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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Post thanksgiving blues

Friday was a hard day for me.

Kilo wanted bacon egg mcmuffins for breakfast, one of foods that I love to eat.  Kilo cooked the bacon outside to not smoke out the whole house, and I cooked the eggs and muffins.  It was hard to make them for everyone else to eat and not get one.   I did have eggs, cheese, and a small amount of bacon.  I still ate well but it was hard emotionally.

Then Mellissa decided that she wanted to make sugar cookies.  My all time favorite cookie.  So for the next few hours she had the kids helping her to cut and cook sugar cookies.  It is awesome that she likes to cook, but she left quite a mess.

Kilo and I decided to be productive and so we carried out Mellissa’s old dresser and brought back in the 2 newly painted ones and hooked them together.   Then we went and attached CJbuddy’s since he couldn’t use his top one till it was connected.  Then we finished in the little kids room.  One of their dressers is on the heater vent and so we added holes to the bottom so that the heat can get out.   By then I was tired and completely done.

Kilo could smell a neighbor barbequing and wanted to do the same.  So luckily I have pre-homemade patties in the freezer.  So he grilled those up for dinner.  I ate mine without the bun.  They were yummy.

By the time dinner was done I was so tired from carrying and moving furniture and upset that everyone was eating my favorite foods without me, and the fact that I still haven’t lost any weight since surgery, that I cheated.  I grabbed two of the bite size cookies (pictured above in the center) the kids made and ate them.   They were small but by the time I had chewed them I felt so weak for cheating that I felt worse.

Over all I can say that was the first time since surgery where I sat down and cried that this might not have been a good choice after all.  Not that it is bad just that we spent all that money and it isn’t working.  Kilo assured me it was a good cause and to calm down but still struggling with this one.

Thanksgiving Day 2013

We had a great Thanksgiving.   Tradition for our family is that we meet with Kilo’s grandparents at 10:00am at a restaurant called Chuck-a-Rama for the big dinner.  They pay for everyone that will come.   So all you can eat buffet, we usually eat so much we hurt by the time we leave.

This year I did really good.  I ate a small amount of turkey, and ham.  Some yummy baked squash they had.  Then I cheated at dessert, I had 3 bites each of bread pudding and apple crisp.   Over all I didn’t over eat, stopped when I was full, and other then the 6 small bites of dessert, ate what I was suppose too.

After dinner we all go to Grandma’s house for games, presents, and a talent show.   Mostly it is a way for Grandma to get everyone together to talk.  The kids love it because she always has little gifts for everyone that also includes some cash.   So we talked, and had fun.  For the talent show, Kilo recited Jabberwocky and showed off some of the home automation that he has been working on.  I showed off one of my cross stitches that I had finished and framed.  Mellissa recited the Gettysburg address that she memorized for school.  CJbuddy showed off his Origami one of his favorite things to do.  And Spincycle sang a silly song that he loves based off a singing bear he got at Thanksgiving from grandma 4 years ago.  Erlop said she was too shy and did nothing.

After the time at Grandma’s we went to Del Taco for some cheap tacos for everyone.  I chose to have an egg and cheese burrito.  Ate half of that, with the tortilla, but not bad of a food option.   Then we went to a 4:00 show of Frozen.  The kids had us stop and let them spend their cash from grandma on treats and then also had popcorn.   I was good and didn’t have any.

Finally at 6:30 we got home.  I was ready for dinner.  I had eaten the right portions and so was ready for the next meal.  Everyone else was still stuffed from earlier so I had dinner on my own. 

Over all it was a great day and very little cheating on food which is great for a day dedicated to food.

Pre Thanksgiving Fun

Tuesday night was chaos with the kids.  That made for a bad evening.   Wednesday Kilo was off work and Mellissa had a full day play practice.  So we didn’t accomplish much except for some shopping during the day.   To make up for it we decided to go Ice skating that night.  We live near the Olympic Oval and the kids love to skate there.   For 2 hours we skated till all of us where tired and sore.  Spin cycle fell down A LOT, Mostly on purpose.  Erlop did the best she has ever done.  Last time we went skating she wouldn’t let go of us and this time she used the walker or did it on her own.

Some pictures from the silly day.  They are blurry because we didn’t take a real camera just our phones and they don’t do well with movement.

Kilo and the older kids goofing off at Wal-mart

Erlop and Spincycle resting


CJbuddy, Erlop, Mellissa, and mychicksmom

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Weekend review

It is always amazing how fast life can take over.   Saturday I ate well and stayed at double the portions I should be eating.  It seems like a lot when I write that but I am trying to stick to less then ½ a cup of food per meal.  Once they fill the band I can lower that. 

Mellissa and I got her dressers and side table painted.  They look good but are still in the garage as I still can’t help Kilo lift the dressers.  While we did that Kilo made Spincycle and Erlop finally clean their room.  It was bad and got worse while I was out. 

Sunday I slept till noon.  Woke in a panic that I had less then an hour to finish my primary lesson and get everyone ready for church.  It was wonderful to come downstairs and find all the kids showered and dressed ready to go.

After church we didn’t go to my moms like normal because Mellissa had a young woman meeting that we went too.  They had a table full of baked treats for afterwards.  I was so good and I only had a cup of lemon water.   Yea!  Go me!

Over all it was a good eating day I thought, until Kilo recommended that I start a food diary to actually track protein, carbs, and calories.  So I put all my meals for the day on and was shocked to know I had eaten way more carbs then I thought (18) and I had only eaten 375 calories for the day.   I wasn’t even hungry. 

We are allowed to have up to 40 carbs a day but try to stay as low as possible.  The reason it shocked me is there were carbs in things I never would have expected. 

Monday Mellissa stayed home from school sick, so I sat on the couch and watched Twilight Breaking Dawn 1 and 2 with her.  Kilo was super disappointed that I didn’t accomplish more.  Then we went to Mother-in-Laws for dinner.  

They had agreed that they would let me know if I needed to bring my own dinner.  Since they didn’t call I assumed I would be okay.  Bad call on my part.   She did the sister-in-law's dinner request.  She chose ground hamburger with gravy, over mashed potatoes.   I had some of the meat with gravy and some salad.   One problem I ran into was the gravy was made by leaving the grease in the pan (instead of mixing with water).   It had a little too much grease and it upset my stomach even though I only had a tiny bit. 

Today has been a slow morning.  I spent the morning searching online for Christmas stuff.  Finally made a big decision today but can’t share yet as Mellissa reads these.   But Kilo and I are now super excited.  

Once I was done I decided I needed some exercise.  We have some workout videos in our collection so I picked the only one that says light and easy.  But still it killed me.  I only managed 15 min of a 45 min video.   I decided that is okay for now and I will make a goal to do 20 min next time.  

Today Cjbuddy has a field trip at school.   They are going to the space camp.   He is super excited to be the engineer for his ship.  And was even more excited when I told him the camp was at one of his favorite cousin’s school.  I hope he is having fun. 

Tonight Mellissa has a full dress rehearsal for her play she is in.  The play starts next Monday and she is getting super excited.   Since the little kids refuse to do chores if she doesn’t have to we will see what gets accomplished today. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

First time eating out. (twice in one day)

So yesterday I hit one of my first milestones.  Kilo LOVES to eat out.  Since he works from home on Fridays, and isn’t fed a free gourmet meal at work, we usually go out to eat together before the kids get out of school.  So we went out to eat at a restaurant for the first time since I started my pre-surgery diet.  

We went to Kneaders and took Erlop with us (she was home from school with a fever).  For lunch I picked the turkey bacon avocado sandwich and split it in half with Erlop.  Once I had my half sandwich, I took it all off the bread and made it into a little salad.  All protein and veggie.  Only a tiny bit of the dressing stayed on the meat instead of the bread so not even much dressing.   The avocado mixed in made it just perfectly moist without the mayo.  It was amazing!  I will have to do that again.

Then we had planned to meet with some of my family and go see Catching Fire.  We also took Mellissa since she is obsessed with those books.  At about 2pm I got a call from my mom that my sister had finished her last class for her degree.  So she is all done with her Bachelor Degree.  Mom and Dad wanted to do a celebration dinner at Wingers before the movie.   Since we were already driving 30 min for the movie we decided to join them for dinner also.  

When looking at the menu I decided on the loaded chicken.  Chicken breasts, sautéed onions and peppers, melted cheese, and bacon.  It came with a side of mashed potatoes, and cooked squashes.  I arranged before hand to give the potatoes to Kilo and Mellissa who where sharing a large order of wings.  When the food arrived all items left on the plate were diet friendly.  So I divided the meal in half and made a decision on how much I planned to eat.  I stuck exactly to what I wanted.  I even turned down the popcorn on the table  (In fact I moved it out of my line of sight so I wasn’t tempted).  I didn’t even sample anyone else’s food.  I was so proud of myself.  I made awesome choices and still had great food. 

Catching Fire was AMAZING.  I am so upset we have to wait so long for the next one.  It was one of the best book to movie that I have seen in a really long time.  It was so true to the book.

Now for Saturday tasks, Mellissa and I are going to go finish painting some furniture for her.  I will have to post some pictures when we are done.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weird head day

Yesterday was a really weird head day for me.  I am sure I know why.  I have been looking toward  the surgery for 11 months.  It has held off so many things I wanted to do during that time.  It has also been the motivation for many of the things I have done over that time.   It has been a consistent topic of conversation with Kilo and I.  But mostly it has been on my mind constantly.  

Now it is over in a way.   The hardest parts that I have been worrying about are done.   The insurance approved it, and the surgery is completed and I healed fine.  

I always have stress let down.   When I have something coming that I am stressed about I will always have stress letdown a day or two after it ends.   This almost always ends up causing a migraine.  

So yesterday I woke up with that feeling of frustration and loss that comes with my stress letdowns.   So in order to hopefully avoid the migraine that follows I took a very lazy day.   I watched TV and pouted more then I have in a long time.   I did manage to make half a scarf while I watched TV but still didn’t accomplish much.   But awesome milestone, I didn’t eat bad things or bad portions just because I felt bad.  

Today I am doing much better emotionally and have had a very productive day.   I finally got fully dressed (not jeans but slacks) with makeup and all and went out to accomplish things.  

I spent the morning looking for a job.   I had been waiting on getting a job because it seemed silly to get a Job in August (what we planned) when I would then be taking a few weeks off for surgery at an unknown date.   Now that the surgery is done, and I am feeling fine, I am job hunting.  

I think that might be also why yesterday was a weird head space.   I haven’t worked outside the home since Nov 2002.  We have owned our own business, and I volunteer for lots of things that take me away from home.  But all that I can easily schedule around my kids lives and not have it affect them.   So emotionally this is a HUGE change for me. 

Job hunting is never great on the ego.  Unless you are like Kilo and gotten every job he ever looked at getting and offers for jobs he didn’t even apply for.   Since my ego is still so sensitive this is going to be hard.

I am still making good food choices and eating the recommended diet just in 4-6 oz portions instead of 2 oz portions.   But the scale has only been moving slightly up.   I think that might be caused by lack of bowel movements.   So after I am home for the night I am going to try a little Miralax to see if things might start moving easier.   Luckily we have that already in the house for Spincycle.

Monday, November 18, 2013

First shopping trip

So I broke one of my cardinal rules for myself today.   I went shopping in jammy/yoga style pants.   When I started to stay home with my kids 10 years ago I made a promise to myself and Kilo that I would still make a point to get dressed before I left the house each day.   It makes both of us feel like I am more productive at home.  

So with the exception of a few dinners at moms each year, or long 8+ hour drives, I always put on at least a pair of jeans before I leave the house.  Not that I don’t like to wear jammie pants or look down on people who do.  It was a personal decision that we made as a family.  

This morning I needed to go to the store.  It was payday and so there were some things that needed to be bought. So off I go to both Costco and Wal-mart.  I tried my jeans on this morning and they landed just barely below my sores and hit them if I bent over making them hurt.  

The shopping trip took FOREVER.  I still walk pretty slow and careful.  Even with a list and knowing right were I was going with no extra wandering it took an hour at Costco.  Then I came home for lunch and it took almost 2 hours at Wal-mart. 

The total shopping trip was 4,000 steps.  I only did 6,000 on Wed – Sun combined.   So that was a really long walk for me.  By the time I got home I put away things in the fridge and decided the rest could wait for the kids to come home.

I am still very, very hungry all the time.   I called my surgeons office today to see if they could do a fill.   Most of the blogs I have read, they put at least 3cc of fluid in while still in the OR.  For some reason my surgeon left it empty.  Due to this, and now that the swelling has gone down, there is nothing different about what I can or can’t eat.

I asked for a fill and they said they couldn’t do it till next Monday.  I was disappointed but said okay.  Then she pulled my file on the computer to put in the appointment and saw that I just barely had the surgery.   I told her why I needed the fill and she went and talked to the surgeon.  

No Go.  

He says they will not fill it for any reason until the one month mark.   So until then, he said to stick to the 70% - 30% rule and just eat bigger portions of that if needed.  

I am a little mad about that.   Most people seem to lose the biggest amount of weight in the first month.  And about 40-50% of what they will lose over all in the first 3 months.   So that basically gives me a whole month of very little weight loss.   If I follow the patterns I see then this might sabotage my weight loss.  

On a different note.  I was looking up a medical bill for Spincycle today to see if insurance had paid it yet.  It was for the same billing people as where I did surgery.   The hospital already has what they will be billing insurance.   Their part alone without doctors, anesthesiologist, etc, is just over $16,000.   I just about fell over when I saw that.   I know that our portion is expected to by $1,500 for that bill but, oh my, that is a lot.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pot holes

Today is Sunday and 4 days since I had the surgery.    I am starting to feel better.   I haven't had any pain pill of any kind since Thursday bedtime.   I don't really feel sore most of the time.   But once in a while I will move and get a stabbing pain.  Or a kid will bonk my computer chair and I get that stabbing pain.  The worst is driving.  I swear Kilo can find every pot hole around and hit it.  My van agrees as the small crack in my front window has almost tripled since I last drove it.

The boredom got to me yesterday.   So Mellissa convinced us to finally go see Percy Jackson.   I can sit at a theater just as much as I can sit at home.  There was a awesome theater by us before we moved that did 3 dollars for tickets then treats for a dollar.  That made it cheap enough to take the kids out and still get them treats without breaking the bank.   They had just opened another one of those up closer to us.  It is across the valley, by Kilo's office, but only a 15 min drive.   So the rest of the family had candy, popcorn, and soda and I had . . . . . a water bottle.

Since popcorn has been one of my MAJOR comfort foods for as long as I can remember the smell got to me.   I ate one handful, but I chewed them till the dissolved in my mouth.  Then I was good the rest of the movie.

I have found the last 2 days that I am super cold all the time.  Last winter I went around in a hoodie from the kids school and a scarf most days.  I only pulled out a real coat a few times.  Now it isn't really even cold yet and I am freezing.   2 pairs of sock, a hoodie, and scarf to sit at my desk.  And even then I have my little heater on.  The thermostat above my desk says 74 right now and I am still cold.

The swelling in my stomach has gone down.   How do I know?   I am STARVING.   The doctor didn't put any fill in the band when he put it in.   So now that the swelling is gone, I finish what I should eat and I am still so hungry.   There is no way I can eat the portions they say if they don't fill the band soon.   If I had the will power to not over eat I wouldn't have needed the band in the first place.

The neighbors are being so kind and bringing meals in every day till Thursday night.  Kilo and the kids are loving that someone is actually making them meals while I am down.   Mellissa cooks okay but Kilo doesn't like most of the things she makes.

Kilo said I should stay home and not go to church today.  The funny part of him having me stay home is that it means he had to have someone come help him teach our primary class.   He hates getting subs.   So he talked Mellissa into not only skipping her class to come to his class but to teach part of the lesson.   So wish I could hear how that is going.   Luckily our hard to handle boys all didn't come to class today.

CJbuddy is starting to get a cold.  He has been coughing and had a runny nose since Friday.   I think he might have given it to me.  My nose has started to be runny.   Not excited about that.  But I was excited that when I told him he didn't have to go to church because of the cough and he told me he wanted to go.  That is a huge thing for him as he usually tries anything to get out of it.

We are now headed to our normal Sunday night dinner at my moms house.   Not excited for the 45 min drive each way but excited to talk to people and feel like I am not trapped at home. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

First days home

So I know this is a lot of posts.   But this is all the information that I wanted to know before I had the surgery.  I know that everyone is different but it was comforting to me to read other people experiences.   Most of the blogs I looked up didn't post much the first few weeks as they didn't feel well.   So I wanted to make sure mine was recorded.

The first day home, I was on Percocet after the drive home.  By the time that wore off about 7pm I was doing okay and didn't need more (I have a naturally high pain threshold).   I was getting my water in (I love ice water.  Before surgery I drank 200+ oz a day).  I was just so glad that I could drink again.

I went to take my nightly meds the first time that night as I headed to bed.   I have never been sick when I take my pills before and I have always taken them at night on an emptyish stomach.   Well when I took them that night I was seriously super sick as soon as I took them.   I thought they were all going to come right back up.   It was the first thing besides water that I had swallowed and I thought that was why.   Luckily Kilo had a better idea and grabbed a bottle of apple juice and had me drink some.   I immediately felt so much better.

Sleeping that first night was a little weird.  I have full body twitches and spasms while I sleep.  I was officially diagnosed with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder in 2009.   So my sleeping is semi like a wrestling match with myself while I sleep.   The first time I tried to roll over it was stabbing massive pain.

The hospital had sent home a flat pillow to use for splinting.  That is where you hold the pillow tightly against the wounds and the counter pressure helps it to not hurt.  So I slept that first night with that splint pillow held as tight to my belly as I could get.   Once I did that I slept great with just my normal sleep patterns.

I started Thursday with no pain meds still.   I slept without even regular Tylenol and didn't have a problem.  So I assumed Thursday would be the same.  I know that I have a high pain tolerance and just hoped that I would be fine.   Well my pain had other ideas.   So I took pills at noon, 4:30, and 10pm.  I started the Jell-O and broth per the diet instructions.   And one of our sweet neighbors brought over some soup for the family.   Since it was chicken noodle I chose to eat that broth instead of the broth from the store.  So good!

Other than when Kilo made me get up and walk I didn't move unless I had too as I hurt.   I watched movies and played on Facebook all day.  No more crazy posts from me.

After dinner I decided that I should be a good mom and help the younger 3 catch up on homework.   I am usually really good about making them do it daily but with all the pre op stuff we were way behind and everything was due on Friday.  So for the next 2 hours I sat on the floor with the 3 kids all around me as I rotated helping them.   The younger 2 don't read on level and so need all their math problems read to them.  CJBuddy kept asking for help and needs reminders to stay on task.   So read one, turn read for another, turn answer a question, turn start again.
Kilo wanted to help with this but his computer crashed about 4:00 and needed a complete reinstall.   Since he was working from home to help me he had to have that done and ready by Friday morning so that he could stay home with me.

Thursday night I had my dinner about 7:30pm because I forgot about it.  When I took my meds I didn't get as sick.  I did take the Percocet with the meds and slept great.   Still needed the stint pillow for every time I moved.

Friday I did better.   I was only on Tylenol for the day time.   I was able to move more without pain.  I was still super tired and fell asleep every time I laid down to watch something.  The kids had a busy day and Kilo decided he HATES having to run them around.   So much wasted time sitting in the car with no computer screen.   Mellissa had her play practice again till 5 and CJBuddy had a school fair that he had to be at from 3-6.

I did leave the house to attend the fair as that was super important to CJBuddy.  My mom, sister, and nieces came too.   So they came and picked me and the little 2 kids up and mom drove us in my van to the fair and back.

I got through the day eating what I was supposed to and doing the walking that I needed to without Kilo even having to ask me.   At bed time I got super super sick from my meds again.   Kilo brought me back the juice and it went right away again.  No pain meds to sleep and only used the stint pillow a little.

Pictures before and after surgery

WARNING: don't look unless you can handle it.

These are some of the before pictures that we took.  Caution I let it all hang out in these pictures.


These are pictures of the sores 1 day Post-OP.

There are 5 wounds.  One big one in the middle bottom and the 3 high ones that you see.  On the bottom right you can see the tape that is over the 5th one.