Weight Loss

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

March is Here

Tomorrow is March 1. I have my OHSU interview for CRNA school at 1pm. While I don't plan on enrolling there if I am offered admission, I am curious how their interview process might have changed, how the curriculum has changed, and what they hope to do to help their students graduate from their new program.

It is also just 12 days before surgery. I've submitted my request for medical leave to extend until 4/3. I might be able to come back earlier on light duty, but at least I'll have the time off to get well & be ready to work when I come back. Maybe I'll fit into my scrubs a little better by then, too.

I get my CPAP on Friday (oh boy), and have my preop appointment with the hospital on Monday. I still have to schedule my preop class...and then I'm ready to go.

Ready. To. Go.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How cute are these?

Let me say, I am a glass beadmaker. Someday I will be able to say "bead artist" but not just yet. :) I took 1 beginning bead class about 5 years ago, from Kim Miles in Taos, NM. I feel very fortunate to have been able to take that class. She had just moved from Seattle to Taos and I had just moved to NM for a travel assignment. I spent a whole day with her as her only student and I learned from the best!

She sells her beads on her website exclusively. She's started making these cute "Cupcake beads" that are so adorable! She says to use them as "evil eye" beads to ward off evil calories. I don't think I can make a cupcake yet, but I might try to make a donut, just as a reminder of my journey...

go to www.kimmiles.com and click on Taos Cupcake Diet for the cute pics...and order one while you are at it!

Monday, February 26, 2007

An Important Date

The magic number is...3/13.

The surgeon's office called me today to let me know that my Lap Band has been approved by Regence. I scheduled my surgery an hour later! They actually had 3/6 available, but that is NEXT WEEK which I thought might be just a little too soon. I do still need to arrange medical leave, take a class and do preop stuff, plus work some. And March 13 is one week before my scheduled time off anyway, so I thought it wouldn't be too tough to get that week off and then have my vacation week off. If it works out the way I think it will, I won't be going back to work until March 31.

I'm a little nervous. Mostly I am nervous that I won't lose weight doing this. What if I go through all of this surgery and money and time off and emotional energy and it doesn't work? Or what if I regain the weight? I've been seeking out some other band blogs (cute, the terms folks come up with...BPD/DS folks are "switched"....lap band people are "banded") to learn a lot more about what to expect. So far it's been pretty evenly split between big losers (in a good way) and little ones. A lot of the little losers blog a lot about making some poor choices and then not losing. But I'm sure some of them do the right things and still don't lose as much as they expect. As hubby says, I need to respect my own decision making. I chose this path because I didn't want to completely rearrange my guts and because I have less than 100 lbs to lose. I also didn't want to be tethered to taking 4 extra supplements a day for the rest of my life. And most importantly, I didn't want the 5 year complications that some RnY patients have who don't diligently take their supplements or eat healthfully: intestines that disintegrate, twist or otherwise kill them. I've seen these people with my own eyes, they were my patients, and the visual is unforgettable. So, in my mind, lap band is safer, plus it's slower...I have to stick to it and do the work to make it work. (Mind you, I know RnY people who follow all their guidelines diligently and are fabulously healthy...and if my insurance hadn't covered the Lap Band, like I originally thought would happen, I would have done the RnY myself. It's been done on so many patients, the safety is really quite high now and people do great with it. I am not disparaging gastric bypass at all...I'm just glad I have a less invasive choice.)

One thing I'm trying to make more of a reality for me now is the idea of "head hunger". It's something I've been aware of for a long time, but people really struggle with it after WLS. I'm sure I will too. Eating because I'm bored, lonely, tired, sad, happy...not because I'm (duh) HUNGRY! I'm trying to prepare for that mentally, come up with lists of things I can do instead of eating.

So, I now have just 2 weeks until surgery and there is much to do: arrange my medical leave, take my class and my preop appt, plus I'm working, of course. Most importantly, my food free-for-all is over, and I am starting NOW with making the changes I'll need to make post op. My goals:
1. Drink my water, 64 oz/day
2. Eat my protein first
3. Avoid sugar and high calorie stuff
4. Eat more veggies
5. Work out every day

I still have to plan my "executioner's dinner" as hubby likes to call it. What do I want that I won't be able to have for a long time? I'm not sure how totalitarian I am going to be about food rules when I am closer to my goal. Maybe, as some do, I will be able to live a life of moderation and maintain my goal weight. Maybe, as others do, I will have to be more restricted in my food choices forever. This all remains to be seen. But I've been eating whatever the hell I wanted for the last 2 months, and I'm kind of tired of it, to tell you the truth. So the "final meal" will be...I don't know what.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's Real

I haven't gotten a surgery date yet. I called the surgeon's office the other day to ask about the status of my insurance approval. I was told by the surgeon and the front office staff (girls about 19 years old, I think) that the dictation would be complete the next day and mailed to the insurance board right away. Well, I spoke to a nice lady named Cami, who is in charge of the insurance approval process at the office. (What a horrible job THAT must be.) She sighed, and said something like, "I wish they wouldn't say that." She then explained that the dictation was made that day (2 weeks before), but it went to India or China to be transcribed (I can't remember which), and a week later or so it arrives back, has to be verified by the surgeon, and THEN goes to her desk and she can send it to the insurance company. In other words, instead of being nearly DONE with the approval process, it actually hadn't even really started yet! I was a little freaked. But then she added, "It's okay, though, Blue Cross is really quick about approving it, and you don't have to meet any conditions, so it should be very quick." So, after all that, I guess this coming week I should expect a call from their office to schedule surgery.

That is the same approximate time as my OHSU interview, by the way.

Anyway, in the meanwhile, to distract myself from what's not happening yet, I have continued to seek out great blogs from other WLS vets. Right now I am poring through a lovely blog called Attraversiamo, and came across a list (or the reference to a list) of things to bring to the hospital with you. At first (ever the RN) I thought, you don't need to bring ANYTHING, the hospital has all the crap you could need for 1 night. But then I thought of a couple things, wrote them down (in MS One Note, thanks honey) and realized: Whoa, it's real. I'm going to do those things, and actually have surgery, and actually lose weight. And in all likelihood, keep it off.

That's heavy, man.

Here's the list so far:
List of things to take to Good Sam
1. Uno
2. Magazines
3. 1 book
4. iPod
5. Earplugs
6. Robe
7. Picture of hubby

We're gonna make it after all! (with apologies to Mary Tyler Moore)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

an unrelated note...

Local and national news has recently been focused on the successful rescue of 8 climbers on Mount Hood here in Oregon. The unofficial spokesman for those climbers is my friend Trevor Liston, who works with me in the Trauma ICU at OHSU. All of us at work are grateful that he and his fellow climbers are safe and sound, and that they planned well for the trip and knew what to do when they ran into trouble. Trevor apparently joined the group at the urging of a friend who wanted the benefit of his extensive experience mountaineering on Hood as this group practiced snow cave camping on the mountain. Little did they know that they would come to rely on everything they had trained and prepared for. And although I personally feel that pet dogs shouldn't be brought in the kind of conditions of a winter climb on a mountain like Hood, the presence of their dog Velvet helped save the lives of the 3 climbers who fell down a cliff (a fall of about 500 feet according to rescue team members). The top 2 things that were felt to have saved the lives of those 3 climbers who fell were their mountain locator devices and their dog Velvet. Add to that the quick thinking of all 8 of the climbers, and we have a successful rescue.

Trevor is a great nurse and a swell guy, full of fun and adventure, playful, smart, and caring. We're glad he is safe, and we're sure his expertise contributed to the many things that went right for this group. Way to go!

Still waiting by the phone

It has been about 10 days since my surgeon's dictation and request for insurance coverage has gone out. I am patiently (!!) waiting to hear that my coverage has been approved so I can schedule a surgery date and move on with life. I have that same feeling that I have always gotten when I am ready to do the work to lose weight: I live with a certain amount of underlying tension and impatience to stop doing what I am doing at that moment, eating unhealthy foods and being sedentary, until that tension boils over and I commit to my chosen plan of weight loss. I'm saying goodbye to old foods and old ways. I've found that as I seek various foods that I haven't had in a long time and may never have again (I probably will, but hopefully infrequently and in moderation) that certain foods are losing their charm for me. This is good. I think as soon as I have a date, I will end the "eat anything" phase and enter the changing-my-ways phase. Somehow, this is how I have to do it.

Meanwhile, I DID finally hear from the sleep lab, with their orders from Dr Poh Leng (I love that name) to fit me with (drop dead sexy) CPAP. I can't wait. I'm thinking about blinging it up with some of those stick-on rhinestones for cell phones, in a perfectly ironic way of course.

Today is a free day...I requested comp today and actually got it (comp on call, that is, but as of RIGHT NOW I am no longer on call and get to spend the rest of the day in bonus time bliss). I'm going to get dressed, spend some time at my torch, and then perhaps go to the gym.

I leave you with this, today's WLS blog du jour: Kate Ford's blog.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Banner Day

  1. I got into Gonzaga U!!
  2. My insurance covers the Lap Band!!

I'm doing a happy dance! :)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Change is afoot...

It's been a big week so far. I went to Spokane for my grad school interview at Gonzaga. I feel very positive about the program, positive about my interview, and cautious because the entire pool of applicants was impressive. Only 8 out of the 26 there will be offered a position. But it was a good experience and even if I don't get in, I feel it was absolutely worthwhile to go.

I also got my new "big" torch set up today for my glass beads. Whoa, that makes a big flame! I'm going to have to get used to how soft glass reacts in a much hotter flame. It's a lot of fun, though. Making beads is very relaxing and meditative. I wanted to be sure to have an enjoyable setup so I can have a few more options of things to do instead of emotional eating. I'm just getting started with the beads...a mere 5 years after my private class with bead guru Kim Miles (http://www.kimmiles.com/) in Taos, NM. I can't believe I've used a hothead torch all these years! That does have a lot to do with why I've only made beads in fits and starts. Now I have all the tools I need. Check out my new torch, the Nortel Midrange Burner! http://www.sundanceglass.com/midranger.htm

Today I had my first appointment with the surgeon at Oregon Weight Loss Surgeons. My surgeon will be Dr Dennis Hong. He's the affable, slightly glib surgeon who presented at the seminar I went to in December. He seems trustworthy. He has a surgical fellow working with him, an Arabic gentleman whose name did not stick with me after he said it. I was less impressed with him, primarily because he had a major body odor problem (deodorant is your friend) but also because he didn't ever really look me in the eye and seemed quite uncomfortable. This I can chalk up to cultural differences and language barriers, probably, but it still left me a little uneasy. Hopefully he will just assist with the surgery (I'm sure he's a fine surgeon, it's difficult to get into these fellowships) and I won't have to deal with him a lot one-on-one. Anyway, the biggest news for me was that my insurance might cover the lap band. Could it be true? I'm waiting to hear the final word, and I'll call my insurance myself on Friday to be sure, but it is a possibility. I'd love to have the slower weight loss (so I probably wouldn't need plastic surgery, losing about 5 lbs a month) and fewer pills to take for the rest of my life. Plus I like the fact that it is reversible and less drastic. But if I find that Regence will only cover the GB, that's what I will do. That has its advantages too; most notably an instant gratification of quicker weight loss and less likelihood (I think) of regaining the weight. Dr Hong seemed to think even if my BMI went below 40 I would still be covered, but everything else I have heard from the rest of the staff says that it wouldn't. Anyway, my dictation goes out tomorrow to Regence and hopefully the approval would be given soon and I can schedule this surgery. Whew!

Getting ready for all this is a great mental challenge. It's difficult for my husband too, and he seems to have a hard time hearing me talk about it so frequently. I find it hard to shut up about it, since it's such a big deal for me. I think out loud a lot, and I think that might be driving him a little bit crazy at times. But I have so much going on in the immediate future, I find myself babbling on about it just to make sense of it all in my own head.

At any rate, in 1 month, I will know if I got into Gonzaga (I'll actually know that on Friday) and I'll have my OHSU interview, and I'll probably have a surgery date as well. In 2 months, I should have had surgery and have decided where to go to school (if I get accepted to both programs, that is, otherwise the decision will be made for me). There's a lot going on around here and that is just for me... hubby has a whole other set of things changing and moving and shaking, which are not mine to blog about in this forum.

All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.
Henry David Thoreau