Friday, April 16, 2010

The surgery was on my belly, not my brain

I truly wish that along with the belly surgery I'd gotten brain surgery too.  Not literally, because I know that is a bitch (having had a good friend go through it).  What I mean is that my brain still thinks like the old me, has my old compulsions and habits, and does the same dumb things.

My biggest problem is night eating.  I've been justifying it because my surgeon remarked that I would feel better eating before bed so I didn't go so long without food.

But the fact of the matter is that I'm not eating enough during the day to help my brain to stop craving stuff all evening.

This scares me, because right now I'm still losing weight, but 2-3 years from now, when Pouchie has stretched to near-normal proportions, I won't have the surgery keeping me from eating.  I've got to learn the habits and make the changes now, while I still have the surgical advantage.

I'm giving myself some time, since I'll be going through another surgery soon to fix the hernia, but I am going to have to learn how to get my brain lined up with my belly.  And soon...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And the diagnosis is...

Belly Butt is trying to burst free!  (I just like the alliteration). 

I was very excited that I was getting 2 surgeries for the price of one:  gastric bypass and an umbilical hernia repair (I didn't even know I had a hernia until the surgeon said that he would fix it "while he was in there").   Well, the repair didn't take, and so my pain issues have all been traced back to the hernia, uh, re-heriating (?). 

So, like the story of my life, it's good news/bad news.  Good news:  Pouchie is fine and there is no infection.  Bad news:  the Belly Butt will need another surgery to fix it.  Could be worse, right?  It's a simple out-patient surgery and I should be home by evening, with just a couple days off work, thank goodness.

But I did have a fun trip to the ER last night to get the CAT scan (which, strangely enough, my own cat was not able to perform for me).  The admission nurse ended up being a friend of mine, so it was nice to see a familiar face.  He also gave me good advice..."build up your muscles to be successful with your surgery."  However, it looks like weight lifting will be on hold for a little while.  So my admission went well, the scan went well, and then there was the waiting.  And the multiple teams of Doogie Housers that stopped by on occasion to prod at my belly and nod their heads at one another.  Seriously, I think I have underwear that is older than these people (TMI?).

Finally the grown-up surgeon came and told me it was an umbilical hernia, but that I wasn't in danger and that I could go home as long as I followed up the next day to schedule surgery.  Hot damn!  She said that they would do my discharge paperwork and bring it in in a few minutes.  So I patiently waited.  Um, sort of.

(Now is a good time to explain that I am a polite, rule-following kind of girl.  If they tell me to wait behind the line, I will wait behind the line.  I might be right up on it, or let a toe cross, but I will stay behind the line.  That is, except when I haven't eaten in 24 hours.  Then I am a raving bitch, apparently.)

An hour later, I realize that I'm very thirsty, hungry, and still in a little pain.  In short, the recipe for disaster.  I finally went up, opened the door to my room and told the first person who passed wearing scrubs, "Either you take this damn IV out, or I will.  My surgeon released me, I haven't eaten in 24 hours, and I'm going home--with or without paperwork."  (I kinda kick ass, right?)  Her eyes went really wide and she told me that the surgeon hadn't released me in their computer and that she didn't know.  I might have responded with something like, "Well, now you do," and she scampered off to get the required stuff.  I went back in my little room for another 20 minutes and then figured, screw it, what are they going to do?  Call the principal?  Tell me I'm a bad patient?  Report me to my mother (OK, that one I'm a little worried about, but the others sounded ridiculous.).

So I pulled out my own IV, dropped it in one of those ugly little kidney-shaped dishes, got dressed, grabbed my shit, and opened the door.  I found the first doctor and told him I was leaving now.  Lo and behold, the paperwork materialized in front of my eyes and I signed my name and took off for home.  8 hours after getting there.

Now I know they were just doing their job, and that a little hernia is on the bottom of the priority list, but I was pretty proud of myself for standing up and taking care of business.  I don't know that I would have done that before losing weight, but I'm finding that I am the only one who has a truly vested interested in my wellness.  Nurses and doctors do their jobs, and god bless them for it, but if it all goes wrong they go home at the end of the day knowing that they do the best they can.  I'm the one who goes home with a new hernia, peripheral neuropathy, or perhaps doesn't go home at all.

And God help them if they have to call my mother on me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Less drama, more weightloss

So I get a call today from my good friend D., and she's panicking at me.  Apparently she read last night's post.  "What is the 'something worse' and are you OK?"  And then she follows that statement with, "...or were you just being overly dramatic."  Which makes it sound like she is cynical, but truly she is just a whole lot more realistic and down-to-earth than I am.  I proceeded to remind her that although I am a drama queen and frequently over-react, I am always right about the important things.  Like lipgloss.

So I am sorry for worrying everyone (thank you all for your very sweet comments).  I did actually consult a health care professional this afternoon, and we've narrowed it down to a possible re-hernia and an internal infection.  I swore to her that I would call my surgeon again first thing tomorrow. Which is the sensible thing to do.  Right after the 500 things I have to do tomorrow (uh, I think that type of comment is the "overly dramatic" language D. was referring to).

So I am officially being calm about this and not over-reacting.  But I did verbally update my will with The Mom this evening, telling her to give all my makeup to D. if anything should happen.  Not that I'm over-reacting, though.  D. really needs some new makeup...she's broken all her compacts with her crushing Godzilla-like hands, bless her.

Enough with the drama...on to the weightloss.  Between yesterday and today, I've had about 6 people comment on how "skinny" I'm getting.  It kind of shocks me because I am FAR from skinny.  But it's nice to hear that people are noticing, because I still don't really see it.  I know that I've lost a lot because I can sit on the floor, drive without my belly hitting the steering wheel, go up the stairs without resting halfway through, and wear some clothes I haven't fit into in years.  But I still don't really see it.  I wonder if losing weight this quickly is a little like having a fun-house mirror--you can't be sure of what it is you are looking at.

So here's to reality, courtesy of D.  A more realistic look at some potential health issues, and a more realistic look at what I've accomplished. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The belly-butt conundrum

I know you were all (all 9 of you) dying to hear more about my plan for physical fitness, however I have been sidelined. Not long after my last post, in fact. Exercise has been temporarily shoved aside by the strange and wonderful "belly-butt."

You see, along with the gastric bypass, I had a hernia operation for a tear near my belly button (two surgeries in one!). When I came to, I felt like crap, but had a new scrambled gut and a new belly button. Of which The Mom took one look and said, "Oh, cute! It looks like a little butt." Had it not been for the drugs, she might have lost an eye for saying that, but the name "belly butt" for my belly button has stuck. Avert your eyes if you have a weak stomach...

As you can see, the tissue does have cheeks, and is rather butt-like, but still.  From your mother?  Anyhoo, the Belly Butt has been acting up. More than just the gurgully wergullys. As in doubled over in pain last night after my 1/2 cutie orange and 10 almonds.

So today I called the surgeon and I may be going for an MRI to see if it is scar tissue, or just general ornery-ness.   It's possible that there was just too much fiber for the BB (Belly Butt), or it could be much, much worse.  Wish me luck, because I only have 2 Oxycodones left and I'm saving them up for a real emergency.  I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but when it does break through I'm down for the count.  And liquid Tylenol, frankly, does nothing for me.

Perhaps the Belly Butt is as desperate as I am to avoid serious exercise right now...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's a long road back to the beginning.

So I haven't been posting much because I've had a lot going on in life. I had a friend staying with me until she found a new place, another friend coming to get the stuff at my house she was storing, and major work projects going on.

And I've been slipping (which often happens when I let life get away from me). I haven't been eating all my protein, or drinking all my water. And the carbs. The carbs are slowly insinuating themselves back into my life like the evil little heebie-jeebies that they are. Needless to say, not only do I not feel all that well, but the hair loss has gotten worse AND I've only lost about 2 lbs in as many weeks.

Sigh. Anyone who thinks this surgery is a magic bullet can kiss my somewhat-smaller-but-not-quite-small-enough ass.

So today we are starting anew. Protein shake for breakfast, homemade beef & bean & veggie chili for lunch, 1/2 a cutie orange and about 10 almonds for a snack, roasted chicken for dinner, and I think I'll have some protein pudding right before bed. Those crackers will not defeat me with their whole-grain goodness!

So I'm getting back into a good food routine. Next step, more exercise. I think we'll talk about that in tomorrow's post (or the day after...we'll see how the week goes).

Monday, April 5, 2010

I got good news, and I got bad news...

It's another "good news, bad news" post. You know, like, "The good news is you've been promoted. The bad news is that you now are responsible for laying off 200 people." This really happened to me, by the way, so I know me some "good news, bad news."

The good news is that I am now able to fit into my old jackets just in time for the semi-chilly spring weather. I have a gorgeous tan suede and an adorable jean jacket that have been sitting in the closet with no one to wear them for at least 3 years. Now, they may join the rest of humanity and frolic on my shoulders. They will see sites! They will obtain stains! They will...well, you get the picture. I truly am psyched.

The bad news is that I will soon be very, very bald. And double-bad news, I do not have an attractively-shaped head. The Mom would accuse me of being melodramatic, but every time I shower I loose 1/2 lb. of hair. It's getting thinner and thinner and there is no sign of stopping. This is a very common side effect of weight-loss surgery, but between the surgery itself, the low thyroid, and going off the pill I am starting to see shiny scalp under my hair now. So much for growing it to donate--maybe when it (hopefully) grows back eventually.

Moral of the story? Cute jackets that fit again will keep you warm, despite a chilly scalp.