I'd like to open this profile with the only journal entry I've made so far in the online journal page on Oprah.com . . . it sums up my feelings and what brought me to this point, so I think it's an appropriate place to start.

I'm Going Into the Woods
October 21, 2004

I have always felt displaced in the city. I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA but it has never really felt like home. I have always believed that I should have been born and be living in a remote little mountain cabin in the woods with little else but the trees, streams and animals to keep me company. Frankly, people just get on my nerves.

But, here I am at over 400lbs and turning 36 on Monday. I have wasted an entire lifetime practically. I have been trapped in this hideous body my entire life. I cannot remember a time when I wasn't severely obese.

I can’t even look at myself in the mirror and usually get dressed in the dark. What’s the worry, my wardrobe is so limited that there’s no chance of walking out of the house mismatched. God, when was the last time I wore a normal pair of pantyhose? I’d do worse than Mel Gibson in “What Women Want” if I tried to wear some now . . . not that I could find any to fit. At this point, I feel as though I have failed at everything. Some days it really feels like everything I touch withers. I am unemployed, on one more temporary assignment that doesn’t pay enough, each month I struggle to pay bills and determine what can go without being paid. My home is in such a state that it depresses me to walk in the door (I mean literally drains the life out of me) and I don’t have the energy or stamina to do anything about it. I thought I was doing the right thing when I accepted a teaching job in the public school system, but that was a mistake and now corporate America apparently doesn’t want anything to do with me because I was in “academia.”

I’ve been looking for a job for the past year and a half. Why don’t I just accept it. Noone is going to hire me at this size. Even if they don’t have a problem with the physical appearance, no company is going to take me on for fear of excessive medical expenses. They have no way of knowing that I’ve only been hospitalized once in my life and only for three days. I rarely miss work and was only out two weeks during the two years I taught. If they just asked, I could tell them, but they’re not going to do that . . . it might expose them to a discrimination lawsuit. I can’t, I just can’t decide that my weight is the one thing keeping me from getting a job. If I do, I’ll lose all hope. The fact is, right now I’m overweight. I’ll also be overweight (whether going up or down) until I’m not anymore and I don’t have the luxury of waiting until then for a job -- noone does.

I’ve been on one date, yes . . ONE, in my entire life and that was just a couple of years ago. I guess I spent years convincing myself that I wasn’t missing anything . . . what a LIE. I would like the opportunity to develop a relationship with that special someone. I believe that God has created a life mate for each of his children. I’ve probably met mine somewhere along the way and walked right by without him recognizing me. I don’t look the way God intended me to look. My special someone probably doesn’t know it’s me. One more failure.

I have a bachelor’s degree in music and, at one point, dreamed of being at “The Met.” Now, I can barely get through a song with any grace. I feel whole when I’m singing, but my weight has even stolen my voice.

Well, I’ve had it!!! I feel so foreign to myself that I’ve come to the conclusion that the person inside this 400lb coffin is not me. It’s a carcass that needs to be buried, or better yet . . burned -- a totally cleansing burn. The real me is in that cabin deep in the woods. She’s enjoying the birds singing, the wildlife, the sound of the rain hitting her roof, the fresh air, fishing in the creek nearby and, oh yes, she’s enjoying that tall beautiful mountain man too. She’s living my life and I WANT IT BACK!!!

I’ve just got to track her down. She’s somewhere past the deepest, darkest forest of hidden dreams, self-imposed lies and stolen moments consuming forbidden food. I’ve seen her footprints along the way. Her step is sure . . . she knows these woods like the back of her hand. She can elude me if I'm not careful. I’ll wade through the swampy self-doubt, ignore the valley that tells me everyone else is more important than me (it’s so much easier to coast downhill than trek uphill). Sometimes, I hear her laugh -- a real, true laugh -- ringing faintly through the trees; but, then it’s gone. Was it my imagination? I’ll chop through the underbrush and overgrowth of self-hate, depression, disappointment and shame. I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes along the way, but at least I’ll be doing something and not just existing in this world, separate from myself. I don’t know much about hiking through the woods, I’m sure at times it will be frightening, discouraging and exhausting. Some of the most beautiful plants and wildlife can be the most dangerous. I may even encounter people warning me to go back. But I do know one thing . . . you can’t take off running in the woods or you’ll never find your way. You must travel methodically, stop regularly to rest, check your direction and regroup, then continue. If I go too fast in a frenzy, I might run right by the cabin and miss my life altogether. But, if I take it one step at a time, with God to guide me, I’ll find my way -- who knows, I might even create a path for someone else to follow.

Occasionally I’ll look behind to recognize how far I’ve come. I can’t yet look too far ahead -- there are too many trees and if I don’t see the cabin right away, I’ll give up and go home. I can’t do that -- she’s got my life and it belongs to ME!! No, my focus is on following the trail she’s left. I might get lost, but that’s okay . . . as long as I keep heading in the right direction, I’ll eventually see the chimney and the candle burning in the window. Odd, but I think she knows I’m coming. She’s possessive of my life because it’s so wonderful; but she’s also thinking “it’s about time you showed up!”

You usually have a map when you start a journey. I don't need it right now, I'm at the edge of the woods and I know she's in there . . . somewhere. Each step will dictate the next and the map will become self-evident. I don't know why it took so long, but the important thing is I'm ready now. One deep breath and . . . I'm going in . . . .

I will be 37 in October and have considered surgery for about 4 years. I've reached the point where I'm ready to seriously research it to make a decision. I've tried everything and nothing has worked significantly. Fear of high blood pressure has helped me get some of the weight off, but not much. I'm tired of simply existing on this planet - I'm ready to live life. I want to see my niece and nephew grow up and be comfortable/health in my own skin - however saggy it may end up being.

February 1, 2006
Well, I have a date. I'll go to sleep on February 16th and wake up a loser. I'm excited, nervous, anxious, scared and . . . READY!!!!!!! I haven't been big on updating my profile, but I know how useful it has been to me to read others' so I will do my best. I guess I can start out with things I'm looking forward to (see complete list at end of profile):

1. Crossing my legs (I've done it once in my life)
2. Sitting indian-style on the floor.
3. Running across my yard (not because I'm running from a dog, but just because I CAN!!!!!)
4. Rollerblading - always wanted to try it.
5. Riding a bicycle.
6. Being called "mommy" because I'm actually PREGNANT!!!!!!

Okay, I have to stop here because this is a big one. Please excuse me if this is crude or TMI, but I have been called "mommy" by complete strangers and even people at my church for 20 years. Just yesterday I pulled up to the cashier at the parking deck at work, gave the attendant my ticket and received a very accented and enthusiastic "hello mommy!!" I've never had SEX let alone had a CHILD, COME ON, PEOPLE!!!!! If there's been a person in there this whole time, I'm callin' the pope now!!!!! Anyway . . .

7. Wear a watch that actually slide up and down my wrist.
8. Wear a belt!!!!! -- if I can remember how one works.
9. Wear cute lacy bra and panties (nobody else will see it, but I'll know it's there)

Think I'm done for now, I'll add more later.

February 2, 2006

Warning . . . Temporary Insanity Unleashed

Well, I have my "pre-op" hospital visit tomorrow and I just came from the bank getting cashier's checks for my surgeon, the PA and 1/2 of the hospital fees. In one fell swoop, half of the proceeds from the sale of my land that could have paid off my student loans are gone . . . GONE, I TELL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Logically, I know I've been working towards this moment on the way to MY moment on Feb. 16th and I know that this is not money down the drain, it's an investment - the biggest investment a person can make with, potentially, the greatest returns. I KNOW this, but . . . the split second in which my hands actually took possession of those checks, it was like ***BAM***BLAMM***KA'BLOOEYYYY***** (cue BATMAN captions and special effects) WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING???????

That's it, I have finally LOST MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I making the right decision?
What if "I" can't do this?
What if "I" am not strong enough?
What if in the end I don't lose the weight and only end up losing my mind and my money?
What if I have terrible complications and lose the rest and go into FOREVER debt on subsequent hospitalizations?
Look at these small portions people are eating, they didn't seem so small before, oh my God, can I do this??

FOUR tater-tots . . . are you KIDDING me!!!!!!!!!!

I . . . MUST . . . BE . . . CRAZYYYY!!!!!

I've waited 30 years for this nightmare to end . . . face it, it's NEVER going to end. I'm going to wake up and THIS will all be a dream . . . a cruel, rip-my-heart-out dream. There is NO SUCH THING as a duodenal switch. I've been having a year long delusion, making up a whole web forum of people who sympathize with my situation. All my life I've just wanted someone to understand. I finally get that and it turns out I made them all up in my head. No, don't answer . . . YOU'RE a figment of my IMAGINATION!!!!

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA . . . I'm not LIStenING . . . LA LA LA LA LA LA LA

I need a drink . . . . anything . . . STRAIGHT!!!

My mamma always said anything that SOUNDS too good to be true IS too good to be true.

But then, there's this small voice within me that says YES, it's true. Don't second guess yourself. You've been to the support group meetings, seen the results. You've researched the data. You've read these stories over and over and you know the truth. Why be afraid of it now. Look at what you've endured over your life . . can you actually be afraid of success?? Think, JoAnn . . . THINK . . . and then, PRAY!!!

I told myself I wasn't going to DO this. I was NOT going to panic about this surgery. I know what I'm doing!! This surgery won't solve every problem I have . . .

It won't pay off my loans, but it'll let me have more energy so that with a better job and couple of CD's released I can pay my student loans and then some.

It won't magically make me happy, but it will help me do the things that make me happy and as I continue in therapy, developing and becoming more comfortable in my own skin, I can begin to be content.

It won't dispel all of my insecurities, but it's a start . . . the rest is up to me and the courage to take this step says a lot about the possibilities.

It's right. I feel it in my soul, it's right. I guess I just had to purge the demons.

I think I'm done,
(no, don't call 911, I'm good)

February 10, 2006
Well, I have 6 days left before surgery. Oddly enough, I'm not afraid yet. I'm excited, but also pensive. I've gone through a wide range of emotions today . . . it's been enlightening. This morning at about 4:00 I was cleaning in the living room and I opened a white garbage bag that had a dress I needed to get drycleaned in it. I got the dress for my senior recital in 1995 (after a 3-year hiatus from school). I last wore the dress 3 days after burying my mother in December of 2000 when I had to go to Pittsburgh to sing in a weekend of concerts. The dress has been sitting right there in that same place since walking in the door after that trip five years ago. Shortly after that, I was too big to wear it and kept telling myself I was going to get it drycleaned and put it away for smaller days - if they ever came.

Well this morning, I took it out of the bag and got excited because I realized that in 3-4 months I'd be able to wear it again. Then, that excitement gave way to dismay because I realized that I didn't have any place to wear it and in another 3-4 months, it would be TOO BIG FOR ME TO WEAR!!!!!!

I was a little saddened . . . well, more than a little saddened, because a dress like that was a real treat for me. I didn't feel like a big blob in a dress like that. All of my other dresses were big mumu tents with no style, they just covered me. I actually felt like I looked nice in a dress like this, which only came along every 5-10 years (now I sound like I'm 80 years old!!) I realized that this journey is going to take more mental and emotional growth than I even realized . . . and I wasn't underestimating from the beginning. I realized I won't have to cherish the elusive "normal-looking-DRESS-that-makes-me-feel-like-an-actual-human" like it's a treasure to be protected at all cost because I won't find another one.

Then I realized . . . I'M GONNA GO BROKE!!!!! I have NO IDEA what my personal style is (I've never had to think about it because it didn't matter), but I know that soon, my wardrobe will not be as limited as it has been for the last 30 years of my extensive, 37-year old life . . . and I know I'll still be looking for that really nice dress or outfit that makes me feel special and, no matter WHAT my personal style turns out to be . . . with so many choices, to find something special . . . that special outfit is gonna be EXPENSIVE!!!

Okay, enough musings for now . . let me get to an update.

I've been going crazy trying to get some cleaning done. I considered hiring a cleaning service, but my house is so cluttered that they probably couldn't get to what they need to get to to clean it. So, I'm doing it myself, now that I got more energy and alllll. I'll be taking the garbage up to the street this weekend (wait, that's twice in two weeks . . . DANG, oh . y'all don't know 'bout that . . . I'll fill you in later) so I can leave the herbie-curbie (yeah, s'probly a Georgia thang) at the top of the hill and just take small bags up post-op. I refilled my iron order and am placing my ADEK order today. I'll be picking up some things at Walmart this weekend. I'll make a list for possible benefit to any pre-ops:

- a couple of thermometers (beware of fevers post-op)
- Magic Bullet
- Dixie Cups (for SF jello, liquids and just learning to control my portions early post-op).
- Hospital size sanitary pads (well, you know)
- Lysol spray and wipes (keep down germs)
- dressing for drain site and incisions.

I guess that's it . . . I already have;

Nice fuzzy slip on slipper
comfy clothes
Baby Wipes
Toiletries (toothbrush/paste, soap, lotion, shampoo)
Back Scratcher (not just for backs anymore . . . haHAAAAAAA)
Baby Spoons and sippy cup

Some of this stuff may seem unnecessary, but the more I approach my date, the more I associate the initial post-op life with that of a newborn baby. The tummy is so small and must have bland, liquid milk from mother or formula. Both mother and baby learn how much they can take. Eventually moving to more substantial, pureed foods being aware of temperatures and textures and then gradually adding foods and learning how the baby's system reacts. So, that's the way I'm going to approach it. I like moving from dixie cups for sipping to sippy cups and eventually water straight from the bottle (WATER bottle, of course).

Oh, another note . . . I weighed in this morning. I've been ashamed to post on the board that Dr. Smith was concerned about my weight when I went in for my last pre-op visit last week. I started a couple of months ago at 438 trying to lose 20 or so pounds before surgery to help make the liver smaller and more pliable. I was doing okay for a while and then started wavering (438..432..435..433..435..436..429..and so on) When I weighed I was at 440lbs . . . can you say WRONG DIRECTION!!!!!?

Let me just pause here and say I established my profile having lost down to 416 using the little known, but very effective SUHBPT diet . . . "Sudden Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure TERROR diet". But, after five months, the terror subsided and I started having difficulty again . . I can proudly say that the two things I have not added back into my diet after eliminating them over a year ago are soda (any carbonated drink) and ice cream (I did have one bite of ice cream cake about 2 months ago before I realized it. I swallowed it, but threw the rest out).

I was terrified that Dr. Smith might actually consider postponing my surgery, I mean, what does that say about my committment to the behavioral changes I'll need to make post-op? He told me to do whatever I can to lose some over the next two weeks, he just wants the loss to be in the double digits. I offered to come in the following Friday to weigh in (as much for my motivation and to assure him) and he said that would be good. Well, today is the following Friday and I went this morning at 7:00, knowing they would be getting ready for this week's pre-op group to arrive at 7:30. I weighed and it was . . . . .Da dada dahhhh . . . . 429 . . . that's a loss of 11 whole lbs ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I'm proud of myself, but I'm conflicted too (oh, my therapist is gonna LOVE me) because I want to have a good last meal and I wanted to enjoy it either Sunday or tonight while watching the Olympics opening ceremonies (you know, like a really good sub tonight, or a great Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica followed by caramel covered cheesecake on Sunday), but I don't want to ruin the progress I've made. I feel a bit rebellious in that HELLO, I'M HAVING SURGERY ON THURSDAY . . . WHY AM I STILL TORTURING MYSELF OVER ONE MEAL?? I mean, it's not like I'll never eat again. I'll still be able to have the things I want, after a couple of month anyway, just my tastes will be different and I'll be satisfied with much less. I can't think about it right now, I have too much to do.

Allow me to introduce myself . . .

Yeah, it’s just me . . . I’ve kind of been in hiding, though unintentionally, for the past week or so. Now that I’m home and the drama is over, I can get caught up on what’s going on in the real world . . . aka, the Kingdom of the Switch. This post is going to be an abbreviated version, but still long probably. The full version can be found on my profile. Well, here goes . . .

March 3, 2006

It’s 7:00am and I simply cannot believe two weeks have passed. I’m sitting here at the computer having just taken a multivitamin and my calcium (taking the iron and ADEK’s in about ½ hour) and sipping on a tall glass of water with a couple ounces of white grape-pear juice in it and I remember so distinctly in my mind when Alison posted just wishing that she could just skip to two weeks post-op. It doesn’t work that way, but it still amazes me that two weeks have passed. It seems like just yesterday that I was “cleansing” myself in preparation for surgery. So much has happened since then . . .

February 3, 2006
Today was my pre-op appointment and it was okay until . . . I saw Dr. Smith and was afraid he would postpone my surgery because I had not lost weight pre-op and was at 440lbs, higher than when I originally consulted with him. But, he told me to do whatever I had to to lose into the double digits before surgery and I offered to come back the next Friday and weigh-in again to check my progress officially with them. He examined my upper abdomen, which always seemed pretty solid to me, I thought I carried most of the weight in my lower abdomen (panni). Thank God, he didn’t postpone it. I’m GOING to lose that weight. That was just the first hurdle . . . then, I was instructed to park at the women’s center to access the PATT office (patient admission and testing, or something like that). Wrong, PATT was clear on the other side of the hospital and there was a parking deck specifically for people going to the surgery center RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR!!!! Why would you do that to me, people?!!!!! That was just wrong . . . well, I KNOW now!! I paid the first half of my hospital bill, registered and weighed in, I was 438 (2 lbs less than the surgeon’s scale, but still disappointing. I went back a week later ( after a liquid diet on the HMR products) and had lost 11 lbs . . . woo hoo!!

February 15, 2006
Well, I’ve gotten my PICC line, left the cat at the Vet for boarding and to get her shots. I have my supplements and just stopped by Wal-Mart to pick up some bandage tape and the Fleet phosphosoda. I’m still relatively calm. I’ve saved my packing for tonight during my cleansing to give me something to do. I keep telling myself that by this time tomorrow, I’ll be switched.

Wait, I gotta tell you about my experience getting the PICC line. I thought I was being smart and went to the surgery center parking deck and PATT was just inside the door. Checked in at PATT and they sent me clear back across the hospital for the PICC line. Well, that was not the PICC line, that was REGISTERING, again, for the PICC line ( did you know you have to register for every dog’gone procedure . . . Jeez!!!!!) Then back to PATT and someone came and got me to finally go to Ultrasound for the PICC line. The nurse had already told me that she was concerned I was at the weight limit for the table and if so, they would have to do the X-ray with me standing up and bring me back to finish. So, I’m sitting outside the door singing to myself and then the door opens and I see that impossibly small table that looks like it has practically no support whatsoever. I was like, “okay, they have a bariatric program here so I’m sure their equipment will support my weight . . . I mean, come on!!” Then the nurse comes out and says “ you are just below the weight limit so we’ll do it here, but I need you to sign this release saying that if you break the table, you won’t sue us.” “Okay, let me make sure I understand this. You want me to sign saying if “I” break the table, “I” won’t sue “YOU?” (You see, I’m thinkin’ it should be other way around and they should be telling me that if I break the table, THEY won’t sue ME.) So I said, “You mean if I HIT THE FLOOR as a result of breaking the table, I won’t sue you.” She said “Well . . . yes.” “Okay, let me as you this, if I break your table, will you sue me?” She said NO, so I signed the paper, although I wasn’t happy about it.

I go in the room and use the stool to get up on the table and these three skinny-minny nurses kept telling me how to get up there. Finally I said, “Look, I’ve been maneuvering this body for 30 years so let me just take my time and get up here. I don’t mean any harm, but if I head for the floor, y’all just gone go running in the other direction and that won’t help me none, so just give me a minute.” I’m happy to say the table held, getting the PICC line took about 10 minutes and I was on my way allllllllll the way back to my car. If you’re pre-op and interested in what happens with the actual PICC line, see below.

February 16, 2006
My Sister in Christ, Bronwynn, picked me up this morning at 9:00 to head to Kennestone hospital. She’s going to stay with me the whole time - I’m so thankful for her. We head to the hospital and about halfway through the trip as we are talking, I glance down and say “ Umm . . . did ya KNOW you’re going 85?” I think she was more nervous than I was. We get to Kennestone and I check in at the surgery center. Not 5 minutes later I and another woman are called back and taken to a “secret” elevator (Patti, you’ll know what I’m talking about) to pre-op. So, we’re in my little curtained room with a couple of chairs, a big bed sitting up like a chair and a television. I change into my gown and booties and we sit and wait and talk. I was still expecting to be nervous, but I just wasn’t. At about 12:30 they come to get us and wheel me down the hall where we part. They took me directly into the operating room and I’ll tell you, they didn’t waste any time. I got up on the table, put my feet up against the end so they can put the pump boots on. They put a net over my hair and got the IV situated. I finally got to meet Kip, he’s the surgeon’s assistant , , , he’s great.

Dr. Smith arrives and is his usual, unflustered self. They put the oxygen mask on and told me to breath deeply. The anesthetist said I should be getting sleepy . . . FLASHBACK to my endoscopy . . . I’m not getting sleepy so I kept looking around the room. Finally someone put their hand on my throat right at my trachea and started pressing. The anesthetist said I’m going to feel him pressing on my throat and I’ll feel more pressure . . . and I DO!!! It feels like my neck is being squeezed and the feeling starts going up into my face. I began to panic and talked myself out of it and said “should my face and cheeks be feel so hot and tight?” . . . then I was out.

Oh dear God . . . I feel pain and tightness. It’s bearable for the moment, but I need them to do something soon. I felt the pain and tightness in my abdomen, but more pain in my back. I was on my back and tilted slightly to the right. My back doesn’t like being on my back. It’s 8:00 and I can’t quite stay lucid. ( That was odd because I remember coming to myself as I was being wheeled TO recovery after my gallbladder removal). I remember Dr. Smith coming up on my right side and saying in his own quiet way that the surgery went well, and then I was gone again. I didn’t try to stay quiet, when I moaned and groaned it helped me cope with the pain. I was sure they would get me something, I just had to hold out until then. I needed to shift positions to relieve my back, but I couldn’t get anyone to understand. They tried to hook up my bipap machine because my oxygen kept dipping low. I heard them talking about it right next to me, finally they just put me on strong oxygen because it dipped even lower while on the Bipap.

I don’t know how much time passed, but a nurse and orderly finally took me to my room. They talked all the way and when I finally got outside the room, the orderly went to the nurses’ station and came back fussing that they were watching pictures. The one who would apparently be “my” nurse came out and they started arguing and yelling back and forth with their island accents. I reverted back to my teaching days and said “Ladies, please . . . just shut up.” Although, I never said “shut up” to my students ( I guess that was the pain talking), but you don’t need that mess. I’m in pain and right here at my room. Get me in my room, leave me alone with my precious morphine pump and go somewhere else to argue.

I finally got into the room and was able to pull myself up a bit to get comfortable. Whoa . . . what was THAT??!! I just discovered the catheter. The first night was a bit of a daze, but boy did I fall in love with my morphine pump. Kim Frye came by the next day and she and everyone else had to encourage me to not be afraid to use it ( I was using it, but sparingly since I don’t like the idea of taking a lot of pain medicine). My Bipap was hooked up and that was awful, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but it was blowing so hard I couldn’t breathe against it and it was smashing my nose. I thought they had switched masks on me, but I couldn’t concentrate enough to figure it out. The people they sent to my room tried to act like experts, but they didn’t have a clue about the machine and just kept telling me that they hadn’t changed the pressure - I hadn’t said a word, so that told me something was wrong and they didn’t know what it was. I finally figured out when I was getting ready to leave, that they had messed up my mask. I had already put it together and for some reason, they had removed the gel padding from the groove inside the mask that it fits into and forced it onto the OUTSIDE of the mask - no wonder it wouldn’t work properly. So instead of avoiding a nosebleed, I got one on each side and the force of the air blowing into my nose caused it to dry inside my nose so by the next morning I was forced to breath through my mouth. Some time during the pre-dawn hours they brought the blessed swabs and ice water - Oh my God, that was absolute heaven. I asked for a couple of long cotton swabs and dipped them in the water to moisten and clean out my nose (NO . . . I didn’t dip them back into the water, thank you very much!!).

February 17, 2006

Well, morning is here, although I’ve been trying to nap since about 4:00 am. They haven’t started bringing me water yet, but I’m happy with my swabs for now. I called my sister to let her know that I had come through the surgery and was well, I also called Bronwynn - she had to leave at 4:00 to get her little one, she told me that Dr. Smith was very happy with how the surgery went and that I was situated in recovery by 4:00, so it didn’t take as long as was expected. I also called the minister of music at the church I play for because she had called the day before to see how everything went. I spoke briefly with each person and then knocked out for a while. My angel, Kim, came to visit me (cannot tell you how much I appreciated that visit, and I love the unjury and nectar, I’m ordering some as soon as I can) and encouraged me to use the morphine pump freely because I couldn’t give myself too much – pssh, who am I to question her wisdom and it made all the difference. My right thigh was numb, but I wasn’t concerned because I knew it was from being on my back for so long . . . I expected it to be gone in 3-4 days. Later that day I got a sponge bath, which I greatly appreciated, and took my first walk. Can I just say that walking with that catheter was a truly “different” experience. Finally at some point during the day I was allowed water and they brought my little cups so I wouldn’t drink more than 50 ml per hour. That was heaven, but I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom and I asked the nurse how to do it (I assumed that nothing would go into the catheter until I released it - yeah, didn’t have a clue how that worked) they told me that the catheter was filling up and they emptied it - okay.

My co-worker’s mother, who works in the hospital lab, stopped by tonight to visit me and I really appreciated that. The days were long, but the nights were longer - I got hooked on the cooking channel trying to get some good ideas for primarily protein dishes. I’ve always wanted to learn more about cooking, but I was afraid because I knew I would just eat more. Anyway, I’ve had no nausea as yet, and thankfully I didn’t have the feelings of “Oh my God, what did I do?” I think I prepared myself pretty well trying to stay in the frame of mind I was in for my gallbladder removal - it has to be done. Now, I find that I’m having to repeatedly tell myself that it is not the same as my gallbladder removal . . . everything’s different now and I need to solidify that in my mind. I had a call from Patti and that was just great!!! She’s having her surgery on next Tuesday, she is in my prayers. We talked a little bit and I’m not sure when the conversation ended, I hope I didn’t fade out on her (after I was released, I called Kim to get her telephone number and she told me that Patti gave me her husband’s cell phone number - I do not remember that). I’m so thankful that Patti’s surgery also went well and by now she’s probably recovering nicely at home.

February 18, 2006

Still the days are long, I have oxygen hooked up to my BiPap and the combination of the noise and my messed up mask are keeping me awake. They also did a walk with me because my oxygen levels kept dipping whenever I was up and moving around. Now I have to take the oxygen with me on my walks. I’m not drinking enough I know because I’m having difficulty conceiving how much I can take in, plus I don’t feel like eating or drinking anything - I’m afraid basically. I’ve got to get over that, it’s too important. They keep asking me if I’ve had a bowel movement - uhh . . . NO!!! I have started belching and passing gas, so that’s good. I hate going to the bathroom because it’s so small and has that dish in it to measure your output. Did I forget to tell you they took the catheter out . . . that was not fun, but over in an instant. They kept making a big deal about how sensitive I was to any movement with the catheter, and I finally just said “Hey, I’m not used to anything being in up in there.” They tried to liken it to a tampon, okay that wasn’t helping a’tall.

Finally I had a bowel movement - it was NOT pretty, but didn’t stink as bad as I expected. Dr. Smith had visited yesterday morning and this morning. He came back this afternoon and told me that he saw no reason to keep me until tomorrow, but I hadn’t been given any protein yet and he wanted to know that my system would react okay to the protein (plus, I had made arrangements to be picked up on Sunday), so I stayed one more night so they could determine a course of action with my oxygen levels and I could have some protein. I didn’t get to have the surgery taped, but I’m just happy to know that it went very well . . . I’ll take that!! I had protein, still no nausea, etc., so I was released on Sunday and went to the Suburban Lodge so I could be near the hospital and Dr. Smith’s office until my follow-up when the drain was pulled. The nurse came to remove my PICC line so she cleaned the area with alcohol and told me to take three good, deep breaths and on the third, hold my breath until the line was out. I held my breath and she kept pulling and pulling . . . and pulling. Dang that thing was long - that’s when I realized that they weren’t speaking figuratively when they said it went straight to my heart. I said “dang, that thing really was in my heart . . . can I keep it??” They wouldn’t let me keep it, but I was going home so that was okay. They won’t let you keep anything . . . I couldn’t keep the PICC line, couldn’t get the stomach they removed (okay, I never got up the nerve to ask Dr. Smith to preserve it so I could have it, but I did ask him how big it was . . . anywayyyy) The only thing I got to keep was the drain - yayyy . . psshh . . . yeah, right!

During the next few days, I struggled with drinking my water and shakes ( I was too timid to move on to anything else yet) and understanding the different discomforts I was feeling . . . is this hunger, too full, too big a swallow, drinking too fast . . . what?? I was barely getting in 30oz of water a day and I know that wasn’t enough. I even added water to my shakes to help increase it but I kept getting this discomfort right below my breast bone and it happened almost every time I took a swallow, no matter how small. I remember calling Kim on Wednesday asking her how much she was able to take in immediately after being released and I was amazed at the figures she read me from her log. I knew I just had to push myself.

My thigh is still numb so I called Dr. Smith’s office. Andrea advised me that the drain could cause pressure on the sciatic (sp?) nerve and once it was removed the numbness should go away. I spoke with Patti’s husband, he said her surgery went well, but they were having difficulty waking her up, or keeping her awake. Since the surgery took longer, they think it’s a residual affect from the anesthesia. I hope it clears her system and she is up and feeling better soon.

February 23, 2006

I returned to Dr. Smith to get the drain pulled. I’m still a little stunned . . . okay, very stunned. They weighed me and I’ve already lost . . . 16 WHOLE POUNDS!!!!!!! It’s only been a week and I still can’t quite believe it. I’m excited, but it’s tempered with a hesitation because I’ve seen those numbers before. It’s not that I don’t think surgery will work for me . . . I know it will. It’s just that I don’t think it will really sink in until I hit 349 - because I haven’t been able to weight on a regular scale in 25 years. I think THAT’S when it will be real to me.

Thank God, thank God, my period held off until Wednesday night, but it did cause trouble at Dr. Smith’s office. They told me that the drain could be causing the discomfort below my breastbone and if so (“IF so” . . . what do you mean IF so . . . com’on, people!!) it would be relieved when the drain was pulled. Pulling the drain was quick and very weird, but not painful. They finally got to see the trouble I was having with bandages (I had called them a couple of times since removing the drain bandage so I could clean it in the shower and put new dressing on it – the tape would not stick to my skin and they just told me to use more tape. I used practically a whole roll securing the dressing and had to change it again the next morning before going to get the drain pulled). They pulled the drain, put a glob of neosporin on the new bandage and situated it securely over the drain site - or so they though. The tape would not stick to me at all. They redid it a couple of times, but it just wasn’t sticking. Finally they had put so much tape on it that it was just laughable. Thanks to my period and no underwear I had to go to the restroom which was 2 feet across the hall. By the time I got there, the padding was saturated, of course the tape had fallen apart and I was pouring all over the floor. I got back to the room and we did it all over again. At which time I had to go to the bathroom again. Can you say instant-replay?? This time on my way back into the exam room, I saw fluid on the floor in front of the chair - I was saturated and leaking before I even left the room. Back up on the table and collectively Eric, Andrea and Denise worked on me to bandage the site and they brought out the tegaderm which finally held. They were amazed that the tape was just not sticking to my skin and said they’d never seen that, my response . . . “I’m SAYIN’ . . . I tried to tell y’all that yesterday, but nobody was listening to me!!”

I was dehydrated (no, Duhhh) and while I wasn’t in terrible danger, it was bad enough to create a deficit that I would have difficulty making up this early. The good news is the discomfort I had been suffering was COMPLETELY relieved with the removal of the drain. The bad news is I had to get fluids. Elizabeth was with me (she is the minister of music at the church I play for and very good friend. She has been so supportive thought this whole thing, visited me in the hospital, took me to my follow up, picked up some items from the grocery store (that first taste of yogurt was absolute ambrosia) and even took me home one night at 10:00 to pick up my car - I don’t have the words to thank her for her support, love and encouragement . . . thank you, Elizabeth. We left with a first stop at the drug store to pick up some tegaderm and by the time we got across the street to the hospital, the site had to be changed again. And again after registering (again!!) for the IV treatment.

I’m rehydrated and back at the hotel ready to sleep. I’m having no more problem drinking and got in 70 ounces of water as opposed to only 24 the day before . . . thank God. The next few days were filled with eat/drinking, walking, sleeping . . . eat/drinking, walking, sleeping . . . well, you get the idea. But I was sleeping more which was good. I stopped taking my pain medicine yesterday and never took the nausea or reflux medicine because I didn’t experience either. I’ve become an expert at changing my bandages - the Tegaderm was a blessing. I’m really careful with my drain site and when changing it, I massage the area to get any fluid collected right at the site out before applying the new bandage. My right thigh is improving, but for the most part is still numb so I’ve been sleeping more on my left side to try and stretch and massage it and keep as much pressure off of it. One thing I discovered, make sure you switch sides occasionally because when I did switch to my right side, I drained quite a bit more.

February 28, 2006

One of my smaller incisions has been bleeding a little since Sunday. I spoke with Andrea and she said to continue caring for it as I have been and if it bleeds more or shows signs of infection, let her know. I’m checking out tomorrow and going home (which is only about 45 minutes away) so after my appointment with Georgia Lung, I’m going back to Dr. Smith’s so they can just check to make sure my incisions are on the right track before I leave the area. Georgia Lung did a O2 walk with me and my levels still dropped into the 80's during the walk so I have to stay on oxygen when active for a few more weeks. It’s a bummer, but as complications go . . . I’ll take it!! Andrea says my incisions are looking good . . . yay!! They weighed me again, I was expecting 4-5 more pounds maybe, but not THIRTEEN WHOLE POUNDS!!!!! It’s been 1 ½ weeks and I’ve lost 29 pounds. That’s crazy. With the 11 pounds I lost during the two weeks before surgery, I’ve lost 40 pounds. It’s less than two weeks out and I’m already almost below 400 lbs. My brain just cannot comprehend. I do hope I’m not losing too fast or losing muscle mass or something else I shouldn’t be losing. I’m not going to panic about it, just continue to increase my water and protein. I go HOME tomorrow, I can’t wait to get to the store so I can have something other than yogurt and protein drinks.

March 1, 2006

You’re not going to believe this. I’ve been at this hotel for almost two weeks and my car has been here two nights and someone rammed into my car last night. I’m just heartbroken. I got up this morning and took the first little load of items to my car and WHAM . . . there’s a HUGE dent on the right front of my car with scratches and white paint . . . it’s completely bashed in. I’m going to kill somebody . . . well, okay I’m not, but I want to. Now, I can’t just check out, pick up the cat and go home. I’ve got to deal with the manager, go to the police station and file a report and . . . ughh, I’m NOT happy. I did a tour of the parking lot and wrote down the license plates of two car I suspect and we’ll see when we get the surveillance videos. I do have to see my PCP for the post-op follow-up. I’m hoping he’ll reduce my blood pressure medicine. I was told to resume them when I came home and I’ve been dizzy since Friday when I started taking them again. I stopped them on yesterday and will see what he says today. Yayyyy, he took me off of two of them so I’m only on 10mg of Norvasc once per day - Hallelujah!!!!!!

I’m home and I’m exhausted. I’ll have to pick up the cat and do a little shopping tomorrow. I return to the church I play for on Sunday, we’ll see how it goes. I want to cry every time I look at my car. I’m “proud” to say I had my first what-crawled-up-inside-me-and-died gas moment a couple of days ago. I think I’m scarred for life. I do think I’m more sensitive to smells, but I don’t know if my tastes have changed that much. I can’t wait to get back on the boards. I’ve missed talking to everyone. I really need a new computer . . . maybe in a couple of weeks.

March 6, 2006

I go back to work tomorrow. I really could use more time off, but I can’t afford it. It’s good that my job is pretty sedentary, but I understand a lot of personnel changes took place during my absence, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow. What am I eating? Well, you’d think after reading so many posts on “What did you eat today?” that I’d have a better idea of what to fix, I guess it’s developmental . . . you know, developing a better schedule or menu plan, but at this point, my tastes are such that I don’t want the same two things in a row. So far I’ve had pureed tuna salad, egg salad, ham salad, black bean soup and I was a little bad and cooked some of those frozen meatballs in teriyaki sauce because I was soooooooo tired of pureed stuff. It was great, did give me some additional gas and a bit of the runs the next morning. This morning I scrambled one egg with cheese and mixed a small slice of corned beef in with it. It was good too. I was able to eat the whole thing (it’s amazing, I was satisfied, even full and had no desire to eat more where before, I would have scrambled up 3-4 eggs, topped them with 2-3 slices of american cheese, fried up several slices of the corned beef and had two (not one, TWO) sandwiches with plenty of miracle whip before I stopped). It’s exactly what I wanted -- to be satisfied with less food -- but, it’s surreal and will take some getting used to. Right now, I feel foreign to myself, I’m sure it will get better. I looked in the mirror a couple of days ago and felt so disoriented. I couldn’t point out anything specifically different about my face, it’s just that I wasn’t seeing in the mirror what my brain was expecting to see and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I actually walked around the house looking at the floor and different items to see if it was my eyes and what was wrong. Logically I knew my face was different because other people told me they can see a difference in my face, but it was only enough to really disorient me and I had to stop looking. I realize now, more than ever, that I’m in for big adjustments. I’m ready . . . I think.

There’s a part of me that wonders if I am able to eat too much cuz I was able to eat the whole thing, but I think with the size of our stomachs and intestinal alterations, it’s almost impossible to eat TOO much at this point. I’ll see if it causes me any issues. I’m still depending on protein shakes. The one I’m using now has 45g protein per serving and I’m making it with lactaid milk – I hope to wean myself away from protein shakes to eventually get all of my protein from foods. I do miss bread. I know a lot of people have said they have no desire for bread, but I miss it and still want a nice sandwich. I don’t know what will happen when I’m actually adventurous enough to try a piece. Who knows, I may not like it anymore. Oh, I had my first “oil slick” moment day before yesterday. It wasn’t massive, just a few spots floating on top (jeez, where else can you talk about bathroom issues so freely?). I know this is a lot, my mind is buzzing and I’m trying to include everything . . . but, now that I’m back on the boards, I’ll be able to keep up.

March 7, 2006

Okay, today was my first day back at work and I only lasted three hours. I thought since it was a very sedentary job, I'd be okay, but listening to my body, I'm just not ready. The good news is that my boss already had things in the works for me to telework temporarily and return half days for the next couple of weeks - which will be great!!!

March 13, 2006

Well, I just couldn't stay away . . . considering the conference planner for our little office that handles the entire state just quit and left things an absolute mess. I kind of like the conference planning, but hate cleaning up someone else's mess. Anyway, I'm doing okay. It's harder getting my water in at work because I get so caught up in what I'm doing. At home, all I thought about was resting, walking, eating bits at a time and drinking as much fluid as I can. I'm going to do everything I can to keep my water intake up. I DO NOT want to have to have IV fluids again.

My incisions were healing pretty good, and still are . . . for the most part. One of the smaller ones lost a scab and started weeping just a little bit. I just went right back to neosporin 3xday and bandaging it - surgeon's office okay'd it. We'll see how it does in a few days.

At this point, I'm wondering when my stomach will settle down. It's not upset to the point of nausea or anything, it's just getting used to the new situation - I know, but I'm tired of it. I want to get over this "new" period and begin to feel normal. Some days I think my energy is improving and then all I want to do is sleep. I have to say that I do miss satellite TV - I had it at the hotel and could usually find something to occupy my brain since I wasn't quite up to crotcheting yet.

I'm branching out in my meals, got kind of tired of scrambled eggs and fixin's. I went to store and picked up a quiche lorraine (ham, cheese, onions) and it set really well in my little stomach. Darn the carbs, though!!!!!!

My mind has been wandering a lot lately, and I think it's time to add to my "what I look forward to doing" list:

10. Travel 3+ hours on a plane because I can use the bathroom - no more short trips - I thought CA would slip into the ocean before I got back (went at 7 years old)
11. Swing on a swingset - yes, I knowwwww!!
12. Sit in a chair with my purse beside me . . . in the SAME chair!!
13. I'd like to learn to ride a horse.
14. I'd like to go para-sailing, NO wait . . . I'm not THERE yet!!
15. I want to ride a waverunner again(and take a picture where you can actually SEE the waverunner - I kid you NOT).

March 11, 2006

I couldn't have hit a stall already . . . could I????

I'm not panicking, just curiously concerned. I am just shy of one month out and it seems I have hit a stall since coming home. I had surgery at 429lbs on February 16th and as of the 28th I had lost 29lbs. A couple of days later I was down another 7lbs. I have not lost anything since then. I'm assuming that maybe my body is just adjusting to the weight and I have also considered that I have really worked on upping my protein since returning home. In the hotel, I had primarily yogurt, protein shakes and water with crystal lite (yuck, by the way) or propel water (peach is great!) added to it. Since coming home, I'm dealing with real food.

I told myself I wasn't gonna get caught up in the daily weighing, etc., but I have weighed myself a couple of times over the past two weeks. I keep going up and down . . . 391 . . 396 . . 395 . . 396 . . 394 . . 397 . . .aaaargggggggghhhhh!!! I'm going to lose my mind. I'm taking stock of what I've been eating to see if it's contributing to the problem:

First week home primarily pureed chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, yogurt, protein shakes and string cheese.

Second week home: Frozen meatballs sauteed in teriyaki sauce (twice), hormel chili (once), yogurt, string cheese, deli meats (usually ham or turkey) wrapped in cheese with a little bit of Miracle Whip, small slice of quiche Lorraine with a couple of sausage links. A sample meal would be the quiche and sausage links or two deli wraps (just meat & cheese) with miracle whip.

I have picked up some grilled chicken strips to stir-fry in a teriyaki-ginger sauce, but have been afraid to use it for fear of sugars/carbs (still learning how to judge content).

I have been drinking primarily water with a little bit of fruit juice mixed in (like 3 oz to a 32 oz glass of water), like welch's white grape juice blends (I like the pear juice best, next is cherry). I usually drink one 32oz glass with the fruit juice and one with just water and try to get in aother 10-20 oz before bedtime.

I can honestly say that I haven't had much else other than meat, eggs, cheese and yogurt trying to get my protein in, I'd like some vegetables soon, though. I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I'm expecting stalls, just not this early. I'll see what the OH gang has to say.

Well, thanks to the replies, I officially excluded the fruit juices (dang'it!!) I'm using less of the miracle whip, but it's just me so I'll use it up before I get something else. We'll see if this helps.

I've got an okay protein shake, but I'm tired of the flavor. It's a not-so-good chocolate flavor, but it gives me 45g protein in a serving - not bad to start the day. I saw on a post where someone mentioned adding a spoonful of peanut butter to their shake, I like Reeses, I'll try that tomorrow.

March 15, 2006

The peanut butter did the trick. Now, I think I can actually finish this TUB of powder. It cut the taste of the chocolate just enough . . . yay!! In the meantime, I've really been hankerin' for some cold cereal. I wasn't an everyday cereal person, but I would go through periods (2-3x year) when I absolute lived on it, I guess I'm in one of those moods now. I spent 15 minutes reading labels at the grocery store and couldn't bring myself to get a box, the carbs were just too much for my liking. Maybe the craving will pass.

Here's the big news. I had my one month follow-up today. Actually tomorrow is the official one month, but Dr. Smith is probably doing surgery on someone else tomorrow - I'm not jealous.

Okay, I'm excited, but also a slight bit disappointed. I only lost one pound during the two weeks since I came home from the hotel (booooo), BUT, total for the month I've lost 30 pounds and 41 from my official pre-op weight. My BMI has gone from 76 to 69 which is great.

I had hoped I'd lost a bit more, but I've lost quite a bit for a month and I guess my body needed a breather. But, I have noticed some changes, my watch and my bra are both falling off, I'm reaching places in the shower that used to be long and difficult journeys, I'm moving better and I believe my energy is starting to come back.

I have to keep in mind that I would be happy losing an average of about 14lbs per month (give or take). I go back for my 3-month follow up. Dr. Smith said he doesn't need to see me next month because I'm doing everything I need to.

I'm getting about 95-100 grams of protein including my shake in the morning (thank you blob of peanut butter), my liquid averages 70-80 oz per day, though I'm working to increase it (chewing gum helps a lot and I just started chewing again today), I'm finally on target with my supplements so, as for now, all's right with the world.

My musings . . . well, I can't believe it's been a month. Most days, I don't even feel like I've had surgery . . . then I eat and I'm reminded. I still haven't experienced any nausea or vomiting, no reflux and I've been taken off of two of my three BP medications - which is great!! One of the managers in my office said to my boss "JoAnn looks different." He doesn't know why I was out, just that I was out. It was kind of funny. People in the building where I work are staring at me more, I guess trying to figure out what's different, and I've never really felt comfortable with stares and attention. I'll work on that.

This journey so far seems so surreal . . . I'm me, but I'm changing. Almost like I have to try and figure out where I fit in my life. I was looking forward to the end of this "new" period where you have so many more questions than answers and everything, it seems, is precarious . . . and just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, it began to get better. I've finally been able to add some vegetables into my diet and it helped my bathroom issues a great deal - things are a bit more "solid" now ("ooooh, Mama, come look at this!!!!!" - don't even say it, YOU know you remember those days)

Finally, I have all the feeling back in my thigh. That's been strange. The bottom line, I think I have made a pretty good start and I'm once again looking forward to the fullness of this journey.

Okay, tried shrimp cocktail tonight . . . yeah, we're gonna stay away from that for a while . . . it was NOT a good thing!! On an up note, I'm looking forward to going to my first post-op support group meeting and reporting my progress. It's cool to think that "I" may be able to inspire someone else.

March 16, 2006

DARN Aunt Flo . . . darn her to heck and back!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well it's that time again. That sorry little scound beast Flo is hounding me again. What a way to end my great day yesterday. And she's making up for going easy on me right after surgery - I should have KNOWN it was too good to be true. Well, maybe today will be the worst day and I can coast after that. We'll see. They say the first few cycles post-op can be [email protected], so I'm not scared, just looking forward to the end of it.

March 21, 2006 - Oh God, there can't be anything LEFT!!!!!

I'm back from the no-man's land I visited Sunday night. I think I had my first really bad, mindless eating day on Sunday and I paid for it that night It's Aunt Flo's fault - that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!!!). I started out good with my usual slice of quiche lorraine & 2 sausage links, but things went downhill from there.

I got to the church I play for and we had a surprise easter rehearsal after service (surprise because I forgot - and didn't prepare for it . . . foodwise). I had to run to the drugstore for some "necessaries," and while there picked up a can of cashews ( . . big . . . m i s t a k e . . ). I got back to the church and had the following for the rest of the day:

1/3 cup of homemade black bean soup w/ cheese and 2 ritz crackers in it.
Grazed on 1/2 the can of nuts as I went all the way up to Barrett Pkwy to Costco's ( to finally establish an account and get some individually wrapped, frozen tilapia) only to get totally disgusted because it was absolutely packed and I didn't have the head for it.
Stopped by Piccadilly on the way home and got a dilly plate with chopped beef, green bean casserole ('nother mistake, I'm thinkin') and brussel sprouts with cheese sauce. I made it through 1/2 of the beef with about 2-3 bites of each vegetable before I gave up.

Lord-a-mighty!!!!! I ran a marathon all night long, back and forth TO the bathroom and ran a marathon IN the bathroom. Gee, d'ya think it was somethin' I ate? I mean gas and diahrrea like nobody's business. I didn't get to sleep until almost 5:00am.

Now, I could very well be wrong in my newness to post-op life, but I have narrowed down the suspects to:

Ritz Crackers - they "double-teamed" me!!
Cashews - specifically the HALF a CAN!!
Sauce on the green bean casserole
Sauce AND the brussel sprouts - okay, now that was just plain stupid!!

Anyway, it all got out of my system by 5:00am and I've been fine since then. I will never do that again. I know, I know . . . never say never . . . but, if I do it again, I'll deserve what I get. I can say, I'm not going to forget this for a long time and have no desire to relive it.

Here's to lessons learned,

On another note, I wonder if I'm absorbing the Calcium I'm taking. (WARNING-TMI): For the past couple of days, everytime I have a bowel movement, I get the distinct smell of the calcium capsules (Soloray Calcium Citrate) I'm taking. I wonder if I'm not absorbing and it's going through me. I spoke with Dr. Smith's office and they said it's possible the form I'm taking is not being absorbed. I go to quest to have blood drawn to test it and we'll see if I have to find a different source of calcium. Some DS'rs say they still use calcium carbonate, maybe that's an option for me. I'll wait for the results.

March 21, 2006 - Moments that make you feel so stupid!!

Do you ever have those moments that make you feel so much less intelligent than you know you are? I've been struggling with swallowing my ADEK's for weeks now, it's the only one I have trouble taking. I tried breaking them in half and the edges are too sharp. Anyway, someone on the boards mentioned an ADEK where they only have to take one pill 3xday. It was time for me to reorder and I looked back on axcanscandipharm to compare labels and prices and do you know what I found . . . You can chew the dang thangs!!!!!!!!!! And they don't taste half bad. Who'da thunk reading would come in handy after school?

March 27, 2006 - Oh my good googleymooga!!!!

I've been in a funk. Aunt Flo has been staying with me since Tuesday before last. This is my second cycle since surgery and it has been pure [email protected] (please excuse my language). It was so bad last week that I had to go home from work Thursday and Friday - weak, clumsy and like death warmed over (I thought I might have to visit the ER). I've been existing on water, supplements (especially iron - I upped it considering) and very little food. I picked up some lactaid so I could have protein shakes since I knew I wasn't eating enough. I've slept mostly for the past four days. I thought it was over last night, but it only gave me a reprieve.

Now, I am able to function, but am slightly woozy/dizzy each time I stand up, I don't think I'm dehydrated because I've been diligent about getting my water in, but I am concerned about my iron levels after losing so much blood. I made an appointment with my hematologist for tomorrow and advised her that I suspect I may need an infusion so we'll see how it goes.

And in the middle of all this, when I finally remembered I had post-op pain medicine at home and started taking it Thursday, there was a pain low in my pelvis that would not go away and I could "tell" that it wasn't cramps - lo and behold a wonderful bladder infection - ain't that a blip!!!!! I had about 4 of my Bactrum left from the hospital and started ta

About Me
Atlanta, GA
Surgery Date
Jul 05, 2005
Member Since

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