Monday, November 25, 2013

Post-Op Update: 4 weeks

Its been four weeks since surgery. My incisions are healed, but I still have some pain at the main incision site as, in the words of my surgeon, “We really worked that spot”. The twinges of pain are diminishing, but if I try to do more than I should, my body reminds me that it was cut open a month ago. The doctor says I should get that twinge for another two-three weeks.

I have moved through the pureed food stage, to the “soft” food stage. That means I can have well cooked veggies, tuna and something called stewed chicken, I am going to try to make it on my day off on Thursday and see how it turns out. My diet is made up primarily of gagsome protein shakes, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and applesauce. Tonight I celebrated my newfound menu freedom by having 1/2 cup green beans and 3 oz. of whitefish. I have learned that if I take too big of a bite of anything and don’t chew it to the point of mush, my tiny tummy grumbles and gets cranky. So it took about 45 minutes to eat my dinner. Last week I tried to jump the date a little and had some scrambled eggs. So far that has been the only thing that refused to stay down. I told the doctor, she gave me a stern look and asked what I leaned. I told her that I learned that even eggs need to be chewed well. She said, “No, you should have learned to follow the instructions and not have eaten eggs before week four”. She encouraged me to try again this week.

I have found that I get huge cravings. I see ads for pizza and I can almost taste it. It’s the knowledge that if I were to try to eat something like that, I would spend a bit of time in the bathroom feeling like I was going to die.

As you can see in the sidebar, I’ve lost 48 lbs. thus far. It’s actually hit a plateau as I’m not really exercising. I walk some, but mostly I’m not doing a whole lot. Once my body stops twinging, I’ll hit the gym again and the weight should melt away.

Finally, the bills are starting to arrive. If you could spare a few $$ to help with my expenses, please click the GoFundMe widget in the sidebar. If you give $100, you get a HUG.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Breaking it down: Black Friday

According to THIS article Walmart has joined a list of other retailers to announce they are opening on Thanksgiving day.

Most of the news stories and pundits are clutching their pearls over this issue because someone in our society had the image that Thanksgiving still looks like this…

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… when in fact, it looks more like this…

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… but for many, myself included; Thanksgiving looks like this…

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As a person who worked numerous holiday seasons in retail and as a person who takes “freedom of choice” seriously… so the stores want to open on Thanksgiving… so what?  Obviously there must be people who WANT to shop and I guarantee you there are people who WANT to work. It takes all kinds of people to work a society.

Enjoy your holiday in whatever way you want. If it really bothers you what OTHER people are doing… perhaps you need a better hobby?

I will be working my way through Season three of Star Trek: Enterprise with the phone nearby as I will be the on-call social worker for my county that week. I sincerely hope I don’t get a call to respond to Walmart where someone has abandoned their child in their fervor to get that 72” television.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

TMI Thursday: Lost & Found

lost boys

LOST AND FOUND?

  • Do you tend to lose things only to find them later?
    • I’m kind of maniacal about keeping track of my things, so much so that I rarely lose things of value to me for very long.
  • Have you ever gone "shopping" in the Lost and Found?
    • Once I spotted a quality pair of football cleats in the lost & found. I kept my eye on them for a couple weeks before claiming them as my own.
  • Has a dog or other pet "followed" you home?
    • The best dog ever, Buster essentially “followed me home”. The poor malnourished, dirty yellow lab showed up at my workplace one day. After checking around, he came home with me and lived the rest of his days with my family.
  • thrift-shop-2-300x298How are you at finding a bargain?
    • I enjoy hitting yard sales and thrift shops to find treasures. I also research every purchase to make sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck.
  • How many times have you lost your wallet?
    • Twice… it’s not fun.
  • How do you find the time?
    • I organize my time by setting priorities. I use my calendar to prioritize deadlines to make sure I get things done when they are supposed to be done.
  • Have you found your soul mate? Do you think you ever will?
    • No, I’ve been feeling pretty cynical about it the last couple months. My biggest fear is dying alone.
  • standardsDo you have a lost love?
    • I wonder sometimes. I wonder if I’ve been too picky or had unreasonable expectations of things like honesty or respect from a past partner.
  • When did you lose your innocence?
    • Given the family I was spawned from… I don’t think I ever had it. I’m trying to make up for it by crusading for lost causes. !'ve been accused of writing “rainbows & unicorn case plans”.

BONUS

  • When did you lose your virginity?
    • I lost it progressively through my teens and early-20’s, finishing the project at the age of 23.
  • How many times have you helped someone lose theirs?
    • Unknown

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It’s been… one week…

PreOpIt’s been one week since I went under the knife… or laparoscope to be precise. It seems that drinking water, sleeping and trying to get nutrition has been my full-time job.

Frankly, I’ve been surprised at how well the recovery has been going. When I woke up in recovery Monday afternoon, it hurt to breathe deeply or move. I have five incision points on my abdomen (don’t worry, no pics) and I have learned just how much ANY movement involved abdominal muscles. As I sit here tonight, the largest incision is still causing a bit of discomfort. I’m glad to say that I haven’t had to take the narcotic pain meds since Thursday.

I have noticed the last two days that I’ve felt motivated to take on a project; yesterday I took down the Halloween decorations and today I drove to the store for some yogurt, both resulted in sleeping the afternoon away.

The biggest challenge has been getting in protein. Every brand of protein that I tried and enjoyed BEFORE surgery I stocked up on them so that I would have a variety to choose from in my efforts to get 100+ grams each day. I have learned that a number of the folks in the support group were RIGHT! Almost every one of those protein sources are NASTY now. Before surgery I could shotgun a bottle of protein shake, now I have to sip. That may have something to do with it. I've been trying to find other ways to get protein within my “allowable” menu. The best way is with Greek yogurt and I found that Lucerne has a 2% milk with 13 grams of protein in each cup.

Finally, the primary measure of the success… my weight. You can see the progress in the Fitness Pal widget in the sidebar. That number is based on my official starting weight last summer and includes my progress through tonight. One of the surprising lessons of surgery last week was that I actually gained weight in the hospital from IV fluids and swelling from the surgery.