteria. The purpose of the antibiotics is to get rid of bad bacteria, but sometimes they get over-zealous and get rid of the good bacteria too, causing c-diff. Symptoms - lots and lots of diarrhea. Not fun.
The stool sample didn't come back until this afternoon, and it was positive. I have been started on Flagyl to kick the c.diff, and had 3 different bags of fluids, and one bag that looked like mountain dew - yellow with potassium, vitamins, folic acid, etc. I feel a bit beter. I've also lost weight, obviously, because as soon as I ingest it, I poop it. I'm down to 275 from my highest of 292. That's 17lbs hopefully lost FOREVER.
I spent the night in the hospital, and if I get dehydrated again, I'll go back. For now, I'm home, and happy to be here.
December 16, 2004
Hello Hello!! Things here are going just peachy! My weight stalled at -20lbs for a while, and yesterday I was given the "OK" from my doctor to add some crackers & peanut butter to my diet, so I decided to really focus on "protein forward" as my goal. Nearly half of all the calories (550) I took in yesterday were from protein, and low and behold, the scale finally gave!! I lost 2.5lbs! Go Me!
The holidays are upon us, and since I was SO focused on my surgery for the last few months (and who wouldn't be), I really don't think I'm ready. Hopefully I'll be able to do a little bit of shopping today and my body (and pouch) will cooperate.
I'm over 1 week out today, and I'm feeling great, but if I over-do it, I pay the price. Case in point, I unloaded the dishwasher yesterday (God I hope Dr. Chute doesn't read these things) because the dishes were getting, well, funky. I love Jason to death, but he's got SO much on his plate right now, I really think it's taking its toll on him. He's exhausted by the time he gets home from work, grumpy, and the last thing I want to do is say "hey, would ya do the dishes please?!" So I tried. And my body said "nice try, dipshit, you'll pay for that!" And I did. I crashed for nearly 5 hours. And even last night when we went to bed, I slept for another 8 hours. My body was justifiably mad that I tried to push her too far. Finicky little bitch! Tee hee!!
I'm planning on going back to work to "visit" on Friday, just for a little while. I miss work desperately, but I know I need to just let myself heal, especially with the c.diff. My job requires me to be tied to a headset, and I can't very well say "uh, can you hold, I have to go potty!" And with C.Diff., when you have to go, you have to go NOW. So I'll play the game, and let my tummy heal.
My steri strips are all a thing of the past. I look at my seven beautiful little scars, and I am grateful - grateful at the chance for a new life, grateful that I had the strength to stick with this an DO the surgery, and grateful that it all turned out well. My new life is just beginning - this catepillar is ready to spread her wings!!! That's all for now!! Until later....
December 25, 2004
It's Christmas here already! Hard to believe how fast the time is flying. My scale stalled for almost a week, I believe I hit one of those dreaded "set points", where your body goes "uh, no more weight loss, ok?", but I pushed through it, upped my exercise (thank you Christmas shopping!) and my protein. The scale has finally budged!! I'm down to 265 now, a 27lb loss since I started the liquid diet. I'm VERY pleased with that.
I can tell more now that I'm losing weight, my clothes are baggier, I have more energy, people tell me I even walk better (straighter?). I still have NO regrets, and would do this surgery again in a HEARTBEAT.
Merry Christmas everyone!!
December 29, 2004
Has it been 3 weeks since surgery!!? Amazing! Life has been pretty crazy these days. Christmas Eve found me in the ER, as the VISITOR, not the patient - my husband Jason and the girls had the stomach flu. Jason was so sick he needed IV fluids and Zofran. 1st time in the nearly 9 years we've been together that he has been in the ER. Poor baby!
Speaking of babies, little Molly got hit with the bug too, but didn't need to go to the ER. The day after Christmas Bridget Eileen, my four and a half year old got so sick, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. We took her to the ER on Sunday, her blood sugar was a 45, and she was severly dehydrated. They tanked her up with fluids and some glucose and sent her home. On Monday I went to wake her up and she wouldn't wake up. She was all sweaty and lethargic. Ended up calling 911. Her blood sugar was an alarming 30!! She was rushed by ambulance to Minneapolis Children's where we spent the next 3 days. They're still not sure what's up with her. Not ready to diagnose Diabetes yet. We'll see a pediatric endocrinologist to get to the bottom of it.
Luckily Abbott is just a tunnel walk away from Children's. I had my 3 week appointment yesterday with Heidi, Dr. Chute's nurse. I found out I'm down to 263, down 29lbs since my highest weight! yeah ME! I learned how to give myself a B-12 injection, and got a script for that, and for Actigall to keep my gallbladder happy. I will now take Iron and calcium supplements, and can eat just about anything I want. WAHOO!!
Dr. Chute was even kind enough to come in and say hello. He said I'm doing great and healing up well. He said to stay on top of my c.diff. and if I have any more stool issues to call and he'll call in another Flagyl script. I can't say ENOUGH about this office - they're FABULOUS. And Dr. Chute, I wish I could just take him home with me! He's such a compassionate and caring doctor.
I'll go back the end of March for my 4 month follow up! :) Can't wait to see where I am by then!!
Hugs and love,
December 30, 2004
Well, I have c.diff. again. UGH. What a literal pain in the ass. The diarrhea is back, and I'm struggling to stay hydrated. I've had many people ask me what the c.diff. is. Here's the definition and some explanations:
What is Clostridium difficile?
C. difficile is a spore forming bacteria which can be part of the normal intestinal flora in as many as 50% of children under age two, and less frequently in individuals over two years of age. C. difficile is the major cause of pseudomembranous colitis and antibiotic associated diarrhea.
What are the risk factors for C. difficile-associated disease?
C. difficile-associated disease occurs when the normal intestinal flora is altered, allowing C. difficile to flourish in the intestinal tract and produce a toxin that causes a watery diarrhea. Repeated enemas, prolonged nasogastric tube insertion and gastrointestinal tract surgery increase a person's risk of developing the disease. The overuse of antibiotics, especially penicillin (ampicillin), clindamycin and cephalosporins may also alter the normal intestinal flora and increase the risk of developing C. difficile diarrhea.
What are the symptoms of C. difficile-associated disease?
Mild cases of C. difficile disease are characterized by frequent, foul smelling, watery stools. More severe symptoms, indicative of pseudomembranous colitis, include diarrhea that contains blood and mucous, and abdominal cramps. An abnormal heart rhythm may also occur.
How is C. difficile-associated disease diagnosed?
C. difficile diarrhea is confirmed by the presence of a toxin in a stool specimen. A positive culture for C. difficile without a toxin assay is not sufficient to make the diagnosis of C. difficile- associated disease. Endoscopic findings are useful in diagnosis of pseudomembranous colitis.
What is the treatment for C. difficile-associated disease?
As soon as C. difficile disease is diagnosed, current antibiotic therapy should be reassessed by the physician. Patients with severe toxicity or unresolved diarrhea may need to have their antibiotic treatment modified to use drugs not known to result in C. difficile diarrhea. Patients should be monitored for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance following prolonged bouts of diarrhea. Antidiarrheal agents such as Lomotil® or Imodium® have been shown to increase the severity of symptoms and should NOT be taken.
I am back on Flagyl, and will see an infectious disease specialist on Monday. I hope to be back to work on Tuesday, but may not get back to work yet. We'll see.
~*~*~January 4, 2005*~*~
Well, I didn't make it to work. Instead I went to the hospital.
Well, I'm glad to report I'm home , but I don't have very nice things to say about Abbott right now.
I went in to the ER on Sunday because, being the overachiever that I am, my bowels decided to get in on the game , and despite being back on Flagyl since Thursday when the diarrhea started again, I couldn't keep up, and in fact got very sick from drinking ANYTHING. I called the office, and Dr. Drew was on call. What a sweet sweet man he is! He told me that I had dehydrated myself (based on the symptoms I gave him), and I was too far gone to fix it myself, I needed to be "tanked up" as he said. So, we went to Abbott ER, they knew I was coming.
They got a line in (had to call the IV team), and I gave them a stool and urine sample. Took 24 hours, but the stool DID test positive for c.diff. again. Anywho, they got me up to my room, and I had the NICEST roomate, a 29 year old girl who they thought had cancer. I told them I could be c.diff. positive, but they (nursing staff) didn't listen to me. We had a nice night, watched Coyote Ugly and Kiss the Girls on TBS, and had some good chats. We didn't get dinner until nearly 7:30pm, and by then, they gave me 1/4 cup of chicken broth , milk -I can't drink that right now per Dr. Chute - and an ICEE POPSICLE! (hello-SUGAR?!). So I sent the tray back and told them I wanted another one. One never came. So I ate graham crackers with peanut butter on them and grumbled.
My Monday started out at 6:45am with Dr. Drew coming in to check on me (I love him too, btw!), followed at 7:00am by Dr. Chute (I asked him if he was operating today, and he said yes, but he wanted to check up on me, what a sweetheart!), and then at 7:45am by Dr. Franke, the infectious disease specialist. I was told I could advance my diet as tolerated, and I'd get a regular tray for lunch. My BP was 80/50, so they THOUGHT I was still dehydrated. I was getting 150ML of fluid/hour, but my urine was still (and is still) dark, and my BP wouldn't rise. Around 9:30am, after the cafeteria closed for breakfast, they brought me my tray - BEEF BROTH, MILK and VANILLA PUDDING. For BREAKFAST?!?! Blech. I sent it back, and asked to speak with a dietary consultant, because both Dr. Chute, Drew AND Franke advanced my diet. They said my chart read "gastric bypass" so I could only have clear liquids. I WAS FURIOUS!
I had the dietary nurse call Dr. Franke and Dr. Chute, and they both said I was fine for a regular diet, no sugar, no milk. So I didn't eat breakfast. Around 1:30pm the lunch trays came, and what was on it? BEEF BROTH, MILK and an ICEE POPSICLE. I could have KILLED SOMEONE. So, I went with my roomate down to the cafeteria. It was CLOSED! Just soups and salad . I got some soup, paid for with my OWN money, and brought it up, and demanded a patient rep come up. That did me no good, there was 'Nothing they could do' because their dietary department was 'in transition'. I was furious.
Around this time the c.diff. sample came back positive, and my roommate asked to be moved. She may have cancer, so I can understand her worry, HOWEVER, move ME to the private room, kwim? I"m the freaking infectious one! But no, they moved the roommate. Grumble. I ended up getting a 90 year old woman who had no bowel control and was vomiting. After they got her in I called her doc over and said "did they tell you I have c.diff.?" Her doc was PISSED OFF, and I was "slated" for a private room.
6:30pm rolls around and my "new room" has been open for about an hour. Then my in-laws came to visit and Jason brought the girls. My dinner tray came while they were there. Wanna guess what was on it? I told the girl to take it away. She said "you don't have to be nasty." I asked for her supervisor. SO they brought me another tray that looked like DOGMEAT - it was pureed something or other. I would NOT eat that crap either. Next tray? More beef broth. 4th tray they FINALLY got me some food, the first I had eaten basically since Saturday night. Sadly, the scale isn't moving, but I had EIGHT bags of fluid pumped in me in about 48 hours, so I'm sure I have some water weight going on.
Right after Jason, the girls and my in-laws left my roommate defecated herself and began to vomit. I left the room and was told my private room would be ready "shortly." I went to the visitor's lounge and waited. And waited. And waited. 10:30pm I *finally* got in to my room. I was FURIOUS. I slept until 6am, when the nurse woke me up for my Flagyl. I'm EXHAUSTED.
End result: I have c.diff. I'm on Vancomyacin (sp?), Flagyl, and Zofran. Vanco and Flagyl are for the c.diff., I'll take it for three weeks. Zofran is for the nausea from the flagyl (that stuff is NASTY). I will try to go back to work on Thursday, but I am cleared with my short term disability through Monday. I miss work, I miss my job, I miss my co-workers, I miss my work clothes and my independence.
Abbott WILL be getting a VERY worded letter from me, carbon copied to Dr. Chute's office, and perhaps Mike Hatch's office (Attorney General). This kind of treatment was SO not necessary, inappropriate, and just downright rude.
I will NOT be going to Renewal tonight because I'm just exhausted. I really WANT to go to renewal, but I don't think it'd be a wise idea. Karrie G., I'll post to you in a second. I"m sorry I won't be there for your last renewal, and Dr. Drew said I can't come to the hospital, but I told him to tell you I'm thinking of you. I don't want to infect you, sweetie!! Trust me you do NOT want this.
Anywho, I'm going back to bed. I'm home now, if anyone wants to call me, you know where to get me!!
Thank you ALL for your thoughts and prayers. Hanna - no more hospitals for one month, ok? Dana, thanks for keeping my spirits up, and Tatum and Lara - you guys just rock!!!
Keep those prayers coming!!
January 6, 2005
I went back to work today. In hindsight, I should have worked a half day, but I didn't. I am paying for it now. I talked with the doctor, and he has *insisted* that I work half days for a week, and work myself back up to full days. He is worried I will "decompensate" or go south, so to speak, so I am to go in tomorrow for blood work and only work a half day.
Work was so good today. It was nice to see everyone. It was strange though, I received SO many compliments. It was strange, to say the least. How do I accept these compliments? What do I say? Bizarre feeling, that's for sure!!
I'm off to bed. On a good note - I have officially lost one Bridget - 35lbs. Amazing!!!
January 9, 2005
Ok, so I went and saw Dr. Carey yesterday over at the University of St. Thomas. What a nice man he is!! As I've said, I'm participating in a study of his showing the long-term changes in WLS patient's metabolism and body fat%. Today was visit #2. I can't say enough good things about Dr. Carey - he's very "fat friendly" and very honest with his suggestions on exercise, etc.
I went in to weight this morning, and I put the slide to 250, and pushed the other slide almost all the way over - it was instinct, I was going for the top of the scale. Freaky that I had to go to the other side of the slide this time!
Dr. Carey says my BMR is more "normal" now, and doesn't agree with the nearly 3800 BMR I had in December. But he'll have to use it for his study. He said I've lost 27lbs since I saw him a month ago (YIPPIE), and that I'm doing great. He suggested getting more exercise in (haven't really been able to do that lately what with all the hospital stays and what not), and said he'd expect to see between 35-50lbs MORE gone by the time I see him on 3/5/05. How surreal would that be??
On another note, I attempted to start back to work on Thursday, but I couldn't work a full day. I was just too tired. I ended up getting put on half-days by my surgeon's office, and they've drawn some blood work to make sure my mineral/vitamin levels are ok, and that my thyroid hasn't gone south on me. I'll do half-days for one week, and then back up to full time. I was SO excited to get back to work. It was strange, I got looks and compliments, I'm not used to getting compliments about my appearance! It was nice, but strange at the same time!
But I really love my job, and can't say enough good things about my employer. They've been 100% supportive of my decision to have WLS, and even in spite of my complications, they've supported me. So kudos to Thomson!!
People have asked me - even with all the complications would you still have this surgery. In a word - ABSOLUTELY! The complications I *could* have had are SO much worse - leak, thrombosis, PE, etc. Just a small bump in the road. As Gloria Gaynor says - I WILL SURVIVE!
January 13, 2005
OK, note to self: don't eat the steak & potato soup at work. I fished out all the meat "just in case", and ate the soup- veggies (carrots, potatos, green beans), and beef broth. About 10 minutes after I ate I started to feel lightheaded, sweaty, shaky, and I thought my heart was going to race out of my chest. Is this dumping? I went to the nurse, she said my heart was going "really fast" (no kidding, eh?), and I laid down for 20 minutes. It seems to have gone away, but damn skippy! I thought I was having a heart attack or something!
Yep, it was my first "dumping" episode. I guess my "tool" is well-installed! It doesn't like fat, that's for sure! Perhaps it was the potatos in the soup? I didn't eat too many of them. Who knows. I'm pissed though, that was good soup! :grumble:
I'm back to work full time now. What a shock to my system! I'm so tired I can barely see straight! But I will survive! Luckily it's going to be colder than heck this weekend, so perhaps we'll just do a lot of nothing!!
January 20, 2005
Happy Birthday Mom!
Today is my mom's 63rd birthday! I hope she has a fun day!!
It's been a little while since I updated. The scale had been stuck for almost 2 weeks. I was so close to the 40lb mark, yet so far away. I tried everything, upping water, increasing protein, more exercise...nothing. The scale got mad at me. I think my body got mad too, and wouldn't give up the weight. I'm sure my body is accustomed to the extra 150lbs on my body, but for me personally, I'd rather just get rid of it - the sooner, the better.
The "plateau" I was on really got me in a rut. I think what I need to do is stop obsessing with the scale, and only weigh twice a week, perhaps only once a week. That way my mood isn't set by the number on the scale in the morning. I'm going to try this for a week (starting Saturday, since I've been keeping my weight tracker at home on a Saturday weigh-cycle), and I'll see how that does.
The weather here has been wickedly cold. Wind chill has been between -30 and -50 below zero. Just insane. No outside exercise for me, that's for sure. Luckily we moved at work to a new building, so it means more walking for me, extra exercise!
January 29, 2005
Well I finally broke the plateau! I'm down 45lbs now! I'm feeling better now that the scale has started to creep down. It really pisses me off that my mood can be directly correlated to the number on that wicked piece of shit scale. Grr. Yet another issue to talk to my therapist about. I can't say enough about support groups and therapists. They're my lifeline!!
I'm starting to get excited abou clothes again. I was in a tight 28 when this all started, and now I'm in a LOOSE 24, some 22s. It feels WONDERFUL!! :) I've been lucky enough to have friends who have "donated" clothes to me - those who have gone before me with WLS who are out of those sizes already. Thank you EVERYONE!!
I'm going to be angeling someone soon! Erin H. is having surgery this coming Thursday! I'm excited to be her angel, I'll be co-angeling with Lara, my angel from MY surgery! Wahoo!!
Can I just squeal with joy about how many new friends I've made with my support group? They're WONDERFUL!! I feel like I've known these people all my life! We have an amazing bond!
For now...I bid you adieu!
February 6, 2005
Hard to believe that 2 months have passed already! What an amazing 2 months these have been! I am officially down (drumroll please) 49lbs! I had wanted to be at the big 5-0 by today, but you know what, I'm pretty damn close! I'll take it!
I have more energy than I've had in YEARS, yes, I still get tired if I do too much, but I can walk places without getting winded, I can wear heels again without killing my feet, I can carry my children and not feel like I'm going to die. I can't say enough good things about my RNY or Dr. Chute. I would lie down tomorrow and do it again if I had to.
The compliments I get are becoming easier to take. At first it was strange - everyone telling me how "beautiful" I was (when I knew damn well I was beautiful before surgery), and how 'great' I looked (I was pretty fabulous before surgery too), but I'll take the compliments! Now I can hear them and not get defensive, just say "thank you" and go about my day.
I had the honor of angeling for Erin on Thursday. It was so neat to see someone just starting out on the journey. I have made such wonderful friends through this surgery, and Erin is one of them! She had a rough start out of the gate, but she seems to be doing better. I can't wait to see her on Tuesday!
Wow - 2 months already. Can't wait to see where I am when I go back home to Chicago for Easter. Except for my mom and my Aunt Pat, noone has seen me in quite some time. The last time they saw me I was 292lbs. Should be an interesting reunion!
Until next time!
February 8, 2005
OK, so here's the skinny:
I have C.Diff. again. Confirmed. The proof is in the poopie! (lame joke, but what can you say)
I had 2 bags of fluids run in me today, and am on Vancomyacin and Flagyl for TWO MONTHS (YIPES!). If that doesn't fix it I will go on a drug (can't remember the name) that hasn't been FDA approved yet, but it's my "last hope" so to speak.
Jason went with me today - we got out of the hospital at around 1pm. On the way home he says "man, I'm having chest pains."
Can you tell where we ended up?
Yes, that's right, back at the ER. Not Abbott this time, but just to spice it up a bit, we went to Fairview Southdale.
Now it's Jason's turn to be the patient. He was hooked up to all sorts of electrodes, they drew vials and vials of blood, and did a chest x-ray.
Chest x-ray = Clear
Blood = BAD
His tryglicerides were (drum roll) 974!!! Normal is between 10-100. The doctor was surprised he hadn't already had a heart attack or a stroke.
Jason is now on Lipitor for his high cholesterol, on baby aspirin to ward off a heart attack, on another med for his heart (some sort of diuretic), and on aciphex for his reflux.
He has to go for a stress echo on Wednesday. The doctor said if he doesn't make some serious changes to his lifestyle he'll be dead by the time he's 40. I can't take that.
It's not like we eat bad in our house. His father has high triglycerides, his grandfather died of heart disease before he was 60. It's just scary to think that one minute he was fine, and the next minute he wasn't.
I've faced my own mortality head on, but I never gave a 2nd thought to Jason's. This is spooking me out.
Anywho, keep those prayers coming. We definitely need them.
February 28, 2005
Wow- almost 3 weeks without an update! Yipes!
Life continues to throw us curveballs, and Jason and I continue to swing for the fences at them. Latest curveball: Bridget's health. She has finally been "officially" diagnosed as hypoglycemic. The "wrench" in the picture is that she also may have a growth hormone deficiency and/or a metabolic disorder. She goes back in 3/9/05 to the endocrinologist to get to the bottom of the problem. We may end up having to give her human growth hormone (HGH) injections until she hits puberty. She also may have to have a liver biopsy done for the metabolic studies at Mayo in Rochester. Time will tell if this is her course. She also has to have her tonsils out - that'll be March 16, 2005. Nothing like a little stress to even the day out.
Molly Rose has been sick too - both girls have something called Adenovirus - causes stomach issues (read vomiting), pink eye, and severe respiratory issues. Both girls are getting nebbed every 4-6 hours, and Molly Rose is on prednisone to try to kick this from her system. Good times, I tell you!
My weight loss has been slow, but steady. They say those are the ones who win the race, right?? As of today I'm down 56lbs, down to 236lbs from a high of 292. I'm still struggling with the c.diff., and continue to take antibiotics, something I think is causing me to lose weight so slowly. I'm down to a loose size 20, so that's pretty darn cool, from a tight size 28.
I am going home to visit family over Easter, bringing the family with me. Noone's seen me since we buried my grandma nearly a year ago. I've really been missing my grandmother a lot lately - thinking of her, wondering if she would have approved of my surgery, wondering what she thinks of the progress I've made. Today I was thinking about her a lot, and on the way to get Bridget I saw a cardinal in the snow. That was "our bird" - she used to point the cardinals out to me, they were my grandpa's favorite birds too. I like to think of it as a sign - she was just letting me know she heard me thinking of her. Who knows. My heart aches for her hugs, her kisses, and her love. But I know she's in a better place. She was 90 when she passed, but I miss her so....
Anywho, until again....
March 6, 2005
One year ago today I watched my grandmother die. She was 90 years old. She fought the good fight. I miss her to my core. I wonder what she is thinking about me in heaven. Does she think I made a wise choice? Does she like the way I look? Does she agree with my decision to have WLS?
3 months ago today I had WLS. A decision I have NEVER regretted. A surgery I would have again tomorrow if I had to.
I can't believe it's been 3 months already! AMAZING! I've gone from 292 to 231. From a tight size 28 to a loose size 20. My 1X tops are too baggy on me. It's surreal to think that I might be in "normal size" clothes soon.
I had my 3rd visit with Dr. Carey today, but it was SUPPOSED to be yesterday. I totally flaked on him. Bad Megan.
Anywho, here are the results. I'm VERY VERY pleased:
when I had my 2nd visit on 1/8/05 I was 258lbs. I was 51.0%fat. 131.6lbs fat mass, 126.4 lean mass. Goal was set at 150lbs.
today, 3/6/05 I weighed 231, down 61lbs from my highest. I am 47.5% fat! 107.4lbs fat mass, 123.6lbs lean mass.
What does this mean?! Of my 27lbs I have lost in the last 2 months, 24.2 have been from fat, and only 2.8 from lean mass! WHOOHOO!! Goal is still 150, but it is subject to change. So, that's my update!!
Had a wonderful afternoon today with Lara, DeLossie, Erin & Jen. Went to Pannenkooken (can't spell it, but it tasted WONDERFUL) and then Lara, DeLossie and Erin were brave enough to come to the Heffalump movie with me, my nearly 5 year old Bridget and our neighbor Evelyn (Evie). It's a cute cute movie!
So, 3 months out, 61lbs down. I'll take it!
Only 3 weeks until my family will see me for the first time for some since Christmas (my mom, brother and aunt) or for others, since my grandmother's funeral. What a difference 1 year or 3 months makes. God is good.
April 5, 2005
I'm getting bad at updating this thing! Jeesh!
5 years ago today I gave birth to my first daughter, Bridget Eileen. 2 years ago (on 3/11/03) I gave birth to her baby sister Molly Rose. I can't believe I have a 5 and a 2 year old. Amazing!
Weight loss was slow last month, 10lbs, but I'll take it. I've gone from a size 28 to a size 18 in 4 months. That's just surreal to me. I hope to be under 200 by June 1st. I hope I hit my goal of "Onederland" by then.
I attended the OH event in Bloomington last weekend. I can't say enough good things about the event. I got to meet Dr. Ganz, Bo McCoy and his fiancee Cheryl. They were all very nice. Lots of good vendors, some "not so good" vendors, and great presentations. The plastic surgeon was HOT! Damn! I spent some good time with my OH friends, and I hope to be spending more time with them again soon!! I've made such wonderful friends through this journey, from OH.com, the MN board, and Renewal. I will be forever grateful.
Until next time,
April 17, 2005
Hello my faithful!
First off, hugs and kisses to everyone who was at the Spring Thaw. I had a WONDERFUL experience at the Thaw.
Friday night Jen C., Danny & I got there a little late, so we missed Ron Lester's story (anyone wanna clue me in?), but I *definitely* didn't miss Ron. He smelled SOOOOOOO wonderful. He was an Obsession wearing man, and damn hot! After Ron's presentation we had a pajama party, complete with game we used to play growing up, dancing, drinks and a whole lotta fun.
I hadn't stayed up that late in a LONG time. Friday night I was up until 2am, and won $47.50 at the casino playing slots! WHOOHOO!! Saturday morning we went to hear Barbara Thomson speak, and then had our breakout sessions. They were fun, but the first ones got off to a late start, so we were a little delayed. There was a Thaw Spa where you could get reflexology massages, palm readings, shiatzu massages, the whole nine. Then they had an expo, where you could get Lauren's Hope bracelets, homemade bracelets (Tina A., I wanna learn from the queen - the Bead Monkey Goddess Herself - how to make them), bariatric friendly drinks, etc., get your MoJo back (sex toys), etc. It was interesting. Chef David was amazing to watch, and the entire thaw area smelled like heaven.
Saturday night we got all gussied up and went to the dinner. The dinner was DELICIOUS - watermelon salad, mandarin salad, champagne salmon, deviled eggs, ribeye, and delicious desserts (one of which was NOT WLS friendly and from what I"ve heard, caused a few partygoers to dump FIERCELY). I had the sugar free pumpkin cheesecake, and it was TO DIE FOR!! Yumm!!
There was the fashion show, and our very own DUANE was the star! He was looking great with his honey, and definitely stole the show. I aspire to be part of the fashion show next year and strut my stuff!
Then we danced. I'll admit, I did the macarena. But mostly because Ron Lester was doing it, and I was enthralled by him. He was so "normal", and very friendly. Rachel E. and I got some good pictures with him. I went in the hottub, and wasn't embarassed about my body. Jen, Danny & I stayed up until 3am (me) and 5am (them) this morning, got some sleep and then went to the buffet for lunch (a mere $4 with your bariatric card!).
All in all, it was a WONDERFUL experience. There were some who were SORELY missed (Lara, DeLossie, Erin, Tatum, Jess, and EVERYONE ELSE WHO DIDN"T GO!). I STRONGLY suggest you guys go next year. It was a BLAST. I'm already going to reserve my room for next year when they are available come 5/9/05.
I didn't get a lot of pictures, but here they are. Enjoy!!
Me and the girls
Me and my new found crush, Ron Lester!
May 4, 2005
Tuesday was a day I will never forget. I had the HONOR of being an angel for Melissa, who goes to my support group, who was having LAP RNY with my surgeon, Dr. Chute. She asked me to angel for her, and I was more than happy to oblige! Her folks were coming in from Illinois, and they've been divorced for a long time. Her dad really didn't have a clue what she was about to experience, but he was wonderful - cracked jokes, made me smile, and made me feel totally at home. Her mom is a nurse, and just a riot. It's so obvious how much her folks love her - the fact that they could put aside their differences to be there in support of Melissa as she embarked on her WLS journey!
I met her family at the hospital at 6:30am. She came in with her blue jammies on, eyes wide open, yet obviously a little nervous too. We got her signed in, and sat down in the waiting room. It was SURREAL to be on the other side of this experience. I angeled for Erin H., but I didn't sit with her folks, I came after work, after all the fun was over. This was totally new for me. I was psyched, wide awake thanks to my new medicine, and ready to go!
They called Melissa back and her father IMMEDIATELY started to grill me - WLS is the "easy way out", do I have any regrets, can I eat any "real" food, don't I miss food, what about cravings, etc. Her mom was a nurse, but admittedly had no experience with WLS. It's a totally different beast when they're operating on YOUR child, kwim? Mom asked all the right questions, and gave hugs at all the right times. They called us back around 7:30 to Melissa's pre-op holding room. They were having trouble getting her IV started, but she was a trooper. This was her first medical procedure - and she went in with a BANG!!! Ryan was the surgical assistant, and he came in first. I was so tired I accidentally called him Johnny! Whoops! Then Dr. Chute came in. He was obviously expecting to see Melissa and some support, but he was surprised to see me. He said "oh! Megan! I wasn't expecting to see you this morning! You're looking wonderful!" I said "thanks, I WAS expecting to see you, and glad to see you showed for such an important day!" He's such a wonderful man. He answered all the questions that Melissa had, all the questions that her folks had, and agreed to do a Proximal LAP RNY on her. He didn't want to do Distal because her BMI wasn't high enough, and she was young and hadn't had any children yet. So, Proximal it was. We all hugged Melissa, she got her Versed, got a little misty, and was off to surgery!!
I had never been on this side of the operating room. Man that wait is agonizing! Always wondering what's going on, how she was doing, how long it was really going to take. He said 3 hours, and by golly, it took 3 hours!
I spent the next 6-7 hours with her folks, and we talked about EVERYTHING. My family, my weight, surgery, Renewal, etc. Her father really thought she was "taking the easy way out." I was strong, and so proud. I had learned from the best (Lara, my angel). I explained that this was certainly NOT the easy way out, it was a permanent lifestyle change, and she'd have to be diligent with her tool for the rest of her life. He was a smoker, so I likened our obesity to his smoking - both addictive behaviors, except you can theoretically live without smoking, you can't live without food. So we, as food addicts, are faced with our demon, or addiction, every single day of our lives. He watched me eat a banana for breakfast (it was my snack, I ate at 5am), and was floored I could eat a banana. I told him that he needed to remember that we could have a cup of food at a sitting (3/4 cup in the beginnign), and that we were chewing out food to applesauce consistency, so really how much banana did I really get?
I felt like all eyes were on me - I was the display patient - the floor model, so to speak. I was diligent about not drinking with my meal, and only drank crystal lite - 3 liters of it - I was peeing all day! Around 11:30am Dr. Chute closed, and met with us in private. I asked the normal bariatric patient questions - how was her liver, how was her gallbladder, etc. Her liver was spotless, which made me proud and happy of Melissa. Her gallbladder was intact, and the surgery was perfect. I was so so proud! Then we waited 90 minutes before we were able to see her in recovery. She was wide awake! Dr. Chute said she had moved herself off the operating table, and after seeing her in recovery, I believed him!! LOL!! She was wide-eyed, and once she had her glasses, she was a happy camper. She didn't get to her room until around 2:30pm, but she did so great.
Her parents were so obviously proud of Melissa, and around 4pm I asked her if she wanted to use the bathroom or take a walk, and she said "sure!" I wasn't expecting her to do that, but we got her up. She had a neat bariatric bed, one that I did not get, and we got her up, and she was a walking and peeing machine!!
Around 4:30 Sara and Jennifer from Renewal came to visit, and her folks went to get dinner (I wasn't hungry). We chatted, and all agreed she looked phenomenal. We went to Renewal (against by better judgement) and sadly listened to an infomercial for 30 minutes by some blonde airhead who had no idea what it was like to have WLS or about the nutritional restrictions or requirements of a bariatric patient. I was livid. Here Melissa's parents were there, we had both talked the group up, how wonderful and supportive it was, and here was "saleswoman barbie" trying to sell us shit she didn't know about and we didn't CARE to know about. I was so embarassed. I got home and I was exhausted. Sadly, we had more Chloe accidents (we got a puppy this weekend!) to clean up, she needed another bath and her cage was covered in poopie. Such is the life of a parent.
The experience I had as angeling was one I will never forget. To see this surgery from the other side, to calm the fears of Melissa's parents, to educate them about bariatric surgery, to see a new WLS patient get to the other side, it was amazing. I had a wonderful angel in Lara - she set the bar. I hope I kept it up. I feel guilty now I wasn't there in the morning for Erin, but at the time I couldn't be. But at least I was there that night. I can't explain it - this morning I feel reborn, invincible, proud to be a WLS patient, proud to have angeled, I feel like I'm "paying it forward" - and I really like the way this makes me feel.
I haven't had ANY soda since Monday, and I don't miss it. Part of it is probably because my doctor has me on stimulants to keep me awake since I've been so sleepy for so long, but I've been really paying attention to pouch rules the last 2 days, and I feel like a good girl - like I'm back on the wagon. Not that I ever really fell off, but I was bad with drinking with my meals (I know, naughty), and I really wasn't exercising. Now that I have Chloe I *have* to exercise - she *has* to have exercise or she'll get mischevious and destructive!
Ok, damn this got long.
Warning - this is a long one -
May 6, 2005 ~ 5 month update
Its hard to believe that its been 5 months since my WLS. So much has happened since then - life has definitely changed for the better. As of this morning I am down 80lbs from my highest weight. I almost cried when I saw 212 on the scale. I cant believe the scale is so close to Onederland (when the scale reads 1XX). I hope to never see a 2 in front of my weight again! Every now and again negative thoughts will creep in to my head when the scale stalls (its not a plateau, Ive been informed, because Im still losing inches a true plateau involves complete cessation of weight loss and loss of inches for over 3 weeks) and I start to think youre screwing this up! Youre going to fail again. Luckily the thoughts dont linger long after Ive removed my feet from the scale, so thats a good sign. In all likelihood I should probably address my addiction to the scale in my bathroom and either come up with a reasonable schedule of weighing myself or just throw the lying bastard away forever but its so hard to stop obsessing about the number on the scale after all, I did have major surgery to change the way Ill eat forever the scale had damn well better go down!
Lets see in the clothing department, Im in a loose size 18 and a snug to comfortable size 16 depending on the outfit and the store it was purchased at. Ive been relatively lucky in that I havent had to buy many clothes ~ many of the women from my support group who are further are will donate clothing to post-ops a sort-of paying it forward. Its surreal to me that I can actually purchase clothing from normal or thin people stores Banana Republic, Old Navy (not plus size, although I am happy to see they have plus size clothing now! Kudos to them!), Gap, and to be able to completely avoid the PLUS SIZE department at stores like Target, Kohls, and Sears, is a dream come true. I can wear clothing off the regular racks! These clothes are a totally different beast than I have grown accustomed to! There are no obnoxious patterns, large decorations, horizontal stripes, muted or dark colors, loud floral patterns to be found where the normal people shop. I can by cute Capri pants, sexy tops with sequins and beads, flattering skirts that show off my transforming figure, jeans that dont button above your belly button. Whats even more fun is I have officially become eligible to shop at Victorias Secret again! Oh the freedom and excitement I felt going in to Victorias Secret to purchase underwear again. I feel as if a whole new world is opening up to me, and Im ready to experience it with eyes wide open!
Ive noticed my self-esteem and self-confidence has increased over the course of the last 5 months. I am no longer afraid to speak up or to stand up for my convictions. I have a much higher expectation for how I deserve to be treated and respected, and if I dont receive the respect and love (or just respect) I have absolutely no problem standing up for what I believe in and will express what my concerns or desires are rather than shutting down emotionally and retreating inward. I used to just say everything was ok or I was fine mostly out of fear of confrontation or having to explain what the real problem or emotion involved. Instead of expressing my fears, concerns or emotions, I would turn to food for comfort and approval. WLS has given me no option but to face my fears, stand up for my beliefs, and express my emotions freely.
Jason and I are struggling, but somehow, as always surviving. I understand his fears hes admitted to me that hes afraid Im going to leave him or that Ill cheat on him. What I dont understand is why he thinks I would do that, or furthermore, where Id even find the time! I find myself standing up to Jason more and not backing down on issues like I used to. I deserve to be respected and I wont stand to not be. Many times over the course of the last 5 months Jason has thrown comments at me to suggest I am lazy, sloppy, unmotivated, unorganized, etc. These are all things that I believe, to an extent, I may be (with the exception of unmotivated), but that doesnt give him the right to berate me and talk down to me. A huge revelation I had in the last month is that my mojo (sex drive) was most likely never gone at all (but I still plan on addressing this issue with my OB/GYN at my annual visit this month, along with other birth control alternatives).
I think part of the reason Ive been pushing Jason away and dont desire to be intimate with him is that I have a hard time wanting to make love to a man who continuously points out my flaws and mistakes and fails to praise me for my achievements (with the exception of my weight loss). Sure, he tells me Im sexy, Im beautiful, he loves my body, he wants to stare at my body, hes amazed at how I look, but when you couple that with constant jabs and negative comments, its hard to want to be romantic with that person. My big problem right now is finding the way to tell him that in a way that doesnt hurt him or put him on the defensive. Jason and I are both responsible for the state of our marriage, and in order for our marriage to stay intact and grow strong, we need to really stop the bickering and focus on the many good things going on in our lives. I do love Jason with all my heart and would never ever even think of cheating on him when we took our vows I meant every word. I just wish the passion would return. I am, however, fundamentally proud to be married to him, and so proud of him for being able to express his fears to me, and furthermore to continue to attend couples counseling with me. More and more I think we both should also have individual counseling to deal with the rapidly changing state of my body and the effect that change has had on the dynamic involved in our relationship, but I cant force him to go alone, nor have I taken any proactive steps to secure individual therapy for myself.
When all is said and done, I love Jason in a way Ive loved no other. He is my best friend, my confidant, the father of my children, and the love of my life. Never once while I got to my highest weight did Jason ever turn away from me or feel disgusted by my body. Rather, he loved me with all of his heart, and let me come to the decision to have WLS on my own it was one night in bed in June I said to him I wanted to have surgery. Hed never even suggested it as an option, nor did he ever tell me he didnt like the way I look or find me sexy and beautiful. You know, when it comes down to it, Jason is my soulmate. Ups and downs are definitely part of our program, but we handle the problems, weather the storm, and navigate the twists and turns of life together. Thats what makes us work. Hopefully well soon be able to address and work on the problems with our sex life and the little snide comments we both toss towards each other.
Ive been getting better at my problem with drinking with my meals. I know its wrong, against pouch rules, and inhibits my bodys ability to get the maximum nutritional value out of the food I eat, but I grew up drinking something with every meal. I shouldnt even have a drink NEAR me when Im eating, but even though I know its wrong, I still occasionally do it. I remember as a child I would purposely engage in behaviors my parents had told me was wrong (whether that was eating an extra piece of cake, drinking regular soda, or some other activity). I wonder if Im doing this now with drinking with my meal? Now lately Ive had the drink around and have turned it away, but thats only a pattern that is recent within the last week. Im good about my vitamins, but not my calcium. Ultimately that will affect me, so I really need to do something about it. Im not stupid I know the rules. So why cant I follow them all the time?
Exercise. Oh the dreaded E word. Since surgery my exercise has consisted of walking to and from my car at work (a 5 minute walk) and occasionally taking the stairs instead of the elevator. The stairs thing would NEVER have happened at 300lbs. One good thing is that we recently adopted a lab puppy and named her Chloe. Now I have to walk or I will be faced with a house full of puppy poop and urine puddles. No thanks! Slowly the puppy is learning to take walks and go for longer periods of time on the walks. I also hope to start walking around the lakes here now that the weather is getting nice and summer is right around the corner. I promised a fellow WLS patient that once I lost 80lbs that I would teach him how to play tennis something I havent done for more than 10 years. Well, GAME ON! I made a promise and I intend to keep it! Id also like to investigate the cost-effectiveness of joining the YMCA. I like that they have a pool and weight training. Id like to do everything I can to avoid plastic surgery.
Work has been going very well lately. I feel the more weight I lose the more likely I am to volunteer to do things that 5 months ago I never would have done. I have been more and more involved with the new hires, trying to help them find their groove and doing my best to share some of my best practices with them so that they stay on track and adapt to their jobs better. Im also finding myself taking more pride in my work and have found the recent desire to stand up for what I believe in at work. Im not afraid to request a meeting with my managers to speak my mind about certain issues- something I wouldnt have done last year. I would have just done what was expected, and push my worries under the rug. Now that I cant calm my fears or alleviate my anxiety with food, Im finding Im actually facing my issues and trying to remedy them!
Wow! 5 months already. I hope that by 9 months I will have hit the century club thatd be September 6, 2005. My long term goal is to hit 150 a weight I dont remember seeing in high school. Ultimately my goal is to be as healthy as I can be and to utilize my tool and work the program in a way that provides me with the best results. A number on the scale, while nice to see, isnt the catalyst of whether or not I have succeeded at this surgery. When it really boils down to it, all that matters is that I feel great about myself, both internally and externally. I have seen the external changes Im more aware of what I wear and how I look, I put makeup on again because I dont mind if people look at me, I wear perfume every day and jewelry to boot! Tomorrow Im going out with Erin, one of my very best friends whom I met as a result of us both having had WLS, and we are going to get our nails done. I havent had nails since I was in college - again, back to the whole dont draw attention to your obesity stay low on the radar mentality. Now you can put sparkles and sequins on my nails, I dont care HOW much attention I get. The more attention the better, in my opinion, because I am so proud of the accomplishments I have made in the last five months. I also have no problem crediting WLS as the reason I have been successful, for the first time, at losing a significant amount of weight. Anyone can look at me, because Im proud of who Ive become, and it finally matters again to me how I look externally and how I present myself in public. I am Megan, WLS patient, using pouch rules to get to a healthier life HEAR ME ROAR!!!!!
Amazing what losing 80lbs can do for a gal!
Halfway to goal and enjoying life again!
May 16, 2005
This weekend brought to a boil issues that have been brooding in my house for quite some time - first with Jason (DH) and then yesterday with my in-laws (whom, I must add, I love more than life itself, and really consider them to be my "mom & dad"). So if I'm going to "test the limits" of the pouch - i.e. try a new food, etc. I'm going to do it at home. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's trial and error. I was lucky enough to spend the entire day on Saturday with my ette Erin, and she was brave (crazy?) enough to help me straighten up the tornado of mess in my girls' room. We had Olive Garden to go for dinner, and instead of getting the meal that normally will work just fine, I decided to try something different - not foolish (like fried), but a dish with tomatos, artichokes, mushrooms and chicken. For some reason it didn't agree with me - but it waited until around 11pm to come back on me, and I was sick all night Saturday AND all day Sunday. Fun, eh? Not really.
So I decided to go back to sleep Sunday afternoon after vomiting for the umteenth time, and Jason followed me downstairs and said he was sick of this whole thing. I asked him what he was talking about. He said he was sick of me trying to push the limits of my pouch and was particularly upset that I had "lied and mislead" him on my "dedication" to a true WLS lifestyle. This flabbgergasted me! I have, after all, lost 86lbs, I have, after all, been compliant with pouch rules, I have, after all, finally given up drinking with my meals. What was he talking about? He was upset that I wasn't exercising.
I know this is a problem. This is problem #1 for me. He then proceeds to tell me that he wants me to give him a commitment that I will be 100% compliant with exercise rules and a WLS lifestyle. No cheating, etc. I told him I couldn't do it. He got angry. Told me I was going to fail. Asked why I wouldn't dedicate myself to exercise. I was devastated. I told him I would make a commitment to exercise more, but I wouldn't give him a 100% commitment, because the first day I miss, I will have failed. he just kept at me, telling me that I was going to "blow it", etc.
I told him once Bridget's soccer is over I want him to come to Renewal with me. I want him to see that I'm not a failure, that I'm doing ok. He said he'll "try." Part of me just wanted to tell him to leave and never come back. It broke my heart. He focuses on the negative SOOOO much - never on the positive. Here the girls' room is clean for the first time in god knows when, and he says that it's not clean "enough". Why wasn't the kitchen cleaned too.
UGH! Dammit! But it gets better.
My MIL takes me on a walk yesterday while we're waiting for dinner, and proceeds to get me to tears on the same topic. She and daddy are "disappointed" that I "mislead" them about my dedication to live a 100% WLS compliant lifestyle. She said I promised them I'd exercise, and I haven't, and that they're disappointed in me, and are concerned for me.
Look at me, dammit! I've lost 86lbs. I have been successful. Am I lacking in the exercise department? You betcha. Am I aware of it? Damn skippy I am. Do you need to come down on me for it? No.
What do I do? How would you respond to this? I'm heartbroken. I am sad. I can't eat the pain away - and I'm ready to scream. I want to shake them and tell them to just love me for me, and support me, but I can't.
June 8, 2005
I can't believe I'm actually posting this about ME!!
I got on the scale this morning, bleary-eyed and exhausted (I've got a wicked sinus infection - needed to get a Rocephin shot today - yeouch!), and it read 199.5!!!
I stepped off the scale, tapped it and reset it to make sure it was calibrated properly, and there it was again - 199.5!!!
I just stood there on the scale in disbelief. I don't remember seeing a 1XX since I was a freshman in college - 13 years ago! It's just surreal!
I've got my 6 month date with Dan Carey tomorrow morning - I'll post my complete 6 month update after I have the numbers.
I still can't believe I'm in ONEDERLAND! It's just amazing!
June 15, 2005
This is a little late - but with being sick, and working my arse off, I just haven't had time, and I had to cancel my Dan Carey appointment!! I was able to go Dunking with Dan this morning, and can report my "official" 6 month stats.
Starting Weight: 292
Current Weight: 198
Goal Weight: 140
Here's the history of the dunking:
December 5, 2004 (after a 2 week liquid diet)
285 lbs, % fat at 52.5%
149.6 pounds of fat
135.4 pounds of lean muscle
January 8, 2005
258 lbs, % fat at 51.0%
131.6 pounds of fat
126.4 pounds of lean muscle
March 6, 2005
231 lbs, % fat at 46.5%
107.4 pounds of fat
123.6 pounds of lean muscle
June 15, 2005
198lbs, % fat at 44.5%
88.1 pounds of fat
109.9 pounds of lean muscle
My BMR (resting metabolic rate) is 2075 calories! He's floored it's that high still! I'll take it! :) :)
Dan said my new goal weight is 140, but 130 wouldn't be unheard of. Of the total weight I have lost, 68.5 pounds are from fat, 25.5 are from lean. For the number geeks, 73% of my weight loss is from fat, 27% is from lean muscle.
Not too shabby!!
I'm in a size 14. This is all surreal to me. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around being "normal". It's exhilirating, but scary at the same time. A whole new world.
Still no news on the promotion. I hope to know soon.
2 weeks left of soccer - then it's back to Renewal!
Lap RNY 12/6/04 Dr. Chute (whoohoo!)
***by the time I wrote this on Thursday the 16th, I am now down to 196! Yippie!! ***
July 7, 2005
Slow but steady!!
First of all, for those of you who know what I'm talking about, I got it!!! Yes, I got the temporary promotion at work!!! I'm scared, but excited at the same time. Unfortunately, this means a higher chance of missing Renewal more, but John has promised to try to drag my arse out of here in time for dinner after Renewal!
In other news......
I HIT THE CENTURY CLUB!!
I about fainted on the scale this morning. 192lbs! I jumped on and off no less than 5 times to verify that I wasn't hallucinating.
7 months into my journey, I am down 100lbs!! I have about 40 more to go, maybe 50 depending on how I feel. I'm down from a tight size 28 to a comfortable size 14, large tops and bottoms. Just amazing.
Despite the c.diff., despite the relationship challenges, etc., I would still do it again in a heartbeat.
July 29, 2005
It's been a while since I updated! Work has been crazy busy ~ but in a good way. I've been living life to the fullest for the first time in a long while!
We took the kids to a water park a few weekends ago - I went on the water slide with Bridget!! I wouldn't have FIT on the waterslide a year ago. It's just surreal. I haven't enjoyed a summer like this in a LONG TIME!!
We're going on vacation in a few weeks to a cabin in Northern Minnesota. I'm looking forward to being outside, wearing a bathing suit, and not being exhausted 24/7 like I was last time we went on vacation.
What a difference 104lbs can make!
August 7, 2005
Can't see the forest for the trees? Read on!
By Dr. John H. Sklare
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome, for those who want to lose weight and get healthy, is coming to terms with the time it takes to accomplish this formidable task. In a nutshell, the more weight you have to lose, the longer it will take.
I was getting ready to respond to an eDieter who was struggling with this, "It's going to take forever" thinking, when I ran across a
short parable that brought it all home for me. Before I continue,
let me share this short story with you.
Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter went to work for a timber merchant. The pay was good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. On the first day, his boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.
The first day, the woodcutter cut down 18 trees. "Congratulations,"
the boss said. "Keep it up!" Very motivated by the boss' words, the
woodcutter tried even harder the next day but found he was only able to cut down 15 trees on day two. The next day he tried even harder but, at the end of day three, he had only cut down 10 trees. Day after day he found himself cutting down fewer and fewer trees. "I must be losing my strength," the woodcutter thought.
He went to the boss and apologized, saying he could not understand what the problem was. "When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked. "Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been too busy cutting trees..."
This little parable captures beautifully a major mistake made by
those wanting to lose weight, reclaim their bodies and live a
healthier life. Some people get so mentally and emotionally involved
in the big picture that they lose track of the only thing they can
really control -- which is the present moment.
My caution to you is this: Don't get so caught up in thinking
about all the weight you want to lose in the future that you lose track of what you must do today. Focusing on the NOW and the choices at hand is how you keep your axe sharp and chip away at that forest.
The eDieter I mentioned above made the mistake of focusing on the
forest and losing track of the trees. She couldn't shake the
debilitating and frustrating thought, "It's going to take
forever" and that is exactly what happens when you focus on the forest and not on the trees.
In my opinion, those that find success with weight loss are those
that take it one day at a time. The big picture, particularly for
those with a lot of weight to lose, is just too overwhelming for
most people. The best way to address this forest (total amount of
weight you want to lose) is one tree at a time (one day at a time).
To accomplish this goal, you must stay vigilant and be mindful about each healthy choice you make. Each day provides you with numerous opportunities to "sharpen your axe." Each healthy choice you make sharpens your axe, and you simply can't get where you want to go without sharpening your axe every day. You must attend to the issues of today before you can realistically entertain thoughts of tomorrow.
So I suggest you look forward to each day's choices. Because each
healthy decision you make provides you with an opportunity to
sharpen your axe, take down another tree in that forest and close
the gap between who you are and who you want to be.
August 25, 2005
Thank you to everyone here who has supported, loved and encouraged me since I came to this board a little over a year ago. The friendships I have made as a result of coming here have sustained me through a very difficult time in my life. Never in a million years did I think I'd find best friends here ~ yet that's what has happened. They say everything happens for a reason, and I now believe that.
As you all know, my husband and I have been going through some very rough times. In a nutshell, when we got married, and while we were dating, I was the type of person who took on everyone else's problems and worries to the detriment of my own physical and mental well-being. Jason and I got married in 1999, during my last year of law school. At that time I was also working 40 hours a week as a student attorney for the State's attorney (here they're called County Attorney) office as a prosecutor. 2 weeks before our wedding we found out we were unexpectedly pregnant with Bridget. We had planned to wait for a few years before having children. Best laid plans, eh? Anywho, so here we were, newlyweds, pregnant, I was in law school, etc. My folks had recently divorced, my father was subsequently diagnosed with early onset alzheimer's disease, and because noone else would step up to the plate, I took responsibility for his care. What's one more thing, right? Then we had Bridget, I graduated law school, and started to prepare for the bar exam. My biological sister found me (I'm adopted) around this time and all hell broke loose. She wanted to be "instant sisters" and I wasn't ready, but I wasn't willing to hurt her. Yet another instance of me doing things I didn't want to do but soldiering through nonetheless.
So, the bar exam comes and goes, and the day I received the results (I failed - no surprise there) I received a call from the nursing home that my father was dying. I spent the next week at his bedside wondering if I made the right decision to refuse a feeding tube (he was only 57 years old and directed me to do so vis a vis his living will), being called a "murderer" by my family members (some, not all), and trying to prepare to lose my father at such a young age. He died on October 12, 2000. That same night Bridget was rushed to the hospital with her first asthma attack (thus setting the stage for 5 years of medical chaos). I kept plugging along for about 6 months, just doing for others, etc. In June of 2001 I literally snapped. I couldn't take it anymore, I couldn't stop crying, and was hit with an overwhelming depression that knocked me out of commission for nearly six months.
I went from being the one in control, ducks in a row, keeping things together, to this ball of darkness and sadness, unable to work or even properly care for my child. Bridget and I moved to Minnesota to live with Jason's folks so I could receive the care and attention I so desperately needed. During this time Jason had to step up to the plate, take control and drive the relationship, marriage, etc. This was not something he asked for, nor had he ever done before. I had things under control. During the course of my therapy I finally came to the realization that I am no good to ANYONE if I can't take care of myself, somehow manage to make MYSELF a priority. This lead to a profound change in the way I viewed life, allowed myself to be treated, etc.
As you all know Jason and I have been in therapy - last night we hit a crossroads. We talked about "dealbreakers" and the fact that we truly need to have a funeral for our relationship - our marriage. Not to say our marriage is dead, just that when we got engaged and married neither one of us expected to be where we are today - almost like "false advertising" or we feel "lied to" in some way ~ here we have this expectation of what married life is going to be like, and somehow life pulled the rug out from us and is over in the corner laughing and pointing its finger at us like it's some sick and twisted joke.
One of the things that was revealed last night was that Jason thought that once I was treated for my depression/anxiety and had it under control that I would revert to the woman he fell in love with - the strong, powerful, in control, Megan who could do EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING - at any expense. The problem is that I don't want to be that person - I can't be that person. I'm not that person anymore, nor do I want to be. I finally understand how important it is to focus on your own personal wellbeing. I can finally admit I am vulnerable, I AM tired, I am NOT invincible, I am NOT Superwoman. The problem is that Jason fell in love with SuperMegan, and wants her back. Jason now has to figure out for himself if this is HIS dealbreaker. We were supposed to have a 60 minute session yesterday and it ended up going until 8:30pm. We're going back in 2 weeks.
I have no idea what is going to happen now. I'm just going to keep on keeping on and know that no matter what happens, ultimately I will be just fine. I ask for prayers for support, for guidance for Jason so he is able to make this decision, and for my girls so that they understand that no matter what happens to mommy and daddy, they will ALWAYS be loved.
Thanks for reading such a long winded post. I love you all very much!!
September 6, 2005
I can't believe it's been 9 months since I had surgery. I'm down 110lbs this morning, down from 292 to 182. I can't believe how much my life has changed. I've gone from a size 28 to a size 12, I can shop wherever I want to go. It just floors me that I have my life back - things are good.
Jason and I continue to work hard on our marriage. Who knows what the future holds for us, but we're fighting for our marriage. Here's a picture of me taken when we were on vacation:
My daughter Bridget started her 1st day of school today. Hard to believe I have a kindergardner now! Here's a picture from this morning:
We took the girls to the "Great Minnesota Get Together" (the MN State Fair) twice this year. In years past I would have huffed and puffed my way through the fair, eating myself into "grease on a stick" oblivion. Not this time!! I ate at the fair, just "smarter" - frozen grapes, roasted corn, chicken breast. I still had ONE mini-donut, but that's a far cry from the 2 bags I would have eaten in years past. Here's my Molly Rose - we were getting ready to go on the merry-go-round!
September 24, 2005
If someone would have told me 10 months ago that I'd be posting this I'd have told them they were crazy.
For those of you who don't know this, in my 'previous' life (before I gained over 120lbs) I was a VERY competitive tennis player. I was one of the top players at my high school in Chicago, and went on to play 2 years of NCAA tennis before I tore my MCL (ligament in my knee) and lost my scholarship. After I stopped playing tennis regularly, I began dating, and doing things "normal" 19 year olds do - partying, and living recklessly. I started gaining weight in 1993 - and that weight kept climbing on until my WLS 9 months ago.
Well, one of my "goals" with WLS was to play tennis again. Not competitively, just play. So I signed up for a league (recreational) through work. Today was the 1st day I played. I almost had a full on panic attack walking into the St. Paul Tennis Club. I played for nearly 2 hours (damn am I out of shape!) and although I feel like a 90-year-old woman right now (sore sore SORE SORE SORE), I also feel like a teenager again.
It was just like riding a bike - I needed around 15 minutes to warm up, and then it was just like old times. I felt a rush like I haven't felt in YEARS. I can't wait for next Friday when I play again!
Today (Saturday) I did the Walk from Obesity. What a wonderful way to raise awareness and money for such a valuable cause. I am grateful every day that I had this surgery - despite all the "roadbumps", I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
LAP RNY 12/6/04
October 18, 2005
Went for my "9 month" checkup - doing great. I have been having some pain in my belly when I eat. Dr.'s office sent me for a gallbladder ultrasound - it's clean. Dr. Brownstein (the GP they have now) seems to think I may have an ulcer in my "remnant stomach". For now I'm on Prevacid. If I don't get relief, they *may* have to go in laproscopically and check out the remnant stomach and see what is going on - that's the only way to check out the remnant stomach now. I'll try the Prevacid because I really don't want another operation on a "hunch."
Other than the belly pain, I'm doing great. Weight loss has slowed down, as expected, but I am playing tennis a lot, and am probably gaining muscle. I know I'm losing inches by the way my clothes fit. To be perfectly honest, I'm happy at 180. Doctor's goal is 150, but just to say I'm in a size 12 is heaven for me, and a place I don't ever remember getting to.
Hugs and love if you're still reading this!!
LAP RNY 12/6/04
October 19, 2005
I've got the anestesia insomnia going on right now so I thought I'd post a quick update.
Surgery went well - took a wee bit longer than expected because my septum was 'flimsy' or something - collapsed and atrophied. Nice, eh?
Surgeon promised he'd do all he could to not use packing - he's against it because it hurts like hell to remove. He likended it to removing a dry tampon. #1 - how do you know how that feels and #2 - YUCK! Unfortunately I'm having some post-op bleeding problems so he had to use packing. I have to go back in the morning to be re-evaluated at the doctor's office. I'm STILL bleeding - changing dressings every hour or so. I don't know what they'll do, but I presume something will be done because this bleeding is for the birds!
Vicadin is my friend, and I'm staying on TOP of my pain.
Still hoping to see our beloved Lara tomorrow. John, you're definitely going to have to drive if we go,but please call me to see if I *can* go. Sigh. Maybe Friday or this weekend would be better. I want to stop and bring her some goodies regardless.
Thanks to everyone for the prayers. My tummy is feeling better - could be the Vicadin, could be the relatively empty tummy. Gained 5lbs in the last 12 hours - they pumped me full of IV fluids. When they heard I was a RNY patient and hadn't eaten or drunk in as long, they fluid loaded me, which was much appreciated.
So, hopefully that'll be the only surgery of 2005 for me. I'm dreaming of excess skin removal and a breast reduction in late 2006. Breast reduction will be covered as its medically necessary. Now I have to pray and cross appendages that the abdominoplasty/panniculectomy will be covered as well or I'll have to learn to love and embrace the excess skin.
Hugs from a vicadin lovin' post-op,
LAP RNY 12/6/04
Miss keep your distance, mm
Miss out of my way
Miss don't let a man interfere, no
Miss on her own
Miss almost grown
Miss never let a man help her off her throne
So, by keeping her heart protected
She never ever feel rejected
Little Miss apprehensive
Said ooh, she fell in love
What is the feeling taking over
Thinking no one could open the door
Surprise, it's time
To feel what's real
What happened to Miss Independent
No longer need to be defensive
Goodbye, old you
When love, is true
Miss guarded heart
Miss play it smart
Miss if you wanna use that line, you better not start, no
But she miscalculated
She didn't want to end up jaded
And this Miss decided not to miss out on true love
So, by changing her misconceptions
She went in a new direction
And found inside she felt a connection
She fell in love
When Miss Independent walked away
No time for love that came her way
She looked in the mirror and thought today
(What happened to miss no longer afraid)
It took some time for her to see
(How beautiful love could truly be)
No more talk of why cant that be me
I'm so glad I finally see!
What is the feeling taking over
Thinking no one could open the door
Surprise, it's time
To feel what's real
What happened to Miss Independent
No longer need to be defensive
Goodbye, old you
When love, is true
November 19, 2005
Tonight I was a princess. Tonight I felt like I could walk on clouds. I felt beautiful for the first time in YEARS.
Tonight was the OSSGMN (Obesity Surgery Support Group of Minnesota) Gala Dinner Dance. I bought my first STRAPLESS dress, and almost cried putting the dress up. I dusted my body with sparkles because I could - because I *wanted* to attract attention, not melt into the wall. I paid someone to fix my hair, to make me beautiful. I paid another someone to put my makeup on so I looked the part of the princess.
Getting dressed tonight was a PLEASURE, not a nightmare. Going to the dinner dance was exciting - I looked forward to it! I was proud to be a member of the WLS community - PROUD to be an angel, PROUD to be ME! I wore heels ALL NIGHT LONG - a first for me. I danced all night long and barely broke a sweat. I had FUN, I was with good friends, and went with my husband to a formal dinner dance. We looked like royalty, and felt like it.
I feel like my life is finally starting. I can't put it in words completely, but I feel like for the first time in a long time, I belong. I have a family, a community, where everyone understands me, and I understand everyone else. Tonight we all were kings and queens. We reveled in the spotlight.
Life is great!
November 22, 2005 (HAPPY EARLY THANKSGIVING 2005!)
About 16 months ago I came to this board, new, scared, and confused. I had finally admitted to myself that I was, in fact, super-morbidly obese and despite my best efforts, was unable to take the weight off without surgical intervention. I came here, and found the most amazing friends in the world - some I have met in real life, others I know only through cyberspace and emails, but each and every one of you has a special place in my heart.
You have all listened to me when I was at my highest high, and seen me at my lowest low - and loved me unconditionally. Some of you have held me and wiped my tears as I've cried in fear of losing my marriage, over my sick children, over the fact that the scale just wouldn't budge. For that I will be forever grateful - the unconditional love and friendships I have made as a result of this board are amazing. What an amazing "perk" to being a former fattie!!!
Some of you know I have a small "obsession" with Josh Groban. He has a song called "You Raise Me Up" - I am putting the lyrics here because they so accurately reflect how I feel about everyone here. You have all raised me up to more than I thought I could be. For that, for my surgeon, Dr. Chute, for my family and friends, this Thanksgiving, I am forever grateful.
YOU RAISE ME UP - Josh Groban
When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.
Hugs and love,
Distal Lap RNY 12/6/04 Dr. Chute
I can't believe it's my turn to post this!!
One year ago today was the first day of the rest of my life - the day Dr. Chute helped save my life, by performing a Distal Lap RNY. I remember my surgery day with vivid memories, joking with my wonderful :angel: Lara and my family in the pre-op waiting room, getting teary eyed on the way out, and kissing pictures of my beautiful girls and my grandmother on the way out the door.
What a change a year has made!! I have gone from 292 to 172, a loss of 120lbs! I'm not yet to goal, but I don't know exactly what "goal" is - I'll find that out on Saturday when I visit Dr. Dan Carey one last time to go "dunking with Dan" to test my BMR and my body fat % using underwater weighing.
A year ago I had PCOS, would get exhausted just walking from the car to my house, and was pretty much just existing rather than living. Despite some nasty post-op complications (non-surgical), I would do it all again today. I am back on the tennis court for the first time in about 10 years, having fun and keeping up with my beautiful daughters, and giving my husband a run for his money.
A year ago I sat at Renewal and was petrified - would I belong? Did I really "need" this surgery? Today I know I DESERVED the surgery, and as a result of Renewal I have made lifelong friends (you know who you are). I can't say enough good things about going to support groups - be it a group that meets in person, or a wonderful place like OH or OSSGMN.
I can eat pretty much anything I want now, and have to be more conscious of portion sizes or I'm apt to over-do it. I still struggle with drinking during my meals, but that's my one vice. I don't smoke, I very rarely drink, as I have found I have the worlds worst tolerance to wine, and I don't like beer. I still can't eat fried foods, but we really shouldn't be eating those foods anyway, so I don't miss them.
I know he never reads the boards, but I have to thank Dr. Chute. Everyone knows I'm very vocal about my adoration and admiration for him. He gave me a tool to give me my life back - he deserves to be adored and admired. Thank you Dr. Chute for being a wonderful, caring and compassionate surgeon. I'm glad I chose you and I'm glad you agreed to operate on me!!
Thank you to everyone here at OH for always being so kind and honest to me, for loving me, and letting me know that you're always here for me. For that I will be forever grateful.
12/6/04 Distal Lap RNY Dr. Chute
ONE YEAR POSTOP!
January 23, 2006
So we're all warned that after WLS you may lose friends. You're warned that your marriage may get rocky. Well, it finally happened to me. I've lost some close friends. Partly because of WLS, partly because of my attitude adjustment post WLS - I'm just sick and tired of justifying every little step I take or don't take to people. So they are gone. I will mourn them, I will miss them.
I found a song on Carrie Underwood's new CD called "Lessons Learned" and it pretty much sums up my feelings right now. I'm hurting, I'm mourning, I'm sad. But I won't look back.
Theres some things that I regret
Some words I wish had gone unsaid
Some starts that had some better endings
Been some bad times I ve been through
Damage I could not undo
Some things I wish I could do all all over again
But it dont really matter
When life gets that much harder
It makes you that much stronger, oh
Some pages turned, some bridges burned
But there were lessons learned
From every tear that had to fall from my eyes
From every day I wondered how Id get through the night
From every change life has thrown me
Im thankful for every break in my heart
Im grateful for every scar
Some pages turned, some bridges burned
But there were lessons learned
Theres mistakes that I have made
Some chances I just threw away
Some roads I never shouldve taken
Been some signs I didnt see
Hearts that I hurt needlessly
Some wounds that I wish I could have one more chance to mend
But it dont make no difference
The past cant be re-written
You get the life youre given, oh
Some pages turned, some bridges burned
But there were lessons learned
From every tear that had to fall from my eyes
From every day I wondered how Id get through the night
From every change life has thrown me
Im thankful for every breath in my heart
Im grateful for every scar
Some pages turned, some bridges burned
But there were lessons learned
And all the things that break you
Are all the things that make you strong
You cant change the past coz its gone
And you gotta just move on
Its all lessons learned
Bridge with new changes:
and all the things that break you
Are all the things that make you strong
You cant change the past cuz its gone
You just gotta move on
Because its all lessons learned
March 10, 2006
What a wild few months this has been! I ended up having emergency surgery to remove my appendix on 2/7/06. I spent 3 days in the hospital - because I had lost so much weight the surgeon was able to do it LAP! I was off of work for 2 1/2 weeks and it took a while to get back to speed.
Life has been, well, busy! Shortly after returning to work I went to NYC on vacation with a fellow WLSer. We had a great time - saw a Broadway Show, bought I "heart" NY memorabilia, and generally tore Times Square apart. It was great.
I applied for a job and unfortunately didn't get it - it was a promotion in my company. But the silver lining is that I never would have applied for this job at 300lbs. I'm proud of myself for applying and giving the interview all I could.
I'm looking forward to the WLSEC Spring Thaw in April. I'll update more later!
Only 9 more lbs to go to goal!
April 27, 2006
So this afternoon I got pulled over for speeding. No need for the lectures on "you shouldn't be speeding." I was trapped - 63rd and Xerxes in Edina is a SPEED TRAP!! Known. It was the end of the month, and the cop must have had a quota. He even told me to contest the ticket. Nice, eh?
In any event, he asked me for my license and registration and sat in his car for quite a long time. He came back and said "ma'am, I'm going to need another form of ID - this can't be you." I then pulled out my work badge - he said "you need a new driver's license." I told him I understood, and I had tried to get a new driver's license, but the DMV denied my request because it wasn't time to renew my license. He said he'd write it in the ticket that the judge needs to court order a new license.
Great. $150 for a new license. Thanks buddy!
Silver lining - it's obvious to the average cop that I've lost a lot of weight! LOL!
Spring Thaw tomorrow - I can't WAIT!
ONLY 2 POUNDS TO GO!
June 10, 2006
My back pain persists, and the plastic surgeon I went to said that a breast lift wouldn't be covered by insurance, so for now, since I'm not ready to fight insurance for plastics, I'll wait. I was referred to a pain clinic here in Minnesota. On Thursday the doctor performed an epidural block into my neck - C2-T1. I have herniations in my neck. We're going to try several different meds, Neurontin, a new muscle relaxer, and a gentle wean off of Vicodin.
I'm going to do physical therapy again, and have committed to a personal trainer at the gym. Luckily my husband works at that gym,so hopefully I can get my ass to the gym more frequently. My goal is to lose 10 more pounds and tone up the squishy parts, especially strengthening my core.
I've heard rumors that the job I so desperately want is going to FINALLY get posted next week. My nerves are up - this is THE perfect job for me. I'd be a trainer at my company. I just hope that I can do everything I can to get the job! It'd be my dream come tru!!
That's all for now!!
Hugs and love, enjoy your summer!
December 6, 2006 (I've been SO negligent)
It's hard to believe that 2 years ago today I was having my surgery with Dr. Chute (can I get a "whoohoo!"?). I sat at the kitchen table this morning eating my cereal and I couldn't believe the changes that I've gone through - both good and bad, in the last 2 years.
From a weight perspective, I've gone from 292 to 155 this morning, for a total loss of 137lbs. I'd like to be 150, and I know I'll get there eventually. I can eat more now than I could 2 years ago, so I'm trying to stay conscious of the foods I eat and try to make good choices. But, sometimes the snacking bug gets me, and I fall into old patterns.
I can't eat to cover my pain any longer, which has been a challenege for me in the last 2 years. I've had to face the demons that have been staring me square in the face for the last 32 years. I've been working with a therapist every other week and am taking a myriad of medications for my head. I get terrible panic attacks and have suffered from depression. I also have chronic back pain, and I had it before surgery, and was told that it was merely because I was morbidly obese. When the pain persisted after I lost the weight, people started listening, and now I go to a pain clinic. I am scared of cross addicting to pain meds, and I think I'm on the brink of that. I've also picked up a few dirty habits here and there that I'm not proud of.
My marriage. Oh my. Where to start. We've been at the edge of divorce, and have almost teetered off the edge several times. I have been close to filing for divorce several times in the last year. Jason, for whatever reason, is not the nicest person to me lately. For the last 2 years for that matter. For the last 10... But, for some reason, I allow the cycle to continue, I have made the decision to stay. It's scary waters we're swimming in, what with 2 children, etc. I pray to God that I will find the strength to get through the troubled times, and that our marriage will get better rather than worse.
But as a result of this surgery I have made life-long friends ( you know who you are ), and I've become stronger than I ever knew possible. I've taken risks (applied for new jobs - GOT new positions, etc.) I never would have taken at 300lbs.
This surgery has changed my life in ways I never knew possible. It gave me my life back, but it also caused me to open my eyes for the first time in forever. I see things with a clarity that was never there before.
For those of you who are just starting your journey, I wish you peace and luck. For those of you who are further out like me, keep on fighting the good fight!!
Love and peace,
January 24, 2007
Well, I had my 2-year appointment (albeit belated) WITH Dr. Chute today. I was so stoked to see him. He did, after all, save my life!!
Anywho, I'm at 162 - he said I've done GREAT and I'm AT GOAL!! He said his original goal was too aggressive (he had something like 125 written down), and 162 is just peachy-keen by him!! Anything else I lose is GRAVY (WLS pun intended!)
We talked about my, ahem, farting issue. He said that I need a COLONOSCOPY! Yipers. That means another visit from the ASS REAPER . He said it could be nothing, but just in case, let's get the pipes checked out.
I am scheduled for a colonoscopy on 2/7/07 - 2 days of clear liquid diet, 1 day of Go-Lytely (NASTOLA ASS REAPER), 2 enemas, then sedation and an 8:00am procedure.
In any event, I have filled ALL my vitamin orders, have new meds to take, and will face the colonoscopy like a woman (begging for sedation and pain meds).
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce:
I AM AT GOAL!!
292/162 - GOAL
February 27, 2006
Oh my, where do I start?!
First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Josh Groban. I asked Erin H. if she'd go with me (back in October) and she said yes. SHe love love loves him too. I don't think she's quite as "enthusiastic" as I am about him (more on that later).
We drove to Chicago (closest concert) on late Friday afternoon just ahead of the storm that you guys got. We made it in record time (trusty lead footed Megan), and enjoyed a pizza when we got to my mother's house (around 9:30pm). Saturday found us driving to my ex-boyfriend's house to meet his new daughter (who I dare say is the cutest and happiest baby I've ever seen, and I HAVE 2 kids). I was expecting a "wow" moment as he hasn't seen me since 2002, but I think he was reserved in front of his wife. He gave me a hug on the way out and said "by the way, you look HOT!" (which, of course, made my afternoon).
THEN....we got ready for the concert, perfect hair and makeup, glitter in all the right places, glow sticks ready to go to show our love for Josh (he loves Glow sticks). And then it started. Little pellets of freezing rain fell from the sky. No worries, we were in seeing Josh, right? The heat of the stadium's love for that hot, hot man would melt the ice, right? Uh, no. But I'll get back to the crappy weather in a minute.
The concert was literally a religious experience for the both of us. I lost it early on, when he sang "February Song", a song that has special meaning to me. I then made the girl sitting next to me lose it too. We bonded. I screamed and yelped like a 16 year old at a New Kids on the Block Concert. The old couples at the show (and there were a LOT of them) shot me nasty "screw you" looks, but it only made me profess my love louder and longer. Erin, at times, I'm sure, wished she went with someone else, or that I wasn't as loud and boisterous as I was, but Erin baby, I'm 32 years old, and that man made me think of doing dirty things to his body. My mojo came out, if only for one night.
So he ends the concert with "You Raise me Up" and Erin FINALLY has her religious experience. The tears started to flow. And then mine again. Surely the heat and energy from the United Center would help the weather right? NOT.
1/4 inch thick covering of ice on EVERYONE's car, and a slushy frozen mix on the roads. The ride SHOULD have taken us 15-20 minutes. It took us nearly an hour to get home. I'm sure Erin white-knuckled it, cause I sure did.
So we made an executive decision after talking with our significant others to not drive home on Sunday because the road conditions were bad. Drive through Wisconsin? Blizzard and white-out conditions. Drive through Iowa? Nope. Icing over the roads and power out. So we stayed put. And let me say the decision to stay put was not made easily. Friday night my intoxicated brother decides to pick a fight with me, and me, in my stupidness, I fought back. Not nice. My mother was/is a moron, and my brother is a belligerent drunk. It was everything in my power (and Erin and my husband's at 2am) to keep me from NOT getting in the car in said ice storm and drive home.
So, the morale of this story is this: JOSH GROBAN ROCKS MY FREAKING WORLD. My family will NOT be seeing me for a while (distance....distance is good), and Erin is my best friend and I apologize PROFUSELY to her for what she had to witness.
If you want to see what we saw, go to YouTube and put in Josh Groban Awake Tour. Sometimes you don't even need the Tour. Just Josh Groban Awake.
It was a religious experience. I'm still drinking the kool-aid. He's a musical genius, and if he comes to the twin cities, come hell or high water, I will see him again, and again, and every other time he tours. He's a genius, he's beautiful, and he's got PIPES!!!!
ps: sorry for the totally OT post.
PPS: here's one of my favorite songs he sang:
May 29, 2007
Thank you to everyone who has said prayers for me over the last month or so. "They" say that you must hit bottom before you can heal. Well, I've circled the toilet, hit bottom, and am proud to be on the healing side of my crisis and ready to work towards true healing.
As you may or may not know, I have several disks in my neck that are herniated. For the last year I have been treated at a local pain clinic (which shall remain nameless). Initial treatment was conservative, and it only took a small dose of meds to literally bring me to my knees. As time went on, the pain got progressively worse, and I was taking enough meds to drop an elephant. On top of the pain meds I was taking, I was also taking meds for allergies, asthma, migraines, anxiety & depression, and sleep. At final count I was over 20 different meds/day (several times a day). How I was able to stay awake was beyond my doctor's understanding.
About a month ago my DH and I went home for my 15 year high school reunion. That opened up many wounds I had thought were well healed. I was wrong. DH had been increasingly concerned about the meds I was taking, and had been begging me to take a long hard look in the mirror. I refused to listen to him and many others in my life, because, after all, the prescriptions were written by physicians, and I always disclosed my med regime to all doctors who were caring for me. Noone said "boo."
The day we came back from my reunion, my husband said he couldn't take it any more and he wanted a divorce. In an apparently "classic" anxiety response, I went into fight-or-flight mode and decided in that split second if he didn't want me I didn't want to live. Luckily, DH was still in the house and got me help. I spent 4 days in the hospital in a quiet private room (uh, yeah), and have been in treatment for the last month for my anxiety and depression.
I am grateful to my husband and his family for sticking by me and realizing that I was woth fighting for. DH & I have been in therapy for quite some time, but now we're digging deep and really addressing the true issues. We now know more about chronic pain, rebound pain and dependency than we ever wanted to know. A doctor at the hospital saw something in me that I didn't - hope. He knew I wasn't an addict and that there was a good person inside. He asked me to trust him (hard for me to do given my trust in doctors in the past that got me where I was at), and took a hack-saw to my med list. BIG TIME.
I'm happy to say that I am off all pain meds. Now when I hear of friends and family who were written prescriptions for meds like Zanaflax, Vicodin, Fentanyl, etc., my skin crawls. My head is clear for the first time in 12 months. Do I have pain? Yes. I won't lie. Was it easy? HELL NO! I went through withdrawl, shakes, tremors, headaches, sweats, nightmares, etc.
As a result of the program I participated in over the last 3 weeks I know so much about anxiety and depression, and have many tools in my aresenal to address my anxiety and depression to ensure I don't relapse. But, if I happen to slip, it's OK. It only means I'm human. I'll be going through a chronic pain program to learn behavioral health methods to deal with my pain. I'm also keenly aware of the difference between physical and emotional pain.
There are angels everywhere, we only need to open our eyes and our hearts for them to come into our lives. My husband is one of my angels. The doctor I have been working with for the last month is my angel. The friends who didn't pass judgment - angels. Erin Hilton - you visited me in the hospital and I can only imagine how scary it was. You got me out of my room and held me tight. I love you lady!! Lara - you are amazing. John - you never asked a single question, only told me that we were friends and you'd be there when I was ready. Thank you all. Angels - each in their own way.
It's dangerously easy to cross addict, my friends. But I'm living proof that you can survive it.
June 5, 2007
Let me set the stage:
It was around 8pm, and Jason & I had just sat down to watch "The Last King of Scotland" on the DVD player. We had put our pj's on, the girls had their pj's on. The girls were in the computer room. Bridget was playing on the computer, and Molly was playing with Polly Pocket and her parts.
We got 11 1/2 minutes into the movie when Molly came into the living room and said "I have an owie in my nose." Jason checked, no bloody nose. She insisted - "I have an owie in my nose. It stuck." Jason looked at her and said, sternly, WHAT DID YOU DO? Molly started to cry. "nothing" she said in an innocent little voice.
I looked at her and said "Molly, did you put something in your nose?" She said "Polly Pocket Part - it stuck." She looked TERRIFIED. We quickly scooped her up and laid her on the kitchen table. I had the MAG flashlight, Jason had the tweezers. You could see a little yellow (non-booger) something in her nose. We tried for 10 minutes to free the Polly Pocket Part. We mumbled aloud to each other "what possessed her to stick something in her NOSE!?"
I ended up calling our pediatrician. We thought we could take her to urgent care. Nope - she had to go to the ER. There was a risk she could aspirate the part into her lungs. So, Jason got dressed, scooped her up and took her to the ER.
The physician and a resident came in. Long story short, they got Molly to lay very still and used a JERRYRIGGED PAPERCLIP to remove the Polly Pocket Part. Jason and I wanted the part for posterity. After all, we're going to have to pay $50 to Children's Hospital for the removal of the smaller than a pea size part.
So I have it - and the paperclip too.
What the hell goes through a child's mind in the minutes leading up to sticking a foreign object into their nose!?
I actually brought the "biohazard" bag to work today. I doubt anyone would have believed me - the story is so bizarre! It caused many a milk/soda snort at lunch today.
So let's see here....
Polly pocket part: $10
Co-pay to remove polly pocket part from nose with jerry rigged paper clip in the ER: $50
Telling the story to all future boyfriends: PRICELESS
August 1, 2007
Well, I'm off all of my pain meds, and I'm clear-headed for the first time in a long time. That's a positive. I'm in a LOT of pain and I'm working with a spinal surgeon to discuss possibly having a spinal fusion or diskectomy.
Negative? I've gained 32lbs!! I'm now at 192, and I need to get my weight down. I figure if I'm honest here I'll work on getting my weight down. I'm spending time with my girls, my husband, going swimming, etc. But I need to add working out (within limitations) to my repitoire. I've told my husband I need to get my crap in gear. Hopefully he'll have some suggestions that won't involve over-exertion. I'm so disappointed in myself. My beautiful new suits don't fit me. I'm back in a size 14. I so desperately want to be back in my size 12s.
This is my coming clean.
3 years out and needing to get back on the wagon. I'm almost tempted to call my surgeon for suggestions.
Honesty is a bitch!!
The Secret to my Success:
Renewal WLS Support Group
Date: Tuesday, Every Tuesday
Time: 5:30PM - 7:00PM CST (GMT-06:00)
Located at the Heart Institute on the corner of 28th and 10th
Avenue South. It is on the Abbott Northwestern Campus in the
building where Minneapolis Bariatric Surgeon's Office (Drs. Schwartz, Drew, Chute & Schlosser) is located. The
meeting will be in the "reading room" on first floor and
directions will be posted. We must enter the building by 6pm
because the doors are locked from the outside after 6. You may use a security phone to request late entrance.
All are welcome. You do not have to be an Abbott patient to attend.
Parking is available beside the building, in the parking ramp or on the streets near the building.
Minneapolis Bariatric Surgeons PA
920 E 28 St
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55407 - 1139
Surgeon Info: Surgeon:Edmund Chute, M.D.
My first impresson of Dr. Chute was that he was serious, quiet, and reserved. But over time, in the 5 months leading up to and the three months or so after my surgery, I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Chute. He's on top of things, very considerate, and compassionate. When I was diagnosed with c.diff 2 days after discharge, he was there, in the ER, making sure that I got the right tests, and after I was admitted, he checked in on me 4 different times. He is a wonderfully good surgeon, and very considerate. Although he tends to be on the quiet and reserved side, and doesn't show his emotions very easily, I know he is always going to be there for me, and always has my best interest at heart.
His office staff is, in a word, busy. Krista in surgery scheduling is wonderful, very responsive to calls, as is Suzi. Dr. Chute's nurse Heidi is a very busy person. It takes her time to respond to voicemails, even if they're serious to the person. I called and left a message before and have had to call back and get her on the phone directly before she'd talk to me. I think she's generally just overwhelmed, because she appears to be very compassionate and considerate. At my 3 week follow up she was wonderful, and obviously very busy. She knows her stuff!! Well worth the wait!
I don't know if I like this "least" abou Dr. Chute, but he's very reserved. He doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, he doesn't get overly emotional. He's very quiet and introverted. But, I think that can be a very good thing.
Dr. Chute strongly emphasizes after care, and also encourages his patients to attend Renewal, the support group his office runs. They do have a structured aftercare program, with set guidelines for "well pouch" checkups, so to speak. I have a structured post-op diet and vitamin regimin to stick with.
Dr. Chute was very honest about the risks of surgery - this surgery is MAJOR surgery, even if it can be performed laproscopically. I knew going in that there could be problems, and he told me not to hesitate to call if I had any problems - and I didn't hesitate with my c.diff issue. He was right on top of it.
As a surgeon and physician I'd rate Dr. Chute as a 9.99999/10 (don't want him to get a complex, after all! tee hee!)! I would rather have a doctor with complete surgical competence over a cheery bedside manner ANYDAY. I trust Dr. Chute with my life, and I'd do the surgery again in a heartbeat if HE performed it. Insurer Info:
All Medica requires is a BMI over 40 and the surgery is approved.