Friday, February 27, 2009

The Day After: My Liver is Clean

Don't I have the greatest team at work?? They are soooo cool . . .

WOW!! That's about all I can say at this moment in time. It was an interesting experience to say the least. I feel like an entire broadway cast did a tap dance number on the left side of my body, but other than that all is well :) Below (I didn't put it at the top) is believe it or not, a picture of the band IN my body. It's not that gross (blood wise) but didn't want to gross you out if you are squeamish.

Anyway . . . in true "Joe Joe" tradition, this too, was an entertaining adventure.

The day started with me heading to the pharmacy. The doctor told me he'd call my prescriptions into the pharmacy so we could pick them up, and I figured I'd try and do it before I got to the hospital and all drugged up. So I walk into the pharmacy and ask for my meds. She looks at me quite confused and says she doesn't have anything for me. Hmmm, okay I tell her. I let her know that my doctor will probably call you later. (Come to find out -- I went to the wrong pharmacy. There's only 2 in the town my parents live in, and I went to the wrong one -- go figure)

I enter the lobby of the building and right there is a Subway. Now, that's very good for everyone that can eat, but I've been fasting since 9pm the night before, and it's now 10:30am ... and I have to walk into a lobby that smells like freshly baked bread! Are you freaking kidding me???? I was like this is some freaking torture.

So, I get there and get into the fashionable buttless robe and get all hooked up to the machines that do heart and blood pressure. I also get an IV started. My two nurses "The Joans" because they are both named Joan, are two middle aged women that are hilarious. One takes to calling me "Lil' Bit". She asks me how long it's been since someone called me that, and I stated no one has EVER called me that. She laughs and then does a shimmy, shakin' her boobs at me. THAT was a bit odd, and she laughs again and asks if I feel better now. I just said sure because I was scared of what else might happen if I didn't . . .

The other Joan puts these leg compressor things on my legs to keep the blood in my legs moving during surgery to ensure I don't get any blood clots. What they do is compress each leg alternately, like you are walking. It was kind of a weird feeling because it really did make me feel like I was walking even though I was laying down. Almost like a calf massage . . .

Then the anastesiaologist comes by and wants to check me out. He puts the stehoscope on my bare back and DAMN it was cold!! Then the front . . . He then asks me to open my mouth up wide and tilt my head way back, and then says "Oh yeah. That looks great." Ummm, did anyone else's mind go where mine just went?? He then walks out.

My doctor shows up and says let's go, so they start injecting my IV with all kinds of stuff, including something that will either make me dizzy or laugh. Well -- I laughed . . . alot. The only thing I remember is that there are lights and gizmos beeping and everyone asking me what's so funny.....

And then I wake up in the recovery room. I have to drink some Barium while they zap my tummy to make sure that I can swallow (which I do) and then it's time to go. We left the hospital at around 2:30pm. Huh . . . not too shabby....

So now, I'm 24 hrs into a 48 hr broth, popsicle, jello, water diet. Odd thing is, I'm not overly hungry . . . at all. This thing is weird . . . but cool. I can only eat a half can of broth and a jello cup and I'm full for like 2 hrs. I graduate up in food intake over the next month. . . but this is gonna be interesting. Oh -- and I lost 17 lbs from my preop-diet.

I find out last night that the doctor was VERY impressed with my liver. He said it is VERY clean. So, that's why I attached the picture at the bottom, I wanted to show off my clean liver. It's the bright pink organ with the silver insturment touching it. I'm quite proud of that because I'm sure NO ONE has ever been told that before. And, I have proof . . . :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Night Before

So, one of my work friends asked if I was going to blog about the experience of getting a lap band, and well, it's my understanding I'll be knocked out but I'll do my best Kim! :)

In reality, I'm really just a jumbled mess the night before the procedure. I'm really glad this happened so fast and I didn't get a ton of time to plan and think about it, I'd probably drive myself and all my friends and family crazy.

So - what's up? I guess I'd describe my feeling as a young Tom Cruise walking into a gay bar in San Fransisco to ask for directions. (Digest that one for awhile . . . it's open for interpretation but I know what I mean.)

Okay -- need to focus. (Told you I was all over the place.) I feel a sense of mourning. (Mourning?? You probably think I'm fkn crazy!) Let me 'splain . . . I'm making a drastic change in my life, for the better. But, I do feel that I'm finally able to close the door on a rather bleak chapter on my life. If I were to paint it, I'd probably paint it black, charcoal, and gray. I found the box with all the bright paints in it now, and am ready to fill in a new canvas. (I didn't realize my old posts covered up my last post - check it out as I discuss the plan to this point) So, I'm kinda sad the "old" me is going. NOT sad enough to not go through with this . . . I know, makes no sense.

I know I'm rambling here, but it's not like I'm accepting an Oscar. There's no queued music playin . . . I appreciate all the support and messages from everyone and am looking forward to my new path. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, for this is all new to me too. I do plan on blogging how things are going and I will DEFINITELY be posting the pounds I've lost as I get to know.

Finally, I leave you with a lyric from a favorite song of mine that really sums up this step I'm taking in life. You can find it in the video bar to the left if you'd like to hear the whole thing. It's called "Raincoat" by Kelly Sweet . . .

"I'm gonna throw out my raincoat/mmmmmm, I hope it's alright/Gonna go find me a rainbow/ Hang it up in the sky/Blues pass me by"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finally Here

The wind blew quite briskly, tossing my hair and some various papers about. It was welcomed, what with the warming of the sun on my skin needing a reprieve from the heat. Even in February, the Texas sun can be warm. Sitting on the deck in back, I absorb it all.

The strong breeze blowing through several wind chimes that my stepmother has hung in the back yard. The gentle notes breaking through the sound fo rustling leaves and dried up foliage from the winter. Growing in the yard is the first blooms of the wildflowers that will become so abundant by the end of March. Dad will want to treat the yard soon. As in so many marriages, the yard is his domain, the home is hers.

I sip some juice - Cran-Grape actually. The tartness on my tongue awakens, almost invigorates me. I love tart flavors. My enjoyment of the nature is broken by the meowing of Buddy, the ol' gray cat that calls the back yard his home. My stepmom wanted a fat cat, and Buddy fit the bill. He eats Kit and Kaboodle, mainly b/c she was told it'd fatten him up. He jumps up on the chair next to me as if to look over my shoulder and read. In reality, he just wants me to pet him.

Quickly, however, and without much warning, Buddy is gone. I notice why - a wayward bluejay has made it's way to the dried up wysteria bush in the back corner of the yard. Buddy is off to make a kill. Poor tubby, doesn't realize that his girth doesn't work well with his killer inside. I love the back yard. It's kind of an escape for me.

Reflecting, which I've done a lot of over the past few weeks, I realize that I'm on the last step. My stepmom and I were talking the night before last when I got home, and it was about everything coming up and what was going on. As my conversations tend to do, we drift in and out on a various assortment of topics. Then she asks how I'm doing.

"I'm scared." I tell her. "But not of the surgery. I'm not so much scared about that. I'm scared about awaits me." See, I've spent the better part of the last seven years of my life unwinding what was in my head. I've seen how low I can go, and how bad it is down there. But I had to walk down that path, and battle those demons. It's consumed so much of my life for so long. It's scary to look down the path that you've worked so hard to go down, and realize you're almost at the end. I never thought I'd get here.

Being the planner that I am, I had planned out everything I was going to do.
  1. Move away from all influences. Get a clean slate. (hence, Topeka KS)
  2. Find a REALLY good shrink/therapist. Work on the abuse issues.
  3. Get off the meds when you can. Try to get to the point where you don't need to take them anymore (that was 2007)
  4. Work on accepting yourself. I knew that once I liked who I was, then others would as well. No one likes to be around people that aren't happy with who they are. (Out in '07 -- I should make that into a shirt :)
  5. Reconnect with my Dad. That's a whole other blog entry, but it's one of the things I'm most proud of.
  6. Do something, anything about your weight. (i.e. LapBand in 5 days!!!)
I know, not a lot of steps, but not an easy to do list either. But I wanted to get here. And what is "here?" you may ask. Here is healing. Here is at peace. Here is a point where my past will no longer control my future. I'm scared, but not afraid. I'm ready to find the next path. I'm just ready to find the next path of my life, one that takes me into a different level, a different spot. I have really great friends, and a really great family. Maybe scared isn't even the right word, maybe it's excited. I don't know . . . mainly b/c I've never felt it before.

Here is now . . . and it's where I want to be.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Over Exposed

I've been struggling with this for awhile now. I didn't really know how to get what is floating around in my head out. In the end, after the tears and contemplation, it boils down to writing it out. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that I can get it out by writing.

I don't know if this will make sense, so forgive me up front. I am processing some pretty complicated emotions, and was a bit unexpected really. I sit here and I'm scared. I'm not scared of the surgery (well, I am -- but not like this), not scared of the diet changes, or even starting new exercise programs and such.

I'm scared because I feel exposed. I feel like when I lose my weight, I'll be exposing myself to everyone. It's very uncomfortable feeling. I never thought of eating as a way to protect myself, but it was. When the memories came back, I was very startled by them. I didn't know what the hell was going on. So I retreated into food. It removed so many complexities of life for me. I didn't have to date, didn't have to meet people, didn't have to really do anything. I just ate.

The problem with the above behavior (besides my weight) is that on the social skills I tend to struggle. Well -- let's be specific. Once the ball is rolling I'm good, but getting the ball rolling (i.e. meeting new people) is like having to push a boulder the size of The Empire State Building up a glacier, while it's raining. I suck at it -- too the point where I avoid it. I'm not going to be able to do that anymore. I'm purposefully (and for good reason) losing my protective shell.

I have no idea if this makes any sense, or if it even will to anyone but me. I just needed to get it out. I was told this is a very normal feeling for people that have had similar experiences in their childhood and are about to get a lap band (or other weight loss surgery). I didn't realize food was such a vice for so many people, but I guess I should of in some way.

Anyway -- just some deep thoughts I needed to get out of my head. I'm going to do this, my health needs me to. I want to, in so many ways. I just want to get that one part of me that is scared shitless to calm down.

Take care all ~ thanx for reading (listening) :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Alphabits (Thanx Dave!)

Let's see where this leads, shall we??

A - Aggie Pride! I am first and foremost a proud graduate of Texas A&M University. I was a member of the Corps of Cadets while there, and won several awards for leadership my senior year. I loved the experience.

B - Blogger - I have never been one to journal anything. I used to think it was because I didn't have anything to say, but turns out I just hate writing it all down. I love blogging the krazy that's in my head though . . .

C - Creative - I don't think I'm dedicated enough to call myself an artist or writer, but love to dabble. I am proud of my creativity, and love any opportunity to share it.

D - Diabetic - Yup, recent diagnosis is that I've developed Type II Diabetes. I go into the lab on Monday for definitive tests, but I know I am. I was given a glucose meter, and in 5 readings so far, I've only had a normal reading once. However, this problem should resolve itself . . .

E - Engineer - Yes, I have an engineering degree . . . and no, I don't use it -- or really want to.

F - Forgetful - I am such a scatter brain. I was going to put ADD on A, but that was too easy. It fits here though . . . because sometimes I just can't stay focused and I forget things. My team at work is so used to it that they just look at me and say "you gonna write that down?" That helps.

G - Gracie - She is such a wonderful blessing in my life. A friend that giggles, gossips, and is genuine. It's so funny, but I just can't imagine not having her in my life now. She's such a wonderful gal. I never really thought I'd have friends like that, but she's one!

H - Hilarity - If you ever were in the same room with me, Darin, and David, well . . . you'd eventually see some hilarity.

I - Intellect - a strong, witty intellect is extremely sexy.

J - Joe Joe :)

K - Kuhraysee - to quote the great RuPaul, "I don't know karate, but I do know kuhraysee!"

L - Love - I hope one day to meet someone that I fall in love with again. I miss being in love . . . I love a lot and want to love someone, and want to be loved (and I do mean like that too).

M - Men - Men are HAWT!

N - Nerd - I am such a nerd, and love it! I love computers, gadgets, technology, cell phones, hd tv's . . . I could go on and on. I do have some restraint on spending, sometimes, but I just love to oogle nerdy stuff :)

O - Optimist - Okay, I say I hate being tagged as one, but I really don't. After years of depression and all the fun stuff that comes with it, I love the fact that I can stay positive and make the best of tough situations. Damn, my therapist would be proud.

P - PHAT - I have a goal, to be healthy, get my cholestorol in order, walk a 10K and then a marathon, and be PHAT . . . guys -- any takers ;)

Q - Quixotic - I am a hopeless romantic. I want to be swept off my feet. I want someone to send me flowers (just once). I want a picnic in the moonlight. I want to be in love.

R - Ragan - My pooch!!! I love him so much . . . best thing I ever did was get him! It's almost frisbee weather too -- which is always fun.

S - Sarcasm - guilty . . .

T - Target - Love it for so many reasons -- not least of which is it's my employer. 10 years in June and still going strong. It's not always roses, but more often than not, it's fun. The culture is like no where I've heard (since it's my only job since graduation).

U - Uncle - the closest I'll ever be to being a father. That responsibility scares the living crap out of me. If I was straight, I still don't think I'd want kids. I know me too well . . .

V - Villianous - I think we all have that little bit of piss and vinegar in us. Sometimes, I'm just cantakerous and have to pick at someone. I don't like to be vicious, but I do love to be a bit antagonistic . . . especially at work. (insert evil laugh)

W - Wilson - the evil orange cat that drives me insane -- if he's not sleeping he's on my damn nerves!!! ARGH!!!

X - Xeroflulogitis - I thought I'd suffer from this during this entry, but I really didn't.

Y - Yearn - If you got this far and don't know what I yearn for, then you missed some letters (like L, M, P, and Q)

Z - Zygote - we we're all one once . . .

Whew . . . I made it. That was kinda hard . . .

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just a Quick Note!!!

I am having my lap band procedure done on 2/26 . . . I'm so excited, scared, nervous, and relieved!!!! More later -- but wanted to get the word out :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Is that REALLY necessary??

I'm all about making statements -- really! I'm a huge fan of speaking your mind (albeit appropriately, sometimes) -- but last night on the way home -- I think I hit my limit. I was behind a beat up red generic sedan type car with a support ribbon for -- LAP DANCING.

Okay -- is that REALLY necessary?? Seriously?? Do you really need to have a magnetic ribbon on the back of your car telling everyone in the world that you are either a stripper or stripper addict??

So this morning -- it got me thinking (don't worry, I stretched first!) What else out there makes me say "Is that REALLY necessary??" And since I know you all want to know -- here my list!

  1. The buzzword term "value added." Did we really need to come up with a fancy way to say valuable or beneficial? And if we did -- is this all we could come up with as a people?? Seriously?? I 100% HATE this term. It's one of the most over used buzzword jargon pieces of poo -- I promise I will hear it today before work is over.
  2. A fourth judge on American Idol. True -- we all know that Paula Abdul is kuh-ray-zee -- but isn't that part of the fun?? Remember what happened to the Brady Bunch when they added "Oliver" -- it went bye-bye . . . although technically that wasn't a bad thing either. AND the best we could come up with was Kara DiGuardo?? I mean -- who?? I get that she's a successful songwriter -- but how about getting one that's iconic?? I'm sure Carole King would have been available and added much more credibility. (Admit it -- how many of you knew Kara DiGuardo co-wrote "Ain't No Other Man" for Christina Aguilera.....)
  3. Pop up ads . . . um -- about as important as junk mail. Has anyone ever purchased anything from a pop up?
  4. What is up with all the splicing of categories at the Grammy's?? Seriously!! You have so many 'genres' that sound the exact same. Take into account the following categories: (Bluegrass & Country), (R&B, HipHop, Rap), (Tejano & Mexican), (Heavy Metal, Rock, & Hard Rock) -- doesn't this all seem a bit like trying to decide what the difference is between a frappacino and iced coffee?
  5. Serving sizes on drink mixes. Seriously -- you will be surprised! I am in love with Propel drink mixes b/c it's really adding flavor and electrolytes to water -- and it's just 20 calories per bottle of water you add it to. BUT -- if you look on the little drink packet, it tells you the serving size is HALF the damn packet!!! Are you kidding me?? Is someone really not going to buy it because it says one packet is 20 calories instead of 10 calories for half a packet?? I want to meet that person, so I can shoot them! Geez . . .
  6. Digital tv conversion -- was this actually necessary?? Why did we mandate the switch from analog to digital?? I just don't get why this was important at all . . . I mean I love my HDTV -- don't get a girl wrong -- but did we really need to force Grandpa Jones on the back 40 to take his horse into town to visit the Wal-Marts (yes, the s is intentional -- and you know that if you've ever lived in the country) and buy a converter box? I'm a bit unclear on why this was at all needed . . .
  7. Another 800 Billion dollar stimulus plan . . . because the first one did well, right?? Does anyone even remotely think that the economy (I know Claire) is going to immediately turn around because we keep throwing (now over a trillion) dollars at it?? Recession is a natural part of an economic cycle, and the longer you stave it off, the longer it will last when it comes. An economy can not grow for ever -- it has to contract before it grows again. Think of it as eating and pooping . . . and I'm not kidding on this. It's what my half baked ECON prof told us, and it was the only thing he said that made sense.
  8. Blu-ray DVDs -- again, I love HD, BUT . . . I really don't want to see the size of the pores on Chris Evans' face . . .
I know it seems I've been ranting on this, but it actually took me a few weeks on this entry. I just would stumble across something and jot it down to use for later when I thought of it. I know there's tons more out there . . . so feel free to add your own in the comments section. What makes you think "Is that REALLY necessary?"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Random with your Cheerios

Not sure where this unintended stream of consciousness is going to lead, but it's 5am and I can't go back to sleep -- so I guess I'm going to amuse/punish y'all with the random bits floating around in my head. I equate those random bits to the last few Cheerios floating in the milk. They run away from your spoon and it becomes your life's mission to get them all . . . you don't know why but it does. (Don't ask me what that has to do with anything . . . )

So, let's start with the picture -- that is the new stadium of the Dallas Cowboys. It's a huge monstrous building in the middle of Arlington, TX, which is ironically closer to Ft. Worth than Dallas. In fact, it's no longer even in Dallas County (which is where they used to play). It's a mammoth of an over compensation for Jerry Jones. I call the structure Jerry's Ego . . .

Isn't it odd that while the economy was humming along (I know Claire, I used the phrase) that all the financial pundits complained that we weren't saving enough. Now, the saving rate among American's is at it's highest since the 1930's (re: depression) and they are all mad b/c the consumer isn't spending?? Seems to me the American consumer (re: me) is just a bit tired of blowing all his/her money and is taking a breathe. I say keep saving and being fiscally responsible -- let the house of cards continue to fall until we get back on some stable footing again . . . (and keep in mind I'm not a saver naturally, i'm a shopper!)

Whatever happened to Toni Braxton?? I loved some of her songs ("Another Sad Love Song" "I Don't Want To" and "Unbreak my Heart") and then nothing . . . She had such a sultry voice. Had the Zune on random and it just played her -- seems I'm not the only thing that's random right now :)

Why is American Idol (or for that matter any of the competition shows) classified as reality tv? It's not. Not by a long shot -- it's really just a different version of a game show. Whether it's racing across the globe in Amazing Race or stabbing someone in the back on Surivor (seriously?? that show is still on??) it's all a big game. If those shows are reality then am I on tv??

I love being the person at work that will speak his mind. It doesn't do a lot for moving up the ladder, but I like the rung I'm on at work anyway. It's kind of entertaining to watch the fear that some people have in their faces when I speak -- like what am I gonna say?? I don't do it on purpose, I just am honest. Sometimes honesty scares people -- and that makes me wonder why business leaders are so scared of honesty. I mean - isn't that one of the reasons that the e-thing is such a mess?? Because of dishonesty . . . kind of ironic isn't it??

Why do I always title my blog and then when I'm done, go back and change it?? Am I the only one that does this?? (btw - I called it Daily Dose of Random before I got on the Cheerios kick)

Grace and I should have had a film crew following us around while doing her wedding stuff. It just seems like craziness ensues wherever we go -- and it's not our doing. It just follows us around . . . like a lost puppy . . . lookin' for Cheerios in milk . . .