Saturday, April 20, 2013

What a week...

Well, I am sure by now, unless you live under a rock, that you have been watching all the news and information pouring out of Boston, Mass. and West, Texas.... Unbelievable the amount of destruction that can be heaped upon a group only to have them shine through... There are numerous heroes that have evolved out of the wreckage. Some you would expect... fire, police, and EMS. But there were some that were just in the right place at the right time. Regular guys and girls that ran towards the danger because that's just how they are made. People, who with no regard for their own safety, ran in and starting helping those that could not help themselves. Those people, regardless of their color, their political affiliation, their gender, or anything else, gave everything they had to save the life of another. They weren't wearing anything that differentiated them from anyone else. No capes, no shields. Some, gave every last measure of their life so that others might live. To them, I salute, with the utmost pride.

The Boston Police Department, the FBI and others ran in and in very short order, had the bad guys in custody. Hurrah! That's how that is supposed to work.

This was National Telecommunicators Week. Did anyone note that? Can you imagine the hellish jobs those dispatchers in both Mass. and Texas must have had those days? Imagine working a fire call at the local fertilizer plant, down the road from where you live. Then imagine the absolute worst case scenario happening.. Then imagine finding out that it was worse than anyone could have possibly imagined. The number of dead and missing still not complete days later. Imagine if that's your home? Imagine if that's where your family and friends are?

Whether anyone else agrees or realizes, those dispatchers are heroes too. They deserve a salute and honor as a result of the difficult task that they face everyday. Everyday they come to work, lousy hours, lousy pay, no breaks, and constant stress... Yet everyday, they come back and watch their friends and family members go off to their jobs, being the face of the PD, Fire Dept, and EMS.. to be the OBVIOUS heroes. This is proof that they too deserve the recognition afforded their co-workers. They are the quiet calm in the face of chaos. They are the voice in the night that calms the fears and worries of the complainants. They are the organization that keeps control of the scene and of themselves, even when they are in tears. You will never know the number of times that we have worked devastating calls and managed to maintain. We cry in the dark and we scream into our pillows at night. We hug our children tighter than ever and pray for the families of those we have served. Then we come back tomorrow and do it again. Why? Because we love what we do. We do make a difference. Most people just don't know that.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The day before Easter....

Well it appears that Easter may be a wash thanks to Mother Nature... but that's ok, watching The Ten Commandments... Always a good watch. Glad to have the weekend off.. Just waiting and watching.. Hoping that the North Koreans do the right thing and off themselves first... before they start a global war...

Not much to talk about today but that... Maybe tomorrow..

Friday, March 29, 2013

Things change quickly here in the real world...

I remember when I was a kid, duck and cover exercises .. Oh, I know now that, obviously, they wouldn't have done a damn thing to save us, really... but it sure made you FEEL like it would. Flash forward 35+ years and I am wishing that duck and cover would make me feel safer these days... Have you been reading the news? North Korea has a whack job of a new leader, who thinks he needs to make his bones by threatening the world with nuclear annihilation... IDIOT...

I see photos of North Korean people and I have to wonder if they know. If they know that are being mislead? If they know that the "news" they read is propaganda? If they know the photos of US troops storming their shores are photo shopped?  Or are they beginning to be like the American sheeple and just blindly following because it's easier than thinking for themselves? Or maybe they have really been that sheltered, for so long, that this generation doesn't know any alternatives.. I cannot fathom that. Maybe because I am older and wiser now and the generation in power over there isn't even old enough to remember why there is a "neutral zone" between the two countries... I personally am not old enough to remember the Korean War but at least in my education, we covered it... I am not even sure they do anymore except in a blurb, in passing..

What's the old adage? Those that forget their history are destined to repeat it?

I am sure this will be a VERY unpopular stance, but, I vote we just turn the entire Middle East and North Korea both into very large sheets of glass... call it done and move on... Start over so to speak, with a clean slate and some INTELLIGENT leaders... Oh wait, that would infer that we have one and it is obvious right now, we don't. I sure hope this president we have, has some stones. I am afraid we are gonna need it..

I hope I am wrong but I see us fighting on multiple fronts and some other super power deciding now is a good time to "invest" in America.. so to speak...I don't want to learn Russian, or Chinese for that matter... I kind of like things the way they are and I really don't like "change"... Maybe that's why I didn't vote for him, either time. Maybe this is just one more good reason to leave MY guns the hell alone.. they are mine. I bought them. I shoot them. I clean them... and you can bet I can hide them too...

I read the news and I wonder about my fellow Americans... are they really that stupid? Or is it just that they are lazy? I know the gene pool could use some chlorine right about now.. You know how you "shock" a swimming pool? Maybe it is time to SHOCK the gene pool..... take away the warnings on every damn thing and let natural selection take it's course. I mean really... Do we really have to tell you that the HOT coffee you just ordered might be HOT? Or that the Preparation H cream you just bought is for EXTERNAL USE? Or that the hair dryer you use is not for use in the tub? This is the stuff I am referring too... Common sense is so rare any more it should be classified as a super power. 

Where do we draw the line? If the government/suppliers have to warn you, to save you from your own stupidity, then aren't you really too stupid to function in the real world? Now I am not referring to side effects of medications or anything like that.. I am talking about OBVIOUS things. Hot coffee = HOT... 

Someone please tell me that I am wrong and see if you can really back up your argument.. A lot of you have tried and failed... I am holding out hope. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 5 Post op

Well I did it... On Wednesday I had my gastric sleeve and I am day five recovering... It has not been bad. Surprisingly enough. I was worried... I heard all the horror stories and read all the blogs and postings about side effects and recovery issues... I came home on Thursday, I had all my medications already filled and ready... I came home and relaxed and has no nausea, no real pain.. I have had a few incision pains but they haven't been really bad...

I spent a couple of days just lounging in bed and sleeping when I needed too.... Started moving around more on Sunday... Still no gastric issues beyond figuring out what I can and cannot tolerate yet... I have a surgical follow up on Wednesday and hopefully I will get to expand my diet somewhat... We will see...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pre-op day 2

Well I fell off the wagon today but nothing drastic... I had the steak, onion, and mushroom out of a Philly Steak Sandwich from Sammys... They are to die for good and the soup just wasn't getting it... Lots of protein though so it really wasn't such a horrible thing. I am spending way too much money on this surgery to sabotage it... Down a pound though.. kind of surprising... Oh well, tomorrow is another day..

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pre surgery, Day 1

Well yesterday was my pre-op, dietary, clinical appointments. Holy crap that's a lot of information to digest in one sitting... thank goodness they write everything down for you and make it much simpler... For the next two weeks I am on a high protein, liquid diet. Three meals a day, two of which will be high protein shakes, the third meal being soup. It doesn't matter what kind of soup, just soup. The two days prior to my surgery are clear liquid ONLY...

I already bought the Baby Bullet, as I mentioned before, because they are going to make up 2 ounce meals at a time. That way I can control the amount of flavor in each meal... Luckily there is a unflavored protein powder that I can add to the meals to make it easier. It is made by Unjury and comes highly recommended from other post surgery patients.

Protein is the staple of my diet for the rest of my life. 60-80 mg of protein a day, for the rest of my life. That's ok though. Protein is what keeps you feeling full and keeps you from losing muscle mass. Luckily the liquid/protein diet is only for the two weeks prior to the surgery and the two weeks immediately after. Then I get to go to the pureed, mushy meals. Eventually I will be able to go back to "normal" food, just a lot less of it.

Calcium supplements will also be another staple along with a high value, chewable, multi vitamin, designed specifically for gastric surgery patients. Unjury also makes a Lemon Chewable, Calcate brand chewable which is actually good. They also make the multi-berry, chewable, multi vitamin.. I actually ordered all of it online last night so that it would be here and ready by the time I come home from the hospital... They will also be calling in my list of medications that I will be taking immediately following my surgery. I will pick those up next week... Taramadol for pain as I am allergic to Codeine. Phenergan for the nausea that follows the surgery. Keflex for 5 days, as a just in case. Of course all of this is in liquid form, so that's nice.

I am having my last cup of GOOD coffee as we speak lol... but I think in the long run, I will be able to live without it. I had given up sodas a long time ago. Portion control is the base of life from here on out. I can do this.. If you're still reading at this point, I hope I haven't bored you with the details...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Change is on the way....

Back in June, I lost my long time job. At first I thought that it was going to be HORRIBLE. Turns out, it was probably what I needed. I had fallen into a rut and didn't even realize it. The economy tanked in 2007 and the field of sales that I was in was closely tied to the economy (I sell motorcycle parts). I took a huge pay hit and along with excessive repairs needed, I ended up losing my house, 4 years to the day after I purchased it. I wound up moving in with my long term boyfriend. The boyfriend and I happened to work together and now we were living together. 24/7 together.. Yeah, not good. I was also sitting behind a desk more than 8 hours a day, celebratory lunches, and the kids are now grown which means less activity when not at work.

I found work at a former competing company, no surprise there. Except, now I get to work from home.. Every ones dream job, right? Sure, unless you were already overweight and tipping the scales well over 200 lbs. WHO??? ME? Yep... I now officially outweigh my little brother who is 6'4" tall... This is NOT ACCEPTABLE... When I started my adult life, I weighed 105 lbs dripping wet and I am 5'6" tall. Even after three kids, I weighed 115 lbs. I could eat pretty much anything , whenever I wanted and it never showed... Those days are over.

Obesity runs in the family. Both aunts, on my fathers side,  died well in excess of 250 lbs and well under 5'5" tall.. They passed years ago, with and from a whole host of health issues and I do not intend to repeat their mistakes. Information on my mothers side isn't available due to adoption. I will cover that another time.

I have the most beautiful, happy, loving grandson in all of the world. I will refer to him as monkey butt (that's a story for another time) and I intend to grow old, watching and participating in his life. Right now, I already have trouble participating and I refuse to allow this to continue.

This is the start of my journey through weight loss through surgery. Some people will complain I am taking the "easy" way out.. Let me give you a little history.

1. I am flat footed. Now that might not sound like anything special but that actually keeps me from participating in a lot of exercise routines due to extreme pain. Of course it is also part of the problem as long distance walking or extended periods on my feet caused me pain even when I didn't tip the scales over 200 lbs. But back then, it was manageable. Now, not so much.

2. Years prior, junior high to be exact, I had my right knee cap broken. As a result, my knee cap likes to move around more than yours and it limits my mobility due to the excess weight.

3. Headaches... I was not aware that they can be tied to excess weight. I spend more time with a low grade headache, than not.

4. My thyroid is normal. What is normal? Normal for you might not be normal for me? Even the Dr. admitted that, but with no baseline to work with, obviously they cannot treat it. So it turns out that I am Vitamin D deficient. How deficient you ask? The average, Caucasian, middle aged woman should be as close to 100 as possible. As the Dr. told me, if I was a teenager, I would have Rickets. My level was 11... Hmmm... that's not good.

5. Post menopausal. Medically necessary, hysterectomy at age 24 without sufficient hormone therapy due to a family history of breast cancer.

6. Horrible eating habits. Processed foods due to convenience. A meat and potatoes diet when not eating out. Not to mention a weakness for bread... Not big on sugar. I don't drink sodas. Once up of coffee a day. Water the rest of the day... just not near enough of it..

So as you can see, I had my share of reasons (and excuses) for my excess weight. They are also the reasons why you won't find me running around the block. Especially since I live in a locale where 5 months out of the year we are in excess of 100 degree temps. Join a gym? Well, we will cover the self esteem, convenience, cost issues in another entry.

Funny thing is, even though I am 35.5 BMI I am actually healthy as a horse.. No high blood pressure. No pre-diabetes. No hernias (which are apparently common to excess weight). No sleep apnea. The only thing I do have was high cholesterol, controlled by medication and diet.. Or at least it was. So even if I had insurance right now, they wouldn't cover it. So when I lost my job, I pulled my entire 401k out and am using it to pay for my gastric sleeve surgery. That way I can write it off to Uncle Sam, next tax time.

Today I have my pre-surgery appointments with the dietitian and others. I have been reading everything I can find on the surgery and post op. One very helpful website is The Gastric Sleeve. I have purchased a Baby Bullet blender system which also comes with food containers that are exactly the size I will need for food portions after surgery. I am now researching the protein drinks/powders that will be the basis of my diet. If anyone has any suggestions, please comment with information..

I will continue to update the blog during this journey. You will probably learn more about me than you ever wanted to know. I will do my best to answer any questions..