Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Bariatric Journey Begins!

Howdy, friends!!  As you can see, I have decorated my blog with all kinds of sweet goodies...goodies that I will no longer be able to partake in much longer.  I have my bariatric pre-op appointment on Thursday and then on Sunday, April 4th, I start the protein drinks four times a day with some water, surgar-free jello, sugar-free popcicles, broth and anything that is non fat, no sugar & clear.  I do this for two weeks to prepare my liver and get all the accumulation of crap off of it that I put on over the years.  I don't want to be on the table and have them close me back up because my live fell apart!!!  Please pray about that for me.  :0)  I pray for you guys each and every night, too.  :)

I'm getting very, very nervous.  I hope this is normal at this rate in the game.  I haven't slept more than 2 hours in 2 days.  Of course, I am now down to only 5 mg of Prednisone and on Sunday I go off the Advil and Celebrex.  Boy, by the time the 18th rolls around, I'll be in FINE shape for surgery!!!  I just can't believe that it is almost here.  It seemed like forever in December when I went to the seminar and than had to complete those tests and see the specialists.  Now it's all said and done and everything came out good.  Elaine, the lady who helped me, deserves a medal!  She kept after the insurance and the doctors and made sure everything was in order.  To her I owe all my admiration!  Thank you, Elaine at Banner Gateway Medical Center!!  You are the best so far!!!

My blog is going to take a slight shift off of fibro and onto my bariatric battle.  Oh, boy, will it be a battle!!  I have to lose over 150 pounds.  In the binder they gave us at the class it said to start a food journal and take pictures of my progress.  That way when I hit a plateau, I've got those to look back at. I can and WILL do this right this time!!!!  So, since this is my journal, I'll insert the beginning photos taken today by myself.  If you are weak at stomach, don't look!  I'm not a pretty sight!  Let's say I warned you!  Here we go....

  Here I am in all my glory, weighing in at 333 pounds.  I got weighed at my doctor's appt. the other day and have been using that scale precisely for my weigh-ins, since so many things influence weight:  using a different scale at a different time of day, after you've eaten, ect.  So I try to be consistent.

And, here is my profile.
I did some nude pics, too, but those are part of my PRIVATE journal.  I can't believe I've showed and you told you all my weight.  But the best way to recovery is to admit you have a problem.  And I have had a weight problem my whole life.  And now, in three weeks, I will be losing 85% of my stomach.  I will only be able to eat 1/3 of what I used to.  Thank Goodness!!  I will keep you all posted each step of the way.

Alrighty, I'm so tired I can't think straight, much less spell right!!  I will be getting my muscle relaxer today so that will definitely help!!!!  I think I've slept only two hours in a two day span.  Yikes!!

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE PAIN DROP GIVEAWAY (DETAILS ON THE PREVIOUS POST) - IT ENDS SOON, APRIL 1ST.  Please enter on the page that explains the contest, it makes life much easier to tally up entries.

Have a great day and thank you all for being my friend....I love you all, too!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pain Drops Giveaway!

Hello, my dear friends.....

Before I start the details about these wonderful pain drops, let me just say how much I adore each and every one of you!  All your thoughts and prayers through out  my journey to getting this bariatric surgery.  You all have such a way of making me special, that I just wanted to say thank you!!! 

Some of you have wondered when I start the yummy protein drinks.  Here is how is works:  I go to my pre-op appointment March 31st and I meet with my surgeon, the nurse, the dietician and also will be cleared from the anesethic point of view.  The appt. will take about an hour and a half and she said for me to read my book I got at the bariatric class word by word and write down any questions.  THEN, on April 3rd, my life as I knew it will change forever.  I start the 4 protein drinks and bariatric clears (water, sugar free jello, ect.) a day.  If I deviate from this even ONE TIME, my surgery may be cancelled because the fat around my liver may not be completely cleared and I'll have to go through the whole thing again!  No way!  I will follow it to a tee, I've worked too hard for it!!!  So NO MORE Mt. Dew ever again....YIKES!!  It creates too much carbonation in my stomach cavity.  So before the April 3rd date, I will get in my last Mt. Dew and enjoy it to the fullest.  The last day of the protrien drinks is April 17th, then I fast for the surgery on the 18th.  My hubby can stay with me as it is a private room and they have cots that turn into beds.  Plus, it's 40 miles one way, so it's easier to have him be with me.

I'm going to start taking pictures of me, since this is my diary of sorts, of my bariatric surgery.  So like you pregnant ladies do, I'm going to do that to, I'll just have my tummy clothed and it won't be weekly, just when I've noticed a big change from the last picture.  That way you can see how I've progressed!  I'm so excited!!!!  :0)

OK...now on to the pain drop giveaway:
A few weeks ago, a company named "XelvaGEN" wrote me about this product called "Pain Drops".  They are 100% natural active botanicals and work within five minutes after applying them to your source of pain.  You see, most conventional pain relievers numb your immune system.  Rather than mask pain and possibly cause further harm to your body, Pain Drops works on different pain pathways in the body.  The result is a safe, effective way to managing pain.

Every EelvaGEN product is backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.  Both Pain Drops and Pain Gel come with this added pledge: if it doesn't work within 5 minutes, you get your money back.  Why the confidence?  They put over 10,000 hours of research and development that went into the creation of this product.

When I very first tried it, I tried it on my most WORST part of my body....my lower back.  I really rubbed it in and it took about 5 minutes to begin to dull the pain and lasted about 2-4 hours before having to reapply.  I still had pain, but it was much more bearable and I didn't need pain pills for it.  I then tried it on my other pain full areas...my calves and wrists and it worked almost immediately.  I really like the product and would recommend to those who don't want to always take pain meds and like 100% natural products.  So here is the giveway:  two lucky readers will get one bottle, as shown in the picture for FREE to try out the product themselves.  Here's how to enter:  it's super easy!  LEAVE A COMMENT IN MY COMMENT SECTION WITH YOUR EMAIL OR HOW TO GET A HOLD OF YOU TO SEND YOU YOUR PRIZE!  That's it!  Hope to hear from all of you!!!  If you are interested in reading about this and more products, their URL address is:  http://XelvaGEN.com.

That's pretty much all the news for today.  Sorry it took so long to get the giveaway going.  I was feeling very badly last week and it was so nice to hear in one of my comments that I was missed.  Thank you so much!!  I missed you guys, too!!!

Have a good Sunday and remember to enter the giveaway!

Thank you so much, Gina, for my KEWL siggy!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Surgery Date!!!!

Howdy, folks!!!

The most incredible thing happened to me today, made almost all my pain go away for a minute or two.  And boy, did I wake up with an incredible headache.  I thought I might be seeing a trip to the hospital in the future, it was that bad.  And then the phone rang and guess who it was?  Banner Health System calling me to SCHEDULE MY SURGERY DATE!!!  YIPEEE!!  I crossed all the hurdles and finally came out on top.  My surgery will be April 18th, little under a month.  The lady said that the bariatric clinic will be calling me soon with the pre-op instructions and I'm on my way.  I've already got the protein drinks and vitamins and am all set to go.  I'm so excited to be on my way to a new life.  Where I can hopefully get back to work again!!!  Yipppee!!!!

Big thanks to Lorie and Shawn for constantly writing in my comments with your thoughts and prayers.  I greatly appreciate it.  I'm so sorry I haven't been writing much lately, I've just had the monster flare-up from hell and couldn't even sit in the computer chair for more than a minute or two.  But I've been thinking about all my blog buddies.  Oh, speaking of which, when I switched my blog theme over, I mistakingly lost half of my blog buddy list.  So if you don't see your blog on my list and would like to be added on to it, please add your name and URL in my comments and I'll get that up.  Promise!!!

Tomorrow I am going to go a giveaway for some pain drops that work pretty well.  I feel OK enough to do that and can sit for a longer time in the chair.  So be looking forward to that!  Another news tidbit:  I can no longer get my mail in the new mail server I signed up with at in.com.  So please send your email to me by viewing my blog profile.  I'm going back to google mail.

That'll be it today.  Just wanted to let you know about my exciting news.  And here's a pic of my back to normal Jack.  He's really enjoying his gourmet cat food served on a dish!  He's too cute!!  And I'm glad he's back to normal.  He's done with the antibiotic right now. Yay!!!
Does this cat look a little TOO cozy to you?  What a life.  Where do you sign up??

Y'all have a great day and talk with you tomorrow.  And don't forget about my giveaway!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hello, Again!

Hi, My friends!

Let me start out by saying how sorry I am about not posting until now.  I have had such a rough time of it that I cannot even begin to know where to start.  My feet were burning so badly I could hardly sit for ten minutes and my back was the same way.  I took so much neurontin I felt like I was flying high.  That is so NOT good!  And it didn't even help the burning, I must say.  I will no longer do that.  I went outside for awhile and sat on what little grass we had here and that did help for awhile.  I soooo need a laptop!!  It would make my life so much easier!!  Unfortunately, laptops don't grow on trees.  Sigh!

I believe all this was brought on by stress from not knowing if I will have the bariatric surgery or not.  It is just positively crazy that I still haven't found out if I can have it yet or not.  I've went three times over to Gilbert,AZ and they still don't know.  The surgeon was out of town last week but he is back in town now.  I spoke with the nurse and she said she would present my case first.

Jacke is doing well, he is sprinting all over the house and getting into everything.  We have him on soft food and treats so he can get more moisture to prevent further infections.  That and I think he has some kind of sore jaw.  I saw him gnaw on some of his crunchies the other day and then he went a whole week where he ate nothing.  Not good!!  He loves the soft food and he gets a whole variety of food.  Almost like a variety for him.  I'll upload some pictures of him for you tomorrow.

Well, almost time for Frankie's doctor's appointment.  Thank you for praying me us, we greatly appreciate it.  We pray for you all, too.

Have a great day!!
God bless ya,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quickie Update

Howdy, friends!  I just wanted to do a quick update on everything, just so you know I'm still alive and kicking.  I AM alive, but the kicking is a little shaky.  I'm having EXTREME problems with getting my regular medical doctor to write one little sentence on her prescription note pad:  "Patient is cleared for surgery."  That's it!  Nothing else. No histories, plans or potions required.  Just that ONE sentence.  She did write a vague paragraph with the effect of "the surgeon will have to make up his own determination if I am ready for surgery."  ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    It's almost like she is sabotaging me!  And I need her clearance for the surgery!  So I've done those tests for nothing!!

I've got a very bad headache and my legs are killing me.  I am in full fibro flare-up, with a migraine to add to it.  God, I love my life!  So I'm going back to bed.  I hope you all are OK.  I will write more when I feel better, if there IS such a state.

Jack is doing well with his antibiotic and is happily sleeping on my massager slippers like he always does.  He's such a good boy!

God bless you all.
Love n' hugs,
Thanks, Gina, for the new spring siggy!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where Do I Begin?

Howdy, friends!

My, oh my.  We've had so much happen in the past two days, it's enough to make my head spin!  First, to my dad and Gina, I'm so sorry I missed your call last night.  We had to take our baby Jack to the Emergency Animal Hospital last night - I'll get more into that later in the post.  I look forward to talking to you the beginning of next week.  Hope Dad's internet is back up!

OK....I think my last post left off with me going for the diagnostic tests for my bariatric surgery.  I had to do six million labs (did I say million?  I meant six TUBES of blood! Ha!), an Upper GI with small bowel follow-through, an arterial blood gas and EKG.  Geez...this surgeon will know me inside and out!

Anyway, we get to the hospital in Gilbert and I get all checked in at the radiology desk.  I even had to wear one of them lovely ID bracelets.  I had the Upper GI first.  Let me tell you, that is one test that a person should have only ONCE in their lives!  And here the radiologist said I'd have to have it AFTER my surgery, too, but not as intense.  Anyway, they explain the test.  I drink this lovely barium that tastes like melted chalk while they take a bunch of pictures of my abdomen to track its progress through to my small intestine.  This checks for any obstructions or "leaks."  First I had to drink this fizzy like substance and they told me to not burp, if at all possible.  I tell you, that was ALL I wanted to do!  Ever drink a warm soda and then get that satisfying burp at the end? Ha!  That's what this felt like.  I managed to restrain myself, though, and I didn't burp.  Or puke.  Which after three glasses of barium, puking didn't sound like a bad idea!  The test took three hours!  My poor hubby was out in the waiting room the whole time.

After the Upper GI test, they took me for the EKG.  The technician was very nice....and very handsome! Ha!  He had a way of putting on the EKG stickers without me having to take off my shirt and bear all!  He just reached into my shirt and applied them like that.  I thought I'd had a bad EKG with my heart pounding, but luckily it came out normal!!  After that, I had the arterial blood gas.  It was right around this time when I felt that barium hit my colon.  If this test didn't go fast, they'd have a big mess to clean up!!  The respiratory guy comes in and explains the test.  Now, let me tell you, I've been worried about this test for WEEKS!  My mom had it once and said it hurt like the dickens!  First the tech says, "Have you ever had this test?"  I said no.  And then he says, "I've never done this test."  Oh, boy!   I said, "Great!" Then he gets the biggest smile on his face and says, "Just kidding you.  I've done this for 22 years!"  He was soooooo good, I didn't even feel the needle go in.  After that test, I ran to the bathroom to expel the barium.

By this time, I had a headache the size of Toledo, my leg was practically immobile, my feet were burning, I had a terrible taste in my mouth and I couldn't take my morning pills yet until after the labs.  So I was about 6 hours late on my morphine and boy, could I feel it in every bone and joint in my body!  Forget the walker, the tech wheeled me to everywhere I needed to go.  He was so nice!  The whole hospital is a wonderful place.  I loved the teamwork they showed and how they treated each other and the patients.

So I go to the lab and while we are there, Frankie says, "I have to puke, honey!"  His face was blood red, he was sweaty and all I could see in there was a wastebasket by the door.  He ran to that and puked for all he was worth.  I felt so bad for the guy.  And he didn't even have the barium! Ha!  The lab girl opened the door and said, "sir, you can use the bathroom in here."  So he went in there and freshened up.  The lab gal changed the trash bag in the basket.  Good for her! :0)  I had my lab drawn, but I couldn't do the urine test because the barium was still running through me at an alarming rate.  So that test would have to wait until tomorrow (Friday).

I could barely make it out to the car.  By this time, it was well past noon and it felt like the top of my head would come off.  I took my pills at the drinking fountain and limped out to the car with my walker.  It was about 88 degrees at this point and sweat was building up.  I finally made it to the car and we got in and went for lunch.  Hooray!!!  One more easy test and I would be done with the testing!!!  Next stop, surgery date!  At one time, it seemed that list of things to do would be impossible to accomplish and now here I am, one test away from completing!  Thank you, God, for getting me through!

The next day, I did the urine test with NO problems.  And I made a doc appointment for Frankie with his primary doctor for a referral to a gastro-intestinal doctor.  He needs one for evaluation of this vomiting.  It's gone on long enough.  He goes to that on Monday.

OK, now for Jack.  It was about 7:30 last night and he starts to meowing.  I mean, really meowing at the top of his lungs.  It was a meow I never heard of, either.  And he kept going back and forth to the litter box.  He finally peed and pooped, but he was still meowing.  And doing the litter box trot.  Poor kitty.  So we bundled him up in his carrier and took him to the 24 hour emergency clinic in town.  The place was a zoo in there - no pun intended!  They wisked Jack away into the back area and we filled out paper work.  I was so worried about him.  He had never been sick and I wanted him well, NOW!  The waiting room was full of people with the same sick looks on their faces.  The "I am worried about my pet and will I have to re-mortgage the house to pay for this" look.  Just walking in the door is $105.00.

We waited and waited.  We saw this lady walk in with her dog, crying, the dog a bloody mess.  He was attacked by another dog, a pit bull.  I felt really bad for her.  And then another dog with difficult labor, and then some guy brought in a stray cat that had just been run over by two cars.  The staff was going back and forth like chickens with their heads cut off!!

The vet finally calls us back and said that since Jack had used the litter box tonight and pooped, he probably wasn't obstructed.  He was going with since Jack is a male cat with a short urethra, that puts him at risk for a urinary infection.  He said those can be really dangerous because if the cat can't pee, the toxins build up and the kidneys fail and we could lose our kitty.  So he suggested a urinalysis.  We said that sounded good and he went off to do it and we went back to our favorite waiting room with the torture chamber chairs to wait.  The vet comes back after an hour and said that Jack had a pretty good infection in his urine.  So we went home with Jack, an antibiotic that he gets twice a day and little kitty pain pills.  The total visit cost us $250.00 so our savings is officially kaput! Jack is worth it.  I'd sell everything I own for him!

When we got home, I gave him the antiobiotic (which is two dropper-fuls of liquid) which he did NOT like.  I gave him his kitty pain pill and all three of us went to bed on our bed.  Jack slept a little, but I think the kitty pain pill makes him loopy.  He lays by his water dish and stares at all four walls over and over, like watching a movie or something!  His appetite is good and he peed this morning.  After I write this post, I'm gonna do a complete cleaning of his litter and vacuum the floor around his box.  I don't know where he picked this up at, but I'm taking NO chances.

Whew!!!!  I'm tired thinking about the last two days!!!  And then that awful earthquake in Japan.  I feel so badly for them and am praying for their plight.  I wish I could help, but all I can do is pray at this point.

OK.  Gotta run.  A litter box needs my attention.  And maybe I can get Jack interested in something than staring at the walls!  Here's a cute pic I took about a week ago when I picked up a vaporizer at Wal Mart.  May I present Jack's NEW home!
He looks comfy cozy in there, huh? Ha!
Hope you all have a great weekend!
My next post will be in a few days and I will be reviewing some all natural pain drops and will be having another giveaway!!

God bless each and every one of you.  AND GOD BLESS JAPAN!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Semi-wordless Wednesday

Howdy, friends!  Before I put up the picture for this Wednesday, it WILL require a LITTLE explanation.  You see, for as long as I can remember, my dad has had really bad teeth, but we couldn't afford to get them fixed.  Heck, ALL our teeth aren't the greatest.  Anyway, when we all moved to Yuma, AZ in 1993, Dad immediately hi-tailed it to Mexico and got his much needed and much awaited for dentures, both upper and lower for about $800.00.  He has been happy as a clam ever since.  So when we were in Mexico again, I couldn't resist taking this picture:
Is he adorable?  He knows it, too!!!  Only HE would stand outside the dental office and LOVE it!  The man was born in a dental chair, I think.  Me, I don't go....unless somebody knocks me out!!!!
I won't be doing a post tomorrow, since I will be off to Gilbert the WHOLE entire freakin' day.  I've got the upper GI test, my labs, the dreaded ABG test and the EKG.  The upper GI test is at 8am and I can't have food, water or pills before the test.  I'm gonna be in agony!  I'm taking them with, though, so right after the test, you bet your bottom dollar I'm sluggin' them pills down!  And then the EKG is not until 2pm.  So in between is the labs and ABG.  Fun.  I hope and wish I will have my doctor's approval note at that time.  But something tells me I'll have to wait until after tomorrow's results and then she'll sign off.  So that means the hubs and I are traveling BACK to Gilbert for the third time this month.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday and Thursday.
May God bless & keep you, my friends & family!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Howdy, folks.  One question:


Yesterday I got a call regarding my surgery clearance note from my primary doctor.  It was the nurse's assistant who called and she was very sweet.  She told me my primary doc was out of town and due back in, but she was having plane issues.  So the assistant talked with the physician's assistant who was taking over her patients while she was gone if he could write my note.  Well, he said he'd have to REPEAT all the tests I've had in order to safely write a note.  He doesn't know me, so I can kind of see his point of view.  No problem, I thought.  Hopefully the doctor's plane will land soon and she can get my note whipped up to take on Thursday to Gilbert when I finish the diagnostic tests.

Well, think again, Missy!  This morning the phone rang and woke me up, so I'm trying to break all records without hurting myself by sprawling to get the phone.  It was the sweet nurse's assistant again and she said the doctor was in, but before she could write the note, she needed to see the consults from the lung doc, heart doc and psychiatrist and also the results of my diagnostic tests.  I gave her all the numbers to the above doctors' offices and told her I only had the ultrasounds here (and she HAD the results to that as they called me saying I had a fatty liver.)  I couldn't get the Upper GI until March 24th.  So I scheduled it in Gilbert for March 10th and I would get my labs, EKG and wonderful ABG there.  So my dreams of having that note in hand to take to Gilbert to the clinic have just blown up in smoke!!!

What I don't get is on my last appointment with my doctor, she wished me luck with the surgery, said everything is great, had all the consults and she even said I could skip a month in seeing her, in hopes that would be when I'd have have surgery.  She even gave me a post-dated prescription for my percocet and morphine and said she would see me in the end of March.  Now, if she really does need all that crap again, I won't be having my surgery until God knows when!  It's been one thing after another, I'm starting to get big time cold feet, and I'm soooooooo tired of being on the phone begging doctors to fax reports off.  That's what takes so much time!!  I told the sweet assistant that when the letter is done, please call so I can pick it up and take it to Gilbert.  I don't trust faxing at all.  Nothing against her, but there's a black hole that hovers over Phoenix where all the faxes go, never to be heard from again!

I'm just so bummed.  Anyone got any Ben n' Jerry's Boston Cream Pie ice cream?  I could use about a pint right now!  Or some cake.  Anything!  At this rate, if I don't get that surgery soon, the wonderful governor is going to cancel AHCCCS insurance (which I have) to couples with NO children.  Pure discrimination!  Please pray that this surgery gets done soon my doctor will write that note soon!!!!  She OK'd it before her vacation....wonder if she has jet lag or something that is giving her temporary amnesia?  UGHHHHH!

Hope you all are having a good week so far.  :0)
Thank you for listening to my ranting.
Have a great day!
Super big hugs,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Who I Am

Howdy, everyone!

I hope I'm not too late with the "Show Us Your Life Friday" at "Kelly's Korner" blog..  She had a topic there that I found really interesting and the linky is open still, so I'm gonna do a post about who I am and where I came from.  I hope I don't bore you too badly!

I was born June 24th, 1970 in Watervliet, Michigan to my proud parents, Bob and Cindy Karchunas.  The picture below is my newborn picture.  Hard to believe I was EVER that small! Ha!
 My mom and dad tried very hard to have more children, but my mom suffered from a condition called endometriosis and she had it severely enough that she had to have a hysterectomy when I was 5 yrs. old.  So we were a small, but very loving little family!  Below is a picture of my mom and dad getting married and then below that is our family picture taken when I was probably 7 years old.  I was waiting for my front teeth to arrive!
Hard to believe my parents were THAT young, too!  They married on March 1st, 1969 in Eue Claire, Michigan, which is where my dad was raised in.  My mom was born and raised in Dowagiac, Michigan.  They met at a drive-through restaurant and the rest is history!  They dated awhile and then tied the knot.  They were great together, like peanut butter and jelly.  I cannot say enough how great my parents are and how much I love them.  They raised me in the leanest of times and a lot of times we had no food or transportation for awhile.  But we survived and when I got my nursing job and moved to Arizona, my parents came too and we had a good life.
My mom worked a lot when I was growing up, so I basically was with my dad most of the time.  I adored our time together.  My mom always said he was the big brother I never had!  He was a big, goofy kid who never grew up!  We would play games together, take walks in the woods and he helped me in nursing school with my pharmacology and chemistry.  I got an A in pharmacology and a B in chemistry.  Thank you, Dad!!  And lucky for me, the State of Michigan paid for nearly all of my college education via the "Pell Grant."
Me and my daddy!
Here's me after my pinning ceremony in May, 1993.  I'm a full, bona-fide RN!  Yay!

I moved to Arizona after graduating from nursing school to help my grandma with my grandpa, who was in late stages of Alzheimer's.  Lucky for him, his suffering ended about a month after I arrived in Arizona.  I loved it so much there, I never went back to Michigan!!  So my parents joined me six months later and we lived together (to share expenses, as my mom was on disability for her severe arthritis) until my mom passed away at the tender age of 60 in San Antonio, Texas.  We were looking into a potential job for me at a hospital there and then all of a sudden, her kidneys just failed and she died 24 hours after on July 8, 2008, a day after her birthday.  I can't tell you how much I miss her.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her.  I sometimes feel like she is in the room with me.  Am I crazy?  Ha!
This is how I will always remember my parents.  We may not have had a lot of money and had junker cars when I was growing up, but my parents taught me the important stuff in life: respect everyone, treat them as how you wish to be treated and money isn't everything.  It's nice, but it can't get you to Heaven. And so many more things.

I may not have had siblings, but we had plenty of kitties to liven up our home.  Here they are in the order that we had them:
Our black beauty, Boots.
Our "Gentle Giant" Toby, 1992-2003

Sweet Lil' Tora  1996-2009
"King" Jack!  2003-Present

Well, that about does it for my life story.  Or some of it, anyway.  I hope I didn't drone on and on.  If I did, you can give me a good kick in the "you know what!"  Ha!

Hope you have a great day!
God bless,

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm On My Way!

Howdy, good people!

I've been having a very busy last few days, only to get even more busier the day of my surgery.  No date set yet as I haven't finished my diagnostic testing nor has Dr. Wigal written me the clearance for surgery note that I need her to do.  It always boils down to me bothering Dr. Wigal for one thing or another!  All she needs to do is write on her prescription pad, "patient is ready for surgery."  I called her office yesterday to start the process.  Hopefully it will be done by next Wednesday, as this is when I go to Gilbert to finish up the tests and I can hand the paper in right there and not have to rely on them faxing it.....they won't, for some reason!!  And I'm getting tired of all the harassment!

I had the Chest XRay and the ultrasounds of my abdomen and legs this past week and while they sent a copy to Dr. Wigal (as she ordered it) they left my bariatric surgeon out of the loop.  So I'm going to be stopping by there on the way to Gilbert and get a written report of my results.  The ultrasound of the abdomen showed a "fatty liver" but this is commonplace with a person of my weight.   This is why I will be going on two weeks of JUST yummy protein drinks before the surgery.  If I cheat and don't do it or as much, my surgeon could just open me up and close me back down if he can't move my liver safely.  The protein eats away at the fat around the liver.  It would be just WAY too embarrassing to wake up in post-op and find they closed me down due to still too much fat.  So I'm gonna drink the protein drinks with a smile on my face.  I may even do an extra shot of protein!  :0)

Yesterday I had my bariatric education class and it was very informative.  I have to laugh, though, it was so early in the morning (8am) and we had to leave home by 6am so needless to say, I was a little on the drowsy side.  For a good hour, I kept nodding off and thank God for my hubby who poked me about 43 times to keep me awake.  I've got all kinds of stray marks from my pen in my notebook and on my shirt!!  My hubby took notes, too and they give you a binder with all the information in it, too.  They call it our "Bariatric Bible."

Anyway, I found out that my new stomach will be the size of my thumb.  That's it.  So whatever I eat, has to count.  No more empty calories.  No more diet sodas (because the carbonation in them causes the buildup of painful gas!).  I will be taking about five different vitamins, minerals and the protein drinks for the rest of my life.  When I do eat solid food....which is about three-four weeks post-op, it's in very limited quantities.  I'll be taking in about 500 calories a day.   Major weight loss......hopefully!

When I came home I had further questions about my testing procedures and I learned my insurance will authorize it for Banner Gateway, which is where I am having my surgery.  Had I known THAT, I would have gotten everything in one place, one day.  So next week on the 10th I'm going to finish up:  the UGI (upper digestive tract and swallowing test), my boat load of 600 labs (slight exaggeration!) and my EKG and a very painful test, I've heard, the ABG which stands for arterial blood gas.  They dig around your wrist with a needle and take an ARTERIAL sample of blood for analysis.  I'm not looking forward to that!!!  But positive side:  I get all that done and turn in my paper work and I have a real good shot of having my surgery by the end of March.  I hope so....I just want to get it over with and have my new life start.  This is such a HUGE, drastic step I'm taking.  I can't chicken out now....my hubby just spent a fortune on me for my first batch of protein drinks and the 5 bariatric supplements and vitamins.  Everything has to be small or crushed or liquid form or I won't be able to have it fit in my new stomach.  So my morphine extended release I can't crush, but it is small, so I'll see if I can continue it or change it to something I'll have to take more frequently.  We shall see!!

Oh, man, I'm so drained and in flare-up.  I woke up this morning feeling like I was all fused together.  I could barely walk to the bathroom and I had to really go!!  I take one water pill a day, but it's a doozy of one.  At least we have the weekend open and I plan on catching up on much needed rest.  I am so tired!!!

Hope you all are doing well and I'm thinking and praying for each and every one of you.  Thanks for your support and prayers and friendship.  You all mean the world to me :0)

Have a blessed Friday!!!
Big hugs to you all,
Huge THANX to GINA for my pretty new siggy. Please click on it to visit her great blog!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Moving Right Along

Howdy, my friends!!!  Hope you all are doing well.  I've been having problems with typing lately, let's just say that the backspace and delete key have been in heavy use.  I don't know what the problem is!!!

I've also had a doosey of a flare -up this past week.  And then that left and now I have a sinus infections with plugged ears that won't stop!!! To stay the least, I'm just miserable.

I have been moving ahead on the bariatric clinic and got the Chest X-ray and the ultrasound of the abdomen and the legs.  They couldn't do the UGI test until the end of March!  I called the clinic the other day and told them of my predicament and they called me back on Friday to apologize for not calling me on Wednesday.  Thank goodness it wasn't an emergency!!!

Tomorrow my husband and I go to a baraitric class that will explain what will happen after the surgery and my new life.  I'm very excited to get going and yet I am very nervous at the same time.  What if it doesn't work?  Am I a failure then?  Will I always be fat?  And on the other side of the story, it is DOES work will it all go to my head?  Yikes!  All these fears I have of the unknown!!!!  Please continue to pray for me that things go okay.

I've been playing around with my web cam since it seems nobody online does skype anymore?!!!!  Here is a really cute picture I took with the timer function!!  It is of Jack and me.  I can't wait until I am thin enough to use lots of pics with myself and other people.  Jack, my husband, my friends, ect.  I'm so excited to get things started again that I called this morning.  You think they can tell I'm excited?  I have taken so many water pills to keep the swilling out of my body, it isn't funny!  And I can't believe the insurance actually authorized it......YEAH!

                            Here's the picture of Jack and me.  I hope you like it.
Would you believe this was the FIRST time EVER I got him to look right at the camera?   And don't worry, I'm not choking him...LOL!!!!!

God bless you all,
Until next post,

Daily Blessings

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