Thursday, January 31, 2008


I've been a bit better today in the mood department; I neither killed nor insulted anyone, so that is certainly an improvement. 

Nothing has been happening on the knitting front for me the last couple of weeks, but all that is about to change.  I have been s-l-o-w-l-y knitting a lace scarf pattern (successfully, I must say, now that I have learned how to tink, ie, unknit stitches for those of you who don't knit), but as I am often convinced that I have a mild case of ADD, I can often get bored with tedious projects.  And while lace is pretty and empowering, it is tedious.  But today, Crazy Aunt Purl posted a pattern for a hat and I am in love.  Hats are my weakness, though I rarely wear them due to hat hair (isn't that retarded?) and the berat is so adorable that I am taking a stab at it, despite my abnormally large head.  So, I have scoped out my yarn, found an alpaca yarn that is chunky and blue (and it was in a hank, and yes girls, I had to unknot it as my youngest killed my ball winder quite some time ago, and I was un-hanking by hand which always equals disaster, though all is well now) and after dinner, I'm taking it on. 

There is busy-ness on the weekend front as tomorrow night I am sleeping at the church as the youth kids are having their lock-in.  Then on Sunday, it is a knitting/superbowl party here.  Ya'll could even wind up with some pictures!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Birthday and Well Wishes

I don't have a whole lot to say today and in all honesty, my life has been taken over by PMDD, which I do have, and is really rearing its ugly head at the moment.  At least I know what it is otherwise I would be convinced I was losing my cotton pickin' mind.  So far this week, I have chewed out two healthcare employees (one at my eye doctor just because I don't like her.  Ever meet one of those people that you just instantly cannot stand, though there is no specific reason?  Yeah, well, that is this woman) and another at my sleep doctor's office just because they always want you to leave a message and the NEVER call you back.  I have also gotten really peeved at one of my favorite teenagers and then today I proceeded to ramble on about how I felt Oprah was sometimes prejudiced against white people and how that really bothered me though most of the time I do like her.  But I went on and on about this to our interim pastor, who is in a bi-racial marriage, all the while my brain was telling me to "SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY, WOMAN!" but my mouth just kept going.  Ugh.  A few more days and my symptoms should start to diminish though in the meantime, I often feel as if there is something wrong with me mentally.  It sucks.

So, I am going to go curl up on the couch in the fetal position to watch American Idol and later Big Medicine.  In the meanwhile, I want to say Happy Birthday to Laura over at Stratcat On-line!  Hope your day was wonderful and that all your kitties stayed home to celebrate with you.

Also, Kimhad to go in today for outpatient surgery as she has been unable to keep food down.  Her doc was either thinking it was a stricture, an ulcer or a gallbladder that needed to come out.  So, I am sending her well wishes until I hear from her (and after that too!).

Meg and Lacy, how are you recovering!!  This inquiring mind wants to know!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's Everywhere!

Ya know, before I started to consider WLS, I heard about it here and there in a news article or something, but now that I'm in the process, holy crap, it's everywhere!  Part of it, I'm sure is my own heightened sense of awareness about it, as apparently before, I lived under a rock and had never heard of Meme Roth who is the president and founder and possibly the only member of the National Action Against Obesity organization.  Now, I'm all for being aware, but then there is over the top.  I know that this happened last May, but being under that rock and all, I am just now seeing it and am appalled. 

Apparently, Meme had decided that Jordin Sparks should maybe not be the next American Idol because that would be promoting that it is okay to have some extra weight and what kind of message would that be sending out to the young girls in our country.  She states "
When I look at Jordin, I see diabetes, heart disease, I see high cholesterol ... She’s the vision of unhealth. "

Really?  Wow.  So I guess when she looks at a woman in a short skirt, she sees a prostitute and when she sees a white SUV she sees a murderer.  Jordin was 17 years old for crying out loud and though she is not a stick figure, the girl is beautiful.  And what kind of message does it send out to the young girls of the world that Jordin is an unhealthy girl waiting to die of diabetes and heart disease?  And we wonder why so many ten year old girls are on diets or on their way to anorexia?  No, extra pounds are not healthy but they aren't necessarily a death sentence either in many people.  Then this crazy woman also last spring, attacked a table at a YMCA and tried to throw out ice cream toppings and ice cream that the Y had set up for their members that day.  Hypocritical of the YMCA.  Okay, sure, I'll bite on that one, but it isn't like they do this every day or even often for that matter.  But the Y had to call the police on this crazy lady to have her removed.  C'mon, is there not a more constructive way to help rid the world of obesity other than getting your inner crazy on?  I just discovered her today and already I think she's a loon, where if she were approaching things from an educational standpoint, I would have some respect for her.

Then today, Dr. Phil had on a 700 plus pound man that just made me want to weep uncontrollably.  Like Allen on Big Medicine, I just want to hug these people and tell them I understand.  No, I am not that large but there for the grace of God go I.  Kudos to Phil McGraw today too, for making the statement at the beginning of his show that WLS is not the easy way out.

In personal news, the surgeon's office almost has everything they need from us, though I did spend some time today chasing paperwork from the offices that had not yet faxed their stuff into the surgeon's secretary, Alice.  I asked Alice about a time frame once she had everything (If you remember, my insurance company told me a few weeks ago that they generally turned around an answer in 48 hours) and she told me once they had it, they opened a file for me and got it all to the insurance company and from there it could take 4-6 WEEKS for an answer!  Now, is that just standard for the insurance companies that might take that long so that the surgeon's office isn't being bombarded with daily phone calls?  Is my insurance company lying to me?  Is all my paperwork submitted to the insurance company by turtle?  What's up with that?

Lastly, ahem, Meg and update perhaps?  How are you girls doing?  And Kim, how goes things for you today?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Moody Monday

Most of today plucked my nerves like nobody's business.

It was one of those days that just started out badly: I woke up with a headache and that is a sure fire way to tick me off good and proper.  From there, going to work, it only got worse.  It was no one thing that annoyed me.  It was everything.

Being the church secretary can be really, really hard, when you are also a member of the congregation.  What this translates into is that anyone can ask me to do anything secretarial at any time, despite the fact that I only get paid for 20 hours a week, Monday through Friday, 8:30-12:30.   If I am in the building, I am free game.  Add to that the fact that we are very small congregation and do not yet have a permanent pastor, so there are a handful of us who are really pulling most of the weight.  I'm sure that this is true in many churches, but when you are small (about 100 people) you can really feel it.  So currently, other than being the secretary, I am a member of the prayer group, a member of the praise band, co-youth group leader, and co-Sunday school teacher for the teens.  That translates into a lot of hours in that church.  Do I want to have my hands in all these pots?  Hell no.  But with being small, and not having a lot of people in my age range, there are just no other choices and these are things that need to happen.  I told Paula today (the other stretched too thin employee) that once we had a pastor and had done some growing, I was going to give up everything but praise band and co-youth group leader.

The thing that really bothers me is on Sundays when people will ask me to do something secretarial for them.  I get there at 7:30am to rehearse with the praise band and then help lead worship from the singing perspective at 8:15.  Service is usually over at 9:15 and that gives me 15 minutes to grab coffee and fellowship before having to co-lead teen Sunday school.  But almost every single Sunday, someone traps me in those 15 minutes needing something, and usually something that was not given to me to do during my normal shift during the week.  (Remember that saying "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part"?).  But I do love these people and would feel nasty and un-Christian like if I said no.  So I do the favor and then later feel almost hurt that people think they have the right to ask me for things when I am there to worship, fellowship and then teach.  Am I being too sensitive?  Add to that all the WLS stuff I have been dealing with and stressing over and I just want to yell "WILL EVERYONE JUST BACK OFF FOR A FEW MINUTES PLEASE???"

I did vent all this to Paula this afternoon and felt better for getting it off my chest.  I told her I was simply whining, but it had to be done and it did.  Then I blew off prayer group tonight, partially due to my headache (which was pretty much gone by then) and partially because I just needed to be home in the quiet and not in that building for awhile.  I love my job, I do.  It allows me to be here when my kids leave for school and when they get home.  I don't have to (officially) work weekends.  I have some creative license over what I do.  I love the people for the most part.  But sometimes I just wish people would realize that I am not a salaried employee.  I get paid for twenty hours a week and then probably put in another 10-15 hours a week in youth group stuff, banner repairs, flower repairs, making sandwiches for fundraisers etc.  I'm pulling my work load as well as my volunteer load.  So, it is really too much to ask to have 15 minutes on a Sunday morning for cup of coffee?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday (for lack of an original title)

Today was just typical of a Sunday.  Not much exciting.  I can bullet point the highlights.

  • Paula and I have been suckered into a lock in at the church Friday night, which means, us and teenagers who want to stay up all night.

  • Tried to nap but people kept being loud.

  • Superbowl/knitting party moved to my house, which is nice as I can still participate but the kids can still get in bed on time.

  • Kids clogged up my beloved Dyson with guinea pig shavings as they were trying to take short cuts on clearning the cage. Dyson all better now.

There ya have it.  Tomorrow starts a new week and one week closer to submitting to insurance!

Hannah say "Reading is fundamental."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Not Counting Sheep

I've always had this practice of fantasizing my way to falling asleep.  Sometimes I make up stories or imagine my life the way I would most like to live it.  It just keeps me from dwelling on worries or concerns or parenting problems that allow insomnia to take control.

Well, I've discovered a new thing as this morning when the Brit went into work at 7:30, I decided it was way to early for me to get out of bed on a Saturday.  The kids were downstairs watching the idiot box, so the house was still peaceful and I knew that would not be the case all day.  So, instead of making up stories to fall back to sleep, I starting thinking about all the stores I'd be able to shop in once I had lost weight.

American Eagle
LL Bean
The Gap
Banana Republic
Eddie Bauer
The Figurehead II
The Bon Ton
Christopher Banks

The list went on and on and sadly, in looking at it, the above mentioned stores, I have never been able to purchase clothing.  My list has been so limited to Fashion Bug Plus, Lane Bryant, Walmart and now CJ Banks. 

I am also soon going to overcome my fear of knitting sweaters and learning to cable, because once I lose weight, I so want to make myself some sweaters.  With being big, it would cost me a fortune simply in yarn to knit for myself, not to mention how bloody long it would take me to knit myself a tent.  I look forward to wearing what people call "skinny jeans" and an off white cable knit sweater.  Yup, the day I can wear that, I will have arrived.  Yes, it is about the health,but the clothes are an added perk!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Blog 365 Day #25

Holy crap, I'm tired tonight!   Fridays are not supposed to be this busy, but it just was!  I spent the morning at the church cleaning up the room my Sunday School class is going to be using.  For those of you who don't know, I have never in my life desired to teach anything, but our teachers for our teen class have had other things going on and were having trouble making it, so now Paula and I have the class.  Anywho, cleaned up that room which led me to the long needed task of cleaning out the craft cabinet in the hallway.  What a nightmare and I still have one shelf left to finish!  Then, due to my insanely busy week, I had to go to THE Walmart today for groceries...on a FRIDAY.  Then home to unpack them, put them away, finish laundry, tidy up the house and cook and clean up dinner.  I'm tired!

Meg did just fine in surgery and seems to be having an easier time adjusting, thus far, than Lacy, which just so totally shows that the surgery and the emotions that go with it are so different for everyone!  I still have no doubts that they are both going to do great though!  I am learning so much from both of these bloggers as well as from Kim, who had her surgery right around Thanksgiving.  I love bloggers and their selfless ways of sharing their lives with others.  Knowing folks who have gone before and are so willing to document their journey and answer my questions, has been a God send!

Hopefully, I will start entertaining ya'll with more photos soon.  Being somewhat of an odd ball, the reason I so often don't take our camera with me when I go out is because though I love our camera bag, it is really big.  Also, due to the many appointments I have been having of late, my "purse" is more like a big ole bag as well and it is heavy as I have been carrying a book for the waiting rooms, my planner to keep track of appointments and often times my three prong gastric bypass binder that was given to me on my surgeon consult.  The binder has places for everything, like referrals, etc and it also contains a wealth of information, but I digress.  I also tend to go out my door with a travel mug of java and one eight year old who gets dropped off at school on my way to work, so to deal with the big camera bag is just overkill for short trips out.  But then there was the day that the lake in the park was frozen and the ducks were walking on it, that just made me laugh and wish I had the camera.  Or the leaf that was swirling in the puddle at the elementary school as I waited to drop off JJ and I had a sudden urge to get my creative streak on and photograph it had I only had the camera.  So, to make a short story longer, I bought a wee little backpack today at The Walmart that will hold the camera without any accessories.  My friend Mandy has one and as she has the same camera as we do (she sold us on buying one) I know it will fit.

Now that I've bored you with that story, get on over to Donna's blog to sign the petition for Baby Grace, aka Riley to have the island where her body was found named after her in an effort to increase awareness of child abuse.  Little Riley is in God's hands now, but there are countless other children who could wind up just like her, so we must remain vigilant.

Girly Comments & Graphics

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Dream is Still Alive

Don't wanna blog. Don't wanna blog.  Don't wanna blog.  Don't wanna...oh hi!  Didn't see you there!

So, StratCat asked me "So how many more "checks!" are there before surgery?" 

Here's the deal as I would like it to happen:  We have one more appointment and that is our third and last bariatric nutrition class on February 5th.  At that point, we should be able ("we" translates into "I" in this scenario) to call the surgeon's office and say "Hey!  We're all done!  Ya got everything?" and then if they do indeed have everything, they should be able to do what they need to do to submit all our stuff to our insurance company.  I have no idea how long that takes, but I'm planning on calling them tomorrow anyway and more on that in a minute.  I checked with the insurance company a couple of weeks ago to find out what their turnaround timeframe is for surgery approval and the rep I spoke with told me it was 48 hours, which is awesome, if it is indeed true.  I am hoping approvals by mid-February, Brit's surgery in March and mine in April.  Please remember that this is my dream and the surgeon's office or the insurance company may have dreams of their own that could turn my dreams into a nightmare.  But we won't dwell there for now.  No, instead we are going to assume that all is going to go smoothly.

I want to call the surgeon's office tomorrow because one concern has been nagging at me.  Now, I am a worrier by nature, but I don't want any surprises.  We had to do either one six month structured diet program or two three month structured diet programs and we elected to do the latter (the structured diet thing has been a pain in my butt the whole time so why shouldn't it continue to be so?).  We started Weight Watchers in October and did October, November and December with them.  In December was also our first bariatric nutrition appointment so we did that program in December, January and soon to be February.  Back when I was planning all of this, someone at the surgeon's office assured me that it was fine that one month overlapped.  Get what I'm saying?  We technically did both programs in December and because of that, we technically did do two three month programs but together they only equaled five months.  I'm worried that it could be an insurance loophole and I don't want that.  Then I wonder if we should have one last weigh in with Weight Watchers before the end of the month, but that still only has us a total of five months.  Ugh!

Here's hoping we are still smooth sailing tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So today I had the thrill of driving by myself to Baltimore to meet with a nutritionalist.  This would not be bad, as the drive is only about an hour and twenty minutes, but the problem is that it involves the beltway, which I hate.  Too many cars going way too fast and it is one of the things that stresses the living daylights out of me!

But I made it and the nut was nice.  She was very impressed with the fact that I had printed off the packet from the internet and had it all filled out and she was very pleased with how much I knew about this surgery and the things I can eat and the vitamins I will need to take.  I asked her just how safe she thought this surgery was and she told me about the amazing abilities to adapt that the GI system has and that the key is to follow the rules of protein, liquids and vitamins.  She has been met with patients that she said had this surgery 15 years ago when patients were armed with little to no knowledge about what to expect after the surgery.  

I left feeling reassured and much more comfortable about things once more.   

I'm sending a shout out to Lacy and Meg: I hope you girls are doing all right and I'm still praying for both of you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

People, where for art thou?

I have discovered that for the most part, I am much more a blog person than a message board person, though I do frequent both.  I like the personal touch that conversing with a blogger entails than that of the much larger venue of a message board.  Today, however, in trying to gather some information for today's blog, I did realize that some message boards are very much a source of information and knowledge.

I still tend to bop around the internet, looking for new WLS blogs or boards and some of what I find can be a little bit disturbing.  Yesterday, in one of these particular Google searches, I found a WLS blog I had never seen before and the blogger had quoted someone else.  I don't know who she quoted or where the quote came from, but here is what it said:

Search for any wls blogs or stories or even posters on wls boards from post ops more than two or three years out...they are virtually non-existant. Nobody posts on boards more than 2 years post op. Blogs are abandoned at two years out. The surgery has a honeymoon and people still in that period tend to get very emotional about defending it. Once the regain, ruptures, complications and malabsorption side effects take over, these people feel like failures and hypocrites and go into hiding. Where are the ten year post-ops? Or the five year ones? That's who I want to hear from.

Not real uplifting, huh?  Where are the five year folks?  It also brought up for me what has been a ongoing concern for this blogger, who has not updated since November.  She was only seven weeks post-op and had been in and out of the hospital, so where is she now?  Part of me wants to envision her now doing well with her lifestyle change, dropping weight and living her life and another part of me wonders if it is something much darker. 

Then the quote above made me wonder if the people who are five or ten years out, are simply living a life now that they were physically unable to lead before surgery, thus not allowing as much time for blogging.  That also makes sense to me and I certainly didn't want to believe that all those five or ten year post ops had either regained their weight or had all sorts of complications that left them feeling like failures that caused them to go back into hiding.

So I posted my concerns on two message boards and quoted the above words from the anonymous poster.  I was not disappointed as Living After WLS came through with some answers that are still coming; things such as these:

From Kaye, the site owner "You will see many who are 5, 10, 15 and 20 years post weight loss surgery. Our senior member is little tiny Judy Petite - 21 yrs. post-Arrival. I've met her and she is petite and adorable!!! And she is LIVING. I will be 9 years post-Arrival in September and there are many others with lots of experience to share with pre-ops and those in the weight loss phase of this life-long experience. Many people do drop off message boards or blogs after 1 1/2 - 2 years post off. Many because, as you say, they become highly engaged in LIVING. Some because they are struggling and feel ashamed or embarassed. Some because they can't find a group dedicated to the daily challenges of surgical weight loss."

From Kim, who is four years out "Well, you're in luck. First and foremost, there are many members of this forum (with blogs) that are long term success stories. Let us motivate you and educate you.

Lots of blogs disappear only because people move on to just "living". Life becomes less about weight loss and more about being normal...having a family or a job that takes all of their time!"

From Toris, who has put back on some weight due to pregnancy "You get to the point that you're no longer a gung ho WLS patient, you are a normal person living a normal life. I'm 14 years out.."

I, personally, know two people, C, who is out almost ten years, and another C who is out, I think, about five years.  So, the people who are five or ten years out, are out there, LIVING THEIR LIVES.  Though I do totally get it; I want to hear from those people. I want to know that Shrinking Mama is okay. 

So,here's what I promise.  After my surgery, you will continue to hear from me.  It might not all be good, but I'm going to blog it, so that five or ten years down the line, some pre-op will be able to find information from an "old" post-op. 

Still waiting to hear news on Meg! I'll let you know when I know!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Important Post Script!

Hey everyone, Meg is having her surgery tomorrow, so prayers and well wishes would be much appreciated for her!  I've been following Meg for a couple of months now and her day is finally arriving!  She is calm, cool and collected, which I can only hope to be when my day arrives...though I have my doubts as I had a mini-freak out today but that is a blog for tomorrow.

Meg, I'll be praying for you and God has you in His palm!

Taking it out of the Equation

So, I have been worrying and stressing over being well enough to go on the Mission Trip this summer, trying to decide if two months of recovering from surgery would be enough time, trying to find someone willing to commit to going in my place in the event I cannot go etc (with YouthWorks, you have to lock in your number of participants, so if someone backs out, you either have to find a replacement or just lose the money).  As of today, that is no longer going to be an issue.

We had selected our work site for this year two weeks ago and have been waiting for all the teens to give us a definate that they were going.  One of our girls may be scheduled for a surgery that would possibly make her unable to go, but we would not even know for sure if she was having surgery until sometime in February, but we had a replacement in place for her.  So with 9 kids and two chaperones (neither of them me) we had eleven people and our work site still had twenty-five slots available...until today.  Today, there are only ten slots left, and the organization is closed today for the holiday, so I could not call to book our places.  So, after a few phone calls with Paula, we decided to book the ten slots tomorrow and hope for the best.  The one girl's father was fairly certain that she would not be able to go, so though I don't wish surgery on her, what I hope even less is that she can go and we don't have a slot.  But there is always the chance of someone dropping out of either our group or one of the other church groups that has booked that location.

So, this takes me out of the equation altogether.  There is no slot for me at this time, again, unless someone drops out, so though saddened by the fact that I will probably not be going, even if I were recovered enough to go, this forces me to leave my participation up to God.  If my surgery goes picture perfect and my recovery is quick and a slot opens, I'm there, but if not, God is telling me to keep my butt at home.

I'm accepting it. 

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Okay, it's late and I'm tired, so it is going to be short and sweet tonight.

Sweeney Todd was morbid and magnificent, appalling and awesome, Sick and spectacular.  Those with weak stomachs should not view it (I hid my eyes in my turtleneck more than once).  But hey, who knew Johnny Depp could sing??  Every film I see him in, he impresses me more.  Despite the grossness, I must have the soundtrack.

Oh and Robyn, it was definately Amber.  I only knew a tiny bit of the story, none of the details and the only song that was familar was "Not While I'm Around".

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Strange Saturday

For some reason, I am feeling way tired today and I haven't done a dang thing.  Woke up to the television in my bedroom, which was semi-annoying as we do have one downstairs where I would not be able to hear it while trying to sleep.  And that's all I have to say about that (said with my best Forrest Gump imitation).  Took the kids to the movies; JJ and I saw "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and Aaron and the Brit saw "National Treasure".  Both got good reviews from their respective child attendee. 

Our movies was out first, so JJ and I went to take a stroll through the mall and all went fine until we started heading back towards the theaters.  Then, I got incredible dry mouth, felt really weak and knew I had to sit down in the immediate future.  So, we stopped and got ice cream and finally sat down and I started to feel better.  It doesn't make any sense that my blood sugar tanked as I had popcorn and a soda in the movie and some toast for breakfast.  I feel better now but my energy has been low since the episode.  Hopefully, it was just one of those weird things.

Tomorrow I am knitting for a bit at Lisa's and then meeting up with my mother and the Brit (the kids are visiting their great grandparents) to go see "Sweeney Todd".  It isn't playing in my town for some unknown reason, so as Lisa lives in WV, we'll see it there.

Hope everyone is having a nice, relaxing weekend and please keep Lacy in your prayers!  She is very much still recovering!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Time to Write the Blog

Don't know how many of you remember this, but it is what always pops into my head when I know I need to blog and have no idea what to write about!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Dudes!  I was flipping out!  It snowed here today and I couldn't get an internet connection all afternoon and into the evening and was thinking that I was about to blow Blog365 in the first month on a technicality!  Ack!

Yes, it snowed and I am so not a fan of the cold, white stuff.  It's pretty and I can sort of like it as long as I can stay inside where it is warm and not go out in it at all.  Something about a snowy day or a rainy day, however, puts me in the mood to tackle huge projects, so today, I moved the oldest son out of the room he has been sharing with his younger brother for 4 years and into the spare bedroom.  Now, if that were all there were to it, it would be fine, but moving also involves moving some furniture and THAT involves cleaning all the crap out from underneath and behind the furniture once you move it!  Boys are messy little creatures, let me tell you!  But, the job is mostly done and tomorrow, I plan on tackling the walk-in closet.  All part of the nesting thing I've been doing.

My eating has been really good the last few days.  When we were at our bariatric nutrition course on Tuesday, there was a mother/daughter team there who were going for surgery and they clued us in to a very low cal/low fat sweet snack.  Chocolate graham crackers with lite or fat free cool whip in between and then freeze them.  They taste remarkably like an ice cream sandwich!  Yummy!

I've also been trying to get back on water, which has been hard as I have just discovered Coke Vanilla Zero.  Diet soda, I can drink, but don't really enjoy, but the Zero stuff is really good.  Once we have a green light on surgery though, all diet carbonated drinks are out for me and I'll be switching to water with Crystal Lite 100% of the time.  

Lacy is home and is doing well, despite feeling as if she has been hit by a truck.  Please keep her in your prayers and positive thoughts while she recovers.   She is going to do so great, I can feel it! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm still in the wrong profession

All I did today was run!

My first appointment was at 9:00 with my PCP and the first thing she did was hand me a typed letter stating my health problems and that she backed me with the surgery.  Totally unexpected but someone at the surgeon's office must have called her.  Then we discussed my weird problem and if it might be asthma, which I did have as a kid.  My weird problem is that when I become out of breath or when I walk outside into the cold, it can start me coughing.  I don't cough a lot, but I do at times cough HARD enough to make myself feel like I am going to be physically sick.  I have never actually upchucked from it, but I just have to be quiet, breath and swallow a lot until the feeling goes away.  This does not happen often; maybe once every couple of months, but it is a wretched feeling.  So, next week I go to the hospital for a breathing test and she also gave me a requisition for a chest x-ray, which she said I will probably need for surgery as I was once a smoker.

Then it was head down the road to the mental institution for my psyche evaluation.  Can I just say that it took me longer to fill out the damn forms than it took me to speak with the doctor?  He mostly asked questions about my family, my support system (which I told him that other than my husband and my mother, that I had the most amazing friends on the planet), my understanding of the surgery, why I want the surgery, etc.  He asked them rapid fire and almost didn't give me time to answer before asking the next question.  Then out of nowhere, he says "Spell table."  It nearly threw me for a loop, but I recovered and spelled it.  Then he says, "Can you spell it backwards?"  I felt like I was part of some demented spelling bee or something!  TEN FREAKING MINUTES with this guy, which included him dictating the notes over his phone with me still there and my co-pay was $55.00!  That's just the co-pay!  Highway robbery, I tell ya, but he did find me mentally stable and the Dyson never came up once .

Then as I was out and about, I headed over to the medical center to have the chest x-ray done, then to the store, then home to try to right my house a little, then to take my oldest son to the doctors. Thankfully, dinner is a beef stew that has been slow cooking all day, so no pressure there.

I have come to the conclusion that I have this odd habit of at times using the wrong word and not realizing it in that moment.  A few days ago, on this here blog, I wrote how "detrimental" my friends were to my support system, which is saying that ya'll are damaging or harmful.  When I proofread it the next day, I immediately caught it and made ya'll "instrumental" instead, as it should be.  I was once chatting with an on-line friend about the motive's of a criminal and asked about his "motif" instead.  Then last night, on the way home from dinner, my eldest son asked me if I could help him find the Big Dipper and my response was something like this:

"Oh honey, I stink at astrology.  Or is it astronomy? (I look at the Brit who is just watching this with amusement) Astrology?  Astronomy?  Star gazing, son.  I suck at star gazing...and constellations.  Not my thing.  Oh wait, astrology is horoscopes, right??"

And they found me mentally sound....

Addendums to Randoms

Random thought #4-My house is totally suffering from the appointment week from hell.  It needs laundered, bathroom cleaned, desk cleaned off and dare I say it, vacuumed??

Random thought #5-I guess I shouldn't tell the shrink today about my unnatural attachment to my Dyson.  Guess not.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Two down and I Heart AI

Today was our second of three nutrition classes at Hopkins and I managed to lose just over a pound...which beings it was Christmas and we had company for three weeks, isn't too terribly bad, though I am going to try to do better this last month.  We also had an interesting conversation on the drive down.

Me:  So, in addition to being your wife, do you really also see me as your mother?


Dave Goober told me that when I told him that I was concerned about how much about this surgery that you understand and are prepared for.  I told him about what you said when I was asking you what you wanted to do with the nutrition appointments and you told me I was running the show, so whatever I felt was best.  Dave said I needed to understand that I was also your mother figure.

I'm going to kick his-.

I'll take that as a don't view me as your mother?

So with that weird intro, we actually did talk about the surgery from his point of view and I learned that there were things that he was looking forward to being able to do once he'd lost weight.  It was an eye opener for me because men just don't talk about things like we womenfolk do.  I need to discuss it with anyone who will listen, research every tiny bit of detail I can find on the subject and then discuss it again with anyone who will listen.  That's just how I'm made.  The man?  Not so much.  But it was good to know that he does think about things more than he vocalizes them.  That, I can live with.

American Idol started tonight and I am already in love once again.  Some of the auditions are so incredibly strange (OMG, that guy that sang the stalking song to Paula??  Totally creepy!) but I guess some folks will just do anything for their thirty seconds of fame in front of a camera.  My favorite so far?  At this stage of the game, I don't know anyone's name, but I'll call her the Self Defense Pony Girl.  Loved her!

For those of you who sent up prayers for Lacy, her hubby updated her blog tonight and said her surgery went "picture-perfect"!  She's due to be released on Thursday!

Tomorrow we see how sane I am...I'll let ya'll know how it turns out!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Just another manic Monday

So, after the nutritionalist ala expensivio was ruled out, as of today, we are both scheduled with different nuts.  I will be seeing someone at Hopkins (not for $535, but for $179) which was at the recommendation of the program coordinator there.  She said that one of us should go through the Weight Management Center for our consult, while the other, the Brit, can see someone locally.  Both appointments have now been set up and the next week is looking a little bit insane.

Tomorrow, 1:00 bariatric education at Bayview in Baltimore.
Wednesday, 9:00 PCP for my letter stating she believes I will benefit from surgery and then 10:00, my psyche evaluation to find out if I am mentally stable...well, at least mentally stable enough to deal with having my insides rearranged.

February 2rd, 1:00, eye appointment and then I have to be in Baltimore at 5:30 to meet with my nutrionalist.  I am not looking forward to doing that drive on my own but it will be good practice for driving the beltway after the Brit has his surgery and has been released.

We had prayer group tonight and I lifted up both Lacy and Meg for safe journeys on their surgeries!

I know it seems like surgery is all I've been talking about lately but in all honesty, it is taking up a big chunk of my life.  I'm either scheduling appointments, going to appointments, or imagining what life will be like after surgery, both with reprogramming my brain as well as with losing weight and becoming a normal size for the first time in my life.  When being faced with something completely life changing, it is difficult to think about much else.

In talking to a few post-ops, it seems that they really only told a handful of people they were having the surgery, where I have told the majority of my friends.  My friends, if I have to categorize them, go into two groups: church and knitter girls.  At church, Paula was the first to know, closely followed by the prayer group (as we needed prayers while trying to decide if this is what we really wanted to do), and then some of the youth group and adults that are affiliated with the youth group.  My knitter girls have either found out from here or because I told them (I forget which came first).  Then there is a small but growing list of online people who I'm following and who are following me.  Each of the three groups has been instrumental to my process.  Their support, understanding and in some cases, expertise have been amazing.  I don't know what I'd do without them.

Surprisingly, the one group that I have been really selective with is my family.  My mother knows and I think I told one other sister.  Some of them may read here (Hi Shannon!) and know for that reason though I have not officially told them.  It's hard when I am part of a large family that is seperated by distance.  Often, I don't feel close to many of them and part of that may be my fault.  I've always compared my relationship with my siblings to that of my younger brother and in a few instances, he seems to be the "preferred one".  Of course, in my mind, the reason for that is because of my weight.  I guess I'm not always sure that I would have the support from some of them that I feel I would need to have if they knew (and they might and I just don't know they know).  But again, time, distance and ages are not always on our sides.  I'll just have to trust that if they all do know, that they are supporting me in prayer and that if they don't know, they'll understand down the road when they find out.  I don't think I've not told anyone on purpose, but when we don't always stay in touch as we should, it seems impersonal to send an email that says "Guess what??" 

The friends I've told were chosen because they are physically present in my life and I need their support.  I need for them to understand this procedure and how my life is going to change, hopefully all for the better.  Losing weight and getting healthy will not take away my faults, nor will it alter my personality in any negative ways, yet there are still going to be so many changes. 

Can you imagine??

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nothin' Much

Did I really sign up to blog for 365 days?  

Some days there just isn't anything to say, so maybe some random thoughts are in order.

Random thought #1-If satan were a beverage, he would be Slim Fast.

I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that I will not be able to go on the mission trip, despite how desperately I want to go.  I suppose there is still a slim chance, but the way YouthWorks works is that the only way you can add a person to your week is if the slot is available.  I have not been successful in locking in a backup for myself in the event I cannot go, mostly because our church is small, and there are not too many members in their thirties and forties, most are much older and a mission week is definately a week of hard work, little sleep and many emotions.  Currently, the site we plan to book has 25 slots available of which we will take eleven of them.  So, if both the Brit and I come through surgery with flying colors and with plenty of time to recuperate, if there is still one of the remaining 13 slots left, I can be an add on, otherwise I'll be sitting this one out. The sad part about that is that next year, I doubt Paula will go again, so that will leave me and a big question mark as far as any other chaperones.  However, I am not putting anything above this surgery!

Random thought #2-I'm forty-one years old and still have zero understanding of football and why people like it.

I'm sending out prayers and well wishes to Lacy, who is having RNY surgery on Tuesday!  I just found this chick's blog and I love her...she reminds me of me, albeit she is a lot younger than I!  Please join me in wishng her a safe surgical journey!

Tuesday is also the start of American Idol and I am such a junkie for this show.  I love it all from the auditions and I love all three judges.  Yes, Simon can be crass, and Paula a little (or alot) loopy at times, but they all balance each other well in my opinion.  I started watching faithfully the year after the Reuben/Clay finale and have predicted the winner each year since then (even when I haven't liked the singer I predicted).  It's kind of a game for me now, to try to work out who will win based on overall sellability.

Random thought #3-I had a lot more random thoughts in my head earlier but they all went south.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reversed Feelings

There are moments when I get completely overwhelmed.  

When I really and truly think about the things I will have to change, most importantly, how I relate to food, it can be a little daunting.  I know I can do it; I'm prepared to do it, but it doesn't help make the unknown any less scary. 

But when those moments arise, there are other things I can start to think about that make me resolve all the more to be a success with this tool.  There are times when I feel like I am desensitized to my weight.  When walking through a crowd of strangers, I never look them in the eye.  I don't look down or anything but rather look past them, not giving anyone a chance to hurt me with an expression or a word.  This has become almost second nature to me now as I have been doing it most of my adult life.  But the reason I started doing it was because of those times in my youth and younger adult life, when someone did say something to hurt me.  It became a defense mechanism because sometimes it was the people that didn't know me at all, who could say the worst things and I never thought it was fair.  They knew nothing of me or my struggles.  They didn't know that I was good person with a strong faith, that I loved animals and theater...they just looked at me and chose to say something cruel.

In reality, it really shouldn't have mattered; some people are just ignorant and hurtful and shallow.  But also in reality, it did hurt to have someone point out what I have always perceived to be my biggest shame, my largest fault.  So not making eye contact with strangers hopefully gives me a pseudo air of self confidence.  I don't feel it, but maybe the strangers do to an extent. 

My weight has always been such a hard thing for me.  I was always the largest of all my friends, even in elementary school.  The broken bones I've had, I blame on my weight.  When someone doesn't like me, I blame it on my weight.  Now, that may not be the real reason, but weight has always been the reason for someone to make fun of me, so it always made sense it would also be the reason someone didn't like me. 

I've spent so many years not being able to do things I so want to do....take my kids to amusement parks and be able to fit in all the rides, travel comfortably on an airplane, go camping, dive off the back of our boat without the fear of how in the hell am I going to get back on board, sit on the floor, have energy and not so many aches and pains, work harder at photography by having the agility to capture certain shots that need to be done on the ground, really garden in my back yard. 

The list is endless.

And never being able to do those things?  That is really scary and overwhelming.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Motivational? Inspirational?

I've been trying to come up with a song to use as a theme for this journey I am taking.  All my life, songs have marked milestones along my way and it just seems that there should be one for this too. 

Now, I suck at being able to think of songs I like, but if someone says the name of a song, or I hear a song on the radio or on television, then it hits me how much I like that song.  Then it is in to the computer to find it to download to my ipod.

So, I need ya'll help.  Give me your songs.  Those at motivate and inspire you.  Give me some suggestions.  The forum is yours.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I chose the wrong profession

So, yesterday, I get this call from Johns Hopkins informing me that my upcoming appointment with the nutritionalist is not a covered benefit by my insurance, so I would need to call their finance office to make payment arrangements for the appointment.  I call them, and they re-explain that to me, so I ask the obvious question:

How much will the appointment cost?

She asks if this is the initial consult and I reply that it is the only appointment as far as I know and that only one appointment is required by the bariatric program there at Hopkins.  Then, I was glad I was sitting down.

"Okay, the first nutritionalist appointment is $535.00."



"Per person?"


"It's only ninety minutes."

"Yes, the first one is always more expensive."

"It's only ninety minutes."

"Yes, it is billed in 15 minute increments."

Isn't that like $89 every fifteen minutes or $5.93 a minute???  How much schooling to be a nutritionalist?  Sign me up!

So anyway, I called my surgeon's secretary and asked if we had to see their nut, because if so, I couldn't afford it.  She said we only had to see theirs if our insurance covered it but if not, we could see one locally.  Now, granted, Baltimore is a big city and I live in a small town about an hour and a half outside of the city, but the nut I called today will run about $125 for the session. But of course, the local nut needs to know what Hopkins wants her to address with us.  So, now I had to email someone else at Hopkins to ask that question before I can set up the appointments. 

I'm getting tired...I hope we are soon on our last hoop....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thoughts from a Post-Op

After last night's blog, I sent that quote by the WLS patient to my friend, C.  C had RNY several years ago and is a walking success story.  In addition to that, she is totally in our corner in supporting us through our journey.

I was curious about what C would have to say about this person's situation and the words she said in regards to now being an "unhealthy obese person" and "regretting the surgery" as she had put all her weight back on plus more.  C had the following to say in response:

Just because some have failed does not mean everyone fails! I was over 400 lbs in March of 1998. The night before my surgery was the first time I stopped thinking of my by-pass long enough to worry about will I die on the table, but the alternative was a wheelchair & a life of excuses & feeling bad. I could not even walk across the parking lot at work without have to stop & get my breath! So do not tell me there is any such thing as a healthy fat person, As we all know, heavy people suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, poor circulation, shortness of breath... shall I go on? 

   One year after surgery I had lost 170lbs. (YEAH ME) Yes, you do need to retrain yourself not to eat as much, or carb-heavy foods, but that was the idea in the weight loss in the first place. Yes, your system is different now but I do not have diarrhea, & only about once a year I will throw up something my system can not handle. Then about three years ago, I decided I wanted to be in the "UNDER 200 CLUB" so I tightened up the carb count & lost another 50lbs. Then reaching that goal, I wanted to weigh 170lbs for the first time in my adult life. As I sit here I am 4 lbs from that goal and I am eating a tootsie pop. (so you can be a little bad).

  This diet is not easy! YOU MUST KEEP IN MIND the surgery is a TOOL for you to use in order to drop the mounds of fat that are not allowing you to have a LIFE! I walk, ride bikes, drive horses, best of all fit into a size 14!!! ( & look really good)  My confidence level is through the roof. I think now I can do anything!  I could go on & on, but I am sure you all have heard the success stories. And the the failure story that prompted my response. The only thing I would like to say to her is TRY AGAIN  you could still lose it again. I have spoke with a lady that did ..yes, it was hard but it worked!  You already had the surgery; make it work for you. I did not want anyone to know I had the surgery back then; now …I’ll tell anyone YEAH IT WORKS! & keeps on working.. For years later.   If anyone has questions I'd be glad to answer them. Please keep in mind your life can change; you can reshape you. There is no such thing as a “good carb” or bad fat & no more calorie counting. YOU CAN DO IT; set your self free from fat . Every dream I had use to start with “when I lose weight” now it's "fit new stuff into life".  

I guess it is hard to find anything negative about the surgery ... after some thought I must say I believe it's because the people that have made the life choice to have the by-pass are so committed to its success that they (like myself) will not allow a negative thought to creep into the mind! It is a TOOL, a CHOICE & only mature adults should even begin to consider it. I HAVE NOT EVER REGRETTED my decision to have the by-pass surgery & since I am a 10 year veteran I can say truthfully I WILL NOT going forward, regret having the surgery. 

 I am very fortunate to have a loving and supportive husband. At the time of my surgery that was not the case. I went through the healing process being made fun of & the butt of jokes, so please do not think I had easy street. When I went back to work after a while it was exciting to watch the weight fall off. Always use rule of thumb: eat as few carbs as possible & exercise more today than yesterday,even if its only one step more on a walk or one step more. I can remember one young woman I used to meet in the doctor's office , I feel reasonably sure she did not continue the diet. She would not stop using food as a crutch or as a friend & in some cases her life line. She would come in the office & head straight for the peppermint candy on the counter & eat & eat it... I guess it comes down to as all things ....a choice! I prayed to God a lot during that time I wanted to succeed at losing weight once & for all.        

… I LOVE IT !!!! God Bless you all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!     

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Just my opinion

In reading another blog today, the blogger shared a letter written by a WLS surgery patient who'd had surgery a few years ago, lost all of her weight, kept it off for a bit and has now put the weight back on, plus more.  She states that she regrets the surgery because before, she was just an obese person and now she is an obese person with vitamin deficencies, anemia, etc.  She also states that the bad foods are the only things she doesn't throw up.

It's impossible to read this and not shudder a little bit as a pre-op, but my take on it, while maybe being one of empathy, is not one of sympathy.  Please understand that I am only giving my opinion here as I do not know the WLS patient or even know where the blogger found her information, but common sense tells me a few possible things.

I don't care if you are a WLS surgery patient or just a regular dieter, you don't put on a hundred plus pounds without some effort on your part.  You don't become vitamin deficient by taking the vitamins you are supposed to be taking. And surely if the only foods that stay down are the bad foods, then you must have been experimenting with what you can get away with to some extent. The bad foods were not always the easy ones because the weight was lost to begin with after surgery. This surgery is not a cure all for the fact that we overeat or eat the wrong kinds of foods.  All of my research in making this decision has told me one thing louder than any other thing:  THIS SURGERY IS A TOOL!  Just as you can break a hammer, you can technically break this by not using it correctly.   

I refuse to be a negative statistic.  I know other people who are not negative statistics because they stick by the rules of the tool they have been given.  This is a last ditch effort and I will not blow it.  There is no food that can possibly taste better than not huffing and puffing up stairs, then being able to sit on the floor comfortably, to not having to wear the oh so sexy CPAP machine at night to sleep, to being able to bicycle with my kids or learning how to ride a horse, which has been a life-long dream for me.  Why in the hell would anyone lose the weight and then return to eating the way they did before surgery?  That kind of eating has not worked for me the first time around.

But as someone said, the surgeons are not doing surgery on our brains.  We have to do that.  We have to fight the head hunger and as God is my witness (doesn't that sound dramatic?  Very theatrical)after surgery, anytime I am tempted by something that will simply taste good and fulfill no other purpose, I am going to take that moment to do one thing that I was not able to do at my heaviest weight.  The list of those things is long.  Then after doing that, I will think again if that bit of chocolate or whatever is really worth not being able to do even that one thing.

I know the day will come when I will feel like I can eat anything.  I am the one making the choice however about what I eat.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Getting the Ducks in a Row

It may be a wee bit premature but apparently, I have already started nesting.

No, I am not preparing to lay any eggs, but just as a mama bird soon to be with child prepares the nest for new life, so I have begun preparing my nest for my new life after WLS.  I don't want to have any major projects not accomplished pre-op and there are several cleaning projects that need to be handled here in the next few weeks.  Examples would be the annual "make sense of the walk-in closest" day, tidying up my personal closet day, cleaning up the Brit's closet day, moving oldest son to his own room, and painting the room my younger son will continue to occupy as it is in dire need of paint.  

The way I see it, the projects will keep me occupied and will help to pass the time until insurance approval and surgery dates (see what an optimistic thinker I am?).  

Today was a good day in that it was budget time at the church as well.  I am just starting my third year there and when hired, you get one week of vacation until you have been there like five years.  Last year at raise time, I requested of the council to forego a raise in exchange for an extra week of vacation, which they approved.  Today, being the day the budget was worked out for 2008, the former council president came to me, expressed how happy they all were with the way I did my job, and asked me what I wanted.  I was a bit surprised with it being presented that way, so after I had arranged my thoughts, I told him I would honestly prefer extra time.  It would save the church money and it would keep my time off close to what the Brit has.  I said, it did not have to be a whole week, but just a few extra days.  Well, he gave me a whole third week!  I was very much pleased!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

TheSix Month Structured Diet faux pas

Okay, so I have a few questions to the WLS world out there that maybe someone can give me some opinions on.

I'm making an assumption that I will probably have surgery in April.  If we are approved in February and the Brit goes first, that may put him at the beginning of March.  We have to go about four weeks apart, so that will put me roughly in April.  My in laws have a timeshare in Florida and they will be there from mid-May till mid-June and we would like to go, but are wondering if that is too soon for us to travel after surgery.

The other thing is the youth group mission trip, which I very much would like to go on again this year.  Now, I am not going to place anything before my surgery, or my health after surgery, please understand.  We will have a backup chaperone in the event I am not feeling up to going (the trip is tentatively slated for June 29-July 4).  My bigger worry is what if I have some kind of complication while in an impoverished area??  Is the trip not a good idea or would I just have to check with my surgeon for a name of a doctor in the area in case of a problem?

I have screwed up with this whole structured diet thing a bit and am now trying to make up for it.  I barely lost anything on WW (like two pounds) and next week marks our second visit to Hopkins for our second month of our second three month structured diet (if you understood that, you are doing better than I did typing it).  Of course, Christmas fell in between the first and second appointments not to mention having company etc.  Yes, these are excuses, but the bottom line is that I do not believe that I lost weight.  So, like a teenager trying to cram for a test, I am trying to show a loss by next week.  I'm combining eating the way I should along with some slim fast, just to meet a number.

I know I am ready for surgery.  There is no doubt in my mind.  But I have been resentful of the six months of structured diets just because I have been dieting almost my whole life and yo-yoing every bit as long.  I know that eating changes come with surgery and I am psyched to get that ball rolling.  I am looking forward to not feeling hungry, to avoiding dumping, to actually losing weight and getting my life back! 

It probably sounds hypocritical but I don't mean to be.  I'm just being honest.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Weekends are apparently photo ops

As promised, less blurry pictures of Guinea, the Guinea pig (yes, my children are nothing if not original...)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Piggy love

It's just one of those days where I have nothing to write about.  The day was uneventful; work, Walmart, home.  After yesterday, uneventful is good.

And though this is the worst picture in the world (my eldest son took it; I promise to get a better one soon), have I mentioned how in love I am with this:


Thursday, January 3, 2008


So today I realized just how badly I want this surgery.  Though I have been working towards it for a few months now, there has always been this little niggling doubt in the back of my head that is continually asking "Are you sure you want to deal with this surgically?"  Today, that question was answered.

I've been growing impatient with submittal now so close at hand, so today, I elected to contact the insurance company just to find out what their approval turnaround timeframe was.  Annie answered the phone and I explained the surgery I was having done and asked about the timeframe, to which she replied "48 hours."  I was pleased as punch.  Then another thought hit me.  The Brit carries our insurance through his employer and his company had been bought out at the end of 2007.  I suddenly felt concerned that something might have changed, so I questioned Annie, who told me that their policy hasn't changed but that I might want to check with the Brit's employer.

As was previously stated, patience is not my virtue, and after hanging up with Annie I came to the conclusion that someone at the insurance company must know if the employer changed anything with our policy.  After all, our surgeon is not going to submit for approval to my husband's company but to the insurance, right?  Of course right.

So I called again and got a young man this time, I forget his name, and I explained my question.  He told me that he could definately check that for me.  I waited patiently for a moment before he said, "Your insurance policy excludes weight loss surgery."  

I suddenly found it hard to breathe, "No," I stated firmly, "I have already been over this.  It WAS included."

"Hang on and let me check last year," Boy Wonder advised but a moment later, he continued, "Your policy didn't include it last year either."

I suddenly felt sick.  There was no way this was happening, "Yes, it did.  I called.  You all even told me that my policy covered gastric bypass but not the lapband.  We've been over all of this."

"I'm sorry.  It says here it is excluded.  I can check with a supervisor if you'd like."

"Yes.  This is wrong.  We haven't done all this prep work for nothing..."

When Boy Wonder placed me on hold, I started crying.  All I could imagine was being fat for the rest of my life, dying early, never being able to ride a bike with my kids, or horseback ride.  Every single dream I had seemed to flash before my eyes like a glimpse of the sun before the storm clouds surround it.

I held for probably five minutes and Boy Wonder came back and explained that they were still checking into it, that they were finding conflicting information with the notes on the account.  He promised they were working to get me an answer.

"It has to be the right answer." I insisted, barely managing to control the shaking of my voice.

Another five minutes and he came back and asked if they could call me back; that he and Christy were working on it.  I hung up and sobbed.  This felt like a nightmare.  There was no way we could afford surgery without it being covered.  Maybe for one of us, but not for both!  I had given Boy Wonder my cell number and I shakily got my things together to go home.

I was supposed to go antique shopping with my inlaws, but I knew I could never go.  How go I even go home and not burst into tears? 

I was just coming up the back of the park, about a block from home when my cell phone rang and I immediately pulled over to answer it.  It was Christy and she assured me we were indeed covered.

"I'm so sorry," She explained, "But it is almost hidden in your policy!  I'm a supervisor and I couldn't find it.  I'm going to note your account with today's date and my name, so if you call again, tell the rep to refer to that.  I'll note exactly where in your policy it is."

I got home and noted in my calendar Christy's name and that she was noting the account that it was a covered benefit.  It took me almost an hour for my heart to start beating normally again.

But now, I do know that I want this surgery...very much.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


In the last two months, we have had lots of company.  

Now I love me some company; I can share my living space with damn near anyone.  We're going on three weeks with my inlaws here from England and I have especially enjoyed the company.  While I am not as much the anti-television person my mother in law is, I am also not as much the television guru that my husband is.  It's been nice to have someone to actually talk to other than at dinner time.  

I can give up my quiet time, my normally fairly tidy house, I can even deal with the cat bowls being moved from the kitchen table (two of the felines hate to eat with the other four) to the hutch...promising Hannah and Jasmine to just deal with it for another week and all will be well with their world.  But I beg of you, give me my vacuum cleaner.

I think I have mentioned before my unnatural attachment to my Dyson.  I love it and even more importantly, I love using it.  There is something cathartic about being able to quickly sweep away all that is dirty or does not belong.  I am downright compulsive about picking up every single teeny tiny bit of lint, cat hair, dirt and child's snacks that have fallen on the floor and I do this every single day.  Except lately.

Having to work in the mornings, I generally continue my vacuuming affair after work, but with my mother in law here, she had been doing it in the mornings after I leave.  Though I am most grateful for the help (I really do appreciate it) I miss my vacuum and to be honest, no one else vacuums in the same methodic way that I do.  I can generally still see stuff on the floors when I come home from work, and I itch to satisfy my addiction, but to re-vacuum would be rude.  It would seem unappreciative though that is not the case at all.  She can dust, do laundry, anything she wants, just leave the Dyson to me.

Of course, I will never tell her this because that would involve explaining that I am somewhat of a freak. So just forgive me if I twitch now and then while they are still here. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Blog 365

So, since I had such great success with NaBloPoMo this year, (insert sarcastic eye rolling here) I thought I'd sign up to do it 365 days in 2008.  I mean, if I can't make 31 days, surely I can make 365, right?  Whatever.  I'm going to have to give Robyn a crash course in godaddy so that she can update me during my surgery days and she has thankfully agreed to do so.  So at least that is three days covered in 2008

The holidays are now over and I breath a sigh of relief.  Though I enjoy them, by New Year's Day, I am ready for the kidlets to go back to school and am tired of vacuuming up pine needles from the tree.  It probably goes hand in hand with my obsession with cleaning and things being tidy, but there you have it.  

Christmas was nice though and the kids were pleasantly surprised with their gifts.  Among the favorites were the guinea pig, the ipod and the plasma car.  Their bio-grandparents saw them minimally as we're just tired of them pushing the envelope about their real last names and their sperm donor, aka bio-dad.  Play by my rules or don't play at all.   I want to nurture that relationship between the grandparents and the kids, however, not at the expense of my children being shoved from pillar to post and pressured into remembering what their bio last names were.  Ya know what?  Who the hell cares?  It's not their last name anymore and that is the only piece of it that anyone needs to remember. 

<end vent>

So tomorrow it is back to work for me, dealing with the church lady, who is driving me crazy.  I'm feeling very anxious this month with insurance submittal so close at hand.  My fear is that they will deny me for some reason and then of course, I will appeal.  I just don't want the prolonging of it due to an appeal. 

I've also decided to back away from a few things for a bit that are causing me some angst.  Sometimes I can be super sensitive, I know that, but then there are times when I feel hurt by something I suspect and maybe that is wrong, but it is still the way it is.  So it is time to take a step back and review the situation and then decide where to go from there.

We'll see how it all pans out.