Sunday, December 27, 2009

Deep cleansing breaths....

Ahhhhhhhhhhh. It's been an exhausting couple of weeks. I've worked every hour my employer would approve; I've also had a lot of other things to take care of outside of work. The nature of Mr. Salted's job is such that he is a missing person during the holidays, so I pick up the slack out of necessity. It's always a relief to have it just be over.

Food has been a challenge this last month or so, as one would expect. It is everywhere, in large quantities, and damn near impossible to avoid. At work, whatever chocolate-coated pile of toxicity is to be had resides right next to the fax machine, which I use frequently. I tried to stick to sugar-free things whenever possible, but I did have a cookie or piece of chocolate (or two) here and there. I definitely felt ooky once or twice, but I have still never had sugar cause full-blown dumping syndrome. This is both good and bad, as I now know my system will tolerate at least a small portion of foods that contain sugar. Feeling ooky and the looming possibility of dumping syndrome keeps me from truly bingeing on sugar. The maltitol and sorbitol in sugar-free sweets has actually caused more discomfort for me than sugar itself has (though I have to admit I eat a larger portion of the sugar-free stuff--whatever the package says a serving is).

I also seem to feel hungrier more often than I did initially--not just for sugar, but in general. Dry meat, bread and grease are my worst enemies, so I avoid them. I used to love almonds and cashews, but nuts have lost their luster. I'm still getting most of my protein from beans, peanut butter, or supplements. I have noticed an increased lactose intolerance when it comes to milk, though cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream have not been a problem. I have also been drinking diet soda--though not a great deal, and not every day. Lately I've been drinking several cups of hot tea with Stevia every day, which I enjoy and which makes me feel full. I used to hate hot tea, but I've found some really good flavors lately. I think my favorites are Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice, and Gypsy Tea Gingerbread Chai.

I haven't gained any weight, but I am a little worried. It is coming off so slowly now, and I still haven't been cleared to work out yet. I feel a little panicky that I'm more hungry and that I know I can eat some sugar. I'm also a bit freaked out by the way my body is changing. Mr. Salted observed that I probably haven't been through anything remotely like this since puberty. He has a point--and no wonder I get neurotic, because my puberty was H-E-L-L. (Don't get me wrong--I don't think anyone's adolescence is any picnic--but I was one of those unfortunate little girls that was visibly developing in the second grade. It was extremely scary at the time, not just because I couldn't control what my body did, but because of the way the world seemed to react--what felt like the whole world seemed not only all too aware of what was happening, but just as uncomfortable with it as I was.)

As I type and articulate this, it begins to make total sense that my world feels full of triggers at the moment. Once again, I am in a transitional period where I can't control what my body does--it loses weight, but only from where it damn well wants to. I've lost 62 pounds, but I'm not proportionate. I can see the loose skin thing happening in the near future, as certain regions are feeling a bit deflated as of late.

There are also the things people say. "Even your head looks smaller," one friend told me. (???) People will say "hey, skinny," which, of course, was a taunt I heard many times growing up. I know the people I know now mean well, but it feels weird--not only am I far from skinny, but I seriously doubt that even my skeleton is skinny. "You're really a petite woman," I've heard more than once since surgery, or "I never knew how tiny you were." I saw some friends on Christmas Day that I hadn't seen since before I had surgery. "You look fantastic," one of them said. Later, when I was walking to the restroom, I heard him repeat to Mr. Salted, "she looks fantastic." Even when it is positive, it is still so, so hard for me to hear my looks being discussed like I can't hear what is being said. I have to remind myself constantly: I'm not thirteen years old, and it's not malicious. Being steeped in dissociation from my body since I can remember, I myself have also been heard to remark, "I don't know what is under there." (Read: I don't know what the body under the fat is like.)

And I don't.

cats


We dumped our old couch and inherited a chair-and-a-half from my boss last weekend. I have always wanted a chair-and-a-half--they are the perfect size for curling up on if you're short and a curling up type--I happen to be both. (This morning, for instance, I was curled up with a cup of tea, reading Stacey O'Brien's "Wesley the Owl".) I put the blanket on it during the day to deflect some of the copious amounts of cat hair that naturally occur on everything we possess. When I came home from work one day last week, they were doing this. Floyd and Nunzio are in the back; Mr. Stash is in the front. Mr. Stash was rabbit-kicking the little cover from the arm of the chair, but he stopped just long enough for me to snap this photo--then he jumped off and ran away.

Sunday Stealing

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

Lost more than fifty pounds.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't believe in them. They're made to be broken.

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?

With my Mr. and some dear childhood friends that are more like family.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?


I made it out of state once, but otherwise stayed pretty close to home.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

More stable employment and therefore more money.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The day I had the bariatric surgery--August 3, 2009

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Other than the work I did around the surgery, weight loss and lifestyle changes, I didn't achieve much...but it felt like enough.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Remaining my own worst enemy, and I wouldn't call that a failure, just part of being a human being.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

The aforementioned bariatric surgery and an ankle repair surgery in October, which is still healing.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Lots of books and lots of clothes.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Other than the books and clothes, it went to bills and various and sundry vitamin and protein supplements. And copays.

13. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Anything by Lady GaGa.

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?

I wish I could have had more fun, but I did pretty well.

15. What do you wish you'd done less of?


I wish I hadn't had to miss so much stuff when I was recovering from surgeries.

16. What was your favorite TV program?


"Breaking Bad"

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a waste of time and energy.

18. What was the best book you read?
"Columbine" was really good, and so was "Olive Kitteredge".

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I dunno, I discover music constantly and it's not always new.

20. What was your favorite film of this year?
"The Wrestler" was great.

21. What did you do on your birthday?

Went to the Northern Oregon Coast

22. What kept you sane?


Prescription drugs, my spouse, my friends, the words I wrote and read, going to the WA & OR coasts

23. Who did you miss?


I will always miss Jeff.

24. Who was the best new person you met?


I didn't meet anyone new, but I got to reconnect with people from the past (thank you, Facebook) and that was wonderful--both fun and therapeutic.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:

There were two: (a) food is not my friend, and (b) no one gets to live in my head rent-free.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

still losing!

I lost two more pounds this week. This makes me very happy, since I have been testing my limits a bit--not bingeing or going crazy, but experimenting with food as part of the process of seeing what my system can tolerate. I tried a sliver of pumpkin pie without a problem, but I cannot eat a French fry or part of a grilled cheese sandwich. I can eat half a McDonald's hamburger (an occasional guilty pleasure). Any kind of soft bread, part of a bagel, is a no-no. This whole process remains a learning curve.

I hit a great big sale at Old Navy with a friend on Friday. It is so cool to be able to go into a store like that and buy myself decent clothes that are cheap--I can't even express how cool. They didn't have stores like that when I was growing up, at least not in this area. Plus-size stores were full of clothes that were appropriate for 70-year-olds only, and there was no Target. After my Old Navy shopping spree, I came home with about ten shirts and hoodies for myself, two for Mr. Salted--a huge bag of clothes for $120. Plus or super-size women would be hard-pressed to purchase two or three decent-quality articles of clothing for that amount. I will not miss the fat tax!

I had to go to Costco today for protein bullets. They have them for the cheapest price I've seen. I can hear you saying, Costco the Sunday before Christmas, are you inSANE? No, but I do need protein. I arrived shortly after the store opened--the place was already chock full o' lemmings. I kept my head down, a determined grimace on my face, and kept mentally repeating the words, "reconnaissance mission". (I don't know if that's truly the proper term, but it's French and sounds cool.) I swooped in and gathered my case of water, presliced apples for Mr. Salted's lunch, his coffee, three cases of protein bullets--the essentials. Everyone else had decadent delicious food piled in their carts, hemming and hawing about whether or not Aunt Madge would like these slippers, completely unaware of anyone else's personal space or existence in the universe. I made it in and out of there in half an hour--ankle throbbing, patience gone.

I am not a fan of the season of unreason. I despise, loathe and resent Forced Holiday Fun, both with relatives and at work, and so choose to participate in neither. I like giving gifts to a few people, and I played Santa for a family I know this year who needed a little TLC, which felt fantastic to do. I enjoy doing cards, so I do quite a few of them. I also love getting pictures of everyone with their families and/or animals--that's probably my favorite part of the entire holiday. The rest of it I can take or leave and would frankly prefer to leave. I'm SO ready for it to be over--yesterday.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beef, hair,and sexy boots

I am a dedicated carnivore, particularly when it comes to red meat--or I used to be. I attempted to have a few (what I considered very small and thoroughly chewed) bites of Mr. Salted's steak a few nights ago and paid for it for the next couple of days. Not in any terribly disgusting ways that would offend the sensibilities of others if I described them--it just felt like I had a board lodged horizontally across my chest cavity for a couple of days. Logic tells me this means that the steak got stuck in the pouch. It was an extremely uncomfortable feeling physically, so much so that sleep was impossible that night. As the next day or two wore on I stuck mostly to protein drinks and very soft things, thinking they might help everything move on through. It took a full 48 hours to feel okay again. It scared me a little--I was getting ready to call the surgeons, but thankfully giving it time to work itself out seems to have been the right thing to do.

I found out at my nutritionist appointment a few days that most post-operative hair loss occurs from month three to month seven. (For those keeping score at home, this is month four.) As if on a time release, I blow-dried my hair the next day, looked down and was coated in my own hair--I had to lint-roll my shirt. Having three cats, there are lint rollers aplenty chez moi, but I was a tad freaked out. However, I am a big believer in keeping perspective, and the patented SaltedWithShadows technique in this instance included a gentle reminder that several people I know--all my age or younger--have had cancer in the last couple of years. All of them lost their hair at some point during their treatment, and one of them eventually lost his battle with the disease. In the end, I'm grateful for not only the obvious, but that I have hair at all (I have never had much hair, or favorable hair genes).

Today was an interesting day. I had to see my ankle doctor, who did not clear me to start working out--he wants to give it another month, even though the x-rays and ankle look like they are healing very well. (I joked that he gets better-looking every time he says, "Don't exercise for another month", although not to his face! I didn't want to scare the poor man.) I had on a new black dress, brooch, leopard-print tights, and new-to-me black leather boots--they come up to mid-calf. I had completely forgotten how confident boots make me feel--I haven't had a pair in probably twenty years. The recent U2 song about sexy boots annoys me, but I today I remembered a song from high school days that the Jesus and Mary Chain did that had the line, "I feel so quick in my leather boots/there's nothing else but me." (I don't remember the song title, but it was on the "Psychocandy" album.)

I always personally found boots a lot sexier than heels (in part because uncomfortable does not spell sexy to Salted and boots have never made me think of foot-binding or gotten my feminist hackles in a twist, unless they are those thigh-high stripper things with the ridiculous heels, which are not sexy at all in my book). Boots feel--and can sound--pleasantly powerful when you walk in them. I don't find the power of a domineering nature, but more of a confident one--the sound says, "Here I am. I feel good, and I'm not hiding".

Hiding is a theme/battle/motif/albatross with me (and with a lot of people that have body image issues, I would imagine). I have spent most of my life actively hiding myself physically. I have always preferred my clothes to be a size or two too big--I liked feeling lost in them, never caring how it might look because it made me feel safer. Ultimately, I never got to be "pretty"--and if I was indeed ever "pretty" (some men do like their jelly to jiggle), I never got to really enjoy it. I think I was finally ready to have this surgery and go through this process because, for whatever reason, I was able to deem it safe--in part because of my age. I have done and am still doing the work mentally and emotionally to make this process a healthy and viable option for long-term health. The operative word here for me is work: I know in my bones that I will always be doing some work somewhere on some layer of my being when it comes to this; the work never stops. I am hit with the work aspect of this in some fashion every day now--it is not comfortable to have people remarking on how I look all the time when I spent the last forty years hoping no one would remark on how I looked, at all, EVER. Even though 98% of the people in my immediate orbit are--thus far--supportive and complimentary, I still steel myself and wait for stones to be thrown, hoping the inevitable accompanying wince isn't visible on the outside.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Enjoy your body."

I saw the nutritionist on Thursday. I was fifteen minutes late, which sucked, and she was rushed, but I think I'm a fairly easy patient now, being on point with the weight loss and not needing much in the way of guidance. I lost eight pounds in the last month. It had been thirteen the month prior, but she assured me that the pace with which it is being lost is normal or better than normal, particularly considering that I still haven't been cleared for physical therapy or working out. (I see the ankle specialist next week, and am wondering how that's all going to play out. I went to a trade show a few days ago where we walked around quite a bit and my ankle is still a bit sore from that.) I also discovered sugar-free candy from Harry and David, who have handily replaced Ben and Jerry in my heart--damn these dangerous men and their delicious concoctions! Thankfully, sugar-free candy does have that built-in deterrent in the form of its sweeteners, which have an adverse effect on anyone who overindulges in them. The warnings are on the packaging: "may have a laxative effect".

My nutritionist talked about the long-term importance of body sculpting and strengthening the core. "I want 2010 to be the year of the core for you," she said. I have long since established that I was in the bathroom when they were passing out the core--and besides, core is literally a four-letter word. The word "core" in the context she uses belongs in the same category as "team building", "holiday party", "three-legged race", "bridal shower" and "colonoscopy" in the English language lexicon for me. In short: eyes will be rolled; faces will be made.

I countered with, "2010 is going to be the year of having fun again." (Because it is!) If I can make myself stick to a workout regimen, ANY workout regimen, that will be the victory. I certainly don't see myself doing sit-ups until I vomit.

Her eyes got wide when she asked me if I was eating really good food. Food isn't anything I consider all that good. When you can have a few bites, how good can it be, and seriously, who cares? I have a lot of supplements to get in and that takes precedence. I told her the majority of my protein comes from the bullet supplements. I have heard that a lot of people stop using them, but I don't see myself doing that anytime soon. They are easy enough to choke down and I want to make my RDAs. Hair loss apparently happens predominantly from month 3 to month 7, according to a handout she gave me; I thought it was only month 2 and 3, so imagine my joy at this news. It is month four, and I have noticed more hair in the brush than usual, but I don't think it's enough to be noticeable to anyone but me. (I am not coloring it indefinitely just in case.)

We talked about the strangeness of being a weight I was at a much younger age, and how this process is, in some ways, like turning back the clock. I get around so much more easily, even with my ankle still in its healing stages, and physically I already feel 1,000 times better. I tell everyone--and will say again here--that even if I don't lose another ounce, this surgery has been totally worth it.

She talked about her passion, which is follow-up for two years post-op, and pointed out that the surgical center statistics of "only 5% will maintain weight loss" does not apply to those who participate in nutritional counseling and guidance before and after surgery; their success rate percentage is much higher. "I will see you in 2010," she said quietly. "Just...enjoy your body."

Enjoy your body. Those are not words that have ever been said to me. I have said them, angrily, several times, in reference to the barrage of verbal abuse I received growing up: "If people had just left me alone and let me enjoy my body, I..." Fill in the blank: been healthier, felt better, wouldn't have developed an eating disorder, wouldn't have flunked PE, wouldn't have become morbidly obese. The only message I received regarding my body as far back as I remember was one of constant and complete failure: my body looked wrong; it was not good enough. It was ugly and disgusted people. ("Fatandugly" was one word for a long time. It took decades to occur to me that I was not necessarily ugly simply because I was fat.) I felt--and still feel--much more comfortable when it is hidden. (There was also plenty of shame about being female and therefore dirty, an issue which is both different and the same.) As an adult, I have learned hard-won gratitude for my body--for its mobility and functioning senses. Actually enjoying it? I can make an educated guess: that will be something I work on for the rest of my life. I think enjoyment of my body will come in moments, much as true happiness does, fleeting revelations that cross my mind: Wow, it is easier to walk now. It feels good to dance. That workout felt good. I am already having those moments from time to time, and they are such a gift.

The world would be a completely different place if people learned from a young age that it was their right to enjoy their bodies, to appreciate what their bodies can do rather than focusing on the ways they fall short. This relatively simple concept would make a much larger dent in "the obesity epidemic" and eating disorder percentages than whether or not you can purchase bottled water at a fast-food restaurant or buy soda in a vending machine in school.

Thursday Thunks a couple of days late

1. Isn't showing a condom commercial during Sex Rehab With Dr Drew almost like showing a pain narcotic or an alcohol commercial during Intervention?

They show "male enhancement" commercials during that show, too. I think that's worse--condoms are at least preventive!

2. Burger King and Ronald McDonald met Colonel Sanders in a dark alley. They beat him down for just serving chicken and not sharing his "11 herbs & spices". The Colonel goes down. Begs for his life. Where do they go to eat afterwards?


Applebee's

3. You take a shower, go to leave the bathroom and the door is stuck. Due to humidity and moisture it won't budge. It will not open. No one else is home. You can't go out the window. How long do you sit in the bathroom and how do you occupy your time?

As long as it takes. I listen to the radio and organize the linen/medicine closet. It always needs it.

4. You are a rockstar, but you need a cool rocker name. What is it and how did you decide on that name?

Black Ice--it's my name in Mafia Wars. I love it so much I almost wish it was my name all the time.

5. Have you ever gotten naked at a family function?

Good Lord, no, unless I was 2 years old and don't remember it.

6. If purple ate yellow, what color would come out?


Brown. Mixing colors always comes out brown.

7. The closest paper and pen to you right now. What color are they?

Pen: Dr. Grip with turquoisey tealy barrel and blue ink. Paper: neon pink Post-Its.

8. Corn chips or potato chips?

Corn tortilla chips. Not a huge fan of either.

9. You are forced to swallow either a diamond or a piece of coal. Don't ask. Just do it. Which do you choose?

Diamond. It's going to be smaller and smoother going down.

10. If your mouse decided to attack your keyboard, who would win?

The keyboard. I secretly believe it has ninja tendencies.

Monday, December 7, 2009

60 pounds gone

As of today, I have lost 60 pounds!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Today, I am 41

For the past few days, I have been in my happy place--the northern Oregon Coast. The skies have been clear and blue each day, save the one we arrived. We pulled into town with the rain coming almost horizontally and I still couldn't stop smiling. I simply love it here--we both do. We dream of retiring here, and today we started talking about Ways to Make Moving Here Happen Sooner--which is fun, even if it remains hypothetical.

I have not been able to weigh myself for a week, which is another blessing. I am still figuring out when to say when portionwise, and I am getting better at it. We did hit Harry and David and discover their sugar-free goodies, and I discovered quite unexpectedly that I rather like hot tea. So far, the Stash Chai Spice Black Tea and Harry and David's Ginger Spice Tea are my favorites, with one packet of Stevia in a cup. Lovely.

My greatest pleasure on this trip has been being able to find T-shirts (and two hoodies). It has chapped me for about 20 years that I could never buy a shirt when I traveled somewhere or went to see music. (Fat people have money too! Merchandisers, take note.) An XL either fits or almost fits me now, which is a really big deal for a person who wore 5X/6X at her heaviest. I have gone a little crazy this trip making up for lost time in the T-shirt department.

I am at peace with being 41, despite my eye bags (which, to be fair, I have had since I was in grade school--damn the genetic lottery). I am glad to be breathing and mobile with senses and brain intact. I am trying to make peace with my body's lumpiness, which is definitely easier since the number on the scale is getting smaller by the day.

Today at lunch we had an attractive young waiter who was on the cusp of being young enough to be my son. I finished my portion of my entree and Mr. Salted helped with the rest, so I went up to pay while he was still eating. I gave this waiter my driver's license and VISA debit card. The debit card bears a photo that is about two years old, while the driver's license photo is only from a couple of weeks ago.

"Is this you?" he asked quizzically, brow furrowed.

My grin immediately became a mile wide. "Yes, I've lost almost sixty pounds since then," I replied happily. He was the first service person to note this particular discrepancy in my appearance--at least, out loud.

"Well, you look GOOD," he responded without a beat. Not 'you're looking well' or 'healthy' or whatever generic, tactful thing most people I know would say, but "GOOD" with the heft of, dare I say, actual appreciation behind it. This event was somewhat of an anomaly for me to experience at ANY age, dear reader, and to be 41 and have it come from a handsome stranger almost young enough to be my KID--I will take it as a compliment. Whether he was aiming for a better tip or not--it made this old bag's day!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh yeah, my weight.

Not much has changed. I'm now stalled at 216. I went down a pound after Thanksgiving--enormously satisfying. The food didn't bother me--I just had a bit of everything and took my time about it. My friend the host gave me a bottle of Baja Bob's martini mixer made with Splenda. Tastes just like Apple Pucker! They don't sell it in Washington, but they do in Oregon--not sure about other states...but one can become a fan on Facebook, and there is always http://www.bajabob.com.

Mr. Salted and myself are headed to the beach for a few days, and I turn forty-one on December 3rd. We're going to read, be tourists, look at stuff, take pictures of stuff, read some more, eat, and sleep. That's about all. Perfect!

How to Sing the Blues

1. Most blues begin “woke up this morning”.

2. “I got a good woman” is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line: “I got a good woman/with the meanest face in town”.

3. Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes—sort of: “I got a good woman/with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. She got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound.”

4. The blues are not about limitless choice. If you stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch—ain’t no way out. Blues cars are Chevys and Cadillacs. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain’t even in the running. Other acceptable blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or southbound train. Walkin’ plays a major part in the blues lifestyle, as does fixin’ to die.

5. Teenagers can’t sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

6. Blues is not a matter of color—it’s a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues. That having been said, the following colors should be nowhere near the blues: (a) violet, (b) beige, and (c) mauve.

7. Blues can take place in New York City, but not in Hawaii or Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle are probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best cities for having the blues. You can’t have the blues in any place that don’t get rain. Other good places for the blues are: (a) the highway, (b) jailhouse, (c) empty bed, and (d) the bottom of a whiskey glass. Bad places: (a) golf courses, (b) gallery openings, (c) Ivy League institutions, and (d) Macy’s. You can’t have the blues in an office or shopping mall--the lighting is wrong. Go out to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain’t the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg ‘cause an alligator be chomping on it is.

9. No one will believe it’s the blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an elderly ethnic person who slept in it.

10. Do you have the right to sing the blues? Yes, if (a) you’re older than dirt; (b) you’re blind; (c) you shot a man in Memphis; (d) you can’t be satisfied.

No, if (a) you were once blind but now can see; (b) you have all your teeth; (c) the man in Memphis lived; or (d) you have a trust fund.

11. If you ask for water and your baby gives you gasoline, it’s the blues. Other acceptable blues beverages include (a) cheap wine; (b) whiskey or bourbon; (c) muddy water; (d) nasty black coffee. The following are NOT blues beverages: (a) Perrier; (b) Chardonnay; (c) Snapple; (d) Slim Fast.

12. If death occurs in a cheap motel or shotgun shack, it’s a blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another blues way to die. So is the electric chair, chronic substance abuse, and dying alone on a broken-down cot. It is not a blues death if you die playing a tennis match or getting liposuction.

13. Some blues names for women: (a) Sadie; (b) Big Mama; (c) Bessie; (d) Fat River Dumpling. Some blues names for men: (a) Joe; (b) Willie; (c) Little Willie; (d) Big Willie. People with names like Michelle, Debbie, Amber or Heather can’t sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

Making your own blues name is simple. Take (a) name of physical infirmity (Blind, Lame), (b) a fruit (Lemon, Lime), and (c) last name of a President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore) and combine them—for example, Blind Lemon Fillmore.

14. No matter how tragic your life, if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving


The above is my favorite Thanksgiving cartoon EVER.

I like Thanksgiving; it seems fitting that there should be a day set aside to remember the good things in life. It has become increasingly pleasant over the years as I have chosen to spend it with friends-who-are-family. The food is awesome, and no one calls the cops or even argues. It's good stuff. I have a great deal to be thankful for, but this is what I am most thankful for: a life surrounded by love. In my almost 41 years on Earth, love is something I have had ripped from me, gone without, waited for, been chewed up and spit out by, worked for, and actively spent no small amount of time, energy, and effort to cultivate, so I appreciate it just that much more. It should be noted that the life I am so grateful for doesn't look remotely similar to the ones ones on TV; it does not include parents, siblings, children, or grandchildren. No one bakes me crescent rolls to show their love or includes me in an annual photograph of any kind. As blessed as I am today, it was not always thus. The unabashed, shameless flogging of the traditional holiday horse in the media will always annoy me, but I can tell you this: I would trade my life for no one else's, even if they bake cookies with their mom or sister every year or have three beautiful, healthy children they treasure. I have wanted that life (just like most other people do) at one time or another, but that was not the path meant for me. Many parts of my life have read as tragedy, but as much as is within my control, I have worked hardest at making one fact true: I am in possession of a life surrounded by love.

And I am profoundly thankful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The almost dog


I love dogs, and I've never had one of my own. (I couldn't have animals as a child, so my first real pet was my Maine Coon cat, BC, when I was thirty.) I love almost every dog, but I have a special soft spot for bulldogs--particularly English or French, but also American bulldogs and even pit bulls. (I don't blame the breed, I blame stupid people.) I love big dogs, but don't have a fenced yard and need a mellow breed that doesn't need to run several miles a day or herd sheep to be happy. I've never seen an English or French bulldog in a shelter, and I pay attention. Last week a French bulldog suddenly popped up at the local shelter. They were only accepting applications to adopt her on Saturday and Sunday, so Mr. Indra and I went in Sunday, met her, and applied. She was quiet, mellow, and sweet, and we fell in love. Her name was Tessa; she seemed freaked out by the chaos of the shelter, and cuddled into us, licking Mr. Salted's hand. She even liked cats, which is apparently quite rare. They said they would let us know Monday, and that they were moving us up to the top of the list because we didn't have kids, I only work part time, we would put her in dog daycare, etc.

During my breaks at work, I looked into a couple of dog daycare places online and started thinking how fun it could be to have a fuzzy buddy around all the time to take on road trips and to snuggle with while my cats are busy doing what they do best--ignoring me. I wondered if she would wear a sweater when it was cold, if she would snore, and if she would ultimately end up preferring Mr. Salted (as every other animal who meets him seems to do).

The shelter didn't call me all day. I knew we were a long shot because French bulldogs are so popular and so rarely in a shelter, but I allowed myself to get my hopes up. (I've never seen one in a shelter.) I decided to stop by on the way home, and they had chosen another family because the application came in sooner than ours had. It turned out that 20 families had applied to adopt her in that short two-day window. I was glad I stopped by and saw her so I could pet her and tell her to have a wonderful life. I only stayed a minute, and she tried to leave when I did, which was hard. One guy that worked there walked me out, talking about all the other great dogs they had (as if I was a dog snob and hadn't noticed them). There were several standouts: a great big Newfie mix, a beautiful year-old Basset hound, a chocolate Lab with three legs that was nonetheless obviously itching to chase a ball for an hour or 12. They all needed yards. I only wanted Tessa.

I am still a little sad today. I know this isn't the most practical time to get a dog, but she would have fit into our family so well and gotten so much love from us. This was the first attempt I've really made to get a dog. I may still keep my eyes open for another adult Frenchie or mix, but I'm not going to get my hopes up again like I did this time. It's just too hard.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fitting room fiesta!

Despite the multitude of clothes I have either been given or have acquired on Ebay of late, I had to go shopping at an actual bricks-and-mortar store today. (A friend of mine is fond of saying, "I'd get my hair cut online if I could"; I'm with her there.)I have a lot of clothes that almost fit but don't quite yet, or clothes that I can get on but won't feel comfortable wearing in public for a few less pounds. Like a homing pigeon, I was drawn to Fashion Bug--they have long been tried and true, with good basics at reasonable prices, and as a bonus, I even had a coupon that hadn't expired yet.

I made a beeline for the $14.99 stretch pants in navy, black and gray--comfy, forgiving, good for work. When it comes to transitional weight-loss clothing, they are Linus' blanket. I'm down to size 18/20 in those now. (Considering I used to be a 28/30 not so very long ago, I was glad to see a number in the teens anywhere nearby. I strained to remember the last time this was so; oddly enough, it was when my age was also a number in the teens.)

I wanted a pair of jeans, and ran into an interesting quandary. All jeans in plus-size stores at the moment seem to include the word "stretch". "Stretch" denim may be forgiving in its way, but it does nothing to camouflage one's lovely lady lumps. I have short legs, not much ass, and a very round stomach. Needless to say, hilarity ensued; I was eternally grateful that it was visually private hilarity. I did manage to leave with one pair of jeans--after trying on about fifteen others.

I tried on a few shirts, grabbing 22/24s, trying them on, and to my surprise, having to put them all back for 18/20s. When I was a teenager with a job at McDonald's, I remember taking a size 14 in the uniform pants, but a size 20 for the top; despite this, like every woman I have ever talked to about how she loses weight, I seem to be losing it in the chest first. Sisterhood is powerful.

That brings us to the bras. I have had to special-order them for so many years I can't remember buying them in stores anymore; at my largest I wore an H cup. My current size is 40DDD. This Fashion Bug didn't carry that size at all; for DDD, the band size began at 42. I didn't know whether to feel good about being smaller than that or annoyed that the size didn't exist for my convenience. I chose the former.

The salesperson sent me next door to Catherine's on the outside chance they stocked that bra size. Fashion Bug does juniors, misses and plus, where Catherine's is all plus--sizes 16-32 if I'm not mistaken. I've bought a fair amount of clothing at Catherine's over the years. I would say their demographic skews older and more professional, but they are owned by the same parent company.

Catherine's didn't carry that bra size either, at least not in the store. This baffled me--if you can't get DDDs in a plus-size clothing store, where can you get them? They were having a good sale, though--buy any two items in the store, get the third free. I ended up with a long, colorful skirt with a boho feel to it that reminded me of being on a cruise, a black peasant blouse with cool flower embroidery, and my favorite, a black cloche hat. I've always wanted a cloche hat, and happily, it rests as it should atop Charlie Brown-esque melon head. (I love hats, but my head is often too big for the ones I find.) The mind-blower was the size of the clothes--I'm one size from being the smallest size Catherine's carries. The blouse I bought was actually a 14/16. The moral of the story is, try everything on! I have things here at home that are 22s that are too small, but this blouse is a 14/16 and fits perfectly.

Undeterred, I came home and paid a visit to my dear friend Ebay. There I found someone selling a lot of 5 new Bali bras in my size for $75.00--a Buy It Now auction without suspense. Problem solved!

Though my weight hovers at 218, today's shopping trip lowered my frustration level considerably. I saw more difference in my body in fitting-room mirrors than I can in the ones at home or work, and smaller sizes are fitting. I also just realized I've already lost almost half the total weight I want to lose at only 3-1/2 months out from surgery, which is really satisfying, especially given the fact that I am not yet able to begin an exercise program.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Progress?

Yesterday I went to the ankle doctor and was freed from The Dreaded Boot. He gave me a great brace that is made of some kind of stiffish meshy material and Velcro that wraps around the ankle a couple of times. You wear it over a sock, and it's very shoe-friendly. Today was my first day wearing it, and it felt good. My ankle is always a little sore by the end of the day, but I haven't taken any painkillers for a week or two. I'm still supposed to ice it and rub lotion into the scars. The latter grosses me out, but I'm getting used to it. When I broke it originally, anyone touching that scar sent me into orbit--I'm much more comfortable with it now. Dr. Ankle was amused by my black knee socks with purple skulls; he was pretty sure his 12-year-old daughter had the same pair. I was also sporting my leopard-print Chuck Taylors. (Why dress like a grown-up unless you have to? Socks and shoes are the easiest flamboyant apparel items one can get away with.) I asked him about physical therapy and beginning workouts, and he said we would talk physical therapy at my next appointment in a month and that I needed to let this ankle heal. He studied me for a minute and said, "Why, you're wasting away, young lady!" with a big grin.

I spent three hours today going through clothes. It looked like a consignment shop tornado blew through chez Salted--I have had clothes coming in and going out constantly the last few months. No fewer than eight women I know have given me clothes; there are three or four others that I have been passing things along to as well, and I'm extremely grateful for all of them. On a friend's advice, I finally chose to organize what I had left by size into large Rubbermaid containers. The smallest clothes I have are 14s, and I have to say--size 14s look tiny to me. I can't imagine being that small ever again; I can't believe how many, and how often, people told me I was fat when I actually was that size; it makes me sick (and sad, disgusted, angry, pick the negative emotion of your choice)--that, at that weight, I saw a monster when I looked in the mirror. For better or worse, I've made 14 my absolute goal size. It's the size of the average American woman, and in this case, average is more than good enough for me! Frankly, I'm not sure I can even reach it without plastic surgery in addition to diet and exercise, and I'm only 5'3".

I am currently in a frustrating place in my weight-loss journey. I am not losing much weight the past week or two, if any--fractions of pounds here and there, perhaps. (On the positive side, I'm not gaining it, either.) I'm also not losing weight in any kind of logical fashion--it comes from where it wants to on the body, when it wants to. It's not happening anywhere near fast enough for yours truly, and not having clearance to exercise yet, I can't employ that method to speed things along. Depending on what I wear, I either look like a short, healthy, round woman or like Lumpen Middle-Aged Poster Girl, and never the twain shall meet. I really despise the lumps--I've been shaped that way ever since the Puberty Fairy went on a bender at my house when I was nine or so. The demon stomach has always asserted itself in a big way, and it is doing so as we speak. I am five to ten pounds too heavy for a bunch of the pants I have waiting and, to my dismay, that five to ten pounds isn't going anywhere. I need to go out and buy some cheap stretch pants to tide me over. Sigh. Don't look at me like that--I'm eating what I'm supposed to!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday 9: Man on the Moon

1. Do you think it was important to send a man to the moon?

The hippie in me wants to say no, it was more important to feed people and make sure they had healthcare. On the other hand, it was good for scientific exploration, we could, it built morale in the US, and maybe it prevented us from shooting a torpedo at a Russian sub.

2. What is your biggest fear?

It's a toss-up between becoming homeless and contracting Alzheimer's. Being tortured is up there too.

3. If someone hung a sign around your neck today, what would it say and why?

"This woman deserves a career break! Give it to her!" Why? I've worked hard all my life at every legal profession other than the sex industry (although I did work for an Internet filtering company where I had to look at porn all day for two years). I couldn't only pursue jobs that would fulfill me or that were in my field because I had to pay the bills. I know, cry me a river, the majority of us could say the same thing. I'm just saying: I'm intelligent, creative, detail-oriented, fun to work with, and I can do anything I set my mind to (outside of becoming a supermodel). I don't have the money for any more education, more's the pity. Do you hear that, universe?

4. What is the longest line that you've stood in and was it worth it?

I know which one felt the longest; waiting in line for the Cure on the "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" tour in 1986. We were in line eight hours or more. I was in full Batcaver regalia-- tons of makeup, ratted black hair. There were a lot of big semis parked around the venue, it was a hot day, and I got totally sick from the heat and the truck fumes. It was festival seating and we were getting pushed around in the crowd--sometimes we were right up against the stage, but we were pushed all over the place. I lost the friends I had come with in the crush, and was about to pass out. A kindhearted woman with a blue liberty-spiked mohawk grabbed my hand and led me out of the crowd. I subsequently spent most of the concert throwing up into a garbage can, and I hadn't even had a drink!

5. As the holidays approach, what song are looking forward to hearing again?

Bah, humbug. I can stand "Christmas Island" by Leon Redbone; I also like his version of "Let it Snow".

6. Whose music do you think is the most important of your generation's?

R.E.M., X, Nirvana

7. Do you find it is hard to be kind to strangers? Give an example.

Not really. I make an effort to do so unless they are total a**holes.

8. When do usually lose your patience?

Oh, that's funny. Repetitive noises. Whining. People who don't listen. People who don't THINK. People who don't ask questions. People who treat their loved ones like crap and then say they love them. People with a sense of entitlement. How long do you have?

9. Is there a book that you're dying to see as a movie?

I'm anxious to see if they did "The Lovely Bones" justice. Love that book.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I can't eat like other people.

I misplaced my driver's license and haven't been able to find it again. Mr. Salted and I tried to go in on Saturday, but there were probably 200 people in there and three customer service windows open. We lasted about an hour. We waited. We read the paper. I found a chair (my ankle is still in a boot). We listened to a teenage girl whine to her mom (in several different octaves) how hungry she was. We listened to an irritating woman on her cell phone, and another, and another. We listened to our butts grow. Finally, I said to my beloved, "I'm not a patient woman. Let's roll." He's not a patient man, either, so he was happy to oblige. (I knew I could come back during the work week since I'm part-time.) We went to Shari's, where I enjoyed some loaded baked potato soup (I got a couple of meals out of a bowl) and discovered they sell both marionberry and apple pies with no sugar added. (I'm in charge of dessert for Thanksgiving, so guess where I'm getting it?)

This DMV office was closed on Monday, so I stopped in this morning on the way to work. I had to wait about an hour, but there were only 13 or 14 people ahead of me as opposed to the 80 or so people ahead of me that there had been on the weekend. One of the employees came out and said the computers were down, but I stuck around on the outside chance that they could replace my license for me--they were moving people through, albeit at a drunken snail's pace. I had my passport, Social Security card, and the old temporary copy of my license that they had given me before. Because I had that old temporary copy, they could hand-key all my information in and give me a new license! I was actually one of the few people they were able to help. Apparently the DMV computers went down for the entire state. (The moral of the story is, save that paper one--even after you get your permanent one in the mail--in case something like this happens to you!)

I wanted a new driver's license picture because I have lost so much weight, but I had lied about my weight on my license by so much that I couldn't even put my true weight on the damn thing (after losing 80 pounds from my heaviest weight) because I was still 20 pounds from the false weight. I had to laugh at my own foolishness, but the difference in my face when comparing older ID photos to the one taken today is considerable.

When I arrived at work at 9:45 AM, the office was not only locked, but dark and deserted. There was some restructuring that took place without warning yesterday--several people were laid off--which made us all uneasy, and this didn't help. It was a bit eerie. I looked at the common calendar where our department notes our vacation days and such; a large offsite meeting was noted, which explained the dark, empty office. I breathed a sigh of relief. And to my surprise, relief smelled like peanut butter cookies.

Oh, snap! The smell of relief was thus because a heaping plate of homemade peanut butter toffee-chip cookies lurked in the nearby darkness, front and center in our common workspace. Each cookie on the plate was at least four inches in diameter--larger than the plates I eat dinner on these days. It was as though the evil part of my subconscious had made those cookies materialize; I've been thinking about peanut butter cookies often the last few days, wondering if I could maybe locate a recipe for some good sugar-free ones. I adore peanut butter; these days, I eat it on sliced apples or whole-grain crackers. I used to insist on Jif Extra Crunchy, but had to switch to creamy Jif post-WLS.

Dammit. I felt like killing something. I so did not need this temptation. I was hungry, too. No one was around. I decided that I had to eat one.

My first thought, of course: "I could dump." Then I thought if I ate one cookie sl-o-o-o-ow enough, I probably wouldn't; they looked and smelled so good, at this point, I was past caring. So I took one, and nibbled at it until it was gone. My stomach rumbled unhappily for the better part of the afternoon, but I didn't dump.

I had to use the fax machine a few times, and the cookies were right next to it. At one point, I was waiting for a particularly long fax to go through, and I drew a little skull and crossbones on a folded piece of paper and wrote, "(My name), This Means You" which I stuck on top of the pile. I groused about it to my coworkers when they came back from their meeting, and we all laughed about it. For me, it's like having a free plate of cocaine, and I said so, which people found funny. But it's also true. I suddenly felt great kinship with folks I know who struggle to maintain their sobriety. I've always known addiction was addiction was addiction, but I had to truly occupy that knowledge today.

I'm annoyed with myself for eating that cookie; I'm annoyed with my stomach for tolerating it, but it tasted really good and I did enjoy it--I cannot tell a lie. But it was ONE COOKIE. I can't let it ruin my life or impede my progress. And today wasn't like my bulimia, where I would have eaten the entire plate, been sick for days, diving into a vat of self-hatred with a garnish of suicidal ideation. I know I can't bend the entire world to bend to my will or give even the most microscopic shit about my personal struggles, but my God, do you have any inkling how many cookies, cakes, drinks, and various and sundry delicious foods I've passed up? Trust me, it is a huge amount, and I am a mere three months out from surgery. The difference between me and most other people is that I could probably remember each and every time vividly if I started listing them out--and I'd feel at least a little pissed off, or sad, or tired and resigned about each and every occasion.

OK, I get it, universe. I can't eat like other people.

Saturday 9: Be True To Your School

1. What was your favorite subject in high school?

Anything where I got to write--newspaper (I was editor for a while but was asked to leave for being too controversial), English. They let me do my own Independent Poetry class senior year--I loooooved that.

2. Do you watch reality shows? Which ones?

A weird selection. I watch "American Idol" if I stay interested--I always love the auditions, and Adam Lambert kept me interested this entire year. I watched the first "Rock of Love" and "Flavor of Love"; I watched "Charm School" because I liked all the headmistresses. "Intervention", "DogTown", "Divorce Court" (I like Judge Lynn), "Gene Simmons Family Values" (that whole family is hilarious). I've watched "Ruby" a few times and "I Want to Save Your Life". I prefer those shows to something like "The Biggest Loser"--they're more compassionate and look at the subjects as people, not just fat people. I've watched "Celebrity Fit Club" for the trainwreck more than the weight loss. Mr. Salted and I like "Cops" because we are never having as a bad a day as any of those folks. I liked "The Surreal Life" when it was on. I like "The Locator" a lot. That can really get to me--reuniting with loved ones from your past that you have missed. I always think of my loved ones that have passed on that I wish I could see again.

3. What's your favorite all time reality show?

"Intervention". I think it's an amazing show. I think it's great that it is on the air, because it does anything but glorify drug addiction--if anything it shows what drugs do to people and to families.

4. Do you feel "reality" shows are real or are they faked?


I think it depends on the show.

5. What did you look like when you were a teenager?


Pudgy, awkward, bad hair, thick glasses. I developed a sense of style eventually though.

6. Whose advice do you listen to?

I listen to the few people I truly respect and follow my own advice.

7. How often are you sick?

Not very.

8. Do you like or dislike change?

It can be hard to adjust to, but I try to welcome it. It's usually good.

9. How many times in your life have you had a broken heart?

At least six...most of those times had nothing to do with romantic love or the end of it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

3 months post-op appointments

Today I saw both my bariatric surgeon and the head nutritionist of the wellness center. It was a fine, even proud, day in every way. The weather was beautiful. The radio played both "Brick House" and "Radar Love" when I was in traffic, and I rocked out to both with a song in my heart.

I have now lost 52 pounds, 13 of it in the last month alone. The results of my bloodwork? "Perfect". My diabetes and high cholesterol? "Resolved themselves". My diet? "Very good". Protein, vitamins, all present and accounted for in spades. They said my vitamin D levels were the highest they'd seen and how unusual that was.

This feels...good. More than good. I, the person whose former addiction to food has thus far only been matched by her addiction to words, can choose no word for this feeling. (Perhaps it will come to me at 3 AM, as such things often do.)

I also found out that I had misunderstood my surgeon all these months--I thought he had said my ultimate goal weight should be 125 pounds, and I thought he was crazy. What he meant was a 125-pound weight loss would be optimum, which would make my ideal goal weight 150 pounds. After he and I clarified this, I hemmed and hawed a little, and he started to write a goal weight of 175 pounds in my file. Before I knew what I was saying, I heard myself protest, "No! Say it's 150." As a side note, my husband weighs 150; he is 5'4" (one inch taller than I) with a 32-inch waist and wears a size medium shirt. I could CERTAINLY live with being that size, and because I am having this fabulous day, I believe it may well be attainable.

It came to me suddenly--I could learn to love that number. 150 sounds like a poem. Nice. Round. I remember being that exact weight once--in my mid-teens, before it all went horribly wrong, before bulimia kicked into high, before you could rock a baby in one of my bras. I have another defiant reason to learn to love 150; my biological father, drug-addled idiot extraordinaire, once threw a scale at me with all his strength for weighing that very amount. (Fortunately, I ducked.) In honor of what a delusional and abusive fool he was, I am taking that number back with as my goal, with intention and hope of its achievement.

That said, 175 would be just fine too. I was eighteen years old when my weight was in that vicinity; my boyfriend at the time called me his Botticelli and wanted me to pose nude for him. (Sometimes I wish I had--not for him, but for myself, to prove I could have ever been mentioned in the same breath as a Botticelli.)

Mr. Salted and I went to an '80s party last weekend to celebrate a dear friend's 40th birthday. We had a great time--a lot of the people there hadn't seen me for a year or more. Everyone told me how great I looked, how healthy. It was extremely good for my ego.

My entire mental process around this surgery, my weight loss, my relationship to food--all are really interesting, even revelatory (at least to me). Shallow as it may be, the clothes are my favorite part so far, I cannot tell a lie. I'm watching my feminine shape rise out of the huge wall I spent my life building around it with food, and I'm not horrified or threatened by it as I always was in the past; I don't feel the need to hide it with clothes that are two sizes too big. I actually feel okay--not only about being a woman, but about looking like one. And I'm allowing myself to feel good--about all aspects of this. Good is not strong enough a word--"miracle" comes closer.

My nutritionist said to me today--in the gentlest of voices--"Just enjoy this." Her tone sounded as peaceful as I feel right now. That's what this is all about, after all--peace. Feeling good. Making peace not only with my body, but with being female. These are things that not so long ago I could never have envisioned as being possible.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween-y Thursday Thunks meme

1. So Halloween is this weekend, if you haven't heard. Are you gonna open your doors up or not?

Nope. I'm going out! One of my best friends turns 40 a couple days before Halloween and is having an '80s party. We bought wigs and all kinds of crazy stuff, it's going to be a great time.

2. You better open 'em cuz I'm coming... what are you putting in my treat bag?

Nobody will be here. Don't waste your time. :)

3. Since October is the bestest month for television (well for cable & dish subscribers it is) and there is a horror movie on at any given time of the day - are you sick of them yet?

Not a horror movie fan, sorry. Though "Silence of the Lambs" was really good, and "The Sixth Sense"--do those count?

4. Which one of those movies can you watch over & over again?


The only horror movies I can watch are the cheesy old ones like William Castle, "Straitjacket", "Homicidal", or ones riffed on by Mystery Science Theater 3000/Rifftrax/Cinematic Titanic like "Screaming Skull", "The Brain That Wouldn't Die", etc.

5. Tell us about a Halloween scare you've had....

Halloween has never been scary for me. It's always been fun.

6. Did you watch the old Casper cartoons when you were a youngin? Well, back then they weren't old I suppose, but I'm sure you still understand my question.

I remember them being on, but I don't remember much about them. My favorite Halloween-themed cartoons involved Bugs Bunny and Witch Hazel, Bugs Bunny and Gossamer (the big orange monster), or other spooky Looney Tunes characters.

7. Have you ever found a four-leaf clover?

I have. I found one in Dena's yard a couple of years ago.

8. Haunted Houses... you know, the kinds you pay to get in and they chase you with chainsaws and severed heads.... do you like 'em?

Not really.

9. Do you use cute cartoon type wrapping paper for Christmas presents or the not cutesy paper? Or are you one of those gift card and/or gift bag people?

I use what's cheap. Sometimes I don't wrap at all. The gift is more important, and who has time? Gift cards are a great gift. I love them!

10. How long do boiled eggs need to stay in the boiling water before they become hard boiled eggs?

I'm not sure, I never got the hang of it. Mr. Salted is the cook.

11. Jason is coming in through your front door... Freddy is coming through your back door... zombies are at every window of the house and Norman Bates is calling to invite you to dinner... what do you do?

Force myself to wake up!!!

12. Did you know that the scariest part of Halloween is giving all of your Reese's Peanut Butter Cups away?

The scariest part for me would be having Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the house to begin with! Even the sugar-free ones are awfully good.

13a. If you were to play a part of a haunted house (not the ghosts in the attic kind), what would you want to be?

I'd want to be the person in the coffin that came to life.

13b. Have you ever played a part in a haunted house?

Nope.

14. If Thursday Thunks had a Halloween party, what do you think Kimber & Berleen would come dressed as?

Ketchup and mustard.

15. Do you cook a turkey for Thanksgiving?

We go to our friends' place every year and they usually cook turkey and prime rib.


16. Have you ever read a book that scared the pants off of you?


"Sharp Objects"--I think the author was Gillian Flynn. I know it was Gillian Something. Stephen King can write some pretty scary stuff. The psychological stuff scares me more than the gore.

17. Whats the predicted high temperature for today?

50 degrees

18. Have you ever howled at the moon?

Many times! :)

19.You are in an alley and a werewolf and a vampire are coming at you - one of them has to win. Which one do you want to bite you?

The cute one!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Suture self."

Yesterday was a marathon.

I believe I spent a recent blog entry grousing about how my health insurance provider will only cover bloodwork if the draw is taken at a contracted lab (if a contracted doctor takes a draw at his contracted office and sends it to the lab he uses, they DON'T cover that--I found this out the hard way)--and how they gave me contact information for four labs, two of which are several states away.

Well, in all their infinite wisdom, the insurance company gave me the wrong address for the lab I needed. It was raining to a horizontal degree, the kind of rain that makes you think about designing an ark. The city we had to go to had streets numbered in a way I can only deem "full of clusterf**ky goodness". We couldn't see a blessed thing, and were happy the cops didn't show up--this was a nice neighborhood. 139th Place, 139th Court, and 139th Avenue were all connected and facing each other. Mr. Salted was the driver; we were armed with a Thomas Guide, a cellphone GPS, AND a Mapquest printout. Still, we drove around for about ninety minutes, ending up back at the same house each time--the address existed, but was a private residence in a completely residential neighborhood. We finally called the labs, got the correct address of the one that answered their phone, and the cellphone GPS led the way.

The lab had opened at 7:30 AM, and we were trying to make it there as close to opening as possible because I had to fast for the blood draw. Fasting makes me rather irritable; my blood sugar gets very low. I've learned to carry a South Beach cereal bar or some kind of snack to inhale the minute they tape the cotton ball to the inside of my elbow. We left our house at 7 AM; it was 9 AM by the time we found this lab, which was supposed to be just half an hour from our house.

The appointment to have my ankle sutures removed was at 11:30. They took another x-ray, which looked "just like you want it to look," according to my surgeon. My foot was all bruised dinosaur skin, still tinged yellow with iodine from the day of surgery. I had to hide my face when he started removing the sutures so I wasn't watching him do it. "This freaks me out pretty bad," I confessed. He told me it freaked a lot of people out and tipped the chair back for me. I looked through a magazine while he did the deed. Once he was done, he wrapped it in an Ace bandage and told me I could walk on it, IN THE BOOT, now, and that I could get it wet the following day. He told me to take it slow and keep the scooter for a couple more days. (Hell no! I wanted to be rid of that thing and not pay any more rent on it--we returned it.)

None of the places we had to go were anywhere near each other--the lab was half an hour south of our home, and we had time to stop back by in between; the ankle surgeon was 45 minutes from home another direction, the place we rented the scooter from was about an hour in another direction. We ended up getting home about 2:00 PM. I asked Mr. Salted to take the day off with me; the suture thing freaked me out that badly. I felt like a total weenie, but it was nice to have my partner there with me. (We filled out the FMLA paperwork for this very reason, after all.) I was so glad he was with me. The surgeon instructed me not to stop icing my foot, so I iced, popped Demerol and napped for the remainder of yesterday. The ankle hurt quite a bit.

So today was the momentous day: I was allowed to wash my foot! What an occasion! Goodbye, iodine, dead skin, wayward leg hair! It was/is hard to make myself touch the sutures. They are tender, look painful and, well, they're gross. I found out rapidly that it was not a good idea to let them touch anything, even the bed; they need to be on an additional cushion or reasonable facsimile of one, even with the foot covered with an Ace bandage and a sock.

The surgeon instructed me to rub lotion into my scars--Vaseline Intensive Care or the generic equivalent, something with aloe or Vitamin E--massaging them for 20 minutes twice a day. My response: "You mean I have to touch it?" (Insert the sound of a visceral reaction combined with shuddering and disgusted facial expressions here.) I was on the phone with my nurse friend this morning while I did the lotion thing for the first time; it made me feel better for some reason. I hope I will get used to this!

I was supposed to return to work tomorrow, but my ankle hurts quite a bit, I'm tiring very easily, and I get nauseous when I get up and walk around much. I am going to see how I feel; I may need to stay out another day or so.

You know, I haven't had Chinese for a long time...




You Are General Tso's Chicken



You have a flair for the dramatic, and you like to sample all of the world's flavors.

You like to bring on the heat, both in life and at the dinner table. There's not a dish too spicy for you.



While you tend to go for the more daring choices on the menu of life, you're the type of person who tries everything.

You know there's no way you can predict what you'll like or dislike, so you just dive in and give it all a go.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weird week

The ankle seems to be holding up, and I am extremely grateful. I'm not needing as much pain medication. Tomorrow I go in and get the sutures and/or staples removed (I'm not really sure if there are staples). Both times I've seen the ankle it looked pretty nasty to me, but the nurses and doctors have always said it "looked good". I'm not a fan of having sutures and/or staples removed; it hurts more than they tell you it will, and it makes me rather queasy. Sugar-free Wint-O-Green LifeSavers are my non-drug nausea standby. I'll definitely pack a healthy amount in my purse.

My very first boyfriend from waaaay back in the day found me on Facebook a few days ago, and we ended up talking on the phone for a couple of hours, catching up. We were friends before and after our brief "thing", but lost touch about twelve or thirteen years back. It was great to hear from him and that he is doing well--we're both doing a lot better than we were when we knew each other best!

I just learned about NaNoWriMo and the 12-scene outline (if you had to outline your entire story in 12 scenes, what would they be?), so I decided to make the outline. It was actually easy. My PC's hard drive is taking a long and laborious crap and needs repairs (a new CD drive, mostly), so I transferred all my manuscript bits to the laptop. In so doing, I discovered I had a great deal more done than I thought I did (on this thing I've been trying to write forever that feels hopeless bordering on albatrossesque), and that encouraged me. I transferred some other pieces, too, mostly things I wrote and workshopped to death when I was getting my BA; reading them made me wistful. I don't feel an MFA is currently in the cards for me for a number of reasons--mostly financial--but I'm trying not to be completely discouraged and say never. I am still considering a post-baccalaureate Technical Writing Certificate because I think it would be more practical (not to mention lucrative).

Yesterday, Mr. Salted and I hit Party City to prepare for an '80s party we are going to this weekend. We're going to look great--especially him, because he can fit into everything--but I procured some flamboyant accessories for myself that will get the job done. I have enough Chucks and Vans to outfit the average elementary-school class, and our feet are the same size, so we're covered there.

Granny remains in the care center and has not felt well. I haven't heard much else.

I am supposed to return to work Wednesday. It will be good to get out of this house and earn money again.

The weight still creeps off. I'm glad I got a digital scale, because I can see the fractions of pounds as they leave--a pound every two or three days. I've lost fifty pounds now, and am not quite at three months out.

The fifty-pound figure is a bit of a bugaboo with me. I have managed to lose that increment--fifty pounds--using "natural means" in the past, but never more than that. Fifty pounds is a lot--unless you need to lose another 80 or so. I am at the lowest weight I have been in about fifteen years, which is great--but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I've always been this freak of nature that could not lose more than a couple of pounds a month no matter what I did, so it's always in the back of my mind that this surgery will not work for me in the long run. My determination to prove that fear wrong is much stronger than the back of my mind thing.

Another weird thing this week--I was looking at pictures on my PC's hard drive, because I'm trying to back them up before I send the tower in for repairs. People keep telling me how my face has changed, and I was amazed at how right they are. I deleted a lot of pictures of myself--I didn't see the need to keep them. I'm not going to destroy all "before" pictures of me, (a) because there would be none left, (b) because there are good memories in them, and (c) because it wouldn't be the truth. We take a lot of pictures, though, and there were definitely some I can do without.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spill

I took a spill on my scooter yesterday--trying to maneuver through a tight area of the house, I somehow lost my balance and fell, with most of my weight on the bad leg. The bad leg basically kept me from the floor. It's supposed to be non-weight-bearing, and it's hurt more since then, so I went into the surgeon's office today. He was out of the office, so one of his partners took x-rays and looked at my ankle.

The x-rays looked good to him as far as the bones go. It was too soon to remove the sutures, and if I did any tissue damage, there really isn't a test to determine that. He said the swelling was about what one would expect for this far out from surgery.

There is hardware in my ankle and I'm starting to be able to feel it in there, so I don't know if some of what I'm feeling is normal healing pain or if I ripped something.

I see my actual surgeon on Monday.

The weight is still creeping off at a glacial pace, and today I am tried a new calcium citrate product--they are lemon cream chews, available from BariatricEating.com, and they are v., v. good.

Speaking of BariatricEating.com, I am going to try and join in their live chat support group tonight. I keep meaning to, but either forgetting it or not being in the mood.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nocturne

I'm a little concerned about my nocturnal eating habits. I'm not a good sleeper, never have been--and sometimes I wake up hungry. I've been lectured about eating during the night--one doctor went so far as to assert, "You're not hungry, it's just a bad habit". Of course, if it were up to doctors, no fat people would never eat anything ever again until their ribs could be counted (she snarked, peevishly).

Back when I was on Ambien, I was binge eating during the night with no memory of doing so--we would find the evidence in the morning. That was a legitimate problem. This isn't binge eating and I'm conscious for all of it. I'm awake, my stomach growls, I go and get a snack. They are gastric-bypass-friendly snacks, like sugar-free Jell-O or string cheese or a South Beach cereal bar. Sometimes I take a Muscle Milk back to bed with me, sip on it and finish it in the morning.

I eat so little now, I wonder if this is even a problem. If I could reliably sleep through the night, maybe I wouldn't want to eat. Sometimes I do sleep through the night, and usually the first thing I do in the morning is eat because I'm hungry.

I know in an ideal world, sleep isn't interrupted for food. I'm debating whether to even discuss this with the nutritionist or one of my doctors--I don't want to make more of it than it is. I'd be more worried if I wasn't losing weight, or if I was finding mystery crumbs and packaging in the morning.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The blahs

This is my last week at home with the ankle, barring natural disaster. I am REALLY getting stir crazy. My grandmother checked herself into the hospital a few days ago and it looks as though she will be going back to the same care facility. It took less than a month for this to happen; I hope they keep her this time, but the last time it was bungled so badly that I expect nothing. They've run a bunch of tests on her and don't know what the matter is. Though I'm not directly involved, it seems all I have to do is hear her name and I get a migraine--I've been fighting one for days.

I watched Michael Moore's movie "Sicko" yesterday, finally; it was great, but I have always been a fan of his, whatever medium he uses. Coincidentally, I had to call the insurance company today to try and find a laboratory in their network where I can have my bloodwork done. The insurance company gave me the numbers of four laboratories. Two of them were located in the Midwest. Two were in my state, but nowhere near being conveniently located; neither have Saturday hours, so I will have to miss work to get blood draws. It seems to be par for the course.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Splenda vs. Stevia

My nutritionists have indicated that Stevia is "better". Me being me, I wanted to know why. I bought a box of Splenda packets and a box of Stevia packets. After doing a taste test, I preferred the taste of Stevia. It takes a smaller amount for the same degree of sweetness, and there was not any kind of odd aftertaste with the Stevia--I barely noticed it was there. I also did some reading on the two.

Splenda's chemical sweetener, Sucralose, makes up about 5% of the product. Sucralose is basically sugar modified with chlorine. The other 95% of Splenda is Maltodextrin and Dextrose, which bulks up the volume of Splenda, making it seem less expensive than Stevia--the folks who sell NutraSweet do the same thing with aspartame. The glycemic index of Splenda is 80.

Stevia has zero carbs, zero glycemic index, and zero calories. There are no chemicals involved--it comes from an herb related to the chrysanthemum family, a plant native to Paraguay. Stevia leaves can taste up to 30 times sweeter than sugar. Some studies have shown the leaves contain proteins, fiber, carbs, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and C.
Given the glycemic index or lack thereof, Stevia would be the safer choice for diabetics. People in South America have used Stevia to sweeten their food and beverages for centuries, and people in Korea, Japan and China have used it for the last two decades or so. It is becoming more widely used in the US all the time. It can be obtained in the leaves, in liquid form, or in the packets. The packets are the only thing I've tried.

Recently, Splenda has formulated a new variety that contains a gram of fiber in each packet. Since fiber is really hard to fit into a post-gastric bypass diet, I may have to bite the bullet and stick with the Splenda.

Monday, October 12, 2009

'Obese' 4-Month-Old Denied Insurance - Science & Health News Summaries | Newser

A Colorado couple is baffled that their baby has been denied health insurance coverage because of a preexisting condition: obesity. “I could understand if we could control what he's eating,” says the boy’s father. “But he's 4 months old. He's breast-feeding. We can't put him on the Atkins diet.” An insurance company exec understands the consternation but tells the Denver Post there’s nothing he can do. “Everybody else in the industry does it.”

Under company rules, individuals who place outside certain norms can’t be covered. Alex Lange is as big as a 9-month-old, in the 99th percentile for both height and weight, well above the 95th percentile cut-off. “If health care reform occurs, underwriting will go away,” the insurance exec says. That’s cold comfort for Alex’s parents, who are both slender and imagine he will be, too, once he starts crawling. “There is just something absurd about denying an infant,” dad says.

—Harry Kimball
Source: Denver Post
10/12/09

WTF is wrong with people??!?!?!?

Monday, Monday

It's dark in the morning now, and the cars are coated with frost. We actually turned the heat on a couple of days ago. I love cold weather, but for one thing: I hate getting out of bed, transferring from warm-snuggle mode to it's-morning-again mode. One of our cats, Mr. Stash, joins in the snuggling for about the last hour or two of the night, and so it was this morning; his purr sounds like an 18-wheeler. Mr. Salted went back to work today. He left about half an hour ago, and I miss him already.

My sci-fi monster leg is still rearing its ugly head. I tried calamine lotion and Ace bandage camouflage for the last couple of days and it didn't seem to help much. Today I'm trying a plain generic lotion and hydrocortisone cream combo with Ace bandage camouflage.

I'm a bad patient, probably because I'm not patient. It's hard for me not to walk on the bad foot--sometimes it's just easier to use it than strike some gymnastic pose on the knee scooter, balance, roll, and hope for the best. I think I would have lost my mind by now if it weren't for TV and this laptop, and my head is sufficiently back together to read books again; I have loads of those too. I just finished "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which was, in the words of reviewer Stephen King, "one gorgeous read". A friend just sent me Elizabeth Strout's "Olive Kitteredge" and I think that will be next.

I'm pleased today because the XXL yoga pants I got on clearance from Old Navy fit comfortably now. I watched some TV documentary the other day--I think it was "Secret Lives of Women" on WE--that featured three women who had lost significant amounts of weight. All of them became fitness buffs; one kept saying, "I was up to 200 POUNDS, I had to do something!" I refrained from throwing a pillow at the TV; I'd love to weigh 200 pounds. I'm not the only woman I know who would say that, either. I'm currently down to 231; now that I had this surgery, I hope to see 150 again. I remember 200 used to be my benchmark of doom too; back when I was bulimic and somewhere in the 170s or so, I said it over and over: "I will kill myself if I get to 200 pounds." I know that I meant it at the time, probably because it seemed implausible to me that I could get any bigger.

It's great that so many people lose lots of weight and get into fitness, but at the same time it can be off-putting and discouraging. One of the things that turned me off immediately about my exercise physiologist was the fact that he brought up me running a marathon at our first appointment. (There's about as much chance of me running a marathon as there is of Paris Hilton being invited into the Actor's Studio.) Personal trainers work wonders for some people, but I don't care for the dynamic at all. When I am cleared by the ankle surgeon, I plan to pick a pool and do some water aerobics or laps. My wellness center likes to preach accountability; the only one I want to be accountable to is myself; after all, I'm the one who has to live in my body AND my head. While their strong emphasis on follow-up after weight loss-surgery--particularly with the nutritionists--makes sense and has worked for many, they also seem to think that success can only be defined as they define it, where I think success has to be defined for each of us by each of us.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday 9: Lie to Me

1. Can you tell when someone is lying to you?

99% of the time, yes.

2. Tell us about one of your flaws. Do you live with it or try to correct it?

I'm extremely impatient, and I try to do both.

3. When was the last time you laughed hard and what struck you as funny?

A parody of Kelis' song "Milkshake" in Victorianesque language: "My milkshake bringeth forth more menfolk to the yard. Verily, 'tis better than thine."

4. Tell us about a time when you should have tried harder.

I should have tried harder to make grad school work, but just didn't have it in me then. I'm considering grad school again, but I don't know that I have it in me now, either, and I really don't relish the thought of more debt. Sigh.

5. If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

Real estate.

6. What movie do you know every word to?

"Grease", "Airplane!"

7. What was the best thing that happened to you this week?

Getting to spend more time with my husband because he took vacation to be with me for the first ten days after the ankle surgery.

8. What was the worst thing that happened to you this week?

Having an allergic skin reaction to the boot that replaced the cast. I was up half the night with it and my leg still looks like a bad '50s sci-fi monster.

9. What do you think is the biggest difference between men and women?

That is a really tough question, because so much of the way individual men and women react has to do with societal gender roles and how much they do or don't buy into them. I don't know if there really is an answer.

Friday, October 9, 2009

This boot's not made for walking


I am now wearing a boot, kind of a combo of an '80s moon boot for snow and a platform sneaker of some kind, perhaps worn by KISS in casual mode (onstage, I'm pretty sure it's platform heels or nothing for them). It's heavier than the cast was, but a damn sight more comfortable. The doctor cleaned the wound and it helped, but no razor or lotion below the dressing site for a while longer (...what do you do with a dream deferred...?). I don't mind my doughy little pale leg in this photograph because you can see my new purse, which is my Favorite.Purse.Ever (to date--as a self-proclaimed purse addict, forever is a long time).

The nurse griped at me because I have resorted to putting some weight on my foot for balance if it meant the immediate difference between vertical and horizontal status, but my X-rays (hella-painful to pose for) apparently looked good. On the 26th of this month, I go back and will be cleared to start walking in the boot. A couple of weeks after that, I transfer to a brace with a regular shoe. (Hopefully, some of my existing shoes will accommodate a brace.) The doc gave me another scrip for Demerol and told me not to worry about still having pain only a week out.

I am glad to have the scooter, but it has its limitations. I took out part of the wall trying to get into our front bathroom yesterday.

I think I am still losing weight, which blows my mind. Clothes are still getting too big on a regular basis.

Lastly, I think I shall celebrate President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize today by watching AbFab DVDs and popping pain pills. God bless America.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just add Demerol

My brain has left the building; I feel dumber than a bag of hammers. It must be the Demerol. I try not to take it all the time, but when my ankle starts hurting or hurts too much to sleep and enough time has elapsed, I take another one. People call me and I can barely carry on a conversation. I feel like reading a book is too much of a commitment; a magazine or a catalog is plenty. I have watched more bad TV in the last week than I care to even document. Usually, I have the laptop on at the same time as the bad TV and either go on Facebook or look at stuff I'd like to have but can't afford. I've spent many hours surfing Ebay. Yesterday I searched things that had "ugly" in the item description--ugly shoes, ugly lamp; it's a fairly entertaining time-killer. Give it a try sometime.

My cast itches worse by the day and it feels kind of loose now. My ankle just feels generally weird. I know there are screws in it, but they are the kind that absorb into the tissue and don't have to be removed. I swear I can feel them in there; I think the doctor cautioned me this would happen. It's hard to remember everything, but my week-after-surgery appointment is tomorrow. It will be my first time attempting to leave the house with the scooter. I believe this infernal cast will be removed on this momentous occasion, replaced by a Velcro-trimmed boot of some kind, which I will have the option of removing from time to time.

Wow. When the sum total of my dreams is equals washing my leg--lotion being the shining cherry on the cake of said dreams--I have no choice but to conclude: Yes. It is the Demerol.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Frappuccinos: the post-WLS reasonable facsimile

I miss Frappuccinos. Not the kind they mix up at the coffee place, though those are good, too. I always preferred the ones that came ready to drink in the little bottles. I liked the convenience, sometimes they were available on sale, and my cats always enjoyed chasing the crackly piece that sealed them shut. After gastric-bypass surgery, due to the sugar content, they are not an option.

The folks at BariatricEating.com carry a line of protein drinks that feel somewhat similar to Frappuccinos-in-a-bottle. Frankly, I am thrilled to come face to face with some much-desired flavor variety. Protein bullets are "fruit punch" or "orange sunshine"; Amino 2222 is fruit punch; Muscle Milk is chocolate or vanilla, the scarcely-available Muscle Milk mocha latte tasting like the MM chocolate; the Pure Protein shakes are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana or cookies and cream, the last of which tastes suspiciously like the corresponding beverage's chocolate flavor also. There are some powders I have not yet tried on the Bariatric Eating site, but I have had bad luck with the powders so far. I have great expectations, however, due to the fact that there is some further flavor variety to be had. (My pocketbook forbids me trying more than one or two new of these things at a time.)

The brand of these drinks is Believe and they come in Soothing Chai Tea, Italian Cappuccino, and Mocha Latte. They have 20g of protein and 3.5 g sugar in each single-serving bottle.

I took the plunge and ordered a case of the chai tea, since I love chai tea, particularly iced. Initially, I found it a bit bland, but after adding two packets of Splenda it tastes great. I tried adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract as well, but that was too much. The Splenda made it perfect.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Low-energy day

Today could have been the prototype for a low-energy, recovering-from-surgery day. My beloved went to Costco and got me protein bullets; I watched the entire first season of "Hung" on HBO On Demand. I loves me some On Demand, and "Hung" is a pretty good show.

This afternoon, two big boxes of clothes arrived from one of my lovely lifelong friends who currently lives much too far away. I love them all, and the pants are the next size I'm going to be in, which is very cool. I also hit a 50% off clearance sale on Torrid.com and got some serious deals on foundation garments in dwindling sizes. (Oh, how I love Torrid. Dressing like a grownup is so overrated.) I also managed to bathe without assistance this morning, which was a huge triumph. It also allowed my beloved to snore loudly and peacefully for an extra hour or so. I am in favor of extra sleep whenever possible, and definitely in favor of my bathing independently. Asking for help = not my favorite thing.

I also weighed myself standing on my good foot, and weighed about what I thought I would. I am a little afraid of gaining while I recuperate, but that's rather neurotic given that my food and calorie intake is so limited. You can take the girl out of bulimia...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Quiet day

So here I am in a cast. The cats have been more affectionate than usual, as they tend to do when their people get sick. Mr. Salted has been doing everything, the poor guy. The most I've managed to do is help him fold laundry and get coupons together for grocery shopping.

I'm getting more adept at hopping, finding places to brace myself for support, and maneuvering the scooter. The scooter is great--the hardest part is having control while getting up or down from a seated position. My legs are getting all bruised and banged up from hitting them on the scooter--I still don't know quite where it ends and I begin. All three cats are afraid of the scooter. I have, however, caught one or another of them catloafing on the shower chair at random times.

My leg hurts quite a bit, more than I thought it would--I ran out of the liquid Demerol quickly and requested (and got) Demerol capsules. My bariatric surgery center said capsules should be okay since I am two months out--and it seems to be working fine. It just makes me sleepy and, above all else, stupid. (For the record, I'm not a fan of being stupid, but sleeping? Always welcome.)

I also forgot about the classic cast problem--yearning to itch. This thing comes off on the 8th and I get a boot.

I keep thinking, "I'm home! I have time and a laptop! I should be writing!!!" Then I think, mindless TV with random nap attacks sounds so much better. Sigh.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ankle surgery


Ankle surgery was yesterday. The surgeon said it went well. My anesthesiologist was gorgeous (couldn't have been a day over thirty if that). I wanted to introduce him to my dear friend's 21-year-old daughter immediately. I told her I'd wait until I got the bill, then we can Google him and find out if he's single. For a brief moment, I turned into one of those women who says, "I would love for you to meet my granddaughter/daughter/niece/friend!" It was a strange feeling.

I checked into the hospital at 7:15, my procedure was at 9:30, and they discharged me about 1 pm. They had given me a block behind my knee in shot form--the shot hurt like hell because Dr. Gorgeous or Dr. Gorgeous' Assistant hit the nerve just right, causing the pain to run up and down the entire back of my leg. They gave me my general anesthetic shortly thereafter, and the next thing I knew, I was coming to in the recovery room.

When we got home, we were disappointed to discover that the suitcase ramp we bought on Craigslist for such a great price was too steep for me to use getting into the house. I ended up scooting backwards into the house on my butt. Maybe when I get more used to operating the knee scooter and am less loopy on Demerol, I can still master the ramp.

The block behind my knee kept my leg numb for the first 24 hours, but began wearing off today. When it did, I started taking the Demerol. It quiets the pain, but it still hurts. The cast is big and bulky and my leg is yellow from some weird iodine soap they used on it in surgery.

I'm getting used to the scooter, but wow. Mobility is something most people take for granted; when you lose it--even partially and temporarily, as this situation is--you realize what a blessing it is to be able to move normally.

They weighed me before surgery--233, so two pounds less than the day before (which is odd, but I'll take it!). That made me happy. It occurred to me this evening that I won't be ABLE to weigh myself until I can use this foot again. So, no obsessing about the number on the scale. It will almost feel like a vacation!

About Me

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other words...life.
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