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Monday, January 31, 2011

Who do I look like? Betty Crocker? NOT!

I am wore out. Tarred. Exhausted. I keep yawning! Time to go to bed!

When we got home I cooked a variation of Ritzy Chicken. Honestly I was just dumping stuff in the bowl. Minute Rice, canned chicken, grilled chicken breast strips (out of the freezer), mushrooms, bacon bits, shredded cheese, chicken broth, broccoli florets, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, Ritz crackers, French fried onions, and Cheddar French Fried Onions. Baked it all in four disposable pans. I plan on taking some to my in-laws, and maybe some to Blaine's aunt. Blaine is getting it for lunch tomorrow at school! Tomorrow I'll cook him some green beans and he'll eat it again for supper :-D

I'm doing pretty good recovery-wise.  So far I haven't gotten sick and I get full pretty fast. I've been eating a lot of fish. It chews real well and I like it! I ate a bread stick at school today, it was awesome!



~Robin

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Christmas Shopping has Begun!!

We bought our first Christmas present of the year! A couple of days ago my sister sent me a picture of an item in a Wal*Mart circular that she wanted. We went today and got it! One down, who knows how many to go. If we buy at least 1-2 a month, when December gets here it ought to be almost painless :-D

I don't mind Christmas. I wish it were more about being with family and friends. The shopping and the wrapping stress me out! Blaine and I are at the point in our lives where if we really want something, we just get it. I don't enjoy telling people what I'd like for a gift.  I'm contemplating making a donation to the Arkansas Baptist Children's home in their honor or something similar. Eventually, I'm going to get to the point where I am going to ask people not to buy us any gifts and just make a donation. That way we can concentrate on just being with family and friends and enjoying them.

While we were at Wal*Mart I bought about 200 cans of soda. I am starting a concession stand after school to help fund our prizes for Accelerated Reader. While we were at Sam's yesterday I bought pickles, hot Cheetos, and Ring Pops. You might be asking, "I thought you couldn't sell that stuff?" But I am selling it after school, so it's okay. If you want to make a donation to our Accelerated Reader program, send me a message :-D

I ate some Pintos 'n Cheese from Taco Bell and Chili from Wendy's today. I'll probably blow up like the Hindenburg later, but it sure was good going down!!!

Oh yeah, I've lost 15 pounds since January 6th. I weighed 327 on the 6th and this morning weighed 312. It's progress and I'll take it! woohoo!

~Robin

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What a B-E-A-yoo-tee-full Day!!!

Today was gorgeous! We got out. Went to Sam's, visited with Aunt Olivia (love, love, love her!), went and saw The Mechanic (not going to be buying it for our collection) with Charlotte Kuhtz (*hey Char!*), ate at Bob Evan's (Blaine got the senior citizen discount!), and stopped and visited with Blaine's parents. I AM TIRED!

Today I chew, chew, chewed. I ate a piece of catfish! I was sooooo good. I've been dreaming about catfish! As long as I am taking my time, chewing it to liquid, and stopping when I get full I am doing well eating. It is weird to not be cleaning my plate and trying to clean Blaine's too! I had the flounder at Bob Evan's. That's it. None of the baked potato, none of the roll, one baby carrot, and one cauliflower floret. I was STUFFED.  I'm getting used to it though. It's great to finally feel full and not like I have a bottomless pit where my stomach is.

Sleep well!

~Robin

Friday, January 28, 2011

What Chew Looking at???

I'm just too tired to smile. So I showed off one of my many genetic traits. I remember Mrs. Snider teaching us that this is something you either can or can't do. You can't learn how. It's genetic!

Today was an easier day. We had an instructional fair in the library all day. Each teacher had to do a project on a display board. Then all the teachers, some district personnel, and other visitors came to have a look-see. I didn't get worn out until the end of the day. We had a little reward for students who had done something good. I went to help corral kids and to take pictures for our yearbook, although it's actually a DVD. We're high tech!

Blaine and I stopped at Sicily's and ordered some lasagna. I chew, chew, chewed. I find myself trying to count to 30 before I swallow. Tonight my sister sent me a text asking if I remembered what our mom used to say about chewing? I said I didn't and she replied, "Chew it thirty times!" I guess I did remember, I just didn't remember where I learned it! Before lap-band I could have eaten the entire plate of lasagna, bowl of salad, and garlic bread. Tonight was a huge difference! I ate maybe 1/6 of the plate and that was in two different sessions spaced a couple of hours apart. I chewed on some tomatoes, with a little ranch and that was it. So far I still feel pretty full and happy! This is what it's all about!

All of my steri-strips are off tonight. I started itching so bad at work today! When the strips came off my skin was, and still is, red and inflamed. Tape and I do NOT get along. I never have good experience with regular surgical tape or band-aids. I always seem to have to donate a little flesh to the cause!

I know it's Friday night and we should be out painting the town red, but I'm tired and I think going to bed early is just the thing! Maybe we'll go see The Mechanic tomorrow. It seems like January was all about me. Blaine needs it to be all about him for a while. He's a good man and I love him!

~Robin

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Counting down

Since entering the teaching profession, I've become a countdown queen. I've always loved having a goal and something to forward to each year. School teachers love summer vacation. Starting each August I generally know how many more days it is until summer vacation. Sure there's Christmas and Spring Break. But lets be honest those are just speed bumps along the road to June! My count is at 83 more mornings (unless I've screwed up due to snow days.)

Usually I have what I refer to as a pretty greasy job. I slide through most of the year without a great deal of stress. Not nearly what the teachers have to endure. 99.9% of my work has to be done at school. I don't do tests or homework. I teach classes on library and research skills occasionally. I check-in and check-out both library books and text books. There are lots more things I do, but nothing compared to classroom teachers. I try not to gripe about my job duties, especially around Blaine. His job is a real doozy and I try to help him, as much as possible.

That being said, Today about kicked my butt! You'd have thought I'd been gone a month and the children hadn't been near a computer or allowed to read a book the entire time. I bet there wasn't a 5 minute span of time today that there wasn't a student in the library needing/wanting/doing something. By the time 3:30 came around I was seriously hurting and just wanting to go home and curl into a ball. When I got home I cooked some soup, put it through the blender, and then proceeded to almost make myself sick. I ate too much and it HURTS! Still nowhere near to what I could eat before surgery, but I tried to revert to pre-op habits of guzzling my food and my tummy said "HEY! YOU DON'T WANT TO DO THAT!" I stopped! Right now I have a huge fear of throwing up. I've never been fan of it. I would have never made a good bulemic. But my fear is somewhat justified. Throwing up can cause my band to move and it would have to be relocated surgically. YUCK! Also, my guts still hurt. Coughing hurts bad enough, what would hurling do???

I cooked dinner for Blaine. Chicken and green beans. He was thrilled. I took them upstairs (The Bat Cave.) First time I have been all the way up the stairs since last Wednesday. He was sweet enough to go downstairs and get my computer. Surprisingly enough, going down the stairs is more painful than going up. Uses different muscles. I'm staying up here, it's warmer and I'm tired of my toes being cold. He's working on special services paperwork and I am TRYING to be quiet. I took a few pictures to entertain me while TRYING to be quiet!


BATMAN! 

I call this the Bat Cave, it's actually the Bonus Room over the garage, because Man Cave didn't fit, since I'm not a man. This is where we watch the giganto tv, play the Wii, watch DVDs, walk on the treadmill, and be messy. I love it up here, it's soooo warm! But in the summer time it's a booger to keep cool!

Wanna see my big scar? I took a picture. Covered up my massive cleavage. I didn't want to scar anybody for life!




That my friends is a color rarely seen on humans and is referred to as "Frog Belly White!" They should make it a crayon!!

~Robin

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I've Got a Feeling

This is look on my face when a plate of blender-ized food is present! Tonight I had grilled chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, and squash. All put through the blender before being put on the plate! It was so good.
I know it looks gross! It took me 30 minutes to eat it! It was great!

Today was my post-op appointment with Dr. Jones. He told me it's normal to gain a little weight after surgery because of all the fluid they pumped into me. Plus he's taken me off of my blood pressure medicine that had a diuretic and put me on just a plain one. He doesn't want me getting dehydrated. He told me the stitches would absorb and not to take of the steri-strips. BUT if I did, pull them from side to side, not up to down! Did you get that Daniel-san? Wax on, Wax off!

I have another appointment in 5 weeks. By the time I go back I should be eating salad and meat (that hasn't been through a blender!)

We stopped and ate at McAllister's on the way home. It was the only place I could think of that I wouldn't be inundated with the smell of fried chicken or catfish. (I've really been craving FRIED catfish, I just want to get a piece and lick it!) I ate just a tiny bit of my potato soup and felt stuffed!!! wooohooo this is the whole point of the band! I was soooo excited. I got a to-go container for the rest of it. 

I don't really like the liquid/blended stuff. I feel like it is going right through my stomach and takes more to make me feel full. I know that the purpose is to give my stomach a chance to heal. I won't start losing any kind of weight until I progress to solid food.

When we got back to West Memphis, we went to Kroger. I had coupons and wanted to get some food. I wanted everything! I wanna try it all! I have to control myself. I had a bunch of coupons for Campbell's soup and Kroger had them 10 for $10!! I LOVE COUPONS!! For Christmas I asked for a subscription to the Sunday edition of the Commercial Appeal just for the coupons!!! Today's trip i had about $30-$40 worth of coupons!! Made my day. I was so tired after putting up the groceries I had to take a little nap.

I'm going back to work tomorrow. I'm going to be exhausted. I already feel tired. I figure it's time for bed.

~Robin

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm a Thief!

This orange shirt is not mine. It was loaned to me by my friend Charlotte Sidle. I AM NEVER GIVING IT BACK! I love this shirt! Don't get me wrong. I bought her a shirt in Las Vegas and brought it home to her. But I am forever a thief in her mind. I love you Charlotte!

Today has been a weird day. I know I'm feeling better because I am starting to get bored! A surefire way of telling that it is time to go back to work. I also know that it is time to put up the pain medicine. I kept trying to log into Accelerated Reader today and it kept telling me NO wrong information. I KNEW I WAS PUTTING IN THE RIGHT PASSWORD! What I didn't realize is that I was putting in the wrong user name. Boy did I feel stupid. I had been typing admin33 and it was supposed to be 33admin! I'm cold turkey from the pain meds now! I tried to read a book and couldn't concentrate. Wanted to take a nap and couldn't get to sleep. I'm also getting lonely. There's almost always somebody to talk to in the library. There's NOBODY at home. Then Blaine comes home and he's off to get food and goes upstairs to eat and I'm tired of it! So tonight I had him eat downstairs. Hamburger and french fries. OMG they smelled soooooo good!!

So tonight, about 12 hours ahead of time, I ate tuna. I felt the hungriest I've been since before the surgery. I wanted to gnaw on Blaine's arm! Strained soup feels like its just going through me, never getting a full feeling. So I busted out some tuna (it's on my blended list) put a little fat free Italian dressing on it, took about four bites AND I FELT FULL!!!! Hallelujah! It's weird to do that, but that's the whole point. I am not eating the whole bowl, if I tried, I will throw up!

Tomorrow I will be full fledged blended diet! Green beans in the blender, chicken in the blender, the whole shebang! I have to get used to tiny portions. Also, I have to eat my protein first. Lots of changes, but I'm in for the long haul.

I have an appointment with Dr. Jones tomorrow. Hopefully I will get a good report. I will tell you all about it tomorrow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Bucket List

I know I've posted about my bucket list before, but I wanna re-visit it. Blaine's cousin Jimmy Wayne recently passed away. He was a very young 72 years old and a very sweet man. I enjoyed having him over the the house anytime. He was such a joy to be around. His passing away was quite a shock. Recently he had planned a trip to Branson, because it was on his bucket list, and didn't go because he just didn't feel up to it. With his recent passing it's made me begin to think that putting things off until "later" sometimes winds up being never.

Part of the reason we went ahead for me to have this surgery was if we kept putting it off, it might never happen and that wasn't good. I don't want to reach a point in my life where I don't feel like doing the things on my list. I want to do them while I feel good.

There have been quite a few things that I've already done: gone to Europe, ridden a train, visited Hawaii, bought a house. But there are more things left to do. Some are little things like visit the Pink Palace. Some are fairly large like visit all 50 states.  I need to sit down and edit my list. I want to really do the things that I will regret if I never do them.

I want to have lived a life filled with wonderful adventures with Blaine. When I die I want people to talk about what a great life we had and all the fun things we did.

I may someday regret some of the things I have done (There's a few I already regret.) I don't ever want to regret the things I didn't do.

~Robin

Cheers!

Gotta love the Red Cups! In my younger days Red Cups were usually filled with alcoholic libations and were staples at almost every party. Not that I went to a lot of these parties, or drank out of a lot of Red Cups. Now my Red Cups contain totally different libations!

Now, I know, Red Cups are a way of being unfriendly to the environment. This is my way of not having to wash a billion glasses a week. I know, I know I have a dishwasher. I also know I'm lazy and I hate touching dirty dishes and loading and unloading the dishwasher! Blaine and I have a deal. He takes care of the outside of the house, I take care of the kitchen, and the rest is up for grabs. It works pretty well except for the aversion I have to dirty dishes! So we have Red Cups and various other articles that are unfriendly to the environment. I think of it as our little way of stimulating the economy. By the way, if I'm ever at your house for a meal, I will help you do just about anything, as long as it doesn't involve the dishes!

Well I did take a shower yesterday, felt like a dream! I still have steri-strips on my incisions. I was told not to remove them, but they can get wet, whew! I have had cream soup today, that's what is in my Red Cup, Cream of Chicken (strained) soup!!! It is heavenly!!!! My contacts are back in! Now that I'm getting more fluids my eyes aren't nearly as dry, thank goodness!  I did not sleep in my bed last night. I tried sleeping in the guest bed. It has a really thick feather topper and I wiggled down and slept on my back. I didn't sleep well and wound up getting back in the recliner to finish out the night. I still miss Blaine, but I'm more afraid of rolling over right now.

Another day of full liquids tomorrow and then off for my post-op appointment on Wednesday. Blaine has said he's going to take off work and take me. I hope to get a report! I also get to start blended foods today. I am super excited about tuna fish!!! Whoo hooo! I plan on going back to work Thursday.

On a grosser and more personal note, I pooped for the first time since Thursday morning! It's cause for celebration!! I had started to worry. Sorry for the over-share, but I had to note it for posterity's sake!

It still hurts a little to take a deep breath, cough, and sneeze. Not as bad as it was, but still noticeable.

Looking forward to the next few weeks!  Food is not in control, I am!!! (If I say this to myself often enough, will it be true?)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm Soooo Excited

Today I'm gonna do a lot of things! I'm gonna take a shower! Should have done that yesterday but I just didn't have the energy. I'm going to put my contacts back in, the glasses have to go! I'm going to try and sleep in my bed tonight. I miss Blaine! I've slept in the recliner for the past three nights. I don't sleep many hours in a row, hopefully moving to the bed will help. This is also my last day of CLEAR LIQUIDS. Tomorrow I begin FULL LIQUIDS, wooohoooo!

I get the joy that is cream soup that has been strained. Skim Milk and Sugar Free Hot Cocoa, how exciting!!!! I do this for two days and then I begin two weeks of blended foods. I get tuna, small curd cottage cheese, applesauce, banana, and other stuff as long as it has been through the blender and strained for chunks. Maybe even some real live mashed potatoes!!!! Small amounts, no drinking for 30 minutes before or after, stop when I feel FULL!!

Blaine's getting cabin fever. I don't know if I'm ready to get out of the house. He leaves every day to go get food for us. Maybe he wants to go to a movie. I don't know if I'm ready to smell popcorn. I've been dreaming about food, is this one of the signs of a true addiction? I'm not really hungry, honestly. I just miss the taste of food in my mouth that has to be chewed. Right now my biggest concern is drinking enough water and not getting dehydrated. I don't want to screw up over something so simple as drinking water.

I am bound and determined to follow instructions and do this correctly. We have paid too much money for me to take this lightly and not follow the directions. We did this so that I don't die early because of morbid obesity. I can't guarantee anything else won't kill me, but by golly it won't be because I didn't have the will power and the intelligence to follow directions.

~Robin

Saturday, January 22, 2011

So Much for a Quiet Neighborhood!

So yesterday I was pretty good friends with the liquid Lortab! Then last night I started feeling really nauseous. I am terrified of throwing up for several reasons! My stomach is still terribly sore, it hurts to burp, cough, toot, and stand up. Also, if I throw up I could cause my band to move and that isn't good in any scenario! 

I think during surgery they were practicing for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and I was one of the floats!!! The filled me so full of air my tummy pokes out further now, than before the surgery. I finally started tooting last night and that has provided quite a bit of relief!

I slept on the couch again last night. I plan on sleeping there tonight. I'm normally a stomach sleeper and I don't want to be tempted to roll over. I've been waking up every 2-3 hours. I'll play on facebook a little bit and then nod back off to sleep.

Blaine went to the store this morning and got me some more red sugar-free Jell-O. This seems to help with my nausea. Also he got me some Special K Protein Water Mix. Hopefully this will be a good addition. V-8 and beef bouillon were also added to my list of things to drink. If I mix those two together it's almost like beef vegetable soup!

This afternoon while I was on the phone with my Aunt Olivia, Blaine came in the living room acting really weird. He was holding his finger to his mouth and looking at the front window. After I hung up I asked what was going on! There was a beat up car outside and a half-naked man got out and was hollering and screaming at the house across the street! I saw a little girl get in the car, which was still running.  He's on a cell phone being really loud, no idea what he's saying. Suddenly, here come the police!!! FOUR cars! Officers get out with hand guns drawn, a couple get their semi-automatic rifles out of their trunks. Then a fire truck and a paramedic van show up! Golly, I live on a fairly quiet dead-end street. They knock on the front door of the house and put a different man in the back of one of the cruisers. I don't know what happened, I may never know. But let me tell you it got me up off the couch! I was calling my next door neighbor and another friend around the corner and gabbing non-stop.  Wore me out! I had to get back in the recliner and take a nap!!!

I'm feeling better, still sore, still a little nauseous. Sticking strictly to the diet. Clear liquids and veggie juice. Taking my chewable vitamins and just chilling out!

~Robin

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ready? Set! Sleep....zzzzzzz!

Oh lemme tell you, I FEEL PRETTY! Just wanted to share with you what I look like after a night in the recliner!

I guess the best way to do this is chronologically.

Wednesday Night we headed for Jonesboro. Since I had to be at Admissions by 5:30 we didn't want to have to get up at 3:00AM. There's a hotel right across from the hospital, but it looks a little old, so sweetie pie Blaine drove on down to the new Fairfield Inn by Marriott! We checked in and the front desk guy said, "I bet there are still some hamburgers left from the Manager's reception in there." OMG I was starving. I had had 400 calories all day! We went in there and they were sliders. Blaine didn't want any, but I took one. Went to our room. turned on all the lights, and Blaine left to go get the car and our stuff. I ate the meat, but not the bread (yay me!) It was soooo good! Blaine then left to go get some supper. Bad me went back and got more sliders and some cubed cheese. I didn't eat the bread, no condiments, but somehow still felt a little guilty. Nothing else but liquids until midnight. 

The hospital had given me a bottle of Hibiclens and instructions to shower the night before and the morning of the surgery with it. This stuff is bright red, almost hot pink! I felt like Janet Leigh in the Psycho shower scene watching it go down the drain! Afterwards, no lotions, no perfumes, nothing! My skin was soooo dry and itchy. I couldn't get to sleep. I might have been just a wee bit anxious about the surgery too. I took half a Xanax and finally got some sleep.

Woke up Thursday morning and my tummy was NOT liking those hamburger patties and rebelled!! What a day to go nuclear. But I got them all out of my system before I had to go upstairs at the hospital. (Did I tell you Blaine drove by Shipley's and got him a couple of donuts first? He has his moments, poor thing was hungry. Good thing I was so weak, I might have tossed him from the car!!!)

Went to admissions and was sent right upstairs. They gave me this lovely purple disposable gown. I know, I know I should have taken a pic, but just couldn't do it! Next came the blood draw, the taking of the vitals, and my favorite, the placing of the IV. Blaine held my hand through every stick and rubbed my face and told me it was going to be fine. Finally, they came and got me for surgery. Blaine kissed me goodbye, told me he loved me and off I went.

In surgery they asked me more of the same questions,  had to open up and say AHHH for the anesthesthia people. They kept trying to take my glasses and I told them I can't see to sign anything if they take them! Dr. Jones came to see me when he got there. He asked me how I was feeling. I told him I was nervous. He asked me how I'd done on my pre-op diet and I told him I'd lost 14 pounds since the day before Thanksgiving. I think I lost more weight than that. I had to have gained some weight over the holidays and dropped it too!  They came in, gave me some happy juice and out I went!

I don't remember much until they got me back to the outpatient area. I was told I had to drink 8 oz of water and walk around before I could go home. I still had the pulse ox on my finger and was trying to go to sleep and my number would drop. The nurse told me if I didn't get that number up they would make me stay the night. Boy that woke me up!! I was trying hard to breathe well! I got up, walked a couple of times, used the bathroom, and finally they wheeled me out to go home!

Have I mentioned there was a snow storm? Most of the Jonesboro schools were out for the day. When they wheeled me out and Blaine pulled up, the Charger was covered in snow! He took it slow and steady, I slept almost the entire way, and he got us home! He went to Walgreens and dropped off my meds. I was really starting to want the pain meds. When he got back there were only two bottles and neither one of them were for pain! Somehow, somewhere, they hadn't given him the script. He called the hospital (I'm about in tears at this point) and they phoned it in!! Yeah for Blaine. He went and got it and I was ecstatic. That stuff is liquid gold and works lickety-split! It's AWESOME.

I got in the recliner and there I stayed. Blaine went and got my laptop (a must have!) and put everything else I would need on the table beside me. He made me a cup of chicken bouillon and it took me all night to drink it and half a bottle of water! I don't want to get nauseous or throw up. That could seriously damage the placement of my band.

Oh yeah I have five incisions. Four are rather small and one is 2-3 inches. I don't know, but I'm guessing the big one is where the port was placed. The port is how they will do the fills to tighten the the band. Of course one of the incisions is right between my boobs! Right where a bra will rub. I have some major tatas and I don't go out in public without some kind of support! I'm guessing I'll be inside for a while! I don't get to take a shower until Saturday and then I have to wash gently and leave the steri-strips alone. I'm sure I'll be super lovely by tomorrow afternoon! Also, my abdomen is really sore, that's where most of my pain is, but it's gradually getting better. I'm trying not to be a whiner, it's tough not to though!

Today is a snow day in West Memphis. This means another day we'll have to attend in June, boo! But, I'm kinda glad. Blaine was worn out and needed some extra sleep. Between my surgery and all his special services paper work at school, he's been running non-stop. He's such a good husband, he deserved a donut! (It was blueberry filled and that didn't even sound good to me! The other was chocolate covered and that's what almost got him tossed out of the car! I love him still and love him more and more everyday!)

I have an appointment with Dr. Jones on Wednesday at 10:10am. I think he'll tell me I can go back to work then.  I'm not sure. I had originally planned on going back Monday, but I don't think that's going to happen.

That's all I can think of for now. Anesthesia really does a number on my brain. I'll have to ask Blaine what he remembers!

~Robin

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So Far, So Good

This morning I had to be in Jonesboro at 10:00 a.m.  I got there, answered a few questions, paid them THOUSANDS of dollars, met with a respiratory nurse, went over all the instructions with another nurse, spoke with the dietitian, had blood drawn, and headed back home.

This time the blood draw was much less traumatic and you really have to search to even see where it was! While last weeks site is a rainbow of purple, green, and yellow!

I actually got back to school in time for it to only count as a half-day absence! woot woot! Good thing I went you'd have thought the kids had gone a month without access to the library. Made me feel good that they wanted in the library!

Right now I'm only anticipating missing a couple of days of school. I may be deluded, but time will tell. I mean let's be honest, I sit at a desk all day long, work on the computer and talk to people. Not a lot of physicality involved.

I really read over the directions the dietitian gave me. Started making out a grocery list of foods I'll need over the next 3-4 weeks. Absolutely no solid foods until I go for my post-op appointment with Dr. Jones. Days 1-4 clear liquids. Days 5-8 full liquids (no chunks), Pureed foods until the appointment. Sound like fun? I know, you're super jealous and wish to join me in this culinary safari!

While I was reading the literature it gave the following example: Right now you're stomach holds about the size of a football, after surgery it will be about the size of a ping-pong ball. Wow, that really put it in perspective for me! I knew 4oz was about the size it would be, but that just really made it snap in my head.

For those of you who might wonder. I chose to do this surgery now, instead of waiting until summer. School is very regimented. I have to be there at a certain time. I keep busy during the day. People come in and take my mind off of things and give me an opportunity to vent if necessary. I need the schedule. I believe it will help me have a successful recovery and retraining period. I want to have this done before summer and get off to a good start!

My family are friends are a big part of how successful this goes. There is no way I could go through this alone. Encouraging words, prayers, and people who just listen are what make me confident in the decision that's been made. Oh yeah! 14 pounds gone since the day before Thanksgiving!

Thank you!
Robin

Monday, January 17, 2011

Waiting and Hoping

My nose is stopped up. This picture is how I feel  like my nose is the size of Texas.

Tomorrow is the day I go for Pre-Admissions. All I know is that I'm supposed to be there at 10:00 a.m. I'm sure they are going to want money and ask me a million questions. I think I'm also supposed to meet with the dietician. Other than that, I have no idea what to expect. I'm supposed to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning. Should be home by dark! Then the real fun begins.

I've been reading other blogs and doing research. I have a feeling that each experience is entirely unique to the individual.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Soapbox is rated for over 500 lbs!

I don't know really what to think. After Tuesday I'll know whether to get super excited, or start planning for a new date. Mentally today has been tough.

I know that being fat isn't quite the same as being homosexual, diabetic, or a certain skin color. I honestly believe that all these things are genetic. But there are people who think that we're fat because we choose to be or don't have the will power to stop. Honestly who would choose to be fat? Who really enjoys being tired? Or getting the look on the airplane, when you're boarding, that says "Dear Lord, don't let me have to share an arm rest with the fat woman!" I get physically ill when we fly if I don't have the window seat and Blaine is next to me. I don't want to touch anybody or have them touch me. Blaine has made traveling so much easier.

Any idea how embarrassing it is to have to contact the flight attendant and have to ask for a seat belt extender? Or to love amusement parks and be afraid to ride the roller coaster for fear the seat won't lock and they'll make you get off? How about going to the mall and saying "I don't want to go in that store because they don't have my size." That's most stores in the mall. I've never bought anything from Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Aeropostale, or Victoria's Secret (lotion and bubble bath don't count!) Chairs at the Orpheum are torture devices! And let's not forget the plastic outdoor furniture that some restaurants like to use. I am constantly terrified it's going to collapse. Most outdoor furniture has a limit of 250 pounds. I like to sit in a booth. That way I know my butt isn't hanging over the side of the chair where people can see. Going through the turnstile at the Red Birds games is another embarrassment I endure. I either have to go through sideways or they let me through the handicap chain. That does wonders for my self-esteem.

I'm having this surgery because I've reached the point that I am tired all the time. Walking around the zoo does me in. Going up a flight of stairs has me breathing like an obscene phone caller. But if we're being honest, and that's why I'm doing this blog, I want a chance to feel closer to normal. I don't want to think that people are staring at me and wondering if I'm the fattest person they've ever seen.

If you have a fat friend, keep all these things in mind the next time you are out with them. We have feelings and if given one wish, it would be "To be healthy", and fat isn't healthy.

~Robin

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Workin' for the Weekend!

Today has been a good day! Nothing stressful or traumatic. Just a lazy day of staying home, taking a nap, spending time with Blaine, and watching Miss America! Still counting calories and getting ready.

Tuesday is my pre-admission day. Hopefully I will find out if I still have a high white blood count. If I do they will reschedule my surgery. I'm planning on everything going without a hitch and this happening on Thursday!

~Robin

Friday, January 14, 2011

Grinning and Bearing it!

This is me grinning and bearing it. It wasn't an awful day, but it wasn't a great day either. I still haven't heard from the doctor's office. As far as I know, I'm still going Tuesday for Pre-Admission and meetings. So far today has been better calorie-wise, but mentally I'm kinda down. These days are dragging by and last forever. Even when I'm eating I still feel hungry. Only once in the past 8 days have I felt full and that was after drinking the Barium glue! I'm drinking my water before I eat, chewing my food extra well, putting my food down while I chew and think, I don't know what else to do.

I'm still being a hypochondriac. I have a weird pain in my abdomen to the left. It's not where my stomach is, I don't know, maybe I have a parasite. Maybe I was probed by the aliens and they left something behind, who knows?

I know people at work are getting tired of hearing me talk about how hungry I am. Poor Blaine, he can't get away from it. Today at work he was eating peanut butter crackers and I about crawled over my desk. He's going to up for sainthood after all of this. He went to the grocery store when we got home. He's such a trooper.

I am truly addicted to food. This is nothing like quitting cigarettes, caffeine, or One Tree Hill. Those things were all baby stuff compared to this! But they say if you can do something for 21 days, you can make it a habit. I'm trying to make hunger my habit.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!

This is my "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!" face! I weighed this morning and I've lost TEN POUNDS!!! I know that's like taking a gallon of water out of the pool and going, "Looks a little low." I can't tell it, I don't feel any better, but dadgum... TEN POUNDS!

So I don't have a kidney infection. I don't know what's wrong with me. The doctor's office didn't call me back. If I don't get this fixed they are going to postpone my surgery, booo!!!! So, knowing that something is 'off' I am more of a hypochondriac than ever before. My throat hurts, my head hurts, and I'm still HUNGRY! Hopefully they'll get this figured out.

I've had more calories (but not more than 1000) than I intended today but I will do better tomorrow!!!! Not to over share, but Aunt Flow came to visit and she makes me want to eat the house!

Thanks for all the encouragement! It means more than you know!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Honesty is the First Chapter in the Book of Wisdom

"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of Wisdom" - Thomas Jefferson

This is a picture of me thinking about mashed potatoes. I caved and ate a teaspoon. That's it, not two, a whole bowl, or the whole pan! Just a teaspoon, I promise. Also, I've been eating real food, but I'm keeping it under 650 calories. I eat slowly, chewing each bite at least 30 times, putting the food down between bites and stopping when I feel full.  I don't feel like I'm cheating, just modifying so that this works for me. Being able to have food that I can really chew and like the taste has done wonders for my mental health.

Still no word about the UTI, I should know tomorrow. My back is still hurting and nausea is NOT my friend. Sweet nursey lady yesterday said "if you don't have a bowel movement in 24 hours you'll need to take some ex-lax." I had to take the ex-lax. Blaine thinks if I turn off the lights in the bathroom the toilet will glow. Does Barium glow?

I stayed home from school today because of how bad my back was hurting. I think tomorrow I'll just tough it out at school. I still feel like crap, but I can feel like crap at work.

When Blaine got home from work today he was so sweet. I love him. He told me "only 8 more days", I said "until what?" , he answered "until your surgery!" He has a countdown! I think he's as excited as I am about getting this over and starting to feel better. I think he may be missing me in the kitchen, just a little.

~Robin

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I HAVE A SUPER POWER!!!





Look out Superman! There's a new super hero in town! The NOSE!


Able to smell fried chicken from another room, chili through a Listerine rinsed mouth and Chicken Noodle soup through a closed door! Beware criminals and eaters of real food! I know where you are and what you are eating!!!!!

Drinking Glue... I thought you were supposed to sniff it!

This is my "I feel like crap" face. Apparently the backache I've had for the past two days wasn't as a result of sitting in the recliner for a long period of time, it is from a Urinary Tract Infection (or so they suspect.)

I am a whiny baby. I am stating this for people who don't know me very well. I don't deal well with pain or feeling bad. All I want to do is go to bed and hopefully when I wake up the pain will be gone!

Okay, back to today. I left the house at 6:45 am. I had no idea what the condition of the roads would be between here and Jonesboro, so I wanted plenty of time. I got there at 8:00. My appointment was scheduled at 9:30!!! They took me right back, after getting my money, of course! What a shock when I got in the waiting room, my friend Darla, was there! I haven't seen here in probably 10 years! She's a facebook friend and we keep up with each other. She hugged me and I told her how sorry I was that her puppy Lily had been killed in an accident. We chatted and then I had to go back.

I've never had an upper GI, I never want to have another one! The worst part is the Barium concoctions they make you drink. The first one was the consistency of glue and it tasted like chalk. I almost gagged on this one. I asked if I could have a little salt and lime with it, but they didn't think I was nearly as funny as I did!! Then they make you roll around so it'll coat your stomach, then you lay on your stomach and drink a thinner mixture (with the same lovely taste). The coolest part about the whole thing was that I could see my insides. This was just too cool. I wish I could have gotten a video of it and I would have given it to Lisa Page!

I left the hospital at 9:15! Heading towards my next appointment for blood work, chest x-ray, and an EKG. I have a lovely purple pump knot on my arm from the blood work. I do believe it's the worst one I've had since the first time I gave blood in high school! Next was a chest x-ray, it was all fine and dandy until I started feeling faint. I don't do well giving blood at all! I've fainted several times, usually providing excellent stories! Last test of the day was an EKG no problem, in and out, lickety-split!

Here's the problem about all this prompt service, my last appointment was scheduled for 2:30. It's 10:30 and what do I do? Go to the mall, where I can smell Auntie Anne's pretzels from over a mile away? Walmart, where they have rotisserie chickens cooking? Kroger, where I might as well just lay in front of the buggies and let people roll over me? Nope, I was good. I went early to the doctor's office. When I walked in they looked at me like I was nuts! I mean, I know I am, but what was I to do? They were kind enough to let me hang out in the EMPTY lobby until time. It didn't stay empty the whole time. A former student came in, also a facebook friend, and we chatted about what's going on, how we're doing and just stuff in general. I love facebook. I enjoy keeping up with many of the people I've met throughout my life. The office staff were sweet and called the nurse and told her whenever she was ready she had patients waiting. After going over all the papers, my medical history, and any questions, I was on my way home!

I got home before 3:00! Here's the bad news: the phone rang. It was the nurse letting me know that my white blood cell count is high. The back ache was more than my butt trying to fuse with the recliner. I waited until Blaine got home from school and he drove me to "Doc in a Box" where I peed in the cup and should know what's going on by Thursday at the latest. So right now, it's me and painkillers. All the food is making me nauseous and I choose not to eat all of it.

I know I keep telling you what a wonderful husband Blaine is. But he is so caring and takes such good care of me! After bringing me home from filling my cup, he went to the store and got me Tylenol and Ex-Lax. What a combination! The Tylenol is for my back ache and the Ex-Lax is for the Barium!

Now here's the best news of all. I have lost SEVEN POUNDS since they weighed me the day before Thanksgiving!!! I'm not posting their weight! They made me weigh with all my clothes and sneakers on, totally doesn't count!

I know this is wordy, but I want to remember all that I did before and after this surgery. If I start to feel like cheating or eating bad foods again, I want to look back and remember the glue I had to drink and ask myself "Is it worth eating this and undo all I had to go through to get here?"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day and Scrambled Eggs



Last night we, along with most of Arkansas and the South, got Snow! It usually only happens a few times a year. When it happens, everybody freaks out and thinks they need milk & bread! This year, Blaine made the Snow Dash to the grocery store alone. I don't do to well in there. I feel like an alcoholic in a liquor store when we go grocery shopping. I see all that stuff that tastes sooooo much better than what I'm getting to eat. I just wanted some powdered chicken bouillon and sugar-free fat-free Cool Whip. Sweet Blaine was nice enough to get those for me, along with his food.

Apparently, the Cool Whip was a bad idea. It tasted soooo good, but I've been so miserable today. My lower back is killing me. Not to be indelicate, but I've had more gas than Exxon today. I've tried sitting in my heated recliner, taking a nap, Blaine rubbing my back, and nothing seems to be working.

The highlight of my day so far has been Cheesy Scrambled Eggs. They smell disgusting to Blaine, but they are my most favorite packet food so far. Much better than the yucky puddings! I have found a way to make the yucky puddings more tolerable. I just add more water and make them thin enough that I can drink them and toss them back.

Tomorrow I have an Upper GI scheduled. My doctor requires this before surgery. No eating anything after midnight until after the test. I'm also having an EKG, blood work, and x-rays. Hopefully the roads will be clear and the drive to Jonesboro uneventful!

I haven't felt nearly as hungry today, but I blame that on feeling so miserable. I don't know if how I feel is because of the food, or I just feel bad.

Tomorrow will be a better day!

p.s. I sure wish I could eat some celery or something that requires more than two chews before I swallow!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Beat Goes On!


Today was a MUCH better day! Not nearly as emotional. Maybe it had something to do with sugar-free Cool-Whip, I don't know, but I'll take it! I still have gross puddings to go, but I'm trying making them a little thinner and drinking them as fast as possible. If I could skip them all together I would. I'm happy to report that when I ate my bowl full of chik'n marinara I was pleasantly satisfied. First time in a few days that I'm actually not hearing my tummy rumble and wanting more food!

I thought about taking a picture of my hair down today, but oh my heavens, it's awful. The dry air and no conditioner resulted in me looking like the wild woman of Borneo!

On a side note, I've been taking my blood pressure several times a day and it seems to be steadily going down. One of my goals for this surgery is for me to be able to stop taking blood pressure medication. I've also had a headache most of the day. Not sure if it's the lack of food, lack of caffeine, or a combination of the two!

Blaine is such a sweetie. He went to Walmart today to get his regulation "Snow is coming" foods, milk and bread. He also got me some sugar-free Cool Whip. I mix a tablespoon of that with my Jell-O and it makes it taste sooooo much better! Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Hawaiian Punch Lemon Berry sugar free mix-ins. I get a pack of them at Dollar Tree for, you guessed it!, $1.

That's all for tonight. Hopefully, we'll be going to work tomorrow! Snow days mean going to school in June and I'd rather not!


Robin

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Day Ends Better Than it Began

Not the most flattering picture, but a much happier face! After the start to my day, bawling over the smell of fried chicken. I ate my food. (I still have strawberry and chocolate shakes to go, blechh!) Played on the internet, read on my Kindle, took a nap with Blaine, watched some television, and finally took a hot bath and read on a vampire novel. How could I not be smiling?

Don't get me wrong there are days I get mad at Blaine. But I never want anybody to think he was anything but considerate today. I never even SAW his food, I only SMELLED it and it set me off. He was being kind by eating alone and in a totally different part of the house!

Back to the diet, I now know that I am definitely a savory kind of eater. I enjoy salty, flavorful foods. Give me something salty over something sweet every time! The problem with this NutriMed food is that it's mostly nasty, sickly, fake sweet stuff. Chocolate bars, puddings, and shakes. Anything savory I'm really appreciating! I can have all the sugar free Jell-O, diet drinks, and sugar free popsicles I want. I've been drinking chicken bouillon, but not as much as I'd like. I'm trying to be aware of the sodium content. But dangit, I'd rather have four packages of the Crunchy-Os than any of that pudding.

It's difficult every time I open the fridge. I see french onion dip, lunch meat, chocolate milk, crescent rolls, and all sorts of other things that I try to not even touch! I'm hoping this blog keeps me honest and I don't ever want to have to write on here that I was weak and cheated!

I won't know how to act when I finally get to have real food again. I'm afraid I'll make myself sick. I know I'm going to be hyper-conscious of everything, but I think the first real food I get to eat will be the best tasting thing I've ever eaten!

I never even dreamed that the two weeks before surgery would be so hard. From what I've been told if I can make it through this, I'll be successful!

This is pitiful

This is a picture of pitiful. I went downstairs and all I could smell was the fried chicken that Blaine is eating. It's not his fault, he has to eat. He doesn't cook much. He was nice enough to stay downstairs and not eat in front of me. I swear I'm not mad at him. But I had to come upstairs and just bawl. It smelled so good and all I could do was pick up a stupid Cocoa Cafe bar and stomp upstairs. I'm gonna make it through this. I'm determined. But right now, I'm having a pity party!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Cold, Hard Truth


I think every morbidly obese person considers bariatric surgery at some point in their life. Whether or not they do it, that's the story. Blaine and I have discussed me having the surgery for a few years. I weighed 70 pounds less than I do today when we got married. Marriage, love of food, a broken ankle, love of food, ligament reconstructive surgery, love of food, a disgust for sweating, and just generally eating way to much lead to me gaining all that weight.

I've been overweight for as long as I can remember. I don't ever remember feeling normal, but I felt comfortable in my own skin and I felt healthy. That's the key for me, I felt healthy. The last couple of years have been tough, my knees, hips, and back hurts, my blood pressure is high, and now my blood sugar is getting out of whack. I feel tired all the time. I realized that I needed more help than just a diet would provide. It's not like I need to lose 50 pounds. I need to lose 160 pounds. That's an entire person I'm carrying around and I'm tired of hauling their butt around! They don't help do the dishes, put away the groceries, or contribute to the checking account! So their butt has got to go!!!!

What makes this decision even more difficult is the fact that our insurance does not cover any type of bariatric surgery. I think it's kind of nuts. Me being unhealthy would probably have cost them way more than we're having to pay in the long run. My health and quality of living are deteriorating and something had to be done.

The first step was both of us agreeing. This is not a decision made lightly and Blaine realizes that even though he's not having the surgery, it will have a serious impact on his life. I couldn't go forward without having him on board. Now I had to find a doctor. A former co-worker of mine had had gastric bypass and loved her doctor. Another friend of a friend had lap-band, used the same doctor and loved him too. I did research online and tried to find anything bad about him and couldn't. Next, I signed us up for a seminar. This is a requirement before you can even make an appointment with the doctor.

At the seminar the doctor gives you the different kinds of surgery available, how effective each is, and how much it costs. When we heard the cost it was several thousand dollars more than I'd heard it would be. It was very discouraging and caused us to think about it for several more weeks. Finally in November I called and made an appointment. They scheduled me for the day before Thanksgiving!

Blaine went with me and we met with Dr. Jones. I told him I was really interested in the lap-band because of it's short recovery time, reversibility, and being able to be adjusted. He agreed, said I was a good candidate, and off we went. Next was a meeting with the financial lady, she broke it all down for us and the cost was lower than what was stated at the meeting. Whew! I don't know what the final cost will be until it's all over. But I'm keeping up with the receipts and plan on deducting it from our taxes next year!

I finally got a phone call from the office in December stating that they could schedule me for the surgery on January 20, 2011. But before I can have the surgery I have to do TWO WEEKS of NutriMed no solid food diet! This is to allow my stomach to be as small as possible before the surgery. I also have to have an upper GI test, x-rays, and an EKG. There's another day of pre-admissions, meeting with the psychologist, dietician, and any other person they deem necessary!

We went to get my NutriMed foods on Wednesday. I got to pick out what I'd be eating for the next two weeks. If I only knew then what I know now! The pudding is disgusting! Nothing solid, six packs of their food, all the diet drinks, sugar free gelatin, and sugar free popsicles I can eat! Yesterday was my first day, I was pretty angry and hungry. But I wasn't as hungry as I thought! When it came time to eat the pudding I about gagged. I even put it in the freezer thinking it would taste better, I hate to think what it would have tasted like in the fridge, blechh!

I didn't sleep well, tossed and turned all night, had weird dreams, and woke up with a headache. More of the same food and today my excretory system began to rebel. I won't go into details, but let's say I'm glad the library has a bathroom! After school, despite my intense hunger pains, we went to the grocery store. Blaine picked his groceries and I picked mine! Lots of sugar free jello in every flavor available, sugar free popsicles, Mrs. Dash to add to the lovely soups and scrambled egg mixes, and a cornucopia of diet drinks! So far Milo's Calorie Free Sweet Tea with Splenda is my favorite.

Now the picture above isn't very flattering, but I've dedicated myself to being as honest as I can with this Blog. So here is the truth: Wednesday, January 6, 2011 I weighed 327 pounds. I haven't taken my measurements, but I plan to next week. I'm only going to post my weight once a week, hopefully it will be a little lower every week!

If you have any questions I haven't answered, feel free to ask! Encouragement is welcome!!!! Here's to an awesome 2011!!!

Robin