Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Did I speak too soon?

Probably.

I saw the PS today, was supposed to see just the PA. But I don't do anything half way. When he came in he told me I was his little worrier, by the end of the visit he looked, well, disappointed and concerned. He said he had been so happy with my incision line. Yeah me too, but now I think he is concerned for my health... I'm concerned for my future. That's a different post.

Like every other foreign object placed in my body I am now spitting out stitches. I've also grown some sort of germ... didn't catch the name, starts with a D. I've been on Bactrim and Clyndamycin. I'm allergic to Cipro and Keflex. I've had a couple of past infections, Staph and Serratia both involving a PICC line. So given my history and my allergies... the PS called his buddy the ID doc. He started the conversation in the exam room and then moved out into the hallway. He came back telling me that the ID doc thought he should go right to the top. In pill form THANK GOD. But man, this is a scary sounding drug, the only one in it's class, I have reached the top of the food chain when it comes to antibiotics.

Linezolid.

Ever heard of it? Yeah, neither had I, it's 1,900$ for a 10 day course and requires prior authorization from my insurance company. I have no doubt they'll approve it, but wow, that's $$$. The side effects sound kind of scary but it kills everything. I'm fine with that, if it helps me heal I'm down with whatever comes with it, well, as long as it's not death. Mom told me that I'm not allowed to take the first dose without someone with me. I'm inclined to agree.

I'm trying super hard not to hate my body. I love the way it looks, but it doesn't heal for shit.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Let's List Some Positives


My tummy no longer puddles onto my thighs and will never do that again.

I can walk around in a tank top and undies and not feel self conscious.

I have a closet full of clothes to try back on... many pieces that worked okay, should be awesome now. I'm looking at you vintage grey wool 4 gore skirt from Paris. And you too vintage Calvin Klein pencil skirt!

My supplies finally arrived today with a tape that isn't going to rip my skin to shreds.

That spot on my right side did it's thing, drained and has closed back up.

My belly button has pretty much stopped leaking.

I've been able to get a jump on the fall by working the Harvard Summer School website.

My husband is learning to cook. Tonight, Pot Pie.

I know it won't be like this forever

But right now it is, and it sucks. When I first went into this I was told no complaining. Complaining is whining about something to someone who can't do anything about it. I'm near 4 weeks on my sofa staring at clouds with no end in sight. I have no idea how long it's going to take to heal up completely, no one seems to have that information. I'm still eating 100+ grams of protein a day in hopes of moving things along. But with each step forward it seems like one step back.

This latest development I'm thinking is maybe what was causing me to sweat buckets last week over night. Hopefully what ever was causing that has been taken care of by my white cells and the result is now this pocket of ickyness just needs to move up and out. I was attributing last weeks night sweats to the Bactrum but I haven't had any problems with that in a few days.

So yeah, you can lose 185 pounds but still nothing is ever easy.

Ick Ick Ick Ick

This is getting to be a long drawn out process, as is most medical issues with me, it's never how I expect it to be.

Now I am leaking puss which is different than drainage. Puss is more like a liquid, drainage has some coagulation to it, you pull on drainage and it sticks together. Gross, I know.

No luck on the 3% saline, I finally found a pharmacy that did some leg work for me only to tell me that it is on manufacturers backorder. I spoke with the PA and she said it wasn't totally necessary. I think I'm going to go over there tomorrow so that they can actually look at it. The nurse this morning seemed concerned that the doc didn't want to see me, the PA gave me a different story when I spoke to her and said if it would give me some peace of mind that I could stop by the office. Just tell me what to do people. I just want to heal.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I've been getting out.

Excursions have included two trips to CVS, one time I sat in the car, the other time I went in. CVS is NOT impressing me right now, I need 3% saline. PS wrote a script for the hypertonic solution to use on the dressing with which I pack my wound. It should help draw out more fluid, furthering the healing process. Problem is most saline comes in .9%, so I either need a compounding pharmacy and none of which are open near here on weekends or I wait till Monday when CVS should have ordered it for me. They said expect a call from corporate as they dispensed the wrong "medication". This is me promoting my own healing, I know what the doctor and I talked about and it's not what they dispensed me.

Where else, oh I went for ice cream. This local place has wonderful soft serve but the small is always so large. I always order the small-- a personal mantra that goes a long way. But even with that rule I still have to break off the top (after the jimmies are gone of course) and toss it. I was doing this before my tummy felt smaller.

Today I went to the mall, twin sis and Mom needed glasses. I spent a lot of time sitting on benches, I went one Mall "block" down to the bathroom and back. Mom needed makeup-- a task accomplished at Sephora even though she had no lenses. I hope she likes the stuff she picked out-- a small token of appreciation for all she had done for me.

I'm pooped and swollen today, not bad, just noticeable and I need rest. Nurse says I am doing okay, hopefully she'll be on the later side and I can sleep in tomorrow.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And today I just want to cry

Hormonal, probably, but everything is making me tear up. I just want to heal. I have a stitch popping up next to my open wound, and I am worried about tunneling. I hope not. I've been doing everything I can, including 100+ grams of protein a day. I see the doc tomorrow. Hopefully he'll see some improvement.

I'm struggling with this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I just want to stretch

I want to reach my arms up over my head, arch my back and stretch. And I can't.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Missing M

I'm losing track of the days, but I am pretty sure my 3 year wedding anniversary is next week. Anyways it's on July 1st and sometimes it's still hard to believe all that has happened since. Gram's passing and countless surgeries, well actually just 5 including this latest. When we said in sickness and in health neither of us knew what was coming.

Each surgery has been a learning experience but this one will keep me down longer than the others. I hate being a burden on M. While work is not what it once for him there are still those occasions where it sucks him dry. I haven't seen him since yesterday and it just killed me that I couldn't hop in the car and bring him a bag with fresh clothes and towel late last night. And now knowing that he'll need to come home and cook if he wants something low sodium for dinner-- I feel like crying because I can't help. I never thought I'd be that girl but I like taking care of my man.

He's been taking good care of me given his limited resource of time. It's weird being totally dependent on someone else but we're both adjusting to this new dynamic I think. It won't last forever and now more than ever I know how much he loves me. I'd do the same for him in a heart beat.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nerves

Changed my dressing and the packing fell out. The nerves inside my wound burn a bit but the ones in my stomach hurt worse. I will heal, I will get better.

Now where's that last lorazapam?

Father's Day

I love my Dad.

About the time that I embarked on losing the last of my weight he had weight loss surgery. Growing up it was clear that weight was a problem but I can only remember ONCE when it was an issue for him. At least to the point that I was aware of it as a child. Posted on the refrigerator was a sign, scrawled on a sheet from a yellow legal pad in green felt tip pen:

This is Not a Sanctuary

I had no idea what it meant and neither did my babysitter. I think I have told this story before, but it sits with me today. My parents got divorced eleven years ago and our relationship has never been the same. I miss him daily, and think of him often. His surgery is not the success that I had hoped it would be, but I think the above sign tells me why. I think of weight loss surgery as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I admit my own bias having lost the weight without surgery. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around why you would do that when the complications and risks seem so high. And given what I know about me, I'm sure I would have suffered from complications. The "tool" as some call it is simply a rearranged part that you now are forced to live with. Some are able to accept it, learn from their new limitations and go onto great success, some are betrayed by it and others simply abuse it. The change has to come from within and no surgical procedure is going to do that for you.

I posted earlier this week that I wondered if I would have learned as much about myself if I had had a smaller stomach back then. I've been thinking a lot about this today, and I think I need to change my answer. I think yes, yes I would have. Again the change has to come from within you. Your heart and mind are the tools that you need to use to get to your sanctuary, it doesn't matter what path you walk down.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Is gift!

M has to be one of the greatest husbands ever. I was kind of over the internet yesterday, mostly because my Mac has been funky and I had no interest in stripping it clean, restoring to the factory settings and then reinstalling all my software. Blech. It also couldn't keep connected to the internet to save its life and 30 seconds of a clip on YouTube had to load like 3 times while playing.

When he got home I was mid dressing change. He's probably seen me naked from the waist down more in the past two weeks than during the entire prior history of our relationship. /tmi. Anyway after I alcoholed and covered up we had the normal how was your day conversation and I ranted. I went on and on about how I wanted to put the computer down for a bit, it's heavy and hard to keep on my lap for long periods of time, plus this on going internet issue, blah blah blah. He smiled and nodded. After he had brought everything in and started dinner I saw him go back outside with a blanket? I was all where you going, he said he'd be right back.

I couldn't fathom what he needed the blanket for, a new kitten, a cactus, what? Turns out he was using it as wrapping paper and beneath the green fleece was a new MacBook Pro. I cried. And felt like an ass for all the things I had just said. But man, it's nice and so clean and I don't want to make a mess of it. My last Mac was my first Mac and now that I know about them, I'll do things differently. The new touch pad will take some getting used to, but I'll be a pro at it in no time.

He's so awesome. I often remind myself that we never know how our life is going to turn out. What I have discovered since my days in Boulder is that you have to work at life. I think that also may be called growing up, but we don't all do it at the same pace. I used to sit there and wonder and worry how was I ever going to escape the life I had made for myself. I saw no exit at the time but as I started changing I began to see a new pathway. A path out. It required effort and self discipline to keep clearing the obstacles and moving forward. As I look back now, I can see where I have come from, it's been a long journey and it's never going to end. However you never know what or who you are going to find along the way, it's a great a reason to keep going. I'm so glad I have M with me now, helping to push aside the occasional debris or just to simply walk hand in hand.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Long Lonely Days

I feel like I should be more constructive with my time right now. I'm reading here and there but watching a lot of crap TV and wasting time on the internets. Reminds me of being 345 living in Boulder and never getting outside and never getting anything done. Except now it's forced, then it was willing. This experience makes me wonder how I lived like that.

I feel like my legs are going to atrophy, but no exercise or walking even for me with this hole. This weekend isn't looking like it will provide much relief from the long stretch of house confinement except for Mom and the visiting nurse. The VNA will be coming by in the morning, good thing it's early, I'll need a shower and I have no desire to wait all day. After that, I see a nap in my future.

And more freaking rain. Even being trapped inside it still sucks.

/complain

Even with gauze stuffed in my tummy...


I don't miss it.

Oh and Good News

I'm not infected. Culture just showed the regular skin flora. Apparently that is what is creating the ick on the gauze pad, my insides reacting with the outside world.

Where I'm At

There is a less than three inch section of my incision that has opened up. I assume probably the fluid that accumulated after the last drain came out put pressure on the incision line and with weak tissues it just couldn't hold together. When I'm sitting I can't really see inside, THANK GOD. There is a bit of over hang blocking my view and I am just fine with that. The plastic surgeon said that he could see two stitches in there and was going to leave them as they are keeping me together. They put a lot of tension on me and I need to make sure that I am not putting any undue stress on the incision line. I'm not, just hanging out on the sofa. He said that even without the weight loss surgery, the biology of people who have lost massive amounts of weight is just different. The tissue is not the same because the body has been starved. :c( I feel like that was so long ago, 4+ years, but apparently that doesn't make a difference. He said to keep it clean, continue to shower every day and wash myself twice a day with alcohol to dry out the opening.



So the VNA is going to come and pack my largest wound once a day. Back when I first got out of college I worked as a scheduler for a home care agency and my mom has been the on call lady for years for one as well. I am familiar with wound care but find it had to do myself, especially the idea of sticking wet saline drenched gauze into my tummy with a q tip by myself. The health insurance company and the VNA will probably want to teach me to do it myself. I guess I can do that, with some lorazapam maybe.

So it's a set back and not an unexpected one for the surgeon. As the awesome PA said to me, this is the way I do things. Alas. I will heal and this will still be a great result, I have no doubt about that. I'm glad I have the summer to heal.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stuffed some calories in me today

There has been some adjustment with this surgery. The first being is that I get full very quick. Not WLS quick, but there is a noticeable difference in my stomach capacity pre and post surgery. I don't mind it, in fact I'm pretty sure this is how I'm supposed to feel. I can only imagine what a smaller stomach does for your weight loss efforts. Or what this feeling now could have done for my efforts back then.

Would I have really benefitted from that though? Would I have learned as much about myself, my health and food? This is a luxury I have now only because I've learned to live with food. Years of slowly changing my habits, figuring out what did and didn't work for me have brought me back to this point when my stomach, and the cavity and skin surrounding it are of normal size.

That being said, I do need to be stuffing a few more calories in me. Last week I kind of let it slide and was probably only taking in 1200-1500 calories a day, fine if I wanted to lose weight, but I need to be healing. 2000 is what I need currently at a minimum. I feel like I ate all day. Mom came and helped tonight, also made me dinner, french toast with eggs from a local farm, thick sliced raison bread and lots of butter and syrup. Took a while to eat all three slices, I was tempted to stop at two, but I stuffed the last one in. I'm not going to undue in a few weeks what I have accomplished in the last nine and half years.

Looking forward to Friday

I see the doctor.

My incision line has opened up a bit. Is what it is. Blaming myself will not help. I wish it hadn't happened, but it has. I would still do again. Although I did break down earlier when changing the dressing. Mom was here and she said she was wondering when I was going to say that. I didn't really mean it, but it felt good to get it out.

It's a bit painful actually. This burning pain that is extremely sensitive to pressure. Again, is what it is. I was probably a little naive to think that my poor body, that I had abused for years, would heal up with no complications. That's just not me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Suspect

That spot I was so worried about-- it icked overnight. I woke up at 4:40 and had to pee, the bathroom was dark and I could feel something dripping down my leg. I got the light on, blood and fluid. A lot of blood and fluid. These things happen.

So they saw me in the office first thing. They paged the PA who came up from the OR. She manipulated the wound a bit expressing as much fluid as she could. They swabbed it for a culture and put me on Bactrum. The fluid doesn't smell or look infected to me, but I'm not the expert. She said to keep wiping myself clean with alcohol and apply dry gauze.

It will pass. And on a two foot long incision line we are talking an area maybe three inches long. I'll be fine. I'd still do this all over again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

God helps those who help themselves

My Gram used to say that, it's so true. You have to take responsibility for yourself and promote your own healing. I'm trying.

Sometimes I wonder how different my mindset would be if I hadn't gone for the 3rd ACL replacement. There was no way that I could have known that there would be more pain and suffering from that surgery than actual benefit. Unfortunately I can't predict the future and had no idea that I was setting off down a path of self doubt and self loathing instead of self confidence and love. It never occurred to me that I could become infected twice, but as my writing instructor said, who is also a PCP, "The chances for you are 100%."

It's one of the reasons I waited so long on this plastic surgery. Besides always needing my knee operated on so I didn't go nutty with pain, it was the idea of optional surgery that was hard for me to overcome.

And why the fuck does that spot on my leg throb today? It's goddamn aching, twinging and today was red for no reason in an unusual spot. Look for something to come out of my skin there in the next few days I'm sure.
/rant

This is the first step I need to take to get to the thighs to be able to wear a brace that doesn't chafe and rip apart my skin so I can give my knee a fighting chance to make it too 55. (I hope!) These surgeries some how seemed safer than finding someone who would stick a big hunk of metal in my knee at 32. Right now, whatever is going on under my incision will pass, and I have no doubt it will be nothing compared to what I have been through. I fear more tubes and more antibiotics that make me feel like shit. But mostly I fear imposing on my crazy wonderful family.

Breathe. Thinking calming thoughts.

My temp has spiked to 101 and I am unhappy with the way the left side of my incision looks. It's not crazy red, but it looked much better yesterday damnit! I am not holding out much hope that tomorrow it will have improved. We'll see. I'll be calling the office in the morning regardless and ask to be seen. The place where the drain was seems to be a hard lump, the rest of my swelling is under control and while that spot is still ooozing, it's not bad at all. I did speak to the office today and they said to keep an eye on it and if it gets worse to call. Also, wipe the spot with an alcohol pad. I was all set for burning intense pain. My hand actually stopped above the spot and I was like wtf am I doing. It didn't hurt at all. Cool and creepy all at the same time.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dinner was Awesome

M is trying to fatten me up. Seriously, and I'm okay with that. I used to relish it when for some reason, weight just dropped off, illness, crazy motivation, surgery, being shit broke. But I am trying to heal here. My appetite is okay, I just get full so fast. He made a low sodium lasagna that was so yummy I had two small pieces... spaced out over an hour. I have just learned it was so delicious because he doubled the amount of cheese.

The scale said 156.8 this morning, it said 161.2 yesterday. It's bouncing, but trending downwards. I have no idea how much the skin weighed that the plastic surgeon removed. They don't weigh it, if they did it would have to go through pathology and I guess that's an extra added expense. Im okay with not really knowing that exact answer. It's just gone. However based on what I see on the scale, I'd venture it was at least 5 pounds. I do know that the skin he removed came in two large fan like pieces both measuring 26 cm x 28 cm x 26 cm. I need to look up how to calculate the area of a triangle.

So where is a girl to go?

I'm a message board kind of gal, in fact I met my husband on one. Really, M and I met on a Survivor message board back at the end of season two, The Outback.

So when plastic surgery became a possibility I started looking around for a message board to read and take part in. I have basically two choices. One type of board (found in several places) is for those who have had some sort of weight loss surgery. These people talk about protein levels and non-healing wounds and about slicing off their skin months from goal. Not my crowd. My other option are boards populated with the mommy tummy folks. They come in all ages but often have tummy tucks with breast augmentations and lipo and their surgeries are more on the cosmetic side. Not to take away from their experience and feeling uncomfortable in your own body but again, I can't really relate.

I found one place that is an interesting mix of the two, but I would never post my surgery pictures as my avatar. Sigh.

So I have been writing instead. The computer gets heavy on my legs anyway. My writing class instructor said this time would be great for putting thoughts on paper and she was right. I'm finding it way more cathartic than bitching on a board.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Want to Save Your Life

It's on We. Fascinating.

Today I Rested

Mom came by, twin sis came by and M is on the Cape. I miss him, but he's got his own health issues right now so I don't begrudge him his own moment of peace.

I'm doing better tonight. The rest today and a good night's sleep helped. I had been up for 20 hours yesterday, I was strung out and it's been hard to sleep with the crazy dreams and external stress. The swelling today is much better, but not down to what it was. I'm sure that's drain removal related. What else, I pooped! And even though I have a small spot that's leaking a bit of fluid, I think it should close up over night. It'll be my 11:11 wish anyways.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Methyl 7-chloro-6,7,8-trideoxy-6-(1-methyl-trans-4-propyl-L-2-pyrrolidinecarboxamido)-1-thio-L-threo-α-D-galacto-octopyranoside monohydrochloride

aka Clindamycin

Another thing that's kicking my ass today. Antibiotics and I are not friends.

Is this the swell hell I've read about?

Sure feels like it. Between drain coming out, a bit of constipation, (I did go some, which is better than none) and walking in and out of the hospital this morning, I'm not surprised. It's uncomfortable but I know it will pass.

I had a lovely afternoon with my Mom today. She's swell in a good way.

Oh the sizes I have been (Plus some pictures!)

There has been some chatter lately about how plus sized clothing lines are being phased out in this economy. The XX Blog over on Slate has a good explanation of why, but I wouldn’t call the 16 at Ann Taylor a plus size.

A Universal Truth — ALL women have a hard time finding clothes that fit. It takes time and effort and requires some thought to your own sense of personal style. I have been a continuum of sizes as we’ve moved through the seasons through the years. I have tried on thousands of items of clothing. I often used the big open room that used to be the woman’s changing room at the Basement in DT crossing even when I was still a true plus size. Feeling good about yourself starts (for me anyways) with looking good on the outside. I didn't care who saw me there, most only saw me with my clothes on and you wouldn't believe the number of times I have heard, "You don't look like you've lost all that weight!"

I was 20/22W during my plateau at 240ish in my mid twenties, it was a weight I knew before in high school but years later my body was a different shape. At my largest I was 30W at Lane Bryant and during my thinnest, buffest days I was a 6 at Banana Republic. That was only on top of course, the skirt to match the suit jacket was an 8, a stretch then at 152. My dimensions changed with my weight, at one time I was larger around than I was tall but when I revisited that weight on the way back down, that was no longer the case. It has gotten easier over the years to mask my awkward shape as my body weight came closer to the most common. I do expect it to be easier now with the plastic surgery to buy pants, skirts and dresses. Click here and here for pictures of what was in my way.

I don't find it odd that plus sized clothing sales are down 8% compared to 2% for normal sized women in this economy. If I was still heavy, I'd be wearing out what I had simply because it was more difficult and way more time consuming to find new clothes that fit well. As I explained based on my own personal experience I understand how difficult it must be to design for a smaller number of women with a larger variance in their proportions. For example, Lane Bryant did not design clothes for me. Yes they fit, but I did not have the chest that their designers assume all large women have. Dresses had darts and pleats that looked all wrong and the rise of their pants, always awkwardly high. Designer lines like the Lauren Ralph Lauren and the former Elizabeth also had similar fit issues. Think matronly. When I got down to goal I found I had the same but slightly different problem, but it was hard to fault the clothing companies. No one has the now thin but formally fat on their mind when designing clothes, and so while it was hard to find things that disguised my problem area it wasn't the nearly impossible task it was when I was 200-345 pound.

In the end it's all about fit. Anyone can look good regardless of size, it just takes some time and thought. Sadly, a little more of both the larger we are.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Welcome back!

I saw 159 this morning. I wonder if this i because I am shedding fluid, I shed tissue or if I need to be eating a bit more. I have no idea what shape I am at this weight. It's all new to me. I do think it's more than just the surgery though, my face, legs and wrists look much smaller than they have in the past few months. My appetite isn't gone but I certainly get full fast. I feel like they stuffed all my organs into me and sewed my muscles up to tuck them in. There is no longer extra room in which my stomach can just expand with food. It will take some adjusting too.

Okay, bed time. Seriously, post op at 9:30am.

Guess what hurts?

I'm laying around, doing nothing really. Well, trying not to freak out, this healing is hard work and I am hoping my 3rd drain comes out tomorrow. And umm, now that I know it's the middle strip in the picture that is laying inside of you, I'm slightly more freaked out. My mom of course knew. I did not know what was coming and probably best that I didn't. But now I do and I just want the other one out, I hate, hate, hate foreign objects in my body, we don't have the best track record.

Which brings me to what also hurts. That spot in my left leg, where he scraped the bone in February. It's not crazy painful, just a bit of a twinge. I'm ignoring it, but still makes me sad. Something will have to be done about it someday. Someday.

Right now I am just trying to hang on to getting well. Today was better, I slept mostly. Looked at bed trays online. I think I need one if I'm still couch bound for a bit. Tomorrow morning is first follow up with PS. I'm sure he'll be pleased, I know I am! I'm still adjusting to this new body. I can't believe how flat I am. I know that must sound cliche, but it's true. I wonder how squishy I'll be after I'm all healed. I have no basis for comparison, and have no idea what my stomach is supposed to feel like.

Pain killers kicking in. Bed time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

<3 M <3

When I went in for pre op the RN goes through all these medical question and then asks...

"What do you like to do to relax?"

This always reminds me of being in Russian class and having to come up with a generic list of things you like to do, listen to music, talk on the phone, watch movies, read a book. Basically all things you can do on an iPod these days. I'm totally comfortable with silence, I don't need music or a magazine to distract me. I can just be me and be more or less okay in a stressful situation. So I told her I liked to hold M's hand to relax and she told me that was the best answer she had ever heard.

It works too. At 2 am last night I had had enough, my back was tweaking and I missed my husband, I took a pain pill grabbed the wedge pillow and shuffled into the bedroom. I laid down and settled in and it was lovely. His hand found mine and squeezed. No nightmares last night.

That was some dream

And as an old friend interpreted for me on Facebook, I have fear of being punished. I'd agree with that. I haven't been able to nap peacefully since this surgery and this afternoon was one of the worst dreams I have ever had. They have been following the same theme, someone is chasing me, they catch up to me, they beat the shit out of me and then I wake up. When I say beat the shit out of me, I mean with glass bottles, hammers, etc. Unrelenting anger is just pouring out of my attacker. Very scary stuff. Sometimes I wake up and sometimes I am rescued and then I wake up. Today I was rescued by Howie Long.
I think this one was particularly intense because I was looking at the pictures I took of me last week pre surgery. I never got any taken with an actual camera, all from my iPhone, but you'll get the idea. These were taken in Target, I really liked that skirt. On the old me it would have hid my hang just fine with all those ruffles, but the seams would have been bursting underneath. It was a a size 10 and you can see that it was too large in the waist. I'm about 163 in those pictures and I am 5'8". There are other pictures that show the bottom half, but I'm not ready to post those yet.


I know I am deserving and I did the right thing, my subconscious will catch up to that. I haven't really read anywhere about people struggling with this surgery mentally. It took me years to come to the conclusion that this was something I needed to do for me. In October I'll be at 5 years of maintenance-- most people are wanting this done right away. Not me. For some reason I think it's harder on us non bariatrics or non mommy tummy folks. I don't know why, but I struggled with feelings of shame and embarrassment before doing this. And these feelings wern't related to my body, but over the fact that this was the only way that I was ever going to be normal. I know I look normal in some of these pictures, but I really wasn't. I hid it well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Drains Suck

I hate them. So awkward and they stress me out. I have three tubes hanging out of my pubic area and they are attached to 100 cc bulbs. One has pretty much stopped draining, but the other two are still leaking out fluid as they are supposed too. I've showered twice now and it helps keep me and them clean. Imagine a sticky rubber that attracts everything. You are supposed to milk them, by sliding your finger down the tube and stretching it at the same time. Works okay until your grip slips and punch yourself in the groin. This is probably the worst part of the recovery.

Recovery in general stresses me out though. Trying not to let it, and I know past history is no indication of future performance, but still, it's hard to keep the worry at bay. They only stitches I have are holding the drains in place, the rest of me held together by glue. Well, there are stiches on the inside, but I can't see them. I can just feel my muscles all pulled tight and they are sore, like the worst ab workout ever all the time. My back is also hurting, it's my lower back. I was hoping it was constipation pain, but I pooed today. Ahhhhhhhhh. Alas, the back pain was still there, no doubt it's from me compensating for my tummy. My quads are also getting a work out. I bend at the knees if i have to get lower for something. Being mobile is helping recovery, I can do a lot more (but at the same time less) for myself than I would have thought. I'll be so happy when the drains come out, I miss sleeping in the same bed as my husband. He fears pinching them under me, like my old skin, so for now I am on the sofa. He's also going through a rough patch and I just wish I could support him more, even if was just to hold his hand at night. Soon, this will all be a happy memory.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I'm home

Mom and husband have been awesome. Twin sis is off at our high school reunion also being awesome. She's already called a couple of times with some interesting stories, I'm thrilled she having such a nice time. She deserves it.

Anyways, I'm doing good, the incision line doesn't really hurt that bad. Mostly it hurts at the ends and it extends almost all the way around to my back on my sides. It's where the muscles got stitched together and also the drains that pain me. I'm on the sofa propped up and have a pillow under my knees. I'm getting up every couple of hours to walk and just move. The drains get emptied every 8 hours and that task while icky isn't as bad as I would have thought.

I'm not very hungry. I think it's because everything is al squished into me. Seriously, I get very full very fast. Interesting side effect.

Thanks for all the kind words folks!

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Me

I was up in my room by 1pm. I was the first case of his day. It went well, upper abs are stiff and tight. Insicion line doesn't hurt that much. I'm one of the few people who Benadryl wires so I'm wide awake for the moment. I just looped the nurses station to shake off a little bit of the morphine and because the doctor said so.

I'm writing this from my iPhone. I <3 technology.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm ready.

I don't know what else to say. This has been harder than I expected, but I'm ready.

Pictures

I leave everything to the last minute I swear... I've asked someone close to me to take some pictures. Maybe a short video instead? I dunno. Very hard for me to put on display what I have been attempting to cover up for years. We'll see how they come out. For the always thin I think it's hard to understand what I'm dealing with. For the still overweight, many wonder what they'll look like. I still feel fat somedays. I know I look thin. But this body, this body that was 345 pounds can't escape that fact I weighed more than what I weigh now. It's hard to imagine that I stuffed a whole extra (overweight) person in my skin.

We had dinner with mom last night. She said she wished she had more pictures of when she was pregnant. I know I'll want these pictures some day too-- so I'll get this done.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Almost there

I have:

Snacks
Shower chair (Thanks Gram!)
Bed wedge
Dressing change supplies
Positive attitude!

I was just saying this...

From USA Today

"Keeping weight off is one of the most significant accomplishments you can do in modern America."

Monday, June 1, 2009

I am so proud of you.

I am. I hope you know that.

What you have accomplished in the past two years is remarkable. You are standing on your own and finding out who you are.

Don't let anyone take that away from you.