Monday, March 31, 2008


I'm tired!

Today did not start out well.  With the Brit away, I have to get up at 6:00 to get Aaron up for school, so I get him up and then I crawl back in bed and lightly doze in between his visits and questions and teeth brushing.  Then once he leaves, I have ten minutes until alarm number two goes off, which is the "get your ass out of bed and into the shower, hobag" alarm, as I prefer to be showered before waking JJ up at 7:30.  Well, the 7:00 alarm did indeed go off, but this hobag did not get her ass out of bed, but instead fell back to sleep until 7:35. So, the whole morning was rushed and insane.

Got a lot accomplished at work.  I am amazingly far ahead in my work in preparation for surgery, so that four hours flew by.  Came home and immediately plunged into cleaning our bedroom.  Nightmare.  Our room is the one I neglect, and I don't know why that is.  Maybe it is because I am a female and feel a need to keep the downstairs clean (where any visitors would see) and the kid's rooms clean because if I rely on them to do it, I would be a horrible mother for making them live in filth.  Our room is also the room I probably spend the least amount of time in.  But anyway, the master bedroom is the room that is done the least frequently and therefore the dust bunnies were armed and dangerous.  But four hours later, it had all been dusted, my dresser drawers cleaned out (I even got rid of some pajamas I hated and will soon not be big enough for...HA!), my nightstand cleaned out and the floor vacuumed and mopped. 

I also have cooked a stew today for freezing, which is nearly finished and tomorrow I may do a meatloaf or something and tackle the bathroom.  And speaking of which, I need to call the bathroom people to see where our stuff is as I'm more than ready for the new tub/shower.

So, now I'm going to relax for the rest of the evening and try to recover from being a Corporate America widow.

Love ya, honey!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

And one more thing

Okay, so no, my surgery does not have a theme song, but this one has been giving me amazing strength and a sense of deep peace.  I wanted to share it.

Another Weekend Down

Apparently normal bloggers take the weekend off, while we die-hard idiots who sign up for things like Blog 365 have to try to think of something intelligent to say on a Sunday evening after a very full day and a very full few days coming up.  However, I totally miss my bloggin' peeps on the weekend when they are out living their real lives

Today, we met with the youth on the Mission Trip and again I was reminded of how desperately I want to go.  Paula and the kids keep insisting that they are praying and thinking very good thoughts that it will happen but only time will tell.  So many things have to go my way in order for the trip to be possible, but we will see, one obstacle at at time, how it goes.  My surgery and recovery has to go well, the Brit's surgery and recovery has to go well, the grandparents have to be able to take the kids for the week, and last but not least, there has to be a space made for me in a completely booked week with Youthworks.  I would have to be able to get special permission from them to be able to go at this point as there are no more available slots.   I also know that just like surgery, if God wants me to go, I'll go as He can make a way out of no way. 

The Brit left today for another business trip, so the kids and I are on our own for a few days (other than our savage and nasty pitbulls and Bullmastiffs, of course, who guard our home and will rip apart anyone who tries to enter that we have not invited).  I already have the ingredients for a beef stew ready to be turned on tomorrow, so I can cook it and get it ready for freezing.  If I can get about four or five meals ready to go, I'll be happy as it will buy me some feeling better time after I get home.

I was reading the reviews I posted the link for about my surgeon yesterday and read where one woman got to go home the next day as she was doing so well!  I can only hope!  I'm kind of dreading the hospital experience as I doubt I will have a room to myself and I know how nosy hospitals can be.  So, though I'm not going to bank on being released the next day, it would certainly be a welcome surprise were it to happen.

Okay, I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing the rest of the night asI have lots to do the next few days!  Hope your weekend was delightful!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ready to Rock n Roll

 I'm thinking that tomorrow would be a really great time to have my surgery because the last few days I have come to the startling realization that I am sick. 

I have been in Last Supper Syndrome for so long now that nothing appeals to me anymore and I'm thinking that not being able to eat much for quite some time will be a huge relief. 

I spent today washing the kid's bedding and running errands, picking up more protein powder and even snuck in a tiny nap...very tiny, but nonetheless.  The Brit leaves on a business trip tomorrow for a few days, so what is on my agenda for that time is to clean our room top to bottom and prepare some meals for freezing as when he is not home, the kids I eat easy stuff, so it won't feel like I'm cooking additional meals.

And in the event that anyone has any concerns, you can read all sorts of reviews on my surgeon here.  I had read them before, but now at T minus 16 days nearly, I revisited them again today just to remind myself of how confident I am with my choice.

I still get moments of nerves and am still awake at 3:00am about every other night, but I consider that fairly normal.  All in all, I am simply anxious and just want the day to arrive.  This Friday is my anesthesiologist appointment and Shelley is riding down with me as I hate to drive to the city period, and hate it even more alone.  It'll be nice to spend some time with her as I haven't seen her much of late, and we're thinking lunch and maybe a detour to a yarn store might be in order.  I'm even looking forward to that appointment because it just feels one step closer!

Friday, March 28, 2008

An Open Letter to the Male Population

Ya'll know that as women, we love you.  Truly, we do, despite the fact that we are as different as night and day.  However, I think that for the most part, we can easily see past the differences and we find a peaceful place to exist together, the way God planned for it to be.

There are certain tasks that fall onto each one of us.  You, the guys, are in many ways, the providers.  You handle the finances, keep a roof over our heads etc.  We are the gatherers.  We gather laundry, groceries, children, etc.  All in all, it is a relatively good balance.

There are a few things that God saw fit to do with the female of the species, which doesn't make too many men want to be us.  We give birth.  Though I have not experienced this personally, it is still something many women do.  In order to do that, women also have a time of the month when it all gets a bit screwey; we get moody, bitchy, snappy, whatever you want to call it.  These things can generally happen for no reason whatsoever and it isn't that we WANT to be short tempered, it's just a fact of life.  It's nothing we have asked for, but is simply how we were created.  We have these hormones that rage wildly for about ten days a month, though sometimes not consistantly.

We know that the male of the species cannot begin to understand what this feels like as they have never experienced it.  In many ways, we women don't completely understand it but it is just one of those things that happen to us, much against our will.  There are even times when we will realize we are being moody or bitchy or whatever your word of choice is, but at the same time we feel powerless to stop it.

While we apologize for all that, please understand that it does not help us in any way for you to point it out to us that we are being bitchy.  In fact, it is one of the few things you can actually do to help us feel bitchier.  Nothing worse than knowing our hormones are raging, we are being difficult and then have it pointed out to us by members of the opposite sex who have never experienced this wonderful time of the month nor have any idea of how out of control it can feel.  It is also bad to assume that just because we are grouchy, it is "that time of the month".  C'mon guys, ya'll get grumpy and that isn't your excuse, so why does it have to be ours?  If a guy is grouchy, he's stressed.  If a gal is grouchy, she's pmsing.  It's a horrible double standard.

All we ask is that you have some patience and know that you cannot possibly understand what these moods swings feel like.  We are not oblivious of them; we know they are happening and often despite our best efforts, there is just no stopping them.  Understanding is good, or at least pretend to be understanding.  Do not do what this guy did:

My Husband, not happy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods.

When I'm in a good mood it turns green. When I'm in a bad mood it leaves a big friggen red mark on his forehead.

Maybe next time he will buy me a diamond.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stop the Insanity!

I have come to the conclusion that I may not make it till April 15th.

I want surgery NOW!   I am so weary of the waiting; waiting for six months of structured diet, waiting for the consult, waiting to do pre-approval appointments, waiting for insurance approval, waiting for a date.  Enough already!!  We are talking about the girl here, folks, who lacks in the patience department.  When I worked in Corporate America I used to positively hate it when a manager would walk by me and say "I need to talk to you later."  What was that about??  If you're going to tell me you're going to talk to me, then do it now, otherwise don't tell me until you have time!

This journey has been one big "later" and it is making me insane and it spills over into other parts of my life, making me feel impatient about little things that would normally not bother me.  Then, of course, there is the former smoker in me, who when anxious always lit up, so now instead, I'm putting the Twizzler people out of business.  Yup, red licorice is my new vice apparently though I think it is only marginally better for me than cigarettes.  Hey, it's fat free, but we won't talk about the sugar content.

I've been nesting up a blue streak; sorting things out, getting rid of stuff, cleaning, washing stuff.  Of course, one day in the hospital with the kids and the Brit getting ready to get out the door in the morning and it will probably look like a hurricane went through here, but at least for the moment it is giving me something to do and giving me some peace of mind.  It's a shame they can't give me the happy drugs at two weeks pre-op as they would probably be helpful to all involved.  If I become insane, just shoot me up, dude and it will all be good.

American Idol, gang!  Who are we liking??  This is the first season where I have far too many favorites!  I adore Brooke and Jason is so cute.  David Cook and David Archuletta are awesome and Carly has got an amazing set of pipes on her.  Michael is good as long as he sings Queen apparently, so we'll see what next week brings.

The next three to go for me?
Shayesha, Ramielle and Kristy.  The latter got an extra week for playing the patriotic card this week, so unless she plans on pulling out "God Bless America" next week, I think she will be the next to go.

Okay, I have been non-active long enough!  Time to go clean, organize and sort and work off more nervous energy!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's Fun to Steal Stuff

So as I woke up with a major headache that has not seen fit to go away, I stole this little meme from Lacy as I can't be bothered today to think up something to write about.

Why did you start your blog?

With the age of computers, I had totally gotten away from the whole pen and paper writing scene, but I had always kept journals.  I started out on Xanga actually, then went to Blogger and finally to my own domain name.  I blog because I love to write and have delusions that some people may even find what I have to say interesting on a good day.

How did you come up with your blog name?

Basically, I had just started learning to knit and was enthralled with blogs like Crazy Aunt Purl, and as old knitting ladies always had cats, well, there ya go.

Do your friends and family know about your blog?  What do they think of it?

My friends, yes and I think they enjoy it.  My family, I don't know if they all do or not.  I know a few who do and a few who read it regularly.  It makes it difficult in some ways because I really strive to not censor myself, because if I was putting pen to paper, I wouldn't censor it.  But then if someone in my family ticks me off, it's hard not to blog about it.  I kind of have to gage if I should blog the incident and also if I do blog it, how do I do so in a non-hurtful way.  Then again, if the incident hurt my feelings, I'm not really sure I always care about being completely non-hurtful in return, but I do strive for honesty always.

How do you write posts?

You know, I have no ritual or anything like that.  I often just write what is on my mind and sometimes it is competent and sometimes it is crap.  There are days I have a lot of trouble organizing my thoughts and other days when the words flow easily.  It just is what it is.

Have you ever had a troll or had to delete an unkind comment?

Yes.  The people were not trolls, but rather Christians posing as trolls who did not agree with what I plainly stated was my opinion.  I allowed the one comment to stand and addressed it and when there were more anonymous comments, I chose to delete them and moderate them for awhile.  If you can't put your name behind your nasty thoughts, don't expect me to allow them to stand on the little corner of cyberspace I pay for.  And that's all  have to say about that.

Do you check your stats?  Do you care how many people read your blog?  f you care, how do you increase traffic?

I do check my stats because I find it interesting to see how people get here.  Also, as very few readers tend to leave comments, I like trying to figure out who is reading me.  But just as a side note:  All bloggers love comments

What kind of blogs or posts interest you?

I am all about the funny and the sarcastic.  "Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper" along with "Waiter Rant" are two of my favorite reads.  Besides the funny, I love people I can identify with, an example being the WLS peeps.  I love reading them.  Heartfelt is also good and I like REAL bloggers who are Christian.  When I say that, I say, that I am a Christian and I can do my share of cursing and complaining and even looking at things negatively.  But I find that real in so many people and it makes me identify with them.  Being Christian does not make us perfect, just forgiven.

What do you like and dislike about blogging?

I love putting stuff out there.  I love comments.  I love meeting other bloggers.  Dislike?  The only thing I can really think of is when I sign up for things like Blog365 and have days where I have no idea what to write.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

T Minus Three Weeks

 Can you believe it?  Three weeks from now, surgery will all be over and I should be walking the halls at Hopkins Bayview.  I'm pretty jazzed about it right now, but when I am writing "T Minus One Week", I'm sure I'll be ready to hurl.

I did not start any cooking stuff to freeze yesterday, as I figured with the Brit away for a few days next week, that would be a great time to get that underway.  I did yesterday take a bunch of photos for upcoming eBay clothing sales and I still have more to do as I am nothing if not prepared.  I hate having to rush around at the last minute preparing for anything.  Nope, I prefer it all being accomplished in advance.  Heck, I had to stop myself from starting to pack my hospital bag yesterday as I thought that might be overkill.

Interestingly enough, the Brit and I were at lunch on Friday with Paula and her two teenage sons (two of my favorite teenagers in the world) and Kirk, her oldest who is in college, said "You're going to miss my scene show."  He wants to be a doctor, but is minoring in music and theater, and his first show is coming up.  When I asked him when it was, he told me it was April 18th, the day after I should be released from the hospital.  The Brit seemed intent on him reserving me a seat, despite my feeling a little skeptical, so we'll see how it goes.  Paula would drive, so no need for me to, as I don't think I'll be permitted to for awhile (what is the deal with that post-op girls?  Can we drive or not?).  The college is about two hours away, and I'll be sitting for the show.  What do my post-op peeps think?  There is no charge for tickets, so if I can't go, I just call Paula and tell her not to pick me up, but I really hate to miss it.  Guess I'll just have to play it by ear and see how it goes.

It's hard, because I just don't know what to expect from myself as a brand new post-op.  I have no other surgeries as an adult to compare to, so it's all a bit of a waiting game. 

I just so want to get to the other side.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Selective Germs?

So tonight, the Brit and I had dinner at the Olive Garden.

I have never quite understood the whole germ-o-phobic thing, so forgive me if you are one, but it just seems to me that there are germs everywhere and that people, especially children, need to be exposed to some of it so that they can built up resistance and other medical things which I know little about.

Anyway, this woman was there with her mother, hubby and two kids, one of the kids being a boy, who was maybe just over a year old.  Mama got there and immediately took out her pack of sanitary wipes and proceeded to wipe down the wooden high chair, including the straps and the table and her chair, etc before she placed her toddler into the high chair.  Immediately, the waiter came over and handed out the menus and the toddler proceeds to play with them and as it seems to me, the menus are probably more full 'o germs than the table was, but mama didn't have an issue with it. 

It got more amusing when grandmama insisted she had ordered her soda as half coke, half diet coke (so is she half on a diet?) and then toddler was given a plastic truck to play with must have come in from their car.  It took about two seconds for the truck to end up on the floor and then out comes the sanitary wipe from mama, who cleans up the car before giving it back to her son.  Two more seconds pass and the truck is on the floor again, but this time, toddler gets the truck with no wipe down.  I'm assuming the first wipe down zero'd out the germs from the second fall.  Then the waiter picks up a crayon that the toddler had dropped and starts to hand it back to him only to have the obviously "filthy" crayon grabbed away by mama, because son had met his quota on germs from the second truck fall.  Does anyone else watch this stuff and think "Gimme a break?"

So, my day off was semi-relaxing though I did spend part of it doing some cleaning/nesting in preparation for surgery.  The best part of the day was sleeping in until 9:30.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Quiet Easter

Today has been very low key.  Church, Sunday School, cooking dinner, then eating, taking the kids to their bio-grandma's for the night and then just kinda lying around the rest of the day.  

The best part?  I'm off tomorrow and the kids are gone.  I have all day to myself.  Alone time is something I don't need much of or get much of (good thing I don't need much, huh?) but I can always feel it in me when I haven't had any time to myself lately.  I took a day off a month or so ago, thinking I was going to get some self time and it snowed and schools were canceled.   So that plan kind of backfired.  But tomorrow, I don't see where anything can get in the way.  I want to sleep in for as long as my back will allow and then the day is wide open.  I may go ahead and cook a stew to freeze for after my surgery to feed my men and will maybe go ahead and take some pictures of stuff I will eventually be eBaying off as I have borrowed a friend's dress mannequin, or whatever you call them. 

Or maybe I won't do any of that.  I love days that are full of endless possibilities.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Eve

We had a lovely morning in Shepherdstown.  If you read yesterday's comments, Kelly left a breakfast invite and we did meet her in town this morning.  From there, she and I did some shop hopping, which I was thrilled to bits to do as the Brit is not a shopper and I adore little quaint towns.  We've decided that come Spring we want a Gettysburg shopping trip, as that is another town full of little shops I've been longing to explore. 

Tomorrow, we have dinner here with my mom...lamb and parsnips...yum. 

Hey, it's my last fat Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Almost Heaven

I'm on a laptop so this is going to be short.

We're in West Virginia, which is really only about 40 minutes from home.  The town is small and sweet; the kind of town I wish mine was.  I am stuffed stupid off some of the best crab imperial I have ever tasted.  There was a muscian in the restaurant who played acoustic guitar (my favorite) and sang, so I am feeling very full and very relaxed.

It's been nice to just get away for a handful of hours and I'm hoping to sleep through the night for a change.  Yes, I'm still seeing three am. and it is almost surprising as during the day I feel like I have very little anxiety about the surgery.  At this point, I just want the day to arrive.  Yet something still propels me from sleep in the wee hours of the morning.  Unfortunately, I feel like it is starting to take it's toll as I'm really tired and have been all day. 

It's Good Friday; the day the cross became Jesus' glory as He gave his life for us all; even those who had yet to be born, yet to sin.  But through Him and in Him, we are clean and because of His sacrifice all will rise again to spend eternity with Him. 

It still takes my breath away.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

T Minus 26 Days

I'm still caught up in the world of the "lasts". 

Today I went to the dreaded Lane Byant aka fat shop, to buy a decent pair of pajama bottoms for the hospital.  Some of you may say that I will probably not care about wearing the lovely hospital gown, but I even hate nightgowns, so I'm going prepared and if nothing else, they are cute enough to wear home from the hospital.  But I walked into that store, knowing I never plan to walk in there again and that felt really good.  

I got my calcium citrate chewables today so all that is left on my list is my iron supplement and I'm still trying to decide on which to buy.  One of the things I have heard the WLS haters state is that the supplements are so expensive.  I have to wonder then if I am buying the wrong stuff, because it has not been expensive!  The most I have spent out was for my protein and it is a huge container of it.  Gotta wonder if that is just one more lie/exaggeration from the hater community.

Tomorrow, the Brit and I  are going away for the evening and will return on Saturday, so I'll either blog from work or from the hotel, but it will probably be short.

Went to Maundy Thursday service tonight and it was small but nice.  I sang as part of the praise band for communion, and we did one of my favorite songs of which I'll share some of my favorite words from it:

For He's come to love you and not to condemn
and the offer's a pardon of peace.
If you'll come to the table you'll feel in your heart
the greatest forgiveness the greatest release.

Come to the table and taste of the glory
and share of the sorrow; he's dying tomorrow.
The hand that is breaking the bread soon will be broken.
And here at the table sit those who have loved him.
one is a traitor, and one will deny.
He's lived his life for them all, and for all be crucified.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Every Blessing You Pour Down

Lacy was talking about something the other day on her blog that got me to thinking.

When things are going well and it seems that God is raining down his blessings, should we fear that they might run out for us?

Let me explain it better.  One of the reasons that I have the amount of peace that I do with my surgery is that I've always kind of felt that in many ways, God has allowed me to lead a bit of a "charmed" life.   Yes, I have had my share of tough times and heartaches and some dreams I have had to let go of, but when it came right down to the deepest desires of my heart, God always comes through for me.

The two immediate things that come to mind are the Brit and the kids (well, the kids can be like a blessing/curse depending on the day of the week ).  I knew I wanted to marry an Englishman from the time I was eighteen because of a childhood infatuation with a British actor and you can actually read about that whole thing here for part one and here for part two as I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a guest writer on Lynn's blog some time ago.  But when I was 32, God answered my very specific prayer.

The same thing happened with the kids.  I couldn't conceive and God brought me the children he wanted me to have.  Even in the smaller things, I just feel so blessed; working for my church, part-time, our home, our neighborhood, just countless things I see as amazing blessings, especially as 11 years ago, I was a single gal living paycheck to paycheck and working very much full time in a very stressful job.  I was just so in debt, that I could barely keep my head above water.  Now, look what God has done!

The other part of this thought process for me is that I have never done things the normal way.  Again, just looking at the two examples.  I met my Brit technically over the internet instead of meeting the old fashioned way and dating, etc.  My kids, I adopted, through social services and they came with their own special challenges.

So I suppose that I see this surgery not only as a blessing from God, but also as a continuation of my pattern of not being able to do things the "normal" way.  I've tried diet and exercise, many times, but it hasn't worked in the long term.  So, in a way, when people may wonder how it is possible that I'm going through with this, maybe what needs to be considered is that I am simple following the pattern of who God made me to be; someone who is not afraid to step out of what may be conceived as normal or traditional.

I also think that God knows that I have so much more I want to give back to him and though I don't need a smaller, healthier body to serve God, to serve him in the ways I would like to, with the comfort level I would like to, requires it for me.  I want to be the girl who is not afraid to raise her hands in praise in an arena of several thousand women without drawing attention to "The fat girl".  I want to be able to work on repairing the homes of those who live in poverty while at the same time bringing God's grace to those who may know little of it.  My body needs to be able to "fit" into the places where God needs me to be.

And I so want to be there.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Three Am

 Three Am has always been the time I wake up when I'm anxious.

When things are going smoothly and I have nothing major to concern myself with, I sleep straight through the night, only occasionally waking up not long before the alarm goes off in the morning.  But give me a hearty dose of anxiety and Hello Three Am!

The last three nights, I have seen this time and it seemed right around the time that I was looking at only a month (and now less) till surgery.  I, thankfully, so far, do not lie awake the rest of the night and instead am able to fall asleep again until morning.  I have a feeling that the closer we get, the less that may be true.

My mother is not helping things.  Everytime she calls me, I get the "Are you okay?"

"Yes, mom, I'm fine."

"You're all right?"

"Yup, everything is fine."

"You're not feeling anxious?"

Now, hold on a second.  What does she want me to say?  The answer to the question is of course, "YES!" Hell yes, I'm feeling anxious!  I'm going to go in for surgery, rewire my plumbing, making my stomach about the size of an egg, so yeah, I'm a wee bit nervous.  Is this normal? Yup!  Even as a pre-op, I know this.  My two colonoscopies made me nervous; cried before the first one, I did because I was so scared.  The unknown is scary! 

But I almost feel like she is pumping me for something.  Second thoughts?  Sorry, I don't have any.  Or does she maybe think I'm mentally imbalanced because I'm not a shivering, weeping heap on the floor, unable to function due to fear.

I know she is feeling anxious, I get that, but I'm not so much about wanting her anxiety heaped onto me.  I have my own to deal with and let's be realistic, if I told her about the things that run through my head at three am, it wouldn't do a whole lot to improve her anxiety.  My own concerns are about all I can handle right now, thank you very much and I'm not trying to be nasty or selfish, but honest.  Talk to each other about any concerns you may have, but please, not to me.  I know all the risks, all the possible complications and I have weighed them all and this is the right decision for me.  I am going forward with this and I am trusting God that it will all be fine.  I told him right from the start that if he brought me to surgery, I trusted him to bring me through it.  Well, so far, he is bringing me to it, so now, I'm holding up my end of the bargain. 

I do want to so thank KimLacy and Meghan for everything.  These three girls have been a God-send; they, the ones who have gone before me on this amazing journey.  They have answered my questions, and cheered me on and I thank God for bringing them into my bloggy life.  I know they will continue to be a wealth of information and inspiration as God always knows exactly what we need.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Back from the short posts

I have to tell you that I am totally suffering from writer's block on this blog!  

There is just nothing new to report on the surgery that has taken over my life because I am now in another waiting game; waiting for April 15th.  Tomorrow is my pre-op clearance testing with my PCP, so I'll be having an H&P (history and physical), blood work and an EKG.  My chest x-ray was completed last month, so I just need to make sure it has been faxed to the surgeon.

My nerves are kicking in a little more frequently now, the closer we get.  We are now out of the 30s and into the 20s (T minus 29 days!) and that freaks me out a little.  Please know that I have no doubts that I am doing the right thing.  I have no doubts that I will not die on the table (and if I do, I'm going Home, so it's all good).  I really don't have many fears about soft foods or learning to eat differently.  So, what is making me nervous?  Immediate stuff post-op.  Pain?  Yeah, I'm a little concerned.  I think I have a high pain tolerance, especially given my last broken bone, but my last pre-op was oh, 35 years ago.  So, I'm a little apprehensive.  That is really my biggest fear.  Yes, when I think about them having those surgical implements inside of me, I feel really queasy, but I remind myself that I will not be awake for it and then I get all freaked out thinking "How in the hell am I not going to feel that???"  I know I won't, but it doesn't keep me from trying to wrap my mind around how it is really possible. 

I continue to fill my time the best I can, preparing and getting ahead with spring cleaning (despite the again cold temperatures, damnit!) all the while trying to mentally prepare myself as well. 

Music has always calmed the savage beast within me.  It soothes my soul and calms my mind when it is tormented, so I thought I'd share with you the titles of some of my very favorites.  I am a Contemporary Christian gal at heart as nothing speaks to me like lyrics reminding me that I am never alone, no matter how awful things might feel at any given moment.  The songs calm me and center me, so my favorites without further ado:

"My Savior, My God"  Aaron Shust
"Standing in the Gap" Babbie Mason
"Hold Me Jesus" Big Daddy Weave
"Set the World on Fire" Britt Nicole
So many by Casting Crowns:  "East to West", "If We Are the Body" "Who Am I", "Praise You in this Storm" I love this band.
"Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)" Chris Tomlin
"I'm Amazed" FFH
"The Potter's Hands" Hillsongs
Kathy Troccoli: Anything and everything but my favorites are "How Would I Know", "Help Me God", "Break My Heart"
"Only Hope" Mandy Moore
Mark Schultz, another favorite: "Broken and Beautiful", "Walking Her Home", "Remember Me", "Letters From War".
MercyMe (are you bored yet?): "Bring the Rain", "God with Us", "Homesick"
Nicole Nordeman "Why", "Hold On" "Every Season", "Legacy"
Relient K "Getting into You"
"Ocean" Ten Shekel Shirt (one of my very favorites as the ocean is my favorite of all of God's creations)
"What Could Be Better" 33 Miles
Then just a few songs that a friend once sent me and I'm not positive of the artists without Googling them: "The Word", "This Road" (Ginny Owens, I believe), "If You Want me To"

And these are all on ipod to take the hospital with me in 29 days.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

T Minus 30 Days

Holy crap, only a month left!

One minute I'm totally excited and the next minute, I'm wondering if I might throw up.  It's all totally crazy and the wide range of emotions is sometimes difficult to keep up with.  Earlier today, I had questions for my internet WLS girls but now I can't remember what any of them were!  I'll have to think and try to remember.

The weekend was busy with errands, sushi (I will so miss sushi until I can eat any of it post-op!), church stuff and kids making us insane.  We had a bit of warm weather last week and they were outside playing and today the temperatures were cold again so they were back inside and like restless natives.  They have finally gone to bed and I'm enjoying the peace. 

We bought freezer safe containers over the weekend so I can start freezing some meals for the week after my surgery for the Brit and the kids.  Not sure when I'll start cooking them; maybe the end of the week as the kids will be away for a few days. 

As they are going to be away, we're heading to WV Friday to use a hotel and restaurant gift certificate I won last summer.  Should be fun and I'm looking forward to the escape!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another Useless Post

Okay, so I totally suck.  A very old friend called me tonight and I have been on the phone forever, and I was getting ready to head to bed when I realized I had not blogged!  I nearly blew BLog365!

But due to the late hour, I leave you with one of my favorite songs done acoustically! 

Friday, March 14, 2008

Odds and Ends

I'm not sure how but today completely got away from me! 

The Brit finally has a surgery date of May 27th and I feel like I can finally breath again. 

My friend, Kelly, stopped over today and brought me this and I love it.  If you love it too or any of its friends, let me know and I'll hook you up with Kelly who is a distributor for them. 

Okay, I'm tired now and heading to bed.  Friday night posts are short as I need a morning to not get up to an alarm!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lasts and thinking out loud

I've been doing a lot of "lasts" the last few days.  

I, at last, removed myself from the Woman Within email list as I won't need any new fat clothes.  I'll be ebaying smaller sizes as I lose, or relying on hand-me-downs from folks.  Today, I had my last pre-op hair trim (how insane is this really?) and scheduled my last two manicures pre-op.   Tonight, I am going to color my hair for the last time until I am a post-op.  Yes, it is quite obvious I've lost my freakin' mind.

The Brit should have a date tomorrow, as Alice tried to get a hold of him today, and from there I will have to work out all the logistics again of kids etc.  I'll be so glad when the "life on hold" time period is over!  Can you believe there are only 31 days left???

I've also been nesting.  You gals know what that means.  Getting the nest ready for new arrivals or in this case, new post ops getting ready to begin new lives.  I've been doing some heavy duty cleaning as opposed to just the normal weekly dusting and vacuuming stuff.  This week I tackled the kitchen, cleaned out the fridge etc.  I still have to get out my little personal blender I bought on Black Friday because the price was so awesome (Man, when I bought that, surgery seemed MILES away and not even a definite!) and work out how to use it.  It's not a Magic Bullet but very similar and was highly recommended from a post-op off a message board.  Aaron dealt with the basement cleaning for the most part, I still have a few bits to do down there and the final thing will be the bedroom, which I won't do till the week before surgery.

 I still have some supplements to pick up, but other than that, I have most of the post-op foods other than the stuff that could go off between now and then.  Oh and who can recommend a good sugar free popsicle?  I'm wondering if the fudge ones are going to be too much to handle as I hear that things are often too sweet after surgery.

I still need to make Robyn a call list of who she needs to call once I'm out of surgery, but it isn't a long list.  Laura, definitely as she will be blogging my updates for me.  Lisa, who I'm thinking can get in touch with Shell and Kelly and then Paula, who can deal with things from the church perspective.  My mother and sister will be there, so they can handle the family stuff.

I've been working so far ahead as far as the church is concerned that it is almost amusing, especially considering all the extra work that already has to be done for Lent and Holy Week. I have bulletins pretty well finished up to mid-May, other than songs and announcements.  Next week, I will be working on April's newsletter so that I can handle May's newsletter at the beginning of April.

Now, here's a question and I'm trying to decide how I feel about it.  I told you my prayer group will be praying for me the night before surgery and our prayer group is pretty, really, extremely small with five of us.  I am very hesitant to be placed on the church's prayer list for a very petty reason.  Ya'll remember the history of PM, right?  Well, between PM and her crazy ex-husband, I just don't want them knowing anything.  Now, I know I may not be able to keep things a secret when the weight starts coming off, but I just want to put off any and all negativity for as long as I can.  She would be the one to say nasty, negative things about my having surgery.  Do I want the prayers?  Yes and I don't like the fact of holding out on my congregation either because we are so small and like a family,but I just don't want PM to know.  What I could do is to have my name added to the prayer list (the list I am referring to goes in the bulletin and could simply have my name with no explanation) not to appear until the Sunday after surgery. 

This probably sounds insane to you all.  It's just that this woman is just such a miserable person for some reason and can be so mean and I have so much horrible history with her.  I probably shouldn't care what she says or thinks as it would be a "consider the source" thing and everyone knows how she is.  But many people are not well versed on this surgery, so if she were to start spouting off her mouth, people could believe what she was saying (I'm just lazy, surgery is the easy way out...ya'll know the song) due to simply not knowing the facts.

What to do?

It's all pretty boring stuff to blog about, but I guess the bottom line is that I am trying to keep myself busy so that I don't have much if anything to really do the weekend and Monday before my surgery. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Refiner of Silver

I have a confession to make and after admitting here that I am fat and that I need WLS, one would not think this confession would be so difficult, but yet it is.  

I am a "Touched by an Angel" addict.

There, I said it and it's the truth.  I am incredibly delighted that Hallmark has brought the show back into syndication and I've been recording them each day, watching some and saving others for when I am recovering from surgery.  That show has always been like a dose of medicine for me and today I watched an episode that had me in tears.

Some of you know, that a couple of years back, my church had a huge split in the congregation stemming from several things and one of the issues that kept coming up was homosexuality.  I mentioned here a couple of nights ago in talking about Danny on American Idol, that I have had many gay friends in my past and I have very specific beliefs on homosexuality and I won't go into them in detail, but in a nutshell, I believe that homosexuals are born.  I can't believe it is chosen, simply because my friends have told me that they would never have chosen it for themselves, plus, I never made a "choice" about my sexuality, so why would I think they did? 

During the split, it was rumored that one man said to a woman who was dying, who had two homosexual children, that it was a pity she wouldn't see her children in heaven.  Now, I don't care how you feel about homosexuals, that was a cruel and insensitive thing to say to a old woman who was dying and there is nothing about those words that say "Christian" to me. 

The episode I just finished watching was called "The Violin Lesson" and it had to do with a son who was gay and had AIDS.  In a nutshell, his father could not accept the truth about him (he didn't find out about his son's sexuality until his son was already dying).  I was watching and enjoying the episode, having not seen it in years, way before there was ever a rumble within my church and then in two angelic revelation scenes, I was reduced to tears because I heard what I in my heart, have always believed as the truth.

The son (who was nearly thirty) was asked by angel Tess what he would tell God if he was able to and Tony, the son, replied "That I'm sorry."  He went on to say that he knew he was a disappointment to God.  Tess told him he was wrong, and that in God's eyes, Tony was God's beautiful child and that God loved him.  Tony disagreed and said that was not what he'd heard and he was told that the words he'd heard in the past (cruel words, like what was said to the dying woman) were not the words of God, but the words of people who spoke out of hate and confusion, but God is not the source of hate and confusion, but the source of faith and love.

Later, in a second revelation scene with the father, who is struggling to complete work on a flawed violin that he'd started on the day Tony had been born, Monica tells the father that God wants him to accept his son for who he is.  The father asks if God wants him to be happy that his son is a queer and the angelic response is that nothing God creates is queer; that God loves all of his creations; that neither Tony nor his father are perfect, but that you don't need to be perfect to accept God's love.

Why does this make so much sense to some people, while others work night and day, with angry, fearful words, to deny it?  Even if someone chooses to look at homosexuality as a sin, it is only one sin of many.  We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but I certainly do not think that God holds certain sins in greater contempt. 

He is the Refiner of silver; the Refiner of our souls and he loves us for who we are.  No one is deserving of God's love; not a single one of us.  But he gives it freely to any who accept it and it doesn't matter to him what your story is, what your sins are, because he levelled the playing field for sins.  He has them ALL under control, not just one or two or the ones that are least threatening to fearful people.  God doesn't place those kinds of stipulations on his children; and we are ALL his children.  Would any loving father commit their child to an eternity of pain and suffering?  I think if everyone looks inside their heart when searching for that answer, it's a total no-brainer. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

T Minus 33 Days

Because I am apparently partially dense, could someone please explain to me if I have that title right and what the heck it means?  If "T" is surgery day, shouldn't it be PLUS 33 days because there are still 33 days?  Good gravy, I'm  having algebra flashbacks just thinking about it!  What does it all mean, Alfie??

One of my Google links picked up today what I think is a Letters to the Editor column in a Texas newspaper.  I never say the original post, but I did like the answer:

Surgery is a Blessing
Re: Why so much surgery?  by Keegan Watters, Friday letters

Ms. Watters asks "Why is gastic bypass surgery suddenly such a popular and acceptable practice?" Because gastric bypass or lapband surgery works.  Very few surgeon perform stomach stapling any longer.

Diets do not work, and most who undertake them are doomed to fail.  That is why there is an entire billion dollar diet industry in this country.

As for the idea that "resorting to getting their stomachs stapled to lose weight is embarrassing and desperate.", I ask "For whom?" Would you say that about someone who underwent chemotherapy to cure a terminal illness?  Or maybe it is embarrassing to have a heart bypass operation.

Life saving surgery should be looked upon as a blessing by anyone who has access to such procedures.

Steven M. Hanes, Garland

 Thanks, Steven.  Your answer rocks. 

Monday, March 10, 2008

Praying Hands

Thirty-four days and counting.  

I'm trying to imagine what I will be like on April 14th, the night before surgery. Will I be calm and peaceful or will I be freaking out and weepy from fear?  Hard to say.

Our prayer group met tonight as we generally meet twice monthly on the 2nd and 4th Mondays.  Tonight we discussed moving it to only once a month and they were trying to decide what week to have it.  The second Monday of next month is April 14th and I asked if we could have it that night as it would be the night before my surgery.  Everyone was in enthusiastic agreement and Pastor talked about doing a laying on of hands that night.  That brought me incredible peace to know that the night before my surgery, I was going to have people praying for me specifically and with purpose.  There is something both humbling and blessed about being on the receiving end of that.  Though I have always found it a great honor to be able to pray for someone else, I have never had hands laid on me in prayer and I think having this the night before surgery is going to be a blessing that only God can give.

So, tonight, I wound up with a pissed off parent on my porch.  B, a six year old who lives down the road and who sometimes plays with my JJ was all upset because my twelve year old, Aaron, had thrown his backpack in a puddle.  So, here was B's dad, being very nice, I may add, stating that Aaron was bullying his son.  Aaron was there and I gave him a chance to explain and he said that B had been yelling at him when he was trying to talk to the man across the road, calling him stupid.  B's father said he could not image B doing that (are there really people out there who think their kids are angels?) and I casually remarked that I had heard B calling JJ stupid before when they were playing but it was something I let go because they are kids...and because personally, I find B to be a pain in the lower extremity, if you get my drift.  The kid drives me nuts.

So, I'm getting the dad smoothed over and I told Aaron that no matter what B had said to him, he was old enough to know better than to toss the kid's backpack in a puddle.  I had no plans on punishing Aaron for the offense, because when it comes to B, I totally understand being annoyed.  B's dad thanked me and told me that some of B's papers had gotten wet but that they would dry out okay and that's when it happened. 

Aaron snickered.

Anyone who knows a twelve year old boy, or has a twelve year old boy knows exactly what I'm talking about.  That sound. Not quite a snort and not quite a laugh.  He did it last week when I took them out to dinner and the waitress had on low rise jeans and had a tattoo on the small of her back and her shirt rode up a little.  The snicker.  We don't know why they do it.  They just do it.  They think it is funny, or embarrassing, or they get a nervous tick, who knows!  But he snickered.

He's now grounded for two days until the basement is cleaned.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Short

Time change...tired....early church....must blog...

Do you know I have less than five weeks until surgery?  And can I tell you how amazing it is the way my friends and a few family members are coming together to be there and to fill in the gaps with kids?  I am too, too blessed.

Went to PK's birthday today (she's one of our youthgroup teens who just turned 16) and it was a riot.  A stray sheep from our teen flock has returned but has told us he has enlisted in the marines.  But it was so good to see him today.

Okay, that's all tonight!  I'm sleepy!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

New Venture

So, we have a new venture and we'll see how it goes.  

I have had the pleasure of meeting three other young women during my quest for WLS blogs.  One of them, Kim, had already had her RNY surgery when I found her, while Lacy and Meg were waiting for surgery dates and/or approvals when I first stumbled across them.  The three of them have been a wealth of information for me and we have formed friendships through our blog comments and emails. 

So, Kim and I collaborated a bit and thought about the idea of an accumulative WLS blog, where people considering the surgery could find four views on the different stages of preparing for surgery.  I'm pretty pumped about it, though we are still trying to get it off the ground completely, but it has been started and you can find it here

It has great possibilities; specific topics, guest writers and anything else we can think of.  Of course, my own journey will still be posted here, so don't worry.  You won't have to go two places!

Okay, we lose sleep tonight, so I'm outta here!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Walk for Life

I really need to start watching the news more as important things are happening and I am finding out about them in the blog world. 

Patrick Swayze has cancer.  This totally bums me out and makes me undeniably sad.  "Ghost" goes down as one of my favorite movies of all time.  That penny going up the door frame still brings me to tears every time I see it.  I'm praying for Patrick that he defies the odds and beats this thing.

I hate cancer with a passion.  It took my dad from me and my best friend battled it almost two years ago.  Cancer is probably the greatest fear in my life and though we have come miles in treatment and in what we know about it, we still have so far to go. 

I am involved in Relay for Life for the second year and am hoping that despite surgery in April, I will still be able to do some walking for it by the end of May.  Relay was an experience that blew me away last year and made me desire to become more involved this year.  I am assisting with their Faith Based participation which involves getting the churches to register teams.  You can find my Relay page here and if you so desire, you can make a donation online to Relay.  Cancer has probably touched all of in one way or another and it is only together that we can find a cure.  Thank you for your help.

In other news, the Brit got his surgery approval today!!!  YAY!  Not sure yet if he has a date as he is not yet home, but Alice should be calling him. 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mama's gettin' a new tub!

I am so excited (and currently a little nervous as godaddy is malfunctioning a wee bit)!  When we moved into this house close to six years ago now, other than the whacked out kitchen, the only thing I didn't love was the bathroom, primarily the tub and tiles.  The tiles are this wretched blue and the tub was just horrible...not pretty and clean, but okay.  The more scrubbing I have done on this stupid tub over the years, the uglier it has become until it has been a constant source of embarrassment for me.  I keep a pretty clean house and when it looks like I'm neglecting my bathroom, well,that just doesn't do it for me.

We called someone in a few months ago to get an estimate and their prices were high and to get a lower price, I had to give up things I really wanted.  By the end of the meeting, we were not prepared to make a decision right then and there and the salesman sakeskid was about ready to cry.  He kept saying "But I don't understand..."  Dude, cut me a break!  We're talking a lot of money here and I'm giving up specific things I want to even be able to afford you!

So tonight, we finally met with ReBath and got the price we wanted with the features we wanted!  I am so excited!  No more dingy looking tub, ma peeps!  I've wanted this for a long time, but I even wanted it more once I knew I was having surgery.  Why?  Because baths are right now, not that comfortable and there are just times in the winter or after a hard day that I long to soak in a hot tub.  So soon, not only will I not have to worry about getting my butt out of a tub, but I will have a nice purty new tub to soak in!  I'll take before and after shots for ya'll so you can see it once it's finished!

American Idol!  We're now at the top 12!  Is this season going by fast or what?  I was a little bummed tonight to see Danny and Asia'h go home!  I would have preferred to see David Hernandez and Amanda Overmyer hit the road.  David, I have never liked, and though I don't think Danny is the best singer, dang if he don't make me laugh!  You have to understand, I have done a TON of community theater in my adult life and you find gay men in theater, so I have had many gay boy friends who just crack me up!  Married now, with kids, I don't have time for theater and have lost touch with many of them, but Danny made me laugh and brought back lots of good memories.  Sorry to see you go, dog!  Amanda is just too one dimensional for me.  She has a great voice for the kind of songs she is able to sing, but she's a one trick pony and I've gotten bored.  I loved Asia'h and will really miss her.  What a brave little chickie to audition only two days after her dad passed away unexpectedly and what a great voice!

Oh well, the show must go on.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Not a Complete Waste of Time

So, the court hearing!  What a waste of valuable time!  Let's start with the drive, shall we?  How about torrential downpour, at night, combined with fog so thick you could only see about a foot in front of you.  Treacherous doesn't begin to describe it.  At one point, the rain was so intense, we pulled into a church parking lot to wait it out a bit.  

We finally got to the hotel somewhere around 9:30ish (and for those of you wondering, my friend's teenage son, Kirk, stayed the night at our house and got the kids off to school this morning.  Kirk rocks) and were able to get a room.  Room was nice, but I was exhausted after the tension of the drive there in the terrible weather.  So we purchased a log from the front desk (all the rooms had fireplaces) and grabbed a few Coke Zeros from vending and I was asleep not long after that until the alarm went off at 6:30. 

When we woke up it was snowing and it looked a bit like this:

This frozen ice skating rink is the same lake we boat on in the summer.

It was beautiful for like a minute and a half and then it really started snowing and the sun temporarily vanished.

So, we got ready to leave and got breakfast and headed to the courthouse.  Court was due to begin at 9:00, but at 9:30, we were still sitting there while the lawyers messed around.  They kept calling Mr. F (the one who stole my tags and can I tell ya'll...I was really expecting this dude to be somewhere in his twenties but he was more like his fifties and old enough to know better) out of the courtroom and the last time he returned, the Brit heard the words "He's going to request a jury trial."  So when Mr F returned to his seat that last time, surrounded by FIVE other members of his family; his parents, brother or sister and wife and his girlfriend/wife/ho, he cockily wrapped an arm around his girlfriend/wife/Ho and turned around and looked at me.  Jerk.  I didn't ask to be there.  I just reported my tag stolen so I could GET NEW ONES!

I don't know much about court proceedings, but apparently, many times the witnesses don't show up, though I don't quite understand that as I was sopenaed and the letter plainly stated that if I didn't turn up, I could be held in contempt of court and possibly arrested.  So, when the witnesses don't show up, does this happen?  I would venture to say not if the defendant and his lawyer were waiting to see if I showed.  So, since I showed, Mr. F bought himself more time by requesting a jury trial.  I was rather ticked off because Mr. F was a rather smug SOB who obviously knows how to work the system.  When the judge asked him if he still got his mail at X address, Mr. F gave a little snort and said "Sometimes."  The judge then told him he may want to make it a point to check more often as he would be getting information on his jury trial.  Mr. F then said he was thinking about checking himself into rehab (the Brit thinks that was just for show), so obviously, his case starts with my stolen tags and maybe ends with drunk driving or something of that nature.

So, when they schedule his jury trial, we will have to go back.  I told the state attorney's office on the way out that I had a surgery scheduled that I was not willing to move for this jerk's trial and she said that if the two interfered, they'd have to move the trial.  I said "Good.  I'd rather like to inconvenience him for a change."  So far, he has inconvenienced me TWICE and he was the one who broke the law.  Something is just not right.

Anyway, on a better note, on the drive up, the Brit was listening to a book on tape through the car speakers and as we have pretty different tastes in books/television/movies I put my earphones in and listened to my ipod, just picking songs I really liked as opposed to using the Shuffle function.  One of the songs I was listening to was Mark Harris "Find Your Wings" which I love and want to use as the title page to scrapbooks I hope to one day do for the kids. 

One of the lines in the song struck me particularly last night:  "And may faith give you the courage to dare to do great things."

May faith give you the courage.  Wow.  I listen to some of these fear biters who talk about WLS and often some of the ones condemning it, are the same ones to say they are Christians.  Faith has been one of the greatest factors in my having surgery.  I told God early on when I started to pursue it, that if He led me to it, I knew He would lead me through it.  I believe that and so far, He is leading me to it.  There have been no obstacles to speak of.  I still have my pre-op clearance to go through and if He doesn't stop it then or place it on my heart for me to stop it, I believe God is going to lead me through it.

How does one have both fear and faith?  How can someone condemn others for having a surgery and still profess to believe in God?  Faith has to play into decisions at some point for those who believe.  Faith gives people courage to face all kinds of things; war, illness, parenting, losing loved ones as well as doing missionary work, or stepping outside of your comfort zone to do something for the greater good.  Is WLS stepping out of my comfort zone?  Sure it is.  But faith will give me the courage and trust in God will see me through it.

May passion be the wind
That leads you through your days
And may conviction keep you strong
Guide you on your way
May there be many moments
That make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A laugh for you

I need to work out how to change my date on entries.  I wrote the previous one last night and saved it as a draft so I could post it today and use it as today's entry, but I couldn't get the stupid date to change to the 4th!  So, I needed quick material for today.

My friend Kelly sent me the following video, which is hysterically funny.  The viewing quality is not great, but it is good enough to see Terry Bradshaw's reactions to this very funny story!  Enjoy!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Closing Remarks

So once I posted yesterday, I decided to just type Sue's name into Google to see how much stuff came was somewhere in the vicinity of twenty-something pages.  I scanned through, reading some, and then I decided to make a list on all the topics she wants to appear an expert. Ready?

  • Breast implants

  • Botox

  • Aspartame

  • Abortion

  • Bodyflex

  • Somersizing

  • Cycling

  • Software

  • Violin

  • Catholicism

  • Tap water

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

  • Germs from Communion Cups

  • Abstaining from sex outside of marriage

  • Weight loss Surgery

  • Obesity

  • Dieting

  • Drugs for multiple sclerosis

  • Jack Kevorkian

Quite a resume, yes?  She has written internet essays on all of the above.  Even more amusing, she has co-founded a Yahoo Group for high IQs.  Can you feel the self love?

Nowhere in anything I read did I find out she had ever been a nurse.  She lists herself as a software developer.  If you want some real amusement,
read this.  That one was big fun for me.

Many folks out there share similar opinions of her, such as:

Please bear in mind that this site is run by Sue W., an outspoken
critic of WLS who has been spreading mis-information and scare stories for
years. She is notorious for taking comments out of context to serve her

"This author is totally anti-WLS, so of course she will skew her writings to show you the "worst."  Personally, the only thing that article shows me is that this woman puts a lot of effort into trying to scare people away from WLS."

"Sue W? UGH............................Bitter, warped, do more research on her. Take EVERYTHING she says with a grain of salt. DO NOT base any decision you make solely on her."

"This sounds very much like Sue W -- HARDLY a font of educated knowledge about WLS.  She is not a doctor, nurse or any other type of medical professional.  She is radically opposed to WLS, and for an insurance company to cite HER creed on their site as balanced information about WLS is unconscionable.  You should complain to the legal department of your insurance company."

"This once again demonstrates that Ms. W does not do very careful research."

So there you have it.  Many of these comments were made on forums where the initial poster had stumbled across something Sue had written and guess what?  Yup.  It scared the crap out of her, because that is what Sue does.  Again, in this article, a PHD has her for lunch because her research is incomplete and she fails to prove her own "facts" on obesity.

I hope that someone who has been frightened by this woman finds my little blog and maybe reads the last two entries and then does their own research as well.  It will help make them feel empowered.  When we sit especially on this side of WLS, we aren't always sure of what to believe and the unknown is always scary.  When in doubt, print it out.  Take it to your surgeon and ask them what they think.  Do not allow some goofball on the internet to frighten you with their own narrow minded agenda.  I let it happen to me until I started to do some digging.  Knowledge is power.  Know what you are getting into because you have researched it thoroughly; not because someone dictated something to you.

Dissecting to find any thread of truth

So, there is this chick on the internet that I have mentioned before, named Sue, who is totally against WLS and she has managed on more than one occasion to freak me out.  The problem is that people read her and she starts all these questions in their minds and "OMG am I doing the right thing?  Am I screwing myself up totally with this surgery?"

So today, I elected to do a little searching to see what I could come up with about some of the things she says.  I'm not finished yet, but I thought I'd share with you what I found.  

One of the people she quoted, said this:

"By doing this surgery, you're creating a medical disease in the body. Before you expose someone to that risk, you have to be absolutely sure that you are treating an illness which is equal to or greater than the one you are creating."
(Dr Edward Livingston, bariatric surgeon in Self Magazine, 4-2001)

The first thing that pops out at me with this article is that it was written in 2001.  Seven years ago.  But it looks credible enough as she has attached a doctor's name to it, so I Googled him and found this article. Interestingly enough, there is no mention in this article of the above quote.  In fact, Dr. Livingston says these things:

"He's performed gastric bypass for the past 13 years, with extremely positive results for most patients, he says. In fact, when he first started performing the surgery, he was surprised at what he calls the "stunning" results. Patients were extremely positive and even "euphoric" about the results, he says."

"Reduction in nutrient absorption following a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is fairly minimal. The major problem comes from iron and vitamin B12. These are poorly absorbed and need to be supplemented. Calcium absorption is reduced and needs supplementation. A primary care physician should conduct annual checks of basic nutritional measures."  Funny.  Nothing there about the disease we are creating by having this surgery....we already know we have to take supplements.

One in 200 die? This sounds like a huge number for elective surgery. Is this a misprint? -- Kyle Robbins, Rome, N.Y.

No -- the mortality rate for bariatric operations ranges from 0.2 to 1.8 percent. This relates to the patient's risk for complications. Surgery on obese individuals is inherently high-risk. Many of the complications that cause postoperative death are not related specifically to bariatric surgery; rather, they are a function of obesity. For example, one of the most common causes of postoperative death is pulmonary embolus -- blood clot in the lung. These can occur in obese patients from any type of surgery they have.

The risks vary with the patient. Very large older men have a much higher risk of complications than relatively healthy, smaller women.

Although 1 in 200 or 0.5 percent seems high, death rates of 5 percent following heart operations are not unusual

So what he is saying is that all surgeries come with risks. I think we all know that.

Does he caution about the risks associated with surgery?  Absolutely.  Blood clots,  hernias and dumping.  I knew all of that. 

Okay, so where did Sue get her quote?  As I was so intrigued, I Googled the beginning of the quote.  Google came up with four sites, three of which led me directly back to Sue and one of her sites.  The fourth site led me here, which I can only assume is maybe part of the article for Self Magazine maybe.  The quote from the doc is listed here amongst many, some good, some bad.  Seems Sue was a little picky over which quote she used to scare people.  

I also did some checking on that WLS uncensored website and it seems to currently only have one apparent member.  In going back to previous years, it seems the board started out as a regular run of the mill WLS board, with surgery hopefuls waiting for approval. However, now the only posts seem to be from a "Womyn2", who only posted occasionally early on, and often the posts were the doom and gloom I am accustomed to coming from Sue.  Now, the really interesting thing is that looking at some of the posts by Womyn2 (which the first letter is also the first letter of Sue's last name), the posts, the links, it all has Sue's name written all over it. 

I hit the "Pictures" section and looked at the photos for Womyn2 and though there are no personal photos, there is a picture of a book called "I Want to Live" by Dani Hart.  Google that and find this, where it says at the end of the article:

Article by SueW, based on extensive interviews (and a long friendship) with Dani Hart.

So basically, all Google hits on that quote by Dr. Livingston go back to Sue.  But this article brings me to another issue.  On Sue's recent blog entry, she says this:

"Secondly, the RNY is irreversible and if you carefully research you will find this to be true. The only procedure they can do with a "gastric bypass gone bad" (as medical providers call it) is to reconnect the small bowel and arrange the organs in a manner similar to the VBG or stomach stapling only. It's kind of a no brainer that you cannot remove 300 staples from a stomach which has been resectioned into 2 pieces."

But in the article where she is linked to Dani Hart, she says this:

The surgeon who did Dani’s takedown has done 11 reversals and is a skilled surgeon. He said that 2 hours of the 7 hour takedown procedure, were spent removing 18 months of adhesions from her stapled stomach.

Granted, Sue stated about the "only procedure they can do..." but you know what, she managed again to instill that fear factor in people by starting her paragraph with "the rny is irreversible". 

She also says this:

Things like "Leaky gut" causing auto immune disorder, bowel obstructions and ulcers in the small bowel due from the leakage of stomach acid (the small bowel does not have a protective covering against acid from the stomach) and those vitamins like calcium which cannot be successfully supplemented resulting in maladies such as osteoporosis etc.

I'm highlighting that last bit because I picked that to see what I could find out and I found out this:

Nutritional deficiencies can arise, particularly in patients who have a gastric bypass or BPD/DS, which causes food to skip the duodenum (the section of the small intestine where most iron and calcium are absorbed). Left uncorrected, this can lead to anemia or osteoporosis, among other conditions. Patients with a biliopancreatic diversion, which by design dramatically reduces nutrient absorption, have to take even greater care to avoid nutritional deficiencies. The good news is these problems can be avoided by eating the right foods in small amounts, taking regular vitamin and mineral supplements, and getting regular medical checkups.

Again, I knew that.  But maybe dear Sue really meant to say "If calcium cannot be successfully supplemented, it could result in osteoporosis."  That would have made sense, and even if that is really what she meant, she put enough of a spin on the information to induce fear.  She makes it sound as if calcium simply cannot be successfully supplemented.

Now, let's talk about this:

"People want to believe the dream that a surgery can change a fat person into a slim one. However, any surgeon will tell you that the RNY is for making very fat people, somewhat less fat because after the first or second year, most patients experience a rebound gain of 50 percent or more of what they originally lost. Keep in mind that the medical profession considers even a small weight loss as something which will lower health risks."

Yes, you can regain weight and I have talked to many post-ops who have.  Those same post-ops, are also honest enough to tell me that they reverted back to their old way of eating....the way of eating that made them fat in the first place.  And what exactly are the stats on "most patients"?  Most patients she has talked to?  Most patients in the world?  In this country?  Again, where is she getting her information?

The real problem with people like Sue is she plays on people's emotions.  Pre-ops who have just gotten surgery dates or people who are finally allowing themselves to consider the surgery are looking for the pros and the cons, and yes, this surgery has both.  But you can easily find Sue and her opinions all over the web; she makes herself easy to find.  Her reason for that?  I have no idea.  Maybe it is because Dani is her friend and she had an unsuccessful RNY surgery, so maybe she feels it is her duty to warn others and I totally agree that people should have access to the good and the bad.  But she has turned the whole thing into one big horror film and that is simply not the case for many, many people.

The moral of my post?  Question everything.  Do not take one person's words, whether the words be good or bad and decide they are true without trying to find a basis for what is being said.  There are a lot of people out there on the web who would like you to feel the same way they do, but you know what?  We're all individuals and my vote is that we get to feel exactly the way we want to feel; the way that is right for each person.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

And one more thing...

Well, two actually.  My Google alert thing-a-ma-jig found this and I found it very well done.  Click on the links in the first paragraph to see the original post as well as some of the other responses.

Also, got this off a fellow blogger and found it interesting.  Okay, I'm finished now!

A Growing List

I really need to find my motivation this month.  My eating has been horrible; bad choices and more or less a free for all.  I need to spend March preparing for surgery.  Trying to do some kind of exercise, eating better in order to shrink my liver, taking longer to eat by chewing more.  All things that will make for a safe surgery and easier recovery. 

I'm hoping to walk tomorrow because rumor has it that it is going to be 66 degrees!  But I really need to get new walking shoes.  The ones I have are well over a year old and are killing my feet, so I may make a side trip to the shopping center after work first.  The problem is that I have a killer heel spur in my right heel that has been incredibly painful since the summer ended.  The reason for that is that I hate shoes in warm weather and if I have to wear them, I prefer sandals, which of course, don't give much arch support.  I know I should always wear sneakers until surgery hopefully remedies the spur issues, but well, you know how it is.  What's the joy of a pedicure if you wear sneakers all the time?

I'm going to start making a list of things I want to be able to achieve with weight loss and I'm going to add to it here as I think of new things.  Then maybe in a year, I'll post the whole thing and we'll see where we are.  Some of the stuff may be really, really simple and stuff that other people just take for granted because they have always been able to do these things.  Some of the things I have done before but can no longer do and I look forward to getting back to them.  So, here we go!

  • Be able to bend over comfortably to tie my shoes

  • Take baths

  • Sit on the floor without having to worry about how to get back up.

  • Be able to lie on my stomach without my boobs asphyxiating me.

  • Running up and down the steps instead of barely making it.

  • Get rid of my CPAP machine!  (Cannot wait for this one!)

  • Buying clothes in a normal store

  • To be able to fit comfortably into my car seatbelt and to not have to use an extender on an airplane

  • Booths at restaurants

  • To be able to cross my legs

  • To be able to sit Indian style (I so miss that)

  • To be able to take my kids to amusement parks and ride the rides with them!

  • To go dancing again

  • Horseback riding

  • Bicycle riding

  • Shop at Victoria's Secret (so I can find out what the big secret is!)

  • To not have lower back pain every morning

  • To actually have a napkin in a my lap be useful (as opposed to my boobs catching all the food)

  • To have a really short haircut!

  • To get out of the back of a car gracefully

  • To not mind having my picture taken!

  • Actually looking cute in overalls!

  • To not have to deal with the innuendos relatives make about my size

  • To have lots of energy

  • To feel normal for the first time in my life

Oh and the position of fill in blogger has been taken by Laura!  Thank you!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

I have a PL-.

We'll see who gets the title

I am such an incredible planner.  I don't mean I'm good at it; what I mean by "incredible" is that it is another one of my obsessions.  So with 45 days left until surgery, I am working on what I want or need to do before then.  You girls who have gone before, can spot check me to see what I'm missing.

Things I still need to buy:

  • Calcium Citrate Chewables

  • Iron

  • Vitamin B-12

  • Sugar-Free Popsicles

(Note: I already have my chewable multi-vitamin and I just ordered my protein powder, with great fear in my heart, I may add.)

Things I need to take to the hospital

  • Robe

  • Ipod

  • Slippers

  • Chapstick

  • Lotion

  • Toothbrush and paste

  • Pillow for bed and the ride home

  • Journal

  • Loose clothing for trip home

Things I want to get done before April 15th

  • Finish cleaning basement

  • Cook and freeze meals for the Brit and the kids (Lisa is helping me with freezable yet yummy recipes)

  • All laundry caught up and clean sheets on bed

  • House clean

  • Make sure we have plenty of cat, guinea and fish food

  • Stock up on needed groceries

  • Have a call list for Robyn (who is coming to the hospital with us) and have someone lined up to blog for me for the two days I am in the hospital

  • Have folks lined up to intercept my kids after school on the 15th and 16th (Volunteers are needed if anyone is DYING to do this.  Kelly, I know you offered to do that one day, but is 3:50 too early for you to be here?)

(Note: I need a volunteer to blog for me.  I can teach you how to do it, but because I am a die hard Blog365 participant, I can't let a little thing like major surgery cause me to blow it.  Also, who wants a call that day after I am out of surgery and all is well?)

So there is the list as it stands right now.  What is missing?  What have I forgotten?

 It nearly killed me to not blog yesterday; in fact, I tried to blog but the thing locked up on me!  Must have been a sign.

The Brit is leaving for NY tomorrow as he has a meeting to attend on Monday.  He wanted the kids and I to come along, but I decided not for a couple of reasons.  First off, I hate the kids missing school because without notifying them early that we are taking them out, we would have to say they were sick and I don't like setting the kids up for that.  If they did anything fun while we were in NY, I don't think they would feel like they could talk about it at school.  The other thing is that we are in one of the two busiest seasons of my job.  Though it seems we just came out of Advent, we are now approaching the end of Lent and Holy Week, which means three extra bulletins for me.  Add to that the fact that I have to go to court on Wednesday, two hours away and that would be three days for me to miss this week, thus making the last two days of the week a living nightmare for me. 

Court? You ask.  Yes.  In August of 2006, the Brit and I went to Canada for our anniversary.  Upon our return home, it was discovered that some dirtbag had stolen my rear license plate.  So, we called the police and filed a report and I had to go to the dreaded MVA to get new tags.  End of story, or so I thought.  Fast forward to November of 2007 (the police around this state aren't real quick apparently) and the dirtbag was pulled over for a traffic violation and he was STILL DRIVING AROUND ON MY TAGS that he had stolen fifteen months before.  So, I get to be in court on Wednesday morning, in Oakland to testify that my tags were stolen.  Insanity.