Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Help Me Pick Up the Pieces of My Journey

Through this journal, I've often been able to take a bleak, sad situation and turn it into an inspiring moment. I'm hoping for that kind of magic right now. I've been avoiding my journal, yet again, because this isn't a pretty picture. I wish my problems involved late-night snacking or high-carb weaknesses. My Bandaid journey has turned into a survival story filled with physical and emotional pain, spiritual challenges and a few medical mysteries.

I'm long-winded and this isn't related to weight loss surgery so I'll (attempt to) make it short.

For a month I suffered with fever, pain and anemia. There was a long list of things to rule out and my two doctors each whacked away at the different ends of the list. (I think I've been sick enough to only call them by their real names: Drs. Melancon and Leblanc.)

I had scans and tests and X-rays of just about everything. We ruled out anything related to the weight loss surgery and the lap band that's still functioning like a charm. The only clearly evident and treatable issue was that I was that I had chronic anemia and it was getting worse. I began to wonder if anemia could get bad enough to cause all the problems I was feeling.

After three weeks, my fever began to rise from low-grade to high with alternating chills and I started the first of two rounds of antibiotics. After ruling out the gall bladder in an other-night hospital stay, we all felt I was over the infection-thing and on the road to beating the anemia thing.

Next things got ugly. My fever came back during the second round of antibiotics and my pain, centered on my abdominal region, started to make every task difficult. On my six week's weight loss check-up, I found myself in my wls doctor's office with a high fever and horrible pain. It was very evident to my surgeon from the bulge near my former hernia, that the site of the fever-spiking infection was the hernia repair site.

I went straight to the hospital to await surgery the next morning to drain the infected area and install a wound vacuum . I was too anemic to undergo surgery and I had to have a transfusion the night before. I had surgery and started using a suction-like device connected by a tube from my former belly button to keep the wound open and fluid free. I spent the rest of the week in the hospital and had another transfusion, tons of IV antibiotic that could kill horse-like germs and eventually went back to surgery to have the wound repacked and checked.

The hole in my tummy housed a staph infection and it's best that it remain open while I take another month of antibiotics. I'm attached to the wound vac device for at least several more weeks and there's another surgery looming in less than three weeks.

For the life of me, I don't know how my journey to wellness became so unwell. While in the hospital, I lost another "cheap and easy" 10 pounds or so. To me, nothing's worse than losing weight when you're sick and I threatened to go out and get a giant ice cream sundae. Unfortunately (?), I probably couldn't keep it down.

So here I am nearly 70 pounds down since weight loss surgery. I would love to pick up the pieces and concentrate on proteins, carbs and fat grams once again. There's always been a feeling of control in this journey and I frankly miss "somebody" being in control.

I want to know what God is trying to teach me through this journey and I have no doubt that His perfect will shall be done. I'm unsure if I'm growing in grace or just being whacked by a giant heavenly baseball bat.

Stay tuned as I desperately try to pick up the pieces and renew my journey to wellness. I can't, however, bend and lift too easily so I'm still soliciting help in picking those pieces up.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Missing Valentine's Weigh-in

Once upon a time, there was a lap band loser who had big plans for Valentine's Day. I've always liked fairy tales and I thought I was writing one six weeks before Feb. 14. My previous weigh-in dropped me below 300 pounds and gave me a four months loss of 46 pounds. For my fifth month weigh-in, I wanted to concentrate on wellness -- those things that could not be measured by a scale.

Well, my fairy tale has become a nightmare, but here's the numbers that I was too sick to post. At 5.5 months, I had lost a total of 62 pounds. I netted 16 pounds during that period, but none of my other goals were met because wellness seems like a dream now instead of goal.

In the doctor's office, I also had a fever of 102+ and series of other symptoms that sent me straight to the hospital to await surgery the next morning. That was Valentine's Day.