Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Season and Some Weightloss WLS Style

I had a message on FB so I thought I should update a little. I am closing in on 11 months post surgery and I am still losing weight at a steady slowing speed. At least I think it's slowing. I am wearing the same size I was married in though I am nearly 20lbs heavier. My daughter got me an impossibly skinny sweater for Christmas and I fearfully tried it on, (old clothes as gifts anxiety) and it was great. I looked at the scale today and I am down 124lbs. I always lose another 3 or 4 pounds when I am in charge of my grandson for a few days! We are busy. As I have said before, I am satisfied with where I am. if it stops today, I am GREAT!
I made cookies this year for the first time in 40 some odd years, I mean from scratch, not slice n bake, and had one in the morning and one at night, to no ill effect. This is really the first time I have deliberately eaten something with sugarbut one little cookie followed many hours later by another did not harm me. I have religiously followed the sugar rule for the entire 11 months, which is sugar no higher than 5 on the list of ingredients. I have had a few bites of pasta from time to time, recently, but it is too too filling. Overcooked meat in the crockpot goes down just fine, you know when the meat is falling apart. I also had success with my daughter's amazing Christmas Roast and I am sure that is the name of the roast, "The Amazing Christmas Roast" though in honor of the 4 11/12 I called it roast beast!

Since I have failed at making myself go to the Y and swim since school started I am starting back in with the school trainer deal and get back to that, because, dear WLS readers, you will not believe what needs toning after such a major weight loss--EVERYTHING and then some. This wellness deal also gives us access to a local hospital fitness center. I am excited to get back on the elliptical, because, even when I had not lost weight, I loved what that machine did for me! I have said before (again) but the nurses at the hospital said the reason Iw as not having the pain everyone else was having was because of the 3 years with a trainer and my abs, though buried were in great shape, if you are beginning to explore this route, do yourself a favor and really exercise and work on those abs, you will thank yourself later when you have a super amazing nearly pain free recovery. I also recommend as a really helpful WLS site.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Thoughts and a Little Weightloss

I have come to the point in my weight loss journey where I don't really care if I lose any more weight or not. I am looking and feeling better than I ever expected I could at age 62 and just dropped another three pounds. I know many of you think WLS makes weight loss effortless, but that is not the case. It is different, but it is still not effortless. My total at this point is a loss of 118 lbs. I had to drop another size in jeans this week and am in the size I wore as my skinny self from about 35 years ago. Of course that is not taking the new vanity sizing into account, but I don't care, I feel really good about where I am and now I just want to stay put, or knock off a few more pounds so I can safely bobble there for all time.
I have had a student teacher who has been completely in charge of my room for at least a month, this week is her last week and I am eager to get back to teaching myself. I have done a lot of reading and some knitting. I also made a cute quilt for my new grandbaby during my free time. I have spent most of my time in the library so I can use a computer whenever I like and have learned some new (to me) art skills that I can teach my students, thanks to my student teacher.I have also subbed or covered for several people during this time. My student teacher is so good I have had no worries and am not pining quite as much for my room as I have in the past with lesser student teachers. My kids are safe with her and learning a lot.
I had grandson H over Friday and Saturday night, we went to see Planer 51 which was so much fun and then Saturday we did Thanksgiving with my cousins and all the children of the third generation. H had a blast, everyone was a little bigger and a little older, and it was rough and tumble and he totally loved it. I had a great time being with my cousins and their kids, myself. Of course there was a groaning board of food, but that is not anything that bothers me. I tasted several things, stayed away from sugar, as usual and got to rock babies to sleep. All in all a very good day. I also passed out the hats I knit like a maniac last week to babies, including one for my newest grandson.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Grand Babies

We spent Saturday and Sunday with Rayne_of_Terror and the "boys" and they are grand babies. Q is 2 months and 16 pounds of blue twisted steel, cuddly but tough. My long fingers barely meet around his expanding chest. He is a laughing cooing baby who gives his mother hell to pay at night. H was adorable and seems to have made the transition to big brother very well. It was tough at first. He imagined that any time he was not home, there was untold fun and partying going on without him, but he has finally relaxed and started to enjoy school. We made a pact with each other to have another good week at school. Since I go to school every day, too, we did a little huddle and maybe a band cheer (ala Aunt Leah). H dressed as super pumpkin and he was super cute from head to toe in his stuffed orange shirt with a pumpkin and a super S ont he front, an orange terry cape (otherwise known as the baby's towel from Israel) though it has been a super cape ever since it arrived. He wore a green kerchief and just looked adorable. See pics on Rayne's blog. DH began work on converting the tiny upstairs office/bedroom into a laundry room. It looks like heaven to me to make that room into the laundry as all the dirty clothes are made upstairs! There will be some other changes, but the most exciting one is having the laundry on the second floor. There will be a pantry style cabinet, cabinets, and counter top for folding. That still leaves 3 bedrooms. Seeing the room empty for the first time, I realized it really was big enough to have a crib, I hadn't thought it was possible. I am also thinking a pullout ironing board to touch up collars and such would be a good idea. Maybe I will get her that sewing machine I mentioned a few years ago and she can do some mending and create more fun costumes in that room, too. hmm, there's an idea.

While we were there, @Derndingle made the repairs to our beloved dell tower, simple for him, mystifying to us and we are grateful. I did get all my photos off the newer e-machine but DH and I really prefer the mighty Dell for now. I'd like to thank AccidentallyJewish for her guidance in talking me through the memory stick, she in Chicago and me way down state. SUCCESS! My big worry was losing all the new photos from my new little canonelph.

Weight Loss Check In

I have achieved a loss since February 11, 2009, of 115lbs. I am looking like my original self plus age. Yesterday I had a confusing time at an outlet mall trying to find a new pair of jeans that fit. I searched and searched, until I realized I had to leave the women's department and go to another department. I was sure it wasn't going to work, but I got a pair of no gap waistline well-fitting jeans and another plain pair that also fit well in a size I never expected to see or enter again, even with the weight loss. I feel like maybe I have 10 or 15 more pounds to lose but I am just not sure. My imagination did not go this far. Visualization did not go this far. My understanding is that you get this kind of weight loss for about a year following surgery then any more becomes the same old effort it always was. I may make my unknown goal before that year is up. In two weeks I will be 9 months out from surgery..

Sunday, October 4, 2009

For Rick

The loom is foam core board with an even number of slots cut in each end. We have 14 slots in each end this time. The first time I did this we used crochet cotton for the warp, this time we used cotton thread like peaches n cream for the warp and it worked better, it is easier for 7Th grade fingers.. I buy mostly worsted weight yarns on sale and a few fun yarns so they can get some fluffy stuff going on. We weave all the way around the foam core and then we weave a flap on one side. I do a little braid and sew on a button for them. They are 7Th graders and they choose their own colors. I also have a sheet of various patterns you can do with a tabby weave. I am also sure there is a way to braid a handle through this to give a little something to hang on to, we just haven't gone there yet. Packing the weaving as tightly as possible is very important. I will put on a photo that shows how we load the warp onto the board. If you used a big enough piece of foam core you could make a decorative pillow or even a full size purse. These are perfectly sized for a phone as big as an I-phone or my canon elph camera. I am not identifying the artists, but at least half of them are mildly mentally handicapped and their projects are exactly as good as anybody else's. I did find out this time that they LOVE variegated colors so I stocked up on some of those at a sale at JoAnn Fabrics. I also have a selection of yarn that I bought with school supply money through the catalogues. It can often be a disappointment so I don't count on that. I am working on one that is all cotton Peaches N Cream brand or the walmart brand of similar cotton. This is the cotton I have knitted and crocheted dishcloths with in the past.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weight Loss or Not

Have had a week hovering at a 101 lb loss, I am pleased with my progress and don't mind hovering. I had the first mention today of losing too much, yet I am 60 lbs over my college and young bride weight. hmm. what's that about? The people who know me now in my present life have never seen me at a normal weight. I am not at a normal weight yet, but I sure am looking a heck of a lot better than I did a year ago!
Dh repaired my bicycle which had the front fork of backwards for 3 years as put together by ultra excellent bike shop. It really improves the ride! The little hills that had become challenges to me since the weight loss strangely smoothed over and got lower! My feet are no longer hit by my front tire when I turn the bike. Hard to imagine not noticing that little problem for so long! I just blamed those issues on my own body, feet, losing some strength along with weight...and it was BACKWARDS!

Last week I thought I may have lost my mind in offering my afternoon 6th graders the Oaxacan animal project. I was wrong, once we got through the horrid first day where each and every one of them was clamoring for help...I can't..I can't...I can't ringing through the air, it has been more than fine, so much better than they have been since the beginning of school. I feel like I have literally yelled at this one class 5 times in 43 minutes.(Each day) I don't much care for it when that happens, and I really don't care for raising my voice.

Because I have learned the simple task of putting pics on my blog, Thanks, daughter, I will be able to put up some photos here when the animals are finished. This project gives my kids a sculptural experience, a social studies experience, and just a lot of down right fun. I learned some techniques 3 or 4 years ago from Dan Reeder's book "Simple Screamers" that have made this project one that lasts. Little siblings say my brother still have his..maybe 4 years after making it. A child can even play with them they are so sturdy. We make the lat layer a wrap (like a mummy) of elmer's glue and strips of cotton ripped from sheets that makes them amazingly strong, and paint them with acrylics.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

newest grandson

Bag and Chameleon

This bag I knitted and felted and the chameleon is a paint pen painting I did for my grandson and I am just having a blast doing this right now! Hey little brother look what I am doing!

Me Trying Pictures

I am learning how to post photos...finally

Grand Boys of Illinois

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mom's Journal

Mom left a few pages on a tiny yellow pad, my youngest sister just gave it to me.
I am going to quote this from it as it pertains to me......"I am so proud of the good job Linda and Larry are doing with their girls....I am picking up my grandchildren today from practice. (band)Those 2 girls are something special. I love being with them. They are smart, pretty and not all mixed up like so many kids I know. I don't think they keep many secrets from the parents. It looks like rain, I do hate to drive in rain."... Thanks Mom, I loved reading this.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Knee Pain Weight Loss

Tomorrow I will be 7 months out from my gastric bypass surgery. So far no complications and I am down 97 lbs. I am looking forward to the psychological goal of 100lbs. Early this morning I woke up(4a.m.) and straightened my left knee. In the past this has been a very painful and slow process. I realized I was doing this with NO pain at all. I don't know how long this has been going on, but I just noticed it. I stopped taking arthritis meds at least a month before the first cancelled surgery and have never taken it since, so I have been off of it for nearly a year. I did not restart it because I was afraid of what it would do to the new pocket stomach. Ulcers can be deadly for post-bariatrics so I do nothing that can cause it, not even baby aspirin. I was so happy this morning I kept bending and straightening my knee and going "yeah it doesn't hurt."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stop Me Before I Shop Again

I have always hated shopping for me. When I was tall and thin, there were almost no tall clothes. I sewed for myself from the ages of about 13 to 40 when suddenly there were some ready mades for me, with buttons and zippers. I have hauled 2 over 40 gallon bags of things to the goodwill and that doesn't count the things that are nice enough for resale or consignment. I haven't bought myself anything that wasn't on a deep discount the past month, BUT I keep on buying. I can shop almost anywhere for me now. They have been making really long things for several years and now that I can put my hands on some items, more than one or two in a fat store that I can wear. I buy them. Things I bought a month ago are sliding off. I think I will have to get out the machine and do a little remodeling so it isn't just throwing money away. I also bought what I needed to make my newest grandbaby a colorful cozy baby quilt.....and more yarn. cotton yarn.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weight Loss

94lbs down. Just got back from routine bloodwork keeping track of cholesterol, sugar and iron. Opening of school has messed with my exercise schedule, I must work out a new schedule and stick to it. I attended a bariatric support group meeting with my friend Diana last Monday and the subject was tips for beginners. It is amazing what you did in those early days and weeks that just slip out of your head. I don't think I even had a tip to share. I am now in the smallest jeans I have worn in 30 years, and am still losing weight. I may get closer to a goal I thought was impossible and even undesirable for someone of my age and parity. I am just taking it a day at a time and finding it rather exciting. The physical abilities that reveal themselves to me gradually, oh I couldn't do that last year, oh, I haven't done that for 3 years, oh, I didn't think that was possible. Just little sneaky things that crept away, even sitting here typing with right leg crossed over left, thoughtlessly, right foot touching the floor. I caught myself tying my left shoe with my foot up where I couldn't get it before, had to tie that one flat on the floor for the last several year. The flexibility in my hips seems to have returned.

I need to apologize to my brother if this rambles, and my blogging is definitely hurt by my twittering. When I cast about for a topic, I just think I already covered it in 140 characters! I will try to do better. Goodness, either I don't have any spelling errors or spellcheck isn't working!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weight Loss

Thought I'd better record it here. This morning I hit 92 pounds down. I had a gastric bypass 2-11-09, in just less than two weeks I will be 7 months out from the surgery. So far I have had no complications and I have only thrown up twice. I finally got some palatable chewable calcium citrate and am taking it faithfully. That had been the one thing it was hard to get down. Crystals, powder, taste like or feel like crap. Once again, I found what I needed on The opening two weeks of school has been wonderful, I have energy at the end of the day that I did not have before and every few days I discover another physical ability that has either improved or returned! I am doing some major reorganizing in my classroom that I never would have attempted for fear of using up my energy and not having it for teaching! Those little improvements sneak up on me and take me by surprise when I realize I am doing something easily that 7 months ago I couldn't do at all. My colleagues are telling me I am looking healthy, my color is good. I met someone yesterday who is considering the surgery and she said I was glowing, that word has been used more in the last two weeks than it ever was when I was pregnant so many years ago. I like that. Glowing and healthy looking. I think people expect you to look sick after this.

I can already tell how much more physically capable I am when I carry my newest grandson out on the deck and down the stairs/up the stairs with no problem. I can get up and down off the floor maybe 75% better than before. I have also reached what I thought was my possible goal is size and am really only 2 or 2.5 sizes away from my younger ideal. I had no expectation of getting any closer than I am right now. I guess I will just blow through that goal. My good friend D is at goal weight in WW for the first time in her life, she finished out her last 20 lbs after bariatric at WW as she likes the support, she has lost at least 120 or 125 pounds an she is only about 5'4"! Even her shoe size has dropped, that would be a financial blessing to me. Go D! Hard to find this year, 3/4 sleeves, I am flying flags under my arms, which has been true since my first round of optifast 20 years ago. Mynew pants are already sagging. thank goodness I got everything at deep sale prices, I couple of darts would keep my jeans up a little longer.

Movies: I wanted to blog a bit about 2 movies I saw yesterday, but found my twittering has really cut my blogging to almost nothing. I went to see Julie and Julia and I LOVED it, Maryl Streep was wonderful as was everybody else. They did a really good job of making Meryl look tall and I only wish I had always had Julia Child's attitude about height. I always wanted to be 6ft tall because I adored my 6ft tall aunt, and I am, but I haven't always had the confidence about it that Julia had. Hey, maybe I still don't..the story lines intertwined wonderfully from the past to the present--and I left the theater and went to Sam's and bought both Julie and Julia AND My Life in France-- then I bought some protein bars and just knew that Julia was disapproving as they are not worthy of the taste buds. I just needed a little guarantee of the protein in my day. Though (or because) the tickets were at $5, the theater was packed, mostly older people, and since I qualify at the Y now, I am also an older person. I saw an old friend from school who has moved on to another job and asked her if she teared up at all, and she had. I had wanted to shout at the crowd "did anyone else well up in here?" "or is it just me?" She welled up, too. Annoying, watching this movie with people crunching popcorn behind you. This movie is a feast in more ways than one.

I also saw "500 Days of Summer" It was a very sweet movie and I enjoyed it very much.
I appreciated the lack of graphic sex as well as the manner in which the story was told which seemed very original to me. This movie has only just arrived in mytown and there were only about 12 people in the audience. Open mouthed eaters sat behind me. Why didn't I move? Oh and by the way, the theater seats are a lot bigger than the last time I was there. hmmm. I bet airplane seats are bigger, too.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthing My Twins

My twins are 32 and one of them is on the brink of birthing her second child. Reading Dooce makes me want to write my little story from the dark ages. Actually my son is 38 and he was also a wonderful natural delivery (foreshadowing) in the days when natural childbirth was just beginning to rear its head. I read books and practiced exercises from the books with him and relied on panting for my breathing. I remember a kindly nun patting me on the hand and saying "You shouldn't breathe like that, you'll hyperventilate". I had a fantastic 8 hr labor and delivery. Jump 5.5 years up in time and I not only read books but took a class. I was in that class still not knowing I was having twins as my OB said I had made a 3 month MISTAKE and I was most certainly NOT having twins even though my abdomen extended to just above my knees when sitting(and I am 6ft tall and very long-legged)AND he was going to wire my jaws shut as there was no earthly reason to gain 10lbs a month for 3 months running. And to think I went to a real OB and let him talk to me that young women these days would punch him in the nose and find a midwife and a doula. Not sure the term doula even existed yet in 1977. Since my first baby was 11 lbs6ozs, I thought the OB might be right and no telling how big the second was going to be, they're usually a bit bigger, right? 20lbs maybe?

Much to my Ob's dismay the pregnancy continued way past his last chosen due date and much closer to mine. By the end I was going to the IGA after Larry got home and walking down one aisle with a cart and calling it a success. Not sure I should have been out there, though. Two weeks before MY selected due date (the right one, March 23) the doc decided my body could take no more so he would induce. I think I sat on 2 folding chairs in a hall and used up 1/4 of my health insurance benefit for having a baby. You will know this was the dark ages because they X-rayed me.....repeat....repeat...repeat... techs were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I was starting to panic as my little niece had already been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and I was having my baby blasted with cancer rays. I asked how many heads they saw and of course, they could not tell me, but I knew it was more than one.

Doc told me I was carrying twins, they were 38 weeks and OK size not great big. (laughs later)He could tell by the cartilage in the babies how many weeks they were. I must go home and stay pregnant for two more weeks, yes we are talking full term here and whose date? MINE of course. The last two weeks of my pregnancy were filled with the sensation of babies growing, an actual sensation, a growth day would completely exhaust me. We shall know why later. I had no stretch marks from my first baby and a completely flat stomach after, but from 6 months on with these babies I could feel my skin zinging and tearing, another sensation indescribable. Or maybe I did just describe it. I give thanks to my sister here for coming to stay with me, she may have stayed 6 weeks and was important beyond measure in my success as a twin mother. I will thank her again later.

Today is your birthday, for some strange reason, the date I arrived at from counting on my fingers is the date the doc is going to induce me. Early to rise and to the hospital we go. Good old pit. Pitocin... you all know it. Hours, hours, hours, nothing, then the doc does the hook the water thing and off I go. The breathing techniques I learned really worked! There was space between contractions which I did not have the first time, so nice. Nurses and docs still did not understand natural childbirth and were still offering drugs. I was able to lie on my side and found I had real control of my contractions. In those days you had to move from the labor bed to the delivery table, and as huge as my abdomen was, I did not want to make the trip across that grand canyon. My abdomen listed to the right, one baby in the center and one to the side. I would walk in one direction and my abdomen pointed in another direction. OOOH here comes the urge to push, I am not going to tell a soul because I do not want to get on my back or move to a table...I think I am being very sneaky, but my husband knows it instantly and he yelled out to the nurses, "you better get back in here...she's pushing." Damn him. Now I am going to have to move. Extra people stayed for a twin delivery, for a natural twin delivery, and for the ungainly size of the mother (me). One young nurse was a 6 footer like myself and she literally lifted my abdomen to the center as I somehow rolled to my back (beached whale comes to mind)and held it--them on the top as I scooted. They got my left leg in a stirrup with my knee pointed back and my foot to the ceiling and my right leg in a stirrup and my foot mere inches from the floor. The cloths were neatly folded on my abdomen. I assumed I'd have an episiotomy and did not scorn that but Leah slipped right out with the doc barely dressed and my legs hilariously askew. One up, one down. I was really great at the delivery part! It was a healthy looking girl, looked like a nice weight, a good 6 or 7 pounds--yeah right. She got name number one Leah now known as @leahjones. The doctor yelled out, "get her god damned legs where they belong!" cloths were spread, and then he gave me a shot for an episiotomy, what the hell? I probably had the big one first! He was so discombobulated he shot right into his own hand. The nurse, measuring Leah started yelling out 10 pounds 10 pounds this baby is 10 pounds, excitement ensued in the room. Another doc walked in, no proper clothes or shoe coverings and that really pissed me off. Then I needed to push, or my OB said I needed to push. I really had lost my concept of what that meant. He reached in for baby number 2, centered it, and pushed on my abdomen and out came @devivo in 3 or less minutes. 5 years later I had reason to understand why it was so great for her to be out so quickly.

Among the books I read was the Bradley method and I learned the secrets of cold cream. I had nary a tear nor a loss of a drop of blood and no episiotomy, in spite of the injection which was now taking effect, why I ask you why?

Baby 2 was 8lbs12oz edging out the other biggest baby of the day and being my smallest twin. Lastly the placenta was delivered, 2 mashed in to one as they are fraternal twins, a mighty huge looking thing. I forgot to ask what it weighed. My labor and delivery was 4 hours. Exactly half what my first delivery was. At this point I began to feel like a Salvadore Dali painting with my empty abdomen hanging off the edge of the recovery table. One of my first pleasures of the evening was being walked to a bathroom and peeing for the first time, and peeing and peeing and peeing. By the next day I could see the bones in my feet again. I nursed my babies but did not get angry when the nurse gave Jenny a bottle, second time around I knew I could deal with that at home. We all went home in two days and I have always been inordinately proud that all my babies had 10's on their apgars right from he start. Yes they all aced their first standardized tests as they went on to do all other standardized tests they had to deal with!

My sister, Kathy, stayed on for at least another month and totally and 100% supported me in breastfeeding. I started out thinking I'd have to alternate with bottles but ended up completely nursing them for 10 months when they began a rather quick and painful weaning and never looked back. I am not sure I could have been as successful without her encouragement and active support. Thanks again, Kathy.

3 years later, my girls ended up in preschool with two other girls born on the same day, one waiting in another hospital for my OB to deliver my girls and the other in my hospital who saw me in the hall and felt great pity for my gargantuan abdomen. Sorry to the mom who had to wait, but first things first!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I Have Realized Something About Myself

As a blogger, I am not a writer, I am not looking for a following, the few who read it are dear to me and I think I am more of a rambling stream of consciousness type of person. I am not going to publish or sharpen a snarky wit here, though I do love to read those blogs! Maybe when I retire I'll change my mind, but I am thinking it just isn't me. I am not a political wizard so I don't go there much, though I feel it. I am not going to monetize or seek a following. I write things down to remember them or share them with a few readers and that's OK with me! I always thought I could write a children's book, but doesn't everybody think that? I haven't done it. I have read and loved so many. I would want the one I wrote to last in the annals of necessary children's books as The Very Hungry Caterpillar has lasted.

Yesterday was My Birthday

My brother was nice enough to leave links to the books I wrote about yesterday and to note I had not mentioned my own birthday. I twittered it, I facebooked it, but I forgot to blog it. It was a beautiful sunshiny day most of the day as I hit 62. I really wanted to call Mom, so mentally, I did, and I try to think of what she was doing at my same age. I realized how young she was when she lost her own mother, my dear Mammie. Mammie was 72 so I think Mom was 41. I never knew from my aunt and my Mom what a grievous hole it leaves in your psyche when your mother passes from this life. They never mentioned it. They were from a more stoic generation, the great generation. Here I am rambling. Did you ever notice how glamorous the young women of the 40's were? They looked like movie stars in their hand tinted portraits. Here I am, 62, in relatively good health, especially now that the pounds are falling away and Mom had already had a heart attack. Her life was so hard and she smoked for many many years. She reared 6 children and worked many many physically demanding jobs in her time. Had she already broken both ankles? Had she already had bladder cancer? When did the diabetes rear its head? There was the quadruple bypass. I often think of her asleep on a bench in the sun on one of her last trips to KY because her heart was only beating 35 beats a minute and she was traveling against oldest daughter's orders I might add. Orders from me were a challenge to her! She says I shouldn't do it, so here I go! That was Mom. A trooper woke her up and sent her on her way, she completed that defiant trip, returned with injuries and had to spend time in the hospital and the nursing home for one week to get back on her feet. Oops Rick, this wasn't the happy birthday mention you wanted probably, but my mind always goes to mom on my birthday, because she gave it to me. I now await the birth of my 5th grandchild and look forward to giving him the attention I have given his brother.
My daughters had to teach me what a hilariously fun grandma she was to them and I hope to my son also, though he doesn't mention it. She adored him completely.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summertime and the Living.....

I have read like a fiend this summer and i'd like to give kudos to Joshelin Jackson (sp) for ""The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" loved it. Too bad I can't remember how to successfully make a link to that! She has a great blog, too, Faster Than Kudzu. I read that long before I got one of her books. Now I want more.
I am now two weeks away from being back at my teaching schedule, the summer has flown by. I have hogged it all to myself with reading, twittering, swimming. Soon I shall be able to knit as I need to make a new surprise sweater for my newest soon-to-be grandson. I haven't been knitting because all last year I had the worst back spasm and my knitting posture does not help that! There must be a way, maybe I should wear a back brace while I knit!

I have built up enough strength and endurance with my swimming schedule this summer to add workouts in the school program back into my exercise life. Hooray!

I am reading a book now, "Oxygen" by Carol Cassella that literally and figuratively takes your breath away in the first chapter and really lets you know how in the hands of another human you are during surgery. oooooh.

I already mentioned this in my previous post but this one's for me. I had my 4.5 year old grandson over for the first time to try to spend Monday through Friday. He crashed into bed Sunday night asleep as his head hit the pillow so that doesn't count! He got homesick late Tuesday night, 10p.m., too late for me to make the 2 hour and 15 minute drive home. We did our activities the next day then went home. He needed to "see his mommy." I consider it a rousing success as he slept here three nights, I was betting on two. We had some swim lessons and in spite of his excitement about having them, and maybe it was the unseasonably cool weather, he did not like them as I had hoped. I do think he has a few things to practice in his home pool though that will advance his increasing skills in the water. He actually dove for pennies, pennies!
Now that we have had this successful sleepover, we can have a few more maybe I can pick him up on a Friday and Mom can pick him back up on a Sunday. We went to one of our wonderful city parks several times, we went to our cities children's museum which is all activities, though small. The smallness is the real appeal to the children. We are getting a new bigger one and I certainly hope it is as interactive as our first one. H absolutely loved it.

Gastric Bypass 5.5 Months and Other Random Things

Today I did not take a cart in to Krogers to go to the pharmacy. I did not use a cart to walk around and I did not bring a cart out. I will now enter a store with bad carts or no carts.
I picked up my new 5 \mg BP prescription, giving way from the 50 mg's I was taking at the beginning+ no longer taking 3 other BP meds.
purchased a few new things as many as 4 sizes smaller than February sizes, getting ready to break through to "normal" sizes. You know, the kind you can buy in any store, not just a specialty store.
I was able to entertain my grandson (4.5 yrs old) ably for three whole days without collapsing or taking a nap! It was his very first sleepover without a parent present. Good things ahead with that skill. Well, we did relax once in a while after vigorous activity, which means lying down and watching 2 sponge Bobs before another activity.
Nutrition info--my daughter's midwife gave her a list of iron rich foods and cream of wheat is at the top. Who knew? I checked it out and compared it to Malt-O-Meal and MOM tops COW--that is an easy addition for me as I came out of this low in iron from blood loss. I could only eat two chicken livers, but I can eat a serving of M-O-M. In case you landed here because of the title of this post, I use Stevia to sweeten the cereal. I saw some interesting information on agave syrup and am wondering if it is good for bariatric patients. Oh, I almost forgot, since Feb 11 I am down 86 pounds. Some of you won't think that is much, but I am 6ft tall and that is a lot for me, many people lose a lot more in numbers, but I am so pleased with how this is going. I am keeping up my protein and hanging on to my hair. I do have a funny bump in my fingernails though that I attribute to the changes since surgery.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Weather Report-Etcetera

Today is such a perfectly beautiful day I just thought I'd write that down. Very low humidity and pleasant temperature. We have had a minor heat wave with disgusting humidity for at least a week so today is especially heavenly.

Yesterday we went to daughter's house. She, grandson and I went to the new rec center in the tiny town of 4100 people. They have three nice pools, one is for toddlers and the pools are just delightful. I added to the sunburn I got on Friday at the Plainfield Aquatic Center which is an outstanding place but SO MANY people. Husband and Son in law repaired and relined their above ground pool while we were gone.

I felt so warm and toasty and relaxed from the water and the sun that I have not yet ventured out into the world today, except to sit on the front porch and read a terrific YA novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexi. Banning of this book is afoot in some nicer neighborhoods possibly for masturbation and possibly for having to face whites' treatment of First People. Couldn't be the open discussion of alcoholism, we're all past that aren't we? This national book award winner should be in every library.

Now I am awaiting the arrival of my amazon order to read a book recommended to me by @katieschwartz , right now I am blanking on the title but I will get back to you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Memory

Something happens when you lose your parents and then a sibling close in age. You realize you are the only one with certain memories. Here's one, Kathy and Rick, you were too little to remember!
We went (I think) to the LaBrea Tar Pits, there was a dry riverbed with sand, we were running across it and the sand was so hot Bob and I were jumping up and down screaming and crying in the middle. Mom ran out and grabbed us both up and ran to the other side. That's it. I think JoAnne Shadrick and her kids were with us, too. Being on that hot sand is a vivid memory but nothing else about that outing is clear at all. We certainly hadn't heard of flip flops yet.

Another Memory: Bob and I were left in the car alone while Mom was up in the hospital room visiting Rick. Rick was 2 and when he and Kathy were playing with a cigarette lighter before anyone else got up, his arm was set on fire and his pajamas burned up and he got a 3rd degree burn all the way to his shoulder. Hospitals in those days did not allow parents to stay with their children and certainly did not allow child visitors so we had to wait in the car. Of course, we argued, wrestled, fought, and somehow I gave him a bloody nose--I feared retribution for about 40 years! He didn't remember it, whew.
Sense memories from California: The wonderful scent of carnations growing wildly in California, The huge grasshoppers, the smell of the orange groves in bloom, the pain in the chest from the filthy air in 55/56/

Adding Food

I finally found my binder from St. Vincent's and it is time to add another ounce of food per meal taking it up to 4, we can stop the protein supplement, but I am loving my hair and how great it is doing.... actually thickening rather than thinning. Today I carefully ate a chicken liver, very tender and yummy, it seems to be going through just fine and I need to raise my blood count, it is still low. I am taking iron, but I like to get it naturally, too. I did my swimming this morning and there was so much chlorine in the pool it was hard to swim without goggles, I need to find mine, they were not in the bag I thought they were in.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weather Report

Not really, but pretty random. I am still sore from last weeks intense legwork in the pool and have dropped more pounds since I got into the water. I have made it to 72 pounds loss, I will have to check my other entries to see where I was before the pool! Somebody told me the shorts I thought fit perfectly were baggy, O.K. they are sliding down, maybe I WILL have to purchase summer clothes before August after all. running out of smaller sizes, I could consider a belt, yeah, that's the ticket. No wait, I still have some waitng for me from daughter, I shall try them on again!
new topic
Met a new member of the extended family yesterday and, since I am a baby magnet, I had two month old Wyatt gurgling and laughing and "talking" for an extended period of time amazing his mommy, aunt and grandma, I do have a gift with babies! OK I just love em'.
another random topic
We went to the nicest AA event I have ever been to in Indy last night, nice space, food was good n plenty, service was efficient though tardy, worth the wait, everyone at my table was friendly. I always feel odd at places where I know no one and the speaker was one of the best I have ever heard with a great message not soaked too much in the horrors of the past, just enough that you could imagine. The man was 76 and had 52 years of sobriety.

Another very odd thing for me, I have done this twice since February 11, gone to a buffet and put two or three ounces of food on the plate which I could not finish. I didn't explain myself, but I really wanted to tell the sweet young couple across from me that I had had surgery, I felt my plate might make them uncomfortable! I have to say, what I did have was tasty, if you are in Indy and need caterers, I recommend Indianas--I have no idea how they spell the ending, but I can tell you they are good cooks and bring plenty of food for the crowd, people really piled on the food, even the meat was not rationed, many satisfied ooh and ahhs over the simple but delicious desserts, I got that from crowd noises, I haven't gone there yet. After all I don't want to get that sick!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Forgot to Tell You

Jennifer Lancaster's newest book, "Pretty in Plaid" arrived today. I intend to sit in coffee shops and hee haw out loud and alone as I have for all three of her other books. There is no silent reading with a Jen Lancaster book.

PS: a few days later, I have read "Pretty in Plaid"' and it was entertaining, but no guffawing, no embarrassing myself by sounding like a crazy woman laughing in public places. It is still enjoyable but don't make it your first Jen Lancaster.

The Hangover

Two days in a row I have gone to the movies. This afternoon, with a bit of hesitation, I went to see "The Hangover". There was a very small crowd but we laughed uproariously. The movie was hilarious from start to finish, and by finish, I mean you must watch the credits as the mystery of the movie is told there. I would classify this as a buddy road-trip movie and if one is easily offended by R-rated language, don't bother.

Gastric Bypass 4 Months Out

I am in my second week of daily swimming and am feeling great, getting a super workout in the pool and today I finally went over 65 to a 66lb weight loss. You touch a loss a few times for a few days before you finally lose that pound and move on. Feb11 was my surgery date and things are super. I did chew gum at a movie yesterday and found out why you are not supposed to, the gas it causes is quite painful and malodorous, yuck. I will stick to sugar free mints now. Right now I am looking for my very detailed binder to see if I have any food changes for month 4. Thank you St. Vincent's for such a wonderful guide, and if you are reading this from any where near Indianapolis, I highly recommend St. Vincent's AND Dr. Inman, the surgeon, very thorough, no non-sense woman who is on a mission.
The Movie
Yesterday afternoon I went to see 'My Life in Ruins" and it is not a must see, it is sweet, predictable, has lovely scenery, some laughs, not big ones, and will be just as enjoyable on the small screen at home. I give it two stars.

Monday, May 18, 2009

short post

I am just a few days over 3 months out from surgery, down 53 1/4 lbs and feeling good. Maybe it is all the protein I am getting, but my hair and nails are actually better right now. Hmmm. mysterious. I have learned to get down the 2 TBL of cher amino a day as well as two scoops of EAS whey protein powder in my morning milk. I am running down through old clothes pretty quickly and some of the baggy ones I wear right now look a little sad. I will have to give them up soon. This is just a tiny report from the world of bariatric surgery.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Surgery Update

I have been to two support meetings, and to my surprise, they are interesting and helpful. I put on a pair of shorts today that button and zip, no elastic, I couldn't fasten them a couple of weeks ago, now they are perfect. I have made it cleanly to a 45lb loss. I am approaching 3 full months since the surgery. I am feeling good, still have all my hair (whew Mom), and I am signing up at the Y tomorrow to get back into my swimming. At the last meeting the leader told us St. Vincents is thinking of making a 25lb limit on lifting for life due to the risk for hernias and the bowel twisting, which is life threatening. My biggest problem is remembering to take all my vitamins, especially the calcium which I find disgusting. Osteoporosis is more disgusting, so I think I'll go get some calcium right now. OK, I just got it ready and I'll eat my squash that contains the calcium as I type. I also haven't taken my B12 or B1 this weekend, so I'll do that, too. Lots of people get the b12 shot once a month. I accept that, at the age of 61, my skin is not going to come close to snapping back, hell it didn't when I was 29 and had twins so what's new? Today also looks like a good day to ride the bike and get into that routine.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Not Necessarily Reading Material

Thought I'd record a weird dream to the best of my memory. I dream in full color. My dream last night seemed to be a continuation of a dream from the night before, but now that I am awake, I am not so sure. Leah and I were on a walking trek through some countryside, quite beautiful with a tiger on a slim rope. The tiger would sleep right next to us at night but did not seem to be threat. Then one night the tiger was leaning on me while we were trying to sleep on the ground and we knew it had become dangerous so Leah cut its throat. We then laid it on a narrow platform and took everything wooden we possibly could out of a nearby and very familiar house and built a funeral pyre for the tiger. It seemed to be a very lengthy process to collect enough wood to cremate the entire tiger which was unusually long. There was a crowd scene that followed that I do not remember very well. This dream was saturated with color and I had not taken anything to help me sleep. I also slept all night, though climbing all over that house in every nook and cranny collecting wood, there were no sticks outside, was exhausting. Much of my view of this dream was aerial.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bariatric surgery

I thought I would post more about this surgery. Suffice it to say I had an amazingly fast recovery from the surgery itself and went back to work in one month. It took that month to learn how to get down prescriptions, vitamins, milk drink and 3 small (2 ounce) meals per day. At school I have had to really try to get enough water down, one does get very dry mouthed very quickly and that helps the cause. It is time for me to go back to my exercise programs as my walking isn't nearly good enough. The knees still restrict me. Since February 11, I have lost 35 pounds and more importantly, my blood pressure is coming under control. I take my BP twice daily and if it starts to edge up over 130, I take a pill, then it stays down for 5 or 6 days. I am thinking my heart and kidneys are already thanking me for this improvement. Most of the time my blood pressure is well under 120 over 70. My worst days have been days when the blood pressure dropped too low. My doc cut me down on my meds and I cut myself down further.

One of the hardest things has been taking the calcium, it has to be calcium citrate and mine is powder. You don't want to be taking a pill big enough to stop up your exit hole in your stomach! I have found this powder to be rather hard to take. Two days ago I just put 3 scoops in water, stirred it up, kept stirring it and found that the easiest way to deal with it. Then you have to be sure you take it two hours away from your other vitamins. The B vitamins are easy to take and the multi s are Flintstones. I find it funny that my grandson and I now take the same vitamin.

I am giving up on my two most trusty pairs of jeans and found a pair in a box of clothes that fit me better. I think I bought them without trying them on and Levi sizes don't match with Lane Bryant sizes, even these are somewhat baggy in the seat, but at least they won't fall off.

By the way, if you are having trouble finding chewable or powder calcium citrate, don't even bother looking, just order it from, they have it and they have cher amino by twin lab which my cousin's daughter recommended. It should be here tomorrow and at a much better price than store price and no standing on your head looking at labels in stores and vitamin sections. And Thiamine? That's B 1, don't forget it, you may never find thiamine unless you remember it is B 1! Then it is easy to find. I just found it very exhausting standing in vitamin sections right after surgery trying to read labels and running out of steam. That may be more because I lost some blood during the surgery and was very sloggy and slow for a while.

Something I have said to everyone in my real world but not here, is that I had almost no pain after surgery and the staff at the hospital said it was my exercise history. I worked out for 3 years with a tough trainer who really got me into good muscle shape in spite of the weight. If I could give anyone advice, it is make sure your abs are in as good a shape as possible and you will not regret it. My "pain" literally felt like a serious ab workout, not the pain I expected. I'm sorry if I am repeating myself from another post.

Another YaYa Day

That means a day with my favorite cousins, kids and grand kids. H got to play wildly all afternoon and eat an awful lot of sweets and drink koolaid--poor mommy! I think the ages were 11 down to 7 weeks, the seven week old and the one year old were pretty much out of the fray. There was egg hunting in the forest, big kids riding a golf cart, Reece getting to "drive" Uncle Matt's new orange tractor, with help from Uncle Matt. There was jumping on the trampoline, and for once, Henry is a little kid and had to get out of the way of the big ones in that situation, but he kept going back. My little Tom Sawyer was shoeless all day no matter how brisk and stinging the breeze was. I foresee much sleeping tonight. Daughter took 314 pictures until her battery died. I can't wait to see them, she has a great camera and a lot of talent. AS there always is, there was a groaning board of food, I took a few little bites of things I know are OK for me--too late I saw the deviled eggs, I could have had one of those. Too bad for me.
There was the newly adopted 7 week old and 3 young -pregnant women having second and third children all within a couple of months of each other. Even my son-in-law came for the first time to one of these get-togethers that didn't involve a big white dress. I hope he will come again.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One Week Out

I am feeling so much stronger today even than yesterday, the dietitian said as long as I take my Flintstones the blood will rebuild just fine. I sit here with a slight awareness of one or two stitches on my abdomen, but that is all. Last night was my first full night's sleep since last week. At home i have awakened at 3 or 4 a.m. for a blood draw! I find timing the prescriptions I am still taking, and getting in all the fluids. I may go to a small grocery store today and do a little shopping, I am going to check out the side of the bottle on naked lunch protein, see what the sugar content is, can't have that above #5 on the ingredient list. As of today my weight has ventured down past all the stuff that was pumped into me in my hospital stay.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I had the roux en Y this week. I had to stay 2 extra days because of some internal bleeding. I came home after two days of no further blood loss and have had no signs at home. I feel totally normal and my pain is zero.
I had some pain meds in recovery then maybe a dose and a half in my room. Switched to Tylenol, turned out it was children's Tylenol that was my best pain reliever. I had some visually interesting experiences on the dilaudin, not my cup of tea, although I was aware that I was not really seeing what I was seeing. I mean, rarely in real life do charcoal drawings start developing on your wall with an occasional little Disney style but charcoal value bird flutter out. Not threatening, but not something I wanted to do again. I was totally pain free by day two except for the sensation of having had a good ab workout. My last nurse who released me said my lack of pain was from all the exercise I had been doing so all you pre-bariatrics, get goin on some crunches! Now I am trying to get all my "sippin" done, vitamins, one last pill.
I can also tell you that, although right now I feel no sensation of hunger at all, when I stepped foot in this house, my mouth wanted to crunch on something, and that with no hunger. I am going to have to deal with that.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Brother Bob

Last May Bob called and said he had 2 days left to live. Last night he died in his hand built home in the presence of his wife, Cindy and his son Robert Jr.

Bob was the picture of a grizzled mountain man and he had been recovering and revitalizing the earth on his mountain top in Snowflake AZ
for the past 12 or 13 years. Until about a month ago he could still animatedly discuss the misuse of the land and his efforts to reclaim it. Robby had disappeared years ago and my sister, Kathy used her skills to find him; Robby reunited with his Dad then moved up to the mountain top and helped keep the homestead going. They enjoyed these months together and I am so glad they had them.

Cindy kept Bob going all this time with herbs, nutrients and sheer will. Sunday during the game, Bob had a stroke, slipped into a coma last night and died. Cindy, Robby and Bob's neighbors will honor Bob's wish to be buried on his own land which is legal where they live.

Bob was 60 in September and had cancer caused by Agent Orange. He is survived by his wife, Cindy, his son Robert Jr., his daughter, Brandy, and his four siblings, Linda, Kathy, Rick, and Elaine. He also has grandchildren from Brandy, 2 nieces and a nephew.

added 2 days later: I now know that Brandy got there in time to say goodbye to her dad. His children, his wife, gutsy Cindy, and friends spent several hours yesterday backhoeing the grave and placing Bob in his final resting place, wrapped in his favorite blanket with his bible. I think this ancient ritual may be better than the sanitized somewhat walled off methods we use "down here." Son Robby is going to stay for some time helping keep the homestead going for Cindy until she decides what to do. I don't see their extremely rugged life as a life for one person.