The Big 100!

I am currently 3 months post op, almost to the day. I can happily stop taking the Carafate, Protonix and Pepcid. I have considered continuing the Protonix, because I was taking it prior to surgery, and still have some, but I’m happy I can stop the Carafate. That stuff is pretty rancid, and I hate the aftertaste it leaves. Ick.

I feel good. The nausea is still a problem, and as are my stubborn bowels, but all in all I’m feeling pretty good. I have very little knee pain now unless I overdo, compared to constant pain even at rest back when all this started. I’m holding off on going back to the orthopedic surgeon. The more weight I lose, the easier rehab will be. And if it isn’t bothering me as much now, and I’m able to postpone, I will!

Mariah’s best friend, and lover of all things Avett, John from Alabama, has been visiting the last few days.  He’s a really sweet kid, and it’s been fun getting to know him. We talk a lot when Mariah is at work, and he’s gotten a real education about the history of our part of the country. He’s leaving for his return trip home tomorrow, so we took him to the Casino at Salamanca, NY last night. He was like a kid in a candy store. It was fun to watch.

I let Mariah do my make up and we took selfies before we left.

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Smoky eye – En point!

Oh yeah, and as of this morning, I’m down 100.2 pounds.  That’s right;

I’VE LOST 100 FRICKIN’ POUNDS!!!

I think I’m still waiting for the reality and gravity of it to hit me. I mean, yeah, I read the number, but it still hasn’t really sunk in yet.

100 pounds. 100. The guy in the cage at the casino last night did a double take when he looked at my license, and congratulated me on my weight loss.  Total victory! And that license picture was taken in December!

I need to get my sorry butt out of bed – I hate daylight savings time – and get motivated. I hope everyone enjoys their day.

Be good to each other.
Linda ❤

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6 Week Post Op- Good News and Bad News

So, I had my appointment on Thursday with Jackie the PA at UPMC Bariatrics. The weather was kind of shitty, so I was fortunate that they had some cancellations and I was able to go up early, and was back in Warren by 4, before the real snow started in earnest.

It was the first time I had driven myself to one of my appointments. Usually Victoria would take me, or once in a while Mariah or my Mom would go, but this time, I went alone. It was nice to sing as loud as I wanted to the radio, or talk to myself on the drive. It helped calm my nerves.

I’m not sure why I was so nervous. Yes, I do. I’ve been in a stall almost since I hit 400. I’ve been hovering in the same 7 or 8 pound span for two weeks. I was nervous that I wasn’t on track with my weight loss because of it.

When Fely, the nurse who does the workups at Dr. Ali’s office, saw me, she threw her hands in the air and said “you’re disappearing!” She’s a sweetheart, and I figure she probably says that to all the post-op patients, but it still made me laugh out loud.

She took me back to the workup room. I took off my boots, and stepped on the scales. Now the good news; I had lost 21.5 pounds since my previous appointment, and over 50 since surgery. Frankly, I was a little disappointed, but she told me I had done great. She took hold of my dress and said “No more wearing these!” I was wearing one of the thin dresses I always wear (regardless of the weather) to my doctor’s appointments. They weigh next to nothing, and that’s why I wear them, I told her. She told me that she could see how much weight I’d lost and said I need to treat myself to some new things. I explained that I had bought myself a couple of pairs of jeans smaller than my old ones, but there was no way in hell I was wearing them to get weighed in! We both laughed, and continued bullshitting while she got my blood pressure and heart rate. We were laughing so hard, it took four tries to get a pressure!

Next, I went to the exam room and waited for Jackie. I only waited a minute before I heard her knock. The first thing she did was congratulate me on my weight loss. I thanked her, and relayed my concerns about the stall, and told her it was hard for me to gauge how I was progressing. She said I was doing amazing! I explained that I was doing well with my fluid intake, but had a tough time getting my calories in because of my nausea. It hasn’t really gotten any better since the last time I was there. In fact, sometimes it’s a lot worse. So it was decided she would send a script for Phenergan to my pharmacy. I can take it in between doses of Zofran when I need it. She then broke the bad news to me; this could last up to six months! To say I was discouraged is an understatement. She told me not to get too down about it; some patients have a tougher time with nausea than others, but to remember that eventually it WILL go away. My fingers are crossed that it’ll be sooner rather than later. She did tell me that I need to try to get 800 calories a day in whenever possible. It takes 800 calories for day to day function of your body, so I will continue to try.

We talked about my meds, and she told me that I can stop the Protonix, Carafate and Pepcid at 3 months post op. That’s two weeks from now! However, I do need to continue the gall bladder medicine for three months after that, and the vitamins indefinitely, so that I will keep on doing.

One last thing she told me before I left was that I have been dieting my entire adult life, and even before adulthood, and need to make sure I don’t allow the stalls to get into my head. She reminded me that I will see in my losses in the way my clothes fit before I do on the scale, so I shouldn’t let it get me down. She gave me an order for bloodwork to have done prior to my next visit, and I don’t need to come back until the end of May! I’ll be just around a year from the start of my weight loss journey then, so I’m excited to see where I’m at then. All in all, a pretty damn good report, I think.

In other news, I ordered tickets for myself and Mariah for The Avett Brothers show at the Chautauqua Institution on July 8th. Her birthday is the 10th, so for her gift, I bought a pair of preferred seating tickets for the show, which is only about an hour or so away from where we live! I think for my first Avett Show ever, and my first concert in almost 20 years!

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All in all, it’s been a pretty good couple of weeks since my last post. Oh, except about the boy with whom I’d been talking. We met, and had a great time. Two days later, I found out he has a girlfriend. He’s been living with. For five fucking years. Needless to say, he’s toast. So, we soldier on…

For the most part, a good couple of weeks. I had a dinner/movie date with Mariah last week (Deadpool is a great movie), with Tori on Thursday (new Chicken Power Bowl at Bob Evans was wonderful!) and I introduced Joie to “Downton Abbey” (“Mom, that Mary is a bitch!”) last night.  I continue to stay as positive as I can, which isn’t the stuggle it once was. I’m very fortunate to have family (and even ex-in laws) who love me very much, good friends that pick me up when I am fading, and some amazing coworkers I am fortunate to call my friends.

Finally, for those keeping track at home, I’ve lost 92 pounds so far!

Take care of yourself and love each other,

Linda ❤

 

 

So long, 400!

Wednesday, I stepped on the scales, and for the first time since 2012, I was under 400 lbs. I still think I’m in shock. It doesn’t seem real yet. Regardless, my oldest daughter, Mariah, has been hounding me about taking photos to document my weight loss journey, and I haven’t  done it. I told her I would when I was under 400. Consequently, she took it upon herself to take a picture a couple nights ago. She then posted it side by side with a picture that was taken the day we decided to submit to Highmark for approval.

 

I am so lucky to have such a great kid. Her support and encouragement has been amazing, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Honestly, in the pictures, I don’t see much difference, but feeling how my clothes fit now, I KNOW there’s a difference. My clothes are MUCH MUCH looser; I’ve gotten to the point where some of my shirts are too big to wear. So I broke down and bought myself a few new things in smaller sizes.

That was difficult for me. For one, I’m not a big fan of buying clothes anyway; never have been. I’m sure it’s because fat clothes cost more to buy than “normal” clothes, but also because I always hated how I looked in them. I’m feeling much better about that now. I’m no size 5, but I’m becoming more comfortable. I ordered the new clothes online (I’m still too big to buy most things at a brick and mortar store), and most all of them fit. I bought two pairs of jeans a size smaller than the last jeans I bought (which were so tight, I couldn’t wear them for six months, starting back prior to surgery), a size 4x henley (the purple one from the photo above), and a black and white striped button up shirt in size 4x which I wore to work yesterday. I also bought a size 24 bathing suit which with any luck will fit me once the weather warms up, and another 4x button up that is still a little tight around my upper arms/armpits. I know it won’t take long to get to a point where it fits, so all in all, I feel really good about my purchases. On top of that, everything I bought was on sale. Yay me!

The nausea is still hanging around, unfortunately. It’s not quite as bad as before, but it still lasts several hours a day. I burp, and get hiccups all the time, which is extremely frustrating, but it’s getting a little easier to eat. So that’s something…

Oh, and I’ve been talking to a boy. We’re seeing each other tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day. Cross your fingers for me. 🙂

Til next time –

Linda ❤

 

 

You’ll have to wait one more day…

I had an 800 word blog almost done, fell asleep typing, and lost the whole damned thing, so you’re going to have to wait one more freaking day.

Mental note – save the draft while you’re writing it.

In the meantime, here’s The Avett Brothers. Seeing them live is one of my post op goals (hopefully at Red Rocks-a girl can dream!).

The Avett Brothers – Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise

My daughter Mariah got a tattoo of a lighthouse (for my Dad – I miss you!) with the lyrics from this song “Decide what to be and go be it” incorporated into it.  That line means a great deal to me now. I decided to be healthy, and am taking the steps I need to so I can be.

And with that, I am away.

Be kind, rewind.

Linda ❤

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is always tough for me. My dad has been gone for just over 4 years now, and I miss him as much today as ever. There is literally not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him.

Mom and Dad

My dad was the kind of guy that everybody liked. He always had a funny story or anecdote, and loved to tease people. It was never mean spirited, at least not intentionally, and everybody loved him, especially his wife, kids and granddaughters.

Family

My dad had a very hard childhood. His parents were hard people. And when we were kids, I don’t remember hearing “I love you” a lot from him, but I knew it. He showed us he loved us in his own way. By letting us ride the riding lawnmower with him, or taking us to Winky’s when he went for his daily dose of coffee and gossip.

He really was a kind and understanding man. When my sister and I were little (like 4 and 5) we decided to climb the ladder to the roof of the barn. (Dad was at work as the local police chief, and Mom was in the house with our baby brother.) To this day, I have no idea why we decided to climb up there. Anyway, once we were up there for a while, I climbed back down the ladder, but Donna was too scared. I tried to talk her down, but she wasn’t having it, so I climbed back up the ladder to the roof so she wouldn’t be scared. You know, when Dad came home, I don’t remember him yelling at us about it at all. He just got us down the ladder.

I remember on the trip to take me to college. My first real memory of him telling me he loved me was on that trip. As we drove through Harrisville, I remember him saying to me “You don’t have to do this. We can go back home.” We all had a laugh over that. We arrived at school shortly after. We had unloaded the van, and were standing out in front of North Hall at Slippery Rock. He put his arm around me, gave me a sideways hug and said “I love you, kid. I’m proud of you.”  I held it together until they were gone, but I’ve never forgotten it.

wedding day with dad

When we stood in the vestibule, waiting for the music cue to start our trip down the aisle, my Dad told me the same thing he said on the way to college. “We can get out of here and go back home if you want to.”  I didn’t.   Later, at the reception, during the Father-Daughter dance, he gave me a hug and told me he loved me. I cried.

I was fortunate enough to give my Dad three granddaughters that he loved very, very much.  My girls’ dad and I were dating when I got pregnant, and I was still living with my parents. When Mom found out, Dad was away working, and I was afraid to tell him, so Mom said she would when he came home from his trip. I hid upstairs while she told him about my pregnancy. I had no idea how he would react to the news, but I figured he’d be pissed, and knew there was a chance that he’d kick me out of the house, so I tried to prepare for the worst.  He walked to the bottom of the stairs, and yelled my name. I answered with a very meek “Yes?”. He said very sternly,  “Did you think I was going to be mad when your mother told me about the baby?” I was already crying, and answered through tears “Yes.”  What came next surprised the hell out of me. He said “Well, I was just talking to one of the guys at work the other day, and told him I thought it was about time I had grandchildren.” That was his way of telling me everything was going to be okay.

so pregnant

My girls were the sun and the stars to my dad. He had cancer for many years, and while he would have loved to see all my girls graduate, get married, and have babies, unfortunately, he was only able to see Mariah graduate from high school before the cancer took him from us.

Dad always worried about my weight. He didn’t ever tell me that, but my Mom told me that as I got bigger and bigger, he got more and more concerned.  I know that he’s looking down at me from wherever he is, and he is proud. He’s proud of the steps I’m taking to lose weight, and make myself healthier. He’s proud of my girls, and how through all the trials and struggles they’ve had to endure in their brief lives, they have survived. Just like he did.  And he’s proud of my Mom, for soldiering on after losing the love of her life, the man she took care of for twenty years.

Wednesday would have been his 75th birthday.  I miss you, Daddy. And I love you.

Edit – When we were kids, one of my Dad’s favorite shows was “Emergency!”. We used to watch it every week. So I decided that I’d spend my afternoon alone watching their reruns. It really did make me feel better.

L.

It’s a Beautiful Day in Pennsylvania….

And I’m not being ironic or sarcastic. Victoria, Jordan and I went to visit my Mom and brother.  The girls got to go visit their horses (and unfortunately, Joie got stepped on) and Tori got a chance to ride Olivia. She looked like a natural.

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In the meantime, Mom and I had the chance to have a really good visit.  I think she wants to take me to Erie for my EGD on the 19th, which is really sweet. My dad was sick for many, many years and Mom spent more than her fair share of hours sitting in hospitals. I told her she didn’t have to, for that reason, but she insisted that she wants to, which is a huge relief to me. I know I’m not allowed to drive home after (because I will be sedated) and now I don’t have to scramble to figure something out.

My mother has been such a huge supporter of the cause. I’m so fortunate to have her. I was sitting in a lawn chair on her porch, across from her, and told her that a couple of the girls from work (ones I don’t see daily) said they could see that I have lost weight. Mom said that she could see it too, which really made my day. I knew that girls from work could have just been being polite, but Mom sees me less frequently than they do, and if she saw it, I believed it. Love you, Mommy.

All in all, I think the diet is going pretty well. Still no Diet Pepsi or straws or caffeine, and lots and lots of water. I do fall off the food wagon once in a while, but better now while I’m still retraining my brain than later on when it could have dire consequences (after surgery).

Bob update: he’s still calling me a couple of times a day. He also tells me at least once a day that he really wants to see me. He is still having phantom pain, and went to the doctor yesterday. The doctor told he believed he’s been using the prosthetic too much and needed to take a break. He also prescribed the use of a TENS unit, so hopefully those two things will help eliminate some, if not all, of that terrible phantom pain.

Tonight, Tori and her bf have gone to the stock car races, and I’m beat from sitting out in the sun, so I may try to get to sleep a little earlier than usual tonight. I’ve been eating Ibuprofen like candy because of the pain, so I think staying off it might help. At least I hope so.

Take care of each other and be kind to everyone,

Linda ❤

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’m not much for holidays. My grandma passed away the day before Thanksgiving ten years ago, and I just don’t feel like celebrating it. Since my dad died, the only reason I do a Christmas at all is for my kids. If their dad wasn’t such a lameass,  I’d just have the girls go his house for Christmas. (They do go to my ex mother in laws, and have a good time, so for that, I’m glad.)  Father’s Day and Dad’s birthday are both really hard for me. But Mother’s Day? I still have a Mom and I love her so much, even if I don’t tell her all the time.

I know I don’t talk to my mother as much as I should. I try. I tell myself at work that I’ll call her when I get home. Problem is, I get home, and I am so beat, that I wind up sleeping for a few minutes. After that I feel like I’m running on fumes. The Book of Faces has made things a little better, in that, if I decide at 530 am I want to tell my mom something, so I don’t forget, I can do that. The problem is, once she reads it, she forgets about it. Kind of an out of sight, out of mind deal.

Anyway, Mom called me this morning before 9am, which was fine, as I had been up far earlier than that. We firmed up the plans to go to Dr Ali’s on Wednesday, and talked about my Uncle Marv, who passed away Friday. We also reminisced about my dad and his siblings before hanging up. I’m really looking forward to spending part of Wednesday with her.

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Mom and Captain – he’s getting a foot soak

A couple of hours later, I got a notification from Facebook that my daughter Mariah had posted something on my wall. I loved, and immediately commented. She called me, and now she’s on her way over to do laundry and bring lunch.

Here is the post :

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I really am a lucky duck.

Be kind and love one another,

Linda ❤