The journey so far...

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yay, followers!

I'm so excited to have eight followers! *squishes followers to mah bosom*

*ahem* I mean...Hi! ;)

Also, despite the tone of my last post, I can promise I really am not a Debbie Downer. Also, I found out a reason for the person yesterday telling me the RNY horror story, and now that I understand, I think it won't be quite so awkward to see this person on a regular basis.

So, I'm still in the hoop-jumping-through phase. My cardiologist signed off for me to have surgery, and even said I don't need to have a stress test, YES! I see the bariatric practice's nutritionist a second time in July, and have my third visit with the doctor. Oh, and I'm planning to go to the practice's support meeting next week. I'm SO, SO, SO pumped to get to talk to more people who have done this before!

Exercise today: walked as fast as I possibly could for 28 minutes on my lunch break, and omg my legs are KILLING me. I know at some point, my body will stop screaming through every millisecond I exercise. Just gotta hang on until that time. Oh, and I'm strongly considering getting a recumbent exercise bike this weekend.

Eating today: two protein drinks for breakfast and lunch, greek yogurt, grapes and an apple for snacks. Gluten-free pasta with meat sauce and veggies for supper. Watermelon for dessert. And the less said about those cheese puffs I had afterwards, the better, hmm?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not a good day.

You know how, when you're pregnant, everyone in the world wants to tell you birth horror stories? 32-hour labors! Caesarian sections without benefit of painkillers! Giving birth in the back seat of a car on the interstate!

Well, someone gave me a roux-en-y horror story today. Not only was it a horror story that ended in someone's death, it was a death that this person directly attributed to bariatric surgery.

What makes it worse is that I'm going to have to see this person on a regular basis. Even if she never brings it up again, every time I see her, I'm going to think of that horror story. AWKWARD!

I don't know; it's stressing me out. I was confident and excited to have the surgery, and now I'm worried and stressed. I wish I could talk to someone who's been through it and come out the other side.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Music: I'm On My Way -- The Proclaimers

This is basically my theme song these days (and I definitely recommend The Proclaimers; they're awesome!) It's what I keep telling myself throughout the long process leading up to WLS: I'm on my way! I've embedded a video of the song below, for all of you who are also on your way. :)

Review: Muscle Milk Light

A co-worker of mine who is working on gaining muscle definition sometimes drinks Muscle Milk, and I've been meaning to try it too, so I picked up a four-pack ready-to-drink in chocolate last night.

It's quite a bit more expensive than the EAS Advantedge Carb Control shakes I've been drinking, but it had a few less calories. And I expected it to taste great, given the cost.

WRONG! I've heard people describe certain protein drinks as tasting like monkey ass -- well, now I know what they mean. The taste was just awful. Yes, it's chocolate, but even a confirmed chocoholic like myself has to draw the line at chocolate-covered monkey ass. Yuck!

So, now I'm stuck with three containers of monkey ass.

This is why I hesitate to buy anything new without sampling it first. Which reminds me -- why don't health food stores, GNCs, etc., hold taste-testings so we'll know what we're getting before we invest $40 in a container of powdered monkey ass? The GNC person I spoke with yesterday tried to sell me some Wheybolic something-or-other. "If you don't like it, you can return it for up to 30 days," she said. Well, that's great, but I KNOW ME. I am the Queen of Procrastination, y'all. That carton of monkey ass would be sitting untouched in the back of my pantry for the next 11 years, before I finally get ashamed enough to throw it out.

*ahem* All righty, then. Today, I'm planning to hit up Wally World and see what they have, and hopefully also order a few samples (even if they are insanely overpriced) online.

Have a great one!

Monday, June 27, 2011

One more hoop jumped through

I had the psychological eval today. I couldn't believe the guy actually used the Rorschach Test on me! I had to bite my tongue not to laugh. I mean, it's just such a cliche'! Clearly, I had too many psych classes in college.

Here's one of them. What do you see?

I saw the Eiffel Tower at the top, in gray, and two fiddler crabs in blue on each side. Looking at it now, I also see two seahorses in pink.

I had mentioned earlier when we were talking that I'm going to be working part-time in the Human Resources department, and after the Rorschach test, he told me that my responses indicated I would be well-suited to working there. Okay! Not sure how much stock I put into what I see in ink blots, but we'll go with that, dude.

After the ink blots, I had to answer fifty bazillion bubble sheet questions. I was a little disturbed that they had about ten different variations of "people are watching me" or "someone else is controlling my thoughts." I'm paranoid, but I'm not that crazycakes!

On the pre-op weight loss, the protein shakes twice a day and one meal seem to be working. I've dropped five pounds since Thursday! Now if I can just keep going; then surgery will help me keep it up.

Coming up in July: visit two with the nutritionist, visit three with the medical doctor, and at least one support group meeting.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Free stuff is good!

Well, I had this longish, witty and (hopefully) interesting post all written up, clicked "publish" and...apparently, it disappeared into the rift. So, do me a favor and imagine this post is both witty and interesting, mmkay? TY!

ANYway, the point of the Post That Got Away is this: if you have any interest in weight loss surgery whatsoever, go read The World According to Eggface. There's a wealth of information in her blog.

And it just so happens that she's giving away some awesome stuff! But mostly, go read her blog. :)

Okay, let's see if Blogger cooperates this time...

Indecision -- to tell or not to tell?

I haven't made up my mind yet who to tell that I'm having bariatric surgery. So far, my husband and teenage daughter know, my sister and one friend at work. But I'm hesitant to tell others at this point.

If I am indeed having the roux en y surgery, I'm probably going to have to take two weeks off work. So, what do I tell my boss? Since I'm planning to use paid sick leave for part of that time, I tend to think I'll need to at least tell him...what? That I'm having a medical procedure? I mean, he's a good guy; I like him, and our workplace is much closer-knit than the typical workplace. I know he would keep it to himself if I told him.

But at the same time...this surgery feels much more personal to me, for some reason, than the one three years ago (defibrillator/pacemaker implanted.) Maybe I'm ashamed, even though intellectually I know it's something that will help me get healthy and stay healthy.

And then there's the subject of my other boss. It's complicated, but basically I'm being moved to another department for two days of the week because of budget cuts (stoopid economy.) Other Boss seems nice, but I don't know her very well. It's going to be harder to tell her.

And my dad is another question. He's older, not in the best of health and often frail emotionally. He worries. A LOT. My first instinct is not to tell him, but I see him frequently enough that he will probably realize I've had surgery (unless I heal superquick, I suppose.) And I'll be losing a lot of weight quickly, which may make him worry. So, do I tell him before and know he will worry, or tell him afterwards and know he will be mad that I didn't tell him...or not tell him at all?

Ugh, I don't know.

I'd love to hear how others have handled telling or not telling!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I CAN get there from here.

Well, it's been harder to get back in the habit of blogging than I anticipated, but I'm still on my way. The only questions are, where are we going, and how do we get there?

I had my second visit with the bariatric doctor yesterday. Sadly, I appear to be the only person on the planet who can eat much less food, exercise more than twice as much as I had been, and still gain weight. *facepalm* And since I'm supposed to be losing about 14 lbs. before surgery, I'm now on a two-protein-shakes-a-day, one-small-meal-a-day plan that my doctor suggested. So far, it's been fine, and I've not had much hunger. And I went for a walk on my lunch break today, and while it did seem that I was going to keel over a few times, I kept going, and went quite a bit farther than I have been. Hopefully I can keep this up and see a decrease in my weight next time.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to evict the Cheetos. Poor Cheetos; it's not them -- it's me. I simply cannot resist their cheesy, salty, crunchy goodness. So they're going to have to go. *sniffle* Goodbye, my Cheetos!

I think I'm a bit closer to making a decision between RNY surgery and lap-band. My doctor said RNY patients tend to do a lot better, lose a lot more weight, and keep it off better. I'm concerned about having to take two weeks off work to recover -- at this point, I simply don't have that much leave accumulated. I used it all when I had pneumonia in January. And the fact that I'm running around to various appointments that are required for the bariatric program is making it harder to accumulate leave. But! If it's the right way to go, it's all going to work itself out just fine in the end. Meanwhile, I'm planning to go to the bariatric program's support meetings next month; my doctor said they should be helpful in making my decision.

One last note: I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to post separately about something, but it just would've turned into negativity, and I don't want to give into that. I really am an upbeat, positive person, so I surely don't want to turn into the Debbie Downer type. Suffice it to say that I met with the nutritionist at the bariatric program, and have another meeting with him next month.

Oh, and I almost forgot -- I go Monday for the psych evaluation. Hopefully, they don't think I'm crazycakes or anything. ;)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Road So Far

I have to say, the whole process leading up to bariatric surgery has been frustrating so far. Let's recap:

1) Having been thinking about it since shortly after the New Year, I finally asked my doctor what she thought of Lap-Band surgery sometime in March. To my surprise, she thought it was an excellent idea and gave me the contact information for the bariatric practice. I called and signed up for the informational session.

2) Attended the informational session in April. Liked what I heard enough to sign up for the orientation session.

3) Attended the orientation session, paid $50 orientation fee. Received "Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies" (I'm not even kidding) and a notebook with some decent info on pre- and post- surgery diet. Took a nutritional evaluation.

4) Had first meeting with MD for the bariatric practice. The doctor (who is not the one who will do the surgery) seemed knowledgeable and for the most part, he was easy to like. I'm trying to ignore the fact that he looks like he graduated from kindergarten a few years ago. That's a slight exaggeration, but he did look pretty dang young. Paid the first 1/3 of the $400 "program fee" (non-refundable, and not covered by insurance.)

Apparently, the program fee includes the cost of the book and notebook from the orientation meeting, as well as an "InBody" evaluation. This machine reminded me of those old-timey scales that used to be found in drugstores, which would give you "Your Wate and Fate." Those used to give you your weight and fortune for a penny. This one produced a one-page evaluation that told me how much I weigh, my BMI and how much I need to lose...all of which I knew before I stepped on this glorified bathroom scales. There is some other information as well, such as my body water balance (apparently in the normal range), muscle development in all four limbs (also normal) and exactly how much of my body is muscle or fat. Interesting enough, but do I really need to know this? More to the point, was it worth paying for? I'm not convinced, so far. One number that did seem potentially useful was basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories I burn per day at rest -- 1498 kcal. I have no idea if that is higher or lower than normal.

I told the doctor that I haven't yet decided whether to have gastric bypass or the lap-band. He gave me a little more information (for instance, he said 90 percent of their surgeries are gastric bypass) and told me to do some more thinking about it. Paid $50 for the doctor visit.

The fifth and most-recent happening, I'm going to give its own post.

Anyway, I don't have a clear idea of even when the surgery will take place. One person told me six months of meetings/appointments would be required, one said four, and still another (the one who handles the insurance companies) said three. I'm hoping for three, obviously. And I'm really no closer to deciding between gastric bypass and lap-band. Maybe someone who reads this will have some advice. :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Repurposing this blog -- I'm On My Way

Well, for the four of you who may still be following this blog, thank you! As you may have noticed, this place has been gathering dust lately. I'm working on changing that!

So, over the next...however long it takes...I'm going to be deleting a bunch of posts that have little original content i.e. those with only embedded videos. It's likely that all of those are still on my youtube account, if for some reason you have grown attached to preview videos of three-year-old episodes of Supernatural. ;)

Of course, I hope y'all will decide to stick around for what comes next. My plan is to begin documenting a journey that I have just begun.

I am planning to have bariatric surgery. I'm in the initial stages of what turned out to be a longer, more complex and more frustrating process than I had imagined, and I find myself wanting to talk about it -- and write about it.

I do still want to write about fannish pursuits. Who knows; maybe this blog will become known as the home of the biggest fangirl who ever...became a smaller fangirl?

I'll work on that one.

Coming soon (I hope) will be an entry to explain what has happened (and not happened) so far in my journey.