2008 - Dark Days and a "Do-Over"
Jun 30, 2009March 15th, 2008 ~~~~~
Yes, yes, I know that I have been horribly remiss with my postings (or lack thereof) lately, but once you're in a maintenance stage, there ain't a whole lot to talk about.
During the dark days when I was so worried about having lost "too much weight", my surgeon insisted that my body would eventually settle itself at a weight it liked. Well, it did. That weight, however, is higher than it was at its lowest. Hope that makes sense. I have gained somewhat since that low point, and I can't say that I'm happy about it, but I have had 2 unfills (as well as two health issues) in the last year and a half, and I'm still trying to find that golden fill level again. I'm trying to keep a level head, but it stilll bugs me. I've still lost 200 pounds, so I know I have nothing to bitch about.
And we have been totally lax about going to the gym,. and finally got off our asses this week and went. It felt good. Then, the next day, it felt horrible, since everything hurt. Booo!
What has been doing since my last post? Let's see. September brought my 48th birthday. Ew.
But also a belated birthday trip for DH to Las Vegas (again) for gambling, drinking, sight seeing and BikeFest. Oh! And another tattoo. It's a filthy phrase, in Irish Gaelic, on my ankle.
Hmm, what else? Holidays, yadda yadda yadda.
Last week was the Annual St. Baldrick's Day hair massacre. That's always such a blast!
- No shampoo, no conditioner, no gel, no mousse, no haircolor.
- No blowdrying.
- Saving at least 15 minutes every morning by NOT having to shampoo, condition and blow dry.
- No "bed head."
- No "hat head."
- No static when I take my hat off.
- Not paying $20 a month to get my hair cut.
- Taking my sunglasses off my head and not pulling a bunch of hairs out with them.
- Startling people, especially guys and MOST especially older men (my dad's age) who don't quite know what to think, and drop their gaze really quickly. You can almost see the thought process: "Oh my god. That woman has no hair! DON'T STARE! What if she has (whispered) . . . cancer?"
- Knowing that when I walk into a room, I OWN it. A bald broad can't help but command attention.
- Knowing that if I ever get in a cat fight, I've got the upper hand when it comes to hair-pulling.
- Scaring out-of-line children. Yeah, sometimes it DOES take a village, and if you're kid's being a spoiled brat in public, I'm more than happy to turn my bald-headed glare their way. Ran three of 'em out of Borders for being ill-mannered little b*stards. It was a proud, proud day.
- Knowing that if I ever lose my hair due to cancer treatments or alopecia, I can deal with it, and know that I still look damned good.
May 6th, 2008 ~~~~~
Now that I've emerged from my opiate-induced coma, I'm able to share the details of last week, for those who might be interested.
I was admitted through ER on Wednesday night after an endless amount of time spent trying to second-guess my frequent vomitting and almost-nightly reflux. An upper GI in April revealed a hiatal hernia and a small band slip. A total unfill the same day had no noticeable effect on either problem, so my surgeon decided it was just time to admit me and get the 2 problems taken care of.
I had the procedure around noon on Thursday, and couldn't tell you how long it took, because I was totally dope up the rest of the day. A quick and successful upper GI (with an new and completely odious liquid) the next day revealed everything to be working fine, and I was sent home on Friday afternoon.
The hernia was about 5 cm wide which, according to my ruler at home, appears totally ginormous! My trusty old 4cc band was replaced with a shiny new 10cc one, and my port, per my request, was moved up about 2" on my abdomen to move it away from the waistbands of clothing.
I'm in more pain than I remember being in from the first banding, but I have to remember that I had the hernia stitched up as well. I've also got six incisions instead of the previous five (not a big deal, since my belly ain't being seen by many people, anyway), along with a buncha bruises.
I was giving a script for liquid Percocet, which I gave up last night for plain old liquid Tylenol.
I'm back to square one of the whole band process, starting with the wonderful world of clear liquids. But this time, I'm starting a couple hundred pounds lighter and a WHOLE lot healthier than I was last time.
I feel like I have been given an enormous "do-over", and am so thankful for the opportunity. My biggest fear in this whole thing was that I was going to come out of the surgery with NOTHING at all: no band, no sleeve, no bypass, nada, and be left to fend for myself. And I know where THAT road led me previously.
Overall, I think I'm doing pretty well. I don't know how I expected to feel, but I think I feel better than I expected. On the UPside, I've lost 9 pounds since last week. It's nice to see the scale going DOWN again.
The lesson that his old-timer learned from this whole thing is that I really need to listen to my body (and, of course, to my surgeon!). For months, I was getting nightly reflux and almost daily vomitting (sometimes more than once a day) and trying to write the problems off as me doing something wrong: eating too fast, not chewing enough, eating too late, eating too much, etc. Of course, the other reason I chose not to pay careful attention the fear of KNOWING that there was a problem, and the possibility of losing my band.
But really, the only thing that I was doing wrong was not paying close enough attention to what my poor stomach was trying to tell me. When it finally got to the point when it felt physiologically "different" when I vomitted (that it felt lke a different PART of my stomach was involved), I woke up and realized that something was really, really wrong here.
Long story short, I'm back in the game, and back on track.
May 22nd, 2008 ~~~~~
Three weeks out from surgery, I'm down 16 pounds and feeling fine. No complaints here.
First fill in a week.
July 18, 2008 ~~~~~
WOW It HAS been a while since I've been on here. I'm so derelict in my duties lately!
I've now been for THREE fills, and have 5.5 cc in my band. I'm closer to that elusive little "sweet spot", but he's such a wiley little critter that I keep JUST missing him. I think I'm something like 0.1 cc away from just right.
I haven't been doing much here lately because I'm trying to take it easy on my hand and wrist, which has developed tendonitis and the beginning of carpal tunnel syndrome, and the brace I have to wear makes typing - especially typing CORRECTLY - a major bitch, and god KNOWS how I hate a typo!
On top of that, since I had the revision, I'm finding it hard to stay motivated to do anything, including exercise. Even eating the "right" foods is a problem for me lately. I don't know what the hell my problem is, but I know PART of it: I know that there's no giant payoff in loss of pounds like there was when I was first banded. There simply CAN'T be, since I don't have that many pounds left to go, but I SOOOO loved that rush of finding I had lost a couple of pounds overnight. NOW, I GAIN a couple of water pounds overnight and I lose my friggin' mind. Plus, I've been up and down and up and down the same few pounds over and over over since the rebanding. I know that it's going to take some time, but - to steal a line from "Willy Wonka" - I WANT IT NOW!
Wahhhhh! Okay, I'm done. The "pity pot" is now unoccupied.
And since I've been a slackass when it comes to quotations, here's one. Enjoy.
It is the only coin you have,
and only you can determine how it will be spent.
Be careful lest you let other people
spend it for you."
September 15, 2008 ~~~~~
Ye, gods! I'm FORTY NINE years old (as of last Friday.) Y'know what that means: I'm at the gateway to referring to myself as "X years 'young'." Gag. Well, at least I don't FEEL 49, which is still about 10 years younger than I felt BEFORE I had my surgery. I can't believe it's been almost 5 years!
I figure that it would be beyond trite to try to do something incredibly daring-slash-stupid for my 50th birthday, so I'm planning on making a pre-emptive strike by skydiving this fall. It's been on my "Life list/Bucket list" since I was about 17 and now - at the insistance of my friend Alex - it's time to put up or shut up.
On the WLS side of life, I am losing the weight I gained during the "unfill-bandster hell part deux" part of my life. It's coming off very slowly, but I certainly can't expect to lose as fast as I did when I weighed almost 400 pounds. (Well, I could EXPECT to lose that fast, but not have success at it.)
So far, since the 1st of May, I'm down 18 pounds. Not bad, and no complaints.
September 19, 2008 ~~~~~
For those of you who have been pining for my posts, pine not! I'm throwing in an extra one this week, with some new pics!
This is the newest addition to my growing family of tattoos: number 8.
DH and me on a Circle Lines cruise around Manhattan last week on my birthday.
I just turned 49. Yeesh
And now, a little introduction. I will confess to being a HUGE zombie movie fan! Night, dawn, day . . . whatever time the "Living Dead" want to walk among us and snack on people's unsuspecting brains, I'm there. So when DH asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I suggested a gift from
This guy is FREAKIN' AWESOME! You send him a photo:
And in a matter of days (less than TWO days, in my case), you get back a hand-painted, colored and inked original work of zombiac art:
Oh, he's gooooood!
September 23, 2008 ~~~~~
Crossed another one off my "Bucket List": I went for a ride on a motorcycle this weekend. After a mile or so or sheer, screaming terror (I was screaming "I HATE THIS SO MUCH!!!!"), it was not so bad.
Unfortunately, the passenger seat of the bike was not really made for someone 5' 10", so my knees absolutely killed yesterday. But I'm willing to go again if I can get on a nice, comfy Harley - something with a little legroom. I'm even considering (again) taking a motorcycle course so I can get my own license and drive on my own.
While this was not on my "Reasons Why I Want This Surgery" list, I will say that there is no way on God's green earth that I ever would have subjected my FORMER butt to a jaunt on a motorcycle. I can't imagine what the ride would have done to both my behind AND the bike!
November 17, 2008 ~~~~~
So, after 16 years of what I consider dedicated work to CPTV, I (and 120 other employees) were unceremoniously dumped by the company.
Oh, they blame it on the economy and that may be true (of course, no 6-figure salary VICE PRESIDENTS, of which they have many, were laid off.) But you don't give people who have given quite a bit of their lives to your business a "hey, you're jobless. You can come in for the next two weeks or not - we really don't give a shit one way or the other" goodbye, with no notice at all. If I had made the decision to QUIT with the same amount of notice, they would have boo-hoo'ed and shrieked that the sky would fall if I didn't stay for a month. The people that run that company SUCK and the ones who have made the crappy business decisions that they have for the past 10 years can burn in hell. It's NEVER the people who f*** up a company who end up on the street.
Can you tell that I'm royally pissed off?
November 18, 2008 ~~~~~
Okay, so here's the game plan. I clearly cannot trust myself to be sitting at home, around food 24/7. So, as often as I can tolerate it, I'm going to the gym after I drop DH off at the trains station in the morning.
There's hardly anyone at the gym at 6:30 am, so I can speed through pretty easily. Last week I went 4 days out of 5, did weight machines then 20 minutes each on the bike and elliptical machine.
On the "off" day, I went to volunteer at the Humane Society and exercised the dogs for two hours. Believe it or not, that was a harder workout than the gym!
At best, I'll lose weight faster, but at least I'm not home, having all the food in the house giving me the "stink-eye."
December 3, 2008 ~~~~~
I can't believe that it's already my fifth "bandiversary." Where the hell did the time go? It boggles the mind. Five years ago, I never would have expected to do as well as I did, and I'm still amazed at the results of the relationship between my band (the 2 bands, actually) and me. Who-da thunk it?
It's been a long, long road - physically, mentally and spiritually exhausting at times. It's never been "easy", but I've said before that it's not the hardest ting I've ever had to do. But through everything - the good, the bad and the ugly - I wouldn't have traded one second of it. Every second has been totally worth it.