I woke up today feeling like dirt and from the time I got out of bed, I started trying to figure out how fast I could get back into it. I went to work and left after staff meeting (about a half hour early) and came home and went directly to bed for three hours. Woke up still feeling wretched, but moved my pity party downstairs to watch Ellen and Dr. Phil. Somewhere during the course the evening, I've started to feel more human, though my barely healed stomach muscles are sore once again from all the coughing I've been doing. I just hope the feeling better keeps up as this weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool and ya'll know how I feel about that! Time to buy yarn and knitting gadgets!
Still doing well on the WLS front. Two protein shakes a day, plus today I had some pureed chicken corn soup and more pureed crab and shrimp. Tomorrow, I may give some chili a try, though I am not a huge chili fan, but it is high in protein. I really need to get back to walking too, but again, this cold must go first as I barely had it in me to sit upright today, yet alone walk. I'm still not up to six meals a day, but I think I am getting in close to enough fluids. I'm trying so hard to do everything right as I want to be a success story. That is so amazingly important to me.
In other news, we are finally *this* close to calling a new pastor! We've pretty much been without one for two and a half years now and we have interviewed an individual that our Call Committee and Council very much liked. So, all that is left is for him to preach next month and then the congregation votes. Prayers are welcome because it has been a long, hard road for our little church, but with God's amazing grace, we have come through it all closer than ever and with a continually growing faith intact.
Okay, I'm going to go nurse myself back to health a bit more!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I'm feeling relatively lousy. I have a stupid chest cold which is debating on whether or not it would like to go to my head as well. I came home today and took a nap instead of walking as I felt so yucky and still do. It really annoys me because I've been feeling so awesome!
All is still good on the WLS front, though I am trying to get an answer from someone as to if I can have caffeine yet. With my throat so irritated, I'm dying for a cup of hot tea and all I have is unleaded because all I drink is tea of the British persuasion and it is not decaf. So what is the scoop on that? I don't drink a lot of hot beverages, but I do miss my one cup of coffee in the morning and the tea right now would be divine.
I'm bailing out of here early today because I just don't have it in me to blog much but I leave you with this cutie:
Couldn't you just freakin' take him home?
Monday, April 28, 2008
I didn't have too much trouble getting back into the swing of work today, thankfully. Of course, compared to many, I have it easy as I only work 4 hours a day (in an office. Then I have the rest of the day as a mom). But on my first day back, a half an hour before I was due to get off work, Aaron's school nurse called to inform me that Aaron had an upset stomach. So, I explained that I got off work in a half hour and would then pick him up.
I picked him up and he was a little green around the gills, so I took him home and gave him some Pepto and sent him on up to bed. Ten minutes later, he was back requesting food, which I thought was odd and I told him that if he had thrown up at school, food was not a real good idea. But he persisted, so I relented and offered him toast, which he ate and then he asked to go upstairs and watch television.
All was quiet then until five minutes after he would have gotten home on the bus, when he came back down the stairs, completely dressed and announced that he felt much better and could he go outside. He was then not all that happy with me when I explained that as he had come home sick, he could not now go outside now that school was over. He was a wee bit disgruntled, but went back upstairs.
An hour later, he is back downstairs, weakly asking me for more Pepto, and I explained it was too soon to have more. By this time, I am confused as to what the deal is but he is not offering any answers, which is the norm for him. Back up the stairs he goes. JJ gets home and he and Lilah (the little girl across the road) are working on building a shelter for Allie, the stray cat that has been hanging out with them (literally hanging out with them. If they are on the trampoline, Allie is on the trampoline, etc). Lilah has to go out with her parents, so JJ comes in, chattering away about Allie and the new shelter. I say to him, "You keep calling Allie a her. How do you know?" I ask this because Allie is a good size cat and more resembles a tomcat to me. Without missing a beat, JJ replies, "She is a girl, mom. She has no ball sack."
That teaches me to ask questions.
Beings the Brit has a meeting tonight, I fix eggs for the kids and I. Aaron comes downstairs, eager to eat, but takes one bite of his egg and tells me he doesn't think his stomach can handle it, so I suggest he try to eat the toast. Before I know it, not only the toast has been eaten but the eggs too.
Some days I'm just not sure of how to keep up.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I had a pretty busy weekend so I'm pretty tired tonight! Knitted with my girls yesterday and today was church and I did some flower planting after a trip to Lowes. Though I feel like I didn't even have surgery not even two weeks ago, I still feel like my butt is kicked at the end of the day!
So, how am I doing? Amazingly well. I have no pain, I'm tolerating everything I'm eating, even though it has to be the consistancy of applesauce. Gotta tell ya, I pureed stew tonight and it was good, once I got past the way it LOOKED! It reminded me of cat food. I'm learning what full feels like now as it is not the same as before. I am being very careful to get all my vitamins in, and to supplement my protein with at least one shake for breakfast. I am so gonna kick ass in this whole WLS thing!
And so far, I'm down 14 pounds in less than two weeks. I can't see it much yet, other than in my face a little. I'm doing what I have told other post-ops not to do and that is get on the scale every morning, but ya know, it's kind of like a new toy. There is also the fact that I feel FINE, so it's a little hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I could possibly be losing weight. But I am and it's terribly exciting.
What has been funny, have been a few interesting comments.
From my youngest son to my husband: "So how skinny is mom gonna be when she gets home?"
From a 15 year old in the youth group to Kirk: "So Kim is going to be skinny when we see her?"
And the best one, from a woman in her sixties who is in my mom's TOPS group, "So, how much fat did they take out of her?"
Hope everyone had a great weekend. I'm sleepy now!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
When the residents came into my room on Friday morning, they informed me that my wbc count had gone from 14000 to 15000 and that they were going to order a chest xray. When they left, I sighed, got up, washed my face, brushed my teeth, tidied up my room and had a walk through the halls. Not long after, my yogurt and Carnation Instant breakfast arrived and I sat down to eat it.
I managed to get in two bites of yogurt, when Kim, my nurse, buzzed into the room.
"I'm so sorry. They're going to do a leak test, so you can't eat."
"Easy come, easy go," I joked with her as she swept away my tray. I then frowned. I knew that Dr. Schweitzer did a leak test while I was still on the operating table, "They said a chest xray. They want a leak test as well?"
"Yes, especially with your wbc count going up."
"And if they find one?"
"I'm not sure what happens. They may take you back into surgery to fix it."
This was not the news I wanted to hear. The residents had said nothing about the possibility of a leak. Besides, I felt fine considering I'd just had surgery three days ago. When Kim left, I felt myself beginning to panic and again, I felt very alone. It was still quite early, so the Brit would not even be on his way up yet as he was still getting kids off to school. I called Paula and explained what was happening and asked her to start the prayer chain for me. When I hung up the phone with her, I shut off the television (I kept it on all night for the light and the company) and dug my ipod out of the closet. I set it to play the playlist I'd made just before going into the hospital; the one I titled the same as my music player on this blog: "To Soothe the Soul".
Immediately, the finalists of American Idol began singing "Shout to the Lord" in my ears and I felt a sense of peace start to flood over me. Song after song played: Amazing Grace, Amazing Love, Empty Me, God With Us. The next song was one of my favorites: "Hold me Jesus" and as the lyrics played I got lost in them.
When I wake up in the night and feel the dark
And its so hot inside my soul, I swear there must be blisters on my heart.
So hold me, Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf.
You have been King of my glory; won't you be my Prince of Peace?
My eyes were closed as I listened and the most amazing, most comforting image came into my mind. Jesus was standing behind me, his hands holding onto mine and his cheek against the side of my head. The vision was so powerful and moving, I felt tears in my eyes. I was not alone and no matter what happened today, or any day for the rest of my life, I would not be alone.
When they came to take me to xray, I was perfectly calm, chatting with the man who came to wheel me down (he smelled really good!). My xray tech introduced herself and we did the chest xray. As she prepared for the leak test, I explained to her what was going on and that they must suspect I had a leak.
"Oh honey, they do this two to three days after every RNY surgery. It doesn't mean you have a leak. I had surgery a few years ago and on my second or third day out, my wbc count spiked too. I think sometimes our bodies are just working on healing."
Relief flooded through me briefly before they made me drink this horrid concoction that made me want to hurl, even though it was only about three gulps. Nasty does not begin to describe it. They allowed me to rinse out my mouth afterwards, though I was still convinced I'd have to lick a toilet to get that awful taste out of my mouth.
I got back up to my room and called the Brit to tell him it didn't look like I'd be coming home today and then I walked and listened to music until he and my mom got there. Not long after they arrived, Dr. Schweitzer stopped in my room.
"You're a troublemaker." He informed me and then went on to explain that though the chest xray and leak test both looked good, he could just not release me until that wbc count went down and I was at peace with that. As much as I wanted to go home, I respected the fact that he was erring on the side of caution, especially with me being ninety minutes away from the hospital.
I spent much of the day walking, then had a nice nap. My sister arrived with two adorable stuffed kitties for me as I had remarked to her that I missed the comfort of my cats. I love my kids, but they would have been a little too much for me yet, but I did miss the feel of a warm cat snuggled up with me.
By the time everyone left that night, I was tired and ready to sleep. Saturday morning, my wbc count dropped back to 12000 and I was finally released just after lunch.
Friday, April 25, 2008
I've been tagged by Debbie over at Through Thick N Thin with a Friday Meme.
Meme you you.
The Game Meme Rules
The rules of The Game get posted on the beginning.
Each player answers the rules about himself [or indeed herself].
At the end of the post, the player tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read his [or her] blog.
What was I doing ten years ago?
Wow, in 1998, I was preparing to meet my husband for the first time. We had been introduced over the net, and had spent months conversing and now he was flying to the states from England on May 10th. So, I'm sure ten years ago, I was freaking out. I was also working in Corporate America Hell.
Five things on my To-Do list today:
2. get my skanky nails done. They are overdue and look horrible!
3. Get the kids haircuts
4. sip, sip, sip
5. Try to get in additional protein as I slacked yesterday
Three of my bad habits:
1. lack of patience
2. Swearing too much
3. At time, being too sarcastic...it's a service I offer
Five places I’ve lived:
1. Monrovia, CA
2. Hagerstown, MD
3. Middletown, MD
4. Long Island, NY
5. That would be all
Five jobs I’ve had:
1. Customer service rep
2. Retail record store...yes, they used to be called record stores
3. Receptionist at veterinary hospital
4. Assistant to a podiatrist
5. Church secretary
Five books I’ve recently read:
1. The Knitting Circle
3. I'm currently reading Amish Grace
4. Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies
I don't have five. I love to read, but the last few months have been dedicated to reading about WLS on the internet!
I tag Meg, Lacy, Laura, Amber and Michelle.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I figured I'd better get back to this as with each new day and feeling so much better, the hospital experience is starting to fade!
At midnight, after walking the halls for what felt to be the kabillionth time, I sank down into the miserable recliner in my room and began a silent berating of myself:
What have I done?
I can't do this!
I can't undo this surgery, so what the hell is going to happen to me?
Exhaustion and pain produces feelings of helplessness apparently. A moment later, my night nurse, Colleen came into my room and I burst into tears.
"Please, tell me this gets better!"
Apparently nurses are accustomed to hearing these kinds of meltdowns from patients, because Collen didn't even ask if something out of the ordinary was wrong, "Sure does, sweetie, a bit better everyday."
"I'm just so tired and I can't sleep and that bed is made out of concrete or something."
She considered the situation for about a millisecond and then said, "You know, that chair lays the whole way back. Maybe you'd be more comfortable sleeping there for the night. Why don't you go take another little walk to help tire you out and I'll get you set up."
The chair was marginally more comfortable so I did finally sleep and barely even opened an eye to the tech coming in during the night to take my vitals, or the phlebotomist coming in at five to draw blood. The next memory I have is of the residents making their rounds and waking me up to talk to me.
Apparently, my white blood cell count (wbc) had gone up from 12000 to 14000 and this could indicate some kind of infection and they weren't sure if I would be released today or not. I so wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed and not have to be alone at night (the hospital is impossibly lonely, but with two kids, there was no way the Brit could stay the nights without literally moving heaven and earth. It was all made worse with being an hour and a half from home, so I wasn't the most convenient person to visit), so this was not the news I wanted to hear.
Not long after the Brit got there, Dr. Schweizer popped in and confirmed what I was dreading; that I was not going home as scheduled. They wanted to watch me and if things didn't come down by morning, they'd do a chest xray to see if I had a touch of pneumonia maybe brought on by anesthesia and my sleep apnea.
I was sorely disappointed but tried to make the most of it by walking more, doing the breathing exercises and that afternoon, the Brit helped me to get a sort of shower. I say sort of because the shower in my bathroom left a lot to be desired; not much power, and what was there kept dwindling and you couldn't even turn the stupid thing around the whole way to get the water hot. But all in all, when you haven't bathed in three days, it was amazing. I got to wash my hair, though we lacked a pick to comb it with but the Brit went downstairs and bought me one. The nurses supplied towels, washclothes and a clean gown, so I felt refreshed and better than I had felt since I was a pre-op.
The Brit stayed later as my mom had not come down with him as she had thought I'd be released that day and my sister popped over for a bit to visit as well. My spirits felt better and I was really tired by the time my husband left. For the first time, I actually slept pretty well.
To be continued...
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
So today has been interesting. After a night of insomnia and then finally getting a few hours of good sleep after JJ left for school, the Brit and I headed back to Hopkins. He had his anesthesia appointment and I had my surgical follow up with the nurse practitioner.
I'd had yogurt at 8:00 this morning while JJ was getting ready for school, and then I overslept a bit after that, so I had to rush to get ready to leave for Hopkins. So, I grabbed a bottle of water and quickly mixed up a protein drink for the road; the same protein drink I'd had twice yesterday.
We left and I sipped on it a bit and then about twenty miles away from home, I started having pain in my left side that quickly worked its way the whole way around me to my abdomen and back. I could not get comfortable, my mouth got dry and a cold layer sweat was beading my forehead. I thought surely my pouch had a leak and that judging by the way I was feeling, I may die before getting to Baltimore. The Brit was worried, but I underplayed it a bit and when he stopped for gas, I got out and stood outside the car taking in deep breaths so I wouldn't barf. By the time I got back in the car, it was all subsiding, and ten miles later, I felt really good again.
After talking with the nurse, Pat, it seems, I have experienced my first dumping syndrome, a nasty side effect of WLS. Though relieved to know that was what it indeed was, I have to say I am rather disappointed. I've heard about people dumping off things they were not supposed to eat but I dumped off a bloody protein drink! If I'd eaten a candy bar, I would have felt better about the whole thing! Pat says that sometimes that is just the way it goes and maybe I drank what I drank of it too quickly. The good news is that I now have experienced it and will know what it is next time.
The other good news is that I can drive again and more importantly, VACUUM!
I'm so easy to please.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
...are in for a real shocker. Today is turning out to be fairly busy and I am heading for a tiny nap (I was going to get one earlier but Paula called and told me she wanted to come over and vacuum. I adore her.), so I'm giving you a few pics from the hospital....including me in all my glory....clothed, of course!
Me pre-op. Does it get any lovelier than this? I want to see if I can knit myself a hat just like that one.
My mom, sister, and sleeping Robyn in the waiting room.
View from the waiting room window. I'm thrilled to bits about the prayer labyrinth and want to walk it when The Brit is in surgery.
Speaking of walking, here's me, my IV pole and my mom on headache Wednesday. I can't get over how swollen my neck was after surgery; I was actually bruised, so they must have had a helluva time putting in that breathing tube.
Monday, April 21, 2008
The day after surgery is very unclear to me in many places.
I woke up with a splitting headache across the front of my forehead that stayed with me all day and into the night, just making me miserable. The Tylenol Adam gave me didn't touch it and we suspected it could be due to caffeine withdrawal.
I could vaguely remember getting up and walking the previous evening at around 10:30, which was my first time out. It was slow and groggy but doable. I walked again that morning, despite my head. The cathetar came out and was totally painless, but then it took me awhile to pee on my own, which was of concern to them but things finally started coming out all right. My drain was putting out a lot of fluid, which is normal, and it was painless when they emptied it.
My mom, and The Brit came to visit that day and brought flowers. I don't think Vicki came on Wednesday, but Robyn did come up later in the afternoon. I walked often, but just felt miserable, again, mostly stemming from the headache. I came off the morphine and went to some kind of liquid pain med crap which tasted horrible. Frankly, nothing could please me on Wednesday.
My lifeline the first 24 hours when I couldn't eat or drink anything was the ice water with the little sponge swabs on the end as my mouth was amazingly dry and dried out constantly. There were times I would just sit there, holding a swab, constantly running it around in my mouth and over my lips. My chapstick could honestly not touch this kind of dryness.
By the time my visitors left, I felt horribly alone and I was unable to sleep. I was up walking the halls at midnight still, trying to wear myself out. Just after midnight, on Thursday, I had a complete meltdown.
To be continued...
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I'll continue with the hospital experience either later today or tomorrow, so this is just a regular update on how things are going. This way poor Laura gets off the hook for a bit too.
I slept really well last night with finally being in my own bed and I was even able to sleep on my right side for part of the night. My rear end is still thanking me. I'm not overdoing. I putter a little around the house, but my energy is still sapped pretty quickly. Hardest thing? Not being able to vacuum! Ya'll know how I am!
Not really having pain, other than my thumbs today are hurting. Not a clue what that is about. It's more about becoming comfortable with what is comfortable having just had surgery. What I mean is that yesterday, I had all kinds of angst about getting into bed last night as well as about getting out of it this morning. At the hospital, I had a rail to help me and the ability to raise the back of the bed. As it turned out, neither thing was difficult at home but I think I just anticipated the possibility of pain.
What I am finding a little overwhelming is now trying to work out when to take the plethora of drugs I need to be taking. I thought I had it all worked out pre-op, but when I came home with several others, it gets a little nuts. I have my pain med which is oxycotin and as that causes (TMI) constipation, I have Colace to counteract that side effect. I have Levaquin, an antibiotic which I need to take for five days. I have Ursodiol, which I think is a gall bladder thing as well as Pepcid. Then I have injections of Lovenox, which helps prevent blood clots, that need to be given twice a day for a month. Then add to that the B12, the multivitamin, the calcium and the iron and I'm feeling a little tired just thinking about it. I'm sure eventually, it will be easier and in a month 4 of these meds are going to go away.
Food intake is a learning process. I'm on all liquids for a week: soups, fat free sugar free pudding and popsicles, carnation instant breakfast, yogurt etc. Next week I transiton to pureed and that will be another process as I'm on that one for three weeks while my new pouch heals. Protein is really hard, but I'm working on it. I added extra to my carnation drink last night to boost it a bit but I am nowhere near the amount of protein I should be having yet.
Of course, part of that is that I'm not really hungry. I told the Brit in the hospital the other night as we sat watching television, "I've read this before and have told you this, but I didn't really understand it till now. They don't do surgery on your head. I'm sitting here watching these food commercials and I am not hungry and I don't even like Kentucky Fried Chicken all that much, but damn, it looks good."
It's going to be a process.
I have blogs to catch up on and I'll get there eventually. Also, those of you who were with me in the hospital and you know of something I forgot to blog in the experience, leave a comment or an email so I can add it to the next part of the hospital stay. I was reminded of a few things last night that I had totally forgotten until they were mentioned. It was all very fuzzy!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I slept surprisingly well on Monday night and we got up at 6:00 on Tuesday, as we were planning to leave by 7:00am. We got Aaron off to school and Paula, Robyn and my mother arrived promptly by 7:00. After a couple of "BAH!"s, we were on our way down the road.
Looking back, I'm surprised how calm I was the whole way down. Baltimore is about an hour and half from home, so there was plenty of chatting time. We arrived at Bayview early and I desperately had to pee of all things, but knew they were going to want a urine sample. So, we checked in and the receptionist called for a nurse to take me to the restroom. I left my mom, hubby and Robyn in the admissions room and followed my nurse, Rose, to the restroom, fully intending on returning to my family and friend after relieving myself and taking care of the surgery protocol. Not to be the case. After giving Rose my specimen, I was wisked to the little curtained area that would be mine for surgery prep. I was given my gown, compression stockings and footies and once I'd changed, they got my IV site ready to go.
Funny story, while Rose was helping me tie up the humongous gown, she was commenting on how big it was and I was honestly tuning in and out as I tried to take in how quickly all of this was happening. Then I hear her talking about how much she loved Pooh. I immediately started looking at my gown, certain that the tiny design on it was in no way the funny ole bear and I was right. I said, "Rose, what are you talking about? There is no Pooh." Rose was actually looking at my tattoo on my back and when I told her there was no Pooh, her thought was "Oh my god, someone tattooed this girl and she doesn't even know it." We had a much needed laugh on my part.
I requested a local before they got my IV in, so don't be afraid to do that. I'm a baby and nurses have had trouble with my veins in the past and I was way not about any extra pain. They obliged me and the IV ordeal was painless.
My hubby and mother finally came back to see me and I told them, "Honestly, I was just coming back to pee!" We chatted and laughed and mom let Robyn come back for a bit and my sister, Vicki arrived and the Brit let her visit for a bit as well (only two visitors at a time). I was still rather calm when Dr. S came in to say hello and I asked him if he was having a good day. He replied, "What if I'm not?" He has that dry sense of humor that appeals to me which is part of the reason I like him so much.
Then the anethesiologist came back and scared the hell out of me. She looked down my airway and remarked how narrow it was (I have VERY severe sleep apnea) and told me that if she was unable to get the tube down my throat while I was under, they may have to wake me up so they can direct me as to what they needed me to do to help. This is way not something you want to hear before a surgery. I asked some questions and she was very matter of fact and I was feeling very unnerved and for a moment wondered what would happen if I called the whole thing off. Then her assistant came back to introduce herself and I questioned her. Her bedside manner was much more comforting and she went over that they would leave me under just enough that I was not going to remember any of it. Okay, feeling better now.
They came to take me back and I bid the family goodbye as they finally gave me my I Don't Give A Shit cocktail. I remember being wheeled into the OR and thinking how small it was. I remember scootching over to the operating table and them asking me to tilt my head back.
The next thing I vaguely remember was waking up in recovery, feeling very disoriented. I don't think I was having much if any pain and I remember trying to read the clock on the wall without my contacts or glasses and not being sure of what time it was. They kept having me breath into that hateful spirometer for what felt like forever. Fact was, they were concerned as they had just learned firsthand during surgery just how bad my sleep apnea was, so they keep having me use the machine and taking deep breaths. I was supposed to be in Recovery for an hour. I was there for almost four hours until they felt I was stable enough to take back to my room.
The rest of the evening is very fuzzy to me. I had a morphine pump that I could hit whenever I wanted though it would only give me a dose every 6 minutes. My mother said, I kept hitting the button and smiling and then going back to sleep. I have no recollection of what time everyone left. I can't really recall the pain level. I know Adam was my nurse that night, but we didn't do much conversing till the next morning and even then, things were still fuzzy.
Kim *did* come home today, blood cell count is going down, removal of drain was not as dreadful as she was expecting...and she's looking to have a good nights sleep!! She says she feels amazingly well for just having surgery.
And she, of course, thanks everyone for their support and prayers!!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Well, I'm still here, but I'll see if I can't give you a lowdown on the experience in a nutshell and I promise to blog it better later.
I'm doing well. Surgery was relatively uneventful and I don't remember much about Tuesday evening or Wednesday, other than the incredible headache I had on Wednesday. If I spoke to you that day, my apologies if I don't really recall it. Then on Thursday the tables of how I felt physically began to turn; I walked more and even had a shower. Of course, Thursday was the day I was supposed to go home, and here it is Friday and I'm still here. Seems my white blood cell count decided to elevate yesterday to 14000 and today it went up to 15000. They ordered a chest xray and a leak test and the leak test came back fine (thank God!) I have not yet heard the results of the chest xray yet. My surgeon was in and informed me I was a trouble maker (He's pretty awesome; I really like him). He said my leak test looked good but he could just not send me home with the elevated wbc count. So, I've been on antibiotics and trying to use my stupid breathing machine and doing plenty of walking. I really don't feel too badly other than pain in my left side, which from all I've read is normal. I am still having drain removal anxiety and any of you who have gone before who can tell me it isn't that bad it would be much appreciated.
So now we are looking at Saturday for hopefully being released but they don't do blood till five am (does anyone know why that is? Nothing like being woken up to be used a pin cushion, especially after you get such a great night's sleep in the hospital. The beds are sooo comfortable! *cough, cough*) I've had one or two melt down moments but none today to speak of. They seem to be less likely the better I feel. I'm just really ready to go home.
Thanks to Laura for updating and Laura, please continue to keep an eye on it in the event I don't blog over the next few days. Thanks to everyone for the prayers and keep them coming and to my girls who have helped out so much with my kids over the last few days. Ya'll rock and continue to rock.
I'll keep everyone updated.
She says that Kim is still in the hospital and hopefully will be released today. Kim is doing great and is still up walking and such. The IV has been removed but she still has the drain. Apparently her blood count is slightly up and they think that may be due to a minor lung infection brought about by her sleep apnea in connection with the surgery and not by the incision itself.
So hopefully by this weekend, Kim will be back posting and can give you all the first hand details. Prayers, of course, are still needed and appreciated.
I'll continue to post until Kim kicks me out of here!!!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather (that is if you live in this area),
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Kim is doing well. She's sitting in a chair at the moment, and has been up several times walking (12! Woohoo!). She's allowed to drink liquids today, they've been giving her jello and broth. She's been following all of her instructions, including doing her breathing exercises. She has a drain in her incision that is due to be removed tomorrow. She's a bit worried that may be painful. The catheter was removed earlier today, and no problems with that. If all continues to go as planned, she should be leaving the hospital tomorrow. So...she's well on her way! - Robyn
And so things are going great - keep her in your prayers; and she should be back here very soon!!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I'll keep y'all posted as I get updates and hopefully within a day or two, Kim will be back to give you all the details!!
Monday, April 14, 2008
I am astounding myself today with how calm I am. (Will a storm follow today's pleasant weather? News at 11:00). I slept last night, which always helps, and woke up today with things to do and I actually felt rested to do them.
I got my time. We will be departing from our place at 7:00am tomorrow to drive to Baltimore in rush hour, to be at Hopkins by 9:35am. My surgery is scheduled for 11:30am. I was so afraid I'd have to be there at some stupid hour of the morning, so this came as a relief, not only to me and to those going with me, but also to Paula, who will be here to get child #2 off to school.
Now, for all the odd stuff that has been running through my head. Yesterday, I was thinking to myself, "Self, it would be nice to have a little quote for tomorrow's post." Self agreed and this popped into my head:
"Take a deep breath and hold it right before we go into the water. The ship will suck us down. Kick for the surface and keep kicking. Don't let go of my hand. We're gonna make it, Rose. Trust me."
Nothing like a little Titanic quote to get the gastric bypass party rolling, eh? But parts of it are sort of true, I think.
"Take a deep breath" Yeah, absolutely. Take a deep breath, calm down and I will soon be on the other side of this thing that has taken nine months to materialize.
"Kick for the surface and keep kicking" There are going to be some tough moments early on in this new life, of that I am certain. What I have to remember is that those tough times are going to exist and that they are just that: times. They are not going to last forever and I just have to keep plugging ahead until I reach the surface where things are comfortable and now habit.
"Don't let go of my hand" This one is a twofer. I hear God saying it to me in one ear, reminding me that he will never leave me, no matter what happens or how rough the waters may become at times. He's there, He's constant, He loves me at least as much as the person who loves me the most. What have I to fear? The other part of that quote for me is to all those who love me. I may feel lost at times early on, so don't let me go. I'm learning how to swim a whole new way and it's going to take time at times be confusing for me. But I know ya'll are gonna be there.
"We're gonna make it" Yup, gonna make it. 'nuff said.
Yesterday during Sunday School, PK, who is sixteen and a freakin' riot, got stressed out about something and she started making these funny little noises, much like a tea kettle that is so close to whistling but not quite ready yet. I looked at her thinking, "She's going to explode." Everything about her signaled that to me, but when the explosion finally happened, it manifested itself in one very loud word:
I howled with laughter and the next thing I knew, she was telling everyone to do it (yes, we're an odd bunch, but stay with me here). When my turn came, I brought all the stress and lack of sleep and worry and everything else about this surgery to the forefront of my mind. I felt it welling up within my chest, much like it has been doing the last few days until I could again swallow it down, but this time, I didn't have to swallow it. What I did was:
Holy crap, that felt good! It relieved all the stress for the moment and allowed it to flow out of my body in that single word. I'm telling ya'll, try it. If there was a way to market that, it would be HUGE! So, if I "BAH!" any of you in the near future, it is just me relieving the stress ball. Thank you, PK, for that prescription!
So, there you have it. Tomorrow is the big day and by this time tomorrow, it will all be over. Those of you that pray, please keep me in them. They mean more than you know and they have such amazing healing power.
I'm ready to do this thing (and I will repeat that to myself a kabillion times tomorrow morning when I'm sure the nerves will kick in). I love you all and will see you on the other side. Check here tomorrow night for an update on how things went, as Laura of Stratcat fame will be blogging for me. You are all amazing and wonderful.
Now, let's get this party started!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I'm starting to think that when this whole thing is said and done, I will look back and decide that the worst part of the whole pre-op experience was the lack of sleep the week before! I'm tellin' ya, it is killing me! The last time I slept well or long enough was Thursday night and the lack of sleep leaves me with a headache that lasts all day long. I'm hoping that tonight it will all catch up to me and I'll sleep well as tomorrow night, that will definately be out of the question unless someone hits me over the head with a hammer.
Last night and today was nice. Last night, Paula, John, Kelly, Robyn and four of the youth group kids had hibatchi with us at Nikkos. It was delicious, the company was fabulous and most of the gang came back to our place for awhile afterwards. It was a welcome distraction for me, full of fun and laughter. Today in Sunday school, the youth kids prayed over me for a safe surgery and so did the Sunday School teachers later following a meeting. It's so awe inspiring to feel the outpouring of love from those around me and I remember how truly blessed I am.
Tomorrow, I work and wait for the phone call that will tell me what time I need to be at the hospital on Tuesday, and then home to to tidy up a few things and worry some more. Big plans, ya'll, big plans.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Oy Vey! This sleeping thing is getting insane!
Last night, I took a half of a rozerem, figuring it would be my last night of decent sleep until after I left the hospital. The kids went to their grandma's place last night, so there would no one to wake me up on Saturday morning. A whole Rozerem always makes me feel really foggy the next day, so on the occasion that I take one at all, it is always a half.
Hello, three am! I tossed and turned, trying to get back to sleep, before I wandered downstairs, drank some juice, sat in the living room in the dark for awhile, before finally taking one Tylenol PM and going back up to bed. I did finally get back to sleep, but woke up this morning in what felt to be a drug induced fog. Went to breakfast and ran errands and then came home and managed about a two hour nap. I now feel a bit better and am getting ready to head out to dinner with friends and the youth kids. It's my last favorite dinner of hibatchi at my favorite Japanese resturant.
Lots of thoughts mulling around in my head, which I will hopefully save for Monday's post if I can form a coherent sentence by then.
Friday, April 11, 2008
So I had promised a pic of the new shower, so I also snapped a few more around the house in the event anyone is like me and loves to look and see where people live!
The new shower. I need to go out and get some little hooks or something to hang up the shower scrunchies as I call them, but other than that, I love it!
Half of my living room. My favorite spot is that corner of the couch with the little table which is full of whatever I am reading at the moment and my knitting stuff.
The room off the living room has been everything under the sun. It started as a dining room, then once we got the kids it was a playroom for awhile. Now it has been transformed into another sitting room. The baskets against the wall? All full of yarn as well as the set of drawers next to them.
The kitchen is a bit of a thorn in my side as the functional cooking part of the kitchen is all back in that corner. The open door goes to the basement and if you look on the floor, you will spot one of the six felines, Micah.
The master bedroom. I love the window to the left. On the other side of the bed that I did not photograph, we have a loveseat and the room actually has two closets; a his and a hers.
I didn't bother shooting the kid's rooms as they are rarely all that tidy. But there ya go. An extra little post today!
I did finally sleep last night and that is a wonderful thing. Lack of sleep makes my mind turn dark and scary and I was bordering dangerously close to morbid last night. Odd, yes, but it has always been that way. For example, I am not one to fear death; I know God is on the other side of that for me and knowing that, there is nothing to fear. But when I am sleep deprived, I find myself positively terrified about death (and this is true when I am not facing a surgery, btw). So! Sleep! Much better today!
I'm a little stunned that it is already Friday and I am approaching the final weekend before surgery. I am so ahead at work, I am bored, and there is very little left to even do at home and what is left will be finished this afternoon. Basically, it is just mopping and waxing the kitchen floor and running a mop over a bit of the hardwood floor downstairs as JJ dripped something sticky on it this week.
Celia called me this morning; my friend who had this surgery ten years ago. She has been wonderful through all of this and what is so neat is that I was out of touch with her for years! We only worked together and we never did anything socially together, but I used to stop by her desk and chat when I worked in Corporate Amerca Hell. I've been out of that environment for 7 years now. Celia was always big, but then I remembered her suddenly losing lots of weight. When the Brit and I started pursuing this journey, I thought about Celia and something in the back of my mind said that she'd had WLS. Well, last fall, I ran into her and I was like "You may think I'm nuts, but did you have gastric bypass?" She said yes and we fell into easy conversation about it all, standing outside in the warm sunshine for nearly 45 minutes.
Since that time, she has called to check up on our progress and has sent me encouraging emails. She called me this morning, knowing how close I am getting to the BIG DAY and reminded me again how amazingly wonderful this was going to be. How it was like suddenly having this new life you never knew you could have. She told me that when I needed clothes, she wanted to buy me my first outfit. She's a doll and I look forward to her paying me a visit once I get home from the hospital.
Everyone has been just wonderful. Shell accompanied me to Baltimore last Friday for my appointment and is going to intercept my kids on Wednesday. Kelly is going to get them on Tuesday. Lisa brought over a frozen meal (which will probably go for two meals as there is so much!) this week for the Brit and the kids when I am recovering. Robyn is taking off work to be at the hospital with me along with my mom and sister. Paula will be at my house Tuesday morning to get the kids off to school, unless we don't have to be at the hospital till late, which I doubt. Laura is blogging for me. My prayer group is laying hands on me Monday night. I am just overcome with the depth of love and friendship I feel from everyone.
One more weekend and one more work day.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
So, we're back to not sleeping. Brilliant.
Something ya'll may not know about me is that I am a worrier (Yes, I know some of you are going "Gee Kim! Ya think???). Apparently, I take after my dad, as my mother has always said that if dad didn't have something to worry about, he would find something to worry about. Luckily for me, my OCD behaviors help to keep things balanced. So basically, during the day, I keep myself busy enough and it keeps my worrying at bay. But at night when I lie down to sleep, despite Tylenol PM, my mind starts to go all over the place and then when I finally do fall asleep, I have been awake an hour or more before the six 'o clock alarm.
At this point, the only remedy, I think is having Tuesday get here and getting the surgery over with. There is really just nothing more to do other than fill time and worry, both of which are getting old.
In other news, the shower and tub have been completed today and I am thrilled! I never did take pictures of the old nightmare, but I will get up there tonight to take a pic of the new one for you. And speaking of pics, I still need The Brit to do Before and After shots for me. Ugh.
And one more thing. Thanks so much to Kim and Meg for calming my fears in the comments the other day. It is very much appreciated. Oh and I have one more fear. Will I be coherent enough Tuesday night to watch American Idol? Ya know, priorities and all that.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
So today has been a bit better but I think probably because I got minimal sleep last night and I am just too tired to be all that high strung today. Last night was good though at praise band rehearsal because PK was there. PK as we call her, is our former pastor's daughter who is sixteen and she is a hoot and a hollar, and as I am convinced I have the mentality of a sixteen year old, we had a total blast, just being giggly and silly. It burned up some of my nervous energy and was a God send!
I wanted to share this from a friend and I thought it was just one of the neatest things anyone has sent me in regards to my surgery:
"I know we are of different faiths, yet we are both Christians. Right now, your name is on the prayer rolls of every Temple in the world ......126, in all, with hundreds of people praying for you in each of those Temples. I'm keeping your name in until you are fully recovered and doing well."
Is that not totally amazing? It gave me goosebumps when I first read it and I was reminded of just how blessed I am with the people who surround me, both in person and through this marvelous invention called the internet.
My final grocery shop was accomplished today and I hope I have everything. I think I do. I feel like everything is picking up speed now as the weekend is nearly here. We went out to Wings tonight as we tend to do on Wednesdays as they have fifty cent leg night and ninety-nine cent kid's meals on this day of the week. When we left, I knew it was my last time for a long time and it came as quite a relief to me in a way. There was no regret.
And in closing, can I say KUDOS to American Idol tonight for ending their Idol Gives Back night with "Shout to the Lord". Awesome.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I couldn't think of a more appropriate word than "ball" to use in describing what feels like a huge ball of panic and anxiety that starts in my stomach and slowly works its way up to my chest, making it feel like I need to scream for a moment. I then search desperately for something to distract myself with in order to subdue it once more. These little "attacks" started yesterday. Great!
So what am I freaking out about? Maybe if I list them, someone will have some answers or maybe it will just help to list them so I can talk myself through them.
1) A cathetar. Never had one before, but I'm going to have one when I wake up from surgery and it will probably be removed the morning after surgery. Do they hurt? Do they hurt coming out? Do they hurt when they make you get up and walk?
2) Pain. Will there be much? I have a high tolerance generally. My last arm break was horrendous as it was my upper arm and you can't cast that. You have to cast below it with a heavy cast so that the weight of the cast itself pulls the bone into place. That was big fun, let me tell you. The nerve ending in the upper arm are insanely painful with a break. So in light of enduring that, I should really not be too worried about post-op pain and morphine is probably way better than vicodin anyway (Though Dr. House may disagree), but when it is the unknown, isn't there always fear?
3) Just general surgery worries. Will it go okay? Will I be aware of anything? Will I have a reaction to the anesthesia? What if they get in there and find cancer? (I don't really think they will, but cancer is one of my phobias, so play along).
I just want to be there and want my IV cocktail of "I don't give a shit" so I will no longer be freaking out. Once the Twilight or whatever it is called is started, life will be good no matter what happens, for at least awhile. Why can't we just fast forward to that part? Just skip the next few days and the drive to Baltimore at still some unknown time next Tuesday and the signing of the papers and get right to the good stuff. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I keep thinking that each day this week should in some way be eventful, but the truth is, they are pretty run of the mill days. Work, some house cleaning, getting ready to cook dinner. I feel like maybe I should be hearing a drum roll or something in the background. I am actually sleeping pretty well (knock on wood) and still so ahead of schedule that I feel like a freak.
Now, a week from now, I'm thinking there won't be much sleeping getting ready to happen, but we'll let next Monday take care of itself.
There is now blog music and if you hate it you can either mute your computer or pause the playlist. I debated whether or not I wanted music, but these are some of my favorite songs, so get over it and enjoy them
I really have very little to talk about today. Things are moving right along as normal. My last dinner out for awhile will be Saturday night hibatchi at Nikkos with Paula and the clan (and anyone else who wants to go! Just give a hollar!). I added my book to my overnight bag "Amish Grace" as I've been wanting to read it. Don't know if I'm going to have the time or feel like reading in the hospital, but I'll have it just in case. Put my Advance Directive in my bag and have another copy here at home.
There's just nothing else to say today.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
9 more days.
One more weekend.
One more grocery shopping trip.
One more staff meeting.
One more praise band rehearsal.
Three more laundry days.
Five more dinners to cook.
Six more school days.
Nine more sleeps.
Holy hell, it is getting here fast!
My nerves are coming and going more often now; no full blown panics, though I'm sure they will happen next Tuesday morning about the time we start to roll on down to the OR.
I did meet with the anesthesia nurse on Friday and that went well. She went over everything and also gave me my post-op instructions so we could go over them as she said people are so foggy and overwhelmed after being in the hospital. She went over everything that would happen from the time I arrived until the time I was released and hopefully there won't be any surprises. The really awesome thing is that she told that they very recently opened a bariatric wing and she believes all the rooms are private. That rocks my world!
What was a bit unnerving was filling out an Advance Directive, which for those of you who don't know, it is a requirement in the state of Maryland to fill out this form that states that in the event I am not able to make my own medical decisions, who can make them for me, and it also allows me to chose what I want. It's finished, and signed and witnessed, but kind of left me feeling a little creeped out.
I have lists upon lists typed up; what I need to do each day this week, notes for Kelly and Shelley, who are going to handle my kids the two evenings I am in the hospital until The Brit gets home, what I still need to pack (Yes, I already have pj pants, chapstick and a small bottle of lotion in my overnight bag), the call list for when I am out of surgery, a final grocery shopping list for this week. Tomorrow at work, I will make out a list of what I need to accomplish in the church over the next six work days (yes, I am working the day before surgery).
Tell me again how amazing this will be. How not too bad surgery is. Yes, I have asked it before, but it is slowly becoming a reality now.
And that is a tiny bit scary.
Oh and P.S Remember Sue and the discussions about where are all the post op people. Apparently, there was a Bariatric Ball thrown in Michigan as a celebration for bariatric patients. 450 were scheduled to attend.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
I'm kind of an analogy person and in light of yesterday's post, I just wanted to add these thoughts that mulled through my head this morning.
Let's say you had a great love of beautiful flowers. You loved imagining being surrounded by them and very little could make you happier than the thought of a lovely garden in your own backyard. So, you begin and you do it your way. You rush out to the store and you buy seeds and you come home and you plant all your seeds in your yard. You plan it out exactly the way you want it to look and you have picked seeds that are going to grow in a lovely contrast of bright colors. You can hardly wait to see your garden dream realized.
And soon you begin to see it. Tiny sprouts are emerging from the ground and you are so incredibly excited. You water the little sprouts and try to pluck out any weeds that might endanger their livlihood. You know that success is right around the corner as the little green sprouts shoot up a tiny bit more.
Then the next morning you walk outside to check on your dream and you find all your thriving little sprouts have died. You are crushed and tearful. What could have possibly gone wrong? Your hopes are dashed so quickly it leaves you breathless and you mourn your loss for several days after, torturing yourself with what might have been if only it hadn't all gone so horribly wrong.
One morning you wake up and discover that you are fueled once more. You are so not going to give up on this dream of a flowering garden. So, you run out to the store and you buy a book on how to grow gardens and you spend days pouring over it, seeing some things you could have done differently and your hopes are renewed once more. So you follow the book's instructions to the T as you begin again, planting, watering, tending, hoping. You feel more confident this time because you are doing everything absolutely right and sure enough, here comes the little sprouts again, emerging up through the soil, the reward of all your hard work. You feel wonderful and on top of the world as your buds become sweet little flowers. You are giddy with excitement.
You have to go away for a couple of days, but you make sure your beloved flowers are watered before you go. You feel out of the woods this time; after all, the last time, the sprouts never made it to flowers. So, you leave, feeling slightly unsteady about it, but you have to go.
When you return, all the little flowers have died off and you weep over their loss. You shouldn't have gone away with things obviously still so fragile. You are so angry with yourself and disappointed and you feel hopeless, certain your dream is never going to be realized. You rebel and decide you never want anything to do with flowers ever again; after all, it doesn't work, they always die and it is taking a toll on you emotionally anyway.
But you do return, again and again, with new books, new articles, new ideas and something always seems to go wrong and each time your heart breaks a little bit more as you lose a little bit more of yourself to the dream that is never going to be realized. You decide that maybe you just don't have what it takes to grow flowers; apparently, it just isn't your thing. You must have the thumb of death and no matter how much you love and admire their beauty, it is just not in the plan for you.
Several weeks later, you come home from work to find a flyer wedged in between your doorframe and screen door. You open it up and find that it is an advertisement for a gardener who is looking for work. The ad boasts that he can help you to grow anything and you feel a tiny surge of hope. Maybe this man is the answer; maybe he can help you really get the garden past those first critical steps to a place where it can thrive. Of course, a gardener is not without costs and once your garden is flourishing, there is no guarentee that it will continue to thrive. You consider this carefully. You have neighbors and friends who have incredible gardens that they have grown all by themselves with no need for something as drastic as a gardener. But you have tried everything you know how to do. You have poured out your heart and your soul again and again to only have your heart broken and your dreams dashed against a stone. What if you are just one of those people who need some extra help to have this dream realized? Is there any shame in that?
I think WLS is a lot like this. Some of us just need that extra boost that comes from surgery. There are costs involved, but it will all be worth it to have the long time dream realized at last. The flowers will be just as lovely, no matter how it is we all got there.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Sometimes we are faced with a feeling of certainty so deeply embedded in our gut, that even though we don't know for sure how someone else feels, we are almost positive that we are correct.
I've been dealing with this feeling for quite some time about someone I always considered myself close to, though lately this person, to me, feels like she is withdrawing from me entirely. The reason? I'm not completely sure anymore so than I am completely sure that this isn't all in my head. What I have to wonder is if this person thinks either a) that I am taking the "easy way out"; b) that I am setting myself up for failure or; c) that I could lose weight the old fashioned way if only I would set my mind to it.
When someone is your friend, any of these three options are painful for me, and here is why:
a) I'm taking the easy way out: I've addressed this one before, so in a nutshell, I have spent the majority of my life dieting in one form or another. I have exercised, done diet programs, starved myself, you name it, I did it. All the while I have continued to walk the path of my life in this body that has become somewhat of a prison for me. I do not take this surgery lightly; not even close and this option, if it is true of this person or of anyone, pisses me off, whether it is thought about me or some other WLS patient. Walk our lives in our shoes, go through the agony of making this decision, come to terms with the possibility of all that can go wrong. Easy? Anyone who thinks that is so incredibly misguided that it makes me sad.
b) I am setting myself up for failure: Part of preparing for this surgery is preparing for the life that is to follow. I almost have to laugh after I think about all the research I have put into this, all the prep, all the conversations and appointments, that someone might think I will fail. See, here's the thing for me. I've been fat all my life, hindered by weight all my life, sometimes more pounds, sometimes less, but never at a healthy size. I have vowed to myself that once I lose this weight, I will NEVER put it back on again. EVER. I would hope that those who know me would know me well enough to know that I would not make as drastic a decision as surgery to simply blow off the after care I will be doing for the rest of my life.
c) I could lose weight the old fashioned way if only I would set my mind to it: Yup, that is an accurate statement and lemme tell ya'll how that works. I work my butt off exercising and dieting for months to drop minimal weight. Then, I go on vacation, or something stressful happens or who knows what and it comes back on with some additional. So, sure, I could lose weight the old fashioned way and I have...about fifteen or twenty times, so as Dr. Phil would say "So, how's that workin' for ya?" Yeah, it's not and it hasn't, which is the reason I am leveling the playing field, so that I, who has to lose about 150 pounds have a chance, a real chance at being able to accomplish that goal. Then, and only then, can I lead my life the way any other normal person who has to watch what they eat has to do. This surgery will place me in the game for the first time in my life. If I had fifty pounds to lose, I would so not be opting for surgery, but that isn't my situation. I wish to hell it was, but it isn't. I'm mad as hell at the fact that this is what it is going to take to put me where I need to be, but it's a fact I have accepted. I could spend the rest of life doing diet after diet, trying to make one work for the long run, the way I have the first half of my life, or I could give myself a running start. Six year olds don't chose to be fat. In the year between being five and being six, I didn't change my eating habits. My body changed and I have been fighting with it every year since then and I'm tired of this fight. I'm tired of it all falling apart and hitting brick walls. The time has come for me to give myself a fighting chance.
I may be wrong about this person and what she thinks, but even if I am, there are other people out there thinking the same things about someone they know who is going to have this surgery. So, if I'm wrong, I write this for them. The folks who have made the agonizing decision to have surgery as a way to finally conquer weight issues need the support of those they love and those they call friend. I'm not asking anyone to fawn all over me; that's not what this is about. This is about knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt who is part of your support system. There is nothing worse than not knowing where you stand with someone you have always trusted to be in your corner.
I know that I have enough people in my corner and I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart as it means more to me than you will ever know. WLS patients do not want to set themselves up for failure; so it would be nice if those we loved didn't do that for us.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
So I'm a little bit on edge as I'm feeling a little dragged out and tired and I have that feeling that one might have if one might be getting sick. It's only a possibility because sometimes when I have been doing too much and going one hundred miles an hour, I'll get that "I might be getting sick" feeling and it isn't anything that a good night's sleep doesn't cure. So, I think tonight, I'm going to go to bed early and hope for the best. I don't know what a cold would mean to surgery.
My work week is over as tomorrow is my appointment at Hopkins with the anestheia person at 11:00. Looking forward to finding my way to the hospital without the Brit (slight sarcasm...I'm a little nervous as I hate the beltway) and then hitting a yarn shop and lunch with Shelley.
Today I told both the boys when they left for school that I loved them, just for the hell of it. It seemed a little weird because it isn't something I say a lot or first with them, but it's a start. We'll get there in the end with God's help. Thanks to everyone for their encouraging comments yesterday. They mean more than you know.
I'm going to go fix a cup of hot tea and think about cooking dinner. I'll give you verdicts tomorrow; both on my health and on my appointment!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
So as I'm about to give up eating larger quantities of food, I'm thinking blogging can be my new addiction! I all but went into a panic attack when I could not get logged in from home! I was thinking "NOOO! I have to blog! What if I can't blog? That will blow Blog 365! I'll have to drive into the church and blog from there!" Yeah. Obsess much?
I feel so incredibly prepared for the 15th that I keep waiting for something to go wrong. I even bought Mother's Day cards today for my mother and the mum-in-law in England. I've contemplated addressing my thank you cards to those I know will be helping out in some way while I am in the hospital, just in the event that I am feeling stressed after surgery with discovering this new way to live and forget to send them. I must be a bit OCD or something.
I'm going to make a confession here that has nothing to do with surgery and has more to do with being a mother; an adoptive mother specifically. I find this to be the hardest job I have ever done in my life and I don't always like it. I wish I had started it ten years earlier when I was ten years younger. I wish I was more patient. I wish it came naturally to me.
The bigger confession is that I have real issues with my older son that I should not be having. A little history for those of you not in the know. Aaron was nearly eight when he and JJ came to live with us (JJ was three). Aaron had spent most of his young life shoved from pillar to post, getting caught up in the system when his grandparents would not take him in a second time (though they took JJ). When he came to us, he had lived about five different places (sorry, for some of you this is old news). He bonded with the Brit fairly quickly and I think the reason for this was that his bio-father was not around much, so the kid was starved for a father figure. But where mothers go, even though bio-mom was passed out a lot, in his young eyes she was still there for him and he resented me very much. Our start was rocky to say the least. He rejected me time and time again and what it taught this first time mother was to be defensive; to put up a wall to keep his words and actions from hurting me. JJ and I got on very well together, but of course, at three, it didn't take him long to accept me as his mama. Aaron was a whole 'nother story. I'm not even sure we every really bonded.
The problem is that it is nearly five years later, and though our relationship has grown a little bit, I would call it infinitesimal. The biggest reason for the stunted growth on this? Me and I know that. When someone hurts me, my armor goes up and it takes forever for it to be taken back down. It is wrong and I get that, but now I am trying to sort out how to fix it. I had delusions that somehow surgery would help because it would allow me to do more with him that we both may enjoy and that may be true, but I can't bank on that.
I've been trying really hard to analyze my own parent/child relationships when I was growing up and though I always knew that my parents loved me and would do anything for me, as a child, I don't remember a lot of hugs or "I love you"'s. I hadn't really thought a lot about this until a friend pointed it out to me; that though my mother is a wonderful person that I am very close to, that she isn't the warmest person in the world. I don't think she is cold, but she is an introvert and I just can't recall a lot of public displays of affection. It doesn't really make it wrong; we did lots of stuff together, including traveling the country, but I was born into that family. Because of being born into a family, there were certain things you just knew such as the fact that your parents love you.
My children do not have that knowledge. They were not born to me but were suddenly given to two people who were to be their new parents. For the Brit and I we were given two children who did not sign up for this. They never asked for their parents to be failures as parents and to have to go live elsewhere. As a child of parents who never so much as got divorced, I cannot even imagine my parents suddenly not being my parents.
So, they don't have the knowledge that they are loved because they have always been with us. And I apparently mirror my own parent's lack of displays of affection. I find it very difficult at times to hug them..awkward almost. I love them; I do. I would throw myself in front of a train for either one of them so why does a hug or saying "I love you" feel so foreign to me?
I see the same thing with my interactions with the Brit but on a smaller scale. I am just not always the most affectionate female. Sometimes I think I just assume that I show them I love them by doing things for them, but it kind of feels like a cop out.
So, I'm dealing with a few issues.
My strained relationship with Aaron
My feeble attempts at affection
I need to work on fixing these things.
I had a long talk with Paula today about these things and she confessed to encountering them as well. She told me how her oldest son would end his phone calls from college with "I love you, mom" and then not too long ago, he called her out and asked why he always had to say it first. Like me, Paula is a product of her mother. She loved her mother dearly, just as I do, but our parents aren't any more perfect than we are.
So I'm trying to start small and to allow for it all to become something that is second nature instead of feeling forced. The emotions themselves are not forced; it's the words and the actions.
Pray for me. This is hard stuff.
Hopefully I will back with you shortly!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
It's been one of those afternoons where my children are fully aware of the fact that their father isn't home. In a nutshell, they are being total disrespective little toads.
Eight is the worst age ever because JJ thinks he knows everything and he has the same mean streak that Aaron had at eight. Aaron spent time getting two stretchy cable thingies (they have a real name but it escapes me) that JJ threw up into a tree a few weeks ago, only for JJ to decide to try to throw one of them back up into the tree. Aaron took this opportunity to shove him, which made JJ drop his poptart and he came in crying and Aaron came in complaining. I told them both off (one for being nasty and throwing things and the other for shoving). But it still continues. Everytime Aaron comes in the door it has to do with money. He wanted posters for his room, and it took me a bit to get them, partially because we weren't sure if the Brit's friends brought him back posters from Nascar and partly because I had a terrible time finding stuff he would like. But we got them, mounted them, and I hung them on Sunday. Now, he wants brake pads for his bike because his are worn out (something is always worn out on his bike! I swear, when I was a kid, I lived on my bike and I only ever needed something when I actually outgrew the bike!). I told him as he lives to make skid marks in the road (thus the wearing out of the brake pads) and as he has money, he could replace them. This resulted in an argument, which I quickly told him I was over. Now he is on about some kind of Aeresol gun (I don't even know what this is or if I am spelling it right) as he has apparently told JJ he was going to buy himself one. I tell ya now, if it actually shoots stuff out of it, it isn't happening here! (I just Googled it. Apparently, it is a pellet gun. Just how loudly can I say NO!). All this fun and I still get to take them to praise band practice with me. Yippee.
I cleaned the bathroom top to bottom today and oh yeah, next Thursday my new tub/shower happens! I also have a meatloaf in the oven to freeze, so that is two meals down. I'd still like to get a couple of more in the freezer, just to make everyone's lives easier, even mine, after surgery.
The fun continued at dinner as Aaron did not bring home the homework assignment I asked him about last night. This has been a new rule as we found out he was simply not doing parts of his homework, so now all homework must come home or he is grounded the next day. So now he is sulking because he is grounded tomorrow for not bothering to bring it home. Two hours and forty-five minutes till their bedtimes.
I'm still pmsing and I wonder if it is taking forever to arrive because I'm stressing as we are at T minus Two weeks as of today.