Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I saw the surgeon this afternoon. And after a lot of hemming and hawing about doing the surgery here vs. Seattle, he agreed. BARELY. Apparently he's the best hernia surgeon in town, but he said it's a very complicated and HUGE hernia (he called it a "monster hernia"). However, he was concerned that the university of WA hospital would take too long to get me in and it needs to be done asap. So I'm scheduled for Tuesday at 2:15.
He is a little unsure of what the surgery will all entail until he opens me up and sees. He's considering a "muscle release procedure" so that the muscles will stretch further over the very large hole in my abdominal wall. It will increase my recovery time, but could also make the repair more effective.
I have to admit though... I have the BEST support system possible! My mother in law is coming by train on Sunday. She will stay as long as we need her. (LOVE her!) My parents are also helping out a ton, of course! My husband is doing whatever he can to support my physically and emotionally. My primary concern through all this is that my 4 yr old daughter is taken good care of. If I'm worried about her it will do me no good. And I don't want this to be traumatizing for her. I'll be in the hospital several days, so I know she'll visit me there, but I want it to be when I'm alert and able to hug/smile/talk. Even my friends and co-workers are being great and offering to help in any way possible. Nothing like taking 3-4 weeks off work with almost no notice!
As far as activity... there is none right now. I am hurting, and a lot of activity could make the hernia incarcerate which would turn it into an emergency. We don't want that! I'm taking it pretty easy, doing some light laundry, playing with my daughter, reading, etc.
As for food... well, there isn't much. I'm able to hold down foods/fluids in VERY small amounts. I've probably only kept down about 400 calories today. But it is what it is. This isn't about ideal, long term diet. I'll get back to that in a week or two. This is about getting over this hurdle, healing, and getting back to my goals!
Monday, February 04, 2013
I saw the doctor today about my hernia.
Bad news: Surgery is inevitable, and will be sooner rather than later. She wants me to see a surgeon this week, and a CT scan will likely be soon as well. Since I've had a life threatening bowel obstruction before, I'm at a high risk for another one. The big question now is if the local guy will even be willing to operate since this will be the 5th repair of this hernia.
Good news: I'm obese!!! Ok... that doesn't look like great news, but it IS! My BMI is no longer in the "Morbidly Obese" category, where it has been for 20+ years. I've been downgraded into the Obese category.. and I'm THRILLED about it! Go me! Can't wait until I'm "overweight". My doctor was also really excited about this milestone, explaining that medically it puts me at MUCH lower risk for a plethora of diseases.
Anyway... at the moment I'm a bit numb with anxiety and completely overwhelmed. I have a full time job, a mom with alzheimers, and a 4 year old. I am SO not prepared to be stuck in a bed for 2 weeks, and healing for 6-8 weeks. However, I have faith that God sees the bigger picture and has a plan for me. I will NOT give up on my dreams and goals because of this.
I have been "grounded" to just the recumbent bike at the gym. Zero weights. So I will be on the bike. At the moment this looks like Mount Everest. But I am determined to make it a bump in the road.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Weird, right? But yes! I'm having some anxiety about this.
Yesterday I was pretty down about my recurrent hernia and beginning the process of surgical consultation all over again. But after some prayer and emotional re-grouping, I am trying to rest in the belief that God sees the big picture. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change...." Yep, I've been praying that a lot. I'm instead focusing on things I can change and do.... like eating well, exercising consistently, and.... buying jeans that FIT me!
A couple weeks ago I was SHOCKED that the size 16 jeans fit me. Unfortunately, we didn't have the money to buy them, but I was still thrilled about fitting. But my 18's have been getting looser and looser and are just plain uncomfortable at this point! So back to the mall our family went today.
Lane Bryant has been my "go-to" store for 22 years. When I was too large to fit in anything they carried in-store, I was a faithful catalog shopper (remember when we called to order stuff rather than just doing it with a few clicks of the mouse?). As I lost some of the weight, it was the store I went to and knew that I'd be treated kindly as I looked for clothes that fit me. I know what styles/designs, etc fit me in that store. I'm COMFORTABLE with that store. And frankly... being comfortable can be your enemy when you are trying to change. Why? Because being comfortable lends little motivation to change.
So today I'm in my comfortable little Lane Bryant world, trying on jeans. There's a great jeans sale going on, and so I thought I'd buy the 16's that fit great now, and buy a 14's for later. But in the dressing room, I grabbed the wrong pair. I accidentally tried on the 14's.... and they zipped & closed! Now, don't get me wrong... they weren't pretty, but they went on me. At first, I was ELATED! WooHoo! I can see my body changing right now, although the scale is moving only in spurts.
And then it hit me.... anxiety. Why? Because I already bought the smallest band size bras they carry in my favorite design. And I've been too small for their shirts for months. And now I'm able to close their smallest jeans???? I'm sizing out of my favorite store??? This should bring joy! This should bring elation! And in some ways, it DOES. But it also brings anxiety.
I don't know how to not be a "plus size" girl. I've been in 18+ sizes since I was about 16 years old. I'm going on 39. That's my entire adult life defining myself as such. And beyond the pride in myself (which is there!), and the excitement about shopping in more stores (which is there!), if I'm honest, I have to admit I'm also scared. Because I have to start re-defining myself, and challenging the image of myself I have in my mind.
Some days this journey is just plain weird.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
That has been running through my mind all day when I thought of the gym. "I don't wanna!"... like my 4 year old tells me about eating her vegetables.
Have you had those days? When you just don't WANT to eat well or go to the gym? Yeah... me to.
Yesterday and today have been very stressful work days for me. Yesterday my calories were about 250 higher than I like, and I think I probably was eating a bit more for energy (they were very healthy calories). Today I did the opposite... DIDN'T eat (due to time) until my pounding headache forced me to go to McDonalds and get a grilled chicken sandwich (no mayo, no cheese, add bbq sauce). And all I could think today was about the need to go to the gym... and the fact that I just didn't want to.
What I DID want to do was end my day early, go home, ignore my responsibilities and curl up with a good book. Haha... like that would happen! No worries... I worked in a full 30 minutes of cardio at the gym, and a good strength training session. Then I went home, did some more work, and just ate dinner.
And you know what? I feel so much better AFTER the gym than I did before! My headache is reduced (may be due to food and water as well). My stress was relieved a tiny bit in a healthy way. The back pain from sitting so much is gone. And I'm proud of myself for meeting my goal.
I know I've had countless "I don't wanna!" days. But you know what? I've never had a single time that I've said, "Boy, I sure regret that workout!" Nope. Never. I always feel better, if only emotionally. I have, however, had many days when I laid in bed at night regretting NOT getting in a work out, or regretting the foods I'd eaten that day.
Just my thoughts for the day.
Oh... and I got a call from the surgeon's office. Insurance wants 4-6 months of documented treatment before they will approve surgery. So I'm gathering old records to see if it's been mentioned. Otherwise.... guess I'll be losing some more weight before the pannectomy! Either way, it's in God's hands.
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