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That’s all. Carry on!

Yesterday I started my liquid diet.  The beginning of the day wasn’t so bad because I am used to drinking a protein shake for breakfast. 

Jeff and I decided to go out together to run some errands.  I needed to make my car payment at the credit union.  Have you ever seen Operation Repo?  It’s a show about the repo team who go and repo cars that are past due on payments.  Let’s just say antics ensue because there are some CRAZY people out there!!  One guy threw a bowling ball thru his car window as they were taking the car away on a tow truck.  Right,……I’m so upset that you’re taking my car that I’m going to damage MY OWN CAR!!!!!  These people are nuts!!  Anyways, one of the women on the show lives here in our apartment complex.  We’ve seen her driving around a few times, and every time we do we crack up.  She’s one tough cookie!!!  Anyways, our running joke is that we want to make sure we make our car payments so that she doesn’t show up at our door.  She doesn’t have far to go!

After the car payments, we went to Target to pick up some last minute supplies.  I wanted some trashy magazines to read this weekend and during my hospital stay.  We also went over to Panera Bread, where I order some chicken noodle soup sans chicken and vegetables.  Their soup broth is so yummy!  The last stop on our trip was going to Taco Bell for Jeff.  Now before you get all crazy and say “He took you over to Taco Bell while you are on a liquid diet???”, let me say that I told him that he could go thru the drive thru.  I averted my eyes so I didn’t see the menu and made him check the bag to see if everything was there.  But I did hold the bag on the way home, and let me just say it’s a great thing that I can’t smell anything because I think I would have torn that bag up!!  I kept muttering to myself “soup broth, soup broth, soup broth”. 

As soon as we got home, I went in the bedroom to eat my soup while Jeff ate his Taco Bell.  Hey, I can’t smell but I sure as heck didn’t want to WATCH him eat it!  Overall the day was ok.  I started to get a little light headed, so Jeff made a protein shake for me.  I ate/drank soup broth, protein shakes, iced tea, sugar-free jello and sugar-free pudding, and ended the day with a sugar-free popcicle.

Today is my bowel cleanse.  As I type, I am drinking my magnesium citrate.  My take on this little bottle: lemon flavored horse piss.  I haven’t had much experience with horse piss, but if I did, I’m pretty sure this bottle would taste like it.  They try to disguise it with the lemon flavor, but no dice.  I was explaining the taste to Jeff.  The first few sips taste like a super tart Sprite, but after now drinking a whole bottle of it, the Sprite taste has left the building and all I’m left with is horse piss.  Lovely!!!

Well, I better run along.  The bottle says that things should happen within 30 minutes to 6 hours, so I think I should see something soon.  My stomach is starting to churn so I can only imagine what I have in store today.  Jeff has strict instructions to stay away from my bathroom and only slide a magazine or two under the door.

3 days to go!

Well, I’ve got three days to go until surgery. 

Thanksgiving was great.  The food was awesome!  My dad cooked the dark meat of the turkey in the crockpot for 14 hours, and cooked the white meat in the oven.  The white meat was super moist because we didn’t have to wait for the dark meat to cook thru and dry out the white meat.  Which is my favorite part!  Plus my sister made a yummy lasagna. 

I managed to control myself and only had 1 plate of food.  I also controlled myself today with my last day of solid food for a while.  Jeff and I went to the movies to see Harry Potter and I enjoyed some popcorn with my nacho cheese powder on top.  Very classy!!  Especially the powder sheen that ended up on my chest.  VERY classy!  Then we went to McDonald’s for dinner.  Not exactly what I had in mind, but I didn’t really have a craving for anything in particular.  I had a grilled chicken sandwich and a few fries.  I also enjoyed some sweet tea.  Very tasty!

So I’m preparing for my all liquids starting tomorrow.  I’ve already warned Jeff that if he eats anywhere near me, I might have to cut him.  No joke!

Some changes are afoot!

Hello!!!  After some persistent nagging encouragement from some friends, I have decided to resurrect my long-lost blog.  It’s aliiiiiiiiiive!!!  Sorry, I had a Frankenstein moment there!!

There have been some big changes, and I’m starting a new adventure here.  It seemed more appropriate to reformat my blog to just be my adventure.  Jeff is still here having his own adventures, but I’m reclaiming this blog as my space.

In case you hadn’t noticed the new title of the blog (really??? look up!!), my blog is going to be focused on my newest adventure that I am on.  I have decided to have bariatric surgery.  Specifically I am having vertical gastric sleeve surgery.  If this is completely foreign to you, check it out here.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to come back.

………

This has been such a long road for me and my decision has not come lightly.  Let me tell you a little bit about me.  I have always been overweight.  My biggest problem seems to be that I am always hungry.  I love to eat!!!  And I feel like if a little bit of something is good, then a whole lot of it must be better, right?  As I have gotten older, the pounds have just kept adding on.  Nothing seems to help.  I have tried all the diets out there.  I can lose weight for a while, but then it all comes back, with interest. 

I’ve had a little bit of experience with bariatric surgery in my family.  Several family members have done various procedures, but I will actually be the first to do the sleeve procedure.   In the last 6-8 years, I have been doing research on bariatric surgery and if it would be the right choice for me.  My current insurance is thru Kaiser in Southern California, and I do qualify for the procedure to be covered by insurance due to my BMI and co-morbid conditions (high blood pressure, high cholesterol).

 The one thing about the sleeve that I am really looking forward to is the fact that the hunger hormone, ghrenlin, will be removed from my stomach and I won’t feel hungry.  What an amazing feeling that will be!!!  Right now I feel like I’m constantly hungry.  One moment when I knew this was a problem was when I went to Claim Jumpers with Jeff, and about an hour later, I felt hungry again.  If you’ve ever been to Claim Jumpers, you know their portions are HUGE!!!  As Jeff likes to say, “Claim Jumper to death!!”.  So this will be a very exciting thing for me.

So where am I at in the process?  Well, in December of last year, I actually qualified to meet with a bariatric doctor at Kaiser.  Once I met with him, I was signed up for classes.  Kaiser requires you to attend 12 week classes to educate you and make sure you completely understand what you are signing up for.  Half the classes are taught by a nutritionist and the other half are taught by a behaviorist.  So not only do you learn about healthy eating, you start to learn about why you eat and why you eat even when you’re not hungry.  I was initially interested in the lap-band, but after learning more about the sleeve, the sleeve seemed like the better option for me.  The weight loss is usually higher with the sleeve, and the hunger hormone issue seemed to be a great advantage with the sleeve.

I completed my classes in July.  I had to take a myriad of blood tests.  In one sitting, I had 16 vials of blood drawn.   I had been watching True Blood right before this experience, and was completely convinced that they thought I was a vampire and were trying to sell V on the black market!  I also had to do an EKG and a chest x-ray.  Every thing came back great.  I also had to go have a psych eval to make sure my head was in the right place.  For those who know me, this was a great concern for me!!  I have battled with depression for a while and was really nervous about telling a psychiatrist my history for fear that she wouldn’t approve me.  I decided to be completely honest with her and told her everything.  I spilled my guts about my whole history in 20 minutes flat.  She didn’t even bat an eye, and passed me with flying colors.  Which told me that the main thing is to be honest here!

I was referred to a surgeon named John Yadegar in Lancaster, CA.  He is super friendly and immediately put me at ease.  He let me ask whatever questions I wanted to, and didn’t make me feel rushed or anything.  He sat with me for about an hour, listening to me and talking about the procedures.  I feel very comfortable with him.

I had my final pre-op appointment last Friday, and my surgery is scheduled for Monday, November 29 at 3pm.  To prepare for surgery, I will be on a liquid diet starting on Saturday.  Thankfully I will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner before that!  I will also have to do a bowel cleanse on Sunday.  I am really not looking forward to that part of it!  If you can’t find me on Sunday, I will probably be in the bathroom!  I told Jeff just to slip a magazine under the door and walk away.  Hehehe!!!

I’m getting more anxious as the date gets closer.  I feel ready for the surgery, but I also wonder how painful it will be and what I will feel like afterwards.  I will have a morphine trigger that I can use every 8 minutes, but I still wonder exactly how I will feel. 

Feel free to ask me any questions you have, and I will answer to the best of my ability.  Or if you’ve had surgery, tell me how it went!  This blog will post my progress as I go thru this new adventure.

Are those crickets I hear??

Oh hey there!!  How’s it going?  Yes, yes, I know I haven’t posted anything in a while.  I know, I suck!!!  LOL!!!  But I do have good reasons for that.  Mrs. Kitty hit it on the head in her last blog post, which made me think that I should post something so that you wouldn’t think this space has been abandoned.

When I began blogging, I absolutely loved it.  LOVED IT!!!!!  It was such a freeing experience to be able to say anything I wanted to without being interrupted.  I have done journaling in the past and it has always been such a great way to get my feelings out in the open and look at them from another perspective.  Having people comment on my experiences was just the icing on the cake for me!  How great to have people understand and relate to things that I was going thru.  It made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and the feelings that I was having were totally normal. 

Of course, blogging wasn’t always such a great thing.  I got busted at work for blogging when I should have been working.  Ooopss!!!  But how could I not??  I had so much to say, and still do!!  I seem to have an opinion on everything, and I love being able to express it so openly.

 The other issue that I have had with blogging is having family members read it.  I guess part of that is my fault.  I was so excited when I started blogging that I was telling everyone about my page and welcoming them to come visit.  For the most part, that was great.  It was a great way for my family and friends to keep up with what was going on in my life.  But it turned ugly after a few posts when a family member criticized my actions in one of my posts.  This person sent me a lengthy email, chastising me for each item in a particular post.  I felt like this person had slapped me across the face for being ME, which, sorry to tell you, isn’t going to change any time soon!  This slap sent shock waves thru me.  I couldn’t believe my innocent little blog was being used against me.

 Since then, I have been very hesitant to post anything.  My free and open space has suddenly become claustrophobic and I wanted out of here.  Which is part of the reason for the lack of posts in the last few months (the other reason being that I’m just so freaking busy!!!!).  I’m not sure what to do with this situation.

 I have considered making my blog private but I enjoy it when people I know and don’t know stumble upon it and comment.  I have considered creating a new site and directing those I want to keep in contact with to the new site.  I’m still not sure what to do.  It is slightly comforting to know that I am not alone in this conundrum, but it really sucks.

I have been nurturing my little cocoons for about a week now.  Every day  I come home from work and see if any progress has been made.  Every day there was no movement, no indication that my little cocoons were hard at work.  But they were!!!

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They were not very pretty! 

But today when I was at work, Jeff sent me a text message that they were starting to hatch.  I was so excited!!!  But I felt like a working mother who was missing a big day in their child’s life.  I felt so bad that I wasn’t home to watch it happen.  By the time I got home, 8 butterflies had hatched.

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(Thankfully the instructions said that there might be some red liquid that comes out.  There is red liquid all over one side of the habitat.  At first I thought there was a little Butterfly Fight Club action going on.  First rule of Fight Club……don’t talk about Fight Club!!!)

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I think they look like monarchs, but the booklet only refers to them as Painted Ladies.  I’m not sure if that’s a generic term for butterflies or a type of butterfly. 

I also had to save one of my butterflies already.  The booklet says that you can put cut watermelon, bananas and oranges in the habitat and the butterflies will drink the juice.  Apparently the first butterfly to hatch landed on a banana slice.  The juice must have been really good because he looked a little drunk and fell off the banana.  The bad part was that his wing landed on the wet banana and he wasn’t strong enough yet to lift himself off of it. 

I told Jeff that I just had to save him!  He said I should just let him deal with it, but he was stuggling so much.  I reached in and let him grab onto my finger and lifted him off the banana.  He stayed on my hand for a minute before I gently set him back down.  I like to think that he was thanking me for helping him, but really he was probably just thinking “What the heck was THAT thing??  And why was I stuck to it?”  They’ve been thru a big change today, so now they’ll just rest tonight. 

I still have 4 cocoons yet to hatch so maybe I’ll have a few more yet.  My plan is to watch them for a few days and then release them outside.  I’m hoping that they will lay their eggs outside and we’ll see more butterflies around our house.

🙂

My latest project has me staring into little jars and looking at small creatures.  I had live animals shipped to my office and they arrived today.  What am I doing, you ask???

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I’m raising butterflies!!!!  They look kinda gross now, but soon they will be beautiful butterflies.  All the brown stuff in the container is food.

A co-worker of mine told me about something she did for her sister’s wedding.  They ordered all these caterpillars and put them in individual boxes.  She had to keep them in a dark room and give them a little shake every day.  They took all the boxes to the wedding and handed them out to the guests.  At the right moment, the guests were to all open their boxes.  They were not told what was in the box.  Imagine their surprise when all 200 guests opened their boxes at the same time and had a ton of butterflies flying around.  How cool is that!!!

Seeing as I am obsessed with butterflies, I thought I’d give it a try.  I think my obsession is for small, winged creatures.  I love angels, hummingbirds, Tinkerbell, and butterflies.  There’s just something about these small creatures that I love to look at.  Jeff pointed out that it’s probably also the colors because I don’t feel the same affection for flies.  Good point!

So my little caterpillars are in the process of spinning their cocoons.  They will stay in their cocoons for about 10 days, and then they will hatch into butterflies.  The company also sent me a little habitat to observe the butterflies in.  The butterflies will live for about 2-4 weeks.  At any point during their butterfly stage, I can release them into the wild.  If I do it soon enough, they will lay eggs on nearby plants and I’ll have even more butterflies to enjoy.  I’m so excited!!  I’ll post more pictures once they start to make their change.

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Last Sunday, I had the privilege of taking my two nieces and nephew to Medieval Times for the first time.  I have been many times, but none of them had been.  I couldn’t believe it!!!  Julianna had been saying that she wanted to go, so Jeff and I found a good deal and took the kids.

It was so much fun!!!

Here they are at the entrance:

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The kids were pretty excited to get to wear crowns.

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(Oh yeah, and I had to take them to the bar to booze them up before the show.  Don’t worry, Melissa, they are all virgin drinks!!!  We did get extra cherries for Jackson’s Shirley Temple.  I think that’s why he’s grinning!!!)

We purchased an upgrade to get better seats, and ended up getting the front row of the Red Knight’s section. 

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(Medieval Times + ponytail = a crooked crown!)

I was trying to get the girls to cheer when our knight came by with flowers in hopes that they would get one.

Madisyn got one better!  Our knight got many flowers to throw to our section, which he threw to the rows behind us.  But he only got one “favor”.  The princess ties a ribbon to the end of his lance and he had to pick one lucky lady to receive it.  Madisyn was his pick!!  She was so excited!!

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A photographer came over and took her picture, but because I’m too cheap (read: I had already spent WAY too much money), I tried to just take a picture of the photo.  She’s the Queen of Love and Beauty.

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They also put our knight’s picture on the other side (who reminded me of Anthony’s friend, Dan Hammrick.  Funny!!)

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When I showed her this picture with our knight, she promptly stuck out her tongue and made a face, which I took to mean that she thinks he was cute.  Hey, that’s what MY reaction would have been at that age!!! 

The kids had a blast!  I think we were the only ones who smuggled in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for Jackson to eat.  During dinner, I looked over and saw a sight that was unique to our group:

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With all the food and drink they give you there, Jackson was drinking a Capri Sun!  Go figure! 

But he loved it too!!  He kept asking when the fighting was going to start, and he was so into it.  Everytime they would do a battle, he would start telling us all what they were doing: “Look, he hit him with the sword!” “He threw his shield!”  It was really cute!!

Everyone had a great time, and since I’m the auntie who spoils, we were probably the only group leaving the castle who had to go thru a drive-thru for kids meals, since the younger two didn’t really eat anything.  It was ok though.  We had a blast!!

It’s seems like it’s been forever since I blogged.  Well, part of that is that I have no time at all!!

I’ve started taking a CPA review course to prep for the CPA exam.  Let me just say that if the exam is as tough as this class, I-am-screwed!!! 

 The first day of the class didn’t seem so bad.  Mind you, this class meets near my office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm-10pm.  Harsh, especially after a l-o-n-g day at work.  But I signed up for it.  I feel like I’m signing up for torture.  I think if I signed up for someone to pull out my fingernails and toenails one by one, it would be less painful than this.  “Would you like to pay thousands of dollars for someone to confirm the fact that you know nothing?”  Why, yes, that sounds like just what the doctor ordered!

 The first class wasn’t so bad.  I think that’s how they sucker you in.  The teacher was this rather large, rather sweaty man who seemed like he was cracked up on too much of something.  Let’s just say he was very hyper and energetic.  I’m not pointing fingers or anything, but I’m pretty sure he was on something.  After the first judgmental view I had of him, he actually was a pretty good teacher.  And he tried to be funny.  He went thru the book and pointed out areas that we really need to focus on, and areas that they won’t test too much on.  Sounds like just the class I need.

 The second class is where the other shoe dropped.  There was a different teacher.  Ok, I thought.  How bad could this guy be?  It was obvious that his drug of choice was a Coca-Cola, sitting precariously on the lectern.  At least I wouldn’t have to guess what was amping this guy up.  He began the class by saying that this was a very important topic.  I got my highlighter ready.

 And then he proceeded to READ-FROM-THE-BOOK!!!  After working all day, the last thing I needed was to have someone read to me.  I’m sorry, is this the English majors test that I’m gearing up for?  I don’t think so.  I know how to read on my own.  I’ve been doing it a LONG time now!!!  (In fact, I used to get paid to read books instead of watch tv.  Until my dad and step-mom realized what a costly venture that was!!!)  Needless to say, I love to read.  What I would love even more is if this guy actually TAUGHT something that would be useful.  There’s a novel idea!! 

 The biggest concern this guy had was how much time he was “banking”.  “The second half of this lecture is really intense, so we need to make some time here”.  By doing that, he ignored all questions and didn’t allow enough time to actually work the problems on our own.  Instead he slapped his illegible writing up on the board and moved on.  The other thing?  I think this guy was one of those legal guys at the end of commercials in a past life.  He talked so damn fast!!!  At one point I found myself just staring at him, not realizing that actual words were coming out his mouth.  It sounded like just noise. 

 I was slightly reassured when leaving the class.  I rode down in the elevator with a few classmates.  I asked them if they were as confused and lost as I was.  Two of them said yes, that guy was horrible.  The third student just had a look of terror on his face and couldn’t seem to muster up any words.  I feel you, man!!!

 After having taken classes online for the last few years, I have gotten very accustomed to doing school on my own time.  Attend when I have time.  That’s really the way to go.  Sure, there are deadlines to meet, but as long as I have my work turned in by the due date, everyone is happy. 

 I’m thinking about switching back to that.  This program does offer a home study option.  They send you discs with the lectures on it (thankfully done by someone at corporate who talks slower and I can actually understand.  And even if he says something too fast, that’s what the rewind button is for!).

 This test is super important for me to pass (not to mention costly, so it behooves me to pass on the first try), so I want to be as prepared as I possibly can be. 

 Eagerly awaiting my lecture discs to come in the mail!!!

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