Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hi!!! I'm ALIVE!!!!



OMG....blogger is working again on this computer! It hasn't worked forever!


I've had a revision surgery and I'm back at work and I'm alive! I know you were all wondering...


*crickets*


Or not.


Ok...maybe some of you were. I choose to believe some of you were. :)


I did go in on October 19 as planned for my revision surgery and all went well. I actually came out of it looking even BETTER than the first time because she had to pull the skin TIGHTER than before AND, because she is a perfectionist (thank HEAVENS!) and the tightening was going to leave "pleats" on my "mons pubis" region, I got another pubis revision as well...and that looks even better than before, too! I'm going to look effin amazing in a pair of underwear (if we all ignore my thunder thighs) if these flimmin flammin drains EVER COME OUT!!!


Yes, here we go again with the never ending drain saga. It's actually not QUITE as bad as last time, because I'm only 3 weeks post-op and they do look like they are going to come out sometime soon...where as last time they were in for 74 freakin days and only came out because the giant freakin hole in my gut took over the fluid draining process....this time we are only at 20 days and they are actually decreasing in quantity enough to believe they might come out either by Friday (at least the right side will) or possibly some time next week. In the mean time, the right side is AGAIN trying to inch out on it's own...which is not the most comfortable thing in the world...and the left side has 2 holes in it which I have mended with DUCT TAPE...so I look very "Ghetto Chic".
Itty bitty holes in drain tubes that are causing an
air leak in a system that works by suction....not good. :/


I do have a teeny, tiny wound again...but when I say tiny, it's literally the size of a pencil eraser and the surgeon isn't even calling it "necrotic tissue" (though I am because it looks the same to me)....she says it's simply a scab. What evs...it's not bad, regardless....I can put a Band-Aid on it as soon as the stupid drains come out.
Current wound...nothing compared to last time.
I can't explain why it happened again. I was assured
the odds were very, very low.
So going into this secondary procedure, I was pretty terribly deformed from the "contracture" that took place during the healing process. In it's final days it really did start closing in very fast and was significantly smaller. But it left my tummy looking gnarly as hell. I'm posting pictures of what it looked like the night before surgery because I don't believe these photos to be gory in any way...the hole is there, but it's the size of a small post-it note and barely noticeable in the photo with all the layers of deformity around it, so you should not be shocked or grossed out now like the other photos (but if you are, I'm sorry). I've pixilated out all the fun stuff...but you can see how my awesome boobs turned out...even with the pixilation.






On the last day, the gauze you see on the left is all I
was able to "pack" the wound with, whereas the gauze
 on the right was the original amount that I packed
 it with when this all started, so you can see
there was significant shrinkage over time.
The next two photos are shots of how I looked laying down in the days immediately after the procedure. I'm sorry to say I don't have anything more recent than that at the moment. I've been waiting for these damn tubes to come out...and a decent shower....but these are pretty good. I had to take them laying down because you aren't supposed to stand without the binder for a while after the surgery. But you can tell things were already looking pretty darn good.


The surgeon had to cut a great deal of skin away because it was important to re-attach "new skin to new skin"...this scar revision couldn't simply be done by opening along the scar and re-attaching again along the scar. That is why I had such a nice, tight tummy when she was done. And she went up pretty high and down below the wound to accomplish it. She also had to cut around my belly button again, so I have a smaller scar around my button now than I did before. Hopefully it heals as nicely as it started to before things went all to hell. I'm staying optimistic that this will be the end of my TT journey. Believe it or not, I am scheduled for my 4 month follow-up (from original surgery, of course) in just a couple weeks.








All this recovery time (again) has me laying around (again) during a LOT of online Christmas sales...sadly, I've been spending money on Amazon like I'm loaded. I am not...but it's been fun. I bought the following dress....because I've always wanted to dress like a 50's housewife...


...and it kinda disguises the drains!

Unfortunate fall-out of the timing of this procedure...or more-so the slow progress of my recovery...has been that I had to miss my husband's company Christmas party in Dallas...which was all expenses paid....and my own company Christmas party, and an all expense paid trip to Ft. Lauderdale for a conference, all because of these stupid drain tubes. Ugh...


Conversation between me and my husband
who works for an airline, as we try to determine
if I can fly with surgical drains in me.

The one question/comment/concern I do have for the lap band community is that I do have significant swelling on the port side of my belly...which also happens to be the side that the drain is taking longer to slow down on this time around. I'm wondering if this is normal and if it is going to lead to long-term issues? Also wondering if I should discuss with Dr. Hunter (my LB doc). Throughout both procedures I've had discomfort around the port itself, so tissue irritation could be the cause, but I'm wondering if it is going to cause me issues long-term. I've just recently begun some light googling on the topic. If anyone knows anyone whose been there/done that, I'd love to hear some thoughts. The swelling is stretching out my nice, tight, 10 thousand dollar belly on the left side...that's rather annoying. LOL  However...when I did get my fill last time, the surgery had managed to flatten out my port, which had been awkwardly angled prior to the surgery making it difficult for C to do her fills...so there was a plus. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I love my perky boobs

Updating is hard these days, I tell ya...

Here is the quick run down...then you can decide if you want to proceed:

  • Boobs look amazing
  • Victoria is still open but is healing approximately 1cm every 10 days
  • I am scheduled for revision surgery to close the wound November 19
  • I'm back to work full time
  • I finally got a fill
  • Varicose veins: my next insurance challenge


So my boobs have dropped...man, that's a weird thing to say....and they look AWESOME. I'm so happy I did this. I wish I had done it a thousand years ago. It was worth every penny as far as I'm concerned. They are still bigger than I thought they would be, I'm still in a D cup for now, but first of all, I'm OK with that. Second, they say results aren't final till you hit six months, and third, I have gained some weight so it could change, but I don't know...so we'll see. Either way, I'm happy.

My wound, AKA "Victoria" is progressing well, supposedly. I actually am starting to notice rather rapid healing in the last 2 weeks. I wouldn't say I could tell much before that, but apparently the doctor could. Measurements showed about 1cm improvement every 10 days. I swear in the last week that is increasing. 

I've made an animation of the wound over time that you can see by clicking here (I didn't want to embed it.) I will warn you, it's gross. It starts with the necrotic incision, which honestly is the least disgusting portion of the process. Then proceeds through how it looked after a few days treatment with Silvadene, then the first debridement, which is where it looks horrifying and you see fat and goo and other stuff (that's where I sank into my mental hole)...and then the second debridement which is where it just starts to look like a giant crater in my gut, through to today.

You can also see in the photos a weird skin deformation that is happening on my right side (left in the photo) that is occurring because of the "undermining" of the tissue causing some scarring and tightening above my naval. This and other reasons is why I'm going in for a revision surgery, which is officially scheduled for November 19...thank heavens!!! I so can't wait! I just want to be over this portion of my life with the dressing changes and the weird openings, yadda, yadda, yadda...

I don't even want to talk about how much money I'm spending on dressing material...ugh. Let's not forget that this was an elective procedure, so the complication is not covered by insurance...which is awesome.

In the meantime, I am back to work full time, which is going well. I've only had very minor wound drainage issues since returning. The wound drains much much less than it used to so it is much easier to keep up with these days. I've also mastered the art of applying diaper rash cream to my skin, since I was literally getting diaper rash from having soaking wet bandages stuck to my skin all day every day for this darn thing. Really...this has been a treat. *eye roll*

In other news, I did finally get a fill and I'm back in the green zone. Oh man is it good to be back! I saw Dr. Hunter on an unrelated issue and asked him to evaluate my candidacy for a fill given my wound situation and he did that and reported to C that it could be done, to simply drape sterilize the area well and otherwise there would be no issue. So you bet your sweet bippy I was in the very next chance I got to get that fill...which was 48 hours later. We replaced most (but not all) of the fluid that was removed prior to surgery and currently I am in an awesome, AWESOME place. I feel amazing control. I've had no issues with being stuck...I'm eating exactly the right amounts, I'm not searching for food, I'm seldom hungry, I'm making great food choices...it's been grand. I just need to get more weight off. I'm so happy to be filled back up. I believe the "revision" is considered a "minor procedure" and an unfill will not be required.

Lastly for this post, throughout the surgery recovery I had a devil of a time controlling the swelling in my right leg. I've had swelling issues in both my legs ever since my spinal cord injury back in 2002, but I usually just wear compression stockings and keep my feet up for a day...and take hydrochlorothiazide daily...to keep the swelling down and all is well. But with all the lymphatic issues created by this procedure, my right leg just never seemed to catch back up and I started getting throbbing pain below my noticeable ropey varicose vein. At one point I was actually concerned that I did, in fact, have a DVT because the leg was just so much larger than the left and looked "weird". So the day I went in for the fill, I noticed that C also happens to work in the clinic that does the varicose vein stuff, so I asked her to look at my leg to see if she thought I needed to be seen for DVT. She said it wouldn't hurt to rule it out, and we went ahead and did the full study to determine if I had venous insufficiency anyway, which I did on the right but not the left. Now I'm moving forward to see if my insurance company will allow me to have the laser ablation to have that vein resolved. I'm not holding my breath. They have been a nightmare lately.

Anyway, that's it for now. I have a bunch of school related stuff to do...no rest for this crazy lady! I'll check back in soon, I swear...hopefully with cute Halloween pictures.

OH...PS....My friend just gave me a free Bowflex! I'm excited! I think it increases my in home workout options a lot! Anyone else reading this have one?



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I gotta re-start somewhere...(and I can't believe I'm posting this...)

WARNING: Down below you will find some pictures that are in fact nude...and some show my wound filled in/packed with gauze. The wound in this image is not scary but I am posting this warning up front. If you do not want to see these photos, please only scroll to the part of the blog that has photos of my adorable dogs...and then STOP. Do not go any further! 

I believe this is fair warning!



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One month later...

I'm having a rough time.

All in all, it could be worse. Today is a rough day and probably clouding my spirits a lot.

First...the good news. The boobs look good. The blister that formed under my right breast healed up nicely. The drainage oozing out of the incision of my left breast (can't recall if I wrote about that and too lazy to go look, but it was fluorescent yellow and oddly coming from a teeny tiny spot for no apparent reason) ultimately stopped. The doctor said it was just "tissue fluid", and the coloring was similar to what you would see with bruising. The breasts are just beginning to drop a little, I've started doing scar massage with aloe and Bio Oil (alternately) to minimize the look of the scars, which sucks...and I need to do it more often but it takes a HUGE amount of time and energy.

Now the bad news...

I still have the drains. My body is not cooperating on the drains at all. Apparently (from ALL that I've read), it's pretty common in people who have lost a significant amount of weight. That doesn't make it much more tolerable.

I also had a complication at the tummy tuck t-junction that was not discovered till the surgical tape came off. The skin at the junction had died. Because it was not too deep and the doctor could see that the skin had declared its margins and was beginning the healing process, she opted to not debride the dead tissue till yesterday. Well...it's debrided now...and it is horrifying. I have a huge, gaping hole in my stomach. I've been told repeatedly "not to worry" and that "it will heal in time" and that it will "likely not be that much wider" than the original scar...but if you could see what I see...it's unreal. I've never seen anything this gross ever...in my whole life...in any movie or horrific internet photo or anything. And it's on me...and I have to clean it, and manage it...twice a day. I. Want. To. Die.  I truly don't see how something like this could ever possibly heal. I feel VERY hopeless right now.

This is the most common complication in this type of surgery...more common in diabetics (which I am not) and smokers (never have taken a single drag). I don't know why this happened. It just did.

I attempted to go back to work this week BEFORE the debridement (man I MISS that black scab so bad right now) and with the drains because I thought I could handle it. I probably could have but the debridement was WAY more than I could handle emotionally. Tonight I came home from work and did a dressing change and cried for an hour. I would just about give anything to be admitted to a hospital and let THEM deal with this at least until I can't see my insides anymore. 

I've gained 6000 pounds of fat...and like 10 of water...but mostly fat. I have a fill scheduled for next week...if they will do it with the giant hole in my gut. 

Also...our Poodle (Lily) died on Saturday. I've lost two fur-babies in 6 months. 




I'm going to go cry some more now. 



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

One Week Post-Op BR/TT

This post is coming to you from the glorious (slight exaggeration) comfort of a rented electric lift recliner planted firmly in front of my bedroom television, across from the only portable AC unit in the house, at the foot of the bed where my husband is soundly sleeping with our 3 dogs who are usually not allowed to sleep on the bed as there isn't enough room.

This is how it has been for the last week...and this is how it shall be for at least a couple weeks longer.

But at least I have smaller boobies! SEE!

Ignore the lumps in my flatish belly area...I still have on the velcro binder and two JP drain bulbs. 


I also have a flat belly...but really, lets talk about the ta-tas.

So I'm one week post-op, and am currently in the "boxy boobs" phase of the process. I was told by my plastic surgeon today that the next phase I have to look forward to is "cone-boobs"...Oh boy!

I went into surgery at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, August 10th and was released after waking from a short recovery shortly before 10pm. I was told I would be a long case. She spent over 10 hours in surgery on me in total. 7 pounds of skin and fat were removed from my breasts and stomach. I remember very, very little. I remember walking into the surgery suite and getting onto the operating table...and I remember them waking me up saying they were finished. I recall VAGUELY being wheeled out to the car. I don't recall getting into the car but I remember someone buckling me in. I remember pulling out of the parking lot and thinking for a half a second I might toss my cookies...and I remember walking into the house. And then I have a few spotty memories here and there over the following days. The dilaudid appears to have worked well.

The surgery center sent me home with a walker and those blow-up thingies for my legs to prevent blood clots. UGH...what a massive PIA those are when you have to pee!

As previously stated we had rented a lift-recliner and put it in the bedroom at the foot of the bed. Once at home, we discovered that the dogs were using ME as the path ON and OFF the bed and Kismet wanted to pounce on my chest to be with me constantly (one of my few vague memories is not having any skill the verbally communicate the fear I was feeling when he jumped on me and just starting to cry uncontrollably). So my husband set up a barricade with baby-gates and other things to block all the pouncing...and then snapped this picture:


Yep...there I am...in my own little bedroom prison. Kismet would spend the next few nights sticking his nose through the baby gates to get as close to me as he could. :(




Scott stayed home with me all day tuesday...which was fun as I figured out how to manage getting to and from the bathroom in time to pee when necessary. Believe it or not...turns out I was better off peeing in a container for the first 2 days...just was easier that way till I bought a toilet seat riser. Maybe TMI...but for those of you considering this procedure, I learned that I'm not the only one to figure this out. I thought I had prepared for everything...foiled by a damn toilet seat! GAH!

From a pain perspective, I can say the most discomfort I've felt, quite honestly, was what I kept referring to as "muscular pain", which has been explained is just an all over pain your body sort of over-compensates with when it's hit from multiple directions. It was sort of a "system overload". My pecs and abs hurt like I had been working out like a fiend....but I had NO muscle work done at all. My incisions haven't hurt to date. It was always this "muscle-like" achiness that I complained of. Frankly, it wasn't the worst thing in the world.

At some point I had the presence of mind to snap this picture (I found it on my phone tonight...)



I had my first post-op appointment on Tuesday and got my first "sneak-peak" at the new boobs and all. I'm not gonna lie, Scott took a picture and showed it to me and I was STUNNED and a little worried that I'd made a huge mistake. They look VERY small to me. I'm not convinced they are a C-cup...but he says they are. Scott thinks that I'm just not used to them a) being small and b) being in their current location (recall my boobs have NEVER been perky, so to see them all "forward facing" is very bizarre to me). He reassured me that I would get used to it, I just needed time. They are also ROCK hard, uneven, and very "franken-boob" looking...I'm definitely not pornstar material right now!

Wednesday Scott left me home alone in the morning and then Koreena dropped off the kids and my MIL sometime around 12pm. I somewhat recall Koreena waving hello from the bedroom doorway. Apparently I survived the morning by myself...though I don't recall any of it.
My MIL tending to my dressings while my youngest stepdaughter assists. The little one was "ALL IN" with helping from the moment she walked in. She wanted to see EVERY. GORY. DETAIL. I kept telling her she didn't need to stay and that she might want to leave...she was not having it at all. 

The eldest stepdaughter wanted to be by my side every other moment that did not involve a dressing change...initially. She wanted nothing to do with the gory details at first, but wanted to be glued to my side so much that I actually didn't get near as much rest as I should probably have gotten. But she was so, so, so sweet. And by day 3...she wanted to be involved in dressing changes as well...which was bizarre, as she WAS the squeamish one, but this may no longer be true!

Prior to surgery, Nev had been tasked with "hair management" since I can't raise my arms high enough to do my hair. This is the style she chose for me on this day...the day before her birthday party. The result...was...well...unfortunate. But she's happy, and that's all that matters. 
Thursday and Friday were just a whole lot of me laying around while my MIL managed the kids during the day and Scott went to work (I guess...I really don't remember). Saturday I actually left the house to go to my oldest step-daughter's birthday party back up at her mother's home 40 miles away. I thought I was up for this...after all, how hard was it going to be to sit in Koreena's living room for a 8 year old's birthday party?

Well the birthday party went on FOREVER...and of course we couldn't leave because we had the guest of honor. Plus, I didn't bring any pain pills (I didn't think we would be gone the entire day), I was having massive issues with one of my drains pulling and leaking all over my pants, my binder was killing me, I had broken SEVERAL of the post-op rules (sitting too long with knees bent, got my heart rate up trying to get into the house, not on consistent pain management, Scott had lifted one my arms VERY high on assisting me into the house, etc.), it was just a horribly long day. But I survived. I was sore and exhausted when I got home.

Sunday I recouped from Saturday, but started feeling stronger. Unfortunately, more of my favorite in-laws were due to visit my MIL but because I had done too much the day before I was pretty much sequestered in the bedroom. This was a big, fat bummer.

Monday I went with my MIL and the kids to the mall (I got a scooter) so that she could buy them some back-to-school clothes. This actually was way more activity (even with the scooter) than I should have done...oopsie.) But again....feeling stronger...very little pain...and now clear to start taking NSAIDS again if I want. At this point I'm taking 1-2 Vicodin a day and that's it.

And here we are, Tuesday...I walked out of my bedroom with no crutches for the first time in a week this morning (I typically walk around my house with no crutches...just using walls for stability). I made breakfast for the kids, my MIL gave me my last assisted sponge-bath/dressing change and we went to my 1-week follow up, where things are looking just dandy. My rock-hard boobs are just barely starting to soften and have dropped a teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy, bit. The swelling has gone down a tiny bit (but not much...it takes six MONTHS to know what a "final result" is supposed to look like!).

So far, I am pleased with the result. I have a LONG way to go...but I think I will ultimately be thrilled.

Oh...I should probably mention things related to my band...since that is how most of you know me.

First of all, I did get MOSTLY unfilled (but not totally) the Friday before surgery. So I think she left 2 or 4 cc's in there...I can't honestly recall. I haven't been too concerned about it (obviously).

The port is apparently in the same original location...since it was sewn to the muscle. But the lump of scar tissue I had grown under my skin is now gone and the scar that used to indicate where the port was is also gone. I have to wear a tight binder across my tummy for 6 weeks that is agitating the HELL out of my port as the swelling goes down each day. Not much to be done about that...it is what it is. The port has to be there, the binder has to be worn.

I'm supposed to be on 90 grams of protein daily for optimum healing nutrients. Hello familiar diet.

Finally...as of today, even though 7 pounds of fat and skin were removed from my body, I am currently 14 pounds heavier than I was the day of surgery thanks to fluid retention. Surgeon told me not to bother with the scale...but when I couldn't get my shoes on yesterday, I just HAD to know, purely for entertainment purposes...what the number was. I'm okay...I'm not scarred by the scale. I have other scars to manage right now.

I need to stop blogging now and get some rest....but some time I need to write about the time the dog almost ate all my dilaudid. In the meantime...please enjoy these additional pics I wanted to share but am too tired to incorporate into this blog. :)




Cedara wearing one of my old bras...stuffed with dog toys. Yep. Dog toys. 

Nev dressed head to toe in various birthday goodies. I love this silly pic of her. 

I realized the night before surgery that I was going to lose one of my favorite scars of all time...my Atari Car Scar...you can sort of see it in the top photo. It was the scar that remained from the chest-tube placed after my heart surgery in 2002. It always reminded me of an Atari car from a driving game from the 80's. I'm sad to see it go. Not sad enough to cancel surgery...but sad...still...


Thursday, August 6, 2015

1 work day and the weekend left to go


  • I have all my pre and post-op meds in hand.
  • I have submitted paperwork to HOPEFULLY get time-off work approved with pay (uncertain till after the first week passes...that's not nerve-wracking at all!)
  • I'm in possession of a post-surgery compression bra.
  • I have scar oil and lotion on hand.
  • I have a rented lift-recliner being delivered tomorrow.
  • I have purchased protein shakes and bars to ensure I get the requisite 90 grams a day post surgery for "better healing".
  • The check to the surgeon has cleared the bank.
  • I believe (though not 100% certain) that I have passed all the pre-op stuff, including the cardiac clearance (the final piece I'm still waiting to hear on, but I'm assuming no news is good news?....ugh...I hate assumptions.)
  • I have been busting my ass to finish things up at work....I couldn't possibly be leaving at a worse time.
  • My husband has tuesday off work to take care of me. My mother-in-law, a retired RN, arrives on Wednesday to stay for 1 week.


  • And my band is being emptied tomorrow at noon.

Maybe I should have my husband take some before pictures tonight?

Am I forgetting anything?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

6 Days till TT and Boob Lift!

It will all be self pay...just not enough of "me" left for insurance to justify anything else. But I want it. I will post more after surgery in the weeks I have off work for recovery. Right now I'm super busy with the kids, work, dogs, and a data management program I signed up for because apparently I'm insane.

More soon!

Friday, June 12, 2015

176.4....drive by blogging

This is going to be quick.


Life is a little crazy right now, and I haven't had much time to blog. I will try to hit the key bullet points.


Weight is down to a lovely 176.4...lowest it's been since my wedding, so I'm pretty damn happy about that.


I've started yet another new medication because I'm attempting a whole new pain management protocol...which may be working for pain management but is otherwise causing a shit-ton of side effects AGAIN. So we are back to super-duper dry mouth and messed up taste and smells, add in massive fatigue (and headaches, but those seem to have passed now, thank goodness), burps AND gas, constipation, lack of appetite, some muscle twitching as of today, oy...I'm a mess. BUT...I'm not in pain AND I'm not on narcotics...so I guess that's something. At least the DEA thinks so. (I've been on 3...yes THREE vicodin a day for the last few years due to chronic pain associated with my SCI and the DEA was having a conniption fit over it and I'm tired of dealing with the issues). This morning I didn't even take my daily dose of Naproxen that I take every morning before I get out of bed...that's a pretty big damn deal! But...food tastes horrible...which could explain the weight loss. I bet I'd lose another 5 lbs if the constipation resolved (TMI, I know...but true).


My husband found out this week that he got the job! Wohooo!!!! He starts on the 21st. I'm so proud of him...and this gives us a little stability we've needed since he was laid off from the job he had in December 2012. He's had work since then but every job he's taken was 30% or more below the salary he made previously. He's finally back to where he was, at a company he loves, doing a job he wants to do, so I'm excited for him. This job was an internal hiring for a new position at his current company that he competed against a LARGE pool of internal candidates, so him being selected is pretty awesome!


My initial request for approval for breast reduction surgery has been denied, and I can't even tell you why. I literally can't tell you why...there is no reason listed on the denial. So I'm officially in appeal. I'm drafting my personal letter and awaiting the letter from my PCP.


The new dog is a spaz time 1000...and I'm massively in love with him. It's seriously insane how fast we both fell in love with him. Scott is going to turn into that little old man you see driving down the highway with the dog on his lap...only he's 45 and already doing it.


My podcast posted...if anyone is interested in listening: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/jmoe-patrol/id981711483?mt=2&i=344136545  There is absolutely nothing WLS related in it...you have been warned. :)


Finally, I had promised a fellow blogger that I would post about her site, and then haven't been back in a while to do it...so I really need to do this. (Forgive me Amanda!!!) Amanda has achieved goal with her band and recently struggled with the reality that she will likely be losing the band due to complications. She is now restructuring her blog to focus on healthy living and maintaining her weight loss, band or no band...and continues to need the support from the blogging community. Why not have a read? http://amandakiska.blogspot.com/


Ok, I gotta get back to work...a thousand things to do and not enough time in the day to do them. Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's a boy!

A little preparation. The night before he arrived, I went out and bought him a collar and a new toy.
Before I jump into all the Kismet pics, can I just say we just had a new sofa and loveseat delivered, Levi and Lily have already picked out their favorite new spots. It's literally been 5 minutes since the delivery guys left. 
Everyone, this is Kismet...Kismet, this is everyone...
Kismet doesn't hold still...ever...so I have a hard time getting pictures of him.
Maybe if I can just distract him for a few minutes with this bone...
So I can show off my new white dog on my new brown sofa....yeah...poor planning.
So I took the day off from work today because Scott had to not only start work extra early yesterday, but also ended up having extra late flights so he worked some insane long day AND the dog was scheduled to be dropped off at our house at 9:30 in the morning AND the sofa and loveseat we had ordered had coincidentally been assigned a 10-2 delivery window. There was just no way this dog...who we had been warned needs lots of exercise and interaction...was going to manage a transitional day with me at work all day and Scott sleeping. So I took a vacation day.

Well...thank goodness I did. Holy crapsnacks. This dog is high strung. I thought Peyton was a spaz. This dog is a spaz times 1000! I'm freakin beat!

He had a walk with the foster mom before being dropped off.

Then Scott walked him in the park solo.

Then Scott walked him with our other two dogs.

Then he played. Non-stop. From 11am till 5pm. I swear to you...the dog did not slow down. Once. He may actually be the death of me. How can any being have this much energy?

Here's a little video of him entertaining himself in the living room for a few minutes. He found the doggie-toy basket and pulled each thing out to check it out. He liked the squeaky things most of all, naturally.



Also...I kept him on leash in the house most of the day due to the transition. Which is good. Because he peed on our DVD player in the first half hour of being in the house. And later he peed on my bathroom wall when I was trying to put my hair in a ponytail and wasn't watching him. Later he attempted to pee in the exercise room but I stopped him before any moisture hit the air. One time when I let him off leash to show him how to use the doggie door he got loose running through the house and spazzed out like a holy terror. Poor Scott was the brunt of that one...sound asleep and the spaz kept trampling all over him in his mini-rampage through the house. I'm sure some of this is transition anxiety. It will calm down. But holy hell. It's been a long day. 

At one point I put him in a travel harness and buckled him into the car to run to the pet store to buy more bones (because the other dogs wanted in on the bone action)...and that's when he finally simmered down. LIKE A TODDLER! The trick might actually be taking this kid for a drive! Are you kidding me? 

LMAO

Once we got back from the pet store...I finally got this...as I sit here, writing this blog: 



Yes...he's finally sitting still.

I'm in love though. He's a wild child, but I love him.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We're expecting! A furbaby, that is!

That's right...it's official! Kismet comes home Thursday!

The foster mom is bringing him Thursday morning to transition him over. Sadly her kids have gotten attached so this is going to be rough on them. I've told her they can visit any time, as I know they don't live far at all. As you may recall, we all met in a park near my house. We are literally all within walking distance of each other.

I haven't told our girls and haven't confirmed with the girls' mom yet (which is why I'm keeping this off FB for now). I want them to be surprised when they come on Friday. It was the first thing Cedara asked when she came in last Friday, and at the time it was still looking bad, so I told her I was not very optimistic. I was wrong!

A new baby! Actually...technically...he's an adolescent, as he is already 2 years old (best as they can tell based on his teeth).

Oh boy...I'm so excited!

You can bet there will be pictures soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

179.8!!

Well it was after a nice morning...er...well...you know...but it counts dammit!

I haven't seen the 170's, in my blogulations...(yes, I made up a new word), since January 4, 2012. You can bet your sweet bippy I'm excited about this. I mean, I'm no saint. I ate 1/4 of an ice-cream pie yesterday, for goodness sake (more on that later)...but still...YAY!

To be fair...I had only consumed a total of 790 calories before consuming the ice-cream pie...so it wasn't the end of the world.

Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of the day I was left paralyzed from heart surgery to correct aortic coarctation. I actually had a rather severe coarctation that was repeatedly mis-diagnosed the first 28 years of my life. They literally looked in the wrong spot when they were evaluating my heart murmur and the high blood-pressure I had since I was 10 years old. But anyway...that's another story. I had the surgery to repair the coarctation on May 20, 2002 and woke up from the surgery paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury from a momentary loss of blood to my spine. We didn't fully know for several days that I was paralyzed though, as they kept blaming my "weakness" on my weight (I was 300lbs) and my body's reaction to anesthesia. Again...that's a whole other story. I probably should write those stories.

Anyway...as the years have gone on, I sometimes forget as this date draws near. But my best friend who was by my side in the ICU that day has never forgotten and always reminds me. I have very few memories from ICU...but her being there is one of them. Another one is me DESPERATELY trying to watch the final episode of Ally McBeal through my morphine haze...but I digress...

So in 13 years I have very much moved on with my life. My spinal cord injury was "incomplete", which meant that I had a decent chance of learning to walk again with braces or crutches, which I do...it took time, and I still fall, but I do walk. In general, there isn't too much in my life that my injury stops me from doing. I mean, there is stuff...but I still live my life...see...I made this little collage to celebrate my anniversary to post on Facebook:


And it was accompanied by some inspirational thing about it being my 13th anniversary and yadda yadda yadda and look how far I've come and blah blah blah.

And then in the next post I posted about how that was all well and good, but I wish I had the day off work or some cake or something to celebrate the day. Just being cute and jokey. And then I got up and out of bed and started getting ready for work.

Well...while I was getting ready for work, my husband, who gets home from work at 3am, woke up and said he was going to walk the dogs...at 7am? I was confused...but didn't think much of it. Lately I've been waking him up and he's not been able to get back to sleep. Anyway...I should have known something was up...because as I was on my way out the door to head to the office, the true reason my husband was awake was waiting for me on the kitchen counter:



That, folks...is a pie. My husband bought me and ice-cream pie to celebrate my 13th anniversary of my paralysis. He had them write "Happy Differently Abled Day"...which is funny, if you have our weird sense of humor...so I thought it was hilarious. Seriously...this was the greatest thing. I love my husband.

I did not eat the pie for breakfast...much as I wanted to. I didn't because I know that if I eat sugar first thing in the morning then I just want it all day long. So I held off. But...I intentionally watched my intake throughout the day so that I could delight in a healthy portion without guilt later in the day.

And I did. 1/4 of the pie.

I will not apologize for this.

Now...having said all that...today I went to Costco and purchased a size 12 pair of shorts that fit.

Granted...they are Gloria Vanderbilt size 12. And the Size 12 jeans from Old Navy in my closet from a couple years ago still don't fit...but still...it says size 12...and that's all I care about. So thhhpppbbbb.

I'm so mature.

Kismet update. I don't think we are going to get selected. No final word yet...but the fact that they are still looking at other possible homes isn't making me feel real optimistic. I'll be okay with this. I just would like to have a final decision.






Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kismet

Current weight: 181.5

Low weight last week: 180.4, but it didn't last long. I think I was dehydrated. Sure was fun to see it for a minute though. :)

I'm a couple months into this Qsymia thing...and sad to say that while it is still working, it is no longer quite as effective as it originally was. But I'm not giving up on it. I'm just starting to notice cravings coming back again. Bummer.

No word from insurance on the surgery yet. I know...I know...it's only been a few days. A girl can dream, right?

On the job front, the job I interviewed for has been "put on hold" while the team goes through a "reorganization"...which I think means it's never going to happen. *sigh*

Meanwhile...the job my husband interviewed for...well...it appears he is still in the running. But...and that's a big BUT...

Apparently they interviewed FORTY applicants for the position...4 local and 36 from other stations that would have to be relocated (common for his line of work). We only know of ONE of the local applicants that got rejected (a well deserved rejection). The others either haven't been rejected or aren't talking about it. So since Scott hasn't been rejected, we are assuming he's made it to round 2 (though they haven't called him to schedule it yet). But holy cow...40 interviews? 40? Shouldn't they have narrowed the list down a tiny bit? Apparently it's a highly coveted position. All I can say is that I'm involved in doing interviews for my team at my job...I haven't done 40 in the 2 years I've been here...I can't imagine having to do 40 in the last few weeks. UGH.

In Facebook news, a new friend that has only known me since December commented just last night on my before/after photo (the one I use as my profile pic on here, actually), which of course brought it to the top of everyone's feed...which gave it new life. The pic is from 2012...but everyone is commenting on it like I posted it yesterday. Is there a way to shut that down so that people don't see that pic in their feed today? It's uncomfortable for some reason. I guess mainly because back in 2012 I thought it was more of a "look how far of come, nothings gonna stop me now" and then "SCREEACCCHHHH"....slammed to a halt and then sorta bounced up and down with the same 15 pounds for the next 3 years. I'm not super proud of that. I guess it could be worse. But I really just would rather turn the alert off of everyone's feed for today, if possible.

To add some photo-flair to this post, I got this dress from Gwynnie Bee...and then immediately had to purchase it. It was one of the better priced items at only $26. Too cute!



And then two more things...then I'll shut up, I swear. I mentioned a favorite podcaster in a previous post. Well...that podcaster has a group of fans that have started a "babycast" or "fancast", that I was interviewed as a part of the other day. I've never done anything like that before. It was a ton of fun. Maybe I'll post a link to it on here when it comes out...if I have the cajones to do so.

And on a related note...I might adopt another dog. If we are "the chosen ones".

So here's the story...

My new friend Shannon (mentioned above) and I were walking in the park near my house the other day when I spotted a dog from a distance that looked just like my dog that recently passed away. This was weird because my dog was a strange mixed breed that we were never quite able to figure out. So I said to Shannon that I wanted to get a closer look, so we walked in their direction and as we got closer it just was looking more and more like Peyton, only the coloring was different in that this dog had more white than black where Peyton had more black than white. I stopped the woman walking the dog to ask what his breed was and she responded exactly the same way we always responded with Peyton, which was "well, we really don't know. He's some sort of a mix...we think he might be a..." and then she went on to name a few breeds. Then she started to say how he was up for adoption and she was only fostering him.

Well...I don't know about you...but I'm all about fate and signs and stuff...so I had to know more. So we talked more about this little guy. Now, I know I shouldn't adopt a dog based on the fact that it looks like my dog that I just lost a few weeks ago. But I do believe that fate brought me to talk to this lady in the park with this dog that happens to look like my dog that I just lost a few weeks ago.

He is about 2 years old. He is very smart (perhaps one thing different than Peyton, who was not the brightest dog in the world). He has a wonderful personality. He was scheduled to be euthanized due to overcrowding in California but the shelter couldn't do it because his disposition was just to sweet so they sent him to a rescue organization up here in Seattle. He is excellent with kids and other dogs. He is very high energy and requires lots of exercise (we are used to this as Peyton was the same). We exchanged information and I went home and discussed with Scott. After all, we do still have two other furbabies at home...so we were not exactly in the market for another dog. But Scott is a dog lover...so he wasn't going to say no. This was really my choice.

So I put in the adoption request on petfinder and we have since had an in-home visit. Now we are waiting. There is one other family we are up against. So we shall see. If it is meant to be it will happen. The in-home visit couldn't have possibly gone better. In fact, I think Levi and Lily liked him better than they ever liked Peyton...they were more playful with him than I have ever seen them. EVER. The girls ran outside with him for about 30 minutes. They all wore each other out.

When the foster mom left, poor Cedara had a little mini-melt down, not quite understanding that she wasn't going to make the decision right there on the spot (I had told the girls that it wasn't our choice, but I guess I hadn't been clear that the decision wouldn't be made that very day...that was my mistake). But she worked through her emotions. Now...we wait.

Here's a picture of the two dogs. I say this boy (who we will name Kismet if we get him...he's the one on top) is the Yin to Peyton's Yang...



Weird, right?

He's really very sweet. But I'm sure he will be placed in the best possible home...so we will see what happens.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Messiest 5k On the Planet and Skin Shots

I finished a 5k today...I'm still cleaning up from it.

My family did the Color Run in Seattle. It was SOOOOO much fun. But Oh. My. Word. What a mess. I was prepared for a mess....but really. Wow. What a mess.

The weather was PERFECT for this one. And while it took me 1.5 hours to complete it, I did ACTUALLY complete the whole 5k this time...with my family by my side. I'm proud. And blue. Not blue emotionally...seriously, physically blue.

I highly recommend this race to anyone who isn't afraid of a whole lot of messy...and fun. It is one big party. My kids had a blast. I would do it again in a heartbeat.







Post race party....with more color powder


You have the option of having some of the powder blown
off of you....this is an action shot.

Now...for a couple skin shots to go along with my last post AND this post. I told you this race was messy. And in my last post I talked about my *fingers crossed* potential plastic surgery coming up. I share this with you...WLS blog community...because...well...I know you all wonder about these sorts of things. Below are photos my husband took post-race, pre-shower, of the mess the color run left on me even under my clothes. It's a pretty good view of the mess my skin is (and isn't, in some cases) that I hope to have fixed soon. The pics aren't so graphic that if they got spread across the internet I'd be horrified...so I think I'm ok posting them here.


I'm holding the pendulous boobies UP and IN...so they look almost like normal boobies (I do this often...whistfully). If I let go they would be somewhere down near my knees...trust me. As you can see, there is the weird upper stomach thing (that my oldest step-daughter refers to as my "other boobs")...that's the part that wouldn't be resolved with a standard tummy tuck. It just hangs there over my abs. It's not going anywhere. This is why I would need the fleur de lis style tummy tuck.

But as you can see from my back side...my shape isn't all that bad...when not...well...blue. So from a WLS perspective, things turned out pretty well. I just need a few tweeks. And maybe a shower...so I look less smurf-like.




Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hopes are officially up...I can't help it

So monday I looked in the mirror and just couldn't stand the look of my boobs anymore. I went to work...got on my insurance website...and looked for a plastic surgeon who was in network to attempt to seek a breast reduction that would be covered by my insurance.

I found one and had the consult yesterday. Because of the amount of tissue I have lost, it is frankly a close call...but we are going to give it a go. They hang super duper low but there is not that much fat left in them. When all is said and done I will go from stuffing my droopy boobies into a 36FF into, hopefully, a 36C. I have officially been submitted for approval. (By the way, at my highest I wore a 44G)

My hopes are officially up. I can't help it. I want this so stinkin bad.

And...if it gets approved...I'm likely going for a fleur de lis tummy tuck as well. THAT will cost me...but Scott has given me the ok. The hanging skin just is never going to go anywhere...and I can see the potential...and after the consult, I'm so dang excited.

So my options appear to be:

1. If insurance approves, then boobies lifted, tummy tucked (full meal deal) - the cost will be high but I so want this.
2. If insurance approves, then boobies lifted only (this won't cost much at all...in fact less than $1000 out of pocket)
3. If insurance doesn't approve, boobies lifted only (cuz this will take up all our money and then some)

As I explained to my husband...the boobs have to be done...they are sad. Just plain sad. I could potentially live with the apron...but the boobs...no way. Nuh-uh. I've had these pendulous danglers forever. I want perky C's...I deserve perky C's...for once. I had droopy DD's by 7th grade...my time has come.

The doctor seems optimistic that insurance will approve given my extensive history. She also...jokingly said, that a woman should "be able to hold a crayon under her breast, not the entire box of 64"...sadly, I could probably hold a couple of those...and a marker set...and maybe a coloring book.

On the tummy tuck, because I've never carried a baby, my abs muscles are in tact (and frankly, look good under this protective layer of fat...as I've been joking for years). My back looks really good...in my opinion. My butt looks ok (sags a little...but still pretty full). But I have the full apron hang and then the secondary stomach above the waistline that would not be resolved from a plain tummy tummy tuck...so the fleur de lis is necessary. But...no muscle work will be required, which is good news in the pain department. It will just be tissue recovery.

She said that she believes she would probably be removing about 6 lbs of tissue in total between breasts and tummy. The scarring would be significant. Full scar from sided to side and one up the center that would actually connect with my heart surgery scar (and correct the lower portion of that scar that healed poorly originally). The breast scars would extend under my arms to resolve skin foldover that I can't stand that is happening under there now. I am fully accepting of these scars. I am a scarred person now. I've had one going down the center of my chest in plain site since 2002. And...
I never planned to be a bikini model.

I really like this doctor. She spent HOURS with me in the consult. The consult I had a few years ago was NOTHING compared to this. Nothing. And...as a woman...she understood some of my basic concerns about the appearance of things (nipple placement, mons-lift, things like that). I really like her a lot.

I should know in a few weeks. And I swear on my life...as soon as I know, I'm scheduling a date. I have 5k in savings right now. I'm doing this. I'm. So. Doing. This.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kicked off the island

Weight today: 185

Mental capacity: seems to be back to normal

Tingle factor: still there, but not as bad as before

Olfactory Senses: sometimes abnormal....like the day I came home and it smelled like the house had been cleaned with latex paint instead of pine sol. That was weird.

But for the most part, it's getting better, as I suspected it might.

Last night I had a bit of a run-in with emotional eating even with the medication due to stupid...STUPID...friend BS that is reminiscent of some high-school TV drama. Get this...I was actually "kicked out" of a crafting group...a crafting group! Not exactly where one would expect to find highly volatile women. I'm confused, and angry. I'm not used to dealing with such ridiculous antics before so this is new territory for me. Accusations (that were false and unfounded) were made against me by one person who has had issues with others in the past. The whole thing was stupid...but for some reason, having my character called into question was a powerful enough force to overcome even the ever-so-powerful effects of the Qsymia and I managed to eat slightly more than my usual caloric amount yesterday. But I will survive. At least there was no ice-cream or Doritos in the house.

In the mean time, I know for sure that the other ladies in the group know that I'm not the person I'm being made out to be...so I can at least rest assured in that knowledge. It's still hard having your character attacked though. And really...over paper crafts. It's not even over something like stealing of diamonds, politics, or flirting with someone else's man...seriously.

Anyway...I was killing some time Sunday after getting my hair done and tried this dress on at Old Navy. It was on clearance and I wanted to buy it...but didn't. Size Large...I swear it looked WAY better in person than in this pic...made me feel super-duper skinny...


Not the greatest pic in the world...but I was just trying to show it to my husband to get him to convince me to buy it. I should have taken the pic from the side...that's where the real skinny-look came into play. I'm still half-tempted to order it on-line.

Also...just for kicks...I thought I'd share this with you. My husband has a knack for finding the most outrageous gifts for people. He bought this set of "prayer candles" for a group of friends at work...it cracks me up. I don't know how he finds this stuff, but he is seriously a pro.


Personally, I don't like extra stuff around my house that I have to dust...so I'm alight not keeping these. But knowing that they exist in the world...that just makes me happy.

Still no news from my recent job interview. My husband has a job interview for another position inside his company next week. That position would give him "bankers hours"...which would be nice. As it is right now his schedule changes from month to month and we almost never see each other. But he really, REALLY loves his company. So hopefully this other position works out for him.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Drugs

I love the Qsymia

No major weight loss in the last week. I'm down to 186.6....but it's down.

What's amazing is how I feel. I feel the way a human feels when they don't care about food. I feel the way I felt sometimes with the band when it was adjusted just right. I feel the way we expected the band would always make us feel...but it was kind of hit or miss. Man I miss this feeling. It's amazing.

But...and that's a biggg But! There are problems with this...

1. The feeling won't likely stay forever.
2. It's expensive.
3. There are side effects.
4. Did I mention there are side effects.
5. There are LOTS of side effects.
6. There will probably be a rebound effect that I'm definitely NOT looking forward to when I do finally go off.

But for now...damn I'm loving this stuff.

The good:

I really don't care that much about food. Unless it's right in front of me, I don't often think to eat. Sometimes, if I get a hunger pang...water actually quells it. This is beautiful. I feel like this is how naturally skinny people must feel...you know...those ones who "forget to eat".

All the sugar addiction issues I had been having are completely GONE. I can now eat a pinch of M&M's and then walk away. I've had a bag of M&M's in the house for 2 weeks now...same bag...been working on it for 2 weeks! Before the Qsymia...that bag and 4 of it's friends would have been gone in 1 day, easily. I would have chased all that candy with a couple pieces of cake and potentially some ice cream...and maybe some chips.

The Bad:

As I noted above, there are a lot of side effects. First of all...things tingle. My fingers, my face...my shins. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it is annoying. My teeth feel funky...it's a hard feeling to explain. I told the doctor it's kind of like they itch...or something. My whole head feels funky. It doesn't hurt...just feels kinda pressurized. I don't poop near as often as one should...I probably would be down another pound or two if I did. I'm very thirsty a lot (no biggie...I need to drink lots of water anyway). And my sense of smell is hyped up and thrown off...I swear I can smell everyone's breath. Everyone's. Even yours. Please...have some gum. Everything smells bad. Several times this week I've wondered why in the world someone in the office is microwaving urine. Obviously nobody is microwaving urine...but that is what it smells like to me.

Oh...and also I'm stupid. No...really...I've lost some IQ points, I'm sure of it. And it's a problem.

Words and names escape me...frequently. I'll just sit there...blanking out...mid-sentence. This became a MAJOR problem when I was attempting to give a presentation on Thursday of last week in a room in front of 40 people and I blanked out completely AND my mouth completely dried out simultaneously. That may have been the most humiliating 10 minutes of my professional career. It was bad. So bad...in fact...that the person I can't stand MOST OF ALL (feeling is mutual) felt pity for me and left the room to buy me a bottle of water. UGH. An act of kindness from this otherwise horrible, wretched person who typically makes my life miserable. I think that made the situation even worse. I wanted to cry.


Later in the week I actually DID cry. In front of my boss.


It was a bad week.
 
In following up with the endocrinologist this week about how the medication was going, we did discuss the side effects I am experiencing. Her words were to the effect of "the mechanism that makes you to disassociate from food can also make you disassociate from cognition as well. Some people can't tolerate that." I'm guessing the people that can't tolerate that are the ones with brains...or thoughts. Cuz it's weird to suddenly feel stupid. She said that we can pull the plug on the medication at any time if I feel like it's too much. She also suggested, potentially, trying some alternatives.

I'm actually holding out hope that the side effects resolve with time...because I feel less stupid every day (or maybe I'm becoming more stupid but stupid people care less and less over time...hmmmm???). My diminishing side effects over time theory is because I have a friend who takes Topiramate for her migraines and she said that the side effects took about a month to get past. That is one of the active ingredients in Qsymia and the one that is probably causing my I.Q. drop...so I'm ever-hopeful that this will improve. My doctor said that if I'm not feeling improvement after 3 months (I'm heading into week 5 now) that I will need to switch. In the mean time...it's working so well for the food cravings that I really REALLY am not at all ready to give it up. It's that good.

In doggie news, the poodle I think is a little depressed since Peyton's passing. I'm a little worried about her. She is sleeping in the bed at night with the Chinese Crested...which she didn't used to do. They used to sleep in their own beds alone. Scott also said that she was very, very clingy the morning he came home from the vet after we put Peyton down...like she knew immediately that he wasn't coming back. Poor girl. The poodle and the crested are each 10+ years old and not in the greatest of health, so I worry about them. She had one night of lethargy that gave me a scare but she has since recovered from that...I'm hoping that was "just a bug". That was a few days ago. That night I was thinking I was going to lose her too...two dogs in a couple weeks of each other. I didn't know if I could handle that.

Last month I started doing the Gwynnie Bee clothing rental thing as a stop gap (hopefully) as I get the (hopefully) remainder of this weight off (hopefully)...I'm very optimistic.

Actually...most of the dresses I received were on the "too big" side of things...so I'm not sure how long I will be able to be a member. But I got this one dress that I really contemplated buying because it was so dang cute. But...ultimately I returned it. It really was on the cusp of being too big...plus we are going into the summer months and it is a slightly heavier dress...so theoretically I shouldn't be able to wear it much longer...but it was a tough choice. Isn't it cute???