Monday, January 26, 2009

Almost 20 Pounds!

I am so excited. I weighed today and am almost down 20 pounds. I also walked 2 miles yesterday at ACU. I feel great. Still having problems with nausea but hopefully that will pass soon.

Anyway - short update but wanted to share.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Salem's First Tutoring & Misc

Salem's first tutoring with Tonya went well. She tested her and there are definite issues with rhyming and some of her letters but she already made some progress today. I am SO excited.

Dorothy and Whitney - I do have that book. I bought that after Deidre Salmon with the Providence Classical Academy spoke at MOPS but never did anything with it I am ashamed to say. I don't want to overwhelm her but I definitely want to work on it this summer. Right now I don't think she's ready and again I don't want to overwhelm her.

Speaking of kiddos and school I am almost 100% certain Raina is no where near ready socially or speech wise to go to PreK in the fall. She turns 4 in May. So I am going to "red shirt" her. I kinda hope she qualifies for Head Start due to her speech issues. She goes to the speech lab 2 days a week for 2 hours. If she went daily she'd get more speech. She's just now the past two weeks gone in and not screamed and cried. This morning was tenuous but she did good. She's talking up a storm but not at the age appropriate level. So that give me great hope.

I know Salem's speech articulation issues are Noonan Syndrome related and Raina doesn't have NS but still it's hard not to get frustrated at having to be a therapy mom for the second time around.

WLS Related: I am still taking my Nexium MUPPS but still getting nauseated. I can get my liquids in but sometimes it's hard. Tomorrow I am supposed to started blended foods and very soft foods - cottage cheese, soft scrambled eggs, fat free refried beans etc. I am excited but nervous. I haven't thrown up but I am still quite nauseous. I was very excited to try the eggs but have read 3 people this week throw up when they tried them so I may wait. The nausea will all go away as my tummy continues to heal but still.

I also walked a mile tonight on my treadmill! YEAH!! :) My goal is to walk 30 minutes in the morning and an hour in the evening on M-W-F and walk at ACU on T/TH morning. I didn't this morning because Salem had a Dr.'s appointment - poor baby has a sinus infection.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Salem - Reading Readiness

I had a conference with Salem's teacher and she's just not getting things that are going to prepare her for reading such as rhyming words etc. She suggested we consider having Salem repeat Kindergarten. I am not quick to do that because of the small environment at ACS. I feel like socially this would be harder on her for a variety of reasons. 1. She's gone to school with a lot of these kids for 2 years. It's not like public school where you get a bunch of new kids each year. She would in theory go to school with the majority of these kids through high school. This would also put her graduating at 19 1/2 and starting college about a month and a half before 20.

Brian and I decided to wait and make a decision until we see where she's at in a couple of months. We have a friend who is a stay at home mom and a 1st grade teacher. Perfect. :) She's going to work with Salem 1 hour 2x's a week! Then another friend let us borrow hooked on phonics so we're going to work on that days she's not in tutoring.

Please keep this in prayer. I want to do right by Salem. If Tonya works with her and then decides we need to hold her back we will. But I want to give her a chance to catch up. Sigh.

WLS Update 1/17

I am so excited about my journey. As of last Sunday I had lost 12 pounds. I am trying only to weigh once a week right now cause I can be obsessive. It helps that I don't have a scale in the house. I may break down and get a scale. I think it could be motivating to see it move. Who knows.

I do get most of my fluids in a day but not the protein. 50 grams of protein seems unattainable right now but I am trying. I can't believe it's so freaking hard. I almost can't stomach a protein shake though. Yesterday I drank two low carb slim fast so that helps and the day before I drank protein bullets. I almost threw them up but I got it down. They tasted like cough syrup. Nasty. So again trying to get the protein in while on liquids is overwhelming. I read people say it was hard but never realized until I was right there. So I've been focusing on fluid intake and I'll worry about protein next Wednesday when I started blendeds/soft foods.

My tummy does like popsicles & pudding (SF of course), and I had soup last night at Olive Garden. The Gnocci. I just picked out the dumplings and chicken and ate the soup and it felt so good in my tummy. I do the same with Hot and Sour right now - just drink the broth.

I just drank a cup of HEB Mootopia milk. It went down bad the first sip but then got better. That was 12 grams of protein so I am going to try to drink a cup a day. I also made my pudding with it and stuck in a Nectar chocolate truffle sample.

Anyway I just wanted to update. It's certainly not been easy (I wasn't prepared for how tired I'd be) but it's not been awful. I am so excited I did this!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Surgery Update

Before Pic - I look pregnant. Sigh!

Me & Dr. Campos - he was one of the surgeons & checked on me often. Very sweet.

Me with Dr. Aceves (surgeon) & 2 other patients that I traveled with
Shawn and Jamie. :)

The closest I got to see anything in San Diego. It was beautiful though.

I've never seen mountains like this. It was hard to get pics but many looks like huge piles of rocks this big or huge pieces of gravel. It was amazing. Very stark but beautiful in a way.

Sorry for the delay in the updates. I am healing well and my incisions look good. I just started full liquids yesterday and didn't do well my first day but today I enjoyed some hot and sour soup (didn't eat the solids). It was yummy. I have 10 days of full liquids before I started 10 days of soft/mushie/blended foods.

I have lost 12 pounds. :) I know that's "easy" to do on liquids but the great news is I won't gain it back!!!

I am sleeping better finally. That started on Sunday. I can't sleep on my left side (which is my typical) because of the drain incision and of course sleeping on the tummy is out. So I've had to learn to sleep on my right.

I am very tired and I know that's because my protein level is down but with full liquids I hope to make some good shakes and up my protein levels quite a bit. I am supposed to get at least 50 grams of protein a day.

I've been asked several times how I liked the medical care in Mexico and let me just say it was amazing. The level of care far surpassed any of my three hospital experiences here in the states. I've had 2 csections and an open gall bladder surgery. The rooms and hospital were gorgeous and extremely clean. I walked in white socks most often and my socks barely had a hint of dirt on them. The nurses and Dr's were so kind and caring. My sister loved the food in the cafeteria. It was like a full restaurant. Anyway - I am more than pleased with my decision. Thank you God for leading me this direction!

I did have a complication during surgery but not from the surgeon. They found a gastric mucosa during surgery and had to call a gastroenterologist and I was scoped during sugery. During the transurgical endoscopy they found a vulcan shape lesion aprox 7mm on the antrum 1.5cm from the pylorus, macroscopical its similar to ectopic pancreatic tissue so they decided to take a biopsy and send it to pathology for further examination.

The pathology report shows, chronic follicular gastritis with mild dysplasia and intestinal metaplasia on the stomach The results from the biopsy shows intestinal metaplasia and mild dysplasia on the stomach mucosa. From what I've been told the intestinal dysplasia is the biggest deal. It can change into things that are more problematic although it may not. Similar to abnormal pap smears. Sometimes they mean something and sometimes they don't.

So they are sending me the path reports to take to the Dr. I will more than likely be sent to a gastroenterologist and need to be scoped every 6 months to watch that. Sigh. So now I am praying about what to do about insurance.

I am thankful for the surgery otherwise how would I know?

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Yeah...I can't sleep...thought I'd share...
Salem has cheerleading and a party to go to tomorrow.


Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm Home

I'm home. Sorry for the delay in posting. I got home around 7 yesterday after managing to make an earlier flight home. The girls - understandably so - demanded my full attention and within 2 hours I was so tired. Salem wanted to see my scars and help changing my bandages and they both insisted on sleeping with me (that took some finagling) and Brian had the house all clean and Larrah (19 year old) moved! Sigh!!! Good thing but sad it happened while I was gone.

Day 1 we arrived in San Diego around 10. I'll have to show you the pictures of the rock mountains on the way to Mexico as soon as we get them off the camera. I was amazed. It was as if God opened cans of rocks and just dumped them out. HUGE rocks just in the shape of mountains. The hospital was wonderful. Very modern and the staff amazingly compassionate and considerate. We went straight to the hospital and I had an EKG, bloodwork, chest xray and urinalysis and then I met with Dr. Campos - one of the Dr's. Then we went back to the hotel and had a wonderful dinner. I am very glad they gave me a sleeping pill.

Ernesto the driver picked us up Monday at 7:15. I met with the internist and anesthiologist and then the surgeon Dr. Aceves. I felt very peaceful. There were three of us and I was third so I played online the entire time.

I woke up feeling naturally like I'd been run over by a train. No liquids this day - just pain management. I did start walking as soon as I got up.

Tuesday I didn't feel so great. I woke up in pain and asked for pain meds. They did a leak test and it was fine. This is the one where I drank the blue liquid and they checked my drain. This cleared me to drink fluid - yucky tang, YUMMY apple juice and chamomile tea. I never thought apple juice would be so yummy. The hot tea was very soothing. I was better the rest of the day and walked all over the hospital and even to the cafeteria with Amy while she eat.

Wednesday I woke up feeling great but then we did the more detailed leak/swallow test where you drink some nasty stuff. WAY worse than barium. I could see it going down my new tummy but bwhen it hit bottom I thought I was goign to die and started throwing up. I passed the test but the throwing up with awful and they gave me pain medicine and anti-nausea meds to help. Then I slept 2-3 hours. Then I woke up to yummy chicken broth!!! :) Then more broth.

I was released on Thursday at around 7pm. It was amazing. In the states you're only in the hospital 1-2 days and I simply can't imagine going home that soon.

I had planned on updating everyday but that didn't happen. I didn't open my laptop once after surgery. I slept and talked and watch 90210 reruns! LOL. Oh and I read New Moon and started Eclipse. My incisions are healing well and I am mainly keeping the drain site clean and resting. The main side effect is heartburn but I am on Nexium MUPPS and it helps a lot. So mainly I am resting and reading. I am supposed to walk a lot (to prevent blood clots) and plan to be at MOPS on Monday. I just can't lift. That and no sex are my only restrictions! ;)

I do have a before shot of me and great pics of the Drs with me. I am so blessed and excited to have had this opportunity. Thanks for sharing in my journey.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tomorrow Starts My Journey

Tomorrow morning Amy and I will get the airport around 5:15. I am so excited and hopeful. We'll get to Mexicali around 1ish pacific time and start preop. I'll be released for dinner and a night in a local hotel and then be back around 8 am for surgery on the 5th. I am so excited to start this journey and excited for any of you who are praying for me and sharing in it with me.

I've had some people ask the difference between the sleeve and typical gastric bypass and lap band. So rather than try to explain it I thought I'd post this.

About Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

This is a good surgery for me because even though I am significantly overweight my BMI is just barely 40.3. So that's considered a "light" weight by weight loss surgery standards.

Some of the advantages to this surgery are:
  • Reduces stomach capacity but tends to allow the stomach to function normally so most food items can be consumed, albeit in small amounts.
  • Eliminates the portion of the stomach that produces the hormones that stimulates hunger (Ghrelin).
  • Dumping syndrome is avoided or minimized because the pylorus is preserved.
  • Minimizes the chance of an ulcer occurring.
  • By avoiding the intestinal bypass, almost eliminates the chance of intestinal obstruction (blockage), marginal ulcers, anemia, osteoporosis, protein deficiency and vitamin deficiency.
  • Results appear promising as a single stage procedure for low BMI patients.
  • Appealing option for people who are concerned about the complications of intestinal bypass procedures or who have existing anemia, Crohn’s disease and numerous other conditions that make them too high risk for intestinal bypass procedures.
  • Appealing option for people who are concerned about the foreign body aspect of Banding procedures.
  • Can be done laparoscopically: fewer wound and lung problems, less pain, and faster recovery.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Few Pics

Here are a few pics from November & December. I have a ton and will try to post more when I get back from Mexico. This is a pic of Salem and Raina with cousins Brileigh and Brysta. Brysta is in the front by Salem and she's only barely 3. WOW. She's seriously Salem's size. But she's not huge but it just shows how tiny Salem is.

Raina wasn't much into Santa this year. LOL. That's as close as she would get.

Our wrapped basket of books. :) The girls took turns unwrapping a book each night before Christmas and we'd read them before bedtime. They were all Christmas books and it was SO much fun.

This is how our back yard looked a lot of November and some of December while Brian prepped and installed Christmas lights. Salem got to help with ours.

I have to share my MP3 story!

OK I have a cheap MP3 player I bought on eBay from Japan. It's actually a touch screen and very easy to use and similar to an iPod Touch but no wifi. But it's fine. Bulkier but I love it. I had just downloaded a TON of free stuff and some podcasts and it took me FOREVER but I wanted to be able to listen to Erwin McManus and so many others while in Mexico. Plus I had just ripped the new Britney Spears CD! :)

Anyway - I lost it. I got the new van and realized one day I left it in the convertible and I got it and put it in the van. I was having trouble locking the van cause it wouldn't be to confirm that it locked and the key fob has so many more buttons with the electric doors so I left it open a couple of times which is SO not me. I get SO annoyed when Brian or Larrah leave it open.

So I went looking for it and it was gone. I LOOKED everywhere and was sick. :( I LOVE my MP3 player. Sigh. So I had recently sold my Wishblade and a printer (scrapbooking related) and decided I was going ot buy a new MP3 player. I had planned to get a Philips 8Gig Video Player. Nice - my sister has one. Not a touch of course.

Then I found a refurbished iPod Touch. I was in LOVE. Refurbished I got an 8 gig for 197. Amazing deal. I didn't plan to buy a touch. I went looking for the $90 Philips. But I LOVED the Touch and omgosh I can be online and check my email anywhere there is wifi. LOL. Anyone who knows me knows that is a big deal to me.

So I bought it. It's SO extravagant and so unlike me to spend that much money on myself but I loved it. It took my 6 hours to convert all my stuff to the iTunes format and I only lost 3 songs that wouldn't convert. I listen to it EVERY night.

So 4 days later after I am fully attached to it I was doing laundry and guess what I found in a jacket I seldom wear? Yep. The MP3 player. And I NEVER put it in my clothes. It's always in my purse in a zippered pocket or in my console in the car/van.

Yep - it's there. All my songs, podcasts everything. So I just spent $197. PUKE. To someone who is SO frugal and loves getting a deal I felt sick. Seriously. But I also was mad. I wanted to keep my iPod Touch.

So Larrah got a new MP3 player.


I just realized...

A sweet friend named Heidi had the sleeve surgery I had last February. She's almost 100 pounds slimmer at goal and really is the one who got me thinking about all this.

Anyway - I was talking about not being scared at all and she said:

I wasn't scared either - I felt full of hope. Kind of like doing IVF, you know?


Happy New Year!!!

Salem can tie her shoes. Both Brian and I have shown her the way we know how and she just didn't get it. My niece April came over today and showed her a different way and in 10 minutes she could tie her shoe. WOW. :) To me that's a major accomplishment. I can specifically remember in Kindergarten not being able to tie my shoes until the end of the year. And I've been told that the public schools won't let them take off shoes during rest if they can't tie them!!!

We had a wonderful New Year's Eve! We rented a suite at McM Elegante. :) It was wonderful. We swam and sat in the hot tub for 2 hours then got ready to go eat at Bonzai for my sister's birthday. We always do dinners for family birthdays. I am SO glad she chose Bonzai. It was AWESOME. Then we went back to the hotel and Brian and the girls swam more and I got totally engrossed in ready Twilight. It's beautiful. I am not sure I love it more than the movies but I loved a lot of parts in it that weren't in the movie. I like Bella being Vegetarian though. It "makes sense". Also I feel like the movie and the actor did a better job of making Edward so amazingly beautiful and amazing. I feel like Stephanie (the author) did a better job with Bella.

Well back to New Year's Eve. The girls were wired. We had a blast. They actually stayed up and watched the ball drop. Salem BARELY made it and 2 minutes later she was asleep but she talked about it all day today. Raina was up but she was tired and cranky and couldn't find a spot to get comfortable. Salem was up at 8:30 LOL and swimming with dad. I was awake til 1:30 reading then couldn't go to sleep until 3 cause Brian was snoring. I slept til 10:30 and Raina til 11:30. LOL. But we had so much fun. And McM Elegante had a great space with table games (pool etc) and the pool and the bar and just a ton of stuff I think we are going to make this a yearly tradition either her or say in Lubbock or Dallas or somewhere. It was wonderful..

So I am getting asked CONSTANTLY if I am scared. I can honestly say no - I guess I do have that wave of crap what if something happens but I honestly am more excited than anything. I laid in bed with my beautiful girls on New Year's Eve and prayed over them after midnight and just thanked God for them and my husband and for protecting me during surgery. I think that's one reason I've told a lot of my friends is because I know they prayer and extra prayer can't hurt. So if you pray please say a prayer that we have a safe trip - we're flying to San Diego Sunday morning and I have surgery Monday. It's almost surreal like I can't believe it's about to happen. But I am just so hopefuly and excited and happy about it all.

Then someone asked me if I was going to write a letter to my daughters just in case. Hmmm - that kinda sickened me and I am not sure I should because of the negativity it would put in my spirit. WDYT? I think I am not going to decide right now and see how I feel when I get there.

Salem and I have been talking about the surgery off and on for a while. She's old enough to remember me being overweight and old enough to know I am going to have pain and not be able to do things at first when I came home so I didn't want to lie to her. Not over something so important especially. It's hardly a little white lie. So I told Salem I was having surgery to help me be healthy so I can lose weight and do more things with them. She asked if I was going to be skinny like her. I quickly told her she wasn't skinny but slender and beautiful just the way God made her. WOW they learn that so quickly huh? So she talkes about it and tells everyone. LOL.

And my sweet Raina is such a doll. She's getting less aggressive and more happy. She watched Beauty and the Beast today for the first time. She LOVED it. Her favorite word is no though! LOL.

So I am going to log off for now. I am not sure I will post again til I am in Mexico unless I have time to get pics up. If you pray - please keep our travel and the surgery in prayer. I'll be able to text and take my laptop. If you know my cell you are more than welcome to text me or ask me for my #.