Saturday, August 29, 2009

Only here for just a moment to let you all know my surgery went well. Its been a little rough around the edges. I get queasy easily, & I have pain from time to time, but I know 'this to shall pass'. I'll fill you in a bit more when I get the chance to. Staying w/ my family in Carson. Having my oldests sons birthday party today. Thank to all those who have sent me well wishes & kept in contact, I really appreciate the thoughtfulness. God Bless! ^j^

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A bit of Serendipity

Definition of Serendipity: 1. An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. 2. good fortune; luck.
Loved the movie too!! (one of my favs!) So thats kinda how I feel about this weight loss & a few other things going on in my life. Fortunate. Blessed. I won't elaborate but I have met some pretty amazing people in the past few months. Thru my weight loss journey, my classes / drum circle, and on a personal level.
Some of you ask me questions, so I want to clarify a few that I get asked the most.
"You'll be able to eat regular food after the surgery right?"
No. For a week after surgery I will be on a liquid diet..aka :*Magic Elixir*:
Then I get to graduate to soft foods like low fat cottage cheese, no sugar apple sauce, mashed potatoes, etc. Now I have heard that some people at that stage decided to eat baby food. YUCK! Thats out of the question! Then on to pureed foods, then I can have smaller portions of regular kinds of food, minus all the sugars & preferably low fat. AND I have to add to some of my food, powdered proteins to help me get in 72g of protein per day. I will not be able to swallow a bite larger than a candy M&M. Why? You ask. Because my stomach will be about the size of an egg after surgery & if I put anything in it bigger than it can hold, guess what happens????? Yeah I don't like up chucking for sure! Or it will stay there & feel like someone has just kicked you in the stomach & you feel all crampy & miserable. Ugh. I also need to remember to 'sip' whatever it is I am drinking because the same thing will happen. What happens when you take a pitcher of water & start pouring it too fast into a funnel? Yeah..imagine that.
"You'll still be able to eat cake & ice cream, right?" (bless my kids for asking :)
No. Too much sugar!!! It would make my tummy upset & mom not feel so great. BUT..I am gathering recipes for cakes & ice creams I can make at home to eat. So maybe eventually. And this coming wkend when I am home guess what we're doing?? Having a birthday party for my oldest son!! Oh well.. I hear that the first week or two your home after surgery you don't feel like eating much of anything. I already notice the difference in my chocolate magic elixir & my vanilla magic elixir....the taste of the vanilla is pretty sweet & I have tapered off drinking that flavor because of that reason. I think thats a step in the right direction!!! :)
"You'll be laid up for quite sometime after surgery, right?"
Ummmm...nope, don't plan to be. I was up walking the day after having my last son via emergency c-section/& emergency bowel repair (which only happened because they had to get him out so quickly) with a sterile drain filter attached to my abdomen. The Dr's then were amazed that I was up & walking, well when you have a lil guy whose a miracle & your a few floors a mom you will do anything to get to be near your child!! ;) The power of positive & healing thinking!! In fact, in class the other night, the nurse stated that we will be required just after surgery walk to our bed from the OR bed we are taken into the room with. Now that could be a bit painful, but I doubt it will be. And the only thing I will be is groggy from anesthesia. So...I'm going to do my best & get moving as soon as I can!
"Are you getting nervous?"
Well anxious would be more the word. If I think about it too much. And I guess I'm just so ready to start this phase of my life & see what unfolds from there. Am I nervous that I'm embarking on this journey alone? Hmmm.. yes in some ways. I guess I feel like I'm a pretty strong person & I don't feel totally alone. I have and plan on continuing with support group. I am surrounded by supportive people both at work, friends, family etc. My two oldest children are excited for me. My lil guy well he's too little to understand in totality whats going to be taking place over this period of time.
"What do you do on your lunch at work, or what do you do when the kids are eating?"
I walk, when I'm at work. Walk. Walk. Walk.
When I'm at home with the kids I usually sit & have one of my drinks while they eat, so that I'm still there sitting with them. OR, I might be doing dishes or picking up around the house but still be conversing with them. Would I like a bite of their mac & cheese?? LOL. You try going without regular food for almost 4 wks and figure that one out for yourself!!!! ;)
And no offense to the people I work with, but I am really looking forward to being away from the office for awhile. I can focus my energies on other important things in my life!! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Did you notice the flower ;)

Yesterdays blog lacked a little. Sorry. My mind was elsewhere, I think it was somewhere between the low fat, super easy healthy "Philly Cheese Steak Cassarole" recipe I came across in my ventures of finding healthy things to make after I have the wls, and the recipe/health tips folder I am putting together for myself for quick reference, and tending to my 3 children! Yum & whew! Yeah this whole 'magic elixir' Getting rough. BUT...I'm dedicated because you know what??? The scales do not lie!! ;) I'm down 22lbs, and another 5 days including today to go before I have the surgery.
So...the signing of the final paperwork yesterday, yeah that was glorious!! Good thing I've had 3 c-sections & a few other minor surgeries enough to know that they basically say "if we cut you you could die". Blah!!!! I'll admit, reading through the entire thing almost made me nauseaous, but thankfully I've got experience under my belt & FAITH!! I got to talk to the director of the Weight Management Center, Patrick yesterday. That was pretty cool & he informed me that he would like my help in facilitating him in getting a support group going at the hospital where I work!! Yay! He said "It wouldn't be just for 'our' patients benefit but for anyone in or around the area who has had or is planning on having the surgery & even their families." Cool huh? I'm stoked.
Well my street is tore up totally. Ugh. I don't mind the walking a block to get to my vechicle part, but its the fact that I'm used to it being parked right outside the garage. NOT down the street, out of sight, in a dark parking area. Yeah..totally not cool. It should be fun the day I come home from surgery! :(
I bought the whey protein that the dietician told class to make sure and buy for our meals after surgery. HUGE bottle. Got it on sale at Walmart for $14.95, the container is industrial size like when you buy bulk salad dressing, at least thats all I can think of off the top of my head at the moment. Lets hope it lasts awhile, cuz it could get awfully expensive. I have to buy my chewable vitamins yet, and I have a grocery list started and have bought a few items low fat & lean & sugar free. A whole new way of buying. Will I still let my kids have regular good ole food...yeah, from time to time I guess. But you'd be amazed with the recipes & tastes you get from cooking & preparing things more healthy. Who woulda ever thought?? Makes me think twice about ever driving thru a drive thru for food again, yeah its great in a pinch, but not so great on your waistline. Some people don't have to worry about that & thats great!! I'm just not one of those people & I don't want my kids going down the same path I did if genetics has anything to do with it!!! Yeah I had my thyroid aka. natural metabolism maker removed...but I wasn't provided with, nor did I educate myself enough about what that could mean down the road. An extra thigh & leg later..... HA! HA! ;)
I have 4 sisters who I stay in regular contact with. I love them!!!! :) I'm so blessed that they are supportive, despite the fact that they all were graced with lovely little bodies & petite features. Well, maybe they did end up with moms butt a little bit (please don't hit me the next time you see me!) but hey...we all have to have some traits right? I ended up big & tall like my dad.
I recieved a call from the wls clinic today while I was at work. They told me my labs yesterday say that I'm dehydrated. Dehydrated?? Really?? Omg, I feel like I am floating everywhere & I'm in the bathroom constantly! They told me to up my water intake from the 60-64 fluid ounces I'm doing now to 80-90!! FOR REAL?!? Is that healthy?? I guess it is when your dehydrated & they want me well hydrated before lets just say "HOPE FLOATS!!!" (isn't that a movie or something? I'm sure it is...)
Hope everyone has a great weekend!! I'll be working and maybe even blogging! PEACE.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Last Class/Support Group was tonight...

My last bariatric class/support group was tonight for before my surgery. The next one will be in 2 wks & that one will begin my post op support group/class. It was a good class & one of the guys in class is having surgery the same day I am, just after me. We are the first 2 patients of Dr's that day. Class was good. Learned about what was going to be happening in the hospital, the things we can expect & what we should bring..etc.

I had preop today as well with Dr Y. That went well & pretty quick because I had had my chest xray done & labs were current.

I spent the hours between my appts browsing the bookstore & I bought a Rachael Ray Cookbook on sale. A world Atlas book for my oldest son (and me too, when we want to discover). And I picked up 2 Sylvia Browne books they were all on sale..can't beat that. Then I went to another interesting store, Coyote Wisdom. An alternative spiritualism/healing/book/trinket store. Very cool. I also bought a CD, stones, & an Angel book.

Thought we might get some nasty storms the way the skies looked & opened up at one point. It just kinda a blew over..I wouldn't have minded the rain, but I didn't want it to get bad stormy out like they were predicting.

Well, I just want to say thanks for all the encouragement & well wishes from everyone!! Less then a wk before surgery. I had to sign the final surgery commitment papers today...sheesh. That was fun..reading all about the risks etc...BUT..I know everything will be fine. ^i^

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some of you may ask, "Whats with the title to your blog J?" Well, its simple really. "Phat" is that funny little slang word that I substitute for 'Fat', although it means both. "Phat" means, cool, excellent, attractive, very good. "Perdure" is a word I like. It means existance. And in general isn't life grand??? :) I think so! AKA..My Phat Existance!

Today was a pretty typical domesticated summer day. Although I was awakened by the rumbling of large trucks and equipment as the road crews decided to start ripping up our street this morning at 7am. WHAT? You have got to be kidding should be outlawed I say!!
So starting tomorrow afternoon, everyone on our block/ either side has to start parking around the corner on a side street or a block away at the elementary school parking lot. Fun. What if I accidently leave something in my vechicle & remember it later, like usual?? You can bet I'll be thrice checking to make sure we ALL have everything once exiting said transportation.

Doing well with my magic elixir (I decided that that sounded much more appealing & a little more mysterious than simply 'liquid diet'). Either way it makes people ask questions! I did get my 64 ounces of water in today. Whew. Here, let me move around a little, can you hear it? :)

My family Dr ran labs on me yesterday when I went to see him. My phosphate levels came back elevated again, so now tomorrow whilst I work I get the pleasure of having a liver/gallbladder (even though my gallbladder is non-existant due to prior surgery) ultrasound. Just to see what might be causing it. He said maybe they left behind the bile duct & if so I might have a stone creating the increase in phosphate. If not, then on to the liver. Interesting.

I missed drum circle tonight. :( I was really looking forward to it, and I was even called to ask if everything was ok & where was I? It made me feel good to know I was missed. I so needed the meditation before surgery this next week. I am, however, looking forward to my support group/wls class this thursday. (wls=weight loss surgery) ;)

Off to finish laundry then to bed! Goodnight! ^i^

Foot note: ^i^ & ^j^ are Angel symbols!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quick Note

"Be the change you want to see in the world." Mahatma Ghandi

Dr appt today w/ family Dr. So that we are all on the same page w/ everything. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ever Notice?

Ever notice how much advertising in food & drink is pushed at us?? It's totally riducules!! Try fasting for 12 hrs & watching tv or listening to the radio, or even reading a magazine, it's there, all over every other page, or every other commercial.

Day 17 here on optifast. Yesterday was a good day, spent it walking at the Mint Festival & had 2 walk briskly past the 'kettle corn' stand. We didn't even pass thru the food vendors section (which secretly I was greatful for, becuz summertime is just not summer w/out a brat & onions/green peppers.) Instead the fam opted for Burger King, where once seated I popped out my magic elixir in the flavor of chocolate & shook it up & drank it. I wasn't phased by the burgers or fries, or the sip sip of soda being sucked from an almost empty cup. Annoying as it sounded. Got home w/ the kids and we took a long walk around the city. I felt great.

Today there was a sushi issue. Ugh. I love sushi. It was there, I eyed it. I walked away. Raw fish & rice, what could it hurt right? It stayed there for someone else to buy. Sushi is sushi...whenever I've had it, it's nice to have a few times a year, but its an aquired taste & even liking it I wouldn't want it all the time or more than a few times every few months. I like cooked oysters on the half shell, but feel the same way about that.

Had my spiritualism class today. Well it wasn't 'class-class'. There were only 4 of us who met, but we all agreed that we need to keep some sort of connection going instead of going so long inbetween classes. So we took it off the cuff. It was nice. We had a drum meditation, which was interesting & relaxing at the same time. Afterwards I went over by the casino to see if the Zibiwing Center/Museum was open, of course, my luck, it wasn't. Just wanted to browse a bit & maybe see if they had any hand drums for sale in the gift shop. It rained on my way home. Hard fast cleansing rain. Then it rolled on past & the hot muggy air resumed. Got back to the fams house to pick up the kids & they were eating pizza. Nice. I was starving. I drank my water & read a magazine. Yeah...there they were, all the food adds, or drink this, taste that! After awhile did you know when you deprive yourself of certain things, they don't even appeal to you? Not everything of course. And I guess it's prolly different for everyone. But I thought I would struggle w/ not having Mt Dew. No craving. None whatsoever. Weird huh?

I have a week and a half til my surgery. I'm anxious. I want everything to go smoothly & the transition after to go smoothly as well. My preop appt is this coming thursday & after is support group/class. I haven't quite got my support people in place or figured out how things will work after, but I have faith it will work out. I hate having to rely on others to help out in any way. But I know that we all NEED people at different times, I'm just so used to helping others that it's hard for me to accept help when I truly am in need. Go figure.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunny Day

My life is normal, but extraordinary. Normal in that I face all the responsibilties/challenges that any person does. Being a single parent makes it more of a juggling act for me but I rise to the occasion. I wouldn't trade my kids for anything. Extraordinary in that I am blessed to have the opportunity & the drive to change what it is I want to change. We all have that, its just some of us are able to see open doors where one was closed. I'm not gilded in glitter with a wand in my hand, in fact, I think I'm pretty grounded. I like my jeans, t-shirts & flip flops & to sit & watch re-runs of "Everybody Loves Raymond".

Today was spent relaxing, enjoying life, the sun, the shade, my kids' laughter & reading a good book. It was spent mostly between home & one of the city parks by the river.

Had a great class/support group last night at the weight management center. I so needed it & the sharing of stories & the learning. I weighed in & lost another 7.5 lbs, so I'm down 17lbs in 2 wks on the liquid diet. Hooray!! Last nights topic we discussed stress management. We all participated of course! And there was a lot of laughter. We all agreed that for those of us starting our 3rd wk in, tree bark sounded pretty darn good! LOL. I also know a few people personally who have already had the surgery & confide in them about things & ask questions. Being pro-active in learning about all facets of this journey & it helps to know others' stories.

I'm excited in the people I meet in class & support group. I'm excited about new friendships & possiblities. I'm thankful for all the people in my life who are supportive. If you're reading this, then you already know.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No Food, No Caffeine

Today is day 13 of my optifast liquid diet that I will be on til surgery on Aug 26th. I'm staying motivated and sticking to what I'm supposed to be doing. Don't let anyone believe that this is an 'easy way out' of weight loss, becuz it's not easy!

Being a single parent & cooking food for 3 children & only being able to drink your dinner is something I never thought I might struggle with. It's not so bad, but all those smells is what gets me the most! I lost 9.5 lbs the first 7 days I was on. I can't wait for support group/class tomorrow becuz I really need the 'pick me up'. I'm not 'down', but I need to be around people who are going thru the same things, or went thru the same things. I've been feeling pretty good, noticed I have a bit more energy. I just finished a full stretch of 7 days straight at work 10 1/2 hr days, not including the 1/2 hr trip there & back, so I'm soooo tired tonight.

Going to curl up with my body pillow with the fan on & hopefully dream sweet dreams. Night Night.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Momma Always Said " You get more outta life with sugar than you do vinegar". Well for the most part she was right.

So here it is. THE BLOG. I wanted to start one when I started this journey, only life has a way of getting busy. It will be dedicated mostly to the path of weight loss I am on. The up's, the down's & all the inbetweens.At the age of 28 I became sick. I was tired all the time and I've always been on the 'thick' side of feminine, but I gradually started to put on weight that would fluctuate like a corporate grid map of production. Up...down...up..down. Mostly UP. I also started to have this swallowing problem. I went to my Dr. He felt a lump. He ordered some tests. Next was supposed to come a biopsy, "I'll see you in about an hr in recovery" the Dr said at 10am. I remember waking up & focusing on the clock & it was past 8pm & the nurses whisking me to my room where my bf and 2 of my sisters awaited looking worried. The Dr came in & said "Surgery took longer than expected, we ended up taking your thyroid completely out, along with 3 parathyroids & 2 lymph nodes. In all my yrs of surgery I can honestly say, that even though the samples have been sent to the pathologist J that this is cancer. And the swallowing thing, that was a goiter growing inside & down, I removed that too. You'll find out the details in your post op visit with my office." He said all this as he adjusted my bandages & tucked my hair behind me & made me more comfortable. It didn't sink in just then...but it did at the follow up.

Diagnosis: Papillary Carcinoma

.Prognosis: Good. If you ever get cancer, this would be the kind to get. The chances of re-occurance are slim to none. YAY!

Current Condition: Cancer Free!! Yippeeeee!! Have never had a re-occurance. My replacement thyroid med loves to replicate a roller coaster sometimes, but I've learned to live with it! You get busy living or you get busy dying & I'm a long way from crossing over!

What I took away from my diagnosis was: Knowledge. Choose to learn, & look up. ^j^

Therein began another struggle with weight gain & loss. I would yo-yo. Twenty pounds added, 15 off, forty pounds on, twenty off. UGH. Who wants to feel that way all the time??

Well, that has been me. Then came the pregnancies. LOVED being preggers!!! But after each child was born weight would slowly creep on. Depression here & there didn't help matters.
I checked into weight loss groups, didn't do well. My schedule was crazy & I wasn't ready to commit. My insurance at the time needed so much documentation of verified weight loss programs/treatments from my Dr, that it looked bleak.

Until this Spring. I really thought about it, researched it, read books & blogs, talked with people who have had it done, seen patients who have done well & others whom have failed. I watched tv programs about it & saw many before & after pictures. BUT, the difference was..I was ready to make that decision. I WANTED it for my kids, for my health, for ME. This wasn't something I wanted because I wanted to look like a Glamour Magazine cover page, this was something I wanted so that I can be a better ME, so that I can pass on healthier eating & living choices for my kids & be able to share successes with those around me. EMPOWERING MYSELF.
My insurance had changed its policies on obesity services/treatments, so I dove in, & found what I considered & consider a great weight loss program with team of amazing physicians, dieticians, staff members, surgeon, classes/support groups & all the people being pro-active in their dreams to achieve what they would have thought unachievable. And I'm starting a new chapter in my life & lovin it!

Like I told a friend of mine, this has just been my catapillar/larva stage, I'm gettin ready to cocoon & soon I'll be a butterfly! My feelings about all of it make me feel so light & knowing I'm doing the 'right thing' makes me giddy with excitement!