Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sometimes God Says "Just Not Now"

I've felt the prayers and positive thoughts of people all over this wonderful world for me and my family. I do feel that God had an answer and it was simply "wait."

My surgeon put in a JP tube in my stomach to drain the fluid build-up. He said he wasn't very optimistic that it would all drain out without a surgical drain tube. (Yeah, geez).

I left my surgeon's office with hopes that the GYN would have encouraging news if I told him about the increased pain, swelling and fluid. (Note, I have ovarian masses and one, quite sizeable).

He took one look at the drain tube and said "Whoa, that's not my area of expertise!" He didn't feel like the two issues were connected so he's sure that we should wait until the abdominal drainage resolves before doing the ovarian surgery. Instead of moving the time of "pain relief" sooner, he said this swelling and drainage might move the ovarian surgery (set for August) even further back.

If there's an life-or-death emergency, he will do surgery immediately. In all honesty, I can't say that I think this pain will kill me in the next 48 hours.

I can't do much, but wait until these surgical issues are resolved. I can't work (punch a clock) and I'm not much good as a house-wife when in pain every day.

Sooooo, I guess we need to change our prayers. I need to find a way to help support my family and remain slightly sick at home. This isn't a hard task since I'm a consultant and free-lance journalist. I have to find a way to work through the pain and continue aggressively completing home-based projects.

I will probably keep this drain tube for a month unless I have to surgical drainage before that time.

These are the cards I've been dealt and I plan to play them.

Thanks for all the prayers and, as always,



Monday, June 27, 2005

Responding to "My Boyfriend Won't Sleep With Me"

(Blogger Note: This is a response to a lady who wrote that she felt so uncomfortable with her size and that her weight was making her unattractive to her boyfriend. CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL MESSAGE from ObesityHelp.com)

Beauty and attraction is so relative that you might not solve every problem with a lap band. One man's obese girlfriend is another man's BBW princess. BBWs are "big beautiful women" and in certain circles they have no trouble filling their dance cards. My biggest fear in having the lap band surgery was that I would no longer be sexually attractive to my husband who always preferred women between 300-400 pounds.

I'm not saying everyone needs to be that large to be sexy, but I am finding that sexual attraction remains as size changes if there's somethings at the foundation other than an "ideal size."

If you feel like a fat pig at a size (guessing) 26, will you still be a pig at size 16 when you pass size 12s? Many size 12s feel like oinkers as they pass those cute little size 6s.

Unless you can guarentee you will become your ideal size, you need to address the issues that make you "feel ugly" and unwanted.

When my husband brought me a thong in a size 26, I wore it and I WORE IT WELL. Now, I've found a way to radiate the same beautiful as my size changes.

I'll never be disappointed because I'm not getting sexier -- I'm getting healthier. Sexy can't be bought off the rack and my beauty starts with my confidence in who I am.

Good luck in finding acceptance where you are. Sorry if this doesn't sound supportive, but you will find lots of folks who will agree that you couldn't possibly look good in a thong. After the thong comes off (if it does), we all look the same in the dark. I just happen to feel the same way when the light comes on.

You will need this aggressive confidence and spirit sometime before the scale says you are not a "fat pig" anymore.

My best to you in your journey.



Banded, busted, broke down, BLESSED!

A big howdy from Bayou Banded and Blessedland!

Sometimes you need to turn your eyes to heaven, go back to what you know and count your blessings.

Most of you know I've been sick lately and some of you know I've also been home alone with my T-babe Cece while her daddy is off driving trucks, Lord knows where.

Today, I found myself in horrible pain, both my cars and I are broke down and not a cent for a quick take out tonight for Cece and me.

Back to basics, banders!

My 2000s child is about to get an induction in how to get it down on nothing in Louisiana old style:

For her:
Hot cornbread
Juice or milk
New Orleans long-grain, fortied rice

For mommy:
Turkey wings smothered in everything in the kitchen -- Pan sauteed, fresh onions, parsley, chopped garlic and CAYENNE pepper.

I'll get a little bit of her carbs and she will get some of my turkey finely chopped and hidden and we will call it dinner on the cheap.

I checked, there's protein in everything!

It ain't fancy, but ain't starving (or fast food).

I'm counting my blessings and holding tight to my little one. I have two doctor's appointments tomorrow and I might need a drain to get rid of all this fluid in my tummy. You praying folk think about and pray for me and my little Cece tonight.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Back to Basics With The Band

I've moved myself back to mushies since my unfilling last Friday. I have nothing in my band, but I was still PBing and foaming puke. (sorry). I decided to do mushies for a couple of days instead of taking my doctor up on the suggested upper GI. Ya ever just get tired of poking and sticking? I'm there.

Being unfilled has not been much of change for me. I've tossed chicken and solid carbs a couple of times and I'm not hungry between meals. Today I had sf hot chocolate, yogurt-oatmeal (w/some protein powder), Life Cereal and soupy grits and eggs for dinner. Way to party on that unfill, huh?

No ice cream or anything exciting to mention. I should probably get some more protein powder if I'm gonna go mushy for a while. Tomorrow, I'll try something more solid and if I PB and toss, I'll agree to the upper GI. I'm wearing a hernia binder which is helping to restrict that abdominal swelling so I'm not looking "very pregnant" today.

In all, I'm tired and it's time to put the world's most hyper toddler to sleep.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Swelling Makes It Hard To Eat

My abdominal cavity was drained again this afternoon. I looked about 7 months pregnant right before and I'm happily back in the first trimester. I declined an upper GI to check why I was having trouble eating because I'm soooo tired of tests and needles.

I had some leftover chicken and a few teaspons of potato salad when I came home and it's a tight fit, but I thought it was going to stay down. I do think my swelling is taking over portion control while my band is unfilled. It was never a comfortable fit and I finally just kept throwing up little bits of it until it was all back up. (Excuse the gross descriptions)

My surgeon feels assured that this swelling is not related to the ovarian masses that I have, so that makes me feel much better.

It's not perfection, but that's all good enough for me.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Disarmed The Band

None of my problems are caused my the lap band. The band, however, is just one of a ton of little things making life miserable for me. I've had crazy, mad restriction lately and I was starting to lament eating anything solid. I'm feeling a lot of pain after swallowing and pressure in my chest like heartburn.

Yesterday, I had 340 cc of fluid pulled out of my abdominal cavity where it is gathering since surgery a few weeks ago to repair a hernia. I have a bowling ball in my mid-section and it's making eating tough. I thought if I could take the band fluid out also, I might be more comfortable.

I'm also dealing with an unresolved ovarian mass which exceeds 8 cm. Anyone of these other problems are probably the culprit, but I don't even think I can take extremely good restriction right now.

My doctor removed my 1/2 cc fill (yes, that's all I had) and I had some x-rays that showed my band has not slipped. I need an upper GI next week and my bowling ball fluid pocket will be drained again.

I'm not gaining or lossing right now, but any less pain is sounding good.

I'm hoping that tomorrow will bring something to rejoice about or a "great" way to look at this ordeal. Until then, all prayers are appreciated.

Onward (you first)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My Journey is now officially 'A Struggle'

When I think of journey, I think of a pleasant walk in the cool of day amongst fragrant flowers and churping birdies. When I think of struggle, I think of strolling through a cow pasture, landing in a hot, steamy one and tripping over my shoelaces now caked with nature's fertilizer.

I can still get there, but there will be no pictures (and few hugs) when I'm dun.

I don't want to quit, but I don't want to lose. I mean, yes, I would love to lose, but I'm not much on admitting failure. After losing nearly 80 pounds and gaining nearly 10, I feel that I'm stuck and maybe a concentration on something other than carbs and scales would be best.

I got a load of feedback from my previous post and I truly appreciate all the concern. I'm not going to end my weight loss efforts, but I do think I need to put a higher priority on finding out why I'm always sick and in pain. Many will say that if I lose the weight, the sickness and pain will go away. Many will also mysteriously disappear.

I have a new quest and a new theme -- No pain, no pain!

In my latest conspiracy theory, I'm attempting to put all my ailments under one umbrella, fight the root of all this evil instead of the symptoms and find a doctor who will champion this cause.

Since my lap band procedure, I've had wound issues, infection issues, pain issues, five surgeries and the continued weight issue. I've gone from nearly 350 pounds to 268 pounds and up again. A problem that hasn't been addressed during this time is my increasingly painful ovarian masses that have been, from time to time, on the grow.

I will attempt to prove, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if you eliminate the painful masses (and the blasted ovaries that spawned them), that you will reduce the pressure on the hernia-rich abdominal cavity, eliminate the hormones making weight loss so difficult and headaches so abundant, end the need for bimonthly surgeries which make exercise nearly impossible and maybe, just maybe, end the pain. And we know no pain, no pain!

Back to reality. Yes, I'm making myself laugh because it sure beats the alternative.

When all else failed me, I turned to RealityDoc (Dr. Eric Melancon) for help. RealityDoc has become more like a Big Brother full of wit and compassion for those suffering. He came to the rescue and through referral is introducing me to NewDoc who I meet this afternoon.

I'm gathering all my scans, reports, films and symptons and I truly have hope that I might get some needed answers.

My goal hasn't changed. Cecilia Grace is my one chance at motherhood and agressively pursuing wellness is my only chance to give her what she needs. She's still sleeping now and it's after 9 a.m. I'm hurting and I haven't decided if I'm going to give her up to daycare where someone can easily pick her up and feed her. I think I'll struggle through breakfast and then give her over to the able-bodied caregivers. I know it's what's best for her today, but she's all I have.

No, that's wrong. I also have a mission!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Morning After – Whose Journey is This Anyway?

I led a sheltered life. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve never had the opportunity to wake after “tying one on” royally and wonder whose head was laying on the pillow next to mine. Until now.

Sorry for the drought in this blog. When I'm going through something, I never quite know what to say, but I always catch you all up eventually.

You ever wake up and go what the ___? I’m still at “heck,” but the blank is getting hotter every second.

For nine months now, I’ve been on a journey to wellness. I was never fond of the idea of weight loss surgery and I wasn’t excited about lap band surgery because of my need for a size 9 jeans. I was told that my weight was standing in the way between my baby and her healthy mommy. I had scary, painful ovarian masses and I embarked on this journey as my “get out of pain free” card when the day finally came that I needed to be smaller to address those issues.

I’ll give my weight loss journey one thing, it went well and I don’t regret having an adjustable gastric banding or lap band surgery. I had lost almost 80 pounds in eight months before I started yo-yoing back and forward between the same 10 pounds. My new lap band life is full of great food and cool new experiments in the kitchen. I don’t feel deprived, but I have put a lot of me into making there be less of me.

At nearly 350 pounds, I was told that I wasn’t a good candidate for major surgery to remove my much-tattered plumbing. A psycharitrist told me it didn’t make much sense to him that I was having one surgery because I couldn’t have another surgery. I agreed with him, but I told him there were no other emotional pullings for me. I didn’t feel ugly or dumb or unwanted. My husband loved all 300 plus pounds of me and I was possibly the most egotistical “fat chick” in America. I added that God gave me one surviving baby, Cecilia Grace, and this surgery was what I needed to make sure I could be there for her until she could take care of herself.

Cecilia has always been my motivation. Those masses could be harmless pains in the butt, or maybe not. I decided if 150 pounds had to go so I would never be the fat woman allowed to suffer an early death, so be it.

So I had a very major surgery ... and then another ... and then another/another (same week) ... and then another ... and then another. Every “another” isn’t related lap band surgery. Please, please note that. My surgeries aren’t complications to weight loss surgery. But I had one surgery to avoid risky surgery and had FIVE more after that.

Ya think I’m bitter? Read on.....I’m pleasant so far.

Last week while recovery from my fifth surgery since my lap band, I began having an overwhelming pain on the other side of my body than the recent issue. I inquired about those pesky masses and found that one had grown to more than 8 cm. Sounded kinda big and painful since it was 5 cm only two months and one surgery ago.

I reached down for my virtual “get out of pain free” card and laid it on the counter. Now, I’m curled up in a ball at this point, but the ball is 80 pounds less of a ball than before. Surely, there will be no question of what needs to be done since I have surgeries more than I perm my hair.

I got bumped around to a few offices as most of my doctors gave the “we don’t do that” reply. Finally, I was back to the folks who “do that” if that is surgically remove masses that may or may not involve cancer of the reproductive organs.

The answer came in a couple of hours.... drum roll pleeze... “Dr. __ doesn’t feel like it’s that much bigger than it was this time last year. He’ll see you in two months.”

To my pain, they added, “you 'did' just have surgery, didn’t you.” To my weight loss, they added, “Your weight would have never meant a difference to us. We’ve done this surgery on larger people.”

So, here I sit in the middle of the night, listening to Cecilia Grace’s sleep sounds whistle through her pacifier. I’m wondering how I ever let someone sell me the “it may all resolve itself after you lose weight” sack of crap. This is HER journey, not mine. I hope she and her lap band have a long and happy life. Fact is, some things in life can’t be weighed and measured by a scale and a BMI.

And now that I my journey to wellness and freedom from pain doesn’t involve this lap band what do I do with this strange bedfellow? My motivation begins and ends with my child and doing what’s best for her. I think what’s best for her is an all-out assault on my real health issues.

If you have your ears on, tell me, where does this journey fit into my life and do I have the luxury to continue this fight?