Thursday, November 29, 2007
WOW Moments include no longer having to ask for the airplane seatbelt extender, or when someone they haven't seen in a while doesn't recognize them, or shopping and no longer being able to find ANYTHING in the Plus Section that fits. They also celebrate milestones, 100 pounds lost, reaching goal weights, maintaining goal weight.
I stepped on the scale again this morning (a daily weigh in is not really a good idea, but it's so rewarding right now that I can't help myself) and damn if I haven't dropped ANOTHER two pounds. That's 10 pounds since MONDAY.
I have lost 48 pounds since I started this journey back in July. I quickly dropped 20 lbs. and then stalled and stalled. From the moment of the start of the liquid diet I have been steadily losing. With the minor exception of the 20 lb hospital induced gain, it's been down down down down.
So, I guess a WOW is in order for me!
I don't want to get too far ahead of myself but if this pace keeps up I could be at 225 by Christmas - which would be just shy of 100 lbs lost since my decision to start this journey. Being able to tell you that I started at 317 is a huge thing for me. I didn't think I'd be able to openly discuss my "size" with anyone ever again.
Woo Hoo! Go tp gal!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
She was so awesome, she cleaned, organized, and stayed out of the way when needed. She cleaned the cat box (gross,) did laundry, helped me sort clothes, bedding, stored all the Christmas supplies. She even organized my deck storage unit (which was a total nightmare!)
Yesterday we pulled together a HUGE care package for my brother and shipped it off to Iraq. She hauled that heavy box into the post office!
This morning, she made all the rounds to make sure all my trash and recycling was out of the house. She made sure I had plenty of anything heavy I might need (cat litter, milk...laundry soap) and put all the guest bedding away. She even cleaned (scowered) the guest bathroom in a way that a guest should never have to do!
While I may not have been flat on my back these past few days, she found everything that I couldn't do for myself and got it done!
Thanks a million mom!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I'm still in a little pain, but not on meds. But there is something that is so irritating that it's keeping me up at night. My surgery was conducted lapriscopically - which means instead of a big 6 inch cut in my belly I have 6 little 1 inch incisions. Lapriscopic surgery has a faster recovery because they don't have to cut a lot of muscle (or move your ribs) but it also means that each one of those sites is recovery spot.
Each one of the sites is starting to heal and itch, and the surgi-tape is starting to come away which tickles and irritates the skin. I haven't progressed enough to where I could pull the tape free but man its really annoying. It seems wrong to tap into the narcotics because of being irritated... or is it?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is dreamy and emotes with the best of them. Kerri Russel is luminous, and Freddie Highmore (remember him from Finding Neverland?) is so easy to love, and excels as the modern day musically inclined Oliver Twist.
Robin Williams... well as usual he's a little too over the top, but does shine in one scene. Of course, he isn't talking, and it's quick so you might miss it.
One minor complaint... I saw this one with mom. She opted for a "medium" (a.k.a. enormous) popcorn. Movie popcorn may be one of the bad foods that I will miss the most. I obsessed silently through the commercials and previews about the popcorn. I didn't tell her that it was killing me that she was munching handful after warm, salty, handful of popcorn. I can only hope that eventually I'll be able to enjoy a little nugget of movie popcorn in my future life. If not, until I shake the popcorn monkey I may need to avoid the theaters.
Friday, November 23, 2007
She's been in a automatic transmission for about 30 years so the (I think) easy shifting of the volkswagen is hard for her. The really terrible part is that she's so bad at it that it makes me laugh which actually hurts.
We made it to the RiteAid, the Post Office and the QFC before heading back in. She whined when I told her that I would prefer my car be in the garage. I had to walk away as she tried to wedge the car in. I figured if she hit the mirrors on the doors that it wouldn't be the worst thing that's ever happened to the car.
She made it happen - but has made it clear she isn't interested in any road trips until Monday when I can drive. We're headed to church Sunday and while I am recovering like crazy I know I can't walk it.
Rico and Cindy are coming over this afternoon with Thanksgiving leftovers for mom. They are like the nicest people EVER! She picked up a slice of pumpkin pie at the QFC today and ate it for lunch. "Maybe you should eat protein before you eat pie?" I suggested. "I am, it's in the pumpkin, duh!" She replied. Ah yes, the protein infused pumpkin, natures energy source. How stupid of me.
We're actually getting along really well. She's keeping the laundry and the dishes done and I'm focused on the insane eating plan. The schedule is really a bitch. I think I hate the shots the most. Setting the alarm for 6 am to give myself a shot just isn't fun. The heprin (a blood thinner) is leaving little freckles all over my tummy. Thankfully it doesn't really hurt.
Now that my vision is 100% I think I'll start in on the book club book that's due the 10th.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
We were only 10 minutes late for check in which turned out to not be an issue.
They took us back into the prep area (very nice - warm blankets, private rooms) and they did a pregnancy test. I am not pregnant! (whew - that would have been hard to explain.)
After a while I was rolled into the surgery area, cracked a joke to the nurse and then woke up and it was 3pm. Damn... you would think that you would have some sort of awareness of time, but not really at all.
They wheeled me across the hospital to my room (which really was as far away from the surgery recovery place as possible.) Lot's of little bumpy transitions. Mom and Rico eventually found me and then the every three hour nursing visits began.
The nursing staff was great - everyone was really nice. I can't say that I loved the catheter. It's a handy little tool - but mostly it just icky.
Becky came Tuesday and we watched a movie (and I can not tell you what it was. ) I know that I liked it - but that's all I remember. By Tuesday my hair was beyond disgusting and I was thankful for only a couple visitors.
Wednesday my phone was ringing off the hook, but it was too far away for me to get to. Sorry if I missed your call.
It was really good to sleep in my own bed last night, and really good to be in my own pj's. Those damned gowns really don't cover very much and I know I was flashing my ass to everyone.
I'm puttering around today, and mom and I are debating about going to rico's for dinner. She's not comfortable driving my car and it's a pretty big hill between here and there. We'll see where the day takes us.
I'm off to shower again! Have a great Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
This little gem showed up on my profile on my account at ObesityHelp.com. (Hate the name, love the community.)
Monday is your day! Just remember you are on the journey of a lifetime. Try to enjoy every minute. It may sound weird now, but know that you are cared for and prayed for here, and all too soon this will be but a memory and you will be an inspiration to someone else. I am waiting for you on the losers' bench!
A total stranger - wow! It really never occurred to me that I might be an inspiration for someone down the road. That's cool.
I realized in the car on the way home that they didn't ask me a single question about what has been going on with me during all this time. I'm pretty sure they aren't readers of this informative online journal, so I'm a little perplexed.
To compound my confusement (oh it will be a word one day!) I sent out a pre-surgical update yesterday afternoon. I referred to it as the procedure and detailed the three week recovery schedule. I dropped P's email onto it, in case she tries to make contact during the next month. I sort of expected her to ask about it, considering we've never talked about this path I'm on.
On one hand it was NICE for dinner not to be the TP gal show. This past week has been ALL ME ALL THE TIME. I'm as egocentric as the next gal, but could I be just a little bit less in the spotlight? One of my favorite co-workers had a really hard week (his mom's health took a dramatic turn and she passed away Thursday) and that really puts some perspective on my week. On the other hand, it was really bizarre to have 6 months of catching up to be wholly focused on them. I know that I could have just turned the conversation to ME but I sort of thought it might wind there for a bit without my direction.
Part of my issue is that for some crazy reason I am more comfortable helping out others than I am accepting assistance. I really don't want to be a bother. I've always been this way. In college I didn't want to bother my one friend with a car to take me to the dentist so I walked three miles in freezing rain (up hill - both ways) instead of asking him to take 10 minutes out of his life. What an ass. (me, not him) I have NO issue asking for help if the answer is no that I have other options. If I need help - I'm likely to not ask. How jacked up is that? I know what you're thinking -- In college I should have picked better (richer) friends, but these things can't be helped. It was a learning experience. Now all my friends are picked based on the financial benefit to me - as it should be.
Seriously, I'm so grateful for the support that I've been getting that I'm out of my element. Maybe it's because I feel vulnerable. (Geez, where's a therapist when you need one?)
Alright.... enough! Mom and Dad called yesterday so say they were coming early. On one hand yeah!! On the other, crap, now I have one less day to get my home in order before the invasion. So I gotta run.
I'll post again Sunday night... I'm confident that I'll have lots of pent up energy and anxiety to share with the world.
Have a great Saturday!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Oh yes, this is a fantastic plan! I really can't think of anything I'll need more than a mentally challenged elderly lady who can't be bothered to throw her trash away, or pick up her dirty clothes, or cook, or fix her broken toilet staying at my house to "help me."
I think I may have actually told my dear sweet father that there's No-F*cking-Way that she's coming. He agreed it was a bad idea but didn't want to just say no to her before calling me.
He did make some crack about how she'd probably show up with dirty laundry - which is some sort of dig about all the times in college and shortly there after when I would visit for the weekend with all my dirty clothes. I didn't take the bait; plus he should know better than to try and tease me. I'll get even. I'll wait and then when it's time, I'll make him share a room in the nursing home with his sister!!!! bwahahahaha
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I'm ok with complicated characters, but I'm not ok with book that is a death spiral of bad decisions and worse solutions. Those sort of books (and movies) stress me out. Except when it's done as farce... Very Bad Things was a crazy death spiral of a movie that really made me laugh. Disturbing, but funny.
I wholeheartedly do NOT recommend this book to my friends, or even those of you who really hack me off. Frankly, I don't recommend this book to anyone. To those out in the world who think I'm just bitter and cynical I tell you that the New York Times called this book "an assault on trees."
Ah HA!!!! Proof Positive that the New York Times is as smart as I am! Those of you who doubted that the NYTs is brilliant and well written need not worry any more. They have a rock solid recommendation from me. I'm sure they are very pleased - they really should be.
As I write this, I'm wondering if maybe I haven't dissed this book already. If I have, then I guess you'll just have to chalk it up to the fact that it is just that bad.
I am FULLY aware that I am not a published author and that writing novels is hard work and that those who can do it should be respected for their effort especially by us "blog hacks" but dude... this book sucked.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Oh, I know.... Michael Buble - Love love love his music. He's bad for the environment tho' because when his cd is in the player in my car, I just want to drive around and sing.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
This is the "living room." E sleeps here and watches TV here. The fold out bed has been folded out for at least a year. Inside those bags are dishes and "recycling."
I pulled about four big bags of stuff from this room and didn't make a dent.
Here we have the kitchen. My picture of the counter tops is blurry (I was pretty disturbed by what we found.) SHe had run out of clean dishes so she was making little trips to Value Village and bringing home more. That's a handy trick.
Based on the date of the paper and items on the floor she's been "cleaning up" in here for about 6 months.
This is the stove after 4 hours of dishes washing... I'm sad to say that we didn't even make a dent in the filth.
I did clean the bathroom - not to a state where I would want anyone to get naked or sit on the toilet, but enough so that the bio-hazzard is gone, and the landlord could fix the toilet so it would (fucking) flush.
I threw out the food in the fridge and the multiple loaves of "bread." I think it is now officially proven that there is some natural foodstuff in wonderbread. It has to be biological to turn blue and soggy in the unopened bag. I took her to the store and bought her fresh milk, cheese, bagels and bananas. I couldn't talk her into anything else. When I paid for the groceries (all of $21) she cried.
I am so filled with guilt and frustration that I don't know what to do. I haven't talked to her in over a year and had I come up during the summer we could have dealt with this months ago.
As it is, the best we can hope for is that the DSHS people will see that she can't live alone. She can't live with my parents, as there are too many guns in the house and mom is already stretched to the limit taking care of dad. That is a sick joke... sorry
I will admit that I am thankful that living with me isn't an option either - she wouldn't do it even if I had the space and the ability to take care of her. So she has to live in that shit hole for at least another month with paperwork is processed. I left her sitting on a chair in the 'entrance' way, she was sorting beads and reading a little book on depression with cute quotes from people like Charlie Brown and Shirley MacClain. Alright.
I am saddened and fearful that I too will be alone in my elder years. I must remember to marry someone with kids... (Put that on the list will you.)
I've got a lot going on this weekend and since I'm restricted to the liquids for two meals it shouldn't be too tempting to cheat. Actually, the only form of cheating I'm doing right now is putting non-fat salad dressing on my fresh veggies. I'm not tempted by the (*%*$%^ cookie that Lil'John the intern brought me yesterday, or the fother mucking doughnuts supplied Tuesday, or the danged brownies from Monday. I celebrate that fact that pre-resolved TPgal would have had a "treat" Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I would have been able to rationalize that I've "been good" when I really hadn't.
So, this morning - I'm off to Bellingham to visit with Auntie E (of the north) and to do some major house cleaning. She's in her last month of living alone (great timing - crap, I am so self-absorbed - sorry) and I'm meeting her type A++ friend to clean up the house. She apparently fell onto the floor and waited FOUR days before calling anyone for help. I imagine the house is terrible... I'm taking gloves, bleach and hard core trash bags. Anyone wanna come?? Nope, didn't think so.
Tomorrow is BALLET DAY! Normally, Ali and I have lunch, but we're doing coffee instead. I also want to clean out some space in my office for Mom's stuff. She needs a space while she's here... I won't be able to stand a mess and be feeling like crap. I think closet space and drawers should do the trick.
Monday I get to go to the hospital and pre-pay for my surgery. I'm not looking forward to writing that check. In fact, I don't know how on earth you write a check that big. Oh well - must ignore the price as I've already decided to incur the cost. I'm worth it... I'm worth it... I'm worth it!
I also plan to sort through more clothes. I'm practically falling out of my work pants and I know I won't be in them when I return to work on the 10th (of December) so it's time to get rid of some closet bulk before I'm on a weight lifting restriction. I have dreams of cosignment for some of my more expensive items but have no idea where to go. Maybe eBay is a better choice. Oh why did I buy some of that stuff??? The 2500 t-shirts I'll part with easily, but I've got a $150 suede skirt that I couldn't wear now if I wanted to (well, if I cinched the damn thing with a binder clip I could wear it.)
These are not terrible problems to have... I am acutely aware. Have a great Saturday. I'll have my cell on if you want to come up to B'ham and clean old lady stuff. FUN FUN FUN
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I had a mortgage through Countrywide that I re-financed in February. I was with them for three years and one month. Through diligence and good timing I was able to take my shitty 3 year adjustable rate mortgage and turn it into a 30 year fixed rate before the bottom dropped out of the market. (whew!)
I've recieved all the paperwork releasing CW's claim on my condo and thought my relationship with them was severed. (They send SO much mail encouraging you to take the equity out of your property that it felt... oh I don't know, PREDATORY!)
So, on October 4th I get a letter from Candice at Country Wide Tax Reclamation Group stating that in 2004 they paid a tax payment to King County on my property from some other account, and they would like their $847 back please. To show the error they included a copy of a canceled check that did indeed have my tax number on it.
I'm not really very smart, but even I know a copy of a canceled check is NOT proof of overpayment. A quick check of the online records for King County were inconclusive as the records only go back 3 years. (One might wonder if countrywide knows this little fact but I doubt their timing is malicious.) The very nice person at King County records tells me that while the online records only go back 3 years, the off-line records would only show that the tax was paid, not what date or from what check. She did confirm that at no time was an overpayment applied. The County policy is if they get a check for paid taxes they reject the payment (and don't document it...thanks.)
I quickly called the number on the letter (nicely stamped in urgent red ink FIRST NOTICE) to speak with Candice. I left a message and waited a day... fearing that she was on vacation I tried calling the main number, but when I was transferred to the department the phone rang, then didn't ring, then disconnected.
I resorted to snail mail. I asked for a complete accounting of all the monies withheld and paid from my escrow account (including the starting balance at the escrow company from the time CW obtained my loan.)
I waited patiently for either a phone call back or a letter. Instead I received a certified letter stamped SECOND NOTICE. Reminding me that I owe this money and they will send me to collection to get it. BRING IT ON COUNTRYWIDE.
I called back and left another message for Candice - still no answer. Since I have other things going on in my life (and it took them three years to figure out they may have made a mistake) I don't really have the patience to force them to talk to me.
This week I got the FINAL NOTICE and as I haven't received any reply from my phone calls (now numbering 4) and letter I'm stumped. If I owe the money, I'll be happy (not happy) to pay - but they have to prove it. If I sent them a copy of a check I sent to them in 2004 and said it was an over payment they would laugh at me.
Frankly, I wonder how many people just fold. If they send me to collection they will have to prove the overpayment, I'm happy to go to court just to get answers.
Your advice and comments are welcome.
Speaking of economical, I split my pre-op prescriptions between the RiteAid near my house and the new Target. Target send me a coupon for a $10 gift certificate for any prescription transfer so I decided to opt in. Of course, the stupid $10 gift certificate cost me $30 in other items that I might not have purchased (this month) but there are items like milk and feminine supplies that you buy when they are on sale.
(oh lord.. how personal am I going to get here... I've talked about pooh, and now *gasp* feminine supplies.)
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Day two of the liquid diet.
On one hand it isn't terrible. The protein drinks are tasty and while they aren't necessarily satisfying I'm not starving and my stomach isn't growling. Last night for my real food dinner I cooked up a small chicken breast and a medley of fresh veggies. I really wanted something in the carbohydrate family but held off. I saved the non-fat yogurt portion of the meal and ate it later as a "treat."
On the other hand… it sucks! I arrived at work yesterday to find a big box of brownies (a thank you gift from a vendor for a referral) which I promptly gave away. It was easy to part with every one except the peanut butter brownie… my mouth was watering as I walked away from it.
Today, one of my new colleagues brought donuts and oranges to the staff meeting. I'm not sure what I want more, the donut or the orange. The orange smells really good.
Tomorrow, if they bring in garlic bread and oatmeal cookies I may have to hurt someone.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I'm in a little bit of denial about the food thing, I do think I'm going to miss it and like everything else in our lives that changes I'll have to form a new relationship with it. Today is my "LAST" day of eat anything I want. I would have thought it would have been a crap food festival, but not so much. So far, I've had a normal lunch and a protein drink for breakfast.
I should be out and about finishing up stuff (like visiting the Super Supplements Store) but I'm still in pjs. I've reached the point where I really want to shower, but I also want to workout so once I'm done here I'll do that.
I was at the mall yesterday getting a birthday gift for a friend and I stopped at Nordstrom to look at shoes. Since I've started the pre-op diet my feet have shrunk from a 10 (mostly water weight) back to the 9.5. Lately, my feet have been sliding around inside the 9.5's and I think I may be headed back to the 8.5 or 9 were I was in college. I had no idea that was possible. I did buy a pair of cute Cole Haan's in a 9. They may be the new work shoe for a while.
TPgal loves to shop, but I'm realizing how fast the weight may come off - the average is about 100 pounds in 6 months. Can you wrap your brain around that? It seems like I have been FAT forever and the idea of weighing 180 or less by May is hard to fathom.
Summer ended and I packed my Capris and shorts away as if I'm actually going to use them next year. I should just get rid of them.
What happens when I'm a "normal" size and can shop in any store? How do I figure out what my style is? Frankly it's easy to shop when you're limited to two stores and you can only buy the things that fit. Mom suggested a personal shopper - and perhaps I'll consider that when the time comes. The idea of being able to shop in the petite section again seems really unrealistic - but I will be there. You just watch.
Ok, ENOUGH about me... I gotta get movin'. It's already 12:30 and I haven't done ANYTHING today.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Yesterday was my final preoperative appointment with Valley Medical. Mom drove over from Yakima and we had a very lovely breakfast prior to heading to the hospital. I felt a little guilty about the two eggs, bacon, biscuit because it was a HUGE amount of food - but at the end of the day I'm thankful I didn't start the day on just one piece of toast and 8oz milk with protein powder.
Our day started to go sideways when the receptionist couldn't find my name on the schedule for the day. Considering both mom and I had taken the day off work, and the fact that there are two solid weeks of prep before the surgery we HAD to see the doc that day.
The other issue is that apparently I was supposed to pay yesterday, but no one said anything, so I didn't have my checkbook on me. I mean come on, how many people carry a checkbook any more? So, I knew I was going to have to "zip home and back" once we were done. While the hospital is close to my house, it is still far enough away to have to involve the Hwy 167 and I-405 interchange.... for those of you NOT in the PNW... imagine waiting waiting in line, inching forward, waiting, inching, and then some ass-hole cuts in at the last minute (because he's too good to wait?) oh... I don't like it Sam I am, not one bit.
So, the appointment was at 10 - we go to the little room and they (very nicely) offer us a water. 10:30 we start the super fun powerpoint RISKS OF WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY (subtitled... If you sue we are so going to bring this to court to say "I tole you so!") This was awesome because it went through all the terrible things that could happen and my mom who is supportive but a little bit of an alarmist was twitching in the chair next to me.
We finish that... wait 30 minutes, the nutritionist comes in (and you should know that any one of the people can raise their hand and tell me no, this isn't going to happen) and we discuss my food logs. I'm worried about this part because while I've been good about keeping track in the last week my diet has pretty much gone to shit. PIZZA... seriously I ordered pizza and it was really really good.
Anyway... we talk, she says she's happy, I don't have to log food anymore. Of course, I start the LIQUID Diet Monday. It isn't as awful as you might think, it's only 2 weeks and for 13 of the days I get to eat one meal in addition to the protein drinks. I imagine I'll actually be cooking!
She leaves, then we wait and wait and wait.... by now its 1pm and the staff is cooking up their lunches. Finally the exercise guy comes in and he's happy too. We talk about my gym plan, but asks me to wait until he clears me to join the gym. (he thinks it will be 3-4 weeks after surgery before I'm doing much more than working up my walking duration and intensity. I'll have an 8 week restriction on carrying anything over 20 lbs. (Maybe I should do my Christmas shopping now...)
Once we're done all we have to do is see the doctor and we can go. By this time mom and I are surfing the Internet on the computer. We've read CNN.com, the Onion, the comics (seattle pi and the Times) we've read back posts of my blog, spent about an hour looking at the before and after photos on the obesityhelp website. We talked to my dad, and started talking about which one of us would be more tasty if we had to eat one another.
at 2... (seriously 4 hours into this) the doc comes in and he basically shuts down our complaint about the day. The scheduling snafu screwed his day pretty hard too. I was a little put off, and had a hard time focusing because of the hunger pains, but once we started talking it faded away.
Wouldn't you know it... somewhere we missed a couple tests, so once we were done we had to go to the lab. (no blood draw yeah!) The doc gets up and says... ok, once the nurse comes in you're ok to go...
She didn't come until 3. I loved her immediately (there's a moment when crankiness turns to hysteria and I"m funny during hysteria) and we finished up in about 30 minutes. Looking at the time, and the fact that it was going to take us a least an hour to get home and back with the money the nurse called in a HUGE favor and made arrangements for me to make the payment next Monday.
The labs weren't too awful and we finally left the hospital at 4:30. We stumbled down the hill and had our lunch/dinner (linner maybe dunch.) We had planned to go shopping and all sorts of fun things, but ended up seeing a movie instead. All that sitting around really wore me out.
Mom left early this morning, and I'm about to hit the gym. It's Yaz' birthday today so I need to run out and get the perfect card to go with the perfect beyond perfect birthday gift.