pre surgery music

Originally posted on Facebook on August 25, 2013

For those who wonder what music I’ll be listening to on the way to the hospital, and before the surgery (while I’m waiting), I’ve already had the pre-surgery mix on my iPhone for a few days. There is a few great songs, and some that are hilarious, given the circumstances.

Amazing Grace – Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Atheists Don’t Have No Songs – Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
Beautiful Day – U2
Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band
The Dynamo of Volition (Live) – Jason Mraz
Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams) – Daft Punk
Good Morning – Singing In the Rain
Great Day – The Lonely Island
Hands Up – Black Eyed Peas
Here It Goes Again – Ok Go
Home – Phillip Phillips
Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford & Sons
I Have Confidence – Maria & Original Soundtrack
I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked – Ida Maria
I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
I’ve Got a Dream – Tangled (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
I’ve Just Seen a Face – Johnny Rivers
If This Is It – Huey Lewis & The News
Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton) – The Lonely Island
Less Talk More Rokk – Freezepop
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
Madeleine – Jacques Brel
Man of the Hour – Norah Jones
Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin
The Most Beautiful Girl In the Room (Live) – Flight of the Conchords
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Nothin’ But a Good Time – Poison
Oh My God – Ida Maria
Pump It – Black Eyed Peas
Pusher Love Girl – Justin Timberlake
Take Back the Night – Justin Timberlake
Tik Tok (Glee Cast Version) – Glee Cast
Toes – Zac Brown Band
Wagon Wheel – Jeremy McComb
Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
What a Little Bit of Love Can Do – Jeff Bridges


1 day

Originall yposted on Facebook on August 25, 2013

OK. Today is a bit scary.

It’s the last day.

And as someone at the party I was just at said, anytime you go under (for surgery), it gets a little scary.

The reality of what’s going to happen has sort of set in. That it’s really going to happen. It’s almost like this past week has been a dream because it didn’t feel real. And now it feels very real.

That’s right. I was at a party. Less than 24 hours before life altering surgery and I was surrounded by beer and soda and chips and burgers and delicious salads.
And I drank a protein drink. And some Odwalla green juice. I didn’t have a single chip. Or burger. Or soda. Or frozen peanut butter ball (even though they are amazing. ohmygodPhowdoyoumakethem?)
We played some games, we chatted, and around 5:15 I left.

Because my will power was running out and I was tired. When you’re not eating anything all day, you get tired early.

I’m home now, and trying to think of what to pack for the next two days. Books? Crossword puzzles? Magazines? I think I’ll skip the cross stitch and knitting projects. I imagine I’ll be sleepy/sleeping and won’t have the intelligence required for crafting. I loaded up the Kindle with some good stuff, and packed a few magazines I’ve been meaning to get to. And I threw in some crossword books I’ve been dabbling in.

I mean, I can’t just play Candy Crush Saga for 2 hours, right?



q & a – part 3

Originally posted on Facebook on August 24, 2013

What is the recovery process like? How soon are you up and about again and what is the process for reintroducing foods into your diet?
Recovery is a long road, not because of the surgery itself, but because you have to re-learn how to eat for a totally new stomach.

I’ll be up and about that day, to make sure I don’t get blood clots in my legs. For the first 2-3 days it’s nothing but clear liquids, which means water and chicken broth.

The next morning I’ll go for an upper GI X-ray, where I’ll drink some barium and they will watch it go through my whole system, to make sure everything still works right, and there aren’t any blockages or unusual swelling.
I’ll go home Tuesday evening, most likely, and for the next two weeks, it’s a total liquid diet, much like the one I’ve been having all this week. Water and protein shakes. But in very very small quantities constantly. I won’t be able to chug my giant 32 ounce water bottle in one swig anymore! It’s something like 2 ounces of water or protein drink every 10 minutes the whole day. And some light walking. And deep breathing exercises.
After 2 weeks I can start introducing regular food back into my diet, but it all has to be the consistency of applesauce. Baby food, anyone? And I have to eat a tremendous amount of protein. Tremendous = 70-90 grams of protein a day. So three meals that are about a quarter of a cup of total food (half of that being protein), and two protein shakes to supplement.

Of course hydration is important. But you can’t drink for 30 minutes before or after every meal. The stomach is so super small, and the point is to keep it as small as possible for as long as possible. Eating too much too fast will do a variety of things, including stretching the stomach, but also lead to dumping syndrome (it is exactly what it sounds like) and vomiting (gross).
After 2 more weeks I can try not-pureed food. Some people take 6 weeks to get to this stage, some people are there at 3 weeks.

It’s all about trying, eating slowly, and waiting to see how your body reacts.

Long term? I’ll always eat less. And I should avoid bread, rice, pasta, red meat and really high fiber stuff. They stress your stomach, and cause it to stretch. And keeping the stomach small is what keeps you a successful surgery patient in the long run.

2 days

Originally posted on Facebook on August 24, 2013

Surgery Countdown – 2 Days.

I did something super hard today… And it might not seem super hard to you, but it was super hard for me. Remember this ad?

Imagine that instead of drinking coffee, it’s going to the movies. And instead of a cigarette, it’s popcorn. That’s me.

I’ve got a few things that I always have put together. Movies in a theater and popcorn is one of them. I’ve cut down on the butter product over the years (sometimes I don’t have any!). But there is something about the delicious crunchy-ness and settling in in the dark to watch something big and magical.

Today we went to see “The World’s End.” We’ve been looking forward to it forever. And it was good. But that’s besides the point.

I didn’t have popcorn. I had water. And smelled as V ate a hot dog. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I had my fake mocha frapp-a-protein-cino in the car on the way there, so I wasn’t hungry. And they were kind enough to not pop anything fresh while I was standing there.
One of the big things they talk about in all the material for any weight loss surgery is that it WILL NOT solve your emotional issues with food. You have to do your own work and solve those. And while I think I have done lots of work, I always think I need to do more. Of course.

We all do.

But I had a blinding flash of the obvious today when I enjoyed the movie without popcorn. And, really, I didn’t miss it either. It was a major triumph. It helped strengthen my resolve.



But, please, don’t tell anyone about the small spoonful of homemade chocolate sauce I had after dinner. OK?

q & a – part 3

Originally posted on Facebook on August 23, 2013

Are you allowed to laugh during the early days of recovery? or will it hurt you?
This is a great question, because when my sister had her heart surgery a few years ago, she wasn’t allowed to laugh or cough, because of the way they did the procedure. Of course, my coping mechanism is to make people laugh, especially myself, so I got some nasty looks from the nurses… But my sister made it through just fine, even though she had to hold her stitches from time to time.
I don’t have many restrictions, as my procedure will be done laparoscopically. That means that there will be 5-6 small incisions made, awesome tools put through those little holes, including a camera, and only a minimal amount of abdominal muscle will be torn. It means the recovery time is days, not weeks. And that aside from heavy lifting for a few weeks, I can laugh, cry and sigh all I want. There is actually little breathing exercises I have to do every day (deep breathing and coughing) to make sure blood doesn’t clot in my lungs. Coughing is a lot like laughing, right?
People who have had the surgery complain mostly about gas being trapped in their shoulder joints. They have to blow up your abdomen in order to do the surgery, and the gas has to go somewhere; they do get most of it out. But it’s the little gas bubbles that take forever to dissolve that cause people crankiness.

Fortunately, one of the best fixes is getting adjusted. And fortunately, I have a great chiropractor.

3 days

Originally posted on Facebook on August 23, 2013

Surgery Countdown – 3 Days.

Today I met a client at Panera. I drank my protein shake on the way over so I wouldn’t be tempted at all to indulge. And I didn’t, just so you aren’t overly concerned. But let me tell you, nothing smells so freaking good as an asiago cheese bagel going through the toaster. I literally had to stop talking and swallow because my mouth was salivating. And even though I wasn’t hungry, MAN, did I miss the mouthfeel of the bagel, crunchy and soft with butter and tangy cream cheese. Aw geez.
It’s moment like these I have to tell myself, you can do it. You can wait 6 months and then have a mouthful of bagel.
You. Can. Do. This.

And then things seem ok.

But see, that’s the thing with us fat people, ladies in particular… We have a different relationship with food. And it’s a weird one.

So, in my head, it’s perfectly alright that I put on my calendar on Feb 23, 6 months from now, “eat a bite of bagel with cream cheese” where other people might find it unusual, or the sign that I’ve got some issues with food.

We all have issues with food.

It’s how each of us is handling them, and the choices that we’re making that defines how sane we are.

4 days

Originally posted on Facebook on August 22, 2013

Surgery Countdown – 4 days.

Interesting things today…. I’m tired. Not eating is hard work! And my stomach is grumbling like an 80’s punk rock band…. maybe from no solidness, maybe from being hungry, who knows… But it is loud, and I’m pretty certain the people sitting next to me this morning heard it.

Headaches are ebbing, thanks to Gabrielle‘s peppermint oil trick and an amazing amount of water. And fluffy friendly kitties who always seem to walk by when the pain gets too intense. Nothing like a good old energy shift to put everything right in the world.

I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be, but I’ve still got a few days to go. And now, a nap seems fitting, before a lovely dinner of miso soup broth.