Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Sun is Shining!

The sun isn't really shining, but inside of me it SO is! Things have gotten so much better since my last post. I have been feeling good physically and understanding my limits more. However I do notice that if I eat something that my body says "no" to... watch out.

I attended a Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner last night and I took about 4 bites of salmon with a few bites of asparagus. NOT GOOD! I ended up going to the restroom, barfing. Then I excused myself due to a stomach ache, and when I got to my car I barfed. I figured it was safe to drive home since I felt a little better. Made a phone call and chatted all the way home... almost. Once I exited the freeway I had an immediate urge to vomit. And thank GOD I happened to have a plastic shopping bag in my front seat. I just got violently ill about 4-5 times. Apparently salmon and asparagus are not a good choice for me at the moment!

On the weight front, I am officially 1 size smaller in clothing! And down a total of 26lbs. 26lbs in one month! I feel like I am dreaming this. I lost around 30 lbs 5 or so years ago and it took me about 4-6 months. That was with constant exercise and watching what I eat. I've said it before and I will say it again, it is amazing what a little protein infused starvation will do for you!

The other interesting thing is where I am losing the most weight. My waist has shrunk some, but my "pooch" remains. My thighs are really noticeably shrinking which is weird because I would definitely consider them my biggest problem area. And my arms still have a long way to shrink! I am getting concerned with how the extra skin on my stomach will look because as of right now it is really ugly.

Another development is somehow Roger has conned me into attempting the LA Marathon with him. I am WALKING it.... or at least attempting to. I think that he doesn't grasp how hard it will be for me, but hey, if I can at least try, why not? We leave on Friday night and will be staying in Pasadena. At least it is a good chance to get away, and hopefully to some warm weather! Perhaps where the sun is literally shining ; )

Workwise, I am doing well with numbers but my boss is in a tizzy over everything it seems. We have all come to wonder what it is she does all day in her office because she has lately been giving us all tasks that she used to do. Like thinking of themes for sales blitzes and getting decor. Seriously?! As if I am not busy enough that's another baloney thing I have to do. Thankfully my date isn't until March. Grrrr.

Looking very forward to the beginning of February, my birthday on the 10th and then V-Day! I have 3 valentines who all need some lovin! And hopeful to see another 15-20lbs gone forever!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Half & Half

I was trying to think of a creative title for this post because I am half happy, half discouraged with life.

Happy things first:

My clothes are looser! Although I have held pretty steady with a 20lb loss, I am apparently shrinking, and ironically it is in the thigh area! WOOHOO!!!! My stomach isn't shrinking much which my guess is thanks to my baby boy who stretched my skin out to no end. But hey, no complaints there when I can fit comfortably into pants that I haven't worn in months!

I have been trying to eat new things and kind of seeing where it goes and to date haven't had many bad reactions. Except yesterday I tried crab. I am not sure if I ate it too fast or if my body simply said no but I threw up 6+ times and my stomach hurt for over an hour. Normally when I get sick off food, I throw up once or twice and feel better almost immediately. This time, not so much. So crab is on the "do not eat" list for a bit. I did also have sashimi (tuna and salmon) and 1 piece of a spicy tuna roll. YUM!!!!!! And high in protein.

Also, the weather here has been GORGEOUS! High 60s yesterday and we walked to the park with the kids so I got some exercise finally. And lots of it because Benjamin was running all over the place. He is a crazy one, that kid!

Oh and recently a very very good friend of mine got engaged, and she is getting married at Harding Park! That was my very first "wedding planner" job so I know the property well and the ways to avoid wedding pitfalls there. I also offered my services on contacting vendors because thanks to NACE I now know a lot of people in the industry. Plus I love my friend and want her to have the wedding of her dreams!!!! So YAY for Joannah and Chris!

Lastly, 2 of my cousins born on the same day of the same year were diagnosed with cancer within a year. BOTH are now cancer free! I cannot tell you how amazing this news is. It is crushing to hear that a) those close to you who you love have cancer but b) that it is happening to 2 young women who are both incredibly bright, beautiful, and loving. So to hear that they are both doing well is amazing. This morning has been wonderful in the news department!

And now the bummers:

First of all my weight loss has been stuck for about a week now. That blows. But like I said, I am shrinking. So not too much of a complaint. I figure that at some point I have to start loosing again because I am only consuming 6-800 calories a day if that. I am putting myself back on a primarily liquid diet today and really focusing on getting in my water because I have noticed that when I eat, I drink a lot less. And I have been told numerous times that if I want to lose weight I need to drink tons of water and up my protein intake. So.. back to square 1. This time I don't mind as much because I have seen results and I want to see more!

Another issue I am dealing with is Roger thinking that he knows everything about bariatric surgery because his cousin who lives 2500 miles away had gastric bypass surgery 5-6 years ago, lost 50lbs and kind of gave up. Oh and I can't forget his dear friend Shelly (think "My Best Friend's Wedding" where the girl figures that at some point she and her guy best friend will get married one day bc they are both still single... yeah she didn't figure a feisty brunette and 2 kids would ever enter the picture) had gastric bypass 5-6 yrs ago and although she has lost at least 100 lbs has gained some back and occasionally eats at fast food places. Anyhow, last night we got into it because I said "The one thing I miss most since having the surgery is Diet Pepsi". It's true. I was a Diet Pepsi addict. I love the flavor and more than anything I love the bubbles! But because of the sleeve carbonation supposedly hurts like holy hell and I am not willing to test that theory out! So he went on a rampage about how I obviously have not tackled the emotional aspects of weight loss surgery and I should hate diet pepsi because it made me the way I was and I am trying to change, yada yada yada. When exactly he got his PhD I am not sure, but listening to a 139lb, 6ft tall, anorexic man tell me about weight loss psychology just made me want to punch him in his nose. It just reminded me that in life there are few people who can simply listen to you without judgement. So, if you are my friend and we have had discussions about life by simply listening to each other... THANK YOU! I need people like that.

So this entire discussion turned ugly but also made me question whether or not I am going to succeed. I feel like he is always there waiting for me to fail rather than building me up. It's like when you tell someone you're on a diet and you reach for a cookie and they say "you can't have that". I know they care and want to help but pointing out everything you can't have certainly doesn't make you want to eat better. And chances are in life, you will eat a cookie at some point. But to be able to take a small bite of a cookie as opposed to eating the entire bag like you used to.... to me that is progress! To him it's an alcoholic having a sip of a cocktail. I don't know who is right, but I do know that in life I will at times take a bite of something that isn't all protein. It's just really frustrating.

*** My mom did not feel comfortable with me talking about her on my blog so I have deleted a paragraph. I stand by my original post, but respect my mom's wishes. So that's that.

Alas, that is my update. I'm at work and debating on if I want to work today! haha. I really should get focused and get moving!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What the hell was I thinking?

This is my main thought today in regards to getting the surgery. I didn't think I would ever cry about my loss of food, but low and behold I am right about there today.

I received another free meal today (and threw it up about 5 bites in) and thus my children have been having delicious dinners. And I find myself getting unnecessarily angry when they don't eat or play with their food because I feel like it should have been MY meal that they are wasting, and that they don't understand what I would give in order to be able to eat it. I know it is irrational but take away the ability to eat more than a bite and it becomes extremely frustrating.

I have also stalled completely on my weightloss... even gained back 1lb. I know it's 1lb but it is still frustrating. I didn't cut off my stomach, give up my ability to enjoy a meal, and drink liquids for 17 days in order to gain a pound. It is just REALLY incredibly frustrating.

It doesn't help that Roger has no concept of what I am going through. He weighed 139 lbs the other day. He is 5ft 11in. That's not normal, right???? He has been through a lot of stress lately with the new job, me being moody, dealing with kids and shuttling, etc. And in all of those situations, I would eat my way happy. He just forgets to eat. Last night I gave the family my spaghetti with meatballs meal that I was unable to eat and his portion was so small! In my opinion he ate about the size of a very small kids meal and didn't even finish an entire meatball. Had I gotten the meal pre-surgery he wouldn't have had a chance to eat a meatball!!!

Things on the work front have been stressful for me the past few weeks as well. I have been handling two sales markets which means my goals are higher and I have twice the work. It has been good to be busy, but it sucks because now the new girl came in and my boss is giving her all of the credit for the stuff in her new market that I have been working towards. Literally 10 contracts have been sent out the past week or so that I will get zero credit for.

And home life.... well, it has been crazy to say the least. The past 2 weeks we barely saw Benjamin and Aidan needs a MAJOR attitude adjustment. That is really an understatement. She is rude to us, yells "NO!" when we ask her to do something, spits, sticks out her tongue, hits her brother... the list is unending. I really feel at a loss because I am constantly raising my voice, telling her to stop doing something, smacking her hand. It really really sucks.

Again all I can think about is the small container of food that I wish I could eat right now. Despite the fact that I am trying really hard to let the food in my stomach sit so that I don't barf it all up. Thinking I made a crappy decision right about now. 20lbs isn't worth this.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Learning Limits

This surgery has changed my life completely. But it hasn't yet changed my relationship with food. I still see food and dream of the taste, and want to eat it in bulk. As you can imagine this is a big problem with a 2oz stomach.

I tried eating a handful of goldfish a few days ago. They came up about 10 minutes later. I also tried eating a few bites of chicken at work... yeah that came up too. But I have kept trying certain foods just to test what I can eat. Yogurt is not cutting it!

I have been fearing my work managers outing because I knew that I wouldn't be able to eat my meal properly. And thus I pre-ordered steak thinking I could just nibble on the potatoes, push the steak around, and call it a day. Well, we went to Campo di Bocce today in Livermore and it was just heaven on a plate! I ended up ordering spaghetti with meatballs and meat sauce because I have been able to keep down a few bites of pasta, and then I did try a little meat sauce from my mom's lasagna the other day.

We got to the restaurant and although I was DYING to order a diet coke, I ordered cranberry juice (I was just thinking something other than water and I don't like iced tea.... didn't drink the juice, it was gross). I nibbled (and I mean NIBBLED like little tiny pieces) an airy piece of french bread dipped in balsamic vinegar. I was THRILLED when it went down without issue. I passed on salad bc I know I am definitely not ready for leafy greens, and when my meal came, I cut up 1 meatball and smushed it into the meat sauce and nibbled on that. Because I was really aware of others eating a full meal, I ended up eating slowly as my doctor recommended. Low and behold.... NO BARF!!!!! I couldn't believe it!

But I would like to add that my "lack of appetite" was noticeable. My GM looked at me and said "don't you like your meal??" and my quick thinking coworkers who know I had the surgery just said to him "Oh you should see the other side with a big dent in it!". Whew. I wound up taking home 95% of my meal, a salad, and dessert. Which meant we had dinner tonight!!!!

Tonight I tried eating the meat sauce again. Up it came. And I have learned that I eat WAY TOO FAST which is why I keep regurgitating my food. A gross but interesting fact is that throwing up now doesn't phase me. It's as if you open your mouth and food just falls out. And even grosser is that it is completely undigested and looks like it did on the way in. Ew. My kids are very crazy in the evening and dinner time is really stressful so I noticed that I was just shoveling food in. So I paid the price.

Later on this evening after my stomach had calmed down, I attempted to eat a chickenless nugget. Yeah that didn't go well either. So I think I am done eating for today. Sigh sigh sigh. I am going to wrap up the evening with some ice water that I owe my body.

My little chuckle of the evening is "my eyes are bigger than my stomach". I don't know how much eyes weigh but if they are over 2oz they ARE bigger than my stomach : P

On the homefront things are ok. Aidan is under the weather and driving us nuts. Benji is adorable and really coming into his own. We also were able to extend our lease to month to month which is wonderful because we have lots of "what if"s right now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Learning Curve

I should really title this "MY learning curve" because really it pertains to how each day I learn something new about my stomach's capabilities. Since being allowed to have "mushies" I have taken a few bites of not so great things. For example, a coworker brought in some homemade mac n cheese, so I had a noodle (yes, literally a little macaroni noodle) because I felt like a smooshy noodle is probably safe going down the hatch. And I have started to be a "spoon licker". So when I make Aidan something I can't really eat, I just lick the spoon to get the flavor of it. Sad times.

Well tonight I decided that we should go to Panera. It was just me and Aidan so I thought it's be fun for her, plus they have soup, and that is something that I can eat. I looked at their little nutrition packet and thought I would be a rebel and order their baked potato soup. Yes it is a creamy soup, but really I have had a grand total of about 250 calories today so I thought I should splurge and call it a day. I asked for a taste and it is DELICIOUS (for those without eating restrictions I would highly recommend it!!!) so I ordered a cup. I had about 2 spoons full before I felt like I had swallowed a brick. That feeling where you just want to burp to get that air/pressure out of your chest and throat. WOW. So I am starting to really see how this sleeve works.

Not only can I not eat very much of anything... I can't eat what I would like at this point. I had to switch to a clear broth (french onion) and that went down fine. But creamy... no way.

So I guess what I need to figure out is how to get the recommended 600-800 calories a day. I have been living on around 400 for 2 weeks now, and because I can't eat much I can't get my calorie count up. I would try to make it up with the foods I am eating but with 2 oz of something and trying to eat healthy, that equates to about 50-75 calories. Not to mention that when I eat the 2oz of normal food instead of a protein drink, I sacrifice a lot of grams of protein. Instead of getting 15 in a serving, with a good food, I'll get maybe half. Today I am down in protein AND liquids which needs to change if I want to lose this weight!

Speaking of which, I stood on the scale again and gained 3 lbs. Which I guess can be accounted for with clothing... sort of. I think my body is starting to go into starvation mode and storing everything which means I need to find a way to consume more good calories. Not sure how to do this.

Also, the executive assistant for the hotel was going around taking orders for our managers outing next Monday. Ceasar salad and steak and mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. Sounds like a dream right???? I am FREAKING OUT. I can't eat salad, that's for sure. I can probably squeak by with some potatoes, but I am afraid to try a bite of meat there because if I barf it will be in front of about 17 people. Maybe I will just cut some up and push it around the plate for awhile to make it look like I am interested? Or sit strategically. Ironic that I will tell the entire world on facebook about this but not my coworkers. Only 1 knows. HI APRIL!!! xoxo

Well, I guess after that outing I will have some exciting experiences to post.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Last Day of Liquids!!!

I am so excited I cannot wait to share in my excitement! TODAY IS MY LAST DAY OF ONLY LIQUIDS!!!!!!! (I cannot insert enough exclamation points to make this happy enough)

It has been a rough 17 day road of only liquids. I have cheated (I did eat laughing cow cheese wedges the past couple days, and 1/2 a jello pudding one day), but overall it has been a steady diet of myoplex, protein packets, and Hint water. Mmmmm. The myoplex has really saved me because just 16 oz or so packs in 42g of protein. So I have been having one and then one or two additional protein packets (either "punch" or "boullion") which each have 15. My goal amount is 70g per day but I am finding that nearly impossible so I just focus on getting in what I can and trying to drink a lot of water to supplement. It has been a rough road, but I am VERY proud of myself.
I also went out to buy tofu last night. I am NOT looking forward to eating it but it is better than cottage cheese. I need to look up some exciting recipes for that. And I also got my sugar free Torani syrups to flavor my yogurt. So I figure these 2 things for meals (and possibly egg) and then supplement still with my protein packets or myoplex and then in 2 weeks.... I can eat normally again!!!!! Well normally but about 1/10 of what I used to eat. I get full now on 1 laughing cow cheese wedge.

Another thing that I have been thinking about is all of the food surrounding me. I love food. I love the look, the smell, the taste. I am in the hospitality industry, a board member of the National Association for Catering Executives, I live with a chef.... my life involves food at every turn. I was reading a post on my vertical sleeve message board and a woman was horrified that her husband brought home pizza despite the fact that she couldn't eat it and loves pizza. Yes, I agree that the husband is an a-hole for doing that but I also think that this woman needs to face reality. I have a family, I have to watch them eat delicious food nearly every day. But I made a choice to change my life, and if my doctor recommends letting my stomach heal and that I only drink liquids, then so be it. Yes I have cheated, but certainly not with something as crazy as pizza. God Bless that woman though... she chewed up a small piece and spit it out, just to get the flavor. So I can't be too judgemental. I completely understand how hard it is. Thankfully there is not a food that I "can't say no to" because I have said no to just about everything the past 2 weeks. In a way it inspires a sort of confidence for me, that I CAN do this!

Speaking of confidence, I stood on the scale this morning (yes it is a morning weight so probably not the most accurate, and I was only wearing undies) and I am now down to 224.4. That's another 2.6lbs down! Woohoo! I put on my work pants this morning, and I don't know if it is psychological or what, but they are definitely a little loose, especially in my thigh area. Like I said, I am not sure if all of this is in my head, or real, but I don't care, it feels great!

Another thing that is feeling great is my big surgery incision. "Big" is probably not very accurate. My incisions are really quite small, and I think my surgeon was pretty darn awesome. I saw another girl's incisions at a week out and her belly button one was BAD. Here is a pic of one of my small ones (taken about a week ago, so they are even better now. I have four of these). You can see that the area around the incision is reddish and that is because I am SO incredibly itchy : (

And here is a pic of my "big" one. It is about an inch long. And please excuse all of the stretch marks that my dear Benjamin graced me with about 18 months ago. He was 9.5lbs with too much amniotic fluid... what can I say?

Can't wait for the scars to fade and for me to begin my new life completely!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend fun...ish

I am never sure what to do on a weekend when we don't have set plans. The days seem to fly by a lot faster without them, and I am not sure how I feel about that!

Yesterday I thought that one of my incisions was infected so I left work a little early and headed to SF to have my doc look at it. Low and behold, no infection thank goodness! But my belly and all other parts of my body are SO itchy. I mentioned it to my doctor and he said that because I am not taking in any fats or oils right now, I probably am having dry skin issues. So he recommended that I take an Omega 3 pill each day. I went and got them at Trader Joes today and have been slathering myself with calamine lotion. It is THAT itchy! So far I have lost 17 lbs from when I weighed in at his office on 12/16. He said that that is fantastic and that if I stick to the program I will most likely lose 100 lbs in around 9 months. Whew! That is super exciting!

I also ingested 1g of fat yesterday with pleasure.... a laughing cow cheese piece. I am supposed to be on all liquids but in a few days I transition to mushy smushies like yogurt, and I figured that laughing cow is so soft it would melt in my mouth. I kid you not, I eat about half of that little wedge and I felt STUFFED. I don't know if it was because it didn't agree with my stomach, or if I really was full but despite the fact that I wanted so badly to finish it, I ended up throwing half away. I can already see that I am going to have issues with not finishing what is on my plate, which means that I need to take the doctor's advice and only portion out what my stomach can hold..... 2oz.

With the next transition, I am supposed to have set mealtimes and it will take me about 3o minutes to complete a "meal". A meal consists of about 1/4 cup of whatever it is I am eating. I bought some greek yogurt today, and need to get some sugar free torani syrup tomorrow to flavor it because Lord knows I do NOT eat plain yogurt... ew! Also, since I do not eat cottage cheese, the doc recommended tofu. So I am going to need to research some yummy tofu recipes. Cottage cheese just freaks me out.... I have never had it in my life and I will not ever have it. Gives me the heebie-jeebies!

On the homefront, we finally have gotten to see my parents & brothers yesterday and today and it was great because I miss seeing them all the time and I know Aidan and Benji just love them. Yesterday Aidan and I were over and she did NOT want to leave! She insisted on a sleepover and her Grandpa granted her wish so she had a fantastic sleepover. I am always impressed with how my mom pulls out all of my old art supplies like stamps, stickers, markers, etc and Aidan just LOVES them! See, it pays to store stuff for 10+ years!!! lol. I swear they have saved every toy from my little brothers (now aged 12 and 13) and I would balk at that but all's well that ends well because we DO use them!!!!! We went over again today to pick her up and both kids had so much fun with their uncles. And we will see them all again tomorrow because we are going to my Grandma's to pack away all of the Christmas decor. Tina, Aidan says she is ready for another sleepover!!!! To be honest I am really grateful that my child likes sleepovers because although she doesn't have them all that often, she doesn't freak out about where we are.

Another great development was that on Friday I woke up and all of the sudden 95% of my pain was gone! I can bend, touch my toes, pick up things off the floor. It is so much better than the past week! I am hoping these incisions heal up quickly so that I can wear normal pants without leaving the buttons undone.

Tomorrow is Jesus day as I like to call it and all we have planned is heading to the city yet again. Hoping my children act properly at my Grandma's and that we have a mellow, happy day :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Today I am trying my best to stay positive. Because although I am struggling with not being able to eat, there are lots of things in my life that are worth being thankful for.

As I had mentioned previously, I switched markets at work. What this means is that instead of selling weddings and social events, I now sell for the SMERF martket which includes military, association, fraternal organizations, etc. It isn't as "fun" of a market but it is about 100x busier which means better sales numbers for me. It has been "raining contracts" as my admin put it! And it sure has. I am sure that this week was absolutely fantastic!

Also, the whole San Antonio idea is coming into play. I spoke to Roger again about it last night, after we had a 30 minute discussion about how we were going to try to arrange our schedules to pick up the children on time, and I told him again that I cannot stand barely making it and never seeing our kids. We need to have 1 solid income that we can afford to live off of and the other as a secondary one. After our whole discussion I wasn't able to fall asleep so I started looking up jobs and just sending resumes for the heck of it. Well, shockingly enough I got a response today from a recruiter who spoke with a hotel who would possibly consider me as an out of state candidate. WOW! That pretty much never happens nowadays. So I filled out his crazy internet forms and will hopefully be hearing back soon about whether or not I have an interview for February. Crazily enough, I get paid so low here that jobs out there are comparable in pay... and yet the cost of living is SO MUCH LOWER! I am not sure if they would contribute to relocation or anything yet, but I am still just glad to have gotten a response.

Also, my kids are so cute. Benji I have yet to see (but I still know he is adorable every second of every day) and Aidan is something else. Every day she says something to crack me up. Yesterday on our car ride home she had her little mini Cinderella with her. Not only was she telling me that she needs to be Cinderella because she has yellow hair too, she also said that Benji could be Ariel and Roger could be Belle. LOL! I guess I get to be Tinkerbelle! Then she had a full on conversation with herself (Mommy) and Cinderella. She was talking to and from herself for a good 10 minutes and I was in the front seat giggling the entire time! Such an imagination she has! Her teachers have commented numerous times on how bright she is but that she is a stubborn little cookie. She pretty much got my genes as far as personality goes which might need a little tweaking as I am seeing now.

As for my surgery stuff, friends and fam are still 1000% supportive and I tell ya, it really does help to hear kind words. Even hearing that people like reading my blog put a smile on my face.

I am starting to think though that I am not consuming enough calories per day. I am supposed to be drinking about 600 per day. Each protein packet I drink has 70-80 (I drink 2 per day) and if I drink a Myoplex that is another 260 or so. That is only about 400 per day. I am also not getting enough protein in, but I just cannot force myself to drink another protein packet. They taste like crap and take FOREVER to drink. I have discovered though that the juice ones taste a lot better if I pour them on ice rather than drinking from my little bottle that I mix them in. The "soups" (aka protein broth) are better tasting but by the time I am finishing them, they are cold. So frustrating! Like I keep saying, I just cannot wait until I can eat something!!!

Another issue that I am having is being itchy. I swore I had hives last night because my belly was itchy, my arms were itchy and had little bumps on the back of them... I just could not stop itching! I am not sure what it is, but I saw hives on Aidan and I don't think that is what I have. I know scabs can sometimes itch, which is what my incisions are at this point, but its the skin in between itching also!

Anyhow... today has been much better than yesterday, which is a big time relief!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Debbie Downer

Today is not going exactly as I had hoped. I am down in the dumps. So sick of drinking Myoplex and other protein supplements that I want to scream. Sick of drinking ANYTHING. I keep reminding myself that this is what I wanted, this is what I need to do to let my stomach heal, to lose the weight, but seriously all I want to do is eat something delicious like pasta or In n Out.

I am wondering if the Myoplex is too heavy for my little stomach because it is so filling that it is becoming uncomfortable. I am still enjoying my Hint water (thanks Claire!) but everything else just sucks.

I was told before having surgery that I would have emotional issues afterwards and I definitely believed everyone but I am not really sure who to talk to about it. No one really understands what exactly I am feeling right now. Most people have only gone a day or 2 on straight liquids. I dream of eating an egg in a week. I don't even like eggs (seriously, they make me gag) but the thought of chewing something that can be flavored is VERY exciting. Not as excited about yogurt because it is sweet, and 95% of what I consume right now is "sugar-free" and still sweet.

My support system is great. All of my friends and family have been asking about how I am doing. The darling HR lady was back this morning "to check on me", and Roger is still being nice (always good) and pitching in 565%. I am just in a funk.

Also another big thing is that I am barely seeing my son. Benji is with my aunt 85% of his life these days. I can't lift either kid, but Aidan is self projecting so she can get in and out of the car by herself, up the stairs by herself, out of bed by herself... so I am not afraid to be alone with her. Benji I simply cannot be alone with. Last night Roger told me that he had to be at work at 6am. Normally I wouldn't care because I drop off Aidan anyway, but then there was the issue of Benji. I can't ask my aunt to be at my house at 6am. That's not fair. But I can't be alone with Benji either. What if he wakes up... I just let him cry in his crib until someone comes who can pick him up????? It's horrible. So last night my aunt was kind enough to let him spend the night but it means that I only spent about an hour with him. And today/tonight I won't see him at all. I have a NACE meeting until 9:30 in Walnut Creek which means I won't get home until 10pm at the earliest and which also means I won't see either kid until tomorrow morning. And currently I don't see Benji in the morning because Roger is dropping him off on the way to work (at around 6:45am). It is just really hard.

I like working in general. I like my mind being stimulated. I don't think that I am cut out to be a stay at home mom, but I hate feeling like I am missing my kids' entire lives for $45k a year. And the even crappier part is that in the Bay Area, I don't have a choice. We can't afford to live on one salary, especially since Roger had to take a big pay cut with the new job (yes I am thankful he even has a job but it still sucks). I told him on Monday evening that we need to move to somewhere affordable because this rat-race is killing me. Every month we are scrambling. And to be honest we don't blow money on anything other than eating out and now that is over with because of the surgery. I am open to moving anywhere at this point... anywhere we can afford to live on his salary and mine is just for incidentals, or savings, or vacations. I have a feeling however that we will never move, unless I agree to move to LA (which I should have rephrased earlier because I would rather move to Alaska than Los Angeles) because that seems to be his promised land. I am thinking more along the lines of Chicaco, Cincinnati, or last night we talked about San Antonio with my aunt (they are considering moving there) but once she left he was like "the only thing nice there is Riverwalk... the city isn't like that". I really don't know what to do.

So, sorry to be a Debbie Downer, I just can't seem to find my "happy place" today. Perhaps this evening, after some NACE chatter I might be in a better mood. For now I am off to find some soup that is not "protein infused" so that at least I can taste a different flavor.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Work

Today was my first day back at work since before Christmas. Needless to say I was 30 minutes late. Good thing my boss is out all week ; ) Another reason I was glad she wasn't there is because my outfit was very on the casual side. It's hard to dress nicely because my incision is right at my belly button which is exactly where my dress pants hit. So, I spent half the day with my pants unbuttoned. Oh well! I walked into absolute chaos! My desk was literally covered in papers and there was even one on my chair!!! I spent about an hour or so organizing my desk, and moving all of the wedding stuff to the vacant desk next door which felt fantastic! My desk looked to slobby because I had nowhere to put everything.

Also, we have a new girl at work. I wanted to not like her because sometimes I am just a mean little girl, but she is actually really sweet. She also filed all of my signed contracts for me (think 8 inches high stack) so I really cannot complain. The senior sales manager was out today due to a family emergency and that was a nice break. He can be a little dramatic at times and I didn't want to hear a comment about my attire. Also, the front office manager who was trying to entertain the new girl organized a nice company sponsored (free) lunch in our restaurant which was very nice! Previously I would have gotten down and dirty with just about anything on the menu but I had a delicious meal of hot water and ice water. Iced water to drink, hot water to stir my protein broth in. MMMMM. Not!

Everyone at work with the exception of 2 people think that I am on a doctor prescribed diet. They don't know that I have had weight loss surgery. One coworker was like "You're gonna lose weight!". Little does she know! My HR lady knows and she was so sweet today and came to say hi and we chatted and gossiped (is my day complete without a little gossip?) for a good 30 minutes. I have to say I am lucky to work with such nice people!

I also had over 100 emails waiting for me, a bunch of which were from the NACE board. Apparently I have a meeting tomorrow evening to discuss this year's programs. Slightly worried because I know food will be involved and I don't really wanna say "Yeah I can't eat for 3 months". I am thinking I will just say I had abdominal surgery and my doctor has me on a liquid diet for 2 weeks. Easier that way. But all of these food situations sure make me sad that I cannot enjoy food. My favorite hobby pre-surgery was dining. How else would I get to be 245 lbs?!

I am looking forward to tomorrow though because it is a short-ish day. I am leaving at 4! Woohoo!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Too much, Too Soon

Yesterday was a great day. I had all the energy in the world, I was keeping hydrated, keeping up with my protein, and at around 8:30pm I got a call from my good friend Aimee that her water had broken and she was on her way to the hospital. I was originally her driver, but since she was having some preterm labor, her mom and her best friend had already made it to the Bay Area from Oregon for the baby's impending arrival. Anyhow, I was thrilled and immediately got in the car and headed to Kaiser on Geary St. with the hopes that her labor would be fast and furious.

When I got to the hospital I was told to park by the Emergency room Entrance in order to get into the hospital after hours. It was a great tip, except for the fact that the ER is up a steep hill, and there is no parking except for at the bottom of the hill. When my doctor said walking is good, I don't think he meant strenuous walking that engages my abs! Low and behold, I made it to the room and poor Aimee was laboring very hard. Her mom and bf Suzi were there and there was 1 chair in the entire delivery room. 1 chair??? Her mom has a cane, so I wasn't about to fight her for the only chair, but I ended up standing up from about 10pm - 3am when she finally got settled with her epidural and it was obvious that her baby wasn't coming out any time soon.

Well this morning, after 4 hours of sleep, I had my first "back to reality" morning. I had to get Aidan up and dressed and to preschool. Thankfully I didn't need to get myself ready and one kid even commented on my pajama pants... little turd! This morning I was NOT feeling well at all and my pain level was on the high end, but I knew that all I had to do was get her to school so that I could go back to bed.

I came home and showered and forced myself to get some liquid protein in because I knew I was behind and then I turned my phone on very low and closed the bedroom door. I got up at 1pm because a) I knew I would be dehydrated if I didn't get up and drink b) it was 1pm... I had things to do like browse sales at random stores for a bit! and c) I was afraid I might not be able to sleep tonight had I not gotten up and going. Plus I needed to check my phone and see if the baby was born!

After my nap my pain level was somewhat lower thankfully. Laying down helps a LOT, which means that instead of window shopping I should have done more resting, but hindsight is 20/20. Baby Pilot Canaan George was born at 1:30pm today, 1/3/11. Had I known he was coming Monday afternoon I would have just shown up for his birth!!! Little stinker! He is absolutely beautiful! And since Aimee had told me about all her false labor I had told Aidan that the baby was coming so this morning the first thing she asked me was if she got to go see baby Pilot! I promised her that after school we would go see him, so once I picked her up, it was back to SF to go see the baby.

So, needless to say I was up and down, in and out of the car, buckling carseats, etc etc ALL DAY today! And man, I can tell. I am trying to stay awake to drink another protein drink but the sucky part about the sleeve is that all I can do is sip. So sip, sip, sip I go on some fake protein infused chicken broth! If I can manage to choke it all down, I am going to try to get a small glass of Myoplex in before bed also (as I drink I literally think "this is chocolate milkshake, this is chocolate milkshake"). Tomorrow is my first day back at work and from what I hear I have a MOUNTAIN of work waiting for me. I switched sales markets and my new one is a lot more work.

Oh! I also had a miraculous discovery the other day that I am pretty sure is against my liquid diet, but the brand is Jello so I am pretending it's the same as regular Jello..... I have to take a prilosec pill to prevent acid or whatever (It is some kind of "blocker" bc the part of my stomach that was removed previously did this). It is not a big pill, but with a 2oz stomach, nothing goes down all that well. So, I figured out that I can open the pill and sprinkle the contents on 1 tablespoon of sugar free jello pudding. OMG, it is heaven! The closest thing to real food in 10 days!

Speaking of 10 days.... a quick recap of weight loss due to starvation:

12/16/10: Consult with surgeon, 245lbs
12/28/10 : Sleeve day! 3 days prior only liquids , 238 lbs
1/3/11: random weigh in, 232

So far I am down 13 lbs! Exciting stuff. Amazing what a little protein infused starvation will do for ya!

And last but not least, here is a picture of my dear Aidan holding baby Pilot who I must say, is absolutely adorable! Congrats Aimee!!! Welcome to the Mama Club!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Night and Day

Last night was rough for me. I went to bed early with a slight fever, and for the life of me I could NOT get warm. For those of you who live on the east coast, feel free to laugh as I complain about a bone chilling 40 degree New Years Eve. At around 7:45 I tucked myself in with the electric blanket as best as I could pull it over me, and fell asleep. At around 9, I was shivering and my feet were like ice. Roger was kind enough to tuck the electric blankie around my feet and I fell asleep until around 11 when I got up, checked my online VSG boards as I tend to do, and took my Ativan.

I woke up for good around 5:20 this morning. Happy 2011! And happy it was! I woke up knowing it was almost light out but I relished the peaceful quiet of the early morning that I never enjoy by choice. I also could tell I was slightly dehydrated so in about 2.5 hours I managed to drink about 18 oz!!!! I was THRILLED (still am!). That is major progress.

To give you an example of what it is like to have a newly sleeved stomach, imagine this: You eat a HUGE meal. You're stuffed. And then someone tells you you need to drink as much soda water as you can get down so that you don't die of dehydration. So every little sip you take a burp comes out. Our you can hear or feel a gas bubble come up through your throat. You wonder... is it a burp? Or a barf? And then there are the 40 pain meds and other vitamins you need to get in also! So think about a time when you took a big bite of food and didn't chew it long enough before swallowing and it felt like it was stuck in the middle of your back for 10 minutes and you had to walk, and drink water, and wiggle just so you felt comfy again. Yup... this is now my life! BUT... I am happy to say... IT IS GETTING BETTER!!!!!

It is amazing the difference a day makes. Since this morning my fluids have been up, and I am working on my protein. We made many retail trips today to my joy (it counts as "walking" right?) and I ended up playing the little CVS game where I went in with a return for $27 and got 15 other things ( which I actually needed btw) plus had $4 left over!!!! Oh the little joys in life : P We also hit up Wal Mart and got some clearance Christmas stuff for very cheap, a new extra fancy scale (a purchase that I would have scoffed at before because once you get above 200 lbs, do you really need to weight? IMO, no!), and odds and ends. Last stop was Target and again I hit the jackpot. We are now the proud owners of a Dyson DC -17 All Floors Vaccuum!!!!!! Got it for $224 - 5%. It said regularly $449, and I did ask on FB and my girls assured me it was a good deal. As I have mentioned in the past I am not a vacuuming queen by any stretch but our vacuums right now SUCK, so at least I will know that when I do take the time to vacuum the floors, they will be clean!

So going back to the sleevey part of the day, I finally got sugar free popsicles which I was told I could have in the hospital. But you see, in the hospital, I had no desire to eat ANYTHING, so being told I could have a popsicle was like telling me I could have more water or juice. Nimodo (isn't that the Spanish slang for "whatever"?.... Iliana, help me BABY SHOWER! lol). But I had 2 this afternoon and they are like nectar from the heavens! They went down so smooth. And I am working on my protein broth and so far, so good. I even managed to get down a tums ok today! Things are looking up!!!

Energy wise I am doing much better today also. I wiggled the laundry into the basket in my room by kicking it where it needed to go (I can't bend all the way over) and I was able to transfer the stuff from the dryer to the basket, the washer to the dryer, and the dirty laundry in the room into the washer.... AND set a cycle to go!!! SUPER WOMAN!!! I was so proud. I also loaded the dishwasher which was a big accomplishment because as I said, I can't bend over that well. My favorite phrase while in Target today was "I just had surgery, can you please reach that..... for me". Thankfully everyone was nice.

This blog post is getting long but something interesting happened today with the dynamic of the family in a mealtime setting that really stood out to me. Amidst our travels, Roger and Aidan needed to eat a quick bite. In n Out is right next to Wal Mart. Obviously I can't have it yet, but it doesn't bother me to be there or anything. BUT I did notice how our ritual of us eating there as a family stayed the same, even without my #2. I filled our drinks (water for me and Aidan) and got the ketchup (just 1 instead of 3-4... what can I say... I love ketchup!) and napkins, and I just talked to them as I ate. It was kind of weird not eating with them, but it was a good "food for thought" situation.

Other than all of the above, the homefront couldn't be better. I feel extremely supported by all involved. Roger is being amazing (heck the guy even agreed to a Dyson), my aunt still has Benji and has made it clear that I can take as much time as I need to recover before he comes back to us full time (we do get an all day visit tomorrow with them AND Benji so I am excited) and my mom and dad really stepped up to the plate, way more than I expected when I told them I was having surgery. So, all's well that ends well and I can't wait for tomorrow to get even better. I have a new protein plan on tap that I want to try out!