Physical, Emotional and Mental steps on my journey towards healthy living on every level

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Meals and Exercise for Monday, January 30, 2006

7        4 oz water
8        1 egg
9        2 oz water
10        4 oz orange juice
11        2 oz water
10        4 oz orange juice
11        2 oz water
12        1/4 cup cottage cheese
2         4 oz pina colada v8 splash
3        2 oz water
5        1 very small blonde brownie (it was mushy)
6        1/3 cup beans
8        6 oz water

20 minutes on the treadmill at the fitness center

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Irony

Here is a lovely picture of my incision. I’m sure by now everyone thinks I am wacked beyond recovery.

Anyway, here is the irony. The circles sores are blisters that came about when the tape from the gauze was removed. Those suckers hurt way more than the incision itself.

By the way, this is the port incision -- the only one that is very big. The other 4 are less than 1/2 inch and the scars are almost invisible.

The Long Awaited Egg

This picture of my egg (I know, not an award winning photo) looks like I’m getting a lot of food -- until you know that it’s a SAUCER not a plate. I savored every bite and even licked the plate when I was done, but don’t tell anyone.

A little pain

Well, I confess that introducing my stomach to food with pintos and beans with taco sauce probably wasn’t the best move, and I had a little gas pain last night, but it wasn’t horrible and I woke up feeling fine, though a big bloated this morning.

As soon as I finish my 8 oz of water, I’m going to have a scrambled egg. Pretty exciting, huh?

Meals and Exercise for Day 11: Sunday, January 29, 2006

8        4 oz pineapple juice
10        4 oz dieter’s tea
1         2 oz refried beans
3        4 oz water
4        4 oz water
5        2 oz beans, 2 oz potato soup
7        4 oz dieter’s tea
8        3 oz pineapple juice
9        3 oz pineapple juice

Didn’t exercise today. took a day off (only have to do it 5-7 days a week).

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I Ate Food

Even though I am not supposed to start mushy foods until tomorrow, I cheated. I had pinto beans at Taco Bell for lunch and they tasted great. Not the healthiest choice, I realize, but they were mushy and get this -- I decided to eat half (about 2-3 oz) and save the other half for supper. I was the LAST one done eating. Since I have to chew it until it is liquid in my mouth, it took a while.

I feel a little bloated, but not bad. I actually feel pretty good and do plan to have the other half of that tiny bowl in a few minutes for supper.

Tomorrow morning I get to have an egg. Never been so excited about an egg before....

Meals and Exercize for Day 10: Saturday. January 28, 2006

7        3 oz Atkins Shake
8        3 oz Atkins Shake
9        3 oz pineapple juice
10        4 oz water
11        4 oz water
12        4 oz gogurt
1        3 oz pineapple
2        2 oz dieter’s tea
4        2 oz dieter’s
5        4 oz soup
6        2 oz dieter’s tea
8        4 oz propel

Exercise: 15 minutes mall walking

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Meals and Exercise for Day 9: January 27, 2006

8        4 oz fruit juice
10        2 oz water
11        2 oz water
12        2 oz fruit smoothie
1        2 oz water
3        2 oz fruit smoothie
4        2 oz water
6        4 oz gogurt
8        4 oz Super Dieter’s Tea

Exercise: 15 minutes on the treadmill

Friday, January 27, 2006

Just a Taste

I had a Go-Gurt for supper while Bart and the kids ate calico beans and chocolate cake. I was so desperate, that before putting the 1/2 cup of beans that were left down the garbage disposal, I put a spoon full in my mouth, soaked off the liquid, and then spit the remains that I can’t eat yet down the sink. I did two spoonfuls that way until I realized that we have a curtainless window at the sink, it was dark outside and the light was on. Don’t want the neighbors to know how weird I am.

Doing it is weird enough. Blogging about it puts me in a whole new class of weird.

Meals and Exercise for Day 9: January 27, 2006

8        4 oz fruit juice
9        2 oz water
10        2 oz water
11        3 oz cheese broccoli soup
12        2 oz water
1        2 oz Atkins Low Carb Shake
2        2 oz water
4        2 oz water
6        3 oz cheese broccoli soup
8        4 oz Dieter’s Tea
9        4 oz Propel

Exercise: 15 minutes exercise bike

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Eating out for the first time

Today Bart and I went out to eat for the first time since surgery. We went to TGIFs. He had Jack Daniels Chicken, with a big helping of mashed potatoes and some broccoli. I had bowl of cheese and broccoli soup, but didn’t eat the broccoli.

Actually, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I was surprised. I sipped my food slowly, as instructed, and only ate half. I finished about the same time he did, surprisingly enough. And I brought the rest home and had it for supper. I feel good and I enjoyed being with him, something I wasn’t worried couldn’t happen.

Plus, I weighed in at the fitness center today and according to that scale I’ve already lost 25 pounds in the last 2 weeks. I like that scale. I think I’ll use that weight. One of these times I’m going to have to report a gain, but for now, whatever scale weighs the least is what I’m using.


This morning I was able to, as my sons say, “take a crap”. I finally had a real “BM” (as my mother would say) and it felt nice. Guess my Super Dieter’s Tea last night worked.

Physically I’m feeling really good and I’m not even that hungry. Hopefully this will continue....

Meals and Exercise for Day 8: JANUARY 26, 2006

8 AM         4 oz fruit juice
9 am                4 oz water
10 am        4 oz water
11 am        Carnation Instant Breakfast, 4 oz milk
12 pm        4 oz water
1 pm                Carnation Instant Breakfast, 4 oz milk
2 pm                4 oz water
4 pm                4 oz fruit juice
6 pm                2 oz potato soup, 2 oz milk
8 pm                4 oz Dieter’s Tea (that makes you poop)

Exercise: 3 Five Minute Walks

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Don't Even Feel like I Had Surgery

All people contemplating this surgery need to know that it is actually, as far as the surgical part goes, a piece of cake. I was discharged a week ago last night and I don’t even feel like I had surgery. Sure, it’s hard to get used to only drinking, but other than the scars from the staples and incisions, I don’t even feel like I was cut open last week.

Every blood sugar I have taken since the surgery has been within normal range for normal people, not just for diabetics. THAT makes it worth while.

However, I do have a very hard time sitting down to meals with the family when they are eating all kinds of stuff I can’t have. Tonight Bart is making spaghetti and it smells so good. I’m going to have to sit there and watch them eat it while I have cream of something in the blender soup and some milk. And I’m NOT going to like it.


Yes, folks, I pooped. I eeked out a total of about a tablespoon this morning in my three attempts, but I am feeling much better. Still not great, but much better than I was. And I have plenty of energy....

Meals and Exercise for Day 7: January 24, 2006

8 am 3 oz Carb Freedom Yogurt
9 am 2 oz water
10 am 2 oz water
11 am 2 oz fruit juice (in a popsicle)
12 am 3 oz Carb Freedom Yogurt
2 pm 4 oz water
4 pm 4 oz water
6 pm 2 oz fruit juice (in a popsicle)
7 pm 4 oz Berry Blend fruit juice
8 pm 4 oz milk
9 pm 2 oz water

Exercise: 20 minute run through Walmart

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fart Envy

I am getting to the point where if someone farts, I am not repulsed, I am not disgusted, I am green with envy. Between my constipation and gas, I just want something, anything, to come out of the hole I’m sitting on. The stress in my life is compounded by the fact that there is a constant pressure to do something that I can’t do. Hey, that’s what I get from my kids all the time, but this is not the same thing. I feel gross.

My other blog will explain my other pathetic whining...


I did not enjoy supper tonight. I don’t know that I was exactly hungry, but I was certainly wanting a piece of that mexican pizza. My grape fruit juice popsicle was tasty, but I sure feel like sinking my teeth into something, anything, that chews.

I reread my diet today and it looks like I was supposed to be only having YoJ, not yogurt. Wonder if that’s why I can’t poop.

Walmart Run

Today I wanted to combine tasks as to not waste time. I was supposed to exercise for 15 minutes. So, I decided to run through Walmart. Well, that’s kind of an exaggeration, but at least walk very fast. I am sure that people thought i was absolutely nuts. I was rushing down aisle’s grabbing the things I needed trying to keep my heart rate up and checking it every now and then. I succeeded, the shopping was done, and my exercise for today as well.

Now if I could just poop.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I feel like I broke up with a boyfriend, a serious one. Named Food.

Everywhere I go there are reminders of him. Signs, posters, commercials. Today we drove dry a bunch of my favorite eating places after therapy. I thought about what I would order if I went in there right now. I thought about how good it all tasted. I thought about how much I would enjoy a big meal.

But, just like it is when you’re broken up, you often remind yourself that it wasn’t all peachy keen. I reminded myself that I have more energy now. I remind myself that I’m more alert. That I can exercise now and that my blood sugars are within normal range.

Guess I had a dysfunctional relationship, so breaking up was the best choice, but it ain’t easy.


Last night I finally slept from about 11:00 to 6:30. I tired myself out yesterday I guess. I feel better than I have so far this morning. Almost like I never had surgery. Now if I could just poop!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Meals and Exercise for Day 6: January 23, 2006

8 a.m.        2 oz malto meal, 2 oz milk
9 a.m.        4 oz crystal lite
10 am        2 oz crystal lite
11 am        2 oz potato soup, 2 oz milk
noon        4 oz water
1 pm                4 oz water
2 pm                4 oz water
3 pm                2 oz yogurt
4 pm                4 oz water
6 pm                2 oz beef broth, 4 oz prune juice
7 pm                2 oz crystal lite

Exercise: Mall walking for 10 minutes

Dr. Visit this a.m.

I got my staples out and the incisions look good and for that I am thankful! Doctor said I’m probably just constipated and have gas, which I can deal with. Everything else looks great, I’m cleared to drive and I’m done sitting on my butt.

I’m feeling pretty good.

And, OH YEAH, I think I lost 13 pounds since surgery, but I really have to put just 4 because of the difference in scales. Starting tomorrow I’m going to weigh in on a regular scale and then go from there.

According to this scale (which weighed 9 pounds heavier than the hospital scale) I lost 4, which would mean I really lost 13, wouldn’t it.

I’ll just put 4 though.


Meals and Exercise Day 5: January 22, 2006

9 am: 2 oz yoplait smoothie
10 am 4 oz water
12 pm 2 oz malto meal, 2 oz milk
2 pm 2 oz water
3 pm 4 oz tangerine orange juice
4 pm 4 oz water
6 pm 2 oz potato soup
7 pm 4 oz prune juice
9 pm 4 oz water

I did not exercise today as it feels like one of my staples is coming out and I didn’t want to irritate it further.

Blood Sugar Levels

As I had always thought, stress affects my blood sugar level. It’s 102 today, which is still great for me, but it is because I am facing a more stressful day ahead.

I feel pretty good this morning and am heading to the doctor to have my staples removed (I think) and to hopefully be cleared to drive.

I’m hoping for weight loss, answers, and good news.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Have you ever noticed how many TV commercials are about food?

Feeling much Better today

I’m feeling a lot better today. I took it easy almost all day long and I don’t feel nearly as bloated nor do I have as much digestional pain. I am feeling somewhat hungry though, and that scares me. I still have a whole week of liquids yet, so now is not a good time to be hungry.

My blood sugars have remained low all day. In fact, I just tested and the number was 81. For me that is incredibly low. I do have a headache though, so I probably do need to warm up 2 oz of soup or something. ;-)

A New Record

This morning’s fasting blood sugar was 89. An all new record low. and THAT is good news.

Meals and Exercise for Day 4: January 21, 2006

I once believed that you have to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat. But yesterday I think I forgot for a couple hours. Or at least if I did have something, i can’t for the life of me remember what it was between 12 and 2.

I spent most of yesterday in the recliner upstairs, so I didn’t record as I drank like I usually do. I’ll need to be more careful I guess.

10 am 2 oz yoplaight light peach smoothie
11 a.m. 2 oz fruit juice
12 noon 8 oz water
2 p.m. 2 oz milk
4 p.m. 4 oz tangerine/orange juicy juice
6 p.m. 2 oz malto meal, 2 oz milk
8 p.m. 4 oz crystal lite (raspberry ice)

Exercise: 5 minutes walking (I think one of my staples is starting to poke out, so I’m trying to do the minimum so I don’t make it worse.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Not Sure What Goes Where

I’m having trouble knowing where to blog. This Post is sort of surgically related but not really.

Finally listened

Yesterday I finally listened to everyone who told me to take it easy. I didn’t feel horrible, but I didn’t feel good either, so I took a nap mid-day and then before and after I helped supervise supper I read a novel. Finished it and started another before bedtime.

Today I slept in but I do not feel good and I can’t figure out what it is. I am not reaching my goal of fluid intake, but it says if you don’t feel good not to force yourself. I’m not sure if I don’t feel good because I’m drinking the wrong things, not drinking enough, or drinking too much. I’ve tried to follow it all exactly and have done so.

I’m sure there are those who would say I feel yucky because I pushed myself too hard the first two days following surgery when I felt great, but it’s not a post-surgical, pain, or fatigue related thing. It has something to do with me not eating the right amount or the right things and how it is being digested.

Many of my plans for the next few days might be changing. I see the doctor on Monday and hopefully he will be able to figure out the key... if I still feel crappy by then.

For now it’s my plan to spend most of the day stretched out reading or watching TV/movies. It will drive me insane, but too much gas accumulates if I sit up all day and then it takes all night to relieve it.

I sure wish I knew if I wasn’t getting the calories/vitamins I needed and that’s why I feel crappy or if I’m trying to eat too much. Hard to know when I never really feel hungry.

There is some INCREDIBLY good news though. My fasting blood sugar this morning was 92. In September and October the lowest it was in the morning was 131. It was 115 on 8/10 and 109 on 7/22. Back in April - June, when I was following a very strict Gluco-Menu, I had one morning it was 98, but that was the only time.

So, this is the lowest fasting blood sugar I have had since I was diagnosed on April 28th with diabetes. So, if this was the reason for the surgery, then today the surgery is deemed a success regardless of everything else.

Meals and Exercize for day Three: January 20, 2005

8 am 2 oz malto meal, 2 oz 1 percent
9 am 8 oz water
10 am 4 oz prune juice
1 pm 2 oz potato soup, 2 oz 1% milk
3 pm 4 oz strawberry splash
4 pm 8 oz water
6 pm 2 oz potato soup, 2 oz 1% milk
8 pm 4 oz propel water

Exercise: 10 minutes walking at 9:30 a.m.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Crash and Burn (hope not)

Well, I’m not feeling great right now. I feel tired and bloated and I’m going to go lie down. See, people! I do take care of myself and I DO know when not to push myself too hard, so GET OFF MY BACK.

Just kidding. BUt I am going to try to nap.

Sleeping (or not)

Last night I was super energetic at bedtime which is very annoying to me. I have been taking the prescribed dose of liquid motrin at night because I’m somewhat uncomfortable before bed and don’t want to have pain in the night. I’m beginning to wonder if that is what is keeping me awake (even though the bottle says it will make you drowsy).

This morning I woke up and didn’t think I could fall back asleep, but I’m not nearly as energetic as I was yesterday or the day before. But I still don’t feel like I’ve had surgery and I’m definitely not hungry.

Sleeping (or not)

Last night I was super energetic at bedtime which is very annoying to me. I have been taking the prescribed dose of liquid motrin at night because I’m somewhat uncomfortable before bed and don’t want to have pain in the night. I’m beginning to wonder if that is what is keeping me awake (even though the bottle says it will make you drowsy).

This morning I woke up and didn’t think I could fall back asleep, but I’m not nearly as energetic as I was yesterday or the day before.

Meals and Exercise for Day Two: January 19, 2005

8:00 Breakfast: 2 oz cocoa wheats, 2 oz 1% milk
9:00 8 oz water
11:00 4 oz Strawberry Splash Fruit Juice
12:00 2 oz cream of chicken soup, pureed, 2 oz 1% milk
1:00 4 oz prune juice
4:00 4 oz chicken broth
6:00 4 oz yogurt
7:00 4 oz millk
8:00 4 oz water

I was off the goal today. SUpposed to have 48 ounces and only had 40.

Exercise: 10 minutes at 8:45 (heart rate up to 144)
                 5 minutes at 1:50 (heart rate up to 132)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Price is Too High

Have you ever driven by an airport and contemplating buying a jet? Longed for a jet? Wished you had a jet? I never have. Price is WAY too high.

That’s what I discovered last night when I sat at a table full of my kids and a PCA and watched them all eat Pizza Hut while I had my 2 oz of pureed cream of potato soup.

I looked at it and it looked really good, but I was not interested. I felt full enough, but the key was that the price would be WAY too high. I just did all that surgery and eating pizza right now would make me, I’m sure, sicker than a Georgian red-necked dog (yes that was for Cindy). Besides, why pay all that money and spend all that time going through this just to ruin it.

The price is too high. That’s why bariatric surgery works.

Feeling Great

Bart took my “before” measurements today. Let me tell you, it’s not exactly 36, 24, 36 -- almost double that, but don’t do the math.

I am still feeling great. Still too much gas, but I am certainly not hungry and I have a ton of energy.

Bought some software today for $49.99 that will track my weight and my workouts and my blood sugars. It can track up to 50 people, so maybe I’ll try to encourage my sons who are starting to lift to let me track their progress as well.

Bloated and Bulging

Last night my stomach was swollen about twice it’s previous size, which, as you can imagine, made it look like I had swallowed a basketball or was pregnant with an elephant. Truth is, it was almost all gas. I spent the night trying hard TO pass gas. Usually I’m trying not to, but I wanted to get it out of there. Apparently I did, because things are back to their typically huge selves.

This reminds me though of Sunday morning when Dominyk looks at me right during the sermon and matter of factly states, “I have been passing a LOT of gas lately and I’m not sure why.”

We NEVER say that. We say fart. Sometimes his 9 year old sophistication just cracks me up.

Can it Really be True?

Can it really be true that I have more energy already? I’m sure that health food maniac Cindy will tell you right away that I have more energy because all that junk isn’t going into my body. Truth is, yesterday I could not nap, and last night I couldn’t fall asleep. It wasn’t pain, really, I had some discomfort but the liquid Ibuprofen was working well (and doesn’t taste absolutely horrible by the way like I understand liquid Tylenol with Codeine does). It was that I wasn’t tired. This morning, I was up at 7:30 by choice and raring to go.

Part of it is that I have the week off, so I can do what I want to with my time so I wanted to get up, but I really wasn’t that tired. I’m sure it also has to do with the fact that Bart is doing so much of what I usually do. But I truly seem to have more energy... three days after surgery and I’m feeling the effects? I hate to be that optimistic, but just maybe...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Meals and Exercise for January 18, second day after surgery

8:15 a.m. 2 oz V8 Splash
9:15 a.m. 4 oz water
10:15 a.m. 4 oz 1 % milk
11:30 a.m. 4 oz crystal light and 2 oz cream of potato soup, pureed (do you know how little 2 oz is? Not much at all).
2:30 p.m. 2 oz of V8 Splash
3:30 p.m. 4 oz of water
6:00 p.m. 2 oz V8 Splash and 2 oz cream of potato soup, pureed
8:00 p.m. 4 oz of 1% milk
9:00 p.m. 4 oz of Propel


5 minutes walking at 10:00 a.m.
5 minutes walking at 11:25 a.m.

Naps: Tried to take one but couldn’t.

How Many People?

I may not have the energy to complete this all in one post, but I’m trying to count the number of people that I saw during the 31.5 hours I was at the hospital. This will also give you a play by play if you are interested in one because you came to this blog looking to see how things went.

1) The valet parker at the hospital.
2) The Registration desk person.
3) The Admitting person.
4) The volunteer that walked us up to the AM Admissions Waiting Room.
5) The volunteer at the desk that greeted us to tell us about Bart’s pager, etc.
6) The first nurse who took my weight and my blood pressure. According to that scale I was down 9 pounds from the previous Wednesday, which as my college son would say, is “pretty freakin’ sweet.”
7) The second nurse who came in to ask me several more questions.
8) The person who came in and tried to get a needle in my hand for an IV but failed.
9) The anesthesiologist who came in and did get a needle in my hand for the IV and went through the details with me. He was also present during surgery.
10) The nurse who explained last minute things, gave me my gown and robe, made me take off all my clothes, and gave me more instructions.
11) The transporters -- 2 people who came to wheel me to the surgical waiting area.
12) The nurse who came in to give me an arm band about the allergy to Vioxx that I have (that really isn’t that big of a deal).
13) The nurse who introduced herself as the person who was going to be in surgery with me.
14) The surgeon who stopped by to see me before surgery, for 90 minutes during surgery, at 6:30 that night, at 8:30 the next morning right before my stomach x-ray and at discharge at 4:00 the next afternoon.
15) The two or three people who whisked me through the surgery prep -- giving me stuff to breathe, asking me to switch over to a very hard table, making me put my arms straight out like I was being crucified, and said, “hurry, breathe deep, it’s oxygen” and “it will put you right to sleep” all in the same breath.
16) The nurse who was with me when I woke up. In the recovery area things are kind of a blur, so I have no idea exactly how many people were in there, so I’d guess at least three. At this moment I’m having trouble remembering much of anything about that place except that it was like an assembly line.
17) The day nurse who working that floor when I got there. She came in to check on me as soon as I was transported, in my haze, back to my room.
18) The nursing assistant who was also working my floor who introduced herself to me. I remember little about the afternoon. I know that Bart was there and talked to me and I let him leave about 2:45 because I was pretty groggy. I remember waking up and calling him around 6:15 or 6:20. I told him to call me back at 8:15.
19) The night nurse, as mentioned earlier was very talkative and somewhat annoying. She told me little stories about her husband, called the IV stand “George” talked to me about her hair, all kinds of things that I wasn’t interested in. And then when she found out that Bart and I had 10 kids, she couldn’t get off how wonderful we are and how GRATEFUL they must be. Just goes to show that people don’t get it. Our kids are very seldom grateful, and sometimes unable to be satisfied.
20) The night nursing assistant, who was as crabby as could be. The crabbiest person I met the whole time I was there. She was about 18 or so and acted like she did NOT want to be there at all. I had to go to the bathroom at 11:30, 1:15, 2:30, 5:30 and 7 and I had to have help every time with the IV stand (you know, George) so I had to bother her over and over again and then it took me forever to pee. She was the one who was not only annoyed, but even almost unkind, when I felt like I was going to puke.
21) The incompetent phlebotomist who could not get my blood out. Fortunately, I was half-awake as she dug through my arm veins for 10 minutes, finally giving up and poking my finger and then scraping blood out of that tiny hole for at least another 10.
22) The unknown women and one guy nurse who stomped in and out when the IV machine got unplugged or low on juice or whatever and the nurses weren’t available and just came in and did what needed done without a word.
23) The day nurse who was nice, but very busy and hardly had time to help much. I called her several times during the day for various things, mainly to find out when I was getting out.
24) The day nursing assistant who helped me get ready for a shower, which I was able to give myself.
25) The nurse who brought me my “tray” of food -- 2 oz jello, 4 oz chicken broth, 4 oz apple juice. I didn’t like the jello, only had 1/2 the juice and probably not even half the broth.
26) The transporter who took me to my x-ray.
27) Josh who was the x-ray technician, along with another young perky girl, an older guy, and the doctor that disappeared and reappeared for the barium swallow and the x-ray to see if the band was in the wrong place. I dreaded this way more than I should have. yeah, the Barium was gross, but it wasn’t horrible and I only had to have two swallows followed by some water.
28) The transporter who took me back from x-ray.
29) The more competent phlebotomist who took blood out of my hand, right next to the bruise caused by the IV attempt the previous day (I’m known at our clinic as a “hard stick”)
30) The dietician and her assistant who came to explain to me about diet and what needed to be done.
31) The head of the program who taught the class who stopped by with someone else to say hello and let me know I could call her any time.
32) The exercise physiologist and his two friends who came by to talk to me about exercise.
33) The case manager who came to go over the discharge paperwork around noon giving me lots of false hope.
34) The charge nurse who finally let me sign discharge papers and who wheeled me out to the van where we saw
35) The valet parking guy #2.

Well, that’s 49. I thought it was at least fifty, but I probably forgot some. And that’s pretty much a rundown of what happened. There were times when it was a total blur because I was still dealing with the aftermath of anesthesia. I did not sleep well at all that first night and was really nervous that it would be that way every night, but last night I slept as well as I did prior to surgery.

I hope that for those of you who really want to know what it was like to have this surgery done, that this has given you a fairly good picture.

Now we’ll just have to see progress.

Nauseous and Motivated Bowels

Since there are instructions that a person having this surgery should not vomit NO MATTER what, I was very disturbed when I started to feel nauseous. It hit me all of the sudden and I didn’t know for sure what to do. I pushed the call button (good thing I never had a real emergency as response time wasn’t the greatest) and got the nursing assistance who got the nurse. I said I had really felt like I was going to puke earlier, but that the feeling had subsided. She agreed to give me some anti-nausea drugs as well as a drug that was supposed to motivate my bowels. I got three doses of that stuff before it worked and each time I was told that it was “to move my bowels”. I notified them that my bowels, like many of my children, might actually be un-motivatable.“

Later I realized why I had almost puked. I was watching the Bachelor: Paris. No wonder.

Trying to Pee

This is exactly the same thing that happened to me when I was in the hospital for my other surgery. I would have to pee, but I couldn’t get relaxed enough to do so.

I had to take the IV stand into the bathroom with me, plus my “urinary output” had to be measured, so there was a measuring device on the toilet. I was nervous anyway, and since my bladder does not work well when nervous, I was already stressing. Then the IV machine makes a clicking noise, every 11 seconds to be exact. So, I would concentrate, trying to get out the pee, but whenever it made the sound, it was like the pee just crawled back up inside my body. It took me forever to get it out.

However, by the 5:30 a.m. trip to the bathroom, I was very congested and I found the trip. Good old incontinent me. I happened to cough, trying to get oodles of flem out, and whooooooosh, out comes the pee, flowing freely and uncontrollably into the measuring device.

From then on, I made myself cough and wa-lah, plentiful pee.

Assembly Line

I found the recovery room to be someone of an assembly line. It was a large room with several beds separated by curtains. There were people running to and fro and people checking things. I remember hearing people talking to other people and people talking to me, but it’s all in a haze at this point. I got the sense, though, that there was lots of urgency in getting beds cleared to be filled again.

Hiatal hernia

The doctor came in about 6:30 that night to check on my progress. He let me know that during surgery he had found a hiatal hernia between my esophogus and diaphragm. The internet says this about them: Most small hiatal hernias don't cause any problems, and you may never know you have a hiatal hernia unless your doctor discovers it when checking for another condition. But a large hiatal hernia can allow food and acid to back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn and chest pain.

Anyway, the surgeon when he came to visit me about 5 hours after surgery said it took a little longer because he had to repair a hiatal hernia between my diaphragm and my esophagus. I must have been in a post-anesthesia haze, because all I was thinking was, “WHAT? I don’t have a diaphragm! I’ve never used birth control, especially not a diaphragm! Then my brain clicked into gear and I remembered what a diaphragm was and that I indeed had one!

To See the Flowers I received

Check them out here and here

Male Pregnancy

I am going to attempt to post things I thought were funny or of interested during my surgery.

They won’t necessarily be in order, but simply be posted in the order my mind receives them as memories of significance.

The thing I dreaded most about the surgery was knowing that the first thing I would be drinking was in preparation for an x-ray. Having to do this a couple years ago, I was dreading the 20 oz of chalky gunk that nearly made me puke then. Instead, it turned out it was only two swallows of bitter barium, and it wasn’t that bad.

However, when I was wheeled down to the x-ray room, the main x-ray doctor had disappeared so I had quite a wait. I was being entertained by a kid named Josh who said he was 24 but I could have sworn he was 14. I’m getting SO old. Anyway, he was quite chatty and we talked football, we talked family, we talked his upcoming marriage, he talked and he talked and he talked.

Finally I was looking for a new conversation piece when I saw this sign on the wall. The English stated, “If you are pregnant, please notify your technician.” And the Spanish translation begain, “Si usted es embarazado.”

If you know anything about Spanish, you know that adjectives ending in o are for males, adjectives ending in a are for females. So basically the translator screwed up... and was suggesting that all of the pregnant males notify their technician. I pointed this out to Josh and suggested that he might want to tell that to the next person he was trying to make conversation with while they located the doctor who had disappeared, leaving his pager on the desk.

Back at My Desk and The Bottom Line

Well, I had arrived at the hospital 48 hours ago and I“m already back at my desk. It is probably against better judgement, but I was getting so bored. I really feel pretty good. I intend to take plenty of breaks, so don’t start lecturing me.

I figured instead of trying to go through things chronologically, I would blog about the surgery in themes. But this is the bottom line conclusion of my hospital experience.

Three years ago I had a breast reduction, complete with projectile vomiting that I was thrilled with because it actually hit my feet instead of my chest, which every dropped food particle, every drool, and every other thing that came out of my mouth had landed for many, many years.

This was cake compared to it. The night was long, as I could not get comfortable to sleep. It wasn’t the pain, just the bed and the setting. Yesterday was annoying because I couldn’t get discharged and I was ready to go by noon -- took until 4 and I was bored, annoyed and restless.

The Bodie Bunch sent me flowers (more on that in another post -- THANKS GUYS -- as did my husband’s side of the family. Bart has been an AWESOME caretaker (those classes in Pastoral Care must have helped) and the kids were very quiet last night and this morning letting me rest.

I slept really well and was able to sleep on my side last night (unlike with my last surgery where I was in the recliner for two weeks).

Bart went to the store and bought all kinds of tasty liquids for me to drink over the next two weeks. I’m starting out my morning with 2 oz of PIna Colada V8 Splash that is quite tasty.

I’ll blog more as I have time and feel better. Right now I’m going through emails...

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Morning of Surgery

In 1/2 hour I will leave for the hospital. Everything that I did not get done will remain undone and sitting here for me when I recover.

Last night I felt horrible. I had an awful headache and my stomach was growling and hurt a lot. I drank quite a bit before I went to bed, but after midnight I can’t have anything, so this morning, of course, i woke up thirsty. Any other morning and I probably wouldn’t bother to have anything to drink until 8:30 or 9 without thinking about it, but 6:30 this morning I thought I was thirsty. I think it is just a psychological thing.

I feel OK this morning. .. dull background headache and of course, I’m hungry because I’m thinking about it, but otherwise, I’m doing OK.

I made the mistake last night of reading blogs of people who have had the lap-band and either they are wimps or the first couple weeks are pretty hard. Hopefully it’s the former.

For all of you who have sent emails offering thoughts and prayers, thank you. Pray mostly for Bart ... he’ll need it more than anyone. I’m going to try to get him to post on my main blog for me this afternoon so you won’t feel out of the loop.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Mistake

Yes, I'm wondering if I made a mistake in deciding to have the surgery, but that's not the mistake I want to blog about.

I realized that possibly in my only clear liquid diet today I should have consumed some calories. I am very hungry and didn't realize until just now that I should have had something besides sugar free everything. Might not be as hungry.

Headache, tired, hungry, stomach growling, will be glad when this whole thing is over.

The Weight Tracker

Just for the record, I'm using 320 as the starting weight. It's the most I've weighed in the past week (it's varied by scale quite a bit) and you always want to have a big HUGE starting weight, right? I mean otherwise, what's the point?

What, No Takers?

Doesn’t my diet sound appetizing? Doesn’t anyone want to do it? Sad.

Well, if people are asking the question, “are you hungry” the answer is a resounding YES. I haven’t eaten anything since last night -- only clear liquids, which is stuff you can see through. Since I’m not supposed to have pop again after today for like, EVER, so I’ve had some pop to drink.

But that’s it. Otherwise, zilcho, nada, nothing. Not a single bite....

And yes, I’m HUNGRY. The kids are each making their own supper tonight, like every Sunday night, and I’m smelling it and just feeling very hungry.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Challenge

So, you admire me, like me, are vaguely interested in my life, or even say you love me. I have a challenge for you.

Want to go through what I’m going to go through with me?

Here’s the challenge.

Just from now until Wednesday, eat what I get to eat. And then let me know how it feels.

Starting tonight at midnight, nothing but clear liquids (things you can see through) until midnight tomorrow night.

Then starting at midnight, nothing to drink until Monday around 2 when I wake up from surgery. Then nothing but ice chips or water (although if you’d like, you can drink a big glass of chalk paste like I get before my test).

Then on Tuesday here’s your menu:

8:00 a.m. 2 oz cream of wheat, 2 oz skim milk
9:00 a.m. 4 oz fruit juice
10 a.m. 4 oz skim milk
11 a.m. 4-8 oz of Crystal light
12 noon 2 oz cream of chicken soup (with the chunks picked out), 2 oz skim milk
1:00 p.m. 4-8 oz water
2:00 p.m. 4 oz fruit juice
3:00 p.m 4-8 oz chicken broth
4:00 p.m. 4 oz smooth yogurt
5:00 p.m. 4-8 oz Propel water
6:00 p.m. 2 oz cream of potato soup (chunks picked out), 2 oz skim milk
7:00 p.m. 4-8 oz sugar free jello
8:00 p.m. 4 oz fruit juice
9:00 p.m. 4-8 oz water
10:00 p.m. 4 oz milk

Then on Wednesday, do that again.

And then you can quit, while I do that again, every single day for 10 days.

Who’s up for the challenge? Anyone, Anyone? Bueller, Bueller (wow, does that date me!)

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Beginning of the End

Today and tomorrow are my last days to eat anything I want. Jimmy told me a couple days ago, “It’s OK Mom. You still hab four days to eat a lotta food.” Well, now we’re down to two days.

This is really sucky planning, too, because me, the detail ignorer, didn’t put two and two together. Bart is going to be gone. He is going to a meeting in the Cities today and tomorrow and won’t be home until tomorrow night. That means that my last two days of eating, the best cook in town, who is my private chef, is not going to be here and the worst cook in town (me) is left to do so. We’re going out.

Starting at midnight on Saturday night I do not get to eat anything until after surgery, when I only drink for two weeks. And, starting at midnight on Sunday night, I don’t even get to DRINK anything. And, if I understand it correctly, the first thing that I do get to drink is a big cup of that chalky stuff that you take before an x-ray or cat scan.

The most serious warning we received is that we absolutely cannot throw up. And that big jug of chalky stuff makes me gag just thinking about it. ..

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Anticipatory Grief

You know what I’m realizing? That when all else fails, and everyone else lets you down, there is always food. I can go to McDonalds and get a bacon egg and cheese biscuit and it will taste just like it did in 1977 when it was introduced. It doesn’t change much -- I mean there are nuances -- sometimes the biscuit is too hard if it’s been sitting out for an hour, or it can be cold, but the basic flavors are consistent year after year.

So, when I look ahead at a life that doesn’t include these things, I grieve my loss. It makes me sad and it makes me crabby. And it almost makes me scream “STOP! NO! Don’t DO THIS TO ME!” But I’m trying not to think about it....

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tell me What you Weigh what you Really Really Weigh

I reported that I had lost 8 pounds last week.

However, I forgot to point out that by 1:30 that afternoon, according to another scale, I had gained it all back, plus one.

And according to yet another scale, I gained 4 more since last week.

I don’t think it’s possible that I can be gaining and losing like that, so it must be the scales. I’m sure the lowest one is right.

I will post my start weight and a before picture before I stop eating on Saturday night. SUnday I have to fast all day.

I will be crabby.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Trip to the Doctor

Read about it here

The Devil is in the Details

I am not a detail person. For example, when I planned to adopt several children, I didn’t think about laundry or dishes. I don’t think about details.

So, when I decided to have surgery, I didn’t think about details. And, since my approach to surgery has been to try not to think about it at all ever until it happens so that I don’t change my mind, the detail things just kind of went by the wayside. However, today I had to think about the fact that I am going to have surgery.

I had to have my pre-op tests done. I went into our local clinic to see one of our 3 doctors (we have three that go to our church, and so they are “ours” even though the female one of the three is usually the one we see, but she’s out this week. So I made the appointment.

HOWEVER, I didn’t think it through. I saw that I needed an EKG and a blood test and a couple other things, but I have been putting off the old leg-armpit shaving thing until the day before surgery. I mean it’s winter in MN for goodness sake, and with the sheer area I have to cover in order to shave, I don’t want to have to do it too many times.

Well, I get there and all of the sudden they are telling me to take of my shirt and bra and I think “Oh CRAP .... I haven’t shaved in weeks.” And they taped all those EKG things to my legs. And I’m thinking, “WHAT was I thinking? It’s going to be so much worse next week!”

I insisted on getting dressed for our friend the mail doctor. I figured he could hear my heart through my clothes and I was right.

I still have to go back for a spinometry or some kind of lung test tomorrow or Thursday, but otherwise I’m free and clear to be CUT up.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Yes -- I think this is funny

Another friend sent me this, that MUST go on this blog.

You Know It's Time To Diet When.... (and it's TIME for me to diet)

You dance and it makes the band skip.

You are diagnosed with the flesh eating virus, and the doctor gives you 22 more years to live.

You put mayonnaise on an aspirin.

You go to the zoo and the elephants throw you peanuts.

Your driver's license says, "Picture continued on other side."

You ran away and they had to use all four sides of the milk carton for your picture.

You learn you were born with a silver shovel in your mouth.

You could sell shade.

Your blood type is Ragu.

You need an appointment to attend an ' open house'.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My Theory about Food

I couldn't resist posting something a friend sent after reading my blog. It's hilarious and oh so very true.


Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular
exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!!. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO ...... Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Farting Instructions

This is exactly what is on my pre-op instructions

You may experience some chest or shoulder discomfort due to the intra-abdominal gas used during surgery. If this happens, you could be asked to lie in the position below to relieve this gas.

This morning I had the privilege of attending "the class." I had to go to the hospital (used very slow but helpful valet parking) and check in at 8:30. Then I had to go to the Admissions desk of the hospital. The lady took down all my insurance information, gave me a plastic band for my arm, took down lots of information. I thought they were going to try to slap me on the ol' operating table that very day. I asked her, "Now I'm just here for the class today, right?" And she patiently responded, "yes."

I then was escorted up to the AM Admissions room by a silver haired volunteer who saw from my chart where I was from. She asked if I knew a friend of hers from our town, and when I said I did not, she still proceeded to tell me in great detail the story of this person's life as we rounded bends, crossed corridors, went up the elevator, and walked to the room. She started to tell me where to sit, but took a look at my face and decided I could sit wherever I wanted to in the waiting room.

I had to poop, so I took a few minutes to do that as I still had another 1/2 hour to wait. Now, I must say, that if it offends you to read the word poop, you probably won't want to return to this blog. I mean in a few weeks you are going to be hearing all about this journey which is going to include incisions, possibly infections, what I eat and how often I evacuate, so I would hope that telling you that I pooped was OK.

Anyway, I just want to give all the details and not leave anything out as I'm trying to be realistic. Also, i have time as I'm sitting at Culvers as I have a Doctor's Appointment this afternoon that I have to wait around for, so I have time to give lots of details.

Another nurse came and got me and took me into a surgical room. There was a gown sitting there so I asked her, just like I asked the first person. "Now I'm just here fo rthe class today, right?" and she assured me that I was. She weighed me and as my elderly father has said for years, "I just about cracked right up." Here over the last 5 weeks I have been trying to eat everything in site that I'm not going to be able to eat later. I have given myself license to eat what I want until surgery. And in the process of all of this, I have lost 8 pounds in the last five weeks. I think this is so hilarious. But anyway, I digress. I pointed this out to the "weighing nurse" who wasn't as amused as I.

So, by this point in time I have already been helped by 3 people and the class hasn't started. Another person came in to go through a questionnaire with me. She asked me lots of questions about my health and what disorders, disabilities, and disgusting physical traits I had. She also had to write down the ages of all of my children. Why, I have no idea. One of the questions that I found to pure irony was "Do you have a history of unexplained weight loss?" Unexplained weight loss? Don't I WISH!?!? Why would a person with unexplained weight loss need bariatric surgery? I pointed this irony out to the "charting nurse" who wasn't as amused as I.

This woman also gave me a chart to show me what to do if I had extra gas after surgery. It literally has a drawing of a person lying on their stomach with their butt in the air. This is to demonstrate how to help the "air bubbles travel up and out." A pictoral tutorial on how to fart. I was flabbergasted and highly entertained, but by this point had decided not to share my amusement.

I then was finally told that I could go to "THE CLASS." I walked in and there were two other women there, and their mothers. And a pharmacy practicum student. And the trainer. And I was by far the FATTEST person anywhere around. Now, I have always had a history of being over-qualified, so it's nice that I didn't break tradition.... but I am definitely over-qualified for the surgery.

The class wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be because the trainer was FAST. She had apparently done this training about 348 times, because she was good and quick. She went throught he material rapidly and didn't act like we were morons. most of it was no surprise. This is the fourth time I've been through the information so a lot of it, well, actually, all of it, was a repeat. I heard it at the doctors. I read it in the material. I watched a web flash presentation. It is all laid out very specifically. But the bottom line is this: You'll never eat a decent meal again in your life.

After the first hour, the trainer quit, and the dietician started. She went through each week and what we could eat. I won't ruin the surprise for you because I intend to post it all, but the first few weeks I'm going to be crabby and hungry. And then after that I'll be less hungry but still crabby. And won't be eating much but water and mush for a month.

Towards the end of the class I revealed that I did, indeed have a family. I wasn't planning on talking, but I didn't want them to think I was a total loser because my mother wasn't with me. My mother is far away. But I told them I had ten kids. They have no idea how this surgery could push me to murder if I get too crabby. JUST KIDDING. Do NOT call CPS. That was a complete JOKE!

During the end of the training they talked about how we really needed to change our eating habits NOW, to change them before surgery. I asked, "Have you ever had ANYONE that does that? This is MARDI GRAS for goodness sake." She admitted that only the ones who had to lose some in ORDER to have surgery actually did. Everyone else is out having their last favorite foods, I assume.

I have been told by many that you can't have successful surgery without a good, positive attitude, I'm going to prove the world wrong,. I mean who can be POSITVE about eating cream of wheat and cream of chicken soup (with the chunks of chicken removed, please). Nobody. People can fake it, but inside they are crabby. Terribly, horribly, irrevocably crabby.

So, before leaving, I told the dietician that I was not going to be have a good attitude, but that the surgery would be successful. I was going to prove it. She said something stupid like, "Well, it doesn't sound like you really have a bad attitude" and I corrected her and said, "Yes, I do. And I WANT to have a bad attitude. So stop acting like I don't have one." She said something brilliant like, "Oh, you are SO funny."

So, i filled out my paperwork with questions like, "Do you understand that you must exercize regularly for the rest of your life for the surgery to be affective" and turned it in. They said I was free to go. I announced, "I'm going out to have a BIG lunch. After all this talk of bullion and cream of wheat I'm HUNGRY." As I left I could hear the whole room talking about me and laughing. Satisfying, in a strange sick way. Very satisfying.