Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Change of heart

Ever since surgery I've been growing increasingly more fond of one of the nurses at my Dr's office. I was not a fan before. I wouldn't say I disliked her, say, as much as the Vikings, but you know.
She seemed really abrasive to me, but she's growing on me. She has some good things to say to talk me off my ledge. Which, as President and CEO of Crazy Town is needed quite often.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been having these pains in my stomach. I can actually feel the port which is kind of weird for me. And I know the pain is surrounding the port. Of course, the first thing I thought was that I was dyeing. The port probably exploded and was cutting me from the inside out and I only had moments to live. (OBVIOUSLY, because that's rational.)

When I called today, I said it was kind of odd to me that I was in almost perfect shape the first two weeks of the surgery and now all of a sudden I'm having these pains and episodes I expected to have immediately after the surgery.
She said that the first two weeks after surgery I was probably in a honeymoon phase. Which actually made sense to me. She said I was SO anxious about the surgery that I was just so happy to be alive I wasn't thinking about anything else.
The other thing she said was "Oh hey there Nic...you have a foreign body in your body in case you forgot. Your body is healing and probably trying to fight it a little, so yeah, I would expect you to be sore there."

Also known as "Turn the lightbulb on so you can see you dummy".

Monday, December 27, 2010

MIA

It appears my humor is MIA. I've looked everywhere for it, but I can't seem to find it. Although, my house is a pigsty, so it could be hiding under a pile of dirty dishes. It's hard to say.

It's been a rough week or so.
I will admit part of me is regretting the decision to do this. Wednesday I had another gas episode. Then I was pretty good until Christmas. Christmas evening I had another one, which seemed to pass quickly (pun intended). Then yesterday afternoon and evening I was in bed all day again feeling miserable. It appears to be food related--shellfish and eggs, but I'm not taking the chance again to find out for sure.

Today is much better. However, I do feel sore inside. It's kind of odd. It feels like I pulled a muscle, but I think it's still some trapped gas.

It leaves me asking questions like, am I going to deal with this all my life? Because if so, I'm tapping out. Spitting out my mouth guard, wiping down the sweat, and tapping out. It leaves me questioning myself and my doctor. I thought I was a VERY thorough patient the 6 months leading up to this. I asked alot of questions, did alot of research, and talked to alot of people. But, clearly, because I'm not an expert in this field, I expected my doctor to have a bit of knowledge to give me...the things that I couldn't possibly know to ask. And yet, I didn't find out about the gas pains in my shoulder that would occur until a few days before surgery. Nor did I know that eating certain foods afterwards may cause a Hiroshima like incident in my stomach leading me to the ER.

I'm feeling alot less confident in my doctor these days. I don't really trust him anymore which isn't the best relationship to have with the person who is sticking a needle in you.
I'm hoping I will slowly but surely return to normal this week. I weighed in this morning at 259. The good thing is it doesn't seem so overwhelming anymore. I don't have SO much more to lose and if I take it in stages I really only have two stages left before I get to my first goal....so that's something....

By the way...if anyone finds my humor and happiness, please send it back. It's microchipped.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Decision made

So, we ended up going to the ER last night. The pain was getting unbearable again, plus I was starting to panic. You know how you automatically think the worst? I was convinced I was having a heart attack, stroke, and a baby all at the same time.

We went to the new Columbia St. Mary's, which is where I had the surgery done. I'll tell you, if you have to go to the hospital, that's the place to be. It's like a hotel. And while we were still in the ER for three hours, I didn't have to wait in the waiting room. I was literally taken back right away and seen almost immediately by a nurse.

They thought at first the pain might be a kidney stone. Thank goodness it wasn't. They did an Xray and they said it was real bad gas plus a UTI. Which I kind of thought it was, but I'm glad I went and figured out it wasn't something more serious. It gave me the peace I needed. They gave me IV tramadol I think it was and it worked great.
Today it seems to be much better. It's getting better as the day goes on and I hope tomorrow it will be completely gone.

In other news, the RN for my Dr's office called this morning. I ignored the call because I was still pissed from the experience yesterday. They ended up calling my mom because she is listed as the emergency contact.
Mom gave them an earful and I was glad because then I didn't have to do the dirty work myself. She told them she was not pleased with how I was treated yesterday.

And of course, the RN was very apologetic when I got on the phone and said the Dr was very worried and didn't mean to make it sound like he was being dissmissive. I wanted to say "If that's the case then the little bitch should be calling me himself" but I didn't.
She also said that after I left they were discussing it and he thought maybe I had a kidney stone....ummm....you didn't think that warranted a call back to me just as a head's up and a maybe you should go to the ER after all?

I see him again on the 3rd so it will be interesting to see his interactions with me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ooooo I could spit nails. Also...ow.

Woke up this morning incredibly bloated. I looked like I was pregnant. And trust me, that's not a look I want to see ever again.
I also woke up with a terrible pain in my left side. It feels like a sore muscle in combination with someone stabbing me. I was feeling nausea too. I called the doctor and they said to come in. So I did.
The doctor said "Hmmm. I don't know what this is. Could be gas? It isn't consistant with a side effect or complication from the surgery. See if it gets better and call us in a couple days."
I was not really ok with this answer...but he's the doctor right? You know how you feel? Like, he's the one that went to medical school...who am I to tell him that it IS something?

So I left and came home. About 10 min into getting home, I called Nils and said come get me, we have to go to the ER. The pain was UNreal...I mean, it was second only to when I dislocated my shoulder...and I'm telling you that was painful...to the extent I can't even describe.

So after I called Nils I called the doctor back and told him the pain had gotten worse. I was crying. He said (and I quote) "Well, you weren't in this much pain when you were in the office...if you are crying and in that much pain, then just go to the ER." That may not sound like much to you...but his tone and the way he said it  made me feel like an ass.

I curled up in a ball and laid on the bed until Nils got home and ate GasX like there was no tomorrow.  (Prepare for TMI next) I started passing gas like there was no tomorrow and there was some relief. By the time Nils got home I started questioning whether or not to go to the ER again.
It seemed to get better so I assume it's gas...
I'm still in a lot of pain. It's not as excrutiating (sp) as it was earlier, but it's still there. When I breathe in, it's painful.

I know it's silly, but I hate to go to the ER, spend 6 hours there and have them tell me it's gas....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Realizations up the wazoo

Alot has happened this week. There have been alot of realizations. They are like five star realizations...like a nice five star sophisticted Asian restaurant. With vibrant colors and urban chic d├ęcor. My five star realizations create a cozy yet refined ambience for your reading pleasure. 

The scale has finally moved. Two more pounds down. Who would have thought two little pounds would make someone so happy? But it's such motivation...
I ordered a coat before I had my surgery and it came this week. It was two sizes too big. It felt really good. Despite the fact that now I have to go through the hassle of calling UPS and having them pick it back up and send it back (and the fact that the company is going to sexually assault me by charging me to return it) it still felt good.

Anyways, back to my overpriced, tiny portioned,  five star realizations.

1) Remember how I said a co-worker said that I was much happier since I had the surgery? I realized as I was driving around shopping today, that I AM happier. Who would have thought? I mean I'm still a crabby, sarcastic, old bat, don't get me wrong, but that mostly has to do with my job. In my personal life, I am happier. And even if I never lose another single pound, what I've gained from losing what I've lost was worth it. Ok that's a lie, I better lose more pounds, or someone is going to get hurt....but I AM happier.

2) This is nothing to be ashamed of. I thought I would never tell anyone about this. I already knew people saw me as just fat and I didn't want them to judge me for having the surgery. I don't know what I thought people would say...maybe that I was taking the easy way out? That I was lazy? That I was a failure for not being able to do this on my own? But now, I liken this to someone hiring a personal trainer. That is a tool for people who don't feel like they can do it on their own. So is this. It's just a different kind of tool. 

3) I can make a difference by telling my story. A few people have asked me questions about my surgery who are considering having it themselves. Like I said, I had considered keeping this whole process a secret. But as I'm writing this blog and talking about it, people seem to be really relating to what I'm going through, my mental process, and the difference the surgery has made.

People that have never experienced a weight problem have no idea what it's like--actually being a normal size 12, yet all your high school friends are all a size 2, so you think you're fat. And obviously I have a smashing sense of humor, parallel to none, but that was created as a defense mechanism so that I felt like I fit in somehow.

By telling my story, those who feel like they don't have anyone who understand can realize there is someone out there and there IS hope.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gorilla warfare in my belly

So yesterday I had my first not so nice experience since the surgery. They were not telling tall tales--it really is important to eat slowly and eat SMALL bites.
I actually was starving yesterday evening so I made some beans and cheese and ate it like there was no tomorrow.

Then it was like Vietnam in my belly.
I tried to burp and I couldn't, it hurt. Because my belly was so full I couldn't even swallow any air to make myself burp and feel better. Believe it or not, that's kind of a scary feeling.

This is going to be really hard for me, because I like to eat. I like it alot. And I like to eat large quantities of food. Plus it's like a race because the faster you eat, the more you can get in your belly before you feel full. (Lessons in Obesity, the title of my new book)

In related news, someone at work told me today that I seem much happier after my surgery. Which is kind of strange because, personally, I feel like I have less of a fuse than before (which, in relation to work is hardly possible). I mean, I'm happier in the sense that I have hope and the hope of one day getting out of plus sizes. On the other hand, food made me really happy before. It was my BFF, my pen pal, my long lost siamese twin. And I do miss it. Being able to stop at taco bell on the way home and drown my sorrows in a cheesy bean burrito is something that was wonderful comfort.

Still trying to find something to replace that comfort...right now it's yelling at my sales reps. So far, it's working nicely, but I know I will have to come up with something different soon enough.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brewers United for Real Potables (Or Burp)

Oh hi, *burp* how are you? *burp*
Excuse me. *burp*
That's actually really the name of a group. But I'm not here to discuss them. Although, a site dedicated to Brew Pubs and Beer is A-Ok with me.

I burp a lot. I don't know if that's normal or not. When I go to the doctor on the 3rd I'll ask him. I wonder if it is just a side effect of me still learning how to eat slowly and not swallow so much air when I'm eating and drinking.

The scale still hasn't moved. Actually, that's a lie. It went up for a couple days but it's back down to 266. I would prefer it would keep going down, but as long as it's not going in the other direction, I'm ok for now.
I'm in phase two--meaning I'm eating mashed potatos, tuna, applesauce and other soft foods. No issues. Starting Thursday I can start to eat normally again...meaning I can have meat, vegetables, etc. I'm actually looking forward to having some asparagas. *freak*

 Last night, however I did have a MEAN craving for some chocolate. Want to know the fun part? Like the super, roller coaster, skating rink fun part? I stopped after three chocolate kisses. That might not seem like a big deal to you, and if it doesn't, excuse me while I push you in the nearest snowbank. I would have had that entire bag of chocolate gone in 30 minutes before surgery. It's a big accomplishment for me and almost brought tears to my eyes to know that I was satisfied with three teeny little Hershey's Kisses.

Friday, December 10, 2010

And the cycle continues

So, my normal cycle before weight loss surgery went a little something like this:
Step 1) Get motivated and determined
Step 2) Watch what I'm eating for 2 weeks and exercise
Step 3) Not see the scale move
Step 4) Say "Fuck it" this isn't working I give up.

We have arrived at Step 3) (and for my New Kids friends it is NOT "It's just you and me")
I was losing 2 lbs a day since surgery. Super pleased with that. Even if it had been just 1lb/day I would have been fine with that. But for the past two days the scale has been stuck at 266.4.

I get up every morning and I walk over to that scale and I look at it and I say, "Look here, you sorry excuse for a piece of metal. I'm gonna step on you. You're going to give me a smaller number than what you did yesterday, or Mrs. Scale is sleeping with the fishes."
It appears I underestimated Mr. Scale. He is not afraid of me OR my idle threats. The past two days he has given me the same number. While I'm plotting how to torture the love of his life until he gives me what I want, there are all sorts of thoughts running through my head.

Did I go through this just to lose 10 lbs?
What if I don't start losing again?
All of the people I told I was doing this are going to think I failed.
I'm going to know I failed.
What if I'm the only person on the face of this planet this doesn't work for?

And that, my friends, is where I am sitting right now. Anyone hungry for a big plate of discouragement with a side salad of worry? I've got plenty to go around.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

itch (ic̸h)
intransitive verb
  1. to feel or cause an irritating sensation on the skin that makes one want to scratch the affected part
A man had just been laid off from work. He was standing on the railing of a high bridge getting ready to jump off, when he happened to look down and see a little man with no arms dancing all around on the river bank below.
He thought, "Life isn't so bad after all," and got off the railing.
He then walked down to the river bank to thank the little man for saving his life.
"Thank you," he said. "I was going to jump off that bridge and kill myself, but when I saw you dancing even though you have no arms, I changed my mind."
"Dancing? I'm not dancing!" the armless man replied bitterly ... "My asshole itches, and I can't scratch it!"

Ok...that may have been in poor taste. But only a smidge. My incision sites are ITCHING like crazy. I know that means they are healing. At least that's what an old wife once told me in a tale. But Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we couldn't come up with a better way to tell us we were healing? I mean I can think of a few just off the top of my head. Like, you know how you can tell when meat is done? Like the little button on the turkey pops out and says "Pssst. Hey guys, it is now time to enjoy my crisp skin, juicy meat, and golden carbohydrates you stuffed me with"? Why can't our belly buttons just pop out? You're just sitting there watching TV one night and all of a sudden "pop", there goes the belly button. Yayyyyyyyy! You're healed! 

Instead, someone (I'm not saying who, be it God, Buddah, the Devil, or The Dali Lama) decided that after being stabbed repeatedly you should also go through the hell of having to itch yourself like a drunk fat man during the football game. Thanks for that. 
Excuse me while I go scratch my belly for the next hour.  



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

But I want it NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

My blog seems to have a Willy Wonka theme going on. We've talked oompa loompa's, Violet, and now that brat Veruca comes up. Maybe it's because I love chocolate so much and dream of having a house made of chocolatey goodness. Can you imagine? Sitting on your couch, leaning over and grabbing your pillow and just taking a bite because it's a chocolate covered caramel? Mmmmmm

Ok, that's not what this blog is about. FOCUS PEOPLE!!!!!!!!
I've always been an impatient person. I get an idea in my head and Veruca Salt comes out, "I want it NOW!"
I've been steadily losing about 2 lbs/day since surgery. I was actually less than I thought I was on surgery day. I weighed 276. Today I weighed in at 267. Stepping on the scale every day makes me happy. Let's be honest, I haven't seen 267 since 1952. Ok, so I was way not born then, but I need for you to know like how obscenely long it's been since I've seen anywhere below the 280 mark.

So, I got up this morning, did the morning weigh in and then got dressed to go to the vet and then this afternoon to work. I put on my clothes and went to the mirror and then I said, "Oh hey fatty, what's up?"
Why don't I look any skinnier!!??? 10lbs is 10lbs. That should give me something! Smaller boobs, thinner face, ANYTHING!!!!

I know this is going to go quicker than if I didn't have this surgery, but DAMN IT!!! I WANT IT NOW!!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

www.nowwhat.com?

I'm three days post op. The high has worn off. Kind of like what happens to meth addicts after their lab blows up and they figure out something went horribly wrong.

Now I'm just kind of here...wondering what I did. It's almost even kind of hard for me to write what I'm feeling. It's that strange.  I'm down 5 lbs since Thursday. Which, don't get me wrong, is totally awesome. It took me like a month to lose 5 lbs before.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could see immediate results? You know, like in I Dream of Jeanie. I mean 5 lbs is great and all, but laying in bed watching TV I saw my flabby arms again. And I wondered if they would ever go away. Also in that point and time I realized I could really go for some pizza. Like, not just some pizza, but alot of pizza. Followed by a juicy bacon cheeseburger. Granted, it has nothing to do with hunger, it's all in my head, but I still want it.

Yes, I get that that's how I got this way....food makes me feel better. I don't know why, it just does. It's comforted me for 30 years. I would take a look at some flabby part of myself and go "What's the difference? I'm chubby already, I might as well add to it." It's confusing why something like that, which is clearly, detrimental, makes you feel better.

It's good that I'm starting to correlate the two feelings...but it also makes me wonder how I will ever overcome it. Will there ever be a day when I look in the mirror and am happy with what I see? Will there ever be a day that I don't just want a big juicy cheeseburger at my disposal?

I guess I'll go make my tomato soup and pretend I'm eating something delicious and juicy. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Full of hot air

Or just air in general. I'm still doing ok. Still generally not in a lot of pain from the actual incisions. Yesterday I over did it a little. Was feeling good so I went to Target with my mom. My alter ego apparantly is NOT SuperWoman because that was a little much.
Since I started really moving around more the gas pains are really getting to me. When they do the surgery, the doctor pumps air into you so he can see better.

I mean really, couldn't he just have put some glasses on or something? I feel like Violet from Willy Wonka, except I'm not filled with blueberry juice.

The gas pains have been getting worse. I had been eating Gas X pills like they were candy, but they weren't really doing much. I sent Nils to the store for the Gas X strips and within 5 seconds of taking those I felt relief. Don't know why the difference, seems random, but I don't care, it worked!!!! 
Some of you have asked a little more about the surgery. Here's a good and simple website. Doesn't give a TON of detail, but it describes it pretty well.

http://www.obesitylapbandsurgery.com/tecmain.html

In non WLS news, one of the cats is peeing outside the litterbox again.

Hey, Cats, I get it. I wouldn't want to pee in a box either, but the other option is for you to learn how to use the toilet. Which I don't see happening.
Two of the cats have histories of bladder infections, but the vet has no openings today so I can't take them in to get checked. I'm not sure if one of them is protesting or if something is wrong. Although, I am unsure what they would be protesting? Their wonderful food? Their abundance of furry cat beds? The fact that they get treated better than most humans I encounter?

I hate that I have to wait until Tuesday morning now. But at least I'll be able to take both of them in and get it over with.

Friday, December 3, 2010

That was it?

Yesterday was surgery day. We got to the hospital at 650 am. I was surprisingly not nervous. I knew it would hit me later though. Like a ton of bricks. Or like that anvil from the old cartoons.

Got all settled in and the nurse came to take my vitals, put my IV in, and as she was leaving she patted me on the leg and said "We're going to take good care of you."
BAM! Lost it. Bawled my eyes out. And then she said "Ohhh honey you're going to qualify for them extra good drugs!"

About 845 the doctor came in and asked if I had any last minute questions. I just shook my head as the tears welled up. BAM! More waterworks. He kind of just grinned and said I was in good hands. Then the anasthesiologist came in. It was like fricken Niagra Falls up in there by that point.We talked...actually what happened was she talked and I shook my head while I was drowning the room in tears. She should have brought her water wings.

Then I got some nice relaxing medicine in my IV. I was half asleep by the time they got me to the OR. Once in the OR I met a few more nice nurses and they put the mask on me and then..........

.......I don't know what happened, do you?  Because then I woke up in recovery. IN ZERO PAIN. For reals. The recovery room nurse asked how my pain was on a scale of 1-10 and I told her zero and she looked at me like I was crazy. Then I remember if asking her if I had a catheter in and she said no. And I went "Yayyyyy for no catheters" and then I fell asleep again.

I was in and out from that point until they decided to move me to a room where I basically just needed to wake up. Still in no pain. When I got up to walk around I felt the first twinge, but really, it felt like I had done 90 billion situps. I just felt like my muscles were sore. I was shocked. As was everyone else that I wasn't in any pain. I must have a really high threshold. I remember not being in any pain when I had my breast reduction too, but I thought that was just because I had good drugs.

The one thing I will say that was icky about my experience was the nurses when I was in my actual room. The first one, while very very nice and patient, she was kind of a wishy washy little thing. I asked her what the best way to get out of bed was the first time. She said it was up to me. (thanks for the guidance, i see that RN school did you well). Then I asked her if I needed to keep my circulation massager things on my calves since I was up and walking. Again, it was up to me. Seeing as how my care was completely up to me, I must have an RN degree and didn't know it. So, if you ever need RN advice, I'd be happy to help.

Around 330-4pm I was ready to be discharged so I called the nurse. And a new one showed up. She didn't even introduce herself. I had to ask her if she was my new nurse. (And she still didn't even tell me her name). I told her I wanted to go home. She said she'd go check. So she came back and said the Dr was in surgery and we'd have to wait. I said that's fine, no biggie, I just know that the pharmacy downstairs closes at 6pm, so if we start to get near to that time we've got to figure something out. She looked me dead in the eye and VERY patronizing said "Well...um. The doctor is in SURGERY. Do you understand what that means?" And I looked her in the eye and said "I'm a 30 year old woman who does not need to be patronized and I am not stupid."
(She's lucky I didn't get out of that bed and slap her right upside the head.)
Anyways, I finally got discharged about 5. And I basically spent the rest of the night sleeping.

This morning I feel just about the same. Just sore. I'm going to stop the oxycodone today and just use the liquid tylenol I think. The waiting now is going to be the hardest part. As much as I wanted to wake up this morning automatically a size 6, that didn't happen. I'm really confident I am going to be able to follow the eating plan to the letter.

I just can't wait to start seeing that scale go down. I finally have hope again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Well shoot, I wish I would have thought about this first....

Tomorrow is surgery day. I'm ready. I'm feeling good. I am also ready to punch someone. If one more person asks me "Have you thought this through?" or "Do you know that you're going to have this for the rest of your life?" or "That's a little much don't you think?"

Look, you assholes, those are inappropriate (and stupid might I add) questions. Of COURSE I've thought this through. Actually, just kidding, I didn't. I woke up yesterday morning and thought "Hey, you know what might be fun? Getting put out for an hour, having a doctor stab me a few times, and making my stomach the size of an egg. You know, my typical Thursday routine."

I have been seeing the doctor for 6 months prior to this, not that it's any of your business. I plan on getting healthy, also none of your business. Just like it's none of MY business that you are going to continue to gain 30 lbs every year by eating an entire pizza by yourself for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But...who am I to judge.