Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please tell me it gets better...

I have to say that, right now, I am so gorram sick of chicken. I've made a pact with the husband that we will go to the supermarket this weekend so that I can start bringing my lunch again. He's (finally) come to the realization that following my program, especially with regards to the protein requirements, will assist with the healing of his leg ulcers. So, we're both going to be switching to a protein-heavy diet. I've got to figure out -some- variety because eating the same thing everyday gets old. I understand that I may just have to deal with that, but it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to. :-) The reason I'm currently so tired of chicken is because I've been eating in the cafeteria here at the college, and protein choices are limited. So I've been getting a veggie from the hot line and a grilled chicken breast from the grill line. I'm also getting tired of broccoli for the same reason. You wouldn't think that a variety of low-carb veggies would be that difficult a concept, but it apparently is.

I'm hoping that the copy of the pre-op behavior guidelines that I got the last time I was at FWLC is in my "bible" (the notebook I'm to keep with all the paperwork for pre-op stuff). I -think- I was actually brilliant enough to put it there, but I guess we'll see. Otherwise, I've no clue where it's gotten to because it's not in my other "brain" (my day planner). Hmmm. I know most of them, but it would be nice to be able to have that list so I could refer to it if I feel like I'm veering off course. I did manage a 20-minute walk on Monday, which wasn't planned but still executed. Yay me.

Basically, I need to devise a menu that offers ~25g of protein at each of 3 meals (and protein shakes might become my friend), low sugar, low fat, and moderate kCal that are also high in fiber. I need to meet all of those requirements and still stick to my food budget. Yeah, no pressure. Thankfully, beans fit that bill quite nicely. :-)I also need to come up with a plan for getting my 60+ minutes of movement in per day. Once my summer term is over, that should become easier because my classes in the Fall are on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, leaving my evenings free, except for Wednesday because it's my late day. Wednesday may have to be a non-traditional movement kind of day. :-) I'll get it figured out.

Since I have three more months after next Wednesday for my 6 month program, I HAVE to average at least 5 pounds/month to be on track for my 15-pound loss before surgery. I'd -really- like to lose a bit more than that, but I don't know that I'll be able to. If I could lose weight easily, I wouldn't be considering WLS, right? *sigh* 5#/month = 1.25#/week, which is doable if I can get my eating/exercise balance. 10#/month (would get me 30# off before surgery) = 2.5#/week, which is still doable, but less so. I guess we'll just have to see if I can convince my body to give me a few wooshes and really commit to my eating/exercise/life balance.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rough day on Friday; rough weekend to follow

Had a pretty rough day on Friday. One of my friends is currently on my "I'm so angry at you because I'm so worried about you, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to pinch your little head off" list. He did yet another thing to light a candle on the shrine of his vilification and I responded badly. Not only did I break one of my cardinal rules, which is to NEVER respond to an email while angry, I ended up completely breaking nearly every one of my pre-op rules at lunch. I balanced it out by going home and getting in the pool. The weather held out and the pool was deserted when I got home, so I was out of excuses. :-) I didn't swim the whole time, but I did swim, run in place, do an upper body routine, and walk in the water for 30 minutes. I felt that was a good first outing. I was sore afterward and I probably should've eaten and waited to get in the pool so that my blood sugar would've been a bit more normal when I started. But, lesson learned. Saturday was the memorial service for the friend I called Brother, whose death I mentioned in my last post. It was pretty rough. It was an outdoor memorial because we're all a bunch of tree-hugging dirt worshippers. :-) So it was HOT. The heat index over the weekend was something like 101 degrees. So, yeah, it probably wasn't my best thought to walk from the downtown convention center to the Strip. At least I had water with me. I really hate exercising inside, but that's pretty much the option left to me because of the heat and humidity. The pool was OK and it's still an option. But I'm -so- ready for fall.

I have my next appointment with my internist on 08/04. I really hope that my body will actually cooperate and let me maybe have a woosh! so that I can really get on the losing train. It is my intention to go to the August support group meeting (and as many thereafter as I can) which will knock another requirement out of the way. After my August appointment with my internist, I'll have three more before the 6-month Medically Supervised program is complete. I honestly don't know where I go from there. I am -hoping- that will be when the Patient Advocate starts rattling the cage of my insurance company to try to get my approval. I'm still hoping for a surgery date around 12/17/2010 since I'll already have the next two weeks scheduled off. All I know is that I want the summer of 2010 to be my LAST fat summer. Next year, I want to be at a point where I feel comfortable in my bathing suit rather than mortified. Next year, I want to be hot and sweaty because it's nearly 100 degrees, not because it's 85 and I'm 150 pounds overweight. I want to be comfortable in shorts and tank tops when it's hot, and not swealtering in t-shirts and long pants because I don't feel comfortable showing my legs. Damn it.

I was at 290.2 on Saturday. I've sort of decided that's my "official" weigh-in day. I'll continue to weigh daily, but I'll only worry about what it is on that day. So, I went ahead & changed my ticker even though I'm back up today. :-/ I'm drinking lots of water and will hopefully flush sodium so that I'll be back on track. I -have- to go to the library tomorrow and get a draft of my paper written. Either that, or come home, swim, then lock myself in my bedroom with my references and write. I'll see how I feel in the AM. I may also be able to go to the library for a couple of hours, then come home & swim. I'm just going to play it by ear.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

RIP My Brother

Just heard that a man I consider a brother just passed away. This is the second person I know to have died from complications from a stroke -this- month. Granted, they both had underlying health conditions that made a stroke even more complicated than they would be in an otherwise healthy person. Still...

Everyone, take care of yourselves. I don't want to get yet another phone call.

Frustrated Beyond Belief

I'm having a very up-and-down week. I'm taking my anti-depressants, so I'm not sure what's up. I do know that I'm frustrated. Part of it is my fault, part of it is my reluctant-to-cooperate body's fault.

So, okay. I live approximately 2 miles from the library where I go to study. It's really probably closer to 1.75 actually, but I can't be assed to check for sure. Maybe later. Anyway, I'd been walking home from the library on study nights before I sprained my ankle. Yeah, it's been hot, it's been humid, I can't breathe, yada yada yada. Then I turned my ankle and couldn't even do the 20-minute loop around the pond here on campus for about three weeks. I walked home on Friday, and did OK. Saturday, I hit my lowest weight I'd been in a LONG time: 289.8. I was excited to put that into my ticker on Monday, but didn't because I popped right back up to 293.2 on Monday. Grrrr. I'm the first to admit that my eating habits haven't been the greatest this week. However, the fact that I'm back up to 294.5 this morning makes me a very unhappy girl. Especially given the fact that I walked home from the library Tuesday carrying not only my not-inconsiderable frame, but 40 extra pounds of books. I was sweaty, my ankle wasn't at all happy with me, nor was my right hip or knee, but I did it. And I gained weight for my trouble. All I can hope is that I'm retaining fluid because of the humidity and that I'll have a woosh! soon. I'm making sure to drink plenty of water, though it's really starting to taste like medicine these days. :-(

I'm really wanting to be down at least 5 pounds from my last visit with Dr. M before my next visit with him on 08/04. I've gained at my last two visits, which doesn't make me happy. So a loss - even of a pound - would really be good.

I got a bathing suit at Wally World last week, and it's still hanging at home, with the tags on it. I will get in the pool tomorrow. Someone check and make sure I did, OK? I'm supposed to be getting 60 minutes of movement every day. Between my ankle, the heat and my schedule, that's been difficult. But this is NOT the easy way out that many people think it is. So, I just need to sit down with my schedule and my handy-dandy colored pencils and carve out time to exercise/move for 60 minutes/day - even if that's 6 10-minute slots. So there.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Life as I know it... at this moment. :-)

While the sprained ankle has taken up quite a bit of my mental processing faculties, other stuff -has- been going on in my life. Shocking, huh?

School update: I've always been my own worst critic when it comes to my writing, so I was just -sure- that I'd turned in a horrible, no-better-than-a-C paper last week. Of course, I turned it in at 11:52PM when it was due at 11:59PM, so I suppose that I can blame part of the self-depricating talk to sleep deprivation. :-)I had also turned in the first assignment for the other class, which I also thought was kind of crappy, mostly because I wasn't able to collect the data I wanted. Anyway, the paper received a 30/30 and the assignment received a 9.2/10. Both A's, so I need to quit my worrying and just concentrated on doing as well as I can. I've another assignment turned in and awaiting marks on it. I am hopeful I did as well, or better, than I did the first one. My big paper in 510 is due in August, but I'm working on it little by little so I'm not left with writing it at the last minute. I'm also working on my "strategic academic plan" for ITRL, which is required by the grant. Thankfully Dr. M says it's a "work in progress", but the first version of it is due next week. We are now on the downhill side of this semester so I've officially got less than 5.5 semesters left. ;-)

Health Update: I already posted about that in the whining about my ankle post yesterday, so I won't belabor the point. :-)

Path-to-Surgery Update: I've now completed the two required pre-op psychologist visits. He didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, but it was nice to hear that I am already that self-aware. Basically, the tests that I took show that I don't feel desirable and that I have a major caffiene problem. Yeah, no surprise there. He recommended that I try to find a counselor/therapist and establish a relationship with him/her before surgery so that when I need him/her after surgery - and I likely will - he/she will already know me and my history. It's not a bad idea, but I don't even know where to start with regards to finding a therapist. I may ask at the support group, as that's prolly a good place to start. I need someone with experience with bariatric patients who is also open-minded enough to allow for my somewhat ecclectic personal and religious beliefs. A fundamentalist Christian, unless it's an open-minded one & those are a rare breed, is probably right out. It's really a shame that Dr. C doesn't take long-term patients because he's so busy with the pre-op/post-op required counseling at the practice. I really like him. He did tell me I could come see him again if I felt like I needed to, so that's good. At the last visit, he gave me my pre-op behavioral plan. It wasn't all that surprising, though I'm sad that I will have to give up caffiene and even artificially sweetened drinks. :-( I'll do it, of course, because I want to be as successful as I can be, but I am the first to admit that it won't be easy for me. I went to Dr. M (different Dr. M than the one who is my SIS advisor) for the 2nd of 6 visits. I looked at my paperwork that I got from the practice, and it says "6 month diet visits/10% weight loss" so I wonder if I'd have to do all 6 months if I lost 30# in, say, 4. *shrug* Dunno. I guess we'll see. Anyway, after my visit yesterday, I'm 4 "6-month diet" visits, a support group meeting and 15-30# away from getting the approval for surgery. It looks like I'm on track still for having this done in mid-December, when I'm off for Christmas. We are scheduled for a week off through Administrative Closing days and Holidays. I'm saving up the vacation time to take the week before and the week after off, so that gives me 3 weeks post-op before I have to think about going back to work. I'm hoping to have enough time saved that I could take another week after that if I needed to and am also hoping that a month off will be enough that I can come back to light duty. If not, then I guess FMLA will have to kick in because I'll be out of leave by the end of week 4, I think. I'll have to re-calculate. I'm being very stingy with my leave so that I have it if I need it. I'm just grateful that I have it to take.

That's the news that's fit to print, I think. I'm still holding on to my sanity for the time being. :-)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Grace, thy name is Woofie

Proving once again how talented I am, I managed to sprain my ankle rather badly yesterday walking on a completely flat surface, in loafers, completely sober. That takes talent, that does. :-) Thankfully I'd already had an appointment to see my internist for month 2 of the 6-month diet thing, so I figured I'd let him poke around on my ankle and see what he thought. He poked & prodded (ouch, btw) and suggested that we do some x-rays since that's the ankle I hurt so badly back in 1991. The x-rays showed no chips, fractures, breaks or anything but a pretty good looking ankle, he said. He didn't think there was any serious ligament or tissue damage, which is a good thing. I'm going to be stopping by the 24-hour Walgreens on the way home from work tonight to pick up the type of ankle brace that he recommended so I can hopefully get back to exercise. The good news from the visit is that he said my ankle is not broken and that he gave me an inhaler for days when the Air Quality (or lack thereof) makes it hard for me to breathe. The bad news is that I was up 3#. I know that part of it was because I ran out of my diuretic so I was holding onto some fluid. He wrote me a new scrip for that, so that will help. I've also not been exercising like I should because it's so gorram hot! I've come to the conclusion that I will just have to suck it up and say, yeah, I'm fat, but I need to swim or walk in the pool, anyway, and screw anyone who doesn't like it. :-) Now I just need to find a bathing suit which is always an exercise in torture. Still, exercising in the water - whether as swimming or walking - will be much easier on my joints and probably a bit easier to tolerate in the heat. Wish me luck.

I'm setting my own goal of being down 10 pounds when I go back to see my doc in August. Realistic? I think so. I guess we'll see.