Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Ruby slippersI sit here in my robe with my feet up, cat by my side, watching NCIS reruns, and sipping 2 oz of Ensure butter pecan supplement out of a Watford (not Waterford – better!) crystal cordial glass.  This is dinner, and I’m to take an hour to do it.  Actually, that seems pretty ambitious.  I also have a glass of grape Ocean Spray powdered drink, a much better version of Crystal Light.

My hospital stay lasted just under 36 hours, from admitting to discharge.  The surgery went very well and I was kind of shocked that I walked right into the OR instead of moving on a gurney.  Gave me more of a sense power even though I really didn’t have any.  The room was full of people, including a senior anesthetist and a nurse pretty much dedicated to holding my hand (at least while I was awake, which didn’t last long).  They all introduced themselves to me. told me their role in the procedure, and got me all settled.  I didn’t even have an IV until I got into the OR.

The surgery went fine. I have five abdominal incisions – four small 2 cm. incisions, and one much larger just left of center (or right as I look down on it), where the port was sutured to the muscle wall.  That’s the sorest spot.  But there were lots of very good drugs to manage pain and nausea, and since my surgery was at 7:30am, I was out of recovery and up in my room by 9:30.  With lots of time to doze and sleep and doze and talk to my mom while very groggy, and sleep again.  By afternoon I was mostly awake and making sense.

My roommate was a woman in her mid-30’s who had a gastric bypass with a surgeon in practice with mine (and a few others).  When we were both awake at the same time, we took walks down the halls together, pushing our little IV units in front of us.  The nurses thought we were cute.  We also spent time talking about why we chose the options we did, what we expected, what we were afraid of.   Very supportive at a time when we were pretty vulnerable and physically uncomfortable and in pain.

My hospital had two colors of those unisex double-sided hospital socks with little designs in rubberized stuff so you can walk down the hall without slipping – blah taupe and bright red.  The red ones are for people who are fall risks (which included me, because of my bad knee and recent lurchy walking).  There are pictures of the Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz outside rooms of patients with that risk, and signs that say Call don’t Fall. The idea is that the Ruby Slippers patients need help to get up out of bed, into the bathroom, and walking around.  Once I was awake and alert enough to manage okay with close supervision, than I moved up to the “we just keep a watch out for you” stage.  At least the red slippers had more style than the other ones.

I’m starting to feel pretty sore and think perhaps it’s time for me to take a little walk. It’s good to be home.

Tomorrow is Lapband Surgery Day

Thanks, everyone, for your good wishes and comments as I’ve made my way to this point in the journey.  Now there is nothing left to do (except do more cleaning and I’m so not going there) except get a good night’s sleep, wake up at 4:15 so I can be clean, shampooed, dressed, and ready for the 5:30 am cab.  I need a lot of time in the morning to wake up, hence the extra time.  Plus I need to cuddle the cat.

I’m to be up in the surgery department at 6:30 am, which means I have to go to admitting first.  Sunrise is at 7:20 tomorrow morning, and I should be in the OR shortly thereafter.

I’ll check back here and on Facebook to let y’all know how I’m doing.  Thanks again for your support!

Counting down the days

Bari-BuddyMy “pre-op to do list” is covered with scratched out entries, with a few left to do on my Wed. day off.   I’ve stocked up on 5 million flavors of Crystal Light and Ocean Spray sugar free drinks, and vacuumed and cleaned bathrooms.  Dusting and cleaning the kitchen comes Wed.  My sorority pin is cleaned and will be mailed tomorrow to my old chapter.

Prescriptions have been turned into crushable or liquid forms.  I ordered new winter boots and shoes.  Food that I know I won’t eat has been given to the food pantry (if sealed) and mostly tossed if open.  My glasses were adjusted.  Bills are paid.  Tubs of protein are on the way, and my Bari-Bear is ready for me to hug tight when movement and pain are hard.

Today I had this plan of having one last meal of pancakes because I love them and haven’t had any in a long time.  I checked the menu and knew what I would order.  Except when it came down to it, my tummy didn’t want it and I decided the rest of me didn’t, either.  I was frankly afraid I would be sick on all the sweetness.  I’ve passed multiple ice cream opportunities and didn’t even blink for one last taste; I just didn’t want them.  I did opt for lunch at McDonald’s but a single hamburger, small fries, and water didn’t blow my food plan for the day, and I’m satisfied. I’m not eating low-carb all the time, but definitely most of it.

My two weeks of clear liquids will mark a clear break from old habits, and I’m almost there.  Thank God.  This waiting time has been way too long.  Am I worried?  No, but I am anxious about dealing with it alone.  I have family and tons of friends who care about me, but I’m a long way from most of them, and I know I will be in a lot of pain when I come home – if not from my stomach, then from my poor pitiful knee.  I will be fine, but I just want to get on with it.

What’s Up with Me

Vintage Tressy DollIn response to the hair style poll on my last post, I told my hairdresser yesterday that I needed to have it trimmed and shaped but to let it grow some more.  I think she thought I was kidding about asking my blog readers what to do with it, but I really appreciated the direction!  I looked through a bunch of old photos this weekend and saw quite a variety of body shapes and hair styles – and the thinner me looked cute with shorter layered hair, but the fluffier me definitely looks better with longer locks.  There’s always room to cut it off later but I’m not a Tressy doll with a button on my back to make the hair grow or shrink at will!

Speaking of thinner, I’ve now lost 42 lbs since April 3rd.  It’s finally starting to show up enough that I’m down sizes in pants, tops, underwear, and bras.  I’ve done some massive weeding of the things even I think are too loose to wear now – and I’m someone who thinks loose=fitting, since tight=too small in my head.  I tend to want to hide the lumpy areas under looser more A-line tops that don’t cling to my hips and look weird.  I’ve watched enough Stacy and Clinton to know what I should wear but finding it is another story.  It will be interesting to see how that changes as I move down in size ranges to different stores.

My lapband surgery is now 11 days away and I swing between anxiety and readiness to have it done and start the next phase of my life.  Many bandsters (as they call themselves) call it their second birthday because everything changes from that point on.  If, of course, the bandster actually follows the very tight rules about what you can eat at what stage of the process.  There are definitely people who get themselves into big trouble by continuing to eat the levels of food they were eating pre-surgery.  Um, doesn’t work like that.

I’ve been running around a little like a headless chicken, though without the blood, working on my pre-op To Do List.  I’m stocking up on assorted flavors of Crystal Light, fat free broth, and small bottles of Boost, which are the only things I can have for the first 2 weeks post-op.  Note that I can only have one bottle of Boost per day, divided into 4 2-oz. portions.  So I don’t need TOO many bottles!

My doctor doesn’t want his patients to take pills for 2 months post-op, so all my meds need to be switched either to liquid form or be crushed before I can take them.  I talked to a pharmacist this week to find out which fall in which category, and was dismayed to discover that the stuff I take for my knee inflammation isn’t available in liquid form and cannot be crushed.  I need to talk to my primary care doc tomorrow to see what my options are.  It doesn’t help at all that I can’t take such medication AT ALL for 2-weeks pre- and post-op.  My knee already is telling me that things are not normal.  A new study cane is in order for the next few weeks.

Last night I went through my Flickr pictures and made a set of favorites.  Take a look if you have a chance!  Right now it’s 41 degrees with steady light rain, and I’m not planning to go anywhere.  I have some house cleaning to do, laundry, bill paying, and lots of tidying.  Time to get to it.  Thanks for listening to my rambles.

Day Three Without Diet Coke

I had my last glass of Diet Coke on Sunday, and poured the rest of the big bottle down the drain.  That was it.  What seemed to be crazy back in August became reality.  I weaned myself off of not only Diet Coke but also anything carbonated (I used to love to combine 1/4 part juice to 3/4 part carbonated flavored water).  Yayyy me!  I’m now downing bottles of water and Crystal Light, and low-fat milk at lunch, and more or less sloshing through the day.  But I’m already happy with the  lighter grocery bags not loaded down with soda, and figured out that I’m saving something staggering like $700/year or more by sticking to water.  Yikes!  I can do a lot with that $$!

I’m trying to decide what to do about my hair – it’s driving me crazy as it grows out.   I’m not completely sure why I decided to grow it out in the first place and it’s looking sort of scraggly in an in-between way.  Do I stick with my plan and continue to grow it out?  It’s reached a length where I can hardly see any of my earings (which I do wear one at a time, in case you were wondering).  But it feels kind of girly to be longer.  Of course, I’m not a girl, I’m a 55-year old woman and I don’t want to look like the Before person in a Stacy and Clinton makeover.  Please, please, keep Nick away from my head!  But what should I do?