Saturday, March 05, 2005

Six Months, 70 pounds and lots of prayer

I feel that I'm finally ready to start regular posting once again. I have a ton of things to get "out of my system" and I feel if I wrote everyday I couldn't adequately explain to my village how much I appreciate their support.

Former first lady Hilary Clinton once said it takes a village to raise a child. I need to steal from that concept because I feel it has truly taken a village to keep alive, sane and, finally, smiling and fighting again. People who months ago were perfect strangers, have been touched by our Lord to keep me going even when I felt defeated and ready to give up.

My current struggle is not related to my weight loss surgery, but I have come to realize that it is a part of my journey. I've been faced with a unique struggle and I'm sure it, like life-altering struggles of the past, will shape who I am for the rest of my life.

So, here's the wellness rundown:

Mega-infection at hernia repair site -- I had the strongest IV germ-killers in the hospital and I'm still on a two-month course of antibiotics. I think this puppy is going down for the count.

Open wound -- Still open, but closing remarkably well, I hear. A wound that seemed the size of cereal bowl is now about the size of my cell phone. I was scheduled for surgery on March 9, but prayers, my whining and pleading and a powerful healing "spurt" combined to beat SupaDoc down and he finally agreed that this wound would close soon and not need surgery "at this time."

Wound maintenance -- I'm attached to this wonderful, but annoying machine 24/7. It's called a wound VAC. The older method of changing dressings daily and letting the patient keep an open wound under gauze and bandages really scares me and I'm terribly grateful that I haven't had to endure this process. The VAC provides constant negative pressure on the wound and promotes healing while fighting infection. I have to keep up with about 4 feet of tubing that drains any fluid that the former crater produces. It has made for some interesting conversations with Cecilia, age 2. She now can say and understand "sick tummy" and no matter how many times a day she sees it, she gasps and asks "are you OK?" My props to Cecilia, though, because she's catching on. My sympathies to the woman who loudly asked me in a room full of people "is that urine [in the tubing]?" Come on, do you have to have a M.D. to know that urine doesn't come from one's belly button?

Anemia -- Well, I'm still black and the non-brown parts of me have resumed the appropriate color. It was interesting seeing white people with more color than me, but I can attest to the fact that white hands, eye lids and lips didn't raise my credit score. Now that I'm not a staph colony, my anemia seems to be improving, but I will always have chronic anemia.

Blood pressure, blood sugar, mental stability -- ditto, ditto. It took a couple of weeks, but I'm calming down nicely. I first had the insane fear that this bout with unhealthiness would cost me everything that I had. I accessed everything that I had and decided that few creditors would be coming after those assets with an eye dropper so I actually had little to worry about.

Weight -- why, thank you for asking! One week after having my 6 months banderversary, I have lost 70 pounds. Being the ungrateful snot that I am, I've complained that at least 10 of those pounds might be the easy "sick" pounds that might come from being white as a sheet while skipping in banana shoes over freshly-dug graves. As soon as I could stomach it, I've tried to "slow" things down by eating a few Rocky Road shakes and my favorite Moo-lenium Crunch ice cream. (If you've known me since childhood, yes, there's really an ice cream named "Moo-lenium.")

I'm Ok with the slightly rapid weight loss experienced in February and I'm ready to take those 70 pounds and move forward to my first 100 pounds. I'm less than 15 pounds away from 250 and that will be a full 100 pounds under my highest weight ever of 350. I haven't decided the significance of that.

I'm pretty excited about my 6 months pictures. I broke my glasses in my hospital room and I have a bad case of "dry pillow head." I have new "small, sassy" glasses and I'm working my nerve up to cutting my hair before taking another picture. Well, I have to use some kind of bait to keep you blog readers coming back for more.

Thank you for your support.

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