Thursday, April 30, 2009

I have no words...

Yeah, I know, it has nothing to do with bypass surgery, but it's too good to not share. Stand By Me is absolutely my most favorite song ever, out of all the favorite songs I've ever had. It applies across all spectrums of life, whether it be in our personal relationships or globally. I believe that we're put here on this earth to help and take care of each other, and do everything we can to make somebody else's life better. Stand By Me just sums that up beautifully for me.

Anyway, there's a group called Playing for Change and they're incredible. Beyond incredible. They start with one person laying down a base track and travel all over the world, layering tracks, creating the most fabulous and joyous music. And, you guessed it, they did it with Stand By Me. I heard this for the first time yesterday and it made me cry, it touched me so deeply. I just listened to it again and cried again. I definitely need to add them to my Zune!!

So here's the vid, enjoy. Grab a tissue first, and turn up the speakers!!

(And here's where we find out if Meg can embed a video...)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I has a DATE!!!

I'll be having surgery May 26, contingent on the results from the bibopsy. My nutrition class & final pre-op appointment with Doc G are on May 13. THAT'S ONLY TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY!!!! And surgery will be 27 days from today!!! *happy dance!!!* I'm feeling such relief right now.

I did have my bibopsy today. Whoever scheduled it ASSumed that there was an error in the order and scheduled a standard fine needle biopsy. Nope, Doc G really did want a core sample, so we had to wait for a surgeon to be available to do the sampling. Four hours later... Anyway, it's done now, hurts like hell to cough and I have a bitchin' tickle in my throat. Results should be in on Monday or Tuesday.

The surgeon told me that "most biopsies come back benign, but I have to be honest and tell you that when it's a single nodule like this, and the size that it is, the risk is higher that it could be a malignancy." DON'T TELL ME THAT!!! Let me live in ignorance for the rest of the week and through the weekend!!! I told him that it'd better be something that Windex can clear up. (He actually got my stupid joke. Hehehe)

So right now I'm praying and sacrificing chickens to to voodoos that it comes back clear, or benign at worst. It's going to be a LOOOOONG wait until Monday/Tuesday. *deep breath* I'll have to work hard on getting my bedroom & closets organized, that should be plenty to keep me busy until then!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's About Freakin' Time!!

is for APPROVED.

After being without internet for several days and having to run down to the library to check the status only to be met with a big fat "P" for pending, I just got the 'net fixed and the FIRST thing I did was check the status. It's been APPROVED!!!! *happy dance!* I have my bibopsy tomorrow, so we're going to get to the hospital a bit early so I can run up to Dr. G's office & see if I can set my date. Now I just have to pray hard that the bibopsy comes back benign at worst, so we can go through with it. Either way, at least I can start the process soon.


Friday, April 24, 2009

So I got a call from the school yesterday...

My kids pack their own school lunches, and usually make great choices. I check them before they get packed into the backpacks just to make sure they're not sneaking four cups of sugar, but I rarely have to tell them to put something back. Sandwich, fruit, veggie, drink...standard.

This week, however, we've got company, and I've been lax in my checking. The school counselor called my cell phone and told me that there'd been an "incident" during lunch. One of the teachers saw my 9 YO looking angry and not eating, and went to see what was wrong. She asked Bug why she wasn't eating and she pulled a raw potato out of her bag. She had packed herself a raw potato and a banana. LMBO!! The counselor asked if there was anything wrong at home (um, nope, it's all good!) and if we can't afford to pay for lunches. (How many times do I need to say, "No, we've got everything to make good healthy sandwiches"?) She tried getting me to sign up for free lunches for the kids...I had to explain to her than my husband is an NCO in the Air Force, we don't QUALIFY for free lunch. The counselor wouldn't accept that it was just my daughter doing something DOOFY.

So at dinner, we were getting everybody dished up and I put a leftover baked potato on Catey's plate. She tried pretending that she didn't know what I was getting at, until I told her, "Well, I heard that you prefer raw potatoes for lunch, but I'm fresh outta those." So she kept insisting that she DIDN'T pack the potato, only the banana. I asked my oldest about it later and she said that Catey took the potato out at their friends house on the way to school to show them, and said it was a joke. Funny joke, just take a sandwich next time, OK?

When I called DH to tell him about it, he thought it was hysterical. Once I got past the interrogation from the counselor, yeah, it was funny.

Bibopsy is scheduled.

Wednesday, April 29th, I have to be at patient registration at Integris. I won't be knocked out, and for once I don't have to fast first. Brian WILL be going with me though.

When Janice called to set up the appointment she told me that she's had it done before as well. I asked her if it hurt and she laughed, "Um, YEAH." She said they'd tell me it won't hurt, but it does. So looks like Brian's hand will be sore from all the squeezing I'll be doing.

I could go for some twilight drugs again...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I don't WANT to dance.

It's always one step forward, two or three steps back. F'reals. I've been busting out on getting all of my requirements taken care of, and each time I finish something up I find out I need to get more testing done. I'm also finding out just how UNhealthy I am. And here I thought I was rather healthy for an overweight 33 year old woman! Notsomuch.

At my initial appointment with Dr. G, he was taking a look at my labs and asked me if I had ever been told I was diabetic. Um, no, I knew I was borderline, but that was it. Turns out my fasting blood sugar was 132 for that particular screening, so he told me that I am now "officially, full on diabetic." It's controllable with diet, and I keep track of my sugar a few times throughout the day. I can pretty much tell now about what my sugar is by how I'm feeling. And when I eat right I feel MUCH better. AMAZIN', ain't it?

At the same appointment he also asked me if I have a goiter, or if I've ever had any thyroid issues. I've asked docs to check me for them before, but they always just brushed me off. He said that my TSH was elevated but not horrible, but he wanted me to have some further testing. He felt my thyroid, and sure enough, I do have a goiter. I told him that my daughter has Hashimoto's and asked if she could have gotten it from my thyroid issues. (It's really rare for such a young child to have it, she was diagnosed when she was 7.) Thankfully, her issues and mine seem to be unrelated. Anyway, we set up an ultrasound for my thyroid, did it a few days later, and the results on that came back that I have a 2 cm leison on my thyroid. (For reference, there's 2.54 cm in an inch, so a 2 cm leison would be about the size of my thumb from the bottom of the pad to the tip. On a gland that's supposed to be the size of a large egg but is swollen to the size of a small orange.) Whenever I hear leison it immediately brings to mind cancer, so I was rather concerned.

Dr. G was as well, so he also sent me to have a radioactive scan & uptake done. On day one I had to drive all the way up to the hospital way on the other side of town TO TAKE A PILL. If I had known that I would have asked them to prescribe it at Tinker so I could just take it there. Anyway, I had to take a pill of radioactive iodine. Brian was with me and he asked if I was going to turn into the Incredible Hulk. Sadly, they said I would not. (Although I kind of did later. Hehehe) The next day I went back in so they could do some slow exposure imaging of my thyroid. It took about 40 minutes of completely lying still on an uncomfortable board, with a pillow under my shoulders so my head would tilt back. I never realized how uncomfortable that would be. OW. When they finally let me sit up I was dizzy, just from that slight backwards tilt. They also did an uptake, which I think measures the radiation that was absorbed by the leison. If it absorbed a lot it was hot, if it didn't absorb it was cold. Finished all that, got to go home.

A few days before I had gotten a call saying that my sleep study results had also come back, and they were contradictory. The report said that I didn't have sleep apnea, but had an average of 5 apnea arousals an hour (I stupidly giggle when I hear arousal. Shuddup Beavis!). The pulmonologist also said that I would benefit from having a CPAP during sugery recovery. NOOOOOO, I hate having things on my face! I called the Sleep Center to ask them to look at it again, because the results were so contradictory, and they called back pretty quick, I needed to do another sleep study, this time with the CPAP all night. And the earliest they could get me in was April 15, the night my mom got here. So Brian had to pick my mom up as I was getting all wired up like a Borg. I was so wiped out by the time the tech came back to turn out the lights that I actually passed out pretty quick, and the only time I really remember waking up was when I moved to my side and the condensation rolled down my face. Ick. I haven't heard anything about the results from that, but I'm assuming that I'll be getting a CPAP before long.

So back to the other issues. Friday I got a call saying that Dr. G. wants to meet with me to go over test results. I decided to go ahead and hope that since he's not sending me for MORE tests that everything is good to go and I can finally progress with surgery. Set up the appointment for Tuesday at 1, got a call Tuesday around 11 saying that Dr. G. had emergency surgery and we'd have to reschedule to Wednesday. FINALLY. Went in yesterday with my mom & Aunt Debbie, Brian couldn't come.

When Dr. G. came in we talked a little bit about the irritation in my duodenum, and he said that I need to be taking the Nexium every day (done) and that surgery will actually help take care of it. Then he moved on to the results from my thyroid uptake and scan. (Let's see if I can be accurate and objective about this.)

As we learned from the ultrasound I have an enlarged thyroid and a 2 cm leison, or tumor. It did NOT show on the radioactive imaging, so that test was inconclusive. Pretty much, it didn't absorb the radioactive iodine. On the uptake, it came back as a cold leison. Now, it made sense to me that cold was bad and hot was good, but it's actually the other way around. Hot means it's an active thyroid, cold means inactive. So essentially, my thyroid is not doing what it's supposed to be doing, and it's enlarged because my brain is sending it messages that it needs to work harder. Tumors are just masses, they could be malignant, benign, or nothing, but the only way to tell is to completely take it out or to do a biopsy. (BIBOPSY!)

Dr. G. made it clear that this is the same advice he gave his wife, mom, and MIL when they each had large lesions on their thyroids, so that was reassuring. Obviously, the best thing to do would be to completely take out that part of the thyroid, and check it from there. However, recovery time is 8-12 weeks. I don't want to have to delay my WLS any more than I absolutely have to, so I'm going with the second option. I'm going to have a fine needle biopsy done. If it's just a mass all I'll have to do is take the Synthroid (synthetic thyroid horomone) and monitor the mass. If it's benign I can have my WLS, and once I've recovered from that we'll proceed with removing the lesion. However, if it's malignant I'll have to have my entire thyroid removed immediately. Which means I'll have to put off WLS until I've completely healed from the removal, which can take a while from what I understand from people that have had it done.

The biggest reason I'm choosing to do the biopsy first is that if I DO have to have my entire thyroid removed, I only want the one surgery for it. I asked Dr. G. if I have the lesion removed now and it turns out to be malignant if I'd have to have the rest removed, and he said yes. I've had so many surgeries in the last few years, I want to keep it to as few as possible. So BIBPOPSY it is.

I was pretty frustrated on my way home from the appointment yesterday. Logically, I know this is all to make sure I'm at my prime health before I do WLS. However, it just feels like it's test, test, and more test, all of them leading to more problems. I want this DONE, I want to have my WLS!! I'm an incredibly impatient person and I want things done when and how I want them. This is God's way of telling me, "My will, NOT yours!" He does that a lot.

In all of this, though, there IS good news. I've fulfilled all my requirements from Dr. G. in order to submit the request to Tricare for approval, so he said he'd give my chart to his coordinator. She says that it will take about 3 days, so hopefully Monday or Tuesday it will be APPROVED. Once the biopsy comes back benign or completely clear (positive thinking, right?!) and Tricare approves WLS, I can get my surgery date, do my nutrition class, and get on with my 10 day diet. Is that a LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL THAT I SEE? It is!!

If you read all that...I heart you. Thanks for putting up with my word salad!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Healthy eating last night...FAIL.

I finished off the day with a California Pizza Kitchen Flatbread. Not great, not horrible. Then I added a slice of Brian's Tombstone pizza. I don't even LIKE the stuff, it just smelled good and the Flatbread thing didn't hit the spot like I had hoped it would.

Then I capped it all off with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce & melted pear preserves drizzled over it. I hate stress. It makes me do bad things.

All in all I probably still finished about about 1900-2000 calories, but my goal was to stop at 1500. I'll be so glad when I finally get the bypass done, I hate the constant hungry/not satisfied feeling.

Anyway, started off today with 3 slices of lunchmeat ham with a slice of melted white cheddar in each. Good, but I forgot that the cheese wasn't low fat, so it was all drippy. I think a stick of cheese will work better next time. (Just like EggFace said to do, DUH Meagan!) Oh, and a can of low-sodium V8. I need to get to kickin' on my water.

On a side note: Lowe's really needs to start selling half gallons of paint. I've been painting the kids rooms, and Matt's is finally almost finished. But I ran out of the light color. The last wall in the light color has the first coat and a very LIGHT coat of the second on about half the wall, there was no way I could make it stretch any more. To do a proper second coat I'll need more than a quart, but I don't nearly need a full gallon. GAH! I just hope I have enough of the contrast color left to do the second coat & edging on the final wall, I REALLY don't want to have to buy a ton of paint to finish a job. At least it will all be done when my mom gets here, that way she'll only have to paint the murals. (Why couldn't I have inherited her artistic talent?)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


In adding up my calories & activity for today at TheDailyPlate, so far I have 1080 total calories consumed, but -441 NET calories, because I did an hour of water aerobics, and will be painting in Matt's room for about 3 hours. The site is also telling me that I can eat an additional 2904 calories today.

Um. No. That's what GOT ME HERE.


In order to be more accountable to myself about what I stick in my mouth, I'm going to track my food here. If you've never been to TheDailyPlate make sure to check it out. It's a great tool for tracking your true intake. It's not so easy to lie to yourself about what you really ate if the nutrition information (42 grams of fat!) is staring you in the face. Accountability is a good thing, mmmkay?

So...first up, for breakfast, not as great as I thought it would have been. Even though it's "light", chocolate soy milk has a LOT of sugar in it. Guess I'll be switching to the light plain once this half gallon is gone. *Sad* The chocolate and vanilla are both awesome. Anyway, I made a Peppermint Patty Mocha shake.

8 oz Light Silk Chocolate Soy Milk
1 scoop GNC Chocolate Whey Isolate - 28
4 pumps DaVinci Sugar Free Khalua syrup
3 pumps DaVinci Sugar Free Peppermint Patty syrup
about 8 oz crushed ice

Throw it all in the blender & give it a good whirl. TASTY!

The breakdown isn't so great though...

260 calories
3 g fat
5 mg cholesterol
230 mg sodium
26 g carbs
21 g sugar
2 g fiber
33 g protein

The calorie total, meh, not so awful. It's the carbs & sugar that suck. The plain soymilk will make a big difference though. I could use water, but that would be ick.

Heading to the gym for water aerobics with the old folks, then to Kohls to get a Magic Bullet type blender, then back home to get Matt fed & off to school. THEN I absolutely have to paint his room. Note to self when I come back to update with my lunch: GET OFF YER BUTT & GO PAINT MATT'S ROOM, YOUR MOTHER WILL BE HERE NEXT WEEK AND YOU NEED TO GET CRAP MOVED!!!!

1 Campbell's Soup at Hand, Creamy Chicken, with 1 tbsp grated parmesan/romano stirred in
1 Pure Protein S'mores Bar

And the breakdown:

Soup -
130 calories
9 g fat
5 mg cholesterol
890 mg sodium *gah!*
13 g carbs
1 g sugar
4 g fiber
4 g protein

Cheese -
10 calories
1 g fat
3 mg cholesterol
48 mg sodium
0 g carbs
0 g sugar
0 g fiber
1 g protein

Protien bar -
180 calories
5 g fat
10 mg cholesterol
130 mg sodium
20 g carbs
2 g sugar
0 g fiber
19 g protein

Ooooooohhhhh......I was out running around this afternoon & got sick to my stomach hungry, I think my blood sugar dropped too low. I was right next to Chick-Fil-A, so made a pit stop. It turned out a LOT better than I had anticipated, only about 500 calories total, 11 g fat. Wow!

Chick-Fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Club (just think, if I had gotten the regular chicken sandwich it would have been even less fat/calories. But it was gooooood...):

380 calories
11 g fat
90 mg cholesterol
1240 mg sodium *faint!*
33 g carbs
7 g sugar
2 g fiber
35 g protein

Medium Fruit Cup:

70 calories
0 g fat
0 g cholesterol
o mg sodium
17 g carbs
14 g sugar
2 g fiber
1 g protein

Large Diet Lemonade:

50 calories
0 g fat
o g cholesterol
10 mg sodium
12 g carbs
6 g sugar (I thought it was DIET!)
0 g fiber
1 g protein

I'm really learning a lesson here: There's a lot of hidden sugar & sodium (my two big problems) in EVERY food.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Have a Confession...

I'm fat.

I'm not just overweight. I'm a fatty. By medical standards I'm what's referred to as "morbidly obese." EW. I think at my highest I was close to 300 lbs, I know that at one point I was about 280. I'm now down to 258 as of a few weeks ago, and I think I might be down a few more since then. According to my home scale I'm 252, but I don't know how accurate it is compared to my surgeon's scale.

In addition to being fat (I hate that word) I have just about every complication you can have due to excess weight.

High blood pressure - check
Type 2 diabetes - check
Elevated triglycerides - check
Excessively low LDL cholesterol (that's the good one that SHOULD be high) - check
Elevated thyroid horomone - check
Weight bearing joint pain - check
Back pain - check

Am I really only 33? Because the RealAge test I just did said that I'm 40.6. Gah! I'm not ready to be 40!! I'm still getting used to my 30's!

So I don't want to be fat anymore. Not that I ever really wanted to, but it happened. I've done diet and exercise, my body rebelled and they didn't work for me. Years of depression and loving to cook have piled up on my ass, and I want that ass (and the concurrent gut) GONE. I want to be healthy again.

When I was still working, one of the girls on my team started talking about a weight loss clinic where she was going. I decided to look into getting on the same med that she was on, Phentermine, and if Tricare/my PCP wouldn't let me have it I was going to go to the same clinic as my friend. Went to my PCP and was FINALLY ready to do something about my weight, only to be told that because of my blood pressure issues she couldn't put me on Phentermine. She could put me on the prescription strength of Alli, but bright orange anal gravy really didn't seem all that appealing to me. Then she busted out the big guns. She told me that Tricare now covers the LapBand. Gastric surgery had never really crossed my mind since I didn't think that Tricare would cover it, but I told her to go ahead and put in a referral and I'd do some research and talk to my husband. It was worth a shot, right?

After doing some research and going to a seminar on gastric surgeries, I decided that gastric bypass would actually be the better option for me. With LapBand, if you travel you have to get the fluid removed from the band first. Since my husband is in the military, we travel quite a bit. We visit our families in other states, but there's also the possibility that we could end up back overseas again, as well. If I'm going to put my body through such an invasive surgery in order to lose the weight, I don't want to risk gaining it back. Bypass just made more sense to me.

So now I'm in process of getting everything approved. I've jumped through the hoops. The ECG was fine, the stress test wasn't all that stressful, the sleep study left me looking like I had tusks sawed off my jaw for a few weeks, but hey! NO SLEEP APNEA!! (I'm claustrophobic, I really didn't want to end up with a CPAP.) Last week I had my "gut scope" done. I have a rash in my intestine, but it's not an ulcer so I'm just on Nexium to pretty things up. Now I'm just waiting to hear back from the surgeon's office as to what the next step is. I'm praying that the surgeon will give the go-ahead to submit the request to Tricare TODAY. If that works out, then the surgery should be approved by the end of this week and I'll FINALLY BE ABLE TO GET A SURGERY DATE. The way things are going it likely won't be until mid-May, but I'm to the point that I'll take what I can get. It really doesn't help to be such an impatient person.

Soon, there will be less of me to love. And I can dig that.