Friday, August 31, 2012
Post surgery update
I had my surgery Tuesday morning. I got up super early. Took a shower, put my hair up in a cute bun and threw on crappy gym clothes.
Got to the surgery center – I drove, my mom was still in zombie mode… sat around. Finally checked in. Waited a bit. I had to pee but they always make you do a pregnancy test so I had to wait.
Then I got taken back, surprise, not pregnant – and then changed into a gown. The IV wasn’t so bad. Now that I have skinny hands the veins are practically popping out. They waited to tell me until later that the hand IV was just a formality to knock me out with. Since they would be working on my arms, the real IV was going to go into my neck! Ahh! Hence why they do it when you’re asleep.
My doc was a bit late due to traffic so I went back sometime around 8ish when all was said and done. I asked them to weigh what was cut off—no pictures though…
So then it was time to wake up. I didn’t say anything embarrassing, mostly just “I hurt” and “it hurts” and “It really hurts.” I recovered enough that by 12:30-1 I was sent home. As soon as I got out of the car at home I felt blood pour down my side…. So changed my shirt and went directly back to the surgery center. The drain wasn’t placed right so I was bleeding out of my incisions. This isn’t the end of the world apparently. My doc had to scrub out of his current surgery to come look, but he just rewrapped it and told me not to worry. Easier said than done…
So I made it home again… Made a pillow fort on the couch and pretty much stayed there. I’ve been keeping myself hopped up on pain meds and watching Netflix. I could sum it up a bit more, but basically it sucks. Its been painful…. And it doesn’t really seem real.
Today I went to the doctor to get my drains pulled. Drains are the upmost worst things that are basically torture devices. Luckily for me only one of my drains worked. The other was crap – hence the bleeding out the side – so I cut it off. My doc thought I was nuts, but it got in my way, and on drugs, I know better ;-) So I still left the one in that was working.
So for now I’m weaning myself off pain meds. I took a percocet before starting to write this hence the rambly nature at the end…
My arms are a lot smaller. Pics to come once they aren’t gross…
Time for another nap…. I’ll update later
Monday, August 27, 2012
Okay folks, it is actually happening. I am having my brachioplasty tomorrow morning. (EEEK!) I just got a call from the doctor telling me they were moving the schedule around -- and now I'm going earlier. I personally love this. Instead of waiting and freaking out until 11am, I'm now going in at 7am!
You know the whole pre-surgery drill -- no food or drink after 11/midnight -- then sleeping in -- not being able to sleep -- getting up early anyway -- and then starving. Whelp, being at 7am gets rid of most of that anxiety. I'm supposed to get to the surgery center around 6am or so to get prepped -- so I'm going to be rushed through all of the pre-op to be in the surgery room around 7-7:30 am. Before I was supposed to get there at 9 for an 11-11:30 surgery.
My mom isn't quite as thrilled about the change. Some of her medications make it hard to wake up in the morning, so she's a little like "oh great..." I'll probably end up driving there, and she'll obviously drive home.
So today. I'm not working. I'm going to go in for a meeting just to see some friends and show off my cute nails (I'm obsessed with nail art). But other than that I really AM going to clean my house today. I did little to nothing yesterday. I'm such a procrastinator. I almost need pressure to get anything done. So since my mom will be here in a few hours = pressure is on! I need to get moving ASAP and pick up. She'll just freak out if it isn't done before she gets here. For some reason she thinks I'm going to use her hatred of being in a dirty place to have her clean my house
So I'm off to get the last little bits ready... and to not freak out. That's the major thing. I'm just so excited that I can't even stand it. I'm going to be a total weirdo and bring a camera tomorrow. I want to see if they will a) weigh was they remove and b) take a picture of it -- I know its a little morbid, but I think it will help with my body dysmorphia issues. Maybe if I tell them a therapist told me to do it, they will?
That's another thing. I'm thinking about maybe going to a therapist just to talk some stuff out. My family is crazy pressure, graduating from grad school is crazy pressure, feeling like a giant even though I've lost 95# is a clear sign of body dysmorphia, and I personally think it might be a good idea. But then in my own rational/hypochondriac mind -- if I know I have body dysmorphia do I need treatment for it? Probably not... and that's another bill...
I've also been researching body building lately. I am on a mission to get clearly defined arm muscles after this surgery. I want to look like I can do damage people -- Michelle Obama/Jillian Michaels arms. One body building website had me at a calorie range of 2500 for this (you have to eat in excess to really gain muscle) and 200-260 grams of protein a day! Holy crap! So clearly if I'm even remotely serious about doing weight lifting I need to talk to a certified nutritionist to even see what a safe way to do this would be. I mean one can't survive on egg whites and chicken breast alone. I've been doing that lately to see if I can get off this plateau, but I'm having trouble getting over 120 grams of protein a day! I can't even imagine eating DOUBLE that amount.
Clearly I'm getting ahead of myself. I have a few weeks of recovery coming up. My doctor says that it won't be that bad. My surgery involves vertical scars running from my elbow to my armpit -- and since they are vertical, they are less likely to shear or be torn -- horizontal scars are much easier to pull on. So as long as I'm not crazy and try to do too much, I'll be okay. I can walk, I can recumbant bike, I could probably even do some leg lifts or something, but just no arm/weight lifting. Then once the scars are starting to form, I could do light weight lifting and in a few months I'll be golden to go crazy body builder on those arms.
But for now... I reeeeeeally do need to clean my house. *Sigh* At least it burns calories!
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Eep! Two days! I'm thinking about doing some massive cardio since I won't be able to for a few weeks.
Talking to my doctor I'm not on a complete exercise ban. I'm obviously not doing anything until the drains come out and the pain goes away ~3-5 days. Then I can walk as much as I want (but not fast and not on an incline) and I can use my recumbant bike... so I won't be just sitting around for three weeks.
And I'm in a super good mood today. I had a fantastic date last night. He likes me, he really likes me So I'm still being a bit of a dork...
My goals are to be good today. Actually clean my house since I spent an hour in my hammock instead yesterday, relax, workout, and smile.
Everyone enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Saturday, August 25, 2012
I feel like I'm on speed. My brain is literally running 1000 thoughts a minute.
This week has been busy. I am now technically on "vacation" from work until after Labor Day, but... I can't disconnect. Yesterday I submitted my first fellowship application to the National Cancer Institute. I probably won't get it, I'm not good enough, etc -- negative self talk just took over yesterday. It doesn't help that I waited literally until the last day to finish my personal statement. And I HATE writing about myself when I know I'm going to be judged on it -- or have the possibility to get a job out of it = major crazy stress. Add to that fact that I'm basically telling strangers that I used to have a BMI over 40 and I changed my life because I didn't want to die from cancer (FYI--overweight people have a much higher cancer risk, stroke risk, heart disease risk, etc -- but as a cancer researcher, those stats jumped out at me).
So I included those details into my statement. I really don't know WHAT I want to do -- isn't that why you go to grad school ;-) I don't know how its going to go -- I still have to bug people to submit their letters of recommendation... and I won't be at work next week, and since I didn't give them a lot of notice... and since its the beginning of the school year... yea. I'm worried that it won't get done. I'm just going to have to send a million e-mails to remind them... which is annoying, but necessary. So my anxiety over this job that I probably won't get is driving me nuts. Luckily I haven't been over-eating. So there's that.
Add to this the fact that my brachioplasty is on Tuesday morning... aka -- three mornings away. At this time in three days I'll be in pre-op getting the good drugs and getting ready to go back into surgery. I'll let you all know how it goes. There's not a lot of risk, but I'm just nervous excited. Like that ball of energy under your stomach that makes you hyper AND feel like you want to puke AND then run a mile AND then freak out... They gave me some valium to take Monday night to sleep... I think I'm going to need it.
Oh and yea, then there's guys... I was supposed to have a first date last Saturday. Long story short, he cancelled last minute and told me he had a funeral. Cue to Saturday when he's tagged in a bunch of photos on Facebook at a party... then I noticed he closed his dating website account... and to top it all off on Sunday is now "in a relationship" on Facebook. Silly guys -- don't they know you can be honest with women and tell us you're getting serious with another girl? I've done that to a few guys; its the nature of online dating. So that fueled me to go update my profile to get some new hits... which I did.
So Thursday I had a lunch date with a sort of nerdy guy (from what I could tell on his profile). So I didn't go out of my way to dress up or go all out, especially since it was lunch. Cue to the guy who meets me in the restaurant is SO not a dork. He was taller, more muscular, and hot! This is usually NOT what happens with photos online vs. reality. Apparently his pictures were all old from when he was an undergrad... haha... so that was a VERY nice surprise. And we're going out again tonight, so there's the promise of that date that's also making me excited.
But if anything goes forward with this guy... what do I tell him? I'm "going on vacation" this next week as far as he knows. I've been pretty open with everyone I meet in my circle of friends about why I'm having the surgery--but with a new guy, I probably wouldn't bring up my weightloss for awhile. Now here's the problem. I'm going to have TWO GIGANTIC SCARS running down the length of my arms for awhile. They're going to be pretty gross for the first few weeks too... so kind of hard to hide. I don't know if you can tell -- but my mind comes up with a million different outcomes for any situation, so its racing. If it works out, then I have to tell him.... If it doesn't, then I'll be bummed because it didn't work out... If it doesn't is it because of the arms/weightloss story? I know, I know... I'm getting waaaaay too far ahead of myself.
Plus now I need to come up with a good story about my scars for when people ask me. So far its either -- A) a crazy bar fight in Australia (you should see the other guy), B) just part of my secret ninja training (I just may have something up my sleeve), or C) don't you know how they made Wolverine? Anyone else have any good ideas?
Oh and I finally told my boss I was having surgery. I somehow managed to tell ALL of my coworkers a month ago, but waited until this Wednesday to tell my boss. His first response was, "you don't need that, plastic surgeons are scam artists." and then he told me he wanted to see my arm skin that I was cutting off -- ummm NO FREAKIN WAY! I don't show that to anybody! So I refused and just showed him that I don't have an elbow (seriously, my finger disappears like its going into a black hole of arm skin)...
Now here's his great response. "Well if you do this, you can't get fat again." Gee thanks, that was my plan. Lose 100#, get my arm skin removed, and then eat until I'm fat again. Thanks for the advice, I'll avoid doing that. And then here's another gem, "well you know you're going to get fat again when you get pregnant, so you should just wait." Ooooh the lovely HR stuff he says. So appropriate, right?
So my plans for this weekend are A) stop freaking out about the surgery, B) don't drink too much wine at the winery today and get sick or do something stupid, C) clean the dang house before my mom gets here (even though she's going to tell me my house is disgustingly dirty), D) go grocery shopping to stock up on healthy stuff I can cook at home since I won't be leaving, and E) stop freaking out (I think I needed that on my list twice).
So I'll let you know how it goes! Here's to hoping it will help with my body dysmorphia issues, and maybe a 2# weightloss in just 2 hours!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
My feet are still sore from Saturday. Apparently a 5k, 22,000 steps, and maybe not the right kind of shoes are all to blame.
The week before the Color Run I did 3-10ks in distance (walking on a 5% incline). I was super frustrated with my lack of progress, eating too much, working out hard to compensate, and getting stuck in the vicious plateau I'm living in... And after the 3rd 10k, I noticed my left ankle was sore. I think I may have had a small stress fracture. So I quit training for the 4 days prior to the race. It was still sore on Saturday morning though.
Then the adrenaline kicked in. I was going to run in public. AND I DID! Major non-scale victory for me there. I ran for longer than I normally run, in public, in a tutu ;-) And then I felt a twinge and Nicole and I decided to have fun and walk the last 4k of the race.... and another 7 miles apparently that day.
Around 2pm I was really starting to lock up. I was tiiiiight. I did some lunges and stretches which were agonizing. Note to self -- don't get so hyped up on adrenaline that you injure yourself. I also was wearing my new running shoes. I had broken them in on the treadmill, but I don't think they're the best option. I got them on clearance... 'cause $20 New Balance running shoes sound way better than the $150 Nike's I should go buy...
Anyway--my ankles still hurt. My calves are in less agony, but they're still sore. I did mostly strength training *upper body and abs* last night because I don't want to do any more damage. Today I wore crappy flat shoes because I wasn't going to be walking anywhere and my tennis shoes didn't match my outfit. WORST IDEA EVER. I ended up walking 25 minutes to lunch--each way--in crappy shoes. Now my feet are like b**** what were you thinking?!?!
I need to do cardio tonight, so I am going to get up on that treadmill. I don't think I'll be getting a full hour of cardio, but who knows. Is it better to wait until it doesn't hurt to walk to do cardio or should I suck it up and do it -- which is what I'm leaning towards?
In other news, my calves are getting ridiculous. I wanted to get into my goal boots when I lost weight and my calves got smaller... except they didn't. I have lost some bulk off my calf, but now I also have giant calf muscles.... soooo not really fitting into those boots still. One thing I did notice is that I'm starting to have some definition on my calves. I never had cankles thank god, but now I've got more of a muscular cut to my calves. There's a divot on the outside. Its weird. I'm not seeing scale progress -- but I am slowly noticing other more toning going on.
AND also six days till surgery. By this time next tuesday I should be on my way home from the recovery center. Arms chopped up and stitched back together. That's another thing. I've been avoiding my arms. They're the worst part of me so I haven't been looking at them in the mirror. Now I can't stop looking, because they'll be gone soon... And they really do look like deflated balloons. My elbows have disappeared... everything is just... eh. I'll take before pictures. I won't post them until I have a good after picture -- but you'll see. Its not pretty. And unlike your stomach skin which you can spanx or wear deceptive clothing to cover -- your arms are pretty much always out there.
My sister told me this weekend she was hot -- and I should fan her... with my arms...
yea. Thanks family. I bit my tongue and didn't call her an overweight brat who looks pregnant and is unfertile to boot which is going to make her husband leave her... *I may have thought it -- but i didn't say it. She's gained a lot of weight lately, and for the first time she weighs a significantly larger amount than me. So she lashes out and makes "jokes" like the one above. Oh let me tell you how fun my family is...
I didn't complain about this in my Color Run blog, but I can honestly say family stress has been my biggest issue with weight loss. My mom's relationship to me is a whole mess. She's depressed and anyone with a family member with this disease knows its a rollercoaster. Two years ago she lost 50# and was being kind of horrible to me to try to get me to lose weight. Cue to two years later, I'm smaller than she ever was, and she's gained 65#. So she's also lashing out and making some comments...
I had planned to do the Color Run for months. My mom knew about this. And decided to throw a garage sale the morning of the Color Run. I got a lot of guilt about not helping, but I flat out told her the run was more important than her garage sale for me and for my health. She was throwing the garage sale to help contribute to my surgery, so she felt that I should have helped more... but she of course had to schedule it for the same day as the run. After the run was over, my friend Nicole wanted to know if I should call home to check on the garage sale. I flat out refused to call. Knowing my family I'd get grief and guilt no matter when I called -- so I decided to keep having a good time with my friend, walking, exercising, and being ridiculous -- 'cause I knew when I got home I'd get it.
And I did. My mom called me a b***h for not helping. My sister was a craba** about the whole situation. And I did not give a flying flip about it. That's the way I have to deal with my family. I don't let their insanity drag me down. I do not feel guilty about it. I do not need them to drive me nuts... but it does get tough.
When we went out to dinner that night my mom gave me an eyeroll and my sister told me to stop talking about what i ordered and portion sizes and protein amounts... When I told them I was excited I had walked over 10 miles and burned 3700 calories -- they rolled their eyes and gave me guilt about not helping with the garage sale... seriously. My dad tries to be supportive and listens when I talk about fitness stuff -- but as most of you other females know -- your mother and your sisters can really mess with your emotional well being a lot more than your father can.... especially when it comes to weight issues.
So that was definitely stressful. I barely had time for myself this weekend or to see anyone other than Nicole (who I did the Color Run with).
I'm going through color run withdrawl. My elbow is scabbed. Apparently when I was rolling around in the street to get covered in powder, I also go roadrash... and a ton of bruises. I now have these things called bones, poking out from under my skin. My shoulder blades are both bruised, my elbows are bruised, and I have some weird bruises on my legs... When Nicole hugged me she called me bony. My collarbones stick out a lot. Like way more than most people. I guess you'll see when I actually post some close-up before photos. Here's another comment from my sister. She told me my collarbones were "freaky" and looked like they "had been broken and healed all weird." Like that's not supposed to give me a complex...
I'm bony. Its weird. Its something I'm adjusting to with the weight loss. Does anyone else find themselves feeling their bones under their skin, now that you can? I have always been overweight, so I've never been able to feel my ribs before, or actually see my sternum. Now they're like these freaky body parts that have always been there, but I never knew they existed...
Random I know -- sorry I'm all over the place in this blog...
But to wrap up. No matter what happens, its okay for you to put yourself first. You can tell other people no, and you can stand up for yourself and your choices when they try to make you feel guilty...
Now I guess I should go reward myself with a new pair of running shoes if I ever hit that 100# lost... I'm going the wrong direction lately. The sore muscles are retaining water (at least that's what i'm telling myself) I was up 2.6# from pre-race... then today I'm down 1.2# from yesterday... the scale and I are just in a see-saw. I know I shouldn't care so much, but its annoying. I'm definitely asking the doctor to measure how much skin/fat is cut off next week. In my crazy weird brain I almost don't want to count that toward my weight loss since it feels like cheating, but it should still count right?
*sigh* Okay -- I'm headed home to avoid my life. I have a fellowship application that i am actively procrastinating on in a major way... oh and I still haven't told my boss about my surgery. He just knows that I'm "going on vacation." Telling your boss that you're having elective cosmetic surgery for skin removal is just a weird conversation to have... make that awkward since its my inappropriate boss... *le sigh*
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